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Discussion Starter #1
Well, due to the fact my Alpine 9815 was recently stolen, I'm currently in desperate need of a new HU.
So, needless to say, I'd like to replace my Alpine with a stereo that at least has some of the same features it had...enter the JVC Arsenal KD-AR8500 and the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X990.

JVC
http://www.jvc-victor.co.jp/english...html#other_feat

Kenwood
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-WPUug9...=113KDCX990#Tab

Now, the problem I keep running into is that I love both of these HU's equally due to how feature rich they both are, but I keep hearing bad things about the JVC name everywhere I go and that concerns me. As for me, I've never owned a JVC HU so I can't speak from personal experience. I've stuck with Kenwood and Alpine in the past, but decided against Alpine this go around due to the fact that their 2006 line up has little to no features to offer.

As for the JVC, I really like how it allows you to use an SD card for music, and I could see myself making really good use of this for my extensive Mp3 collection. I also like the fact that it has (or at least claims) a VERY impressive 35watts RMS! As for aesthetics, its looks have also caught my eye as well, so that is also a plus. The only thing that sucks is that I haven't actually seen this HU in person (like I have with the Kenwood), so I don't know if I like its control scheme or not. I also haven't seen (or been able to find any info about) how it handles Sirius radio. This is very important to me because I listen to Sirius all the time, and a well thought out interface would be welcome here. So if anyone could enlighten me on this I'd really appreciate it.

Now, on to the Kenwood. Well, first off, I love its display! The 4,096 color screen really makes things stand out and allows for all the menus to look incredible. It's also got a cool feature (ACDrive) that allows you to cram a ton of Mp3 files onto one CD thus making it perfect for large playlists. Like I mentioned above, I've had some hands on time with this HU, and I really like what I saw. The x990 handles Sirius incredibly well, and is one of the reasons I'm starting to sway towards this particular unit.

So, as you can see, I'm currently torn between a few signature features on both of these HU's, and I just can't bring my self to a final decision. I really think if I can either get some information about how the JVC handles Sirius, or even get some hands on time with it, I'd be able to make the right choice. So, with that said, please give me your unbiased opinion on which HU is the best between the two.

Thanks!
 

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I would definitely go with Kenwood Excelon 990. I actually just have 2 friends that just got this model. So far I love it. I never really heard good things about JVC, so I'd be skeptical of it already. I like the look of the Kenwood more too. It also has 4 band equalizing AND the G-analyzer. That's just cool as hell. See how many gs you're pulling. Plus, you can set a stopwatch that will automatically start once you start moving - very useful for gettin your 0-60s or 1/4 mi times. I've been using a Kenwood for the past 2 or 3 years in 2 different cars. I got one buddy who was running 3 different Pioneer Premier decks over the last 6 years to switch to the Kenwood Excelon 990. And my other friend had the same Kenwood deck for 4 years before he bought the 990 (and his other one still works perfectly, he just wanted to upgrade). So, I'll stand by Kenwood for some time to come. They've been good to me and my friends. Oh, and one of my friends is running satellite radio on it. I don't remember which one he got, but he hasn't had any problems with it so far.

LONG STORY SHORT: Go with the Kenwood.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
SpeedCheeser said:
I would definitely go with Kenwood Excelon 990. I actually just have 2 friends that just got this model. So far I love it. I never really heard good things about JVC, so I'd be skeptical of it already. I like the look of the Kenwood more too. It also has 4 band equalizing AND the G-analyzer. That's just cool as hell. See how many gs you're pulling. Plus, you can set a stopwatch that will automatically start once you start moving - very useful for gettin your 0-60s or 1/4 mi times. I've been using a Kenwood for the past 2 or 3 years in 2 different cars. I got one buddy who was running 3 different Pioneer Premier decks over the last 6 years to switch to the Kenwood Excelon 990. And my other friend had the same Kenwood deck for 4 years before he bought the 990 (and his other one still works perfectly, he just wanted to upgrade). So, I'll stand by Kenwood for some time to come. They've been good to me and my friends. Oh, and one of my friends is running satellite radio on it. I don't remember which one he got, but he hasn't had any problems with it so far.

LONG STORY SHORT: Go with the Kenwood.
Yeah, I'm really starting to lean more towards the x990, but I really like the SD card feature and I also think it is down right awesome that JVC can put out 35watts RMS on a HU alone. I really appreciate your information though and it is definitely helpful. I would just like to hear some good information from the other side (JVC) about the KD-AR8500 so I can make an educated decision.

Thanks! :3_bier:
 

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Those numbers aren't always completely accurate either. The power rating sometimes depends on how much power they used for the head unit (ie. 12v vs. 14.4v). But, I have a feeling that if you're looking in to buying the 990, that you're not going to leave your stock speakers and amp in anyway. So it won't really matter what the internal amp can put out if you're going to get a multi-channel amp for the speakers anyway.
 
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