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Old 02-08-2017   #51
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by captainobvious View Post
Demoing will be done through the following board setup: Scanspeak 10", Scanspeak 4" 12M revelator mid and Scanspeak 7100 revelator tweeter. (Unless I come up with another solution by then)
Steve, which Scan 10" woofer are you using?
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Old 02-08-2017   #52
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

I always think having one average (head unit in this case) in the mix makes for a more interesting comparison. Just to see if anyone likes the average unit, or if everyone agrees and dosen't like the average one. Maybe that's just me.
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Old 02-08-2017   #53
 
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Can't wait to see the outcome of this.
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Old 02-09-2017   #54
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by 1fishman View Post
I always think having one average (head unit in this case) in the mix makes for a more interesting comparison. Just to see if anyone likes the average unit, or if everyone agrees and doesn't like the average one. Maybe that's just me.
Excellent idea, me thinks! But there are sooooooo many to choose from! Which one?
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Old 02-09-2017   #55
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Excellent idea, me thinks! But there are sooooooo many to choose from! Which one?
i also agree. maybe the oh so popular 80prs? or is that to good for average? i have a cda117 sitting around

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Old 02-09-2017   #56
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by captainobvious View Post
Some members expressed some interest in following along and reading the information and findings as we run through the high-end head unit shootout so I have started a thread here for it.

A little background...

I wanted to check out some of the highly regarded head units to see how they stack up against each other, and in an effort to select the one that I like the best for my personal vehicle. This is a difficult process though if you don't have the necessary units to compare side by side, so myself and a couple of friends have pooled together and we are going to each bring some of the high end units to the table and do a day of comparisons, listening and measuring of the source units.

Thus far, we have the following on the list:

Pioneer P99RS
Pioneer DEX-P9
McIntosh MX5000
Panasonic CQ-TX5500 Bottlehead
Denon DCT-1
Sony CDX-C90
Clarion DRZ-9255
Sony RSX-GS9

These are widely considered some of the very top car audio source units ever created. Yes, there are a couple that aren't on the list (Alpine 7909, F1 Status come to mind) but these are the ones we have been able to procure. Testing probably won't happen for a couple weeks but we're getting closer.

My intent is to do the following:

-Listening tests
-Measuring of output response for comparison
-Pictures


There are many of us on this site who enjoy reading subjective reviews for the fun and entertainment value as well as to hopefully give some things to think about. There are also plenty of us on the site who want to see objective data and don't give much weight to the subjective content. I'm hoping we can provide a little of both. I will state from the get-go however that your results may vary and I would encourage everyone to experiment, listen for yourselves and come to your own conclusions.


We will be using the analog output from each unit. We will use cd's as the source for listening testing and in the case of the Sony GS9 (which has no cd mechanism), I'll take the exact same music file source on the CD and put it on a usb stick to supply the Sony.

As for measurements, I'd like to feed signal into aux inputs and measure output with my software, but if that is not possible, then I will measure using a burned cd (and same file on the Sony GS9) to give a look at a comparative response. I'm a hobbyist and not professional- I'll do the best I can with the tools available.


Since technology has moved on in great leaps lately - why not test each unit to the very best of its ability...

So with the Sony play DSD or 24/192 files on it? Why limit the potential because the others can't play it?

Same with the P90 use the P90 processor (combo)

Etc...

I mean we buy these HUs for that specific reason not to burn CDs on MP3's?

Tidal has brought out the HIFI version MQA recordings - it won't be very long before everyone else jumps on that and will be as common a MP3 or lossless file in the future....

What do you think?


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Old 02-09-2017   #57
 
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Definitely subscribed
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Old 02-09-2017   #58
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by bbfoto View Post
Steve, which Scan 10" woofer are you using?

Scanspeak 25W-8565

It's quite good.

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Old 02-09-2017   #59
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by dgr932 View Post
Steve,

This sounds like a fun time. By the way your drum set is the best part of the room. I think your test board is perfect as all those drivers have a totally diferent sound. Are you going to bust out the Brax amplifier?

Either the Crown pro amp I have or the Brax, yup.

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Old 02-09-2017   #60
 
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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i also agree. maybe the oh so popular 80prs? or is that to good for average?
I have an 80PRS stashed away that I could send. I'll pay shipping from my end if you cover return shipping.
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Old 02-10-2017   #61
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Playing Devils advocate here - what makes you think you will be able to hear any difference in HU's considering most of you advocate no difference in amps?

