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View Full Version : Please help an old fart out..Best sounding head unit is???



spnkysprky
01-07-2008, 05:55 PM
Well,since Im old and not hip to the new LOL...What are some good sounding head units on the market now.When I was competing it was Alpine,Clarion,Eclipse and nachamichi(mispelled).What brands produce GREAT sound now?Thanks

Trey803
01-07-2008, 05:56 PM
p880
I believe the alpine 9500 have the imprint which is ******

customtronic
01-07-2008, 06:08 PM
If money is no object I'd buy a Denon DCT Z1. Plan on spending close to or over $1000. An easier deck to find that I feel is also an awsome SQ deck is the Clarion DRZ9255, also around the same price. Just my two cents. Everyone has their own opinion.

redcalimp5
01-07-2008, 06:13 PM
Alpine CDA 7998

spnkysprky
01-07-2008, 06:30 PM
If money is no object I'd buy a Denon DCT Z1. Plan on spending close to or over $1000. An easier deck to find that I feel is also an awsome SQ deck is the Clarion DRZ9255, also around the same price. Just my two cents. Everyone has their own opinion.

Ahh who could forget Denon...I totally forgot about Denon.They had wonderful amps as well back in the early 90's or late 80's.Wow $1000....hmmm Im looking to spend about $400 on a HU

bonesninja
01-07-2008, 06:32 PM
alpine 9887

packy
01-07-2008, 06:40 PM
I have the Kenwood Excelon x591, it sounds great, has USB for non stop muic Im using an 8gig flash drive. 3 band eq. I love the sound it was only 159.00 from Crutchfield I would have gone with the 891 but money was a crutch

Gary S
01-07-2008, 08:05 PM
Which sounds best is a loaded question... head units are more about features than sound quality of the CD transport... but features like crossovers, DSP, and EQ can change the sound.

Add-on HD tuners which plug into the head unit would give you the best AM/FM quality. Analog tuners in Kenwood, Eclipse, Alpine, and Pioneer sound better than others, (such as Sony, for example), with pioneer being the best. I'm looking at buying another deck for another vehicle right now and I'm looking at Pioneer for the analog tuner and the DSP crossovers which appear to be very good... there are so many features though, it really depends on what's important to you.

If you ever thought about trying surround sound, panasonic has a few decks with CS automotive.

kmanian
01-07-2008, 08:11 PM
you still can't go wrong with eclipse, I am running a CD8443, not completely up to date with all the bells... but it has great control options and the signal is as better than most of the rest of my systems ability

redcalimp5
01-08-2008, 01:21 PM
Alpine 7998 for $238 shipped here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Alpine-CDA-7998-complete_W0QQitemZ220189992069QQihZ012QQcategoryZ3 9755QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

CrossFired
01-08-2008, 04:28 PM
Well,since Im old and not hip to the new LOL...What are some good sounding head units on the market now.When I was competing it was Alpine,Clarion,Eclipse and nachamichi(mispelled).What brands produce GREAT sound now?Thanks

Pioneer 880 is by far the best bang for the buck(IMO)!:veryhapp:

its_bacon12
01-08-2008, 04:36 PM
Alpine 7998 for $238 shipped here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Alpine-CDA-7998-complete_W0QQitemZ220189992069QQihZ012QQcategoryZ3 9755QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

THATS a hella deal.


If you're looking for less expensive, dont care about looks, check out Nakamichi CD-300

i paid 155 shipped for mine brand new, by far the best sounding head unit i've ever heard (off internal amp nonetheless)

theothermike
01-08-2008, 04:45 PM
id honestly say save 200$ more and buy a clarion 9255. pure copper chassis, not interference. 90khz sample rate and dual high bit dac converters. on top of 4 way active crossover / time alignment and leveling. and a sleek look makes for 1 of the best hu's out there.

props for whoever else supported it.

atsaubrey
01-08-2008, 04:50 PM
Save up $200 and get the Clarion DRZ9255 refurbed on the Bay. There is no finer deck made. ;)

spnkysprky
01-08-2008, 06:17 PM
id honestly say save 200$ more and buy a clarion 9255. pure copper chassis, not interference. 90khz sample rate and dual high bit dac converters. on top of 4 way active crossover / time alignment and leveling. and a sleek look makes for 1 of the best hu's out there.

props for whoever else supported it.

Yeah,thats an idea.I havent heard anything from clarion in a LONG time LOL..But I will say that they were among the best in my time...Im not that old,But Ive been out of the loop awhile.I remember when I bought a new rockford fosgate amp about a year ago and began to cry...the amp ****** so bad,i was in shock.It couldnt touch the old Rockford when they were american made.So thus,I began to research why and noticed other companies had lost quality...at least at cheaper prices.So thats why I want to make sure I make the right choice for the modern head unit.I dont want to be dissapointed

spnkysprky
01-08-2008, 06:31 PM
Save up $200 and get the Clarion DRZ9255 refurbed on the Bay. There is no finer deck made. ;)

:omg: HOLY CRAP!!I see why you said get a refurb one...that dam deck is going for $1,200!!! A refurb is half that WOW

I dont like the fact that it doesnt play Mp3 files or wma files...for that price,it should give me a BJ :D

theothermike
01-08-2008, 07:07 PM
u can get em for 600$ slightly used easily on here on diymobileaudio.com forums (more sq guys over there) as well as on elitecaraudio.com same gig more sq guys.

