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Smooth Simple SQ Headunit Help Please


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#1 senior800

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Posted 07 Nov 2010 - 21:46

Trip to Turners has made me think I might need to add a headunit in.

I want something very simple and straight to the point (next to no processing etc. no need for an amp) and all it needs to do is play CD's.

Second hand will be the most likely thing so I'd like some help on what headunits there are.

The obvious for me would be a Mc mx406 but they don't seem to be easy to find at the moment.

Am thinking maybe the lower end Denon's? (provided I can take them a part and anodise them black...)

It can be single or double din, price wise I don't know (If I want something enough I'll find the money but more likely something that I can find for £1-300.) Any help of things to look for would be greatly appreciated thanks.

#2 Twonks

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Posted 07 Nov 2010 - 22:42

If you like older styles, a Kenwood PS 905 would take some beating.

Newer then the obvious choice is a Pioneer P88.

#3 Agi

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Posted 07 Nov 2010 - 22:45

DRX 9255? There was one in the FS section.
I love mine!

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#4 alarming Marc

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Posted 07 Nov 2010 - 22:49

The clarion does sound good, but not easy to use... What about looking at the nakamichi range....

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#5 senior800

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Posted 07 Nov 2010 - 22:51

The p88 is too complicated for what I want.

Really just want a CD player that sounds amazing on it's own with only external tinkering.

Am just looking at the DRX though - Very tempting. Am I right in saying it's basically a mx406 with fast forward/rewind buttons? (apart from the fact it's seriously ugly :P )

How's it not easy to use?

edit: whats the difference between the hx-d1 and drx9255?

And havn't looked at nak's yet - which should I be looking at?

Edited by senior800, 07 Nov 2010 - 23:03.


#6 Here-I-Come

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Posted 08 Nov 2010 - 00:59

The p88 is too complicated for what I want.

Really just want a CD player that sounds amazing on it's own with only external tinkering.

Am just looking at the DRX though - Very tempting. Am I right in saying it's basically a mx406 with fast forward/rewind buttons? (apart from the fact it's seriously ugly :P )

How's it not easy to use?

edit: whats the difference between the hx-d1 and drx9255?

And havn't looked at nak's yet - which should I be looking at?


You would be correct the DRX9255 and the MX406 are basically the same unit.

HX-D1 and the Mac MX5000 are 97% the same unit, - a few caps in the MX5000 that the HX-D1 doesn't have and the MX5000 has a Digital output, for use with the MDA5000.

Hope that help a bit.

The DRX I have up for grabs in the for sale section is neither the MX406 nor any longer a standard DRX. It has been modified to be the purest SQ unit possible available for car audio.

All the the following units can be modified to this level. That includes the DRX9255, DRX9255EXL, HX-D1, Mac MX406, Mac MX5000 and Mac MX4000, All these units share many of the same components and design features.

Edited by Here-I-Come, 08 Nov 2010 - 01:03.

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#7 senior800

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Posted 08 Nov 2010 - 01:11

You would be correct the DRX9255 and the MX406 are basically the same unit.

HX-D1 and the Mac MX5000 are 97% the same unit, - a few caps in the MX5000 that the HX-D1 doesn't have and the MX5000 has a Digital output, for use with the MDA5000.

Hope that help a bit.

The DRX I have up for grabs in the for sale section is neither the MX406 nor any longer a standard DRX. It has been modified to be the purest SQ unit possible available for car audio.

All the the following units can be modified to this level. That includes the DRX9255, DRX9255EXL, HX-D1, Mac MX406, Mac MX5000 and Mac MX4000, All these units share many of the same components and design features.


Thanks. Useful info! I would be interested in your unit but in reality it's more than I should be spending on a unit which isn't going to be my main music source.

At the moment I'm thinking I'll get a DRX9255 (and then possibly) re-design/change the front panel to make it a little more desirable. Seems the cheapest option to get a good result.

(as I'm clueless in this stuff:) are there any disadvantages to running an old headunit? will I not be able to play burnt discs? Also reading stuff about discs jumping a fair bit on them...

