Alpine CDA-7844

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CDA-7844 MSRP: $
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Description:
4V Preout CD

 
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++ Rating
Reviewed by:
Pat Byrne


Review Date
November 11, 2000

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Value Rating
 4 of 5

Used product for
1 to 3 years

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 11.00 votes

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Review 1 of 3 , from Duvall

Price Paid:  $450.00

Year / Model Reviewed:
 cda7844

Strengths:
audiophile quality, durabile, dependable, subwoofer control, volume knob, AI NET

Weaknesses:
display not very impressive, designed more for function than looks. pay a lot for alpine name. Tendency to run hot.

Summary:
Recommend it for high quality of construction and performance. Works great with amplifiers. Gives you subwoofer controls. Takes quite a bit to make it skip. 4volt pre-out makes a major difference over standard 1.5. best CD player I've ever owned.

Similar Products Used:
clarion, jvc, blaupunkt



++ Rating
Reviewed by:
Michael Dushane


Review Date
November 27, 1999

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Value Rating
 3 of 5

Used product for
6 months to 1 year

Visitors rate this review
4.53 of 5, 15.00 votes

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Review 2 of 3 , from Ann Arbor, MI

Strengths:
features, actual knob, 3 4v preouts

Weaknesses:
TINY, recalcitrant buttons, cheezy amber lighting, garish graphics

Summary:
This unit sounds great but the controls leave a lot to be desired. My number one peeve is that if you press a button too fast repeatedly, it won't work. So, if you want to get to the subwoofer level control, for example, you have to press the knob 5 or 6 times slooowly. It is quite frustrating. I used to have a Ford with green lighting and it looked fine, but now I have a Honda with red lighting and the amber lighting on the 7844 is GHETTO! In an obvious cost-cutting move, they made only the left half switch colors. I thought it might be defective, so I called Alpine and they confirmed (after a long, long time on hold at my expense) that only the left half of the unit switches colors. To add insult to injury, the "amber" is more like Pontiac bright orange; it is not a pleasant amber at all. I run mine in the green mode now, and even though it clashes with everything else in the car, it looks better than 2-tone electric orange and green.

The station preset buttons are insanely small. They were apparently designed for midget elf toddlers with unusually small hands. I don't have fat fingers, but it is hard to hit one button on this thing. It isn't like there are that many buttons; they could have made them larger and they still would have all fit.

The changer control is cool, as is the separate subwoofer level control, except for the annoyance in accessing it, as mentioned above. I paid $400 for this unit (it has been replaced by the nearly identical CDA-7845), and I wouldn't pay any more than that. It just isn't worth it. It seems like Alpine has resorted to cost cutting and sloppy design. Had they actually tested this unit between design and production, the small but annoying interface issues would definitely have popped up.

All that said, the build quality seems top notch and it has worked without a hitch in 2 different cars since I got it. However, I will go with a brand with better thought out controls next time.



++ Rating
Reviewed by:
Eric Schroeder
( an Audio Enthusiast)

Review Date
September 4, 1999

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Value Rating
 4 of 5

Visitors rate this review
4.85 of 5, 13.00 votes

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Review 3 of 3

Summary:
Well, I bought the CDA 7844 last December, so I've had almost a year with it now and don't know how I ever got by simply listening to the radio. I'm a college student, which means I'm usually poor, but I do like buying quality, so I opted for the 7844 over some of it's lower siblings. I must say that I probably over bought, by which I mean that this unit would be perfect in any amp'd system and has many features and expansion possibilites through Alpine's AI-Net. As it is, it's 40wX4 internal amp is fine for driving my stock 6.5" speakers. I'd really like to upgrade them to MB Quart coax, but that's another story... In all, I've had no problems with it and it never skips. FM reception is average compaired with my friends Clairion and Pioneer head units. I don't listen to Am. My only 2 complaints are 1) that when you change the display color to amber, it doesn't change the station preset buttons to amber, but keeps them green. This seems a stupid ommision by Alpine, but I suppose you could argue that it helps the driver que in on which buttons are presets... blah, it looks weird in it's half amber, half green state. In this reguard, I like my father's alpine that's about 5 years old... it completely changes to amber. Complaint 2)is that it's disply is a bit dim during the day (most head units are though) and that it doesn't have a setting to brighten it manually to make it as bright as it becomes when it detects the head lights of my car turned on. Yes, infact it IS able to be set manually in it's dimmer state if you don't want it to brighten during the night... but with my state's (Florida) sun glare during these late summer days I would of appreciated a way to brighten the display up to it's night time default.
In any event... my dad's Alpine is still running fine after 5 years which is more than I can say for many of my friend's Clarions. This seems to be a trend for both Alpine and Clarion respectivly. If my Alpine stay's good... I just may get around to adding those MB's and perhaps a McIntosh or Xtant amp.

I give it 4 **** due to the above reasons... percieved reliablity brings it up from a 3 1/2 to a 4.




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