Kenwood Dpx701 (dpx-701)
First of all I am by no means am an audiophile or car audio expert. I have messed with car audio for the last 20 years, but would not consider myself anywhere near an expert, but rather a slightly more than average car audio knowledgeable person.
The vehicle is a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado regular cab 4x4.
My system includes 6.5” Kenwood Excelon door speakers (KFC-X1700), Kenwood Excelon 4x6 (KFC-X460) rear speakers, one 12” Rockford Fosgate sub in a .85 cube enclosed box. The amp is a Boss Audio 5 channel 1200 W amp (GT980). I initially bought the 5 channel amp because I had it hooked up to the stock stereo in this truck but it works very well with the DPX701.
I bought this unit for several reasons. It has three 5V pre-amp outs (front, rear and sub), USB capable, HD radio option, and Satellite Radio option. So far I have not added the HD radio or satellite radio pieces so I have not first hand knowledge of how those work. I have used the USB port, almost all the time though.
The installation and operating instructions are good. I wish the unit would have come with the mounting hardware (L brackets to screw to the sides and into the dash of the truck), but I was able to make some work off an old installation kit I had laying around. Once installed it looks very good in my dash.
I think the display could be larger and better. They claim a 64 color display, but I honestly only see about a fourth of that. For a double din receiver they could have made the display LCD and made it much bigger to include the huge area they use to say “External Media Control”. But all in all it is a decent three line display. I could see how some may prefer the ability to change the color of the buttons on the face to match their dash, but the blue and red one do match my GM displays rather well.
The sound quality is very good no matter what source you are using; it is as good in USB mode as CD, etc. I like the ability to fine tune front, rear and sub independently. I have been able to set the crossovers for each speaker and really made the speakers show how good they really are. I understand there are better head units in the sound shaping department, but for my level of audio knowledge, the way it is handled on this Kenwood unit is more than adequate for me to be able to get incredible sound. It comes with 6 preset EQ’s (I think it is 6). Those are very well preprogrammed and all have their distinct tones, but I continue to use my own customized settings. I like that I can control the subwoofer level from the head unit as well.
The G-Force analyzer has been a handy tool for me as I have been fine tuning shift points and engine power programs and using it to verify gains and losses. Once I got an actual weight (we have a truck scale at my work) and set it all up, it seems to be fairly accurate to boot. I like this feature quite a bit right now, maybe because it is new and fun, but we’ll see how much I use it in the future. It would be nice if you were stock level road racing or drag racing too.
To use the USB interface, I started out using a Sony 2 GB flash drive to familiarize myself with the PhatNoise Media library software. In order to make your drives work the best, you really should use the PhatNoise software. It sets up the drive and makes it easier for the head unit to read the files. In addition, it has a good database (GraceNote) for pulling in song title, artist, album, etc details. I would like to be able to expand on the file structure more, but maybe I will figure out how to do that yet within the software. After playing around with the 2 GB flash drives, I recently added an Iomega Silver Portable 80 GB (item# 33222) 4200 RPM 8 MB Cache USB 2.0 external hard drive. I first tried an I/O Magic 80 GB version, but it failed to boot up. I found out the Western Digital drive would also not boot up either. The head unit can handle drives that require 500mA or less. The Iomega one takes about 30 seconds to boot up and read the data, but works flawlessly once booted. I have over 300 full CD’s and at least a couple hundred individual songs already on the drive. So file structure is becoming more and more important so I can quickly scan and access the song I want. The voice announcing feature is nice as well. It states the song title, artist, and album or however you set it up and allows you to scroll through the drive without looking at the radio display. The software pulls in the album art and it is stored on the hard drive, but I have not yet figured out how to have the art displayed on the head unit (that would be a nice feature). If anyone has tips on file structures or how to make the album art appear, please add to this review.
Rating the receiver: 5 stars being the best and 1 the worst.
Looks: 3.5; I would have liked a larger display in a double din unit. Album art should show up when pulling from USB devises. Other than that I like the style and it appears to look very OE.
Function: 4.5; I really like the level of sound shaping ability, menu’s are fairly easy to follow once you familiarize yourself with the manual.
Sound: 5; I am totally impressed at the sound quality when matched with Kenwood Excelon speakers and a sub like I have. The only drawback to sound at this point is my amp and definitely not the head unit.
Price: 4.5; I was able to get this unit online for less than $250.
Options: 5; CD, Radio, USB, IPod, HD Radio, Satellite, CD changer, Bluetooth, sound shaping, 3 5V pre-amp outs, head unit sub control, etc. make it a great piece.
If anyone has any tips on file structure, album art or anything else that may make my experience even better, please share.