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I got tired of my stock head unit in my 94 Park Ave - no CD player, no line in, no HD, and a FM section that left allot to be desired were some of the reasons I decided to replace the stock unit.


I found the Sony CDX-GT700HD on Best Buy, read the reviews, and bought the unit on Friday and had Geek Squad install the next day. I liked the front USB for the iPod, the preamp outs if I ever decide to get a subwoofer, and the tuner specification looked to be the same as the XDR-F1HD Aside from the automatic dimming not working for the display, the install was perfect and everything worked from the get go.


I drove from the Jersey Shore to Eastern Long Island to see some friends, so I had the opportunity to see how good this tuner really was. AM reception was ok - all of the NYC AM's locked in HD without a problem. Analog sound quality on AM was nothing to write home about, but it wasn't shrill or annoying.


FM reception was tough to gauge due to some mild DX conditions, but the radio had no problem holding onto the NYC FM's HD streams out to the Sagitkios Parkway, and many Connecticut FM's were coming in HD no problem (WKCI, WEZN, and WPLR were the easiest, with WZMX and WDRC-FM the only Hartford FM's to lock in HD). On analog, the radio performed like the XDR-F1HD, holding onto the some Empire FM's out to Riverhead and beyond.


My only complaints with the unit is that there is no RDS, and the display requires you to scroll manually to see all the PAD info (station name, title, artist etc), and that out of the box the unit needed the EQ tweaked a bit to sound "full."


Other than that, I have no complaints - the FM sensitivity and selectivity are leaps and bounds over the stock unit, and the sound from the aux in is great as well (you can adjust the input levels +/- 10db, so any device should sound nice no matter what the output power). iPod controls are a bit clunky, but it works and charges the iPod even when not in use.


I recommend this head unit to anyone looking to upgrade to HD Radio in the car. Unless your car has an electrical system from hell, you won't be disappointed.


Now if they would only get more high level HD FM's on the air in NYC & Philly, I would be happy.
 
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