I want the one that is low on bling-bling.. but they are getting harder to find. I want it to work very well and have good functionality and ease of use, without a lot of flashing lights and chasing leds.
Check out Nakamichi's CD-45z. I think that is what you are looking for. Very simple and elegant with all of the features you want without the bells and whilstles. I used to be seriously into car audio with esoteric amplifiers and audiophile type speakers. When I got my Miata, I wanted a clean sounding system without amplifiers and lots of speakers. I got the CD-35z. What a radio! Its the same as the CD-45z but stripped down.... no remote control, no CD changer control. I'd recommend that one but I doubt they still make it. The internal amplifier is very clean and the CD proccessing is top notch. I also bought a pair of Polk coaxials and the combo works VERY well in the Miata even with the top down! Its a very simple radio but it packs a punch where it counts.
Funny thing... I just answered the poll and saw that the last option was none.... no radio. In a previous post, I wrote that I wanted my Elise without power windows, power brakes, A/C etc..... some poeople responded that A/C or cruise control or whatever would be nice. For me, I can live without any of those things, but for a street car, I need my tunes! A decent radio and a decent set of speakers is a must for me. I think i'll probably pull my radio and speakers from my Miata and stick them in the Elise.
When I was researching head units last year, I was convinced that Eclipse was the best bang for the buck (a lot of buck, but a substantial bang to back it up). They have very good D/A converters, very good FM tuning (one of the best quality tuners on the market) and a good security system. I also like their appearence - not too flashy, nice color, good spectrum analyzer.
Nakamichi makes an AWESOME head unit. Their top-of-the line MB-100 has a 24bit D/A converter with analog preamp. It holds 6 discs in the head unit. Very business like. (Probably very heavy - I never considered weight when I was looking before).
MB-75 (similar to the MB-100, without the nice preamp):
Someone on another board mentioned the JVC KD-SH909 which has a 24bit D/A converter, can play MP3s, and has a fancy tuner. A *bit* flashy, but not too bad & kinda matches the aluminum interior of the Elise
...anyway, those are the ones that have impressed me the most
Yeah, I like the last one (JVC) because it does look like it would match the Elise's brushed aluminum (aluminium). Otherwise, I don't need much; I'm hoping that the engine noise will keep me entertained most of the time ! Okay, some tunes and the radio now and then are nice...
Reminds me of an event I went to a while back where the "auto expo" area had a Cobra replica vendor. Some guy was checking out the interior of one and said to the sales guy "where's the radio ?" Sales guy shoots him a look and says something like "with this car, the engine is where the music is coming from"!