Sanyo FXCD500

[11/8/2003] Reviewed by: Paul Reimold -

Applicable to: '90 - '97

CD Cassette AM/FM Head Unit

Here are the criteria I used to select this unit when I upgraded the OEM system in my '96.5: 1) Included both CD and cassette players 2) 1 DIN unit, able to keep bin under head unit 3) A plain face that looks OEM. No goofy annimated display. I got the unit from Crutchfield for $270 including shipping. They included the wiring harness which was nice. I have seen them as low as $200, including shipping. The unit installed fairly easily in the place of the OEM unit. The most time-consuming task was soldering the wiring harness connections. Sound is good. Adequate power but not ground shaking. CD works very well; I have not had it skip yet on bumpy roads or during hard cornering/breaking. One drawback is because it crams so much in a small package, the controls are small and crowded. It can be distracting to the driver to adjust any of the settings.

I've had it installed about a week so far. Sanyo makes the only units that I know of that have both CD & cassette in a 1 DIN package. Members on the forum had counseled me not to get this Sanyo because it crammed so much in a small space. However, one individual who actually had owned a Sanyo FXCD500 reported that it had not given him any problems. The other factor is the price, which is roughly 2x what a CD only or cassette only unit would go for. I like CDs for music but many spoken word recordings are still distributed on cassette. All in all, I'm happy. I'll post an update on the Miata Audio forum in 6 - 12 months.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Sanyo EXCD1000

[6/6/2000] Reviewed by Jim Chaivelli -

Applicable to '90 - '97

A single-din unit that includes both CD and cassette decks with 4x20wRMS. Features a flip-down removable faceplate and a rotary controller for volume and other functions.

I wanted to replace the single-din factory unit from my 1996. This unit is, to the best of my knowledge, the only one that gives you both a CD player and a cassette player in a single-din size. I did not want to give up cassettes and was not really interested in having a changer eat into my trunk space. This unit fits the bill for me. I have stock speakers in the doors and Max-5's in the headrests. Installation was very simple. Pop off the little covers on either side of the stock radio and insert the 2 din-removal handles. Slide out the stock radio and unplug the connectors and antenna. I used a harness (from Crutchfield) and soldered all the connections. The whole job took less than an hour. There was no need for a kit. The trim ring and din sleeve that came with the unit were all that was needed for a factory-fit look.

The unit is all that I wanted as far as power and CD/tape performance goes. I can listen to either source with the top down at 80mph. I had no delusions that this would be an audiophile system...just good for listening to music in an otherwise noisy environment. The only downside I have discovered is that the tuner is less sensitive that the factory one. I will see if an antenna signal booster helps, but it is not too bad. The controls are very straight forward and easy to learn/use. An added bonus is that the brushed-metal finish of the faceplate looks very nice with my satin-finish voodoo shift knob. I still have my cubby below the radio for tapes, sunglasses, etc.

Under 5 minutes to remove

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