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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had CDA-9857s in both cars and been pretty happy with them, but the unit in the Evo gave up the ghost last week. In an effort to get something up and running quickly, I ordered an iDA-X305 site-unseen.

Some quick thoughts:

  • The interface isn't nearly as intuitive as Alpine would have you believe.
  • The buttons feel cheap as does the plastic on the face. It's a step down in quality compare to the CDA series units.
  • Album artwork doesn't always show up correctly despite being fine on several iPods and computers.
  • The wiring & connector are the same so installation was a snap.
  • Finding music is a bit more distracting on the new unit but I'm assuming that's mostly because I've had it in the car less than 24 hours and haven't adjusted to it. I also need to set the dual-action search preferences as it's on the default "page-skip" and I've got >13k songs on the iPod in the car.
  • Alpine's online .apn online file converter (for creating backgrounds) is down, though there's alternatives. I'm haven't pursued it since I have no interest in cluttering up a small screen with a background image.
  • The unit is very light since there's no CD player.
  • The included connector cable is USB, as is the connection on the back of the unit. There's a short USB/iPod adapter cable included as well. Unlike the CDA units, everything needed to plug in an iPod is in the box.
  • Works with an iPhone although so did the CDA-9857.
  • I gave $200 for the CDA-9857 and thought it was a great value at that price. At $300, the iDA-X305 is an OK value.

I suspect I'll warm up to it more as I grow more accustomed to it. I'd probably do it again as I suspect finding a particular track that I can't quite remember is going to be a bit easier once I'm used to the interface. Plus, it brings eye-candy to the table.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I like a fairly dark cabin at night. What about dim control? How bright are the blue back lit buttons and screen at night? Also, is there an option to change the color, i.e. button lights from blue to orange?
Yes on all counts. I'd say that they're not really any brighter than the other Alpine models. There's only one of the old-style Alpine buttons although there's a bit of "mood lighting" coming from the concentric rings around the central knob.

At night, it's not as bad as I thought it might be. The dimming can be adjusted to three(?) levels and manually overridden, which I did today on the way home as it was raining and the auto-dimming made it a bit hard to see the screen. The color can be changed to red too.
 

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This is the unit I went with in my Elise. Still getting used to it as well, but so far I'm pleased. My only wish was that the USB connection was in the front instead of the back. I think that would be easier than routing the cord behind the IC and down in to the storage cubby.

But it works with my iPod Touch, and as the original poster mentioned, it's lighter weight than the stock unit, so that's like, what - adding 5 HP? ;)
 

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Good to know the wiring harness is the same. I just bought the X305 myself and it's sitting on my desk waiting for me to install it.
 

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Well.. it took me about 30minutes to install the X305.

5min - to pop open the old oem alpine unit and connect the X305.
10min - to fish the usb cable through the back.
15min - to look for damn bandages for my fingers after I cut them on the sharp edges while reaching under the console.
 

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I have always been a huge Alpine fan. The new unit looks "bling" with the artwork display. Not really sure that is a feature that I'd need in a car stereo. (although, I did spend 5 hours getting all the artwork back after it somehow got erased in my iTunes, for no special reason, I'm just anal that way) I like that it doesn't have a CD player. I cant think of the last time I put a CD in my car for that matter. How are the search functions? With a lot of different music on the iPod/iPhone I sometimes find it a bit frustrating when doing an artist search to continuously have to turn the knob until I find the artist i want. Either way, its hard to complain. Thousands of songs in a little box. Ain't technology great?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The search works OK for me with the biggest problem being that the screen washes out when it's bright out and you've got sunglasses on. Part of that might be my viewing angle, but I suspect most of it is just that the sun makes it wash out like any other LCD.

Of course, I only really use the search to go directly to an artist and then find the album/song from there. Push the knob in and turn to skip ahead by letter (search wraps at either end too, so you can go either direction). With >11400 songs on the iPod in the car, it's about the only way to get to something. It's a lot easier with a smaller iPod.

