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Old 05-03-2006, 08:47 PM   #1
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Default New Pioneer to replace old Pioneer head unit *Now with pics!

So I'm taking a plunge. I'm replacing my Pioneer DEH-P76DH (Din-and-a-half) head unit with a Pioneer DEH-P480MP Premier (just Din) head unit.

I'm just not happy with neither my head unit nor my 12-disc changer being able to handle an mp3 CD. Plus I've almost wrecked while fiddling with my iPod all wired up with an audio cable to my head unit'* aux input, and a lighter-socket powering the iPod via the dock connector.

The new head unit with the addition of the Pioneer CD-IB100 iPod adapter, will be able to completely control and charge my iPod via a dock connector, and I'll finally get MP3 CD capability, while keeping my (nearly pointless) 12 disc trunk-mounted changer.

There'* two things about the new head unit that I'm not really happy about.
(1) The remote for the new head unit is shaped and sized like a credit card, making it impossible to steering-wheel mount like the old one.
(2) It leaves an extra half-din space to be filled with a mounting kit. So I've chosen a mounting kit that has a little pocket underneath that can hold a few CDs.

I'm not sure if I'm going to like this setup better than my current setup, so I'm keeping all my old gear in case I want to switch back. I'll post before and after photos when the job is done.

For the life of me, it totally pisses me off that Pioneer doesn't include MP3 CD capability in their Din-and-a-half head units. Man that just makes no sense at all.
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:29 PM   #2
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in the long run you will be happy. There is really nothing wrong with those mounting plates. Especially if you make it flush mount. (you will have to trim a tab behind your HU, atleast I did)

it leaves space for you to mount a switch to give control of the antenna
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:19 PM   #3
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Getting it installed this evening if I can get to the shop in time, or tomorrow during the day if I can't. I just found out some good news: The CD-SR100 steering-wheel remote that I already have from my DEH-P76DH head unit will apparently work with any Pioneer head unit with a "P" in the model number, so I can still use it with the new P480!

I'm really happy with my choice of this model so far. I found the best resource for narrowing down what I want is the "negative" reviews found on Crutchfield'* website. I figure there'* plenty of people who aren't discriminating who throw a new head unit in their car and automatically love it, so I ignore the positive reviews. The reviews you can learn from are the negative ones; the ones where something about the unit drove the owner crazy!

I ruled out the Pioneer DEH-P5800MP because of very poor iPod control and only an 8 character display. I similarly ruled out the DEH-6800MP because it lacks the typical Pioneer 6 program buttons, and requires three buttons just to pause. That settled my choice to the DEH-P4800MP or the P480MP Premiere unit.

I used to be an amp repair technician for a Pioneer master service center, and I can tell you that the Premiere products are exactly the same as the non Premiere products, but with a different plastic cover, or copper electroplated chassis for home gear, or the addition of rosewood veneer side panels. So ordinarily I wouldn't get the Premiere, but they give it an extra year warranty, so I chose the P480MP.

I have before pictures already in the camera. Before/After pics and a full report should be in before the weekend!

-Mark
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:22 PM   #4
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Wow, I just stopped at the shop to pick up the keys, I'll be picking up the car later tonight. I sat in the car and played the radio to check out the new HU. So far, I can say this: The install looks really good with the mounting kit that has a slot below the radio for storage of a few CDs. I like that look better than the kits that center a DIN sized head unit and just have a filler plate to fill in the gaps around the DIN unit.

It sounds phenominal. MUCH louder than my old Pioneer head unit. Not that the numbers mean anything ("this one goes to eleven"), but the old head unit went to 30, and the new one goes somewhere in excess of 60, and is far, far louder. In both cases, the head units were driving an Alpine 4-channel amp that drives my Boton Acoustics component separates up front and Boston Acoustics 3-way 6x9'* in back. The only thing changed out was the head unit.

I haven't tried the iPod yet, but the install looks very nice. My SE has a column shifter, and I asked them to have both the iPod cable and the extra aux input cable dangle from the center underneath the dash. Everything is installed exactly the way I requested.

And I'm very happy that my steering wheel remote control continues to work with the new head unit. Pictures coming later tonight!

