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View Full Version : Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X693



dsuperbeat
05-17-2009, 11:42 PM
I'm about to order one right now and I would like to know if anyone has one and what they feel about it. Also is there any thing better for around $200. I wanna run it active.
The kenwood is $182.63 shipped from sonicelectronix

dsuperbeat
05-18-2009, 12:06 AM
Well forget it ordered it i guess ill do an review once it gets here

ejschultz
05-18-2009, 12:15 AM
hate to break it to you, you can't go active with it, at least not with the built in crossovers. i got one in my gf's car. it's decent, but no active. as far as time alignment goes, you can control front and rear, not every speaker seperately. other than that, it's decent. i haven't played with the eq on it, i just set it to rock in her car and left it. it's a decent looking player and the color control thing it's got is pretty neat. rds is one of it's best features. i wish more companies put this in their american hu's.

dsuperbeat
05-18-2009, 01:37 AM
I guess thats ok I really want it for the x-over. dont really care about time alignement

inkfx
05-18-2009, 01:45 AM
I got the 592 a few weeks ago and I love it so I'm sure yours is even better.

dsuperbeat
05-18-2009, 01:20 PM
I'm sure I'll be satisfied because right now I'm still using the stock radio and I feel it takes away from the SQ

ejschultz
05-18-2009, 01:47 PM
oh yeah, as far as sq goes it's a good unit. my gf's car has the stock speakers in it and you can tell a world of difference. now if i could only talk her into a set of comps for up front and a 2 channel amp...i know that'll never happen. the crossover that's built in is just a high pass for the front and rear, and a low pass for the sub. there's no bandpass for mids therefore there's no active settings on the unit. here's a list hu's that can go active. i took from another post in the active vs. passive sticky.

clarion drz9255 (has a 4 way xover)
pioneer 860, 880prs, 800prs
alpine 7998, 9813, 9815, 9833, 9835, 9853, 9855
eclipse 8053, 8443, 8455, cd7000, cd7100

also i do suggest reading it so you fully understand crossovers. it's a great read.

http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=146726

dsuperbeat
05-18-2009, 11:58 PM
Dam. I can still use the low pass on my amp to band pass the mids. right?
im trying to find bandaids because i already bought the radio. smh

dsuperbeat
05-19-2009, 12:02 AM
I guess when I get a job I'll sell it and buy a new one but for now it'll have to do

ejschultz
05-19-2009, 12:07 PM
Dam. I can still use the low pass on my amp to band pass the mids. right?
im trying to find bandaids because i already bought the radio. smh

you could as long as the amp has a low pass in the correct ranges. i'd like to say something from about 1000hz to maybe 5000hz would give you the ultimate flexibility. only problem is most amps, if not all with low pass filters on them are made to run subs so the cutoff frequency is highest at about 400hz, and that's at the highest, at least from what i've seen. you can always get an external processor, audiocontrol makes some that will let you run your system active, but you don't get the convenient control from the hu.

flomofo
05-20-2009, 03:44 PM
I had an 8120 and bandpassed my rainbows with it while using my kenwood excelon amps to do the processing...

rtto5588
05-21-2009, 02:27 PM
i picked up a x693 this past weekend. It's a solid unit. The controls leave a bit to be desired, but in terms of sound excellent with good features. Can't go active with it but still good nonetheless.

lorideslo
05-27-2009, 11:06 AM
I guess when I get a job I'll sell it and buy a new one but for now it'll have to do

How do you like the 693?

Engine_hp
07-29-2009, 03:20 AM
how if full volume toward distortion ?

dose it distorts at all ?

alex211
08-12-2009, 05:01 PM
I'm thinking about buying one, any other opinions?

Shouse94
08-15-2009, 07:58 PM
I just got one from Crutchfield. Open box. I installed it, everything worked fine for a couple days and than "POP! HISS!", done. Noise from then on. Swapped out h/u's to make sure 100% it was the problem.

