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So...I'm Finally getting back in the game.

 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11174
Registered: Aug-05
Recently (today), i had the last straw with my car's CD player (Pioneer 8600) and i took off the faceplate and nearly snapped the thing in two, then i slammed the faceplate into the garbage can and went and had some delicious Quiznos with my gf.

Myself and this CD player have quite some history, and i have a LOT of pent up rage against it considering i paid $450 for it brand new when it came out, then 3 years later i had it shipped off and paid $180 to have it fixed for a ribbon cable issue. Lately (within the last 2 years) the screen has lines that randomly run through it, the right track selection knob broke off (just the steel piece sticking out) and it has intermittent issues with ejecting the CD ( the gears that move the faceplate out will lock up and it won't move either way, and the CD will stop a quarter of the way and you have to physically pull it out) so I was literally a ticking time bomb when this thing started to malfunction.

You can probably understand my frustration, b/c i bought THE top of the line when this unit came out, the one above it had a different display, that's it. And i have since then invested a total of $630 into this malfunctioning/problem ridden piece of electronic equipment.

So, i am in the market for a HU, and knowing myself, i have spent most of the day researching the latest head units. lol

I am down to two models however, and would like some other people's opinions of which to buy and why.
I don't want the top of the line anymore, and i am not using a subwoofer, don't want one. Dont ask. I want Ipod compatibility, and i have narrowed it down to these two decks.

Alpine CDE-103BT

and

Apline iDA-X303

The main differences between these units is that the 103BT plays CD's and the X303 does not, it is strictly an Ipod player. The X303 however, does have the 24Bit DSP and my old unit has the same thing, and when it worked, sounded AMAZING, the 103 BT only has a 16Bit DSP.

So, is the tradeoff of not being able to play CD's worth the 24Bit DSP??
 

Silver Member
Username: Skdooley

Roanoke, VA Usa

Post Number: 761
Registered: Oct-09
Mmm, Quizno's. I think my favorite is their Peppercorn Steak, on rosemary bread I had a HU back in the day I spent a lot on and the ribbon cable had went bad on mine too. I couldn't even get my cd back out of it. After that ordeal I got a straight in and out cd player, no fold down face.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11177
Registered: Aug-05
I even like the fold-down face better than the motorized face. I understand that technology has come a long way, but fu#%in A, the more moving parts, the more that can go wrong. Nuff said.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5165
Registered: Apr-05
Yeah, good thing you didn't get the next model HU up at the time (the P9600MP), because those were/are notorious for faceplate ribbon cable/gear problems: the display moves every time you turn it on/off+when ejecting/inserting a CD. I completely agree that as cool as motorized faceplates are, they're bound to have problems (especially with the ribbon cable wearing down--they just aren't made for all of that flex/friction.).

Those Alpines seem like quite a step down from the Pioneer unit, though...but I guess on the other hand they're built really well.

Out of curiosity, have you looked at Clarion?

Oh yeah, good to see you around haha, I don't recall seeing you here for a while.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Rovin

1 15 = 152.5 DBs ...Trinidad & T...

Post Number: 16338
Registered: Jul-05
i bought my 860 around the same time as u & if i show u mine u wud say its less than a yr old

i try to avoid opening mine alot so i never had any ribbon issues or any issues with it ...only other deck i think i might ever replace it with is the 800prs

those new alpines look pretty nice so its up to to pick whichever model that has the features u wud really use ....
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11179
Registered: Aug-05
Well the thing is, I really just am not into car audio like i used to be, im not using my sub anymore, hell i dont even have it in my trunk either, needless to say the bass amp came out too. But the thing i love about my Pioneer is that the sound is so detailed and crisp, and i know that that comes from the MOSFETS being high quality, and from the DAC being high quality, so i need a HU that has the same, and for the price, the Alpine iDA-X303 is looking like my best bet.

I really want to get away from CD's altogether, b/c i am constantly having to burn new ones when i load up my iTunes with new purchases. Also, having to carry a huge CD book in your car to access all your music is lame, and with a CD player, that is the case. The Ipod only HU will play all my sh1t, so i think i am going to get it.

I looked on line at review for the Alpine iDA-X303 and the biggest complaint is that it skips with the iphone and itouch, and that it won't play any DRM protected files, whether they be AAC or WMA. But i upgraded all of my old purchases from iTunes to the iTunes plus (256kb/s and DRM free) so that won't be an issue, and i also don't have an iPhone/iTouch, just a 3rd or 4th gen nano.

I will most definitely look at the Clarion series as soon as i am done typing this. I knew there was a brand i didnt look at (the only ones i have respect for are Alpine and Pioneer, but the latter is fading), but i couldnt remember and i knew someone would be able to say it for me.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5171
Registered: Apr-05
Yeah, it's interesting, I had the P860MP (think I got it the same time you did as well) and absolutely loved it. In fact, I bought a second P860MP after selling my first one because I liked it so much. I do agree that it didn't feel as well-built as some other Pioneer head units, especially the knobs. Plus the second unit I purchased had some funky sounds from the gears when ejecting CDs (the motor was likely about to go).

