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View Full Version : Whats the differences between these decks?



DaFreakinRican0
09-08-2005, 04:45 PM
hey guys was up. I was just looking on crutchfield and i came across some kenwood decks. Ive never had a kenwood but i hear they are good. In this link http://www.crutchfield.com/S-yi3UKI3IZkN/cgi-bin/ProdComp.asp?g=300&s=0&cc=01&hidesimilar=&ITM113KDCX689=&ITM113KDCX789=&ITM113EZ700SR=&113EZ700SR=on&ITM113KDCX889=&ITM113MP928=&ITM113XXV01D= they appear to be the same except for some warranties. Can someone give me some knowledge on these decks? I am looking for a higher end model but might not NEED the highest priced one. What features are important in kenwoods? Also anyone know how their ipod interface is?

tRiGgEr
09-08-2005, 04:49 PM
Excelons are better quality than the MP line. The 889 has more audio features. And a better screen.

g8rforester
09-09-2005, 01:09 AM
The main difference between the eXcelon 889 and the XXV-01D is the display, and there are no station preset buttons on the XXV. The presets are accessed via a menu, and it's not as big of a pain as it sounds. There are supposedly some internal differences as well, but I'm not sure of the specifics.

All of those units have 24 bit Burr-Brown DACs.

If you don't NEED the highest end unit, I'd go with the 689, or 789. I don't think you'll be disappointed with either, but you won't have time alignment, or a few of the other sound shaping features. It appears the only difference in those two is the display.

I bought the XXV-01D and right now I've got it powering a pair of the old green Infinity Kappa 6.5" components. Even on deck power, it sounds pretty good (I'm in the middle of an upgrade due to theft). I also think it is the nicest looking HU on the market, especially when you see the display up close. It has a very clean look that the pics just don't do justice to.

A lot of people complain about the amount of menus that need to be accessed to tune the unit, but if you read the manual, you'll be fine.

I can't speak about the ipod interface, because I don't have an ipod.

This is my third eXcelon deck (KDC-x711, KDC-x969 were previous), and the first two did not let me down in reliability or sound quality. I sold the 711 to upgrade to the 969, and the 969 was stolen last month.

IMHO, Kenwood's HUs are some of the most underrated decks by the car audio community at large.

DaFreakinRican0
09-09-2005, 05:29 PM
thanks guys, if anyone else has any insight on these decks, let me know. If i go kenwood im DEFINATELY going excelon. I really like the pioneer 80 mp and of course the 860 (waiting for a new model, maybe an 870 or 880?).

Ignatowski
09-09-2005, 07:03 PM
789 kicks azz,220 on ebay

flakko
09-09-2005, 07:19 PM
789 kicks azz,220 on ebay

yup!!! it rocks! tonsa tonsa features. still findin stuff out to this day ( i dont like to read the manual on features) :D

and is the 689 new? i always thought it was 589, 789, 889

mbraman01
09-09-2005, 08:21 PM
id like to know if the sound quality in the XXV-01d is exceptional. i have a reference stereo and my eclipse deck busted. looking for a great sounding deck with ipod control as well so considering kenwood.

any comments on how the 24 bit dacs sound compared to an alpine 9855?

thanks

DaFreakinRican0
09-10-2005, 02:49 AM
what makes the 789 so good? Are there ANY cons about the 789 or any other excelon (new decks only)?

g8rforester
09-10-2005, 03:15 AM
id like to know if the sound quality in the XXV-01d is exceptional. i have a reference stereo and my eclipse deck busted. looking for a great sounding deck with ipod control as well so considering kenwood.

any comments on how the 24 bit dacs sound compared to an alpine 9855?

thanks

Like I said above, you can't go wrong with the sound quality of the eXcelon decks. The big thing with the XXV-01D is the fancy display and supposedly some upgraded internals vs. the 889. Honestly, the only reason I went with the XXV over the 889 was because I wanted the top end unit.

I think bang-for-the-buck, the 789 is the best because you get all of the SQ of the higher end decks, but with the 889 you get time alignment and some other processing abilities. I don't think there are any cons about the new eXcelon decks, just decide which features are most important to you and buy one!!

