need advice on getting a hd car radio - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
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what brand do you recommend? im gonna be using
the hd radio to find all the extra music out there in the
tampa FL area and get info on what bands to check out
for the future.


also i want to use my ipod a lot since i have like 10,000
songs on it to play. ive seen diff car radios that have usb
and aux input in front of car radio. which one puts out
better sound or is it basically the same?

a guy who runs a car stereo shop says doing the direct link
using the 2 l/r plugs connections in the back gives the best
sound when using ipod through car radio. im not sure if all
newer car radios can do that or not. its the same as hooking
up your ipod to your home audio receiver using the aux input
and the left and right cords from rec to ipod.

anybody in the tampa/st pete FL area on here to let me know
all the hd radio stations to check out here?

thanks a lot
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-21-2011, 01:46 PM
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HD radio is just FM with better sound quality. If you want variety go with satellite radio... way more channels / choices. However a quick Google search will show you what channels are available locally in Tampa. I can't post a link for you because all such sites are blocked here at work since they stream music.

For iPod quality you'll want a deck with USB input - forget AUX or RCA jacks. The USB connection bypasses the DAC (digital analog converter) in the portable unit and pipes the digital signal (music) into the radio where the conversion occurs... similar to CD play-back. I like Pionner units for iPod integration, but Alpine is good too.

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post #3 of 19 Old 03-21-2011, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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so guy who has his own car stereo shop who told me running ipod through aux
in back of car radio unit gets best sound is wrong? ive seen some car radio units
that have usb and aux input in the front which to me makes no sense. the usb sends the signal for audio plus it keeps your ipod/mp3 player charged at the same time. why also have aux input in the front which only sends audio signal from your ipod/mp3 player?

weird

im not sure if all the car radio units have aux in the back to connect your ipod/mp3 player directly or not but i was told it provides best sound.

i would imagine they all provide the same sound but youre saying thats not true? have you tried the different methods and heard best sound through usb or saw it somewhere or what?

sorry im just trying to figure this out
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-22-2011, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROSSINFLORIDA View Post

so guy who has his own car stereo shop who told me running ipod through aux
in back of car radio unit gets best sound is wrong?

Yep, he is wrong.

The USB port is a DIGITAL connection, the AUX jack is an ANALOG connection. Now depending on the radio, the recording (of the song) and rest of the components (speakers, amps, etc) you might not HEAR the difference, but trust me the USB port is the BEST way to connect an iPod. This is pretty common knowledge... shocked that if given a choice anyone would recommending going AUX when USB is available. In addition USB will also charge the iPod/iPhone and (in almost all cases) provide song titles / artist names on the screen. AUX does none of that, so why even mess with it?

Why do some stereos offer both: well if you have Zune or other non-iPod MP3 player then AUX might be your only option. Plus some older iPods (the Firewire based "classics") aren't compatible with these newer USB radios so then AUX makes sense. In addition some radios (like my mech-less Pioneer media unit) can feed video thru the AUX port. But other then those situations there is NO reason to use the AUX port if a USB port is also offered on the unit.

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post #5 of 19 Old 03-22-2011, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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THANKS JMII

i think none of the car radios he sells have usb and thats why he told me that.
so i probably told it the wrong way. my friend actually had a car radio with aux
for ipod/mp3 player but it was only through the back which is weird.

next car radio i get will be hd car stereo with usb in the front. whats funny is
in most newer cars you get a factory car stereo with front aux input for ipod
and then you also get the rds system which shows artist and song title but
thats in only about half of the systems the other half dont have rds but still
have aux input. you would think they would all have rds system

it sucks to hear a song you like and not be able to see how the artist is and
name of the song if you dont know it already.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-22-2011, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMII View Post

Yep, he is wrong.

The USB port is a DIGITAL connection, the AUX jack is an ANALOG connection. Now depending on the radio, the recording (of the song) and rest of the components (speakers, amps, etc) you might not HEAR the difference, but trust me the USB port is the BEST way to connect an iPod.

