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599 Replacement Stereo - any recommendations

Discussion in '612/599' started by 410SA, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
    8,391
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    The 599 has simply the most awful stereo - especially shocking in contrast to the the sublime nature of everything else in, on and about the car.
    I have decided to replace the unit with something more user friendly.
    The speakers are perfectly adequate and I'm looking for something simple to operate, with straightforward controls for volume and tone, good reception for FM & AM and the ability to control the current 6 disc CD player.
    I may as well investigate units with flip up GPS screens and satellite radio.
    Whatever I get must fit in the current space occupied by the factory unit. I have no desire to drill holes, replace speakers or otherwise attempt to put a recording studio in my car.
    I would appreciate suggestions from all who have replaced stereo head units in late model Ferraris.
     
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  3. SSNISTR

    SSNISTR F1 Veteran

    Feb 13, 2004
    8,014
    SFL
    May I suggest you go with Alpine. It's the best stuff bar-none. And they make 1/2 DIN non-flip out and flip out head units.
     
  4. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    7,008
    Northern California
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    Greg Calo

    If you have the BOSE system you'll have to replace all the drivers as well.

    If you have the standard system, you'd do better to replace those drivers also, because are not great.

    If you tell me where you are located I can give you recommendations for a few possible quality car stereo shops.

    Why replace the deck and end up with the same poor quality of which you are now complaining?
     
  5. londonferrari612

    Dec 6, 2006
    147
    California
    I will upload pictures of my dads stereo install but, being an ameature, I dont know how to upload pics. It a pioneer system with ipod connection, 6 disc CD changer, Satelite and real time traffic.
     
  6. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
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    The sound quality is just fine, especially for listening to the radio. I am not seeking an audiophile system, simply one where I can twiddle a tuning knob to change stations and twiddle another knob to adjust the sound volume and tone. The standard system in the 599 is made by Becker and is simply too convoluted to be usable in normal driving. It also offers very little in the way of sound adjustments, even when you manage to find the sound menu.
    It seems like there are a couple of systems out there by Pioneer and Alpine, with flip out screens that will give me what I need as well as adding the ability to have satellite radio and GPS in the same package.
    The car is currently in Arizona and there are several high end audio installers around. I'd like to have some idea of what other owners have done before I go in and speak to anyone and have to listen to the whole three act opera. I believe that recommendations from real owners always beat the installer's "preferred "system recommendation.
     
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  8. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Thanks for the info. Do you have the model number of the unit?
     
  9. John Dowling

    John Dowling Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2006
    596
    Richmond, VA
    Full Name:
    John Dowling
    I guess your 599 is pretty quiet. A proper GT car. My 360 or 430 w/Tubi the stereo was useless. The engine was just too loud and interfered too much. Stereo sounded great when it was parked with the engine turned off! :) But the 599 is a different beast, I guess. Is it pretty quiet in the cabin?
     
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  10. vandevanterSH

    vandevanterSH Formula Junior

    Jan 27, 2005
    429
    AR
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    Stephen Van Devanter
    I changed the Becker in my 575 to an Alpine head unit with flip-up screen, Nav system and sat radio etc. Like you, I didn't want a major sound system but a functional system . IMHO the Alpine is it. I especially like the remote which I initially thought was a "so what" add on but which is very usefull when driving. If you change systems get a good installer. They have to take the interior apart to do the install and it is a bit distressing to watch.

    Steve
     
  11. londonferrari612

    Dec 6, 2006
    147
    California
    Im out of town but when I get back Ill check the box. Its a really good system but once I figure out how to upload pics ill be gald to share them.
     
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  13. phil612

    phil612 Karting

    Apr 22, 2004
    239
    UK
    #10 phil612, Jan 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I've just had the Pioneer AVIC-HD1BT (US name: AVIC-Z1) installed in my 612 and I couldn't be happier... Excellent navigation, iPod connector, good sound quality (using the existing Bose AMP's & speakers) and it looks clean in the dash too. Pictures below.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  14. FJerry

    FJerry Formula Junior

    Dec 1, 2004
    933
    United States
    Very nice and clean install. IMHO if you are replacing the head unit you might as well investigate replacing the speakers too. The speakers most OEMs use are paper drivers and fairly poor in quality. Frankly, usually the speakers are the worst part of the chain. I can understand your wanting an easier to use experience, but not changing the speakers is -pardon my exaggeration- kind of like having the Ferrari but putting bicycle tires on it. Now, you don't necessarily have to drill holes everywhere, just get speakers that fit the current enclosures. I am sure there are several choices. If you do keep the OEM speakers, be sure what ever amp stage you get is matched to the electrical demands the OEM speakers require. Same advice for any speakers- make sure you have the right amplification. In my experience I have found the Alpine gear to be fairly easy to use, but I have also had my frustrations with them as well. Id say Pioneer is also in the group you should consider. Congrats on your fantastic vehicle.

    best regards,
    Jerry
     
  15. londonferrari612

    Dec 6, 2006
    147
    California
    My dad has that exact nav/stereo in his 612. Nice system.
     
