I have been an alpine guy for year and years. Car audio started out for me with an old knobby alpine tape deck in a 1979 chevy 4x4 with pioneer 6x9's rocking in the doors. Nothing like a good motley crue tape blasting away. Anyways time passed and I remained a loyal alpine junkie owning such fine decks as the 7909 both original and reproduction, then off to "what I considered at the time to be heaven in a deck" the legendary 7949 copper chassis. During that time I also used and ran the old stealth faced kenwood excelon units which I consider to be some of the best decks of the late 90's to early 00's. Around 2000 I lost interest in car audio for things were going stupid in the industry. Oz sold out and became generally.... not like they used to be, Aurasound stopped production of all car audio gear, ppi and orion were both going to crap, mtx was not cool anymore and phoenix gold was getting to expensive for my budget.... generally life ****** to be in the hobby.
Around late 2004-2005 I stuck my head back in the door and found an amazing amount of cool stuff being produced for great prices! Decks with time alignment? Built in selectable crossovers? Parametric eq's?? Wholly CRAP!!! Fell in love with the hobby all over again. At that time I looked over alpines website and found my new slice of heaven. The 9835. This alpine won me over faster than a **** Russian *****. She had it all and build quality was top notch "did a full review of this deck a year or more ago USE SEARCH" After using this deck for awhile in my sq truck I only found one limitation in the deck itself. She needed 1-2 more bands of parametric eq Otherwise she was flawless in every sense of the word. Well time went and the truck was sold, the deck removed and put on the shelf. I bought a new car and was starting to design the system and wanted just a little more from a deck or so I thought. The plan was the new w200 + h701 combo. Was about to order and then this voice pierced my eardrums... "hunny, I want a redwood deck instead of concrete for the backyard porch" Ah SHIZ! The woman had spoken so plans had to be put off.
In the mean time I made the STUPID mistake of selling the 9835. Now I was in a mess. I needed a nice single din deck to hold me over and ebay was not looking good. The 9835's new in box were being price gouged so bad I would not pay for one. Then I came across the new cd7000 from eclipse. I had used an eclipse back early in 2000 and basically I felt it was junk. I hated everything about it. I swore I would never use another yet here I am staring at what looked to be a great looking deck with better features in it than my 9835! I looked around and found this beast to be selling for $699.99 + ship. I laughed at the price and started looking again for another 9835. Well weeks went by and I had not found anything worth purchasing. Then I happened back to the eclipse website and took another look at the cd7000 and thought "man if she was only about $200-300 cheaper I would give her a try." I decided to take a look on ebay and see what I could find. typed the keywords in and nothing. Changed the wording around and nothing. Then as a last ditch effort I changed the keywords around a little more and poof. I find two auctions from the same reputable seller that had the cd7000 for $490 + $22 ship brand new in box! WOW! Bingo, could not get my card out fast enough and pay for it. A week later the deck showed up and was as promised, brand spanking new in the box. I opened the box, inspected everything in it and all was good.
Upon immediate toying with the deck, I found the knob to be quite different than what I had imagined it to be. I thought the center push buttons would be just little press buttons and imagined the knob to be rather shallow or "thin". To my surprise the knob was freaking HUGE and THICK. Sticks out way to far from the faceplate which ***** because my scion tc has a door that covers the radio, with the knob this huge, the door cannot close! That was annoyance one with the knob. Once she was installed I started playing around with the knob. Basically it *****. The rotary feels ok, not cheap but not precision. The center toggle "as I call it for it has more movement than an atari joystick" is just crappy feeling. Then there is the stupid enter button. The tiny little button in the center of the knob. Sometimes when you press it just off center the toggle moves enough to select something you do not want. Basically eclipse needs to go back to the drawing board with this knob design. Also the chrome on the knob looks cheap and tacky in today’s world.
Next complaint... When inserting a cd, the face plate will not auto close, that is just retarded....
Yet another complaint... The motorized face plate lowers so far down and out and away from the deck when changing disks that the arms that hold the face plate can actually hit things like the aftermarket trim ring I was trying to use. When this happens it will not let the disk eject! When I say this baby drops down low and far away from the deck, I mean it drops stupid far and away from the deck! Just picture holding an amp to your chest. Then extending your arms as far away / low as possible from your body... same effect.
Yet another.... The onboard fan is LOUD! You actually hear the stupid thing spool up when you key on the car! Thing is like 1/2" around, I am surprised I can hear it like I do.
More…. The internal amp cannot be shut down! That is kind of dumb even if it is a low power amp.
Yeah more…. Face plate motors sometimes are visually choppy. Just enough to notice… not glass smooth like other decks I have owned “cough 9835 cough 9855”
Last complaint. The fonts on the screen are TINY! very annoying trying to read the track number or anything else when in a normal sitting position in a standard car.
Visually besides the knob, the deck is pure ***. The color screen is great and plenty bright in my heavily tinted car. The real time rta dancing display is way cool. I am not into blingy features really but I have always like visual rta's on screen. I also am quite fond of the black background the deck has. Makes words and info as easy to read as the biolite display on my 9835.
Once you get used to the menu's and find your way around them, they are quite easy to use and find what you need. The eq "after reading the manual" is very simple to use. In fact the eq rocks! I have it setup for 7 bands of peq right now. Once I leanred how Q is set on the peq, everything came together nice and quick. If and when I go active the other peq option of 5 bands high, 5 bands mid and 1 band low is going to kick butt! An 11 band peq is just freakin good as it gets! Crossover settings are the same way. Everything is easy to find and in it’s place. I LOVE the fact that you can not only adjust levels for front rear and sub, you can adjust the actual output level of each individual RCA and I am not talking about balance or fader, you can literally control the level of each RCA!
Sq is great on the deck. I did not detect any noticeable noise output from the deck even in my dead silent house with the volume most of the way up and the test amp “DLS A7” gain most of the way down. Good sign. Deck is dynamic as a new higher end deck should be. No complaints at all. Music comes through as music…just as it should. Also I have not experienced electrical system noise in car as other eclipse owners have experienced. I was however surprised to find no in line noise filter on the constant b+ wire. Anyways she is Dead silent.
The deck has two teachable oem steering wheel control wires which kicks butt. I plugged them into the appropriate wires on the oem harness and wow! Worked flawless the first time and no programming involved because my scion tc is actually a Toyota! Eclipse, Toyota, fujitsu ten are all in bed somehow. Anyways this was a blessing rather than having to use a pac converter for the wheel controls and having to program it / custom install it.
For now in car I am running the deck solo. For the first time since my old knobby alpine tape deck I am running a deck without an amp attached. Internal power is more than enough for the stock efficient scion tc speakers. I am actually surprised at how well the decks internal amp is working and how decent the stock speakers are in the tc for oem.
Now back to that ugly knob… I have actually grown fond of the thing. But still hate the chrome. Nothing like a good old analog style knob on a piece of audio equipment. Feels good to give her a twist up or down. When new, the knob felt like it was a little rough and choppy feeling. After a few weeks of use it seems to actually have a break in period for it feels glass smooth now and you can feel every little click! I still am not big on the center toggle or the enter button. If you have fat fingers you will really hate the enter / toggle combo. Well anyways for such a turn off when opening the box, the knob has become welcomed on my car.