View Full Version : New Head Unit Options

10-24-2004, 10:47 AM
I'm getting a new HU to replace my Sony Xplod MP3 player from last year or so. I need from my new player with high powered outputs to run front speakers by themselves and utilize separate signals to tweeter and midbass for superior imaging and sonic tuning abilities. The unit will be hooked to amps for the front speakers and of course the sub, so built in power is not a necessity. I also need a lot of control over the sound, a large EQ preferably over 8 band and speaker time correction are preferable. The new head unit must play MP3s, with good speed, have XM or Sirius compatibility, and control a CD changer if I were to get one. The brands Ive looked at are Alpine, Blaupunkt, Clarion, Pioneer, Pioneer Premier, and Sony. I'm not restricted to these, iv just checked them out I don't necessarily need a full color motion display or LCD screen, but will take whatever the HU falls within description of what I need. I'm open to suggestions and comments on any brand, share your good and/or bad HU experiences, its all helpful in making this huge decision. The Alpines and Clarions, Ive looked at are around $550 in crutchfield, and the Pioneer Premier, Blaupunkt and Sony HU's have been between $350-$650. Also can anybody explain the main differences between Pioneer and Pioneer Premier Head Unit's? Is the extra cost justified, and in what circumstances? Also interested in Blaupunkt feedback, nobody seems to run em' or talk about them, I think they're pretty neat, any experiences there? Any price within 200-800 region will work out. I want the most functionality, and audio quality for the money, the best available in that range of price. Appearance, and styling aren't really very important, as long as its not ugly... I promise, this is the last thing: what are your opinions on HD radio? could it be worth the huge premium in cost for compatible receivers? Any experiences, or opinions?. Thanks for helping me out, just tell me if you need more info, or if my info. is to broad.

10-24-2004, 11:05 AM
i got one i believe has everything you wanted: http://www.caraudio.com/vb/showthread.php?t=73425

if that doesn't tickle your fancy i would look at a pioneer 8600. it has about every feature you can think of. from time alignment, auto eq, digital bbe, seperate front and rear speaker controls (this is my favorite because it lets me tune my front comps to play a lower frequency, while i can raise the frequency of my old stock rearfill speakers) it also lets you control the level and slope of the front + rear speakers and the subwoofer output. the regular pioneer 8600 has 4 volt rca's (which is really all you need) or the premier has 6 volt which i believe is the only difference. the 9600 has the exact same features as the 8600, just a nicer display. i know i'm missing some features on the 8600 but is an excellent headunit. you can find them brand new for around $350 maybe cheaper. the panasonic i listed though has just about all these features for less than half the price. also alpine makes good headunits. never used in my car, but have used a 9835 in a friends car. good headunit to, but i think you get more bang for the buck with pioneer.

also don't buy from crutchfield. way over priced. excellent service but overpriced. look for a headunit at www.sounddomain.com, www.thezeb.com (that's where i bought mine)

Professor Fate
10-24-2004, 10:47 PM
In my opinion Premier/Pioneer are the best HU. I just picked up a Premier DEH-p960mp. Best deck I've ever owned by far. Its got a 13 or 15 band Eq, Filters on all the pre-outs, and deck. Of course tons more options. The DEH-P960mp and P860mp, are the two that have all the options you want including XM, disk changer. The 860 retails for $550 and the 960 for $650, at cartoys, about the same everywhere else, except Ebay. I bought my P960mp for $350, yes $350, new/shipped/ and with a 3 year warrenty. Unbelievably price. Check out these links, and get back to us .



10-24-2004, 10:56 PM
alpine 9833 or 9835 would be pretty good

10-25-2004, 12:21 AM
the Pioneer Premiers are the best HUs on the market, Alpine is right up there too though. The Premiers have a higher preout voltage which give them a better sound IMHO.

10-25-2004, 10:37 AM
Cool. So it seems all signs point Pioneer/Premier. Ill definitely check em out, the new Panasonic HU w/Tripath amp. 60watts x4 RMS looks off the hook. I don't think id need a 4-ch amp w/ 60RMS per ch. just sittin in the dash... more companies gotta pick up on class T amps. I mean Tsunami's already on board, come on! Quite possibly the future standard in digital amplification and Tsunami and Panasonic are the only ones on board. TSUNAMI??? what the... Oh well. I think ill prob get the Premier w/folding face. Looks pretty sharp, and hey, if its at the very least as good as Alpine its coo with me. Actually i gotta say the looks of Alpine high end HU's are kinda whack. I don't know, just not high end appearing enough. or somethin like that.

10-25-2004, 11:54 AM
DO NOT BUY PANASONIC...they are nothing but crap....but I guess you can do as you wish.

Professor Fate
10-25-2004, 11:29 PM
DO NOT BUY PANASONIC...they are nothing but crap....but I guess you can do as you wish.

Totally man. Don't go their. High power at the Hu = high heat = low life. You do relize you can get 60 rms amps for next to nothing. I think the Premier puts out 50 rms anyways. Between Panasonic and Premier, their is no dought what is the smart purchase.

10-28-2004, 11:54 AM
I hope you went with the Pioneer over the Panasonic, but let us know!

10-28-2004, 02:31 PM
I chose Eclipse.. high voltage pre out, but it doesn't have a good Equalizer. But a 1 year theft warranty, and 3 year total warranty... made me pick it over the pioneer 7600mp, which is a nice head unit.. I had a pioneer 7400mp,... best deck i have ever owned, so many options!

10-28-2004, 02:38 PM
DO NOT BUY PANASONIC...they are nothing but crap....but I guess you can do as you wish.

i assume you have used panasonic headunits in the past? panasonics are pretty good headunits. i have one that's 3 years old and it has all the same features that the pioneer 8600 has today. and it has worked perfectly and still does. although i'm a little skeptical on those panasonics who claim to have these 70 wrms x4 internal amps, but the ones without the internal amps are very good headunits and are durable.

10-28-2004, 06:12 PM
mine got real hot and ended up melting something inside, they never did say what. It only worked for about 6 months before it died on me...

10-28-2004, 07:44 PM
mine got real hot and ended up melting something inside, they never did say what. It only worked for about 6 months before it died on me...

was it wired properly? on them panasonics with those big internal amps, they should be wired direct to the battery with a little thicker wire like the higher end alpines suggest you do.

10-28-2004, 10:29 PM
60x4 on the decks are not the RMS rating man, least none that i have seen (now sum1 goes lookin for a link lol)

run a 4ch amp rated at 60wx4 n ull b much much happier

10-29-2004, 01:25 AM
yea for real that "60x4" is a peak power rating, it might have 23 watts rms.

and my pioneer 6600 has 22x4 rms and 50x4 peak, so all the models above the 6600 have the saem power rating, atleast all the ones ive seen.

10-29-2004, 01:48 AM
yeah it was wired the way they reccommended, Panasonic is just ****