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Old 01-21-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
ever_green

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kenwood vs pioneer vs alpine decks

hi i need a good budget friendly deck and i have been looking at pioneer, kenwoods & alpines. I noticed that kenwoods give high RMS power output of 22watts vs 16w alpine and 14watts from pioneers. Im not planning on using an amplifier, i already have a mono amp for the sub. don't want a 4 ch amp. So since i do not have an amplifier will it make a difference to choose a higher RMS receiver? also i have learned that buying low end decks from expensive manufacters such as alpine is a mistake and its better to buy the top of the line of cheaper brands like sony or mid range pioneer.

I have been really interested in the kenwoods. basically i need a good budget deck with bass, sub control plus it should also display time clock and mp3 titile... thanks

ps. i also need 6.5" speakers that can produce decent bass for the front w/3" depth max thanx

Last edited by ever_green; 01-21-2009 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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eventhough I am a fan of alpine I would go with a pioneer deck if you are budget minded, they will give you the most for your money while still being easy to use. Kenwoods are good but not very user friendly and alpines are great if you are looking at their higher end models.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:38 PM   #3
ever_green

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so will the kenwood's high RMS make a difference?
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:15 PM   #4
basicxj

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ever_green View Post
hi i need a good budget friendly deck and i have been looking at pioneer, kenwoods & alpines. I noticed that kenwoods give high RMS power output of 22watts vs 16w alpine and 14watts from pioneers. Im not planning on using an amplifier, i already have a mono amp for the sub. don't want a 4 ch amp. So since i do not have an amplifier will it make a difference to choose a higher RMS receiver? also i have learned that buying low end decks from expensive manufacters such as alpine is a mistake and its better to buy the top of the line of cheaper brands like sony or mid range pioneer.

I have been really interested in the kenwoods. basically i need a good budget deck with bass, sub control plus it should also display time clock and mp3 titile... thanks

ps. i also need 6.5" speakers that can produce decent bass for the front w/3" depth max thanx

Look at it this way- none of those head units will put out enough clean power to properly run a pair of door speakers, especially if you intend to get any kind of midbass response or "decent bass" from them. The lower the frequency you try to play through the speakers, the more demands are placed on the amplifier to produce those frequencies, and this increases exponentially the lower the frequency or higher the volume level. What you'll get using head unit power is clipping and distortion rather than any amount of decent bass or even midbass, and this will happen ealrier on the volume dial as frequency gets lower- the head unit simply won't be able to produce enough clean watts to accomplish the task.

Money would be better spent getting a simple 2 channel amplifier to power the fronts, as this would do far more good than even the most "powerful" internal amplifier available in a head unit.

Something like this: http://www.cadencestore.com/ProductC...&idproduct=479

would be enough to get closer to maximum performance potential out of many decent replacement speakers, and it's 4 channel brother in bridged mode for more power would be better still if you happen across some speakers that require a little more to really get them going...these amps were going for stupid-cheap due to a paint color mixup, and I notice the price has been removed recently from the site- check with Cadence to see if they're still in the $59 (2 channel) $79 (4 channel) ballpark, as they were incredible value at those prices. Either of those amps would be 100% better than trying to coax a head unit's internal amp into properly powering a pair of component speakers- go ahead and realize that won't be happening, as you'll be disappointed with performance off head unit alone .

As for brands, I wouldn't touch anything recent from Sony, as quality has gone down with the launch of "Xplod"...go with mid-level from any of the major brands. Entry-level models from Pioneer and Alpine, mid-level models from Kenwood, Clarion, JVC, Panasonic would all be fine- boil it down to ergonomics and whatever interface you prefer, and put money saved from not going with the high-end HU towards a decent budget 2 channel/4 channel amp...like the Cadence models linked, they do exist amid the piles of stinking crap brands that go for similar money. If you aren't sure which brands to avoid, ask here before ordering anything .
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ever_green View Post
so will the kenwood's high RMS make a difference?
To notice an appreciable difference in volume levels between two head units (22 watts vs 16 watts), one would have to be capable of getting you a good 1.5-3 db of volume over the other...it takes double the power to get that appreciable increase in volume, so the short answer is "no". Even the 32 watts RMS that would theorhetically be capable of playing louder would still not amount to clean, usable power, so paying for more internal power in a head unit is a waste of money.

Pretty much any head unit's internal amplifiers are going to clip/distort so early on the volume dial running a pair of speakers close to full range that they would be equally bad choices compared to a proper outboard amplifier, and whether they're rated at 16, 22 or 50 watts RMS is a moot point. Compare the tiny area inside a head unit devoted to the amplification section of the circuit boards to the amount of real estate even a small external amplifier requires before assuming that 50 watts from a head unit could equal the same from a stand alone amp...even with the latest technology, not going to happen (even if the head unit manufacturer's watts were somehow "magical") .
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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to be honest i don't go over 20db volume on my current sony deck so i haven't really noticed any distortion. The oem deck i had produced better sound than this sony gt410u that i bought. It could really pound my speakers on mid-low notes. but the new sony sucks. so i was thinking if a fujitsu oem deck could pound the 6.5" maybe a pioneer would too? or are these all designed to sound well with an amp? if so then i better stick with my current deck.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ever_green View Post
to be honest i don't go over 20db volume on my current sony deck so i haven't really noticed any distortion. The oem deck i had produced better sound than this sony gt410u that i bought. It could really pound my speakers on mid-low notes. but the new sony sucks. so i was thinking if a fujitsu oem deck could pound the 6.5" maybe a pioneer would too? or are these all designed to sound well with an amp? if so then i better stick with my current deck.
Making the switch from Sony to an entry-level Pioneer would only clear up some Sony-related issues, but wouldn't "pound your speakers" due to insufficient amplification. I'd be tempted to skip the "upgrade" for now and just add an amplifier for those speakers...you may eventually want a different head unit down the road, but I don't think you'll see the improvements you desire amount to good bang/buck based on just a head unit swap.

