New stereo for the car- it's a love/hate relationship.

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Farmhand, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Farmhand

    Farmhand Super Member

    I usually allow myself to suffer with "meh" car audio because I hate aftermarket head units so VERY much. When I'm driving, I want to push one button and have it perform its intended function. I don't want to scroll through menus within menus to change the tone settings. I don't need an awesome light show. Factory head units are perfectly basic and work really well, but of course the sound isn't all that great.
    I drive an '06 Corolla (utterly boring but utterly reliable) and my wife just gave me a new Pioneer head unit for Christmas. I have installed it, and it works, and it sounds instantly better than the factory unit but I have already walked away knowing that someday I will actually get it set up the way I want it, but not today. I just have zero patience for this sort of thing.
    I pretty much understand how to switch it on and have programmed stations into it (four times), got the colors set "close enough" (210,000 color combinations available! Why?!) and was trying to get the rear speakers to come on because that's how the sub is connected, but that's beyond my comprehension at the moment. I have front audio, so close enough for today.
    It's also four degrees outside, so that puts a damper on things.
    I look forward to using the Bluetooth audio and all that, but at the same time I miss the old Alpine two-channel head unit with an analog tuner... that was a long time ago!
  2. squirrelnest

    squirrelnest Addicted Member

    Alexandria, VA
    I have a boat that has a fancy radio in it and don't use it much because it's hard to figure everything out on it....I set it to one station and leave it alone.
  3. J English

    J English Super Member

    I liked the older Alpine head units, they always were very logically designed. I have a '12 Corolla and like the stock unit pretty well. Apart from the Bluetooth always forcing a connection with my phone, which I have not figured out how to defeat, it works pretty well. Wow, I'm impressed that you did an install on that today given the weather. Heated garage, I hope. It's about -2 in Des Moines at the moment. Ugh.
    KentTeffeteller and KDAC like this.
  4. Wow. You just transported me back to my teen years in the late 80s/early 90s. Thanks to Alpine, Bass Mekanik, and DJ Magic Mike, I had friends who were not allowed to park in front of my parents house.
  5. SteveA

    SteveA AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Wellington, New Zealand
    Used Alpine in the past and found them pretty easy to operate.
    Current car has audio so integrated physically into the dashboard and electrically that I dare not touch it.
    musichal likes this.
  6. FileFixer

    FileFixer Well-Known Member

    I`m build Car PC with touch screen and running Centrafuse auto frontend on it. Also on that PC I have installed car telemetry which show all car parameters in real time. On that Car PC is installed external USB sound card with 5.1 output and that outputs is connect to Soundmagus H500 5Ch. power amplifier. Every speaker can to be customized. Things about GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, Handsfree, TV and remote control is normal things. 120GB SSD hard drive is installed into PC.
    This is picture taken before then I put all of them into the car.


    This is from back... Subwoofer is subsequently placed...


    Before this installation I have Pioneer DEH-P88RS car player. This player is beautiful peace of hardware. To me, Pioneer DEH-P88RS is one of the best car audio player ever made.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    nyhifihead likes this.
  7. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Norman OK
    I like the two-post am/fm radios with five push-button mechanical presets, on/volume on the left, bass/treble (or tone) on the right. All I need in a car anymore. Priced any like that lately? Will hurt your feelings.
    Lucky Pierre likes this.
  8. sanford12

    sanford12 Old Stuff New Stuff As long as it's Good Stuff Subscriber

    Blue grass country
    Put some Infinity reference speakers in it. That will vastly improve the sound
  9. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Just put a new head in my classic '99 Aurora. Started out looking for a backup camera and went from there. This one's also got built in GPS and bluetooth for hands free phone.


    Uses the existing Autobahn speaker system with sub, and the HD Radio tuner and steering wheel controls integrated perfectly. Setup was actually quite easy, and no complaints yet anyway.
    cnolanh and Djcoolray like this.
  10. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

    Carlisle PA
    Can't argue 06 Milan, 6Disc CD player, 8 speakers (4 doors, rear). No menus, easy.
  11. prisoners

    prisoners AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Addison, Il
    The factory in-dash changer in my '03 Acura gave up the ghost several months back and I replaced it with a Pioneer unit. Down to a single disc but it has USB connection for my phone or ipod; definitely an improvement but still simple enough to set up easily.
  12. Lucky Pierre

    Lucky Pierre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Maynard, MA
  13. mike0565

    mike0565 ADS speaker nut Subscriber

    Kingston NY
    Have two of these. One in my work tractor and one in my personal vehicle.

