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Comparison Review: DNX8120 vs. AVIC-Z3 vs. AVIC-F90BT

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This is my decision. Ive been sold on the Z series for a couple of years, but bought an Eclipse instead and have not regretted it. But now I want a double din and Eclipse doesnt make a double din unit that I like as much as these. So I went and played with the 8120 and Z3 yesterday for a while. Ive never played with the F series, so I can only decide based on reviews:

 

Navigation:

 

Z: Features a decent zoomed in view. Outlines of buildings and some 3d buildings in driver view in most big cities. Low resolution seems to make it hard to read street names at certain zoom levels. Features a kinda cool dynamics processor, but doesnt do that much cool stuff. Has the smart route learning thing, which I know could be handy since the user is sometimes smarter than the nav system when it comes to finding routes. HDD Based.

 

8120: One word: Garmin. Works seamlessly and accurately. easy to read. UI is not as pretty as either pioneer and doesn't feature as many viewing options, but still easy to use for the most part. No dynamics processor, but does have an awesome GPS trip computer. Flash Based.

 

F: Seems to have many of the same options as the Z. Doesnt have the smart learning, but it should be something to get over. Especially for people that already have Nav systems. Also does not have vehicle dynamics processor. It does have a better resolution screen and looks like it has an elevation factor to its 3d nav screen. kinda cool. Also has 3d buildings as other goodies. Flash Based.

 

Advantage: 8120

 

DVD Playback:

 

Z: ...It works. Nothing special. It is harder to bypass than the Kenwood. 7" screen

 

8120: Again, nothing special, but can be bypassed simply. Plus, you can play movies from your ipod. Divx. 7" screen

 

F: Higher resolution screen. Seems to have to be bypassed like the Z series. Divx. 5.8" screen

 

Advantage: Push 8120 and F.

 

 

Audiophile:

 

Z: 3 band graphic EQ, 2 volt pre-outs. Sub control and crossover. About the same as a $130 pioneer.

 

8120: 15 band graphic EQ for front, back, and center. Digital Time Alignment. 5 volt pre-outs. Surround Sound settings. Lots of cool stuff all over!

 

F: 3 band parametric EQ, 4 volt pre-outs. A little bit better that the Zs other features, but nothing like the Premier name is known for. Really needs a Pro-Mode like the old 860mp and 960mp. (After writing this, I found a picture of the F90Bt that shows a 12 band EQ. I'll have to figure this one out. Pioneer's website says its 3 band.)

 

Advantage: 8120...by a lot.

 

 

Other Audio Sources (not externally controlled):

 

Z: Sirius, XM, ipod, HARD DRIVE LIBRARY!

 

8120: Sirius, XM, HD, ipod, SD card, USB

 

F: Sirius, XM, HD, ipod, SD card, USB

 

Advantage: Push 8120 and F.

 

 

User Interface and Ease of use:

 

Z: It looks great. Easy to read. Problem might be that there is too much stuff in too many menus. Nevertheless it looks great and has tons of features to control. Negative is that it has push button volume and small buttons. Has Customizable Wallpaper

 

8120: Doesn't look as pretty as the Pioneers, but it gets the job done. Also has push button volume and touchscreen volume with even smaller buttons. Has customizable wallpaper and Ipod album art

 

F: Prettiest looking UI and it is supposed to be 'less is more', which is the opposite of the Z. I cant go to in depth, cause Ive never played with it. Good is that it has rotary volume and bigger buttons. It has ipod album art, and I think has wallpaper.

 

Advantage: Z...only because I don't have any experience with the F to say it is better.

 

Bluetooth:

 

Z: Needs an option adapter.

 

8120: Built in.

 

F: Built in.

 

Advantage: Push 8120 and F.

 

Exclusive features:

 

Z: 10 GB Hard Drive

 

8120: Real audio options. Customizable control buttons (for garage opener, etc.), RDS

 

F: Can change backlight color of buttons. 2 year manufacturer warranty.

Advantage: Push Z and 8120.

 

Price (MSRP):

 

Z:$1800

 

8120: $1599

 

F: $1200

 

Advantage: F

 

 

Score:

Kenwood Excelon DNX 8120: 6

Pioneer Premier AVIC-F90BT: 4

Pioneer AVIC-Z3: 2

 

 

This is the best information I can give for my comparison of the 3. If anyone else wants to add something, please do. Hopefully this helps others as it has helped me. I think I'll be getting the Kenwood, but I really would like to put my hands on the F first.


FOR SALE:Kicker 350.4 = $140 shipped, Eclipse AVN7000 = $500 shipped, Eclipse XA1000= $120 shipped, Eclipse SP6500 = $120 shipped, Eclipse SW7200 = $120 for one,$200 for two shipped,

New Project: 2005 Corvette Z51: 19/20 OZ Superleggerra II Powdercoated Metallic Blackwith Metallic RedLip, Conti Extreme DW Tires, Z06 Widebody Conversion, Briiant Black Metallic Paint Job, Caravaggio Front Bumper, MCM Carbon Fiber Hood, Kooks Headers, Corsa Exhaust, Stoptech/Z06 Brakes, Bilstein Shocks,.....now onto the Interior and Stereo.

