I was originally looking to buy a Pioneer Premier DEH-P760MP. I need the triple RCA pre-outs but one of my amps only takes up to 4v inputs. I don't want to buy a line level attenuator(i wanna keep it kinda simple) so i was looking at the Pioneer. (it's going to cost me $235 plus shipping to get it.)
Today I saw a Nakamichi CD-400 online for $350 at acaraudio.com. It has triple 4v RCA's, and it has a 24-bit DAC, compared to the 1-bit DAC on the Pioneer.
I also am interested in the simple looks on the Nakamichi, it kind of looks like a factory head unit from what I have seen. The pioneer is pretty flashy with all the silver on it so I suppose that thieves will want to steal it if I forget to take the faceplate off.
However, it seems the Nakamichi is devoid of any and all "special" features. The site doesn't list it as MP3 compatible, and it doesn't have any special EQ options (beyond a simple 3 band one.) I want to know if the Nakamichi will fit my needs better than the Pioneer Premier.
My system, sans h/u, will look like this:
Infinity Kappa 60.5cs fronts Infinity Kappa 693.5i rears Powered by a US Acoustics USX-4065 running 65 watts to each channel Infinity Kappa Perfect 12.1 in a .88 cu ft. sealed box powered by a JBL BP600.1
I am going for SQL.
Is the Nakamichi a better choice for me? And is it worth the extra $125 or so? Thanks for any help....
The Nakamichi is a great head unit. While it does NOT play MP3's, it does have (as you said) a 24 bit digital to analog converter. This means that every sound wave is made up of 24 bits of information, rather than the 1 bit in the pioneer. That allows for a lot more detail to be expressed in your music. The CD-400 does have a few interesting options: It does have an internal amplifier so you don't have to run an external, but you can shut the internal amp off! This is good news if you are going to be running external amps as the Head unit will use the power for RCA transmision rather than powering the internal amp. Like many alpines, the CD-400 has a "display" button which turns off the display and everything else except the music. Again this allows the unit to give its power to RCAs rather than extra features and lights. The Nak also has an auxilliry input which can be used for anything you want (you can even change the readout on the screen to say what you have connected to it rather than "AUX" like say "DVD" or "MD" or "TV"). The sound difference between 24 bit and 1 bit is extreme, so if sound quality is what you want then the Nak is a great buy. But, if you want thousands of button and features (which only take away from the sound quality) than the Nak is not your best choice.
actually not true. people are so misled by media hype and advertising about DACs. a "24 bit" DAC is actually 16 bits to be accurate, with 8 bits overlap. The original source material is only 16 bits as well. You can't hear teh difference between a 24 bit DAC and a 1 bit DAC in a car anyway. You can't even hear 1% distortion from amplifiers in a car, and the speakers will produce more than the amplifiers will at that. There comes a point when you need to pay more attention to reality than what's on paper.