It's almost spring, time to (try and) find a new head unit. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-26-2012, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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So, it's feeling (oddly this year) like spring again, and it will soon be time to get my car out (well actually back from the body shop ), so it's time to resume, reinstate, re-invigorate my search for a new head unit.

My current HU, a now very old Alpine 3DA, has been on it's last legs for a while. So I "need" a new one. Problem is I'm having a heck of a time finding anything that will work for me.

A little background, when I'm not in the car I use J River Media Center or Squeezeboxen, with their dynamic playlist functionality to play my all-FLAC music collection. I've become addicted to dynamic playlists, it's hard to listen without them anymore.

So what I'm really looking for is (in no particular order):
  • USB music support
  • Android support
  • FLAC
  • Playlists
  • High quality
  • Parametric EQ or "room" correction
  • No need for built-in amplification
  • Bluetooth A2DP

Really the number one thing I'm looking for is a way to just take my whole music collection with me. I don't have an iDevice and I see little sense in getting one just to use as a storage device in my car. So all the iPod support is really of not interest/help to me.

Beyond that, I've got some good old PPI amps so I actually having no built-in amplification would be a plus. And something to correct for the car environment (PEQ or something like Audessey/Imprint) would be good too.

So, since I'm tired of typing this at the moment (and frankly frustrated again that there seems to be no good options), I'll just summarize and hope someone has some suggestions for a high quality head unit that will let me take my music with me.

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post #2 of 7 Old 02-27-2012, 09:19 AM
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Man I searched, asked and generally bugged all the people I could. There is nothing out there that does what you are wanting. Except in the carPC realm.

Stand alone units can run a USB device (flash drive/small external harddrive) but couldn't find a unit that can run your devices.

I stayed off the "I" train as long as I could. Finally bought an Ipod and convered all my music to apple lossless. So I understand your dilema.

Only advice is to delve into the carPC world or continue to wait as manufacturers continue to include other devices. OR buy an apple product. Then it becomes much easier.

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post #3 of 7 Old 02-27-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubdenno View Post

Man I searched, asked and generally bugged all the people I could. There is nothing out there that does what you are wanting. Except in the carPC realm.

I've thought about that, but I don't really want a science experiment. Though I do keep thinking I should setup a VM to develop a carPC solution, or just experiment with it.

My problem there is all I care about is music, and most of the carPC things seem to be setup to do way more than that.

There was that Route 66 that I remember from way back, that would actually be relatively close to what I'd need, but seems long dead.

Quote:


Stand alone units can run a USB device (flash drive/small external harddrive) but couldn't find a unit that can run your devices.

Have you tried that? Because a USB flash drive would be perfect, if only the media support and navigation were better.

Quote:


I stayed off the "I" train as long as I could. Finally bought an Ipod and convered all my music to apple lossless. So I understand your dilema.

Do any HUs actually support apple lossless? And if so, do they do digital audio rather than using the iPod DACs?

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post #4 of 7 Old 02-27-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

I've thought about that, but I don't really want a science experiment. Though I do keep thinking I should setup a VM to develop a carPC solution, or just experiment with it.

My problem there is all I care about is music, and most of the carPC things seem to be setup to do way more than that. Naw. You CAN go overboard. But there are people who just like you want the capabilities you do. And the beauty is, CarPC is modular. Want more functionality? add what you want. Your desires seem pretty simple though at least to implement.There was that Route 66 that I remember from way back, that would actually be relatively close to what I'd need, but seems long dead.



Have you tried that? Because a USB flash drive would be perfect, if only the media support and navigation were better.
Yes I have. Unfortunately, FLAC is not supported. Hence Apple Lossless


Do any HUs actually support apple lossless? And if so, do they do digital audio rather than using the iPod DACs?
Alpines do, or rather some models do as well as Pioneer

Give a look at this one.
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...vers/DEH-80PRS

The straw in my case is, my wife tends to not put away CD's. I got tired of replacing them in my car. So like you, I looked for a FLAC solution in which there was not one. And when my wife threatened me with get a hobby or divorce (I was working way to much) , I sat down and contemplated/drew up what I wanted and searched/asked to determine if they wee viable. Obviously I had to compromise in some area's. Getting a processor for active crossover,EQ and Time Alignment is a decision I have been ecstatic over. So much so that I bought a JBL MS8 for the autotune to swap in place of the Alpine H701 processor. Now there are head units that do it like the Pioneer.
Anyway, now that I got off subject.... The IPOD solved my CD problem. I carry around 160gb of music. I swap it occasionally. It works wonderfully.

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-01-2012, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

  • USB music support
  • FLAC
  • High quality
  • Parametric EQ or "room" correction
  • Bluetooth A2DP

I'm looking for almost exactly the same thing (same reasons, listen to lossless music on my PC with foobar2000, or around the house on one of my Squeezebox Touches). I'd really love some way to play the same lossless tracks in my car.

If I find anything, I'll be certain to post here.

Mike
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-03-2012, 07:18 AM
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Anyone who might be interested in putting a Squeeebox Touch in their cars (to get lossless), might want to look at this, and add your own (polite) comments:


A Music Lover’s Main Squeeze? The Logitech Squeezebox.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-03-2012, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, after looking around, and maybe slightly giving up ( ), I preordered a Kenwood KDC-X996. It does full Pandora via my Android phone, and since it's got A2DP I can use J River Media Center's Gizmo to play music from my collection, and it does play music off USB, so I've got options.

I'm sort of hoping the USB works acceptably since pairing my phone and starting Pandora or Gizmo just for my short drive to work would be a little annoying.

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