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My GF and I have been looking at mid-range quality CD receivers, as hers had quit in her pathfinder.

We had been looking at a Sony, a Pioneer, and the above-mentioned Blaupunkt.

The Pioneer (I think their base CD player model), got axed once we got our hands on one at Circuit City. I was fiddling with the EQ, and with almost no boost to the bass at all, it started clipping nastily... My GF and I listen to a lot of techno, so it should have bass support. We aren't expecting a receiver without a sub to hit like a ton of bricks, but at least to be solid, even if it is quiet.

We couldn't find a Blaupunkt unit, so I looked at Crutchfield's return policy, liked it, and ordered it. Spent a week or two on back-order, arrived on Friday.

Install looked like it would be pretty easy, Crutchfield sent all the adapters, but soldering was going to be required (I was ok with that). We pull the GF's dash apart to get the old (dead) pioneer out, and I discover that when the PO had the stereo installed, they didn't fab up a harness to go from the factory connectors to the new radio, but just spliced into the factory wires... A mess.

2 hours later, we actually install the radio. It was a breeze. Everything from crutchfield made it cake-walk, aside from 20 minutes of soldering wires together and taping things up nicely. Although all the wires were labeled, and color-coded. Anyone with a $10 crimp-tool and some crimp splices could have done the wiring work in 5 minutes.

The install is super-clean. Very impressed.

FM:

FM reception is stronger than the previous unit (was a concern with the numbers on the Blaupunkt), but it turns out that the only ground the previous unit had was the shielding on the antenna co-ax... OOPS!

Sound:

Stuck in a cd (Sisters of Mercy), and was immediately impressed. The speakers are pretty crappy, not stock, but still not great. On par with my stock Infinity system in the Ram. But the DA is NICE in this unit. Very clean sound. You could hear everything. Fiddled with the EQ settings a bit, got some more bass reinforcement, and decided that we need at least new 6x9s to handle the bass better.

Went to switch to the Matrix sound-track... CD wouldn't eject. Was getting hung up on a lip of the "inner" face-plate (the black surface that shows when the detachable face-plate is removed).

Pulled the radio out, took this "inner" faceplate off, and increased the size of the opening so that the ejected cds would come out (5 minutes with a utility knife...), and put it back together.

The main test-tracks that caught my attention were the Propeller heads track from the matrix, and Tori Amos. There are samples on the matrix track that just are not audible through the muddy bass of the Ram's speakers, that were crystal clear with this setup. I was very impressed.

Tori Amos was amazing... Piano is full, wonderfully detailed, and her voice just sends shivers...

I'm thinking that I need to do something with the Ram... The GF has an 87 Pathfinder, with ok speakers in it, and this head-unit just made it sound amazing.

Not bad for $170-180.

I HIGHLY recommend this unit to someone looking for good sound, at a low budget. Oh, and 24Wx4 continuous, 50wx4 peak, and we are currently limited by speakers maxing out extension, not by clipping of the amp. I'm actually thinking they may "soft-clip" the amp because we get no increase in bass if we go beyond a certain point, but there isn't the distortion from clipping that annoys me so much in my Ram.

But we plan on taking advantage of the 4 pre-amp outputs and kicking up the wattage in the future... :):
 
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