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Kenwood KDC-MP538U

CD receiver (New Stock)

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  • Kenwood KDC-MP538U

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  • Kenwood KDC-MP538U

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Item #: 113MP538U
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Kenwood KDC-MP538U

by Kristen Schaub
Kenwood

Why replace your factory radio?

Two good reasons - sound quality and cool features. A new car stereo offers power that's superior to most factory radios, along with more sophisticated tone controls. And most car stereos offer built-in or optional features that add safety and fun to life in your car, including inputs for your iPod or MP3 player, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free cell phone calls, satellite radio or HD Radio reception, and connections for building an audio system in your car.

Kenwood's KDC-MP538U CD receiver delivers great sound with style. The gloss-black control panel eliminates the clutter of buttons — simply use the two control knobs and the fluorescent, 3-line display to navigate the stereo's onscreen menus. The CD slot accepts all of your CDs, including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC files, while the display shows song and artist information.

Kenwood's strongest amplifier adds plenty of impact to your music. The 3-band parametric equalizer gives you extensive control over the bass, midrange, and treble, and you'll find built-in filters that can remove bass from your smaller speakers and send it to your subs.

Connect your iPod® to the USB input, and use the control knob to search through folders to find your favorite tune in a flash. You can also use the USB input to connect a thumb drive or hard-disk drive loaded with music. Or if you prefer, check out your friends' playlists by plugging their MP3 players into the receiver's auxiliary input.

This versatile receiver will control all of Kenwood's outboard gear, including satellite radio, HD Radio™ tuner, CD changer, and Bluetooth® kit. And, if you're building a full system, you can connect and control your outboard amps with the three sets of 2.6-volt preamp outputs. This unit also comes with a remote control, so your passengers can run the show from the back seat.

Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver or its optional iPod adapter.

See more info on this item
    General features:
    • CD player with built-in amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs, including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC files (will not play rights-protected music files on disc)
    • fluorescent 3-line, full dot matrix display
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • dual-zone capability for playing different sources over the front and rear speakers
    • System Q Sound Control (6 EQ curves and a 3-band equalizer)
    • speaker settings that let you tailor the sound to the size and type of speakers in your car
    • high- (speaker and preamp outputs) and low-pass (sub out) filters
    Expandability:
    • iPod direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • compatible with Kenwood's satellite radio, CD changer, Bluetooth adapter and HD Radio™ tuner
    • inputs: USB and auxiliary inputs
    • outputs: 6-channel 2.6-volt preamp outputs (front, rear, subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant
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    No
    RMS Power Output
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    22 watts
    Peak Output
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    50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
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    20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs
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    6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
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    Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
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    No
    Preamp Voltage
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    2.5 volts
    Display Color
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    Black/White
    Key Button Color
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    Blue
    EQ Bands
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    3
    Wireless Remote
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    Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
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    Yes
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Expandability
    AUX Input
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    Rear and Optional Rear
    USB Input
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    Rear
    Memory Card Slot
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    USB Memory
    Bluetooth Compatible
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    Optional
    Satellite Radio Ready
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    Both
    HD Radio
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    Optional
    Navigation
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    ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
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    Nano
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    Touch
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    Mini
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    iPhone
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    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
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    9.3 dBf
    European Tuning
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    Yes
    Seek/Scan
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    Seek
    Radio Data System
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    No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA/AAC/USB receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis
    • Sleeve
    • Face
    • Trim ring
    • Wiring harness
    • RC-547 Wireless remote
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • Soft fabric face case
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Back support screw
    • USB protective cap
    • Kenwood Music Editor CD-ROM
    • Instruction Manual (English/Spanish/French)
    • Warranty Card
    • Kenwood Car Audio Passport card
    • "Attention" note

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Features
    External Device Controls
    Software

    Features

    Overview: The Kenwood KDC-MP538U AM/FM CD receiver features a detachable face, rear auxiliary and USB input, three pairs of 2.5-volt preamp outputs, CD changer and Satellite radio controls and built-in iPod operation, as well as MP3/WMA/ACC playback. The unit also supports Bluetooth via an optional adapter sold separately. In addition, the CD player comes with an IR wireless remote control. The unit's amplifier is rated at 22 watts x 4 channel RMS and 50 watts x 4 channel peak.

    Detachable Face: The unit features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The CD player comes supplied with a soft black fabric, draw string face case to protect the detachable face when you have it off the chassis.

    AAC/MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-MP538U can play MP3, WMA and AAC files with ID3 tag information recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo and Long file name formats. Each disc should have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder with a maximum of 512 files and folders. During MP3/WMA/AAC playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (Ver.1 or 2) information. The headunit will display up to 30 characters.

    Supreme Setting: When MP3, WMA or AAC files encoded at a low bit rate (less than 96 kbps, 44.1k, 48kHz) are played, the Supreme Setting function restores their high frequencies so the sound quality is closer to files encoded at a high bit rate. The processing is optimized for the compression format and the bit rate used. When the Supreme Setting is Off, the unit plays the original sound stored in the audio file.

    AUX Input: The KDC-MP538U is equipped with a rear panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input for connecting external portable audio devices such as an MP3 player or Tape walkman.

    Auxiliary Display: The KDC-MP538U allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.

    Dual Zone: The Dual Zone mode allows you to output the Main source and the Auxiliary input separately for the front and rear channels. You can select whether the auxiliary input will play in the front or the rear.

    3-Sets of Preamp Outputs: The KDC-MP538U features front, rear and subwoofer preamp outputs. The Subwoofer preamp output can be turned On or Off and adjusted independently. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The front, rear and subwoofer preamp outputs are all fixed to the rear chassis of the headunit.

    Built-In Amp Setting: If you are using external amplifiers to power all of your vehicle's speakers you can turn the unit's built-in amplifier off to enhance the player's preamp output quality.

    Front and Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-MP538U features an independent High-Pass Crossover for the front and rear channels when using either the unit's speaker outputs or preamp outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from through, 80, 100, 120, 150, or 180Hz. The "Through" selection is a full-range setting. This feature is very helpful when you have smaller-type speakers in the front and larger-type speakers installed in the rear of the vehicle.

