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Deciding on HU: Alpine or Panasonic

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Yousaf


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Posted September 25 2003 - 09:42 PM

I am currently looking to purchase a new HU, in the approximately $300-400 range. Two models that particularly piqued my interest were the Alpine CDA-9813 and the Panasonic CQ-HX2038U. Apparently, Alpine is known for having better sound quality although I won't be able to buy new speakers for a while (many months), so I don't know how much of a difference I will be able to hear using the stock speakers. It also seems to have some advanced features (parametric EQ, etc.) that are beyond the capabilities of the Panasonic. However, I positively HATE the way it looks. It reminds me of too many Nike/Addidas shoes today that try and pack as many colors and shapes into the given amount of space. Ugly and cluttered, but I'm a fan of sound quality so if it's really that good I would be willing to put up with the looks.

The Panasonic certainly looks its price...in fact, it is probably the best looking HU IMO. The touchscreen feature is pretty spiffy as well. Panasonic doesn't seem to mention many of the software features available on this unit, so I don't know if they just don't mention them or if they don't exist. I'm sure that the overall sound quality is less than the Alpine unit, but how much worse can it be? I mean, if it comes reasonably close I would definitely go Panasonic.

I guess what I'm looking for is an informed push toward the Panasonic, if it performs well enough. I really want to buy it, but for about $100 more than the Alpine I'd be kicking myself if it sucked. Does anyone have any firsthand experience that they could share? Even if not, could you still recommend which might be better? I went through all 8 pages of Google matches on the Panasonic and could not find a single review, so I actually have tried to do my research.

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   ChrisAG


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Posted September 27 2003 - 02:22 PM

I haven't tried the Panasonic, but I have direct experience with a Pioneer 3500 and Alpine 9807/9811. I ended up purchasing the 9811. While this was a low-end Pioneer, it uses the same internal amplifier as most of the higher models (though probably not the top model). As far as sound quality goes, the Pioneer was equal to both Alpine units listed above, but the 9813 uses a more powerful internal amp, so this may influence sound quality. The 9813's power lead must be connected directly to the battery, due to its powerful amp. Ergonomically, Alpine is far superior to Pioneer, which had cheaper feeling, less responsive buttons. I can operate the Alpine by feel, but could not as easily with the Pioneer. Does the touch-screen in the Panasonic mean that you'll have to take your eyes off the road in order to operate it? The flip out face plate is motorized on the Alpine (with three position angles available). The Alpine's display is functional and legible, without the gee-whiz graphics of the Pioneer and other makes. The 9813 is getting excellent reviews on caraudioforum.com so that unit would be a good purchase.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Shawn.G


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Posted September 27 2003 - 03:31 PM

Chris, I am thinking about getting the Alpine 9811. Where did you purchase yours? Does it have any EQ other than Time Correction? Email me at footballplyr86@gulftel.com Sorry to interrupt this thread.

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted September 27 2003 - 06:15 PM

I currently have a 9811, it has tons of EQ controls. HPF, LPF, 80HZ-160kHz, 10kHz-17.5kHz settings in increments. Though mine is only about 3 weeks old I want to spring for the 9813 for the flashier display and even more EQ controls. I'll sell it for much less than new, comes with everything like new.. anyone interested? Oh and I also have a brand new 9807 that I never opened, for those who don't prefer fold down faceplates to insert a CD. Looking for about $205 shipped.

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Chris Tsutsui

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Posted September 30 2003 - 05:46 AM

I'd go alpine. The one thing that I don't like about the Alpine pre-pro I have is I can only adjust one band of the bass and one band of the treble. (plus the width) So the EQ, is more of a 1 band (that is selectable to one of the preset frequencies).

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