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View Full Version : Advice on buying a head unit



.enigma.
05-11-2010, 03:36 PM
Ive got a 2001 honda accord with all stock audio equipment

I plan on putting in a head unit before the summer and then later in the fall getting speakers/sub/amp.

Is there something i should be looking for in a head unit. Ive seen some posts about the head unit being too strong for the factory speakers, but i also dont want it to be too weak for the aftermarket ones.

Also, any recommendations on head units. I guess my budget is around 200, but im not really sure whether thats too high or too low to get a decent mid-range head unit.

btw, i only plan on putting in about 500 dollars towards the whole sounds system.

whitedragon551
05-11-2010, 05:13 PM
Clarion DXZ785USB or an Eclipse CD5100

Clarion DXZ785USB Car CD Player (http://www.yonies.com/pidD.asp?chk=1&PID=2236&manf=Clarion&model=DXZ785USB&prd=Car+CD+Player&lv1=Electronics&lv2=Car+Equipment&lv3=Car+CD+Players&rf=frg)

Eclipse CD5100 CD/MP3/WMA Receiver with Remote and Rear USB Connection (http://www.techronics.com/caraudio_8846_Eclipse-CD5100-CD-MP3-WMA-Receiver-with-Remote-and-Rear-USB-Connection.html?aff=72182)

mclerico83
05-11-2010, 08:49 PM
Kenwood KDC-X993 AM/FM/CD/MP3 + Built-In Bluetooth - eBay (item 110528957307 end time May-15-10 09:14:26 PDT) (http://cgi.ebay.com/Kenwood-KDC-X993-AM-FM-CD-MP3-Built-In-Bluetooth-/110528957307?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Car_Audio_In_Dash_Receivers&hash=item19bc0a0b7b)

easily this kenwood, one of the best sounding units easily, was a 300 dollar unit 6 months ago before the 994 came out.

http://signature.crutchfield.com/S-1OEr75u9jb6/s_113KDCX993/Kenwood-Excelon-KDC-X993.html


http://www.crazysecure.com/cgi-bin/store30/order.pl?ref=HomeAV&pd=530655&Tqty=1&pageid=6cd4922b0c3b44fa15c0&submit_both=
new not refurb through amazon

whitedragon551
05-11-2010, 09:30 PM
Kenwood KDC-X993 AM/FM/CD/MP3 + Built-In Bluetooth - eBay (item 110528957307 end time May-15-10 09:14:26 PDT) (http://cgi.ebay.com/Kenwood-KDC-X993-AM-FM-CD-MP3-Built-In-Bluetooth-/110528957307?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Car_Audio_In_Dash_Receivers&hash=item19bc0a0b7b)

easily this kenwood, one of the best sounding units easily, was a 300 dollar unit 6 months ago before the 994 came out.

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X993 CD receiver at Crutchfield Signature (http://signature.crutchfield.com/S-1OEr75u9jb6/s_113KDCX993/Kenwood-Excelon-KDC-X993.html)


AV Home Systems - Secure Order Form (http://www.crazysecure.com/cgi-bin/store30/order.pl?ref=HomeAV&pd=530655&Tqty=1&pageid=6cd4922b0c3b44fa15c0&submit_both=)
new not refurb through amazon

elohel again. The Clarion and the Eclipse both sound much better than the Kenwood. Eclipse and Clarion have top notch SQ even in their low end cheap lines while Kenwood has 2 models the X993 and the X994 models that sound good while the rest basically blow.

A12bknown
05-11-2010, 09:36 PM
Agreed!!!! Not meaning to really diss the Kenwood though. They do have some good products. I look at preout volts along with the resistance that they have. Although a line driver will help that. Why did Eclipse disappear!!!!!! ****.

whitedragon551
05-11-2010, 09:38 PM
They didnt disappear. They stopped supplying products to North America. You can still get them here, but we arent their main market. You can still also order parts for them for repairs from United Radio. They can special order proprietary Eclipse parts such as the HU brackets, trim rings, and cages. They are the only Eclipse parts dealer in NA. And also the only certified Eclipse repair facility in NA.

norrizzle90
05-11-2010, 09:42 PM
just a personal preference....but i really like having the ability to plug in the ipod/mp3 player directly into the headunit VIA usb. with your setup i wouldn't worry about it too much but your cd player WILL skip once the bass gets crazy loud.

