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View Full Version : Best SQ headunits in the market today in order...



Slaugh
08-06-2005, 12:02 PM
list the best SQ headunits as you think they should be ranked at...

i want to make two types of lists, one being the ones a mortal could possibly afford (such as Alpines, Pioneers, Panasonics, Eclipses, whatever...), and the other being McIntosh, Denon, Nakamichi, Alpine F1 and such which we will never be able to afford LOL....

well for what i think it would be something like this

1st-Eclipse (Fujitsu Ten)
2nd-Alpine
3rd-Clarion
4th-Kenwood Excelon
5th-Pioneer Premier
6th-JVC
7th-Panasonic
8th-Blaupunkt
9th-Sony Xplod (LOL)

im not making a hi-end list afraid of misplacing headunits since i have never heard any of them lol

make yours please.. :)

bamaboy
08-06-2005, 12:14 PM
IMO premier makes way better HUs than JVC

860/p9

clarion is okay but after yoiu drop the high end one what is it 9255 or something the quality drops, and i didnt like the user face on my friends that much to hard to do

req
08-06-2005, 12:15 PM
pioneer > jvc

nuff said.

JimJ
08-06-2005, 12:16 PM
and the other being McIntosh, Denon, Nakamichi, Alpine F1 and such which we will never be able to afford LOL....

Both Nak and Denon (well, except the Z1) make units that are quite affordable, and well within the reach of anyone that can afford a moderately to high-end Eclipse unit, for example.

mohsinkhan35
08-06-2005, 12:19 PM
i'd say JVC>pioneer, i am no more fan of pioneers , they make cheap stufff thats all i would say

JimJ
08-06-2005, 12:24 PM
The P9 is cheaply built? Alright...:)

iceteebone
08-06-2005, 12:28 PM
i'd say JVC>pioneer, i am no more fan of pioneers , they make cheap stufff thats all i would say


jvc is better built then pioneer? :eyebrow: i'd say eclipse on top, not by a lot, then a dog fight between pioneer, alpine, and clarion

99StangGt
08-06-2005, 12:58 PM
You cant compare brands all brands make some cheap and some good. best way to make a list would be models i would think.

adam71
08-06-2005, 01:00 PM
The P9 is cheaply built? Alright...:)

Yeah, didn't you hear?? My P9 is a flimsy hunk of ****. :crazy: :crazy:

On a serious note Pioneer and Clarion own JVC.....hands down.


And who in their right mind would rate JVC and Alpine over Pioneer??


My list of affordable units.

1) Pioneer P9 combo
2) Clarion 9255
3) Eclipse 8053

thats all I really care to list right now.

NOTE: I would have put the Alpine 7990 in this list but its not exactly affordable. ;)

Eugenics
08-06-2005, 01:15 PM
i got a sony specialty series (http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAudio/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=14671) and really love it, i like it better then any alpine or pioneer ive owned. i used to hate sony with a passion because most of their **** ***** *** but i think this new line is pretty good. with that said i wouldn't buy any other sony components.

where can you buy denon etc. headunits? ive been searching because i want a Z1 but cant find a place or even a price anywhere

MetalMaxima
08-06-2005, 01:17 PM
Both Nak and Denon (well, except the Z1) make units that are quite affordable, and well within the reach of anyone that can afford a moderately to high-end Eclipse unit, for example.

Absolutley. Without a doubt the pinnalce of HU SQ.

squeak9798
08-06-2005, 01:32 PM
where can you buy denon etc. headunits? ive been searching because i want a Z1 but cant find a place or even a price anywhere

Last I heard, Denon no longer sold car audio products in the United States, and their US site lists no car audio products (their Japan site, however, does).

So, looks like you can pick up a Z1 on your next trip to Japan ;) Also, for the price.....around $2500-$3000. And it's a no frills deck. No fancy processors or anything like you'd get from a higher end Eclipse or Clarion, if that's the kind of thing you are into.


