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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If you are not looking for a touchscreen/nav or DVD player HU (which is pointless IMO... the hand held Garmin GPS is miles better...you would have to mount an antenna on the windshield anyway and I like having my GPS eye level...and who watches DVDs in their car on a tiny 6 inch???), I highly recommend Pioneer Premier FH-800BT! I did a lot of research before buying this HU.

Aside from the excellent sound quality, which is expected in any aftermarket HU as standard, this HU offers the following:


1. Flawless Built-In Bluetooth (by Parrot, the leader in handsfree car audio):


Note: IMO, it is really stupid to buy a HU without Bluetooth now-a-days. This unit has it built-in (built-in devices generally function better) and add-on generally runs $150-200 if it is optional.

Automatic connection when start.

Phonebook + other features, ability to set sound to back speaker (completely eliminate distortion and echo).

Advanced echo cancellation setting (zero echo on other end if sound comes from the furthest speaker only, which is the rear left, but there will be distorted sound (instead of echo) if the echo is too close)

AWESOME sound quality with bluetooth audio streaming! I have tried using a blackberry and pandora radio... the quality was EXCELLENT and worked flawlessly (makes me wonder what the point of getting a tuner when you can bluetooth with your smartphone...)! A con here is that you can't be have your phone be used with bluetooth as a telephone or as a bluetooth player at the same time.


2. High quality USB sound:

Automatic USB player start when plugged in and saved progress! It is designed for Ipod use as well (comes with cable) features the ability to use your Ipod to controls and sound comes from the the HU.

Advanced sound retriever allows the HU to make your compressed MP3, WAV, or ACC files sound CD QUALITY (very noticeable highs and bass and does not sound compressed AT ALL). Note: The sound will depend on the quality of your MP3 files... I use 196 kbps (256 is what you get from buying from Itunes and 302 is rare) and if you use 128 kbps, it will sound a lot more dull.

High power, fast USB! It powers a portable hard drive (but must be format with FAT16/32). I use my phone with a 9g card to play songs. A con here is that there is no way to "random skip." Note: I mounted my USB cable where the Hill Decent button should have been (09 SE didn't have this feature, but 2010+ SE will).


3. Great expandability:

This HU has 3 sets of 4v RCA jacks (front L/R, rear L/R, and sub) and the ability to turn off internal amp if using an external amp.

You can get a HD radio tuner, 6 disc changer (CD sound quality is by far the best...1411 kbps), XM/Sirus tuner, steering wheel mount remote (that actually works), and the HU can be used to deliver sound for a TV or DVD player (sold separately). For example, you can buy a ceiling mounted monitor with DVD player/ TV tuner and the sound lead goes to the HU.


4. Reliability, dependability, functionality, usability, and value:

Pioneer is a great international brand. This HU comes with a 2 year warranty.

The internal amp is certified 14w RMS (Pioneer rates it as 22w RMS). Note: To cleverly market themselves, Kenwood DOES NOT certify their amps, so it they always put 22w RMS/ 50w max RMS, but there is no way of knowing this due to no certification; when certified, Alpine HUs will have 18w RMS, which is higher class Kenwood units will have. In reality, there is no noticeable sound difference between 14w, 18w, and 22w; only 50w+ RMS a difference kicks in, which is based off your speaker quality (not RMS quantity) and whether they can take the RMS.

What is important in the HU is the functionality. This HU is REALLY simple to use and is well laid out.

The top complaint about this HU is that it is so bright at night. SOLUTION: There is a dimmer option when you turn headlights on and IT IS NOT ENABLED by default; AND you can turn off illumination completely (the HU still works and can be controlled via remote). The funny thing is that at least people aren't complaining about not enough illumination during daylight (VERY common complaint about aftermarket HUs and is really annoying to not be able to read a HU...it completely destroys functionality). Note: Careful with selecting a Kenwood HU...they have horrible usability and REALLY annoying knobs that simply don't work...I would ONLY buy a Kenwood HU with a touchscreen.

You can buy the 1 year warranty model (8000BT model number instead of 800BT) for ONLY $260 from the cheapest seller (just make sure they are authorized to sell Pioneer products). I bought the 800BT from Crutchfield for $350 (the adapters and metra kit included).

