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Old 09-04-2002, 08:19 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 24030
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Vietnam
2017 Fortuner

Default Help on Kenwood or Eclipse HU?

I am purchasing either a Kenwood Excelon KDC-X859 or Eclipse CD5442 head unit this week. I need some help deciding. My listening style is 80% AM radio (sports talk), 10% FM, and 10% CD (hard rock). Therefore AM sensitivity is important to me. The Kenwood is 25 vs the Eclipse at 20. Is this a big difference? The Kenwood's FM reception is much better at 9.3 vs the Eclipse 13, again big difference? The Kenwood is the D-Mask system that flips around when turned off and the Eclipse says that it can't be used if stolen, big difference there (work in HIGH crime area)? My only other plans will be a Subaru underseat sub and speakers. Is this the sub I want? Is it powered or not? I would perfer not to get into large sub boxes and amps, but want reception and then sound, but I like the convenience of the flip face on the Kenwood. Price on the Kenwood is $450 installed and $350 installed on the Eclipse. What should I get?

Thank you all for your replys and allowing me to sleep well knowing I made the right choice!

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Old 09-04-2002, 08:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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1989 pathfinder
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sorry, i cant help you, but i just wanted to say "Dayam!" those are expensive. Good luck.

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Old 09-04-2002, 09:44 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NYC
02 WRX
15 WRX/05 GTO


Sensitivity ratings can be misleading especially between different brands, kind of like tire wear numbers. You would really need to see the entire list of specifications for the unit to evaluate the potential radio performance, such as the particulars for that sensitivity figure (i.e. db of quieting etc.), selectivity, image rejection, and so on. As far as AM performance goes it's probably the most neglected function on modern HU's since the marketing emphasis is always on CD performance first, followed by FM, and oh yeah maybe we'll put AM in there because we have to. So AM is often mediocre even on fairly expensive units, and having a whip antenna tuned for FM doesn't help.
I'd suggest buying from someplace where you can return the unit if you aren't satisfied and exchange it for a different one.
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