Well I wouldn't go TOO far overboard with that statement. Analog (if expensive enough) can beat the heck out digital.

But aside from that... usb is more universal. I have the JVC 830 double din DVD player (with usb). I don't do the ipod thing but I use a lot of memory sticks and hard drives to store music and movies. You can store A LOT of music on a 100 gig hard drive!

I agree with the satellite radio.... more options and good sound too. HD radio is okay, but in a car on the highway you want options.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-22-2011, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROSSINFLORIDA View Post

my friend actually had a car radio with aux
for ipod/mp3 player but it was only through the back which is weird.


it sucks to hear a song you like and not be able to see how the artist is and
name of the song if you dont know it already.

You can get kits to mount any rear output/input into the front of the dash. I got a usb kit that takes my rear usb and puts it on the dash.

Most of the newer decks as of this year are now coming with rds
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-24-2011, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

. . . I agree with the satellite radio.... more options and good sound too. HD radio is okay, but in a car on the highway you want options.

Having tried both systems, I would be cautious about recommending satellite radio if sound quality (SQ) is an important factor.

Satellite does provide many channels independent of your location, but in my experience the playlist in each satellite channel was limited and became repetitive over time.

As far as SQ, satellite is very poor . . . it is an extremely compressed signal and sounds terrible in comparison to HD radio. Night and day, no comparison, I would rather listen to HD radio versus a satellite broadcast every time!

Lastly, keep in mind satellite charges for the content and HD does not.

Cheers,
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-24-2011, 07:48 AM
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Just to echo what everyone else is saying about satellite radio. Satellite is good on long drivers since you are never out-of-range. Lots of different channels (genres), but playlists are somewhat limited. iPod audio is higher quality then compressed satellite, but with a factory radio they sound about the same. HD radio is much better quality, but its the same as FM in terms of range (maybe a little better) and has commercials. Of course the trade off is HD is FREE and sat rad costs like $13 a month.

Personally 70% of my listening is sat rad, 30% iPod... as years ago I gave up on local (FM or HD) radio due to the limited genres, clueless DJ chatter and ads. Plus the range issue drove me nuts since I drive around 200 miles each weekend (fishing trips).

I prefer the USB / AUX port in the back as it makes for a cleaner install provided your OK with doing some custom work (iPhone + ProClip in all 3 of my vehicles).

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post #10 of 19 Old 03-25-2011, 01:45 AM - Thread Starter
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i have 2 amps in storage. 1 for the 4 speakers and the other 1 for my 2 12" kicker subs in box that goes in the trunk.

i wish i could get them out so i could get a new hd ipod car stereo and hook it all up again. it is gonna sound awesome once i get it all together.

i love all kinds of music but esp love my 80s hair metal bands like:

ratt - last year ratt put out an awesome cd called infestation
dokken
motley crue
bon jovi
def leppard

and these hard rock/metal bands:

judas priest
van halen
scorpions
whitesnake - their new cd is real good - has the old 84-87 whitesnake sound

and some newer rock/punk/emo bands:

american hi-fi
the used
sr-71
sugarcult
riddlin kids

and also love old school freestyle dance music with a lot of bass in it:

stevie b
lisette melendez
shannon
collage
lil suzy

and some classic rock bands:

led zeppelin
journey - their new cd comes out in may and its supposed to be real good
night ranger - has new cd coming out next month
styx
foreigner
reo speedwagon
asia
yes


i really need to get this stuff fixed asap b/c my 160 gb ipod has over 10,000
songs on it dying to be cranked on a really good car radio system

car audio is just like home theater you need a good sub or 2 to make your sound
be all that it can be

so what all kind of car audio systems do you all have?

what kind of music do you all like?

i used to have sony car stero with infinity speakers, 1 sony amp, other amp i forgot what brand but it was a 200 watt x 2 for the subs. i think im gonna get either a jvc
or a jensen hd car radio with usb input in the front.

