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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I would like to know what is the difference especially with the alpine 7903 7903ms 7904 and 7906 alpine head units, They pretty much look all the same. I know the alpine 7909J and 7909 anniversary head units were supposed to have better specs than the other units, But a few members from other forums said they could hear no sound quality differences between them all. Also some forum members were saying the 7903 was the one that was only one step down from the alpine 7909 head units. I would have thought the 7906 would be the one that was the step down,But could use some schooling from you oldschool experts on these matters,Even though I have been listening to decks like the alpine 7390 myself since 1988.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Aren't there any old school people left here that know about these head units. I posted this in the oldschool part of the forums to speak to all you old school fanatics.
 

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I would like to know too as I dont think I will ever be able to afford a 7909. They is a guy on here named jeff priddy (user name jeffp) That rebuilds old school alpines and other stuff. He can take a HACKED out 7909 and make them function better then new! Try doing some research on Jeff and maybe he would chime in on thia subject. I would even be willing to do an old school tape deck with an alpine CD changer! There were some changers that had really good processors in them too
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for chiming in with interest in seeing how close the other 7903, 7904, 7906 units were to the 7909. that is pretty expensive now. The specs from what people say on the 7903,which is suposed to be only one step down from the alpine 7909,Was only 0.002 distortion on the 7909 as compared to 0.003 on the 7903, Which I,m sure unless you have dog ears can't hear the difference. The real difference I say in the specs was the alpine 7909 was 4 volt output as compared to 0.5 mv output. When I asked about that they said,It just meant ,you would half to turn up the amp gain more on the alpine 7903 to match the 4volt output of the 7909,Which I was told could induce extra noise floor into the system,If your amplifier had a higher noise floor. I don't think this will be an issue either if a big enough quality low noise floor distortion free amplifer is used.In a month I will have an alpine anniversary 7909 and 7903 ms ,and will do real world listening to see if it can sound as good as the alpine anniversary 7909 head unit, with simple equalizer tweaks,and the gain just turned up,nothing else changed speaker wise or amp wise, Still looking for other people though ,to still chime in on the differences between all these units,preferably not just spec wise ,but from real world listenig. I'm also aware that he anniversary edition unit has the black out feature, But I don't believe it makes a lot of difference in the clarity,and myself think it sounds bbetter with the lights all on. Stay tuined,though,In about a month,I will at least have the real world testing between the 7909 anniversary edition,against the alpine 7903 ms.
 

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So, differences between a 7903 and a 7904, the 7903 is a Pullout, 7904 is Fixed, the 7904 came with a clock, no difference between the two Audio wise! Same Internals for the Most part. 7906 was a European Market deck, much like the 7915 US version. Now, you will find Night and days difference between the 7903 and the 7909! The 7909 came with Dual Bur Brown Dac's which sets it apart from All other Decks Alpine made. You will hear a Noise floor while listening to the 7903 where as with the 7909 you will not on certain recordings! And it will be Noticeable.
 

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Thanks ryan for the info! So is it even possible or cost effective to upgrade a 7903/4 to the burr Brown dacs? I'm guessing that if it is Jeff priddy could do something like that.
 

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Thanks ryan for the info! So is it even possible or cost effective to upgrade a 7903/4 to the burr Brown dacs? I'm guessing that if it is Jeff Priddy could do something like that.
Jeff would have to answer that question. I'm sure he could go through one and improve it dramatically!
 

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Thanks again. Did you ever finish your thunderchicken? As much as I love alpine I was sad when you switched from a/d/s to alpine!
 

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Thanks again. Did you ever finish your thunderchicken? As much as I love alpine I was sad when you switched from a/d/s to alpine!
LOL, Which time (Finishing it) I sold it and bought a BMW 740i Shorty.
274783
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi, Ryan thanks for clarifying some things, different about the 7903 7904,7906 and 7909, Though you do have one thing wrong, which you stated, that was a big difference between the alpine 7903 and 7909. You said it was only the 7909 that had the dual digital to analogue converters. When I found a copy of the actual owners manual and specs for the alpine 7903. It says in the features part of it .Dual digital to analog converters,and when I read in the specifications part of it below the features part ,It says under compact disk part of specifications ,Number of D/A converters- (2). So there is not near the difference between the the 7909 and the second down from it 7903. I have been listening to the alpine anniversary 7909 for 15 years straight now,So I definitely have that sound engrained in my head very well. When the 7903 original specs deck, and the modified 7903 tubed output deck finally arrive here from there italy,and russian destinations, I will definitely be able to tel,l if they compare to the top of the line alpine anniversary 7909. Only thing I will be changing is the gains on the amps if neded to match the 4volt as compared to the 0.5 preout on the 7903 decks. My suspicions are that you are paying a premium price for the 4volt,and blackout feature,Which I don't believe makes it sound any better,or I would personally be running it that way myself,Since I always go for what sounds the best. I will post back in with real world results when they get here,and I get them installed in,Also by the way,Nice BMW you upgraded to.
 

