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Old 23rd December 2007, 08:07   #1
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Default Clarion vs Kenwood: Help needed with ICE

I intend to buy ICE setup for my car from US. I am a novice to the world of ICE. I have following options on mind. Guru's please help me:

Head Unit:
Clarion DXZ 675
Clarion DXZ675USB CD receiver with MP3/WMA/AAC playback at Crutchfield.com
Kenwood:
http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Produ...1&i=113KDCX591
Kenwood has european tuning. Clarion doesn't. I believe that this means that I will be able to hear odd number FM channels on clarion. Please correct me
I am willing to sacrifice few FM channels (most FM channels in india are odd numbered) if Sound quality from Clarion is way better than Kenwood

Speakers:
Front Comps: Need advice on size and brand that would fit (JBL, Infinity, any other?
Rear Coax: Need advice

Basic Amp: to match the HU and speakers.

I am looking forward to buying Santro/i10/Getz Prime.

Please advice. My budget is 400-500USD.

Thanks & Regards
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Old 23rd December 2007, 22:59   #2
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Gurus please reply. I desperately need your help
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Old 26th December 2007, 12:50   #3
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Unless you have a serious reason to buy the HU in US, one would think you would be better off to buy it in India - you wouldn't go wrong, and the prices aren't that wide apart.

As far as the speakers are concerned, perhaps you could buy them there - IF you know the sizes of the slots provided for the speakers in the car that you buy. Unfortunately you haven't bought the car yet - so that is indeterminate! Santro has 4" slots in the dash, i10 (and Getz, I think - not sure) have provision for 6.5" in the doors.

If you wait till after buying the car in India (I think you are trying to buy it in India), you will be able to buy what is appropriate, instead of having unusable pieces in your hand.

If you REALLY want to buy the speakers in US (assuming you are buying i10 or Getz), you could audition some 6.5" component and coax brands in Best Buy (avoid Sony; they have lots of those, but they also carry Pio, JBL, Alpine, Infinity etc.) or someplace similar. Pick the ones that suit your taste and budget. Don't buy off of Crutchfield unless you have auditioned the ones that you want.

Your USD budget (when converted to INR) is decent enough to buy in India. At least you will have the assurance of A.S.S. in India if you buy with B&W.
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Old 26th December 2007, 13:10   #4
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Hi,
Though i do not have any experience with Kenwood and therefore can't comment on it's performance or sound quality, I definitely can shed some light on the Clarion.
I recently upgraded from Pioneer 5750 to Clarion 776USB
Having done that, the improvement in sound quality was very much evident. The vocals are warmer, the sound more alive and the detail dug up is amazing.
Though i still have to get it tuned to my liking as i'm still exploring it, one of the things that i have done is turn the internal amp off and also the Parametric EQ is off.
So pretty much out of the box opinion would be a thumbs-up.
The unit takes some time getting used to though, as the buttons on the face plate are tiny and spread out. Also the slidetrak control is challenging at first.
Explore the Kenwood if you can to see how comfortable you are and then choose.

All the best.
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Old 26th December 2007, 14:03   #5
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I think buying in India makes more sense than getting it from abroad. These days the prices are almost comparable. Between Clarion and Kenwood for a HU, Clarion is much better in sound clarity.
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Old 26th December 2007, 15:11   #6
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Would like to differ with you on that @mobike088.

My experience in the quest for the Clarion was an eyeopener. Dealers were quoting prices of 18 to 20 K Grey prices for the 776USB and that too after a wait of 4weeks at least. The Official dealer as enlisted om the company website refused to respond to my Queries.

In the end i got someone to pick up the HU along with the blue tooth kit, the steering remote and the i-pod unit all for a landed price of 18k after discounts. This equipment was picked up from the official distributor in Jakarta.

Besides, Clarion A.S.S. in India is non existent at least for me. So i have no regrets. I'm very happy with the SQ too.
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Old 26th December 2007, 20:01   #7
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I have been searching for a good headunit and did some heavy research online.

from my study ALpine's/eclipse are best followed by Clarion/pioneer(clarion being partially better). Kenwood are usually termed good in the higher range.

and yes there is considerable difference between prices but warranties do make a difference. decide your priorities.
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Old 27th December 2007, 11:46   #8
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Thanks everyone. Based on various reviews that I read, I felt Clarion would be a better choice, but needed confirmation from experts/real time users. I am infact getting a good deal on Clarion 675 for 160USD, hence thinking about picking it up from US rather than India. Are you facing any problems with fm with Clarion?
Also, what would be good speaker set to go with the HU? I know JBL and Infinity Kappas are great. How well does Kicker compare against these? I am planning to have comps in front and 3-way Coax in rear.
Once again, I really appreciate your advice.
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Old 29th December 2007, 15:56   #9
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@jonnyonline,

After using Kicker Components model no. DS650.2, i have so far been unable to get the expected SQ out of them. Having lived with them for a couple of months, i can say that unless you are looking for bassy sound, avoid them. You'll be better off using Illusion Electra EL series components, JBL/Infinity or even Hertz.

It's not that they are poor, it's just that comparatively speaking, the competitors are better.

Clarion DXZ675 @ 160USD is a terrific deal.

Clarion experience: so far so good.

Cheers
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