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Always Remembered RIP
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3 years with a miserable top line Kenwood and I am *totally done with the thing.



**Makes mock cross with index fingers and flashes towards Kenwoods**

Except for the tilt screen models (I haven't seen these yet)....on the more expensive Kenwoods, expect a voluminous owners manual that was written by chimps slinging feces. And....expect buttons so small that you will need to crash your car while viewing them...or become a remote junkie. And the swimming dolphins, marching elephants and other weird displays....com'n!

Direct quote form the Kenwood OM's..."You'll want to protect your precious unit from stealing."
Fortunately, mine's been pretty good about that and only steals change from the ashtray....so far.

~~~

I'd like a USB port for an add on, just a few simple large buttons to have to push, CD (and cassette capability if those are offered).

Don't want all that distracting and hard to understand and find stuff while driving.

Surely a lot of you are experts out there.

Or should I just go read the Crutchfied's catalogue?
 

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I too find some of the new car stereos distracting with all of their "gamer-like" bling and tiny buttons. Plus I think these types of units look out of place in a w126.

I am personally partial to the McIntosh MX406 tuner (doesn't have cassette or USB though) and MC420 amps. You can install an ipad with it though. They have very simple analog styled knobs, and classic, elegant looks that fit perfectly in the w126 - plus they have outstanding audiophile performance and are mostly made in the USA. IF you can live without the USB and cassette, I would highly recommend it. . Another unit that I really like is the Pioneer DEX-P99RS. It's also has a very simple interface but is loaded with features. If I didn't have the McIntosh I would be seriously looking at that unit. Also, if you can find a Pioneer Premier DEH-P800PRS, (discontinued last year), they were really nice and were pretty simple, they had 24 bit Brown and Burr DACs and were built on a copper chassis with high-end components (they were also more reasonably priced). Another contender that looks great in the w126 with outstanding performance is the Nakamichi (CD700II).

The downside to all of these units is that they are pretty pricey. But they can typically be found on the used market for a lot less than new. I picked up my barely used Macs for 50% off of retail so it was a no-brainer.

Unfortunately none of these units have cassette anymore. You would definitely have to go to an older used unit that's around 10 years old for that. Nakamichi had units that had both CD and cassette as did a lot of other companies. None of the older units would have USB connections due to the age.

It's all a compromise and it depends on what is most important to you.
 

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Coincidentally, there is a very recent thread in the 124 forum that might bear some fruit for you: www.benzworld.org/forums/w124-e-ce-d-td-class/1624253-i-recommend-replacement-radio-xmas-clarion.html


Slightly related, your comments about Kenwood hit home. Many, many years ago I purchased a dual cassette tape deck for my home stereo system. Was taken in by the name and flashy but clean look of the brushed-aluminum face. The thing made several trips to the repair shop under warranty and really never did work right, and it had a manual that was humongous. That experience kind of soured me on the brand.

(You'll see a couple of Kenwood units mentioned in that thread, but just ignore them...the others you can google for some images to see what they look like.)

Happy shopping!
 

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I love my cheap little blaupunkt. It's easy to use and sounds great. Not sure if they make cassette players still, but they're definitely a good company to look into. Some of their cheaper stuff gets awful reviews, but anybody that bitches about sound quality with a $50 re-manufactured head unit is an idiot in my mind.
 

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Nakamichi is you want Straight fwd, period looking and spectacular sounding. My choices are CD400 or CD500 depending.. if you want All Out, CD700.

We've installed MANY 400's and a few 500's everyone has come back More then pleased.

Plus, it was the AMG mobile audio manufacturer of choice back in the day;-)

jono
 

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Plus, it was the AMG mobile audio manufacturer of choice back in the day;-)

jono
A good radio is a good radio. I don't see how AMG pertains to radio quality, imo.

What about other manufacturers such as Blaupunkt, Clarion and Alpine that provided top of the line systems found in AMG cars? They were not the "choice" radios of the day?
 

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I like the nakamichi a lot. But i read somewhere how they protrude at the front, sticking out too far. Anyone had experience with this?
 

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I like the Alpine F1, but they're impossible to find and $$$.. Sony Mobil ES CDXC90 is on of my fav's and is Simple looking but doesn't fit the decor of the car all That well.

The old Clarion HXD10 is great, but a little whiz-bangy.. Blau Did have some Good headunits..maybe an older San Fran could be nice, but their quality started to drop off Hard pretty early on.

