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Video: Kenwood DPX503 CD Receiver

Ken Nail has written about car audio for Crutchfield since 2003, after four years as Crutchfield Sales Advisor, and 10 years as a music teacher. He's an avid music listener, whose favorites are classical and film music. When not chained to a desk, Ken spends most of his time training for triathlons and marathons, and likes getting outside for backpacking, downhill skiing, and bicycle touring. He attended West Virginia University, where he received a Master's Degree in Music Performance and a Bachelor's Degree in History.

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Zak Billmeier grew up in southern Vermont and coastal Maine. After graduating from Mary Washington College with a Geography degree he still isn't sure quite what to do with, he eventually settled in the mountains of Central Virginia. He spends his free time chasing his daughter around, taking pictures, gardening and cooking. He joined Crutchfield's car A/V writing team in 2007 and is now a lead producer on our video team.

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Our experts take a quick look at the Kenwood DPX503 CD receiver and discuss some of the features that make it an excellent choice for cars with a double-sized dash opening.

Video Transcript

Ken: Hi. I'm Ken.

Zak: And I'm Zak.

Ken: Today we're going to be looking at Kenwood's DPX503 CD receiver. Now, this is a double-sized receiver, fits in that large opening you've got in a lot of new cars.

Zak: Yeah, and you can see the styling is something that looks like it would be a replacement for your factory radio, but on the inside, it's all Kenwood. And it actually starts right here, handy front panel USB and auxiliary inputs.

Ken: Nice and handy. I like this display a lot. Check this out. Let's say you go to Source and man, check it out. Nice graphics. Just twist the knob to pick what you want to listen to and you're ready to go. Another cool feature in here that I like, easy to get to again: You just go to Display, Type, twist the knob, and there you have it, the spectrum analyzer. Man, I love those dancing waves of music. It's got some great sound adjustments under the hood too, right?

Zak: Oh yeah. With Kenwood, it starts with their System Q Sound Controls.

Ken: Yeah, that's their EQ package. There's seven preset tone curves and a 3-band EQ on this model.

Zak: And "Supreme" sound enhancement. What that does is it makes your digital files sound better. MP3s, or really great if you've got an iPod connected.

Ken: Great. And we've got high-pass and low-pass crossovers so you can tailor the output to the speakers you've got in your car. Get better sound.

Zak: Yeah, and here's something you don't find very often in a receiver in this price range is digital time alignment. What that does is it makes minute timing adjustments based on where the speakers are in your car and puts you right in the middle in the sweet spot.

Ken: Yeah. That's a lot more precise that you're gonna get with balance left right, fader front rear.

Zak: Yeah, and you know you can make the measurements yourself and do it really precisely manually if you want to, or to make it easier on you, just go with one of Kenwood's presets.

Ken: Yeah, I saw the presets in here. It's a nice set. There's like presets for small cars, full size cars and of course SUVs and mini vans.

Zak: Yeah.

Ken: Now let's go back to the outside here 'cause here's a nice feature. We've got it set right now so it would match my car perfectly, a nice blue display.

Zak: Yeah, and it looks great but you know in my car orange would probably be a better choice.

Ken: We've got you covered 'cause there's ten preset colors in here. So let's just go right to it. Function. We go to Color and hit "All" and we just scroll right through. Number four.

Zak: I like it. I like it.

Ken: Orange. Yeah.

Zak: All right, that's great, but you know, we've seen this before. A lot of stereos can change their colors, but what this one does a little differently is we can put a different color on each knob, on the buttons, or on the display face. Pretty neat.

Ken: It is neat. And you can take what you've done and save it too, so if you have a favorite color scheme you're all ready to go. I saved one here. I think you're gonna like this, okay.

Zak: Let's see it.

Ken: Yeah, we just hit recall. Yes. And are you ready to roll with this?

Zak: I think so.

Ken: All right. Here we go.

Zak: All right. Well you weren't kiddin', you really did it Ken.

Ken: You bet.

Zak: All right. If you want to learn more about this go to

Ken: Or as always give us a call at 1-800-555-9408. What do you think of that color, huh?

Zak: You know in time I could probably come to love it.

Ken: That works for me.

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