    Attached Files:

    musichal likes this.
  14. dontmindme

    dontmindme Creature


    Just installed this after replacing the belts and cleaning it up. It works great! Of course it’s in a 1981 CJ7........looked a looooong time before I finally found one. And yes, I still play cassettes in it. :rockon:
    Decibel_116, indyhawg and musichal like this.
  15. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

    Carlisle PA
    Had an earlier version of that in my 75 F100 6cyl, 3 spd on a tree 1/2 ton pickup. That pioneer looks real nice.
    dontmindme likes this.
  16. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft AK Subscriber Subscriber


    That’s funny. I have similar feelings and am in a similar boat. I also prefer buttons and knobs that can be operated without looking at the display much. All these newer touch screen units were clearly not designed with safety in mind. I also received a Pioneer unit for Christmas. My in dash changer in my Ranger started having the display go out a few years ago. I picked up a replacement at a garage sale but the changer doesn’t work. I have one of the US spec aux input interfaces and use it to connect a digital audio player but I get a lot of engine whine. I got the Metra harness and mounting kit but am disappointed that I’ll have to cut the dash bezel a bit and that it won’t be able to be removed as easily as the original. I’ll probably go ahead and install it thought because the Bluetooth, USB, FLAC, and iPhone capabilities are a huge draw. I did wire up the harness and test it out today. It sounds pretty good. Lots of functions to learn though and like you said, a lot of settings are buried in menus.
  17. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I am totally with you guys on this that the current head units are just piss poor in terms of design. To the point I really don't get it at all, and I used to be into car audio back in HS and college.
    I recently had to replace the original unit in my old Toyota 4Runner that my daughter now uses. Fortunately it's a double din and thus larger, but the layout is just horrible with the most basic functions difficult to see. the only positive to me is the bluetooth phone connectivity with speakerphone etc. Otherwise, what a joke.
    Back when it was new I kept the original head unit in that 4runner but upgraded the system by adding an amp and dedicated small subwoofer. Added a cap to the other existing drivers to roll then off a little earlier now that I had the subwoofer. Was an fairly inexpensive way to get a lot more out of the original system without reinventing everything. Kept the original look and build in-tact too.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  18. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

    SE Michigan, Downriver....
    I wouldn't dare mess with my car audio head unit.

    Not like the old days.
    awillia6 likes this.
  19. Beatnik

    Beatnik What's this ?

    The thing I hate is the big volume knob mine has that also toggles around left right up down for different functions. Pain in the ass sometimes to just turn the volume and not end up doing some unintended change, especially on bumpy roads.
    gtv2000 likes this.
  20. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    My wife had a PT Cruiser Turbo Limited for the last 5 years with the top of the line Boston Acoustics six speaker 375w amp with subwoofer (six CD changer). When we decided to get rid of it (It would melt the front tires after I chipped it with CAI but electrical problems were driving me crazy at only 80K) and we replaced it with a 13 Scion XB I expected to be disappointed in the stock Pioneer 165w six speaker system.......but it actually sounds better and has as much bass, and cleaner, than the Boston system did. The Pioneer head unit is double DIN and I was expecting to replace it but the dumb thing sounds just fine and even though it is double DIN, it is NOT touch screen. It is single CD, has a USB port in the console, has really nice sounding Bluetooth streaming (another shock) and has physical buttons to change the stations etc. For how much we are in the car (not a lot) the system is far nicer than needed and expected at that price level.

    My best friend just picked up a 2018 Lincoln Continental Black Label that has the 20 speaker Revel system that makes your eyelids flutter at high volumes.......I is really, really cool but it almost seems like it is too much, but hey luxury cars dont sell by giving too little I guess.

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