It was a clean install but I did not ground the chasis or anything, just used the stock harness. Not sure if that's a bad thing for this headunit. I talked to Kenwood support and they said it wasn't a big deal and haven't heard of this problem yet. It's in the shop now, so we'll see what the outcome is.

PerformanceAuto
08-16-2009, 01:54 PM
Kenwood tends to have the highest audio output quality around, in its class. They are good units and if you have any problems it is normally due to installation or wiring issues.

Shouse94
08-16-2009, 03:26 PM
Coming from a Kenwood dealer, I'm not convinced.

PerformanceAuto
08-16-2009, 03:32 PM
Coming from a Kenwood dealer, I'm not convinced.

LOL agreed, but I do sell over 25 other brands besides Kenwood.
I chose to go direct with Kenwood and represent Kenwood the most for the exact reason of quality of product. I have had next to no issues with customers' satisfaction with their Kenwood purchases from me. Too many other issues with other brands, DOA or needing warranty work within the first year.

Bottom line, happy to help with tech support or sales of any product in which I can!

Shouse94
08-16-2009, 04:08 PM
Appreciate it. I talked to Kenwood tech. They had never heard of this problem happening before. They did take care of me though. Hooked me up with a local repair shop that will do the work under warranty. He ALSO had not heard of these problems happening to Kenwoods. They also BOTH said it didn't matter if I used the existing wiring harness.

AS everyone has said, Kenwood has the "highest audio output quality around" and the stock wiring harness should not make or break the installation. Even still, despite the advice, I'm considering ripping apart the dash to run my own ground.

Ferendon
08-16-2009, 06:17 PM
Kenwood has the best CD SnR typically, but of the headunits that give us problems, Kenwoods top the list. Especially the non-Excelon units. The 342U like to clip, even at low volumes, and we've had quite a few issues with the displays going out.

SomeGuyDude
08-16-2009, 06:47 PM
Just so you know, $165 shipped from OnlineCarStereo. http://onlinecarstereo.com/CarAudio/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=21642

EDIT: Also, I'm not sure if it's better, but this is the one I'm getting. http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAudio/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=18795

callmeryang
08-27-2009, 01:42 AM
can we get more reviews please ?
someone take a vid possibly of the HU and functions..etc.

im probly gonna get this HU but i wanna know bad thigns about it too

Chad T
09-18-2009, 07:18 PM
I got a 693 to replace my old Kenwood Excelon KDC-PS907 (it died for a second time....had it repaired once, but not gonna do it again).

This is my first head unit purchase since the 907, which I believe I bought in 1998. I got the 693 installed in my 1991 Toyota 4x4 today. My how things have changed and the 693 is awesome! It's nearly impossible to effectively operate without really spending some time with the unit and/or reading the manual. That's fine as I generally don't want people messing with it anyway.

The 693 sounds great. After playing around with time alignment, I can say that is a feature I can't live without from now on.

It was mentioned above that the 693 doesn't have per speaker time alignment. From what I can tell, it doesn't let you adjust every single speaker because it's not setup to run an active setup, but it does do more than just front and rear. The manual lacks and the UI is a little confusing, but it appears there are two separate time alignment areas as follows:

1. The first is in the Sound -> Setup -> DTA. This apparently "fine tunes" the cabin selection that is made in Sound -> Setup -> Cabin. I did not use (turned off) the cabin feature as there is just too much variance between vehicles IMO for that to be effective. What I'm not sure of is if the DTA settings have an effect if Cabin is turned to Off. Anyway, the DTA section allows you to set front/rear/sub time alignment, but not individual speakers.

