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Message Forums Car Stereo Message Forums > Head Units > Is the head unit a factor?
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bigmightymike24
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 Is the head unit a factor?

I wanted to know if the head unit of your stereo system is a factor in how your music sounds as in terms of the sub?

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New Post 01-06-2010 12:22 AM
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gameguru1360
Senior Member

 

most of them yes.  Most good head units come with 4v preamp outputs.  If you're lucky, some come with 5 or even 6v.  What that means is a cleaner signal to the amp.  With a 2v head unit, you'll need a very powerful amp.  Also the head unit can also tailor the sound with certain frequency settings

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New Post 01-12-2010 06:42 PM
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N2Audio
Senior Member

 

Not as big of a deal as most people think IMO. Most amps have sensitivity controls (gain) that can be set for preamps that are a fraction of a volt. Pre-amp voltage has nothing to do with the power of the amp that's needed. A standard $100 HU can get a perfectly clean signal to the amp. 4v+ hu's are nice, and they reduce the odds of having a noise issue, but if your system's quiet anyway a 2v signal will work fine. Nice HU's generally give you a lot of processing capability which is a nice feature, but not required. If the systems being set up on a budget I say speaker quality/price should be the first priority, amps second, HU 3rd.

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New Post 01-12-2010 11:42 PM
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sicaudio
Senior Member

 

while I agree with the majority of what N2 said, i feel the order is backwards i say HU,Amps, Speakers

i am just the opposite 

everything starts at the head unit

garbage in is garbage out

if the headunit has crappy sound shaping then the output will be crappy.

look at the dif in a basic HU and the way it sounds vs even  just a lower end decent featured head unit.  a good example is the 4100 vs the 5100 pioneer  same exact system only the deck changes  the 5100 is tons better sound output to the amps.

 

i am pretty opinionated about this ,  and it is not based on anything other than real world experience with 10's of thousands of deck installs.

 

the easy way to look at is this:

the head unit is the sound processor, if it doesnt do that very well you are just amplifying that crappy sound and compunding the crappy sound and making it louder,  no amp can make a crappy deck sound better.

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New Post 01-13-2010 03:49 PM
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audiolife
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1.Speakers 2.Processors (eq/crossovers) 3.Headunit 4.Amplifiers.

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New Post 01-13-2010 07:00 PM
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sicaudio
Senior Member

 

if the headunit is crappy then the best amps in the world are gonna amplify that

smae as the speakers if they have a junk signal thats what they will reproduce

 

it all goes right back to garbage in = garbage out.

the way you guys make it sound is that i can use a cheap walmart vr3   $65 deck and still get good sound with a nice eq amps and speakers and that is far from true.

 

speakers and amps do what they are told and the head unit is what tells them what to do.

 

 

just think about that ;)

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New Post 01-13-2010 07:25 PM
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audiolife
Member

 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 01-13-2010 by sicaudio

if the headunit is crappy then the best amps in the world are gonna amplify that

smae as the speakers if they have a junk signal thats what they will reproduce

 

it all goes right back to garbage in = garbage out.

the way you guys make it sound is that i can use a cheap walmart vr3   $65 deck and still get good sound with a nice eq amps and speakers and that is far from true.

 

speakers and amps do what they are told and the head unit is what tells them what to do.

 

 

just think about that ;)



So you are saying I cant get good sound from a Kenwood KDC MP142? Heck Best Buy has a handful of CD players that can be had for under $100 that you can get good sound.

Speakers and processing can make huge full percentage differences in sound while propperly working CD players and amplifiers  set up correctly don't.

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sicaudio
Senior Member

 

i was referring to crappy off brand low quality decks not low cost,

  their are at least a dozen decks under 150$ that are all good quality  but their are also alot that are over 250 that are horrible.

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New Post 01-15-2010 01:48 AM
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Ripnrob
Member

 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 01-13-2010 by sicaudio
while I agree with the majority of what N2 said, i feel the order is backwards i say HU,Amps, Speakers

i am just the opposite 

everything starts at the head unit

garbage in is garbage out

if the headunit has crappy sound shaping then the output will be crappy.

look at the dif in a basic HU and the way it sounds vs even  just a lower end decent featured head unit.  a good example is the 4100 vs the 5100 pioneer  same exact system only the deck changes  the 5100 is tons better sound output to the amps.