Also, as far as ipod control goes, I believe almost all Kenwood decks (not just the eXcelons) can interface with the Kenwood ipod controller.

flakko
09-10-2005, 06:30 AM
what makes the 789 so good? Are there ANY cons about the 789 or any other excelon (new decks only)?

cons? the sun washes them out. and no spectrum analyzer for the 789 :mad:

Prowler573
09-10-2005, 06:42 AM
and is the 689 new? i always thought it was 589, 789, 889

It must be, Flakko - as I was unaware of its existence until seeing it in the comparo linked to in the OP's 1st post.

It has resurrected the dreaded D-Mask+ revolving faceplate and unless Kenwood were to show me extensive proof that the ribbon cable issues have been resolved I'd stay far away from it, were it me. Strangely enough - the 689 has a spectrum analyzer.....wonder why the 789 got skipped?

Ignatowski
09-10-2005, 06:45 AM
cons? the sun washes them out. and no spectrum analyzer for the 789 :mad:

**** the sun washes out all the newer decks I have seen,the fancier the displays the harder to see in bright light - but after a while you know where everything is
like ray charles.........

flakko
09-10-2005, 06:53 AM
It must be, Flakko - as I was unaware of its existence until seeing it in the comparo linked to in the OP's 1st post.

It has resurrected the dreaded D-Mask+ revolving faceplate and unless Kenwood were to show me extensive proof that the ribbon cable issues have been resolved I'd stay far away from it, were it me. Strangely enough - the 689 has a spectrum analyzer.....wonder why the 789 got skipped?

luckily i wasnt around for the D-Mask

but i miss my SA :(

so i guess my only gripe now is the SA.

Prowler573
09-10-2005, 06:58 AM
I never owned any HUs with the motorized faceplate like that (the D-Mask+).

I had a couple of different cassette HUs with the non-motorized revolving face (D-Mask) and never had any issues out of those at all. Matter of fact - the last one I bought (KRC-608...with an Aldo Nova tape still in it!) is still in the closet along with the 10-disc changer I ran with it.

scrappy
09-10-2005, 02:30 PM
I have owned three kenwoods with d-mask, one regular and two excelon. Some of them have problems but some of them dont. My first excelon lasted four years so I cant really complain since it was time to upgrade anyways. The regular kenwood I sold when I bought my excelon and it still works to this day. I kinda have doubts that only one of the units would have d mask anyways maybe its a typo. Maybe Ill go check at the local shop for fun and see if they still carry excelon gear I havent been there in a few years

Prowler573
09-10-2005, 02:41 PM
I have owned three kenwoods with d-mask, one regular and two excelon. Some of them have problems but some of them dont. My first excelon lasted four years so I cant really complain since it was time to upgrade anyways. The regular kenwood I sold when I bought my excelon and it still works to this day. I kinda have doubts that only one of the units would have d mask anyways maybe its a typo. Maybe Ill go check at the local shop for fun and see if they still carry excelon gear I havent been there in a few years

I don't see where it has any possibility of being a typo, scrappy.

When I went to look at the specs on the previously mentioned KDC-X689 (coz I only recently became aware there even was a 689) the very first thing I noticed was a picture showing the blank, black baskside of the faceplate indicitive of a 180 degree revolution.

The 589, 789, 889, and the 25th Anniversary edition deck (can't recall the exact model # at the moment) all have the 'Auto-Slide' face mechanism which is motorized but does not flip around 180 degrees. The 689 is the only '05-model eXcelon HU with the D-Mask+.

I have to wonder why out of all the '05-model decks why there is only one that uses that particular design and it's one that they've brought out midway through the model year...

They had enough problems in the past that it would deter me from buying one just for that without being shown extensive proof that the ever-present ribbon cable issues (too many people had problems for it to be a fluke or a simple case of bad PR) have been resolved.

scrappy
09-10-2005, 03:45 PM
You are right I missed that picture when looking at it the first time. I find it weird that a mid line deck would have the d mask feature. Befor it was like only the top two models would have them like in 04 the 879 and 979

Prowler573
09-10-2005, 04:06 PM
The KDC-X879 and KDC-X979 did not have the D-Mask mechanism. The D-Mask (whether '+' or otherwise) was the nomenclature for the faceplates that gave you the option of removing it entirely or revolving it 180 degrees and showing the blank backside.