2. The second is in Sound -> Control -> Position. Within that you can select Front-Left, Front-Right, Front, and ALL. Basically there are four presets available. To fine tune each preset, you first select the one you want to adjust, then you back out and go to Sound -> Control -> Position. That allows you to separately adjust FL, FR, RL, RR, SUBL, & SUBR. I opted to do 3 presets: 1) Front-Left for when I am the only person in the vehicle, 2) Front-Right for when I want the system to sound best in the passenger seat, and 3) Front for when I want a sound optimized for both seats. While setting up time alignment, instead of making actual measurements, I opted to just tweak using my ears. On to other things...

I opted to turn the internal amp off as I am running RCAs to a Soundstream D60II (old school) amp. This powers a set of Soundstream SS511 (old school) component speakers installed in the doors. That setup sounds great!

Overall, I am very happy with the 693, but I've got to spend some more time with it. I do have a couple questions:

1. My 693 doesn't beep even when I have Menu -> Beep set to ON. I'm wondering if you have to be using the internal amp for that feature to work?

2. What exactly is the 693 doing when you select speaker size, location, & tweeter none/use within Setup -> Sound -> Speaker? The manual says that it affects the crossover settings, but it doesn't say much beyond that. I found that it sets the crossover for my SS511 set (component set with 5" driver and a tweeter) to 60hz with a 12db slope. Then I can go into Setup -> Sound -> Speaker if I want to tweak the X-over and slope. I am yet to figure out what the Speaker Location & Speaker Size Tweeter settings are for.

Chad T
09-18-2009, 09:50 PM
What I don't like about the 693 after a few days of use:

1. As others have said, the display can be difficult to see when there is direct sunlight. The problem is not the brightness level of the display, but rather the shininess/reflectivity of the faceplate. It would have been nice if Kenwood would have used a duller finish. This issue can be minimized with display settings. I need to play around with it more, but so far it seems that Colors 10, 7, & 5 (in that order from most to least effective) with Contrast at 5, and Positive display work the best. Thankfully those colors blend fairly well with my vehicle. Viewing the display at night is an issue in a total opposite way....the display is too bright for my tastes. This can be adjusted by changing the color, reducing contrast, and/or changing from Positive to Negative, but that would be a pain to mess with on a daily basis. I may end up wiring the unit to my vehicle's dimmer control as that would be easier to tweak.

2. Another issue with the faceplate being so shiny is that it shows fingerprints and other grime very easily.

3. I am getting used to the menus, but you have to go into them for nearly EVERYTHING. It would be nice if time alignment presets and some other features were quicker access.

4. I don't like all of the screen gibberish/hyperactivity you see when bouncing around the various functions of the head unit. I'm not sure if Kenwood thinks that is visually cool or if the head unit has processing latency and they give us something to look at while it is processing.

5. I already miss the motorized mask face of my 907. That's not really a critique of the 693 since nobody (that I know of) is doing that anymore on new head units. Motorized Mask was such a cool feature, but it was prone to failing as my 907 failed twice because of it.

6. I've not really got into EQ'ing with the unit yet, but it would be nice if it had more bands or a parametric EQ. But anybody that researches the unit up front should already be aware of those specs.

7. The manual isn't the worst I've seen, but it could be better. Some parts are worse than others. The section near the back that tries to explain calculating custom DTA settings was almost comedic it is so bad.

That's what I can think of right now. I'll edit this post if in the future if I run into more things I don't like about the 693.

BTW, those "issues" are all totally workable for me. There isn't any one thing that really turns me off. For the feature set offered, it's truly amazing that these things can be bought for around $150 shipped brand new on Ebay.

abrhino
09-21-2009, 11:51 PM
i just orderedone for $150 shipped, install kit,antenna, and harness/ AXXESS amp turn on interface cost another $35..

bose301s
09-24-2009, 01:27 AM
I have the HU, I love it. Awesome iPod control, good SQ, can turn off the built in DSP and amp. I definitely recommend this unit for anyone.

blindskater1213
09-26-2009, 12:39 AM
I just got it and it is pretty awesome! No complaints... however, I cant seem to figure out how to set the date? Haha, I must just be missing it, I set the x overs, eq and everything else but I cant find the date...

callmeryang
09-26-2009, 12:39 AM
I just got it and it is pretty awesome! No complaints... however, I cant seem to figure out how to set the date? Haha, I must just be missing it, I set the x overs, eq and everything else but I cant find the date...

