I bought the Blaupunkt Woodstock 52 three years ago, an ex demonstrator and can't fault it as it is still working great to this date, its got loads of features and toys to play with (DAB, MMC slot, MP3, on screen EQ). I had to buy a DAB antenna for the digital radio stations which was a little expensive just under £50. DAB signals were strong and only occassionally crackle on rural areas. Display is brightly lit with nice white, blue and red display. Sound are solid with good mid range and a crisp high note, good built-in equalizer which you can pre-set to play the sound mode. Very few manufacturers can match the built and sound quality, ie Alpine and Kenwood. There is also an optional remote control you can secure it around the steering wheel area. Only one disadvantage I can think of is when you want to connect an amplifier which it does not have any phono connectors on the rear unlike most Japanese makes.
I originally had a DAB 53, which Blaupunkt gave up trying to repair (would not play MP3s or CDs) and gave me a DAB 54. This is less flaky, but still stalls occasionally and refuses to play MP3s. Also, for CDs that are mixed as a continuous sound (e.g. Dark Side of the Moon) it takes a couple of seconds between track breaks. The interface is also prone to locking up and will not display the radio station that is currently playing (shows the previous one). Technical support are very pleasant, but will not swap out units until they have witnessed the fault, which can take weeks. Also as traffic info does not work with digital yet, it emits a loud beep every minute if its switched on, and it will not switch to analogue from digital for traffic (or from CD if you go strait from digi radio to CD). Recording from the radio is ok as long as you only listen to it on the car stereo, it sounds very poor on other systems. I have also had a few failures to record, don't know if its the unit or copy protection. Sorry to say it, but buy something Japanese. Better made, better software
The Woodstock DAB 52 is a head unit that combines a normal FM/MW/LW tuner, and a CD player with the ability to place MP3 files - either on a CD or on a MMC multimedia card, and DAB digital radio. You can also get leads to plug in CD multichangers or an Auxilliary device (eg a portable MP3 player or a walkman cassette player). http://www.blaupunkt.co.uk/7641705310_main.asp is the UK WWW site. It has a link to an online demo. This lets you see what happens when you press the various buttons. http://home.t-online.de/home/Lauke/faq_english.htm is a FAQ. Its written by a marketing manager for Blaupunkt in Germany. To get the DAB radio to work you need a DAB aerial. Glass-mounted aerials are easy to fit, but don't work as well as roof-mounted ones. You can either get a seperate roof-mounted aerial, or DAB/FM one that you can use instead of the standard FM aerial. This also needs a diplexer, which needs a power supply. DAB radio _can_ give better sound quality than FM radio, but in the UK most DAB radio stations are broadcast at a lower bit rate than would be ideal. It means that there is more scope for a wider range of radio stations, but the quality of these not as good as it could be. The DAB sound quality is different to FM - there is a lot less backgroun hiss, but there are artefacts from the compression of the music which can make it sound tinny. The Woodstock packs a lot of technology into a compact unit and some people have reported that it runs very hot. It certainly helps to use an external amplifier. The cheapest UK stockists I've found are http://www.bluespot.co.uk/stock/woodstock.asp and http://www.my-blaupunkt.com/acatalog/www_my_blaupunkt_com_Woodstock_DAB52_22.html Playing MP3 files means that you can fit a lot more music onto each disk. If you encode the files at 128kbs, then a single CD will hold about 10 hours of music. The sound quality will be a little worse than a normal CD. If you encode the file wi
th a higher bit rate, then you can still get 7-8 hours of music onto a CD and you're unlikely to be able to tell the difference in sound quality to a normal CD. To be able to play MP3 files, then you need to be able to copy the files onto a blank CD disk with a computer. You can create the MP3 files in the first place with various free programs. Exact Audio Copy is accurate, free, but slow www.exactaudiocopy.de.CD-DA X-Tractor at http://xtractor.sourceforge.net/ is also worth a look If you put the MP3 files in a folder (sub directory) on the CD, then with some head units it is seen as if it was an album. When you select the MP3 disk, you can select different "albums", and then play the tracks for each album. If you have a complicated directory structure, then it can take a while to read the disk when you place it in the machine. Personally I find the buttons on the Woodstock a bit wobbly and plasticky. There is a new model coming out from Blaupunkt called the Woodstock DAB 53. This is basically the same unit, but it adds a few features. It looks like it uses the front panel buttons from the Los Angeles MP72. These feel much more solid and nicer. The DAB 53 can also record from a DAB broadcast onto the MMC memory card. It also can be used with a microphone that listens to the ambient sound levels in the car and adjusts the volume and graphic equaliser settings appropriately. In Germany, the DAB53 costs about 20% more than the DAB52.
At the IFA 2001 event in Berlin, Blaupunkt presented a completely new DAB car radio called the Woodstock DAB 52. The Woodstock DAB 52 is the first car radio in the world to combine the DAB Digital Radio reception and MP3 digital technologies in a single 1-DIN housing. At the attractive price of approximately £400, the Woodstock DAB 52 is the first car radio in the world to combine the most modern DAB and MP3 digital technologies in a single 1-DIN housing. With the exception of only a very few components, it is a fully integrated digital car radio and can be easily installed in the standard radio compartment in any type of vehicle. The Woodstock DAB 52 from Blaupunkt also offers motorists CDs, MP3 music and a Multimedia card (MMC). The integrated CD audio/MP3 drive is able to deliver up to 12 hours of music listening pleasure in MP3 format from a single CD ROM; that translates as approximately 200 songs non-stop. Bosch developed a new chip generation expressly for this new car radio: the D-Fire 2 DAB chip (Digital Fully Integrated Receiver Engine). This all new DAB radio goes into mass production in February 2002 at the expected retail price of £399.99. More information to follow!
If you are about to buy a new radio for your car, you might be interested in this new radio from Blaupunkt. This little receiver is in a class of its own. It is capable of recieving DAB (Digital Radio Broadcasting) witch is the radiosystem for the future. Of course, there is also a FM (and AM) receiver and a nice CD-player in the little cabinet. The DAB is a quite new radio system, that have several advantages. The soundquality is quite impressive, even higher than the wellknown CD-quality. Also, there is several programs at each frequency. How many is hard to say, because this is an option for the broadcaster. The soundquality is decreasing when the numbers of programs increase. But at least 8-10 programs per frequency (in CD-quality or better) is no problem. Also, there is a few smart data-gadgets in the system, that enables the listener to read a lot of different information on the radio display. Forexample, the name of the program or the present points in the footballgame transmitted... All this is possible with the system, because it is working on a digital platform. Also, this system removes the noiseproblems often seen in car reception. Also, the radio has a fine FM receiver, that (of course) have all the trimmings. All the RDS-funktions of the FM-system are included, e.g. trafficinformation, broadcaster info and automatic freqvency shift (from one weak transmitter to another more powerful). Finally, the radio also has this nice cd-player, that of course will play normal audio CD's, MP3-cd's and even Rewriteable Cd's ! This enables the user to play home-made cd's with about 200 songs per CD ! In top of it all, the radio has a beautiful colourdisplay with equalizer and alfanumerics. Oh, and did I mention, that it also is beautifully designed ?... Way to go, Blaupunkt ! http://www.blaupunkt.co.uk/7641705310_main.asp