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Car Audio Do you live in your car? Then you need to be able to listen to some high-quality music.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
Speculant
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Another car stereo question

So my sister bought a used 2000 Corolla VE, and the stereo sucks. I'm talking a tape deck here, and that's it. So, I want to buy her a new one for her birthday, but I have a very limited budget. My friend told me that Pioneer is the way to go (also that all other brands suck balls ) so I looked up Pioneer's website, the $100 stereo looks good, but that's still more than I want to pay.

What are my options? Ebay for a used one? Here for a used one? Other brands (my friend would freak out at me but I think it's a viable option)?
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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Re: Another car stereo question

honestly, I haqve liottle experience with bargain basement units. For less than $100, you are looking at ebay, walmart. flea markets, a buddy selling a used unit, etc ..
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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Re: Another car stereo question

What do you consider the lowest acceptable price to pay for a brand new stereo?

Pioneer and Sony both offer brand new "bargain basement" units.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Another car stereo question

I compete in car stereo, it's my hobby. I doubt I would pay less than $500 for new head unit but that's just me. At the lower levels, you need to decide what features are the most important for you and then read reviews on what berand specializes in those features. I would guess they are all going to sound the same at that price point.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: Another car stereo question

Well, here is an accurate representation of my sister's car stereo features:



I'm assuming anything on the market today would be an upgrade.

The features she wants is iPod connectivity and an AUX input. I could just go and buy a walmart unit with those features, but I want it to be high quality.

In your experience, what is the highest quality car stereo manufacturer?

EDIT: I'm also not upgrading my sisters car speakers, so it's going to sound roughly the same anyways. I'm just giving her more features.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:18 AM   #6
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Re: Another car stereo question

if it's just for more features, than pick the ones that are most important to her
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Another car stereo question

That's what I'm going to do...but this whole entire time I have been trying to ask you what the best brand is in your experience.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:28 PM   #8
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Re: Another car stereo question

When you're talking about a $100 car stereo system, the "best brand" becomes a meaningless entity. At $100, they're all pretty similar. They don't start getting "better" until you're in the $250 - $300 neighborhood, and even there you're talking about minimal differences.

I wouldn't buy a $100 used car stereo. You really don't know what you're getting and have little recourse if and when the thing drops dead. Do it once, do it right or don't do it at all.

Start looking for the budget level iPod controlled head units. They allow touch screen navigation which is safer and for all intents and purposes, higher quality. If you can't go that route, get an "iPod compatible" budget model.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:35 PM   #9
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Re: Another car stereo question

I'm partial to Kenwood upper-scale, but these will do the job nicely for you. All fit your car and all come with a warranty and free support:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113MP44...U.html?tp=5684
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113MP34...U.html?tp=5684
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_1303200...B.html?tp=5684
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_130P420...B.html?tp=5684
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:52 PM   #10
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Re: Another car stereo question

I have always been an alpine guy but I don't think there is a "best brand"
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:08 PM   #11
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Re: Another car stereo question

While I have never been particularly partial to Alpine, I couldn't agree with you more in that there's no best manufacturer. Car stereo/audio is purely a matter personal preference based on a number of factors: sound quality (which can be different throughout a given group of people), durability, features, ease of use, etc. What's important to me may be trivial to someone else, and vice-versa.

I've always loved the cutting-edge features by Kenwood. From the "six cube 2001" to the pull-out equalizer of the 939 (models from back in the 80's), everything between and beyond, to my current DNX-8120 which comes with just about every possible feature.

But as far as sound... I've never had a better sounding radio since I abandoned my (very) old Clarion many years ago.

With respect to durability and sheer ruggedness, I had a Pioneer with a 12-disc changer that lasted 10+ years in two vehicles without so much as a flicker.

So it boils down to a matter of taste and features. In my opinion, anyway.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
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Re: Another car stereo question

I think I might go with either a new or used (probably new) Pioneer. I've done some research, and I think that Pioneer is the way to go for what my sister wants.

Thanks guys!
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