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View Full Version : alpine vs. pioneer



ejschultz
05-04-2009, 11:07 PM
well, i know there's been a lot of threads related to this, but i figured i'd get some fresh opinions. i purchased a pioneer premier p800prs today to replace my alpine 9855. after reading a lot about both units, i've come to the conclusion that i've upgraded. i don't have the hu in my possession just yet, i ordered it through sixth ave on amazon for 344.44 new and shipped. i figured that's a hell of a price for it new. this is my first time straying away from an alpine hu. did i make the right decision?

Alpine4life89
05-04-2009, 11:09 PM
9887 is better. IMO anyways. Why did you go from alpine to pioneer, that is stupid.

MBrock4u
05-04-2009, 11:46 PM
Hard to say, but one thing is clear. You have a very good deck on the way. I almost got that one myself. I'm sure you'll be happy with it.

gearhound17
05-05-2009, 12:13 AM
I thought about that Pioneer too.
But, I've had my CDA-7863 for nine years wuthout much of a problem. Motorized face still works flawlessly. Although the contacts between the face and body are worn out.
I decided since I had the Alpine for so long I cant switch.
And the 9887 has such a large following.
It might have been the same way for me if I always had Pioneer. But its not.
YMMV.

ejschultz
05-05-2009, 12:32 AM
9887 is better. IMO anyways. Why did you go from alpine to pioneer, that is stupid.
well, i've been reading a lot of stuff about the 9887, p800prs, and a kenwood excelon 993. i ended up getting a kenwood excelon 693 for my girl friend's car and i really don't like how it looks. it does have some nice features for the money. the 9887 is definitely one of the best on the market right now, however, the expensive imprint kit needs to be purchased to get the auto eq and time alignment and all of that good stuff. i am definitely a fan of the biolite display that it offers, but the display is slightly smaller than the 9855 that i currently am using. now the p800prs seemed to be the best option out there as far as overall value. read a little about the specs and see how much better it is than almost everything out there in its price range. it's 2 way and 3 way capable (i know, so is the 9887), it's got a dual left and right 16 band graphic eq, which in my opinion blows any 5 band parametric eq out of the water, copper plated chassis, and lastly, a mic that comes with it. there's nothing else to purchase to get the auto eq and time alignment. before you call my decision stupid, do some research. if you've got the knowledge to back it up, go ahead; i don't believe you do. i'm asking for honest educated opinions. thanks.

lantz
05-05-2009, 12:36 AM
hey guys..new to this site! i think both pioneer and alpine make the best head units so if you have one or the other,you are doing good.i just bought the cda-9886,installed it for a week then sold it because i got a great deal on a pioneer z1. the alpine sounded alot better due to the 4v output but im still happy with no regrets.both are nice!

ejschultz
05-05-2009, 12:39 AM
hey guys..new to this site! i think both pioneer and alpine make the best head units so if you have one or the other,you are doing good.i just bought the cda-9886,installed it for a week then sold it because i got a great deal on a pioneer z1. the alpine sounded alot better due to the 4v output but im still happy with no regrets.both are nice!

welcome and thanks for the input.

nineball
05-05-2009, 12:51 AM
you really don't need the imprint kit for the 9887. the only thing it does for you is the auto tuning. i had the pxa and ktx setup before and i found the auto tuning to be terrible. i could do a much better job on my own. hell half the fun of buying a deck of this caliber is playing with the features and making it sound the way you want it to.

i think you would be happy with either the 800/880 or the 9887. be careful when connecting it though - pioneers are known for blowing pico fuses and requiring you to ground the rca connections.

ejschultz
05-05-2009, 12:54 AM
and by the way, i've had a 7828, 9807, and a 9827. i'm currently using a 9853 in my jimmy and the 9855 in my caprice. i've also taken the time to go around to local shops and attempt to familiarize myself with other head units out there, some alpine, some not.

ejschultz
05-05-2009, 01:00 AM
you really don't need the imprint kit for the 9887. the only thing it does for you is the auto tuning. i had the pxa and ktx setup before and i found the auto tuning to be terrible. i could do a much better job on my own. hell half the fun of buying a deck of this caliber is playing with the features and making it sound the way you want it to.

i think you would be happy with either the 800/880 or the 9887. be careful when connecting it though - pioneers are known for blowing pico fuses and requiring you to ground the rca connections.

