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Kenwood KRC 777

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      29.02.2004 11:38
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      Any of you who may have been good enough to,and I thank you for your patience and kindness,read my reviews may have realised that in this vast and expansive world of ours there are many things that interest me. Above all though it is the motorcar and music that arouse my interest the most.So it seems to be a logical step to write a review on in car entertainment,or ICE. I have had a legion of cars and along with them a whole host of car stereos,some good and some sadly lacking.I've had Sonys,Panasonics,Goodmans,Pioneers,Blaupunkts,Alpine and many more. In the last few years though I have discovered and stayed with Kenwood for all my audio needs.They make high quality units that look and sound incredibly good and although they aren't the cheapest they make a sensible choice because,afterall,you get what you pay for and with ICE this is especially true. Over the last decade ICE has blossomed into a massive industry,being considered as much a part of the tuning scene as your engine and bodykit and as with all fashion items,especially electronic,they are out-of-date shortly after they are released. Personally,I don't much care for fashion and want something that does the job extremely well and which looks stylish when installed in my dash and of course gives excellent all round sound reproduction. I have had three seperate Kenwood stereos now and my latest,which was bought out of a catalogue as a package two years ago,includes a KRC-779R radio/cassette head unit and KDC-C717 10-disc autochanger. At the time this cost m e altogether around £450 though they have probably been superceded by the latest models so I doubt they are included in the latest Kenwood line-up. Appearance,KRC779R ****************** Now,I've no doubt that you may have noticed that the heading says KRC777 but I am assuming that there is a 770 series including my own example,although I may be wrong,however my own unit looks very similar,being a slightly later version of the one pictured. It has a sleek,black face,the whole unit being a standard DIN size.On the left,two volume buttons one above the other,a row of seven squarish buttons along the bottom,two round ones to the right of them then a cluster of buttons at the far right. In between the volume buttons and the cluster,above the row of seven sits the graphic display while in the centre of the cluster is a large round button,labelled Q aud,with a chrome badge adjacent to it stating,simply Kenwood. This unit has a reversable faceplate which when switched off is in the reversed position,hiding the control panel. Almost all the features of this unit are represented on the graphic display,to list them all would take hours,though radio station,functions and text,time,tape direction and playing time plus a full range of CD data are all shown,displayed along with the Q control system.The graphic display,button illumination can be changed from green to red if you choose. Features ******** It is a radio/cassette unit which has, Attenuation - to instantly cut the sound by half. Loudness - Which amplifies the low and high tones at low volumes. System Q - This lets you alter the sound settings for frequency,level,quality factor for treble and mid range while also altering the bass frequency,level,quality and extend.You can either set them as desired or choose from a wide selection of presettings. Speaker Setting - Choose from 6/6x9inch speakers or 5x4inch speake r with an option for a seperate bass speaker with bass,mid,treble settings for each. Tel Mute - You can connect the system to your mobile instantly cutting the volume should your phone ring,not needed now I think!! These are a few of the main features of this unit. RDS and other Tuner Features **************************** Radio Data System is a digital information system which besides your audio signal lets you recieve other signals,for example,network information which displays the station name,traffic information,radio text etc.Radio text scrolls information about the program along the graphic display letting you know what program your listening to and what's coming on next.With the RDS system also automatically seeks the best frequency for your desired station,this is ideal for long motorway trips. EON Function.Stations that offer - Enhanced Other Network - also transmit about other RDS stations that have traffic information.Although you may be tuned to a non-traffic info station this function will switch to a traffic info station for the duration of a traffic bulletin,if you have this function switched on. PTY Function.There are 29 different Programme Types you can scan exclusively for with this function,i.e Speech,Sports,Drama,Science etc. Alarm.When an emergency transmission is sent(announcing a didaster)all current functions are interrupted to allow a warning to be recieved. AF.Alternative frequency switches automatically to a better reception when the present one becomes poor. This is a selection of the tuner functions as there are many more. Cassette Features ***************** The slot for a cassette is hidden behind the faceplate so on pressing the eject button the face slides out to let you insert a tape and then returns to its position once the tape is in . The tape will automatically play the other side once the first side has finished. Ther e is a DPSS function which allows you to fast forward or rewind to individual tracks. It has a setting for MTL,CRO2 tapes etc plus Dolby B niose reduction. There is also a Blank Skip function to bypass long blank spaces between songs and a repeat function for listening to a song again while you can also switch between tape sides making it a very controlable system. CD Autochanger Functions ************************ When connected to suitable autochanger unit,the 779 has a wide range of abilities which include displays for track time,disc name,disc title and track title. You can search individual tracks or across all ten discs or repeat tracks Scan - which plays the first 10 seconds of each song until you choose a full song to play. Random - plays the disc in random order. Magazine Random - plays a random selection from all 10 discs. DNPS - presetting disc names allowing you to input disc titles manually with capitols and numbers. Sound Quality ************* The sound reproduction with this set up far exceeds anything that I have in the house.The speakers in my car are the factory fitted ones and they give a loud,clear reponse that brings out all the various depths and shades of sound that the complete unit produces.The bass is deep and full without booming or distorting while the treble is bright without any tinnyness.The mid range is also punchy and altogether the overall sound quality is exceptionally clear and dynamic with no horrible resonance. The mutliple settings and various sound controls make it a versatile unit able to play any sort of music or radio broadcast full and rich sound. CD Unit ******* The CD autochanger can store over 100 names in it's memory.It has the ability to play both CDR/RW CD's which it does superbly.I have burnt many CD's on the copmuter that cannot be played by CD players in the house yet the Kenwood pl ays them all and with it's 'New Anti-Viration Mechanism' it never skips or jumps even under the most harshest driving down Highland country roads. Installation ************ Most people would probably choose to have their ICE installed by professional fitters but actually it is very simple to do yourself. The unit comes with full fitting instructions and wiring diagrams so there isn't a lot to go wrong. It is a 4-channel unit so there are 8 speaker wires,2 to each speaker,2 power - one main power to go to your ignition,another to go to a live feed to continously power the memory.With a main earth wire to be connected to a suitable earth point and a ISO connection for your antenna,these make up the main connections to power the unit. There are also connections for an powered antenna,dimmer,telephone mute and an external amp. There is one main SCART type connection from the head unit to the autochanger and that's everything. Security ******** Along with the reversable faceplate which also reverses every time the ignition is switched off,if you want to switch it back on,press the top left hand corner,there is a mask key which is like a remote control recognition key that you have use to bypass the security everytime the power is disconnected from the unit.Without the mask key the unit will not function so if you flatten your battery then you'll need to re-activate the unit. In conclusion ************* The KRC779R is a very sleek,stylish unit that produces a high sound quality while having a wide variety of functions. With in-built security and a reversable/removable face should not be easy prey for the scum that likes to steal from cars. The graphic display is modern,lighting the dashboard with an array of colours and symbols,it has adjustable contrast as well as brightness and switchable colour display. With 4x47W per channel the output is powerful and even with factory fitted speakers gives a full,rounded clear sound with terrific bass response that is hard to beat. Coupled with the usual Kenwood high build quality this unit will last forever while giving excellent service,mine's been installed in four different cars now and is still as good as new. This unit is fully compatible with a CD autochanger making it incredibly versatile and should fufill all the ICE requirements anyone should need.Mine is coupled with the KDC-C717 10 disc autochanger. As I bought mine 2 years ago and the line up changes every year,these units are probably out of date but mine cost sround £450 new and the latest version will be every bit as good if not better so I have no hesitation in recommending the pair,or their latest versions,highly.BB

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