Another fine option for you would be a combination using sound processor and controller. you could get a alpine h701 and rux controller for around 500 and pair those up to any headunit out. maybe a cheap alpine model for ideal ipod playback and the same look of 2 alpine models.

i have a pioneer 880 prs. it has alot of tuneability. and sound tuning features. as well as a no bullshit, classy display. but for some reason im not one of those people who like pioneers navigation through menus and i know there a better way to play mass storage devices as well as better sq headunit for more $$$$.

ill probably be selling my pioneer 880 prs withen this week. if u want i can send u a pm when i do.

theothermike
01-08-2008, 07:12 PM
a few other good options for u to research in ur price range, the new kenwood x991 looks incredibly promising. as does the 9887 as mentioned, and the clarion mcx955 i believe. i recently heard a jvc unit that retails for 800 but has navigation, a 40gb harddrive for storage, bluetooth, and option for hooking up ipod extra screens to watch movies if a 4" lcd isnt enough (quite large) featured dolby digital and other sound processors. very nice features.

but if ur looking for a nice sq headunit id say avoid dual, sony, panasonic, and lower lines of all companies. look for high v preouts, multiple crossover points and slopes for your speakers and amps, and look for a headunit that features a 24 bit dac converter and a decent amount of equalization points and you'll be set.

Mike-

Louisiana_CRX
01-08-2008, 07:14 PM
I like the sound of my Pioneer DEX M88

spnkysprky
01-08-2008, 07:23 PM
it has alot of tuneability. and sound tuning features. as well as a no bullshit, classy display. but for some reason im not one of those people who like pioneers navigation through menus and i know there a better way to play mass storage devices as well as better sq headunit for more $$$$.

ill probably be selling my pioneer 880 prs withen this week. if u want i can send u a pm when i do.

I agree with you on that.I have had pioneer for along time now and ready for a change...Im looking into the Alpine CDA9887 here is a helpful review
http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17883

theothermike
01-08-2008, 07:34 PM
i might consider the 9887 myself. but i really want a used denon unit for hopefully around 850 or so or a clarion 9255.

best of luck to you. if u decide to go 880prs. im here and im sure itll take me a bit to sell.

sounds like u made ur decision. i feel that was a great review as well. its apples to oranges i support 100% on every issue.

Mike-

TonyC
01-08-2008, 09:17 PM
alpine 9887

Very nice!

shpatb
01-08-2008, 09:27 PM
Eclips CD5000 or CD7000 are both awesome, i have the 5000 myself and 8 volt pre outs make everything sound perfect. 7 band eq, time aligement, Area shot, everything you could possibly think about.

explorer2
01-08-2008, 09:37 PM
I had a kenwood x889, loved everything about it except the weird TA settings. Upgraded to the 880prs and im not quite as happy with it, it does sound great and it looks good, but i hate the navigation and the feel of it. I have an old school alpine 7949 on the way and im looking for a matching processor, should sound very nice. If im not happy with that it looks like i'll try out eclipse or a new x991.

spnkysprky
01-08-2008, 09:55 PM
i might consider the 9887 myself. but i really want a used denon unit for hopefully around 850 or so

Mike-

I wouldnt mind looking into a denon as well...problem is,I wouldnt even know which model to get LOL!Its been so long since Ive even seen a denon HU for sale around here LOL! Guess Id better look online!:D

Furcifer
01-08-2008, 11:41 PM
ok, I guess I will take the logical approach rather than just blurting out my opinion on what HU sounds best.

First of all spnkysprky, what are you looking for as far as features when it comes to the head unit?

Do you want Bluetooth? This allows your HU to communicate with your phone. You can transfer music files from your phone and some allows you to use it as a hands free device using your cars speakers.

Do you want it to be HD ready, or built in? HI-Def radio, becoming more and more popular.

Do you want it to have IPOD controls? Hook up and play your IPOD through your car's stereo.

Do you listen to the radio mostly or CD's or a combination of both?

Do you listen to MP3's, WMA, or various other music files?

Are you looking for a HU that allows you greater control of the sound coming out of it, or you just want one with great all around sound?

spnkysprky
01-09-2008, 12:27 AM
Are you looking for a HU that allows you greater control of the sound coming out of it, or you just want one with great all around sound?

