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    Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Review of Head Unit:
    DISCLAIMER...This review will be based towards a new buyer with a snippet on the install. This was my first HU install so I want to give this from that perspective.

    Just received my 8400 from Crutchfield yesterday. Got it as an Open Box item and saved myself about 100 bucks even figuring the harness adapter I needed for my 2006 Passat ($130 WTF?...got it for 65 because I ordered the HU). Was pleasantly surprised to find some of the cables in the wiring harness had printed labels on them; took out a lot of guesswork when wiring it to the harness adapter. Big ups to Pioneer for this one considering this was my first install. Current configuration of my Passat is all stock.

    Pack-ins are fairly impressive. The box comes with a trim plate, wiring harness, mounting screws, a neoprene case for the faceplate when removed, microphone with sun visor clip, and separate manuals for English, French, and Spanish. If I have one gripe, I would ask the manuals to be larger since we all don't have 20/20 vision.
    As far as connections go, the rear plate has 2 USB ports, SWC input, Rear-view camera input, proprietary video-in (used for adding Nav or for use with an iPhone with Advanced App Mode), BT mic input, Sirius module input, dual zone video out, and 3 sets of 4V RCAs. Below are a couple pictures from the unboxing and harness wiring:


    Unboxed and still in wrapping


    Harness a few wires in


    Completed harness including Microbypass (tucked into green wire bundle)

    INSTALL (Skip forward if you don't care about install details)
    I'll start by saying intallation was fairly straightforward. Everything powered on the first try and with no complications. Make sure you pre-plan and measure fittings to make sure the plug for the call microphone will fit where you intend. Many of the little nooks and crannies I wanted to tuck mine through simply wouldn't fit, so I had to feed it through the steering column. I'm going to be putting it under the arch of my dash but need stronger double-sided tape first. Right now it's just wedged in the steering column and locked in place. iPhone and USB cables are routed to the glove box and from there up the center pillar to a ProFit mount to the right of the HU. I'll upload more pics later, but it's getting dark and all I have is my iPhone camera right now.

    INTERFACE/INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
    First impressions are extremely good with the 8400. Power on time is about as short as it was with the stock HU and controls are simple enough. You can make things simpler by simply using the included remote instead of the touch screen if that is your preference. Menus are easy to navigate and the only lag I noticed was when switching in and out of Advanced App Mode or navigating folders on the iPod. I was pleased with the fact I could search by letter instead of having to endlessly scroll. Album art loaded quickly and was displayed clear enough to be legible. Even flat the SQ was a tremendous leap over stock (I chalk that up to the internal amplifier).

    AUTO EQ
    Now here's where things start to get hairy. The Auto EQ is VERY picky of its external environment. If you live on a busy street, good luck getting low end to come through when you run the Auto EQ. This is a setting best run in a quiet parking garage or off the main roads. To access this (in case you're having difficulty), you must hold PWR/SOURCE until the unit displays OFF, then press settings and you'll be able to select the Auto EQ. The manual states a proprietary mic is required to calibrate. I happened to have the exact model from my home amplifier so I didn't need to get another. You place the microphone over the driver's side headrest (where your ears would be), plug it in behind the faceplate (it will slide down automatically when you enable Auto EQ Adjustment) and press START on the screen. Now you conveniently get 10 seconds to GTFO of the car before your car starts blasting pink noise. Please do this. It's not worth premature hearing loss and the pink noise will be loud. 5-10 minutes later, the HU will tell you it's safe to come back inside, unplug the mic, and enjoy your system.
    I was pleasantly surprised with the additional improvement in SQ as the sound stage was lifted much closer to ear level. Where I was previously able to hear way too much outside my car, even at moderate volume, I could no longer hear my wife and friend less than three feet away from the car. Across the frequency range I could hear new elements in music, from additional vocals on Knife Party's "Rage Valley" (Rage Valley EP) to punchier drums on QOTSA's "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" (Rated R) to timpani sections in Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" (courtesy of the McIntosh test disc). This is a step I feel should not be neglected unless you intend to run your EQ off an external EQ or sound processor.

    ADVANCED APP MODE
    This was the swing vote between my decision of the lower-level Pioneer Double-DINs and the 8400. I heavily use navigation and other mobile-friendly apps while on the road and was very excited to discover these features in a sub-$1K non-nav HU. Here's the catch: if you run this HU as intended by Pioneer, you need to engage, disengage, then re-engage your parking brake before you can make any inputs to a nav app. I was able to circumvent this through the use of a parking brake bypass. I know there's a stigma behind these and they're supposed to be for display/show use, but I see little point in having access to my nav apps but no input while moving. If my passenger needs to input an address, then what? I have to pull over? No thanks. That being said, use of a bypass should NEVER be used as a means to display movies or games while driving.
    Rant aside, through the use of a PB bypass and AppRadio Extensions (requires a jailbroken iDevice), I now have freedom of choice when it comes to nav apps *cough*iOS6 Maps*cough*. This would not be a possibility with a HU that came with pre-installed nav.

