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Re: Mobile Reciever - Sony or Alpine

>Larry Weil wrote:
> I'm wondering
>if anyone on the list has any real world experience
>with these radios, and can give me some advice based
>on your own experience.


        My brother had an older Alpine in his car that did not impress me
on the AM reception. Most of these radios pay no attention to the quality
of the AM, even the aftermarket, and I don't think you can necessarily tell
from the specs they publish. The problem is, you really can't tell until
you install it. The stores never are set up with an AM antenna and all you
can listen to is the fluorescent lights. They look at you like you might be
a dangerous weirdo when you ask about the AM part of the radio.

        I'm a big Sony fan, even though, like with their other radios and
TVs, they tend to cost slightly more than other brands for what looks on
paper to be basically the same thing. I've found the car Sonys I have had
to be very, very good on AM. However, the last one I got broke after just
over a year (warranty over), and a friend who sells stereos said the build
quality on the Sonys except for their high-end line (forget the name) is
iffy nowadays. Actually made in Taiwan or Malaysia rather than Japan, or
some such story.

        In the past I always found Sonys well built. (I have a 25-year-old
portable radio that just keeps on ticking and sounds great.) Although
obviously I was disappointed with this latest car radio (bought in '98).
When the Sony broke I put a very comparable Kenwood in the same car and it
definitely is not as good for AM, and it's really not quite as good for FM,
on which Sony also is very good.

        Another good feature is that the Sonys with the D-bass feature are
like a poor person's subwoofer. It seems to work much better than other
brands' bass boost or just using the loudness button as a cheapo bass
boost. The Sony boosts a specific range of lower bass on a curve so you can
get more bass from a modest set of speakers without distortion. The Sony I
had also had 12 AM presets, vs. 6 on the Kenwood and I think a lot of

        That latest Sony was an XR-C6100. I think that's discontinued, but
there are similar ones. It was like a $150-range cassette unit. I still
have it and may send it off to Sony for a $75 repair fee and put it back in
the car. Just not happy with the Kenwood. I think most of the Sonys in that
approximate range for both cassette and CD have the same basic radio
tuners, just the number of bells and whistles on the controls differs. Mine
was the lowest price unit that had both Dolby for the tape and the built-in
controls in case you want to add a CD changer. It may have to be a Sony CD,
but I'm not sure about that.