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Old 12-30-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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Headunit????

Looking at either Alpine, Kenwood, or Pioneer

Not sure if much has changed over the years but I was leaning to Alpine but not sure if their quality has gone down over the years.

What does everyone else think? if you had to choose between the 3, which one and why?
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:49 PM   #2
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All three brands are really good. But each of them have their higher ends lines and more affordable options. I have pioneer currently and am really happy with it, and plan on getting another pioneer deck.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:09 PM   #3
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I have pioneer as well. I have been using pioneer products for the last decade and they have always treated me good. They make good affordable speakers too.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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I had an older Pioneer Premier headunit and loved it. Tons of adjustments that most units didn't have at the time.

I had stock speakers and it made them sound good.

EDIT: Pioneer now calls their Premier brand "Stage 4" and they're mighty proud of it too; if price is any indication.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:39 PM   #5
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pioneer but it's all brand loyalty i'm sure all the major players are good
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:19 PM   #6
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I've always had Kenwood decks, my first one is still working flawlessly in my sister's car. I just purchased a Kenwood KDC-BT558U for the Bluetooth with my Android phone and it is awesome! Sonic Electronix on ebay currently offers free dash kit & wire harness with purchase too.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:58 PM   #7
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Honestly Scot it's hard to pick a particular brand unless we know which model of each you are leaving towards...
each brand has pro's and con's but with each model level the better choice could change.. are you just looking for a cd player or dvd/nav unit? If going with nav you need to see which brand is the most current with their mapping system and how to update it but if you just want a cd player then those particulars do not matter....

Sorry to be a buzz kill on it lol
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:46 AM   #8
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I have always used Pioneer and they have never left me disappointed on anything. I've had about 5 or 6 different decks ranging from cd players to full DVD players with all the accessories. Currently running the DEh-p9400bh, it's an older model but it has HD radio, bluetooth calling/streaming, and usb inputs which is all I need. I've never had a single Pioneer head unit fail me ever. Not even in my lowrider that I slammed the unibody on the pavement to "throw sparks" or while riding on basically tire bounce with no air in the bags, sitting 3/4" from the ground! I miss that car it was fully driveable that low..
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:06 AM   #9
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I just got a Kenwood KDC-162U from Crutchfield. Its pretty nice, blue tooth, usb all that and phone control and calling from remote. Costed 90$ and got 60$ harness and 15$ dash install kit all together for 128$ free shipping in 5 days or less.
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:49 AM   #10
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This mostly depends on what price point you're looking at and what you want out of a head unit. If you want a cheap basic head unit, then go with JVC/Kenwood... yes JVC owns Kenwood and has owned Kenwood since 2006. The differences between them are mostly stylistic. The quality is very good on them.

If you want high end, then go with Alpine. Alpine's quality has gone down if you compare the Alpine of 2014 to the Alpine of 2003-2004. I'm not sure when's the last time you had an aftermarket radio in your car, but I can tell you that the lower end Alpines are too basic nowadays. The higher end ones are a lot better and have many features but you have to get them online from sonicelectronix or crutchfield. A lot of sound stores (in my area at least) still sell Alpine stuff from 2012. They don't carry the newer stuff. With Alpine, stuff like BBE is gone however the built in EQ in the higher end models is close as a full stand alone equalizer as you'll get. The settings is also pretty good at blocking certain frequencies for each pair of speakers. My only major gripe on the newer Alpines is their design language for their faceplates. Other that, I always recommend Alpine.

Another head unit brand you should look at is Clarion. Their head units are very nice and features come close to Alpine's.

Stay away from pioneer. I can't stand them.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:55 AM   #11
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I know you did not mention it, but I have had my JVC Arsenal for several years now with zero issues. It has proven to be a great head unit. The equalizer can even be fine adjusted in about nine different ways.

As far as Pioneer, I tend to stay away from it after having seen most of them getting messed up. My cousins went through several of them (all of them lost cd playback functionality). A friend of mine got a pioneer that played usb just like my arsenal, but within months, usb playback was no longer working.

