: Need head unit brand/model suggestions for my Fleetwood



caddycruiser
12-16-06, 09:04 PM
I've been casually searching for a few months now, for a new head unit for my Fleetwood. I already have the proper tuner bypass harness, and am ready in that regard, but just can't decide on a head unit.

For the longest time, I thought a double-din CD/cassette unit as close to the factory appearance--and larger buttons & such--would look the best and be what I wanted. And top in that ranking for me was the JVC KW-XC410, their latest double din CD/cassette that's Sat ready and has an Aux. jack right on the face (the latter pretty important to me in doing such a swap).

BUT, the more I research and more I think about it, I'm still not sure what to get. I know of another person with an older double-din JVC in their Fleetwood that they loved, but still am not sure.

I also just went by Best Buy, just to see what they had so I could actually play with a bunch of different brands & models in person, and am now even less sure.

Don't want to spend extreme bucks--if I do, it's going to be a system with Nav, and that's not in the budget yet--but want the best quality I can get, and also something that doesn't look and feel like a toy for $200 or under. Open to single dins now too, after looking at some, but again, not sure. In person, I actually liked the feel and look of some Kenwoods and Sonys the best, followed by Alpines and JVCs, but none were really that much of a standout.

Any suggestions on brand/model to steer towards or stay away from?

caddycruiser
12-16-06, 09:57 PM
Seems like Alpine might be one of the top to choose from?

Another thing I wonder about, and that seemed strange, is that the majority of single dins have the flip-open face to get to the CD slot. Kinda strange, given where it could actually fit on the face, but I guess it does hide it and keeps dirt out when not in use. In my brief Best Buy trial, some had faces that felt like junk trying to open and close, and others felt actually like they'd last. Not sure about the Alpines.

Basically, I just don't know what to stay away from and what to look more into--aside from what catches my eye, wallet, and tactile feel initially.

dp102288
12-17-06, 08:22 AM
I would go with a double din just because of what Cruiser said and it would look way better. Single DINs in a double din need a kit to fit and the wasted space is just a little slot. Kinda useful (the slot), but the clean look isn't there.

I personally like Pioneer head units just because that's all I have used, and I am very impressed with the sound quality. Not sure if Pioneer meets your needs and price range though.

caddycruiser
12-17-06, 09:54 AM
Yeah, that's what I'm leaning towards, but can't really definitively decide what to drop the money on.

There's a lot of single dins that seem to be of very high quality, and mounting wise I could actually see use of the small pocket you get, but then I think back to what the overall look ends up being--it always looks really aftermarket, no matter what.

I wish I could find a place that had the JVC I've been looking at in stock, so I could play with one in person, but no such luck yet. Pioneer also does make one, and it's more expensive with no face Aux. jack, but also seems good.

caddycruiser
12-17-06, 02:02 PM
Any other brand/model suggestions to look towards or stay away from?

the727kid
12-17-06, 04:40 PM
I'd stay away from Pioneers, most the time they have horrible whines, and half the time they can't be fixed. I would stick to Alpine or Eclipse.

caddycruiser
12-17-06, 05:07 PM
Strangely enough, in all of the insane reading I've been doing, signal noise does seem to be a thing I've heard mentioned by a few with Pioneers. Not overly common, but mentioned.

As for the Alpines & Eclipses, they still seem pretty good, I guess. I wasn't overly impressed with the look or feel of some current Alpines I just looked at, but again, from what I've read it seems that they're more substance than style contrary to a lot of other brands.

Any definitive things to say about JVC or Sony, good or bad? Or Kenwood?

dp102288
12-17-06, 07:34 PM
I'd stay away from Pioneers, most the time they have horrible whines, and half the time they can't be fixed.

Really? I am gald mine have been good then. [knock on wood!]

the727kid
12-17-06, 07:58 PM
Lol, you can't hear remember? You might have a whine, or you installed yours with a solid ground.

caddycruiser
12-17-06, 08:01 PM
Right now, the more and more I look into it, the more I'm leaning towards an Alpine--likely something like the CDA-9856. I liked it in the store, mostly, and the reviews just seem the best.

Issues are that there's no face Aux. input--only by an add-on cord--, it's a single din, and I think the lighting is blue (vs. my car's green), but it seems like something that might work well.

The biggest issue is just overcoming that single din look in a Fleetwood...

http://www.ghostwheeltech.net/FW/fwr-2s.jpg

Hmm...:cookoo:...really not sure on that look.

Maybe I'll just stick with my original JVC double din idea...then it's just like OEM in look, I get a face jack, and the price is about the same.

dp102288
12-18-06, 11:23 AM
Lol, you can't hear remember? You might have a whine, or you installed yours with a solid ground.

What?? :D

Well I don't think my hearing is that bad!

caddycruiser
12-18-06, 12:50 PM
Anymore comments actually on suggested head unit brands that are the best or worst?

