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Alpine CDA-105 Headunit Review

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by IrishPilot, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. IrishPilot

    IrishPilot [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Member:
    #19104
    Messages:
    810
    Gender:
    Male
    MN
    Vehicle:
    09 TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab
    Alpine CDA-105

    http://signature.crutchfield.com/S-HqIO3ot5RLe/s_500CDA105/Alpine-CDA-105.html

    [​IMG]

    This headunit was initally used in conjunction with...

    Alpine SPS-600C component speakers.
    Alpine MRP-F300 amp
    Pioneer Shallow Mount sub
    Alpine MRP-M500 amp

    Why I Decided On The CDA-105
    I am not brand loyal, although reading the other components I used above may make you think otherwise. I spent LOTS of time on Crutchfield, the forums, and the like reviewing headunits. HOURS upon HOURS. I wanted a headunit that...

    • Single DIN in the $200 price range
    • IPOD support, prefferably REAR USB (not front only)
    • Had changeable color features (not just blue)
    • Got positive reviews from a reputable company
    • Had the option to add blue-tooth should I choose
    • Looked good and matched the "feel" of the Tacoma

    In all my searching, I always seemed to keep coming back to the CDA-105.

    The Good
    Personally, I think it looks good!
    I got both the Scosche and Metra dash kits and opted for the scosche. I liked the smooth look and the color match was close enough. The Metra had a strange grainy face that I really didnt like. The colors of the face of the CDA-105 seem to fit all the blacks, reds, and grays inside the Tacoma.

    iPOD control is pretty good!
    But not perfect. I will let you read on your own how it works, but here is what Ive found. It always connects, and scroll speed is good. I run an iPOD classic with over 80G of music...a LOT of music. Its fairly easy to navigate through it with the headunit once you get the hang of it. You can jump percentages of your ipod lists with the buttons, and its about a match for how long it takes to find stuff on the ipod itself...once you get the hang of it anyway.

    You can change some of the colors of the face
    I didnt want one of the many HUs that ONLY have blue. This one (like several of the Alpines) you can change the buttons to red/blue. It actually looks pretty good in the Taco (pics below)

    The Bad...
    Lackluster, simple, single line text.
    As soon as the sun hits the HU, you wont be able to easily read the text. IE its hard to search the ipod, read song title, etc. Funny enough, it seems fairly bright at night as well. Basically too dim during the day and too bright at night (and yes, it dims when you turn the headlights on like stock). Also when scrolling songs, playlists, artists, etc. you only get one line at a time.

    While good, iPOD control can be frustrating
    Once you have decided on an artist, if you decide to switch to a different album within that artist its not like the Ipod where you can simply...back up. You need to start completely over and click Artist...Album...Song...etc. To make things more time consuming, every time you click an option...say Artist, it will follow by showing "Artist Selection" before you are able to look at the Artists. WHY ALPINE WHY? If I selected Artist, I know what Im doing and want to look at artists. Dont remind me of what Im doing! It sadly does this for each layer (Artist, playlist, song, etc.) Also, when you first start the vehicle, the first selection is always playlist. I would prefer Artist. No biggie.

    Volume jumps are slightly eccentric
    When increasing or decreasing volume, each numerical volume change (say from level 5 to 6) is a noticeable change. Its not smooth. This is due to a smaller scale. IE increasing volume from 5 to 6 out of 100 is smoother than increasing volume from 5 to 6 out of 10. On the 105 its not terrible, but volume increases are therefore noticeably "notched" instead of smooth. Each twist of the volume knob is a noticeable bump in volume.

    Overal Id give it a 8 out of 10 for value at this price range. Several of its competitors will include blue-tooth for the same price, but they will likely come with an unprofessional look, crummy blue only face, and the bluetooth itself will get mediocre reviews anyway.

    If you are looking for a single DIN unit that looks good, works with the ipod, and is simple and simple to use. This is one of the best options out there.

    My install...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 06Bluez

    06Bluez Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Member:
    #7281
    Messages:
    956
    Gender:
    Male
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Vehicle:
    06 4x4
    Icon Coil-overs, TC UCA, with Bilstein 5150 and Icon 3 leaf pack. 17" Moto Metal 951 4.5" Backspacing wrapped in 285/70/17 BFG AT's. Demello front bumper and Avid offroad sliders.
    I have a very similar unit from Alpine not sure what exact model but it looks just like that. Its nice but searching artists can be a pain like u said but overral I really like it and it looks great.
     
  3. glandnut

    glandnut Grease Monkey

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Member:
    #19461
    Messages:
    271
    Gender:
    Male
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    09' MGM TRD DC Sport LB
    secret stuff.
    What about steering wheel controls??
     
  4. IrishPilot

    IrishPilot [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Member:
    #19104
    Messages:
    810
    Gender:
    Male
    MN
    Vehicle:
    09 TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab
    What about them? I purchased the correct steering wheel control adapter as well (you need seperately...PAC SWI-JACK) and works like a charm.
     
  5. glandnut

    glandnut Grease Monkey

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Member:
    #19461
    Messages:
    271
    Gender:
    Male
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    09' MGM TRD DC Sport LB
    secret stuff.
    Cool, thanks for the clarification- you had not mentioned them.
     
  6. IrishPilot

    IrishPilot [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Member:
    #19104
    Messages:
    810
    Gender:
    Male
    MN
    Vehicle:
    09 TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab
    Gotcha ;)
     
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