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Old 06-02-2004, 02:17 PM   #1
chimiler
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Default Clarion 545 vs others

I'm looking at getting an indash Sirius radio for the car. I like the Clarion because 1) its black and 2) it comes with a free tuner. What I don't like is 1) I can't find one at the store to look at or anyone with knowledge of it and 2) the display doesn't seem to show anything other than the channel (no different from FM though). Is there a better option out there in the sub $300 range? I'd prefer mostly black, MP3 playback is nice, AUX in is a plus.
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Old 06-02-2004, 06:34 PM   #2
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Clarion is considered to be top of the line equipment. The 545 is a good deal at $199.00. I have the Clarion 745 model that can be had for $399.00. I recommend the 745 model if you want at least a 2 line display so that you can see the artist and song title at the same time (the reason I bought it), need three 4volt preouts (front, rear, and subwoofer), or desire the display colors to be like your other colors on the dash. There are 728 different colors that the Clarion DXZ745MP Head Unit will display and this model can display blue colors. Order it through Crutchfield's or go to a Tweeter's if you have one in your area. I think the free Sirius tuner deal is still in effect and that in itself saves you $150.00.

The next step up from the Clarion 545 is the 645 at $299.00, which will allow 80 color changes (no blue colors) and adds a 3rd preout for a subwoofer, but they are only two 2volt preouts, and both models only have a one line display.

I love my Clarion!
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:27 PM   #3
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I have the 745 and it is worth every damn penny.

2 line display is great not too mention great sound quality. You can even change the colors on the display to anything you want. Great looking and sounding deck with 2 line sirius display for the money its unbeatable IMO.

I don't know much about the 545 though sorry.
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Old 06-03-2004, 12:35 AM   #4
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i have the 445 in 1 of my cars and it is very nice unit.. 2 downfalls is that only 1 line of display.. but i only paid 169.. so you know . you get what u pay for.. it is nice though.. and 2 everytime i turn off the car. and then i turn it back on it always updates.. any one else has had this prob?

other then the small stuff i love it.. i think for the price range it is the best bang for the buck.. plus the free tunes is awesome! i got the same deal wiht my kenwood.. i think it is the only way to go with the free stuff!
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:39 AM   #5
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One thing to keep in mind that "saving" $150 is a misnomer. Once the free tuner promo goes away, it will undoubtedly cost $50 just like every other Sirius tuner on the market. It's certainly no reason to choose a Clarion just because of the free tuner, anyway.

I'm not saying Clarion doesn't make great HUs, because they do. What I opted to do was buy an Eclipse HU and hook my PNP into its AUX in. When Eclipse releases their Sirius tuner (Halloween), I may or may not upgrade to that. Not all Eclipse HUs will work with it, however. It has to have a feature called "eLan", which for the 04s include the 3424 and up.

I'm currently happy with my Audiovox PNP2 and the sound is great "as is", so I may just stick with that. I opted for the Eclipse over Clarion just because it sounded better to my ears, YMMV.
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Old 06-03-2004, 11:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichP
One thing to keep in mind that "saving" $150 is a misnomer. Once the free tuner promo goes away, it will undoubtedly cost $50 just like every other Sirius tuner on the market. It's certainly no reason to choose a Clarion just because of the free tuner, anyway.
Since I wanted an intergrated solution and two line display, my only other option that I was aware of was getting an Alpine and XM, but the XM tuners cost $150.00. You should note that if you buy the Sirius Tuner without a head unit you will get charged $150.00. XM was a no dice deal for me. Perhaps the $50.00 you are referring to is the cost of the antenna. Some Kenwood Head Units that work with Sirius (Also Free Tuners) may have a two line display, but I'm not aware of one.

One last thing to note is that the free tuner deal is only good if you keep Sirius for a year. The contract wording allows you to pay monthly, although it seems try to get you to activate the entire year all at once. I pay monthly.
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Old 06-03-2004, 08:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_in_MD
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichP
One thing to keep in mind that "saving" $150 is a misnomer. Once the free tuner promo goes away, it will undoubtedly cost $50 just like every other Sirius tuner on the market. It's certainly no reason to choose a Clarion just because of the free tuner, anyway.
You should note that if you buy the Sirius Tuner without a head unit you will get charged $150.00. XM was a no dice deal for me. Perhaps the $50.00 you are referring to is the cost of the antenna. Some Kenwood Head Units that work with Sirius (Also Free Tuners) may have a two line display, but I'm not aware of one.
I don't know dude, I was able to check out of Crutchfield.com with the Kenwood tuner for $50 + shipping. If XM is a realistic option for you, I'd pick up the integrated XM/HU (CDA-9820XM). That thing is just badass, all you'd need to do is run an antenna right into the HU. Done deal!
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichP
I don't know dude, I was able to check out of Crutchfield.com with the Kenwood tuner for $50 + shipping. If XM is a realistic option for you, I'd pick up the integrated XM/HU (CDA-9820XM). That thing is just badass, all you'd need to do is run an antenna right into the HU. Done deal!
I agree that XM/HU is nice, and I seriously thought about buying that head unit until I found out it has only a one line display, lack of a Subwoofer Preout, and inability to play MP3s and WMAs. It also doesn't have anti CD shock, or support CD Text. It was $349.00 for that XM HU compared to $399.00 for my HU that has all that support. You might as well just spend the extra $50.00 for the Clarion 745

BTW, I have the Crutchfield Winter/Spring 2004 catalog and on page 21 it states that the Kenwood KTC-SR902 Sirius tuner is $149.99, but free if you buy a compatable receiver and antenna. Seems that you got a good deal.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_in_MD
I agree that XM/HU is nice, and I seriously thought about buying that head unit until I found out it has only a one line display, lack of a Subwoofer Preout, and inability to play MP3s and WMAs. It also doesn't have anti CD shock, or support CD Text. It was $349.00 for that XM HU compared to $399.00 for my HU that has all that support. You might as well just spend the extra $50.00 for the Clarion 745

BTW, I have the Crutchfield Winter/Spring 2004 catalog and on page 21 it states that the Kenwood KTC-SR902 Sirius tuner is $149.99, but free if you buy a compatable receiver and antenna. Seems that you got a good deal.
Ouch, I wasn't aware that Alpine unit was so lacking. I wonder if they had to make concessions to slap that tuner in there! I'm particularly surprised about MP3 support, I can't imagine a $350 deck nowadays not having it. I'd be curious to see how many of these things Alpine actually sells!

No, I didn't get a good deal on the Kenwood tuner, that's the normal price. Go to www.crutchfield.com, and try checking out with one. I guarantee it will be $50, and two months from now it will still be $50. The Sanyo tuner is $50 also. Why would they jack people for $150 when you can get a complete car PNP solution for $150? It doesn't make sense!
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:05 AM   #10
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The one other thing that turned me off on that Alpine/XM unit is the display. Only 8 characters, but it will sroll the full 16 that XM offers. But My Kenwood does 24 characters before it will scroll. Text is a real shortcoming on most XM Ready HU. Also as someone else already stated its only a single line display.
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Old 06-04-2004, 01:52 PM   #11
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A friend of mine has the Alpine/XM HU...Awesome HU,sounds and looks fabulous....


I have the Clarion 745...I got it off of Ebay for about $270....So if you want to install it yourself that maybe an option for you...


BTW ..The 745 is also a great HU...I have XM,and for now Sirius running though it and they both sound excellant...
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