    FIRST CONCLUSIONS
    So far, I have managed to use a couple nav apps, two iDevices, a couple CDs, ran Auto EQ a few times, and played around with switching apps in AAM. I am very impressed with what I've seen so far on this unit and would confidently recommend it to buyers interested in a way to better integrate their iPhone to their driving experience or even those who have no intention of every owning one but are looking at a solid multi-media HU.
    I will provide more feedback as I spend more time on the road with my 8400.

    P.S. If you are an iPhone 5 owner, STEER CLEAR. I have not personally tested this, but from what I've heard the Lightning port for the new iPhones does not support any video out which means Advanced App Mode is useless. If you have more insight to this, please place it in this thread.







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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Forgot to mention in the main body, I did manage to make and receive a few phone calls while on the road. Call quality was strong and the person on the other end of the phone said I sounded like I was holding the phone to my ear despite the placement of the mic in the steering column. Thumbs up on this one.




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Was you able to get turn by turn direction with maps ?
    Have you try steaming pandora or Netflix on the unit?




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Pandora works without a hitch.

    Didn't try Netflix, but YouTube works.

    Maps TBT only works on iOS6 and I'm on 5.1.1 so can't test that. I have used Waze successfully and my music fades out when Waze is speaking turn directions.




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Does waze Notify u off cops and etc. on the unit ?
    Are you able to run waze and a second source at the same time?




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    I've been using Waze with CarMediaPlay without issues. Since the display mirrors with everything in AAM you get all notifications. If you jailbreak and use Appradio Extensions, you also get text and email notifications. Let me just say Mike DeCaro is a genius. Look on avic411 for more details. App is free so you have nothing to lose.




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Am running iOS 6
    I heard there is a bad lag switching sounds back and forth on iPod ?




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Didn't notice a lag but today was the first day playing around with things. I'm using a 4th gen iPod Touch with all my audiophile WAV loaded (mostly test discs and EQ) and had no problem switching on that. Only lag I saw there was when I was navigating the folder system.




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    What cable are you using to connect iPhone ? What apps you recommend to get? Am not jailbroken




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    I used an eBay Chinese replica of the CD-IU201s. 20 bucks instead of the retail 100 and works perfect. If you install the AppRadio app on your iPhone it'll show you the compatible apps. Of those, I'd get CarMediaPlay, Waze, BestParking, Pandora, Inrix, and Mixtrax (only if you listen to electronic music, otherwise skip). There's supposed to be 30-some-odd apps that are compatible with AAM, but these are the only ones worth your time. You can only see three apps at a time on the AAM screen so the less you have, the easier it is to navigate.




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Cool plan on picking this headunit up in next day or two I bielive it comes with the IU201s




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Unless it's bundled, you get the USB extension cord, not the 201S. Hopefully it does, but if it doesn't there's always eBay. I'll link you to a sale:

    NEW Pioneer AVH-P8400BH CD-IU201S CDIU201S USB Adapter Cable for iPod iPhone | eBay

    Same seller I bought mine from. Item was shipped within 12 hours and received in less than a week and a half. From China? That's impressive.




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Send me link for the bypass too plz ?
    Do you have rear monitors




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    Don't have rear monitors. Son is only 4 years old right now so I don't really need rear seat entertainment right now.

    For the bypass, you have two options. You can get a PAC TR7 which is programmable or a MicroBypass which comes pre-programmed and is considerably smaller. Space being a concern, I went with the MicroBypass. Here's an Amazon link to the MicroBypass (TR7 is not being shipped right now due to quality control concerns):

    Parking Brake Override Bypass Fully Automatic Video in Motion Pioneer Custom for AVH-P8400BH Better then PAC TR7 : Amazon.com : Automotive

    The only thing that could mess up the MicroBypass would be a software update for the HU so if that's a concern, just don't update the HU.




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    Re: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH

    I love this unit!!!



    CA REFS: themommyvan DECADO2, PATH2SPL, NEVERENUFFBASS, xhilr8n, jdc753, Racerx250, Zxcvtypo, hc3_cuz, wong05tsx, JK_AUDIO, Supergumby5000, Ken448,mojobass, craigzter, GMOORE, MitchZ, dumple, djman37,Thewes,Team MAF, Dragnix, and others

    ROE REFS: Stoker_41, xhilr8n, blackdragonx118

    Feed back Thread as a buyer trader:http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showth...ght=KINGDELL91
    Feed back Thread Seller:http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showth...20#post3761820
    BUILD LOG http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=303112

    Quote Originally Posted by bones22 View Post
    this thread should get a lot of attention over the title.

    compared to the jackhammer that thing should be called a tack hammer

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