Car stereo or mp3 player?

vbimport

#1

Hi :slight_smile:

I’m here with another of my strange questions :bigsmile:

I own a rather old car stereo, with no CD player nor USB port.

Because most of my tapes are starting to become damaged, and I don’t have anymore a cassette recorder to renew them, and of course because my wallet is constantly growling :doh:, I’m trying to find a solution.

For what I know, there are two main possibilities: getting a new car stereo or getting a mp3 player with a cassette adapter (i.e. a thing like this).

After checking for some prices, I noticed that there are no big differences, but buying a new car stereo had a huge disadvantage: I’m not able at all to install it by myself, and I’m pretty sure that bringing my car to a specialized store to install the car stereo will be not cheap.

My question is: is it worth to spend money on a cassette adapter + mp3 player? Anyone ever used these adapters? Is sound quality good (i.e. no hisses, no clicks, etc) or at least decent?

I found that there are a lot of these adapters, with a wide range of prices (from a couple of euros to €10 or more). There are some special features that I should consider before to choose the adapter?

What about the mp3 player? Is any player good for this job or is better to get a specific model?

Any suggestion is welcome :slight_smile:

Thanks :slight_smile:


#2

[QUOTE=geno888;2540294]I’m not able at all to install it by myself, and I’m pretty sure that bringing my car to a specialized store to install the car stereo will be not cheap.[/quote] If you can, check if your current car stereo has a so called ISO plug. If it has, installing will be no problem.

But unfortunately i doubt it has, since it is a cassette player. :slight_smile:

My question is: is it worth to spend money on a cassette adapter + mp3 player? Anyone ever used these adapters? Is sound quality good (i.e. no hisses, no clicks, etc) or at least decent?
From what i hear it’s not the best in audio. I don’t think your casette stereo is also the best in audio, so why bother to research that?

What about the mp3 player? Is any player good for this job or is better to get a specific model?
I like Sony and Pioneer. Not because i don’t like chinese strange brands, but because most of the trustworthy brands can take/dissipate the heat very well. Current european car stereos can produce an insane amount of heat. USB usually sucks. I always tested those with a 2GB USB stick and it took them ages to even come up with a mp3.


#3

Thanks for answers :slight_smile:

I found at amazon some Pioneer car stereo that have both the USB port and a stereo jack, so an external mp3 player can be used anyway. This should solve the long time needed to browse an USB pendrive.

My current car stereo has the possibility to be connected with a multiCD changer, so I wonder if the ISO plug indeed is present. I’ll check the manual :slight_smile:


#4

are you SURE you cannot install it yourself? doing so isn’t exactly “rocket Surgery” and they typically come with good instructions.

Most vehicles sold in the last two decades use a standardized DIN mounting pattern which reduces issue with physically mounting them.

As for a “Cassette adapter”, yes, it will eliminate tapes, but will not do anything about audio quality…

Frankly I don’t like having wires dangling about my cockpit…

I really doubt that having a stereo professionally installed is a good route as I’ve had to repair quite a few “professional” installations that looked like they had been wired by a drunken escapee from an asylum.

that being said here in the US there are wiring “kits” available to speed the installation of an aftermarket stereo in most common vehicles without cutting any of the factory wiring.

These are connectors that plug into the factory plugs (power and speaker wires) and splice to the power/audio conecxtor to the new unit.

The wires are color coded so even a drunken monkey could get them connected correctly with a few crimp-on wire splices.

AD


#5

I once had a cassette adapter (for a CD at the time)
It made quite a lot of noise, because the wheels spinned without any resistance, sounded like they were going wild… Other than that, the sound was not too bad…but a direct plug (e.g. USB or Aux) is better of course.

But as mentioned above, if it is not an integrated car stereo, it shouldn’t be too hard…I’ll bet that even I can do it :wink:


#6

I have used the cassette adapter for a portable CD Player and it worked pretty well, but keep in mind that when you go that route you are limited to the performance of the deck, which on an old cassette deck the signal to noise ratios are terrible. It definitely won’t be as much of a hiss as the old cassette tape with MP3/adapter BUT it also won’t deliver the same sound quality you get directly from the MP3 player itself with a pair of headphones/external speakers.


#7

Thanks again for answers :slight_smile:

I am considering to purchase a new car stereo indeed. I noticed that some (ike this) have both USB and RCA connectors in the front panel. In this way it should be possible to use both USB pendrives (a 1 GB one to reduce slowness when browsing for contents as reported by Mr B) or a mp3 player that should manage all songs by itself passing the signal to speakers through the car stereo.


#8

There is one OUTSTANDING choice if you’re making the move to car USB receiver. This receiver is an absolute joy to drive around with :). I’ve tried the Pioneers and they didn’t come close to doing what these Sony units can do for MP3’s. Sony has a proprietary MP3 algorithm called DM+ which goes a long way towards restoring the high frequency harmonics that are lost during compression. Sounds much better than you expect from an MP3. Add to that the DSO feature which creates the illusion that the sound is coming from in front of you at eye level. It also tweaks the highs a bit and let me improve the sound quality greatly without replacing the stock speakers in my daughter’s car. And my son’s car :). Slapped some Infinities in my own car and don’t need it quite as much :o.

