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Panasonic MXE CQ-C9800U

CD/MP3/WMA receiver with CD changer controls

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  • Panasonic MXE CQ-C9800U

    Front

  • Panasonic MXE CQ-C9800U

    Remote

Item #: 133C9800
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Panasonic MXE CQ-C9800U

by Tim Sprinkle
Panasonic

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.

There's high power, and then there's high power! Panasonic's CQ-C9800U CD/MP3/WMA receiver, with its industry-leading 60 watt RMS x 4 internal amplifier, cranks out crystal-clear highs, thunderous bass, and true-to-life sound at all volume levels — leaving its competition in the dust. Combine that kind of muscle with "start-to-finish" digital processing, and you've got a receiver capable of unparalleled audio performance!

It's all thanks to the Performance Digital amp chip, which is capable of producing incredible power while generating minimal heat. The CQ-C9800U is the first receiver on the market to incorporate this technology, delivering dynamic sound that reproduces your tunes exactly as the artists intended.

Radio DSP extends the "Performance Digital" design with a digital AM/FM converter that cuts down on radio interference for improved sound quality. MP3/WMA playback gives you an in-dash jukebox — with up to 10 hours of music files per disc, intuitive controls make it easy to navigate through all those songs and folders.

Tweak your music with the 9-band Sound Quality EQ, while Panasonic's Dynamic Control lets you contour the bass and treble frequencies to match your vehicle's acoustics. Variable high- and low-pass filters allow you to trim the receiver's output to best suit your speaker system. Want bass, but short on space? Activate the Super Bass Control Subwoofer feature, and you can drive small subwoofers with the receiver's rear speaker outputs!

Read a hands-on review of the CQ-C9800U at CrutchfieldAdvisor.com.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • Performance Digital internal amp (60 watts RMS x 4)
  • motorized, detachable faceplate
  • Day and Night illumination
  • High Definition 3DDM animated display with user-customizable graphics
  • spectrum analyzer
  • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs (including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files)
  • direct track selection (with remote control)
  • Alphatuner V with Radio DSP
  • 18 FM/6 AM presets
  • seek tuning
  • SQ9 sound control (six preset tone curves and a 9-band equalizer)
  • Dynamic Control bass/treble enhancement
  • CD changer controls
  • rear auxiliary input
  • 5-volt front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs
  • variable high-pass (90-225 Hz) and low-pass (60-160 Hz) filters
  • Super Bass Control Subwoofer — activates level control and low-pass filter on rear speaker outputs
  • clock
  • wireless remote
  • 60 watts RMS/70 peak x 4 channels
  • CD frequency response 20-20,000 Hz
  • CD signal-to-noise ratio 106 dB
  • FM sensitivity 13.2 dBf
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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

Features and Specs
General
CEA-2006 Compliant
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RMS Power Output
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60 watts
Peak Output
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70 watts
RMS Power Bandwidth
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1kHz
Preamp Outputs
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6-channel
Sub Preamp Outputs
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Yes
Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
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Preamp Voltage
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5 volts
Display Color
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3DDM/Blue
Key Button Color
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Blue
EQ Bands
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9
Wireless Remote
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Yes
Steering Wheel Control Compatible
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Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Expandability
AUX Input
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Rear
USB Input
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Memory Card Slot
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No
Bluetooth Compatible
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Satellite Radio Ready
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No
HD Radio
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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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13.2 dBf
European Tuning
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No
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 receiver with 15-amp fuse inserted into chassis
  • DC/DC converter (attached to unit)
  • Sleeve
  • Face
  • Hard plastic face case
  • Wireless remote control (YEFX9992663)
  • CR2025 battery
  • Trim ring
  • Wiring harness
  • 2 DIN springs (installed)
  • 2 Sleeve lock cancel plates (radio removal tools)
  • Rear support strap
  • Mounting bolt (5mm diameter)
  • Hex nut (5mm diameter)
  • Self-tapping screw (5mm diameter x 16mm)
  • Face security screw
  • Security screw instruction sheet
  • Operating Instructions (English/French/Spanish)
  • Warranty/Purchase Information Card
  • Panasonic Canada warranty sheet
  • Customer Services Directory sheet
  • Electrical Connections sheet (attached to unit)
  • Panasonic Customer Care card (extended service plan)
  • Transportation label (attached to unit)

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
CD Changer Controls
Note

Features

Performance Digital High-Power Amp: The Panasonic CQ-C9800U is equipped with a Performance Digital high-power amplifier which produces 60 watts per channel RMS and 70 watts per channel peak. A digital amp uses high-speed current switching which results in cooler operation, allowing higher power without increasing the size of the heatsink.

