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Unread 03-20-2013, 01:31 PM   #1
bbusch
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Receivers worth the money?

Been an audiophile since my early teens (33 now) and I am one that can appreciate a good stereo. With that said I sometimes come across a unit that I want but when I see the price I am blown away. Last year my Alpine CDA 9855 was having issues so I began looking at new models even tho I LOVE that Alpine receiver. Ultimately I sent my unit back to Alpine for a third visit and they were finally able to fix it and replaced my face plate so it's like a brand new unit again (super stoked). Anyway I was looking at Pioneer's flagship receiver, the DEX-P99RS. This unit right off the bat caught my eye and the more I read about it the more I wanted it.. that is until I saw the price! With a retail price that doesn't waiver at $1199.99 I had to second think the decision with the ultimate answer of NO. There is what is considered a trickle down unit that utilized the DEX's technology, the Pioneer DEH-80PRS. Both units are gorgeous and thought I would share some photos.


The Pioneer DEX-P99RS




The unit sports a copper chassis for external noise rejection, if this is an effective design it's genius and may make the unit worth the coin.




Pic of the Pioneer DEH-80PRS, retailing at only $349.99 this unit utilizes some technology from the DEX but lacks the copper chassis.






Another unit that I love but the technology we demand simply isn't included with is the McIntosh MX 406. This beauty is a powerful clarity champ offering up to 9v preout but only plays AM/FM/CD... are you kidding me, for a retail price of $1499.99 that is absurd. In my opinion this player is for a classic car and I may consider it for the 81 CJ7 build I plan to do in the future.




A true cosmetic beauty!




I have an Alpine CDA 9855 receiver that was only built for model year 2005 and I bought it in September 2005. It has been one of the best/my favorite players of all time. With over 500 colors offered on the screen, 4v preouts, glidetouch bar, full crossover and plenty more features this is another cosmetic beauty that is a rare find. Alpine IMO is the receiver champ company followed closely by Pioneer. In 2005 I paid about $500 for my 9855.








Alpine has a number of classics and here is another early 90's series, the CDE 7870. Also pictured the CDA 9811...






The main problem with Jeeps is that they can be noise destructive to our mobile audio systems and for an audiophile that can be frustrating. I am always on the search for quality components that have a cosmetic appeal that fits the character of the vehicle they are going in.. ie. that CDE 7870 pictured just above would look perfect in a 91 Wrangler, while being quality so that it doesn't distort the sound. The backbone for every sound system is the receiver and in most cases the system is only as capable as the receiver.

So what units do some of y'all run and what are some of the ups and downs you have found from your receiver? What receivers have some of you found that are worth the money? Which ones were duds and buyers should stay away from? Many newer units are made cheaply and only offer 2v or even 1v preouts.. For most they want the iPod features, Pandora, aux plug on the front etc. but keep in mind if you want great sound you need the unit to be built with quality components and with that you will get better sound and a unit that can last a lifetime!

Thanks!

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Unread 03-20-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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I'm running the deh-80prs and the only thing I don't like about it is the menus are not very easy to navigate unlike the the deh-p80prs which was very easy and quick to navigate.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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I'm running the deh-80prs and the only thing I don't like about it is the menus are not very easy to navigate unlike the the deh-p80prs which was very easy and quick to navigate.

Thanks for the tip!




Here are the features of the two competitors, Alpine vs. Pioneer


Pioneer DEH 80PRS




Highlights:

General features:
•CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
•built-in MOSFET amplifier (14 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
•audiophile-grade components and internal architecture
•Pandora® Internet radio control with iPhone
•built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
•plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC files
•detachable fold-face with 3-line full-dot LCD display, plus customizable display and key colors
•remote control

Audio features:
•16-band equalizer with separate left and right channel control
•3-way crossover network
•Auto-EQ and time alignment (Auto-EQ microphone included)
•Advanced Sound Retriever
•loudness
•high- and low-pass filters
•subwoofer level control

Expandability:
•built in iPod control — no adapter necessary, but adding Pioneer's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
•App Mode offers limited control of music apps through iPhone connection
•inputs: two rear 1-amp USB inputs, front and rear auxiliary inputs, SD card slot
•outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (5-volt front, rear, sub — switchable to high, mid, low)

Other info:
•compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required)
•CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
•warranty: 1 year


It's all about the sound quality

You'll find plenty of good CD receivers on the market that offer solid sound quality, active displays, and lots of features. But if your sights are set on achieving ultimate sound quality, you need to look beneath the surface for a receiver that's built for SQ from the ground up. Pioneer's DEH-80PRS CD receiver goes well beyond most receivers with the quality of its internal components and architecture.

