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View Full Version : Kenwood vs. Alpine



07maximan
10-10-2011, 04:03 PM
I had/have a Kenwood X993. Just recently I cam across an Alpine IXA W407. It was a good deal so I bought it. I really like the features of this unit,but the SQ is lacking,quite a bit actually. The Kenwood sounded great,but Im not a huge fan of the single DIN. Id use it again if I had to but Id rather not.

My question is this,does the imprint kit make that much of a difference in the Alpine units? Because the SQ of it right now is killing me. I should be able to sell the Kenwood for enough to buy the imprint or should I keep the Kenwood?? Im need some guidance here,so any help or input would be appreciated.

DDtC
10-10-2011, 04:28 PM
I have the 404.. It has limited EQ settings but I dont use them anyway. SQ is really clean and I love the Ipod control, I dont miss CDs at all

07maximan
10-10-2011, 05:00 PM
I have the 404.. It has limited EQ settings but I dont use them anyway. SQ is really clean and I love the Ipod control, I dont miss CDs at all

See I disagree with this. I feel it sounds very flat. At high volumes its harsh and ear piercing. The other thing I noticed was that in oder to get any sound from my sub I have to turn it all the way up. With the Kenwood I had it on 0 or the 1-2 range. Im assuming this is the 4v vs 2v pre outs??

DDtC
10-10-2011, 05:04 PM
The sub out controls to pre out voltage. its like a gain knob. all the way up is 2v on mine. I dont know how your is set up but mine sounds fine. I got everything amped though.

07maximan
10-10-2011, 05:26 PM
Yeah Im amped all around too. The mains sound ok,its just everything on the sub is pretty much cranked. Do you use the Imprint kit?

DDtC
10-10-2011, 05:29 PM
Ive looked into it but i didnt need it. My settings are all flat and the crossovers and HPF are set and it sounds good to me. I heard the new 900 sounds really clean so thats what im doing next year

07maximan
10-10-2011, 06:58 PM
Can anyone comment on the Imprint kit?

DDSC
10-20-2011, 03:18 PM
Yea what is the imprint kit and what does it do or help with, Im looking at a kenwood KDC X995 versus the Alpine CDA 117. I want the kenwood for the looks, remote, higher signal to noise ratio and time alignment but its not CEA compliant.

I want the alpine for the fact that I can get the 45 watt rms amp that plugs into factory wiring and fits behind the dash so I dont need a ammp and wiring out back for a extra amp but I HATE Alpines headunits as far as looks go

Any input on these two headunits from anyone

Joseph7195
10-20-2011, 03:33 PM
I have the Kenwood Excelon X542. I absolutely love it. I have had no problems what-so-ever out of it. I feel the same way as OP, I have heard both Alpine and Kenwood, in the same application(same speakers and amp set-up) and the Kenwood just sounded better to me. But I can't see SO MANY audio enthusiasts on here being wrong and going with Alpine just because of the name. There has to be something I am missing. I know the Kenwood has the ability to defeat the Ipod's Headphone EQ, so maybe that's part of it.

wickedwitt
10-20-2011, 04:01 PM
A couple of things I can say about the Alpine. It is one of the few head units in the world where the sub control is a cut from 0, rather than a boost. Take it all the way up to get your true 2v out.

The other thing is they have very low pre-amp voltage, across the board. May need to adjust the gains on both your mids/highs amp and sub amp. They do normally have impeccable SQ, however, and seems to be the reason so many people like them.

I recently swapped to a Pioneer deck to get full speed iPod access (my alpine is ancient and uses that old system for CD changer control), and it took me quite a while to get used to the sound. It was much harsher on the highs, but it definitely got louder, and was 2x the pre-amp voltage.

I have no idea what year the model Alpine you have is, but I have heard stories that new Alpine units just don't have the output that new models of other brands do. I would definitely recommend playing with everything a bit before writing it off though, and definitely look into the imprint system. From what I've heard, it's what makes the newer units act like the old ones did (in other words Alpine took out all of their goodies that used to make them sweet in order to compete price-wise with other companies)

07maximan
10-21-2011, 01:51 PM
Thanks for your relies guys. I have a PXA H100 coming today so I'll play with that and see what happens. I didn't get the mic because a lot of people say the results from auto calibration aren't that great. If I need it I'll get it later.

zako
10-21-2011, 08:21 PM
I am happy with Kenwood KDC-x994. It's very similar to x993 and x995. I could nitpick here and there, but overall it's a fine package for the money. Time alignment, bluetooth, three 4v preouts, configurable display text fields, many crossover frequency and slope options.

keep_hope_alive
10-22-2011, 09:52 AM
I've been running Alpine for over 15 years. I've tried the other major brands but I always go back. Eclipse was one that I also really liked. Lately I've been impressed by Kenwood, especially the eXcelon series. I think Kenwood is doing a better job than Alpine now. Alpine has gotten away from integrated processing and the output voltage is weak. The Kenwood units i've installed have been great. I like the styling of Alpine, but that is pure personal preference.

Imprint can make a decent system better. it cannot fix problems associated with poor installation.

papermaker
10-24-2011, 02:17 AM
my x991 is a sweet deck.. three sac on for front one for rear and one for sub24/24/1bit)
it's the nicest deck next to the truly nice 3ways decks the prs99 and old school clarion 925 I believe it was..
I've been a pioneer fan for 10 years never really cared for anything else buy I live my kenwood..

papermaker
10-24-2011, 02:17 AM
my x991 is a sweet deck.. three sac on for front one for rear and one for sub24/24/1bit)
it's the nicest deck next to the truly nice 3ways decks the prs99 and old school clarion 925 I believe it was..
I've been a pioneer fan for 10 years never really cared for anything else buy I live my kenwood..