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    Quality of new head units on the market

    This is a great forum - lots of info on here.

    But some of what I have read on here has me concered I am about to buy a head unit of lesser quality than my old one.

    I have an Alpine 7915. It has just started to jump a bit when playing discs, so I figured it is time to repair or replace it. It is 19 years old so I cannot complain. From what I have read on here parts are hard to find so it may not be repairable.

    I have been told the 7915 was very good quality, and with my Focal splits and 8" Alpine subs, and a couple of amps I had very good sound.

    As my 7915 is so old, I was going to replace it with a CDA-117E.

    What do you think of the CDA-117E in comparison to my 7915? Will it sound as good?

    Any thoughts are appreciated, as I am concerned that a new head unit may not sound as good as my old one.

    Cheers,
    Shayne







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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    The CDA-117E may actually be an improvement. I know those old 79xx series Alpines are legendary, but the "7914/7915 were the first Alpine CD's to depart from analog preamp functions, and as such aren't as desirable as the 7903/7904 IMO. They used one rotary encoder for volume, bass/treble, balance and fader. They were 20-bit hybrid "Interpolative DAC", which was some combination of 1-bit and multi-bit". I found that on another site, but you get the picture.

    If you're not set on getting an Alpine, take a hard look at the Pioneer DEH-80PRS. It's currently a very highly favored unit in SQ.



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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    IMO the quality and perfromance of even the modestly priced head units has really come a long way. Everyone has their own theory (I have found forums where people believe that the original playstation is the absolute best thing to play CD's on???)

    The snobophile head units are priced through the roof IMO, but they exist if you absolutely have to have the very best, and you really do get a lot out of the low priced stuff.

    My best suggestion would be to get one with price/features a couple notches down from the "top of the line" I find those generally the best for price/performance. I would also strongly suggest you buy from a store with a good return policy that if you try it for 3 or 4 days and absolutely hate it you can swap it in for something you can live with.




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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    Check out the pioneer DEH-p8400 and DEH-p9400

    For about 200, they give you EVERYTHING you could want except t/a and active, the 80prs have both





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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    Ok, so my old unit is nothing special then?

    If that is the case then a good quality new unit should perform just as well. I have read about the Pioneer DEH-80PRS on here already, there was plenty of debate comparing it to the Alpine CDA117E.

    The top Pioneer would be nice, but others get mentioned on here as well.




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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    What functions do you want out of your headunit?




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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    SQ is way up, and BQ is way down. The best BQ HU I've ever owned was an Alpine, the best SQ HU's I've ever had are Pioneers.

    My new PRS80 has the best SQ and worst BQ. Thing is like 99% plastic.



    Quote Originally Posted by ShayneF View Post
    This is a great forum - lots of info on here.

    But some of what I have read on here has me concered I am about to buy a head unit of lesser quality than my old one.

    I have an Alpine 7915. It has just started to jump a bit when playing discs, so I figured it is time to repair or replace it. It is 19 years old so I cannot complain. From what I have read on here parts are hard to find so it may not be repairable.

    I have been told the 7915 was very good quality, and with my Focal splits and 8" Alpine subs, and a couple of amps I had very good sound.

    As my 7915 is so old, I was going to replace it with a CDA-117E.

    What do you think of the CDA-117E in comparison to my 7915? Will it sound as good?

    Any thoughts are appreciated, as I am concerned that a new head unit may not sound as good as my old one.

    Cheers,
    Shayne



    _____________________________

    HU= Pioneer 80PRS with HD full of Wav's
    Doors= PRS720 Active
    Subs= 2x 10" EarthQuakes
    Amps=CrossFire VR402,VR202, 2x VR401


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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    SQ is way up, and BQ is way down. The best BQ HU I've ever owned was an Alpine, the best SQ HU's I've ever had are Pioneers.

    My new PRS80 has the best SQ and worst BQ. Thing is like 99% plastic.



    Quote Originally Posted by ShayneF View Post
    This is a great forum - lots of info on here.

    But some of what I have read on here has me concered I am about to buy a head unit of lesser quality than my old one.

    I have an Alpine 7915. It has just started to jump a bit when playing discs, so I figured it is time to repair or replace it. It is 19 years old so I cannot complain. From what I have read on here parts are hard to find so it may not be repairable.

    I have been told the 7915 was very good quality, and with my Focal splits and 8" Alpine subs, and a couple of amps I had very good sound.

