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Old 05-23-2006, 11:23 PM   #1
M3ti Compact
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Are SONY decks really that bad?

Sorry, i'm completely new to this, but someone I know owes me a favour and says he can give me a Sony CDX-CA900X along with a dual 12 inch explode subs with amp setup.

I've read everywhere that Sonys are crap...i'm looking for sound quality...how is the quality compare to the stock Alpine?

Also...are subs completely necessary for a sound quality setup? I don't really want to add 50lbs worth of speakers that I would only keep at the lowest setting...
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:44 PM   #2
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Sony stuff sucks in general, & their car audio stuff is the worst, it might look nice but wouldn't be much of a upgrade unless you are getting it for dirt cheap
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:59 PM   #3
paul christians
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OH YES,they are that bad man,stay away from it............
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:01 AM   #4
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dude honestly sony car audio sucks ass big time u want a nice deck go either with panasonic or alpine i wouldnt touch pioneer either !
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Old 05-24-2006, 02:32 AM   #5
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I've had Kenwood, Alpine, and JVC, and Sony in the past. A clarion back in the day.. but that was a tape deck.

I still have all 4 decks, 3 of which are sitting in their original boxes. I have the Sony headunit installed currently, for the past 2+ years... so far it's holding up fine.

Usability and features it's on par with the Kenwood. Alpine sounds great once tuned properly, but has horrible HORRIBLE interfaces. So much so I'd rather run it them over with a truck, I don't care what model it is... I've tried many of them, and they've all been so incredibly annoying to use... especially if you don't have the manual on you, or happen to misplace the remote. It's not difficult to use, just annoying. Kind of like comparing it to an iDrive... not difficult, just a pain in the ass to do what you want. The JVC unit I had was already used and a few years old, so I can't really use it for a fair comparison. The Sony headunit I have sounds good, it's still working as it was the day I bought it, and was inexpensive. I preferred the Kenwood in terms of SQ out of them all though, but I was also running Kappa components at the time... so that may bias my opinion a bit. Kenwood's are not very reliable though, almost as bad as Pioneer from what I understand. Just to keep this clear, I'm not saying Sony headunits are great or anything... but I'm offering my personal experience to help you with your decision.

Mind you, my criteria was quite different than yours.. as usability, features, and sound quality are all high on my list of priorities. Simply because I needed a budget friendly headunit that had a screen built in, could handle 4.1 Surround Sound processing (instead of the usual 2.1 that most stereos provide with the left front and left rear outputs delivering the same sound), and a comprehensive adjustable sound stage that could be fitted to various different modes on the fly. (as I listen to all types of music from hip hop to oldies to rock to pop, people play PS2 in the car, and watch DVD's. most headunits you could only change the EQ on the fly, but everything else had to be changed manually every time.) If price is no object, then Alpine does offer a lot of flexibility and their older decks really sound great (CDA7995 and CDA7998 for example), Eclipse, or Clarion, and Blaupunkt headunits should be on your shortlist.

I've been through many MANY subwoofers. The sony xplod's did not make me happy at all, I never tried an xplod amp. Then again, Kicker's sub (that my brother is still using in his bimmer) doesn't please me either... and a lot of people seem happy with them. I'm very picky with SQ... so far the only subs that have really met my needs are my current JL Audio 10W6-v2's, and my previous Beyond Audio Inhuman 18" subwoofer... that I stupidly sold some time back.

Subwoofers are indeed required for sound quality, as much as a tweeter or midrange is. SQ is about accurate sound reproduction with minimal distortion. However, "big bass" is not the same as sound quality, and you don't need a 50LB box in your trunk to acquire this. Stealh boxes and bazookas may meet your needs better, especially in a hatchback.

If you do grab that kit your friend is selling and don't want that cumbersome rounded wired remote..... I'll be happy to buy that off you.

In the end, it really comes down to your priorities.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:16 AM   #6
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its a piece of electronic equipment and they all fail after some time. Most of the poeple that bash on them hasnt experience on them so they jump on the bandwagon and never heard a "properly" setup sony headunit.

Now why do they suck, because they are very unreliable. they are know to blow channels unexpectly plus they cant handle small imperfection on ANY cds.

Ive own tons of headunits as well, and i would never recomend sony. with me its alpine or Pioneer I cant belive a geek U justin have had a hard time with alpine interface. its very user frendily after a day or 2 with it.

Now if u looking for new headunit with SQ for a decent price, the new Pioneer 880PRS is somethin u should lookin into. This thing has a dual 16-Band EQ With a 3way active crossover. Amazing headunit compare wat other manufacures are offering now.

at end of day, it's ur call.
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:06 AM   #7
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The Sony headunit I'm using isn't a CD unit, I use a CD/DVD changer coupled with it. (DVX-100). I'm not sure how they blow channels unexpectedly though? Sony doesn't make great headunits, but the one I'm currently using meets my needs/budget and hasn't malfunctioned yet.

