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 Post subject: Best Head Unit Out There
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:28 am 
LE Member

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:44 pm
Posts: 8
Year and Trim: 2004 GXP
What's the best head unit out there right now? I need it to fit an 2004 GXP. Has to have steering wheel radio controls and all the latest bells and whistles, front cam, back up cam, GPS, Android, bluetooth connection, everything. What's everyone using?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:13 am 
GXP Member
GXP Member

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:34 pm
Posts: 285
Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2002 Bonneville SE STOLEN
2001-05 Bonneville GXPI

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:18 pm 
LE Member
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:28 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Ontario, Canada
Year and Trim: 1984 Bonneville, base model.

It really depends on your budget.

I suggest going with an Alpine unit, if you are willing to spend the extra money, and want control over your EQ, to get that heavy bass.

Otherwise, Pioneer is great if you are looking to save a bit of $$$.

Either way, I want to say the aftermarket stereos, from the late 90s to early 2000s are best in my opinion. I had a CDA-9807 that came with my Bonneville, but I swapped it for a TDM-7574 cassette player.

Best of luck!

"What the f*** is the point of driving, if the ride doesn't reflect the person behind the wheel?"


PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:22 pm 
SLE Member
SLE Member

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:07 am
Posts: 56
Year and Trim: 2001 SSEi
I would really like some input as well. I still have the Bose factory system, but have started having issues with the RH sound cutting out intermittently. Ruled out the amp, despite various repair shop blogs claiming that was almost certainly the issue, so have finally decided that a stereo upgrade is imminent, even though I would have to bite the bullet and upgrade the amp and speakers as well.

Problem is mostly the depth, I think. I would like a dvd player, bluetooth, SW controls and front USB -- really don't want/need XM, cameras, or much of anything else -- but Crutchfield, my usual go-to for car stereo gear, doesn't show anything compatible in a dvd player and I believe it is due to the depth constraints. Several articles here talk about using a dremel to carve out the back of the dash box, which is perfectly acceptable, but I'd much rather being doing the carving for the correct unit.

The SW controls will have to be handled by a 3rd-party harness, I'm sure -- again, several posts on this site talk about that -- but which current head units would make for the best choices?

For that matter, which amp would be the best match? I don't want to clutter up the trunk with a massive sub, and there are often enough people in the car that I'm not terribly excited about the idea of the rear deck speakers acting solely as woofers -- I always wondered why people in the backseat were unimpressed with the factory sound, when from the driver's seat it sounded great, until I rode in the back one day. So does that mean a six channel amp, with the front tweeters powered by the channels running the two front speakers, two channels for the rear doors, and two channels for the rear deck speakers? Not too many six-channel amps out there, at least for my budget. (Yes, I know I could get exactly the right system for my taste for only three or four times the worth of the car, and everything else comes down to compromise, but I would like to know just what it is I'm compromising away...)

How much power? I tend to like my music louder, although my wife doesn't. So it needs to be clear at lower volumes, but still be able to deliver good volume for a wide range of music -- I like classic rock, classical instrumental, bluegrass, a cappella, blues, boogie, Broadway, and more. The SSEi is a pretty quiet car, but road noise still leaks in. So 45 watts? 75? I don't usually want my neighbors to hear me coming in from the highway, and I don't want to scare cats, dogs, and deer (well, maybe deer) while driving, but I also like to be able to actually hear lyrics.

And then choosing speakers... yikes. I can't even go there yet.

I usually do a lot of research before spending money, but this is an area where most articles/videos either assume too much background knowledge or don't go into enough detail to be helpful, and I don't want to spend six months learning enough about electronics and sound just to pick out a system. I also don't like having other people work on my cars unless it really is something I can't handle - and installing a sound system is well within my abilities provided I have the proper gear assembled.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:41 am 
SLE Member
SLE Member

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:07 am
Posts: 56
Year and Trim: 2001 SSEi
Finally settled on a Kenwood DMX907S, along with adaptors to allow steering wheel controls and tying it to the original amp. Amp and speaker upgrade will come at a later date.

Picked this one because it has all the bells and whistles, 6-channel pre-amp outputs at 4 volts, plus a 6.95" capacitive (glass) screen. The only downside I could find is that I will have to Dremel out the back of the bay. I could have gone with a reactive screen and not had to open the bay, or a cheaper glass screen with 5-channel, 2 volt outputs, but I decided to get it all. I'll update after I get it in.

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