However, you can find the Rockford Fosgate RFX-8240 and RFX-8250 on ebay all the time for reasonable prices. Not a Z1, but Denon products none-the-less.

adam71
08-06-2005, 02:02 PM
Last I heard, Denon no longer sold car audio products in the United States, and their US site lists no car audio products (their Japan site, however, does).

So, looks like you can pick up a Z1 on your next trip to Japan ;) Also, for the price.....around $2500-$3000. And it's a no frills deck. No fancy processors or anything like you'd get from a higher end Eclipse or Clarion, if that's the kind of thing you are into.


However, you can find the Rockford Fosgate RFX-8240 and RFX-8250 on ebay all the time for reasonable prices. Not a Z1, but Denon products none-the-less.


I'm pretty sure the DCT-1 is the flagship.

JLCivic
08-06-2005, 04:17 PM
I'm pretty sure the DCT-1 is the flagship.

I think the Z1 was the flagship Denon model.

adam71
08-06-2005, 07:06 PM
I think the Z1 was the flagship Denon model.


In Japan the DCT-1 IS the flagship. :naughty:


http://denon.jp/products/DCT1N.html

JLCivic
08-06-2005, 07:16 PM
In Japan the DCT-1 IS the flagship. :naughty:


http://denon.jp/products/DCT1N.html

Over here, when Denon had a US distributor, they only had 2 models, the R1 and Z1(the Z1 cost $2500, and the R1 was much less). That DCT1 looks like a Z1 from what I remember.

adam71
08-06-2005, 07:21 PM
Over here, when Denon had a US distributor, they only had 2 models, the R1 and Z1(the Z1 cost $2500, and the R1 was much less). That DCT1 looks like a Z1 from what I remember.

Don't forget the DCT-1000R Alpha Processing. Oh and the one that I actually had in my car back then.......the DCT-950R. :D

MetalMaxima
08-06-2005, 07:29 PM
In Japan the DCT-1 IS the flagship. :naughty:


http://denon.jp/products/DCT1N.html


Does anyone else consider it ironic that they sell a BETTER HU in a country will way less cars than in the US? Or is it that there was no market because +90% of car audio modders scrap the bottom of the barrel when buying equipment?

flakko
08-06-2005, 07:31 PM
HEY! u left out Kenwood eXcelon. im pretty sure they are better than panasonic....wait i KNOW they are better than panasonic.

adam71
08-06-2005, 07:33 PM
HEY! u left out Kenwood eXcelon. im pretty sure they are better than panasonic....wait i KNOW they are better than panasonic.

The 889 was a bad *** unit but NOT in the neighborhood of the 3 I listed. :D

adam71
08-06-2005, 07:34 PM
is it that there was no market because +90% of car audio modders scrap the bottom of the barrel when buying equipment?

That is the right answer. :(

Quantity over quality has killed the "high end" market here.

Slaugh
08-06-2005, 07:40 PM
i TOTALLY forgot kenwood sorry i would place it in 4th place probably and switch Pioneer and JVC now

JLCivic
08-06-2005, 07:41 PM
Don't forget the DCT-1000R Alpha Processing. Oh and the one that I actually had in my car back then.......the DCT-950R. :D

Didn't the Z1 have that processing as well?

adam71
08-07-2005, 01:32 AM
Didn't the Z1 have that processing as well?

Yes, it did but I was just stating that the 1000 had it as well.

JLCivic
08-07-2005, 08:01 AM
Does anyone else consider it ironic that they sell a BETTER HU in a country will way less cars than in the US? Or is it that there was no market because +90% of car audio modders scrap the bottom of the barrel when buying equipment?

I don't find it ironic because as you stated, there is not a big market for high end decks over here. Most people judge how "good" a deck is by how many features can be crammed into a deck that they can get for $250 on ebay, and many of them think all of those decks sound "amazing" because they have no frame of reference.

I would say the percentage of people who go for # of features over quality(or sound quality) is higher than 90%.

Most Companies won't focus on balls to the wall sq decks since they will sell very few of them.

theCybe
08-07-2005, 08:56 AM
http://denon.jp/products/dct1/dct1n.gif
Denon DCT-1 Japan;

Ugly *** deck.

