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  1. #1

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    Default anyone have 24bit DAC in their HU?

    ok. it's been a few years since I've looked at the specs for head units.. it appears that only the higher end head units have 24 bit DAC's in em. with most having the 16bit DAC's.

    anyone here have a higher end unit with the 24 bit DAC's? Can you tell a difference in sound quality?

  2. #2

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    my kenwood kdc-x990 has 24 bit wolfson dac's. i can tell the difference in sound quality.

  3. #3

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    Actually, I believe that most HU's have 1bit DAC's. Some offer 1bit DAC's with 24bit resolution. My Pioneer DEH-P8600MP had had one of these from Burr Brown. My last 3 Eclipse HU's all have had the real 24bit DAC's, and these were Burr Brown DAC's as well. I believe there is a difference. It is not huge, but it's there.


    I had an older Alpine setup that used four 20bit Burr Brown DAC's to take care of the digital to analog conversion. This was probably the best sounding setup that I've had in my car. Now it may have been other things beside the DAC's that helped it sound so nice, but I am pretty sure that they had a good deal to do with it. I've had several Alpine HU's after this and none sounded as nice as that setup. Reason I ended up bailing on Alpine and going with Eclipse. Some people believe that DAC's do not make a difference in sound. I disagree and think they need to have their hearing checked.
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  4. #4

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    Most of the newer Kenwood units have 24-bit Burr-Brown DACs in them. The high end regular models and all but the lowest model of the eXcelon line has the Burr-Brown DAC. At least that is what I gathered from promotional brochures I saw recently.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  5. #5

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    kenwood used to use burr-brown dac's, but they switched to wolfson.

  6. #6

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    wolfson makes great dac's as well! But then again, I wouldn't put a Kenwood in my car if it was free.
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

    Home Setup: Sony VPL-VW85 Projo, 92" Stewart Firehawk, Pioneer Elite SC-65, PS3, RTi12 fronts, CSi5, FXi6 rears, RTi6 surround backs, RTi4 height, MFW-15 Subwoofer.

    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by killerb
    kenwood used to use burr-brown dac's, but they switched to wolfson.
    Where did you see that? The brochures I saw were dated for the 2006 model year. Unless Kenwood is doing it for '07 and just hasn't released sales brochures yet.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxis
    But then again, I wouldn't put a Kenwood in my car if it was free.
    Why?

    I don't understand such brand bigotry. Why are you artificially limiting your choices? Is it based on opinions formed years ago when things were vastly different for all companies, not just Kenwood? Is it because of a single or maybe 2 or 3 poor experiences with a Kenwood product out of millions of units produced worldwide? If so, was it really the quality of the product in question or was it another factor that was the root of the problem but it only seems like it was shoddy equipment?

    Then again, blind brand allegiance is just as crippling.



    There are certain companies out there whose gear I just don't bother with anymore but it's not based solely on a bad experience I have had. Most other people I know have had bad experiences or I'm just not fond of styling, construction, build quality, track records or options for the price. Mostly I go for the quality of the sound that the unit produces and that seriously limits my choices. However, that's because the units outside that limitation do not meet my expectations and desires, not because they are junk or anything. I currently have a Kenwood head unit and it has served me very well for several years. I have two more that still work great. My experience has been good. Barring that, very few other head units give me the sound that I desire. The features that would seal the deal for me were only available on the Kenwood units so that is what I got. That doesn't mean I'd never install a Pioneer or Alpine or Eclipse or even a Panasonic head unit in my vehicle. It just means that I felt that the Kenwood was a better value. The fact that they tend to last in the decade ranges for me is icing on the cake, not a criticism of other brands.

    Then again, modern electronics are so cheap and made with such exacting tolerances anymore that breakage before it's "expected lifecycle" is finished are unlikely and if it does break, it can be cheaper to buy a new unit rather than repair the old one. If the case of higher end units, it can often be cheaper to repair a unit. That is the exception as opposed to the rule. Too often though, the ones lambasting a company for one bad unit far outweigh the good praises only because the bad ones are louder.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  9. #9

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    i was going to ask the same question. i never used a kenwood product before i got the x990. i used alpine, clarion and pioneer head units. after trying the x990 i was hooked. the sound quality was the best i ever heard and it has great features. its a very high end head unit period.

  10. #10

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    You know me, I dont hear a difference between them.

