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 help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!

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moldymac
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptySat Jun 26, 2010 8:34 pm

Is there anything else you need for a pioneer to use the factory steering wheel controls? Losing those is the only reason why I never bothered to replace the radio.
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sburch23
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Jun 28, 2010 8:04 pm

Get an adapter from PAC to interface your steering wheel controls to the Pioneer head unit.
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 4:04 pm

Where are you Derek? I have questions for you!

My current Pioneer that I've loved for the most part and had in three cars and one moderate accident has failed. The motorized face is stuck which pretty much ruins it.

I've been looking around at everything out right now, kinda looking more at double dins, and although this Kenwood http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DPX503/Kenwood-DPX503.html?tp=5684 really sucked me in, It has some considerable drawbacks and I'm 98% certain I'm going to go with this. http://www.crutchfield.com/p_130P8000BT/Pioneer-FH-P8000BT.html?tp=5684 I continue to scare myself with my evolving taste in car modification... Back in the day, I would never have taken a second look at a radio that didn't fold out and have crazy graphic screensavers but functionally, this thing has it all.

I think Derek had the same one. Anyone else use this head unit before? I'm used to Pioneers so I don't think I'll have trouble using it but I want to know if the ipod control is actually decent or stupid like my current Pioneer. Also I saw somewhere, you can change a setting to use the ipod for control instead of the head unit which I'd like to confirm.
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Hometown Hero
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 11:47 am

I put that exact Pioneer deck into my Alero that I sold to my GF. It wasn't bad, I did get a ton of compliments on how "factory" it looked, but waaaay sweeter. I just got it becuz it was cheap and it saved me buying all those pesky adapter kits that kinda ruin the fit and finish of any head unit. I ran just the front 2 RF4x6's and a set of RF 1" tweeters off it and the power seemed adequate, with relatively little distortion, the rest was all run on amps.

The pre-out voltage was kinda a let down but thats just because I went from a Rockford Deck with 9V pre outs to a pioneer with maybe 5V if its even that high I would be surprised, I would have to look. I do know pioneer doesn't offer anything with 9V pre-outs (@ least not then anyways) I did ask about 1 with a higher pre-out voltage before buying this.

All in all, the Pioneer is a pretty good starter deck and I think over time will stand up. No fancy dispays to cause hassle, no motorized faces, no detachable garbage, just an all around no frills deck. Good buy if your just lookin for the basics and something durable. I guess mines not exactly the same I bought the Premier (pioneer) I guess they call that their better line?
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptySun Aug 01, 2010 6:35 pm

Hometown Hero wrote:
All in all, the Pioneer is a pretty good starter deck and I think over time will stand up. No fancy dispays to cause hassle, no motorized faces, no detachable garbage, just an all around no frills deck. Good buy if your just lookin for the basics and something durable. I guess mines not exactly the same I bought the Premier (pioneer) I guess they call that their better line?

I did some research on Premier versus Pioneer mostly because it always puzzeled me what the difference was. Traditionally, the Premiers would often have an added feature or better sound processor than the corresponding Pioneer model. My understanding is that lately they've been the same thing with a better warranty on the Premiers. All the internal technology is identical.

As far as the preout voltage, I guess I should be fine since I've been using a Pioneer already. In my setup, those preouts are everything. All my speakers and subs obviously, are powered by external amps. As far as that being a concern, whats wrong with just turning the gains up higher on the amps to compensate for the lower voltage signal? noise? efficiency?
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Hometown Hero
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyTue Aug 03, 2010 4:22 pm

Well all high preout voltage decks i have ever owned or seen were not internally amplified decks. The first 1 I owned was a Pioneer P1 back about 18 years ago that was the best money could buy. Then I later on bought my favorite to date. It was the Rockford Fosgate RFX 9420, that RF deck was an absolute beast, and after changing from an RFX 9200, to the RFX 9420 I honestly lost all respect for any headunit with a meager preout voltage.

Trust me man, when you hear the difference between a 9v and a 5V headunit in your system (if you haven't already) you'll know exactly where I am coming from.
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VegasScott
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PostSubject: Double Din stereo & nav?   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Dec 27, 2010 3:07 am

I haven't messed with aftermarket stereos in a long time. I haven't needed to, or wasn't allowed to due to company leased vehicles that I was driving. I'm considering an update to my 98 riv's stereo system. Keep in mind I'm past the need for rollin' pimp style with "20s and lows" (a late 80s hertz reference and a song). But, I essentially live out of my vehicle during the work week. I'm not looking to recreate a club in my car, but i'd like to update the look of the dash by replacing the stock head unit.

Not many of us use cassettes anymore, and even cds are starting to phase out with the prevelance of mp3 players. I thought a nice touch screen radio with navigation and steering wheel interface would be awesome! I did some looking on ebay and saw some things I thought might work. But before spending my money, I thought I might ask you guys if youkve done such a thing and what you liked about the upgrade, what you didn't , and any issues you ran into while installing the new unit.

