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Discussion Starter #1
Moving on from Alpine 9835 and I'm stuck... Nav & external EQ or no Nav and internal?

Evening all. Great site you have here, I'm glad I finally stumbled across a group of individuals that I can talk/learn tech with.

For years now I've been using an Alpine CDA 9835 head with stock speakers and a 10" Type R sub off of a Kenwood amp. The first car it was installed in was an '03 Jetta, and with the stock speakers I was blown away. Just swapping the head made such an improvement in SQ, I never felt the need to replace the components. I kind of cut my teeth on sound shaping with this guy, using it's built-in crossover and EQ far more than I ever had with previous stereos.

The next car it moved to was a tweener (junker) Honda Civic. Again, I stuck with the stock speakers as I was able to tune it to good enough. The car was noisy anyway and I didn't see the need to waste money on trying to fix the problem.

Fast forward to today, I'm happily outfitting my '05 A4. Now while I've been thrilled with the 9835, it sadly just doesn't look right in the new car. Ok, that and I like toys/want to upgrade. I first looked at the new single-din Alpines, but found they've tossed the motorized face (another thing I really liked for whatever reason). Anyway, I then dabbled with the thought of moving to a double-din nav unit. After shopping around, I finally settled on the Eclipse AVN 4430 (the new one with the detachable TomTom GPS). I love the idea of being able to pop the GPS off for portability and theft protection. After getting it all installed and hooked up, I realized my error... I bought the unit sight-unseen from a shop that didn't have a demo unit. Because of this, I only realized after the fact that it's sound shaping feature set is very limited. It's a great stereo, but the Alpine has changed my expectations in a unit -I need (ok, want) more than Bass/Mid/Treble controls on the screen. So, I came to the conclusion I'd sell the 4430 and hold out for the new and much-hyped AVN726e. Surely Eclipse's new flagship model will have an EQ on-board, right? Well, the specs were finally released on the 1st, and sure enough, it's got the same setup as the 4430.

Rats.

Further research on the topic (mostly here) reinforces my findings that these double-din nav units are more show than go when it comes to sound shaping. That's pretty disappointing to learn, and it's left me wondering what to do next. Truth be told, I'm mostly convinced I'll be getting the 726e, but I'm very concerned I'll quickly tire of it's basic controls.

Which got me wondering (yes, I'm FINALLY getting to my original question), what about adding the Eclipse EQ1000 (or similar) to it?



I know nothing about these (thank you Eclipse, for having zero useful information on your site about the product), but wanted to get the opinion of the group. Will I get some of the control back that I would be losing in moving to the nav unit? Is it an actual quality solution, or is this kind of a hack attempt at having my cake and eating it too? I really don't care to spend the cash on this kind of setup just to find sub-par results and me wishing I had just gotten a single-din head with proper controls to begin with.

A second option I've got floating around in the back of my head is getting the Alpine W505 with the Imprint processor. The problem here is I'm wary of it being a year old already. The fact that you have to piecemeal all the features you get out of the box with the Eclipse doesn't help either (I haven't heard stellar things about the Blackbird II Nav unit, so if the nav sucks, what's the point?)

So.... help?

I know that what I'm asking here is almost 100% subjective and only I can decide for me, but I'm hoping maybe someone can help me see some things I'm missing. I'm sure the hardcore audiophiles are going to push me to dump the nav, and I half agree, but I have a really hard time with the idea of putting a single-din head in my big-ass dash opening. There's always the cubby solution, but ....well, I'd just like to fill it out a little better.




Thanks in advance!
 

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Re: Moving on from Alpine 9835 and I'm stuck... Nav & external EQ or no Nav and inter

Well I gather that the Eclipse add on you have there is only an EQ right, and won't give you Xover or time alignments? If you have a little cash lying around, I'd suggest getting a Zapco DR series amp. They have EQ, TA and Xover built right in. You just hook up your computer to the USB port on the amp and start tuning. This way you can have your cake and eat it too with NAVI and great SQ. Or you can get the Alpine unit which will allow you to tune the car, but has a sub-par NAVI unit.
 

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Re: Moving on from Alpine 9835 and I'm stuck... Nav & external EQ or no Nav and inter

Not sure how I missed your reply, but I did.

That EQ pictured above has a crossover built into it, but I'd probably just use the crossovers in the PDX-5.

The Zapco looks interesting, but as much of a geek as I like to be, having to fire up a laptop every time I want to tweak something sounds like a relative pain. That said, I think I've hatched a plan. You guys can (hopefully) give me some input if it makes any sense or if I'm traveling down the wrong road.

First step, get the sub installed with the amp, running all 4 channels to the front speakers only (not yet sure if I'll do bridged with a passive crossover or just run 75 to the mids and the other two to the tweeters). For now I'll just run this setup on the stock HU, using it's preamp outputs (the stock Symphony head unit doubles as their Bose unit, the only difference being which outputs you use). From there I'll roam the earth in search of an Alpine H701/C701 for a reasonable price. THEEEN, I'll eventually pick up the aforementioned AVN726e to replace the head, leaving me with the best (ok, maybe just marginal) mix of the nav and sound shaping abilities I hoped for.

Oh yea, the front components are going to get replaced somewhere in there too (probably shortly after the amp is installed and I pick a set out).


So, after 2+ weeks of reading and research around here, am I starting to catch on, or am I struggling?



Spiff
 

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Re: Moving on from Alpine 9835 and I'm stuck... Nav & external EQ or no Nav and inter

Have you looked at the DNX8120 from Kenwood? It has the majority of the sound controls needed. Just about the only thing it doesn't do is go active.

It has time alignment, crossovers, a full EQ, individual channel level controls... all without buying an external processor. It even has built in bluetooth. :)
 
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