yeah, i know it's a lot better to play with all of the settings to get the sound i'm looking for. that's generally what i do. in fact the dual 16 band eq is one of the main reasons i purchased this unit. i just figured it would be a stronger point that you don't have to purchase anything along with it to get the auto functions. and it's supposed to be pretty decent for the time alignment. that's something i'll definitely play with. i'm far too lazy to measure the distances to my speakers from my listening position and change the settings accordingly. i've hardly touched the time alignment on either my 9853 or my 9855. also, thanks for warning me about the pico fuse. i've done a substantial amount of reading about this and i've come to the conclusion that if i don't attempt to hot swap an amp, i shouldn't have any problems with it. if you know of any other precautions to take, other than safe driving to assure nothing will slide and come loose, let me know.

TerryMorgan
05-07-2009, 10:23 PM
The 800PRS has a hell of a lot more features for the money, I have the older version of that deck and it's great. The 9855 had that ANNOYING touch panel thing on it too, you will love the 800PRS, frankly.

eg9
05-07-2009, 10:25 PM
I just replaced my Alpine CDA-9884 with an older Pioneer deh-p6900 and love the Pioneer.

SicAudio
05-07-2009, 11:19 PM
the new pioneers slaughter the alpines the last good alpine was the 981x series
and im an dealer for both so.......

nineball
05-08-2009, 01:45 AM
the new pioneers slaughter the alpines the last good alpine was the 981x series
and im an dealer for both so.......


you also said the 9887 was not worth $100 more than the 9886 and that the features offered were practically the same. we know what your opinion is worth.

eharri3
05-09-2009, 08:31 PM
Not an expert on the old Alpines so I can't really comment on them. However I've had a 9883, a 9884, and a 9886. The main difference for the money between the 9883 and 9884 was IMPRINT capability. The main difference between the 9884 and 9886 other than 'fluff' seemed to be the voltage output. As far as I can tell pretty much everything in that line is substantially the same in terms of meaningful features (but with different price points) until you get to the 9887. It comes with time alignment, active mode, and 5/7 band EQ BUILT IN. Everything below it requires you to get IMPRINT in order to have that and more. I believe this new structuring of the product line is specifically done this way because Alpine doesn't just want to sell true audiophiles a head unit any more, they want IMPRINT kits flying off the shelves too. You can settle for the 'Best Buy' stuff or you can pony up another 100 or 150 bucks if you want more and another 1-200 bucks for the bluetooth module. They want to force you to pay for features on top of the head unit that other manufacturers are building in.

I too am now into Pioneers and Eclipses. You pay your money, you have the choice get your tuning features built into the head unit and you have the choice of deciding how a head unit with decent features sounds for you before you introduce a separate processor into the mix. With Alpine you get nothing more than over glorified bass and treble boosts (AKA bass engine and 2 band graphic EQ)

My pioneer premier DEH 980BT is 5 volts/channel, has Bluetooth built in, IPOD controls, time alignment built in, and 13 EQ with multiple savable pre-sets built in for the same price that I'd have to pay for a 9887. Alot of people here who talk about how much they love Alpine are dealing with stuff that isn't actually manufactured anymore, or just got hooked on the name because of how good it was back in the day. IMHO if you're really serious about this stuff and you're an SQ person there's nothing in their new line worth buying below the 9887 but quite a few things that aren't made anymore that are worth snapping up if you can find them.

ejschultz
05-10-2009, 02:10 PM
Not an expert on the old Alpines so I can't really comment on them. However I've had a 9883, a 9884, and a 9886. The main difference for the money between the 9883 and 9884 was IMPRINT capability. The main difference between the 9884 and 9886 other than 'fluff' seemed to be the voltage output. As far as I can tell pretty much everything in that line is substantially the same in terms of meaningful features (but with different price points) until you get to the 9887. It comes with time alignment, active mode, and 5/7 band EQ BUILT IN. Everything below it requires you to get IMPRINT in order to have that and more. I believe this new structuring of the product line is specifically done this way because Alpine doesn't just want to sell true audiophiles a head unit any more, they want IMPRINT kits flying off the shelves too. You can settle for the 'Best Buy' stuff or you can pony up another 100 or 150 bucks if you want more and another 1-200 bucks for the bluetooth module. They want to force you to pay for features on top of the head unit that other manufacturers are building in.

