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Old 14th May 2009, 21:40   #1
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Default Clarion DXZ785USB Review:

Line spacings went haywire since I copy pasted from word, please edit the post with the following formatting:

Equipment in concern:

Source:
Alpine CDA-9853

Interconnects:
Monster XLN 201 (Donated by friend, a big thanks to him)

Amplifiers:
Audison SRx5
Korean 2ch amp based on the Lightning Audio Strike 600.2

Speakers:
1” Aluminum Dome Illusion Audio Electra Tweeter
4” Glass-fibre Cone Peerless Midrange
6.5” PP Cone Illusion Audio Electra Midbass
12” PP Cone Illusion Audio Electra Subwoofer (Prototype borrowed from a friend)

Crossover:
The Tweeter and Midrange are passively crossed with an Illusion Audio Luccent crossover
The Midbass is crossed with the onboard audison crossover
The Subwoofer is crossed on the Source Unit

My Alpine CDA-9853 is an old unit and has been giving me trouble ejecting cds for a while now, so I was contemplating an upgrade. The main problem was my budget! What could possibly replace an Alpine 9853 (with time alignment, crossover and aux) within a budget of Rs. 10,000/-?

It was then that I came across the Clarion DXZ785USB. The unit has all the features I need and is fitting my budget perfectly. I couldn’t crib about its ugly looks and display or anything for that matter, since this was the only unit that had features that I desired and fell within my budget. I then placed an order for the unit which arrived yesterday after a one month long wait.
I quickly unpacked the unit, grabbed my tools, head straight to the car and installed it. Installation was a breeze so I won’t get into those details. I powered up the unit, adjusted the Low pass filter and dialed in the TA parameters. I inserted the same CD that was playing in my Alpine before the swap.

The first thing I noticed was that the subwoofer went buzzerk! It was overpowering everything. I checked all the EQ and enhancement settings, everything was flat. I then remembered that the Clarion has 6volt pre outs as compared to the 2.5volt pre outs of the Alpine 9853, I’d also read somewhere that some Alpines have lower pre-outs on the subwoofer channel. Bingo!

I went to check my subwoofer amplifier gain setting, it was set just a little above 50%. I cut it down to zero and slowly turned it up while the same track was playing, it sounded just about right at around 25%. I shut the boot and went back to the driver seat. The midrange and tweeters were sounding harsh, so I went and slightly turned down the gains on the audison, thereafter I had to further cut the subwoofer level on the HU to (-2). I instantly noticed a lot more detail in the sound. It felt as though the speakers had just opened up! Everything was set!

I had to go for one of our TBHP mini-meets, so didn’t get much to listen last night.

Today:
Over the day, I listened to a variety of genres, some tracks which I loved listening to on the alpine. One thing was clear, the marked difference in detail. I now hear some details for the very first time, some details that were soft on the alpine are clear and noticeable on the Clarion.

The bass really kicks in well and is a lot more controlled. Every single note is distinct and sounds complete! The iPod sounds great too! There is now some air and breath in the music. The imaging and staging is great!

The clarion isn’t warm sounding, the tone is pretty neutral, but I personally found it slightly towards the harsh side. But hey, at this price I really cannot crib! The level of detail makes up for this one slight flaw. Talking about flaws, slight recording flaws are now evident (which is annoying at times since every song doesn’t have a flawless recording). This unit is very revealing!

I thoroughly recommend this unit for anyone who wants good sound quality and can live with the its looks and display!

Cheersss!
Shrivz

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th May 2009 at 23:35. Reason: Formatting update from shrivz.
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Old 14th May 2009, 22:17   #2
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now that is a nice review Shrivz! good stuff!
great choice!
the alpine non fader pre out IS 2.5V. and a very very stupid feature.
wonder why?

all in all, great review and congratulations!
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Old 14th May 2009, 22:39   #3
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nice review man. Seems to be raining 785s here in India. Mine arrives 1st week june. Well I'm getting 2. So I hope to add my 2 cents to this insightful review.

Dude could you please say a few words on your opinion about the UI. I'd like to know how complicated/simple it is to operate. Also what's your opinion on "Slidetrack"?

cheers
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Old 14th May 2009, 22:42   #4
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A Great Review Shrivz.
It surely is an amazing HU for the price it is ( or should i say was) available at.

Congrats on the upgrade.
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Old 14th May 2009, 22:48   #5
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Guys, where are you ordering it from? How much do cartage and customs and stuff add up? What's the landing price in INR? I'm also thinking of an upgrade in 2-months time.
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Old 15th May 2009, 10:21   #6
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That's a really nice review, Shrivz! Congrats on the upgrade!

