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Thread: Head Units with RCA inputs

  1. #1
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    Head Units with RCA inputs

    I finally decided to spend the $ to start building my carputer.

    I have an 03 corolla. I plan on having everything set up like so:

    Computer -> Head Unit -> Sub Amp -> Subs

    With the LCD where the current stock radio sits, and the head unit stashed in the storage compartment below the AC controls.

    Then I can switch inputs from CD, to radio, to the computer using the stereo.
    (seems like a pretty standard setup around here)

    Problem is, I can't seem to find a unit with RCA inputs. I ran to Best Buy and Circuit City and both of them said the same thing - they don't carry those any more. Seems like the RCA inputs are being switched out for Ipod and mp3 player aux inputs. Sales reps at both places then told me to call Crutchfield (I was surprised) and talk to their on-phone geeks to help me out.

    But I don't deal with phones, I'm a geek for god sakes. So I surfed over to their website, and at first glance I didn't really see any mention of RCA inputs anywhere in their car stereo search terms.

    So I was wondering what kind of single DIN head units people are throwing into their cars with RCA inputs, and how well it works for your needs.

  2. #2
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    alot of head unit 2008 model have RCA input. but the model not like a big RCA, but they use mini jack. but the place for aux input is difference with any brand car audio.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    it doesn't need RCA inputs...

    the "ipod and mp3 player" aux inputs are just a standard 1/8" stereo jack. your computer's sound output will most likely have the same jack. just get a 1/8" > 1/8" stereo patch cable to connet them together.


  4. #4
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    I wanted to be able to maintain 4 channel audio for when I play movies in the car... plus most of those 1/8th jacks are on the front of the head unit, and I think it looks kinda nasty to have a wire hanging out in the front of my car.

    I saw some units with "USB inputs". How well does that work as a connection from the computer (drivers & such)? If that actually works, I'll probably end up going that way for my cpu->head unit connection.

  5. #5
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitwaba View Post
    I wanted to be able to maintain 4 channel audio for when I play movies in the car... plus most of those 1/8th jacks are on the front of the head unit, and I think it looks kinda nasty to have a wire hanging out in the front of my car.

    I saw some units with "USB inputs". How well does that work as a connection from the computer (drivers & such)? If that actually works, I'll probably end up going that way for my cpu->head unit connection.
    The USB inputs are to read music files from a flash memory device, not for a connection to a PC.
    Some of the units with USB input can read an external USB hard drive, but most can not.

    Honestly, if you look carefully at specs for headunits, it's easy to tell which ones have RCA inputs (or some other form of AUX input) on the rear of the unit.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate tigergibb's Avatar
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    I specifically picked my head unit the way I did because the aux input is a 1/8" mini-jack on the back. In addition to that, it has RCA inputs for my subwoofer. I use an RCA to 1/8" mini-jack cable from my Silverstone DAC which is connected to the computer via USB. I switched to that from using onboard audio because the onboard audio sounded like trash and gave me a headache. I'd recommend going with some sort of external sound card or dac.

    Check it out:
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-BrVKL6j...px?i=113MP3035

    I got it off of eBay(before it was discontinued) a few months ago for like $122 shipped.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/KDC-MP3035-NEW-i...QQcmdZViewItem $90 shipped

    I bought it from the seller locustaudio. Here's his crap:
    http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZlocustaudio

    Here's how mine is wired:

    Computer -> Silverstone DAC -> Headunit

    Headunit -> 4/3/2 amp -> Crossovers -> Front speakers & tweeters

    Headunit -> 8" Bazooka sub
    2003 Nissan Xterra Worklog

    Total amount spent so far: $1196.64

    You will probably spend AT LEAST 2x what you initially budget for your CarPC Project!

    2003 Nissan Xterra - Modifications

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitwaba View Post
    I wanted to be able to maintain 4 channel audio for when I play movies in the car...
    if you want 4 channel sound, then don't bother with a head unit. just run your computer's audio-out directly into a 4 channel [outboard] amplifier.

    the aux-in on normal head units are 2 channel because the head unit itself is only 2 channel. the left-front and left-rear produce the same sound, the right-front and right-rear produce the same sound. they are often called "4 channel" because the speaker volumes can be controlled independently, but they are truly '2 channel' head units (2x2).

    there may be speciality head units out there that have multi-channel inputs that are designed to be connected to a DVD player. I don't know of any (but I haven't searched for one either), but if they do exist then they would likely cost a small fortune. IMO it would be wiser to spend that money on a good 4 channel amplifier instead and bypass the head unit altogether.

    Quote Originally Posted by bitwaba View Post
    plus most of those 1/8th jacks are on the front of the head unit, and I think it looks kinda nasty to have a wire hanging out in the front of my car.
    while I agree that having a cable sticking out of the front panel looks tacky, it's not meant to be a permanent connection. it's there as a convenience for people to easily connect their MP3 players.

    while some models have front panel aux-in jacks, there are also many models with rear aux-in jacks. also, many head units have some sort of "BUS" connector which can be used as an aux-in as well. for example; you can buy a $5 cable on eBay to use almost any Pioneer head unit's IP-BUS port as an RCA aux-input. similar cables/adapters are available for other brands as well so don't overlook a certain model just because it has a front panel jack, as you may be able to use a rear "BUS" port as a secondary aux-input.

  8. #8
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    Awesome. That clears a lot of stuff up. Thanks guys.

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