My problem with Alpine headunits that they are cumbersome. As geeky as I may be, I'm also incredibly lazy and like my one touch options. That's why I modify headlights to turn on automatically when it's dark, and add parking sensors coupled with reverse cameras. So I don't have to turn my head to see what's going on behind me. It's why I drive a lazy person's BMW, and not a ford focus. I don't like fiddling with a bunch of tiny buttons while driving to make basic adjustments. It's a pain for passengers who are not familiar with the cryptic buttons on the Alpine units. I like a unit that is clearly labelled.. where anyone can think, "I'd like to adjust such and such" and can figure out how to do it on the first try. Even the non-tech-minded.

Here's an example for the CDA-7998R taken from the manual. This is just to turn on/off the subwoofer. (!!)

Subwoofer On and Off
1 Press and hold the SETUP button for at least 3
seconds.
2 Press the g DN or f UP button repeatedly to select the
Subwoofer mode.
3 Press the BAND button to select Subwoofer ON or
OFF.
4 Press the SETUP button after setting the Subwoofer
ON.
5 Press the MODE button
6 Press the g DN or f UP button after selecting the
Subwoofer mode, and the subwoofer output phase is
toggled "PHASE 0° " or "PHASE 180°."
7 Turn the Rotary encoder until the desired sound is
obtained in each mode.
8 Press the SETUP button to exit.


I'd rather hit the button that says SUB, then hit MUTE (or ATT). Just makes life easier. As I said above, Alpine is up there for quality car stereos... high end stuff, just too cumbersome for me to enjoy using on a daily basis.

Keep in mind, I'm someone who is not impressed by hundreds of buttons and multifunctional gadgets like cellphone-flashlight-videocamera-mp3 player-organizer-sms messager-video game system-hybrid-things. About as fascinating as watching a bonzai tree grow. Maybe I'm just getting old.
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Old 05-24-2006, 11:22 AM   #8
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I've used a Sony C910 for years without any problems until about a year or 2 ago where the faceplate controls started acting up. But still spins a cd and still sounds better then my Alpine 9831 which I'm currently using. And I agree with Justin, I was almost ticked at how much work it was JUST to adjust the bass and treble on the Alpine. I agree that the Xplode stuff from Sony isn't really good, but if I were going for a budget deck, I'd consider Sony again for sure. I also had a cheaper Sony before the C910 and it's still working fine as well according to my friend who I traded head units with. So my advice is try what you like and go from there I guess.
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:24 PM   #9
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sony got a real real bad wrap a few years back when almost all levels of thier headunits had some bad mosfet chips in them causing countless returns and repairs, it pretty much sealed sonys fate in the car audio world for... well hell its still going. their speakers are not too special either ive had a set in my old civic, they were par at best.
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:26 PM   #10
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I have seen alot of bad ones in my time,I am not jumping on the bandwagen at all there,I have allso owen a sony for a month and was a piace of wood.....
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furious
sony got a real real bad wrap a few years back when almost all levels of thier headunits had some bad mosfet chips in them causing countless returns and repairs, it pretty much sealed sonys fate in the car audio world for... well hell its still going. their speakers are not too special either ive had a set in my old civic, they were par at best.
that would explain why some of my friends deck started to act up
their speakers just sucks, Sony doesn't make good speakers in general, even their home speakers suck large
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:22 PM   #12
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^ i agree,....sony sucks. get alpine, eclipse, clarion, kenwood...all there hi end stuff is good and JL spekers kick ass too. I sony
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:38 PM   #13
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I had that deck that you pictured there in my old e36, I used it for 2 years no problems, actually I like it alot, the interface is really easy to use, and it has good adjustment. Also it looks really good in e36, the black blends in nice with the dash,(doesnt stand out like silver decks, and that particular deckhas a nice simple look to it without to many buttons, also the red lighting matches the amber really well, looks good at night (way better than all the greens and blues u see around)

overall i really liked that deck and i had no problems, sound quality was decent (obviously not amazing like a denon or something, but good enough for a system for an average joe)overall i liked it much more than the pioneer premier that I have now it sucks, i wish i still had it,
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:17 PM   #14
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Nakamichi or Alpine, if money is no object.

Sony aren't so bad, but I hate the designs of most of the Sony products. I traded my dad my Alpine for his Sony when selling my old car. Honestly, you could heard a difference in them when both properly set up, but it wasn't a huge difference. So then it comes down to reliability. He had the Sony for atleast 3 years and it still worked, so I guess if you get the Sony for little or no money, go for it. As far as Sony subwoofers are concerned, don't bother. If you truly want a high-fidelity stereo, lesser brand subs are going to cloud the music with rediculous amounts of loud 'bass'. An 8-inch Focal sub won't add too much weight and will sound much better than the Sony. If you just want loud subs to piss off people at stop lights or parking lots, go for Sony.

I don't get why people are saying it's so hard to adjust an Alpine. Just hit the center knob and turn. That's how it was on mine...
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