The Alpine CDA-7998 is just a great unit. I purchased mine in Feb 03 and have been impressed ever since. First thing you notice about this deck is it is non amplified. You must have amplifiers for it to work. The unit has 3 sets of 4v preouts. As most of you know a lot of the decks on the market have "wimpy" preouts. Not the Alpine. These preouts are sturdy, strong, and quite heavy. The other thing you notice is the Fantom Face. When off the main display is hidden inside the unit. With the press of a button it calmly slides out and shows you the gorgeous display. What makes the display so nice is the "Bio-lite" as Alpine calls it. The angle of the display can be adjusted. The text on the display is just awesome. Very fluid, not like most which are comprised of dots.
What about the controls? Well this HU has everything. From Alpine's "MediaXpander" to EQ, Crossover and Time Alignment. The time alignment is set to control 6 channels. The crossovers are nice, a 24db octave and can be switched to accommodate component door speakers. It also has a 5 band parametric EQ. The EQ has your typical settings (rock, flat, pop etc) but can also be customized for your taste. You can also adjust the “Q” factor on each individual settings of the EQ. The MediaXpander can be turned off, but when on you can choose between 3 custom versions of each HU setting. So you can choose custom 1 for FM, custom 3 for MP3 etc. It also has a separate Subwoofer control so you can tune it to your liking. What I like about this unit is you are not intimidated at all. All access to the controls are very easy to get to and very easy to navigate. You don't need a PHD to figure this unit out. The MP3 playback is good, some complain about the loading time but it doesn't bother me at all. It also has the "I-Personalize" where you can log onto Alpine's website, configure the EQ, crossover, time alignment and change the greeting, download it to your pc, burn it to a cd-rom and upload it to the HU. Sounds like a lot of work but it is not. The unit is XM ready with additional tuner box and also has Alpine’s Ai-Net to control additional accessories. I know I have left some things out, there is just too much this deck can do. This by far is the most complete deck I have owned. I have had no problems whatsoever. The price is high, 800 retail but can be found around the internet for 600 and under. If anyone has any questions about this HU please contact me, I will be happy to assist.