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post #1 of 128 Old 08-10-2006, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of getting a JVC KD-HDR1 for my '98 Cherokee. Anyone have experience with them? They're pretty reasonably priced, and look to have enough features they'd be relatively future-proof.

The Jeep still has the default factory system, w/out even CD, so adding that alone should be useful. Having HD radio is just icing on the cake, but I could save $100 and just get a CD if that part sucks. And it's not like it's a brand new car I'll be driving for the next ten years, either.

-Chris
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post #2 of 128 Old 08-10-2006, 01:44 PM
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4HiMarks...
I've had my KD-HDR1 for over a month now and enjoy it more every day.

In the Detroit area we have plenty of HD Radio stations and many of them multicast (HD2), usually broadcasting different programming than the main HD1 program. That offers even more variety to listen to. HD Radio quality is more dynamic and musical than standard FM in my opinion.
HD Radio FM sounds very CD like, no background hiss at high volumes and less compressed; HD Radio AM (in stereo, too!) sounds like good FM. Overall tuner reception is great. You can adjust the sensitivity, too. 18 FM and 6 AM presets.

The CD player supports MP3 and WMA with folder, track and tag info. The display offers plenty of status info and is easy to read. In addition to typical EQ presets, the unit also has a user accessible 7-band EQ so you can tweak the sound. The included wireless remote control makes navigation easy while driving.

What really knocks my socks off, everytime I use the KD-HDR1, is the SRS Circle Surround Auto (CS-A) feature...
You can check out the SRS Labs web site for tech specifics, but in a nutshell SRS CS-A compensates for less-than-ideal acoustics, car speaker size and placement and creates incredible surround sound in your car.
CS-A combined with HD Radio...commuting is real treat.

SRS CS-A creates surround to mono and stereo sources via Circle Surround II, along with a phantom center channel and variable bass enhancement. The SRS Focus, built-in to CS-A, 'steers' the sound UP and AROUND so even back-seat passengers get the surround effect. Like a good home surround system, as you switch CS-A on you really feel the sound field expand and collapse when you turn it off. Playing Dolby Surround encoded CDs is where CS-A really takes off.

My Jeep Liberty has 4 door-mounted 6 1/2" speakers mounted low in the doors.
With CS-A turned on, I get a wide open sound field, great channel separation: front to back, left to right and diagonally; voices lock in dead center. In addition, all of the CS-A effect are user adjustable.

Once you get a chance to check one out in a car, as opposed to hearing one in a typical store display, I think you'll really enjoy getting one.

RWardMI

a former Tech HiFi store manager
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post #3 of 128 Old 08-10-2006, 03:11 PM
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I have this unit for about 3 weeks now. Nice sound and inexpensive. There are about 9 stations I can pick up in central Florida near Orlando. One of them uses the HD2 side but I wish their format wasn't hip-hop. I am listening to HD radio quite a bit becuase it sounds so much better then the Sirius tuner.
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post #4 of 128 Old 08-11-2006, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Sounds like a winner.

-Chris
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post #5 of 128 Old 08-13-2006, 04:56 PM
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I have had the radio for a few weeks too and I'm very happy with this deck! In ABQ, there are only 3 stations on air right now and they all sound great!! I've only began experimenting with the CS-A, but that was another of the features (along with the built-in HD tuner) that drew me to this deck. Totally recommend!