I too am now into Pioneers and Eclipses. You pay your money, you have the choice get your tuning features built into the head unit and you have the choice of deciding how a head unit with decent features sounds for you before you introduce a separate processor into the mix. With Alpine you get nothing more than over glorified bass and treble boosts (AKA bass engine and 2 band graphic EQ)

My pioneer premier DEH 980BT is 5 volts/channel, has Bluetooth built in, IPOD controls, time alignment built in, and 13 EQ with multiple savable pre-sets built in for the same price that I'd have to pay for a 9887. Alot of people here who talk about how much they love Alpine are dealing with stuff that isn't actually manufactured anymore, or just got hooked on the name because of how good it was back in the day. IMHO if you're really serious about this stuff and you're an SQ person there's nothing in their new line worth buying below the 9887 but quite a few things that aren't made anymore that are worth snapping up if you can find them.

very well put. i've been doing a lot of reading on the manufacturer's websites and i've come to the same conclusion about alpine compaired to other brands.

my 800prs came in a couple of days ago and my ipod adapter cam in yesterday so i'll be putting it in probably tomorrow, maybe tuesday. i'll stop back here and let you all know what i think of it compaired to my alpine that i'm taking out.

by the way, that alpine is going to be replacing the 9853 i've got in my jimmy. i may be selling the 9853 so if anyone's interested, send me a pm with an offer. i'm not sure yet if i wanna let it go, but a good offer may pursuade me.

ejschultz
05-11-2009, 11:31 PM
Awesome hu. Definitely sounds better than my ALPINE I took out. I can tell a difference at all volume levels. The only thing that gets me is the beep. I can't figure out how to turn it off. If anyone knows, please let me know. Other than that, everything is easy to control and adjust. I highly recommend it to anyone.

xx24xx
05-12-2009, 11:00 AM
Apple is pretty much the mainstream standard of audio these days. Let's face it, iPods are just incredibly convenient. I own the 9887 and let me tell you, I love the functionality of it. I can search by name, artist, playlist etc. Think of it this way ... how often will you be playing music from your iPod vs. CD, USB, etc.

The Eclipse is a different story. My local installer simply put it as, "its a POS pain in the azz". He is referring to the iPod funtion. The CD7200 is taking a leap forward with a HU built for SQ. But they screwed up a lot of things too. The screen is tiny and extremely hard to read. It has a "plastic" feel to the entire face. I don't even think it accepts AACs. For $550 I passed. Hopefully with their new units they will have fixed their iPod problem. (IE 726e)

Pioneer is cool, but it seems they aren't up to speed. Alpine 9887 is a big leap ahead of them with sq, provided you buy the add ons. I've read a lot of reviews regarding the Imprint. It seems like people who know how to install and have experience staging really like it. Of course the exact specs the software gives aren't going to be spot on. Thats when you tweak it a little bit until your ears decide on perfect. Alpine 9887+Imprint=less $ than 7200.

AlterEgo99
05-18-2009, 10:13 AM
Apple is pretty much the mainstream standard of audio these days. Let's face it, iPods are just incredibly convenient. I own the 9887 and let me tell you, I love the functionality of it. I can search by name, artist, playlist etc. Think of it this way ... how often will you be playing music from your iPod vs. CD, USB, etc.

The Eclipse is a different story. My local installer simply put it as, "its a POS pain in the azz". He is referring to the iPod funtion. The CD7200 is taking a leap forward with a HU built for SQ. But they screwed up a lot of things too. The screen is tiny and extremely hard to read. It has a "plastic" feel to the entire face. I don't even think it accepts AACs. For $550 I passed. Hopefully with their new units they will have fixed their iPod problem. (IE 726e)

Pioneer is cool, but it seems they aren't up to speed. Alpine 9887 is a big leap ahead of them with sq, provided you buy the add ons. I've read a lot of reviews regarding the Imprint. It seems like people who know how to install and have experience staging really like it. Of course the exact specs the software gives aren't going to be spot on. Thats when you tweak it a little bit until your ears decide on perfect. Alpine 9887+Imprint=less $ than 7200.


I agree, although I have always been an Alpine customer. I have just never found another manufacturer's HU that I would like as much as Alpine. I own a 9887 as well and have for about 2 years. I absolutely love it. And my main reason for purchasing it was the Imprint software, so if some think that is just slick marketing, well, I guess I fell for it. But it works!

