Review on Clarion DXZ785USB

Here is my review,

1st Build quality...

It may seem that the faceplate is a bit flimsy, the chassis is rather strong. I owned a 1987 Accord LXi, it was fully loaded with audio equipment. Anyways, the faceplate isn't as flimsy at it seems. Its actually quite sturdy. Its kind of a think FP is a bit thick, but I know why. You have to remember that this player has SlideTrak operation. If it wasn't for this the FP could be thinner. I was a skeptic of this, but when I received the unit and started playing with it I was amazed by it, and actually liked it, specially for making adjustments to the EQ, Xover and other settings. So overall I believe the build quality to be fairly good, not great though. The plastic actually seems to be durable, one would not think that after initial look over. But, after having this unit for just over a year Ive come to realize that the quality of this unit is actually very good. Build quality rating... 8.5 out of 10.

2nd Expandability...

This unit is packed with features. You can purchase a few add ons for this unit. It has the CeNET Control. You can plug in a DVD Changer, 6-Disc CD Changer and Satellite Receiver just to name a few. And with 6v/6ch RCA preouts the ability to add amps and have a great sounding setup is awesome. And with a RMS voltage rating of 5.6v, needless to say, its got some juice. Now, I only had 2 mono block amps for my subs, and it drove these with no hesitation. If you were to hook up 2ch or 4ch amps you can turn the internal amp off as well, option “Power IC”. It also has a rear USB connection (Universal Serial Bus). With this connection, use of a iPod, MP3 player, USB thumb drive and even a portable hard drive can be used with what seems limitless music capabilities. In order for the thumb and portable hard drive to work, it must be formatted in a FAT32 file system in order for it to read it. I personally haven't used an external hard drive with mine, but have seen where it does work as long as its in FAT32. Expandability rating... 9.5 out of 10.

3rd Features...

WMA compatible
MP3 compatible
AAC compatible
iPod compatible
24bit D/A Converter
Sound Restorer
Time Alignment
Digital Z Enhancer
Bluetooth ready
6v/6ch output (5.6v RMS)
AUX input
728 color display
SlideTrak operation controls
Slope Console
OEM control integration
MOS-FET power supply

There are these features listed above, plus some. I really enjoy all the features that are in this player. Among the ones listed above, you can name the radio stations you have made presets of. The 3 band eq was tricky for me to understand at first, but once you play with it for about 10 minutes you basically have the just of how it works. And it does sound really good for only being a 3 band. I wish it would have been a 4 or 5 band eq, but this is a good eq for what it is. However, when I initially installed in my car I was using the regular bass and treble settings for a while and it still sounded great, but when I enabled to eq the quality jumped up a considerable amount.

The high and low pass filters are great with many freqs to choose from for a nice fine tuning of sound. There are many options in the xover field in this player, including phase, Q and freq adjustments. The internal 53x4 amp is quite nice for what it is. Granted your not actually getting this number, prolly more like 18 to maybe 23 watts. But still, it sounds great and didn't distort as easily and quickly as I thought it would. Now my car didn't have steering wheel controls but I do like the fact that you can integrate steering wheel controls with this player, that makes it even better and more convenient. It may confuse you as the input for this looks like a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
Features rating... 10 out of 10.

4th Remote...

Well the remote is quite basic. Only controlling basic functions of the player. Could be better to be able to control adjustments of say the eq, sub level control and other major functions. The build of the remote is ok. Its light and compact which I like, but still as Ive said, could have better functionality. And because it may not control a lot doesn't affect the performance of the rest of the player. Remote rating... 6 out of 10.

Final thoughts...

This hu is a great product. With a msrp of 399.99, its up there. (I didn't pay this for mine) And I believe that it is a awesome unit for what it is. I think one of the downfalls of this player is the screen, and figuring out how to use the eq initially. Could have been bigger and a bit more vivid for its price range. (But upon opening faceplate I see why its not that big) Build quality is acceptable, many may find the FP cheesy, but I didn't. After having it for a little over a year, it does last. I have been very happy with it so far. This model series is now discontinued, and had been replaced with the FZ series which is completely touch operated. I believe that this is a great SQ hu, as that is why I got it to begin with. But to much of my surprise I got that plus a decently loud system. It can definitely push what you hook up to it with no problem. Is it worth the msrp? I think so. Why? Well it just has so many features and can be tuned quite nicely to suite most audiophiles like myself and has good expandability. But you can get it cheaper. And the ability to be able to select the type of system you are setting up is nice as well. I like the style of the unit on top of its features and specs. Great, great hu by far for what it is and its design etc.

Overall rating... 9.5 out of 10.

Review by, CrysisMaker

* Ratings based on personal experience with unit. Ratings are also honest in real world conditions, setup and playability.