I think this one upgrade would seriously update the look of the dash and really add some modern creature comforts as well as sophistication to the car.

VegasScott
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VegasScott
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Dec 27, 2010 8:51 pm

I read the thread on double din installs which was very helpful in regard to install technique, especially the PAC stuff for steering wheel controls. But I was hoping to find some suggestions from Riv owners that have installed something like what I'm looking for and could recommend a brand and model. I'll probably search some audiofile websites to see what others like.

VegasScott
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VegasScott
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptySat Jan 01, 2011 1:40 am

Have any of you guys tried any of these chinese ebay nav units? I can probably guess the responses I'm going to get, but the price is soooo cheap! rolleyes

ebay link for double din navs

I'm not sure where to start shopping. I know crutchfield from my earlier days, but when you go there and enter your year, make, and model, their system says they have nothing for our cars.

I'd love to find a site that would allow me to shop for the following features, and then give me a list of units to choose from.
-Satelite Radio
-Nav
-DVD
-MP3
-bluetooth phone and music
-tv input (with digital tuner for hi-def)
-rear view camera (input)

Do any of you know if such a beast exists in a brand name unit?

THANKS!

VegasScott
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bigdave
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptySat Jan 01, 2011 3:25 am

Check out millionbuy.com
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sburch23
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptySat Jan 01, 2011 11:15 am

The following are the units that I have been comparing that have the features that you are looking for.

Kenwood DNX-9960 http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Car_Entertainment/eXcelon/Mobile_Video_n_Navigation/DNX9960

Pioneer AVIC-X920BT
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/GPS-Navigation/AVIC-X920BT

Alpine INA-900
http://www.alpine-usa.com/product/view/ina-w900bt/


As they are all expensive (~$1,000) I have only been looking so far. They allow SWC, iPod connections, Bluetooth, as well as Sirius/XM radio. I used to travel 1000 miles a week and can appreciate your need to have a nice system that is easy to use. There is more to a system that just the head unit. See my signature for the other components in my system.

My experience with a lot of Chinese stuff is that they achieve a low price point not only with low labor cost but also poor quality materials. Also stay away from the Alpine "Dock and Roll" units. A lot of the installers that I have talked to had a lot of problems with returns with those units. Their other stuff is fine.





Last edited by sburch23 on Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptySat Jan 01, 2011 12:36 pm

VegasScott wrote:
Have any of you guys tried any of these chinese ebay nav units? I can probably guess the responses I'm going to get, but the price is soooo cheap! rolleyes

ebay link for double din navs

I'm not sure where to start shopping. I know crutchfield from my earlier days, but when you go there and enter your year, make, and model, their system says they have nothing for our cars.

I'd love to find a site that would allow me to shop for the following features, and then give me a list of units to choose from.
-Satelite Radio
-Nav
-DVD
-MP3
-bluetooth phone and music
-tv input (with digital tuner for hi-def)
-rear view camera (input)

Do any of you know if such a beast exists in a brand name unit?

THANKS!

VegasScott

You have to phone Crutchfield and talk to an advisor to find out the units that fit our cars so you know what the trade-offs are. Crutchfield has very, very high standards for function. So for instance if there is a unit that will physically fit but won't interface with the OE steering wheel controls, they won't list it as fitting on their web site but the advisors will know which units fit and tell you what the trade-offs are. For instance, most aftermarket radios that fit the RIv opening require that you cut out a hidden part of the dash. In Crutchfield's perspective, that's a no-fit. I mean, again, the advisors will know and tell you but the web site will say No. Another instance: for many radios an adapter can be purchased that will make a radio work with the steering wheel controls. For others it cannot. If I am not mistaken, you actually could simply disassemble the steering wheel (with care concerning the air bag) and remove the controls. You can talk about that with the Crutchfield advisor. But again given their standards, there's no way they'll just post on the web site "it fits and works if you take the controls off the steering wheel." With some models of GM cars (late '90s Sunfire/Cavalier for instance) there are other systems embedded in the radio so it's not that simple, you end up putting a long cable on the OE radio and keeping it in the trunk or some such so the car will run.

As few of our model RIvs that were sold, it actually makes a lot of sense that they would program the web site to tell you "nothing fits." We like our Rivs but when they were being made they were not all that sought after . For instance, in 1995 model year 41,422 Rivs were sold -- almost as many as for the remaining model years combined. That's not that many cars. For the Cavalier, for instance, GM sold 151,669 in 1995. Over the Cavalier's 25 year run they sold well over a million of them. So for an aftermarket seller of anything--radios, headlights, or other things that aficionados and tuners like to bolt onto their cars--the Riv does not offer, so to speak, a large customer base. As a group, however, we *can* organize ourselves for "group buys" of such things and if enough people are interested that will work. Absent a group buy, it's not realistic unless it is a mod that fits and works across many car models -- some of the SC3800 engine mods fall into this category.

