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Old 08-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
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Kenwood or Clarion Head Units ?

I'm in the process of replacing my oem head unit. I'm considering either the Clarion CZ702 or Kenwood KDC-X997. Does anyone have experience with these stereos ?
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:52 PM   #2
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I just installed a Kenwood KDC-X597. It's worlds better than the OEM Becker system, even with the stock speakers.

The ability to stream bluetooth audio and phone (I'm on an iPhone 5) is great and I haven't had any complaints on the other end (mic placed on the steering column). I ordered my unit through Crutchfield. The free wiring harnesses and radio removal tools are great bonuses.

FYI, if you go that route, the harness they supply isn't the exact shape as your OEM ones; you'll have to do some matching to see how they fit together. I remember you said you have the hifi system with the rear shelf speakers (same setup as me). The DSP will still work.

I've had a bit of time to play around with the system a little bit. My observations so far:

1) the streaming audio only plays on the dash and door speakers, nothing out of the rear shelf. If I plug in or play the radio, the rears come on, the problem is only with streaming audio.

2) it's very hard/impossible to read the screen with direct sunlight shining on it. Not a huge deal because I'm rarely messing around with the radio once I've got my jams going, but that could be annoying for some.

3) pretty cool that orange is one of the colors for the display to match (close enough) the rest of the interior.

4) if you turn off the car in the middle of a phone call, it'll transfer it to your phone (as it should), not end the call.

I plan on replacing the OEM amp sometime in the near future so I can swap in my Focal speakers (dash and door). The doors are 2 ohm. Replacing them with 4 ohm sounds horrible, so I'll have to change out the amp first.

Hope this helps. I did a lot of research before diving into this one. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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I just installed a Kenwood KDC-X597. It's worlds better than the OEM Becker system, even with the stock speakers.

The ability to stream bluetooth audio and phone (I'm on an iPhone 5) is great and I haven't had any complaints on the other end (mic placed on the steering column). I ordered my unit through Crutchfield. The free wiring harnesses and radio removal tools are great bonuses.

FYI, if you go that route, the harness they supply isn't the exact shape as your OEM ones; you'll have to do some matching to see how they fit together. I remember you said you have the hifi system with the rear shelf speakers (same setup as me). The DSP will still work.

I've had a bit of time to play around with the system a little bit. My observations so far:

1) the streaming audio only plays on the dash and door speakers, nothing out of the rear shelf. If I plug in or play the radio, the rears come on, the problem is only with streaming audio.

2) it's very hard/impossible to read the screen with direct sunlight shining on it. Not a huge deal because I'm rarely messing around with the radio once I've got my jams going, but that could be annoying for some.

3) pretty cool that orange is one of the colors for the display to match (close enough) the rest of the interior.

4) if you turn off the car in the middle of a phone call, it'll transfer it to your phone (as it should), not end the call.

I plan on replacing the OEM amp sometime in the near future so I can swap in my Focal speakers (dash and door). The doors are 2 ohm. Replacing them with 4 ohm sounds horrible, so I'll have to change out the amp first.

Hope this helps. I did a lot of research before diving into this one. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Just to confirm, the funky DSP unit will work with an aftermarket head unit ? Also, it seems strange that the rear shelf speakers won't play when streaming via bluetooth. Any thoughts as to why ? Lastly, I won't be doing the install myself. That said, will an experienced car audio person know how to install the new head unit so it looks appropriate ?
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #4
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Yes, the DSP does work if you are only changing the head unit. I would venture to say it wouldn't work if you change the factory amp, although I haven't had a chance to verify how it's wired.

I am not sure why the rears don't come on. My only guess is that the streaming bluetooth AUDIO is setup to behave like blutooth PHONE; you typically don't use the rears for speakerphones. But I haven't had a chance to call Crutchfield and verify with them.

An experienced installer will get it right, but honestly, it's a plug and play swap. If you're mechanically inclined to any degree, I would attempt it yourself. It's literally a matter of pulling out your OEM unit, pulling out the plugs, plugging in the harnesses and sticking the new radio in. I ran into some problems because the previous owner put in an aftermarket radio, but nothing that wasn't easy enough to figure out. I presume your car's wiring harness is untouched.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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Yes, the DSP does work if you are only changing the head unit. I would venture to say it wouldn't work if you change the factory amp, although I haven't had a chance to verify how it's wired.

I am not sure why the rears don't come on. My only guess is that the streaming bluetooth AUDIO is setup to behave like blutooth PHONE; you typically don't use the rears for speakerphones. But I haven't had a chance to call Crutchfield and verify with them.

An experienced installer will get it right, but honestly, it's a plug and play swap. If you're mechanically inclined to any degree, I would attempt it yourself. It's literally a matter of pulling out your OEM unit, pulling out the plugs, plugging in the harnesses and sticking the new radio in. I ran into some problems because the previous owner put in an aftermarket radio, but nothing that wasn't easy enough to figure out. I presume your car's wiring harness is untouched.
Yes, the set-up is still oem.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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Order it from Crutchfield and opt in for the free wiring harness. Save some money on the installer cost and DIY. I can help walk you though it if you want.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:42 AM   #7
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Order it from Crutchfield and opt in for the free wiring harness. Save some money on the installer cost and DIY. I can help walk you though it if you want.
Are you sure your up for this ?
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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Haha, What About Bob...funny movie.

Sure, we can start by going over the connections that would have to be made step by step. If your confidence level is 0, it might be a better idea to get someone else to install it. But judging by all the mods on your car, I'm sure you are capable.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:43 PM   #9
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Why not double DIN? I put a Kenwood double DIN in mine and loved it. The built in Garmin and bluetooth phone calls are really missed in my Cayenne.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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Why not double DIN? I put a Kenwood double DIN in mine and loved it. The built in Garmin and bluetooth phone calls are really missed in my Cayenne.
There are another components in the way like the oem DSP unit and CD tray/holder thingy.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:04 AM   #11
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You dont need the DSP unit, the equalisers in double dins are just as good. On my Pioneer, you plug in a microphone and it balances the speakers etc for you. I would definitely get a double din as touch screen control is much better and move the aircon controls to the bottom unit.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:17 PM   #12
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You dont need the DSP unit, the equalisers in double dins are just as good. On my Pioneer, you plug in a microphone and it balances the speakers etc for you. I would definitely get a double din as touch screen control is much better and move the aircon controls to the bottom unit.
Let's see some photos of your new h/u.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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I have put photo's up on various threads here but here goes again:



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Old 08-09-2013, 12:56 PM   #14
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My dash lay-out is completely different than yours. The climate control cluster in my vehicle is locate over the radio. A 2-din radio won't work without major alterations.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #15
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That's where mine used to be.

If you have aircon, it's a 5 minute job to relocate it to where mine is now. There is a bit of trim you will need to buy, it will be less than $10.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:24 PM   #16
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Johnny, if you get the Euromotorspeed adapter kit it includes the bezel to relocate the aircon control. My 2002 S already had it at the bottom, but its nota big deal to relocate both and make room for the DDin. I seriously miss having that setup. The Cayenne is nearly impossible to modify without buying a bunch of expensive stuff. I'm not even going to bother.


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My dash lay-out is completely different than yours. The climate control cluster in my vehicle is locate over the radio. A 2-din radio won't work without major alterations.
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