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Old 02-26-2013   #1
 
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Default Best head unit under $200

The title pretty much sums it up. I've spent the past year focusing on my speakers but now it's time to upgrade the HU. Currently have a kenwood 348u and would like something better. From what I've gathered already i should have high volt pre outs. Don't know about the TA, Active x-over, ...etc. If I've never had it i won't miss it. As mentioned in a previous thread, as much of a tight wad that i am i refuse to make am un-informed decision. Throw some ideas out there. I'd probably be buying off Amazon. Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2013   #2
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Really?

I haven't done this in a while, but seriously, did you even try to search through relevant topics on this subject?
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Old 02-26-2013   #3
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Clarion's CZ702 can be had new for $176 and it's got more features than you would believe (T/A, HPF/LPF, Panoramic EQ, ect).

JVC flasgship arsenal series HU the KD-A95BT has almost all the same features of the Clarion (though it's far more attractive IMO). You could probably find one new for around $190, though she sells regularly at $220.

If you have a Double Din than JVC's 900BT is a great choice, it's just the A95BT in a 2 din chassis.
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Old 02-26-2013   #4
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

I agree that the JVC is more attractive, yet would be hard to find nib for under $200.00. Personally I would pony up the money for the Clarion and call it quits.

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Old 02-26-2013   #5
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Default

Under $200 they're all gonna be about the same. Choose the one that looks coolest to you cause aside from a feature or two, they'll be pretty close to each other.

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Old 02-26-2013   #6
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
Under $200 they're all gonna be about the same. Choose the one that looks coolest to you cause aside from a feature or two, they'll be pretty close to each other.

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Most $200 HU don't have the features the JVC and Clarion offer, Hell the cheapest Kenwood that has those features is almost $300. So I would say they are not all the same, just alot of them.
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Old 02-26-2013   #7
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Or used: Alpine CDA 9887 with Imprint Kit | eBay
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Old 02-26-2013   #8
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

I've never listened to aclarion, i was wondering about the sq
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Old 02-26-2013   #9
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Quote:
Originally Posted by bark424 View Post
I've never listened to aclarion, i was wondering about the sq
The SQ comes from the tuning features and what you do with them. The Clarion stereo comes with an active capable crossover and a parametric equalizer (unlike pretty much any other head unit out there), so there is a better promise to be able to setup the sound pretty well. It does take some still and experience, and maybe even additional measurement equipment. If you could buy a ~$300 head unit, Pioneer DEH-80PRS would give the same features, but also the ability to tune itself with AutoEQ.
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Old 02-26-2013   #10
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

When you say "measurement equipment" what do you mean? I have access to an omni mic. Would that do it?
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Old 02-27-2013   #11
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Quote:
Originally Posted by bark424 View Post
When you say "measurement equipment" what do you mean? I have access to an omni mic. Would that do it?
Measure your frequency response. This helps to identify phase issues, how to set the level of each individual speaker, equalization, etc. Achieving flat frequency response should be a good starting goal.
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Old 02-27-2013   #12
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

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Originally Posted by bark424 View Post
When you say "measurement equipment" what do you mean? I have access to an omni mic. Would that do it?
The 80PRS comes with it's own mic and built in calibration utility. The Clarion and JVC do not have this feature, this is one of the reasons why their MSRP'S are $250-$270 and the MSRP of the 80PRS is $500-$550. You could in theory set up a stand alone system with the omni mic and a computer and calibrate it that way but personally I'd say just adjust it by ear if you go with either the Clarion or JVC, unless you really want to be obsessive about it.
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Old 02-27-2013   #13
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-FiDelity View Post
The 80PRS comes with it's own mic and built in calibration utility. The Clarion and JVC do not have this feature, this is one of the reasons why their MSRP'S are $250-$270 and the MSRP of the 80PRS is $500-$550. You could in theory set up a stand alone system with the omni mic and a computer and calibrate it that way but personally I'd say just adjust it by ear if you go with either the Clarion or JVC, unless you really want to be obsessive about it.
Adjust by ear can be hard without some experience. With 2x16 (fixed) bands on Pioneer DEH-80PRS and 5 (floating) parametric bands on the Clarion one could become virtually lost where to start.
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Old 02-27-2013   #14
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Dang....you guys were supposed to help, lol.
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Old 02-27-2013   #15
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

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Dang....you guys were supposed to help, lol.
You asked for suggestion on a good sub $200 HU and I think we gave you that. Though I can't say we've made choosing one any easier, though thats kinda what happens in this hobby when you ask for suggestions.
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Old 02-27-2013   #16
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

you're right, i got what i asked for. i do appreciate it.
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Old 02-27-2013   #17
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

For under $200, the CZ702 just CAN NOT be beat... I looked at the JVC when I bought my HU as I also thought it was prettier and can be found just around $200, but it's crossover networks, while able to have steeper slopes (the CZ702 can do 6dB or 12dB slopes, which works just fine for me), don't offer the same flexibility as the CZ702. The JVC only has a HPF adjustable from 30Hz to 200Hz on 2 sets of preouts and a LPF the other, whereas the CZ702 has a HPF on 1 set, a bandpass on another, and a LPF and subsonic on the sub preouts with a MUCH, MUCH wider range of frequency selections. I also read a fairly scathing review of it (on DIYMA, IIRC) that really turned me off, plus I had a JVC before with the motorized face (a KDSH99) and the motorized face was problematic.

The CZ702 is all business and no bullshit, exactly why I like it. And now that I have it, I do like the looks of it a lot more.

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Old 02-27-2013   #18
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

I just ordered my Clarion cz702. I cant wait to give a try!
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Old 02-27-2013   #19
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

Quote:
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...I also read a fairly scathing review of it (on DIYMA, IIRC) that really turned me off,...
All the reviews I've seen for it have been pretty positive, I have yet to see anyone really call it a terrible HU.
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Old 02-27-2013   #20
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Default

Save another $100 and get the 80prs. Only single din head unit on the market worth buying for SQ (aside from the 99rs of course).
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Old 02-28-2013   #21
 
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200

I'm into sq, but to the extent of some others. I was considering pioneers new deh9500, its nicer than my kenwood but i don't know if i would see much improvement. Going active with the x-over kinda scares me.
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Default Re: Best head unit under $200



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-FiDelity View Post
All the reviews I've seen for it have been pretty positive, I have yet to see anyone really call it a terrible HU.
Here you go: High end headunit shootout... this time with data. Looking for headunits.

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