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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys think are good head units that are qround the £300 mark - or is it woth paying more or less for one?

Last good HU was an alpine that kicked the previous kenwoods ass....so a little biased towards alpine at the mo....

I will want to add a motorised screen at a later date i think but most have imputs anyway....

Top tilting alpine that's pretty new looks nice....

http://caraudiosecurity.com/catalog/product_info.php+cPath+9_81+products_id+3455
 

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What are you looking for? Sound quality/features/bling/?

£380 (the cost of the one you posted) could get you pretty much anything you want second hand.

If you're looking for sound quality, try Becker/Nakamichi/Denford 8250/Sony C90/ODR ... ofcourse, none of them look particularly tasty.. but the do fit well with OEM dashes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sound quality really....Just want it to be the boss of a simple ICE system really to start with but with a little scope to add to it over time...

I'm getting some components soon, already have 2 10" subs and an amp and will want a screen and dvd in the future possibly with sat nav...

I'll have a look at the units you mentioned....
 

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Halfords have amazingly dropped the price for the Nakamichi CD400 from £500 to £300. This is an absolute bargain for a top draw SQ head unit. Nothing will come close for the money
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
being relatively new to serious ICE, the becker ones look like humdrum units without all the flashing lights etc etc....

It's weird how my home stereo is just like this being understated but being very very good. None of that flashing spangly rubbish....

Struggling to get my head round it in a car tho...lol

I do like the alpine units tho.....

Can the nak cd400 take an input signal, say from a dvd player and also a cd changer at the same time?
 

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If you can still get it, then go for the Nak. Don't even think about it. Just do it.
It's not the best looking unit, but there is nothing that will come anywhere near its SQ for the money. :cloud9:
 

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lol Geoff - not heard of any of the ones I posted then? :banghead:

Nakamichi make some great transports, and certainly the CD700 is up there with the very best, and they all offer great performance at a price point ... but they're certainly not the only option. It seems that Nakamichi's name is finally being recognised in wider circles than just audiophiles, which is great... but bear in mind that they're now just taking over the "greatness" that the general ICE buying public attributed to Sony a few years ago (and we all know how good the average Sony deck is ;) ).

The ones I listed should all be on par with, if not better than the CD400.. although I haven't done any side by side comparisons (as I suspect will be the case for most). Ofcourse, that's just my 2p... buy what you like guys... I just don't see the point in being tied to just one brand when there's far more comparable stuff available.

I still drool over the CD700 every time I see it - it's my favourite headunit of all time, but I recently had the opportunity to buy one new for a very good price (about 40% of retail price), and instead opted for a different headunit and processor combination, which cost me more.

Cheers

Mark
 

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Been thinking about the CD700 myself although the Alpine F1 may well be what I get. It's a big purchase and I don't want to make the wrong choice.
I need some careful auditioning.
At this level system synergy becomes as much a factor as any so I need to try them in my own system.

What did you get then?
 

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Geoff - totally agree on the synergy thing. There are a couple of comparisons of very high end decks that have been made recently - I'll try to dig them out for you.

I opted for the Pioneer Carrozzeria RS-D7x headunit and RS-P70xII processor (both asian market only units). I went for them because I've used the P9 combo, and more recently, the old ODR kit (same as carrozzeria), and I've always been very happy with the sound, and I know how to get the best out of them. I also am very much a fan of units where you can control all of the processing in one place.

The D7x and P70xII are a formidable partnership (some would argue it's on par, or even better than the F#1 sound-wise, although not functionality-wise). I've also had very good reports on the sound from people I know and trust.

I'd love to have an F#1 system, although I feel that I wouldn't get the best out of it, and I certainly can't afford it. The other options for me mainly consisted of rackmount processors and headunit conversions, Denon decks, or the Nak and an Altomobile UCS Pro.

As I say, I'll go try to find those threads for you :)

Cheers

Mark
 

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I've got the Pioneer DEH-P80MP and find it excellent. RCA outputs are very clean, CD playback sounds excellent. MP3 performance and navigation is fast and straight forward. DAB addon performs great.

Shame the finish isn't as tidy as the higher model...
 

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Thanks for the link mulletboy. Interesting read.
I have an Alto UCS PRO and am so impressed with it that I have one on order for the wifes car. Would highly reccomend it.
 

