Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

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Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby stillgrowingup » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:43 pm

I have looked into replacing my radio within my KITT. I came up with a few choices. In my heart, I still believe I am a stereo installer, even though I am doing much much more now. I did 12v car electronics for 18yrs!

One thing I noticed is that easily identified as reputable car audio manufactures NO LONGER offer single DIN sized radios with video incorporated. JVC, Kenwood, Alpine, Pioneer, Clarion to name a few. So other manufactures have to be looked at, BOSS, Jensen, Audiovox, Planet Audio and Fusion. Even though these brands could be considered FLEA-Market/Swap-Meet brands. My experience has proven to me that they are still reliable, when you get their higher models.

My number one pick is BOSS BV7948B. It is last year 2014 top of line model for Single Din by BOSS. You will have to do a google search to find a retailer with in-stock to sell. Price is about $110 to $140.

Website: http://www.bossaudio.com/auto/car-video ... o-bv7948b/

Why I picked this model? It offers:

Bluetooth audio sync and music controls
DVD player - DVD±R/RW
Built-in 5-band EQ (Non-Adjustable ONLY Treble and Bass is adjustable)
Plays video (VCD, WMA, MP4, JPEG) straight from SD card or USB memory stick
Plays MP4/MP3 audio though DVD/CD/USB/SD
6 5/8" Mounting depth (We don't have much room in our consoles for deep radio and a lot of wires)
Front (on faceplate) and Rear USB ports
Auxiliary Audio/Video inputs (in front faceplate ONLY)
Backup camera Input - Eliminates need for video switcher for KITT monitors
2 volt audio Preouts - Front, Rear & Sub
Does NOT have Subwoofer volume Preout can be adjusted separately and has built in Subwoofer frequency crossover
Best of all!!! 2 video outputs for EACH S1/S2 dash monitor

Do not be fooled by its 320 Watts (80 Watts x 4 Ch) statement. Its true power is 17 Watts RMS x 4Ch.

UPDATE!!!!! BOSS BV7948B REVIEW
I have bought and installed this BOSS BV7948B. What BOSS website says, compared to what the actual radio has, is completely different.

The Audio/Video input for this radio is through a 1/8" jack on the Front of the faceplate.Which means, if you use this input and remove your faceplate for security purposes. It WILL quickly become a pain in the butt to plug and unplug this input.

There is NO separate volume control for the Subwoofer output.

Remote is Necessary for initial setup of the radio. DO NOT buy a used one with out the remote.

The 5 band EQ is preset (POP, ROCK and Classical) You can NOT tweak the adjustments of this preset EQ.

Bluetooth is not really user friendly and it does NOT always sink up to my phone. If my phone Bluetooth is set ON. Then I start my car/turn-on the radio, it will sink up. BUT .... If I remote start the car, then walk within range for the bluetooth. The phone and radio will NOT sink up. I need to tell my phone to sink to the radio by going through my Android Bluetooth settings, what a pain. It will display what song is playing, Fast Forward/Re-wind within the song and Skip next/before the songs. The Bluetooth Mic is in the faceplate and seems to work well.

The SD card reader behind the face plate I really to like. I dropped a 16gig full of MP3s and just hit the random button. That's nice.

The Rear camera input on the radio ONLY works when 12v is given to the radio dedicated Reverse lamp wire. You can NOT select the rear camera freely.

The biggest disappointment in this radio was the DVD audio. Many many moons ago, I reedited my 3D model Bo McD's DVD. Through computer software, I have KITT only voice coming through LEFT channel, while maintaining Bo McD's 3D model SFx on the right channel. This allows my KITT viocebox to responded ONLY while KITT speaks. BUT ...... with this BOSS BV7948B. There seems to be a bleed through between the Left and Right channels. Even though there is NO audio on the Left channel. The voice box is responding with just a few center bar graphs lit. My JVC KD-AVX33 NEVER did this.

Here is a quick list of functions for this radio:

80 Watts x 4 Max Power (18Watts RMS x4)
RDS Tuner, Balance/Fader/Bass/Treble and Preset built-in EQ
Plays DVD/CD/USB/SD, MP3, WMA, FM/AM
Compatible with Audio out from Smartphones and MP3 Players
USB, SD, AV, Rear Camera, Inputs
(2) Video outputs
Front, Rear & Sub Pre-Amp Audio Outputs (2V)
Detachable Panel, Wireless Remote
Bluetooth Hands Free & Bluetooth Audio Streaming - play music and apps like Spotify/Pandora wirelessly
The following explanations of features are in my own words.

This Unit will play DVD's. No need for additional DVD player for your in car video setup. PLEASE NOTE my experience with DVD audio above.

