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Old 03-01-2014   #1
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Default 80PRS simple L/R SQ vs 24-bit 4v 2014 better Alpines or Kenwoods

Wow sorry for the run-on title

QUESTION SUMMARY

I understand the advanced tuning capabilities, auto EQ, side independent EQ, 3-way crossovers etc are better on the 80PRS but with all DSP aside or defeated, how does just the simple music accuracy and quality of better Alpines or Kenwoods compare side by side with the DEH-80PRS? Any folks A/B compare apples to apples just L/R unmolested output?

DETAILS

I'm considering pulling the stock non-nav and MS-8 and going with aftermarket head alone or with processor later. Current amps are band-pass capable NVX 4-ch & 1-ch waiting on me now replacing an old zx700.5. Drivers are Vifa or SEAS Neo I have on hand, TB W6-789E mids and probably a Dayton HF or similar better quality 10" in a glassed corner trunk box I picked up. 08 Civic Si sedan. Dash kit on hand now. Going to do it right this time and completely pull all interior for some wiring clean up. Doors are treated and MLV'd and may do more in floors and trunk.

The NVX amps' band-pass capabilities give me some flexibility granted that would combine time alignment which would be a compromise understandably if one head L/R channel fed two outs on the amp. Lots of ideas on that but more concerned on head unit SQ and build quality for this topic. Probably going to be a very humble 2-way + sub.

Given most better head units will afford USB, Bluetooth and iDevice digital direct reading, features features features, my main pick is the 80PRS and the 99RS is simply out of the budget or I would get it done.

I'm wondering among the better new Alpines such as the CDE-HD149BT or IVE-W555BT, or maybe the Kenwood 997 or 998, how does their general output SQ and build quality compare to the burr-browns and build of the 80PRS?

The 555 is interesting as I would appreciate the screen advantages and 2-din appearance if the head unit can actually bring it in terms of SQ output. Couldn't care less about nav but digital inputs a must. I dunno on new Alpine SQ so asking you guys.


Thanks for your input.

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Old 03-01-2014   #2
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Pull up a chair and break out the popcorn, I'm interested.
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Old 03-01-2014   #3
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Default

Alpines have a very distinct sound. Some like it, some don't.

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Old 03-01-2014   #4
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

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Old 03-01-2014   #5
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
Alpines have a very distinct sound. Some like it, some don't.

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Are you suggesting that all HU's DON'T sound the same???

Yes, I agree.

I prefer Alpine over Pioneer, preferably sold school Alpine

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Old 03-01-2014   #6
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I can buy that. Had a $500 Cambridge Audio AV receiver with excellent dacs and simple signal path that would rival $800 denons and others. I imagine "24-bit" being the buzzword alone really should be taken with a grain of salt. I'm leaning verrrrry heavily toward the PRS but the 998 or 149BT have become my alternates. Full time alignment and good EQ are definite items I want. The PRS certainly goes above that in tuning though.

Read one reviewer say she preferred the excelon over the PRS and alpine however I suspect she was either attempting to sell the excelons or who knows... I could never trust a demo wall with the silliness they do with the wiring, switching, speaker selectors etc. unfortunately I'm in a town with one brick and mortar, and they're too busy doing mediocre installs in Ferraris and Porsches and window tint.

QS, what do you mean about a "distinct sound"? Is it as though by design the Alpines have a voicing of their own added?

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Old 03-01-2014   #7
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And ya know, given the reason previous receivers I've had died due to some CD player movement issue, dontcha wish they'd do SQ oriented mechless units? Even having come from working in the CD/DVD manufacturing industry, I can't remember how long since I've played one. A mechless unit with top tier SQ would be a great find. Defeat able internal amp, good dacs, TA, EQ, BT, iPod digital read in a no-disc unit would rock.

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Old 03-01-2014   #8
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

What about the Clarion cz702 sound? At least it offers an HPF for the subs and more flexible active crossovers not needing an external amp.

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Old 03-01-2014   #9
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCo View Post
Are you suggesting that all HU's DON'T sound the same???

Yes, I agree.

I prefer Alpine over Pioneer, preferably sold school Alpine
I like old school Alpine. The new stuff, other than F#1 Status...meh. I like newer Pioneer a LOT more than newer Alpine.