As I have steered a few of my music fanatic friends onto these units and received nothing but profuse thanks, I feel pretty safe trying to push you in this direction(been enjoying them myself 3+ years) :bigsmile:. Hope they are available your side of the pond. You could take advantage of that website’s car-to-receiver matching to see if it’s do-able in your vehicle. This unit also works with iPOD and lets you browse the songs on the car stereo’s display.

On the subject of flash drives, I use these 4 GIG flash drives loaded with 400 songs and only take 4 seconds to load and play. Nice and small and fast. Perfect match for this use. Its the speed of the flash drive, not the storage capacity, that makes them slow to load. It is only reading the file table prior to playing.

You’re going to love this :bigsmile:.


#9

[QUOTE=deanwitty;2540426]There is one OUTSTANDING choice if you’re making the move to car USB receiver. This receiver is an absolute joy to drive around with :)[/QUOTE]

I have a predecessor of that Xplod car radio, i must also agree it is a very compatible device. Mine does not have usb or sd capabilities, but the mp3 and wma capabilities are awesome. Not only does it not care what kind of cd-rom you feed it, it will also read quite damaged cd’s pretty well.

The only bad thing is that the plastic cab of the volume knob broke off and the metal gets quite hot after a few hours of music.

Back then it costed about € 89 at Media Markt. I hear theres a BlueTooth version now as well.


#10

Thanks a lot :bigsmile:

Amazon indeed has this model available.

Just a curiosity. If I connect a mp3 player to the Aux input connector, if the player is able to read FLAC files (just an example), this means that I can play FLAC files in the car stereo even if these are not supported by the car stereo itself?


#11

[QUOTE=geno888;2540558]Thanks a lot :bigsmile:

Amazon indeed has this model available.

Just a curiosity. If I connect a mp3 player to the Aux input connector, if the player is able to read FLAC files (just an example), this means that I can play FLAC files in the car stereo even if these are not supported by the car stereo itself?[/QUOTE]

Correct, Geno :slight_smile:

Any device with a headphone output can be played back through the unit.
But you may find yourself, like me, primarily using the flash drive input. It really has a talent for making MP3’s sound better than they have any right to :D.
As Mr.Belvedere mentioned, the CD section is also top-notch. As is the amplifier section for plenty of clean, loud sound. The radio is very good as well. About the only thing needed to make it perfect is a huge touch screen display :eek:. But the scrolling display is quite good enough for me, and glad Sony spent my money on sound quality and compatibility over flashy displays :flower:.


#12

Looking at those two models, it appears the difference is in the tuner. Am/Fm versus FM/MW/LW. Which broadcasts are available in Italy?
Just noticed the 630 has Cyrillic display.


#13

I rarely listen for radio stations, because for the most I like classical music, and too bad there is no station broadcasting it here :doh:

btw, I found a very nice mp3 player, that can read a lot of formats (including FLAC :eek:)


#14

prefer my iPod Classic…contains my entire music collection…and it is neatly tucked away…


#15

I just checked prices of iPod :eek:

My wallet is scared :bigsmile:


#16

[QUOTE=geno888;2540633]I just checked prices of iPod :eek:

My wallet is scared :bigsmile:[/QUOTE]
Never fear, e-bay is here :).
A car deck would need to read flac to be perfect, wouldn’t it. If you prefer classical, I can understand why you might have a flac library ;). A shame there has not been progress there. At least Sony has made real progress on MP3 playback quality. My daughter’s iPod sounds very good on her stereo. She pops it in the glove-box and she’s off :). I have not tried a Sansa, but I suspect any decent player playing flac might sound quite good as well.


#17

Indeed, a reason why I like the SanDisk is that it can play FLAC files with original firmware :bigsmile:


#18

[QUOTE=deanwitty;2540560]Correct, Geno :slight_smile:

Any device with a headphone output can be played back through the unit.[/quote] I used to connect my PSP with the car stereo. The PSP would check some RSS feeds in the middle of the night, download the latest versions of my favorite podcasts automatically so i could play them in my car.


#19

Wow, a week or so from my last visit and find exactly what I’m lurking for…Found this combo, which seems perfect for my needs(iPod) playback…Not sure bout the speakers but hey, under $100.00 for bundle, can’t go wrong…Nice!;)…Thanks for the leads and thread guy’s/gals…:slight_smile:


#20

Thanks everybody :slight_smile:

The mp3 player solution definitely seems the best option :iagre:

I’ll try to find a car stereo in a local store (maybe I can save some money :bigsmile: ), but Amazon prices seems difficult to beat :eek: