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Best Buy ain't so bad, but I gots a rant about modern car stereos

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by newyorkin, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I bought a Kenwood KDC-MP232 last night for $100 from best buy, talked the guy down from $129. So I was impressed with that, I didn't even have to walk out first, it was super-easy... :woot:


    But, wtf is with modern car stereo's?? They're either flimsy as heck, or full of ridiculous crap. Here's what I wanted in a car stereo:
    -HD Radio ready
    -USB port
    -Aux input
    -Front load CD
    -Tuner scan/seek
    -Wheel volume and tuner

    There are no stereo's with those features!

    Most of the stereo's on display have these 1x5 screens with animation, they flip down to load a cd, have push button tuning, etc. One of them even took photo cards to do slide shows. WTF am I supposed to be looking at when I'm driving? :haha: Not to mention there are NONE that I can picture successfully matching ANY dash panel. It's like your only option for an aftermarket stereo is to have it scream "I'm not original and make no attempt to look so".

    So I finally settled on the Kenwood, thinking it also had the changer control for the changer I already have in the car.
    Here's what ticks me off about it:
    -"Scan" is for CD's. WTF would I want that for, I usually know what CD I put in, I don't know what's on the radio, that's why I'd want to scan it.
    -"HD Ready" does not mean it can tune HD
    -It doesn't work with my Kenwood changer. It says it won't work with pre-97 changers in the manual. It would be nice if it said that on the box.
    -The tuning, um, "thing" (it's not a knob) is about the flimsiest POS I could imagine putting in a vehicle.
    -It's silver and has freaking red and blue lights all over it. My car may not be a showpiece, but at least the dash was consistent and matched.
    -The Aux input listed as a feature is actually the changer input, which is also the HD tuner input. I have to build a circuit and an interface to plug my MP3 player into it.


    So why aren't manufacturers making old-man aftermarket tuners? :doah: :haha: :haha:
    Everything on the shelf was Bling first, function later. Like the Civic crowd is forcing us out!
     
  2. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    you answered your own question....

    I miss the good ole Pioneer Super tuner days...
     
  3. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    you want old cheesy crap, go to Ebay, you want new updated equipment, you go to the electronics store, i personally don't consider Best Buy an electronics store at all either.


    and for $100, what did you expect???


    i paid over $350 for my pioneer unit,,, and it does everything i need it to do
     
  4. MattK

    MattK 1/2 ton status

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    yeah goin to best buy isn't the greatest idea.

    look at it this way, at least you didn't buy a sony!
     
  5. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    I have the factory stereo in My truck and it will still be there when I trade it in. Music is not important to Me at all.
     
  6. protechk5

    protechk5 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah ebay all the way, I got like a $400+ Alpine on ebay for like $200something brand new.
     
  7. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I tried a cassette adapter for playing my MP3's off a Axim PDA, worked for a while, then the cassette player crapped out. Tried three different FM transmitter types to play the MP3's off it, not satisfactory. Looked into a new stereo with an input for MP3 players, that's what I'll do I suppose. Found one I like, but I lost the link.
     
  8. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    AM/FM is FREE!
     
  9. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    yeah, free to listen to all the commercials you want to !!

    "free radio" SUCKS and i hope they all go bankrupt,,:rolleyes:
     
  10. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Like I said, I did not require much in the way of a stereo for my car. What you call old cheesy crap, I call function, what you call "updated equipment" is what I wanted and why I bought new. I don't know what you're idea of cheesy is, but a forkin spaceship in my dash board is not only gay, but pretty cheesy IMO. I'm gonna watch the screen of my car stereo while I commute? Updated equipment, IMO, doesn't mean having more crap stuffed in than you need, and if youre price tag is what determines what you want, I have a 94 Dodege Intrepid I'll let go for $5000. :D

    And I went to 4 different stores before I went to Best Buy. If Best Buy didn't negotiate, I would have gone down the line, and bought from Amazon if I didn't get my price.

    Look no offense, but if you're spending that kind of cash on something as meaningless in life as your stereo head unit, you're obviously way more invested, make more money, and spend more time in your car than I. I can understand a blinged out Expedition, or a hardcore audiophile (which maybe you are), but puhlease, tell me "What do you expect for $100", well dang, I expect too much I guess!


    And another thing, if my $100 was too little for such high demands, I'll give back the friggin remote control in exchange for a better functionality. My hand sits 3 inches from the face of the radio (and has in almost any vehicle I've ever owned), I don't need a remote with my $100 system, I didn't buy it to tailgate...
     
  11. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    free,but worthless...

    Yup--its free,and you get what you pay for!..endless commercials,and they play the same artists constantly..:rolleyes: ..FM is ok here if you like classic rock,or hip hop..plenty of stations for them..if your a fan of "real" country or bluegrass,your in the wrong state,or the wrong part of the country!..

    My "stereo" system in my 82 K20 consists of a AM/FM/cassette/CD "boombox" with detachable speakers..I put the speakers in the cab corners,and wired a ciggarrete lighter plug into the battery compartment on the boombox..it used 8 "D" batteries,which means its 12V!.(8x1.5 volts=12V!)...so it works perfectly on 12V car current!..(just don't leave the batteries in it while using 12V car power!--they can explode or leak..).:doah: ..I learned the hard way..:(

    The radio doesn't pick up many stations well,even when hooked up to the antenna on the truck the OEM radio used..but I don't listen to the radio unless I am looking for a weather forcast,news,or need to know the time anyway..I play CD's and tapes 90% of the time,and when I leave the truck,I can lock the boombox in the toolbox or stash it behind the seat,or just take it in the house with me!..it sounds as good as many "in dash" stereo's I've had,and its only 25-35 bucks lost if it gets stolen..

    I agree todays stereos are cheesy and are all about bling,not performance or durability..the AM/FM/CB factory indash "Delco"radio I had in another truck had a steel case,weighed about 5 lbs,and could probably survive being run over!..now they are plastic crap,break like peanut brittle in cold weather..and yeah,WHY do they sell "in dash" TV sets and video screens with flashing lights??..like their isn't enough distractions already while driving..no wonder half the cars coming at me are in MY lane!..THEY ARE WATCHING TV!..when they aren't talking on the cell phone,that is..:doah:
     
  12. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Cable TV was commercial free once, too... :whistle: :whistle: Gee, I wonder why Satellite TV isn't...

    Satellite ain't payin the bills long by subscription only... Otherwise Sirius' wouldn't be a $5 stock...
     
  13. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Tell me about it. The bezel popped off this thing about 5 times while I was putting it in, and it was all pre-wired, so I didn't do much to put it in. I give the tuning stick a month before it's off and I'm sending the unit back. I give it 3 days if my kids get in the car for any reason...
     
  14. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    toolbox.
     
  15. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    I have no problem with todays stereo units, but i also won't spend $100 on a head unit either, if your wanting something cheap, just to give you some tunes on the trail, fine that'll work, if you're after some sort of quality, they you had better be prepered to pay for it.

    AS WITH EVERYTHING
     
  16. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Yeah, understood, but it's not quality that's lacking, it's features and misrepresentation of them on the front. If I have to pay $400 for what I want, I'm also getting a ton of crap I don't want, and regardless, I don't think there is one that I will be happy with because it's not made. I want one that will be closer to the stock dash because my stereo is not a highlight of my car, therefore it doesn't need to stick out like it does now.
    There were other radios that were even cheaper that I actually could see had various features I wanted (I saw them on the unit, not just read them on the placard), but there were trade offs; nothing had everything I wanted in any store I went at any price. I even looked at $700 units (I looked at them with my eyes crossed, but I looked at them anyway) :haha:...
    They were nonames though, and I didn't think they'd work with my Kenwood changer, so I went with Kenwood.

    Anyway, I still disagree, I think the current aftermarket stereo's offered are geared toward bling. I'd have to look again, but it seemed like the higher the price, the more bling, which was counter to what I'd want, and counter to the idea that I'd find what I wanted if I spent more.
     
  17. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    at $51,800,000 /month,,,and growing, why wouldn't it work out, even if they did raise the price a couple of more bucks a month, i would still pay for the commercial free music.

    i wonder what the real cost is to maintain the system and pay the DJ's and such, you'd think this number MONTHLY and continuing to grow, would be sufficient if the managed the finances correctly.
     
  18. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I guess that's been part of their plague... They do not manage it well, and I don't believe that number is accurate. One thing that's unfortunate about the satellite radio biz is that there are not yet any independant auditors. They're counting radios on the market, not necessarily subscribers. Best Buy could have 300 Sirius units on the shelf, and BMW could have 50,000 units installed in vehicles still on the lot, those are counted by Sirius as units. They're publicly traded and their financials are probably on the web, so it would be interesting to see them next Q.
    They also spend a TON of cash on their talent. And satellites are anything BUT inexpensive to build, deploy, and maintain...
     
  19. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Poke around on the financial pages for a while, reading up on XM and Sirius. They're spending WAY more than they're bringing in. Last I read, they were spending around $186 for EVERY new subscriber that they picked up. Meanwhile, a very large portion of the subscribers cancel by around 9 months into it... So they spend $186 to get a new subscriber that spends a whopping $116 with them. That's a going-out-of-business strategy if there ever was one. :eek:

    It costs over a billion dollars to build the satellites and get them into orbit. They spend many millions each month on advertising and also spend many millions susidizing the cost of receivers (in the hope that subscription fees will eventually exceed acquisition and subsidy costs). If you really pore over the financial statements, it is very difficult to figure out how either of them can survive over the long haul. :(

    Back on topic: I really miss stereos with a real volume control knob!
     
  20. gofergurl

    gofergurl 1/2 ton status

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    Some modern after market stereos mess up the simplest thing in a car, like the noise for leaving headlights on when the ignition is off. Another thing about some after market stereos is the fact that they don't display the time (well, mine doesn't). I don't want to know what station I'm listening to when I look at the head unit, I want to know the time. Looking at a watch or cell phone for the time is distracting while driving especially if I'm running late for something.
     

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