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  #1  
Old 11-27-2002, 09:04 PM
sflori
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Question XM or Serius? Head unit recommendations?

Hello all:
I've decided to get either XM or Serius subscription radio service for my '95 E320. Any recommendatins as to which one is better (I live in the NE) and which head units are good. I'm looking for a head unit with a CD player, most likely an Alpine.

Will I be able to use the existing trunk mounted amplifier?

Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2002, 04:54 AM
Cleeve's Avatar
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Location: Lakeside, Ca.
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Options!!!

I always like to have options. Did you know that our company can modify your existing factory head unit to have an AUX input to send the audio signal from XM directly into the audio controls of your stereo. Thus allowing you to keep your amplifier and get CD quality sound with minimal changes. For more info. see our Web site: www.lajollaaudiorepair.com

Cleeve Morrison
La Jolla Audio Repair
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2002, 11:35 AM
sflori
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Thanks Cleeve, I'll check it out.

I was thinking of a new head unit for two other reasons: I don't really like a CD changer in the trunk-- same CDs for weeks at a time; I'm not sure that I want to have an extra unit in/around the dash. I like a clean look.

I haven't checked out your website, yet, though, so I'm not sure if I'm speaking too soon.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2002, 05:57 PM
USMANDAR
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hi, cleeve what u are saying is it possible for my 1993 400e
if yes what parts would i be needing but i still dont even have the cd changer yet so what are my options fro a cd changer
thanks
mani
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2002, 06:04 PM
sflori
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Just a heads up, Cleeve. I haven't been able to log into your website-- page comes up but can't go anywhere from there.

I'll call the shop. I'm probably going to go with your modification that puts the unit into the ash tray so the look is as stock as possible. Most likely I'll go with Sirius, since they have FOX News rather than CNN.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2002, 12:38 AM
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Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
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After spending hundreds of dollars on these .... will either company be in business two years from now?
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George Stephenson
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2002, 11:41 PM
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Web Site Working fine

Hi,
Just to let everyone know, our Web site is working fine. If you are having problems you may need to download the latest version of Flash. I just got through testing the site on different computers and using Internet Explorer 5.0 as well as Netscape 7.0 the site came up and navigating through the site with the links worked well. Let me know more of exactly what is not working for you and I will try and find out the reason for the problem. Keep in mind that if you set your security level too high on your browser you may get rejected from some sites even though they present no danger to you. www.lajollaaudiorepair.com

Cleeve Morrison
La Jolla Audio Repair
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2002, 12:01 AM
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Reputation is everything

Hi Stephenson,

I hope that your referance to the companies you mention are not directed at mine. Our company has been in business for over 17 years and I have no interest in taking money now and running with it. It takes years to establish a solid reputation, which we have, so the experience that we have and the circuitry we design is backed completely with the assurance that you will get the best from us. Anyone getting the modification done to their head unit for XM needs to understand that the modification goes inside of the radio and is not an external device. If you should decide to sell you car with the modified radio you would have no problem removing and keeping the XM system with no harm to the radio since IF the XM system is removed or unplugged from the radio the radio will just remain in the stock mode. Thus the radio would work just as it always has just no XM signal or switching. I do hope that this may clarify some doubts about what we do with the head units. If anyone has any questions for me please don't hesitate to contact me directly. Thank you to all those Forum users that have already seen the quality of our work. We are not trying to be the cheapest BUT we will be the best because our customers deserve nothing less than that from any company.

www.lajollaaudiorepair.com

Cleeve Morrison
La Jolla Audio Repair
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2002, 11:38 AM
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Cleve,

Sorry, probably wasn't clear ... the XM and Sirius business plans are a bit on the fragile side. I fear there is an opportunity for them to burst the way the telecom bubble did and anyone holding a receiver may simply be out the bucks.
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George Stephenson
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2002, 03:16 PM
TobyWonKanobi
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I like Siruis

I have Sirius and don't know if I could live without it! I got it in July of this year and have not listened to regular radio since. For me the 100% commercial free music and the style of programming/content on Sirius vs. Xm was worth the extra $2.00.

I've gone up and down the west coast from San Diego to Seattle and it was awesome having all those stations remaining the same through San fran... through the redwoods... etc.

I kept my stock Mercedes radio by tapping into the CD changer input in the trunk and used an auto switch to select CD or Sirius. Basically, when I want to hear Sirius I press CD on my radio and power up the Siruis tuner and that's it... if I want to hear CD I power down the Sirius tuner and the CD plays. I got the Jensen handheld unit, I like it's large display and blue/white backlight. I mounted it in the trunk, ran the controller cable up to the front, used the terk sat anntena, drilled a small 1/4" hole in the roof and ran the sat ant. wires into the trunk. That way it looks more like the stock Mercedes cell/Gps anntenna vs. the black tail come off it to hide the wires.

As for investing in something that may fail, XM does not have funding as of yet. Sirius has funding through 2004. The benefit is so great that even if it only lasted till next summer I would get it. It's worth not lisitening to commecials while driving home, it's worth hearing the music they don't play on the radio, it's worth listening to CNBC, Bloomberg, FOX tv shows on my way home from work or on the way to Vegas or where ever.