  16. DM18

    DM18 F1 Rookie

    Apr 29, 2005
    4,725
    Hong Kong
    I find the CF card feature in the stock radio fantastic. Why would you possibly want a 6CD changer when you can have a 4GB CF card? I have my folders sorted out and it so convenient when I am driving. I spent some time playing with the set-up and improved the sound a lot
     
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  17. titanium360

    titanium360 F1 Rookie
    BANNED

    Nov 10, 2003
    3,371
    if you realy want to go high end go with reus stereo system .
     
  18. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
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    I've heard really good things about the Pioneer AVIC-N3.
    It is a single DIN size which will definitely fit in the factroy stereo slot and the reviews I read online were complimentary about the wide range of things it is good at, from navigation to radio, to DVD, CD, Sat radio, iPod, rear camera capability and vehicle dynamic measurement info. It sounds like a great package. Has anyone here installed one in any car?
     
  19. Scuderia980

    Scuderia980 F1 Rookie

    Aug 12, 2006
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    Dave S. V
    ah, audio/video subject..i'm a bit of buff on these things...anyhow, i also have a friend (trust worthy) who manages an audio shop...as with many things in life, you have a gazillion options to choose from. there is also tons of info on the net about these things. but it is a safe bet to stick to the more respected brands. you're not an audiophile correct--not important to have a 'studio' in your car, is what you said. from my and his experiences, the Pioneer you mentioned is a solid unit($900-1600), it does all the things you're looking for rather well, and is reliable from what we've seen(he sells quite a few of these units apparently, and I've seen the recall, service records at his shop, so not relying on hearsay regarding that--don't know about other dealers however). I believe it's not important for you to have the bells and whistles--a top of the line unit, so to speak? If so, then you probably don't need to spend any more for a model range any higher up--the Z1(which is double din size, not single like the N3--don't know if you mentioned if that's an issue). Alpine's IVA-D310 is another popular choice--single din with flip out screen...it has a nice touchscreen that 'clicks' when you touch it(i love this feature, as i'm a 'tactile' kind of person:))...feels like you're pushing a normal button...very neat touch(no pun intended) compared to merely relying on hearing a beep to confirm your selections...this one runs about $1000-$1400 depending on where purchased...for this one, you will need a separate module for navi functions. For an 'all in one' piece, the Pioneer N3 is a solid choice. there are many other brands/choices of course, but i couldn't possibly detail them here...Pioneer makes good units, as does Alpine..i don't think you can go wrong either way...also, if navigation is important to you, make sure you ask about the latest map dvds available for whichever unit you purchase...some are sold with older, non updated maps depending on when the unit was manufactured... also, while you're at it, you should consider upgrading the speakers in the car as well--even modest ones will be an improvement on what is already in there. it's not a big deal, if you're having the head unit replaced anyways. besides, most factory speakers were optimized(ie, equalized sonically and electrically-usually to make up for poor sound quality) for the stock head unit. a lot of times when you change the deck, the sound will be affected dramatically. while i agree that most people don't need super dooper high end systems in their cars, for casual listening or whatever, i think that there should be at least a 'modest' system in your particular dream machine, as factory stuff is 99% of the time rubbish--(i don't even want to get started on the options for so called 'premium' sound systems that are offered by car companies--one of the industry's sick little rip-off schemes)... they are anything but premium. anyhow, whatever you decide, just make sure you have it done somewhere that's reputable, and of course, DON'T let anyone in sales push you to buy something you don't want or need, which is a stupidly common issue... :) If you'd like more info, send me a PM, i'd be happy to help if i can...
     
  20. phil612

    phil612 Karting

    Apr 22, 2004
    239
    UK
    I swapped the Alpine IVA-D310 out for the Pioneer, I didn't like the flip-out screen it was flimsy and blocked the vents above the radio unit, the screen wasn't as bright and was prone to reflection, navigation was good but that's about all.
     