A12bknown
05-11-2010, 09:58 PM
They didnt disappear. They stopped supplying products to North America. You can still get them here, but we arent their main market. You can still also order parts for them for repairs from United Radio. They can special order proprietary Eclipse parts such as the HU brackets, trim rings, and cages. They are the only Eclipse parts dealer in NA. And also the only certified Eclipse repair facility in NA.
Really!!!! Makes me feel better! Wish I could find a MEI-100 mic though. I may have to try them. Thanks!

whitedragon551
05-11-2010, 10:04 PM
Really!!!! Makes me feel better! Wish I could find a MEI-100 mic though. I may have to try them. Thanks!

Thats the one part my CD7000 doesnt have. United Radio doesnt have access to the TA mic. SonicElectronix had some up until a few hours ago. They were $17.99 + $5 shipping when they had them instock. Keep an eye out. Im also looking for one.

Eclipse MEI-100 (mei100) - Replacement Bluetooth Microphones - Sonic Electronix (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_9812_Eclipse+MEI-100.html)

A12bknown
05-11-2010, 10:05 PM
just a personal preference....but i really like having the ability to plug in the ipod/mp3 player directly into the headunit VIA usb. with your setup i wouldn't worry about it too much but your cd player WILL skip once the bass gets crazy loud.

True that is purely opinion. In your case I wouldnt really do that unless I can listen to the tracks in some type of lossless format. That changes everything. I mean mp3 to mp3 320kbps to ACC to Wav you can hear nuances in them. Not dissing you listening to your formats (not sure if it is a full control ipod adapter that supports Applelossless) but believe me bass lines are pretty different in the higher end formats. Download an mp3 and play the actual Cd of the same song.

mclerico83
05-11-2010, 10:06 PM
elohel again. The Clarion and the Eclipse both sound much better than the Kenwood. Eclipse and Clarion have top notch SQ even in their low end cheap lines while Kenwood has 2 models the X993 and the X994 models that sound good while the rest basically blow.

hence while i recomend them, the x993 is one of the best sounding units out their. i love eclipse i run a cd5030 in my car but 4 the price the kenwood cannot be beat

mclerico83
05-11-2010, 10:08 PM
They didnt disappear. They stopped supplying products to North America. You can still get them here, but we arent their main market. You can still also order parts for them for repairs from United Radio. They can special order proprietary Eclipse parts such as the HU brackets, trim rings, and cages. They are the only Eclipse parts dealer in NA. And also the only certified Eclipse repair facility in NA.

eclipse is out of business, they dont make them anymore, if you know anything about fujitsu ten you would know they decided to cut the eclipse line and stick to oem building etc, as they use to build some of the best products out their.

A12bknown
05-11-2010, 10:09 PM
Thats the one part my CD7000 doesnt have. United Radio doesnt have access to the TA mic. SonicElectronix had some up until a few hours ago. They were $17.99 + $5 shipping when they had them instock. Keep an eye out. Im also looking for one.

Eclipse MEI-100 (mei100) - Replacement Bluetooth Microphones - Sonic Electronix (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_9812_Eclipse+MEI-100.html)
Yeah everywhere is out of them! Drives me crazy! Did you know I had to call 52 random shops that Eclipse had listed to find my HU!!!!!!!!! I mean I really wanted this HU. I got the IPC- 106. Just when I tried to get the MEI-100 from Sonix they e-mailed me it was out. :(

mclerico83
05-11-2010, 10:13 PM
and the cd-5100 is not on the same level as a kdc x993 has no where near the features of the x993 its like apples and oranges

A12bknown
05-11-2010, 10:14 PM
The top end Kenwood is like what, $260 right? Not bad at all. Depending on the amp, to me a line driver can clean up whatever and add some dynamic range. A good headunit will definitely suffice though. I guess I times I overkill.

