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  1. #1

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    Default where to buy head unit?

    I'll be looking for a head unit for my Neon. I usually buy them from Car Toys.. they've been pretty good in terms of prices.. is there some ohter chain place i should go or avoid?

    How about CC or Best Buy? Or are they all pretty much the same? WHere ever I buy my head unit.. they will also be installing it for me.

    I like Pioneer Premiere head units.. lots of tweaks in the menus.
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  2. #2

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    itd save you a sh*t load of money if you buy it online and install it yourself...
    good choice on the premier units...thats what i have
    theres nothing to installing a head unit at all...if you can cut a wire and crimp it then youve basically got it...
    electronics city is where i got mine from...its an $890 unit for $550 and its fully authorized
    then all you need is a 10 dollar wiring harness and voila
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  3. #3

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    Ummm. i bet i'd screw it up.. and end up frying the wires in my car. ha ha. if I did it myself.
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  4. #4

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    i really cant stress how easy it is...
    i did my brothers when i was 13...and had no experience at all
    all you do is disconnect your stocker, then cut the wires and crimp them to the wiring harness...everything is color coded...
    pretty much idiot proof;)
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  5. #5

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    yeah, it's really ridiculously easy to install a new headunit... it's quite literally cut and paste, all you have to do is crimp the matching wires and you're set

    in a common car like yours, even mounting it is no problem, there's a vast number of cheap and effective mounting kits to make it even easier...
    It's not good, very fundamentally simply not good. - geolemon

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  6. #6

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    my Neon looks like it might be Double DIN size hole. is that a problem installing a new unit?
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
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  7. #7

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    nope... the mounting kit just comes with a little plastic pocket to put above the single-din HU
    It's not good, very fundamentally simply not good. - geolemon

    "Its not good enough until we have real-time fearmongering. I want my fear mongered as it happens." - Shizelbs

  8. #8

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    Circuit City used to be where I bought everything but now they carry crap equipment in everything except head units. They still have plenty of excellent h/u's and have really good prices. Another good thing about CC is that they are almost always running a special where you buy a h/u and they will install it for free. The benefit to this is that itll have a lifetime guarantee so if something gets shorted out or whatever you can take it back to them.

    As far as which h/u, Pioneer is excellent but I prefer Alpine. I believe that Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood and Clarion are all equally good so I choose on looks and which has the features I want at the price I want and thats usually an Alpine.
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  9. #9

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    I've had good luck with autotoys.com for HU's.

  10. #10

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    cc doesnt carry pioneer premier
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  11. #11

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    Kenwood and Alpine use alot of the same internals so going between those two companies, you are basically going for looks. Thier models have similar features at each price point, they just name teh features different things.

    Clarion has always been a solid performer for the money. Not always the best value but you get what you pay for. They are far from junk. Thier design and ergonomics can leave alot to be desired but electronics are up there with some of the best companies out there.

    Pioneer is an excellent company and you can find them for good prices in alot of places.

    Honestly, any one of those four, I don't think you can go wrong with.

    Honorable mentions include:

    Panasonic: They have been getting good reviews lately and aside from some initial QC problems a few years ago, they make a decent product. They are inexpensive but when the units do reach similar price points as the companies mentioned above, they seem to fall short in the features and specs for the money. On top of that, I find them flashy and too "bling-bling"-ish. I stay away from them for that sole reason. I like a nice and clean but attractive look, all business. Panasonic is a Beverly Hills flashy kinda look while the ones above are more of a New York GQ kind of look.

    Blaupunkt: This is Bosch, pure and simple. Bosch owns them and has done so from the start. They have some really ingenious gear and even some new T-class amps. They are inexpensive comparativly to the other above and features are similar. But as price goes up on these, the value seems to decrease. I have yet to have a problem with a Blaupunkt piece of equipment but I do have some irks. For the money, the touchy and feel is decidely cheap and flimsy. Buttons do not have a positive feel either but CD transport and DAC quality is first rate. If you are looking for a utility HU and like the sterile German and Swedish designing (think IKEA for your car) it's a good buy. Not what you really want if you are going for something more hardcore.

