Kenwood or eclipse/alpine


Bronze Member
Username: Borked

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jul-05
I'm putting together a system, for my 05 tacoma. I don't have the dollars to go top end. So for a mediocore system, personally I think the kenwood X-589 does perfect, high volt preamp and 24bit dac, mp3 playback, cdr/cdrw. Gives good specs. However I've read that nothing really compares to the quality of an alpine or eclipse. My question is, if i'm not putting some serious dough behind the rest of the components having a real good head unit wont make that much of a difference, right? I have 2 12" AW121T subs, A8000T amp, so far. I'm thinking some polk audio or infinity components for the rest.

Thanks for any input

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

Post Number: 1222
Registered: Apr-05
Rule out Kenwood unless you aren't looking for reliability.

Alpine or Eclipse would, of course, be better choices. Any specific models you're looking into?

Bronze Member
Username: Borked

Post Number: 15
Registered: Jul-05
Not really, The CD5444 by eclipse really grabs my attention especially at the prices I see on ebay(about $200 shipped), seems to have everything I want. Also the Alpine CDA-9835 looks good too with good specs.

I just thought since my components wouldnt be top grade I couldnt appreciate the difference in SQ from kenwood to eclipse. I do some computer consulting work for a Kicker rep who says he can get me Alpine at dealer cost, but I dunno dealer cost is still prolly around $250 for a CDA-9835.

Silver Member
Username: Jaackdeth

United States

Post Number: 301
Registered: Sep-04
You aren't going to find one cheaper(9835) they go for 3 on ebay used!

Bronze Member
Username: Squanto

No, No Usa

Post Number: 63
Registered: Aug-04
Alpine, Eclipse, Pioneer, Panasonic... all reputable brands. Kenwood isnt the WORST brand, but not the best. It might work out, but shady brands tend to not last long at all.

I have Infinity Reference speakers and they are great for the money I spent, I'd definately recommend them.
I also have for sale a Pioneer Premier DEH-P760MP for $120 plus shipping on ebay. I'm really surprised nobody's bid on it yet, I bought it new for $320. Ask around, it's a great head unit, and mine was barely used.

If you're not interested in that particular unit, I'd recommend alpine or pioneer. I have a few friends who have all had great experiences from Alpine, and I have great experience with Pioneer.

Bronze Member
Username: Borked

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jul-05
how about the SOUND quality coming from the kenwood, so far ive been told the build quality is bad. So they throw together good components give ya a good sound but manufactured all cheaply so it falls apart? thats the story im getting about kenwood. im really lookin to spend a max of $200

Bronze Member
Username: Gpz1100

Post Number: 41
Registered: Jul-05
My own 2 cents about kenwood.

I started out with an alpine 9847. Very basic mp3 player with rca outs. My gripe with it was lack of dimming for the display. The buttons dimmed, but the entire display did not.. Drove me nuts driving at night.

This unit went back and I got a kenwood kdc-7028. This was another entry level unit which worked relatively well for the functions it had.

I was still not satisfied. I wanted more audio options to play with, DTA, a better eq, etc.

I upgraded to a kdc-mp828. This unit is similar to the excelon series 889 model except for a few minor (very minor differences).

It had a bunch of audio options to play with alright, dta, 4 band parametric eq, different curves for front/rear speakers, and some other goodies.

My biggest gripe with this unit is when you make ANY change to the audio settings other than sub level, balance, and fader, it cuts the audio for an instant. Makes telling settings apart impossible.

My 30 days on this unit are coming up soon, and it's going back as well.

After much research, I decided to go with a pioneer 860 model. I've played to some extent with this unit at the store, and have read the manual serveral times to be familiar with what exactly this unit can offer. Hopefully it'll be the last :-)


Bronze Member
Username: Xdrummer03


Post Number: 79
Registered: Jul-05
Its best to do research on products for purchasing them.Kinda like a buying a car.Less time and hassle that way.

Bronze Member
Username: Gpz1100

Post Number: 42
Registered: Jul-05
Drummer, you're absolutely correct.

I've been out of the car audio scene for over a decade. Lots of things have changed since I last installed a stereo in the early 90's.

For me it was a matter of figuring out what is out there, then what I like. Only way to do so is through hands on experience.

You get an idea from reading various forums. Writing ability is not a forte of many who write however, so extracting the useful info from the trash becomes a task.

After 3 or 4 HU's, I have a pretty good idea of what I want/like. Some people are less picky than others, so quirks that bother me may be just fine with someone else.

I dread the day I have to buy a new car:-) I'l probably end up renting several diff cars for a few days to find something that suits me.

Bronze Member
Username: Audioguy22

Post Number: 100
Registered: Jul-05
I've heard the brands you spoke of and I feel the best HU for the money go's to the Pioneer 860(under $500. class). I had an Alpine
9815 and a 9813(both with bass engine pro(6 DSP's) and the Pioneer puts those Alpines to shame!

Bronze Member
Username: Borked

Post Number: 17
Registered: Jul-05
really i dont care the brand, I want good sound quality, mp3, etc.. but mainly I want to be able to control as much as I can. Like control the front/rear right/left independently and subwoofer all independently etc.. Does anyone know if the kenwood x589 does that? if not Im looking at the cda-9835 by alpine if i can get it at a good price
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