If it's not HD, it's not TV !! ...or radio!!
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post #6 of 128 Old 08-18-2006, 10:53 AM
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I couldn't have put it any better than RWardMI has! The receiver sensitivity is weighed towards "noise-free" reception. That said great conventional FM stereo reception can be had within 30 miles of most stations. The SELECTIVITY (ability to tune between closely spaced stations along with the ability to hold on to your desired station while in close proximity of a closely spaced local) is PHENOMINAL. That's thanks to JVC's DIAS (forgot their acronym) which uses digital signal processing at the IF stage to remove noise and interference from the signal that would normally "mask-over" the sound you're trying to listen to. The effect is more pronounced when listening to conventional AM. Although, I find the useable sensitivty to be much lower than my wife's stock Delco unit, the AM stations, I DID receive were far more immune to powerline interference and sounded better surviving fading action in general. I got my JVC the same day it was promised for shipment: March 13 2006. I'd jump on picking this model up. Right now it's $100.00 less than the $300.00 or so I paid for it; no doubt to stimulate mobile HD Radio sales. JVC did come out with a newer more expensive (HD) radio-only (no CD) unit but I don't know what the story is with its technical performance. I would hope that for the money they want for their "new baby" , that they fully concentrated on vastly improving the HD capturing sensitivity on both bands because obviously the useable reception contour of HD-only mode is a bit less than the FM stereo capture. I'm in the Akron Ohio radio market. There are NO local AM HD radio stations. The only one I can barely get in that mode while parked over here is 760 WJR. By my apartment, I'm about 112 miles away from the station and I get their HD in clear clean MONO only. If I travel up to Independance OH which is about 96 miles East-Southeast on WJR, I get them in moble-friendly clear noise-free stereo which is AWESOME for AM HD. All in all, one GREAT set that KD-HDR1 but to please more of the masses, and give sat-radio a real run for the money, a slight tweak in overall HD-mode useable sensitivity couldn't hurt.

"Backwards compatibility": It saved your B/W TV until you got tired of it; "It" could save our Constitution until we get tired of FREEDOM as we've come to know it
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post #7 of 128 Old 08-18-2006, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I ordered one from Crutchfield last night. They promised delivery in only a day or two.

-Chris
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post #8 of 128 Old 08-29-2006, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4HiMarks View Post

I ordered one from Crutchfield last night. They promised delivery in only a day or two.

-Chris

Cool, I should have one in the next couple of weeks (birthday coming up) to put in my 93 300ZX with the sometimes-working Blose system. Already have the RoadyXT XM receiver in it so should be interesting to compare the quality.
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post #9 of 128 Old 09-08-2006, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 4HiMarks View Post

I ordered one from Crutchfield last night. They promised delivery in only a day or two.

-Chris

Wow, just got their catalog and I see it listed for $200. I maight have to buy a 2nd unit for the office. I got mine for $300 and have it hooked to my home stereo. It seems to run awefully hot, but it works great.

Crutchfield shows another JVC HD unit (the KD-SHX900) marked down from $799 to $324. It has a color OEL display. Maybe I need *that* for the office!
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post #10 of 128 Old 09-09-2006, 12:50 PM
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Just installed mine this afternoon in my 300ZX with Bose amplified speakers. Used the preamps out of the JVC and the remote wire to turn the amps on/off but am getting two very loud pops each time I change the FM channel, switch to CD, or skip CD tracks.

Edit:
Found a thread on 300zxclub that says the 'muting' of the preamp outputs is a state which the Bose amps in the speakers do not like. Adding 100uF/50V caps in series is supposed to fix/alleviate this problem. I did this on mine, but am still getting small pops when changing sources / stations / tracks. Not too bad, so I will live with it until my Bose amps at the speakers blow up then I'll rip that out too. Bose Blose.

Here's the post: http://300zxclub.com/showpost.php?p=853118&postcount=19
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post #11 of 128 Old 09-13-2006, 02:19 PM
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I just installed mine last night. I must admit, the drive home from my friend's house was pretty sweet. I found myself listening to just about anything, didn't matter what type of music. I sounded so good! I will say that there is a much more pronounced "difference" on the FM stations when people are talking as opposed to music playing. The ESPN show sounded just like sportscenter on ESPNHD! It was amazing how much noise and hum were removed from the signal. I had a few spots where the HD signal kept going in and out, which is kind of a pain. The AM HD stations I could find sounded MUCH MUCH better in HD. A world of difference there.

I am a bit disappointed that the Dallas area doesn't have more news talk stations on HD yet. AM 820, which plays stuff like Rush, Mark Davis, Hannity, etc... apparently doesn't have an HD broadcast yet. I hope these stations 'get on the ball' and upgrade their service soon!

