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Hi all, does anybody have recommendations for a new head unit for a 2007 elise? I really just need one that fully supports current USB-based iPhones/iPods. The current Alpine unit in my is firewire-based, so it only plays (doesn't charge or control the unit fully.)

Also, this is in or around San Jose, CA. Know of a "safe" place to have do this magic work?

Also, are there premade under-seat (or comparably invisible) subwoofers or similar item that fit?

(yeah yeah, best stereo is no stereo yadda yadda).
 

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If you have a 2005 then can use any head unit with Iphone support. A 100 chinese knockoffs at the lowest price point, a jvc dvd player like the kd avx77 at the middle price point, and the motorized flip screens at the high end (most people go with the pioneer, the alpine needs custom mount, the kenwood's "z-motion" may not clear dash on opening, do not know). The jvc nav head unit nx5000 also get high marks and is a common head unit.

If you have a 2006 and above Lotus then you have speed sensing volume control and I would recommend the pioneer flip screen for compatibility with this feature, the lotus dash, the iphone/ipod, nav, etc.

The install is tough, recommend someone who has done the Lotus before. At least one other person and myself have had professionals install the head unit and somehow the wires wind around the stearing column unexpectedly. It is not fun. Also had my rear view cam miswired killing my battery eventually. If you read the forum for electrical/radio they will tell you how to run the wires correctly with photos.

For a subwoofer you have 3 choices. Remove rear speakers and put in 6" subwoofers for barely tolerable base, buy jl stealthbox for passenger footwell (about $500) and have passengers complain about no foot space, or buy chuck risens package tray subwoofer for behind the seats ($600 i think) and loose package tray. All of these need amplifier, best choice is put a alpine pdx-5 in trunk (weighs 6 pounds) or lesser amp. Any amp with less than 1.6 inch depth can be mounted behind the passenger seat, and thicker amps can be put behind the drivers seat if you dont mind not being able to put the seat all the way back. If you want a clam hinge, then no amp in trunk, need it behind the seats or in the firewall lateral gap (it has been done). A rare person has put the amp in the passenger footwell.

Or you can just wear headphones in the car, have noise supression and good sound at low cost. Check out the professional audio headbanger motorcycle headphone amp:
USB Microphones, Stereo Microphones, Preamplifiers, Digital Recorders, Cables and more at Rock Bottom Prices from The Sound Professionals - Great deals on Microphone, Preamplifier, Digital Recorder, Cable and more!
You should be able to listen to the head unit with phones and preserve hearing as long as the cops dont notice. Highway use only probably.
 

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My new Pioneer
Pioneer DEH-2100IB CD receiver at Crutchfield.com

Its in my Wrangler. I have a Iphone 3G. and it pops the message up asking if you want to turn the iphone to airplane mode( I say no)...but other than that it does everything....fully integrates like the phone is an ipod. I control all the music off the deck...phone sits in the cupholder getting charged. I see names of artist (or album, or song) on the deck. It mutes the music when getting a call. It lowers the volume when you get an email or txt.

JL makes a stealthbox for the lotus.
Lotus Elise Stealthbox by JL Audio

Chuck Risen a member here also sells a sub setup
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/fs-loaded-custom-color-matched-subs-47906/

On the Install, if you go through Crutchfield, they'll give you all the parts you'll need for the install. Its really simple. They even have instructions.
I used to say any moron can install a headunit, until I bought my jeep....The PO installed one and ignored all the wiring diagrams on the CD deck they installed, and wired the whole thing up wrong...they also didn't use wire butt connectors, or solder (I prefer solder over butt connectors)....they just wrapped the wires together, and then in electrical tape. due to the improper wiring job (the headunit was grounded through 2 of the speakers (which I still don't understand) that setup sounded like ass. I took that radio out, and installed my Pioneer, and wow, much better. even with stock speakers the sound is so much improved.

So not just any moron can install a stereo...but its really easy if you have an IQ over 50. Not to mention you'll feel great after you do your first one.
 

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I'm not sure how you want to use it, but there are adapters that allow older firewire-based cables like the one on your Alpine work fully with your iPhone 3G or 3GS (meaning both charge and control it).
 
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