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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Best bang for the buck car stereo?

I been out of the car audio scene for a very long time. The last time I even tried to keep up with this stuff was in like 2001. So what is the best bang for the buck in-dash cd player these days? I would love for it to have all the little bells and whistles like being XM (or sirrius) ready, bluetooth, USB input and all that stuff. But i really don't want to pay through the nose if I can avoid it. And i'd like it to have one of these cool little screens if possible, like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...AR39ZMDRGJRPHB

But it's not a necessity or anything like that. Any ideas on which one I should get? Again, looking for as cheap as i can get by with and still have decent quality. The reason for that being that back in '01 I paid $500 for the top of the line kenwood. Then of course in early 2005 it failed, out of warranty. Not spending good coin like that on a car stereo again lol.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 08:46 PM
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I been out of the car audio scene for a very long time. The last time I even tried to keep up with this stuff was in like 2001. So what is the best bang for the buck in-dash cd player these days? I would love for it to have all the little bells and whistles like being XM (or sirrius) ready, bluetooth, USB input and all that stuff. But i really don't want to pay through the nose if I can avoid it. And i'd like it to have one of these cool little screens if possible, like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...AR39ZMDRGJRPHB

But it's not a necessity or anything like that. Any ideas on which one I should get? Again, looking for as cheap as i can get by with and still have decent quality. The reason for that being that back in '01 I paid $500 for the top of the line kenwood. Then of course in early 2005 it failed, out of warranty. Not spending good coin like that on a car stereo again lol.
Go check out the brand eclipse.. Best fucking car stereo ever!
http://www.eclipse-web.com/
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 08:47 PM
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Bang for buck?

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 08:51 PM
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Bang for buck?

Alpine
Every alpine I've had has been bested by a 4 year old eclipse unit. I think I paid 250 for it new
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 08:58 PM
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Every alpine I've had has been bested by a 4 year old eclipse unit. I think I paid 250 for it new
I've heard a couple of eclipse units and I wasn't impressed. Just my opinion. The alpine had a great, crisp sound and was easy as hell to use. Oh, I paid $150 for my old one. It was hooked up to 6 infinity kappas though in my old mustang so maybe that had something to do with the sound as well.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 09:03 PM
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I just bought a kenwood with the built in HD radio tuner. Not sure if it's the radio or HD in general but it doesn't have that cd quality they advertise. I have had bad luck with car audio though, last alpine that I used had bad static in certain areas. But I did like the Alpine's sound quality when it wasn't staticy (sp)

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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I wont be buying kenwood again as that was the piece of shit I had die right out of warranty. They got some nice looking stuff these days, but they can keep it.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 09:47 AM
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Has no screen but has a lot of extras Pioneer DEH-P7100BT, I got one from
compuplus.com for about $256 shipped back in June.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 09:54 AM
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Just remember, your system will only sound as good as the head unit feeding it all signal. I have had a few Eclipses as mentioned above and they werent horrible but my old trusty Alpin CDA-9835 blows them all away. Ill never buy anything but alpine after this stereo. The difference in clarity from going to another aftermarket to this one was crazy!
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 10:02 AM
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Sorry to hijack, but is there a single din unit that I can use a backup camera with?

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 10:51 AM
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Just remember, your system will only sound as good as the head unit feeding it all signal. I have had a few Eclipses as mentioned above and they werent horrible but my old trusty Alpin CDA-9835 blows them all away. Ill never buy anything but alpine after this stereo. The difference in clarity from going to another aftermarket to this one was crazy!
ive still got a 9835 as well. put it in my boat with the xm module and ipod adapter.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 12:02 PM
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I've heard a couple of eclipse units and I wasn't impressed. Just my opinion. The alpine had a great, crisp sound and was easy as hell to use. Oh, I paid $150 for my old one. It was hooked up to 6 infinity kappas though in my old mustang so maybe that had something to do with the sound as well.
where they set up at all? You really have to mess with the time align and a few other features to get the best sound out of a eclipse, but when you do it awesome.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 02:00 PM
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I just bought a kenwood with the built in HD radio tuner. Not sure if it's the radio or HD in general but it doesn't have that cd quality they advertise.
I was disappointed in HD radio as well. It doesn't sound anything like a CD, in my opinion.

I'm an Alpine fan. I liked Kenwoods back in the day, but I bought one last year for my gf's car, and the user interface sucks balls. I have to mash a button, twist a knob, hold my nose, hop on one leg, say a magic word, and blink four times just to change a simple setting. Even the huge novel of a manual is poorly slapped together, sending you back and forth from one page to another like a "choose your own adventure" book.

Honestly, those are the only two brands of head units I have personal experience with. I keep buying Alpine because they are solid, easy to use, sound great, look good, and they have a lot of add-on stuff that works well in my setup.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinsn95 View Post
I been out of the car audio scene for a very long time. The last time I even tried to keep up with this stuff was in like 2001. So what is the best bang for the buck in-dash cd player these days? I would love for it to have all the little bells and whistles like being XM (or sirrius) ready, bluetooth, USB input and all that stuff. But i really don't want to pay through the nose if I can avoid it.
Alpine CDA-105 $199 or CDA-9886 $299 add bluetooth for $199 to either.
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And i'd like it to have one of these cool little screens if possible, like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...AR39ZMDRGJRPHB
Units with a screen will have built in DVD except for some iPod radios like the Alpine 404. JVC also has some models with two USB inputs so you can use a Bluetooth USB dongle to have bluetooth through the deck. I don't know how well their bluetooth works.

Kenwood has some radios that have bluetooth built in with lots of other features as well.

I would use a Parrot unit for bluetooth and keep it out of the deck for the best performance and upgradability.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 06:35 PM
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where they set up at all? You really have to mess with the time align and a few other features to get the best sound out of a eclipse, but when you do it awesome.
Probably not. It was in an old friend of mine's cobra. He had that, the mach 460 of course and two diamond 12's. He was one of those "all bass, no sound" type people so that's probably what he had it set up to do. I like to hear everything that's going on in a song. Not just the bass.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 08:14 PM
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Probably not. It was in an old friend of mine's cobra. He had that, the mach 460 of course and two diamond 12's. He was one of those "all bass, no sound" type people so that's probably what he had it set up to do. I like to hear everything that's going on in a song. Not just the bass.
Same here. I can't stand alot of bass. A real system has it all in my opinion.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-07-2009, 08:17 AM
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-07-2009, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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1. Well this is going to sound dumb, but i'm really out of the loop these days. What all applications does bluetooth have, for a car stereo? I thought bluetooth was just a little IR signal for those little earpieces for cell phones. How could that be useful with a head unit?

2. As for the USB inputs, the only useful thing I can come up with for those would be like, if you put your whole song library on s USB flash drive, (that was large enough to hold it of course) and the head unit could read them from it and play them out through the speakers. Is this why they have usb inputs these days?
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-07-2009, 03:52 PM
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Same here. I can't stand alot of bass. A real system has it all in my opinion.
LOL. It is very possible to have a metric shit ton of bass and still have a metric shit ton of everything else too.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 12:13 AM
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Bang for buck?

Alpine
eclipse and clarion are not what they use to be, be careful of people who haven't seen recent models.

Alpine is definitely the best bang for the buck, they have some of the best sound processors on board. I've owned clarion, eclipse, blaupunkt, pioneer, kenwood - all their very high end models, and the sound quality out of my alpine has blown them away. I have alpines that are going on 10 years old, and I still use them, switch from car to car. Pioneer's sound quality is not as good, but their head units seem to last forever, that would be my 2nd bargain suggestion.
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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by justinsn95 View Post
1. Well this is going to sound dumb, but i'm really out of the loop these days. What all applications does bluetooth have, for a car stereo? I thought bluetooth was just a little IR signal for those little earpieces for cell phones. How could that be useful with a head unit?

2. As for the USB inputs, the only useful thing I can come up with for those would be like, if you put your whole song library on s USB flash drive, (that was large enough to hold it of course) and the head unit could read them from it and play them out through the speakers. Is this why they have usb inputs these days?
Bluetooth is not IR but the feature allows the deck to mute and a phone call audio to come through the stereo system and some allow the phone data to be displayed and controlled through the radio controls.You can stream audio wirelessly to the headunit from the phone on some units.

Yes, USB is used for storing songs and playing them through the headunit.
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the helpful replies everyone. But er, for sound quality, that JBL that i posted a link to is not even in the competition, huh. I guess it just attracts people with it's pretty little screen.
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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Bluetooth is not IR but the feature allows the deck to mute and a phone call audio to come through the stereo system and some allow the phone data to be displayed and controlled through the radio controls.You can stream audio wirelessly to the headunit from the phone on some units.

Yes, USB is used for storing songs and playing them through the headunit.
Hmm, what do you use for a mic to talk to the person calling you, if you are hearing it through the speakers? I guess you would use that little bluetooth earpiece? But then wouldn't you get bad feedback (echos) of the conversation, cause the earpiece's mic could hear it?

And as for the USB port, can you just plug in your USB flash drive with all your songs on it, or do you have to use an Ipod with all it's wires and such? Be awesome if it could just play off a flash drive...
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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So with the sheer overwhelming number of Alpine recommendations, I will be going with them. So now, the question is, which Alpine head unit is the best bang for the buck?
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 01:13 PM
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So with the sheer overwhelming number of Alpine recommendations, I will be going with them. So now, the question is, which Alpine head unit is the best bang for the buck?
You'd be better off stating what you're looking to spend. "Bang for the buck" is a relative term.
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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 03:01 PM
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So with the sheer overwhelming number of Alpine recommendations, I will be going with them. So now, the question is, which Alpine head unit is the best bang for the buck?
The bluetooth kit includes a microphone. The Parrot units have zero to minimal echo.
The CDE-102 has USB, 1/8" AUX, CD/MP3/WMA, and optional iPod control, highpass crossovers on speaker and RCA outputs, 2 pr RCA (front/rear or Front/SUB), sub volume control, parametric bass and treble, etc. $149 Beyond that, I would do the CDA-9886 next 3 pr 4 volt RCA, crossovers, USB (must add extension cable), includes iPod cable, BioLite display w/ multiple lines of text and it does not wash out in the sun. $299
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