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Receiver recomendations
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crowinghen
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Receiver recomendations Reply with quote

Anyone want to give a review/recommendation of their receiver?
I'm looking for :
an easy to use interface-- no tiny buttons or non-intuitive junk
ipod and usb input
fits in the vanagon space
has remote
not too expensive

also where can I get a 90 degree adapter for my antenna? That seems to be what's in the way of the unit being pushed back far enough to be flush with the van.

thanks in advance

ps did a search already and have looked at alot of posts-- sounds like
Alpine, kenwood, Pioneer, and Sony? are the most popular.

thanks again1
susie
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SWbySWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Search "radio" "stereo" or "headunit" and you'll find more info than you need. Smile
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year I installed the predecessor model of this one:

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_29463_Sony-CDX-GT250MP.html

I to wanted something inexpensive, easy to use, aux input, decent sound -- it was all that. We mainly do CDs & the Ipod. Those are the guys I bought from and they were quick and as promised.

A unit with a remote is nice too as you can work it w/o getting out of bed!

Re that antenna -- I recall that some units &/or antennae require an adaptor to connect, could this be what it causing yours to be difficult to slide fully home? If you order from the above mentioned site you might ask about an adaptor if that is what you need -- if they have it they will likely throw it in for free with the unit (they were quite helpful I found).
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delta-vanagon
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Radio Shack should have the 90degree adapter that you are looking for. Crutchfield online sould also have it, and Best Buy or any other big box stereo installer should have them on the shelf.
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alpine
/thread


I stayed away and went for a Pioneer because I wanted a CD player. I haven't played a CD once in 3 years. The interface is goofy and the display always has some flashy graphic that can't be changed. Horribly annoying at night.

The sound and fit are good though
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently swapped in a Dual XHD7714 HU from my Mercedes over to the van. I really like the bluetooth capabilities to wirelessly play from my iPod collection or to manage hands-free phone calls. I don't like the funky blue lighting or the fact that the USB port is in the front rather than the back.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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GrindGarage
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my experience is that pioneer are rock solid... I have put them in boats and gotten them wet and rusted and still work.
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GrindGarage wrote:
my experience is that pioneer are rock solid... I have put them in boats and gotten them wet and rusted and still work.


I wholeheartedly agree with this. I've always used Pioneers and they last forever and are bulletproof.



However,



I recently installed this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035VFWNG

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I found it on sale for $80.

It meets all of your criteria EXCEPT it took me two weeks to figure out how to use all of the features, and I'm still not completely competent.

I don't consider myself a particularly dense individual, but learning this thing was like taking the LSAT. Not recommended unless you prefer many useless features (for me, anyway.)

Why do I need three different subwoofer settings that it takes me two clicks, a wheel spin, and two more clicks to access? Why do I have to scroll through ALL audio functions to get to the custom EQ, then more scrolls and more clicks to set everything? It's clumsy, unintuitive, and the jog wheel is over-sensitive.

This receiver has done nothing but piss me off, and I haven't figured out how to make it sound anywhere near as good as my antiquated Pioneer DEH-1400 sounded.

But since I did buy it and I did install it, we have no choice but to learn to live with each other. Maybe after another several weeks of screwing with it I'll have a more positive review.



Uh-oh. I think I'm getting old.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a Kenwood, aux-only input:
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KDC-MP242

I was going to go with Kenwood's aux and USB version of ^that one (see below), but figured I'd only ever use the iPod or CDs in the van.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

KDC-MP345U

The only thing I don't like about the Kenwoods (I've got the USB-only input version in my Cabriolet): The menu, but once you figure it out it's not too bad. Both of those listed are pretty inexpensive, have remotes, detachable faces, etc.
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reivertribe
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently installed a nice Kenwood unit into my 85GL. When looking through Crutchfield online, I tried to use their "fit my vehicle" function and it only produced like 3 or 4 units that they said would fit. None of which had the features I was looking for.

I researched all the major brands that had the features that I wanted and ultimately settled on the Kenwood KDC HD545U. The fitment or chassis size code for this unit is ( IEJ ). So, I am assuming that other makes that have the same chassis size would fit. Take in mind the way the antenna plugs into the back though.

http://www.amazon.com/Kenwood-Kdc-Hd545U-Dash-Receiver-Built/dp/B00383HMES

I made my purchase at a local big box store, as I wanted some hands on before making the purchase.

