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Discussion Starter #1
After finally putting up with an FM-modulated iPod interface and XM radio (both sounded pretty good, but...you know. Had to go for the gold) for two whole weeks (hehe), I went looking for a decent head unit with these specs:

- CD/MP3 capable (WMA is nice also, but not required)
- Remote control
- XM-ready (very important)
- Removeable faceplate (pretty standard)
- Some kind of iPod interface/portable audio player interface
- Decent power and good reviews
- At least one pair of pre-outs (for a sub later)
All for under $175 (which is a tall order)

It is VERY hard to find a unit with all the above for under $200, let alone $175. I didn't want to add $50 in XM cables and adapters either, nor did I want to spend $100 on an iPod integrated adapter/cable since I prefer the iPod's interface to some clunky stereo integrated interface. Looked at Pioneer, Clarion and Sony (and Audiobahn), but all the additions for the iPod and XM radio would have pushed the price to almost $325.

Luckily, I found the Dual XMDR-7700 which came with everything mentioned above (which was impressive in itself): XM cable for the Terk universal XM box and XM-ready without any other proprietary adapters, RCA cables/3.5mm cables for a portable MP3 player (perfect for the iPod), very nice power, and a rather unique dual-motorized facplate/display. The "iPlug" that is came with basically is a 3.5mm to RCA adapter (with a 4-foot cable) that allows you to place this "iPlug" near your iPod or other player and hooks right to its headphone output. I loved this alternative compared to a front-mounted AUX input, with an unsightly cable hanging down from your head unit to your player.

Anyway, with the universal XM radio being only $50 with a $50 rebate (making it free), and not needing a brand-proprietary adapter (like Sony, Pioneer and others make you use), this seemed like the dream head unit to get. I could find no other unit under $200 that was as loaded as this. I use the iPod to listen to podcasts in the truck, so having a neatly-hidden AUX jack was important.

I used the Scosche N1491 install kit (looks excellent in the dash of the 2005/06 Frontier) and a Metra wiring harness and installed the unit in about 30 minutes. I stashed the XM radio box underneath the center console (which just snaps off) where the lower pocket is (there is JUST enough space under that to stach the radio box), turned on the unit, and was blown away! The power was quite a bit more than the factory head unit (not a whole lot, but noticeable), and it made the 4 stock speakers (and 2 added tweeters in the dash) sound great - very punchy. I was very satisfied with the install kit and the overall look of this unit for the price, which was only $125 at buy.com (free shipping). I almost ordered from Crutchfield (they had it for $170), but I had ordered a Sony unit from them a few weeks ago, and the install kit they sent (for free) was just a dash pocket (not a custom Frontier install kit). The install did not look that good, so I sent everything back. I found the Scosche install kit for $5.99 at buy.com (this is incredibly cheap!) and the wiring harness for another $6.99 (again, cheap!). So for $150, I had everything I needed to complete the install, and the Scosche kit looks fantastic.

Thought I would let the forum know since I spent quite a bit of time researching all the features I needed and the specific unit and costs of all the materials, and I am a hard customer to please when it comes to making the aftermarket install look as close to stock as possible. If you're looking into going aftermarket with your audio, this is a great choice that is relatively inexpensive.

Pros:
- Great-sounding head unit, very neat 2-step motorized faceplate action
- Remote control works great - you can access almost all functions
- XM radio box integration is first-rate - I love the 80s channel!
- Looks killer at night...
- The iPlug (see last photo) is mounted on the driver's side console (very stealth) where I can plug in my nano and just sit it on the console pocket

Cons:
- Blue/White display and blue buttons - no amber color available (kind of a downer, but worth it to me)
- Display is "kind of" blocked by the angle of the faceplate (when motorized in the down position) since the stereo sits so high on the dash
- Sticks out about 1/2" from the dash due to the motorized faceplate (not flush like the factory CD system).

All in all, I like this setup and it had everything I needed at a price I couldn't believe. I was almost resigned to paying over $300 for all the features I wanted, so this deal did it for me easy.

The last photo shows the "stealth" iPlug next to the driver-side console. Very svelte and hidden from view.

Cheers!






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Discussion Starter #5
Thought of that...

Well, here is the deal with the dash pocket. The generic "Nissan" dash pocket Crutchfield originally sent with a Sony MP3 head unit a few weeks ago just did not look right, either on top of or below the head unit. I was really after a one-piece, integrated install kit (to make the install look as clean as possible), and the only one I could find was the one from Scosche (which looks great!). Since it is a once-piece kit (not a two piece with a pocket, even though it looks that way), there is no capability to move the pocket to the high position. This Scosche kits completely replaces the factory side mounting brackets and everything. It's something I have learned to live with (the radio being higher and the faceplate display being a little blocked because of the motorized faceplate). I may one day change my mind...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I tried!

Thanks Cliff!

The "clean" look was the #1 priority I was after, so I am happy. Also wanted to provide fellow Frontier owners with a clean yet not that expensive aftermarket solution should they be looking for one.

:D
 

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FrontierJourney, how did you get the old radio out, I want to put a new radio in but do not know where to begin, any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Installation kit

I had the same problem with the kit that Crutchfield sent me. They do carry the scorshe kit mentioned above but for some reason they say that it doesn't fit in the Frontier (even though it's specifically made for the Frontier and Xterra.) Anyway, after about a 10 second conversation, they sent me the Scorshe kit for free. Everything looks good now. I sent a couple of pics of my HU to Crutchfield so maybe they've updated their database.
 
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