Pyle audio systems... Are they that bad?
So the 6-CD changer in my 2003 Mercury Mountaineer finally crapped the bed after about two years of occasional questionable loading/ejecting (generally solved by popping the fuse - annoying). It's got 5 CDs stuck in it and won't load or eject at all, and it takes about 30 seconds to boot up. From what I've read, it's a miracle that it lasted this long.
Anyhow, a refurbished OEM unit doesn't seem worth it considering the age of the vehicle - for the money I'd rather buy another Twister and stick an old boombox on my passenger seat. I need a new GPS too, always wanted an auxiliary input or ipod dock, and my backup sensors quit circa 2008, so I figured I might be able to kill three or four birds with one stone. I don't plan to blast my entire block with gangsta rap, I'd just be pumping rock at normal to slightly high levels through the existing stock speakers - what I mean is I'm not too concerned with the the bottom or how it will perform as a public address system.
I've been looking at this unit and camera:
Pyle PLDNV78I 7" Double-DIN Touchscreen LCD
PYLE PLCM10 License Plate Mount Rearview Camera
From what I've read in reviews the only issues with the unit are an utter lack of installation instructions and tedious setup/programing/updating needed to get it operating the way you want it to. Those seem like non-issues to me; I've got a buddy who's done tons of installs, and I've worked in the tech industry long enough to be able to handle the setup and updates with only minor frustration. The reviews from people who actually knew how to set the system up seem very positive. I'd be pleased with the fact that it can be set up with the controls on the steering wheel.
Does anybody have any experience with Pyle? Good? Bad? Ugly? Anyone got a better option for under $300? I can live without the backup camera...
The 6 disc in dash changer went out on my wife's 04 Escape a few years ago. I pulled it and took it apart to get the CD's out, not too hard.
I didn't go with anything fancy, just a regular height CD player and there's a trim piece that fills in the rest of the height with a little cubby in case you need some spare dust.
I have only messed with their marine products. It is kinda meh. I am running a handful of their 6.5's in a couple different applications and they are okay. The 800w amps are no where near their stated output though.
Its a little cheap feeling which was disappointing cause it has some really nice thought out features. It is all kind of on the plastic-y side, the wiring and connectors it came with were bottom barrel which is always a bad sign. Otherwise everything is still functioning as new. We have 2 speaker coolers that have seen some hard use. One is on its second summer, the other we just built this year. The other is a headless system I built for my truck using the same marine components. Its got about 7 months of use. The amps get really hot in all three. We had to bridge everything to get a moderate amount of sound out of it.
I just looked up that unit and it seems like it has a lot of nice features for the price. I personally would stick a regular head unit in and buy a regular GPS. When it comes to GPS's I prefer brands that have known good support. Having an out of date map is :bang:
I had a nice Magellan 7" stolen a few months ago which I loved. It was a slightly older model, and I can replace it with an identical one for $150ish brand new. I've got 20/20 vision but for whatever reason smaller ones are near useless to me... I had my finger hovering over the "buy" button on Amazon for about two months, then my stereo crapped out, so I started looking for other options.
Seems like replacing my current unit with another 6-CD changer would be $150-$250 for a cheap one (Kenwood, Boss, Pyle, Blaupunkt) and $350+ for a nicer one (Alpine, Polk, Boston). I don't trust the mechanical aspects of these suckers so I wouldn't go for a cheap one, and it doesn't make sense to pay for a nicer one considering the age of the vehicle.
I'm looking at other options, but one of the bigger concerns for me is how clean the dash looks when all is said and done... Most of the stuff on the market seems to be button-covered crap that glows five different colors and looks cheap no matter what the quality level. My dash is black and tan with green lights, and my existing unit is very simple with a durable exterior. To me a touchscreen looks neater than the dashboard of the millennium falcon doing lazer pink floyd every time I start the vehicle or adjust the volume. I'd also like to retain the steering wheel controls if at all possible.
I can't comment on the Pyle; but if you are looking for an alternative that has Ipod compatibility, look into the Pioneer AppRadio. It's Iphone/Ipod/Android compatible; and able to support a mess of apps, of which there are quite a few GPS apps. The only ceveat here is that is doesn't have a CD slot, all non-AM/FM music and video is done via your phone or Ipod.
There is a new AppRadio 3, which had made the AppRadio 2 a cheap buy at under $300 new on the Bay. Since it is basically a car computer, there are forums that support some neat downloadable mods, like screensavers and video support mods.
If you are set on using CD's, there are a couple routes you could go here.
First, most factory radios and changers are supported by an aftermarket company's OEM system. For instance, Subarus have used Clarion as an OEM for their radios and changers for a while, some high end makers use Alpine, etc. If you simply wanted to change the changer, there is a good chance that it can be replaced with its OEM counterpart. Crutchfield may be of some help investigating this, they used to sell harnesses that would allow you to add a changer to a supporting factory radio that came without one.
If you have your mind set on changing your head unit, don't overlook Kenwood. It's far from a low end manufacturer. Also, Sony has again started to put more stock into their car audio line. They've changed from their rest-on-our-Xplode-laurels as has been shown in the past two decades.
If I were personally looking to find a decent unit and changer at a great price, I'd first go to Crutchfield to do my comparisons. Once I found the models I was interested in at Crutchfield, I'd shop for the unit(s) on ebay or Sonicelectronix.
Here's a good buy on a Kenwood DVD player with Iphone4/4S connectivity and Garmin GPS app support via Iphone for $280.
Kenwood DDX370 6.1" Touchscreen DVD Car Stereo Receiver 267-4106
Don't do Pyle for the love of all audio.
The way I see it (I'm sane, I promise), is it would be like buying condoms at the dollar store.
Cheap quality, no service, risking your money, risking your car, etc. Buy from a reputable company, even if that means buying used. Heck in and ideal world everyone would be buying Focal, Crescendo, DC, Sundown, etc lol.
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