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Alpine CHA-S634

6-disc Ai-NET CD/MP3 Changer

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  • Alpine CHA-S634

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Item #: 500CHAS634
 

Review Summary

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Original price $299.99
 
 
 
 

Our take on the Alpine CHA-S634

Alpine
Alpine Authorized Online Dealer

Take your Internet music on the road with the CHA-S634 CD changer! This 6-disc changer's sound quality is outstanding — it uses the same premium-grade audio processor as Alpine's DVD players.

In addition to your audio CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, it'll play MP3 files stored on disc (up to 200 files per disc). Six MP3 discs can hold about 60 hours of music — that's ten times more than standard CDs. For easy identification, you can name up to 80 of your discs for display on a text-compatible Alpine receiver. And the CHA-S634 can decode MP3 ID-3 tags or CD Text info.

Please note: This changer's control cable is compatible with Alpine Ai-NET-controlling receivers. An inexpensive adapter is required if you want to use the CHA-S634 with Alpine older, M-Bus changer-controlling head units.

Details:
  • plays CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, and MP3 files on CD-R/CD-RW
  • disc naming for 80 discs (text compatible receiver required)
  • MP3 ID-3 tag and CD Text decoding
  • 5-position adjustable mounting from 0-90 degrees
  • CD frequency response 5-20,000 Hz
  • CD signal-to-noise ratio 105 dB
  • 17-1/2' connection cable included
  • dimensions: 10-1/16"W (12-3/8" with bracket) x 2-1/2"H x 6-9/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
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Note: Sorry, Crutchfield cannot ship Alpine products to Guam or Puerto Rico.

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

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 6-Disc CD changer with 3 transport keys and attached transport key note
  • 1 KAE-116C 6-Disc magazine
  • Self-adhesive index label sheet
  • 17.5' Ai-Net cable
  • Four 5/8" self-tapping metal screws
  • 2 Metal "L" brackets
  • 2 Base plates
  • 4 Nuts
  • Four 2" Bolts
  • Four 1" Bolts
  • Four 1/4" bolts with washers
  • Dust cover labels
  • Tie wrap
  • Limited warranty sheet
  • Customer care registration card.

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

Compatibility: This changer is directly compatible with Ai-Net equipped Alpine changer controllers, and, when used with the optional KCA-130B adapter cable (sold separately), it will work with M-Bus (Mini-Bus) equipped Alpine changer controllers. When used with a M-Bus equipped controller, some MP3 functions, such as folder skip up/down, may not be available.

Suspension: The CHA-S634 has a high speed, anti-vibration mechanism with silicon oil dampers for skip-resistant performance.

"M DAC" D/A Converters: This changer uses two "M" Digital-to-analog converters (M DAC's). This type of DAC is exclusive to Alpine and is a hybrid of a 1-bit DAC and a multi-bit DAC. With this type of DAC, clock timing isn't as crucial as in 1-bit DAC's and cost can be kept down without losing the linearity and error free performance of most 1-bit DAC CD players.

Mounting: This unit may be installed vertically, horizontally, or at an angle between 0 and 90 degrees. There are 5-position angle settings on both sides of the unit that must be set to agree with the mounting angle of the unit.

CD-R/CD-RW: This changer will play CD-R and CD-RW discs.

MP3 playback: This changer can play MP3 files, and it will support ID3 tags associated with the files.

Random Playback: This changer allows for random play on one disc only (the M.I.X. One Function). This unit does not support the ALL M.I.X. function (random play of all discs). Even though the ALL M.I.X. function is one that Ai-Net controllers can typically access, it is not available when using this changer.

CD Text: When playing CD Text encoded CDs, this changer will transmit the data for display on compatible Alpine head units equipped with CD Text display capability.

Disc Naming: When used with a compatible head unit, the changer allows Disc Naming for 80 discs.

 
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Alpine CHA-S634 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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2 out of 5

High quality, but missing the point

Written By Christopher, Southern Arizona on Saturday, April 12, 2008
 
The quality construction of this item and the mp3 compatibilty are great features, however, per Crutchfield's hands on review:

"This unit does not support the ALL M.I.X. function (random play of all discs). Even though the ALL M.I.X. function is one that Ai-Net controllers can typically access, it is not available when using this changer. "

This is a severe fuctional liability. Without an all cd random play, this changer is nothing more than an auxillary storage device. If you don't have a problem manually changing your own CD's while driving, you are not gaining any additional playing features beyond those already in the head unit.