    JVC: recently, these guys have been putting out some very nice stuff! Specs are lacking in some places but overall, they look like solid performers. My experience is limited but thier price vs. feature ratio is favorable so they are worth a look.


    As far as where to get stuff, many places. If you want to go locally and pay for installation, you can bank on dropping a pile of cash. If you go online or mail order, you can save some cash.

    Places I would go:

    Crutchfield. These guys rock in the audio beginner world. You will pay retail prices but they send you all the harnesses you need plus directions on how to wire everything. They make it, literally, stupid easy! They have an extremely good help desk too and customer service, while slow during peak hours, is first rate. Almost as good as Polk Audio! They are teh first place I look in most cases.

    Sounddomain. These guys have all the stuff that Crutchfield does but you have to pay for harnesses and such. You get a break on price but you make it up paying for harnesses and such. They are good with CS and they have a huge selection of stuff.

    Circuit City/Best Buy both have some OK stuff. Not great but OK. They carry all the installation accessories you need too. But they are retail and you pay for it. One thing you should not do is have them install anything.

    Tweeter has alot of stuff and carries Polk Audio. Thier install bay is usually pretty good but you pay for it also. CS can totally suck if you are younger than 35.

    Independant audio shops can be very knowledgale but they lack selection in most cases.

    Online discounters are great place for price but that's it. They are not for the novice because they offer no tech help and most are not authorized dealers which is why prices are so cheap. Stay away from them if you are not confident.

    eBay. I'll put it this way, the only time I buy ANY car audio equipment from eBay is when it's something I am looking for and the company doesn't make it anymore. Like my C-4 sub from Polk Audio. More often than not, the ebay sellers are either a shifty reseller or some kid trying to unload his abused equipment. Those who have had success buying on ebay have been very lucky. Unless you know what you are looking for and know what you are getting into, stay away from ebay.

  12. #12

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    For wiring, you dont even have to cut wires. You can buy a harness to match your vehicle and match those up with the head unit harness. If that is even too much, I know ciricuit city sells some EZ-harness system which requires to crimping at all.
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  13. #13

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    good point unreal, if you get the pioneer premier and check to make sure that it has the same pin pattern as the standard pioneer you can just go to CC and get 2 wiring harnesses, one will hook up to your cars wiring harness, the 2nd will hook up to the HU, and then you just hook the two together, plug in your antena adapter (if needed) and you're good to go for wiring, all you'd have to do is take care of getting the mounting kit in there and you're all set...
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  14. #14

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    Originally posted by Jstas
    Kenwood and Alpine use alot of the same internals.....
    I didn't know that. Where did you hear it?
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    I didn't hear it. I have seen it. Part numbers are the same for alot of teh guts. Even the CD plyer parts are literally identical. They come from the same manufacturer.

    The features that are the same but have different names aren't things like Alpine's amp linking stuff or Kenwoods internal crossover and EQ networks. It's stuff like fancy names for radio tuners or noise reduction circuitry (exception being Kenwood's Sigma Drive NR circuitry, that's patented by Kenwood). They both have unique features that seperate them but they are pretty much the samebasic parts that will make up those fancy features.

    It's not a bad thing. They both use quality components and that is evident from thier track records. That's also the reason that I laugh at people who tell me that Alpine is better than Kenwood or the other way around. They are pretty much on an even playing field.

  16. #16

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    what about Kraco ? :p
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  17. #17

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    Default Kraco

    8 track anyone?

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  18. #18

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    Default pic

    see if this works or not.
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  19. #19

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    lol...as long as you stay away from sony head units, generally everything else is pretty good
    aside from the total crap ones...but those are easy to spot
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  20. #20

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    yeah... if it comes in plastic instead of a box you should shy away from it....
    MacLeod: I guess youre lucky Polk has such lax hiring standards.

    Josh: Damn skippy!

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