    As my 7915 is so old, I was going to replace it with a CDA-117E.

    What do you think of the CDA-117E in comparison to my 7915? Will it sound as good?

    Any thoughts are appreciated, as I am concerned that a new head unit may not sound as good as my old one.

    Cheers,
    Shayne



    _____________________________

    HU= Pioneer 80PRS with HD full of Wav's
    Doors= PRS720 Active
    Subs= 2x 10" EarthQuakes
    Amps=CrossFire VR402,VR202, 2x VR401


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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    I know what you mean about build quality. My old Alpine is VERY well built compared to the new stuff. Unlikley I will see that in a new unit it seems.

    As for features, I am very dull.

    I have no need for it to connect to my phone, or a USB stick, or for it to make coffee. So most of the stuff that they do now is not relevant to me. I just like to play CD's, and listed to the radio. My main priorities are:

    Sound quality
    Can connect to a CD changer to hold 6 discs or so
    Control over amps and subs. From what I have read on this forum HU's now have built in equalisers and sub controls. This would mean I could get rid of my old graphic equaliser that I use now. I find the equaliser very good for adjusting sound to equal out road noise etc.




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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    Alpine units had these options before. Not now though. CD changers are going away too. If you're not going to need the features that newer units have, finding an older unit with CD changer capability might be a good option.

    I myself am running a HU, CD changer, & processor from the late 90's. You don't have to go that far back as there are units that were made not too long ago that will do the trick. I had an Alpine CDA-9887 & a CDA-117. Both good units with CD changer capability.




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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    Looks like Pioneer do not have a CD changer to connect to that head unit anyway, except the top of the line model for $650.00. The other units note they only suit 2009 and some 2010 head units. The top model looks good though.

    XDV-P6 - Add a 6-Disc DVD/CD Changer to any System with the XDV-P6 | Pioneer Electronics USA

    The Alpine connects to stacker, and both can be had for a good price at the moment. Might be a good option, all things considered.




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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    Really like my Kenwood X995.



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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    I like my Kenwood x994, but I don't think it's compatible with CD changers. If you only need CD, radio, and cd changer compatibility.... I'd look for a solid used Alpine unit that's just not as old as yours. New Alpine units are worth imho, but their older stuff is gold. Alpine 7998 or 9813 would be my 2 suggestions. For some more modern ones, I'd check the 9887 or 9855.



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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    whitemax,

    I'm very interested to know what you think of the performance of your CDA-7949 as compared to the CDA-9887 and the CDA-117 that you previously used. I myself am in a similar position, as I have a bunch of mint old school Alpine gear (7949, 7909, 7390, S607.) I would like to use this gear, possibly the 7949 with the S607, but the convenience of USB and audio processing capabilities from the 80PRS is very temping. It's hard to get a opinion based on experience, so any input is appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by whitemax View Post
    Alpine units had these options before. Not now though. CD changers are going away too. If you're not going to need the features that newer units have, finding an older unit with CD changer capability might be a good option.

    I myself am running a HU, CD changer, & processor from the late 90's. You don't have to go that far back as there are units that were made not too long ago that will do the trick. I had an Alpine CDA-9887 & a CDA-117. Both good units with CD changer capability.




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    Re: Quality of new head units on the market

    While the CDA-9887 & CDA-117 are nice units, in my opinion, the combination of the CDA-7949 & the PXA-H600 processor can't be matched by them. I am speaking from just the sound that these units produce. I am using the optical outputs from the changer & headunit into the processor. The 9887 has more tuning options, but only via the x-over section. The processor only has a x-over for the subwoofer. This is not a big deal as I am using the x-over's built into the amps. They all use Burr Brown DAC's. The 9987 & 117 a 24Bit DAC, and the processor four 20Bit Sign Magnitude DAC's for the four main channels and two Regulated 1Bit DAC's for the subwoofer section. The processor also has a PEQ, but only four bands compared to five on the headunits. The nice thing is that it has four bands for both the front & rear.

    As for the convinience of using other sound sources. With my current setup, I can use my iPhone. It reads it as a cd changer, but I can skip, pause, fast forward, go back, and use the random feature. The only thing is that I have to change the playlist through the iPhone. For me it's not a big deal as I mainly listen to cd's. My little one likes listening to her songs on the phone. She's the one that changes the playlists when she is riding with me.

    One thing that is also very nice about the older setup is that it is very easy to use while driving. There is something to be said for that.




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