Stereo Recommendations?

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Stereo Recommendations?

Postby basher » Fri 31.03.2017, 20:59

Hi. I need some help/expert advice.
I was looking to upgrade the stereo in the Elan to something more modern.
I have at the moment:-
Alpine TOM7555R HEAD UNIT- which still has cassette, unfortunately the LCD display has gone in places so you can't see what radio station its on or what CD is playing.
Alpine CHM5601 6 PLAY CD MULTICHANGER- which is the size of a biscuit tin- seems to still work perfectly however, its a bit sniffy about burnt CD's.
A MEGAVOX M8200 CX MOSFET AMPLIFIER- Which is also the size of a small biscuit tin.

I was going to leave the old system in, it works OK. The Élan's an old lady and I was quite happy to leave her with an old stereo - however.
The lack of display is a bit of a pain.
The CD multi-changer and Amp take up a fair bit of space in the boot and I can't really spare it on long trips.
What I know about stereo's I could write on a stamp. I'm assuming that amp's have shrunk in the past 27 years if I still need one and I would be happy with one CD in the face unit if necessary so that would save that space in the boot.

So I have the following requirements:-
Older look/style.
CD in head unit.
Ability to plug in IPOD or maybe SD card.
DAB?
Bluetooth
Powerful enough to hear something with the roof down.
Not ridiculously expensive, because you can't hear much with the roof down anyway (or I'm already deaf) so it seems wasteful

Any suggestions or ideas would be gratefully received.

Thanks
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby Steve A » Fri 31.03.2017, 21:12

The thing is with soft tops, a good sound system is wasted because you have to have it up so LOUD TO HEAR IT YOU WILL DAMAGE YOUR EARS :roll:
I prefer the sound of the exhaust (which is probably also damaging my ears) :wink:
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby Saltire » Fri 31.03.2017, 21:43

My Elan came with a MiniDisc player - remember those? It didn't work, so I dropped it for one of these.

Very pleased so far - it pairs faultlessly with the phone, BT audio is great,and I have either DAB or FM depending on coverage. Plus there's a CD slot, though I never use it. Easy to fit, links up to existing speakers and aerial, and you can add an external amp if you want.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby lotusflasherman » Fri 31.03.2017, 22:38

Older look/style.
CD in head unit.
Ability to plug in IPOD or maybe SD card.
DAB?
Bluetooth
Powerful enough to hear something with the roof down.
Not ridiculously expensive


Did you forgot 'makes tea and coffee' :lol:
Don't think DAB & Older Look will be available - depends what Older Look is of course ...

I've got a Blaupunkt Brisbane which plays MP3 from SD cards, phone or tablet via jack plug or bluetooth. A couple of large capacity SD cards holds the equivalent of a boot full of CD's and has no CD player so it's much lighter and was very inexpensive. I fitted a Nokia Car Phone (hands free) kit with mine but the current Brisbane has phone connectivity built in. :banghead:
4x50 W Max output enough to get past wind noise and my tinnitus... and I got to empty the central armrest of CD's :-D

Spec' here ... blaupunkt.com Brisbane

£94 on Amazon here .. www.amazon.co.uk/Blaupunkt-Brisbane-230-Radio-Bluetooth

Oh... you can change the display colour to match instruments lighting too... and it has a clock display you can see !

Just think of all the lightness you can add when you empty the boot and change the head.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby dunnlor » Sun 02.04.2017, 20:13

I'm using a Pioneer DEH-80PRS receiver. Comes with a dash mike that is similar in color to the dash.

Features I like:
• Automatic sound leveler (ASL) – Automatically increases the sound volume as background noise increases. Five sensitivity levels are available. As background noise increases during acceleration and cruising, the sound volume goes up. The sound volume decreases as I slow for a traffic signal. Works great with the top down.
• Music volume is muted when cell phone call is received.

Features I don’t like:
• The radio antenna raises whenever the receiver is on. I usually play CD’s so don’t need or want the antenna raised. My previous receiver raised the antenna only when radio mode was selected.

Two operating modes are available:
• 3-way network - Lets you create a 3-way multi-amp, multi-speaker system with separate speakers for reproduction of high, middle, and low frequencies, each driven by a dedicated power amp.
• Standard – Lets you create a 4-speaker system with front and rear speakers, or a 6-speaker system with front, rear and sub-woofer speakers. I'm using the standard mode.

Tom

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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby rip » Mon 03.04.2017, 09:07

USB is more common than SD for the head unit.