I generally leave it on shuffle and just skip ahead if I don't like what's playing.
 

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I'll give them a BIG :up: for including a search by letter function. My CDA series units did not have that. Exactly what I was looking for. Not sure how they could make it any faster than that without stepping up to voice commands. I'll have check this new Alpine lineup out.

+1 on shuffle. I pick a playlist with my favorite 500 songs and go. My favorite (and most played) would have to be Stage II by Lotus, off their award winning album Elise. :shift:
 

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Well.. it took me about 30minutes to install the X305.

5min - to pop open the old oem alpine unit and connect the X305.
10min - to fish the usb cable through the back.
15min - to look for damn bandages for my fingers after I cut them on the sharp edges while reaching under the console.
1: Is the factory harness the same on my 06 even though I have the blaupunkt factory stereo and not the alpine? I assumed I'd need the volkswagen wiring harness adapter to make this work.

2.You've been there, is there an room in the dash cavity in the elise to mount this to the back of the 305? Alpine KTP-445 Power Pack Upgrade your Alpine receiver to 45 watts RMS x 4 at Crutchfield.com

3. Since I'm asking questions here, off hand does anyone know if the radio circuit is a 15A circuit or 10A. That amp requires a 15A circuit.

thanks
dave
 

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1: Is the factory harness the same on my 06 even though I have the blaupunkt factory stereo and not the alpine? I assumed I'd need the volkswagen wiring harness adapter to make this work.

2.You've been there, is there an room in the dash cavity in the elise to mount this to the back of the 305? Alpine KTP-445 Power Pack Upgrade your Alpine receiver to 45 watts RMS x 4 at Crutchfield.com

3. Since I'm asking questions here, off hand does anyone know if the radio circuit is a 15A circuit or 10A. That amp requires a 15A circuit.

thanks
dave
1. I'm inclined to think you'll need the VW harness. I don't the Blaupunkt and Alpine connectors are interchangeable.
2. I took the shortcut and used fish tape to feed the USB cable through the console. I think you're going to have to take the console apart for what you're considering.
 

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1: Is the factory harness the same on my 06 even though I have the blaupunkt factory stereo and not the alpine? I assumed I'd need the volkswagen wiring harness adapter to make this work.

2.You've been there, is there an room in the dash cavity in the elise to mount this to the back of the 305? Alpine KTP-445 Power Pack Upgrade your Alpine receiver to 45 watts RMS x 4 at Crutchfield.com

3. Since I'm asking questions here, off hand does anyone know if the radio circuit is a 15A circuit or 10A. That amp requires a 15A circuit.

thanks
dave

I to have the 305 and added the 445 Power Pack. There is hardly any room for it.... I had to run the OE wiring harness all the way to the passenger front speaker. I removed the front passenger side dash panel and slid (not easily) the amp in the dash below the tube for the dash air vent. connected the amp to the OE harness. Then ran the wires form the amp back over to the head unit.

Here is the problem though.... The car's fuse is 7.5A for the stereo. This Amp needs 15A. So, I had to connect a fuse tap to the 15A fuse (windsield wiper) under the dash. I then had to run a power line to it (very easy with the dash panel removed). BAMM... fired right up! However this fuse shuts down completely when the car is turned off so I loose any memory out of the unit (time, stations, etc). Need to solve this issue still.

Has anyone else installed this unit?
 

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Cool! I am considering this pair. In this situation, the yellow and red wires are swapped from the VW adapter. Search "jetta" and you'll see some talk on it.

I am wondering though, if the kpt-445 offers much over the 45*4 RMS stated in the IDA-x305. I know HU manufacturers are notorious for underrating their power, or having tons of distortion at rated power, but I wonder if this mini amp is an improvement over the internal amp on the 305?

