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

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

  1. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,808
    Location:
    Brooksville, Fl.
    I have recently been having a hell of a time trying to figure out how to change the time on my Alpine. I am still an hour ahead. I have to read the unbelievably long manual once again. The only reason I bought it was that it had an actual knob for volume, although it actually controls about a million other things.
     

     

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  2. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    36,589
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    I put this in my new to me 1984 Continental. Its actually a 1986 radio but its absolutely identical to what it left the factory with

    [​IMG]

    mine says Electronic Tuning instead of Premium Sound but its the same radio. I do have a Premium Sound one, and I should have swapped the faceplates but didn't think of it until after it went into the car.

    Went in not because its an awesome radio or because I'm a stickler for all stock, it went in because it was free, looks the part, and its dead simple to operate. A snort of DeOxit on the controls makes them run quietly, and a cassette tape adapter gets me line input. Its not amazing but it gets the job done on a car that I honestly don't see myself putting loads of miles on.
     
    Farmhand likes this.
  3. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,033
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    I'm in your boat--I have all new/newish vehicles and so much other stuff (GPS, climate control, etc.) are incorporated into the mega-function unit that I won't even attempt messing with it--and if you mess anything up, it voids the warranty for that failure.
     
  4. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,170
    Location:
    CA
    I had a 85 Grand Marquis with the Premium Sound head unit and power amp (it had a pull down switch under the dash to turn it on) and it sounded pretty good but I thought that head unit was pretty crappy in how it was designed. All of the car mags at the time said the same thing that I did: the teeny tiny controls are almost impossible to use with fingers and impossible to use with gloves on. All of those controls and a tape deck in a single DIN unit meant it was a mess.
     
  5. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    32,447
    Location:
    Central Missouri
    Just bought a 2015 Honda Civic EX, decided to go for broke and get something nice to replace my 1993 Mazda MX-6. The EX has everything but the climate control on a touch screen. The result: instead of pressing one button and then the one next to it on my old stereo to change the tone controls or volume (which I could do almost without looking at it), I now have to make multiple screen clicks to go BACK and select a SOUND menu and THEN change the tone controls by stabbing my finger at the screen, which half the time doesn't take. Car & Driver (or was it Motor Week) called the audio system 'confusing' and I agree.

    Sad thing is the screen is huge enough to put a row of navigation buttons along one side that could allow you to go direct to other commonly used screens instead of going back to a menu while you're trying to freaking drive. But nooooo, they didn't think of that.

    Also the damn stereo sounds like crap. There's no air in the tweeters, no deep bass and a big hump in the mid-bass that is actually fatiguing if I turn it up. Not fixable with the tone controls either. I'm thinking of at least replacing the stock speakers, but as for the rest of it, probably impossible or at least not worth the expense, with that built in computerized thingy.

    Shame on you, Honda. I expected better and I've been driving your cars since 1992.
     
  6. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,170
    Location:
    CA
    My wife's long gone 2005 Prius had all functions including HVAC and radio etc through the touch screen and it drove us both crazy. It helps when there are steering wheel controls for some functions but even the Prius models went back to real buttons and knobs for the HVAC controls. Touch screens are nice since newer cars have a lot of features but items like volume control and temp and vent etc need real buttons as well.
     

     

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  7. BattleBrat

    BattleBrat Active Member

    Messages:
    107
    Ahhh 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300E here. Popped a Pioneer DEH-80PRS head unit in it and JBL Club series speakers (no amp) and a Cerwin Vega 10" powered sub under the passenger side footwell. Everything fits under the stock grilles beautiful! Those Clubs are ridiculously easy to power, will punch you in the face with sound in true JBL fashion *laughs* Crisp and clear tons of air and an immense sound stage, thanks to the 80PRS. It also has auto time alignment. You plug a small round puck like microphone into the front 3.5mm aux port, place the mic on the drivers headrest and get out of the car for a few while it does its magic. After it is done the center of the sound stage is moved directly in front of you, instead of the center of the dash. Numerous Pioneer head units feature this actually, but the 80PRS was one notch below the top of the line (I'm not dropping $1K on a head unit) and was built with high SQ in mind. [​IMG] https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/CD-Receivers/DEH-80PRS
     
  8. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,373
    Location:
    A rocks throw from JBLM !!!!
    My automobile came with a great stereo and I’m not going to brag. The volume knob sticks out far enough so that your fingers can find it in the dark, individual radio preset buttons, individual function buttons on the side closest to the driver with a great cassette player, six disc CD topping off a great stereo system. Then on top of that I’ve got the vehicle doing 24mpg by using double iridium spark plugs, a set of balanced ignition coils and spark plug wires from a Chrysler Crossfire / AMG. You see, I can’t leave anything alone....not even my 2001 ML320 !
     
  9. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,373
    Location:
    A rocks throw from JBLM !!!!
    I’ve got a Pioneer Super Tuner III still new in the box from the late eighties.....with EQ, Seakers and CD changer !!!!!
     
