Santa offers sound advice

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 December, 1998, 12:00am

CAR audio has come a long way from the days of push-button radios when even the slightest interference caused the signal to fade. Computer technology means today's car stereos are as good as anything in the home and make a perfect gift for those who spend a lot of time in their car.

Kenwood has produced supposedly the world's first television/VCD player for cars. The VZ907 combines a touch-panel LCD wide-screen TV monitor and video CD player which fits in-dash like a normal radio deck.

The unit, which costs $18,000, plays both VCDs and CDs and includes AM/FM radio.

CD changers have become an essential component of audio systems and Alpine Electronics has introduced the MDA-W890E which combines a three-disc changer with a tuner, a 40-watt by four amplifier, sound processor/equaliser and a mini-disc player.

The unit costs $8,000 and is also available with a cassette player (model 3DA-W882E - about $6,000), substituting the mini-disc player.

Blaupunkt is taking a hands-off approach with its Amsterdam TCM127 RadioPhone. The unit combines a car radio/CD player with a cellular phone that enables drivers to answer calls hands-free.

This unit costs $11,000 and is sure to enjoy a boost in sales if the Government cracks down on the use of mobile phones in private vehicles.

The phones have been blamed for a rash of accidents on the roads and the Transport Department is undertaking a study on proposed amendments to legislation.

The system can receive signals anywhere within the GSM network and the RadioPhone is activated by inserting a SIM card into the unit.

The driver presses a button on the steering wheel to make calls and communication is made via microphones and speakers installed in the car.

Sony has introduced the CDX-C90 mini disc/cd changer control FM/AM CD player, a junior version of the top-of-the-line XES unit. The player, which costs $8,000, has a built-in variable co-efficient digital filter which Sony says is a first for car audio.

The independent filter automatically adjusts the playback performance preferences of the listener to achieve one of four different sounds in a bright, warm, well- balanced or wide musical range.

An independent pre-amp has been built in to minimise sound distortion.

Great stereo units are nothing without great speakers.

Audio specialist Bose has introduced its JSSI Total Sound System package, designed to take care of everything needed in a speaker system.

The easy-to-install $4,000 package features two 30-watt 1060 II speakers which have been tailor-made to operate with the B-2060 amplifier, for extra bass response.