I have a VW and, as anyone who owns a foreign car knows, when you put in an after market head unit, you have to go buy an 'antenna adapter'. Well, I went to Fry's and they had the plain adapter which was about $10, and for $15, one with an amplifier. I got the amplified one since I thought it might help with reception. Was that a good idea? Do you think it's actually making a difference? With the sporadic drop-outs I'm still getting, I would hate to see what the reception was like without the pre-amp.

-Neil
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post #12 of 128 Old 09-14-2006, 03:25 AM
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Neil - Haven't had much experience with pre-amps on antennas, but this article seems to indicate it's a worthwhile investment in rural or fringe areas....

http://www.termpro.com/articles/antenna.html

The 'HOLD' feature on the JVC unit is intended to keep the tuning locked in one mode or another so you don't get it flipping back and forth. Press 'MODE' then 'HOLD [4]' and it will switch between 'digital' -> 'analog' -> 'auto'. It's on page 9 in my KD-HDR1 manual.

HTH,

Steve
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post #13 of 128 Old 09-14-2006, 08:57 AM
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Thanks, Steve.

I actually just read that in the manual last night

In your area, are there many AM stations using HD? I was suprised that there weren't more in Dallas.

Another thing I've noticed is that the sound from this JVC unit seems more... "tinny", than my OEM unit. Granted, I had a professional installer hook up my amp and speakers to the OEM unit, so maybe I just have to tweak the output settings on the JVC to get it sounding right. The old unit didn't have line level outs so I had 10:1 reducers hooked to the speaker outs. The JVC, of course, has all the line level outputs I need. I'm wondering if it's an equalizer issue or what...

Also, my bass output seems... missing. I've lost all the punch that my old unit had.

-Neil
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post #14 of 128 Old 09-14-2006, 08:14 PM
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Interesting, I feel like I've got more bass punch than my old Bose unit, esp if set to 'hip hop', so I usually use the 'jazz' soundfield. I guess you could mess around with the 'user' setting and boost the bass.

I haven't checked for AM HD yet, but I've got 3 FM HD stations around the Raleigh area, one plays jazz when not NPR so that's cool.
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post #15 of 128 Old 09-20-2006, 12:39 PM
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I just installed my KD-HDR1 yesterday, and am pleased overall. I do like the HD radio stations for their sound quality, and the alternate channels available on some of them. Some of the stations broadcast the current song title/artist which is a nice feature. I'm in the Washington DC area, and we have several FM HD stations, but I have not tried the AM band for HD yet. There are several paragraphs that follow detailing a couple issues I had/have. Since they take so much text to detail, it makes it appear that I'm disappointed when I'm not. I'm happy with the reception and sound quality, and especially the built in HD tuner. Overall I give this radio a thumbs up .

Begin details of install and operation issues:
I had an issue during my installation. I tried to use the line out outputs to feed my car's built in amp, but the line levels were not loud enough (2.5V/20kOhm load full scale from the service manual). I had to use the speaker level outputs and install the PAC OEM-2 converter, which made the install very cramped, and added 13 more connections that had to be soldered, but once done it works fine. I complement Crutchfield for including all required adaptors and suggesting the purchase of the PAC OEM-2 converter.

I also installed their KS-PD100 iPod adapter. I'm a little disappointed with the control interface. I like to listen to podcasts, and navigating to them using the KS-PD100 requires navigating to Genres then scrolling through the list of genres until I get to Podcasts then scrolling by artist then selecting a podcast. This sounds simpler than it is because the 'scrolling' part is not like scrolling using the iPod. The KD-HDR1/KS-PD100 combination scroll at about one item per second. Eventually it starts to skip along the list, but it requires a lot of attention to control, and if in this process, you neglect to touch a control for a few seconds, you have to start all over again. The other problem is the display is only 8 or 9 characters long, and it doesn't scroll the podcast name across the display until too late, so you have no way to tell which broadcast of a podcast you're selecting because the identifier in each podcast title is well past the 8th or 9th character. This scrolling issue comes up anytime you want to select something near the middle of the alphabet in a long list. For example I have over 1000 artitst in my iPod, and if I wanted to listen to Led Zeppelin, I'd have to navigate to Artists, select, then scroll right past over 500 artitsts. Since the KD-HDR1/KS-PD100 started to skip through the list, this took me only a minute or two, but not as quick as using the iPod interface directly on the iPod.