  21. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    HUBBSTER
  22. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Here's the bad news I discovered at an installer today.
    None of the flip out screen single DIN units will work in a 599.
    The current placement of the stereo unit deep in the dash, with the curved cover that rolls down to close it and the metal hood above the cover that has Ferrari script on it, precludes the mounting of a unit that needs to push out and then fold a screen up. The screen would bump into the metal hood above the stereo mount. There is no way to do it as all of the units I looked at have preset angles. There is no way to lessen the fold out angle so I guess I'm SOL on a built in Nav screen.

    I will have decided on a Clarion single DIN head unit installed with Sirius sat radio and an iPod connector and will rely on my my TomTom 910 for nav when I really need it. I had thought it would be nice to have a full screen Nav built in, but short of redesigning the dash center, with all of the AC controls, it can't happen.
    The total cost will wind up less than half of what I had expected to spend so there's some solace there.
     
  23. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    check to see if the rails for the screen that come out can be fabricated to be loner so it clears the flap
     
  24. synchro

    synchro F1 Veteran

    Feb 14, 2005
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    Scott
    Many of the Alpine units are fully compatible with iPOD players and all iPOD functions are operated and displayed from the Alpine Head unit.
     
  25. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
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    We took a close look at fabricating a single din box that would protrude enough to allow the screen to fold out, but the unit is installed at a slight upward tilt anyway, to clear a bolt that holds the center of the dash in place. The new unit would literally have to protrude at least four inches past the current front of the fascia and that would look really ugly.
    We also investigated moving the AC controls to where the radio is and moving the radio unit down, which would allow plenty of room, but the issue now becomes cutting pieces of the car up and fabricating complete structures - not what I wanted. I want a solution that will allow the car to be brought back to factory stock if I ever sold it - unlikely because this car is magical, but who knows what is coming down the pike in the future.
     
  26. UGAFerrariFan

    UGAFerrariFan Rookie

    Jun 6, 2005
    34
    GA
    There were some positive mentions of Pioneer here. They make nice headunits, but from my experience their speakers sound terrible, like a clockradio. IMO, Alpine, Boston and MB Quart all are great choices if you're looking at redoing the speakers too, provided you're pushing them with enough power.
     
  27. Fly'n DutchMan

    Fly'n DutchMan Karting

    Oct 4, 2005
    248
    Agoura Hills CA
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    Sander Brouwers
    The trick with the Pioneer headunits is that they are one of few NAV units that have decent volatge on the outputs and the way the pioneer integrates their IPOD, 6-12 CD Chnager, Xm traffic, Sirius, back up cameras etc is really the cleanest and easiest to use of any of the systems I'd tested.

    If you want really, really hi fi sound quality, you won't be able to use a NAV unit.

    Regardless of which brand you use, everyone makes you trade off between bells and whistles and sound quality.

    That having been said the stock Ferrari head units are very poor and a nightmare to use. Simply changing out the head unit for an decent $350 after market single DIN pioneer premier will make a night and day difference especially on the BOSE sound in the 599 and the 612.

    This is the case on most cars these days, why manufactures use such poor source units and then add a nice Bose speaker and amp is beyond me? BMW's been doing the same thing for years. You can add the best speakers on the market, but if the source is bad, the sound quality is going to be terrible.
     
  28. Colorado S14

    Colorado S14 Rookie

    May 2, 2006
    49
    I am not personally a huge Pioneer fan, but I love Alpine and Eclipse.

    My reccomendations would be one of those. It all depends on what your goals are with the system.

    Eclipse has the better sound processors and audio quality, aside from really boutique brands Eclipse cannot be beat here.

    The Alpine systems have the iPod controller built right in, so all that is needed is to route a cable. The Eclipse requires a controller box to be installed, which will make the install a bit more complicated.

    The Alpine uses a DVD baised navigation system where the Eclipse uses the internal hard drive to store its data.

    One thing that I love on the Eclipse is that it has a built in 30gb hard drive so you can always have your favorite tunes right on the unit.

    The Alpine requires the NVE-N872A nav. add on to get the nav function, but it is more comprehensive than the Eclipse. It has built in real time traffic and Zagat ratings on resturants and attractions in the area.

    The Feature content on the Alpine products is really tough to beat. They have great sound quality, if not quite as good as the Eclipse, and they are both high quality. If you feel like spending $3k on the setup, Get the Alpine with the nav. and the iPod adapter.

    http://www.crutchfield.com is a good site to get them at a good price unless you have an installer who can too.

    Eclipse:
    http://www.eclipse-web.com/avn/avn5495overviews.html

    Alpine:
    http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=IVA-W200
     

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