Motorized Tilting Face: The CQ-C9800U features a motorized slide-down faceplate. The face automatically tilts to allow you to insert or eject a CD. The face angle can be adjusted to one of three settings (15°, 25° or 35°), or remain upright, whichever angle gives you the best visibility. When the face is removed, a red LED blinks on the front panel of the radio. The security indicator can be deactivated. Note: The bottom of the faceplate protrudes approximately 1-1/2" when a CD is being loaded or ejected.

HD 3DDM Display: The CQ-C9800U is equipped with a High Definition 3-D Dot Matrix Display. The large front panel display (approximately 3-1/2" x 1") features 20,480 dots (pixels), providing music-synched 3D action graphics with crisp detail. Full-dot LCD technology enables 4-level gradation for smooth, attractive images. The display's brightness can be set to one of three settings. The contrast setting can be adjusted from 0 to 5.

Display Settings: The C9800's display menu lets you choose from numerous background graphic patterns and still images:

  • Graphic Patterns:
    • A: Formula 1 racing
    • B: Metropolis (futuristic space cityscape)
    • C: Surfing
    • D: Tropical fish
    • E: Space scene
    • S-A: 25-band spectrum analyzer
    • All: Sequence of patterns A-E
  • Still Images:
    •  1: Formula 1 racing
    •  2: Palm trees
    •  3: Sea gull
    •  4: Planets
    •  5: Warp (Light streaks)
    •  6: Snowboarder
    •  7: Woman's face
    •  8: Saxophone
    •  9: Planetary probe
    • 10: Water skier
    • All: Sequence of images 1-10

Once you have chosen a graphic pattern and a still image, you can then select to display the graphic pattern (with or without source info), the still image (with or without source info), a plain background (with or without a large clock display), or completely turn off all displays.

Custom Displays: You can customized the background motion and still images, and the opening and ending screens using your own images stored on CD-R or CD-RW. A huge variety of images plus the downloadable application (Image Studio) are available at a special website.

Day and Night Faceplate: This unit features the Day and Night faceplate. During the day, the face is dark gray with a silvery mirror-like finish on the ends. At night, or whenever it's dark in the vehicle, the outside edges of the faceplate and a "halo" around the volume knob illuminate in blue.

MP3/WMA Playback: This unit can play MP3 and WMA files recorded on CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Apple Extension to ISO9660, Joliet, and Romeo formats. Each disc should have a maximum of 8 trees, 255 folders, and 999 files. Each folder can have a maximum of 255 files.

SQ9: The CQ-C9800U features a SQ9 "Sound Quality" 9-band equalizer with selectable center frequencies and 6 EQ presets. The presets include Rock, Pop, Vocal, Jazz, Club and Flat. You can further adjust the presets at any of the 9 EQ bands and save the custom settings into memory for instant recall. The 9 bands can be adjusted from -12dB to +12dB and you can choose the center frequency from the following (default center frequency in bold):

  • Band 1: 25, 31.5, 35, 40, 50, 55, 60, 62.5, 65, 70, 75, and 80 Hz
  • Band 2: 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 150, 155, and 160 Hz
  • Band 3: 200, 220, 230, 240, 250, 270, 280, 290, 300, and 315 Hz
  • Band 4: 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, 525, 550, 575, 600, and 630 Hz
  • Band 5: 800, 850, 900, 950, 1k, 1.05k, 1.10k, 1.15k, 1.20k, and 1.25k Hz
  • Band 6: 1.6k, 1.7k, 1.8k, 1.9k, 2k, 2.1k, 2.2k, 2.3k, 2.4k, and 2.5k Hz
  • Band 7: 3.15k, 3.25k, 3.5k, 3.75k, 4k, 4.25k, 4.5k, 4.75k, and 5k Hz
  • Band 8: 6.3k, 6.5k, 7k, 7.5k, 8k, 8.5k, 9k, 9.5k, and 10k Hz
  • Band 9: 12.5k, 13k, 14k, 15k, 16k, 17k, 18k, 19k, and 20k Hz

Dynamic Control: Instead of traditional bass and treble controls, this unit uses Dynamic Control (DC) to add emphasis to the bass and treble while maintaining balance with the midrange without upsetting the overall proportions of the complex music waveform. The level of emphasis can be finely adjusted, allowing you to achieve a clear, dynamic reproduction of the original signal. When Dynamic Control has been activated a small "DC" icon appears in the display.

Subwoofer Output: In addition to front and rear preamp outputs, the CQ-C9800U has a non-fading, two-channel subwoofer output. You can adjust the volume of the subwoofer output from -6dB to +6dB in 2dB increments plus "subwoofer mute". The subwoofer output has a low-pass filter with a selectable cutoff frequency between 60Hz and 160Hz in 5Hz increments.

Super Bass Control Subwoofer (SBC-SW): You can drive small subwoofers with the rear speaker outputs with the SBC-SW. When the SBC-SW is activated, the subwoofer level and low pass filter settings are applied to the rear speaker outputs.

