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Head Unit Recommendations

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  • Head Unit Recommendations

    Okay, here's the deal. I'm building an audio only system with a simple lcd character display, nothing fancy.

    I had been planning on just installing a 10-disc changer (which I have) but opted to go the FUN route.

    Anyhow, here's my question. I don't have the car or the headunit yet, so I'm looking for head unit suggestions. Below are links to the speakers I have; I've got one pair of each. I'm not planning on buying any subs nor do I want to deal with an amp. What I'd really like is a head unit with as much output as possible, and with a CD receiver for those times I just want to pop one in. A good EQ is also something I'm looking for in a head unit, but I don't want to start buying more equipment.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

    The speakers:

  • #2
    Oh, come on now...

    Let me simplify this a little. I've seen head units with an output of 50x4. Does anyone know of one with a greater output?


    • #3
      i've seen 52Wx4 but nothing stronger..

      I'll put a vote in for anything Pioneer, mine does 45wx4 which i find to be enough. Maybe see what local shops stock then check out a some reviews or something..
      [SIZE=1]'91 Nissan Stanza

      Car Totaled and i bought a 20G mp3 player
      a DIY video projector page


      • #4
        You will not find a headunit with more than 4x50. There is some electrical limit if the amplifier circuits are running from 12v.
        External Amps have switching power supplies built in, which generate higher a higer voltage (42v?).
        I recall that i've seen a headunit with an in-dash amp for double-DIN slots somewhere, but I don't know the manufacturer.
        ...Unix, DOS, and Windows XP
        (also known as the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly).


        • #5
          AH, okay, that's good to know. Thanks!

          DOes anyone have experience with JVC units? I'm thinking of perhaps going with JVC on account of my speakers. I've already got a vote for Pioneer, any more consieradtions?


          • #6
            Clarion are very nice.

            Rat Shacks own are not very nice.
            And you say people actually pay money for M$ Windows?
   (Does what it says on the URL) (The new car, with zero rust!) (My other site)
            Total re-design underway: on the whole progress is very slow as the car is taking up too much time :)


            • #7
              I like Pioneer the best.

              Blaupunkt is also good.


              • #8
                Kenwood's aren't bad. EQ is slightly lacking, but that can be made up for in Winamp.
                As far as I can tell, a cheap bottom-shelf amp will sound better than spending extra on a head unit.
                CarPC Stolen. Starting over.
                Ne1 recognize the avatar?


                • #9
                  im pretty sure alpine make a 4x60w head unit, dont ask me what the model is though,
                  pioneer stuff is usually really good quality gear. Clarion is ok as well, i wouldnt go near any of the cheap sony units cause there cheap and crappy but the more expensive ones are ok

                  , i probably would steer away from the jvc though


                  EBAY IS YOUR FRIEND
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by petemal2000
                    im pretty sure alpine make a 4x60w head unit, dont ask me what the model is though,
                    pioneer stuff is usually really good quality gear. Clarion is ok as well, i wouldnt go near any of the cheap sony units cause there cheap and crappy but the more expensive ones are ok

                    , i probably would steer away from the jvc though


                    EBAY IS YOUR FRIEND

                    My thoughts exactly...though I personally would not buy a headunit sold at Wal-mart. (i.e. sony, jvc)

                    My number one vote is for Alpine. They simply have awesome raw clean power.

                    But if you're looking for real 50x4 wattage, you're not gonna get it from just a headunit. I would personally get a passive HU, and use a seperate amp.

                    Headunits all advertise their MAX output. What they really put out ("out of the box") is their RMS ratting, which is usually about 1/4 of what it advertised. So with a headunit that is "50x4" it will realistically put out 12-14x4 reliably (unless noted otherwise)
                    My Install Thread

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                    • #11
                      I have the pioneer DEH- P3100 It puts out 22x4W RMS and 45W x4 Max. It is a couple years old but has a nice eq configuration. You can make a custom eq setting by selecting what range of freq you want for low mid and high then select the volume or intensity of each level. Not top of the line or anything but works fine for me and it was only like $190 new when I got it. So I also vote for Pioneer its really the only brand I have personal experience with though. My friend has an alpine unit but most of them that are not too expensive put out a low but clean amount of power because they assume you will be using an amp along with it. Well that is my guess
                      Here is my system excluding computer stuff which isn't installed yet.


                      If I had the funds I would expand and upgrade it but it's fine for now.
                      Josh Karger
                      By reading this post you agree to overlook all grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors! ;)


                      • #12
                        I've owned a Pioneer DEH-FM75 and I own a DEH-4300 currently. I've never had any problems and the built in EQ is pretty good. Plus it has the AUX-in on the back for the carputer.
                        Aura MR62 (F and R)
                        My Current MP3s


                        • #13
                          I've been rather intimidated by the prospect of installing an amp because I don't want to run wires. I like being able to use a harness with a head unit and then slide it in, using the car's priginal wiring and then simply replacing the factory speakers with my own. I don't want to deal with running RCA's to an amp and then running speaker wire all over the car.

                          Then again, I don't really know what is involved in installing an amp, so if anyone has any suggestions?


                          • #14
                            If you're into sound quality I'd go for Eclipse.
                            I have one of their older models from back when they where named Fujitsu Ten and it's not much that beats it in sound quality...
                            Also there's one of their never models that have aux in that's accesible.


                            • #15
                              If you're only using a head unit for power, go with eclipse, bar-none. They make the best units around and none of the other companies can compete with them. Thats from 10 yrs experience with car audio. Realistically, a small 4 channel amp from say crossfire, the 35x4 model would perform 10 times better and the sound quality would be almost triple what you can expect out of ANY head unit, and the amp should cost less than 200$ No head units on the market now put out any sort of power, they all use single chip IC amps. Now, coming out soon there should be head units with Tripath chips in them, those will be capable of true 50x4, or even 100x4 output, all inside the head unit. If you want a really nice small amp, go with blaupunkts new tripath powered mini amps. Theyre only like the size of a paperback book, you can take them out of their case and mount them anywhere. Plus they run at about an 85% efficiency.

                              But always buy an Eclipse head unit. nothing else.

                              Old School member!