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  #1  
Old July 29th, 2019, 08:04
Rob Mayercik's Avatar
Rob Mayercik Rob Mayercik is offline
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Shopping for new radio...

Well, over the weekend I tried to turn on the radio in the Jeep and found that it wasn't lighting up. Found/replaced the blown fuse (think I did that Voltmeter-probing the cig. lighter). Now it works, but the display doesn't.

This is an old Kenwood KRC-308s (AM/FM/Cass with a CD changer port in back I've never used) that I bought back in 2001 when the factory tape deck started auto-ejecting tapes when I hit bumps on the road. Since everything but the display works, I concluded that the radio itself appears OK and the failure is just in the faceplate. Kenwood actually has a replacement module available for $40 (too much given the age), but I scored a used "tested good" one on eBay for $8 shipped (after a $5 eBay coupon popped up on my screen) - too good a deal to pass up.

I'll have that in a couple days and hopefully will solve the immediate problem (if not, I'm only out $8), but have started looking for something more recent to replace it with.

Seeing a couple of lower-cost brands I don't recognize in the single-DIN market these days - Boss, Axxera, Dual. Reviews seem mixed, anyone here ever tried one of these? Kind of leaning more in the direction of the more familiar names - JVC, Kenwood, Sony, Alpine (though some of those are a fair bit of money just for the unit - not counting the installation/wiring necessities).

Any particular models stand out here? Not looking for audiophile-level here, just something that sounds decent, isn't discoball-obnoxious, is reasonably easy to manipulate blindly while driving. Want AM/FM, CD, USB, Aux.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old July 29th, 2019, 08:27
chickenbot chickenbot is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

This JVC looks decent
https://www.walmart.com/ip/JVC-KDSR8...late/480923373

This is what I run b/c I don't use CDs anymore. Plus its cheap
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dual-Electronics-XDM16BT-High-Resolution-LCD-Single-DIN-Car-Stereo-with-Built-In-Bluetooth-USB-MP3-Player/54596679?athcpid=54596679&athpgid=athenaItemPage&a thcgid=null&athznid=PWVUB&athieid=v0&athstid=CS020 &athguid=94ca7ffc-d0e-16c3e1eebb72f7&athena=true
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  #3  
Old July 29th, 2019, 09:02
Heavyopp Heavyopp is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

I have a JVC similar to the 1st one linked by chicken above and a Sony in my jeeps -- they both suck

They sound good, have CD, sub outs and all that but the buttons are not old guy friendly

Hit a bump while changing the volume and you end up pushing the volume button and screwing up something you didn't mean to

Forget trying to see what the buttons are without your reading glasses

I can't set the clock without reading directions on the internet -- point is there is too many small buttons that do silly useless crap

Next radio I put in is a fusion marine radio without CD -- rarely use CD and dont carry many in the jeep, they take up too much space

One big knob and just a few buttons -- cost a little more but I think it's worth it to not have that disco ball crap in my dash

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_917RA7...at=&awug=96672
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  #4  
Old July 29th, 2019, 09:29
tumble tumble is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

I've shared it before in the forum, but I really like my OEM radio from 1FactoryRadio. They take an original OEM radio and upgrade with hidden bluetooth or aux.
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  #5  
Old July 29th, 2019, 11:23
Rob Mayercik's Avatar
Rob Mayercik Rob Mayercik is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

Chickenbot,

I'll have to see if I can find that JVC in a store near me, so I can see it up close. I like that it can show the clock even when off, but I'd like to see if it shows the clock in all modes too - that's something my Kenwood does, and I want to try and keep that capability since in '92 the only clock Jeep put in the truck was in the radio...


Tumble,

Unfortunately 1factoryradio won't work for me - the 84-96 XJs only take single-DIN, and all I see on their site is the taller ones that would fit the 97-01 models. Still, interesting concept.


HeavyOpp,

I was wondering about the sensitivity of the "push" aspect of those knobs, thanks for the feedback. My Kenwood has a rocker button for volume, and the buttons are relatively small on that so I'm accustomed to the size. Still, I'm not keen on the marine unit you linked as I'd still like to keep the CD option (bad enough I'll have to start transcoding the cassettes I keep in the truck...)
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  #6  
Old July 29th, 2019, 17:58
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FlyNNN FlyNNN is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenbot View Post
... This JVC looks decent ...
This is what I run b/c I don't use CDs anymore. Plus its cheap
That JVC looks pretty good, same for the DUAL. Any radio under $100 that has USB and Bluetooth is a good deal. This is mainstream stuff. These radios are almost becoming a consumble item. You start looking at radios that are not mainstream and watch the price skyrocket. I as well probably shared my video on a prevoius similiar post with a JVC I installed in my 90' RENIX a few years ago. Sure I bumped the volume button. Sure I can barely see the buttons but who cares? You insert your USB with a 1000 mp3's or connect your phone with Bluetooth connection, hit the random button and you are done touching buttons.