JLCivic
08-07-2005, 09:18 AM
http://denon.jp/products/dct1/dct1n.gif
Denon DCT-1 Japan;

Ugly *** deck.

Do you mean ugly in a good way? I think it is beautiful....pretty much has the same style as my 8250 only my 8250 doesn't have the option of green backlighting(red or amber). Some of the buttons are different but overall, very similar.

adam71
08-07-2005, 10:53 AM
Do you mean ugly in a good way? I think it is beautiful....pretty much has the same style as my 8250 only my 8250 doesn't have the option of green backlighting(red or amber). Some of the buttons are different but overall, very similar.


I agree....I think its a knock out. Its just different from the norm which makes it seem ugly to some.

Now this deck is very UGLY !! in my opinion.

http://www.eclipse-web.com/cd/cd5425.html

Slaugh
08-07-2005, 11:05 AM
amazing how the thread is going well

however no one has yet made any list :D

but its ok.. im surprised you can find Naks and Denons for the price of an average Eclipse model in US too :(

squeak9798
08-07-2005, 11:13 AM
Does anyone else consider it ironic that they sell a BETTER HU in a country will way less cars than in the US? Or is it that there was no market because +90% of car audio modders scrap the bottom of the barrel when buying equipment?

Japan actually has some of the highest quality car audio equipment available in the industry because there is actually a market for it over there. Don't know if you've ever noticed, but all of the major manufacturer's (Pioneer, Alpine, Denon, Eclipse, etc) sell very, very high end decks in Japan that aren't even available here in the states.

Why? As you said; no market here. Flash and bling sell in the States, not high quality.

adam71
08-07-2005, 11:27 AM
My list of affordable units.

1) Pioneer P9 combo
2) Clarion 9255
3) Eclipse 8053

thats all I really care to list right now.

NOTE: I would have put the Alpine 7990 in this list but its not exactly affordable. ;)

I sort of made one earlier of affordable decks which is why Denon is NOT on there.



Japan actually has some of the highest quality car audio equipment available in the industry because there is actually a market for it over there. Don't know if you've ever noticed, but all of the major manufacturer's (Pioneer, Alpine, Denon, Eclipse, etc) sell very, very high end decks in Japan that aren't even available here in the states.

Why? As you said; no market here. Flash and bling sell in the States, not high quality.

I totally agree. Its actually the American car audio "consumers" that have ruined its own high end market. :uhoh:

JLCivic
08-07-2005, 12:15 PM
I agree....I think its a knock out. Its just different from the norm which makes it seem ugly to some.

Now this deck is very UGLY !! in my opinion.

http://www.eclipse-web.com/cd/cd5425.html

It certainly is not the best looking Eclipse ever, BUT it does look better in person. It is still a great sounding deck for next to no money, though.

djbass_mekanik
08-10-2005, 02:05 AM
Eclipse
Alpine
Clarion (high models)
Excelon
Premier
Panasonic
Xplod ES

azbass
08-10-2005, 02:13 AM
nakamichi gets my vote. did an install with a CD-700II and fell in love with it.

then eclipse. out of all the HU in my shop. they soud the best, and play the more beat up cds better. just freekin ugly.

then alpine. looks, and features.

Randy Savage
08-10-2005, 02:14 AM
Alpine/701 combo= :D

adam71
08-10-2005, 05:39 AM
Eclipse
Alpine
Clarion (high models)
Excelon
Premier
Panasonic
Xplod ES


:hilariou: :hilariou: Hey nice of you to show your loyalty to the brands you have in your car. I like Pioneer but I realize there is better stuff out there. Get a grip.

adam71
08-10-2005, 05:41 AM
nakamichi gets my vote. did an install with a CD-700II and fell in love with it.

Hey don't get me wrong man the only reason that deck wasn't on my list is because I was under the impression that the 700II was NOT a very affordable deck. I wouldn't mind owning one of those myself.