    Low-Pass Filter:The receiver features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the preamp-output when the Subwoofer Output is "on". You can select from 60, 80, 120Hz or Through. The "Through" setting allows your external amplifier's crossover network to do all the filtering for your subwoofer.

    Subwoofer Level: Once you have switched the Subwoofer Output to "on" you can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level from the CD receiver. You select levels between -15 to +15.

    Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).

    Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 3-way rotary volume control that increases and decreases the volume of the stereo from 0 to 35. The rotary knob also controls other audio settings such as Balance, Fader, Bass, Mid, Treble and preset EQ settings.

    Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the System Q Sound Control settings according to the type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of "SP Off" (flat), "SP OEM" (for OEM factory speaker systems), "SP 6x9/6" (for systems with 6" and 6"x9" speakers), or "SP 5/4" (for systems with 4" and 5" speakers).

    Note: The Speaker Setting affects the bass, midrange, and treble values of the System Q presets. The speaker setting should be selected first.

    System Q Sound Control: Six EQ curves are preset into memory, allowing you to recall the best preset EQ curve for different types of music. Each preset has its own level settings for bass (100Hz), midrange (1kHz), and treble (10kHz). The 6 preset curves with their respective bass, mid, and treble levels are as follows:

    • Rock: Bass +6, Mid +1, Treble +2
    • Pops: Bass +3, Mid +2, Treble +6
    • Easy: Bass +6, Mid 0, Treble -2
    • Top 40:Bass +3, Mid +1, Treble +8
    • Jazz: Bass +5, Mid +2, Treble +2
    • Natural (Flat): Bass 0, Mid 0, Treble 0

    Note: The above values reflect the System Q settings when the Speaker Setting function is turned off. When the Speaker Settings are selected, the System Q level settings are different.

    Bass/Treble/Mid Control: The KDC-MP538U features independent Bass, Treble and Midrange control. You can adjust each one from -8 to +8db. The bass frequency is adjusted at 100 Hz, the treble frequency is adjusted at 10 kHz and the midrange frequency is adjusted at 1 kHz.

    Loudness: The Loudness feature compensates for low and high tones during low volume. You can turn this feature either on or off. Only the low tone is compensated for when the tuner is selected as a source.

    Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store System Q bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (CD, FM, AM, and Aux).

    Volume Offset: The level of each source may be independently adjusted to prevent radical leaps in output volume when switching from one source to another. The available settings range from -8 to 0.

    Text/Title Scroll: The KDC-MP538U will display CD text, Audio file text and Satellite radio text. You can turn the scrolling feature "on" to scroll longer titles across the screen.

    Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to the tuner mode while a CD is playing, the next time CD is selected as the source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.

    Off Eject: The KDC-MP538U allows you to eject your disc for 10 minutes after switching off the vehicles engine.

    CD Force: When there is a problem with playing a CD with a special format, this setting plays the CD by force. Some CDs still may not play in the CD Force mode.

    CR-2 Advanced Tuner: This unit uses Kenwood's CR-2 Advanced tuner for clear radio reception. You can choose one of three tuning modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.

    Auto Memory Tuning: Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling. The tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank. You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets.

    Clean Reception System Circuit (CRSC): This circuit controls multi-path distortion by reducing stereo separation. As stereo separation is reduced, multi-path has less effect on the radio signal, improving reception in areas with tall buildings and mountains. The CRSC circuit can be turned on or off.

    Tel Mute: The KDC-MP538U features a cell-phone mute wire (brown) in its harness that when hooked up to your car's phone system mute wire will automatically mute the receiver's audio signal when a call comes in.

    Security Code: You can enter a 4-digit security code which must be used when the unit is removed from the vehicle, or the constant power source is disconnected from the unit. When constant power is restored to the unit, the security code must be entered before the unit becomes operational.

    FL Display: The unit features a large black and white Fluorescent full-dot display with spectrum analyzer.

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face/button illumination is "keyed." In addition, while the unit is in Standby mode, you can turn the clock display on or off. When the Clock Display is turned on and the unit is in Standby mode, the Clock Display is also "keyed." Pressing and holding the source button turns the unit off completely.

    Dimmer: The dimmer function will dim this unit's display automatically when the vehicle light switch is turned On when you connect orange/white Illumination wire of this player.

    Remote Control: The KDC-MP538U comes with the RC-547 IR wireless remote control with a full numeric keypad. The remote will control Audio, CD, Tuner, Satellite Radio and Dual Zone functions. It is powered by 2 "AA" batteries (supplied). The dimensions of the remote are: L = 5.362", W = 1.962", D = 1.115".

    Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on the headunit as well as the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one touch of the button.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The KDC-MP538U has a "steering remote control" lead on the back panel. When used with the optional SWI-JACK interface (item number 127SWIJACK), you can retain the use of your steering wheel and/or rear seat radio controls when replacing the factory head unit in select vehicles. The SWI-JACK is compatible with over 95% of the vehicles made from 1986 to the present. Compatible vehicles include many Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Please consult "What Fits My Car" to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    External Device Controls

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-MP538U features a rear panel 2.0 USB type-A port that is attached to the headunit's chassis by a 39" pigtail. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class device. The USB port is compatible with all USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. When your USB device is connected to this unit, it can be charged up provided that the KDC-MP538U is powered on. The headunit comes supplied with a USB cap to place over the USB when not in use.

    Note: You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.

    iPod High-Speed Connection: The KDC-MP538U's rear-panel USB port also acts as an iPod high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113iP101, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that came with your iPod. Using either cable allows you to connect, control, and charge the following iPod models with the KDC-MP538U: iPod nano (1st/2nd/3rd/4th generation), iPod video (5th generation), iPod classic (80/120/160GB), iPod touch (1st/2nd generation), and iPhone/iPhone3G. You should update your iPod with the latest software version from Apple's website before connecting it to the KDC-MP538U. When your iPod is connected to the KDC-MP538U, the iPod's controls will be disabled and you will need to operate your iPod through the KDC-MP538U's controls.

    Note: All other iPod models not mentioned above are not compatible with this unit.

    Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio receiver to this receiver:

    • XM Satellite Radio: To receive XM Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional CNP2000UC XM Mini Tuner and the CNP-KEN1 Kenwood adapter cable (package item number 700XMKEN1).
      • Note: You must download firmware from Audiovox's website to make the CNP2000UC compatible with this receiver and CNP-KEN1 Kenwood adapter.
    • SIRIUS Satellite Radio: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SIRIUS Universal Vehicle Tuner (607SCC1) and the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface (113KCASR50).
    • Auxiliary Input: A portable satellite radio receiver, such as the Delphi SkyFi3 or SIRIUS Sportster, can be connected to the head unit via the auxiliary input or a Kenwood Auxiliary Input Adapter, such as the CA-C1AX, CA-C2AX, or KCA-S220A.

      Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.

    HD Radio Ready: With an optional Kenwood HD Radio tuner (item # 113KTCHR20), you will be able to receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. This new technology will significantly improve audio quality and reception, as well as include information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display.

    Bluetooth Ready: The unit is also Bluetooth compatible using the optional Kenwood KCA-BT200 Bluetooth adapter. Using this adapter you can make and answer phone calls from the Kenwood headunit. You can even download your Phonebook information from your compatible mobile phone into the headunit. You are able to register up to five compatible Bluetooth cell phones when using the KCA-BT200 adapter. Visit http://www.kenwood.com/bt/information/ for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    Changer Controls: This unit is directly compatible with Kenwood changers manufactured in 1998 or later. If the changer has an O-N switch, the switch will need to be set to the "N" position. In addition to basic disc navigation features, this unit has the following changer controls: direct disc access (using the remote), direct track access (using the remote), track intro scan, track repeat, disc repeat, disc random, and magazine disc random. When connected to a CD Text capable CD changer or an MD changer, this unit can display disc and track titles for discs encoded with disc and track title information. The text information can be scrolled manually or automatically.

    Rear Auxiliary Input "Ready":  The unit already features a rear panel auxiliary input, but if you need a second auxiliary input, one can be added to the rear of the unit. When used with an optional adapter, this unit can accept a rear input from an auxiliary source. When the CA-C1AUX adapter (item 113CAC1AX) is used, you cannot connect a CD changer to the head unit because the adapter plugs into the DIN changer control connection on the head unit. When the KCA-S220A 2-changer switch (item 113KCAS220) is used, you can connect a CD changer and an auxiliary audio source at the same time. When an auxiliary audio source is connected, you can choose from one of six names for the source: Aux Ext, TV, DVD, Video, Game, or Portable.

    Software

    Supplied Software: The KDC-MP538U comes supplied with the Kenwood Music Editor Version 2.0.0 CD-ROM. Kenwood Music Editor is a desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer music files to your USB devices from your PC.

    System Requirements:

    • Operating System:
      • Microsoft Windows XP Professional/Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit version)
      • Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit version)
        • Operation on Windows XP/Vista (64-bit version) is not guaranteed.
    • Other Programs:
      • Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0
      • QuickTime 7 or later (when using AAC file)
      • Windows Media Player 10/11
    • Hardware:
      • Hard disk with at leas 100MB free space
      • CD-ROM drive (CD-R/RW drive when writing to CD-R/RW)
      • USB interface (2.0/1.1)
     
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    Kenwood KDC-MP538U Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    53 people say:

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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By Jon, Dracut, MA on Sunday, September 27, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    GREAT receiver! Made my oem speakers muchh muchh louder and clearer. I then replaced the oems with pioneer speakers and it is just amazing the sound quality. Loads of options to choose from to tweaking the sound to your liking! Just make sure you read the manual so you understand how it works. The only complaint I have is when you play from your ipod, you cannot have folder shuffle on while navigating the playlists and songs. I dont understand why they did that. But other than that this is a great product for a great price! I recommended this to anyone that wants a sleek headunit without wirings hanging infront, great sound, and a great price. Thanks crutchfield!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By jep32618, Gainesville, FL on Tuesday, June 30, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Unit sounds great! Connects to mp3 player and an 8g memory stick
    or protable HD with no additional accessories needed - I love that
    feature. That said, I'm not 100% saticfied with this "refurb" unit. Two
    issues - unit somtimes will not switch out of standby mode and the light
    behind the source button does not (has never) worked. Also, the "What's
    included" list includes batteries, USB protective cap and a "Soft fabric face
    case" but none of those items came with my unit. Little things but they
    have shaken my confidence in the "refurbished to factory specs" claim. I'm
    not ready to write it off but I'm watching it closely and I don't think I would
    buy another refurb unit.

    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By scottly, Holliston, MA on Sunday, March 22, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Controls are very sensitive, remote control is neccesary to use because they are so overly senitive and touchy. Menus are not intuitive and difficult to follow, even with the direction manual.

    My biggest dislike of the unit is that when connecting a USB Flash Drive it is unable to randomly play the device. It can only randomly play tracks per folder. And of course the USB connection was my biggest want.

    I'd return the unit if i could, but was unable to find the time to install it within the 30 day window.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Corrections to other reviews

    Written By Robert, Rochester, NY on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    1. You can access preset radio stations without navigating menus. You can direct access via remote, or shift knob left or right when in one of three tuning modes. Other two modes are manual tuning and next available station.

    2. The USB song selction interface works very well. You can search for songs on a flash drive just like a MP3 player (i.e., playlists, genre, artist, album). While it is true than you can only shuffle within a folder, the folder definitions change instantly based upon how you select a song. For example, if you select a song from a specific album, than sorting is within that album. Folders have nothing to do with how songs are stored on the drive. Unlike the few MP3 players I have seen, you can cue up one song while the current song is still playing.

    I use a simple 4GB flash drive. It is 7/8 full and music is immediately accessible upon connection. I have read where the Alpine units, conversely, can take several minutes.