    As long as its a good quality unit from Alpine, Eclipse, Clarion, Kenwood or Pioneer, itll sound great.

    I prefer Alpine. And for the record, Alpine DVA h/u's use 24 Bitt DAC's. ;)
    Last edited by MacLeod; 11-13-2006 at 08:57 PM.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas
    Why?

    I don't understand such brand bigotry. Why are you artificially limiting your choices? Is it based on opinions formed years ago when things were vastly different for all companies, not just Kenwood? Is it because of a single or maybe 2 or 3 poor experiences with a Kenwood product out of millions of units produced worldwide? If so, was it really the quality of the product in question or was it another factor that was the root of the problem but it only seems like it was shoddy equipment?

    Then again, blind brand allegiance is just as crippling.
    It comes from being an owner of the very first line of Excelon (which was the only quality line). I was a diehard Kenwood fan until I started working in the industry and seeing how crappy the company and their products really are. They're not made well, they don't sound good and trying to get them serviced is borderline impossible. They had to get out of home audio because they had issues with quality and they couldn't produce a product that sounded good if they were paid a couple million dollars for R&D. They're trying to get back into HA but they took almost 2 years off. I feel this also affected the mobile side of things because they were not building as many units to get as good of prices on parts therefore they had to go cheaper parts to even make a product. Over the past 3 years, I see they keep adding and adding and adding more features and more features and more features. You can't keep adding features without sacrificing quality. Again, I wouldn't run a Kenwood.
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

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    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  12. #12

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    Ive talked to several sales advisiors over at crutchfield, and I ask each one of them who made the best headunit and all of them said hands down alpine.

  13. #13

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    Best in terms of what?
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  14. #14

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxis
    It comes from being an owner of the very first line of Excelon (which was the only quality line). I was a diehard Kenwood fan until I started working in the industry and seeing how crappy the company and their products really are. They're not made well, they don't sound good and trying to get them serviced is borderline impossible. They had to get out of home audio because they had issues with quality and they couldn't produce a product that sounded good if they were paid a couple million dollars for R&D. They're trying to get back into HA but they took almost 2 years off. I feel this also affected the mobile side of things because they were not building as many units to get as good of prices on parts therefore they had to go cheaper parts to even make a product. Over the past 3 years, I see they keep adding and adding and adding more features and more features and more features. You can't keep adding features without sacrificing quality. Again, I wouldn't run a Kenwood.
    I've had the exact opposite experience. I have an original eXcelon head unit. It broke. I got it fixed up the street for 60 bucks. It was an $800 unit new. I have another top of the line Kenwood eXcelon, cost $580 new, that broke, cost me $129 to get fixed. Both repairs took less than 3 days. What happened with the two of them? The backlight blew out. Apparently it's a common problem for Kenwoods with the MASK faces.

    The only Kenwood that failed completely was a friend's and that's because he accidentally smacked the motorized face when it was moving and broke the runing gear. Can't blame that on Kenwood.

    I have amps, CD changers, head units and even speakers from Kenwood and I can't complain about any of them. I really don't see the "not made well" aspect you are referring to. Especially since they use many of the same parts as the Alpines that everyone raves about.

    The sounding good is purely subjective. All of my Kenwood units have a very flat response and I think they sound great. Some people think they aren't loud enough but I don't really care if it's blowing my ear drums out or not, I just want it to sound good.

    I don't understand what makes the company so "crappy" though. They don't really do business any better or different than any other company out there. I also really don't think they backed out of home audio because they couldn't make anything that sounded decent. I also have a few Kenwood home audio products that look and sound great. Kenwood backed out of home audio because the market changed and they were very much geared towards stereo products, not home theater. They had the same choices everyone else did, adapt or get out. They got out and gave themselves time to adapt. Now they are trying to get back in with some fairly innovative solutions to the Bose question.