thanks
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-25-2011, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROSSINFLORIDA View Post

and also love old school freestyle dance music with a lot of bass in it:

stevie b
lisette melendez
shannon
collage
lil suzy

Now we are talking my kind of stuff. If you want BOOM grab yourself and Epicenter and hold on attached is the pict of the custom box in my VW Passat: Kicker amp, Epicenter and Polk 12"
LL

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post #12 of 19 Old 03-25-2011, 03:07 PM
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Ross, the 80's metal is exactly what I listen to. That said, it does rock on a great system. Throw in a little Steelheart, Queen, Great White and Firehouse for some great 4 and 5 octaves of hair metal wailing and I suffer from facial carpel tunnel due to the repetitive grinning.

I run an Alpine CDA9884 CD player with Ipod control to a Alpine H701 C701 processor for crossover/Time alignment/EQ functionality. Then I run a Diamond Audio 4 channel powering BG Neo 3 planar tweeters up front and the rear fill (component set made of Dayton RS100's and the RS tweeter. A Cadence TXA3002 powering Dayton RS225's in my front doors for midbass. A Sundown Audio SAZ 1500D powering a TC Sounds TC3000 15 in a single reflex bandpass enclosure designed by PWK designs (best 50 bucks spent on the stereo.)

Good luck and let us know what you end up with!!

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post #13 of 19 Old 03-25-2011, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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great stuff you 2. so where do you 2 and the rest here live?

Im in tampa FL. i would love to check out your audi/home theater systems sometime

thanks
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-26-2011, 12:39 PM
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Champaign Illinois. Home theater duties is nothing to want to listen to. Someday it will get the upgrade.

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post #15 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
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not many people here into hd car radio or hd radio anywhere huh?
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post #16 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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bullet boys - smooth up in ya. great song to crank on a real good/great car system.

also these songs are great cranked also:

RATT - LAY IT DOWN OR ROUND N ROUND

POWER STATION - GET IT ON - LOVE THEIR VERSION OF THIS CLASSIC

ZEPPELIN - KASHMIR - EVEN THOUGH IN FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH HE
SAYS TO THE GUY PLAY KASHMIR FROM ZEP IV IF YOU WANT TO GET LAID. IT
WAS ON PHYSICAL GRAFFITTI. AT LEAST MR CROWE MAKES GREAT MOVIES AND
HAS GREAT TASTE IN MUSIC

DEF LEPPARD - POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME

BON JOVI - LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME OR LET IT ROCK

CRUE - SHOUT AT THE DEVIL OR WILDSIDE

SCORPIONS - THE ZOO OR ALIEN NATION

JUDAS PRIEST - TOUCH OF EVIL OR HELLION/ELECTRIC EYE

QUIET RIOT - METAL HEALTH ( BANG YOUR HEAD )

DOKKEN - ITS NOT LOVE OR TOOTH N NAIL

POISON - LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN

TESLA - CUMIN ATCHA LIVE

JOURNEY - STONE IN LOVE

KISS - LOVE IT LOUD

KINGDOM COME - GET IT ON

AC/DC - BACK IN BLACK OR HIGHWAY TO HELL

KIX - COLD SHOWER

WHITESNAKE - SLOW N EASY OR STILL OF THE NIGHT

VAN HALEN - POUNDCAKE OR HOT FOR TEACHER OR UNCHAINED

OZZY - CRAZY TRAIN OR OVER THE MOUNTAIN OR I DONT KNOW

GUNS N ROSES - WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE OR ITS SO EASY

METALLICA - MASTER OF PUPPETS

SKID ROW - YOUTH GONE WILD

DIO - LAST IN LINE



HOW ABOUT SOME OF YOUR FAV SONGS TO CRANK WHILE DRIVING?
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post #17 of 19 Old 04-05-2011, 12:25 PM
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Bullet Boys-For the love of money

Firehouse-Rock on the radio (pretty much anything off their first album. Not sure how it was mixed but it does get pretty stupidly loud.)