High-quality components

Pioneer starts with audiophile-grade components — components like a set of three Burr-Brown® 24-bit D/A converters, one each for the lows, mids, and highs, along with beefy, high-capacitance power supply capacitors that keep your sound clean and focused even when you push your system. A 4-layer circuit board design reduces internal noise by shielding vulnerable components with copper foil.

The DEH-80PRS utilizes a 28-bit binary floating-point digital signal processor, which provides incredibly precise control of the receiver's signal processing and tuning. What's this mean to you? You can adjust the time alignment and other acoustic parameters without degrading the original signal — the sound stays accurate and real.

Unparalleled sound controls

The DEH-80PRS boasts plenty of built-in power, and you can adjust the output with a comprehensive 16-band EQ that lets you set the left and right channels independently. But you'll really want to hook this receiver up to external amplifiers for its true genius to shine through. The DEH-80PRS boasts a sophisticated 3-way active crossover network that allows you to amplify and adjust the lows, mids, and highs separately. This unparalleled control ensures the most accurate sound reproduction — perfect for building your ultimate SQ dream system.

For further refinement of the sound you can use the receiver's Auto Time Alignment feature to get the perfect stereo sweet spot. You can also connect the supplied microphone to the receiver and it'll automatically adjust the equalization to your vehicle's interior.

Classic styling and a pin-sharp OEL display

This receiver's style keeps up with its performance. The clean, uncluttered design features a fold-down face with a crisp 3-line full-dot LCD display. And you can choose from over 200,000 colors for the display and buttons — you won't have any problem matching the colors to match your dash (or your taste).


Plenty of expansion opportunities

In addition to CD playback, the receiver is ready to handle your digital media. Plug in your iPod® to one of the two rear USB inputs, and you'll be able to use the receiver's controls to access your playlists, with handy tools like Alphabet Search to help you find the song or album you want in a snap. For your other music sources, you'll find front and rear aux inputs and an SD card slot, too. You can control Pandora® Internet radio when your iPhone® is connected, and Pioneer's App Mode offers display and limited control of many other music apps.

Built-in Bluetooth®

Although you won't want anything disturbing your listening session when you're behind the wheel, it's nice to know that the DEH-80PRS offers built-in Bluetooth for the safety and convenience of hands-free calling. You won't fumble for the phone when a call comes in — just press a button and talk like your caller is sitting next to you.



Competitor:

Alpine CDE 148BT




CDE-HD148BT Advanced Bluetooth® CD/HD Radio Receiver
•TuneIt™ app compatible
•HD Radio™ receiver built-in
•Works with Pandora® internet radio for iPhone® and Android™
•Made for iPod® and iPhone®
•App Direct Mode
•SiriusXM compatible (tuner and subscription sold separately)
•BT Plus Advanced Bluetooth® wireless technology with audio streaming
•Three preout (4V)
•Built-in 18W x 4 amplifier (at CEA-2006 rating)
•9-band parametric EQ
•24-Bit DAC
•Rear USB port with high speed connection for iPod® or USB drives
•Two-line dot display
•Quad-illumination
•Steering wheel remote ready
•Available: March 2013
•SRI: $280.00


Torrance, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2013) – Continuing with its heritage of premium sound quality products, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. today debuted three new full-featured CD receivers at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held Jan. 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The receivers are equipped with an array of features that appeal to true car audio enthusiasts and are even compatible with Alpine’s new smartphone sound tuning app, TuneIt™.