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Old 03-01-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs View Post
QS, what do you mean about a "distinct sound"? Is it as though by design the Alpines have a voicing of their own added?
Yep. I have never been able to get the bass right and the top end isn't as good. Like less extension and sparkle. It's hard to say exactly but it's just rougher overall, to me. Some people prefer them and have great results with it.

I like Kenwood even less than Pioneer and Alpine.


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Old 03-01-2014   #11
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
I like old school Alpine. The new stuff, other than F#1 Status...meh. I like newer Pioneer a LOT more than newer Alpine.

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The last Alpine deck I ran was the dva-9861... (the 2008-2014 models I haven't heard much in all honesty)

In comparison to the 7949, the 9861 wasn't as good and the bass and midbass was sloppy. Sorry to hear the downward trend in quality continued...

Maybe this years models will be better?

I speak the truth because I care...
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Old 03-01-2014   #12
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

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And ya know, given the reason previous receivers I've had died due to some CD player movement issue, dontcha wish they'd do SQ oriented mechless units? Even having come from working in the CD/DVD manufacturing industry, I can't remember how long since I've played one. A mechless unit with top tier SQ would be a great find. Defeat able internal amp, good dacs, TA, EQ, BT, iPod digital read in a no-disc unit would rock.
Alpine ICS-X7HD

I used this in our Forester for quite a while. At the last local SQ meet, anyone who heard it seemed quite impressed with the sound quality and staging, even with my passive setup.

"Pushy" has a completely different definition when Sean Connery says it.

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Old 03-02-2014   #13
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

I honestly dont like the new Alpine sources they just sound different. Ive pretty much run Alpine exclusively since 1996.
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Old 03-02-2014   #14
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Alpine ICS-X7HD

I used this in our Forester for quite a while. At the last local SQ meet, anyone who heard it seemed quite impressed with the sound quality and staging, even with my passive setup.

Yeah I love the mix on that unit except there's nearly nothing about its sound tuning capability. The screen and being mechless is nice.

I think crutchfield may have a misprint. They list it as having burr-brown dacs which I doubt.

Also does the x7hd unit have individual speaker time alignment? And can the internal amp be deactivated?

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Old 03-02-2014   #15
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Default 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCo View Post
The last Alpine deck I ran was the dva-9861... (the 2008-2014 models I haven't heard much in all honesty)

In comparison to the 7949, the 9861 wasn't as good and the bass and midbass was sloppy. Sorry to hear the downward trend in quality continued...

Maybe this years models will be better?


Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
Yep. I have never been able to get the bass right and the top end isn't as good. Like less extension and sparkle. It's hard to say exactly but it's just rougher overall, to me. Some people prefer them and have great results with it.

I like Kenwood even less than Pioneer and Alpine.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiloDB1 View Post
I honestly dont like the new Alpine sources they just sound different. Ive pretty much run Alpine exclusively since 1996.

My experience with alpine is limited to a lower end unit only which sounded mediocre and died quickly. My kenwood experience is with better excelon units which had weird tuning business but great straight stereo SQ. XXV-01D I think it was. Prior was an old deadhead with the dreaded ribbon cable failure. I guess that's why I'm not a fan of CD players as it's just too much crap to break. There's a YouTube showing a 997 that keeps ejecting the disc. Gives me pause.

That said though I'd risk it on the 80PRS. I do think its time to kill the CD entirely in a higher end mechless unit. I wonder why they persist with it. The CD is going the way of the 8-track.

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Old 03-02-2014   #16
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs View Post
Yeah I love the mix on that unit except there's nearly nothing about its sound tuning capability. The screen and being mechless is nice.

I think crutchfield may have a misprint. They list it as having burr-brown dacs which I doubt.

Also does the x7hd unit have individual speaker time alignment? And can the internal amp be deactivated?
I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure Alpine's 24bit DAC was burr-brown. At least that's what I saw on several advertisements for the INE-S920HD when I was researching it last year. Who knows if it's true or not but I was pretty sure I saw it on more than just Crutchfield.

But then again the other websites could have just copied Crutchfield's descriptions
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Old 03-02-2014   #17
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Default 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Another intriguing unit is the IVE-W555BT. They do seem to be innovating with the tuning from iPhone app which is very cool. I've been playing with the tuneit app and the interface is very slick.

