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Old 06-03-2006, 08:31 PM   #1
$$$frumnuttin'
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Default Your thoughts on Panasonic head units

Just wondering which head unit you guys would recommend for a C5 coupe. What features should I look for? Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2006, 08:46 PM   #2
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to be honest, I am not impressed with most head units. if you get a lower brand item with more features, you don't always get durability or SQ.

With that said, the only head units I buy are McIntosh, Alpine, Eclipse, some Denon (if available in the states) or some Clarion.

I am simply not a fan of other brands. They just don't sound good... Pioneer sound flat as hell to my ear. Alpine may only have a 1 bit DAC, but it sounds better than other brands 18 and 24 bit DACs!!!

that's my 2 cents.
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bogus
I am simply not a fan of other brands. They just don't sound good... Pioneer sound flat as hell to my ear. Alpine may only have a 1 bit DAC, but it sounds better than other brands 18 and 24 bit DACs!!!

that's my 2 cents.
Please note that I am not trying to start an argument, I am merely asking for clarification.

You stated "1 bit DAC". That to me reads as a misnomer... A DAC is almost always an IC that changes a binary bit value into a psuedo-linear voltage range.

Say the 8 bit binary value of 00000000(0) is "changed" into a reading of +0v and 11111111(256) is "changed" into a value of +5v.

For the range of an 8 bit DAC you will receive only 256 different values in the specified range, be it 0v to 1v or 0v to 100v.

A one bit dac would be capable of being in two states, 0 and 1, as such I dont see how it could be made into, for the purpose of car audio, anything worth listening to.

I guess theres argument for a "massively parallel" 1 bit dac design, but it would be more costly and produce no benefit.... At that point you could just use relays to interpret bit-levels, albeit very very sloppy.

I did look on Alpines site, and as with most car audio manufactures, there was no information available, does anyone have any idea?
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Old 06-07-2006, 02:23 AM   #4
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wow. you know more about this than I do!

This was discussed here some time ago... I think Kale made reference, so I took his statement as gospel.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:32 PM   #5
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Makes me feel stupid too.
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:52 PM   #6
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The only reason I asked is I can get Panny stuff through an employee purchase plan with a nice discount...guess I'm more of a cheapskate than a car audio freak!
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $$$frumnuttin'
The only reason I asked is I can get Panny stuff through an employee purchase plan with a nice discount...guess I'm more of a cheapskate than a car audio freak!
You have piqued the curiosity of my inner cheapskate.... Do you by any chance "share" said discount with buyers such as myself.

I am a sucker for cheap stuff. I would buy elephant food if it was on sale and figure out how to get the elephant later.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $$$frumnuttin'
The only reason I asked is I can get Panny stuff through an employee purchase plan with a nice discount...guess I'm more of a cheapskate than a car audio freak!
If nothing more, Panasonic makes some head units that have serious HP (60 or 70 watts per channel, peak output)...no need for an outboard amp.

For what it's worth (probably not much), the first couple of aftermarket stereos I put in my cars, back in the late 70s, were Panasonic. Good sound, 4 speaker capability, big power, for their time....
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:10 PM   #9
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Sorry, nocando..but, if you are addicted to bargains join us at slickdeals.net or fatwallet.com I buy all kinds of stuff I don't need at really great prices!
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec
Please note that I am not trying to start an argument, I am merely asking for clarification.

You stated "1 bit DAC". That to me reads as a misnomer... A DAC is almost always an IC that changes a binary bit value into a psuedo-linear voltage range.

Say the 8 bit binary value of 00000000(0) is "changed" into a reading of +0v and 11111111(256) is "changed" into a value of +5v.

For the range of an 8 bit DAC you will receive only 256 different values in the specified range, be it 0v to 1v or 0v to 100v.

A one bit dac would be capable of being in two states, 0 and 1, as such I dont see how it could be made into, for the purpose of car audio, anything worth listening to.

I guess theres argument for a "massively parallel" 1 bit dac design, but it would be more costly and produce no benefit.... At that point you could just use relays to interpret bit-levels, albeit very very sloppy.

I did look on Alpines site, and as with most car audio manufactures, there was no information available, does anyone have any idea?

Exactly why I'd never buy another HU in the single bit realm.
Their pre-amp section is little better than the discmans you'd find people jogging with on their hip.
You don't have to give up your first born for multi bit processing although you can spend $1500 real easy.

Seems like more multi bit DAC's are coming out in mfr's flagship lines.
Just read one recently that surprised me. Forget if it was Pioneer?

At any rate, I'll never go back.
Clarion makes just average stuff, but when I heard about their Pro Audio DRZ 9255 I had to buy.
Separate DC/DC converter, dual Burr-Brown 24 bit DAC's... and lots more, I was hooked. The sound is amazingly better than 1 bit units.
I did a few back to back comparisons with head units and amps.
Alpine Cda 9855 Sound was badly colored and overprocessed sounding
Eclipse CD 8053 ( I think) much cleaner sound but bass heavy (16v line driver)
and my current Clarion DRZ 9255 deep, clear staging and tons of headroom

Then did an amp shootout with
JL 300/4 4x75 VERY SHALLOW sounding. Loud and fairly clean, but dead to the ears.
PPI PCX 4125 4x125w Louder and cleaner than JL (oldschool PPI) but not as clean as the Mc
and my current McIntosh MC440M 6 ch 2x100 and 4x50 insance clarity, punch, colorless repro...

The difference was so worth the extra money spent.
I didn't give up the farm, but still got excellent sound.
Scott
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Last edited by simpleman68; 06-09-2006 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:52 AM   #11
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The bit depth of the DAC doesn't make that much difference.

The first CD players came with parallel 16-bit DAC's, many of them very early ones had 14-bit dacs (CD's are encoded as 16-bit PCM) and ran at 2x oversampling speed to simplify the design of the output filters. Bit depth increased to as much as 24 bits as mathematical techniques to improve the appearent resolution of the CD audio, before it is converted into analog at the DAC. There are technical problems with parallel DAC's, especially as the bit depth increases and the ladder resistor networks require more and more precise laser trimming to maintain linearity.

Later on, the 1-bit approach came along and went a long way to addressing the linearity issues of parallel converters. The one bit acheives the same results as a parallel 16-bit dac by employing oversampling (like 256x). (See Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem). The one-bit DAC was an improvement in most ways, particularly since it offered excellent performance without the need for critical trimming in the manufacture of the chip.

Lately, the trend has been back towards multibit DAC's. Partly because in marketing-speak, "moreness is betterness."

In reality, 1-bit and multi-bit are simply different engineering approaches and both offer the same performance potential.
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:52 AM
 
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