ME TOO. i can't find how to set the date or time..

blindskater1213
09-26-2009, 12:44 AM
ME TOO. i can't find how to set the date or time..


Haha, I got the time, its under either menu or setup and you have to press and hold the right knob on the one that says "Time" or "Set clock" or somehting like that

bose301s
09-26-2009, 03:01 AM
To set the date you have to put it into standby mode. It took me awhile to figure it out too. You could also always just set it to get the time and date from RDS.

Chad T
09-26-2009, 11:25 AM
Setting the date and time is very clearly explained in the manual. I'm not in front of my X693 or manual right now, but I'm pretty sure you have to be in Standby mode, then it is in the first level menu, which I believe is called "Menu".

mhart
09-26-2009, 12:20 PM
i too have this unit and like it alot, it took me a week to figure out how to stop it from changing colors all the time, i didn't read the manual.

blindskater1213
09-26-2009, 01:08 PM
ohh, I got the date now. I guess I should read the manual next time. Thanks

gp23
10-26-2009, 04:45 PM
Didn't know if anyone could help me with this. I just purchased this HU and just wanting to make the bass stand out a little more. Nothing extreme, but can't figure out what to do with the settings to do so other than click on bass boost lol.

Any help is appreciated.

I just have stock speakers as of now and it's in a trailblazer.

Thanks!

Chad T
10-26-2009, 06:16 PM
You could play around with the EQ presets and choose one that emphasizes the bass range more. Or you could setup a User EQ curve that customizes the bass range for your needs. See page 31 in the manual.

Also, if your vehicle has a separate subwoofer, you may want to just tweak that level separately. See page 28 in the manual.

BTW, I feel that if a person wants to scratch the surface of all the features this unit offers, then it is absolutely essential to read every single letter of the manual.

bose301s
10-26-2009, 08:02 PM
You could play around with the EQ presets and choose one that emphasizes the bass range more. Or you could setup a User EQ curve that customizes the bass range for your needs. See page 31 in the manual.

Also, if your vehicle has a separate subwoofer, you may want to just tweak that level separately. See page 28 in the manual.

BTW, I feel that if a person wants to scratch the surface of all the features this unit offers, then it is absolutely essential to read every single letter of the manual.

Yes it is, the HU itself isn't very intuitive but it is quite powerful and when used with the manual you can do a hell of a lot.

cheeseman0777
11-29-2009, 06:59 PM
i love this headunit. just bought it yesterday. time and date settings are as follows. to change the time NOT in standby mode, press the fnc button>menu>clock setting. press and hold control knob for about 2 or more seconds. to change numbers turn the control knob, to switch from minutes to hours , push the knob to the right or left.
to change the date go to standby mode(SRC button>Standby) press the fnc button>menu>set date. hold the control knob for 2 seconds or more to access the settings. just use the same control method as with the time.

Pros: lots of settings, Xover settings are ok, time alighnment does make a great amount of difference, the color intuition is great, many display possibilities, SQ is awesome. much better than my panasonic headunit. by far

Cons: i dont like that in direct sunlight its hard to see the display, the faceplate finish is to polished. functionality with the menus is a little annoying being that you have to go to them for presets, memory for certain things etc. other than that, its a pretty solid unit.

Overall, this is a good unit. depends on your personal tastes, but i would recommend this to anyone.

wvKawBoy
12-07-2009, 12:50 PM
i love this headunit. just bought it yesterday. time and date settings are as follows. to change the time NOT in standby mode, press the fnc button>menu>clock setting. press and hold control knob for about 2 or more seconds. to change numbers turn the control knob, to switch from minutes to hours , push the knob to the right or left.
to change the date go to standby mode(SRC button>Standby) press the fnc button>menu>set date. hold the control knob for 2 seconds or more to access the settings. just use the same control method as with the time.

