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Looking for non-LCD double din: Alpine W235BT or Clarion CX501

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Caligula, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. Sep 23, 2015 at 12:30 PM
    #1
    Caligula

    Caligula [OP] It's the COVFEFE

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    Ive been looking for a basic, though high end, non touch screen double din unit. I currently have a Boss 822UA, and have been very disappointed in it, not just in sound quality, the radio reception is lousy, and the display is non dimmable and way too bright at night. Before this i had a Pyle PLRDD19UB. Worked very well, but didnt fit well in the truck, it was bigger than a standard double din.

    Im looking at the following. The Alpine W235BT. It is of high Alpine quality, only downside is that is has only one set of RCA outputs (i can adjust the fader with the gain control on the amp, but would still like this option).

    http://www.amazon.com/Alpine-CDE-W235BT-In-Dash-Receiver-Bluetooth/dp/B008869XMO

    [​IMG]

    Or the Clarion CX 501. Also of great Clarion quality, but does not look las nice as the Alpine, and i dont have any first hand experience with the brand. Though it does have 4-channel RCA outputs and is HD radio compatible.

    http://www.amazon.com/Clarion-CX501...&qid=1443036527&sr=1-1&keywords=clarion+cx501

    [​IMG]

    Anyone used either one of these, have any advice?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  2. Sep 23, 2015 at 5:17 PM
    #2
    mbrogz3000

    mbrogz3000 Well-Known Member

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    That alpine was replaced early this year with the CDE W265BT. The one your looking is actually more money, probably for the guys who collect and store car audio stuff.

    I have the w265bt and it's a great head unit. 3 pairs of RCAs, which I measured with an oscope to be a clean 5 volt peak to peak when it's turned all the way up, and it's claimed to only to be 4 volt.

    It's basically a competition grade head unit because of all the audio adjustments like a 9 band parametric eq, and timing correction all built in. The only things it doesn't have is the HD radio, and their top of the line biolite display with the cool dot matrix graphics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  3. Sep 23, 2015 at 6:27 PM
    #3
    Caligula

    Caligula [OP] It's the COVFEFE

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    Ive seen the W265BT. I would consider it but the cheapest ive seen it is for around $220 on ebay, where i can get the W235BT for $125. I also like the older look of the W235, looks less out of place in a 1st gen Tacoma.

    You seem to be well versed in these matters, can i ask what downsides there are to using Y-cables to connect a headunit with one set of RCA outputs like the W235BT to a 4 channel amp (other then lack of fader control). Does it affect the sound quality?
     
  4. Sep 24, 2015 at 11:13 AM
    #4
    mbrogz3000

    mbrogz3000 Well-Known Member

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    I see - i didn't realize there were other routes to buy the equipment at a lower price.

    Using a Y-Cable, the answer is it depends. Keeping it simple, if a Y cable is used, then your cutting your pre-amp voltage in half. This smaller signal feeding the amp means that its gain will need turned up higher to achieve the same volume without clipping.

    For your primary music amp, provided your using a high signal to noise ratio amp, it shouldn't matter too much, because you would end up setting the gain to a level your ears are comfortable, which is much lower than the clipping level. I set my primary Front and Rear with the o-scope @ 1000 Hz and -7.5 dB, and even though the sound was still clean - it was way way way too loud for my ears at the max volume. I was able to turn the gains slightly higher than half, and ultimately readjusted them again at my hearing comfort level which was only 1/4 .

    It really matters for the bass amp signal, because that signal needs to be as tall as possible before its fed to the amp. On a bass amp, most people are able to turn that gain up all the way to before-clipping without it hurting their ears. So with a higher signal voltage, you'd get more volume.

    An Audiocontrol Line Driver (or one of its varients) can be used to cleanly split a single pair of RCAs into 3 RCA, and cleanly boost the signal voltage up to the max the amp can handle, so thats another option.

    So for the full range signal, to me splitting an RCA doesn't matter too much. But splitting an RCA for a bass signal does matter and will limit the sound quality at high volume.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  5. Sep 26, 2016 at 7:12 AM
    #5
    chilioil.514

    chilioil.514 Well-Known Member

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    Prodigy P2, Alpine 235BT, Hayden Aux Trans Cooler, Scan Gauge II
    I got the 235BT and it has worked really well for me. Never had bluetooth before and now it's so easy to play music from the phone and to have phone calls run thru the stereo speakers.
     
  6. Sep 26, 2016 at 7:12 AM
    #6
    chilioil.514

    chilioil.514 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Prodigy P2, Alpine 235BT, Hayden Aux Trans Cooler, Scan Gauge II
    Forgot to include pic of the 235BT.

    upload_2016-9-26_7-12-43.jpg
     

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