2001 Mustang GT Mach 460 Head Unit replacement option, need advice - Ford Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008 Thread Starter
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2001 Mustang GT Mach 460 Head Unit replacement option, need advice

I think my Mach 460 CD Changer finally died. I am tired of fighting it anyway so I want to replace it. I've read a LOT of threads on this and other boards and think I have a pretty good handle on what I need. I just have a couple of questions that anyone with some experience in this area could help me with I would be grateful.

I am leaning toward one of 2 HU's from crutchfield. If I order from them, they include a wiring harness that looks just like the Metra harness on partsexpress.com that is referenced in many threads. Both of the HU's I'm looking at have 2 pairs of pre-amp outputs and one (Pioneer) states that it has both hi-pass and low-pass filters while the other (JVC) doesn't specifically mention that.

Here are the links to the two HU's...can someone recommend one over the other or suggest a better option in the same price range? Thanks for any and all advice...

Pioneer DEH-P3000IB CD receiver with front auxiliary input at Crutchfield.com

JVC Arsenal Series KD-AR480 CD receiver with MP3/WMA playback at Crutchfield.com

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008
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You just happen to chose the two brands I dislike the most. The JVC I owned lasted less than year before it started skipping and would not eject cds. Pioneer makes good FM tuners but has higher signal distortion compared to other brands. I recommend just about any Alpine or Sony HU. All my Alpine & Sony HUs are still working. I installed a Sony in 1994 into a daily driver and it still plays cds. HPF and LPF are nice options if you are adding a amp but most amps have built in HPF\LPF crossovers so you might not need them. Some HUs let you control the HPF\LPF frequencies and that is nice if you like to adjust settings for different music types & fine tuning. A lot of people never use these features and leave it up to the install shop to adjust everything. Are you going to add a subwoofer and amps? Do you listen to different types of music or mostly the same? feel free to PM with any questions.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008 Thread Starter
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I've always like the Pioneer's FM tuners but have no experience with JVC. I also looked at some of the Alpine and Blaupunkt models.

I won't be tweaking the sound and I don't currently plan to install a subwoofer or any additional amps...I just want something relatively simple to install that sounds at least as good as the stock system and I'd like to stay under $150.

Blaupunkt has a couple of receivers that hav SD-card playback (no CD) along with the tuner (Melbourne and Brisbane). That would be great so I don't have to store CD's in the car or burn discs.

Again, though, I don't know much about HPF/LPF, crossovers, etc. etc. From what I've read online, it sounds like I need several preamps with HPF and LPF ability built into the HU. This is why I settled on the Pioneer.

If I don't need those options then I might be happier with the Blaupunkt SD. I just don't want to end up with poor sound or problems getting the stock amplifiers and speakers working with the new HU.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008
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If you are not adding a amp\amps the HPF\LPF are not needed and are of no use to you. Another thing to consider is the current factory radio. The Mach 460\1000 units have external amplifiers that power your door & deck speakers while the tweeters are powered by the HU, so changing out a Mach unit is not a simple strait over swap. Which factory HU do you have? Also if I were looking at HUs under $150 I would get a Sony over Pioneer or Blanpunkt. My Blaupunkt tuned great but did not last long.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008 Thread Starter
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I have the Mach 460. I talked to a rep at Crutchfield and he said the model I'm looking at (Blaupunkt Melbourne) would work fine with the harness they supply and will retain all the amps & speakers functionality.

I like this Blaupunkt because it is a SD-card rather than CD player. I don't like burning CD's and trying to find a place to keep them stored in the car. An SD card makes perfect sense to me.

As for Sony, I've had some bad experiences with Sony products and just gave up on them a few years ago. I had one Sony car radio that was ok (probably 15 years ago) but I recall it had some quirks that drove me nuts. All the other Sony products I've owned (home audio/video) always seem to have something that bugs me (proprietary storage media, a VHS deck that would only function via remote...there were NO controls on the deck itself)...just stuff like that that turned me off on Sony. Maybe they're a better product now?

Hopefully, the rep isn't steering me wrong on this and it will work as advertised. I'll post back once I pull the trigger on a purchase.

