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CAR OF THE MONTH

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[ Alpine TDA 7556R picture ]
Alpine TDA 7556R head unit
The signal source for my car audio system is an Alpine TDA 7556R cassette receiver which acts a controller for the six disc multichanger, an Alpine CHA 604S. I chose Alpine simply because of the sound quality. People have run Alpine equipment in competition for years and the units just keep on going and out play more expensive and more gadget filled competition. I bought this unit so I won't have to upgrade too quickly.

There's nothing special about the installation, although the Dual Illumination function has allowed me to change the display to a red / orange colour to match the dial lights on the BMW [ see graphic above ]. The headunit is fitted into the standard slot in the front of the BMW which is almost level with the gearstick. This is quite handy when searching through cd's as you can rest your hand and press the [TRACK] button at the same time. [Note: "Of course I wouldn't do such a thing whilst driving along, as it may distract me from the all important driving that I am doing, officer"] I only use the low level RCA outputs from the headunit even though the internal amp puts out 4x35 watts. All of the techie details about the head unit are in the table below.

The RCA cables that connect this unit to the electronic crossover are triple shielded items that run from the rear chassis mounted plugs through to the boot, avoiding as much of the car's existing wiring [ and the power for the amplifiers ] as possible, in order to reduce the possibility of noise entering the signal path.

[ technical specification ]
General
35W x 4 High-Power Amp 4V Non-Clipping PreOut
Control Centre (Multi-Function Control with Concentric Layout) Subwoofer Level Control
Anti-Theft Detachable Front Panel Rotary Encoder Volume Control
Detachable Trim Plate Auto Mute In
Built-In ISO Connector Wireless Remote Control Included
3 PreOuts Dual Illumination
Gold-Plated Pin Jack Connector Automatic Set-Up
Tuner Cassette Deck
ETR/PLL Synthesizer FM/MW/LW "MaxTune-R" Tuner Full Logic GR-S Mechanism
RDS (EON, API, PTY) SCC II Head
30 Preset Stations (18 FM, 6 MW, 6 LW) Dolby B/C NR
Traffic Information Auto Metal Selector
TP Indicator Programmable Music Sensor
TP Alarm Level Control Music Scan
FM Level Switching Blank Skip
  Repeat

[ Alpine CHA 604S picture ]
Alpine CHA 604S six disc cd changer
The cd changer is a six disk item with a speedy [ sub 6 seconds ] disk change music to music speed. This was replaced by the 1204S [ twelve disk changer ] in the Alpine range weeks after I bought this one, however it's served me well in the two years I've had it and continues to work without fault. It's mounted in the glove box to the underside of a plastic lining, not ideal. This should be re-inforced with thin MDF sheet and / or glass fibre and resin. Failing this, I think I'll move the entire changer somewhere slightly more secure. As before, the tech spec is below.

[ technical specification ]
General
Regulated 1-Bit DAC Ai-NET Compatibility
150-Disc Title Memory See-Through Door and Magazine
Dual Hybrid Dampers Super-Fast DT Mechanism
Illuminated Eject Button Free-Angle Adjustable Mounting

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