OnYrMrk
08-10-2005, 07:53 AM
McIntosh MX406
Clarion DRZ9255
Alpine F#1 Status
Nakimichi CD700II
Eclipse CD8455


that is my list. McIntosh all the way if you want TRUE sound quality, those who oppose it have never owned one or heard one. If you want the closest thing to the McIntosh but can't find a McIntosh dealer, then get the 9255. Internally it is the same unit with one exception....the 9255 has the DAC onboard instead of an external DAC unit attached. The Alpine F#1 I have had the pleasure of listening to just the other day. Outstanding unit! The specs tell me that it is a very musical head unit. But apart from these others, you HAVE to buy their signal processor with it. Major Bucks! The Nakamichi is one of the greats. I would put it up against my old Alpine 7909 and that was one fantastic HU. With the features of the Nak, you can't go wrong. I listed the Eclipse last since it truly isn't in the same class as the other 4. Price wise it is the least expensive, feature wise, it shows up the Mc and the 9255. It is, IMHO, the best of the sub-$1000 Head Units.

adam71
08-10-2005, 08:07 AM
McIntosh MX406
Clarion DRZ9255
Alpine F#1 Status
Nakimichi CD700II
Eclipse CD8455


that is my list. McIntosh all the way if you want TRUE sound quality, those who oppose it have never owned one or heard one. If you want the closest thing to the McIntosh but can't find a McIntosh dealer, then get the 9255. Internally it is the same unit with one exception....the 9255 has the DAC onboard instead of an external DAC unit attached. The Alpine F#1 I have had the pleasure of listening to just the other day. Outstanding unit! The specs tell me that it is a very musical head unit. But apart from these others, you HAVE to buy their signal processor with it. Major Bucks! The Nakamichi is one of the greats. I would put it up against my old Alpine 7909 and that was one fantastic HU. With the features of the Nak, you can't go wrong. I listed the Eclipse last since it truly isn't in the same class as the other 4. Price wise it is the least expensive, feature wise, it shows up the Mc and the 9255. It is, IMHO, the best of the sub-$1000 Head Units.


I would put the Eclipse 8053 in there before the 8455 any day. Also, the 7990 is no longer being made. Also, I don't know how you could leave the P9 off that list but to each his own. Not to mention the Denon DCT-1 which owns ANY Alpine or Eclipse EVER made.

Shugarra
08-10-2005, 02:51 PM
Scott Buwalda imports (or did) Japanese spec units, including the Denon Z1 and DCT-1. If you are actually interested in getting one I'm sure he could help you out but as posted they are $2500-$3000.

http://www.buwaldahybrids.com

adam71
08-10-2005, 02:55 PM
Scott Buwalda imports (or did) Japanese spec units, including the Denon Z1 and DCT-1. If you are actually interested in getting one I'm sure he could help you out but as posted they are $2500-$3000.

http://www.buwaldahybrids.com


Thanx for the link.....and.......BTW, I love your sig.

99StangGt
08-11-2005, 08:01 PM
McIntosh MX406
Clarion DRZ9255
Alpine F#1 Status
Nakimichi CD700II
Eclipse CD8455


that is my list. McIntosh all the way if you want TRUE sound quality, those who oppose it have never owned one or heard one. If you want the closest thing to the McIntosh but can't find a McIntosh dealer, then get the 9255. Internally it is the same unit with one exception....the 9255 has the DAC onboard instead of an external DAC unit attached. The Alpine F#1 I have had the pleasure of listening to just the other day. Outstanding unit! The specs tell me that it is a very musical head unit. But apart from these others, you HAVE to buy their signal processor with it. Major Bucks! The Nakamichi is one of the greats. I would put it up against my old Alpine 7909 and that was one fantastic HU. With the features of the Nak, you can't go wrong. I listed the Eclipse last since it truly isn't in the same class as the other 4. Price wise it is the least expensive, feature wise, it shows up the Mc and the 9255. It is, IMHO, the best of the sub-$1000 Head Units.


I dont think the eclipse shows up the 9255 for DSP features. The 9255 has 4-way active crossover (Eclipse 3-way) and more time alignment, but less EQ.