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Ive just got an alpine 9855R. It was a warrenty replacement for my old alpine, a 9833R.
It sounds much better than the 9833R, but takes some setting up. The Glidetouch control bar is bizarre, but good once your used to it. The screen is also very nice. I certainly prefer it to the chavvy looking Sony units and it sounds better than Kenwoods or JVCs to my ears.
Ive read that the Nak units can be unreliable, they are also hideous, taking the 80s look a bit too far.. Only worth it if you want sound quality above all else, in which case you must have very decent speakers and good soundproofing as well (resulting in £££££ being spent.)
 

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chrismm27 said:
Ive read that the Nak units can be unreliable
Well, I suspect that the reason they seem to be unreliable, is because that (and the looks) are the only real reason that anyone can complain about them. Sure, they have reliability issues, just as do Alpine, Pioneer, Sony and just about every other headunit manufacturer. Infact, I've owned atleast 8 Pioneer headunits, only 1 of which never went wrong. That, to me, seems like a far higher failure rate than Nakamichi. Just be careful what you read and believe, because if there were other problems with Naks, it's unlikely that you (or plenty of other people, myself included) would automatically assume that they're terribly unreliable. Until I see some figures on failure rates, I remain unconvinced.

they are also hideous
Absolutely, except the CD700, which is lush! :D

taking the 80s look a bit too far
Check
.. Only worth it if you want sound quality above all else
Check
in which case you must have very decent speakers
Check
good soundproofing as well
Check
(resulting in £££££ being spent.)
Check

Yay, looks like I passed :bgrin:
 

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Horico was looking at £300, as such its unlikely hes going to spend £1000 on speakers and soundproofing. If thats true a Nak doesnt make much sense, i think he'd be better off getting something more feature packed that has 90% of the sound quality, because hes not going to achieve the extra 10% anyway.

As i understand it one of the Naks in particular has terrible failure rates. Not sure which one i have to admit, but i think its the CD400. I read on some of the american forums that its a great unit, when it works...
 

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chrismm27 said:
Horico was looking at £300, as such its unlikely hes going to spend £1000 on speakers and soundproofing. If thats true a Nak doesnt make much sense
Not true! Just because he's probably not going to spend thousands of pounds on speakers or sound deadening (which, he hasn't said btw ;) ), there's no reason why he shouldn't go for a better sounding headunit. Infact, if he's sacrificing in other areas, then I would think it's all the more reason to get a better sounding headunit. If he would rather have bling bling lights etc... then fair enough, but that certainly wasn't stated before Naks were suggested.

i think he'd be better off getting something more feature packed that has 90% of the sound quality, because hes not going to achieve the extra 10% anyway.
Again, that's your personal choice, not necessarily his. He may want to get the best sound as easily as possible, which will be done by having a good source unit. If he's going to spend £300 on the headunit anyway, why get one that sounds worse, unless it has some other feature that he can't live without?

As i understand it one of the Naks in particular has terrible failure rates. Not sure which one i have to admit, but i think its the CD400. I read on some of the american forums that its a great unit, when it works...
I think you mean the 500 actually... which is the latest one, and includes MP3.
 

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Basically though if your considering a Nak go and listen to one first. If youve damaged your hearing over the years you wont hear the difference really. If you cant hear the difference between a Nak and a good Alpine then get the Alpine. The difference in sound quality is marginal anyway.
 

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I would have to agree with chrismm27 in as much as there is not a massive difference between most GOOD head units. Go buy a magazine like TCA and pick any of their recommended units. They will all be good.
There are many other areas that will have a bigger difference on sound quality and they don't all cost a lot to change.
Speaker cables can make an immense difference to sound. In my system IXOS Gamma 2003 works very well and has excellent noise rejection, but try somewhere like Richer Sounds for home hi-fi cable. Generally much better than the junk that they sell as car cable. I have just tried Stinger Expert cable and quite frankly I would have been better off with wet string. There are bound to be some reasonable ones out there but don't beleive that paying more will get you better cable.
Poorly fitted speakers will be a complete waste of money. Fit your speakers as rigidly as possible and alwaye make enclosures if you have the space behind. A few pounds worth of fibreglass will make a huge difference.
There are many ways to make your system better than one costing twice as much.
Have a look around the net and you will find plenty of advice.
Most of all enjoy it!
 
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