I to have the 305 and added the 445 Power Pack. There is hardly any room for it.... I had to run the OE wiring harness all the way to the passenger front speaker. I removed the front passenger side dash panel and slid (not easily) the amp in the dash below the tube for the dash air vent. connected the amp to the OE harness. Then ran the wires form the amp back over to the head unit.

Here is the problem though.... The car's fuse is 7.5A for the stereo. This Amp needs 15A. So, I had to connect a fuse tap to the 15A fuse (windsield wiper) under the dash. I then had to run a power line to it (very easy with the dash panel removed). BAMM... fired right up! However this fuse shuts down completely when the car is turned off so I loose any memory out of the unit (time, stations, etc). Need to solve this issue still.

Has anyone else installed this unit?
 

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<snip>

Here is the problem though.... The car's fuse is 7.5A for the stereo. This Amp needs 15A. So, I had to connect a fuse tap to the 15A fuse (windsield wiper) under the dash. I then had to run a power line to it (very easy with the dash panel removed). BAMM... fired right up! However this fuse shuts down completely when the car is turned off so I loose any memory out of the unit (time, stations, etc). Need to solve this issue still.

Has anyone else installed this unit?

What did you do to solve the issue of completely turning off the stereo and losing memory and time settings etc?

David
 

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What did you do to solve the issue of completely turning off the stereo and losing memory and time settings etc?

David
This happens when you use the Jetta wiring adapter. You need to reverse the red/yellow connection. Search the forum for "yellow wire" and you should find it.
 

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Both I and another LT member recently installed that Alpine 305 head unit AND the VERY COOL inline Alpine amp that Rudaire mentioned the other week. Net-net, the weight was not much different than stock, as the HU is lighter than the OE CD player and the AMP weighs about a 1.5lbs. The sound is truly great. It's very loud and very clear. Still no real bass really, but the quality of sound is quite good!:up:

Ben's car is an 06 and his install took about 10 minutes as the amp and HU are all plug and play... Mine, being an 05 took a bit longer. We cut the pigtail off and soldered on the Alpine version rather than using another adapter...

....
 

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Both I and another LT member recently installed that Alpine 305 head unit AND the VERY COOL inline Alpine amp that Rudaire mentioned the other week. Net-net, the weight was not much different than stock, as the HU is lighter than the OE CD player and the AMP weighs about a 1.5lbs. The sound is truly great. It's very loud and very clear. Still no real bass really, but the quality of sound is quite good!:up:

Ben's car is an 06 and his install took about 10 minutes as the amp and HU are all plug and play... Mine, being an 05 took a bit longer. We cut the pigtail off and soldered on the Alpine version rather than using another adapter...

....
Where did you get the 15 amps from to power the inline Alpine amp and deck? If I just switch the wires (yellow wire) won't I only have 7.5 amps?

Thanks,
David
 

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We didn't... Ben, an audio engineer, was pretty worried about the draw as well... So, and this was annoying as hell, he turned the amp/radio up to ungodly levels, rolled up the windows and just let the thing play for about 30 minutes in the shop. Even with the car all sealed up, it was still quite loud. Note that the car he experimented on was his own and he has it fitted with 6.5" fronts and 6.5" rears (took a lot of work). So his speaker draw was probably a fair bit more than most would be... 30 minutes later, the amp was just barely warm- normal-- and the stock 7.5amp fuse was still doing fine...

With that said, we did nothing to boost the power to the units in either car and neither has had a problem popping the smallish stock fuse... I think these smallish high/mid range speakers just don't pull the amps the system is capable of pushing...

-PV
 

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Does this HU require the iPhone to be in airplane mode to work?
 

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Does this HU require the iPhone to be in airplane mode to work?
Nope.

EDIT: I think I've posted somewhere here that I put this unit in my Elise. I like the basic concept, but feel that there are a number of UI issues that I'd like to see resolved. I'm keeping my eye out for the next generation in hopes that they make some improvements. I'd suggest waiting for the next gen if you aren't in dire need for something right now. It's the best unit out right now, but has some glaring quirks.
 
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