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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't decide! I have a $700 dollar limit so options are plentiful.
I've heard nothing but good things about Alpine's sound quality.
The new pioneer HUs are looking nice but im not sure about the SQ?

Im looking for a stereo that is user friendly, has an awsome display, and quality sound.
 

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To start off, there is no SQ to head-units. What exactly are you looking for? Do you like lights, an X-over, an EQ, motorized face or front-load, do you need RCA outputs, do you want to play mp3's? There are so many decks out there.

If you are going with a system where you need RCA outputs, get one with a strong output voltage (4-volt or more). I know the Alpines have an awesome pre-out voltage along with Clarion and Eclipse. The higher-end Pioneer models have the organic display that looks freakin' awesome. The models with the high-voltage and sweet display are the DEH-9000MP and DEH-P8400MP. I'm not too familiar with Alpine (cause I don't like the looks).

Hopefully this was beneficial. Let us know a bit more so we can narrow it down for ya'.

Curt
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, so SQ is based on amps, speakers, and stuff like that?

As far as what I like goes, i like EQ's, those nice animated displays, a face that matches the interior of the car, or even the exterior (silver). I need mp3 playback, and might be looking to go xm later on.

That CDA 7998 looks nice...and goes great with the interior. But that is a crap load of buttons.

Im not going to go into competition or anything. What I really want is to get my money's worth. My car was broken into last week and my insurance is letting me choose a stereo up to the $700 price range.

thanks for the help guys.
 

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Actually, SQ is purely based on speakers. EQ's can change the sound (obviously) and so can various processors. But rule of thumb, only speakers change SQ.

I think the Pioneer decks are pretty nice. The top two I mentioned have lots of cool features.

If you have a few stereo shops around you, go check some out. If your insurance is paying for the deck, try to max out that $700. :)

Curt
 

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what sq gts is talking about is that amps and cd players are supposed to just reproduce and amplify the music. they're not supposed to add their own sound.

but of course ****tier products will have more distortion. some cd players definately aren't as clean as others, but anything in the high dollar range in cd players should be clean enough that you can't tell them apart.

high voltage rca outs will strongly decrease noise picked up in your rcas, so you shouldn't need top dollar rcas, i'm using 5 dollar crap ones right now and i have no noise.

amps, many amps are good and will be clean.
 

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JamesFlames said:
My car was broken into last week and my insurance is letting me choose a stereo up to the $700 price range.

thanks for the help guys.
Where did this happen? Let me know so that I have to stay away from that place.
 

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No matter what you put AFTER the deck, the SQ will ONLY be as good as it's starting point. Just like a computer, Garbage IN, Garbage OUT.

Alpine's produce a very good output from the head unit. Also, models like the CDA-7998 have BUILT-INSIDE the following sound processors which are usually a physically separate component:
* Electronic crossover for the Subs
* Electronic crossover for the Fronts
* Electronic crossover for the Rears
* 5-band parametric Equalizer
* MX (Media Expander) which will help "fill-in" the audio gaps on MP3 playback.


This is a very clean sounding unit.
 

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'Birdman' said:
No matter what you put AFTER the deck, the SQ will ONLY be as good as it's starting point. Just like a computer, Garbage IN, Garbage OUT.

Alpine's produce a very good output from the head unit. Also, models like the CDA-7998 have BUILT-INSIDE the following sound processors which are usually a physically separate component:
* Electronic crossover for the Subs
* Electronic crossover for the Fronts
* Electronic crossover for the Rears
* 5-band parametric Equalizer
* MX (Media Expander) which will help "fill-in" the audio gaps on MP3 playback.


This is a very clean sounding unit.
Birdman, I hate to rein on your parade here, but there is not sound to a head-unit. People even seem to think a deck with a 20-bit D/A sounds better than a 1-bit D/A. This has been tested and proved wrong. Go visit CarSound.com and check it all out. You will seriously get flamed if you say your CD player has a high sound quality.

It's just digital processing. A CD has knotches in it. 1's and 0's. All the CD player does is change these 1's and 0's into a sound wave. There is no "quality" to this digital/analog wave. Now, some CD players will add noise into this wave, making it "sound" bad. They might have a lousy analog stage and noise might be introduced. But overall, there is no "sound quality" to 1's and 0's.

I'm not yelling here, I'm just educating. Companies promote the decks with "great sound" and crap like that. It's all P.R. stuff. They just want to sell products. The only thing worth of that advertising is the speakers and accoustic processors.

Curt
 

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SQ GT-S said:


There is no "quality" to this digital/analog wave. Now, some CD players will add noise into this wave, making it "sound" bad. They might have a lousy analog stage and noise might be introduced. But overall, there is no "sound quality" to 1's and 0's.

Curt

Actually, I was referring to the "cheaper" analog components that some companies use. An improperly designed analog circuitry can add a TON of noise to a signal. Yes, a CD is a CD and most laser readers are laser readers. HOWEVER, the path the the audio follows from this point on (and this includes through the headunit's analog and digital circuitry) is anyone's guess as to how good the design of the circuitry is.

BY looking at it from that standpoint, then the HU DOES influence the actual quality of sound being driven to either a DSP or and AMP and eventually to the speakers.


Plus, I've seen some D/A converters that simply sucked with creating a reprensentative sinusoidal waveform from the digital input........what does that mean? It means the sound output was lacking some of the signal frequencies and you could actually HEAR that the sound was either too tinny (lacking low frequencies) or too muffled (lacking the higher frequencies).
 

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'Birdman' said:



Actually, I was referring to the "cheaper" analog components that some companies use. An improperly designed analog circuitry can add a TON of noise to a signal. Yes, a CD is a CD and most laser readers are laser readers. HOWEVER, the path the the audio follows from this point on (and this includes through the headunit's analog and digital circuitry) is anyone's guess as to how good the design of the circuitry is.

