I needed to replace my head unit because my cd player took a dump.
My old unit was an Alpine with Infinity Kappa 6 x 9's in the front doors and 6.5" round in the back doors. Under the back seat is an MTX box made for my truck with 2 amplified 10" subs. Not something to compete with high dollar systems but something that gave pretty good sound quality for the kind of music I listen to - classic rock & country. The sound was decent enough that I didnt need to use the amp I had purchased initially.
Last week I had to replace my head unit. I'm not up on all the latest stuff but a few sound guys & friends I spoke with said Alpine isnt what it used to be. Kenwood and Pioneer seems to be what they like. I stopped in at Best Buy to check some units out. The Alpine stuff just looked cheap. I've had good luck with Kenwood stuff in the past so I got a Kenwood unit.
The guy at Best Buy said all the installers really rave about the Pioneer stuff for home theater and car audio. I didnt like the look of the Pioneer units. Too much light stuff going on. Too much clear plastic with all the light. They looked to me like a unit some kid in his lowered Honda Civic with neon lights on the under carriage would love to have. Just not me. Im a less is more kinda guy for this stuff. Plain, neat, and a clean look is preferred.
I installed the Kenwood and the sound just wasnt up to par. The sound in the highs wasnt clean and crisp. It almost had a muffled sound compared to what I had before. No adjustments helped enough.
So I went to a local stereo place for stereo geeks. The guy got in my truck and listened and I told him what it didnt do and what I was looking for. He said, the Pioneer is the way to go. He said I had 2 choices. The 8500, pictured here:
Or, he said the DEH-80PRS was really the ****. The 8500 had that cheap look to me. I paid the extra $130 to get the more advanced unit and it was worth every penny. Im in no way a stereo geek and the 80PRS is way more advanced than I need. The sound is great. My wife listened to it for 30 seconds and said it sounds 10 times better than my old unit.
If you want a really clean crisp sounding unit in your car this is a great way to go. No amp is needed. It pushes my subs far more than I need. This just sounds great!
BTW, the stereo geek where I bought this unit told me that it is based off of and uses the same technology as some other Pioneer unit that was $1,400 in the last year or two. I have no idea if that is true or not, but this sounds really good.[/quote]