As someone who had run head unit power in a few different installs (an amp wasn't financially possible at the time), I'll be the first to tell you that a more powerful head unit never holds a candle to a proper outboard amplifier. As long as the source signal from the head unit is clean and your speakers are up to the task, additional amplifier power makes the biggest difference per dollar you can expect.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:41 PM   #8
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ok thanks, im not interested in a amp as im already draining my battery on a 600w subwoofer. dont wanna get a capacitor or extra wiring headache.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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Pioneer makes the best Hu's, IMO. I switched from a sony (total crap). They all look very attractive too and give you the most features for you money. And I agree with basicxj, if you want bass, you'll have to throw some money in for a decent 2 or 4 channel amp.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:10 PM   #10
basicxj

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ever_green View Post
ok thanks, im not interested in a amp as im already draining my battery on a 600w subwoofer. dont wanna get a capacitor or extra wiring headache.
Depending on what you drive, you may be able to have much more draw without causing any issues- 1000 watts isn't too much for many factory electrical systems. A capacitor won't really be necessary (type "capacitor" into the official CAF search function and you'll see you don't require one). With the engine running, you aren't even drawing from your battery unless you've exceeded what your alternator is putting out somehow (look up it's rating online if you're curious), and that's not likely with a 600 watt amplifier. You could add a 2 or 4 channel amp to the mix with no issues, no noticeable extra stress on the electrical system. Upgrading "the big 3" wires under the hood will give more improvements as far as preventing voltage drop than a capacitor could possibly provide.

What exactly are you driving? What 600 watt amp are you running for your subwoofer? Something to keep in mind- most amps won't draw anywhere near their maximum if used as intended, listening to music at normal levels. It would take 0db test tones and full volume for lengthy periods to cause your amps to draw enough to make most stock electrical systems to flinch, and that would be far more volume than most listeners could tolerate for any length of time in the vehicle.

Many people have some misconceptions that "they don't need an amp" because they equate amplifiers with people driving down the street blasting music and causing items well outside the car to shake and tremble. Amplifiers are about clean power, and keeping distortion from stressed weak internal amps in head units from ever being heard while enjoying your music at any listening level...many SQ systems have gobs of power, but not for the purpose of blasting at loud levels but instead for having reserves of power so that transients and peaks in the music have enough power to be properly reproduced without distortion raising it's head. Punch "headroom" into the search function too for more interesting reading- that's something that head unit power doesn't have.

If you're looking to provide some balance (similar output levels to properly blend with a sub powered with 600 watts) then you probably want 60-150 watts going to the average front stage to match, unless all you want to hear is bass and distorted mids/highs .
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:35 AM   #11
ever_green

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2008 corolla type-s is what im driving and the manufacturer said my electrical warranty will be void if i mess with the car. The sub amp is not that important cause i can dc if something wrong with car and put it back in. i don't want 2 amps tbh, i have no space and no power, 1000w is too much for a corolla tbh. my sound quality is average but bass is poor from all 4 speakers. The subwoofer however is excellent. however if i get FS or BB to install speakers for me, my warranty will still be active.

was thinking of replacing the front speakers with these: JBL
http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...37&catid=20114
MTX thunder:
http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...0096892&catid=

tried this but did not fit, even with spaces it would hit the window glass: energy 6.5" coaxial
http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...0088312&catid=


just a sitrap on my ride:

sony gt410u deck

2 factory fujitsu front speakers:
http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/l...Picture005.jpg

2 rear pioneer 5 1/4" speakers

Infinity 611a mono-amp

Energy 12" Subwoofer (700w)

Last edited by ever_green; 01-22-2009 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:37 AM   #12
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1000 watts isn't too much for an 08 corolla. I have 1300 watts RMS total in a 95 civic hatch and the electrical system is very suspect, and it handles it just fine.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:46 AM   #13
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If the product you are putting into your car whether it be a deck amps speakers etc. are put in by a "professional" ie. custom shop installers, best buy installers, circuit city installers, etc. then it will not void your factory warranty. Thats the way it is in Texas atleast, I am pretty sure it is the same everywhere. They tell you that to deter you from messing with the electrical system yourself and screwing something up. I have 2 amps, components, subs, deck, and a remote start all in my car and the dealership handles all my warranty issues with no questions. If they do say something, keep your receipts for installation and there is nothing they can say about it.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:11 AM   #14
ever_green

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lol thanks for all your help guys but im not adding another amp. I have heard speakers sound well at 20db w/no amp. I think they are just more efficient 91+ db speakers. My pioneers in the rear start to distort after 30db volume while front distorts at 28. I usually never go over 22db. Too loud and my sub actually poped a few push clips in my trunk once when i hit 30db. I really like jbl speakers and saw a pair 6.5" for 50$ at bestbuy. As i said two coaxial energy did not fit my car.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:22 AM   #15
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So buy an amp for your speakers or were gonna beat you up.
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