had previously replaced the original Magnadyne M9900DVDS head unit
that Monaco installed with a 7" Magnadyne M3-LCD unit with a "plug
'n play" 1.5 DIN housing to fit in the same space. The newer
Magnadyne, with it's large LCD display, was a big improvement over
the original radio, but was still not a top quality unit by today's
standards, and I've grown a bit tired of it. The picture to the right is what the dash looks like now, after the
installation of a new
Kenwood eXcelon DDX393 Entertainment System.
(You can click on the picture to see a larger view.) With four LCD
screens (Aladdin engine monitor, 7" Garmin GPS, camera monitor, and the
new LCD Radio, I almost feel like I'm at the controls of a plane
with a digital cockpit. The new Radio LCD touch screen is 6.2"
with button and dial controls for common functions along the left
side where it is easily within the driver's reach. This radio
is a 2016 model with many enhanced features, including...
- Large 6.2" LCD touch
screen replaces most controls, but a row of manual
multi-functional controls are along the left side for
commonly used functions and is within comfortable reach of the
driver. These include a "Home Screen button,
screen/display controls, telephone/voice controls, and a handy
volume knob (better than volume buttons when you are driving). VERY intuitive to operate.
- Seamless integration for AM,
FM, XMSirius Radio (including the latest
SXV300 features), Pandora, iPod, Bluetooth telephone
interface, USB & AUX inputs, CD, DVD screen and movie controls,
and more. Unit automatically switches to proper mode when it
senses any new input. Integrates with all modern Apple &
- Extensive customizable audio, video,
display, and system settings (including icons and screen
backgrounds) can be saved to memory for quick
- Rear connections include
additional AUX input (audio & video), SiriusXM receiver input,
video out for TV, two camera inputs, iPod input, rapid charge
1.5a USB input, mic input for phone, pre-outs for home theater,
amplifier and sub-woofer systems, and more.
unit from JVC/Kenwood is a state-of-the-art in-panel LCD touch
screen full entertainment system that rivals that installed in any
of today's new automobiles. The background screens and button lights
are user customizable. It also plays recorded music in all
popular digital formats from CD/DVD discs, USB storage devices,
Apple & Android phones, etc. Maximum output power is a clear 50
watts. Music is crystal clear with no induced noise.
Each input mode has it's own 13 band equalizer settings (plus more
audio adjustments including space enhancer, sound realizer, bass
boost, loudness, etc.) and you can pre-boost or reduced volume for
any input individually. The unit features auto-pairing
Bluetooth v3.0 with all the latest voice, music, and control
protocols. You can pair two smartphones with it, allowing you
to make/receive calls and use voice controls with
either phone. It does not have a weather band, but that
function is now handled by my Garmin GPS with its data link
Click here for a full description of features and
specs of the DDX393.
love being able to fully control my iPod from the radio screen as
well as Pandora streaming radio. We enjoy listening to audio
books while traveling down the road. An iPhone or iPod Touch
can play digital books from
the USB input; or you can connect any Android or Windows device with
Bluetooth or with a wire to the AUX input. The AUX input is on
the rear of the unit, but I ran that to a covered AUX input
installed in the dash. Audible.com has apps for almost any
device. A good digital book really makes the miles fly by.
There is also a handy remote control (available separately for about
$25.00) that can easily be used by the co-pilot to control many
functions, or to use while watching DVD movies on the TV.
Installation was relatively easy,
but I did have to enlarge the hole in the dash from a 3" high 1.5
DIN size to a 4" double DIN size. There was just enough room
in my Diplomat dash to make the hole another inch taller for the
double DIN radio. The speaker audio output is more powerful
than the original radio and would overpower the home theater amp
originally installed by Monaco Therefore, when I installed the first
Magnadyne LCD head unit, I simply removed the home theater amp and
reconnected the speakers to the original speaker harness that was
present in the top A/V compartment. That home theater amp that
Monaco installed was a very cheap unit anyway, and this radio sounds
much better than that system ever did. I did, upgrade the
little 3" speakers in the ceiling to 5 1/4" 3-way speakers. (There
isn't any mounting room up there for larger speakers.) See the "New
Speakers" section below.
expensive proprietary Magnadyne Sirius radio receiver that
went with the the original M9900 series will not work with
this radio. It needs an SXV200v1 receiver, or the
newer SXV300 receiver, which are available on
Amazon.com as well the Sirius/XM store and
many other venders. This head unit is compatible with
SXV300 SiriusXM receiver that adds several new
handy features to satellite radio (like pausing/re-starting
various scanning, search, and mix features and a few others).
Either receiver plugs right into the back of the head unit.
You must use the interface cable that comes with the Sirius
receiver. The Sirius antenna lead from the antenna on
the roof installed by Monaco, will plug right into these
satellite receivers. These new receivers are not only
better, but also fairly inexpensive compared with earlier,
more proprietary satellite radio receivers that were on the
market a few years back.