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Old 14th March 2009, 02:25   #1
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Default Kenwood6539/Hamburg/Kingston/Alpine 9884e/6, I'm totally confused. F1. F1.. F1...

It's been time to put the old warrior(Blaupunkt Bahamas MP34) to rest and go for something new,. My main need is iPod/USB connectivity and also obvious thing is that I want good sound quality. yeah I know it depends on person to person but I'm kind of satisfied with the sound quality of my old Blaupunkt. But it's becoming pain to rip music and burning CD's again and again.
Now I'm in search for a good HU which can gel well with my existing setup.
Current Setup : JBL GTO607c, JBL GT5-604,GT5-1204 and CS co-axials. I've kind of thought about the following HU's (not in any particular order though)
1. Kenwood MP6539U. This is the best value for money HU it seems. Heard that the sound quality is good and experienced it in one of my friend's car. Good sounding but I found the interface is not that great. I loved the simple yet effective interface of Blau. e.g. in the Kenwood if I want to select a different source then I'll need to press two buttons and I'll need to even look into the display. That I found for a car HU is bit inconvenient. In the Blau(or even in Pio) I just need to keep on pressing the SRC button to select Radio from CD or something like that. Again to select a radio station I'll need to again surf the menu. Actually I wanted to go for this HU but these drawbacks are holding me.
Also there is a 2009 model called 6043, have anyone had a chance to have a look into it? How does it fare with the 6539?

2. Blaupunkt Hamburg MP68 - this unit is in my mind is because it's a blau unit and I'm expecting similar or better sound then my existing one. Plus I can use the steering remote that I already have. I found the steering remote very very convenient and would want to have this convenience. This unit have bluetooth also but not sure how useful bluetooth would be. But this one is bit too pricey and I can go for Alpines instead. Also I haven't heard this HU playing so I would really need you people's input here.

3. Blaupunkt Kingston MP47 - Plays USB pen drives but don;t have support for iPod?? Also I haven't heard this HU playing so I would really need you people's input here. But price wise(afaik it's <10k) this is a good option.

4. Alpine 9884e or 9886. Can anyone tell me the differences between these two players? I checked the Net but I'm not able to see much difference between these two players but the price difference is huge(atleast US price, it's 120$ different). Seems like 9884 can't read USB mass storage devices although it can read iPod. Is this the case? Most other things remains very same. Can someone please tell me the prices of these two players and also their review. These units uses a different DAC then the 9887, so can I assume that they are not as good as the 9887? But even though how do they compare with the other options that I have?

Would really appreciate your opinions about the HU's and their pro's and con's. Also please let me know if there is anything else I can look into. I always look forward to TBHP whenever I'm in doubt like this. Please help me out here. BTW the car in question is a Baleno.

Regards,
Kaushik
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Old 14th March 2009, 12:04   #2
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if you have a budget of about 9k, then a good head unit would be the Kenwood 6539U. the new blaupunkts just dont match up to the competition when it comes to sound quality. you could also just get a pioneer 6050Ub if the interface matters so much to you. its one of the easiest HU's to use and also has USB and iPod direct along with AUX IN. sound quality is par for the course. a pioneer original steering remote is available for ~900 in the market. the pioneer sr100. its quite an indisposable thing, you are right!
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Old 14th March 2009, 12:52   #3
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You can get the 9886 for a little over 12k (gray).
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Old 14th March 2009, 22:50   #4
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Thanks frank for the input. My budget, well i can stretch upto 12k around, may be another grand or so. That's why I'm thinking about the Alpines as anyway I'm spending some money so why not go for the best at that range ;-).
I've seen and listened to the Pioneers and somehow I didn't liked them much. If I've to spend only 9k then instead of the Pio i'll go for the kenwood probably.
So basically the new age Blaupunkts are not that good SQ wise as compared to the Kenwoods ? Also I've plans to upgrade my speakers too, so I want to get the best for the bucks I spend.

Hey nitrous, thanks for the price update on 9886. 12k is a good price. But only issue is the steering remote as Alpine has none. But i think i can go for the universal remote which is available for around 1.8k approx, right?
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Old 14th March 2009, 23:18   #5
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The Title is a lil misguiding. I thought someone wanted to go in for an Alpine F1 status HU!!

I haven't heard the kenwood, but it has good reviews. The newer series pio's are best avoided. They've managed to muddle up the nice interface of the older ones and are really bright.

Blau's really aren't VFM, and dont sound special.

I
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Old 16th March 2009, 01:10   #6
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Yes Jay, I also feel the same about teh Pioneers, that's why not putting them on the list.

Gurus, can I have some more views? And my question about the difference between Alpine 9884e and 9886 is still remained unanswered. Pleaseeeeeeeee....
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Old 16th March 2009, 02:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
And my question about the difference between Alpine 9884e and 9886 is still remained unanswered. Pleaseeeeeeeee....
9886 is superior to 9884 in the following:
A better display.
4 volt pre outs.
Built in USB input.
9884 doesn't come with a remote as part of the HU. 9886 offers it for free.

For more detailed specs and information, check: Alpine CDA-9884 CD receiver at Crutchfield.com

Did you say you're going to change the speakers too?
Hmmm.. Upgrade bug! Eh?
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Old 16th March 2009, 12:13   #8
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Thanks Zak for the update.
Well exactly not the upgrade bug but planning to move the speakers to my Alto (probably move the existing HU also to Alto). So instead of buying new speakers for the Alto I can upgrade the speakers of Baleno ;-) . Initial plan was to add a new music system for the Alto but then felt this way will be better. Ek goli mein do shikaar.

BTW, now that we are on it, suggest me some good components for Baleno. Budget will be around 6k. I found the JBL's little bit bright, they are VFM but little bright.
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Old 16th March 2009, 13:50   #9
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illusion electras. fits your budget AND your requirement :-)
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Old 16th March 2009, 14:12   #10
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If you like laid back sound, listen to Rainbow. They sound warm and natural. SLX series of components (entry level) will cost around 9k though!

Within 6k, Illusion electra and Bull audio is recommended. Both are good performers and comes with bill and warranty.

Before you finalise your purchase, atleast have a small demo of these brands to judge yourself the best suitable equipment for your tastes.
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Old 16th March 2009, 14:26   #11
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Electras cost 7k last i heard.
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Old 16th March 2009, 15:45   #12
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BTW Sound Quality wise how does the Kenwood 6539 compares to the Alpine 9886? Is there a distinguishable difference or for un-trained ears like mine won't find any difference?

And how are the Alpine Type-S (Type R are the costly one's, right?) and how do they compared to Illusions or Rainbows?
Can I fit the JBL 607c's on Alto without any major modifications? I'm bit worried about it as the car in question is in Assam and I don't know how is the audio installation scene there.
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