Hmm,not sure I understand the last part....control of sound basically?or all around sound... not sure on that one...I just want nice sound.Im going with boston Acoustic pros,so I want something that will definately bring their sound out to the fullest(yes I will be using an amp)...Dont really care about the bluetooth,but its a nice future add...I-pod..Dont need it,but again its nice to have that capability for other people who might carry an ipod in my vehicle or MP3...Definately must have Mp3 or wma/wave file playback.I use alot of Mp3 files for space conservation.My music collection is about 30 gigs so I dont need that many CD's.I used to look at the S/n ratio,but not sure if that matters anymore :confused: But I need front outputs and rear outputs and sub outputs as well.Dont need high level outputs as I dont plan on using deck amps...Only if by some off chance I decided tu run 3.5" or 4" in the dash...My truck has that option...or there is a space(This is going in Dogde quad cab)for the speakers anyhow...But I highly doubt I will go that route...to riskey of overlapping...there is a center channel option however...but unlikely.

So I guess I need at least the options I need,but a deck that can bring out sound from high end components(Focal or BA pros).I know whatever amp I use will also play a factor in sound.Thats my next question LOL

Furcifer
01-09-2008, 03:38 AM
what I meant about total control of your sound..... some HU have a basic 3 band equalizer and some get more in depth, for example back in 2003 I had the Kenwood KDC-X969 which allowed you to control the Q factor of the sound to achieve the perfect sound for your car, what I am asking is, how much control do you want of the sound, do you want just the basic Treble/MID/Bass controls or are you needing more? for example this is what my old Kenwood deck would allow you to control.....


" In addition, you may store your own settings under the "User Memory" EQ curve. Each preset has its own bass center frequency, bass level, bass Q factor, bass extension, middle center frequency, middle level, middle Q factor, treble center frequency, and treble level settings. You may adjust the bass center frequency (60, 70, 80, 100 or 150Hz), bass level (-8 to +8), bass Q factor (1.00, 1.25, 1.50 or 2.00), bass extension (On or Off), middle center frequency (0.5, 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0kHz), middle level (-8 to +8), middle Q factor (1.0 or 2.0), treble center frequency (10.0, 12.5, 15.0 or 17.5kHz), and treble level (-8 to +8). "

So you would like an IPOD device to be an option, how about HD radio. I have HD radio and I will not listen to regular FM anymore, the sound is just that great especially since the SAT companies are going with more content vs better quality. I am not trying to push HD radio, just giving you an idea on what is out there. Also there are a couple of HU on the market that read DVD-R's which will allow you to put 4.7 GB of mp3/wma on a single disk.

mikey7182
01-09-2008, 04:01 AM
Thought you might want to hear from someone who has part of what equipment you're looking into buying... I have a 9887 with Boston Pro60s for my front (and only) stage running bi-amped off an Alpine MRV-F545 and they sound incredible. The Boston woofer is 3 ohms which will pull ~220w/channel out of that amp, and the tweeters are 8 ohms which feeds them about 80w/channel more or less. The Boston crossovers are super flexible for this setup as is the HU and the amp. The blend is perfect. I've had a lot of setups and this one with a single Alpine Type X 10 powered by an Alpine MRD-M1005 for my sub stage has been my favorite thus far. Super clean, plenty loud, and very well-balanced.

theothermike
01-09-2008, 07:51 AM
look for a denon dct-z1

spnkysprky
01-09-2008, 10:16 PM
what I meant about total control of your sound..... some HU have a basic 3 band equalizer and some get more in depth, for example back in 2003 I had the Kenwood KDC-X969 which allowed you to control the Q factor of the sound to achieve the perfect sound for your car, what I am asking is, how much control do you want of the sound, do you want just the basic Treble/MID/Bass controls or are you needing more? for example this is what my old Kenwood deck would allow you to control.....


" In addition, you may store your own settings under the "User Memory" EQ curve. Each preset has its own bass center frequency, bass level, bass Q factor, bass extension, middle center frequency, middle level, middle Q factor, treble center frequency, and treble level settings. You may adjust the bass center frequency (60, 70, 80, 100 or 150Hz), bass level (-8 to +8), bass Q factor (1.00, 1.25, 1.50 or 2.00), bass extension (On or Off), middle center frequency (0.5, 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0kHz), middle level (-8 to +8), middle Q factor (1.0 or 2.0), treble center frequency (10.0, 12.5, 15.0 or 17.5kHz), and treble level (-8 to +8). "

So you would like an IPOD device to be an option, how about HD radio. I have HD radio and I will not listen to regular FM anymore, the sound is just that great especially since the SAT companies are going with more content vs better quality. I am not trying to push HD radio, just giving you an idea on what is out there. Also there are a couple of HU on the market that read DVD-R's which will allow you to put 4.7 GB of mp3/wma on a single disk.

I cant stand TOO many adjustments,Hell alot of times I can barely tell any change in sound when adjusting Q factor .Ive had that option on other decks ive owned and never really understood the purpose of this feature.But if those particular options are essential in creating clear crisp and balanced sound,then by all means...i will take it.I was thinking of Alpine,but havent researched any specs on any particular model.