#8 Here-I-Come

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Posted 08 Nov 2010 - 02:30

Thanks. Useful info! I would be interested in your unit but in reality it's more than I should be spending on a unit which isn't going to be my main music source.

At the moment I'm thinking I'll get a DRX9255 (and then possibly) re-design/change the front panel to make it a little more desirable. Seems the cheapest option to get a good result.

(as I'm clueless in this stuff:) are there any disadvantages to running an old headunit? will I not be able to play burnt discs? Also reading stuff about discs jumping a fair bit on them...


The only thing I have notice on some older units is with really cheap CDrs, they sometimes read them and something that don't. From what I have been told is that the film used to make the CDr is not dense enough or should be a darker color. I just buy higher quality CDr's, not the highest by any means, but not the 100 for 15 dollars deals and I have never had an issue. I've used a the PS-905 man love this unit, My personally favorite the Eclipse ECD units and also the DRX. And many older Pioneer and other Clarion units.
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#9 senior800

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Posted 08 Nov 2010 - 12:12

Ok thanks. Should do the job I want it for pretty solidly then! Am currently in a couple of negotiations on DRX's - thinking I might go for one of these (as they're fairly cheap) and then keep an eye out for a Mcintosh to replace it.

Will any clarion CD changer with the correct input cable work or do I have to find something in-particular to fit it?

#10 Agi

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Posted 08 Nov 2010 - 12:20

The clarion does sound good, but not easy to use... What about looking at the nakamichi range....


Not easy to use?
Are you joking?
It's like put the Cd in and it plays, then click the next button for the next track. It's the easiest HU I have ever used!

The clarion changers are quite common but the cables (more importantly the optical cables) are few and far between.

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#11 yuri

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Posted 08 Nov 2010 - 12:31

i have a brand new in the box fiber optic cable ......ha ha .....................
before the mods have a fit ,,,,
its not for sale

#12 Ryan.

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Posted 08 Nov 2010 - 12:58

what about a P77?
very easy to use, sound very nice and looks superb

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#13 shaheenk

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Posted 09 Nov 2010 - 12:59

Other options to consider.

Kenwood KDC-01
Nak CD45Z
Alpine 7949 or 7944
Alpine 7939 - CD Max I think it was

#14 hot wheels

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Posted 09 Nov 2010 - 13:48

i'd look to a P77 quite retro in looks and very warm sounding does have an internal amp though but i'm pretty sure it can be turned off either that or a P90

#15 Bubba

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Posted 09 Nov 2010 - 19:11

Ben H on here had a Denon DCT-1000r I think he was struggling to sell, might be worth giving him a shout to see if he still has it.

Edited by Bubba, 09 Nov 2010 - 19:12.


#16 senior800

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Posted 09 Nov 2010 - 23:51

Thanks for the ideas guys.

Struggling getting over me wanting a Mcintosh but they're proving hard to find at a decent price (I've been half looking for an mx406 for 6 months+.)

What would people think of me getting a Pionner CQ-TX5500? (the tube one.) Trying to work out how I can make one black now :)

#17 Here-I-Come

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Posted 10 Nov 2010 - 23:34

Ben H on here had a Denon DCT-1000r I think he was struggling to sell, might be worth giving him a shout to see if he still has it.


Very nice unit. Really like the Denon DCT-1000r
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#18 senior800

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Posted 10 Nov 2010 - 23:41

Very nice unit. Really like the Denon DCT-1000r


I quite like the look of it too. He's closed the thread though so i presume it's sold.

Am finding myself really tempted by the panasonic bottleneck. I can anodize it fine myself - its just what to do with the markings on it. I don't have an etcher :(

Also mcintosh mx4000 - is that pointless on it's own without the dac?

#19 kris lee

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Posted 11 Nov 2010 - 13:59

Another vote for the Pioneer P77 from me, lovely looking & sounding unit
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#20 collapsed sewer

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Posted 12 Nov 2010 - 01:05

There's a beautiful Denon DCT-R1 still for sale in the classifieds

Edited by collapsed sewer, 12 Nov 2010 - 01:06.

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