I also purchased the KS-U57 RCA line input adapter, but was unable to install both it and the KS-PD100 iPod adapter. There's only one J-Bus connector on the back of the head unit, and no way to daisy-chain the two units that I can find. I wanted to be able to listen to, control and charge my iPod, and be able to listen to non-iPod players if or when the occasion comes up (e.g. friend's non-iPod player, and yes I'm aware I'd probably need an RCA to 1/8" stereo adapter).

I'm going to leave my KS-PD100 iPod adapter installed for now, since it is nice keeping the iPod charged and out of site, but I may go back and install the KS-U57 line input adapter instead.
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post #16 of 128 Old 09-25-2006, 03:44 AM
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My Current Sony car stereo does not have a "scan" mode which I really miss. Does this unit have a scan mode ?

Thanks,

Ken
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post #17 of 128 Old 09-25-2006, 03:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenvt View Post

My Current Sony car stereo does not have a "scan" mode which I really miss. Does this unit have a scan mode ?

I assume you mean scan radio stations. The answer i s yes. In fact, it has the capability to scan selectively by signal stregth, similar to the way a VCR or TV these days sets itself when you first buy it.

-Chris
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post #18 of 128 Old 09-25-2006, 06:36 AM
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I'm not aware of a 'scan' function, where you hit one button and it 'seeks' to the next station, pauses there for a few seconds, then 'seeks' for the next station and continues to do this until you hit a button to stop. Maybe 4HiMarks can educate us all on how to activate a 'scan' mode as I just described. The JVC KD-HDR1 has a Strong Signal Memory feature (press 'mode' then press '4') that 4HiMarks referred to where it will set one bank of your presets to the 6 strongest signals with a preference to the digital stations. It also has a simple Seek mode (press 'left' or 'right') where you hit a button and it searches for the next station and stops. It also has a digital only seek mode (press and hold the remote's seek left or right buttons) where the radio will search for the next digital station and stop.
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post #19 of 128 Old 09-25-2006, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepL8DrvFast View Post

I'm not aware of a 'scan' function, where you hit one button and it 'seeks' to the next station, pauses there for a few seconds, then 'seeks' for the next station and continues to do this until you hit a button to stop. Maybe 4HiMarks can educate us all on how to activate a 'scan' mode as I just described.

I am not aware of such a mode either. I wasn't even sure if Ken was asking about a radio function, so I had to guess at what he meant by "scan".

-Chris
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post #20 of 128 Old 09-25-2006, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4HiMarks View Post

I am not aware of such a mode either. I wasn't even sure if Ken was asking about a radio function, so I had to guess at what he meant by "scan".

-Chris


Yes I am looking for the scan mode that "SleepL8DrvFast" is talking about. Almost every factory radio has this, but it seems that most other radios do not. I find this a very useful feature when you need to keep your eyes on the road and you cant find anything to listen to.

-Ken
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post #21 of 128 Old 09-29-2006, 09:03 PM
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By the way this particular radio is available from ubid.com for $157 + $12. shipping. Now the key is to find someone to install it for me. I have an aftermarket Sony radio that was installed by bestbuy and god knows what will be found when the old radio is removed.

-Ken
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post #22 of 128 Old 10-17-2006, 09:13 AM
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I installed this radio in my Formula boat along with their cd changer. Great unit with lots of HD stations in the Detroit area. The cd changer is seamless. A big thumbs up. I have two 6 x 9 and two 5 inch speakers. A sub is the next addition.