Isn't this the same argument? A CD player plays a CD it has a DAC etc a cheap Sony does the same job as a expensive HU... DSP aside...

Why is a HU different to a Amp?


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Old 02-10-2017   #62
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by Elektra View Post
Playing Devils advocate here - what makes you think you will be able to hear any difference in HU's considering most of you advocate no difference in amps?

Isn't this the same argument? A CD player plays a CD it has a DAC etc a cheap Sony does the same job as a expensive HU... DSP aside...

Why is a HU different to a Amp?
I really don't think we should open that can of worms in this thread. ...At least not until AFTER the results have been divulged.

Let's just say for now that in this particular test we know that the Head Units will be compared using just the ANALOG PRE-OUTS. Therefore, each HU will be producing the signal via different DAC chips, and/OR at least unique (different) circuitry supporting the DAC. In addition, each of these HUs has unique analog line level pre-amplifier Circuitry, and a wide variety of different, but High-Quality electronic components in that circuitry.

Let's see what the results are first. And then discuss.
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Old 02-10-2017   #63
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by bbfoto View Post
I really don't think we should open that can of worms in this thread. ...At least not until AFTER the results have been divulged.



Let's just say for now that in this particular test we know that the Head Units will be compared using just the ANALOG PRE-OUTS. Therefore, each HU will be producing the signal via different DAC chips, and/OR at least unique (different) circuitry supporting the DAC. In addition, each of these HUs has unique analog line level pre-amplifier Circuitry, and a wide variety of different, but High-Quality electronic components in that circuitry.



Let's see what the results are first. And then discuss.


Don't get me wrong - I absolutely believe different HU's sound different

But - we starting to talk about different circuitry and components etc and different DACs and supporting electronics around those DACs etc

Sounds very similar to amps having different circuitry different components and have different OPAMPS and Class of input stages etc...

Yet it's firmly believed that they sound the same...

So yeah why can we accept a amp sounds the same as another amp yet we will entertain a CD player will sound different to each other?

A lot of arguments about you can't hear past a certain SNR or THD so in that case a $100 should sound the same as a $1500 HU?

Hanatsu once said that he tested a $100 pioneer to sound the same as a P99....

So if that's the case a $100 HU with a DSP PRO.2 with USB will cost less and sound better than any HU on the market?

Considering the HiRes and tuning capability of the DSP PRO.2...?


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Old 02-10-2017   #64
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elektra View Post
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely believe different HU's sound different

But - we starting to talk about different circuitry and components etc and different DACs and supporting electronics around those DACs etc

Sounds very similar to amps having different circuitry different components and have different OPAMPS and Class of input stages etc...

Yet it's firmly believed that they sound the same...

So yeah why can we accept a amp sounds the same as another amp yet we will entertain a CD player will sound different to each other?

A lot of arguments about you can't hear past a certain SNR or THD so in that case a $100 should sound the same as a $1500 HU?

Hanatsu once said that he tested a $100 pioneer to sound the same as a P99....

So if that's the case a $100 HU with a DSP PRO.2 with USB will cost less and sound better than any HU on the market?

Considering the HiRes and tuning capability of the DSP PRO.2...?
DUDE, I know! I KNOW !!!

(And ErinH recently tested a brand new, highly-spec'd Kenwood DD HU that was complete noise-ridden shit!) So...

Let's just WAIT until the results are posted. Or make another thread to discuss this. (Yes I know the discussion is related to THIS particular test, but I REALLY don't want to have to sift through 20+ Pages of BS to find the ONE actual Post that has the RESULTS!)

Thanks!

.

Last edited by bbfoto; 02-12-2017 at 12:54 AM..
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Old 02-10-2017   #65
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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I really don't think we should open that can of worms in this thread. ...At least not until AFTER the results have been divulged.
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Old 02-10-2017   #66
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Looks like we're doing listening testing on Sunday since that's when the guys can make it. Earlier then I expected, but we're moving forward. I probably won't have the Sony GS9 in the test since it is out on loan right now to a friend. When I do the recordings of each, I will include that in the mix.