    Complaints:
    1. Entering and exiting shuffle mode does require navigating menus. There should be a direct button at least on the remote.
    2. You cannot enter the (USB) song selection menu when in shuffle mode.
    3. Bumping the left knob when you are simply trying to adjust the volume enters the audio menus. You have to toggle through the remaining menus or press the function (escape) to exit the menus.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great In-Dash

    Written By Brayler, Richmond, Va on Tuesday, February 24, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this product cause it was just time for a new one. I was also thinking about changing my factory speakers. Didn't have to because this kenwood in-dash gave my speakers their full capacity of sound. Thanks to it's High (front and rear) and Low Pass Frequency I could divide the high and low notes how I wanted. Having an Alpine plt-5 powered sub woofer definitely helps since I can send anything below 120Hz to that and anything above 120Hz to all the speakers. Great Product and great balance of sound and that's a lot coming from me cause I'm very critical of things.
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    4 out of 5

    Perfectly fine, easy Kenwood replacement install.

    Written By D, San Francisco, CA on Saturday, February 21, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Experience after about two weeks:

    Bought as a replacement for an older Kenwood HU in a 98 Civic Hatchback. Swapping the unit was simple; the most difficult part was removing the old unit. Both the wiring and the cage from the older hookup were compatible, just a matter of plugging the wires and sliding it in.

    Have not explored all the options as I have an older model iPod which isn't compatible with the USB connection. I have to run it through the CD changer plug (using a cable bought separately). No complaints on sound.

    It seems the biggest issue for most people is in getting used to the control knob. While it's a little different from what I was used to it didn't take me long to get accustomed to it, and once I did it seemed like a pretty intuitive design.

    All in all, am satisfied with the purchase.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By Brian, Hamilton Square, NJ on Friday, February 13, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    So it reads MP3s off a thumbdrive, allows for Aux input and has decent sound. Startup times are good and loading times are ok. The only gripe I have is that the menus have some graphics that slow down the navigation. The menus I found rather intuitive. Very good value for money.
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    4 out of 5

    Best ive ever owned

    Written By Matt, Portland, OR on Thursday, February 12, 2009
     
    This is a great deck i havent yet replaced my factory speakers yet but i did add a sub. this deck has made my factory speakers sound way better already.. the ipod connection is fast and works fine. the only bad part about this deck is the scrol wheel to get through the songs on my ipod but overall this is a great buy. Crutchfield also provided all the wire adaptors which made this so easy. the other nice thing is that you can use a regular ipod wire to hook up your ipod. if your on the fence about this reciver... buy it now!!!
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Good, but not the best

    Written By Matthew, Schererville, IN on Tuesday, February 10, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This headunit looks like one that would cost in upwards of $200.00, but actually costs far less. The lights on the unit are really nice at night, and the unit has a sleek look. As far as the menus, they take some getting used to. You cant just hit a button for your preset stations, you gotta navigate the menus to change the station which can be distracting when you're driving. Other than getting used to the menus, this unit is definitely worth the money.
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    2 out of 5

    Decent headunit

    Written By Robert, Mass on Saturday, February 07, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This headunit is ok at best. The instructions were not as easy to figure out compared to the other Kenwood units I've owned. It comes with a bright blue light across the top and bottom, which looks cool in the day but is distracting at night. The lack of buttons forces you to use the remote if you want to change radio stations at all. It comes with a nice cd-rom, but no instructions on it's purpose. Overall I'm not impressed at all with this unit.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By Kevin, Massachusetts on Friday, February 06, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I like it so far. Puts out good sound at awesome quality! And the price was unbeatable for what you get. It's a black and white screen.but it looks nice against the blue lights and gloss black panel so don't let that put you off.
    Now, the bad stuff:
    some of the functions are kind of confusing and hard to work with, especially if you're driving. Using the USB to play files off a simple flash drive is easy, but you can't use the remote to navigate it very easily. You can't access the folder menu with the remote, you have to use the knob. I find that very annoying. It's a little hard to choose a song using the knob since when you press it, it likes to click to one side instead.
    Overall I like it very much, it just has a few things i'd change on it. But if you have someone in the car with you to change your music, you're all set.
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    5 out of 5

    Love it! Great for iPods

    Written By psychminkey, Champaign, IL on Wednesday, February 04, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I love this receiver! I bought it to play my iPod, and it works great. The sound is excellent, and after a brief period of getting acquainted with the controls, it is not at all difficult to manage. The remote is nice for flipping through the songs in a playlist and the faceplate can be taken off easily.

    I love the iPod display, which makes it easy to switch between playlists or songs. The only irritation is having to scroll through entire playlists to find a particular song. They are all arranged alphabetically and you can't scroll up from the A's to get to the Z's. However, you can go through the album or artist to get to the song too. Even in sunlight, the display does not go (completely) unreadable, though it comes close. It's not as bad as others I've seen.

    Overall, this is an excellent receiver for iPod use. I don't use it much for CD's or the tuner, but I did like that when using the CD function, it told the names of the tracks and the artist. That was an unexpected plus. Also notable is that there are no button presets, but you scroll through them like you would playlists. I think it's kinda neat, and there are 18 presets for FM (6 each in FM 1, 2, and 3) and 6 for AM.
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    3 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By Joey, Newark, DE on Tuesday, February 03, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Not great as far as easy to use. pre set radio stations could be easier to get to, and volume knob is real sensitive where if you push it slightly you will be moving your equalizer instead. Overall I would prefer more buttons on the face. It's not really ideal to be scrolling though menus to find a station when you have to watch the road. I didnt realize the usb port comes from the back of the unit.