Bill
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post #23 of 128 Old 10-17-2006, 11:18 AM
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I did buy one and had it installed by Bestbuy as they had the best installed price.
The radio is great and the HD stations sound great. I am a little disapointed in the HD coverage, I am less than 30 miles away from Boston. The the HD cuts in and out which makes any HD2 channel worthless since you get no sound at all when it drops to analog.

-Ken
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post #24 of 128 Old 11-13-2006, 06:49 AM
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I just installed this JVC unit over the weekend and so far I am not too enthused. The AM reception is much worse than the stock tuner I replaced in my '03 Honda Pilot. I live about 15 miles from downtown Boston, and I could pick up only the bare inkling of a signal from WBZ and WEEI - my OEM tuner could pick up clear signals from these stations from almost anywhere. As I drove into Boston this morning, the reception on WBZ got better, and eventually kicked into HD mode, but not without frequent fade-in/fade-out.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to improve AM reception, I'm all ears.

The FM stations seem to be coming in fine, the HD feed sounds great when I get it. I'm going to give this unit a chance, but so far I am leaning towards returning it - I can't live without my morning and eveining traffic reports and sports talk...
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post #25 of 128 Old 11-13-2006, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Spyponder View Post

I just installed this JVC unit over the weekend and so far I am not too enthused. The AM reception is much worse than the stock tuner I replaced in my '03 Honda Pilot. I live about 15 miles from downtown Boston, and I could pick up only the bare inkling of a signal from WBZ and WEEI - my OEM tuner could pick up clear signals from these stations from almost anywhere. As I drove into Boston this morning, the reception on WBZ got better, and eventually kicked into HD mode, but not without frequent fade-in/fade-out.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to improve AM reception, I'm all ears.

The FM stations seem to be coming in fine, the HD feed sounds great when I get it. I'm going to give this unit a chance, but so far I am leaning towards returning it - I can't live without my morning and eveining traffic reports and sports talk...

I had this same problem when I hooked a stereo up to my Toyota Matrix. It turned out that my situation was that I had a boosted (powered) antenna. I had to hook the "power antenna" output to one of the wires (don't remember which one at this point).
If you got this from Crutchfields, give them a call. It is amazing how good those guys are and how they can talk you through almost anything on the phone.

Cry Havoc and Let Loose the Dogs of War.
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post #26 of 128 Old 11-13-2006, 10:40 AM
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Yep, that's what the Crutchfield rep just told me to do. I'll give it a go, hopefully that will solve the problem.

Thanks
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post #27 of 128 Old 11-13-2006, 03:03 PM
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The power antenna connects to the blue/white wire, the same wire used for external amplifiers. My KD-HDR1 works well on AM, picking up an AM HD station (KCBC, Modesto area) from over 60 miles away (and two sets of hills) pretty consistently. I can receive KMJ from Fresno (100+ miles away) enough to see its call sign on the JVC's display but not well enough to hear it in digital.

Chris

"It's [expletive] lame to watch Jaws, a film that uses the 2.40 ratio as well as any ever produced, in the wrong format on HBO." -Steven Soderbergh, Oscar-winning director

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post #28 of 128 Old 11-14-2006, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Spyponder View Post

Yep, that's what the Crutchfield rep just told me to do. I'll give it a go, hopefully that will solve the problem.

Thanks

Hey Buddy.......... did that work?

Cry Havoc and Let Loose the Dogs of War.
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post #29 of 128 Old 11-14-2006, 03:28 AM
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I put this unit in my car the other day, 1996 Nissan. Looking to buy another one for another car. Love the HD!!

Fantastic unit, but I know from experience that the antenna on the car is really sub-par, and I get a lot of "noise" when the car is running. It's kind of like a popping sound that increases when I use the accelerator. The problem was there with the factory radio.

Does anyone know of a good aftermarket antenna that would boost the signal. It's getting really hard to find aftermarket antennas

Also, need advise on what I need to do to clean up the interference.

Cry Havoc and Let Loose the Dogs of War.
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post #30 of 128 Old 11-14-2006, 07:31 AM
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Yep, pulled it this morning, connected the blue wires and that did the trick. Reception was great on the commute this AM. Thanks for the tip!
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