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Old 08-02-2012   #26
 
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Orders of importance IMO:

Speakers > HU > Amps > Processors > Wires

I feel a good sources is very important and each sounds very different from another. Going from a 100 HU to a 1k head unit one could easily tell which is better. But when you reach the high end head units, whether one is better than the other or not, that is a matter of preference. For example, a Mcintosh mx5000 and a alpine f1 7990, both sounds greatttt, but at the same time it sounds so different its not even funny. The mac was rich and warm with better dynamics and control in the midbass/bass region, while the f1 has more top end and a breathiness to the vocals and the sax that was also awesome. Team Mac would say the Mac is the best HU in the world, team F1 would say theF1 is the best in the world. It was hard for me to even decide which I liked better.

So back to the OP, will changing the HU alter the sound of your entire system? Definately!! So find a head unit that suits your taste, they all sound very different.

hope that helps!
~C
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Old 08-02-2012   #27
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSyde View Post
The mac was rich and warm with better dynamics and control in the midbass/bass region...

~C
I don't have anything to go on other than what I've read, but if it's accurate, the analog volume alone on the Mac could justify all of those characteristics.

Rich=distortion (like a tube amp)

Warm=rolled off top-end

Dynamics=false dynamics from phase distortion

.
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Old 08-02-2012   #28
 
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pionkej View Post
I don't have anything to go on other than what I've read, but if it's accurate, the analog volume alone on the Mac could justify all of those characteristics.

Rich=distortion (like a tube amp)

Warm=rolled off top-end

Dynamics=false dynamics from phase distortion
I can honestly tell you I dont know what attribute to the sound, I am just trying my best to put into words what my ears tell me. But I wouldnt think its distortion, the sound was more controlled. The sound was more focused and tighter. If anything its better resolution and not distortion.

Last edited by SouthSyde; 08-02-2012 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 08-02-2012   #29
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSyde View Post
Orders of importance IMO:

Speakers > HU > Amps > Processors > Wires

I feel a good sources is very important and each sounds very different from another. Going from a 100 HU to a 1k head unit one could easily tell which is better. But when you reach the high end head units, whether one is better than the other or not, that is a matter of preference. For example, a Mcintosh mx5000 and a alpine f1 7990, both sounds greatttt, but at the same time it sounds so different its not even funny. The mac was rich and warm with better dynamics and control in the midbass/bass region, while the f1 has more top end and a breathiness to the vocals and the sax that was also awesome. Team Mac would say the Mac is the best HU in the world, team F1 would say theF1 is the best in the world. It was hard for me to even decide which I liked better.

So back to the OP, will changing the HU alter the sound of your entire system? Definately!! So find a head unit that suits your taste, they all sound very different.

hope that helps!
~C
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Old 08-02-2012   #30
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaser9478 View Post
as far as amps, the op amp effects the sound. that's why you can order tru amps with the sound you desire. That's how amps have a signature sound
What does an amp without an op amp sound like? Those should sound the best, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 08-02-2012   #31
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Got-Four-Eights View Post
Never said you couldn't win with a lower end deck. My point was you can hear a sound difference between a lower end deck and an upper end deck.
That wasn't the point. You cited competitors as your source for why expensive head units sound better. Your logic is that since they're successful in car audio competitions, their experiences carry more weight than others. But mic10s cited other successful competitors who use cheaper head units to achieve the same results.

So, the obvious question is: what are your successful competitor friends doing wrong to where they need to spend more on head units than other successful competitors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 08-02-2012   #32
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Markz, Transparency is the goal, right? An amp is supposed to be speaker wire with gain control.

Everything electronic has its own sound. It all also sounds different from car to car.

For the most part the old cliche about beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is very true with audio. One mans laid back is lifeless, one mans airy and detailed is harsh.

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Old 08-02-2012   #33
 
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
That wasn't the point. You cited competitors as your source for why expensive head units sound better. Your logic is that since they're successful in car audio competitions, their experiences carry more weight than others. But mic10s cited other successful competitors who use cheaper head units to achieve the same results.