I spent A LOT of time tuning the system manually using the 9887 and its built-in parametric equalizer. I got everything where I thought it sounded the best over the course of several months (I was waiting for the actual Imprint package to be released - they were selling the HU BEFORE the **** Imprint software/hardware was even available) and then when the Imprint was released I bought it. ****, what a difference!

My manual settings came across as VERY harsh compared to the Imprint result. It takes some learnin' to know how to set the amps and such before running the software, and a little trial and error is typically in order. That Alpine's documentation is a bit lacking in some areas is an understatement. I could probably publish a few pages on DO's and DON'T's with regards to Imprint, but my present settings I am very happy with.

I know a lot of people push Pioneer, and as I don't really have any experience with them, I'll leave that for others. Suffice it to say, I love my Alpine CDA-9887. I will agree with some though that if you are going to go with Alpine, stick with the 9887. Anything below that is not going to be worth the $$$. IMHO. :D

FJF
05-18-2009, 12:36 PM
I could probably publish a few pages on DO's and DON'T's with regards to Imprint...

How about just a few concise tips?

AlterEgo99
05-18-2009, 12:58 PM
How about just a few concise tips?

OK, OK. :p:

One of the biggest gripes with Imprint is how it can mess with your bass. If you follow the manual and either turn the gain "below normal" or all the way down, yes, you bass is gonna be affected after running the software. Plus, the documentation is not too specific about setting the crossover and subsonic filter/bass boost if you have that option.

So, here's what I do based on my Alpine PDX 1.600 (also note that is based on my CDA-9887 HU - not sure what other Alpine models use this same software and their (HU) RCA output voltage may differ):

Gain Setting: Right in the middle, dead center.
Input Gain Selector Switch: 0.1V-1.0V
X-Over Frequency Adjustment (LP Filter): Dead center, 100Hz
Subsonic Filter: Off

As for my amp driving my front and rear component Polks (Alpine PDX 4.100):

Gain Setting: Nominal (dead center)
Filter: Off
X-Over Frequency Adjustment: I leave these set to the lowest freq. my front and rear woofers can reproduce.

As for the HU itself, I make sure the Bass, Treble and Sub settings for each source is set to flat (0)...for the Sub setting I make sure it's in the middle, or 7 or 8. I'm not 100% sure it matters, but just to be safe.

I then run the program for left front (that'd be for the driver position - me!) and I then make sure that all 6 locations are measured. This will take about 40-45 minutes to complete. I then download both curves.

Once completed I had to adjust the gains on my Alpine PDX 4.100 down a bit but left everything else as is.

For my PDX 1.600 I set the x-over to about 140Hz and the subsonic filter to 15Hz. I also crank the gain to about 3/4. I have measured the AC output at the speaker outs on the amp and about 3/4 volume (which is about as loud as I can tolerate) and it gets to about 24V max at some real deep bass points with some reference music. I like tight and punchy bass. :D

That's about it. I'm happy with the setup, the soundstage is perfect and the freq. curve really gets nicely smoothed out.

Like I said, pay special attention to your bass amp settings if you don't want the software to really wash out your bass when you are done the measurements. Otherwise you have to run the measurements all over again with different settings (like I did to get the correct results) which can be a real pain in the ***! :cool:

Hope this helps!

JimJ
05-18-2009, 01:00 PM
Apple is pretty much the mainstream standard of audio these days

:sick:

Although I agree.

nineball
05-18-2009, 01:25 PM
Apple is pretty much the mainstream standard of portable audio playback devices these days.

fixed

FJF
05-18-2009, 01:41 PM
OK, OK. :p:

Thank you for taking the time to post this. Perhaps I'm missing a piece of information, but I've always thought that Imprint configures the x-over settings as a part of its operation. If it does, it would make sense to run the amps full-range.

FWIW, I have a 9887 in an active system. The only adjustment I've made on the amps is the SSF on the sub (amplifier), and gain, of course. The HU is used for everything else. I'd love to hear what Imprint can do vs my tune.

AlterEgo99
05-18-2009, 03:02 PM
My PDX 4.100 was pretty much set to full range but I have found that setting the sub amp to full range kills some of the bass after Imprint has completed its tuning...not sure why but that has been my experience.