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  1. #1

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    Default Head Unit With 4 mmc6500's & Alpine Amp?

    Thanks for all the help in here. The mmc6500's are being installed on my boat now. I have 4 of these on a pontoon. My amp is an Alpine MRV-F545. I have spent about all i want to now but in several months i might get an ipod and another head unit. I know an ipod will never have the great sound of a dvd, cd but it sure does hold alot of music and makes it easy.

    What i am reading it seems alot of head units are cattering to the ipod craze but at a cost. I see where the Alpine CDA-9857 outputs at 2 volts and it seems this could be a downside. What i have read on reviews that use the ipods, they love this head unit. I have a Clarion marine head unit that came with my boat and it is a better Clarion unit and i have not purchased the ipod interface at this point.

    Is it a perfect head unit to do it all that would match my system or do you have to make the decision, do i want one to match an ipod and hope it gets by on everything else good?

    Even if i go back in years and pick up a head unit or a new one from 2006, what would you choose and do i have any advantages of going with an Alpine head unit to match the Alpine amp? I am on fresh water and my stuff wouldn't be getting wet in my boat. I feel the Clarion will sound good but at some point i might get another. I see where people in here seem to love Eclipse, i have always heard good things with Alpine and Pioneer and even Sony.

    On any of these Eclipse head units, do they work fast and nice with an ipod? I plan on getting a hard drive player like an ipod at some point to use with the system i am putting in. Thanks again for any help and suggestions.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by KyLake
    Thanks for all the help in here. The mmc6500's are being installed on my boat now. I have 4 of these on a pontoon. My amp is an Alpine MRV-F545. I have spent about all i want to now but in several months i might get an ipod and another head unit. I know an ipod will never have the great sound of a dvd, cd but it sure does hold alot of music and makes it easy.

    What i am reading it seems alot of head units are cattering to the ipod craze but at a cost. I see where the Alpine CDA-9857 outputs at 2 volts and it seems this could be a downside. What i have read on reviews that use the ipods, they love this head unit. I have a Clarion marine head unit that came with my boat and it is a better Clarion unit and i have not purchased the ipod interface at this point.

    Is it a perfect head unit to do it all that would match my system or do you have to make the decision, do i want one to match an ipod and hope it gets by on everything else good?

    Even if i go back in years and pick up a head unit or a new one from 2006, what would you choose and do i have any advantages of going with an Alpine head unit to match the Alpine amp? I am on fresh water and my stuff wouldn't be getting wet in my boat. I feel the Clarion will sound good but at some point i might get another. I see where people in here seem to love Eclipse, i have always heard good things with Alpine and Pioneer and even Sony.

    On any of these Eclipse head units, do they work fast and nice with an ipod? I plan on getting a hard drive player like an ipod at some point to use with the system i am putting in. Thanks again for any help and suggestions.

    I can't speak on Eclipse's iPod interface at all, but they are probably best in the SQ department.

    If iPod is really important to you, consider the Alpine '06 head units over the previous models if you want to stay with the same brand as your amp. Other than the remote turn on lead being perfectly timed for Alpine amps right out of the box, there are no real reasons you would have to go with a matching h/u. The '06 Alpine models don't have any features dependant on Alpine amps.

    The interface in the new model lineup is much improved over the '04/'05 models as far as iPod goes, but at the expense of lower pre-out voltage, reduced EQ, tuning features, and sound quality to a degree. The new models also do not have the motorized swing-face front panel. The faceplates are still removable, but take some fiddling to re-attach due to the exposed gearset for the flap face.

    The new CDA 9856 is OK but requires a $30 adaptor to connect with an iPod. The CDA 9857 is set up for direct connection already without additional hardware,and has the Biolite display over just an LED one. Both of these have rudimentary Bass Engine bass/treble controls and no built-in crossover (if you plan on controlling a subwoofer's attributes off the h/u). Sound quality would be OK with either of these- I have heard both of these h/us installed- but would require having higher gains on your amp than 4V pre-out models for typical volume levels (and possibly more induced noise as a result).

    Pioneer, Kenwood, Clarion, JVC, Panasonic also make some great head units worth considering- I'm just not familiar with their latest models or iPod compatibility.
    Last edited by Greg Peters; 08-18-2006 at 02:10 PM.
    -------------------------------------------------------

  3. #3

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    Thanks Greg. I have two cousins that run Pioneer in their pontoons and i am not certain on the number but it seemed it was 7700 or 7800 and it had all kinds of flashing colors but out in the sunlight and boat, those colors are mostly washed out. They both had the ipod interface and i put a cd filled with 175 mp3's and the Pioneer poped those songs and artist up very fast from a cd disc. They sounded very good and both of them run Infinity Kappa's. I could tell a difference from 128 to even 160 bit rate mp3's.

    What i was looking at is how fast it brought up the songs and artist and the Pioneer looked like it did a very good job to me. I'm going to wait a bit for a new head unit but i am going to keep Pioneer in mind also and i loved the motorized face plate on Pioneer. I can see where Alpine cut some on things i also like and i question this.

  4. #4

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    I never bother with mp3 discs, in the "175 songs on one disc" sense because it further compresses everything and ends up sounding worse, so I can't speak to that either. I'll make compilation discs, with tracks ripped to mp3 @ 320kbps only, burn them back into .wav format on a cd, and even then some songs lose a little SQ over the original disc. Compression tosses out a bunch of music the software figures you can't hear (but I'd bet most of us do hear).

    The iPod access on the '06 Alpines I have tried, and it's pretty fast and shows as many playlists as were on the iPod to be accessed (I believe there were 7 or so).

    The thing with iPod over mega mp3 type discs is that you can convert music files to a "lossless" format, and if you have a bigger capacity iPod you can then load up a whole bunch of great sounding music, accessible at the touch of a button. When making a further compressed mp3 CD, there's no getting around the additional file compression, even if you start with files ripped in a lossless format.

    The highly compressed files are great to listen to riding the bus or something, but usually end up sounding like poop when played back on a proper system, home or car.
    -------------------------------------------------------

  5. #5

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    If Ipods are your thing, Id go with the Alpine. To my dismay, Alpine is moving away from sound quality in their new HU lineup in favor of Ipod crap. Still, like with anything Alpine, they do it well and so Id say theyd be a safe bet to go with.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
    MECA SQ Rookie of the Year 06 ~ MECA State Champ 06,07,08,11 ~ MECA World Finals 2nd place 06,07,08,09
    08 Car Audio Nationals 1st ~ 07 N Georgia Nationals 1st ~ 06 Carl Casper Nationals 1st ~ USACi 05 Southeast AutumnFest 1st

    polkaudio SR6500 --- polkaudio MM1040 x2 -- Pioneer P99 -- Rockford Fosgate P1000X5D

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