“Sound quality has always been a hallmark of Alpine products and the robust features found on these CD receivers will not disappoint, ” said Steve Crawford, vice president and general manager, aftermarket business unit, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. “By using the TuneIt app with these receivers, we are giving consumers easy tools to become their own sound tuning experts.”

The three new CD receivers are the CDE-HD149BT, CDE-HD148BT and the CDE-147BT. The units have a variety of features, such as:
•Pandora®: Pandora internet radio control is available from Android™ and iPhone® smartphones. Users can create new Pandora stations, rate songs with the thumbs up or down rating system and bookmark songs for later purchase.
•Rear USB ports: The USB port behind the chassis allows for high-speed USB connections to the iPod®, iPhone® or USB drives.
•HD Radio™: The CDE-HD149BT and CDE-HD148BT have built-in HD Radio receivers to access the 2, 000+ stations that broadcast digital HD Radio programming.
•SiriusXM Ready: The CDE-HD149BT and CDE-HD148BT are compatible with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, when used with the SXV200 Vehicle Connect tuner (tuner and subscription required, each sold separately).
•App Direct Mode: This feature allows for basic control of iPhone® apps through the Alpine head unit. Applicable metadata information from the app is displayed on the head unit screen.
•iPod® and iPhone®: All models are “Made for iPod and iPhone” compatible.
•Advanced BT Plus Bluetooth® wireless technology with audio streaming: Users can play music stored on a smartphone and benefit from Alpine’s exclusive Digital Sound Processing (DSP) expansion which improves the sound quality of streaming audio. All models come with a separate microphone that can be mounted for the driver’s convenience (such as on the visor), for improved sound quality during phone calls.
•Three PreOut (4V)
•Quad-illumination, allowing users to choose blue, green, red or amber lighting to match their vehicle’s interior.

TuneIt Sound Tuning and Sharing App
Alpine also unveiled TuneIt™, a smartphone app for the car audio aftermarket. TuneIt is exclusively compatible with the CDE-HD149BT, CDE-HD148BT and CDE-147BT. This unique app won a CES 2013 Innovations award in the In-Vehicle Audio category.

TuneIt is an easy-to-use sound tuning app which also offers Facebook notifications. Users download the free app onto their iPhone® or Android™ smartphone and create a user profile with information about themselves, their vehicle, and their Alpine sound system. They can follow the simple TuneIt graphical instructions to adjust sound settings for their specific vehicle, or they can choose from the 3, 000 pre-made settings in the database. Settings that can be adjusted include Time Correction, Parametric EQ, Crossover, and Media Xpander. The user can make and save up to 100 different sound settings; which is helpful if the user wants to store various settings to use for specific types of music.

Users can share settings with others, as well as rate settings made by others. The sharing and learning aspect of TuneIt is especially helpful for novices without much sound tuning experience, since it allows those with similar setups to use the same settings for the best results. The more frequently the user is active within the app, the higher his or her status progresses, from the “Roadie” level all the way up to the advanced level of “Master Golden Ear.” TuneIt’s sound setting activities are all done through a graphical user interface on the smartphone; the phone only needs to be connected via USB when downloading the sound setting into the Alpine receiver.


CDE-HD149BT Advanced Bluetooth® CD/HD Radio Receiver

•TuneIt™ app compatible
•HD Radio™ receiver built-in
•Works with Pandora® internet radio for iPhone® and Android™
•Made for iPod® and iPhone®
•App Direct Mode
•SiriusXM compatible (tuner and subscription sold separately)
•BT Plus Advanced Bluetooth® wireless technology with audio streaming
•Three preouts (4V)
•Built-in 18W x 4 amplifier (at CEA-2006 rating)
•9-band parametric EQ
•24-Bit DAC
•Rear USB port with high speed connection for iPod® or USB drives
•Three-line full dot matrix display
•Quad-illumination
•Steering wheel remote ready
•Available: March 2013
•SRI: $320.00



These are a couple high end units by the top two manufactures that may make it into some of our rigs so make sure you compare and do your homework!
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Unread 03-21-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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Everyone...

I just came across this site looking up old Orion HCCA competition amplifiers,

http://www.oldschoolstereo.com/


All I can say is AWESOME!!!