It's ironic too, since I also removed my 12 w7 at that point and just reverted to some dual 8"s in a sealed box, focusing more on the sound quality when I had the P860MP. I hope you'll have more luck with your future head unit.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11180
Registered: Aug-05
Me too Jexx, me too. and thanks.

NEWS UPDATE!!!

I looked at the Clarion models, and was quite impressed with the CZ-500, but i liked the features that the FZ's(sp?) had better, the only thinikg i didnt like was that they were touch screen, and i am iffy about that. However, i went and looked at brands like Blaupunkt, and Dual, and felt alot better about what i could possibly be buying. lolol

I am now looking to get this model:
Alpine CDA-117

This unit is about $75 more expensive than the CDE-103BT, but is has the 24bit Burr Brown like the X303, and it also plays CDs, which i think i still want just in case a friend wants me to listen to something. Also, it has 6-channel preouts, incase i ever(god forbid) want to add a sub again. lol

Waddya think guys????????????
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11182
Registered: Aug-05
wonder if i didnt have 11,000 posts if i would have gotten more responses from people. lol

i think people see that many and assume im a car audio god, i just want some opinions, it's like pulling teeth around here.

but if it was about Kenwood vs. JVC.....ohhhhh boi. lmao j/k
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5179
Registered: Apr-05
That Alpine would be fantastic. It's also nice to see Alpine using 24bit D/A converters in their headunits...that was one of the reasons I would usually opt for Clarion or Pioneer instead (which, admittedly is a pretty lame excuse). And yeah, maybe I'm just oldschool, but it's nice to have the ability to play CDs. Also, they aren't quite outdated just yet (especially since a CD's sound quality is far better than most .mp3 formats despite bitrate). If it has all the options you want etc. then go for it.

At least you're not getting this: https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/car-audio/631031.html
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11184
Registered: Aug-05
Yeah, the biggest limiting factor for me buying either of the previous two, is that the one had a 24bit D/A converter, and no CD player, and the other had a CD Player, and no 24bit D/A converter.


I have noticed first hand the difference between a mediocre H/U and one that had a 24bit D/A converter and all the bells and whistles as far as Equalizers and HPF and LPF controls. I was hooked from there on out, on the sound and control.
 

Gold Member
Username: Joebruce

TC Sounds/DLS

Post Number: 3030
Registered: May-04
Here is another one to consider Muddy

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_22001_JVC+Arsenal+KD-A815.html

It doesnt have a moterized face and has 24bit DAC plus Bluetooth,2 USB slots,Ipod/phone compatable ect ect. Looks like a great HU to me.

Ive always liked JVC Arsenals,they are great HUs IMO. The Arsenal line of HUs is probably the only product I would ever reccomend from JVC tho.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11186
Registered: Aug-05
That JVC unit is pretty slick.
I'll take a closer look when I get home on my comp.

Thanks for the suggestion!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11188
Registered: Aug-05
That JVC unit is pretty slick.
I'll take a closer look when I get home on my comp.

Thanks for the suggestion!
 

Silver Member
Username: Quirky

San Antonio, Texas

Post Number: 415
Registered: Feb-07
The iDA-X303 may have a 24bit DAC but keep in mind the original sourse, the Ipod, has a terrible compressed format and low bits per second ratio in the first place (unless your running apple lossness- though still not as good as WAV). If you are you go with the CDE-103BT, would the CD source not already be at a much higher bits per second level?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11189
Registered: Aug-05
I plan on getting the CDA-117, which had a CD player, and the 24bit DAC.


My old unit has a 24bit DAC and sounds amazing on CD's burned from Itunes. I also have some reference CD's that were given to me and burned on special discs that are like percussion tracks for tuning 3 way sets, but i don't listen to that stuff, and iTunes has upgraded most all of their tracks to CD quality now if i'm not mistaken.

They have also taken off all of their DRM on their songs so you can actually play them in the new CD players using your iPod
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11190
Registered: Aug-05
CDA-117 is on its way.
 

Silver Member
Username: Sleste8

Shelbyville, MI United States

Post Number: 175
Registered: Mar-10
let me know how you like that 117, iv'e ben trying to decide between that and the kenwood excelon KDC-X994.

the X994 is cheaper and has bluetooth. other than that they both seem to have the exact same features.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Rovin

1 15 = 153 DBs ...Trinidad & T...

Post Number: 16353
Registered: Jul-05
nice choice

so how much did it cost u ....
 

Silver Member
Username: Sleste8

Shelbyville, MI United States

Post Number: 178
Registered: Mar-10
^x2 price and ware u bought it from?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11193
Registered: Aug-05
it was $249 from Amazon.
 

Silver Member
Username: Sleste8

Shelbyville, MI United States

Post Number: 187
Registered: Mar-10
nice, crutchfield is ware i first read up on the 117. they want $350 for it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Rovin

1 15 = 153 DBs ...Trinidad & T...

Post Number: 16363
Registered: Jul-05
CF is always too damn over priced but occasionally they have specials on 1 or 2 items for a good price ...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Basshead86

Steady as she goes

Post Number: 11197
Registered: Aug-05
yeah sometimes they have good deals, it's just weird how some car audio companies can be found easily yet others can't, and are often counterfeit goods.
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