As for your Chinese Nav/Double Din radio - the car market in the pacific rim is growing rapidly, and if it has not already eclipsed the north american market it soon will & there will be no turning back. (wars are fought with bullets, but civilizations are built with babies... and they have a lot more people adn babies than we). That radio is probably primarily intended for people having one or another of the FAW, Maruti, Suzuki, or other cars for that market with double-din openings in the dash who want to upgrade. Commercially speaking in terms of sheer number of units it will soon (if not already) make more sense to design and engineer aftermarket upgrades primarily for that market instead of primarily this one, on a global basis, unless you're already deep in this (north american) market and you want to keep share. What I don't know is, how many cars of one make or another have to have been sold before it makes sense to make and sell an accessroy such as a custom projector headlight or a radio? I also don't know how many of the "aftermarket" radio makers are making OEM radios for the car makers. Any of you have any idea?

Gotta run.

Albertj


PS: it would be instructive for Americans to look at the household and automotive habits and preferences of Europeans for ideas, as the economics of living in the US will, I suspect, become much more similar to the economics of living in western Europe very rapidly. Should you ever plan to buy a brand-new car? Where do you plan to live when you are 75 years old? ...think about it.


Last edited by albertj on Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Kenwood stereo   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Jan 03, 2011 8:45 pm

what do you guys think of this one? $80 on sale from crutchfield and another $20 for the wireing harness
help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 H113MP245-f_mt
Kenwood KDC-MP245
CD receiver
: •MP3/WMA playback•front auxiliary input
•4-channel rear preamp outputs
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IBx1
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Jan 03, 2011 8:49 pm

I just bought one of these for my Si: the Pioneer DEH-3200UB. You can change the lights from red to green, which would go better with the Riv:

help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 Deh3200ub_main_gallery
help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 1283677812-92

Haven't installed it yet, but it does everything I'd need it to and you can get these on Amazon for $90. Supposed to be very good quality, definitely better than Sony. I know I was looking at a Kenwood for the Riv though, before the CD player started working again. Plus, you can get the wiring harnesses for less than $10 shipped on Amazon so it comes out to the same price overall.
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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Jan 03, 2011 9:20 pm

oh nice...i know that pioneer makes good stuff. and the kenwood red and blue background was kinda a turn off. but green makes alot of sense. having a bunch of different colored gauges looks ghetto!
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IBx1
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Jan 03, 2011 10:03 pm

Glad I could help! I'll let you know how the radio sounds; I'll test it out while I'm painting my center console hopefully sometime Wednesday. UPS didn't bother to deliver the radio today, for whatever reason.
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IBx1
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyTue Jan 04, 2011 8:15 pm

The radio makes the stock speakers sound 3X better than the stock head unit! I took my time and soldered the wiring harnesses together, then wrapped the connections with electrical tape so there's absolutely no interference.

The radio interface takes a little getting used to, since the knob is also a 4-way directional switch, but it's real slick. I'm starting paint on my center console tomorrow so no installed pics yet, but it's a very clean design that goes well with a lot of interiors.
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VegasScott
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyTue Jan 04, 2011 11:20 pm

You are right Scott, at $1000 entry point, I'm just looking too! happy

Ah who knows, if I can get a warranty for a year on one of those ebay cheap chinese pieces of crap, I may roll the dice on one. After all I am from Vegas! happy

VegasScott
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VegasScott
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Nov 28, 2011 3:31 pm

I thought I'd blow the dust off this old thread too...

A few months ago, I looked into the double din style nav/dvd/cd units I refered to previously in this thread. I spoke directly to an installer who was familiar with our cars. He said that none of the slide out face units will work on our rivs because of the trim ring we have in front of the factory stereo.

What I did was buy the Onyx XMSirius satellite radio. I put the antenna over the top of the rear window, ran the antenna wire under the seal, around the window, through the trunk, under the plastic door sill, under the dash and out near the stereo. I put the radio reciever in the hole for the lights for the seat belts, and made it look presentable.

I spent $50 for the radio when it was on sale at Walmart a few months ago, and I found a deal online for haggling with SiriusXM for lowering their price to $78 for a year of service. I got my company to pay for that since I spend so much time on the road. All in all, I'm pretty happy.

As for GPS, all of our mobile phones do that. So why pay for it again? wink

VegasScott
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: help me pick a new head unit and speakers please!   help me pick a new head unit and speakers please! - Page 5 EmptyMon Nov 28, 2011 4:43 pm

turtleman wrote:
Where are you Derek? I have questions for you!

I'm here! What did you end up going with?

For some reason I missed a good portion of the recent discussions on this thread though. And my pictures are probably broken too. I am in the process of reloading anything I had on my me.com site to my flickr account. Will try to fix the pictures of my dash modifications etc.

-Derek
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