This unit WILL allow you to play video on the faceplate while driving. This function is for passenger enjoyment only. Remember that any videos playing while driving is ILLEGAL, IF the video is in view of the driver's vision. Videos in view of the driver may distract the driver and WILL cause an accidents.

There is a SD card reader behind the faceplate. This SD reader can play Wav and Mp3 audio files. Also Mp4 and Avi video files.

This radio offers (2) USB ports. One on the face plate and the other on an 18" cord from the back of the radio. I use these USB ports to charge my phone and play Audio or Video files from a Flash/Thumb drive.

The Video and Audio Input on this unit is through the faceplate ONLY. There is a special cable supplied with this unit, for this function. You would hookup a video game console or any external video source to this cable.

The Rear View Camera input is in the rear of the unit. This feature becomes active only when the the correct radio wire is attached to the reverse lights of the vehicle.

This radio offers 2 Video outputs. The 2 video outputs in the rear allows this unit to be versatile for in car entertainment.

The Bluetooth function on this radio is what I mostly used. From the faceplate I was able to start and stop music, skip and rewind songs and answer phone calls. Phone numbers from text messages and people calling appeared on the 3.6" radio screen. While Pandora app was running/active on my phone, pressing the faceplate functions operated the Pandora app. If NO app was open. Pressing the faceplate bluetooth functions started to play the phones stored music files.
Please Note: The Bluetooth mic is in the faceplate. There is NO external mic needed, no Mic Cable to install. I found this mic to work VERY well. The person calling ALWAYS understood me during conversations.

The AM/FM radio is typical. There is NO HD radio tuner in this unit. But there is the RDS (Radio DATA System) for FM stations. FM station that broadcast name of artist and song will display on the 3.6" screen. No special antenna needed. Special Antennas are only needed for HD (Hi-Definition) radio.

The CD player is also typical. Plays standard and CD backups (Copies). Will also play Mp3 and Wav files on burned (Computer made) CD's. If the Mp3 and Wav files contain IDv3 tag, the name of artist & song will appear on the 3.6" radio screen.

Manufacture website: bossaudio.com/auto/car-video-sound-system-auto-stereo-in-dash-single-din-boss-audio-bv7948b/

The other 2 models I came across are:

BOSS BV7320 - current 2015 model
http://www.bossaudio.com/auto/car-video ... io-bv7320/
http://www.amazon.com/Boss-Audio-BV7320 ... B0032FOK1A

Same stand out features of BOSS BV7948B except:
-NO A/V Auxiliary input for external external DVD or Computer to be displayed
-Mounting depth is only 6 1/2" inches
-ONLY Backup camera Video input

Planet Audio P9692B - current 2015 model
http://www.planetaudiousa.com/auto/car- ... io-p9692b/
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Audio-P969 ... B00IOTTM30

Same stand out features of BOSS BV7948B except:
-Plays video (VCD, WMA, AVI, JPEG) straight from SD card or USB memory stick
-1 Video output
-1 USB port on Faceplate ONLY!
-Backup camera OR video input. Not dedicated each like BOSS BV7948B
-400mV audio Preouts - Front, Rear & Sub - VERY WEAK You'll need a stronger Amplifier to make up the difference, which means more money!
-Mounting depth is 8 1/2" inches - This radio would need a GM Radio mounting kit with a 1" extension

TONY
Last edited by stillgrowingup on Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby ripperace » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:23 pm

Car audio isn't what it used to be in the late 80's early 90's when I "played". I agree with you on that. Head units are head units to me anymore. I bought a Kenwood Excelon for my truck, and had to send it back within a month because the CD player shit out on it. They took care of it, but I wasn't impressed from the old Kenwood units I'd had in the past. Nobody makes their own stuff anymore. What was upper tier stuff not even 10 years ago isn't anymore. Orion, Phoenix Gold, PPI, Soundstream, hell I believe they all sold out. Also, if you're looking on eBay for bargain stuff, be careful of wattage ratings as Tony has stated. Makers are resorting to "bending the truth" just a tad with their wattage ratings. It reminds me of the days of yore when you went to Kmart and bought a Sparkomatic booster that supposedly was 250 watts. "I don't think so Tim!" :lol:


Ripper

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby pathology knight » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:29 pm

on that Boss, is it a dual source?

i'm trying to find one where you can have the video outs going to the screens, but still be able to listen to the radio or something else.

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby stillgrowingup » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:17 pm

I just got the BV7948B radio a few does ago. Haven't played with it yet to know for sure.

Some video in-dash stereos offer a feature called, rear seat entertainment. Rear seat entertainment allows one source, ex. Radio, to play in the front speakers while rear plays video. The videos' audio will play on the rear speakers. So, you can play video, ex. Rear view camera, on your dash screen and audio, ex. CD, MP3s, playing on the front speakers.

