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Which MP3 headunit should I get?

  • JVC

    Votes: 26 21.0%
  • Panasonic

    Votes: 13 10.5%
  • Sony

    Votes: 36 29.0%
  • Kenwood

    Votes: 49 39.5%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need to replace the standard tape/radio (R760/770?) in my 96' 400, and looking to have an MP3 CD-player. Just want a decent player under £130ish - nothing to expensive, but thing is, I don't know which one of these is best:

JVC KDS891R
Panasonic CQRDP383
Sony CDXMP40
Kenwood KDCM4524

Anyone have any of these headunits? Whats your opinions of them? And are headunits easy to fit into a MK2 400?

Feedback much appreciated.

Cheers




 

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mg_zr
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I had the Sony CDXMP40 in my Golf. Not bad value at about £125 from MCS Direct, bit it doesn't have a LOUD facility which means there's virtually no bass at lower volumes. Mind you, the custom fit Blaupunkt speakers I had in the Golf were a bit small. I also found that the whole front panel moved when using the controls which made it feel a bit cheap.
The older Sony XRCA600X tape unit I had in my BRM had much better sound and finish.
 

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I've just bought my Girlfriend the Kenwood KDCM4524G from www.cel-direct.co.uk for £114 and it is a cracking head unit. It plays MP3's, is detachable and has 12 months theft replacement as well :) :).Shouldn't be hard to fit at all, think all you will need is the wiring adapter, not sure on a fascia adapter and you could probably fit it yourself in about 30 mins.

I'd go for the kenwood as it is a cracking little H/U

HTH

Andy.
 

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Yeah it is a good site, even though they do have another website www.carelectronicsltd.co.uk which is really expensive and things listed on here are the same price as stuff in the shop. But if you print off the page from the other website and take it into the shop, they will then do it at that price (bit weird)!

The top of the range Kenwood (PS...) will hopefully be my next H/U as my KDC 8080R is on its way out, and i'm jealous of my girlfriends MP3 capabilities now:doh:

Andy.
 

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Alpine would be a first choice unless the budget couldn't stretch.

Of the other, Kenwood or JVC. I wouldn't touch a Sony or Panasonic HU as the sound quality from either is not up to much.

Pann'ys are all gimmicks these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
£114 for the kenwood - that's pretty good - everywhere else doing them for £130. Cheerz Andy.

Sony unit moved when pressed? :err: dont think i'd like that. That £185 kenwood system looks sh-weet Mike, but cant stretch the budget :doh:

Trev ur right, i missed out the pioneer. Ive seen the alpine but bit steep for me. The pioneer, panasonic and kenwood have MOSFET - whats that? The current pioneer DEH-P3500MP has green illumination, any1 know if they'l be doing an amber one soon 2 match current interior lights?

Stu, im kinda leaning towards the kenwood since it has more features than JVC.

Decisions decisions...just have to wait and see what other more people say.....thx 4 da replies!

Just attached a pioneer pic below:
 

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I've seen an Alpine head unit on a web site (Empire Direct, I think) that is £140, has amber illumination to match a Rover dash and it will also operate via the original Rover steering wheel controls :)
 

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other_manufacturer
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Ive just brought me a Sony CDXMP40, i like it a lot. nice red to match the car, plays mp3's. The only thing I can say about the whole unit moving was that mine did until i got the cage put in properly, it wobbled a bit but once i had fixed the tabs down it was fine. It has a cracking feature which lifts the sound from down in the doors up to ear level. DSO i think its called.
 

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mg_zr
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empsburna said:
The only thing I can say about the whole unit moving was that mine did until i got the cage put in properly, it wobbled a bit but once i had fixed the tabs down it was fine.
It wasn't the whole unit moving on mine, just the front panel. I found that when using the controls, especially the volume, the top of the face moved in and out. Otherwise a pretty good piece of kit at the price. I think they are £120 on that cel-direct website.
 

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I bought the Panasonic 383M (3rd one down in the headunits picture) for £90. Maybe not as good sound as the Kenwood or the Alpine, but its 4x50 watts and MOSFET (only about 4x22 watts RMS tho)...

Still, canny beat it for £90...
 

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I've just bought the Sony having seen one in action in a 7 series BMW where it sounded absoulutely awesome. However, having fitted it to my 400 I find the performance disappointing because of the poor factory fit speakers in these cars, so you might want to consider this when buying if you have a budget. In addition, the flip face arrangement on mine doesn't move when the buttons are pressed - solid as a rock. indeed, the only annoyance is an occasional loud 'pop[' when the TA cuts in.
I've had JVC gear before and they sound fine but all 3 have played up in some way.
As for Alpine making the best head units...did someone just say 'Nakamichi'?...keerrrrccchhhiiinnnggggg!
 

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I have bought the Kenwood KDC-M4524 for £125 from cel including £10 postage. The theft insurance is a bonus. I chose this unit mainly as I have a ZT with the Kenwood autochanger already fitted that can be controlled by this head unit. This silver unit goes well with the ZT facia as does the orange and blue illumination. The unit looks good and the sound quality is very good even with the standard speakers. I have had Kenwoods in the past and they have always been reliable. My wife has a JVC cd in her 206 and it has been trouble free. It does not sound near as good but I think this is mainly due to the Peugeot speakers. All the units you list are from good manufacturers and I think you would probably be happy with any of them. I think Kenwood has a very slight advantage in that they concentrate more on car hi-fi rather than home tv, dvd,ect. The only minus point I have with the Kenwood is that there is no wma support. If you have a music library with a lot of wma files this may be worth considering. I am sure the Panasonic supports wma but I am not sure of the others. Alpine do make excellent units if you are prepared to spend a little more.
 

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Clarions are reasonable. Better than Sony's for sound, but not as good as the Alpines by any means.
 
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