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Please help re: aux input vs. new head unit

  #1  
Old 08-02-2013, 03:24 PM
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Default Please help re: aux input vs. new head unit

Hi,

Sorry if this is a redundant thread, but I have read most of the stuff that came up in the search and was hoping for some specific advice. I have a 2005 EX-L 4cyl with the dual AC and no navigation. I don't want to spend a lot of money as I have had this car almost 10 years and I'm not sure how much longer I will keep it, but I want to try to extend at least another year. I am ok with the sound quality of the current stereo, but want more modern connectivity. It seems that if I go with one of the better quality adapters like the GROM or the USA SPEC I will spend about as much as putting in a head unit that will do the same thing. I don't have a huge problem with using the cubby for the head unit.

So my questions are:

1. Will the sound be a lot better with a new head unit as opposed to using one of those adapeters?

2. Is the installation of a new head unit much more difficult than one of those adapters?

I have been looking at a few JVC head units that seem to fit my needs, but would love it if anyone could provide some direction in that regard.

Thanks in advance for any help!!
 
  #2  
Old 08-02-2013, 05:56 PM
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1. without an amp, not to terribly much better but some.
2. depends on how you install it. if you replace the current radio, you will need a dash kit that is very expensive. if you put it in the cubby then the dash kit is cheap, and it is the same amount of work really no matter which way you go about it. still have to take a good bit of the dash apart.
 
  #3  
Old 08-02-2013, 06:09 PM
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New speakers will make the most change (improvement) in sound quality vs a new head unit or keeping the stock one.

The adapters aren't that expensive - I bought one (from Blitzsafe) for our '05 Odyssey and it was in the $75 range. I see the same seller with them ... $79.99.
 
  #4  
Old 08-02-2013, 09:03 PM
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I just installed this: Blitzsafe HON/M-LINK1 V.3X

Works GREAT!!
And I can input any audio source (3.5mm for any cellphone basically) AND an iDevice source unit.
the wires included with this unit allowed me to pull the wires all the way into the center armrest console, and then some wire hanging out of the wire slot (hole) But if you don't want to see the wires, simply coil them up and put them in the armrest (along with the audio device attached). Since the headunit controls the iPod, I never have to take it out of the armrest console (unless I want to change the songs on the thing).

The sound quality from the iPod is pretty dramatic (as close to CD Quality sound for sure)

I also just added an amp on a single sealed 10" subwoofer which is a very nice match for the stock stereo.
Also dropped in some MB Quart 6" Components in the front doors.

Total I spent about $400 and the system sounds great, it's just not loud.
 

Last edited by GMANCRX; 08-02-2013 at 09:07 PM.
  #5  
Old 08-02-2013, 09:08 PM
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Not to be argumentative but speakers are a lot less influential in sound quality and volume, then the power that is pushing them. not to mention the adjustability of ahead unit over the standard bass, trebble setting.

In all honesty if you did not want to do a ton of work but wanted the most improvement for sound I would get the inline amp that alpine makes. it will fit behind your radio. simple to install and makes a signifigant difference.

a speaker is just a resistor that reacts to the signal it is given. there are aspects that make some speakers better than others but without clean power you wont have clean sound, no matter what speakers you put in there.

the factory speakers are designed for the factory head unit. more than likely the affects of adding aftermarket speakers without aftermarker power will be negative. you may gain a little efficiency, but that is usually about it.
 
  #6  
Old 08-02-2013, 09:38 PM
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Thanks for the responses! Think I will go with a Bluetooth head unit if it isn't any more difficult to install. I have dual control air, so the cubby is my only option. I originally was going to get the Blitzsafe, but the reviews I have read have been very mixed. I'd hate to put one in and have issues. Plus I like the idea of streaming and using a jump drive.

I really want to stay around $200 max. Neophyte do you think I will get the best bang for my buck if I do this:

Alpine KTP-445 Car Amplifier | eBay

Amazon.com: JVC Bluetooth In-Dash Digital Media Receiver with Dual USB Ports: Car Electronics Amazon.com: JVC Bluetooth In-Dash Digital Media Receiver with Dual USB Ports: Car Electronics
 
  #7  
Old 08-02-2013, 09:49 PM
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the cubby is not the only option.
this will replace your head unit and keep your ac controls in tact.
dash kit
I am not a big JVC fan, but I think that is the only head unit with bluetooth you are going to get and stay in your price range.

that is the power pack I was talking about. but I think that would be a good improvement, and give you the features you want.
 
  #8  
Old 08-02-2013, 10:01 PM
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if you want to use the KTP-445 powerpack, you need to get an Alpine head unit.

the CDE-HD149BT is an awesome HU (i really mine).

the KTP-445 powerpacks are NOT compatible with non-Alpine head units.

you need a KTP-445A to be used with other head units. but really, Alpine has an awesome lineup.
 
  #9  
Old 08-02-2013, 10:03 PM
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speaker upgrades with a stock head unit/amp is nearly useless and it takes a lot of work to equal the midbass output due to seals. aftermarket speakers are less efficient (use heavier materials) so output is reduced AND distortion is the same AND the mounts are tricky.

a new head unit will have a better amp and will improve stock speaker performance. that is my basic upgrade recommendation. in newer Hondas, bypassing the Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) is required for any upgrade or even just improved stock sound quality.

but to really make aftermarket speakers sing, an external amp is needed. and the better the amp, the better the sound. amps should be the most expensive parts of the installation. you truly get what you pay for.
 
  #10  
Old 08-02-2013, 10:10 PM
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Pardon my mistake. I had read on Crutchfield that dual was cubby only. Either way, those are not in my budget.


Thanks again for the help! May get an Alpine deck also as I just read it would be plug and play with the amp.

Sorry, one more question. Will the speakers likely handle all of that at near full volume?
 

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