Krokus-Our love (this one I can't get loud enough! It just rocks)

Van Halen-Don't tell me what love can do (the beginning will shake your car)

Steelheart- Sheila

Nitro- Johnny died on Christmas (repetitive. but the overlaying vocals are cool.)

MSG-Crazy

Axel Rudi Pell- Air tonight (this cover gives me chills)

Hardline-Hot Cherie

Lynch Mob- First and second albums. She's evil but she's mine, No good, hell any of them.

Victory- Album-Culture killed the native- Great album. My first CD. More and More, Don't tell no lies etc. Play this all the time. Good German hair metal.

Kix- Girl money, Cold Shower as well. But they rock out so well almost any of their songs.

Def Leppard- Mirror mirror, Women, Rock of Ages, Billies got a gun etc

Boston-Foreplay/Longtime

Dangerous Toys-Scared, Sport'n a woody,teas'n pleas'n, Take me drunk

Dream Theater-Pull me under

Giant-I'm a believer

Great White-Mista Bone, Call it Rock and Roll,Old Rose Motel, Dessert moon

House of Lords- Father

Jackle-Lumberjack, When will it rain, She loves...

honeymoon Suite-Feel it again

Lillian Axe-Love and war... Sheesh. A lot of their stuff.

Sleeze Beez- Raise a little hell,Watch that video

Southgang-Tainted angel, Big City Woman, Russian Roulette, final resting place, Misery

Winger-Down Incognito (this one get's turned way up)

Hope those give you something to look at

I also got a lot of Michael Jackson, Eurythmics, Cyndi Lauper's greatest, Blackhawk, Sawyer Brown, Little Texas, Toto really anything that is well recorded that makes the system shine.

As for HD radio, I have never dealt with it. I travel for work (drive~60000 miles a year) so satellite radio is the obvious choice for that. If I wanted CD quality, I just got the CD. That's my excuse anyway.

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post #18 of 19 Old 04-05-2011, 12:43 PM
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Check out Alpine and Pioneer for ipod connection built in rather than having to buy a peripheral.
I have the Alpine iDA-X001. It has the ipod/usb connector on the back and it comes with the cable that easily routes into the glove box or center console box, or anywhere else in the dash area if needed. My unit is 4ish years old. It does not have HD radio but other, newer models do.

I prefer the Alpine and Pioneer over other brands because of long term reliability, quality and sound quality. I've been installing head units since the early 70's and have run Alpine almost exclusively since then though I've had a Pioneer Super Tuner...old days lol...some time ago.

Do your research online at the manufacturers website and try out Crutchfield. They have a lot of information and are great to deal with.

I do not use the head unit's amplifier. I am using a Memphis Audio amplifier with JL Audio separates in the front and a 12" Memphis Audio sub in the boot. Awesome sound.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-05-2011, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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i have all my stuff in storage. i had some bad years and lost my 2001 toyota rav4. i now have drive a 2001 chevy malibu. i hope to soon get my system back together. i will be getting a hd/usb in front car stereo soon to go with my 2 subs in box, 2 amps - 1 for 4 speakers and the other 1 for the 2 subs and then i will be in business. i have the 160 gb ipod and have about 12,000 songs in it even though i have only listened to about 2,000 of those songs in the past 4 years.

the new whitesnake cd is kick azz. the 2010 ratt cd called infestation is awesome also. you all should check them out.

i really miss the old days of having my great system in the rav4 that had the pull down rear seats so you could really hear the bass and system the way it was supposed to be heard.

i forgot what brand name amps i have. i cant get to them now b/c they are in my brother in laws storage and he has to get money together to pay the back rent on it in order to access it. just my luck huh lol

i do know my subs are kickers. they are pretty much brand new b/c i did have to replace them once b/c the first set were used for about 6 years. it didnt help that i let a young high school chick borrow my rav 4 once and she set the bass so high for her rap/hip hop that im sure that is what caused them to blow.
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