By not spending $1000 on a HU (really easy to do now-a-days), I save $650 to spend on an AMP and speakers (though I don't think I want to do this because the current setup sounds just fine)...or new wheels...or a sunroof...or you can buy your girl some sexy jewelry. ;-)


I would get one of these ASAP because they have been discontinued.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here are pix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since I never did this before, installation took much longer than normal... a whole 5-6 (hours on and off. I had to buy crimps (you need the tool, which I already had) and electrical tape to put the adapter together.

Honestly, I recommend you go to best-buy and left them do it if you have never installed a HU. It isn't hard and you CAN do it, but an expert will do it faster/better (I scratched my dash a little, but it isn't noticeable) and you free up your own time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, and I plan to mount the remote on the steering wheel. It is small and fits well. The only problem is it is infrared based, meaning it needs LOS. I plan on achieving this by installing tiny mirrors to reflect the signal to the front of the HU.
 

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Looks good - did U need an adapter for the antenna connection?
 

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This is the exact model i have been looking at to replace my old Pioneer deck. Where did you buy yours for a discontinued price?

Edit: I just found it. That looks very sharp and the features are amazing. Thank you for the pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looks good - did U need an adapter for the antenna connection?
Yes. It is about $15, free if you get it from Crutchfield, which I recommend.
 

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I've had this deck for a few months now. Here are some of the issues I've encountered with it:

- iPod doesn't reconnect all the time. If I switch to the tuner, turn the engine, turn it back on, then try to switch to the iPod, it acts like it's not there. I have to disconnect the iPod and reconnect it to get the deck to recognize it.

- iPod goes silent for no reason. Every now and again I'll jump into the truck and the iPod will start playing, but silence. I have to disconnect the iPod, turn it off, turn it back on, and reconnect it. Not sure if these are iPod problems or Pioneer problems, but there is some incompatibility issues for sure one way or another.

- The deck has issues playing some music files on my jump drive. I thought it was issues with some of my MP3's at first, but I used the same drive on a Clarion and didn't have any trouble playing the files. Not sure what's going on there.

- Blue LEDs. I didn't think this would bother me, but it does. I'm gonna have to either install a HU that can go to amber (DNX6140 maybe) or change all the LEDs inmy cabin.

For the price it is a solid radio. It looks really nice installed as well. But I think I should have sacked up gone with the Kenwood. I'm sure it will have its quirks as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've had this deck for a few months now. Here are some of the issues I've encountered with it:

- iPod doesn't reconnect all the time. If I switch to the tuner, turn the engine, turn it back on, then try to switch to the iPod, it acts like it's not there. I have to disconnect the iPod and reconnect it to get the deck to recognize it.
I have not ever had this issue.


- iPod goes silent for no reason. Every now and again I'll jump into the truck and the iPod will start playing, but silence. I have to disconnect the iPod, turn it off, turn it back on, and reconnect it. Not sure if these are iPod problems or Pioneer problems, but there is some incompatibility issues for sure one way or another.
I have had to wait a bit longer every once in a while for a random song to kick in. But I also noticed that when my phone gave me an alert like a text message, the HU will not switch to the next song until "accept" the alert (ie, hit view text message).

- The deck has issues playing some music files on my jump drive. I thought it was issues with some of my MP3's at first, but I used the same drive on a Clarion and didn't have any trouble playing the files. Not sure what's going on there.
I never have had this issue, but then again I don't use a flash drive.

- Blue LEDs. I didn't think this would bother me, but it does. I'm gonna have to either install a HU that can go to amber (DNX6140 maybe) or change all the LEDs inmy cabin.
This doesn't bother me and it is impossible to find an exact matching color. If the blue bothers me, I can simply hit one button to turn it off. Of course, this is preference...

For the price it is a solid radio. It looks really nice installed as well. But I think I should have sacked up gone with the Kenwood. I'm sure it will have its quirks as well.
IMO, unless it is a high-end, $1000+ Exelron, Kenwood has way too many quirks. I tried them (the non-exelron units) at stores and the build quality is horrible and the sound is no better than Alpine, which seems more solid and usable. This is preference too...
My comments about this in red.
 

