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Old 04-08-2004, 08:26 AM   #1
afalzone
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Need suggestions for Audiophile head unit replacement

I want to replace the head unit of an Audiophile package SVT system. I would like this to work with the six disc changer that comes in the car and have the ability to have an MP3 player hooked up to it. Please let me know your suggestions. I'm looking for something under $300. Thanks.

ps. If anyone is looking to buy the head unit I'll be pulling out please let me know.


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Old 04-08-2004, 09:53 AM   #2
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Isn't the CD changer built in to the head unit?
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:52 AM   #3
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That I'm not sure of. If anyone has input on this it would be great. I'm going to try to check with a dealer today.
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Old 04-08-2004, 11:57 AM   #4
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Wow, a thread where I can give my advice and know what I'm talking about!

You must not have used that stereo much?? Yes, the six-disc changer is built into the head unit. If you replace the head unit, you will be removing the capability to have six discs in the dash, unless you replace it with another head unit that has a built-in multidisc changer. But since an iPod can hold enough songs to play non-stop for days, losing the six-disc isn't a big deal.

When I bought an iPod last year, I hit this same problem. There is no way (no easy way, anyhow) to connect another device like an mp3 player to the factory system. So, yes, an aftermarket head unit is your best bet. I went with a Nakamichi specifically BECAUSE it looks very much like a factory-type head unit, no flashy screensaver crud or six million knobs/buttons. I got one new in the box on eBay from a reputable seller for just under $300. I don't know if they are still being sold however, consumer electronics are always changing so rapidly what was available six months ago might have been replaced by a new model or discontinued.

Others here recommended to me either Pioneer or Eclipse. Pioneer will net you the features you want for a good low price. Eclipse is more high-end from what I gather.

To install the stereo you will need a mounting kit, which is a plastic frame that holds the stereo and fills the gap in the large opening left by the factory head unit. You don't need but you should get, a wiring harness adapter kit, so you don't have to cut into the car's wires to install the stereo.

Oh yeah, make sure the stereo you settle on has an AUX INPUT! That's the most important thing, obviously, if you want to connect an iPod or other device. Most will have one on the rear, so make sure you get a patch cord that's long enough to stretch from the rear of the stereo to where you're going to put the iPod. I've been using mine now since earlier this year and am quite satisfied, the righthand cupholder makes a good home for the iPod although it's a bit of a reach to hit any buttons.
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Old 04-08-2004, 04:00 PM   #5
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for this i don't know if it would be cost effective to go with pioneer, pioneer hu's only can have one ip-bus cable hooked into it at a time, the changer and aux input are connected though seperate ip-bus cables this means you have to buy the $80 or so adapter that has the aux input built into it and allows you to connect the changer to it. i always suggest pioner because of the value but i'm not sure if it'd be the cheapest solution if you have to have both, then again, other brands' changers are more expensive, so it's really up to you. if it's an mp3 player with cd's i'd suggest getting an mp3 unit instead, that would be ALOT cheaper, but if it's iPod your kind of screwed.

- Scott
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Old 04-08-2004, 08:41 PM   #6
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If you get an iPod, I suggest go with what SVT4ME said. He knows his stuff!
Now, I have been looking around for a new head unit for my car. I too have an in dash 6 disc changer right now, but have found that it does not play CD-Rs very well at all. So, I'm pretty much decided on the Pioneer 4600MP, it's a single disc CD player that's MP3 and WMA compatible. I wasn't familiar with this until another FF member enlightened me, so in case it's new to you too, that means that when you burn a CD from your computer, you can change the format to "Burn an MP3 CD" and you can fit about 130 songs on a CD-R that you would normally only be able to fit about 20 on. Then when you play it on your car stereo, the CD player reads it in MP3 format and plays it as the same quality it plays on your computer. Make sense? If you already knew this I apologize, I'm not trying to insult your intelligence. :) I'm definitely gonna miss my changer, but with that much track capability with the MP3 option, I can deal with it. The lowest price I've found on this is 159.95. I think that's a damn good price considering the quality of Pioneer's products and the space it will save me in my CD cases! Any way you go, I recommend going here : www.sounddomain.com They have all the newest car audio everything, plus they have great prices, and a 105% lowest price guarantee. If you find the same item on another website for a lower price they'll match it and give you a 5% discount off of that price! AND...right now there's a special offer that you get a free wiring harness, car adapter kit and something else you can use (sorry can't remember) with your purchase. Alright, hope that helps! Good luck on your search!
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Old 04-08-2004, 09:35 PM   #7
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No need to appologize for insulting my intelligence. I did know all about the MP3 head unit though. I'm just looking to find what HU will give me the most sound and let me plug an iRiver H120 into it. I also want something that can integrate with the steering wheel's radio controls. I have a seperate post about that. I use Rockford Fosgate right now and I was thinking about either that or Clarion. Would they be superior to Pioneer in terms of sound quality? I'm not looking for just loud base, moreso for clear music.
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:27 PM   #8
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I don't think I've ever listened to anything on a RF unit but I have a couple friends who have had Clarion. It does sound good, but I prefer Pioneer. I have never and I don't know of anyone who has had any problems with their Pioneer. I think the sound quality is superb and just the extra features are better than that of Clarion. I suppose it's all in your taste, but I definitely think the Pioneer is better. What the heck, just go to Best Buy or Circuit City or somewhere and just listen to one, I think you'll be very pleased. And if you want to read up on the 4600, here's a link: http://www.sounddomain.com/shop/item...=PIODEHP4600MP
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Old 04-09-2004, 02:28 AM   #9
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First of all, the 4600 is over $170 shipped from sounddomain.com, www.ikesound.com has it for a little cheaper, $145.95 shipped from ebay (they sell through ebay along with their online store) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...089230747&rd=1 or their website ( www.ikesound.com ) has it for the same price. i've ordered from them multiple times, they are great.

second, i think what determines the sound quality of a hu with retail brands like pioneer, alpine, etc etc depends alot on the features they offer. I like pioneer because there are tons of controls, they have a built in 3-band parametric eq, sound focus eq, eq boost, crossovers for rear and front speakers, etc etc, it gives you alot to work with, although they can be difficult to learn.

just a warning, trying to intergrate steering controls, getting a unit to have a changer and an aux input whil being quality is probably going to be pretty expensive.

- Scott
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Old 04-09-2004, 09:25 AM   #10
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by sa_pyro_ne
[B]First of all, the 4600 is over $170 shipped from sounddomain.com, www.ikesound.com has it for a little cheaper, $145.95 shipped from ebay (they sell through ebay along with their online store) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...089230747&rd=1 or their website ( www.ikesound.com ) has it for the same price. i've ordered from them multiple times, they are great.[QUOTE]

Ummm, actually no....I ordered mine last night and the total was 170.90. PLUS, as I mentioned before, they will price match it if you find it cheaper on another website. I mean, it's up to afalzone, but I just wanted to note that I wasn't wrong about that. AND just a little side note, this is the 3rd time I've ordered from sound domain and I couldn't be more pleased with them. :)
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