I ran an old school Orion 425 red HCCA amplifier back in 1996 for a few years (also ran a 225 HCCA for a short period of time) in an Accord then in my 97 TJ Sport and wish I had never sold it. I have had so many cool old school products over the years and sure wish I could have some of them back. That 25w x 4 amp retailed for over a grand in the mid nineties! lol The original cheater amps for competition. That site above sums me up, I have the biggest grin on my face right with memories pouring back.


Do any Jeepers give a flip about old school mobile audio?
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:01 PM   #5
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Do any Jeepers give a flip about old school mobile audio?
Some of us work for MTX Audio
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Unread 03-22-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbusch
Everyone...

I just came across this site looking up old Orion HCCA competition amplifiers,

http://www.oldschoolstereo.com/

All I can say is AWESOME!!!

I ran an old school Orion 425 red HCCA amplifier back in 1996 for a few years (also ran a 225 HCCA for a short period of time) in an Accord then in my 97 TJ Sport and wish I had never sold it. I have had so many cool old school products over the years and sure wish I could have some of them back. That 25w x 4 amp retailed for over a grand in the mid nineties! lol The original cheater amps for competition. That site above sums me up, I have the biggest grin on my face right with memories pouring back.

Do any Jeepers give a flip about old school mobile audio?
I do!

I'm about to trade some old RFs for some old Orion's.



For these



Speaking of mtx I have one of these sitting in the garage.

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Unread 03-22-2013, 10:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by funkduck View Post
Some of us work for MTX Audio
Very nice. I bet that is a fun job depending on what you do.. I would love to be around audio all day long for work, would seem more like play then work.




Quote:
Originally Posted by alexrule123 View Post
I do!

I'm about to trade some old RFs for some old Orion's.


That will be a nice gain. What amp/s are you getting? I would like to pick up a 250 HCCA or even a 225 but really want a 2100.

When you're young you don't think what you have will one day be classic.. if I had only known I would have definitely kept that 425, not many of them out there.
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Unread 03-22-2013, 11:24 AM   #8
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I've got a mid 90's hcca 225r sitting in my kitchen right now. Had a late 80's stars and moons 425 and a 250. They both had bad resistors in them. Would a been an easy fix but my stupid *** left them sitting in a garage when we moved 6 or 7 years ago. Also left a mid 90's hcca 250r that had something wrong with it (not sure what it was) sitting in that same garage. Those stars and moons hcca's where beasts!
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Unread 03-22-2013, 05:30 PM   #9
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Very nice. I bet that is a fun job depending on what you do.. I would love to be around audio all day long for work, would seem more like play then work.
There are a number of Jeep owners at MTX and it's a great company - definitely a good place to work. Cool to keep a few hundred Americans employed, too

I have to admit though, I'm not personally into giant sound systems - more a clarity, intelligibility & realism guy.

On the original topic, I really do like the DEH-80PRS and I'm a big fan of simple & discrete tools. I wouldn't rebuild an engine with a Leatherman tool and for the same reason I don't care for my music player to tell me the weather in Toronto or play movies - I want simple controls, a clean appearance, modern format support and engineering that respects the signal passing through it.

But I also don't subscribe to the need for crazy high dollar equipment when almost nobody bothers to follow good practice when they install and tune their equipment. A careful and educated installer can make cheap speakers and a cheap amp sound better on a stock head unit than 9/10 random people tend to manage with the very best equipment.

For example you get almost no advantage from high-voltage preouts if you redundantly ground the head unit to the amplifier. There's rarely good excuse to use EQ to boost a frequency. Enclosure design/tuning seems to be a dark art that you either understand well or completely don't understand at all and thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect there are a lot of people in column B who strongly believe they are in column A.

I think the DEH-80PRS and its contemporaries are a great category of product, and I'm glad such things are still made. I'm rocking the factory head unit in my WJ but that's more a financial decision than anything. Tough to justify spending money on toys when you have a bathroom and kitchen in need of remodel
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Unread 03-22-2013, 11:29 PM   #10
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Music to the extreme. I remember when the rfl came out and I asked the mtx reps what it meant. They just giggled at each other and then explained what I already figured on my own. Lol.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 06:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by alexrule123 View Post
I do!

