Review 1 of 3
, from Amsterdam, The Netherlands|
from Boyds Electronics, T
Year / Model Reviewed:
2003 Alpine CDA-7990R
Strengths ... superlative sound quality, build quality, exclusivity, the Alpine name, the F#1 Status processor that will be joining the head unit soon.
None that have become apparent.
Even for the wealthy (not myself, of course, I'm just a Sound Quality nut!), the prospect of paying over 3000 bucks for a head unit, especially one without a built-in amp, clever onboard eq's or all-singing, all-dancing signal manipulation or electronic trickery must seem a daunting purchase. It was for me!
I debated with myself and my bank manager (Okay, her name's Dianne and she is, in reality my girlfriend, but, hey! You know the score! ;-) ) long and hard over the possibility of purchasing such a high-end head unit.
Sure, I knew the score ... F#1 Status, Exclusive, Hand-picked Components, Blah!, Blah!, Blah!, but the proof of the sonic pudding always comes in the listening. And listen I did, hours upon hours in the comfort of Holland's premier league dealership, Boyds' listening room.
Eventually the deal was done and the F#1 and it's separate DC-DC converter was fitted in my car (a Volvo T5R Station Wagon), heading up a sophisticated sound-quality orientated set-up, comprising around 2.2 kilowatts RMS(!) of Xtant electronics, running two Xtant X1244 dual voice-coil hexagonal woofers and a Micro Precision (VERY high-end, hand-built German speakers) 3-way front end.
The F#1 replaced the relatively high-end Alpine CDA-7894R, so how does it sound in comparison? One word ... "PHENOMENAL"! Some people suggested that the difference would be marginal, even going as far as suggesting that whatever benefit the CDA-7990R had in comparison to the outgoing head unit would be impossible to detect in a moving automobile. How woefully wrong they were. This head unit IS the ultimate sound source and it shows so transparently that whether stationary with the engine off, or driving at 120+mph across-the-border on the German Autobahn, the clarity, seoperation and smoothness of this head unit's performance is blatently obvious.
But my opinion of this head unit/system has been borne-out by others. Other's more qualified than myself to decide on sound quality ... the EMMA sound quality judges who, yesterday, in my first competition awarded my system first place in the Rookie Unlimited Class at Holland's largest car show!
Similar Products Used:
Alpine CDA-7909R (way back!), Alpine CDA-7944R, Alpine CDA-7894R.