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View Full Version : clarion VRX785BT vs Kenwood 819



sprinklerman
05-08-2008, 09:17 AM
hey all,

Anyone have either of these units? I know the Clarion is a brand new unit... i like the built-in bluetoof feature. But being brand new,who knows ,right? I'd add B/T to the Kenwood to make it comparable spec wise.
I've kinda narrowed my choices to these because they are both flip outs and have harddrive navi units,not cd based.
If i overlooked another unit/brand, feel free to add your experience with it. not stuck on any 1 brand,just want something thats quality. B/T, navi, backup cam, Ipod control are the features i want.
thanks in advance!

sprinklerman
05-08-2008, 09:24 AM
heres a couple links incase you wanna look >>

Clarion 785bt > http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_13238_Clarion+VRX785BT.html

Kenwood 819 > http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_9150_Kenwood+eXcelon+KVT-819DVD.html

just noticed the kenwood 512 would also do everything i want too... hmm.

joe duce
05-11-2008, 09:11 PM
i don't own either but i have been researching both. nice units to be sure. it's all in the details though. the Clarion has bluetooth built in, but the Kenwood has better crossovers and will play Dvd Audio. the Kenwood costs more as well. other than those things they are similar. i like the way Kenwood does their flip out mechanism but i had a good look at the Clarion too and it has metal gears for the flipout drive. if money were no object i would get the Kenwood, but i am sure the Clarion would still make most people (me included) quite happy. :)

joe

sprinklerman
05-11-2008, 09:20 PM
i was wondering how much i'd ever play a dvd music cd....
in case you are wanting the 819 you can get a refurb here > http://www.salectronics.com/

MrDave
05-11-2008, 09:35 PM
Sound quality of the Kenwood is much better than the Clarion. I'd go with the Kenwood.

Macklessdaddy
05-11-2008, 10:00 PM
Sound quality of the Kenwood is much better than the Clarion. I'd go with the Kenwood.

Please put I.M.O behind a statement like that

sprinklerman
05-11-2008, 10:24 PM
guess my ears arent as good as some peoples, because i've went and listened to the more common brands of players,, kenwood,pioneer,clarion,panasonic,alpine,etc, and honestly i cant hear the difference. i dunno, prolly my ears.
I don't know much about the long term quality and customer service and that's where i need some input.

MrDave
05-11-2008, 11:24 PM
Please put I.M.O behind a statement like that

It's really not opinion, it's just the capability of each device.

Clarion head units are pretty, but not top quality.

The Kenwood has crossovers, overall better audio processing, indepedent volume controls, and allows you to select the type of speakers you are running (coaxial, component).

The biggest thing of all is that the Kenwood has 5v preamps, compared to Clarion's 2v. Stronger signal = less hiss, distortion etc. Even in that regard, I've hooked Clarion's head units up to the voltage meter and it doesn't even push 2v, whereas the Kenwood is very close to 5v.

Hope that helps more. The Kenwood unit is more for audiophile listeners, the Clarion is a simpler unit with GPS. If GPS is something you want, you need to reconsider your headunits. If you don't need or want GPS, go with the Kenwood if that's what you want.

MrDave
05-11-2008, 11:28 PM
guess my ears arent as good as some peoples, because i've went and listened to the more common brands of players,, kenwood,pioneer,clarion,panasonic,alpine,etc, and honestly i cant hear the difference. i dunno, prolly my ears.
I don't know much about the long term quality and customer service and that's where i need some input.

Well it depends sprinklerman on the type of amps/speakers you use. If you have really high end speakers, it will sure drag out flaws in equipment.

Macklessdaddy
05-11-2008, 11:32 PM
It's really not opinion, it's just the capability of each device.

Clarion head units are pretty, but not top quality.

The Kenwood has crossovers, overall better audio processing, indepedent volume controls, and allows you to select the type of speakers you are running (coaxial, component).

The biggest thing of all is that the Kenwood has 5v preamps, compared to Clarion's 2v. Stronger signal = less hiss, distortion etc. Even in that regard, I've hooked Clarion's head units up to the voltage meter and it doesn't even push 2v, whereas the Kenwood is very close to 5v.

Hope that helps more. The Kenwood unit is more for audiophile listeners, the Clarion is a simpler unit with GPS. If GPS is something you want, you need to reconsider your headunits. If you don't need or want GPS, go with the Kenwood if that's what you want.

Uh Clarion makes ugly **** but also has xovers,independent volume control and that choosing speakers **** is a kenwood gimmick and preamp voltage is overrated,once again I doubt anyone would hear an audible difference between the two

MrDave
05-12-2008, 12:10 AM
Uh Clarion makes ugly **** but also has xovers,independent volume control and that choosing speakers **** is a kenwood gimmick and preamp voltage is overrated,once again I doubt anyone would hear an audible difference between the two

I'm a little confused. Kenwood is constantly ragged on for their terrible GUI interface, whereas Clarion has some of the nicer screens. Clarion does not use the same extensive volume control that the Kenwood series does, and Clarion has built in crossovers, whereas the Kenwood's are much more versatile.

I don't know how you can even say preamp voltage is overrated. That's audio 101. It's like saying amp voltage doesn't matter. Ever do a JL cleansweep install? Hiss comes from low preamp voltage from the stock headunit, the manual even states it.

My experience with headunits is extensive, and these are just the facts.

MrDave
05-12-2008, 12:15 AM
Oh, and there is a huge audible difference with preamp voltages if you are using quality equipment. The only way I can assume someone would say it's overrated is because they have heard certain headunits (clarion, jvc, eclipse) that claim to have 5-8v preamp ratings, but don't even push .75v. When you hear a quality system running on 8v, the sound is clearer, and the bass reproduction is cleaner and increased x5.

joe duce
05-12-2008, 07:59 PM
i was wondering how much i'd ever play a dvd music cd....
in case you are wanting the 819 you can get a refurb here > http://www.salectronics.com/

thanks. uh, what do you guys think of refurbs? for some reason they kinda make me leary. :confused:



joe

sprinklerman
05-12-2008, 08:35 PM
yea lil leery of refurbs too... although SOME refurbs,from authorized retailers, carry a good warranty. I don't know if those do,have yet to really look them over.

MrDave
05-14-2008, 12:22 AM
Yeah, refurbs tend to scare me.

rodrigoweber
12-30-2008, 12:29 AM
I live in Brazil and I have a VRX785BT made by Clarion. It is a great equipment but I found one problem.
Although, manual says the unit should play ALL dvd regions, it just does not play.
I tried to contact Clarion Customer Service but got no answer. This is another problem, they just don't care for you after you made the purchase. Cheers, Weber