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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:40 pm
Posts: 541
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
I apologize if this post should be elsewhere, but I'm confounded by all the car deck choices out there and don't want to end up with something I regret buying. I've looked at Kenwoods, Sonys, Clarions, Pioneers, and Alpines and the more I look the more I get confused.

Here's what I'm looking for (to go into a pristine, like-new 1992 Volvo 240—a chick magnet if there ever was one):

1. good tuner
2. usb for ipod
3. mp3 capable so I can play mp3 files burned to CD
4. presets for punching in radio stations
5. intuitive operation (I don't want to be fiddling with the control while driving in rush hour traffic)
6. reliable electronics
7. understated looks, nothing too flashy and distracting, especially at night

My budget is $200-400 (mr big spender).

There is an after-market CD player (Sony) in the Volvo's dash already and I plan on keeping the speakers in the vehicle for now. My wife and I don't play music (mostly classical & jazz) very loudly in the car, and I'd like to live with a new unit for a while before deciding how/if to upgrade the 4 original speakers in the vehicle now.

I've done a search of CAM without much luck...also tried to find online sites that have reviews of these thing, but haven't yet found anything especially helpful.

I'd be very appreciate hearing CAM members' suggestions when it come to these things. Many thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:40 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Niagara Falls, ON, CA
I personally went with this unit:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/POCEN/ ... /FH-P800BT

It is double-DIN (this is the physical size of the unit), and your car may require a single-DIN unit, but the feature list on this deck is quite decent (I'm especially fond of the built-in Bluetooth handsfree). I paid $350 all taxes in (of course, installation would be extra), so something comparable should be roughly that cost.

Perhaps look into this unit if you need a single-DIN (although I'm not sure of its price):

http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/POCEN/ ... DEH-P610BT

Best of luck!!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:13 pm
Posts: 6434
Location: Fisher Branch, MB, CA
I bought an Alpine 9886 for $300 for my truck and I like the sound very much. Looks nice too.

http://signature.crutchfield.com/S-oNxF2Z9HqxS/s_500CDA9886/Alpine-CDA-9886.html


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:04 am
Posts: 191
Location: Guelph, ON, CA
Quote:
I bought an Alpine 9886 for $300 for my truck

I'll 2nd the Alpine.
Mine is older,about 3 years, but Alpines sound good, are reliable, have good FM reception (important since I live in the country) and BEST OF ALL allow you to control your iPod from the dash. Your iPod can live in your glove box or console connected to the deck by a cable that charges it and delivers good quality music to your head unit. You only have to remove the iPod to add or change the music on it. The proprietary cable comes with most Alpine models.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:39 am
Posts: 165
Location: Peterborough, ON, CA
I just bought a Pioneer dehp5000ub for $100 used and so far I love it. I haven't tried the tuner as I need an adapter for my car but so far:

- Sound is excellent. Everything is relative, and my OEM sucked really bad, but so far I would say I rate the sound a solid 8.
- Looks are very nice. It integrated really well into my car and has a nice simple, clean look that just really pleases me.
- Ipod control is simple and effective, nothing throwing me for a loop, all works as I expect it should.
- Setup was very simple - after I had everything soldered it took me maybe 15-20 min to install and that was my first time doing one.
- Didn't require a special cable to play ipod, standard usb - normal ipod cable works fine.


The one issue is shuffling songs off of a thumbdrive, hdd, or mp3 disc. If you are playing random and you skip a song it plays the next song in that folder. Pain in the but. Doesn't matter with Ipod as it's easy to work around (sort your songs randomly in the playlists you move to the ipod).

Overall i really like the unit and can recommend it. They sell for a pretty reasonable price new - i think Canadian tire has them for $220.

Personally, my next step is a carputer - I'm having fun in the design stage right now.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:59 am
Posts: 1882
Location: Caledonia, ON, CA
best sounding fm tuners are always pioneer.
for cd playback not many decks will give you great audio quality. Go into a store and see which deck they use to demo their really high end amps. Most will use a kenwood model that has the fewest bells and whistles but great d/a section. Most decks are all flash and features but only moderate digital playback. There is one Clarion model top line $1500 plus as well as a McIntosh or a Nakamichi that sound superb. But on a budget, the only deck to buy (i have been told) is a certain kenwood with the good burr brown d/a's. Sorry can't remember the model number. But I think the price was $400-$500.


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