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Sony MDX C 8500

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      16.05.2002 23:54



      This is a pretty good value for money car stereo. It does all the things it should with competence. I installed the unit myself - took about half an hour of fiddling using an adapter lead from Halfords. The instructions for both installation and operation are clear. The RDS tuner is really first rate, with fast seek times between stations. If I have one gripe, it's that there aren't quite enough preset buttons on it, meaning you have to fiddle about to get your next set of presets. The Minidisk player is also up the the job, I've never heard it skip despite the rigorous testing it gets every day on the appalling roads around here. Sound output from both is of high enough quality when coupled with decent speakers. The user interface isn't quite as intuitive as it might be, but on the one occassion my battery went flat and I had to reset all the preferences, I managed to do it without the manual and with only a little head scratching. If you're thinking of upgrading from a cassette unit, one thing you might find awkward is actually inserting the minidisk. It'll go in the hole a total of 8 ways, only one of which is correct, unfortunately. I find it to difficult to change whilst actually driving along. This is true of all minidisk head units, though. Two things I don't like about this unit. Firstly, you can't turn of the whizzy display effect thing. The kids might like it, I find it distracting. Secondly, the flip-down front is a waste of time. I'd prefer a hole in the front to put the disk through! I suspect this 'feature' is really a cost-saving exercise, so Sony can use the same front of the cassette and CD versions of this head unit also. So, it works fine. I kind of wish I'd gone for the next model up, though, with the extra preset buttons and a slot in the front.


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