I was looking for detachable face, HD ready, USB and AUX input on the face, and bluetooth capable, remote, correct fit and how it blended into the Vanagon interior. I also did not want all of the "flash" that finds its way onto many of the units these days. Ease of function was high as well. Once you figure out the push button menu, it's a nice head unit. With regard to the 90 adapter, this radio did not require it as the antenna input is on a length of wire that allows the standard Vanagon antenna plug to slip right in. So it does not interfere with fitment. Definitely a plus for me. Hope this helps in your research. Very Happy
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I replaced the Dual with this Kenwood KDC X994 unit in the Mercedes. The menu takes a bit of getting used to, but it's very powerful. I ended up with two of them (long story), so I also have one in the Audi. The USB line emanates from the back, so things are tidy, and it also includes a remote microphone for the hands-free calling. The cool thing about these is that you can choose the display lighting color, so it's white in the MB and matching red for the Audi, but you can opt for a whole bunch of colors in between, or just let them all scroll through at random.

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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I replaced the Dual with this Kenwood KDC X994 unit in the Mercedes.


I should have guessed that you wouldn't be a Pioneer man, Zeitgeist, with Pioneer being a Fuji company and all... Very Happy
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joetiger wrote:
Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I replaced the Dual with this Kenwood KDC X994 unit in the Mercedes.


I should have guessed that you wouldn't be a Pioneer man, Zeitgeist, with Pioneer being a Fuji company and all... Very Happy


Ha! Actually, I've owned quite a few Pioneers because they tend to be the best rated for pulling in radio signals. But, now that I'm running Bluetooth, I can play my Public Radio app, and listen to KUOW/KPLU right through my iPhone. Bye bye Fuji!
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GMByers
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
pulling in radio signals.


Back home in Nowhere, Pennsylvania, when I have to buy a new radio, that is the feature I pay close attention to. Doesn't do me any good to have an eye-pleasing radio if I can't pick up any stations.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GMByers wrote:
Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
pulling in radio signals.


Back home in Nowhere, Pennsylvania, when I have to buy a new radio, that is the feature I pay close attention to. Doesn't do me any good to have an eye-pleasing radio if I can't pick up any stations.


Yep, I heartily recommend Pioneer for your purposes. Most other brands have been opting to cut back on their investments in tuner technology over the last couple decades, but Pioneer still has a few models with excellent FM sensitivity.
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crowinghen
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
GMByers wrote:
Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
pulling in radio signals.


Back home in Nowhere, Pennsylvania, when I have to buy a new radio, that is the feature I pay close attention to. Doesn't do me any good to have an eye-pleasing radio if I can't pick up any stations.


Yep, I heartily recommend Pioneer for your purposes. Most other brands have been opting to cut back on their investments in tuner technology over the last couple decades, but Pioneer still has a few models with excellent FM sensitivity.

thanks for that info-- It's kind of important to me also.

susie
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

reivertribe wrote:
When looking through Crutchfield online, I tried to use their "fit my vehicle" function and it only produced like 3 or 4 units that they said would fit. None of which had the features I was looking for.
...
With regard to the 90 adapter, this radio did not require it as the antenna input is on a length of wire that allows the standard Vanagon antenna plug to slip right in. So it does not interfere with fitment. Definitely a plus for me. Hope this helps in your research. Very Happy


I despise Crutchfield, and have for a decade. I use BestBuy.com and SonicElectronix.com when searching for car stereos.

As for the antenna, it's funny: Neither my Cabriolet (its broken) nor the Vanagon (cable is missing altogether) have their antennas connected, but I get radio stations with no problem on the Kenwoods. Very Happy
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SteveVanB
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alpine CDA-9886. Great sound, decent internal amp, and the ability to go nuts with the EQ(granted, you have to get the "Imprint" processer). It does just fine without the extra EQ though. I picked mine up @ bestbuy for $125......open box.......
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second the motion for the Dual XHD7714 HU. I picked one up on craigslist for $60. It has a built in HD radio receiver, front usb, ipod control, bluetooth...AND a CD player for those that still have CD's. Solid unit overall. I personally like the blue glow as it matches the blue LED gauge lights i put in my dash Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the tape deck that came with my van was toast so i picked up a used alpine with aux but the little amp/coolling metal with fins attached to the back of it was getting really HOT and music would rapidly deteriorate with static if i turn the volume up. Not sure if its my wiring or the radio. im gonna swap it out with an old alpine tape deck(still be able to use ipod with tape)
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