References: Ebay username: 'm48xhp', Bought from on CA.com: 'Daniel', 'pickup1'

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I just installed my 8120 and WOW. it is the real thing...havent messed around with it to much but straight out of the box it sounds amazing. better than my other 'tuned' kenwood excelon (older double din). get it. you wont regret it.... and its easy to bypass just solder the parking brake wire with the ground wire. the navigation is accurate within 10 ft as far as i have seen


Car: 2000 Toyota 4Runner

Alarm: Viper 5900 (Many accessories)

Tint: Double 5% all around; Windshield 30%

Head unit: Kenwood eXcelon DNX8120

Components: Boston Acoustic Z6's

Components Amp: Kicker zx850.4

Subwoofers: (2) 15" FI BL's

Subwoofers Amps: (2) Kicker zx1500.1's

Wiring: Knuconceptz (4 Runs of 0/1, (2 pos, 2 neg)

Sound Deadening: Raamat (125 sq ft)

Batteries: Kinetic HC1800; 2 Kinetic HC2400's

HO Alternator: Mean Green ~220 Amp

 

149.2 db's on TL, sealed, at the dash, bassrace

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I have the DNX7100 and I really love it. The iPod control is beautiful and quick. Shows video and album art from my 80gb classic video. My Altima has steering wheel controls and the Kenwood interface integrates them well with the 7100 pretty well. The nav is so dead on, it's scary. Garmin FTW!!

 

It sounds **** good on it's own, but with the bonuses that the 8120 gives on top of that, it definitely sounds like it's pretty much the total package. As mentioned above, the bypass is simple and allows on the fly navi input and changes without having to pull over and stop. My wife is real jealous cause she wishes her Lexus's nav system allowed her to do that.


DSC02599-1.jpg

 

Altima: Kenwood DNX7100/ 6.5" Quart comps/ US Amps 4300x + USA 600/

(1) 10" Autotek MX / Stinger expert RCA's & 1/0

(3 way fronts + more power soon)

 

200sx: Alpine 7995/ AudioControl DQX/ Quart 6.5" comps

2 US Amps USA 2000's & 1 4300x/ 2 DD 9915's (dual .7's) :veryhapp:

 

Refs: evan, Jared530, scoobydoo, hybridamp, beerdrnkr, lostdaytomorrow, jco1385, Grinder1989

More refs @ sr20forum.com under my user name wickedsr20.

EBay user name: creco9 --- EBay feedback: 100%

 

Burned by: six501, Mr. Coogi

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Op... did you make a decision yet?


Car: 2000 Toyota 4Runner

Alarm: Viper 5900 (Many accessories)

Tint: Double 5% all around; Windshield 30%

Head unit: Kenwood eXcelon DNX8120

Components: Boston Acoustic Z6's

Components Amp: Kicker zx850.4

Subwoofers: (2) 15" FI BL's

Subwoofers Amps: (2) Kicker zx1500.1's

Wiring: Knuconceptz (4 Runs of 0/1, (2 pos, 2 neg)

Sound Deadening: Raamat (125 sq ft)

Batteries: Kinetic HC1800; 2 Kinetic HC2400's

HO Alternator: Mean Green ~220 Amp

 

149.2 db's on TL, sealed, at the dash, bassrace

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Old thread but,

 

anybody any more opinions on the AVIC-Z3 vs. AVIC-F90BT?


REFS:

eatank,mikescanlon,BoominBeast,Pistonsfan70,90accordman,bizflawless,Mazdakid,Boyle465,LiquidClen,dman4486,

KickerSoItBump, SPY,1000101,infamous_e46

 

 

Bought-Sold-Traded

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Old thread but,

 

anybody any more opinions on the AVIC-Z3 vs. AVIC-F90BT?

 

I think the problem with the Z is that it is fairly dated at this point, up against flash-based nav units both with newer features and better nav software. Though granted the Kenwood DNX units are still using old-skool Garmin nav, it's still tried and true Garmin, which most people love. (Note that the DNX9140 has an all new Garmin software package, so it's unlike any of the other Kenwoods in the past but this is limited to this model only.)

 

One example of a Z misfeature is the BT. The BT module for the Z, IIRC does not allow for A2DP but rather only telephone features. However the BT module even for the D allowed for A2DP. The built-in BT in units like the F series similarly does A2DP being a modern unit. Though this isn't really a huge deal (A2DP audio quality sucks) it's just an example of the Z showing its age. Really Pio needs to update the Z or drop it completely (given the popularity of the F, I'd imagine the latter might soon occur).

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kenwood is 1299 on crutchfield

as low as 780 shipped for refurb.on ebay.


[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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i have the Kenwood 8120....and 2 Z2's in my vehicles...the sound and navigation is better on the 8120...but i really like the ability to record and store cd's in the hard drive of my Z2's...the navigation is ok ...but not the best...both units overall are fairly easy to use....


[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Current 2010 Louisiana USACi State Records :

 

Trunk 0-1000.................. 151.3

StreetBeat 2................... 145.6

Stock 1801-up.................153.8

SuperStock 1801-up..........154.2

Top three in 11 out of 26 power classes and Louisiana USACi Points Leader at 465

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I just won an auction for a used 8120 on Ebay. Got it for 800 shipped. I cannot wait to install it and give it my review.

 

Planned active setup:

 

KW DNX8120

KW X4R Amp

Pioneer TS-C720PRS

Second Skin deadening and Lux Pro liner

 

Sub: TBD

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