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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at getting a new head unit this spring and have been pouring over all the info I can get on MP3 capable players. The two that look like the best options are the Clarion DXZ 835MP and the Alpine 9813. Solely based on sites like epinions I would have to go with the Alpine. I also like the fact that the Alpine can set sound delays to compensate for speaker location. Lastly why is the Clarion so comparativly inexpensive? However on paper the clarion boasts the dual 24bit D/A converters, and seems like it would have the edge in sound quality. Anyone have any inside info? Jus tfor reference I currently have an older Pioneer Premier DEH-740MP . Thanks all!
 

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Well i have the CDA-9813 and am very happy with that. Having said that, I never saw the clarion deck that you are talking about, there are very few decent car audio shops around that carry anything other than the $100 specials :(. I have been very pleased with my headunit. I havnt really gotten everything worked out yet, ie, time correction, x-overs etc etc, and that will prolly take me forever, but right now, with just stock speakers, i dont really see the need. Maybe when i start to upgrade the rest of my stero i will play with that.

Sorry I couldnt really help you more, I dont know a whole lot about car audio yet, but im hopeing to learn.

-Bryce
 

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My wife had a clarion in her car, and I have to say it was the most annoying HU I have ever seen. For example, she had a 12 disc changer in the trunk. The HU allows you to program names to each CD and remembers them - most HUs do that these days. However, when you are cycling through CDs, the unit would not give you the names until AFTER the CD is read. What's the point in that? My old Sony Mobile ES allows me to cycle through the changer by name or by dic number - the clarion did not. Needless to say, we never bothered programming the CD names... I mean, what's the point?

Another annoyance was that there was no CD up/down selector. You had to manually select the CD. Since it was a 12 disc changer, and the HU only had 6 buttons, you had to hold down the button to get the "other" 6 discs. There was a "disc up" button, but it wasn't clearly labeled.

As you can tell, my issue was with the ergonomics of the unit. It was terrible, especially comared to the Sony I have. I have played with Pioneers as well, and they don't do these dumb thing either.

SQ-wise, the Clarion was pretty good. Too much on the high-frequency side, so it tended to make for annoying highs, but maybe that was just the speakers.

Overall, it was disappointing. Based on this experience, I strongly recommend you check out these little features, and make sure the unit you get has what you want. Honestly speaking, any decent-name brand will be fine (Pioneers are an excellent value). But if you want a big-name only, then I recommend the Alpine out of these two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys.
I actually found a retailer today that sells Eclipse, Alpine and Clarion head units, as well as JL subs, and other mid-high end stuff. Sound quality was really quite hard to tell between the two. I only had an MP3 disk with me. The rep swore by the Clarion unit. I think he was incented to get rid of it as the floor model was the last one he had left and the new stuff is coming out soon. Plus he seemed to be clueless as far as the Alpine features and specs. I think he just hasn't looked at them since about 3 years ago. I loved that the Alpine allowed listening to music while searching through files and folders. Does any one know what the real difference is between a 'regulated' one bit DAC and the 24 bit DAC's?( Other than 23 bits).
I never knew that Eclipse had a deck with a built in MP3 decoder till today... of course I still haven't heard one. Off topic , sorry. So far I have to give Clarion the nod for price, looks, and fwiw the 24bit DAC does help a tiny bit on the SQ on mp3's. It is supposed to really shine with a well recorded CD. Listening to them was supposed to help me make up my mind. I think I just need to go in and play with them for a few hours and then decide.
 

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Clarion ruled for a while, then wenmt so far down the drain that I thought they'd never come back. Thankfully, I was wrong - they're back, and in a very big way. The 835 is the deck I would put in my car right now if i was buying, although I would very seriously consider the Eclipse units as well. Alpine is good, but just trying to do too much with too little at this point, also their quality - while still good - isn't anywhere near what they were before going big-box. Once price enters the equation, the already awesome Clarion looks even better. Thos new Eclipses are AWESOME, though - just a tad pricey. If you have it, go for it, otherwise, I'd be all over the 835. ;)
 

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I would go with the alpine. Back when i was in car stereo, i looked at all the different stereo companies, and settled down with alpine. I never, ever had a problem with any of the componentry. Clarion makes good equiptment, sounds good, even looks pretty awesome. I guess im just an Alpine man. Though personally i believe you can make almost anything (not sold in walmart/bestbuy) sound really good if you know what your doing. Your going to get what you pay for. If you know how to properly setup the Alpine unit, you will have an awesome sounding car. With the Clarion you may have a few bills left over for an amp, or components.

eh what am i talking about .. go buy an Xplod they are hot!
:E

^^ dont take that seriously!!

~1st member
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all! I believe that the Clarion is prolly the one I will end up with. I just wish that it had the channel delays like the Alpine does. Anyway, thanks for all the input=). Now I just need to fix an oil leak and radiator and I'll be set hehe. Priorities ain't it grand.....?
 
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