Alpine Head Unit...

Discussion in 'iPod' started by PaRaGoNViCtiM, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. PaRaGoNViCtiM macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    In my car I currently have an Alpine CDA-9851 head unit and an Alpine iPod Interface. I love it, the sound quality is amazing, and controlling the iPod thru the head unit is awesome! The only negative thing about this head unit is doing an artist or album search takes forever. You have to turn the rotary wheel, and one spin=one song, so it's very slow, if you have a large music collection its impossible to get from A-Z. I saw the new Alpine's with "GlideTouch" and was wondering if anyone has had any contact with these, and could share the experience. I heard with the "GlideTouch" you can go thru a ton of songs at a time?
    Pics of my current head unit and the interface:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #2
    I, personally am very dissatisfied with the Alpine. It sounds great, but renders your iPod useless when it's connected.. you can only control it via the head unit. Why would they do this? Why not make it so one could use either the ipod to select music (which is a perfect UI in itself), OR use the head unit (to show off the cool compatability)?

    I just think there's no reason that the ipod should be disabled as a controller, in any system.
     
  3. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #3
    I considered getting all the goodies from alpine when I was researching new head units. I found such a cheaper better deal. A $99 Aiwa headunit/installed with AUX in. Also pumped out 52 watts per channel, instead of 50. All I needed was Belkin's AutoCharger with sound out and I was set. My iPod is always at my hand and I can change songs so fast and easily without hardly taking my eyes off the road. Worth considering for anyone who has wanted to hard wire and have a cheap stock head unit.

    jon
     
  4. GilGrissom macrumors 65816

    GilGrissom

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #4
    I did exactly the same thing! I too was looking at the Alpine units etc, but as pdpfilms said, I didn't like the way it totally disabled the iPods interface and was worried that the user experience would not be a helpful one, like PaRaGoNViCtiM is saying. The price was a little too steep for me too.
    The Aiwa one I picked up with the aux port is perfect, and at least I can stil use my iPods interface, which is the best interface, and also plug any mp3 player into my radio. I also think the head unit is much simpler and nicer to look at than the Alpines. The Aiwa is basically a Sony underneath, for half the price!
     
  5. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #5
    Wow, that $99 Aiwa sounds incredible. I'm going to have to check that out. I cant' stand the iTrip I'm using!
     
  6. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #6
    It was at Best Buy and that price included free installation. Even if they don't have that exact head unit now they will probably have one similar. A plus to the Aiwa is its simplicity. I have some friends who have some Alpine head units and they have about a gazillion colors flashing at you and tons of buttons to be pushed at any given time. My Aiwa gets straight to the point, probably no more than 20 buttons with their obvious actions.

    jon
     
  7. Skilz34 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #7
    can you find a link to the one you are referring to?
     
  8. GilGrissom macrumors 65816

    GilGrissom

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #8
    Certainly.

    I believe the exact one I have is this one. The CDCR504MP.
    It plays CD-RW and MP3s aswell, which is quite nice!

    I brought it from Argos here in the UK (it was surprisingly the cheapest place!), it's currently retailing for £54.99 ($97.486).
     

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  9. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #9
    I'm going to have to disagree with this discussion, but only a little. I already had an Alpine (CDM series - this is important to note), but thought about replacing it with a CDA Alpine. I didn't. Anyhow, when I bought my head unit, I had purchased an Aiwa b/c of price and simplicity. However, I found that the sound wsn't nearly as good as that of the Alpine. I normally don't touch the head unit unless I want to go to the radio for traffic reports or to change the volume. I keep the all the other audio options set. One nice feature about the Alpine is that it will remember your bass/treble settings when you go between CD/radio/AUX.

    What I did was get take my CDM Alpine and connect an M-Bus to 3.5 on the back (Circuit City will do this for you if you bring the M-Bus cable when you have the install done). I can't remember the model number but you can find it on the Alpine site. It's about $10. Anyhow, I connected the 3.5 to the Belkin AutoKit or whatever they call it (same thing that you would use for the Aiwa) for $50. That connects to my dock connector on the iPod. I use a cell phone holder from RadioShack to "mount" the iPod to the air vent above the radio. I plan on fixing the autokit cable to the side, b/c right now it is hanging in front of the radio that i never touch. The nice thing is that I can fly through my collection with only my peripheral vision.

    Just a thought for those considering the Aiwa. Remember, you would want an Alpine model that has an M-Bus controller (I think they use it for their CD Changers). They are a bit cheaper than the AiNet models.
     
  10. GilGrissom macrumors 65816

    GilGrissom

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #10
    You raise very good points.

    A friend of mine has an Alpine and uses it with his iPod (not sure exactly which one) and he swears by it, loves it to bits and thinks its perfect.

    I've never had a sound quality issue with my Aiwa, but then again I don't have a large car with powerful speakers and subwoofers etc or anything fancy, just 2 decent sized main speakers and 2 tweaters (its a small Lupo after all!) so I guess compared to somethink like a good Alpine and good speakers some people may notice, all I know is that the Aiwa is 1000% much better (and louder/clearer etc!) than the original VW head unit I had installed, and I use my Aiwa with my iPod plugged in constantly everyday as I commute.
    If you're passionate about your sound etc I guess the Alpine is the best way. If your budget is limiting then the Aiwa looks a good bet.
     
  11. ZACINCCEO macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    #11
    Here's a little information for you...

    I have the top of the line Alpine with the Glidetouch.... I like it but here's some things you should know...

    Glidetouch isn't that great: You cannot turn the rotary knob to scroll through songs, you HAVE to use the glidetouch, and when driving a car and trying to do this all at the same time, it renders things pretty much impossible to find the song you want. The glidetouch is kinda fast, but your not going to be going from a-z in one swoosh of the finger.....

    KCA-420 (Ipod hookup) amazing, who cares about if it renders the ipod useless, I hide it in my center console all the time and theres just one wire that does everything, even charges it.....


    I very rarely check the forums here, if I can be of any assistance feel free to email or pm me.
    -Zac
     
  12. PaRaGoNViCtiM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    #12
    Don't get me wrong guys...I'm not dissatisified overall with my setup, actually I LOVE IT and would recommend it to any and everyone. I do wish as the one poster said, that the interface did not render the iPod useless, but it's a small price to pay for the inconsipuousness the interface brings. Before I got this setup, I had a Panasonic head unit and used my iPod via the Aux Input, and there is a very noticeable difference (I think) in sound quality using the interface.
    I also agree with Zac, having the iPod charged, hidden, untouched, and the impecciable sound quality definitely makes up for the price. You get what you pay for!!
     
  13. chicago macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #13
    How did you hook your ipod up to your Panasonic head unit. I've been trying that for months. The aux inupts don't work unless you have a CD changer or Sirius plugged in. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  14. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #14
    I have the Alpine unit and love it. I would also agree that having the iPod interface unavailable is a big pain. What it has forced me to do is make a lot of good playlists. I can scroll to the playlist I want, and then jump to the song. This is actually a good because now I have a lot of really good playlists. If I need a specific song quickly, sometimes I will disconnect the iPod, load the song, and reconnect the iPod. But that is a pain and I almost never do it.

    Overall, I love the Alpine and would recommend it. I also got XM installed at the same time, which is also great.

    lasuther
     

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