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View Full Version : help me pick a headunit! (SQ SQ SQ SQ)



ian.van
04-21-2009, 10:23 PM
hello everyone! im new here and hoping you guys can give me some insight!

i have a mazda3 hatchback with a eD nine2 powering my ed9.65i components up front while running the stock HU. i since have broke my ipod interface and am just replacing the HU with an aftermarket to get more tweakability/better SQ

now keep in mind im a recording engineer so SQ and tweakability is what im looking for,
id like more then 3 eq bands, a parametric eq would be best (adjustable Q and center)
ive never used time alignment so im not really sure how much i really want, or need it, but im sure id love to play around with it.

heres the big hurdle... i have a 2 din opening.... most 2 din headunits DONT have that many options (as far as im aware) for advanced audio settings, they are mainly geared towards video/nav. but what attracts me so much to them is the fact that i can quickly browse my ipod through them (using somthing like alpines single din ipod interface is an absolute no no for me, i like changing songs fast)

so now the issue with single din... alpine 9887 for instance, has everything i would need as far as tweakability...but i CANT STAND its ipod interface. and if i do get a single din unit i NEED the ipod to stay unlocked for quick browsing.



99.9 percent of the time am playing either WAVs or lossless AACs from my ipod, almost never cds and never radio. id like to be able to hook up a external USB drive to the HU and quickly be able to browse songs on that, as well as ipod i dont want NAV since i have a top of the line garmin unit,

sorry for the long post but im rather uneducated with headunit models and am not really sure what im looking for.

what are your opinions? id like to spend as little as possible but, you get what you pay for so let me know cheapest/middle of the road/ high end options.

also i plan on adding a boston acoustics g5 powered by an audison (forget the model)

thanks so much in advance

"that boy asad"
04-21-2009, 10:31 PM
alpine's cda-9887 actually has one of the best ipod interface and would be one of the best all around unit to get...

ascitiesburn69
04-21-2009, 10:35 PM
alpine's cda-9887 actually has one of the best ipod interface and would be one of the best all around unit to get...
Definitely agree. I have about 2000songs and i can get to any specific song in about 5secs. (I keep my ipod organized like crazy though) and the HU itself has nice SQ if you know how to tweak the EQ

tryan77
04-21-2009, 10:59 PM
Not to jump on the Alpine bandwagon but I own a 9887 and you will def be suprised by its tweakability and SQ. It is a bit over the average users head so it should fit you well. Have also heard good things on the Pioneer 880 but I have never touched it.

Good Luck!

Edit: FYI - The stereo reception sooks big time and that should also fit you well :)

macq32
04-21-2009, 11:43 PM
for the features you are looking for the Eclipse 7200 and Alpine 9887 are the best choices (that I'm also considering). I love my Kenwood Excelon 791, the only down side is it doesnt support active set ups and only has a 3 band EQ. Another option is a kenwood (or another solid deck with less options) plus a sound processor. Probably wouldnt be much cheaper than a 7200 or 9887, but the Kenwoods are great units in my experiences.

dalucifer
04-21-2009, 11:46 PM
Number one question is budget. Depending on that will depend on level of source unit you can purchase.

Mike Troll
04-21-2009, 11:51 PM
I have not experienced a difference beetween ipod usability on my W205 verse my old 9887, with the same ipod and ipod cable. The W205 is a nice unit, I love mine. add the H701 and you have everything you require, plan on spending about 800 on both though.

"that boy asad"
04-22-2009, 01:42 AM
if you are in a budget... look into the Eclipse CD5030, looks like an awesome unit!

ian.van
04-22-2009, 01:57 AM
hey guys, thanks alot for the replies!

the 9887 is definitly on the top of my list for HUs, but i have nowhere near 2000 songs.... i have over 20,000... i know i dont have to put all my music on my ipod but whats the point of having a big capacity ipod haha. the W205 looks nice, ive actually been checking that out... also looking at the kenwood ddx514 or 512

can you hookup a external harddrive to the w205?


how does the h701 compare to the imprint processor? i tend to not trust anything "automatic" that has to do with audio... id rather use my ears

what turned me off from the 9887 is i heard that the rotary knob which changes artist on the ipod...is only 1 speed, so no matter how fast you turn the knob it still will only go at its own pace. although i havnt spent alot of time with a 9887 i have used other alpine decks with ipods and couldnt stand finding music.

as far as budget goes, i wanted to keep it under 500 for the deck, but i could stand spending a little more especially if i were to get somthing like the w205 and h701 (thats alot of tweakability it seems)

also forgive my n00bishness in car audio but... i hear alot of "active front stage" or "active crossover" does this mean i would bypass my eD crossovers and use the h701 as a crossover? if so id have to get a seperate amp to run my tweeters right?