    You can only use your ipod by controling through the stereo unit. I thought it would be good to be able to be albe to adjust music thourgh the ipod the way you can with an auxillary port.
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By mark, albany, NY on Monday, February 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I've only had it a few months but so far it's wonderful. Other reviews have noted the difficulty with pushing in the complicated right knob control (one needs to push really on center otherwise one of the four up/down/right/left functions are enabled), and I agree it's not perfect, but the overall functionality and sound quality are excellent. It's also wonderful to have the ability to use my iPod with it, like carrying 100 CD's in the car.
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    5 out of 5

    Purchased for a friend

    Written By Abbas, Gretna, La & Avondale, La on Wednesday, January 28, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This Feb. will be four years since one of my older friends, who is 54 years old, decided to purchase a Sanyo FXCD550 CD/Cassette Receiver. He was happy with this unit until a couple of years ago; that this particular model started to act up on him and would not play the music that he wanted to listen to. It didn't matter if it was a copied cd or a cd off the shelf.
    Once I finally got a cd burner, I was able to do lots of wonderful things for him, such as transfer LP's and Cassettes onto cd's for him. He was so pleased with the Kenwood KDC-MP538U CD Receiver, that still today he is learning something new, and is anxiously waiting to tell me about it the following day
    So on behalf of my friend, we would like to thank our sales advisor for leading him in the right path. I'm sorry though at the present time; I forgot who the gentleman was that assisted us that day that we placed the order for my dear friend.
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    4 out of 5

    Great Head Unit

    Written By turbo442, Vacaville, Ca on Wednesday, January 28, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I picked this stereo up for my Oldsmobile. I liked the fact that it had two separate knoobs to access all the functions and had a low key look to it in simple black. The readout is easy to see and can be configured several ways to display what info is important to you. It plays everything and has a usb port which also allows you to plug in your Ipod, etc.
    It has a nice smooth sound that also has several built in eq presets as well as a user creatable eq. It's running ff just head unit pwer right now which is quite good nd I can't wait to add amps. It has plenty of RCA's to support system flexibility.
    All in all awesome sound, excellent value, looks great in my opinion and very versatile.
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    4 out of 5

    Great Product

    Written By Aarron, Erie, PA on Wednesday, January 28, 2009
     
    I love this receiver. I do have one complaint - the control knobs. It seems when I'm trying to change the volume that I'm often accidentally changing the sub level. Also, I think it would be more effective to have a 'next' and 'previous' button rather than the second knob that you have to push one way or the other. Otherwise, love the unit. USB port is a GREAT plus. Also plays CD's containing MP3's... great for not carrying around so many cd's! If you bought this, you would not be dissatisfied.
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    5 out of 5

    Loaded unit at a low price

    Written By 2005dakota, Clarksville, TN on Wednesday, January 28, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Wow, this unit has so many features. I chose this unit for the usb input for my thumb drive. The eq settings are awesome, really lets you fine tune your system. I also like the high and low pass filters. All in all a great unit for the price. Shipping was fast too took 3 days to get here.
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    4 out of 5

    Excellent HU

    Written By Steve, Winder, GA on Tuesday, January 27, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great choice for a moderately priced HU. Radio reception is clear is a bell, aux input works great with MP3 player, and USB input is a dream come true (using with flash drive). Nice clean interface. Highly recommend.
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    4 out of 5

    Good for the Money

    Written By James, Chicago, IL on Monday, January 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great head unit for the money. Went with it cause it also had a aux in. The control is useless when the car is moving (you have to push it exactly straight in) Fiance got sick of it and had to use the Ipod through the Aux port.
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent value

    Written By Jonathan, Mesa, AZ on Sunday, January 25, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Bought this as a Christmas gift for my son. Installed it in his '02 VW Jetta and it installed so easily I had to go over everything again to make sure I didn't skip something! The only difficulty was VW's fault: not much room to stuff all of the wiring. My son loves it, the blue matches the Jetta's dash lighting and it makes the stock speakers sound 10 times better than they did with the stock 'Monsoon' deck (what a joke that piece of junk is). I don't know why some say setup was difficult, I had no problem at all and didn't even look at the manual - just a little trial and error. I do agree with others that putting the Auxiliary input in the back and not including an adapter is pretty lame, but we use the USB anyway. By the way, it does charge the iPod and it also works with my iPhone even though the iPhone brings up a message saying: 'iPhone does not work with this accessory' - as it plays the songs and shows everything on the Kenwoods display! The iPhone does the same thing on my Pioneer DEH-P5000UB and it works perfectly also. At this price with free shipping and Crutchfield's reliability you can't go wrong!
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By Anonymous, Bloomsburg, PA on Saturday, January 24, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is my first Kenwood and overall I like the unit very much. The install
    took about an hour and was pretty simple with the instructions from
    crutchfield. The sound quality is very good even using the on board amp. I
    installed 4 kenwood speakers and it sounds great! The USB function is
    great if you want to ditch you cd's and don't want to bother with an i-pod. I
    carry all my music on one 4 gig thumb drive (about 1000 songs). Thats the
    positive. The negative: The fm reception is bad. My stock radio got better
    reception. Secondly, there is a learning curve for the controls. It took me a
    few days of playing with it before I could navigate easily. However, if those
    2 things don't bother you I highly recommend this receiver.
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    4 out of 5

    Great Head Unit !!!

    Written By Mike, Jacksonville, FL on Thursday, January 15, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Ordered Sunday, shipped on Monday and received Tuesday afternoon. Nice ! Once installed I was impressed. Unit really opened up the music spectrum on my 01 Sebring with Infinity Factory system. I love the multiple EQ settings and display modes and even has a Specrum Analyzer to display music parameters. Allows matching sound to low and high end systems alike. Works great with my iPhone and charges it as well. Did not find set up or use very difficult, just take some time to read manual (who does that anymore) and operation is explained nicely. Many, many features for the price. Not sure how long price break will last but this unit is worth every penny. BUY THIS UNIT !!! Been a long time Kenwood enthusiast (20+years) and they continue to thrill. Only reason I marked 4 of 5 is it does not come with AUX Input cable since Input is on back of unit (I wanted rear input option but expected cable to be included).
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    5 out of 5

    Impressive Unit

    Written By Alex, Austin, TX on Wednesday, January 14, 2009
     
    I ordered this as an upgrade for my stock head unit so I could hook up my iPod directly and it has blown me away. Incredible sound improvement, remarkably expandable (HD radio-, satellite radio-, and bluetooth-ready), and easy to use.

    I was worried about the controls (no dedicated preset buttons along the bottom) but had the whole thing down after 10 minutes in the driveway, and like everything else, the controls for changing stations are customizable. The feature that tunes the output to the size of speakers you have is great, as are the equalizer and volume memory settings when switching from source to source.

    Overall I couldn't be happier. The wiring harness and instructions made installation easy, and the price is excellent! This unit was available locally for 10 bucks less but without wiring or instructions - must haves.

