TORRANCE, CALIF. — Alpine is rolling out a 2010 lineup that includes an expanded selection of basic CD-receivers, new OEM-upgrade products, new driver-assistance systems and shallow high-performance subwoofers.
The products also include the company’s first all-in-one double-DIN A/Vnavigation unit and first head unit with built-in Pandora Internet radio application.
To support what he called a “strong line with a lot of new products,” product promotion manager Steve Brown said Alpine will expand its dealer-training program in the coming months. Last year, the company conducted product training through its rep force and, for select larger accounts, through factory personnel. This year, the company will add factory-direct training sessions in five to six markets beginning sometime in April, Brown said.
New products that will get a mention during the events are two products introduced at dealer request: Alpine’s lowestpriced CD-receiver to date, the $129-suggested CDE-100, and the $399 CDA-117, which is the company’s first head unit in five or six years to incorporate built-in DSP to set EQ, crossovers and time alignment.
The CDA-117 is also Alpine’s first head unit with RDS-based iTunes tagging over analog FM broadcasts. The satellite- and HD Radio-ready CDA-117 also features 4-volt outputs.
The company already offers a $179- suggested PXA-H100 Imprint outboard DSP processor that performs the same DSP functions as the CDA-117.
For its part, the promotional CDE-100 at $129 is part of an expanded CDE series of basic single- DIN in-dash CDreceivers that lack the ability to add on satellite radio or HD Radio. Its frontpanel USB connection is for use with music-laden USB sticks and portable hard drives. A front-panel 3.5mm input connects to portable music players.
The CDE selection goes to three from one with the addition of the CDE-100 and the $249 CDE-103BT, which is a Bluetooth- equipped version of the carryover $179 CDE-102. The 103BT and 102 feature USB connection and are certified as Made for iPod and Works with iPhone.
For upgrading OEM sound quality, the company introduced its second-generation OEM-upgrade DSP processor, the Imprint PXE-H660 at a suggested $549. Its input-voltage range has been widened so that, when added to an OEM outboard amplifier, consumers can continue to use the factory head’s volume control without inducing distortion, Brown said. With the previous model, consumers had to use an Alpine-supplied remote to adjust system volume when retaining an outboard OEM amp. The separate remote wasn’t needed, however, when the module was connected to a factory head with built-in amp.
Installers would add the Imprint to an outboard OEM amp in case the amp’s removal interfered with the functioning of other vehicle systems on the same OEM databus. Once the Imprint is installed, the processor would connect to aftermarket amplifiers.
Another new factory-upgrade device is the $119 DPR-RDS1 iPod/iPhone interface, whose FM modulator connects to a radio’s antenna input to send music to the factory radio. If the radio is RDSequipped, the radio will also display music metadata.
In expanding its selection of driver-assistance camera systems, Alpine introduced three new models, including its first with 360-degree view around a vehicle. The 360-degree system, called a “top-view” system, uses four cameras to simultaneously display the view from all sides of a vehicle, helping consumers parallel park or change lanes without worrying about blind spots, Brown said. Another new driver-assist system is the company’s first rear-view camera system to use image processing to sense movement. Plans for both will be announced in September or October.
A third new driver-assistance system, the $549-suggested HCE-C200R, ships in March with a multiview feature. Its rearcamera view can be switched from a standard 120- to 130-degree view to a split rearview that displays the view to both sides as you back out of a parking space. It also provides a 180-degree view and a “down view,” which lets drivers check for bumper proximity when parking. An optional $499 front camera offers the same features.
In speakers, the company is launching a $449-suggested 10-inch subwoofer and $499 12-inch model with shallow mounting depths of 3.25 inches and 3.5 inches. They deliver the same output and bass response as standard 10- and 12-inch models and do so in small enclosures, Brown said.