Thanks for the help guys.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008
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He is correct, you can use the harnesses to integrate the stock amps but you will still have to wire up the tweeters to the HU. The 460 HU powers your tweeters directly without any bass, so when you wire the tweeters to a aftermarket HU you need to use bass blockers to prevent damage to the tweeters. You can find instructions on how to do this in the Audio & Alarms forum. I dislike this method because using bass blockers for your tweeters without a woffer puts additional strain on your HU because the blocked bass has no place to go and turns into heat. This method works but is not the greatest as far as sound quality. In fact the addition of the bass blockers will probably make your overall sound quality go down vs. all stock. My advise is if you are not going to change your speakers don't waste time and money replacing the HU. If improved sound quality is your goal you need to replace the HU and speakers. If you are just tired of changing\burning CDs spend your money on a hard wired MP3(ipod) adapter\transmitter.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKevo View Post
He is correct, you can use the harnesses to integrate the stock amps but you will still have to wire up the tweeters to the HU. The 460 HU powers your tweeters directly without any bass, so when you wire the tweeters to a aftermarket HU you need to use bass blockers to prevent damage to the tweeters. You can find instructions on how to do this in the Audio & Alarms forum. I dislike this method because using bass blockers for your tweeters without a woffer puts additional strain on your HU because the blocked bass has no place to go and turns into heat. This method works but is not the greatest as far as sound quality. In fact the addition of the bass blockers will probably make your overall sound quality go down vs. all stock. My advise is if you are not going to change your speakers don't waste time and money replacing the HU. If improved sound quality is your goal you need to replace the HU and speakers. If you are just tired of changing\burning CDs spend your money on a hard wired MP3(ipod) adapter\transmitter.
Thank you for this reply..itreally helps clear up my confusion regarding the instructions posted in the Audio & Alarms forum and what I've been told by Crutchfield and read elsewhere).

I do like the idea of a hard-wired MP3 player, which I will have to research.

You mention that to improve the sound I need to replace the HU and also the speakers. Do you mean just the speakers driven by the HU? If so, which speakers are those? And, lastly, I assume the replacement speakers wouldn't require bass blockers as they would be regular (sorry, don't know the correct terminology) speakers that handle both bass and high frequencies...is that correct?

Thanks again, I really appreciate the advice.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008
 
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I'm glad I found this topic. I'm thinking about buying the Alpine CDA-9885 off of Crutchfield because my 460 6-disc just crapped out on me. That's all I was planning on swapping out, but I guess I need to do more research in case I need to buy something else.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augy View Post
Thank you for this reply..itreally helps clear up my confusion regarding the instructions posted in the Audio & Alarms forum and what I've been told by Crutchfield and read elsewhere).

I do like the idea of a hard-wired MP3 player, which I will have to research.

You mention that to improve the sound I need to replace the HU and also the speakers. Do you mean just the speakers driven by the HU? If so, which speakers are those? And, lastly, I assume the replacement speakers wouldn't require bass blockers as they would be regular (sorry, don't know the correct terminology) speakers that handle both bass and high frequencies...is that correct?

Thanks again, I really appreciate the advice.
You would replace all the speakers. A Aftermarket HU can provide sufficient power to aftermarket speakers without external amps. The problem with integrating the stock speakers is that they are 6 ohms and require external amps and the amps ford used cannot power tweeters. Which bring up another reason why I dislike the "integration method", powering just your tweeters with you HU will result in unbalanced sound because power output will not be proportional between the HU & factory amps. NO aftermarket speakers will NOT require Bass Blockers. If you chose to buy "component" speakers they will include separate woofers and tweeters and will include crossover devices which separate the frequencies and send them to the correct speaker. If you choose "coaxial" speakers the tweeter will be mounted on the woofer, just plug & play. Hope this helps, anymore ?s

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKevo View Post
You would replace all the speakers. A Aftermarket HU can provide sufficient power to aftermarket speakers without external amps. The problem with integrating the stock speakers is that they are 6 ohms and require external amps and the amps ford used cannot power tweeters. Which bring up another reason why I dislike the "integration method", powering just your tweeters with you HU will result in unbalanced sound because power output will not be proportional between the HU & factory amps. NO aftermarket speakers will NOT require Bass Blockers. If you chose to buy "component" speakers they will include separate woofers and tweeters and will include crossover devices which separate the frequencies and send them to the correct speaker. If you choose "coaxial" speakers the tweeter will be mounted on the woofer, just plug & play. Hope this helps, anymore ?s
Ok, I'm starting to think the hard-wired MP3 player is going to be a lot cheaper solution to the dead CD-changer in my stock HU. It looks like (from my limited knowledge and research) this would run right around $75.

If I do go with a new HU and speakers it looks like I'm going to spend upwards of $300-400 for something that isn't going to sound a whole lot better than stock (which is pretty good already).

Does this sound about right? Thanks again.
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Sounds about right Augy. You can get a good HU for under $150 and a decent set of speakers start at about $70\pair = $290 total. You could do a little better if you shopped around for the speakers. I use ebay for most of my electronic needs. Just to warn you MP3\ipods will not reproduce sound as well as a cd. I can explain in detail but to put it simple you will loose some low frequncy bass and some very high freq treble. Most people only notice the bass loss. If you do decide to interface your mp3\ipod i highly reccomend you do not use the wireless transmitter, the just sound like junk. Hard wired interfaces are the way to go.

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