Another possibility is a 12v video switcher. Instead of using the in-dash radio as your video selector for your screen. You can hook the rear view camera, or computer, to the selector. This way you can play anything on the radio and see anything on the screens. You would also hookup the computer audio to the radio AUX rear input to hear the computer when you want. Here's a link to a video switcher. You can also make your own using a 12v relay.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00B155G5 ... YDRCCXAH4W

Did this help you?

Tony

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby Rafael » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:42 am

Agreex, they aint what they use to be...
My Pioneer deck in my daily driver has been great 6 years going...
Got a different model Pioneer for Kitt...

It's amazing what they can cram into $120 now a days...
My thoughts are with how long it will last...

I use Square Trade extended Warranty company.... :)

Raf

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby ripperace » Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:00 pm

I just had the old versus new argument with a friend of mine a few days ago. Amp wise, they have been improving on the D class amps was his point. My point was you never used a D class amp for mids and highs because the sound quality wasn't as good as an A or an A/B amp. To me, when I open an amp case and look at the board, I want to see traces instead of cheap jumpers, and I just haven't seen that much in the newer stuff. Another friend and I did an install in his Scion, and he used a newer Pioneer amp to drive his subs. He made a plexi cover for the back of the amp to "show it off", and I can't really see why. Instead of seeing MOSFETs, capacitors, and a beefy power supply, I saw what instead looked like a weak version of a 10 year old Profile amp I had given to me. Then I showed him the inside of one of my Phoenix Gold amps......

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby stillgrowingup » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:10 pm

ripperace wrote:My point was you never used a D class amp for mids and highs because the sound quality wasn't as good as an A or an A/B amp. To me, when I open an amp case and look at the board, I want to see traces instead of cheap jumpers, and I just haven't seen that much in the newer stuff.


Exactly!!! ... when i had my stereo shop back in early 2000s, i was a dealer for Memphis car audio, American bass and others. Even they said not to use class D amps for sound frequency above 150Hz.

They do make class A/B and class D combo amps. Those are nice and small.

Tony

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby stillgrowingup » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:09 pm

I update top post with my review after installing the BOSS BV7948B

TONY

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby stillgrowingup » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:56 pm

Since my JVC radio is my DVD player. I consider the radio housing area the central location for all things video (cameras, DVD playback, etc.. ) This switcher I bought on aliexpress is simple, affective and SMALL!!!!! Thanks to Antoni (kenOki) for sharing his find with me.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/cheapest ... 41962.html

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I used a 1/2" Metra GM Radio installation Kit. It does NOT stick badly and gives room for the wires. It one solid kit.
http://www.metraonline.com/part/99-4500

The 99-4544 GM kit offers multiple choices for your radio setup. What I do NOT like about this 99-4544 kit is the Front of dash kit is separate from the mounting body. When I installed radio, I used to hot glue the Front to the body. It was better than nothing but still came apart periodically.
http://www.metraonline.com/part/99-4544

If you need the 1" extension, here the link to the solid body piece.
http://www.metraonline.com/part/99-4504

Autozone can order these for you cheaper than Beat Buy will sale them to you for. You my also buy these online too.

TONY

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Re: Which Car stereo to buy? In my opinion

Postby stillgrowingup » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:08 pm

HI all

That BOSS BV7948B radio I put in my KITT didn't last long. I found another JVC KD-AVX33 and put that in my KITT. The BOSS BV7948B radio is in my daily driver. The one thing that convinced me to remove the BOSS, was the DVD playback of the audio.

I remixed my BoMcD dvd and inserted KITT phrases every 30 sec or so. With JVC radio, KITTs voicebox would ONLY respond to those KITT phrases. With the BOSS, there was bleed-over/noise on the Left channel. So KITTS voicebox was ALWAYS lit/glowing. I tried to adjusting the audio playback in the main DVD setup menu for the radio, plus other places. It didn't go away.

Knowing the JVC worked fine with same disc, I bought another JVC KD-AVX33.

Other good model JVC models are:
JVC KD-AVX11
JVC EXAD KD-AVX1
JVC KD-AVX2
JVC KD-AVX77 *** This one is nice ***
JVC KD-AVX44

Why I'm I partial to JVC. Being in the Stereo business for over 20 yrs. JVC has proven themselves be quality and affordability. If you can find brand you like thats a DVD single DIN. Buy that instead. I wrote this for others who do NOT know where to look for and where to start looking.

The JVC models listed above are all OLD, Discontinued. Nobody really makes a single DIN DVD player anymore. Heck radio's are starting to come WITHOUT CD players too, known has 'Media Centers'. Everything is bluetooth now for music from your smartphones. In short ... The 80s are gone. :)

TONY


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