High Pass Filter: This unit has a built-in high pass filter for the front and rear speaker and preamp outputs with a selectable crossover frequency from 90Hz to 225Hz in 5Hz increments or Off).

Seat Position Selector: To supplement the balance and fader controls, you can select from among five seat position settings to optimize sound reproduction in a particular listening position or for a certain number of passengers. The selections include: Front Left, Front Right, Front All, Rear All and Off.

Mute/Attenuate: This unit allows you to choose between mute (volume at 0) or attenuate (volume decreased by 10 steps) when you want to decrease the volume instantly.

Auxiliary Input: A set of female RCA jacks is provided to allow the connection of a portable audio source. Just connect your portable cassette, MD or MP3 player to this unit, and you can listen to the audio from the portable player through the speakers in your mobile audio system. The jacks are on a 6" long pigtail attached to the back of the unit.

Alphatuner V: The CQ-C9800U's Alphatuner V tuner is designed to help suppress multi-path distortion and reduce the problem of radio signal reflections in metropolitan areas. It also features increased sensitivity for weak signal areas.

Radio DSP: By digitally converting and processing FM and AM broadcast signals, adjacent interference and multipath distortion is reduced. Panasonic's Radio DSP uses an advanced algorithm, instead of an analog IF filter, to prevent neighboring broadcast frequencies from interfering with reception. Radio DSP uses a digital signal processing method to precisely remove multipath interference.

Direct Memory: One favorite radio station can be stored in Direct Memory and recalled at any time (even with the power off) with the push of the D-M button. In addition, you can store up to 18 FM and 6 AM stations in preset memory.

Remote Control: The CQ-C9800U is equipped with a wireless remote control (YEFX9992663). In addition to normal disc/tuner/audio controls, some functions are available exclusively by remote control only. The dimensions of the remote are: W=1.583", H=0.268", L=3.412".

CD Changer Controls

CD Changer Compatibility: The CQ-C9800U can control compatible 6-disc and 8-disc Panasonic CD Changers including CX-DP880, CX-DP88, CX-DP801, CX-DP610, CX-DP601, and CX-DP600.

Dual CD Changer Control: Using the optional CA-CD55 (item # 133CACD55) Dual CD changer adapter, you can control two compatible CD changers with this unit.

Changer Controls:

  • Disc Up/Down
  • Direct Disc Selection (remote only)
  • Track Up/Down
  • Fast Forward/Fast Reverse
  • Random (all available tracks)
  • Disc Random (current disc)
  • Scan Play (all available tracks)
  • Disc Scan Play (1st track of all discs)
  • Repeat Play (current track)
  • Disc Repeat Play (current disc)
  • CD Changer Selection (1 or 2)

Note

Clock/Illumination Displays: Pressing and holding the Source button turns the unit off completely. After the unit has been turned off, you can use the DISP (display) button to switch the clock display and face/button illumination on and off. If you leave the clock display and face/button illumination on, they are "keyed". If you turn the clock display and face/button illumination off, they only turn on when the unit is turned on ("unit on" operation).

 
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Panasonic MXE CQ-C9800U Reviews

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5 out of 5

Amazing

Written By Charles, Minneapolis, Mn on Tuesday, March 22, 2005
 
I love this deck, i have used only pioneer decks in the past, but this one is amazing. I dont know what the previous reviewer was saying, because there is a 3 step dimmer, very easy to use. i have never herd any "clipping" in my music and im currently powering 5 1/4 infinity perfect components up front. i would say that the soudn thet comes out of this deck is always an extreme pleasure to listen too. the sound is pure and smooth, and is capable of very high power loads. i would recommend this deck to anyone,


5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

The CQ-C9800U

Written By Daniel, Fort Smith AR on Saturday, February 05, 2005
 
This source unit does not live up to the hype. 60W RMS power seems like it would be plenty loud, however, the internal amplifier has a new kind of distortion I have never heard, I guess it's a result of the Tripath Amp technology. This is also the first unit I have driven to clipping, using Infinity Kappa components, I have used a low voltage signal into the AUX and gotten decent sound, but with no source level adjustment, I can't beef up the volume any more from the external source. When playing an MP3 cd, the source is loud, but not loud enough, and when you approach the 35-36 volume level on the radio, where its just about right for those that need the sound to penetrate their thick skulls, the radio begins to clip. Buying this radio for the features is moot, since the features are found in most units this price. Buying it for the quoted output is also moot, since it does not live up to its promise.It is also VERY bright, and I could not locate a dimmer for the display, neither in options or the harness dimmer didn't work, and that would be a shame upon myself, having installed for 6 years. This unit is not up to snuff for those seeking serious power from the internal amp.
100 out of 129 people found this helpful
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