    If you're on the fence, look at the Hands-on Research tab and then try to find another unit with this many features at this price.
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    5 out of 5

    Easier than I thought

    Written By Davis, Tampa, FL on Tuesday, January 13, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    After reading a few reviews on this deck, I thought it was going to be a handful to install and set up. One quick phone call to Crutchfield solved a small wiring question. The rep couldnt have been more helpful. The set up was a breeze too. Everything is pretty basic once you find out which knobs and buttons do what. It only took about 10 minutes to get comfortable with it. The head unit is much better than my stock unit and I couldnt be happier with everything. Price, customer service, installation and setup were all painless.
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    5 out of 5

    Great Experience

    Written By snikliw87, Minneapolis, MN on Wednesday, January 07, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Crutchfield made it an stress free install with my new Kenwood deck.
    Everything shipped fast, took out my stock stereo and installed the new
    deck in less than 30 minutes. No complaints about the deck. I love the
    USB feature, and it even tells you the music title on the deck from your
    flash drive! I wouldn't hesitate to buy again. Thanks!
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    3 out of 5

    Decent...

    Written By BotleRocketWar, Kansas City, MO on Sunday, January 04, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought a new car and wanted something with similar capability to my previous Pioneer DEH-P5000UB and figured I would give this a shot ($60
    less). I think I got what I paid for, but I miss my Pioneer.

    The audio adjustments and capability don't stack up. If sound quality is Priority, don't buy this. The Kenwood's audio adjustments aren't real flexible and lack adjustment capability. It is hard to see the display when sunny.

    The Pioneer would charge the IPOD when plugged in. It doesn't appear that this Kenwood does that and this is a major drawback for me.

    You can't go backwards from A straight to Z when scrolling, you must scroll from A through everything until Z. All operation is slower on this unit. It takes longer to switch sources and to switch songs/albums.

    The remote is also large and it is difficult to navigate songs/albums with it.

    I've also had some issues with my IPOD using this. The other day, it completely froze my IPOD with the "Kenwood" logo and symbol up on the screen. I had to reset my IPOD. I've also had some errors when connecting the IPOD.

    This is great for the price, and this is why I bought it, but I wish I had spent the extra money for the Pioneer.

    As far as Crutchfield, I am extremely happy buying from them and can't imagine ever buying from somewhere else, especially considering the free high quality kit, harness, and instructions.


    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    3 out of 5

    Confusing set-up

    Written By Bob J, Reading Pa on Friday, January 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this deck for my wife's VW Jetta.As usual, installation was a breeze with coming from Crutchfield. The unit sounds great,but I had a tough time figuring out how to set everything up once the unit was installed.I think the manual was confusing. I have purchased Kenwood before and have been really satisfied with their products.Over the years I have installed lots of in-dash units in cars so this is not my first.Maybe its me,but set-up can be frustrating.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    GREAT IN YOU PLAN ON USING THE ONLY REMOTE

    Written By DENNIS, J-VILLE, FLA on Saturday, December 27, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I order this thing and did not look close enough to realize that this HU did not have AM/FM pre-set buttons. Everything is controlled though the remote control OR on big knob. Not very user friendly if you don't plan on using the remote much.

    SO..........I called Crutchfield and spoke with Kim who accomodated me adequately. She sent my other choice which was a Clarion 385USB and even gave me the same $20 credit that used with my first order. It was shipped yesterday I we'll see if the Clarion is much better. Thanks Crutchfield for great CS!!!!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Product

    Written By Danniel, Fort Polk, LA on Wednesday, December 24, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This CD player really brings out the clarity in the music. It's not overly complicated to learn how to use. I love that it has USB built in and was easily able to install everything with the help of Crutchfield's installation gear. This all in one deal saved me a great deal of time waiting on parts to come from different suppliers. Everything came in one box after about two days.

    Definately plan on returning to upgrade it with bluetooth hands-free and satellite radio and some new Kenwood components.

    The stock Lancer GTS components are great, but there's always room for improvement over the factory.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    How do you use this thing

    Written By josh, Kansas City Ks on Saturday, December 13, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The installation was extremely easy, however the user interface is near impossible. I have a hard time figuring out how to find radio stations. My wife cant use it at all. Honestly I hate this thing. and the aux. input is on the back along with a USB cable. I had to drill a hole in a dash pocket to make them acessible. the controls are difficult as well. you go to push one of the big buttons to select and the thingg will push to the side. It looks like a clean smooth design but it sucks.
    3 out of 8 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great sound, exceptional value

    Written By Alan, Wixom, MI, USA on Wednesday, December 10, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Don't be discouraged by the comments on the brightness or the multi-function knobs. The unit is not terribly bright and the lighting can be configured many ways including a dimmer that works with the auto lights. The display dims but the lighting around the knobs does not. As for the multi-function knobs - the in-depth functions that need to be accessed are primarily set-up features and will not need to be controlled while driving. While driving, the joystick motions of the knobs are up/down or left/right. The slightly tricky push in motion is not regularly used in playback. Contrary to other reviews, the source mode can be configured to cycle through the sources with a single button. This, like many of the other features will need to be set up in some of the deeper menus but once set, won't need to be accessed while driving. There are many display options and if you happen to have a black console, the radio looks clean and integrated. I'm using amps and can't comment on the standard power output of the unit. READ THE MANUAL and spend an hour in your driveway getting familiar with the controls.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Perfect Fit

    Written By lucio, Houston, Tx on Friday, November 21, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I had an online chat with one of the Crutchfield Adcisors, Adam. He was very helpful in answering my question i had for the radio. Decided to order and when it arrived, i installed it that same day. It looks like a perfect fit in my car. Love the look, just takes some time getting use to when you are use to using a different radio. Other then that, i recommend it.
    8 out of 9 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By Joe, columbus,oh on Saturday, November 15, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    put this in a 2006 Tacoma and works very well, a little confusing at first to learn all the functions, but if your patient you will figure it out. Most info is on the cd that comes with it, not the book.
    The kit that crutchfield supplies works great in the Tacoma, i was worried but it fit great, the hazard and clock assembly is a little tricky to remove, there are 4 little clips that hold it in place, pry out gently, easier if you remove the radio from the face plate.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Good receiver with minor annoyances

    Written By Matt, Atlanta, GA on Tuesday, November 04, 2008
     
    Overall this is a great receiver. Sounds better than my old Kenwood. I love the three-line display.

