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Looking to buy all-in-one car stereo (cd/sirius/ipod) and need advice


#1 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:26 PM

want to buy an all-in-one cd unit for the car that is also Sirius satellite ready and ipod-compatible. here are a few i have been researching:

Alpine CDA-9856

Alpine CDA-9857

Panasonic MXE CQ-C7203U

I was also looking at a few cheaper Panasonic models. I wanted to know what everyone has and what they like/dislike about them.

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#2 RedvsBlue  

RedvsBlue

Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:35 PM

I'm buying the 9856 on Friday myself.

The other one I'm looking at is the Alpine 9852. Its $20 cheaper than the 9856 and doesn't seem to be missing that many features.

#3 pimpinc333   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   11381 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:52 PM

Any Alpine is good stuff.

#4 RedvsBlue  

RedvsBlue

Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:59 PM

Any Alpine is good stuff.

The biggest advantage with Alpine and an iPod compatible deck is that their connector cable is only $30 and most of the other companies charge $80 to $100 for their connector cable.

Its really nice for me because I'm looking to spend around $200 and I'll be putting most of the money into a quality deck instead of buying a crap deck and then spending $80-100 on the iPod connection.

#5 mtxbass1   This space for rent. CAGiversary!   11092 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 24 May 2006 - 06:30 PM

Alpine does make good stuff. If I was buying a regular deck, I'd go with them.

I'm torn between a Panasonic AVIC-N3 and Panasonic AVIC-Z1 myself. Alpine navigation units are a bit too much for me. I can get the Z1 for about $1524, so I'm leaning towards that one.



#6 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 24 May 2006 - 10:40 PM

The biggest advantage with Alpine and an iPod compatible deck is that their connector cable is only $30 and most of the other companies charge $80 to $100 for their connector cable.

Its really nice for me because I'm looking to spend around $200 and I'll be putting most of the money into a quality deck instead of buying a crap deck and then spending $80-100 on the iPod connection.



Plus with the 9857, there is a promotion that if you buy the unit you get the ipod connector cable for free. Granted the 9857 is like 350 as opposed to the 9856 which is 200, but it's a nice thing.

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#7 BeAt   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   82 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 24 May 2006 - 10:45 PM

this is the deck i just recently bought and i am completly satisfied with it i think its HD radio + ipod compatible


http://www.crutchfie...fp&I=130DEHP480

#8 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 25 May 2006 - 02:36 PM

ok, i think im gonna go with this:

Main unit
Alpine CDA-9857

Sirius tuner
SIR-ALP1



Not to sound dumb, but do i need an antenna? If so, what do i choose? Do i need anything else to install this?

Since i've never installed any kind of car audio before, what tools do i need?

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#9 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 25 May 2006 - 05:54 PM

also saw this that looked interesting:

Clarion ProAudio DXZ665MP

And a bunch of Kenwood ones too. Wow there are too many to choose from.

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#10 tornadomann   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1147 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

tornadomann

Posted 25 May 2006 - 06:53 PM

I believe an antenna is included with the tuner, it is necessary, or else you will get little or no signal at all.
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#11 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:00 PM

I believe an antenna is included with the tuner, it is necessary, or else you will get little or no signal at all.



lol, after i made the post i discovered that as well. while on Crutchfield i looked at the Tuner page closer and saw the antenna is included.

i also saw this unit, which includes a Sirius tuner and HD radio tuner both BUILT IN. all for $300 AR. is that too good to be true?

Kenwood Ez900HDS

edit: also includes a $30 prepaid Sirius service card

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#12 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 26 May 2006 - 06:01 PM

can anyone give a ranking as to what brands are best?

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#13 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 27 May 2006 - 02:37 PM

anybody?

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#14 GizmoGC   I love Cheese CAGiversary!   12382 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

Posted 28 May 2006 - 12:36 AM

I just got a Pioneer 6800 and an iPod interface...so far its awesome.

#15 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 28 May 2006 - 02:35 AM

cool, i keep hearing good things about Pioneer. So far, it seems that Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, and Panasonic are the best brands. Maybe even in that order.

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#16 mr ryles   Plays bowling CAGiversary!   14732 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Posted 28 May 2006 - 02:47 AM

alpine has the best quality IMO, but if you want power and quality go with Pioneer. I think Pioneer is the best when it come to decks.

I wanna thank all the televisions out there that raised me.


#17 mtxbass1   This space for rent. CAGiversary!   11092 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 28 May 2006 - 02:55 AM

cool, i keep hearing good things about Pioneer. So far, it seems that Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, and Panasonic are the best brands. Maybe even in that order.


Out of those brands, I'd rate them Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood, Panasonic. I've owned 3 kenwood decks over the years and all have developed problems. I've also owned a pioneer premier deck and it's been very good. I was going to go with pioneer again, until I really started looking hard at the navigation setups they have. Apparently the pioneers aren't all they are cracked up to be in these regards. I'm now looking at Eclipse or Alpine.

