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OT: Alpine head unit for car -looking for comments

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rich Gibson, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Well, since things are slowing down I decided to keep my 2001 Forester for a couple more years. Our compromise is an upgrade unit to replace the standard one included in the car. I was looking at either the CDA-9886 or 87. I want them primarily for an IPOD and Satellite radio. In searching the internet I found some complaints about the unit working with the IPOD which I have (80GB). It degenerated into a pointing contest between Apple and Alpine. It appears to have been resolved though.

    Any comments or suggestions for other models in the $300-$400 range?

    Thanks, Rich
  2. Alpines are very nice... my brother-in-law won't buy anything else, and he's had several.
  3. I've also got a couple Alpines and have been pleased. None of mine have the IPOD jack (unfortunately) but all have XM. Worked great.

    I just upgraded the stereo in another vehicle and went with Pioneer....Ipod adapter and XM(it replaced an Alpine system) and in "that vehicle", the Pioneer sounds much better than what I took out.....probably newer technology as well but the sound difference was significantly better.....

    So I'm happy with both in their respective vehicles...don't read this as one is better, as you know there are many variables and I don't consider the above to be a test in any way.....just sharing my experience.
  4. latazyo


    Apr 23, 2008
    all I know is that I used to buy alpines only, the only problem with them is heat

    my new car came with a kenwood and I hate it, I'll never get a kenwood

    I'll be back with alpine as soon as I can be
  5. Rich, I don't have an Alpine but I do have to say that having a head unit with an iPod jack is the best thing since mashed potatos. I hardly listen to the radio anymore except for NPR.
  6. itsmike


    Mar 2, 2008
    Greenlawn NY
    I had the 9883 and my 30Gig in my Frontier for a while.. I now have the Alpine W-205 and my 30gig.. Night and day.. I love it.. You cant go wrong with any alpine..
  7. JoJo2Fast


    Nov 20, 2007
    Auburn, WA
    I have one, cant remember which exact model but its got the ipod hook up and everything. Nicest deck ive ever used. Like Mike said you cant go wrong with Alpine.
  8. adio3x


    Aug 26, 2007
    Im just going to say, alpine doesn't make headunits like they used too. If you can find this combo online or on ebay, GET IT: Alpine CDA 9851 and Alpine KCA-420i Ipod Adapter. Works flawlessly.
  9. Rich,

    Cars and car audio happens to be one of my hobbies. If you haven't already gotten a head unit, there are a few recommendations based upon single but important questions.

    Do you intend on upgrading your speakers and do intend on adding additional amplification?

    The sound you get from your car audio system is only as good as the sum of its parts. If you are planning to leave the stock speakers from the Forester and just upgrade the head unit, you may not need to get a $300 - $400 range head unit unless you need certain functions that only come in a unit at that price range.

    It appears you need an iPod connection, so you'll have to take that into account. However, almost all newer head units feature this function. If you have no intention of upgrading speakers and/or adding external amplification, I would recommend you go with the following:

    1) iDA-X300 - MSRP $200
    2) CDA-9884 - MSRP $230
    3) iDA-X200 - MSRP $300
    4) CDA-9886 - MSRP $350
    5) iDA-X100 - MSRP $400

    All are Alpine units and since the prices I listed are MSRP, you can get any of the units for less from your local car audio shop. My suggestion would be to get either recommendation 1) or 2) if you don't intend on upgrading the rest of your system. They all have internal amplification powerful enough for your needs and iPod connections. :smile:

    Happy shopping and enjoy your new head unit! :biggrin:
  10. Thanks for the suggestion. I built a s/w case from mdf board and installed an Alpine e series sealed speaker in it. I replaced the stock Subaru s/w (a joke...a 6" speaker in a plastic case) with the latest Alpine 500 series amplifier under the driver's seat. I put Alpine 6-1/2" speakers in the doors. The s/w unit is strapped to the floor of the rear platform under the retractable rear compartment cover.

    The head unit is the Alpine 9886. I added the XM Radio receiver (since I have 5 licenses for units I transferred the old Delphi license to the new receiver) and hid it in the center console out of sight. I also bought the alpine IPOD connector wire and routed it through the ashtray so it is hidden whenever I leave the car removing the IPOD. You really don't have to mount the XMantenna on the roof outside the car. I put it in the center storage compartment on the Subaru's dash. For good measure I bought a 3" x 5" steel plate from Home Depot and put the magnetic antenna unit on it inside the compartment. The metal plate did reduce the fewfade out areas I encountered around the Washington DC area.

    Finally I have a Garmin Nuvi 670 GPS which sits nicely under a dashboard center storage lid. I bought a cheap picture frame at a dollar store and saved the 3" x 5" glass from it to mount the suction cup. The Garmin stores in the armrest storage compartment when not in use.

    ....so, when parked all a casual "thief" can see is a stock 2001 Subaru with no visible gadgets. The only detectable item is the small s/w amplifier under the driver seat, but I readjusted the rear floor mat 2" forward to cover the amplifier from view.

    I also got the alarm system going again after disabling it for years. While I'm not a professional, or even hobbiest auto sound system installer I have fashioned systems from time to time. I built a system for a 1988 Honda CRX which won a trophy at an auto store sound competition. I also built a subwoofer for a Mada Miata which fit in the trunk. I was approached to market it but decided not to. I've built numerous home speaker systems using a msdos program to match thiel-small parameters to various sealed and reflex speaker cabinets.

    Thans, again.

  11. Mart61


    Dec 23, 2006
    Camberley, UK
    Good luck with the upgrade. Should you not be asleep tho Rich? :biggrin:
  12. I should be, but my mind is working out accommodating space for an elliptic exercise machine and exercise bench I just bought. I canceled my membership at a local gym but still want to remain fit. I have a creative bent and when I "get" on a project my most creative juices seem to flow when I wakeup in the middle of the night to work out the details....just like Michelangelo. :rolleyes: 

  13. Mart61


    Dec 23, 2006
    Camberley, UK
    Well good luck Rich.

    I too am paying around $140 a month for a gym I haven't used for several months. I may do likewise...
  14. After orthoscopic surgery on both knees I've searched unsuccessfully, until recently, for a means of exercising aerobically without discomfort. At my wife's suggestion (I HATE is when she's right) I tried them out during a free trial at the gym and found that after three years I could workout with no knee pain. The trick is HOW the elliptic machine is configured. As you might guess each manufacturer has their own design philosophy in constructing them. By chance I hopped on a Life Fitness machine and as they say "It was love at first sight." Well, not really but during the trial I encountered no discomfort. At the gym them have 15 newer, different machines, but the four old Life Fitness ones are in almost constant use.

    So, I found a guy here who refurbishes the gym model for 1/2 the original price ($4000). I went to his shop and saw that he was doing a very professional job and ordered one. I realize that seems like a lot but when your health and well being is concerned it isn't too much. I'm over 66 now hope to last through my mid-80's and remain mobile and active.

  15. Ya need to stick in a couple 12" woofers and a big ole amp. Sag your jeans and turn your cap sideways and we can all start calling you Pimp Daddy Rich.:biggrin:
  16. Rich has a BUMPIN' system! Way to go! :biggrin:
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