So, the obvious question is: what are your successful competitor friends doing wrong to where they need to spend more on head units than other successful competitors?
Well, I think what he is trying to say is that, he knows those successful competitors spent hundreds of hours on install, and hundreds of hours to make sure that it is tuned correctly. And there are many competitors out there that win with lower end HU, because their install and tuning skillz is top notch. The head unit is not the reason why they won the competitions, we all know that speaker placement and install and tuning is wayy more important than a head unit But at the same time, those top notch competitors knows the importance of a nice head unit to further help tailor to the sound that they want, for their enjoyment after everything else is done correctly.
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Old 08-02-2012   #34
 
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Also, good sound is sooo subjective, especailly in competition... Will I get the same score on the meca score sheet with my Mac and say an alpine 7996? Sure, probably.. But will I personally enjoy my system as much with the alpine? Probably not. But thats just me.
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Old 08-03-2012   #35
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Car audio rule no.1 car audio is about compromise

This site is devoted to those who use skill to overcome budget. It is very refreshing to know that medium level equipment and top notch skilll can win. Or all you would have to do to win is spend money.

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Old 08-03-2012   #36
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

I think you guys are missing the point.. reason I even mentioned the high end guys that compete is that we know they have a good ear. The point of this thread is that a higher end deck can have better SQ then a lower one and I believe that to be true. I am going off what my self and others have experienced going from a lower end deck to an upper level deck. Again, I never said you can't win a comp with a low end deck. Most of us do this for great sound and not competition anyways.

MarkZ... you really want to tell Steve Head he is doing something wrong? Or Erik who just won Heatwave and has an amazing sounding setup. Go for it. You think they would spend the money on headunit that they do if they did not believe or KNOW they are getting better sound? These are the guys who sit there testing the sounds of equipment for the love of what they do. Competition aside these guys love car audio.. They don't go off of graphs or what they read.. they go off of personal experience with a professional ear. You guys can argue with me all you want. I am done giving my OPINION which I have a right to have... so instead of arguing with me.. just give the OP your OPINION and move on.....

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Old 08-03-2012   #37
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

I believe the head will totally change the sound. Locally I was at a store that sells hertz and audison and they are bring pioneer premier back in. They were talking about a customers truck that is basically full hertz and audison amps, had a processor which I believe was the ms8 and an alpine head which I believe was the 9887. The customer swapped to the high end pioneer, not the 80 and every installer said the truck sounded night and day. They said they didnt change one thing but the head and it sounded so much better that they decided to bring pioneer premier in. After swapping the heads they said the owner listened and kept asking what else was changed and it was only the head unit.
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Old 08-03-2012   #38
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Right....
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaser9478 View Post
Car audio rule no.1 car audio is about compromise

This site is devoted to those who use skill to overcome budget. It is very refreshing to know that medium level equipment and top notch skilll can win. Or all you would have to do to win is spend money.
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Old 08-03-2012   #39
 
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaser9478 View Post
Car audio rule no.1 car audio is about compromise

This site is devoted to those who use skill to overcome budget. It is very refreshing to know that medium level equipment and top notch skilll can win. Or all you would have to do to win is spend money.
What happens when you have top level equipment AND top notch skill in the same install?
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Old 08-03-2012   #40
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

You sit back and enjoy the ride!

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Old 08-03-2012   #41
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
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What happens when you have top level equipment AND top notch skill in the same install?
lol....
Still compromise
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Old 08-03-2012   #42
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mic10is View Post
except that the signal you put into a processor gets manipulated by the processor then to the amps which may or may not alter the signal as well.
So lets assume your amps do their job and Only amplify the signal without adding anything more---the last thing in line before that is the processor. So the amps are amplifying the signal put out by the processor. the AD/DA in the processor, opamps, etc....

