ubiquitous head unit question
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This is a discussion on ubiquitous head unit question within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; i know there's a ton of these. I hope you don't mind one more. looking to replace the stock head ...

  1. #1
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    ubiquitous head unit question

    i know there's a ton of these. I hope you don't mind one more.

    looking to replace the stock head unit in my '02 wrx. But first I wanted to know a little more about what was already in there... like is the sub a true sub? Does it require its own preamp output? And should I be looking at HUs with 2v or 4v preamp outs?

    once I have that decided comes the not-so-simple task of narrowing down the search. Features I'm looking for:
    - Rear USB
    - Bluetooth that supports A2DP
    - A good sized display that i could actually use to navigate through folders and such
    - good interface.

    NAV and video playback would be cool, but not necessary as I could do both on the phone I'm getting soon, and I wouldn't want to have to pay (too much) more for those things.

    Anyways, any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

    (sorry if I'm a bit of a neophyte in the world of car-audio)

    edit:
    the AVH-P3200BT looks good, although some videos I've seen on youtube give me the impression that it's a little slow. like... almost 40 seconds to boot up, and then a noticeable lag on switching screens. Also, it has bluetooth, but I can't tell if it does streaming audio, or just the phone calls.
    Last edited by mattlokk; 04-13-2010 at 01:47 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Graham46's Avatar
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    I have the AVH-P3200DVD without the bluetooth and I am not really bothered by the lag.. its only a few seconds really. All in all I think its a great unit. It has everything you asked for, and more probably
    2006 WRB WRX Sedan @ Stage 2

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  4. #3
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    any nav or graphics heavy head unit will be a little slow to boot. My avic is great once its past boot, boot is usually finished by the time I get from the garage door to the end of the driveway (maybe 80 ft)

    I like this one if you're not looking for nav or blingy gui/touch screen

    Clarion CX609 CD receiver at Crutchfield.com

    a little net searching and you can find that one around $200.
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  5. #4
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    after some more digging I've found that:

    - The new Pioneer HUs don't support A2DP (unless you buy the AVH-pxxxxDVD version and then the bluetooth adapter)
    - The AVH-3200 does not have rear USB (I really want to have a 32GB USB flash drive sitting in my glove box, with no wires running in front)
    - The CX609 does not have a preamp output for the sub (which I'm 95% sure I need), otherwise this would be a strong contender, especially for the price

    I'm leaning now towards the Kenwood ddx616. A little pricier than I had initially wanted to spend, but it seems to have everything I want. Or, if I'm feeling cheap, the Pioneer FH-P800BT (no A2DP, but I could live with that).
    Last edited by mattlokk; 04-13-2010 at 05:27 PM.

  6. #5
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    could also search around for a slightly older Avic F900bt.. will have everything you want + nav.. but not sure about the bluetooth protocol you're looking for. Mine works fine with both my personal phone and my blackberry curve (work phone)..

    its all up to you mang Sub out isn't necesarily important unless you want to be able to control high/low pass filters from the head unit. I like this in the pioneer, but otherwise a rear output will work fine for a sub. Thats how we used to do it back in the day lol
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    hmm, thanks for all the input. I still have a lot to think about...

    if having 3 preamps is not a firm requirement, then I'm thinking maybe the Pioneer AVIC-U310BT it has most everything I'm looking for, plus I really like the bigger display for looking through the music on the USB input. (plus, it's only $275!). That's the only thing i didn't like about the cx609; the display was just a little too small to be able to navigate through a lot of music easily.

    Could you maybe tell me what I'd be sacrificing if I don't get a HU with 3 preamp outs? I won't be able to "control high/low pass filters from the head unit"... not really sure what that means.
    Last edited by mattlokk; 04-14-2010 at 11:55 AM.

  8. #7
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    that really depends on the head unit and the features it has. I know most with a separate sub output have a variable cross over that allows you to set the cutoff frequency that is fed to the sub. Some (if not most) with that feature will then also limit the bottom cutoff that goes to the other speakers/outputs.

    how in-depth are you going to build this system? multiple amps feeding mids/highs n subs? or just the 4 speakers n tweets off the deck and a sub? .. The end goal is really what will determine what you need in a head unit.
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    for now, I'll just be using the stock speakers/sub. But I would like to leave myself the option to upgrade those at some point in the future.

    Based on your suggestions, the cx609 is still looking pretty good (for $200, can I really go wrong?). Although i'd really like to see one in person to know how the music selection interface works. plus that one seems to match the utilitarian aesthetics of my rex pretty well (also, you can select the display color).

    Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. Heh, if you ever want advice about computers, let me know.

  10. #9
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattlokk View Post
    f

    Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. Heh, if you ever want advice about computers, let me know.
    No worries mang, all I did was get you to think about your needs vs wants.. you did all the leg work

    computers make my money I'm good with those, thanks though!
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
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  11. #10
    Registered User SVXdc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattlokk View Post
    is the [OEM] sub a true sub? Does it require its own preamp output?
    Subaru's OEM under-seat sub has a built-in amp. It uses a T-harness that plugs in between the HU and the car's radio harness to tap either the front or rear speakers. More info in my thread here:

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlokk View Post
    The CX609 does not have a preamp output for the sub (which I'm 95% sure I need)
    You won't need line-level (preamp) sub outs to use the OEM sub. However, that's nice to have to upgrade to an aftermarket sub down the road.

  12. #11
    Registered User 02radioflyer's Avatar
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    I have a CX609. The display is VERY basic but that's the oem "dont steal me bro" look I wanted. It follows the ipod playlist/ artist/ menus very faithfully and the controls are very intuitive and easy to access. You can find your music fairly quickly on the go. Its an effective text only display just like the OEM Clarions.

    The random color changing/ Color match is cool. Zip drives work great too.
    02redwagone on Nasioc

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