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Discussion Starter #1
I came across the Panasonic CQ-VAD7200U MP3/DVD Receiver with 7" LCD Monitor ( http://www.crutchfield.com/S-8znZjyWOEcH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?i=133VAD7200&s=0 ) and it looks like an excellent unit. I seen the screen on the unit and it looks terrific. This unit has everything I want all built into one. I could get the unit itself refurbished for around 800 dollars. However, one thing is holding me back. I don't believe that the unit has a detatchable face. This is pretty essential to me as I live in New York City. Eventhough I have an alarm and garage, there are instances when I have to park on the street and leave the car unattended. This is why a detatchable face is necessary. I noticed that most of the newer Monitor headunits that have bulit in DVD and MP3 players dont have a detatchable face. Does anyone know of any solution for this? Possibly like a fake cheap radio faceplate that would go over and conceal the actual head unit? Any other solutions?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you know what exactly needs to be done to mount the Panasonic farther back into the dash? Also, do you think the factory single din Radio would be large enough to entirely cover the Panasonic HU? Do you know any place that just sells a fake face plate that i can place over the HU?
 

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It would take me PAGES of space to tell you how to so it. If you aren't comfortable working with abs and fiberglass let a pro do it. Nobody I know of still make a cover so you'll have to have that done as well. The OEM radio should cover it no problem since the OEM unit it actually slightly bigger than the Panasonic.



Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Paul. I would definetly let the professionals handle all of it. What do you think about this Panasonic unit? I know how fond you are of Alpines as am I. Only thing is, the closest Alpine unit that has all the features that this Panasonic unit has (DVD/MP3 capability), goes for over $1,600 (D900 I believe). And it doesnt even have a detatchable face, which bites. Im not really fond of the Kenwoods and Pioneers as most of them are a silverish color, as I want one that is black. Its pretty hard to find a monitor head unit with built in DVD/MP3 that has a detatchable face. By the way, anyone know of any good, skilled, car audio installers in New York who would be able to offset and recess mount a HU?
 

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Most don't at this price level. I guess they just assume anyone spending that kind of money will have a security system. The Panasonic actually has a better screen (IMO) than all of the Alpines, except the D900, so that's a good thing. I didn't go with Panasonic only because it sticks too far out of the dash for me. I like my units to be as flush as possible. That's why I got rid of my Pioneer setup. The silver actually would have looked OK now that I've done the net optic brushed aluminum mod. I'd say go with the Panasonic. When it's closed it won't draw very much attention to itself and the screen on it is unbelievable.



Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Paul, you mentioned: "I didn't go with Panasonic only because it sticks too far out of the dash for me." Is this when the monitor is closed or when it is open? Also, by offset/recess mounting the HU, would it solve this problem and allow it to lay flush with the dash?
 

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When closed. I don't care if it sticks out when it's open, but when it's closed I want it as flush as possible. Even the D900 sticks out too far for my taste. Some people want a color match, I want aesthetics. :crazy:



Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
lol. haha I got you man. Why didnt you custom mount your unit further back? Also, since I have a double din dash and the Panasonic unit pretty much contains all the features I want, any suggestions what I could do with the remaining empty dash? I dont want to use it to store loose change and keys and stuff. I think it kinda looks goofy open with nothing there. What are my options? Thanks! :beer:
 

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You could put a second DVD player in it. Other than that there isn't much else besides an EQ. You coud out the radio in the bottom slot and put the pocket above it. it looks a bit better that way IMO. I could have reverse mounted the Pioneer, but it would have looked goofy since the trim ring is angled and when you push that into the dash it's a bit awkward looking. Besides, I'm an Alpine fan from WAY back.



Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Paul, I was thinking about leaving the factory HU where it is (upper DIN) and installing the Panasonic on the lower DIN. Eventhough installing the monitor into the upper DIN opening would block the vents, wouldnt it be more easier to watch, as staring down (where the lower DIN opening is) would kinda be strainful on the neck?

Also, I was thinking about taking apart a factory Radio HU that I could purchase for cheap on EBAY to use the faceplate as a mask to cover the Panasonic HU. However, now that I have decided to keep my factory HU, it would be kind of odd looking if I had 2 identical factory radios (One real and one fake front faceplate) in my dash. Is there any other radio or anything else that i could use to cover up the Panasonic HU, as I plan to keep the factory HU along with the Panasonic HU? (I dont like the empty cubby look and I still use cassettes occassionaly)
 

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A height difference of 2" won't make any difference when viewing the screen. It will be easier for rear seat passengers to see in the upper location, but that's the only real benefit.


How are you planning on running to HUs at the same time? The best thing would be to have the OEM HU go into one of the AUX inputs of the Panasonic but the OEM has no RCA outputs and the voltage is too high. You can make a switcher with a couple of DPDT relays so that when the OEM unit comes on it overrides the output os the Panasonic. That would be best IMO since you'll only ever turn the OEM on when you want to use it.



Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Paul, I was thinking about taking apart a factory Radio HU that I could purchase for cheap on EBAY to use the faceplate as a mask to cover the Panasonic HU. However, now that I have decided to keep my factory HU, it would be kind of odd looking if I had 2 identical factory radios (One real and one fake front faceplate) in my dash. Is there any other radio or anything else that i could use to cover up the Panasonic HU, as I plan to keep the factory HU along with the Panasonic HU? (I dont like the empty cubby look and I still use cassettes occassionaly)
 

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I would just use a piece of ABS plastic and make a flat cover. You could make it look like the radio delete option covers in a lot of Hondas. Maybe incorporate the VW logo into it.



Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Excellent idea Paul. Thank you for all of your help and patience in helping me out with all of my questions.
 
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