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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at aftermarket nav units for another vehicle since ordering the Acadia (with factory nav). While I first noticed the Dual XDVDN8290, I also found the new (released circa June 2008) Pioneer Avic F series.

I was looking for a unit that would have about the same capabilities as the factory unit. All of the below units pretty much do. All are double DIN chassis size radios, so they should fit the dash of an Acadia OK with minimal problems, or one of the companies like Metra or Scosche may already make an adapter. All have Ipod control capability, bluetooth, navigation, rear camera inputs, and audio/video outputs. The Dual does not have satellite radio add-on capability. I'm sure there are forum members here that have already done this, so please chime in with your experience and advice.

Here is a short summary of what I've found out so far:

Dual 8290: Street price around $650
Features: Built in bluetooth, Ipod control, SD (flash) card based navigation, CD/DVD playback. Read the owner manual & it has a cool (for me) feature that not only shows your speed but also records the top speed. It can also be configured to play multiple sources (i.e. FM in front & DVD in back), there are two remotes.

Comments- Few reviews by users. Not a really well known brand, but apparently not a low budget operation like some audio outfits you see.

The Pioneer models are very similar. All have built in bluetooth, and a pretty cool voice command feature for many functions of the unit. Click on the model numbers for the Pioneer webpage for each for more info.
Pioneer Avic F700 BT: Street price around $580
Comments- No DVD playback, CD only, no MSN Direct or 3D landmarks.

F900BT: Street price around $800
Adds DVD palyback capability and built in compatibility with MSN Direct (a service that provides local info such as gas prices and movie times, etc. available in some areas, $130 lifetime cost)

F90BT: Street price around $800
Adds an Ipod interface (cable) and higher voltage pre-amp outputs. It is also a "Premeire" brand, which from what I can tell is a branch of Pioneer.

Unit comparison page- check the boxes under the units you want to compare.

There is a lot of info there, so take your time reviewing it. The PDF manuals on these are like 190 pages!

There is also an F500BT, but it does not include a radio or CD/DVD function, it is more like a large nav unit.

There was an issue with slow startups and freezes, but it appears a firmware update has addressed many of the problems. The prices have dropped greatly in the few months since their release, and they are far less expensive and in some ways more capable than their Avic predecessors.

A great forum for info on the Avic units is http://www.avic411.com/forum/

There are also numerous video reviews on them if you Google the model number with youtube, they are easy to find.

I did not research other makes, so if anyone knows of any that are in this range feel free to reply.
 

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Had I gone aftermarket, I was going to buy the Kenwood DNX 5120. I believe there are a few members on here that have that one and there are some threads that discuss it. One thing I really liked about it was the ability to adjust the button backlighting to match your vehicle - for example, red for Acadia, blue for Enclave, amber for Outlook.
 

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Do all the GM functions (Chimes, On-Star, etc. etc.) work with the after market systems? It seems to me that much of the operation of the car comes through the radio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Loach-
The Pioneers say they have 32K colors to match any car lighting.

GAR-
I don't know about this, I would think probably not. I didn't look into anything like this due to getting the factory nav & my intended Dodge Daytona not requiring same. I had actually looked at the similar Chrysler MyGig, but they use a proprietary bus for the radios that locks out vehicles older than about 2005.
 

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GAR said:
Do all the GM functions (Chimes, On-Star, etc. etc.) work with the after market systems? It seems to me that much of the operation of the car comes through the radio.
I think everything comes from the factory radio. Take the radio out, all those functions are gone without an adapter.
On aftermarket systems, for Onstar to work properly, first: you would need a GMOS LAN adapter, second: you would need an external speaker to be able to hear the Onstar voice and door chimes. And, to be able to hear the turn signal click, you will need a SPDT relay.
 

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I have the Kenwood DNX5120. I chose it over the similar Pioneer Avic D3. The Kenwood uses Garmin navigation while the Pioneer uses Navteq (?). IMHO, Garmin s/w is superior to all its competitor. I also chose it because of the pre-loaded map in its drive. The Pioneer utilizes the slot for CD/DVD each time you need to use the navigation. You can take out the Nav disc (put in a regular CD for your music) after setting up your route and go on your way, however, if you need to modify/add a stop/route you need to put back the Nav disc again. I can also change the button lightings to match the dash and I think the D3 does the same.
Got mine online for <$700 shipped last April. Prices should have gone down since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The new F series Pioneers are internal nav based (possibly SD card/flash), so you don't need the DVD like you used to or on the GM one.
 

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..that would really be great. :thumb:
 

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The Kenwood uses Garmin navigation while the Pioneer uses Navteq?[/color]

Navteq makes the map database. Garmin makes the navigation software that uses Navteq maps. Navteq HQ is Chicago. They were purchased by Nokia.

TeleAtlas is another map maker. TomTom uses TeleAtlas maps so they bought them. Maybe to get an advantage over Garmin. Only time will tell.

The GM navigation unit uses Navteq maps. Navteq licenses many different versions of the map data at different prices. For instance, my portable Garmin will use residential streets for navigation - e.g. if you select the shortest route. Whereas, my navigation unit in my Outlook shows the residential streets but won't use them for navigation except for the last leg of the route.

There are some exceptions and I can only attribute it to how Navteq may have coded the data for the street -e.g., maybe verified from actual driving versus looking at a satellite image. Given GM's liability stance, they must not use unverified streets in their navigation software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great first post Tim. This info is good to know for those in the market.

Also appreciate your location & model by your username.
 

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The DUAL brand is made by Jensen. It is almost exactly the same radio with a different name on it. As far as the door chime they do work through the factory radio and if you change the radio you have to buy the adapter that plugs into the factory harness and makes the sounds.
 

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Blue_2009_SLT2 said:
Loach-
The Pioneers say they have 32K colors to match any car lighting.
OK, not that I said they didn't. ???

Don't know much about those radios as they were not out at the time I was shopping.
 
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