JrVtecAccord
04-22-2009, 11:35 AM
Look at the new Kenwood DDX814, that's going to be my next HU, it's a little over your budget though.

My last 2 HUs were Alpine x305 & x100, both iPod only interfaces. I used the Imprint processor with both of them, I had better results with the x100 for some reason. If you use the h100 processor for Imprint, once you use the auto calibration the only adjustments you can do are standard fading and simple bass & treble. You CANT make any EQ adjustments, crossover slopes or TA adjusting.

I would recommend the 701 if you go with Alpine instead.

nineball
04-22-2009, 11:49 AM
My last 2 HUs were Alpine x305 & x100, both iPod only interfaces. I used the Imprint processor with both of them, I had better results with the x100 for some reason. If you use the h100 processor for Imprint, once you use the auto calibration the only adjustments you can do are standard fading and simple bass & treble. You CANT make any EQ adjustments, crossover slopes or TA adjusting.


sure you can. you can change the settings for anything at any time with the imprint processor. i would highly suggest not even using the auto-tuning feature and doing it yourself. i found the auto-tuning to achieve less than acceptable results and did it all manually.


to the op, time alignment is your friend. it does wonders for letting you shape the sound in your vehicle. if you can find one, the jvc kd-sh1000 has excellent sq and all the features you want, including the ability to run active. i loved mine but unfortunately it broke and i have since ordered a kenwood kdc-x993. it has direct ipod control using your stock ipod cable, bt, time alignment, usb port, aux-in port, RDS and a boatload of other features. the only downside, if you look at it that way, would be the lack of ability to run active. reviews have said the sq on this unit, even with it's limited eq (5 band geq) are very good.

to answer your question, yes. if you were running active you would not use the passive crossovers that came with your comps. in most cases the 'front' rca outs from the hu/processor are used for the tweets, the 'rear' are used for the mids. this gives you full control over what frequencies are given to each speaker.

ian.van
04-22-2009, 05:35 PM
again thanks for the replys! very helpful! i think im gonna be stickin around this forum :)

one or two last questions...

im almost positive im going to go with the alpine 2 din unit and h701...that is pretty much exactly what im looking for..... are there any major noteworthy differences between the w200 and w205? also i read earlier today that the w200 or the 205 i forget, cant display all the options on the h701, is that true? and do both the 200 and 205 connect via optical cable? or some other sort?

dalucifer
04-22-2009, 05:39 PM
again thanks for the replys! very helpful! i think im gonna be stickin around this forum :)

one or two last questions...

im almost positive im going to go with the alpine 2 din unit and h701...that is pretty much exactly what im looking for..... are there any major noteworthy differences between the w200 and w205? also i read earlier today that the w200 or the 205 i forget, cant display all the options on the h701, is that true? and do both the 200 and 205 connect via optical cable? or some other sort?

alpine does not make the h701 anymore. You will have to buy it used or off ebay. The pxe-h650 with imprint is a decent unit when setup properly.

As far as the difference between the w200 and w205, it is just the user interface. Both have optical out option.

JrVtecAccord
04-22-2009, 06:11 PM
Another good option is to use a universal processor like the RF 360.2 with an HU you decide on.

Like the other poster said, the 701 is not made anymore and w200 & 205 are older units. I would buy a newer model, usually they offer more for your money.

dalucifer
04-22-2009, 06:23 PM
Another good option is to use a universal processor like the RF 360.2 with an HU you decide on.

Like the other poster said, the 701 is not made anymore and w200 & 205 are older units. I would buy a newer model, usually they offer more for your money.

you have to be careful with the RF units specifically. Im sure they fixed the problem, but i have one that the bluetooth module went out. Cost about 150.00 for RF to fix.