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Clarion Double-DIN: NX404

Discussion in 'Audio & Electronics' started by Sud, May 21, 2014.

  1. Sud

    Sud Senior Member

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    Well, against what I thought I wanted to do... I'm considering replacing the factory 3.0 head unit. I've come across a great deal on a new Clarion Double-DIN headunit.

    Sound system I'm contemplating running:
    Speakers: JL Audio C5-650 components(front only, rears will remain stock for now)
    Amp: Alpine PDX-V9
    Sub: Sundown SD-2 12" (single)
    Sub Box: Fox Acoustics single 12" sealed enclosure (advertised 1.25 cu ft.)
    Processor (IF I use factory 3.0 unit): AudioControl LC7i

    The new Clarion NX404 headunit would obviously be more expensive than the processor, but it gives me a MUCH nicer stereo/headunit than the factory 3.0. Adds a cd player, and Navigation (neither of which i currently have), along with several other nice features.

    On the other hand, i'm assuming I'd lose my Aux port and USB port in the center console/arm rest. which is not really cool. I do not have steering wheel audio controls, so no worry as far as that is concerned.

    I understand the hacking that has to be done in the dash to make a double DIN work. i'm ok with that i guess.

    I guess I'm wondering 2 things:

    1.) how much better would this NX404 head unit be, in terms of sound quality and adjustability, than the factory head unit and a processor (AudioControl LC7i, or even the JL Audio Cleansweep)

    2.) I'm unfamiliar with Clarion stuff - Do/would they work well with a setup like what i listed above? And how compatible are they with the Ram trucks?
     
  2. Etroze86

    Etroze86 Senior Member

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    You will have quiet a bit more adjustablility with the Clarion and the usb thing is solveable with the two usb inputs on that deck. LC7i and clean sweep are more of just summing devices more than processors, with all of that said its up to you cause in the end its your money and what you like to look at everyday in your truck.
    I love my 80prs but I hate how out of place it looks and have debated to going back to factory and processor to get that clean look again.
     
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  3. Graygoose

    Graygoose Indecisive Car Owner Supporting Member

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    A couple months ago we put a system in Shawn's (Murder Nova of Street Outlaws show) and we went thru 3 Clarion HU's that put noise in the system...we tried everything, FrontRow, amp, speakers, bought 2nd HU new, then a third...all had noise...then got a Kenwood DD, perfect.

    I have always loved Clarion, not sure why, but it was for some odd reason all Clarions that put noise in the system, and made the sub thump.
     
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  4. Etroze86

    Etroze86 Senior Member

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    Wow didn't even know these had troubles with noise, I've only seen one since about 2003 for some reason and I guess that is a good reason why lol. Good advice Goose.
     
  5. autokraftgt

    autokraftgt Senior Member

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    The NX404 is not getting awesome reviews. Their "last years" model was a much better performer from what I hear. For the navigation...you get the first 30 days free, however if you want to upload the latest maps they charge $60...im not a navigation user so that wouldn't mean much to me...but if I was....that would get pricey real fast.
    I agree with Etroze86 as I have the 80PRS as well and many times wish I had an DD HU that filled up the large space we have in these trucks....the single din looks like a radio in a Razor or something lol....it simply looks like I have a really cheap HU....but the processing features of the 80PRS for its price point is second to none (for new HU's on the market today)
    I have though about running a DD with an external processor (ps8, helix, audison etc...) just so it looks appropriate....who knows...maybe I will.
    The 80PRS is dead SILENT too...almost as silent as the heavy hitting P99
    The battle for form over function is a tough battle...when you start putting really nice speakers into your ride, I believe you have to choose function over form...otherwise you are taking steps backwards when it comes to sound quality.
    The NX404 basically has a bass, midrange, treble adjustablity and thats it. It has low and high pass filters, but Clarion does not go into detail about that feature, so it's obviously not a main selling point for them and this unit. 2 USB ports BEHIND the unit could be annoying IDK??
    IMO for the price, Id keep looking or simply get a nice external processor....NOT a summing device, but a real processor.
     
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  6. autokraftgt

    autokraftgt Senior Member

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    AND if the Clarion introduces noise? Well that's simply a deal breaker
     
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  7. Sud

    Sud Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. Sounds like maybe i should steer clear...

    I also have access to a good deal on the Clarion NX604, but even at a good deal, it's a little more than i want to spend. but... if it's supposed to be a great product, maybe worth a shot?

    This will likely end up being what i do - keep the factory unit and get a "real processor". That said, I don't know if i know the difference between a processor and a summing device. Is the Audiocontrol LC7i and/or the JL CleanSweep a processor, or a summing device?
     
  8. DatacomGuy

    DatacomGuy Senior Member

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    Used to LOVE Clarion. Not sure what happened to them.
     
  9. autokraftgt

    autokraftgt Senior Member

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    I'll give you the short version to your question
    The LC7i is an active line out converter with some processing abailities. It's labeled a processor on Audio Controls description...but it's more LOC than Processor IMO...
    The main purpose and selling point for the LC7i is its ability to help bass roll off which happens when one adds an amp and subwoofer to a factory HU. As you turn up the volume, bass output will not slowly diminish as the volume is turned up (not good) but it mainly gives you the ability to add aftermarket amplifiers to a factory system. Their Accubass is one of their main features which is great for the guy who wants to add an amp or two or three.

    The Cleansweep basically "cleans" the factory hu's built in processing. The factory has a small amount of processing/equalization to basically make cheap speakers sound better. The Cleansweep eliminates peaks and valleys in equalization resulting in a clean, pure, unaltered signal which is great as well....but it's not a processor.
    A true external processor has a multitude of tuning abilities. Time alignment, phase control, crossover points, slope adjustment, level adjustment (per speaker), equalization (some have 30+ bands of equalization PER SPEAKER) auto-tune abilities, on-board amplification (I know the JBL MS8 has a small amplifier.many use for a center channel)...basically all these features give the listener the ability to tune for the irregularities of their vehicles interior making for the best staging possible. A good external processor basically "quarterbacks" how your system sounds, then your factory HU basically becomes the input source for music only.
    Im sure I missed some main points here and there....but thats the jist of it
    There is a reason most processors are pricey...$500+....they take complete control over your system for the better
    NOT bashing the LC7i or JL's Cleansweep.....they most certainly have their place in the market and do a great job at what they're built for....they're just not a true digital processor IMO
     
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  10. autokraftgt

    autokraftgt Senior Member

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    EDIT....bass will slowly diminish as volume is increased*
     

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