Alpine 9855 Review

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by C32, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. C32

    C32 *The M3 Executioner*

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    Pros: Amazing SQ/tweaking abilities, Great display, AUX input for iPod
    Cons: Menus counter intuitive at 1st, An '05 model, so can only be found used
    Overall: 8.5/10 - Best Headunit and SQ I've heard :bowdown:

    Review:
    Sound Quality
    I just got my Alpine 9855 installed and after some tweaking, it sounds a-fucking-mazing! I have Boston Acoustics RX47 4" coaxials in the front and Rockford Fosgate 6.5's in the back. Not 1st tier speakers, but they get the job done. Before I got the 9855, I got all kinds of distortion in my system when cranking up the volume, even after adjusting the crossovers on my Alpine MRV-F340. Now, after adjusting the crossovers on the 9855, everything just sounds really clean. No distortion at reasonable listening levels. I can crank the volume up to 20 without things getting ugly and I still get great bass, even without a sub connected at the moment. I haven't had time to set the time correction properly, but in just playing around with it, I notice it can make a difference when it comes time to seriously fine tune things.

    User Interface
    I'll admit Alpine could have made the interface a litle more straightforward. The adjustments aren't intuitive, but after I played around with everything for 20 minutes it all made sense. There are basically two different menu systems, an "Easy Menu" where you control basic functions and then the "Pro Menu" where the time correction, crossover and EQ controls can be found. The problem is that many similar functions are not grouped together, so you'll find yourself switching between the Pro and Easy menu to get to what you want to adjust, which can be hard to do while driving. I would give the Glidetouch bar a 7.5/10 because it's a great idea, but it sometimes doesn't react to my finger movements pricisely. This could also be because I have a used unit that's a couple years old, but who knows. I do like the tilt function though, because it helps eliminate glare caused by the sun coming through the back window.

    iPod Experience
    For those who are thinking of buying one of the newer Alpine headunits for the iPod interface, I think you're getting suckered. It really just comes down to what's more important to you: sound quality or the iPod interface. When the new units gained the improved iPod functionality, they lost the active crossover control, time alignment, the 5 band graphical EQ, the parametric EQ and the screen tilt function. I connect my iPod through the AUX in port using a mini plug to RCA cable and it sounds great with MP3s encoded at 192kbps or higher. Anything less than that doesn't sound great on the system, but it also wouldn't sound good on any other system, either. Obviously, you can't control the iPod from the headunit, but that's not a huge deal for me, since I usually use playlists or keep it on shuffle. You can't charge the iPod from the headunit with this setup either. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do to solve this problem, but I haven't used my iPod in the car long enough for that to be an issue, either.

    Overall
    This is a great unit and I would venture to say the best non-DVD headunit Alpine has ever made. It has all of the features you could possibly want if you're looking for a top notch audio-only system. I'd give it an 8.5/10 only because of the user interface shortcomings and I would highly recommend buying a 9855 on eBay instead of buying one of the newer units, like the 9856 or 9857.

    I've only had it installed for 3 days, so I'll let you know if anything changes as I use the unit more.

    Cliffs: If you're about to buy a new Alpine headunit for the iPod control, don't. At least think about picking up a used 9855, or at least a 9835 if you don't like the Glidetouch.
     
  2. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    As far as transfering the music to the CD player to be played the interface pwnz the AUX in. Plain and simple the CD player desiphering the mp3 is better than using a headphone jack to transfer the music into the CD player to be further processed.

    But I agree that it is an awsome mid-high end unit.
     
  3. ngsm13

    ngsm13 New Member

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    I could probably have you banned here, if need be CB...
     
  4. DjShiznit

    DjShiznit Representing Deutschland, yah.

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    Very nice deck. I wish my 9885 had some more features (time correction would be nice). I have one laying around, but I required the iPod interface that the current decks have. Probably not as high end as the 9855, but it gets the job done :hs:
     
  5. rebs

    rebs shares AIDS OT Supporter

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    Im very glad they ditched glidetouch last year.
     
  6. hott-nix

    hott-nix New Member

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    alpine has an interface box that attaches to the 9855 via the ai net cable that recharges/keeps charged the ipod and allows the deck to fully control the ipod (assuming you're not using the shuffle, you never have to touch it) .
    my friend has one with his 9855, paid about $100 for it
     
  7. C32

    C32 *The M3 Executioner*

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    I've heard horrible complaints about it, so I made sure to stay away. That's the only setback with the 9855 I've found so far.
     
  8. hott-nix

    hott-nix New Member

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    really? he has had it for a while now and hasnt had a single issue with it
     
  9. C32

    C32 *The M3 Executioner*

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    I've heard there's a really long lag time when searching for songs. Other than that, it's great.
     
  10. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    Congrats, want a cookie?

    Have fun continueing to moderate your shit hole of a forum. :wavey:
     

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