    As far as adding features and sacrificing quality, you're not seeing reality. Electronics get cheaper every day. They get cheaper because manufacturing processes get more refined and faster. This reduces overall cost. It also makes miniaturization possible. Smaller components take up less space. That means you can cram more features in to the same footprint year after year. Also, more and more technology like MP3 decoding, iPod interfaces, HD Radio, satelite radio, RDS systems, internal memory/storage, USB controllers and so on and so forth are becoming more and more prolific. This drives costs down and makes it easy to double the number of features in any electronic product on a yearly basis without driving up cost. More features is not a sign of poor quality, it's a sign that things have adanvced to a point where those features are easily added and cost next to nothing. Kenwood is not the only one doing it either. Eclipse, Pioneer, Panasonic, Blaupunkt, Sony...pretty much everyone except Alpine are piling on features year after year. On top of that, the market cannot cater to the "audiophile" because they will die. Joe Schmuck walking in to Best Buy wants features for his money. He doesn't give a damn about sound quality and will probably hook up some crap from Dual or Visonik for speakers (both used to be HUGE German companies up there with the Denons, Adcoms and Carvers) with Jensen amplifiers (another shell of a former great). If you want proof, go read customer reviews on Crutchfield.com.












    Now that crap about Crutchfield sales advisors talking about Alpine being the best, how many have you actually talked to? Are you sure they weren't having a sale on Alpine equipment? I think I would value teh opinion of teh Crutchfield sales advisor 10 years ago. Not so much now. 10 yearsago one could call up Crutchfield and had a damn good chance of talking to the sales advisor you spoke with a month ago and...he'd remember you! Not so much now. That's not necessarily a bad thing for Crutchfield but it thins thier talent pool when they have to hire many people to man phones. They can't pay premium prices for 200 sales advisors like they could for 50 sales advisors. But, don't get me wrong, Alpine makes great stuff but they aren't any better at any price point than Pioneer, Kenwood or anyone else making head units.


    I'm not trying to be brand biased, just realistic.

    I really miss Denon, Adcom, Carver, McIntosh and Becker audio gear. They left little to no doubt who the kings of the heaps were. If you REALLY want to see what Kenwood, Pioneer, Panasonic, Alpine and Eclipse are capable of, take a look here:

    http://www.audiocubes.com/category/H...ar+Stereo.html

    That's Japanese direct market stuff. That's some NICE stuff. We get shafted here in the US. Nobody sells us "dumb Americans" anything anywhere close to what they have in thier home countries. Sucks too because alot of the brand names that the Japanese, Koreans and Germans now control were once proud American brands worth every penny and then some. In Japan though, Kenwood's top of the line runs against the likes of Nakamichi, Denon and the REAL high end Eclipse that we don't get here.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  16. #16

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    I've been having a lot of problems with kenwoods new amps. Namely the kdc-7252 and their 4-channel thats similar in power, cant remember the name off the top of my head. Other than that, I have no complaints, they make great stuff, but theres something seriously wrong with the engineering of those amps
    -Cody
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  17. #17

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    i dont agree with the sound quality being crappy or the build quality being sub par. this is my second kenwood excelon unit, the first being a kdc-x889. never had a issue with either one. the sound quality is amazing and it has a ton of features. maybe you are hard on equipment. also how does including features adversly affect quality? thats an unfounded statement with no basis in reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exalted512
    I've been having a lot of problems with kenwoods new amps. Namely the kdc-7252 and their 4-channel thats similar in power, cant remember the name off the top of my head.
    -Cody
    I've heard that. A few people are having problems with them. Only the high power units. The lower power amps, eXcelon amps and D-class amps all seem pretty stout. The guys at the local Pep Boys (they sell Kenwood amps now) all said that if they sell 15 in a week, 6 will come back broken and half of them were broken out of the box. They said the smaller amps seem to run like a champ. They don't sell the eXcelon stuff but a local shop that does carry eXcelon gear raves about it but said similar things about the regular Kenwood amps.

    They are supposed to be changing next year though. Maybe it will be different...for the better.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  19. #19

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    hopefully it will, as an installer its a big pain in the ass to have amps broken right out of the box, which Ive had quite a few have that happen.
    -Cody
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  20. #20

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    They said alpine was the best in terms of FM recepition, CD freq response and durability. I was comparing them to the eclipse units. They said eclipse's are nice decks, but alpine's are better.
    Last edited by cam5860; 11-14-2006 at 08:58 PM.

  21. #21

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    Like I said before.... I've had gear from Alpine that would blow their current stuff away in the SQ department. This was from 1998, and nothing they have had since can beat it (not counting their F#1 gear). You see what I am running now.

    I still think that eventhough my CD7000 is a nice HU it still does not match that older Alpine setup that I had in terms of SQ. Will see what happens in the near future.......

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