https://youtu.be/EttuB4n7tmc
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  #7  
Old July 30th, 2019, 14:23
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tjmotter tjmotter is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

I don't know how creative you want to be but I went with one of these: https://soundstream.com/product/vr-732b/

Warning, it might be a little too "disco ball obnoxious" for you ;-)

All my other cars have a backup camera so I wanted to add the same to the XJ. Most foldable designs swing from the bottom up (which wasn't going to work) but this one swings from the top down. When down, I can press a button and the monitor lifts out of the way to allow me access to the heater controls.







I mounted the camera inside of the back window, routed the wires over the headliner and down through the passenger "A" pillar to the radio. The radio sounds good despite the fact that I didn't spend a lot of money on the speakers. It has bluetooth and works perfectly paired with my iphone. It took a little trimming to get the receiver to fit and to remove it I have to first raise the screen and then disconnect the battery so that it stays up while I remove the dash cover. Fortunately I don't have to do this very often.


I bought this from Crutchfield but it looks like it has been discontinued however I see them on eBay from time to time.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/SOUNDSTREAM...0AAOSwiVhZ08-3

Last edited by tjmotter; August 1st, 2019 at 12:20.
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  #8  
Old July 30th, 2019, 14:52
Rick.rob Rick.rob is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

I have a jvc like the one posted. Just FYI I have found it alot easier to adjust the radio settings with the jvc app then trying to get the right button combo on the head unit.
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  #9  
Old August 6th, 2019, 11:32
gdl90xj gdl90xj is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

I had no radio for the longest time

just got a single din Nakamichi NQ711B
bluetooth, usb , aux

Sounds ok, and costs like $50 dollars

Since it is all digital media it is a small and very light unit

More than adequate for the old xj
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  #10  
Old August 6th, 2019, 12:16
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavyopp View Post
I have a JVC similar to the 1st one linked by chicken above and a Sony in my jeeps -- they both suck

They sound good, have CD, sub outs and all that but the buttons are not old guy friendly

Hit a bump while changing the volume and you end up pushing the volume button and screwing up something you didn't mean to

Forget trying to see what the buttons are without your reading glasses

I can't set the clock without reading directions on the internet -- point is there is too many small buttons that do silly useless crap

Next radio I put in is a fusion marine radio without CD -- rarely use CD and dont carry many in the jeep, they take up too much space

One big knob and just a few buttons -- cost a little more but I think it's worth it to not have that disco ball crap in my dash

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_917RA7...at=&awug=96672
Where is the "like" button for this.

I have the same issues with tiny buttons and useless functions.

However, I do use CDs. In fact, those are pretty much the only thing I use. I like the factory unit in my '02 Suburban. Nice big buttons that are easy to read and everything works in a sensible fashion. I imagine I will be having that unit rebuilt somewhere down the line. Only problem is it is too big for an XJ.
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  #12  
Old August 6th, 2019, 13:04
chickenbot chickenbot is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

ignore the ebay one.. just went deeper into it and its just the trim ring
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  #13  
Old August 6th, 2019, 17:34
Rob Mayercik's Avatar
Rob Mayercik Rob Mayercik is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

Quick update, the replacement faceplate worked like a charm, so at least my current radio is fully functional again. I may open up the original to see if there's a simple reason why the display stopped lighting up (if it's easy, I fix it and I have a spare).

That said, I am continuing my hunt (Ifigure it's only a matter of time before I have another failure where I can't get parts to fix it), but at least I'm not operating blindly in the Jeep in the meantime. Have gone and pushed buttons on a couple, but still in the "data gathering" phase so far.
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  #14  
Old August 6th, 2019, 19:16
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

I'm currently looking for a double-din for the wife's Tacoma. I know what you mean about the disco ball displays. The Sonys I played with in the store had realatively simple displays without too much glitz, but finding one with rear usb/aux inputs has actually been tough. Front inputs are ugly and the wires would hang down in front of the shifter.
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  #15  
Old August 7th, 2019, 02:13
Number21 Number21 is offline
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Re: Shopping for new radio...

For the longest time I've been wanting to build my own. Get a cheap piece of black textured plastic to block the hole, then mount a small amplifier behind it and a bluetooth receiver, maybe an aux input too. Then, you've got a bunch of extra space you can mount switches or gauges or something.

What are these "CDs" you speak of?
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