LOTS of VERY successful competitors use very average head units...Mark Elderidge has been running an Alpine 9860 or 9861 into his DBX.
Bob Johann , multi IASCA world champion, ran the JCV SH-99 which was a $400 head unit...I ran a 9860 when I won IASCA and MECA finals.
Todd Luliak who won Extreme class and had the 2nd Highest score behind Elderidge at MECA finals was an Alpine 505 I think....

id pay more attention to what comes after the head unit....
What I have been telling people for years.
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Old 08-03-2012   #43
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Got-Four-Eights View Post
I think you guys are missing the point.. reason I even mentioned the high end guys that compete is that we know they have a good ear. The point of this thread is that a higher end deck can have better SQ then a lower one and I believe that to be true. I am going off what my self and others have experienced going from a lower end deck to an upper level deck. Again, I never said you can't win a comp with a low end deck. Most of us do this for great sound and not competition anyways.

MarkZ... you really want to tell Steve Head he is doing something wrong? Or Erik who just won Heatwave and has an amazing sounding setup. Go for it. You think they would spend the money on headunit that they do if they did not believe or KNOW they are getting better sound? These are the guys who sit there testing the sounds of equipment for the love of what they do. Competition aside these guys love car audio.. They don't go off of graphs or what they read.. they go off of personal experience with a professional ear. You guys can argue with me all you want. I am done giving my OPINION which I have a right to have... so instead of arguing with me.. just give the OP your OPINION and move on.....


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Old 08-04-2012   #44
 
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

NwAvGuy: What We Hear

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Old 08-04-2012   #45
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

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Thanks that's what I was actually looking for but couldn't find it despite having read it many times

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Old 08-04-2012   #46
 
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

But those wine all tastes different dont they? As previously stated, just have to find what fits your tastes best. The OP is asking basically can improvements be made with a different HU, and the answer is YES, one should just find one that has the sonics that one like.
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Old 08-04-2012   #47
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

For someone in the hobby of car audio to sit there and say that upgrading your source from a lower end deck to a high end deck cannot provide better SQ truly blows my fucking mind...Let's all just run stock decks then.. fkit. I think I will take that blue and red pill at the same time and just keep an open mind to what I hear instead of believing every choice I make is skewed because if I pay more I automatically think it's going to be better.

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Old 08-04-2012   #48
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Got-Four-Eights View Post
For someone in the hobby of car audio to sit there and say that upgrading your source from a lower end deck to a high end deck cannot provide better SQ truly blows my fucking mind...Let's all just run stock decks then.. fkit. I think I will take that blue and red pill at the same time and just keep an open mind to what I hear instead of believing every choice I make is skewed because if I pay more I automatically think it's going to be better.
Open mind is key, that I completely agree with. I don't think I ever said that it can't or won't make a difference.
My point is simply that most often the sonic differences may or may not really be there. But being mindful of bias is always a good idea.
Veteran competitors know this very well. People have natural bias based on what they've heard,read and seen. Sometimes its good to cater to them,sometimes it isn't.
It IS a competition afterall

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Old 08-04-2012   #49
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

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Open mind is key, that I completely agree with. I don't think I ever said that it can't or won't make a difference.
My point is simply that most often the sonic differences may or may not really be there. But being mindful of bias is always a good idea.
Veteran competitors know this very well. People have natural bias based on what they've heard,read and seen. Sometimes its good to cater to them,sometimes it isn't.
It IS a competition afterall
Wasn't the original question as simple as can a higher end deck sound better than a lower end deck. Keeping all the biased views and other opinions aside. It really is a simple yes or no answer. Is your answer Yes or No? Can a higher end headunit have better SQ then a lower end one?

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Old 08-04-2012   #50
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Default Re: Head unit upgrade = better SQ output?

pionkej they are listing DRZ9255's on ebay a lot lately if you dont mind the 500 prices. i myself prefer to use a headunit with no internal amplification. so that the signal i'm sending out to my processor is not already partialy dirty. i use to run a 9575/7500z setup to a HX-D10/7500z setup. so i'm saying a better headunit with better options and internal working might make your SQ a lil better depending on the rest of your setup.
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