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  • car audio anonymous

    you know the first step is admitting you have a problem, where does it end? when is enough, enough? what was a year ago small amp and single 10" sub wired into my factory stereo, became a friendly competition between me and my son, which i obviously won (i think he has a life)has turned into a "full blown" system, and me into a car stereo junkie. is there a 12 step plan for that? no matter how good it sounds, or what anyone else thinks about it, there is always more, always something else you can do that would sound just a little bit better. where do you draw the line? anyone else been there? talk to me. what i really want to know is, is digital time alignment worth whats its cracked up to be? and, what's the best single din head unit out there?

  • #2
    Re: car audio anonymous

    Give in to the power of more!

    IMHO there are so many reflective surfaces so close to your head and to the drivers (i.e. windshield) in a car that I question the benefit of digital time alignment. With that said bare in mind that I have been out of the car audio competition scene for about 10 years... so maybe I'm all wet :p
    Craig

    I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.

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    • #3
      Re: car audio anonymous

      What do you think the best head unit out there is?

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      • #4
        Re: car audio anonymous

        The long and short of it. The offset listening position in the car being the primary of many detrimental aspects to achieving quality sound in a car makes time alignment necessary.

        Maximizing path lengths and minimizing point sources limit how much time alignment you will need.

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        • #5
          Re: car audio anonymous

          LOL. You're in the wrong place if you're hoping to be less involved in perfecting audio. I agree, a car is a hostile environment for HiFi, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. It just means your goals need to be defined appropriately. Perhaps in a car, you can indulge your desire to feel the music more than at home, for instance.

          As for how much time alignment can make a difference, well.. how's your stereo image? Do voices sound dead-center, or does everything sound like it's coming from the drivers' side, with practically no stereo width? DanMan hit it on the head though. The further the drivers are from your ears (typically, the kick panels), and the closer each side's drivers are to each other (i.e., not in a doors + dash style setup) the better off you are.

          Also, generally speaking, there's no "best" anything. The difference between most head units these days is in features, UI, and cost. Find one with the looks, the feel, and the price you like, and weigh that against the bells and whistles you want. The subtle differences in DACs and whatnot will probably not mean much when you account for road, engine, and wind noise.

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          • #6
            Re: car audio anonymous

            The short answer is yes, digital time alignment is worth it, and the best (i.e. best performance, most economical, with most useful features) single DIN unit is the Pioneer DEH-80PRS, which I will likely be purchasing very shortly to replace my Premier 980BT unit which is starting to get a bit iffy. There's a whole long thread about the DEH-80PRS on one of the the diymobileaudio.com forums which is worth reading.
            Brian Steele
            www.diysubwoofers.org

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            • #7
              Re: car audio anonymous

              The best headunit out there is the Pioneer DEX-P99rs. Msrp is 1349 USD.

              http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...yers/DEX-P99RS.

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              • #8
                Re: car audio anonymous

                Originally posted by videsh View Post
                The best headunit out there is the Pioneer DEX-P99rs. Msrp is 1349 USD.

                http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...yers/DEX-P99RS.
                That price automatically puts it out of the "best" category IMO. The DEH-80PRS offers very similar features at a considerably lower price. And if you want more, you can combine it with something like the RF 360.3 and still come in below the cost of the 99RS.
                Brian Steele
                www.diysubwoofers.org

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                • #9
                  Re: car audio anonymous

                  I like the pioneer, but I've been told the Kenwood exelon 996 is better

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                  • #10
                    Re: car audio anonymous

                    Originally posted by bark424 View Post
                    I like the pioneer, but I've been told the Kenwood exelon 996 is better
                    Someone lied to you. I LOVE my Excelon deck but the 996 doesn't have half the features the Pioneer does.

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                    • #11
                      Re: car audio anonymous

                      Originally posted by Brian Steele View Post
                      That price automatically puts it out of the "best" category IMO. The DEH-80PRS offers very similar features at a considerably lower price. And if you want more, you can combine it with something like the RF 360.3 and still come in below the cost of the 99RS.
                      I had the p99. Sold it for the 80prs. Two months later, I went back to the p99.

                      The 80prs isn't in the same league as the p99. Sure, it's a great 3-way active deck with good features but the p99 offers 4-way capability with twice the EQ capability and, IMHO, is a much more aesthetically pleasing thing to have to look at everyday. The ipod interface on it is superior to that of the 80prs as well due to the remote (which I use religiously).

                      To boot, I actually have an outboard dsp with capabilities rivaling that of the Rane RPM88 and I still keep the p99 simply because it's an incredibly well built headunit. When I didn't have it, I missed it incredibly.

                      So, yea, the p99 gets my vote... assuming $900-1300 (used to new pricing) is achievable and the benefits are worth it to you. It's pretty subjective here as one deems value differently than another.


                      Oh, and I still have an 80prs in my wife's car. For that, it's perfectly fine.
                      ErinsAudioCorner.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: car audio anonymous

                        Regarding time alignment, it depends on the system and what the owner wants. If you like rear fill (I don't), then appropriate delay (depending on distance) of the rear channels can improve the system. As for the front stage, delaying either side will only optimize it for one listener, while making it MUCH worse for the other. If you only care about making the system sound best for your seat, at the expense of anyone else in the vehicle, sure, go ahead and implement it. As DanMan already indicated, mounting the speakers such that the path lengths are as equal as possible (the axis is an important factor too) is critical for good SQ to both seats, which is why you see so many autosound competition vehicles using angled kick panels.

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                        • #13
                          Re: car audio anonymous

                          During my victorious car audio days I fully believed in Pioneer/Pioneer elite head units. I will still fully stand by the quality and stabity of said Pioneer products. However, if you want to spend a few bucks, the Kenwood Excelon 900 series or higher is untouchable due to 24 bit processing, audyssey calibration programs and true time alignment calibration programs. The $800+ dollar kenwood units easily trump the audiophile 1200$+ units on the market.

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                          • #14
                            Re: car audio anonymous

                            I too competed in SQ comp in the early & mid 80's and had a blast. I agree with the idea is this going to be just for your listening experience (seat position) or for the front stage area. Are you going to go to competitions with this vehicle or is this for your own personal enjoyment? Put up a list on a board, what you want vs. what you have to have and purpose. For me if I could afford it I'd go nuts again in my car, it's all a matter or priorities. 1st and foremost, have fun life it too short.

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                            • #15
                              Re: car audio anonymous

                              I don't plan on competing, and probably anyone that gets in my car never will either, so maybe i should stick with what i have. You guys are talking about a lot of money i could use elsewhere. I think you helped me figure out when enough is enough. Oh, it's not done, but close.

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