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Discussion Starter #1
I have the dual zone climate/6 disc changer that came stock. I am considering getting a new head unit with Bluetooth phone sync , music streaming, EQ, all the new features. Perhaps from Pioneer Kenwood or Sony.

I have installed a full set of JBL Power Series speakers, the P660c component series in front, and the P963 3 way 6x9 in the rear deck. CDs playing on the stock unit through the JBLs sound great. Loud and clean, plenty of punch and bass.
My question is, will an aftermarket head unit rated at 17-20watts RMS deliver the same or greater sound levels than what my stock HU is delivering now?. I don't want to go down in volume and headroom, but I don't think I want to bother with an external amp.
 

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your stock headunit has roughly 10 watts per channel. Your speakers arent real power hungry but I bet if you gave them some real power from an amp they would sounds even better. Aftermarket headunits should get just as loud if not more and sound just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
your stock headunit has roughly 10 watts per channel. Your speakers arent real power hungry it I bet if you gave them some real power from an amp they would sounds even better. Aftermarket headunits should get just as loud if not more and sound just fine.
I was checking out this Sony MEX-XB100BT, which has a 40 rms x 4 amp built in, there is a separate power supply box that you power with the battery line, like you do an amp. I am not too sure about this brand of unit though, is Pioneer better than Sony, or is Kenwood better?


Also another question, if I may. Does HD Radio matter? Is the quality better with HD Radio, than I can get using an APP and a stream? Most FM stations have an APP and a HD broadcast. Which is better? Or should I not bother with HD broadcast.
 

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Carpe Diem
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HD radio is quite nice. It sounds much better than normal FM and is definitely a requirement for any HU I buy. No idea about the APP tho.

Sony stereo stuff is mostly crap these days. Of the brands you listed, I'd say Kenwood>Pioneer>Sony.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
your stock headunit has roughly 10 watts per channel. Your speakers arent real power hungry but I bet if you gave them some real power from an amp they would sounds even better. Aftermarket headunits should get just as loud if not more and sound just fine.
OK Where I am at now is:

Alpine CDE-HD149BT
or?
Kenwood eXcelon KDC-x998
 

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Carpe Diem
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The Excelon series of Kenwood HUs are top notch. The Kenwood pushes 22w RMS while the Alpine only pushes 18W RMS. Plus the Kenwood has a USB port on the front, while the Alpine's USB port is in the rear which is a PITA if you need to connect something.
 

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Reflections Auto Detail
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HD radio is quite nice. It sounds much better than normal FM
The best analagy I've used to describe it is -it's like the difference between watching a movie on a standard definition TV vs. a HD LED TV. The difference is stark.

Sony stereo stuff is mostly crap these days. Of the brands you listed, I'd say Kenwood>Pioneer>Sony.
Sony has certainly lowered their standards when it comes to overall sound quality and abilities of the respective HU's.
Kenwood and Pioneer are both decent brands for the most part and both have a strong presence in the consumer-priced line of stereos. I have owned both lower end and higher end models of both home and car stereos of both brands and I think Pioneer is a somewhat better choice when it comes to sound output and features offered. This is especially true when comparing each company's higher end units.
If you're not considering adding an amp and are depending on just the power from the HU, Pioneer will deliver more punch and headroom watt for watt than Kenwood. And as Ike stated, either brand will give you more watts than the stock HU - by far.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The best analogy I've used to describe it is -it's like the difference between watching a movie on a standard definition TV vs. a HD LED TV. The difference is stark.

Sony has certainly lowered their standards when it comes to overall sound quality and abilities of the respective HU's.
Kenwood and Pioneer are both decent brands for the most part And as Ike stated, either brand will give you more watts than the stock HU - by far.
I am set on the HD radio, that's for sure, there are about 10-12 HD broadcast stations here in Western NY.

I'm really trying to stay about $500 for the entire system and I have spent about $200 so far on JBL speakers and dampening. That leaves $300 for HU and steering wheel controls. So I may need to wait till something comes up.
 

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Reflections Auto Detail
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You will save some money by going used on the steering wheel controls. A couple of resources for you are the classified section here on this site as well as ebay.
I recently saw a set in the classified section here listed for $25 OBO.

Off topic...
I see in your sig your first car was a Super Bee? How cool is that?! And with the 383 no less. Awesome first car!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Off topic...
I see in your sig your first car was a Super Bee? How cool is that?! And with the 383 no less. Awesome first car!


It was 1981. I was a semi-unemployed college student. My pizzeria job didn't really pay for gas and insurance. My Dad thought it was better to give me his Cuttlas-S with a 2bbl. So bye-bye 383.:crying
Mine was not be base model either. Notice the 383 MAGNUM badge on the lower front fender, the wheel well trim, and no window pillar.
I did have an FM converter though for audio.
 
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