The '04-model 879 and 979 had what was called 3D Mask Pro. This was the two-piece design where the top portion (display) was fixed in place in the unit's chassis while the bottom portion, which contained no display but rather only the controls, flipped out and down. (see the Classifieds for an 879 for sale to see pix of what I mean if you're not familiar with it)

For last year the 879 and 979 were not the only eXcelons with motorized faceplates - they were just the only ones with the two-piece 3D Mask Pro design. The KDC-X579 didn't use a motorized face at all but rather a standard manual drop-down, removable piece.

The 679 (which I have) had a faceplate mechanism which carried over to the majority of the '05 models - the 'Auto-Slide' faceplate which copies the design that Alpine has used for several years now. Well, I take that back....I don't know if they consciously copied Alpine with a motorized faceplate with adjustable viewing angles that's drops to a 90 degree angle of the unit to eject/insert discs but it was an Alpine that I first saw that design on.

But, all in all, I agree with you. It is pretty weird that the mid-line unit would have a different mechanism than both the model below it and the two above it. I still wouldn't buy it just 'cause of the D-Mask+.

scrappy
09-10-2005, 05:50 PM
I actually have the 879 I forgot they called it 3d mask so yes I know what youre talking about. Wich is what I was saying the top two models carry the mask or 3d mask option. My gf has the 579 model as well I am a big excelon fan as you can tell she also has my 2 ch excelon amp. My first one was the actual d mask wich flipped all the way 817 I wznt to say and same with my regular kenwood

Prowler573
09-10-2005, 05:56 PM
I actually have the 879 I forgot they called it 3d mask so yes I know what youre talking about. Wich is what I was saying the top two models carry the mask or 3d mask option. My gf has the 579 model as well I am a big excelon fan as you can tell she also has my 2 ch excelon amp. My first one was the actual d mask wich flipped all the way 817 I wznt to say and same with my regular kenwood

Meee, too.

As illustrated by my sig, I reckon. The deck my 679 replaced was a KDC-X569. I have a set of eXcelon 10s that used to be in my car before the DAT M6 and are now serving HT duty.

My old eXcelon 4ch amp (from when they were still called Performance Standard) IMO is the best 4ch amp Kenwood has ever made. My only beef with it is its width. It takes up quite a bit of real estate for something only rated at 75w/ch X 4ch @ 4 Ohm stereo.

flakko
09-10-2005, 07:17 PM
no wait actually if you look at them, the 789 889 and that wierd xxx 017 thing are all 25th annaversary edition while the 689 is just a normal deck.

Prowler573
09-10-2005, 07:21 PM
No - the 789 and 889 are not 25th Anniversary editions.
The XXV-whatever it is (XXV being the Roman numeral for 25) is the only one being marketed as an Anniversary edition deck. Up to and including saying '25th Anniversary' on the unit itself.
The 789 and 889 are more feature packed and, IMO, better values than the 689 - but they're not 25th Anniversary HUs.

flakko
09-11-2005, 05:09 AM
No - the 789 and 889 are not 25th Anniversary editions.
The XXV-whatever it is (XXV being the Roman numeral for 25) is the only one being marketed as an Anniversary edition deck. Up to and including saying '25th Anniversary' on the unit itself.
The 789 and 889 are more feature packed and, IMO, better values than the 689 - but they're not 25th Anniversary HUs.

no no look at the link the original poster gave us. and click individually on the 789 and 889.

Prowler573
09-11-2005, 06:21 AM
no no look at the link the original poster gave us. and click individually on the 789 and 889.

Ok - in the interest of wanting to be certain I knew what I was talking about (frequently I don't, so it would seem :D ) I did click on the units individually.

On their respective product pages there is a clickable 25th Anniversary banner. I found, after a bit of investigation, that said banner is present on every single Kenwood mobile audio product page whether it be eXcelon gear or not. Even their cheapest 4" coaxial, rated at an outstanding 20w RMS apiece, has that banner on the product page.

Looking more closely at that banner it reads "See all of our Special Edition Kenwood products"

When you click on it to go to said special editions it gives you a page with a layout of all the 25th Anniversary gear and the only HU included in that list is the afore-mentioned XXV-O1D.

The banner on the varying Kenwood product pages is nothing more than targeted advertisement for potential Kenwood buyers rather than an indicator of a specific product being part of the 25th Anniversary lineup.

flakko
09-12-2005, 07:32 PM
ooh haha i was pwn3d big time :D