 

i am pretty opinionated about this ,  and it is not based on anything other than real world experience with 10's of thousands of deck installs.

 

the easy way to look at is this:

the head unit is the sound processor, if it doesnt do that very well you are just amplifying that crappy sound and compunding the crappy sound and making it louder,  no amp can make a crappy deck sound better.



 See this is why I listen to sicaudio,and I don't listen to many.I Have had a bad stereo addiction for years,my .02 Your amps can only AMPLIFY the signal they are given so the more important decision is made for you, deck(signal)#1 imp...with amps the 2ND IMPORTANT....and the speakers ....once again are taken 2ND to signal clarity (now amplified)

  so they come in last...You cant polish a turd ? my opinion

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sicaudio
Senior Member

 

thank you Rob,  sometimes my point comes across wrong or I don't explain it very well.

you would never know that my 1st college degree was as an english major lolz....

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New Post 01-15-2010 11:23 AM
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N2Audio
Senior Member

 

Posted by Sic: "i feel the order is backwards i say HU,Amps, Speakers"

I just can't agree with that at all. Everything matters, but I think if you're going to spend some money speakers are by far the most critical.

There's about a 1% chance of building a decent sound sytem if your speakers are terrible even if you have $2000 in McIntosh amps and $500 in a Nak head unit.  But I guarantee you with just some moderately priced GOOD speakers, maybe $100-150 comps and about the same price sub, some cheapish amps -- Crunch for example -- and about $100 on an entry level Pio/Ken etc. HU there would be no reason not to expect very good sound quality.

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New Post 01-15-2010 01:41 PM
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sicaudio
Senior Member

 

again i didnt speak clearly and was misunderstood

 

if any part of the setup is cheap quality you cannot get good sq.

a decent deck with decent amp and speakers can sound very good,  but if 1 part of that is cheap quality nothing will make it sound good.  i dont care if you have the best amps and speakers if the deck is sub par then the output to the amps is gonna amp that.  same goes like N2 said a great deck with crappy speakers will not sound as good  but it does make a difference.  i have used some pretty crappy speakers and still got decent sound with a good deck and/or amp by tweeking it some.

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New Post 01-15-2010 02:01 PM
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larrypeters86
Member

 

IMO as long as the cheap hu at least has a 24 bit dac it will make a huge diff. The voltage *I agree with n2. Spend more money and get more processing. The Pioneers just piss me off. The only way to get afore mentioned da is to spend 400 plus. Pretty damm good sound on a budget would be Kenwood.Yes 24 bit.....Then again if all you listen to is compressed Ipod who cares.

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paulc35
Member

 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 01-13-2010 by sicaudio
while I agree with the majority of what N2 said, i feel the order is backwards i say HU,Amps, Speakers

i am just the opposite 

everything starts at the head unit

garbage in is garbage out

if the headunit has crappy sound shaping then the output will be crappy.

look at the dif in a basic HU and the way it sounds vs even  just a lower end decent featured head unit.  a good example is the 4100 vs the 5100 pioneer  same exact system only the deck changes  the 5100 is tons better sound output to the amps.

 

i am pretty opinionated about this ,  and it is not based on anything other than real world experience with 10's of thousands of deck installs.

 

the easy way to look at is this:

the head unit is the sound processor, if it doesnt do that very well you are just amplifying that crappy sound and compunding the crappy sound and making it louder,  no amp can make a crappy deck sound better.



Couldn't agree more.

They're all equally important, but if your head unit is of low quality. "garbage in garbage out", but I guess if your only talking about the sub and the sub only I guess you could skimp on the h/u and I would say the Amp becomes the most important as with the sub itself, but I don't know why anyone would consider the sub only unless the music doesn't really matter and its only about boom,boom, boom.  *L*

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New Post 01-18-2010 02:40 AM
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audiolife
Member

 RE: Is the head unit a factor?

quote:
Originally posted on 01-06-2010 by bigmightymike24

I wanted to know if the head unit of your stereo system is a factor in how your music sounds as in terms of the sub?



actually my headunit is only a transport so not really my DA is in my processor

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New Post 01-18-2010 02:48 AM
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