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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Alpine iXA-W407

Anyone have one or used one? EW do you have one on display?

I'm wondering how well the UI works for navigating through different tracks. They have a short video on Alpine's website and it seems to use finger swipes similar to an iPhone UI which I would think is a lot easier. I have an IVA-W505 and hate the navigation of the UI. It's difficult to use while driving due to the thin finger drag area that you have and if you stray off of that you sometimes have to start over. Major PITA plus you can't even navigate using the remote, if I could use the remote I probably wouldn't hate it as much.

Any downside to going from the W505 to the W407? It seems that the W407 is geared more towards digital media (USB drive, iPod/iPhone) as it does away with a DVD/CD drive. No biggie for me, I rarely use it anyway and now a days it's for the occasional NetFlix movie that I would watch if I knew I was going to be waiting somewhere for a while. Most of my stuff is going to be on my iPod Classic or my iPhone. Any other cons to the W407 compared to the W505? Do I lose anything as far as settings/adjustability?






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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 10:29 AM
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WAV > MP3

I would hate to have an expensive head unit and not even be able to play CDs without an external player. Compressed music is okay for casual listening, I guess, but for sound quality, the difference is too huge. Plus, I love the 505, personally. If you're an Ipod junkie and already have a 505 that you don't like, then maybe this one would be better. I have never seen one in action.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jluv View Post
WAV > MP3

I would hate to have an expensive head unit and not even be able to play CDs without an external player. Compressed music is okay for casual listening, I guess, but for sound quality, the difference is too huge. Plus, I love the 505, personally. If you're an Ipod junkie and already have a 505 that you don't like, then maybe this one would be better. I have never seen one in action.
Well I rarely play CD's or DVD's now a days. So easier to rip them to my iPod and more convenient. I had the navigation UI on the 505 but guess I need to play with a 407 before really making my choice.

Honestly Jared I can't tell the difference between my 128 Kbps rips and something higher like 256. Maybe it's my system I don't know.

Eric, you got one of these in stock or have installed any yet?




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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by evil jose View Post
Well I rarely play CD's or DVD's now a days. So easier to rip them to my iPod and more convenient. I had the navigation UI on the 505 but guess I need to play with a 407 before really making my choice.

Honestly Jared I can't tell the difference between my 128 Kbps rips and something higher like 256. Maybe it's my system I don't know.

Eric, you got one of these in stock or have installed any yet?
256 is still very much compressed. It's barely better than 128, anyway. I was referring to the difference between that and a CD. It's significant. Even on a modest system, you should hear the difference in loudness. On a system like mine, it will make you neve want to listen to an Ipod again. I do use an Ipod for casual listening because I enjoy the shuffle feature, but all of my songs are in Apple Lossless format, which is normally in the 800-1000 Kbps range. Still, it doesn't touch CD quality.

Play a great sounding song from one of your CDs and have that same song ready to play from your Ipod. Switch back and forth, same parts of the song, and see what you think. I've had people tell me they don't think there is much difference, and then I do that for them, and they are blown away.

Then again, if you don't know what you're missing, maybe it doesn't even matter.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 11:41 AM
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It is basically a am/fm/ipod controller that you can add sat, HD radio, nav, camera, etc to. Searching the ipod is reasonably fast and the screen info is large and easy to read. The touch flo style control is weak and clunky. I have sold a few but most people opt for the W900.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluv View Post
256 is still very much compressed. It's barely better than 128, anyway. I was referring to the difference between that and a CD. It's significant. Even on a modest system, you should hear the difference in loudness.
Most of my stuff on my ipod is now apple lossless, and it was a HUGE improvement over the standard compressed format. I can't tell much of a difference between cd and apple lossless, but from standard to apple lossless there was a massive difference in loudness, and clarity. FWIW, I don't have a system either. Factory speakers, and the only thing not stock is my W-900.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:25 PM
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Most of my stuff on my ipod is now apple lossless, and it was a HUGE improvement over the standard compressed format. I can't tell much of a difference between cd and apple lossless, but from standard to apple lossless there was a massive difference in loudness, and clarity. FWIW, I don't have a system either. Factory speakers, and the only thing not stock is my W-900.
Ya, Apple Lossless is the way to go. I just wish it didn't take up so much room. I can only get about 250 songs on my 30 gig Ipod.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:26 PM
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Ya, Apple Lossless is the way to go. I just wish it didn't take up so much room. I can only get about 250 songs on my 30 gig Ipod.
I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 11-1200 on my 60 gig. Granted, I'd say 300 of those are not lossless format.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluv View Post
256 is still very much compressed. It's barely better than 128, anyway. I was referring to the difference between that and a CD. It's significant. Even on a modest system, you should hear the difference in loudness. On a system like mine, it will make you neve want to listen to an Ipod again. I do use an Ipod for casual listening because I enjoy the shuffle feature, but all of my songs are in Apple Lossless format, which is normally in the 800-1000 Kbps range. Still, it doesn't touch CD quality.

