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PaddleShifter's RCA dilemma (2 vs 3) for future proofing

Discussion in 'In Car Entertainment' started by PaddleShifter, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    I have been driving a 2010 Punto Emotion Pack up until December 2013 when my dad decided to shift to a car from his Activa/2 wheeler that he has been driving since the beginning. So he took my Punto and we got a base model of Punto this december.

    The 2010 Punto has factory fitted head unit (HU) + Blue&Me with USB port + steering controls, after market speakers and dampmat damping and I was happy with this basic sound output.

    Now, I am driving a Punto Active variant. It has a CD player but no USB. The sound from the factory fitted speakers is beyond my satisfaction but there are two things that I seriously miss/want.

    01. Bluetooth (Just like Blue&Me)
    02. USB port
    03. Steering remote

    With a heavy heart, I have decided to change the HU as I did not want to spoil the looks of the center console by changing the HU.

    Being under budget, I wish to spend as little as possible. I won't be changing the speakers or adding amp+sub initially but may do this later after a few months if the budget permits. Moreover, I do not like to add too much extra wiring so I am not likely to add an amplifier +/- subwoofer but still asking for the sake of futureproofing.

    Budget for the HU is maximum 10k but I do not wish to spend extra and VFM is what I am looking for.

    Shortlist:
    01. JVC KD-R80BT
    02. JVC KD-R746BT

    JVC KD-X50BT is rejected because it does not have a detachable face plate.

    Few things that played a role in this shortlist are:
    - The reviews for this JVC system seem good, infact better than Pioneer.
    - No Pioneer or Kenwood model that I "saw" on their offcial website "sounded as good" as JVC. lol.
    - Button to pick up call is placed to the right of volume knob in these JVC models so lesser distraction from road.

    Things against JVC:
    - Local shops don't encourage these JVC HUs and always recommend Pioneer, stating better A.S.S.
    - Aftermarket steering remote is not easily found for JVC, not even on eBay etc.

    Now out of these two HUs, R80BT as well as 746BT have same features (Bluetooth, USB, external mic and everything). R746BT has 2 RCA Pre-outs whereas R80BT has 3 RCA pre-outs. Additionally, CD slot in R80BT is internal (you have to flip the faceplate downwards to insert CD) so maybe lesser dirt goes in I guess.

    Now, this is where I need help of the experts and I have a very specific question to ask:

    Consider this future set up:

    Head unit with 3RCA pre-outs-->powering rear coaxial speakers directly + connected to a 4 channel amp that powers front comps + subwoofer.

    So the question is:

    An answer to this question is all I seek.

    2 RCA systems:
    - In systems equipped with 2 RCA pre-outs, 1 goes to the front speakers whereas the second is selectable, i.e. can be used for rear speakers or the subwoofer.
    - If it is selected for the rear speakers, then fader controls are retained whereas subwoofer control from HU is lost.
    - If it is selected for subwoofer control, subwoofer controls are retained whereas fader controls are lost.

    3 RCA systems:
    - There are 3 RCA (1 for front, 1 for rear and 1 for subwoofer controls).
    - Ideally, a 4-channel amplifier is connected to the front and rear speakers using 2 RCA preouts out of the 3.
    - A mono amp is connected via 3rd RCA and subwoofer is hooked to this.
    - Now, if one wishes to use only 1 amplifier, a 4 channel amp can be used for front speakers and subwoofer whereas rear speakers can be powered by the head unit directly.

    Please correct me if I am wrong. :)

    The difference between the 2 HUs is 3.5k which can be used for other purposes like damping or getting better wiring set.
  2. GaganTakker

    GaganTakker Amatore

    Messages:
    177
    New Delhi
    1 person likes this.
  3. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Thanks GaganTakker. The set up is quite VFM but it has a 2 channel amp which can not power front comps + subwoofer. This is good for those who power speakers from HU or have already got a 4 channel amp. I will never add 2 amps in my car as I do not wish to add too much wiring. So a 4 channel amp is what I will have to go for.
  4. Roadking

    Roadking Amatore

    Messages:
    164
    Bangalore KA

    First thing first replace the option of 746BT with the 736BT, the 736 is couple of hundred bucks cheaper and is a much better sounding HU for its price range, also its has 3 RCA so an obvious choice. now the only problem is.. it has been faced out recently and the successor is the 746BT but you can still purchase along with warranty- Why am I recommending 736? Two reason's I have tested both back to back and trust me the 736 is way ahead of its so called successor and I have been using it for the past 4 months without issues, reason two its freak-in cheap - 7100 bucks is what I paid with standard 2 year JVC warranty (note the buttons on both 736 and 746 are not of the greatest quality- you get what you pay for)

    Now on the other hand 80BT is also a good option, but would suggest you to slightly inflate your budget and have a look at 90BT it has all the features you would need once you go the after market way!