I like the Naks as they look Just as they did, very simple, very straight fwd.. Plus, they're still made in Japan from quality components, a feat that is getting harder to match in the mobile audio world.

You can find a Bunch of Old head units, but they are all tape, sure you can stuff a change or an aux some where, but I Like my CD head unit.

Every Westmont car I've come across has been Nakamichi equipped, even chatting w/ a lady that worked there back in the day who happens to have one Hell of a memory when it comes to clients cars said Nak was their pref'd/most installed manufacturer by Far. All the old Nak stuff in my cars still sounds Great, even w/ 20 year old drivers etc.. So does AMG have something to do w/ Nakamichi, no.......but they had pretty picky clientele and that's what they used with good results.. Does it Really matter, no...but it's a nice point of continuity.

Jonathan
 

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My only experience with Kenwood is my current receiver, a KDC-EX994, but it's been a pretty good one. Yes, the manual is a little unclear at times, and it's pretty menu driven, but overall it's great. I'm sure Nakamichi and Mcintosh make great stuff; trouble is that they still can't be bothered with things like MP3s, USBs, and iPods (even though you can get CD-quality sound if you're using lossless compression and an onboard DAC). I can understand the dislike of many popular brands' looks, but both Kenwood and Alpine's recent units are fairly subdued, plus on my Kenwood I can tweak the illumination color to pretty closely match the dash lighting.
Pioneer is the other brand I'd consider. The one top-end receiver I wish I could justify spending the money on is the P99RS. I was tempted when I bought my Kenwood, but to build a proper system around it would have cost many thousands of dollars. I wish they'd make a mid-range stereo along those lines, but there's just nothing between it and their cheaper (and far too gaudy) offerings.
 

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There are some great deals in vintage stereo stuff on ebay... hard to go wrong with old school alpine, nakamichi etc. Under $200 will get you an awesome hi end unit from back in the day, with period correct appearance.

But if you want 2011 tech with USB etc, McIntosh and Nakamichi are very expensive and dont offer the modern tech for a reasonable price.

For cost conscious and brand new, I would recommend Alpine. Buy it on Amazon.com for no shipping and no tax. Dont buy from a third party seller on Amazon, buy from Amazon.com only for warranty purposes.
 

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McIntosh...

..what is going into my SEC. Line output/Aux in for the ipod is straightforward - use a 4 or 5 gen ipod and you'll have the benefit of an excellent DAC, as long as you use the line output and not the headphone jack. RedWine do an excellent upgrade to the ipod too...only heard that on a demo home audio mind.
 

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Just a curiosity as I haven't played much w/ ipods, but will they play uncompressed wav/flac/shn/etc files?? My Biggest problem w/ MP3's is when you play them on Quality bits the music sounds Hollow and Lacking.. Which is why I stick w/ my CD's, and only CD's sourced from wav's...no sampling!

BTW, the CD 400 is 290$, really not That bad, and again, it's not china which is worth a premium in and of itself.

jonathan
 

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yea, the 300 is cheap, but it also looks kinda cheesy..it can make a lot of different colours IIRC..:p You lose the Good processor w/ the 300, which is a Large part of my love for the 400 and above Nak's..

Now if you want the Bargain deck of the century SQ wise, the Clarion HXD10's can be had for about 100-150$ (they were over 900 new) or less and they have a spectacular array of electronics in there.. but you Will need an amp as it has None.

Jonathan
 

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yea, the 300 is cheap, but it also looks kinda cheesy..it can make a lot of different colours IIRC..:p You lose the Good processor w/ the 300, which is a Large part of my love for the 400 and above Nak's..

Now if you want the Bargain deck of the century SQ wise, the Clarion HXD10's can be had for about 100-150$ (they were over 900 new) or less and they have a spectacular array of electronics in there.. but you Will need an amp as it has None.

Jonathan
where can we find that clarion? I searched google amazon crutchfield etc
 

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aw, dude..it hasn't been available new since the late 90's/early 2000's.. :p You'll be digging around on craigs and ebay these days.. Patience is the key when looking for one.. I found my last one on a Honda forum :p

jono
 

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My Biggest problem w/ MP3's is when you play them on Quality bits the music sounds Hollow and Lacking.. Which is why I stick w/ my CD's, and only CD's sourced from wav's...no sampling!
CD's are sampled! They are sampled at 44.1khz. Giving you an effective 22.05khz frequency response. Even Vinyl is better than that!

EDIT:
So the bitrate is = 2 channels x 44,100 samples per second per channel × 16 bits per sample = 1411.2 kbps.
600mb CD = (600*1024*8)/1411.2 = 3482.9s = ~58mins of Audio

:D
 
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