Pros: lots of settings, Xover settings are ok, time alighnment does make a great amount of difference, the color intuition is great, many display possibilities, SQ is awesome. much better than my panasonic headunit. by far

Cons: i dont like that in direct sunlight its hard to see the display, the faceplate finish is to polished. functionality with the menus is a little annoying being that you have to go to them for presets, memory for certain things etc. other than that, its a pretty solid unit.

Overall, this is a good unit. depends on your personal tastes, but i would recommend this to anyone.


Hey Cheeseman0777, I just got this headunit & LOVE the sound of this baby, but like others am having difficulty in getting it set up. I've got the color set, the clock, & some radio presets but now am having trouble setting the Date but I'll try to do what you described above. Also, how do I turn ON the AUX? In the Manual it says it's under the Menu but I'm doing something wrong, can you "step" it out for me for AUX ON? :emb:

Thanks Bud! :)

JonMR2turbo
01-06-2010, 01:45 PM
Have you guys used your units to play mp3s from USB flash drives? If so, does the unit display them by their file name and does it sort them alphabetically?

wvKawBoy
01-06-2010, 02:00 PM
Nope, I haven't yet but am in the process right now of loading tons of MP3's to a 32gb USB flash drive, so I'll find out!

XHiFiX
01-09-2010, 12:39 PM
I got this unit 3 days ago and so far I'm impressed. Very useful tuning options.. DTA, 6,12,18,24dB/oct x-over slopes, better than average EQ.

Heads up for potential buyers. Crutchfield sells it for 189.99, but you can use coupon code 3A825 (I think still works) for $20 off (purchases of $100 or more)...so 169.99. Add in the free install kit/wiring harness for your car, free 1-3 day shipping, and warranty coverage from an authorized dealer..comes out to a pretty good deal.

Question for owners.. the specs say 4V on the preouts. But with my meter set to ACV and using a 60Hz 0dB sine wave, I measured just 3.1V from all three outputs: front, rear, sub. This was with volume 35/35, all EQ bands flat, no bass boost, supreme+, etc., internal amp off, and x-overs set to through. With the DSP bypassed, the difference was just an extra 0.1V

No big deal, but I'm wondering if anyone else has measured theirs and getting the same numbers?

305 SERBOI
01-10-2010, 01:41 AM
i have had this unit for like 4 months n its awsome no problems sq is good i recommand this unit

compleXeyedea
01-13-2010, 10:16 PM
Hey everyone. I just bought one of these headunits about a week ago, and today i installed it! Anyhow, im new to headunits that give you more than just bass and treble. My question is - 1) what would be a good user eq setting i can use for each band? i think it goes to 5 bands, and a slope for each. I normally listen to RnB and hip hop, occasionally your papa roach and tom pettys and things like that. I dont currently have a seperate sub installed but i have in the past and will be installig another shortly. I have no idea really what hz to set each speaker for also. i have 3 way alpine 6x9 in the rear deck, and 4x6 pioneer 2 ways in the front. neither are amped. i just want it to sound clean and full. i was always a fan of hearing a decent thump from the rear and clear vocals. I usually would have my sub gains a little higher and then the bass down on the headunit so i could fill the cabin with high vocals, and let the sub in the trunk make you feel the bass. Also. How do i measure for DTA, i kno there is seperate measurements. I was messing around with all the options and i came to two different settings in which is was asking for measurements. It was a few hours ago and like i said i only installed this today so i havnt got too used to the menus yet, but im hoping someone can help.

I drive a 1992 buick roadmaster, if that can be any help.

Sry for my terrible english.
Also, I greatly appreciate all of your replies ahead of time.

Thank you.