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Oh, and I plan to mount the remote on the steering wheel. It is small and fits well. The only problem is it is infrared based, meaning it needs LOS. I plan on achieving this by installing tiny mirrors to reflect the signal to the front of the HU.
Really? Thats crazy! (in a good way) But....I guess you will be haveing to be driving strait to let the remote work... right? (so you dont have 100 mirrors all over the place)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Really? Thats crazy! (in a good way) But....I guess you will be haveing to be driving strait to let the remote work... right? (so you dont have 100 mirrors all over the place)
I will have to try it out. The mirror would be tiny and a simple angle to point toward the center.

Yeah... maybe it will only work if the wheel is close to center...but hey who fools with their system when making sharp turns... :laugh:
 

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I have had this deck for over a year now and absolutely love it. The ONLY thing I dont like is the fact that the blue LED's are too bright when driving at night. Even with the dimming feature on. I usually turn the screen off when Im taking long night drives.

Other than that, this thing is a dream. I hooked it up to my existing steering wheel controls and it works great. 7 band EQ is amazing. Works great with my iPhone playing audio over bluetooth OR plugged into the ipod cable. (I have since bought a regular iPod and use it only for my deck, the preamp in the iPhone sucks).

I have had no reliability problems. Every once in a rare while my iPod freezes. I fault the iPod for that. But the deck really does sound great. I LOVE the 2 custom EQ options. I have 1 EQ setup for when I am driving by myself where the music is loud and punchy. Then the 2nd custom setup I have set up for when I have other people in my car. I scooped out all the mid frequencies (where humans talk) and I can have music playing a little louder while still being able to hear and talk to my buddies.

Id highly recommend this deck.
 

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I sold one of these to someone here last year when I picked up my AVIC 90BT. I liked the 8000bt, good little unit especially for the price, can you even get these through Pioneer?

That said, the AVIC, while a bit more expensive, blows it away. I have no problem with the GPS and hate things attached to my windshield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Pioneer emailed me that this unit was discontinued because it was first introduced late 2007. Their policy is to discontinue units about every year and create new models. this HU in particular was kept in production till October 2009 (when the last SKU of them was made).

Dealers list it as discontinued when they run out of stock. I bought one of the last ones from Crutchfield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Updates

Correction: This unit was released in 2008.

Also, this HU does take a portable hard drive, but (like any other HU) not very well due to power requirements.

THERE IS A SOLUTION:


You can buy a USB cigarette lighter adapter (it converts power to 5v, which is what USB needs) and plug it to a USB cable with a splitter that goes from HU and charger, to the hard drive.

Picture example:


(HU) (car outlet adapter)
| |
Regular USB ->\ / <- Regular USB
\ /
\ /
Y
| (power direction is down)
\
|
| <- USB that fits hard drive
|
(hard drive)

This applies to using any hard drive with any HU. Unless it has enough power (which it doesn't get from the HU alone), it will be really slow and easily interrupted via vibration. It likely will still work half/arsed though.


Lastly, after using this HU a while now, I found that the bluetooth can have compatibility issues. My phone worked perfect the first it I set it up, but one time I hit "disconnect on my phone." After that I wasn't able to get another connection when I re-enabled it. The HU would connection for 2-3 sec and then the phone would automatically disconnect. IT WAS DRIVING ME CRAZY.


Solution to this issue:

1. Pair from the phone (pin is 0000 by default)
*it will likely establish a connection (on phone and one HU), but then say connection failed.
2. Tell the HU to connect to the phone.
*it should stay connected now

If you try connecting only from the HU, the same issue will repeat as earlier.



Advise on better sound out of crew cab models: Bring the balance to be much higher in the rear (7-10/15). This will created a more surround sound from the speakers, where otherwise you can't hear the rear speakers and the front speakers (naming tweeters) will be blazing. Also, being there are 6x9 speakers in the front, too much power to the front will create much more base... and 2 6x9 speakers create a TON of base... I don't see why anyone wants a sub with 6x9 speakers... unless they don't put 6x9 in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have read that with the newer iPhone updates you can no longer sync via BT. I was about to pull the trigger on this HU until I heard that. What a bummer.
I think that only applies to contact entries.

The iphone should still connect and use the hands free talk ability because both use the same (standard) profiles for bluetooth. Then again, I am not too sure about iphones.

In theory, any relatively any new bluetooth device phone should work with any bluetooth capable units because bluetooth technology uses standards.
 

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recent purchase

I just purchased one and am awaiting its arrival. I wanted one that had more of a factory look. Of all the ones on crutchfield this one fits the bill the best. Hope it works.
 
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