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New Stereo (w/USB)
music : by Tommy - June 16th 2006, 07:00PM
After selling some stuff I no longer want/need/use, I saved up enough money to purchase a new car stereo. I had been eyeballing a neat radio I saw at Walmart, it has a USB port on the stereo itself, allowing you to play MP3s directly from a thumbdrive. (Something I thought was unique to that model.)
{Apparently, they were introduced in mid 2005, but only recently went mainstream.}

The particular model I was looking at was the VRCD400SDU from the same people that made the FM modulator I got for Christmas. The FM modulator is pretty neat, but it is lacking in some areas. It resets your song back to the beginning whenever power is lost. It plays the songs in reverse alphabetical order, and you only get FM quality sound (not the full range of the music). I needed something more, and the VR3 stereo at Walmart seemed alot nicer than the modulator. The stereo with built in USB port would fast forward through MP3s, let you browse by folder and other options.

I stopped by Best Buy one afternoon to see if they had anything comprable to the novel idea of having a USB port on the stereo - and they did! They had a couple of generic stereos with USB ports that looked/sounded better than the VR3, and 2 JVC models. One thing I didn't care for on the VR3 was the display, it would only dislpay about 8 characters at a time, then the next 8, then the next. It didn't smoothly scroll the text, not to mention that it was using the alphanumeric segmented display.

After seeing the dotmatrix LCD, I realized the JVC KD-G820 was the one for me. It has a beautiful display, smooth scrolling, MP3/WMA playback, sounds 100x better, more sound control, front USB port, rotary dial, ability to connect to either XM or Sirius satellite radio or hook up an iPod interface.

I purchased the stereo, and installed it last night. (I soldered all the connections, used heatshrink to seal the connections and tiewrapped the cables into a neat bundle - very OCD, but it looks nice) It works/sounds/looks great. If you want to check one out yourself, load up your USB thumbdrive with some MP3s, head to Best Buy and pop it in, you'll be impressed.

update: As it turns out, as pleased as I was with the G820, I found that JVC makes an all-black model of the same stereo, with a couple of added features, under its Arsenal line. It's the JVC KD-AR870. I happened to find one on ebay for about $100 less than the one at Best Buy. Best Buy has a 30-day money back guarantee, so I was able to return the G820.

The guy selling the AR870 on ebay is located in Sugarland, TX. It just so happens that we were coming to Houston anyways, so he overnight shipped it across Houston at no additional fee, and I received the package today (the very next day). Since the connection and chassis are the same on both stereos, it was a snap to pop in the new stereo. I packaged the G820 up, good as new, and returned it to Best Buy for a full refund. Sweet! Now I have an awesome black stereo that blends in a bit better with my dash, and has auxilary inputs too. (bonus!)


+ Tommy G.
  Jun 17, 2006 00:26
My apologies to those that commented on the original post. In trying to update the story with the new information I wiped out the original.

Thanks to Yahoo cache, I was able to recover the text and links. (Google cache hadn't updated yet) So, comment away.


+ Tim L.
  Jun 17, 2006 06:09


+ Tommy G.
  Jun 20, 2006 00:48
I love my new stereo.


+ Corey T.
  Jun 21, 2006 08:55
That is pimperific.


+ ke5ers
  Jul 03, 2006 17:45
As they say, the diffrence between men and boys are the pricetags on our toys.
IE... RatShack 150 in 1 electronics set. $50-100. Yaesu 857-D $689.


+ anonymous
  Jul 04, 2006 13:05


+ anonymous
  Jul 04, 2006 14:45


+ anonymous
  Sep 14, 2006 20:47
zomg sugar land is 2 words...


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