  10. Farmhand

    Farmhand Super Member

    Messages:
    1,289
    Location:
    Maine
    Look out for a bidding war on the Super Tuner!
    The main differences I see between late 80s/early 90s car audio and today's stuff are two things-
    1: everything's more complicated for little return.
    2: everything puts more electrons into sound than heat. Which is good.
     
  11. BattleBrat

    BattleBrat Active Member

    Messages:
    107
    Ah the 163 chassis (I'm a Mercedes mechanic) they came with a Bose system, no need to mess with those..
     
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  12. Gazdatronik

    Gazdatronik Super Member

    Messages:
    1,327
    Location:
    Chattanooga TN via Chicago
    Its strange, Ive always liked the Pioneer aftermarkets since they tended to be user friendly, of course that was 10 years ago. The Kenwoods were barfworthy for how bad the UI was at the time. Loudness was in a menu, for example. Or you could display the time, or the track, but not both, and the choice was also buried in the menu.

    Ive been looking into an Alpine lately to replace my head unit. I wonder if they are as nice to use as I remember?
     
  13. jdurbin1

    jdurbin1 Tandberg enthusiast Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,860
    Location:
    San Diego
    That's the radio that's going in my '68 Triumph when the restoration is done, but will have the Porsche-version faceplate instead of the std DIN/as used by MB version in your pic (separate holes for knobs/nose on the Porsche version, which matches my TR dash):

    [​IMG]

    Of course, it'll have some slightly newer stuff that isn't visible connected to it... mainly some other vintage crap from Sony ES, Zapco, a/d/s/ :)

    John

     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    Mitkraft likes this.
  14. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

    Messages:
    2,454
    Location:
    SW PA
    Except for not being a touch screen, that sounds like the stereo in my mom's '15 Hyundai Accent. It's a PAIN to adjust for a factory stereo. Lots of menus to navigate. It also sounds like crap to me. It has almost no low bass and a mid-high range bump that the tone controls don't fix. The factory radio in our POS '05 Escape sounded WAY better. That was replaced with a Pioneer, and now, even with the stock speakers, it sounds WORLDS better than the Accent's stereo
     
  15. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    36,589
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    yep, I won't tell you its my favorite Ford radio. In fact its among my least favorite Ford radios for those reasons. I don't plan to be using this car in winter though, so gloves aren't a factor and honestly it will probably spend much of it's life in tape adapter mode being fed from the ipod. As long as I can work the volume control the rest I don't much care about.
     
    Bodyblue likes this.
  16. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,632
    Location:
    Aggieland
    New car stereos intimidate the bejeezus out of me. I remember back in "the day" laying upside down under the dashboard and slapping in a standard (DIN sized) radio with two knobs and some push-buttons and a cassette deck. I somehow lost that agility over the last 35 - years or so.

    The last aftermarket radio I dealt with was having a Sony CD player installed (by Circuit City) in my 2004 Hyundai Elantra mainly because I wanted an "aux" port which, at that time, wasn't standard equipment in most cars.

    I sill prefer simplicity. Some of these new cars and aftermarket radio scare me.

    So, when we went looking to replace my 2004, the radio was a main source of interest. That, and having a spare tire (long story)

    Everything seems to be touch screen nowadays and that scared the tootsie rolls out of me so I looked carefully, particularly since everything seems to go through the "information/entertainment center" nowadays. Like said, I like simplicity.

    I got lucky. My 2017 Hyundai Sonata SE strikes the right balance. That model level has a 7" touch screen which controls the radio and also has Apple Play so I can use my Iphone's GPS and Pandora. As an added benefit it also has a back up camera and allows me to play a memory stick with tons of music directly, Oh, it also has an "Aux" port which seems redundant what with the USB port.

    And, best of all, the radio display is logically laid out and easy to navigate. So much so that I don't miss the old fashioned.

    2017 hyundai radio.jpg

    And, volume is controlled by an old fashioned knob under it, along with the seek/scan buttons and next to the simple to operate stand alone air conditioner. It's not part of the central computer functions, thankfully. Oh, it also has steering wheel controls but every car has that nowadays.
     
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  17. Decibel_116

    Decibel_116 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,857
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama, USA
    That looks like a Pioneer KP-8005, my first car stereo. I loved it. It had a very sensitive tuner.
     
  18. dontmindme

    dontmindme Creature

    Messages:
    1,198
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Nice, mine is a KP-5500. They were the bomb back in the 80’s. At least in my world!
     
  19. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Bluetooth & streaming cured me of missing the good old days when there were actual DJs with a clue about splicing songs together. There are still great college stations all over the USA not to mention countless program material from all over the world that I'll never even get to. Plus news, podcats, etc., I don't ever want to go back.
     
    beat_truck and Bodyblue like this.
  20. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,170
    Location:
    CA
    My wifes Scion has HD radio and after using it for the past few months I bought a home HD tuner. I dont miss regular car radios at all.
     
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