Being able to see the display in bright daylight (with the top down) is something you may not have thought of. Most modern head units are fine in this respect.

Most head units are 50W x4 peak. Amps are quoted in RMS. I only partially understand what RMS is but 50W RMS is much more power than 50W peak. 50W peak will run out of puff in the bass frequencies with the volume up & the standard size speakers (10cm in the door & 13cm behind the seats IIRC) will not be able to drive these frequencies very well anyway.
The standard speaker locations are low so most of the treble gets lost before it gets to your ears, making the sound very dead.

When considering volume, be mindful of a speaker's frequency response. Volume doubles with an increase of 3db so a 92dB pair of speakers will sound 4 times as loud as an 86dB one.

Amps have not shrunk much. They need to dissipate heat & this dictates their size.

I agree with Steve though. With the roof down, the music has to compete with lots of wind noise. I am sure that if someone measured the noise levels in a open-top car, they would be considered dangerous.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby lotusflasherman » Mon 03.04.2017, 10:10

rip wrote: I am sure that if someone measured the noise levels in a open-top car, they would be considered dangerous.


Pardon? :lol:

Nothing like as dangerous as Jim Marshall's products when used by Clapton, Hendrix and Townsend... bit of wind noise covers my tinnitus nicely.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby basher » Mon 03.04.2017, 22:35

Thanks for all the advice.
Drove the Elan for the first time this year and for a short while on the way back I did try driving with the stereo on and the lid off and you do have to have it loud to even distinguish what your playing.
Added to which, even with it off I can barely hear the missus in the passenger seat which may or may not be a good thing..
So much so that she was looking at a motorbike communication set for when we tackle the North Coast 500.

Hopefully she can sort the tea and coffee and I won't need it from the stereo!! :cheers:

What I went for in the end was a well recommended reasonably priced system which had most of what I was looking for
Pure Highway H270s
We've looked at Pure equipment before and been impressed with the sound quality so should be good.
Also has the ability to change the display colour which is handy to match to the rest of the display.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby Graaf » Thu 06.04.2017, 09:26

Lotusflasherman and basher, I'm looking to change the radio in my car as it only picks up radio Nottingham!

Are the units you are using a straight forward fit and do they use the original black aerial?

Thanks
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 06.04.2017, 13:35

Graaf wrote:Lotusflasherman and basher, I'm looking to change the radio in my car as it only picks up radio Nottingham!

Are the units you are using a straight forward fit and do they use the original black aerial?

Thanks


Yeah, my Blaupunkt Brisbane was easy and uses the OE black aerial and works fine. I'm not sure about DAB working with that aerial so didn't go DAB - no doubt others can advise on that.
It came with leads for all the new facilities - a mini jackplug (like earphones) and a lead with a female USB and also has Bluetooth and SD card slot so MP3 files can be played from any source.
Did not come with a power/speaker leads because if removing a Blaupunkt or similar DIN setup they will plug straight in... (Edit: just opened the box to get the Manual out and found unused power/speaker leads, so were supplied).
if not leads and other bits are available here ...blaupunktdirect.co.uk car-audio-accessories

It also has an input and functions for CD changers but I only had single CD head unit before and wanted to get away from CD's anyway - 'add lightness' !
Mine had 'phone functionality' that I set up with a Nokia CK-300 kit but new ones have phone functions built in so no kit needed. I can hear caller & they can hear me even with hood down.

Audio output is quoted as '4 x 26 watt sine' (a.k.a RMS) & '4 x 50 watt max. power' (a.k.a peak power). Unit has a 10 amp fuse in it.
Recent comments about loudness was mystifying me so I turned mine up full for the first time ever yesterday.
VERY LOUD - nearly blew my ears out but I did blow the 'Radio' Fuse in the battery compartment which was a 5 amp (Page 52 in Handbook [Fuse 1]) so I've just replaced it with a 10 amp.
4x26 = 104 watts; 104/12 = 8.66 amps so not surprising the OE 5 amp fuse didn't like it...
Last edited by lotusflasherman on Thu 06.04.2017, 20:51, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby rip » Thu 06.04.2017, 20:19

I believe DAB requires a completely different aerial & these fit across the top of the windscreen.
Seems a bit odd because my HiFi tuner has a DAB aerial more like an FM car aerial & its FM aerial is a big 'T'!

Thankfully Lotus inherited Vauxhall's standard of using the industry standard DIN connections, not gone their own way like some other manufacturers which then require a convertor loom or some butchery.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby Graaf » Fri 07.04.2017, 09:10

Thanks for the responses guys.

