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Old 03-04-2011, 04:29 PM
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Thoughts on Alpine INA-W900BT

I am close to ordering my GC, but I hate to wait. When I search inventories, I find a lot of what I want other than the Media Center. Have any of you thought about doing something after market? What about the Alpine INA-W900BT? It seems like it can be made to work with the all the existing equipment, including the Steering Wheel controls, with the help of an adapter. This will all cost about $500 more, but may be worth it. Any feedback?
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:43 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Alpine INA-W900BT

Until very recently I owned that unit. I sold it with my old vehicle when I bought the WK2.

I found the navigation to be decent, but Alpine is NOT fast to update their software, so the interface seems a little antiquated. The sound was good, I had no problems with it.

My biggest concerns with it were that the bluetooth implementation was erratic -- it wouldn't always connect to my Blackberry, and the USB->iPod interface would frequently hang if I played it for a long period of time -- several hours, having to be reset by powering off the radio (i.e. turning off the vehicle).
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:11 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Alpine INA-W900BT

Thanks for the feedback! How do you like the Wk2 stock unit? Which do you have? I have always preferred stock units that tend to provide cleaner integration...even if not the best in every regard. My G37S Convertible had a GREAT unit, but it would fail to connect with my iPhone for music on occasion. I ignored the issues because the Pros were more numerous.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:18 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Alpine INA-W900BT

the concern with aftermarket is adding all the interfaces snd the cost of such.

as an example, in my wk i added a AVIC F90BT. I spent over 300 on all the interfaces and harneses.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:16 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Alpine INA-W900BT

My recommendation is stick with OEM. With everything that is tied into the OEM unit its going to be very complex and costly to get everything to work such as all the steering wheel controls, uconnect, OEM amplifiers etc etc. And thats if there even is anything to integrat that stuff to aftermarket. Not only that but someone or yourself has to tear all into your brand new Jeep and take panels apart which never go back correctly either that or they break something. Its just not worth it especially when the original unit does a pretty good job. Aftermarket never looks as good either.

My vote goes to stick with OEM. Hope this helps.

James
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:19 AM
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Re: Thoughts on Alpine INA-W900BT

in my opinion the only reason to ever leave the world of premium OEM steup these days is if you are an audiophile and have already changed the stock speakers. from a gagetry.. and more importantly... fit and finish perspective, the OEMs blow aftermarket out of the water. up until the early 2000s this was NEVER the case... but delhpi and others have stepped up their game along with the Big 3 to offer much better interiors and sound. whereas before the aftermarkets offerred MORE features, today you get less and if anything you lose lots of integration with things like steering wheel controls, vehicle monitoring, etc.

basically, aftermarket does nothing to add to the value of the vehicle and unless you are going for premium sound is not worth the lost functionality. most of them look ricey anyway.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:11 AM
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Re: Thoughts on Alpine INA-W900BT

Well, I was switching out the radio in a 2003 Silverado, which was double DIN, but didn't have built in nav.

Let's see if I can break it down into the important points:

Nav system ease of use: Winner 430N. The Alpine is a little harder to enter addresses, etc.

Nav system accuracy: Tie. Neither of them are perfect.

Audio ease of use: Winner 430N. The Alpine better integrates the individual components -- for instance picking a source is done from a single screen vs. two, but that is more than counterbalanced by the flakiness of the bluetooth and usb I mentioned above. As far as I'm concerned, my car radio should work more like a toaster than a computer.

Audio Quality: Unkown. I never did an apples-to-apples comparison. They both sound nice to my ears. The Jeep sounds much better than the Chevy, but can't blame the Alpine for that.

Video: Unknown. I never played video on the Alpine.

Flexibility: Winner 430N. While the Alpine has the theoretical ability to change the background image, the 430N makes this actually EASY and trumps with the Garmins ability to easily add your own custom POI file.

Overall: I like them both. The Alpine was a little slicker, but you could tell that behind the scenes it was programmed by chimps. The 430N feels very slightly like the satellite and NAV system have been tacked onto a radio, but it all works very well together.

Ultimately the answer is this -- I didn't like the Alpine enough that I wished I'd moved it to the Jeep.
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