But it looks like the 555 possibly has the same preamp/dsp as the 149bt with 9band parametric and TA. maybe they're standardized a good bit. Not much info on it yet as it's new.

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Old 03-02-2014   #18
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs View Post
Yeah I love the mix on that unit except there's nearly nothing about its sound tuning capability. The screen and being mechless is nice.

I think crutchfield may have a misprint. They list it as having burr-brown dacs which I doubt.

Also does the x7hd unit have individual speaker time alignment? And can the internal amp be deactivated?
Internal amp can't be deactivated from what I could find. But you can do right and left T/A on front, rear, and subwoofer outputs. EQ is nice, that 9-band parametric comes in handy. Plus the crossover settings are separate for front, rear, and sub, and you can attenuate each one lower per your particular tastes. The menu for turning subwoofer on/off also has a volume level and phase swap.

It's the first time I've used rear fill successfully. This head unit really helped push the front stage up, and out towards the hood.

"Pushy" has a completely different definition when Sean Connery says it.

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Old 03-02-2014   #19
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

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That said though I'd risk it on the 80PRS. I do think its time to kill the CD entirely in a higher end mechless unit. I wonder why they persist with it. The CD is going the way of the 8-track.
Until high definition digital audio is the norm, CDs will be necessary. Either as the media source or to use to make digital copies that don't suck.

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Old 03-02-2014   #20
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Where are you guys seeing the 555?

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Old 03-02-2014   #21
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

I had a 7949 for about a week. I hated that thing, I don't understand why people go nuts over the ugly thing. I replaced it with an Eclipse 5605 (whatever the indash changer was), and it was junk...it got replaced by a 55060 and that was better. Then that got replaced with a ODR setup that I kept for a while until I got a P9 setup.


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Originally Posted by WestCo View Post
The last Alpine deck I ran was the dva-9861... (the 2008-2014 models I haven't heard much in all honesty)

In comparison to the 7949, the 9861 wasn't as good and the bass and midbass was sloppy. Sorry to hear the downward trend in quality continued...

Maybe this years models will be better?
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Old 03-02-2014   #22
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Wish when Pioneer said 24-bit Burr Brown DAC meant it could play 24 bit content. Doesn't, still only plays 16 bit. What pissed me off about it.
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Old 03-02-2014   #23
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

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I had a 7949 for about a week. I hated that thing, I don't understand why people go nuts over the ugly thing. I replaced it with an Eclipse 5605 (whatever the indash changer was), and it was junk...it got replaced by a 55060 and that was better. Then that got replaced with a ODR setup that I kept for a while until I got a P9 setup.
It sounded great but it's ugly as sin. In all fairness, it's MILES better looking than the 7939.

I haven't liked ANY Eclipses since they went to the 4-digit model numbers.

If the P9 did iPod, I'd run that. It's GORGEOUS and sounds fantastic.

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Old 03-02-2014   #24
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Default Re: 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

Yeah the 7939 was ugly as sin too. These were supposed to be the "new" 7909s too. Fell far short of those goals. Well maybe the 7949 could have sounded as good...but I couldn't stand it in my car. The only other really nice looking Alpines were the 7996 and 7990. The 7990 is the only other deck that I like as much as my current Denon.

Agreed on the Eclipse too. I still have an ECD-510 and 414..my first deck was a ECD-410, so I was always partial to them.

Can't you get an adapter for the P9 to use an IPOD? I don't know since I don't have an IPOD. I just wished it was black rather than silver.
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Old 03-02-2014   #25
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Default 24-bit 4v 2014 Alpines or better Kenwoods unprocessed SQ vs 80PRS as my 1st p...

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Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
Where are you guys seeing the 555?

Saw it next to the x7hd on the wall on a CES 2014 YouTube. Here's crutchfield's page. No manual to download yet. I suspect it'll be rather brainy. I like the non-flip face and some hard button controls actually.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_500IVEW...T.html?tp=5684

Is it me or does alpine's website simply blow? Kenwood is equally poor. Especially with keeping up with new model intros. The business as a whole has become very k-mart. If it weren't for crutch, YouTube and sonic there'd hardly be any info on new models.

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