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Old 10-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #1
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Need stereo upgrade advice???

Want to upgrade my stereo, but not lose any current functionality. The head unit is a Sony, has DVD and multizone functionality. I would like to get HD radio and iPod/mp3/USB functionality. The stock unit is in a 2008 International. Any advice appreciated. A simple "pull and replace" would be great. Which unit, brand, model etc? Thanks.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
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I don't personally buy anything Sony any more, but you might look to see if Sony has what you're looking for. The chances of plug and play would be much better...
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:35 PM   #3
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I hear ya about Sony...especially disappointing since I used to be an exclusive Sony fan... I'de buy Vizio if they made stereos...
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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Not sure of the size of the stock stereo in your Airstream, but I assume it is a single DIN style. You should get a look at WWW.CRUTCHFIELD.COM They have just about anything you could possibly need for your home car or trailer.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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Thanks Argosy Heir. I should have mentioned single DIN; just assumed that was stock size. Was hoping to get a "here's what you should do" kinda recommendation. I'll check the Crutchfield site, it's been a long time since I've been on it, thanks for the reminder.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:22 PM   #6
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If you want the DVD/TV play through capability, there isn't a lot available that doesn't have the pop out DVD screen. Check out Jensen, they still make single din units with DVD player.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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I hear ya about Sony...especially disappointing since I used to be an exclusive Sony fan... I'de buy Vizio if they made stereos...
I was a Sony fan back when, too. Then I bought a Sony Dash. Now I wouldn't give my worst enemy's dog a Sony rubber bone.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:55 PM   #8
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Unless you want to start down a significant upgrade path, your options are limited. Number one, as previously mentioned, there are very few options for upgraded functionality without a video touchscreen in a single DIN configuration. Outside of the Airstream community, there is little demand for this type of unit.

I upgraded my system--it was costly but made a BIG difference in sound. My head unit is upgraded---my recommendation for a high end unit would either be a Pioneer or Kenwood Excelon series. Once you upgrade your head unit, you are likely going to want an upgraded external amplifier (the on board power of the stock unit is its biggest limitation). This then leads to a power issue---there is not enough local power in the upper cabinet stock head unit location. I solved this by having power cables discreetly run down a curtain line to the storage cabinet under the bench seat---which has an audio grade AC to DC converter in addition to a separate sealed AGM battery to act as a 'capacitor' of sorts for the amplifier. Unless you are experienced, I would not undertake this project on your own. Installation is key to a well designed system and most run of the mill car stereo installers are not going to be able to think the issues through the way you want. I would imagine that Houston has some respected installers though.

If you don't want to do all of that, I would suggest you leave things as is. The stock head unit is OK for what it does. Nominal speaker upgrades may be reasonable, but any high end speaker is going to require clean power (more than what's available without a separate amplifier).
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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Sounds like a nice (but "complicated") upgrade and job!

Probably a little more than I can/should bite off right now. Truth be told, I used to get pretty carried away with the audio and video upgrades etc, but now, I think...I have just gotten too old...

So, what I was really after was a way to get off air HD radio and to use any sort of mp3 type player. If I could "just" add those functions to the existing system with it's current functions, like multi zone audio (and with out all kinds of ugly wires etc...), then I'de be happy (for now).

Sounds like I might have a shot at it with the Jensen unit, but who knows. I'll keep looking around. I spoke to the gang in Jackson Center, and they reminded me the 2013 models have a really nice head unit stereo, but does not play DVD, since they have a separate BluRay player now. That install is also complicated with the HDMI wires etc...

Search continues...

Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #10
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...
So, what I was really after was a way to get off air HD radio and to use any sort of mp3 type player...
Check out the JVC Arsenal KD-AHD79 at Crutchfield. I just installed one in my 1983 Excella. (Yes, I went over-the-top in the installation. I need to do a thread about that.) However, the unit is a straightforward install. It has a built-in HD Radio tuner, is iPhone compatible, has aux inputs on the front and the back, has a remote that works well, and Crutchfield has them marked down $50 to $129.

I ran my TV sound into the rear aux (labeled Bluetooth in the onscreen menu), and it sounds great.

It's doesn't have a DVD, though, just CD. Wasn't an issue for me because I am thinking about a Blu-Ray player. For DVDs, I play them on my Mac Mini which is hooked to the TV for a monitor. It doesn't have to be 12v for the player because the TV won't be on without 120vac anyway.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:07 PM   #11
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I use my Sony unit for a music cd,radio only.
I hooked up a Playstation 3 slim direct to the tv for blue ray enjoyment.It fits vertically between my wall and the dining booth back on the floor.Also added a thin sound bar below the tv.

The stock Airstream sub and speakers are sub standard at best and the factory sony head unit is way to time consuming to use,Who was the engineer who designed this thing and what was he smoking???

Also upgraded factory lcd junk tv for a 32inch 1080p led with built in wifi and blue tooth this made a world of difference.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:59 PM   #12
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samiam,

The Sony head unit in my trailer died about two weeks ago... It is a CD/DVD combo. Sony has a similar unit, the MEX-DV1700U.

I'm not sure if I want to replace the combo unit, or have a stand alone DVD/BluRay player. My trailer does not have 120v in the locker or HDMI from the radio area to the tv. Any other ideas?
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #13
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Good read as I'm thinking of updating my A track playing in my 1968 AS. But then again it does have the cool factor, and the radio still works.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:48 PM   #14
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you may already have usb

It is very likely your headunit has Sony Bus which gives you options.

I discovered that our 2006 does have USB inputs via the Sony XA-300 auxiliary input adapter. Airstream hid the XA-300 for some reason. I posted a long time ago about it here.

You can check if you have the XA-300. If not, you can probably add it by checking the compatibility page.

If you have the XA-300 Aux input adapter, or add one, then you could look at adding the Sony HD radio tuner. Check compatibility.
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