Play a great sounding song from one of your CDs and have that same song ready to play from your Ipod. Switch back and forth, same parts of the song, and see what you think. I've had people tell me they don't think there is much difference, and then I do that for them, and they are blown away.

Then again, if you don't know what you're missing, maybe it doesn't even matter.
Guess I need to listen to a good system to see if I can tell the difference. I'm running a 10" JL sub through the factory speakers and a JL 500/5 and the W505 and think it sounds good to my ears at least. I've got some JL 5x7's I need to install on the front doors sometime to see if that makes a difference to my ears.

Jared are you running the Imprint Sound Processing with your setup? Can't remember if you said (or I heard) that you were using that. Really meant to pick your brains some when we were in Colorado

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Originally Posted by EW View Post
It is basically a am/fm/ipod controller that you can add sat, HD radio, nav, camera, etc to. Searching the ipod is reasonably fast and the screen info is large and easy to read. The touch flo style control is weak and clunky. I have sold a few but most people opt for the W900.
Didn't notice the W900 and I see it's got a different UI for navigation. Do you have either the W900 or W407 on display to mess around with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcoop View Post
Most of my stuff on my ipod is now apple lossless, and it was a HUGE improvement over the standard compressed format. I can't tell much of a difference between cd and apple lossless, but from standard to apple lossless there was a massive difference in loudness, and clarity. FWIW, I don't have a system either. Factory speakers, and the only thing not stock is my W-900.
I'm guessing once a song has been converted to 128/256 it can't be converted to lossless right? Pretty sure about that but thought I'd ask. Some of the music "I acquire" sometimes comes in the lossless format but I always convert it to 128 bit rate.




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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:12 PM
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I'm guessing once a song has been converted to 128/256 it can't be converted to lossless right? Pretty sure about that but thought I'd ask. Some of the music "I acquire" sometimes comes in the lossless format but I always convert it to 128 bit rate.
I don't think so, but I'm not sure. All the stuff I have in lossless format, was ripped off the cd that way. I haven't even tried to go back and redo any of the 128 bit stuff I already had on there.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think so, but I'm not sure. All the stuff I have in lossless format, was ripped off the cd that way. I haven't even tried to go back and redo any of the 128 bit stuff I already had on there.
I was think I had "acquired" some music in lossless but it was actually in flac. I'll rip a CD in lossless and than 128 bit and see if I can tell the difference.




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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 02:07 PM
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Once you compress a song, you can't go back up in quality. You can always convert to a higher bit rate, but quality will stay the same from the 1st rip. The music I have on my pc are all 320kb. They sound real good, but they're not lossles or wav. I have some that are 192-256, but most are 320. Believe me, you will here the difference from 128 and lossless, or at least I can in a car system. Honestly, I can't stand 128.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 02:59 PM
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just chiming in to say the quality of CD audio, wav, FLAC and apple lossless should all be the same.
the quality of the encoder is really the only variable and even then most respectable encoders only vary in volume level.

i moved to FLAC a while back for quality. granted this is for my living room, not my car so i dont need portability.

unfortunately i do have still have and create max variable bit rate MP3s for my itunes ibrary/phone/ipod. that gets a bit annoying.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 03:29 PM
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Anything I put into Itunes from CD or buy from the Itunes store I can then convert up to Apple Lossless. That's the only way I know how to do it.

I can tell a significant difference between Apple Lossless and CD, but that may just be because the Apple Lossless stuff is coming from my Ipod, through the cable, etc. Although, I think with my setup, my head unit does the "work" and not the Ipod. This is where it gets over my head, though.

Jose, I don't use Imprint, as I have an Alpine processor (H701). It's a bad bitch, with optical input, 5.1 processing, insane EQ functionality, etc. It doesn't calibrate things automatically like Imprint, which can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it.
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