As with everything, I am sure all the companies you mentioned, including Pioneer, make higher end products.

Pioneer has their Premier line
Kenwood has their Excelon line
and Alpine, I am not really sure of, but I have always heard they make good head units.

Anyways, with a product that may last as long as a head unit could, I would just go with the higher end stuff.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley olds View Post
As with everything, I am sure all the companies you mentioned, including Pioneer, make higher end products.

Pioneer has their Premier line
Kenwood has their Excelon line
and Alpine, I am not really sure of, but I have always heard they make good head units.

Anyways, with a product that may last as long as a head unit could, I would just go with the higher end stuff.

Alpine doesn't really have a "higher end" line because Alpine is supposed to be high end period. They only make one or two low end products that slot around the $100-$120 mark. Their head units are based around sound settings. For example, you have your standard 7 band EQ and on top of that you can tweak each pair, block frequencies to each pair, etc. I know others will say "yeah but everyone else does too" but Alpine's menu for it is set up to access it very easily and does have features like the MX setting and other odd ends that fine tune the clarity and volume of the output.

BTW, if you're really wondering, Alpine's most expensive stuff was called "F1 Status". That has been superseded by "perfect fit", custom units that are made for specific cars.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:43 AM   #13
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I find kenwood's user interface is always the most user friendly. I personally like their designs best and they are defiantly the best bang for your buck. The exlon series units are amazing, all the ports you want, the most options for filters and all sorts of fancy crap to really tune in your system. Cheap alpine headunits are cheap, the expensive ones I've seen I still think are cheap.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:44 PM   #14
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I am not going with a nav unit. more CD with Bluetooth that allows Bluetooth audio. I am looking at the higher end of the brands.

Last time I had aftermarket stereo was 18 years ago and I had Blaupunkt and that was back when they were really good. I have had pioneer and JVC over the years and 20+ years ago JVC had some nice stuff. But I know how things change.

I'll probably go with alpine since I'll be going with Alpine digital amps.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:45 AM   #15
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According to Crutchfield we can't even have Alpine unless it's a full double din navi unit. I've searched all over Crutchfield and only a handful of units actually fit in ours because I was gonna replace my stock with a Pioneer DEH-80PRS. The best unit THEY say can fit is a Kenwood Excelon KDC-X701. And not to step on any toes I personally am not a fan of Kenwood. I really wanted the Pioneer because of the 3 way active.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshParsons84 View Post
According to Crutchfield we can't even have Alpine unless it's a full double din navi unit. I've searched all over Crutchfield and only a handful of units actually fit in ours because I was gonna replace my stock with a Pioneer DEH-80PRS. The best unit THEY say can fit is a Kenwood Excelon KDC-X701. And not to step on any toes I personally am not a fan of Kenwood. I really wanted the Pioneer because of the 3 way active.

It'll fit. You just have to cut out some of the plastic supports behind where the radio goes. I had to do that to fit my pioneer in.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:11 PM   #17
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I have a Kenwood double-din in my Alero that I got years ago.
It works well enough (mainly got it for the USB input so I could easily play music from and charge my iPhone), but it's nothing special. The radio reception generally sucks, and it's way too busy with an abundance of tiny buttons and showy graphics.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:06 PM   #18
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It'll fit. You just have to cut out some of the plastic supports behind where the radio goes. I had to do that to fit my pioneer in.

Honestly, I don't wanna modify anything. I just don't feel confident enough in my abilities to do so. I usually do all my own install and I don't wanna take it to an Audio shop so I can get raped in labor charges. I'll prolly just go with the Kenwood deck and call it a day
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:25 PM   #19
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Just don't cut the back part with a sawzall lol, I cut the HVAC vacuum lines. It was an easy fix with a union from the auto parts store though.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:26 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by number53alero View Post
Just don't cut the back part with a sawzall lol, I cut the HVAC vacuum lines. It was an easy fix with a union from the auto parts store though.

glad it was an easy fix. I actually used a pair of diagonal cutters from Snap-on. No issues at all. I didn't need to trim much though.
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