BY looking at it from that standpoint, then the HU DOES influence the actual quality of sound being driven to either a DSP or and AMP and eventually to the speakers.


Plus, I've seen some D/A converters that simply sucked with creating a reprensentative sinusoidal waveform from the digital input........what does that mean? It means the sound output was lacking some of the signal frequencies and you could actually HEAR that the sound was either too tinny (lacking low frequencies) or too muffled (lacking the higher frequencies).
Well, I'd be curious to see and hear some of these "poor sounding" decks. I've listened to everything from the low-end Panasonics, Pioneers, and Audiovox, upto high-end Clarions, Alpine, Blaupunkt, Eclipse, etc. I've heard enough decks to know. Sure, maybe on an some measuring devices the wave forms are different, but who cares. The human ear is what we care about.

So please, find me some decks, and I'll compare them. :)

Curt
 

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i think you both have a point. most decks really don't change the sq. but that just depends on what range you're talking about. my old sony deck sucked ass (it was getting old but still) i could hear the damn cd spinning or something in the speakers. some kind of distortion was coming through.

anyway, but no, cd players don't add anything to the sound. any decent cd player will give the same result, at least to the point of what you can hear. things like rca voltage though help keep you from losing that sq to interference in your rca's though.

the alpine that was mentioned has the same **** that the pioneers have. as well as most brands in its range. nowadays most cd players will have built in crossovers and eqs. hell mine has 3 crossovers, an 11 band eq (show me an alpine with an 11 band eq!), time alignment, BBE, a autoeq (that thing is cool), and they have some version of alpines MX (which is all just crap anyway) i don't remember what its called..


hey SQ-GTS, maybe you know the answer to this... how well does the auto eq on the pioneers work? i've always wondered how accurate it really was.
 

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The autoEQ on Pioneers is a great way to adjust your system unless you have the ear to do it yourself. I've never thrown it up on an RTA to confirm the measurements, but from what I've heard from people with it, it's great. I've heard a few systems with the AutoEQ for the tuning and they sound pretty good. But obviously, it's no replacement for a large parametric EQ or 1/3 octave EQ. I would recommend it to people just starting out and don't have the patience and time to mess with a large EQ.

And I love your head-unit. I've played with the Pioneer 9400 (same as the Premier, just lower voltage), and I love it. That thing is freakin' amazing. There is so much to can do with that unit.

Curt
 

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hmm i think the headunit does affect sound quality.

i had everything running thru my stock headunit at first and i hated the sound.. and then all i did was get a pioneer deck and everything sounded like 100x better..

i wouldn't say that there is NO SQ to headunits.. but yes the speakers matter more.. but amps also matter because some companies have higher wattage ratings than they really put out and you could be underpowering ur speakers, so in that sense.. amps affect SQ also.
 

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I'm done debating this subject.......it isn't worth the time.

You wanna pay $100 for a "low-end" HU then fine.......but, remember who was steering you towards these units when you are NOT happy with the way they sound!

I've noticed a LOT of egos on this board and the more I am here the more and more I see them. For this mere fact, I believe I will totally stop posting and all of the installs that I was going give as guidelines for this board are simply NOT gonna happen.

I'm tired of listening to ppl pushing their opinions onto ppl. I voiced the one deck that I KNOW sounds good and I stated why. I've had PIONEER DECKS, SONY DECKS, RADIO SHACK'S OPTIMUM DECKS, AUDIOVOX DECKS, ECLIPSE DECKS, and ALPINE DECKS..........and I will tell you that the ECLIPSE AND ALPINE sounded better HANDS down and that was with the SAME exact other components in the system.

Say what you want, I really don't care.........I'm done posting and many ppl are gonna miss out b/c of egotistic posters.
 

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i love alpine and eclipse and all too. but i think a lot of brands have good stuff. if anything, ALL I EVER HEAR is if you want sq you have to buy alpine or eclipse. thats bs. but yes, the head unit does matter too.

i've had so many damn eclipse salespeople tell me their **** sounds better because they have less features and looks. and that they just "focus on sound quality." thats kinda bs when they tell you a cd player that has more features must have bad sound quality.

and "I'm done posting and many ppl are gonna miss out" -- who's got the ego?
 

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Birdman, I think you need to chill just a bit here man. We aren't all here to draw blood or anything.

You can say you see egos on this board, then you tell us that you have all these guidelines to post and make it off as a threat? Like you want some apology from us? No offense, but if can't take someone saying things different from you, you shouldn't be posting in the first plave. It sounds to me like you're the one with a large ego, and you are pissed that people are questioning it.

People will always push opinions, but some are truth. I don't post stuff I pull out of my ass. I post stuff I read about, then test it out myself. If you don't believe me, I don't care. I'm not on this board to make penpals, just to help people out.

If anyone is interested in some fun reading, check out these sites. And no, my "ego" isn't involved in any of these posts. The level these guys are at is far above mine:

http://www.carsound.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=020879#000025

http://www.carsound.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=019755

http://www.carsound.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=020903#000014

http://www.talkaudio.co.uk/vbb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=18815

I'm not on some ego trip here. I'm just trying to educate people. So flame me all you want, 'cause I honestly don't care. I'll keep trying my best to spread this helpful info into this forum. If no one wants me here, say something and I'll be gone.

Curt
 

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oh and birdman, how can you justify alpine having better sq when it only has TWO VOLT amp outs. yeah it has a 4 volt sub out, but the speaker outs (where you'd hear more distortion anyway) are all 2...

thats really sad, alpine has had a awesome reputation, but lately they've just been really making some cheaper stuff.
 

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J3ad, quick question. I have yet to get a decent auto eq in my Celi can you post what your settings are at? Thanks just want to try it out.
 
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