    The annoyances are based on thumb-drive playback.

    First, it's easy to push the knob to the side instead of directly in while driving, but this is only a problem when trying to pause/resume playback (easy to skip to next song). When browsing you can push the knob to the right instead of directly in to make selections.

    The remote can only be used to browse music after you've turned the control knob on the unit once to go into browse mode. Otherwise the directional pad on the remote will jump you directly to the next song or folder.

    The biggest annoyance is the inability to shuffle the complete thumb-drive (unless all songs are in one folder). If you organize your music in multiple folders (by artist, album, etc.) then you can only shuffle from one folder at a time. If you put all your songs into one folder then you can't browse by artist or album as the browse function only shows you folder and file names (it doesn't use ID3tag info for browsing purposes).

    The Kenwood Music Editor "playlists" actually create a second copy of every song (i.e. no real support for playlists of any type, which would help with shuffle problem).

    You can't see any names if scrolling quickly and the display can remain blank for up to two seconds after stopping. Folders don't wrap around (when you get to the last folder you must scroll backwards).

    The positives far out-weigh the negatives.
    9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great product.

    Written By audioman, Cedar Rapids, IA on Wednesday, October 22, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I upgraded my monsoon headunit to this kenwood in my Grand Am and I
    am loving it. It works perfectly with my speakers and my new Alpine type
    R's in the trunk. I think the thing I like best about this headunit is that you
    don't have to buy anything else to use ur Ipod, just plug your data cable
    right into the usb which Is on a cord making it easy to run to the glove box.
    I personally use the auxilary jack for my ipod and have an external
    harddrive in my glovebox for all my cds. On that note, the Ipod
    function/data function is a little bothersome because it takes my about 5
    minutes to get to "Shinedown" on my Ipod because of all the artists on it.
    It also has the cool blue illumination that can be set to sync with your
    music. I recommend it and I am glad I purchased it.

    P.S. Great job Crutchfield on the quick shipping, it got here 2 days earlier
    than expected!
    5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    First Kenwood HU experience

    Written By Nicholas, nj on Sunday, October 19, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is my first Kenwood experience, I love this head unit, very well made. Only nitpicks with it is, with my 6000+ song library on my ipod, not having the option to sort by letter quickly is a big deal, forcing me to make playlists on my computer before hand to better browse the songs. That and it is a little bright durring nightime driving, I like the blue accents but don't want to shut them off, if they had a few more dimming options it would be better. Other than that, it's a great HU and the menu browsing isn't all that bad eventhough people were complaining about it.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great performance and features!

    Written By scareylincoln, Atlanta, GA on Wednesday, October 08, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great item brought my factory speakers to life and now I can't wait to install my Kenwood speakers. I love all of the features and the performance for the price. Great looking too!
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By Wyman, Pelion, S.C. on Monday, September 29, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Plenty of options to allow for the best sound of all your music, works well with Ipod and othe portable music players, but is a little complicated to navigate.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    AWESOME!

    Written By Andy, Hamden, CT on Tuesday, September 23, 2008
     
    Crutchfield did a great job with shipping and everything. Ordered it on a Saturday night, wasn't shipped till Monday and the tracking said it wouldn't be at my house til Thursday. Well it got to my house on TUESDAY! Can't beat that. The instructions were simple and it came with everything I needed. Just connect the same colored wires to the wiring harness, plug in the antenna adapter, run the USB wire to the glove box and BAM your done. I installed this in my 2001 VW Jetta GLX that originally came with a single din Monsoon system. The Monsoon system comes with a small amp to power the system but let me tell you this headunit BLOWS IT AWAY! I have gotten music that is clearer, crisper, LOUDER, and with WAY more bass than ever before, ON STOCK SPEAKERS! I think for my car all I will have to do is install a sub and ill be happy. Not that it lacks bass I would just prefer more. I highly recommend this headunit. The scrolling feature is great and the remote has big buttons for volume and track change. Great going Kenwood and Crutchfield!
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    good unit

    Written By Joshua, marsville, wa on Tuesday, September 23, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Good unit sounds great and is easy to control when you figure out the buttons. The reason i only gave it 2 stars is because when i keep it at 2/3 volume for 45 min or more the volume lvl gets real low and starts distorting really bad all by itself. I have to turn the volume down for a couple of min then everything is fine again.
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Crutchfield = 5 stars Kenwood = 3

    Written By Bruce, Richmond, VA on Tuesday, August 05, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Crutchfield did a great job on customer service. The reciever was shipped to my door with a wiring harness and installation instructions made FOR MY CAR for the same price that it would have cost me to buy Just the Headunit locally.

    Now the unit. Sound quality is excellent and the ways you can tweak it are, not endless, but sufficient. The main beef i have with this radio is the Ipod interface. For one, it is very very slow. for instance it takes a good 2 to 3 seconds from when you click the artist menu till when you actually see the artists. I could live with the slowness, but one thing that really frustrates me is the fact that there is no ipod-esq scrolling skip feature. For instance, if you wanted to get to Outkast as a artist, you would have to scroll through every other artist before Outkast, one by one, to get to it. There is no skipping all the a, b, c, d, etc artists.


    one other thing, read carefully the specs. one thing I skipped over was the bluetooth READY. to actually get bluetooth you have to buy an adapter.