-Mark
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:25 AM   #5
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Alright, I've had some time to play with it now. It sounds pretty good. The controls are very easy to work. The new iPod hookup is very nice. Overall, I'm happy with it and will keep it. But there are some downsides. I replied to another post about the next model up, the P5800, how a Crutchfield review complained that the iPod functioning was maddening. This unit works in exactly the same way, it tries to play every track as you page through a list of tracks. Personally, I don't find it maddening at all, but I can see how it could be irritating. It obeys album hierarchy, you can page through albums to get to the album you want, then page through the tracks in that album. It seems pretty straightforward to me. The iPod sounds very good through the head unit. The head unit takes over the iPod when it is connected, so you do use the head unit'* front panel instead of the ipod control. That'* actually what I wanted, because I've nearly crashed while trying to operate the iPod controls. Another downside, I haven't investigated this yet, but the 16 character displayhas only displayed 8 characters of iPod album and song titles. Finally, the plastic around the iPod docking connector from the Pioneer iPod adapter has a very thick rectangular connector that is much thicker than the slim plastic around the docking connector on Apple'* chargers and interface connectors. As a result, the connector won't fit into my iPod if my iPod is in its protective case. I'll either have to enlarge the case opening or trim away plastic on the Pioneer connector. For now, I had to take the iPod out of the case.

Photos, before and after:

My original Din and a half DEH-P76. Fits the stock opening nicely, and color matches the interior.


iPod wiring mess: Audio cable in the top, charger cable in the bottom.


Typical drive to work: iPod in a cup holder.


New DEH-P470MP head unit in a mounting kit with a CD-pocket in the extra space. It'* darker than the interior color, but fits well.


Another view. In normal daylight the colors don't look so different.


New iPod connector, just one wire. Extra black wire is another auxiliary input. My cupholder is temporarily not in place after the install.


iPod under control of the Pioneer head unit.

Overall it sounds much better than the old head unit. The front panel is easy to use, and my Pioneer steering wheel remote works great with it. It also came with a credit-card sized remote that works fine too. It'* a good unit, but there might be other manufacturers with a more elegant iPod interface. This one is functional, and I'm fine with it, but you might choose a different brand if you can find one with even better integration.
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:47 AM   #6
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looks good. much better than the din and a half.


Can you fill us in on the stuff around the cig lighter ?
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Old 05-13-2006, 05:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvettecrazy
Can you fill us in on the stuff around the cig lighter ?
I bought my 97SE in 1999, before that it had been an Alamo rental car in Hawaii. Before I owned it, some idiot used the hot cigar lighter and impressed it into the plastic just above the lighter, leaving a circular ring indentation. Right after I bought my car, I had a local autosound shop install my Pioneer head unit, CD changer, Alpine amp, Boston speakers, and a Clifford car alarm. They had to put the alarm'* red LED somewhere, so I asked them to put it right in the center of the ring that had been melted into the plastic. The little thing with two buttons on it is also part of the alarm, used to program its various features and put it into valet mode, but I always just use the keyring remote.

I was waiting for someone on here to ask about that, but nobody ever did until now!

Now that I don't need the lighter socket to power the iPod, I'll put the lighter back in it.
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Old 05-13-2006, 01:22 PM   #8
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good stuff!

sounds like you are enjoying your new HU.
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:03 PM   #9
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The white plastic around the iPod docking connector on the Pioneer CD-B100 iPod Adapter, was too thick to fit through the opening in my iPod Contour case. (Compare the connector pictured to the connectors on Apple'* accessories -the Apple ones are much slimmer.) So I could only use the iPod in the car if I removed it from its case -which is stupid, because the whole point of the case is to protect the iPod from getting scratched and damaged.

So I had two options to solve the problem: (1) Enlarge the opening in the case so the Pioneer connector will fit, or (2) Trim away plastic on the Pioneer connector to fit through the opening in the Contour case.

I chose #2. Unfortunately, the Pioneer connector wasn't solid rubber or plastic, but a thin plastic shell. I carefully trimmed away the plastic using a dremel tool, but that left open areas where I could see the wires inside. So I filled those with Plastik-Weld 2-part epoxy putty, that happens to be white, and now it fits perfectly and looks good too. I guess I'll have to post pictures, huh?
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