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Old 21st January 2012, 07:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Default Head units, whats decent these days ?

Ok, so I'm in the market for a semi decent head unit.

Must haves; usb input, bluetooth, rotary volume knob, 2 x rca outputs, decent sound quality.

Single din preferred, but not a huge issue.

Brand doesn't matter, radio section unimportant, power output irrelevant.

Alrighty, hit me with some suggestions please...........
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Old 21st January 2012, 04:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2011
New Pioneer DEH-80PRS:
$420 MSRP (US not Au) (destined to be pegged somewhere around CDA-117 money when it's out for sale)
28-Bit Binary Floating-Point DSP and 3-Way Digital Network (WITHOUT a processor)
5V preouts
Burr-Brown 24-bit D/A Converters
Bluetooth, iPod direct,
L/R Independent 16-Band Digital Equalizer
Time Alignment
Wired Remote Input
SD/SDHC Memory Card Slot
Full Dot LCD Display (192 x 48 pixels, 3-line)
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Old 21st January 2012, 09:05 PM   #3
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looks/sounds interesting...
somehow i dont think were going to get it here (Aus) though.
No mention on the Au site.. Maybe in a years time when its obsolete

I've looked at most of the manu's sites, and i keep coming back to this jvc..

KD-R826BT Single DIN DC Unit with Dual USB, iPod, Front AUX, & Bluetooth | JVC Australia

TI/Burr-Brown 24-bit DAC
3-Band Parametric EQ
Bluetooth(R) Wireless Technology*1 (USB Bluetooth(R) adapter included)
Front/Rear Dual USB Ports (WAV/MP3/WMA/iPod & iPhone Audio)
HS-IVi Tuner
5.0V Line and Subwoofer Pre-Out Level
3 Gold-Plated RCA Pre-Out Terminals (Front + Rear + Subwoofer)
Front AUX-IN
Full Dot LCD

spossed to be $350, but have found it for $240..

next model up has time align and swaps the 3 band para eq for a 5 band fixed eq.
both things i dont really need.
ipood means nothing to me, id rather plug a straight usb memory stick in. (not an apple lover).

Only bought my current clarion (older model) as a cheap replacement for my deceased Nak cd350.
The clarion has the features i want/need, just the frequency response at the top end is absolute rubbish... i've had to cut the treble from 15k down 3db to try and tame it, yet it still wants to rip your ears off.

guess i just want a cheapy to do duty till i replace the car with something better.
orrrrrrrrrrrr if someone shows me a REALLY nice unit, i might be persuaded to spend up for a 'keeper' deck that goes into the next car.

I might even just put my TA25 in and run a 'portable' player into that.
thinking about the QA350 --> QA350--SD Card WAV High Fidelity Music Player

so many options....
I need to work out whether to spend the money now, or later.....
More i think about it, more I'm leaning towards the ta25 and qa350 combo.

only issue is no bluetooth, but i can get past that with an external device.

So thanks, i'll wait and see if anyone else comes up with suggestions..
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Old 23rd January 2012, 04:33 PM   #4
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KDC-BT61U would be my choice for a good but not overspecc'd stereo. Has variable HPF and LPF, both slope and point, manual TA-really worth playing with in car, better display than the JVC, rear USB so no wires/cr4p out the front of the stereo, 5 band paramtric EQ, Parrot bluetooth with separate mic.

External BT kits are a PITA if you wish to amplify your system (relays inside them burn up when amp power is used over HU power), the Keni is going for around 160 here atm (new model due soon) and by the time you've added a decent bluetooth kit to a cheapo stereo you'll arrive at a higher price.

RE cutting your tweets with the Clarion-where are they mounted? A car can make the sweetest sounding speakers sound rotten with early reflections/diffractions-what's withn an inch of your tweeters? 15K wavelength is 22.98mm so anything around that distance away (grill, windscreen?) can cause bloody awful reflections and make a 200 tweeter sound like a 2 POS!
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Old 23rd January 2012, 04:45 PM   #5
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the model purposed by the collegue above is a good choise! It has everything and it's a good device for it's money!
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Old 24th January 2012, 05:51 AM   #6
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Just trawling the kenwood aus site now, some interesting units...

the bluetooth, i have an external 'portable' unit if I need to...has no connecting to anything but a power lead to recharge the internal battery.

Door speakers (5") are up high near the very front of the doors, and the tweeters are in the top of dash, but are angled (slightly) away from horizontal, and toed in a touch.
windscreen is ~3" away from tweeters.
mids are about 4" from the tweeters.
Ive had two other head units in there, and with no other changes, have never had a treble issue.
a nak that everything died on (tuner and laser), replaced with a clarion 'touch' unit.
replaced that clarion with the current one as i just couldnt get comfortable with the 'touch' volume control, just didnt work in a car physically.

now to read the kw site.... see if anything really takes my fancy.

Thanks for your suggestions....
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Old 24th January 2012, 04:37 PM   #7
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Yeah, was never much of a Kenwood fan, but the last 3-4years their HUs have gotten a lot better.

If that's the case the KDC-6051U is the same without the bluetooth and about 30 cheaper in the UK-however for the 30 I'd go for the bluetooth model.

Ok, if nothing changed but the HU it must've been that-very odd though-I know the Japanese have more focus in their listening tastes towards the higher freq ranges over mid and bass-but have never had any issue with any stereo and I've sold them for the last 13 years!

Yes, the touch function on those was ropey, as was Alpine's "glide touch"-actual touch screen DVD systems are fantastic-much easier to use and menu systems that really work-but out of your budget
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Old 25th January 2012, 05:54 AM   #8
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I suspect the current deck must be faulty, never heard anything so disgusting on the highs in my life..

After perusing all the models etc, I just cannot find one that makes me want to spend money..
The killers are no wav support (seriously, it takes zero processing power, put it in), and menus that need a physics degree to use..
One or two come close, but then with the price they want, Id want it to be everything i want it to be, which it aint.

So, I have decided, I'm going to install my nak ta-25, and run a qls player into one of the naks aux inputs...
That'll give me the sound quality i want, the features i want (minus the bluetooth, I can live with that) and a simple front panel layout with the controls I actually need....

thanks for the help every one..
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Old 25th January 2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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Their are quite a few that will play WAV-if you want me to find some I'll put up some links, if not no worries
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Old 25th January 2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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you know how to tempt a man dont you

Sure why not, lets see what ya got

And, many many thanks for your time and help.
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