    But other than the Ipod interface, I would fully recommend this head unit.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    WORTH IT

    Written By E, CO on Sunday, August 03, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT IT LOOKS GREAT, AND IS VERY USER FRIENDLY, BUTTONS ARE EASY TO LEARN. IT WAS REALLY EASY TO INSTALL TOOK ABOUT 45 MIN. LOADS FROM IPOD QUICKLY AS WELL AS CD'S AND OTHER USB. I REALLY LIKE THAT IT HAS ATT AND A PAUSE BUTTON, MAKES IT HANDY. LOOKS REALLY NICE AND SIMPLE, BUT THE ONLY PROBLEM I HAD WITH THIS PRODUCT IS SCROLLING THROUGH YOUR IPOD WHEN YOUR TRYING TO FIND A CERTAIN ARTIST OR SONG AT THE END OF A LONG LIST, BUT DOES SCROLL PRETTY FAST. OVERALL I'M SATISFIED WITH KENWOOD QUALITY AND WOULD RECOMMEND THIS DECK!!!
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Easiest upgrade ever

    Written By Tony, Stilwell, KS on Thursday, July 31, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Head Unit is typical Kenwood - great value. Considered going disc-less, but this unit has it all for new media AND a great drive for that old optical media. And this is the price?? Great price. $20 more get you a higher end DAC and some cool bell and whistles for external amps and you dual-zone folks. You know who you are.

    The supplied trim and face plates as well as the wiring harness provided were very easy to use - and reused all existing hardware. The installation was the easiest head unit upgrade I've done in almost 40 years of messing with this stuff.

    Minor shout out to Daewoo - nice dash design and assembly ease.

    Peace.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Almost perfect, but....

    Written By Ray J, Deltona, FL. on Tuesday, July 22, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I gave this 3 stars because of one MAJOR glaring fault another reviewer pointed out. As a classic ipod lover with 1200 CD's on mine, it takes forever to get to the later part of the alphabet. There is a work-around to this though. Dial up your artist/album on the ipod, start playing the first song, then power up the radio and it will start and give you control from there. Otherwise this is a great looking radio with enough features you don't have to go to college to learn.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Clean looking, good features

    Written By gabe, marysville, WA on Monday, July 21, 2008
     
    This is the best deck I have used so far. I have used Alpine, Pioneer, and Dual. This deck has all the features I needed and then some. I will get the only bad part out of the way. The learning curve for this unit is very difficult compared to all the other units I have used. Mainly for the lack of buttons and getting used to just the control knobs. However after tinkering for an hour or so I have gotten used to it. Now I can go through my music, search for songs, and play my cds, ipod, and radio easier than any other unit I have used. I matched this unit with new kenwood speakers and this system rocks! I will be installing a single 15" kicker sub with a 1100 watt amplifier to round out my entire system. Get this deck you will not regret it!
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    AWSOME!!!

    Written By joshua, tonopah nv on Saturday, July 12, 2008
     
    i bought this deck for its clean looks when my previous kenwood deck
    broke for some reason. and i love this one! super clean looks, and i was
    suprised to hear such a dramatic difference in the sound quallity over the
    old one. dont be scared by the other reviews on the controols! it very user
    friendly and in about 15 minutes i knew it inside and out. over all i am very
    sattisfied with kenwoods product and crutchfields service
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Great HU

    Written By James, Opp, AL. on Thursday, July 03, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Nice looking unit. Easy to install, as usual, with Crutchfield instructions. Two
    problems with install, though. Unit required original brackets to install, but
    my car had oem brackets missing and Crutchfield does not stock them.
    Found some and continued. Kenwood unit came with power and
    ground wires on plug shorted together with solder blob. As usual
    Crutchfield replaced complete unit quickly and install continued. Final result
    was very clean and great sound. Yes, somewhat difficult to learn controls,
    but not too bad. I would recommend this unit to anyone.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    The Best HU I've purchased

    Written By Timothy, Little Rock, AR on Friday, June 20, 2008
     
    I was a little leery to purchase this after reading the complaints about the selection knob, so I went to a local retailer to see it "hands-on". Once I played around with it, I realized that it would take some getting used to. I purchased it that afternoon from Crutchfield and haven't regretted it yet! It's packed with features that I wanted, the clean face looks so much better in the dash of my car than the other Kenwood deck I purchased last fall. I can see where a front aux input would be handy, but I really like having it in the rear...it just makes the dash look that much cleaner. Operating my iPod is a snap. It is NOT difficult to learn how to use this stereo. I'm using the Kenwood Bluetooth and Sirius kits as well as my iPod and use the aux input for my GPS audio. Everything works great with the system and the sound quality is GREAT! I would recommend this to anyone who wants a great stereo at a great price. Oh, I like having illumination lights that dim with the dash as well!
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Nice Looking HU

    Written By Ken, Salem, OR on Saturday, June 14, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    First off, this is a nice clean looking system...not too many buttons and knobs. The controls will take some time to get used to, setting a radio preset requires a few twists and pushes but luckily you shouldn't have to do that often. The other drawback is making a selection using the right side knob, mainly while driving. You have to carefully push straight in on the knob or else it goes to the right or left and changes selection. It just takes some time to get used to but overall I am pleased with the looks, sound and quality of this stereo. Installation was easy with the crutchfield kit.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Everything you need in one package

    Written By Bigthrust, Virginia on Saturday, April 05, 2008
     
    I have tried three different Kenwood receivers and this is the one. It has all that I am looking for. CD, Sat radio (I bought the optional sirius package), aux and USB. The unit looks good, can display 3 lines of text for my Sirius radio and the controls are a piece of cake to use. Also, the overall quality of this head unit is excellent. The internal amp is exceptional. There is a lot of bang for the buck from this package. Crutchfield made it easy for me to settle in on this head unit.
    5 out of 6 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    3 out of 5

    Not for my Ipod!

    Written By Joe, Bradenton, FL. on Saturday, March 29, 2008
     
    Unless you like to spin the control knob for 6 months to get to the p-z artists, dont waste your money. Nice looking though, and perfect if your just playing cds and radio. Love the fact that theres no buttons for fm radio, Makes for clean smooth mood settin looks.
    11 out of 12 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-MP538U

    Written By Robin, Cincinnati, Ohio on Tuesday, March 25, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Excellent Product! Easy to install. The controls are some what confusing at first but after reviewing the manual and messing with the controls it is pretty simple. The only thing I dislike is the fact that you have to use a control knob to change songs. I prefer buttons. I guess it just takes time to to get used to.
    9 out of 9 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     

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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Kenwood KDC-MP538U, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_113MP538U/Kenwood-KDC-MP538U.html ).