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I connected the KW-NT1 to my reference system, and played with it for several hours. I listened to audio from DVD’s CD’s, MP3 on CD-R, and of course my iPod. The JVC piece sounds great with any of these sources, and I was unable to find any real fault with the sonics. The unit delivered signal to my reference amps almost transparently, and without any unwanted noise or noticeable digital artifacts.
CD track access happened quickly and silently, and the load time for a DVD was quite quick. iPod functionality proved to be no problem for the JVC, and searches were quick and easy to perform using the intuitive touch screen.
The on-board EQ was easy to use, and while I usually prefer to make changes in 1dB steps, the 2dB increments offered will be fine for 99.5% of all users. I did note that there is no loudness contour available, but with the adaptive volume control and the user definable EQ curves, I doubt you’ll miss it.
About the only thing I missed was a wireless remote (none is available) but there is an optional OEM steering wheel remote integration feature available.
On The Bench:
The JVC measured up to or exceeded the performance of all its published specs. All the measurements were quite good for a unit of this complexity and vast capabilities. The Amplifier delivered 20 watts x 4, and the RCA’s provided 2.5 volts of useable output. While I can’t rate it as an ultra high-end audio source unit, simply because of the limited output voltage and rather high 560 ohm source impedance, it will be more than adequate performance wise in the vast majority of user’s vehicles. The frequency response measured nice and flat, and the unit also has respectable signal to noise performance.
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It never ceases to amaze me how much technology companies can cram into a single chassis like this. And the more we get, it seems the more we expect. JVC has really created a complete package able to meet any needs including GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod convenience, even the ability to watch a movie in the dashboard of your car... while it may all seem like no big deal to those of us who are exposed to it on a daily basis, I have to wonder what my Grandmother would have thought about a product like this… seeing she’d have time to go for a drive, since the laundry was done.