Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Got some concerns but very pleased overall
on June 5, 2011
I bought this radio for the HD tuner, use of aux jack, and to add a powered sub. At the same time, I replaced the stock speakers in my 99 Grand Marquis. This is my first time with and HD tuner, but I've had several stereos with MP3, IPOD, and aux capability. I've only had this stereo for about a week, but have already gathered a few thoughts. My list of cons might be greater than the pros, but please realize that the things you are not satisfied with garner the most attention. Even with all the cons, I am impressed with this little stereo. The only thing that REALLY gets me is listed first under Cons.
-Many options for what info is displayed. Some stereos only let you see clock, track, or title. This mixes those up a little and gives you more than just a one line display.
-USB track finding is simple. On a stereo I previously had, you could only go between folders and then songs sequentially. This stereo makes it simple because you can pick which folder and which song by their names all while the current song is playing.
-Even though it only has a few buttons, controls are pretty intuitive. Basically press/hold a button then turn the wheel and you can get to everything.
-Stereo reception is exceptional. The 12 year old stock stereo in the Grand Marquis was better at pulling in stations than most cars I've driven in the last 15 years. This JVC unit is even better. I'm easily getting stations that are 70+ miles away.
-EQ is pretty flexible. It adjusts in 3 categories: bass, mid, and treble with several settings in each category. I'm not even sure what some of the settings do, but I know when it sounds right.
-By far my biggest gripe: The subwoofer output is VERY limited. I have an Elemental Designs DVC 12" hooked up to an 800W class D amp that was just plain ridiculous with every other install I've used it in. With this stereo, you get an audiophile sound. The lows to the sub are very clean, but very limited. At times I couldn't tell the sub was even on (and I even have an amp gain remote at my fingertips). Don't get me wrong, I love a well balanced system, but at times I just want to feel the bass. I don't ever want to have to pop the trunk and see if the amp is getting power. The fix: I plugged the RCAs into the rear output of the stereo. This bypassed all the subwoofer controls of the stereo, but I just use the LPF and other setting on the amp. Now the sub beats with a vengeance playing everything from Metallica to Tupac.
-Display can be hard to read at times (even with all the adjustable colors and brightness). Because it is a convex shape it also seems to collect more dust. I hope it doesn't scratch easily. Forget about seeing it through polarized sunglasses, but that's problematic with most displays.
-I wish it had some preset buttons. This is personal preference, but it's tough having to get to the right station if you have 20 presets. I would prefer a few direct tune buttons.
-It takes a few seconds to recognize an HD station (might be a symptom of all HD tuners). This is problematic if you're seeking/searching because it won't find the alternate HD stations until it recognizes the first one. So unless you wait a few seconds after every seek, you might miss some great programming.
-I have noticed that at the beginning of some of the USB tracks it skips like a scratched CD. I have some songs where it plays a second, restarts the song, and then plays the whole thing. Didn't realize digital media could skip.
I hope this is helpful. I chose this stereo over its competitors because of price, features (HD especially), and the great experience I've had with JVC stereos previously.