I must admit that I thought that it would need a different aerial fo dab but I think I'll stick with fm as I get sick of dab disappearing in my other car!

At least I now know what my birthday prezzie will be.

Thanks again.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 07.04.2017, 10:41

You don't necessarily need a separate/different aerial for DAB.

Just buy one of these and it's job done.

However, I don't know if this works with an amplified aerial: but it certainly works with an ordinary standard aerial.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby basher » Fri 07.04.2017, 22:03

hi Graff, I haven't got the stereo yet, it's a birthday present.
As soon as I get it I'll let you know about the fit.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby tigerdog » Sat 08.04.2017, 20:24

If want contemporary functionality and old-school looks, I highly recommend thisKienzle MCR-1016 head unit. I ordered one from amazon.de and had it in California in about a week. Installation was straightforwad since it uses ISO/DIN connectors and I had previously fitted a Blaupunkt unit. In the Elan dashboard, it looks 100% factory stock - really, better than the original units I've seen. Here's a link to the post I did about my installation: http://forum.lotuselancentral.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=24425 Since the photos were take, I used a bit of solvent to remove the silver paint on the single knob, to make it blend even better. I understand it's not DAB, but the SD slot in the front means I have all the tunes I want, right at my fingertips. Bluetooth integration means I can also link my phone for music and turn-by-turn navigation. Sound quality is definitely a big step up from the Blaupunkt it replaced.
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby peteoddcar » Sat 08.04.2017, 21:19

Got an Alpine in my car - I still have the Bluapunkt Montrose - that was what we put in as standard - we had RDS in a production car when most were still thinking about it.
I keep meaning to look on EBay for another so I can mod it to take a 3.5 mm input jack to to run the iPod.
I also replaced the speakers as the oldies had rotted - Pioneer fronts and 6x9 Infinty rear.
As I was told many times by the bosses " Don't worry too much about the stereo - nobody buys a Lotu :) s for the sound system "
That said we went to extraordinary lengths to get the radio to perform as good as a Vauxhall Cavalier reception and interference perforformance and we were not going to use a horrid Phillips unit from the GM parts bin.
:D
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby Graaf » Sun 09.04.2017, 10:57

tigerdog wrote:If want contemporary functionality and old-school looks, I highly recommend thisKienzle MCR-1016 head unit. I ordered one from amazon.de and had it in California in about a week. Installation was straightforwad since it uses ISO/DIN connectors and I had previously fitted a Blaupunkt unit. In the Elan dashboard, it looks 100% factory stock - really, better than the original units I've seen. Here's a link to the post I did about my installation: http://forum.lotuselancentral.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=24425 Since the photos were take, I used a bit of solvent to remove the silver paint on the single knob, to make it blend even better. I understand it's not DAB, but the SD slot in the front means I have all the tunes I want, right at my fingertips. Bluetooth integration means I can also link my phone for music and turn-by-turn navigation. Sound quality is definitely a big step up from the Blaupunkt it replaced.


I do like the looks of that, as you say quite retro!
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby Graaf » Mon 24.04.2017, 15:49

Well, I've fitted the new Blaupunkt Brisbane but it sounds like the speakers are shot.

Any recommendations?

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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby peteoddcar » Mon 24.04.2017, 19:17

" I also replaced the speakers as the originals had rotted - I used Pioneer fronts and 6x9 Infinty rear." But only because I had them in stock - pretty much any decent quality units will be a vast improvement.

The originals were not the greatest quality although they were optimised by ELAC based in South Wales but hood down sound was always hopeless above about 25 mph.

The hood up road noise is also far too high and seems to be at frequency that cancels most of the noise from the audio....
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Re: Stereo Recommendations?

Postby lotusflasherman » Mon 24.04.2017, 19:32

Graaf wrote:Well, I've fitted the new Blaupunkt Brisbane but it sounds like the speakers are shot.

Any recommendations?

Thanks


:lol: Brisbane has got 'a lotta welly" hasn't it?
My OE damp paper cones didn't last long after I'd fitted my 'Brisbane', so I tried these, after I'd sprayed them 'satin black' . Being waterproof the cones are plastic but can handle the power OK.
They sound Great to me but I've got tinnitus due to sitting in a race car and standing watching Clapton, Hendrix & Townsend using Marshall amp stacks so my only criteria is 'loud enough to get past the hiss'...
www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Waterproof-Speakers-80W-5-4-Speakers-2Pair-fittings-Cable-Boat-Bathroom-AQ04-/172384922371
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