View Full Version : Brand Recommendations

12-02-2004, 01:00 AM

I'm a newbie here. I've been an avid minidisc user since 1997 but US models are getting harder and harder to find as the manufacturers pull out of a market that never really took off. I'm planning to remove the factory unit in my truck and replace it with a 2-DIN combination MD/CD unit. Through a good import website I can order a Japanese domestic model and my local installer has agreed to put it in with no problems.

However, I've only ever had Sony components in my car and home. I'm wondering if anyone can speak for the general overall quality of Pioneer, Alpine or Clarion. These four named manufacturers are all producing Japanese-market MD head units and all but the Clarion are available easily here in the US. I'm preparing to pay up to $600 for the unit and installation will be extra. I really like the looks of the Clarion models best, but have no experience with any Clarion components. Also, these will be harder to get (though I am trying hard to find a source for them).

If you had a choice of these four manufacturers, which would you choose? (All other things being equal, that is.) There are minimal differences in the features of each brand. Part of me thinks to stick with Sony since they developed the minidisc format, but I'm open to advice on the others.

Thank you,


12-02-2004, 01:58 AM
Pioneer, Alpine, and Clarion are all good brands. I am partial to Alpine myself, my local shop sells clarion and pioneer... just make sure if you get a pioneer or clarion you get a higher end model.

12-07-2004, 06:04 AM
Pioneer, Alpine, and Clarion are the big three. Eclipse, Nakamichi, and Denon also make great headunits.

I would go Pioneer/Clarion for low budget (>$200), Alpine for mid budget (>$500), or a Nak + Cool Sound Processor for high-end.