I can't say enough good things about my Sirius radio and I know that everyone will have one in 5 to 8 years. Just like cable Tv, you wouldn't go back to 5 or 6 stations that get snowy with rabbit ears!!!!
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2002, 03:23 PM
TobyWonKanobi
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Talking Sirius has Fox and CNN.

As well as all the others, NPR, NPR NOW, PRI, CNBC, CNN, FOX, ABC NEWS and a bunch more....

You can listen to the music stations online http://www.sirius.com live just as it is coming into the car.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2002, 07:10 PM
sflori
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Oh Crap!

TobyWonKanobi

I went over to Best Buy today, noticed that XM does have FOX News, and went with them (that was a big deciding factor). I was going to get Sirius, but I can't get a receiver unit that can fit into the ash tray to keep the look of the car as stock as possible.

Does the configuration you have allow you to have CD quality sound vs. analog (radio frequency-- RF)? That's a big factor for me too.

The salesman told me that Sirius had taken a stock hit recently due to some financial problems. Is that true? I've driven by XM's headquarters/studios many times in DC and they look pretty impressive. Mercedes also chose XM for their cars.

How does the unit look/fit in your car? I did like the idea of being able to use satellite radio in my house, but can't do that either with the little Pioneer unit I bought. Maybe I should just return the stuff tomorrow and go ahead with Sirius anyway. Can having the unit sitting on the dash or somewhere else really look that bad? What do you think??
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2002, 10:39 PM
TobyWonKanobi
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Hmm Well

First off, for me the Commercial free of Sirius is very important. I hate commercials and do not want to pay for a service that has them... why pay?? I have free commercial FM. Secondly, a large owner in XM is Clear Channel Com. They own nearly all the FM stations in the land. So on XM you will likely be hearing the same damn songs that Clear Channel plays on all their stations. Note that the record companies pay the radio stations to play their music... hence you will be listen to music that they want you to buy.... sometimes that doesn't leave room for the good stuff they aren't pushing. Finally, I think agreeing to any level of commercials is a Pandora's box. What will you do in two years when they increase the commercial load?

As for hardware, there are Sirius units that fit in your ash tray.. Check out the new Panasonic. As for Mercedes Choosing XM, it's actually the other way around all Chrysler/Mercedes vehicles will come with Sirius NOT XM. Read the Sirius press release section on the web site sirius.com. You'll find that BMW and other fine cars come with Sirius. As for the stock hit that's just sales men rubbish. Sirius investors defiantly took a hit.. but XM is equally bad if not worse, they are down to 2.37 last time I looked. XM does not have funds to continue for more than a few more months. Sirius does have funding that is already verified.

You should know that the salesmen who sold you got a free XM system and probably a Christmas bonus directly from XM for selling X amount units.

I'm sure you will be happy with XM over normal FM... just thought I'd share my point of view which is strictly about performance and value vs. a paycheck.
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2002, 10:48 PM
TobyWonKanobi
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CD Quality

I forgot your big question!

Yes my configuration is a direct line input. That means it's a direct input into the radio vs. a FM modulator. For a short time I used a Cassette adapter until I got my direct input set up. It made a big difference. My Jensen unit has RCA line outputs so it's very flexible. If you get the Pioneer XM you'll have to use their radio since there are no direct outputs from the XM tuner. I think the stereo shop that watches this board can modify those units.

As for sound quality, both XM and Sirius are not CD quality in my opinion. They are good, just as good if not better than FM but because of sat resources they compress the music. That process can lead to audible noise heard usually in cymbal hits etc. It's much like a good quality MP3 file.

I defiantly can appreciate good sound and have heard music through a set of $200,000 speakers but in this case the slight quality issue is far outweighed by the content and fact that you've got music from coast to coast. It's gen 1 technology and you should expect it to not be perfect.
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  #15  
Old 12-03-2002, 02:49 AM
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Decisions, Decisions???

You know, both XM and Sirius are high quality radio. I make no money giving opinions on this Forum however they are just that, opinions. Since I work directly in the market I get the opportunity to look at and test many of the newest units out, including factory OEM. Manufacturers are gambling on what their customers will prefer, XM or Sirius. Which way they choose does not say any less of the other, it's just their choice. So just like my opinions, you still get to choose which way you want to go. Sirius does have RCA outs which is nice. XM has the ability to also go direct. Differences will be in the line levels. Programing is good for both of them. Yes, Sirius does have commercial free stations but so does XM. XM just doesn't have as many but then that is contantly changing. Direct connections of either system is the only way to go no matter how it is done. Some units can have external injection of the signal via the changer cables but many units don't have that ability which is why I get so many calls to modify the head units internally, which doesn't harm the head unit.
Now for my opinion, I perfer XM over Sirius. The XM controler is smaller and able to fit in areas that the Sirius can't. I enjoy some talking every once in a while, let's me know someone else is out there too. It is adaptable to any unit so I don't see any problem choosing XM. www.lajollaaudiorepair.com

Cleeve Morrison
La Jolla Audio Repair
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