It doesn't make sense to do the recordings of our demo sessions because we will be making noise and blocking sound, etc in the room. Once I have everything level matched and ready to go, I'll keep everything set. Then when the Sony comes back, I can level match it and do the recordings of the units in the room when it's quiet and without a bunch of bodies. This should give you guys the best recorded listening comparison experience of each of the units to follow along. Of course, nothing will compare to listening to them live but this is for fun- so don't get too serious


For our testing, I have switchers so we can swap back and forth between the sources quickly for a good listening comparison. After level matching each unit, I'll connect up the rca pairs randomly so I can't see what's at the other end of them so we won't know which unit is which until we are done with the "blind" evaluations.

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Old 02-10-2017   #67
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by captainobvious View Post
Looks like we're doing listening testing on Sunday since that's when the guys can make it. Earlier then I expected, but we're moving forward. I probably won't have the Sony GS9 in the test since it is out on loan right now to a friend. When I do the recordings of each, I will include that in the mix.

It doesn't make sense to do the recordings of our demo sessions because we will be making noise and blocking sound, etc in the room. Once I have everything level matched and ready to go, I'll keep everything set. Then when the Sony comes back, I can level match it and do the recordings of the units in the room when it's quiet and without a bunch of bodies. This should give you guys the best recorded listening comparison experience of each of the units to follow along. Of course, nothing will compare to listening to them live but this is for fun- so don't get too serious


For our testing, I have switchers so we can swap back and forth between the sources quickly for a good listening comparison. After level matching each unit, I'll connect up the rca pairs randomly so I can't see what's at the other end of them so we won't know which unit is which until we are done with the "blind" evaluations.
That's a bummer that you won't be able to do a direct comparison with the Sony unit.
That was the unit that I thought might sound best.

If you do that one at a different point in time there are so many variables that might come into play.

Looking forward to the results, regardless.

I enjoy reading about these kind of subjective evaluations.

I'm glad you kept the number of units down as to be able to have time to write up the findings.......and not make this experiment into a daunting task.

Too many units may take the fun out of the project and make it into a chore.

I know its going to be interesting. Thanks again for doing this experiment and for sharing the findings with us.

Looking forward to the results.

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Old 02-10-2017   #68
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Sure thing Gerald.

I'll still be able to evaluate the Sony, and I'll get it recorded exactly the same as the others in the exact same conditions...just won't have it here for the listening session with the other guys unfortunately. Unless someone wants to run one over to the house or can pass one off to one of the gents coming from PA/NY.

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Old 02-10-2017   #69
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Steve, didya get the DRZ yet??
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Old 02-10-2017   #70
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Steve, didya get the DRZ yet??
Supposed to arrive today based on tracking. I may have to pick up from the post office tomorrow if I missed delivery. I'll let ya know.


Thx!

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Old 02-10-2017   #71
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Steve, looks like the P.O./Mailman left a Delivery Slip at your place for the Zoom H6 today as well.

Yeah, bummer you won't have the GS9 Sunday, but I think you're right about doing the recordings at another time when it'll be quiet in the room. I would advise early morning or late evening for the recordings as well, just to minimize "city noise/hustle & bustle" (the random motorcycle, jet plane, or diesel truck, etc.). If you have forced air HVAC, or other noisey appliances, that will show up in the recordings as well.

Are you making up a Listening Evaluation Score Sheet?

Last edited by bbfoto; 02-10-2017 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 02-10-2017   #72
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Arrgh! Double Post, sorry.
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Old 02-11-2017   #73
 
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

Crap.

I would love to throw a bewith mm-1d in the mix. I'm in the process of buying another race motorcycle and can't go over 10% of credit usage vs available credit before I sign paperwork next Saturday (7 days from now).

If you're open to reviewing it at a later date, lemme know. It'll force me to make the purchase and add yet another piece in my ongoing build. And it'll be interesting to see how well it would do stacked against these awesome head units.

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Old 02-11-2017   #74
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by SkizeR View Post
i also agree. maybe the oh so popular 80prs? or is that to good for average? i have a cda117 sitting around
Please include the 117! I still rock one in my car, but some day I will use it optically to my H800. I still want to know how it performs analog out as I have it hooked up now.

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2017   #75
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Default Re: The High-End Head Unit Shootout

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Originally Posted by knever3 View Post
Please include the 117! I still rock one in my car, but some day I will use it optically to my H800. I still want to know how it performs analog out as I have it hooked up now.



Thanks!


That would be awesome..... if the 117 had a optical output that is...


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