I'm just wondering how important is the quality of a headunit in a system? Right now I have the Pioneer-4600 which I like because it has lots of customizing options and allows mp3/wma playback. But I'm thinking about purchasing an Alpline amp (because I heard they were good) in the future, and was wondering if I should really go through the trouble of purchasing an Alpline headunit to replace the pioneer before expanding by system (i could always do so afterwards right). I appreciate any helpful feedback. Thanks.
Pioneer(premier) makes some of the best head units, i wouldnt bother getting an alpine to match your amp. i have a pioneer 5500 with mp3 playback, a ppi amp, and infinity subs. so it makes no difference. i would stick with the pioneer, they make excellent HU. I've never had a problem with mine. hope this helps
Alpines amps are good, not top of the line. I'd put them on par with MTX, Rockford Fosgate, mid-level line, good for the money type of stuff.
As far as the head units, Eclipse, Alpine, Pioneer, and also Clarion's Proaudio line are all very good. Like said above, the main difference in those are the features offered, tuning, ergonomics, Eclipse and Premier offer 24 bit DACs, preout strengths are different, etc.