I'm about to trade some old RFs for some old Orion's.



For these



Speaking of mtx I have one of these sitting in the garage.

If your looking for nostalgia then the Orion HCCA amps are in the league, but if your looking for reliability, build quality etc, the RF amps are multiple steps above. Orion Amps SUCKS. ALways have. Built like complete *****. We used to RMA countless Orion amps every week. They used really cheap components, and had the worst traces I've ever seen.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 06:32 AM   #12
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BBusch: Here is my take, get a head unit that has the features you need(3 sets of preouts, cd player, ipod input, good set of adjustable crossovers/eq etc etc etc)and mate it up with 2 pairs of 5.25" coaxs, a small sub and a good class D 5 channel amp. A Jeep wrangler is never going to be confused for an IASCA SQ vehicle..........Id just go for the features you need and make sure you have a compliment of speakers that will give you good output and clean full range sound that will have enough output over the wind/road noise when the soft top is down to keep you happy. Keep it simple.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 11:41 AM   #13
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BBusch: Here is my take, get a head unit that has the features you need(3 sets of preouts, cd player, ipod input, good set of adjustable crossovers/eq etc etc etc)and mate it up with 2 pairs of 5.25" coaxs, a small sub and a good class D 5 channel amp. A Jeep wrangler is never going to be confused for an IASCA SQ vehicle..........Id just go for the features you need and make sure you have a compliment of speakers that will give you good output and clean full range sound that will have enough output over the wind/road noise when the soft top is down to keep you happy. Keep it simple.

You haven't seen the stereo in my rig yet have you? lol



As for the Orion amps sucking, I don't plan to run one but I do want to hook one up in my shop for bench testing speakers. At .03 THD they are clean power and if taken care of properly last a long time (heck my very clean Alpine PDX is .07 THD, so .03 is very impressive). I happen to think they are the most attractive amps ever made. For my stereo builds I will stick with the PDX series.. very reliable, clean power and the amps can take abuse. I have two marine JL HD amps in my boat (they were very expensive) and they are no where near the level of quality the Alpine line offers. I once jammed out a PDX amp for 26 hours straight and it worked flawlessly! The JL amps go into protection mode every time I over crank em, it gets to be annoying to say the least.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 11:59 AM   #14
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I've got a mid 90's hcca 225r sitting in my kitchen right now. Had a late 80's stars and moons 425 and a 250. They both had bad resistors in them. Would a been an easy fix but my stupid *** left them sitting in a garage when we moved 6 or 7 years ago. Also left a mid 90's hcca 250r that had something wrong with it (not sure what it was) sitting in that same garage. Those stars and moons hcca's where beasts!
That's too bad dude, I would love to have them so I could fix them! Oh well, I sold my HCCA 425 for a cheap car alarm on my 97 TJ and it turned out to be a mistake. I was going off to college where my rig would be sitting in a parking lot and didn't want a sound system that would just get stolen. Went with the alarm for peace of mind and now wish I had just put it up in the closet. Also wish I had held on to my Pioneer 7600 digital equalizer and the Clarion Pro Audio deck, both would be very fun to have around to play with now.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 12:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bbusch View Post

You haven't seen the stereo in my rig yet have you? lol

As for the Orion amps sucking, I don't plan to run one but I do want to hook one up in my shop for bench testing speakers. At .03 THD they are clean power and if taken care of properly last a long time (heck my very clean Alpine PDX is .07 THD, so .03 is very impressive). I happen to think they are the most attractive amps ever made. For my stereo builds I will stick with the PDX series.. very reliable, clean power and the amps can take abuse. I have two marine JL HD amps in my boat (they were very expensive) and they are no where near the level of quality the Alpine line offers. I once jammed out a PDX amp for 26 hours straight and it worked flawlessly! The JL amps go into protection mode every time I over crank em, it gets to be annoying to say the least.
It would take a serious setup to get my attn......i have dabbled in iasca 15-20 yrs back....

i run a pdx v9 in my lj......does the job well for what it is. Never been a fan of jl products beyond a few of their subs.......
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