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Naturally Aggravated
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77 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here's the deal: I have a 99 Camry XLE that I just picked up. It has the CD/Tape unit with 6.5's and tweets up front and 6x9's in the rear. I'm not real happy with the stock sound plus the passenger tweet sounds shot to me, so I pretty much wanna replace them all and put in subs in the trunk. So to drive the higher wattage speaks that I'll wind up buying I'm prolly gonna need a new head unit. (not to mention the need for more control)

So here's the problem: I like the clean look of the stock unit. I'm really not big on these decks with the Organic displays that light up the car like Christmas. And not just the displays, most of them are way too complex to operate. I wan't something with features that is still simple to use... Like someone else can get in my car and figure out how to turn up the bass or fade to the rear, while driving w/o wrecking! I also love the fact that it dims variably with the dash lights. So does anyone have any recommendations for a simple clean looking stereo that still has output and features or am I stuck with one of those ricey monstrosities?

I dunno, maybe I'm getting old:lol:
 

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Registered
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210 Posts
its really up to you. every decent headunit has a romote so its really easy to change the settings, turn up the volume and stuff without worryin bout hittin the wrong key.

but id recommened pioneer.
 

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Naturally Aggravated
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77 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Remotes = things I lose. Besides the head isn't so far away that I feel like I should need one. I reach over there to change CD's anyway (changers are a waste of time when you like to pack 20-30 disks with you).

I do have a fondness for pioneer premiere. I have had very good service from them (I've had 3 different CD players by them over the last 10 years), but it seems like every year they made them a little more cluttered to operate, except for going back to a volume knob, that was a good move.

I guess I'm just not the focus group for aftermarket car audio anymore. Then again, I wonder if I'm not part of a mostly untapped market. I know both my parents have aftermarket decks that they have always complained are too complex to operate, but love the sound quality. Maybe I can figure a way to make the stock unit work with a couple small amps or something... Just wish I could get the parametric EQ and variable crossover and all that.
 

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Whine Connoisseur
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6,573 Posts
If one of your main concerns is function over fashion, look into an Eclipse deck. Seeing as how they are the makers of (most) OEM decks, the menu is set closely resembles that of the stock deck. Like the stock deck you just push the biggest button on the deck(volume dial) to scroll through the main settings and turn it to adjust. How much more intuitive can that be!?

Like you, I too hate the flashy, overly complicated decks on todays mkt. Should my current Eclipse deck fail, I'm most likely gonna get another Eclipse based on the fact that it's simple looking, simple to use and is manufactured with it's task in mind.

I will warn you, their prices don't look too attractive though when you compare them to the other brands. Checkout their site for more info http://www.eclipse-web.com/index_cd.html
 

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Registered
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159 Posts
Why can't you use the stock head unit? I'm sure any shop would be able to wire it so you can use aftermarket amps and processors.

I also can't stand the modern head unit. I prefer the old school Alpine square button look. Even better, the old school Home Audio amps with that cool weighted tuner/volume dial.

McIntosh head units are really uncluttered. I would assume it costs an arm and two legs. I've only seen them in ultra high end systems. Have a look see.

http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/mcprod/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=33&cat=Control+Centers+&+CD+Changers
 

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Got SQ?
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780 Posts
As for speakers, I used MB Quart PSD216 I put the tweets and speakers in the factory location without modifiying anything (no cutting, tweaking) really, now they are just collecting dust cause I moved on up to high end sq system. Also I recommend last years eclipse 5423, the reason I say last years is I can get them dirt cheap and they are great decks, very easy to use. As for subs, get a sealed enclosure, maybe a single 10, or if you like more vibrations, then a 12.
 

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Naturally Aggravated
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77 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.
Another factor I didn't mention is I was hoping for MP3 capability. It'd be real nice to be able to pack my entire Led Zepplin collection on a couple disks. Of course this rules out stock with amps and the Nakamichi and McIntosh (Although that is absolutely kick ass in its simplicity). I guess what I need to do is actually go to a big stereo shop (armed with a baseball bat to keep salesmen at bay) and start playing around 'til I find something I can live with... Go look at the Eclipse stuff and see if I like it better than the Premiere.
 

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Whine Connoisseur
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6,573 Posts
If you want MP3 capability, you can't go with eddiem67's suggestion and get an older 5 series. The new 5 series decks now play MP3s and come nicely appointed. If you're an audio nut, not to mention with a fat wallet, you can grab yourself an 8 series :cool:
 

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Got SQ?
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780 Posts
I can also get you the newer models as well, I can get a better price than any shop you go to and you will still get the same warranty and support from eclipse. So if you decide on eclipse Im your man.
 

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Naturally Aggravated
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77 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Cool, I apreciate that. I think I'm gonna go look at some stuff tomorrow and find out what I actually want.
 
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