If you aren't going with navigation (which you aren't), I'd highly recommend Alpine or Pioneer.



#18 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 28 May 2006 - 03:09 AM

great advice guys...sounds like i should decide between Alpine and Pioneer.

i would assume that either company's deck would offer the same quality for Sirius, so that just leaves the issue of ipod support.

i know that Alpine's ipod connection is fantastic, in terms of quality ("Full speed" connection) and price ($30 for the cable and it is FREE if you buy the 9857 head unit - national promotion). so how is the ipod connection for Pioneer decks?

she loves her ipod so that is an important factor. forgot to mention it's a gift for the fiance.

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#19 Static X   Puddin' pops!!! CAGiversary!   548 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Posted 30 May 2006 - 02:58 AM

As an installer, Alpine is top shelf. The only thing that beats Alpine in terms of sheer SQ is Blaupunkt but they are ugly as hell and very expensive. Pioneer decks have a LOT of defectives. It's certainly not top of the line stuff anymore. Since it was stocked in WalMart and they started to make a cheap radio for every 20 dollar price point, I haven't been a fan. There is no comparison if you are looking for a deck that is SAT ready and IPOD capable. Alpine is the best choice in my opinion.
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#20 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 30 May 2006 - 02:07 PM

As an installer, Alpine is top shelf. The only thing that beats Alpine in terms of sheer SQ is Blaupunkt but they are ugly as hell and very expensive. Pioneer decks have a LOT of defectives. It's certainly not top of the line stuff anymore. Since it was stocked in WalMart and they started to make a cheap radio for every 20 dollar price point, I haven't been a fan. There is no comparison if you are looking for a deck that is SAT ready and IPOD capable. Alpine is the best choice in my opinion.



thanks alot for the advice. i have had my eye on the Alpine 9857 for as long as i've been looking into this gift, and even before i had done any research this is the unit i had been wanting the most.

thanks to you i have been reassured.

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#21 cognitive77   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   153 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

cognitive77

Posted 31 May 2006 - 02:29 AM

thanks alot for the advice. i have had my eye on the Alpine 9857 for as long as i've been looking into this gift, and even before i had done any research this is the unit i had been wanting the most.

thanks to you i have been reassured.



If you're looking for a HD device, and want great sound quality, don't go the iPod route. I just bought the Kenwood KDC-X590 for $260 and a 20GB External HD for $150. Have all my music and some space leftover, and saved money.

If you're running any component speakers, amps or subs, don't buy the Alpine. The iPod compatible Alpine decks are stripped down.

#22 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 31 May 2006 - 06:20 PM

If you're looking for a HD device, and want great sound quality, don't go the iPod route. I just bought the Kenwood KDC-X590 for $260 and a 20GB External HD for $150. Have all my music and some space leftover, and saved money.

If you're running any component speakers, amps or subs, don't buy the Alpine. The iPod compatible Alpine decks are stripped down.



that's great for you that you found a solution to save yourself some money, but in my case i want the ipod solution.

first, we already own an ipod. thus, going out and buying an external HDD is more expensive for me. if i do the ipod solution then i dont have to buy an HDD.

second, pertaining to Alpine quality, is that during the course of my product research i have found Alpine mentioned time and time again. i have found that when people mention the top few brands of car stereos, Alpine is always one of the ones mentioned. in fact many people recommend it as the top brand.

i realize that when you were referring to the ipod's sound quality you meant the fact that is a portable music player and therefore uses a compressed audio format. the thing about that is, i dont think it makes a difference or not. i have been reading many forum threads and articles in general that refer to the quality of compressed audio, and i have realized it doesnt really make a difference if it is compressed. one has to be an audio afficionado and have total peace and quiet to be able to sit their and pick apart a compressed song's quality, not the kind of person most are and not the type of environment one encounters while driving. im not saying that there is no difference technically speaking, but what i am asking is can the average person really notice a difference?

why should i not buy Alpine if i plan on expanding the system later and adding speakers and a sub? is there something wrong with Alpine in that regard? i even have noticed when comparing specs that i am left puzzled as to certain aspects of the unit. an example would be when i browse the Crutchfield website. all of the Alpine (specifically the 9857) specs are great, as good or better than other models from a different company. two specs prevent me from clicking Add to Cart...EQ Bands and Sound Shaping Type. it says "none" for EQ bands and "Bass Engine" for Sound Shaping Type. if i compare it to, say a Panasonic CQ-C8303U i see that the 8303 has 7 for EQ bands and SQ7 for Sound Shaping Type. i also notice the preamp voltage is a half unit higher on the Panasonic, though that probably means nothing. however, the Alpine has better FM sensitivity and better CD signal-to-noise ratio.

what does this all mean? feel free to answer all of my points. i dont mind, i know you are only trying to help.

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#23 Static X   Puddin' pops!!! CAGiversary!   548 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Posted 01 June 2006 - 12:39 AM

If you're running any component speakers, amps or subs, don't buy the Alpine. The iPod compatible Alpine decks are stripped down.