    Trust me once you go after market and If you seriously are passionate about your music in the car and don't care about the budget.. you will want to upgrade... so the safer bet is 3RCA minimum 4V from each, TA and BT in a HU

    Just for info Pioneer has always been ahead of JVC in all dept and if you compare feature to feature and not price/segment wise then JVC doesn't stand a chance... JVC has picked up some pace thanks to its acquisition of Kenwood and VFM pricing, most of the parts used in the current gen JVC are derived from the Kenwood music division
    2 people like this.
  5. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Thank you Roadking.

    The problem with sourcing JVC is that the trusted shop in Chandigarh does not stock it. I am getting R80BT online under 10k that sounded like a great deal and 746BT under 7k.

    90BT online price is around 13-13.5k depending upon websites and this seems just over my budget. If 80BT is a good HU, I would like to restrict myself to this only. 736BT is not available now.

    I couldnt find any Pioneer with same features and looks in this budget (10k). Please recommend alternatives to JVC, if any. I am open to alternatives.

    Things is that being back to studentship for the past 2 years, I can not spend over 10k. So please suggest something around this budget.
  6. Roadking

    Roadking Amatore

    Messages:
    164
    Bangalore KA
    I would suggest you look at other options of sourcing the HU, probably a visit to Delhi or you may ask your friends in Delhi if any to help with sourcing... the 90BT offline price is around 11k so do think about it, do not depend on online prices is what I would say.

    For other options Pio 8550BT is a very good option and is available below 10k..
    1 person likes this.
  7. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Ok. So I will check out the following HUs:

    01. Pioneer 8550BT
    02. JVC R80BT
    03. JVC R90BT

    Pioneer steering remote is easy to get too.

    I may not find time to go to Delhi for this as its a 5 hours drive 1 side on a working day which means Delhi traffic as well. So thats why I was relying on online websites. :)
    Can you please rank the three HUs above based on sound quality?

    Also, please comment on the question I have asked in the opening post.

  8. Roadking

    Roadking Amatore

    Messages:
    164
    Bangalore KA
    Will rank them as follows

    90BT (for one sole reason- TA)
    8550BT
    80BT

    Also keep a eye out for the 736BT as I said earlier or if you find a JVC 926BT for below 10k even better

    Now coming to your questions
    1. 3RCA will matter if you wish to go guns blazing on a 4.1 setup (front comps, rear coax/comps, sub, 4 channel and mono) If you know for sure that the ICE KEEDA will not temp you in the future then 2RCA is more than sufficient. The 2.1 setup will be fine and will keep you happy for a long time, you can power the rear's from the HU but it will not be of any use or rather they wont even exist if your setup is above average...
    2. Fader functionailty would not be lost with a good setup, but as I said above, rear's on HU wont exist if you are running a good front stage

    In layman terms- Compare a 2.1 computer speaker system with a full fledged 5.1 home theatre and you will get your answer
  9. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    That clears everything. The 2.1 vs 5.1 example made it really simple to understand. Thanks. :)

    Yes I am aware of a 4-channel plus a mono amp combo and thats the proper way to do it. :) Thats why wanted to know about the set up with a single 4 channel amp.
  10. hello2anand

    hello2anand Amatore

    Messages:
    68
    Bangalore
    Paddleshifter, I know exactly how the feeling would have been. After three years of ownership with the beauty, I too went thru that on my Punto 1.3 E Pk.

    This Jan 2014, I replaced my OEM HU with JVC KD-R80BT (but my preference was JVC KD-R746BT which wasn;t available then). Overall, I am happy with the HU. The small remote is handy to change tracks without having to stretch your hands. You would also get to select the colour to be in line with that of the dashboard.

    Someone mentioned in some thread that ICE upgrade is a chronic disease & it is true to be in my case as well. Besides the new HU, I also added a Cerwin Wega 4 channel amp last month with front doors dampened. Now I am planning to add a sub woofer within a budget of Rs 8K (with enclosure). I am just wondering if I can go with the existing amp by bridging the rear channels to power the sub (or) go in for a mono amp. I would like to know the difference in terms of hearing...

    I have upgraded the OEM speakers two years back to JVC 609 comp & co-axials....so, haven;t touched on that since then.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014

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