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#1
Old 07-07-2002, 09:01 PM
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Alpine car cd players. Good or Bad?

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Alpine car audio or could direct me to a site that might review car cd players.
I want to make sure that I am not about to buy a $200 piece of crap so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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#2
Old 07-08-2002, 12:35 AM
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I have a complete Alpine system with LCD monitor, GPS, and indash 6 disk player. I like it, it works perfectly fine and doesn't give me any trouble.
#3
Old 07-08-2002, 06:15 AM
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Location: Alabama
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Have you checked epinions.com? They have user reviews of various electronics and other products, including Alpine stereos. User reviews are difficult to make use of, but it's helpful to look at the negative reviews and see if there are any specific design flaws you wouldn't be happy with.
#4
Old 07-08-2002, 09:08 AM
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Alpine are a quality brand.
#5
Old 07-08-2002, 09:36 AM
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It are?

I used to service Alpine car audio. It was one of the few brands that actually made the mechanisms with the service technician in mind. And most of the assmebly was metal, not a lot of plastic gears to break like some other brands I could mention. I personally never had one myself, so I can't comment on the user interface, I just wanted to speak to the repair aspect (if you ever need repairs).

I like Blaupunkt for similar reasons.
#6
Old 07-08-2002, 10:45 AM
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Thanks for the opinions so far guys. Have any feelings on Pioneer car cd players?
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#7
Old 07-08-2002, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Malden, Massachusetts
Posts: 372
I'm a 16-year car audio hobbyist, 4-year professional mobile electronics installer.

Alpine makes excellent stuff. It works well, and almost never comes back for repair. And they only make car stuff. But it is a little on the expensive side.

In my opinion, Pioneer is just as good, and a bit less expensive.

That being said, I'm a harsh critic of aftermarket car decks in general. They're almost all unsafe to operate while driving, with their tiny, poorly-laid-out buttons. The display can't be seen in daylight. The backlighting rarely matches that of the rest of your dash. They generally disrupt the factory appearance of the car. They invite theft. And a bunch of other complaints I can't think of right now.

What kind of car do you have, and what's in it now? There might have been a CD player as a factory option, and you could obtain one of those to fit your car. Do an eBay search on "Chevrolet CD" or "Ford CD" or whatever car you have.

With a factory CD player, you'll enjoy equivalent sound quality, easier controls, a nice look, superior FM and AM reception, and less theft risk.

On the other hand, the aftermarket units generally have more amplifier power, which makes them seem to sound better. An aftermarket deck can be a good way to get more power, without the expense of an outboard amplifier.

If going the aftermarket route, here's what to look for:

--Control layout. Can you operate it without looking at it?
--Appearance. Does it match the rest of your car?
--Size. Does it fit your car? Almost all on the market are the standard DIN size; car-specific install kit sold separately.
--Upgradeablility. If you might later add a CD changer, amplifier(s), or satellite radio, make sure your unit is ready for it.
--Reliablility. Stick with the name brands. In my experience, sub-$100 units will eventually fail to eject your CD. But Jensen seems to be the best budget brand.
--Detachable faceplate. You don't want it to get stolen, do you? And bring the faceplate in your house; don't think the thieves won't look under the seat for it.

You'll also need to figure the cost of installation into your budget. Figure around $50 for labor, and $15-85 for car-specific install parts. Tell me what kind of car, and I can give you a closer figure. Many big-box stores offer free-labor promotions.
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