A12bknown
05-11-2010, 10:16 PM
Being serious. What are some of the specialities that the said model has? I was going to go with this unit too. I was debating and got the Eclipse. Forgot some of the bells and whistles that came with it.

mclerico83
05-11-2010, 10:22 PM
5 band eq
4v pre out
rear usb, direct ipod connect, ipod eq
bluetooth
digital crossover
restores highs and bass to mp3's etc with supreme function

mclerico83
05-11-2010, 10:31 PM
yea i have been looking 4 the stupid mic also pissing me off

A12bknown
05-11-2010, 10:35 PM
yea i have been looking 4 the stupid mic also pissing me off

Ha haaaaaa!!! Yea I may have to tune it another way. Also looking at what the person is looking for that HU would be perfect. Gives a little eq with great sound parameters. Once I finish this install I need to see if lossless files can be played via bluetooth. If so I wonder how that would actually sound.

Rich B
05-11-2010, 10:42 PM
The Alpine CDA-9887 is $229 here-
Alpine CDA-9887 AM/FM CD/MP3/WMA/AAC Receiver(ALPCDA9887) and other affordable Head Units at 6ave.com. (http://www.6ave.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=ALPCDA9887)

And from what I've read if you use the coupon code "AFL4COUPON" during checkout it drops to $219.84.

mclerico83
05-11-2010, 11:56 PM
Ha haaaaaa!!! Yea I may have to tune it another way. Also looking at what the person is looking for that HU would be perfect. Gives a little eq with great sound parameters. Once I finish this install I need to see if lossless files can be played via bluetooth. If so I wonder how that would actually sound.

i actually have a car pc in my car running through the headunit

A12bknown
05-12-2010, 12:35 AM
i actually have a car pc in my car running through the headunit

Still kinda new to this but how does that work? Are your amps directly connected to the comp some way? Or is it like having an super versatile Ipod with you? Because I thought of doing that (esp. with the Ipad out) but didnt know if the dacs would be good enough coming from the comp.

norrizzle90
05-12-2010, 02:50 AM
True that is purely opinion. In your case I wouldnt really do that unless I can listen to the tracks in some type of lossless format. That changes everything. I mean mp3 to mp3 320kbps to ACC to Wav you can hear nuances in them. Not dissing you listening to your formats (not sure if it is a full control ipod adapter that supports Applelossless) but believe me bass lines are pretty different in the higher end formats. Download an mp3 and play the actual Cd of the same song.

lol, with my old jvc headunit played cd's very quiet and not loud enough, when i hooked my ipod up through the AUX it got louder but sounded like ****. i got my new alpine ida-x305 and it doesn't have a cd player built in it. it is STRICTLY ipod VIA usb. i love the sound quality this alpine puts out, its amazing.

sulin's baby
05-12-2010, 04:10 PM
alpine 9886/87 the 86 doesnt come with the 3 way active but the 87 does. plus they both come with the ipod cable for free!

.enigma.
05-12-2010, 09:05 PM
Qucik question, whats this ipod cable that youre talking about.

Cant i just use the regular one the connect to my computer, or will i have to buy a separate one?

A12bknown
05-12-2010, 11:16 PM
Qucik question, whats this ipod cable that youre talking about.

Cant i just use the regular one the connect to my computer, or will i have to buy a separate one?
Well some units state that there may be "total control" of Ipod for your headunit via some special wire. As for doing what you are planning to ME it sounds iffy but hey it may work. Like thae guy said above, sometimes it can really distort your music going through different devices. Wayyyyy back in the day I had a JVC headunit and I went through AUX for my music and it was just horrible!!!!! Today many headunits are aimed towards these said devices