New Car Stereo

The factory stereo in my car was OK for radio and CDs, but it has no inputs for MP3 players or other devices. And one of the three lights in the display went out. And the paint is coming off the buttons, evidently due to my caustic finger skin.

So out with the old...

in with the new.

It's a Dual XHD6425 CD Receiver I bought from Crutchfield for $100. Here's a quick review after 3 weeks of use:

It has a 3.5mm stereo input jack that works great for iPods / MP3 Players. Sounds great and no FM transmitter or cassette adapter nonsense.

I have a 4 GB flash drive with over 1,000 songs plugged into the USB port. When I play it on random it's like my own personal radio station. It takes a few seconds to read the drive then it's ready to play. The interface for finding a particular song is cumbersome - it's easier to skip on random until you get close to the song you want, then turn off random and skip to the song you want. Random is the way to play. It supports ID3 tags, but only v1 which is lame. I have the basic song info as the file name so I use that for the display, which works OK.

I read mixed reviews about the HD (digital) radio. It works pretty good on my drive from Orem to Bluffdale. With all the road noise I can't hear the difference between digital and analog radio, but when parked I can. The stations I listen to are rock solid in digital - only once has the digital signal cut out. And I've found some good programs on the digital sub-channels. My favorite is HD2 on KOSY, of all stations, which plays a good mix of New Wave. (The photo shows the digital radio playing.)

The controls are a bit odd, but I'm used to them now.

The display is easy to read and looks pretty good. A bigger, higher resolution screen would be nice for more info, but for $100 I'm not complaining.

The install was about 1.5 hours. For my car it was pretty easy to get the old stereo out. It took some time to connect the two wiring harnesses. Installing the new stereo went OK after a few modifications to the plastic adapter, which includes a pocket under the stereo. (Important note: remove the library's audiobook CD from the old stereo BEFORE removing it. I had to take the old stereo apart to get it out. Doh!)

Overall it's been a good upgrade and a fun new gadget to play with.

Storm Riding

OK, not a storm but we did get rained on a little. Jolene and I took a ride idea from the lunch crew and went up the water tank road, down Dragon's Back, up the pipeline, down by Nun's Park, out the Bridal Veil BST, then down the Indian Hills trail and home. A nice 17 mile ride with no one on the trails.


Aaron said...

Love the RAPR (Ride Around Provo River). If you have more time, it's always fun to throw in Betty to Alter to Frank, or take Lower Belt as a shortcut.

I'm in need of a car stereo as well. When I finally get around to it, I'll pull up this post. Who knows, maybe I'll even use your "categories" to find it (but more likely, I'll do a keyword search) :)

KanyonKris said...

I suggested adding the Altar, but Jolene was concerned it was already going to be a long ride with rain clouds rolling our way.

If you'd like some hands-on, I can drive the 2 blocks over to your house so you can check out the stereo.

Crutchfield's install kit with wiring harness, adapter and instructions for my car were nice. I should have spent the extra $10 for the wiring kit which includes a crimper tool and splices - I made due with stuff I had, but it was a kludge and took more time.

There is a $40 bluetooth adapter for the stereo, if you need it.

goat said...

Hey, I know that stereo! (We have a Vibe too.)

Double Din Car Stereo said...

Nice article, but for future reference you can quite often get the same stereo from amazon for less.