I love Alpine products, their quality is second to none, but I think they really missed the point on this one.
3 out of 8 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

A worthy addition to Ai-NET-ready Alpine head units

Written By Dr. Claw, Parts Unknown, OH on Friday, February 08, 2008
 
Paired with an Alpine CDA-9883 head unit, this changer does the job and more. Many users nowadays are foregoing a dedicated CD changer for digital media controllers like the iPod, but for those who are holding on to their hard copies and wish to use them on the road without changing disks in the front end, look no further. Since I came from Sony's EXCELLENT CDX-757MX 10-CD changer (not the RF adapted version, the one for Sony Unilink head units), my only wish is that this changer had more music to store. However, so far, this changer seems to match Sony's unit for quality. Incredibly expensive in comparison to other changers, but if you have an Alpine set-up already, this is worth the money.

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

AWESOME Product!

Written By Jen, PA on Monday, August 13, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I recently ordered the Alpine CHA-S634 for my Alpine Stereo. I am amazed with the sound clarity of this product. The CD magazine is very easy to load. The changer is easy to install and once it's connected, it loads fast and plays smooth. No skips or jumps in the disc play at all! Great CD Changer! Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for an add on to their Alpine equipment!

I love Alpine products. The sound quality is unremarkable! Love it, Love it!!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Fantastic - Worth the money

Written By JAS, Felton, DE on Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I am using this with an Alpine CDA-9835 head unit.

Sound quality is amazing. Loading the magazine is very easy and does not appear to scratch discs as some changers do over time. I have not tried to play mp3s as of yet.

Overall, I think this is a great changer and I would highly recommend it.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

great for adding to factory system, not great on Alpine HU

Written By bart, New York, NY on Thursday, July 21, 2005
 
I wanted to upgrade my Alpine CDA9813 to hold even more music - 6 MP3 filled discs. However, I was quite disappointed with the slow controls and slow update of Title/artist info on the display. The jog dial browsing feature becomes almost unusable.

If you are trying to add MP3 / CDchanging features to an existing factory or aftermarket system - go for it! However if you already have an MP3 capable head unit, even an Alpine which you would THINK works great with this unit... just put up with changing cd's once in a while.
16 out of 22 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

It works with many, many Factory Stereos

Written By tkb, Carnation, WA on Saturday, June 11, 2005
 
In particular, it works with most all Acura/Honda stereos. I just had it professionally installed in my '99 Acura TL w/Navi. It just required 2 adaptors (one either end of the long Alpine cable). A Blitzsafe ACU-ALP adapter(you can also use P.E.I. adaptors) on the headunit and a M-Bus adater on the Changer end. Just be sure to change the 1,2 switch inside the front of the changer to settting #2 if you are connecting to an M-Bus Factory system.

The unit is installed in the trunk next to the factory GPS unit, but on the right side.

It works great with my Acura AM/FM/CD/Tape unit in the dash w/o ANY FM modulation or separate remote controls. If you don't have a CD in the in dash player, the radio will automatically start playing music from your changer. If you do have a CD indash, just hit the CD button twice and it will switch from the indash unit to the 6 disk changer in the trunk. It plays burned CDs, MP3 CD ROMs and even WMA CD ROMs. Sound quality is perfect with no noise and the changer is fast on both title and disk changes.

Love it!
13 out of 15 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Worth the money

Written By MMike, Augusta, ME on Friday, February 18, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I am using this with the Blitzsafe adapter in a 2004 BMW w/ factory headunit and factory Harman Kardon amp. So my results are far from typical.

Sound quality is very true even w/ MP3 files. Loading magazine very easy and does not appear to scratch discs as some changers do over time. It plays fine when using ultra-cheap blank CD's too!

Advancing to the next MP3 track is very quick, but trying to skip a lot of tracks takes a while. (This is probably due to non-Alpine headunit.)

Many files (100+) on a CD-R/RW do take a little longer for the disc to start playing and higher tracks take a bit longer to play, but Alpine tells you this.

Overall, I think this is a great changer and I would highly recommend it.
311 out of 394 people found this helpful
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