Bullshit. I have had an alp-9857 in my car when it first come out to demo the unit. I was running Blaupunkt Velocity components in the front and rear pushed off a Yzen ya-500 amp, 3 Blaupunkt Velocity 10"s being pushed off Yzen x-1500 and the SQ is great. The only thing that sounds better is my Blaupunkt San Francisco and Bremen head units, and that's only because you can fine tune them to the tightest levels with multchannel high band EQ's and center channel outs if you want to build a center speaker enclosure.

You don't need to worry about built in EQ unless you are an audiophile. If you are using mp3 and compressed formats, the EQ isn't going to make a difference in what you are going to hear. MP3 files will always sound a little muddier to the original CD source unless you tweak the tracks on the pc before you listen to them on a car stereo. I gather from your earlier post that wasn't what you wanted to do, so I rules out the built in EQ. If you want the best MP3 compatible deck with the most options possible, you will want to check out the Blaupunkt Bremen mp-74. That is the total package. Sub out, center out, aux in for ipod etc, 4 channel 27 band EQ and so many other features it will make you sick. It's just very expensive and most people hate the interface because it is very complicated. It's certainly NOT for your casual listener. I think you will be more than happy with the Alpine unit. Not a huge fan of their subs/interior speakers, but the head units are top quality.
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#24 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 01 June 2006 - 03:13 AM

awesome static x, i will definately check out those blaupunkt units before thinking of purchasing the alpine. problem is, i cant find stores online that sell them. can you mention a few, or are they primarily B&M?

what are the new and what are the best models?

i consider myself an A/V buff in general, though i might not need that much customization...im probably not that much of an audiophile. regardless, this is a gift so it doesnt matter what i am actually. :)

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#25 Static X   Puddin' pops!!! CAGiversary!   548 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Posted 01 June 2006 - 03:33 AM

If you want high end Blaupunkt you have to actually go to a certified dealer. They don't deal with online venders for a lot of their top end models, same with some newer companies like Yzen. (I would highly suggest you check them out if you are looking for amps. They do waaaay more than what they are rated for). The best Blaupunkt model you can get right now is still the Bremen MP74. That would do everything you are looking for. They have cheaper stuff, but you really need to have a max price range to get an idea of what you can afford.
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#26 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 01 June 2006 - 04:25 AM

i didnt even see the models you mentioned on Blaupunkt's own website. so i cant compare specs/features.

i hate to set a budget, as i hate to miss out on features or quality. if i had to put a number, i'd say maybe the price point of the Alpine 9857 (349). that's probably a bit more than i wanted to spend even.

how is blaupunkt's ipod connection and how much is it? is it as snappy as Alpine's?

she will still listen to cd's and terrestrial radio as well, so specs/features pertaining to those matter as well.

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#27 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 01 June 2006 - 04:33 AM

a few more things:

- i would like it to be satellite radio ready (and HD radio ready if possible)
- using their dealer locater i couldnt find one near me, perhaps ill try the yellow pages
- i do plan on replacing the factory speakers at some point, though it might have to wait til next year

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#28 Static X   Puddin' pops!!! CAGiversary!   548 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Posted 01 June 2006 - 06:20 AM

I seriously think you should stick with the alpine if that is the price you are looking to stay around. The Blaupunkt Bremen is around 550+ dollars and you won't find them online. It's hard enough to find them in stores, but here is a little bit about em. < http://www.gspr.com/blau/bremen.html >. I guess they are currently revamping their site for their 06' model stuff due out in July. I seriously don't think you will be disappointed in the Alpine line. They don't have many defectives and are just quality all around from entry stuff to their top of the line.
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#29 Link127   Dad gamer CAGiversary!   1136 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 01 June 2006 - 01:18 PM

The Blaupunkt Bremen is around 550+ dollars


:shock: :shock: :shock:

ok...so sounds like my decision has been made lol

i was told my a Crutchfield rep that Alpine and Panasonic had the best ipod connections. these two are "snappier" than connections for stereos by other companies. is this true?

regardless, i gave serious consideration to some Pany units. lets say the 8303 or 8803 for example. now perhaps i am looking into this the wrong way, but if you compare the Alpine 9857 to those two units, it seems the Alpine meets or beats the Pany's in every aspect but two. EQ Bands and Sound Shaping Type, as mentioned above.

EQ Bands / Sound Shaping Type

Alpine 9857: None / Bass Engine
Pany 8303: 7 / SQ7
Pany 8803: 9 / SQ9

can anyone explain?

since i plan on expanding her system later by adding speakers and a sub...is the alpine okay if it has only 2V for preamp voltage? or does that only matter if im putting in an amp?

and is there any way you could PM me Static with how to uncompress my songs? right now we use iTunes to store our music. we could change programs if it's easier.

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#30 Static X   Puddin' pops!!! CAGiversary!   548 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Posted 01 June 2006 - 08:30 PM

Double pm'ed ya by accident. Only need to the last pm.
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