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I don't have both specs in front of me but I do not believe the 7903 Utilized "BurBrown" chip's in the Dac. That's the difference you'll hear with the 7903.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not sure if alpine ever used any other dac chips other than burbrown, Or they would have had to make changes on the production line for each model, which companies usually didn't like to do, But neither of us can 100% guarantee this. So I will half to get in the trenches ,and do the real world listening tests when things arrive.I will definitely be able to tell if there is a major difference in the sound quality and fullness of sound, and detail of the alpine 7909 anniversary 7909 compared to the regular or modified 7903. If it turns out you can modify an alpine 7903 or make small adjustments on the gains or equalizer, Then this will still be of great help to others that will most likely never have a chance to own one of the anniversary alpine 7909 decks since they go for crazy money now,and probably less than 300 left in the world.
 

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The 7903/4 did not use Burr-Brown DAC’s. The 7909 has PCM1701 DAC’s.
 
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Hi, Ryan thanks for clarifying some things, different about the 7903 7904,7906 and 7909, Though you do have one thing wrong, which you stated, that was a big difference between the alpine 7903 and 7909. You said it was only the 7909 that had the dual digital to analogue converters. When I found a copy of the actual owners manual and specs for the alpine 7903. It says in the features part of it .Dual digital to analog converters,and when I read in the specifications part of it below the features part ,It says under compact disk part of specifications ,Number of D/A converters- (2). So there is not near the difference between the the 7909 and the second down from it 7903. I have been listening to the alpine anniversary 7909 for 15 years straight now,So I definitely have that sound engrained in my head very well. When the 7903 original specs deck, and the modified 7903 tubed output deck finally arrive here from there italy,and russian destinations, I will definitely be able to tel,l if they compare to the top of the line alpine anniversary 7909. Only thing I will be changing is the gains on the amps if neded to match the 4volt as compared to the 0.5 preout on the 7903 decks. My suspicions are that you are paying a premium price for the 4volt,and blackout feature,Which I don't believe makes it sound any better,or I would personally be running it that way myself,Since I always go for what sounds the best. I will post back in with real world results when they get here,and I get them installed in,Also by the way,Nice BMW you upgraded to.
Just to clarify, I stated, "The 7909 came with Dual Bur Brown Dac's which sets it apart from All other Decks Alpine made" not the fact that it came with 2 DA Converter. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If the alpine 7903 and alpine 7904 didn't use bur brown dacs. What did the alpine 7903 and alpine 7904 decks use for their dacs. Did they use the PCM1701 DAC’s like the alpine 7909 did .If not what did those 2 decks use.
 

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Per quote from Jeff Priddy,

"Alpine and most manufacturers used burr brown DAC's different part numbers but same manufacturer.The 7903 unit utilizes a dual input Sanyo LC7881MC DAC. The 7909 utilizes two Burr Brown PCM1701P DAC's. hope that helps."

I have asked Jeff to shed more input on this subject as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes ryan, that definitely helps. How far off sound quality wise, do you think the Sanyo LC7881MC DAC's s are compared to the Burr Brown PCM1701P DAC's.
 

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Yes ryan, that definitely helps. How far off sound quality wise, do you think the Sanyo LC7881MC DAC's s are compared to the Burr Brown PCM1701P DAC's.
Alot of Difference between the two. I've owned at least 4 7909, currently using a 7909J, and you can literally hear subtle nuances in the music on any 7909 that you will Not hear with a 7903, 4, 14 or a 15. Its all in the Burr Brown DAC's. The S/N ratio is much higher, Stereo Seperation etc with a 7909 as well.
 
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