I didn't know you'll setup that 3-way front-stage you'd been talking about before. How about some pics, huh?
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Old 15th May 2009, 10:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenh0rn View Post
Guys, where are you ordering it from? How much do cartage and customs and stuff add up? What's the landing price in INR? I'm also thinking of an upgrade in 2-months time.
The best thing is to ask someone coming down from the US to get it for you.

Btw whats the MRP of the Indian HU - the 786USB ?
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Old 15th May 2009, 11:01   #8
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Et Tu Shrivz? So the Pune boys are on the roll with the 785! Wonder why I didnt see any post by you on the hotly discussed Clarion thread!!
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Old 15th May 2009, 11:20   #9
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Nice review shrivz. Got mine last week. Will be installing today/tomorrow.
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Old 15th May 2009, 11:42   #10
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I don't know much about car audio (or audio systems in general). I was given a HU with 2 speakers free from Fiat India when I bought my Palio in Dec 08. I was told that it is a Clarion unit but no specs were provided. The HU sports a TATA logo. It doesn't have a cd player but it's not missed because it has usb, card-reader and aux-in. The unit was shipped to the dealer and they installed it in my car. It was naive of me not to ask them for any papers that might have shipped with the unit. Does anyone have any information about the model?

Last edited by tortoiseNhare : 15th May 2009 at 11:43.
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Old 15th May 2009, 11:55   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
I don't know much about car audio (or audio systems in general). I was given a HU with 2 speakers free from Fiat India when I bought my Palio in Dec 08. I was told that it is a Clarion unit but no specs were provided. The HU sports a TATA logo. It doesn't have a cd player but it's not missed because it has usb, card-reader and aux-in. The unit was shipped to the dealer and they installed it in my car. It was naive of me not to ask them for any papers that might have shipped with the unit. Does anyone have any information about the model?
Sir I don't think that the right place to post such a query is in a thread reviewing a different product. Anyway I believe that the unit is the same one which is present in the Indica Vista, so perhaps a Vista owner could help you out. This might have been discussed earlier as well, check the Review thread of the Vista, as well as the "What Car" Section.

And Clarion is the OE supplier of head units to TATA-Fiat.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:06   #12
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Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
That's a really nice review, Shrivz! Congrats on the upgrade!

I didn't know you'll setup that 3-way front-stage you'd been talking about before. How about some pics, huh?
hydra, some further upgrades are planned, will post a thread in the "sound off and show off" section with pics once its complete.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:27   #13
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So the secret is out

Nice review Shrivz, thats a very different review from whatever has been posted here so far mostly because most of us dont have that type of equipment that you had before the clarion.

But seriously you audiophiles are too much I am pretty confused when you say this
Quote:
One thing was clear, the marked difference in detail. I now hear some details for the very first time, some details that were soft on the alpine are clear and noticeable on the Clarion.

The bass really kicks in well and is a lot more controlled. Every single note is distinct and sounds complete! The iPod sounds great too! There is now some air and breath in the music. The imaging and staging is great!
The clarion isn’t warm sounding, the tone is pretty neutral, but I personally found it slightly towards the harsh side. But hey, at this price I really cannot crib! The level of detail makes up for this one slight flaw.
Oye What more upgrades?
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:53   #14
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A very detailed comparison and good review Shrivz

I suppose 6 Volt preout does make a lot of difference. I went through the manual and learnt its 5.8V along with the 2 sub connection and control it has.

I remember me and Nishant starting the thread back in Feb end when not many were knowing about this unit and was the 1st one to get the Clarion here. And it does seem like its raining Clarion with lot many shifting from Alpine. But unfortunately I haven't able to fit mine as I got stuck coz of the dashkit not available here.
Anyways I am finally getting the dash kit and will install it next week. Would love to see what it does to the MOREL Hybrid ovation comps.

I feel the only reason it would have sound harsh could be coz of the amp. But once you get the tuning right am sure it will be joy to listen.
Even though I haven't installed it yet reading the manual I realise it wouldn't be that complicated to operate. Users please give your views on this ?

Last edited by Invinsible : 15th May 2009 at 12:56.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:57   #15
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Quote:
Even though I haven't installed it yet reading the manual I realise it wouldn't be that complicated to operate. Users please give your views on this ?
Its not as complicated as its made out to be, its quite easy to use & its all about getting used to the controls. The only annoying part is not be able to change folder from remote, also the list feature is a bit weird but then may be I am yet to explore it properly
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