Comparing technical specs alone (great stuff on Crutchfield), I really like what I'm seeing with Sony. Face Aux. input, matching green lighting, and about the best power, signal, etc. ratings out there. Just not sure, with all the bad remarks about their stuff at least from a few years ago.

Safer to still stick with Alpine, etc., or has anyone had more up to date Sony experience?

Hmm, then again, maybe a Pioneer Premier would be a better choice...

caddycruiser
12-18-06, 04:04 PM
I think I FINALLY decided--probably going with a Pioneer.

Never really was at the top of my list, until I started comparing technical specs and reading reviews and ALSO just spoke with the stereo guy locally who's been getting me Metra stuff dirt cheap, who's main brand was always Pioneer. I asked him why, and he said it was never as much technical specs comparing, but that out of all his installs and such, compared to things like JVC/Sony/Kenwood/etc., it was always the Pioneer models that never got returned for any reason.

Alpine also still seems strong, but at least in person, I preferred the looks and operation of the Pioneers instead.

dp102288
12-18-06, 07:26 PM
^^ Which models, I would like to see what you are comparing.

caddycruiser
12-18-06, 07:47 PM
Well, just solved my issue of not knowing what to do:)

Ordered a Pioneer Premier Pioneer DEH-P480MP. Specific page:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/v3/pg/product/details/0,,2076_310069882_291078841,00.html

Virtually the same as this:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-CgSnE7niYo3/cgi-bin/prodview.asp?I=130DEHP480&g=300&s=0&cc=01

but with a warranty twice as long and a couple other minor things, for about the same price. The reviews seemed great, the tech specs were about the best, and my local stereo guy told me I couldn't go wrong with a Pioneer, so that's what I did.

Paid $135, which is considerably less than I would have spent on a double din with slightly lower specs and quality, plus this has green lighting (perfect match), and a very simple Aux. jack right on the back that I can just plug into and run the cord to the front.

Never thought I'd go with a single din in this car, but hope I like it!

Now the battle will be routing that darn tuner bypass harness, connecting it to this HU, and getting it all to work. Oh well, I needed a winter break project anyway.

the727kid
12-18-06, 09:37 PM
Pioneers are good HU aside from the HU whines, when you install it, look behind the dash for the frame, sand it down and drill, connect your ground there, don't use the factory ground. If you happen to have a whine get back at me I know the solution lol.

caddycruiser
12-18-06, 09:42 PM
Pioneers are good HU aside from the HU whines, when you install it, look behind the dash for the frame, sand it down and drill, connect your ground there, don't use the factory ground. If you happen to have a whine get back at me I know the solution lol.

Thanks for that. Aside from you mentioning that, I never heard many others say it, so I'll use that tip and also hope I don't get any issues.

The more and more I looked, the tech specs were just too good, the look was right, the Aux. in was right, my stereo guy's reaction to my question about brands was sort of telling, and then the price was also great.

I hope it turns out well, and that I can figure out the wiring harness situation!

dp102288
12-19-06, 11:32 AM
Ordered a Pioneer Premier Pioneer DEH-P480MP. Specific page:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/v3/pg/product/details/0,,2076_310069882_291078841,00.html


Looks pretty nice! Not too busy or ugly. Let us know how the install goes, and the results (looks & sound).

caddycruiser
12-19-06, 10:16 PM
Looks pretty nice! Not too busy or ugly. Let us know how the install goes, and the results (looks & sound).

Will do. LUCKILY, over on the Impala SS forum, another Fleetwood guy just went through the exact same install with the same harness & mounting kit (just a different head unit) and posted pics and details of virtually every step, so I don't even have a question about what to do anymore. Looks pretty simple, aside from routing the harness through the car and then just connecting the free end to the harness that'll be with my new head unit.

After driving back home today for winter break, I can't WAIT to get the new setup in and installed--I actually played a CD shortly, after forcing it in (can't suck them in anymore) and then it couldn't spit it out the whole way. And the cassette has been dead ever since about a month of using it. Thankfully, the basic radio still works well, but I'll also be glad to get rid of the generally archaic controls and have something that sounds better all around. PLUS be able to play CD's without special tricks and plug my MP3 right in:thumbsup:

dp102288
12-20-06, 09:15 PM
If you don't mind, could you post the url of the install thread from that board. I would like to see the install myself too!

caddycruiser
12-21-06, 02:52 PM
If you don't mind, could you post the url of the install thread from that board. I would like to see the install myself too!

Most certainly--it really cleared EVERYTHING up for me, and the hardest part is essentially having to tear up some things in the car to get the harness routed.

http://impalassforum.com/noncgi/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=35;t=001496;p=2

dp102288
12-21-06, 08:16 PM
^^ Thanks for the link!! Great thread in that forum. :thumbsup:

caddycruiser
12-21-06, 09:41 PM
Yep. I like this forum a lot, but I tend to be over on that one more and can always get a lot more in-depth info from the other guys, as well as share more.