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Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace my head unit soon and am after some recommendations. I am mid-build on an SQ setup for my 2003 350Z http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/118508-350z-sq-install.html.

The head unit for this build (Pioneer MVH-P8300BT) was the first thing I bought and was an impulse buy which I’m not happy with (everything since has been thoroughly researched). I am at the point where I want to package it up, ship it back to the States and sell it off cheap. First I need to pick a new unit…

My wish list is:

  • Good SQ, I know this is very ambiguous, but just something to keep in mind. High volt pre-outs would be a good start.
  • DSP: Either a 3 way which will get me by until I get the sub installed at which time I will get an external DSP, or a 3 way + sub which may mean I don't go for an external DSP later on.
  • Bluetooth hands free: I'd like built-in Bluetooth hands free, or the ability to integrate with another external hands free kit. I would actually prefer the second approach because my single experience with built-in Bluetooth hands free has been rubbish and this approach will give me some flexibility in selecting a hands free kit.
  • Inputs: As many USB, RCA and/or 3.5mm inputs as possible, preferably on the rear of the unit
  • Orange, white or adjustable illumination: I know, sounds picky, but my entire dash and centre console is orange lit, the current HU matches perfectly and looks awesome.

The tricky part is trying to find one available in New Zealand or Australia, one of the main problems with the current head unit is that I purchased the US model (due to an NZ model not being available at the time). The radio tuner on this model covers the same frequencies and any NZ tuner; however it skips in 0.2hz increments whereas our FM stations are separated by only 0.1hz

Things I am considering are the Alpine CDA-9887, and the Pioneer PRS models. The Alpine is available locally at a good price so I am tempted; it is an older unit though.

If anyone can recommend some models which match at least a few of my wish-list-items that would be much appreciated. I will have to do some research to see if I can find a that or a similar model available in the AUS / NZ market.

If there are any Kiwis or Aussies around that can chime in or point me at a good supplier that would be appreciated as well.

Regards

BronZy
 

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not sure what your budget is, but if you are looking for the best SQ option available right now, your search should start and end with a DEX-P99RS.

It doesn't have built in BT, but it MORE than makes up for that with what it offers.
 

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I'm kinda in the same boat. I had an Alpine CDA-117 planned, but they're discontinued and can't get locally, so now have to wait for the 2012 line to come out. Kinda sucks, I may look at other brands if anyone has real good suggestions. It's tough cause I've been running Alpine HU's for 20+ years.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
not sure what your budget is, but if you are looking for the best SQ option available right now, your search should start and end with a DEX-P99RS.

It doesn't have built in BT, but it MORE than makes up for that with what it offers.

Yeah I've been looking at that one very closely. Can find it for NZ$1410 on a local auction site. I'll have to check out the seller first to make sure that they are legit.

As an alternative I could probably land a MiniDSP 2x8 for NZ$500-600 depending whether I get hit with import duty or not. Add on a nice replacement HU for about the same price again and I would be looking at NZ$1000-1200 setup.

The P99RS has a few advantages, auto-tune, all-in-one solution, quality source unit, and on-the-fly tuning, whist an MiniDSP / other HU combo may give a bit more flexibility and an easier to use interface. I think if I can find a non DSP head unit which I really like, I will go that route, if not I will really be leaning heavily towards the P99RS.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I’ve been thinking about this more and I am not so keen on the P99RS anymore. One of my thoughts was that being a quality unit, it would last me a long time and I could transplant it from car to car. However my next car will quite likely be a late model and I may decide that I want to keep the factory integrated stereo, navigation etc. Therefore I might be better looking at a simpler stand-alone head unit with external processing.

Similarly for the Bluetooth hands free, I think I will buy a dedicated Parrot hands free kit and hardwire it to intercept the signal from my head unit.

Separating out these three functions, source, processing and calling does make for a more complex install, but it makes for a much more flexible solution… and I’m not afraid of a little soldering and/or hacking 

Therefore my search for a head unit is simplified a bit, the main requirements are looks and connectivity, I want it to play CD’s, tune into the radio and be able to connect at the very least to my iPod and to my Android via rear ports.

I have been scouring the local websites for something that catches my eye, but nothing really does. I am investigating the lower-model Pioneer RS units at the moment. Any and all recommendations are welcome!
 
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