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cheap blaupunkts? #4499097
08/27/17 12:21 AM
08/27/17 12:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 728
indianapolis in
bmwjohn Offline OP
bmwjohn  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 728
indianapolis in
was looking for a Blaupunkt to put in an older Volvo 240 series and noticed a series of really cheap Blaupunkts (w/o CD players). Blaupunkys used to be premium product, then got cheaper Chinese versions, but these seen in the $30 range. Any idea what is going on?

Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4499128
08/27/17 03:27 AM
08/27/17 03:27 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,160
Saskatchewan, Canada
Johnny2Bad Offline
Johnny2Bad  Offline
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,160
Saskatchewan, Canada
If it's just a radio, they can make them very inexpensively. They use a standard Integrated Circuit (a chip) that costs, in quantity, about a buck. Same chip as found in AV receivers.

Discrete radios (using a circuit of specific individual parts) went out of favour during the 1990's. They are better, but require skill to design, and cost much more. A few AM/FM tuners still use discrete circuitry, at prices of $1000 or so, that can be hooked up to home HiFi's, but for the most part that type of radio is done.


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Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4499137
08/27/17 04:20 AM
08/27/17 04:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 588
Under the hood
Carmudgeon Offline
Carmudgeon  Offline
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 588
Under the hood
I'd be leery of cheap anything, including the current Blaupunkts.

It's hard to tell whether the old company is even involved anymore with the product, or has merely licensed the name to another company to apply to some Chinese-made ODM equipment. Even if the company still exists, the cheap ones are still going to be badge-engineered.

The brand has had a spotty distribution record in the U.S. in recent years. It seemed to disappear almost entirely before Crutchfield started carrying the brand again; now its selection is back down to two models.

For many years prior, U.S. support was based in Illinois along with the parent company Bosch's operations.

Look into the current U.S. distributor now, and it's some small car stereo outfit in Los Angeles, which should make one cautious.

I had a top-line 7-series Blau in the 90s. It had the perfect low-key Euro interior look, was a quality piece, made in Germany, and loaded with smart features. When it succumbed to display glitches that made it unusable, I replaced it with one of the then newish media players. It was still pretty good quality, made by Bosch in Portugal, but the quality was obviously a step down. After I found the USB media connection was very unreliable, I replaced it with a top-line Sony media player, which was well-made and sounded surprisingly good, and never looked back. But even Sony eventually dropped the model and stopped making the good, higher-end stuff.

When the OEMs started paying attention and made OE systems better in quality, and tightly integrated, the aftermarket 12v industry suffered terribly. Now, there seems to be a lot of cheap, off-brand stuff to fight on the bottom end. The middle ground is occupied by the consolidated survivors, with some OK, but not great stuff. The only money still being made is probably from the double-DIN big screen units, which can better slot into the big OE spaces, but carry commensurately high prices.

If all you need is a cheap radio to make produce some sound, it's probably OK. But I wouldn't expect, or count on it to be long-lived, let alone something worthy of the old Blaupunkt brand.

I'd probably look for a low-key looking JVC/Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine or another brand that's still a real company.

Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4499290
08/27/17 08:45 AM
08/27/17 08:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,812
Marshfield , MA
andyd Offline
andyd  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,812
Marshfield , MA
shop Crutchfields The Rat has a $ 60 Dual. Tell them the make and model and you will get a hookup kit. The next to last 528e came with a Blaupunkt Indianapolis, I wasn't impressed.


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Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4499309
08/27/17 09:02 AM
08/27/17 09:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 447
North Carolina
Urshurak776 Offline
Urshurak776  Offline
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 447
North Carolina
I have two Blaupunkt 10" subs in my trunk. They sound great.


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2014 Kia Rio, 80,000 miles, Havoline Pro DS Syn 5W-30, WIX Filter
Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4499315
08/27/17 09:08 AM
08/27/17 09:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,115
Dallas,Tx USA
aquariuscsm Offline
aquariuscsm  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,115
Dallas,Tx USA
Originally Posted By: bmwjohn
was looking for a Blaupunkt to put in an older Volvo 240 series and noticed a series of really cheap Blaupunkts (w/o CD players). Blaupunkys used to be premium product, then got cheaper Chinese versions, but these seen in the $30 range. Any idea what is going on?


I've noticed this trend with all electronics. I remember RCA tv's being mega expensive and absolute top of the line. Same with Yamaha,Sony,Pioneer,etc. Seems when mass-fi stores came along and replaced the mom and pop enthusiast stores (which was all there was at one time) all electronics turned into complete garbage.


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Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4499399
08/27/17 10:55 AM
08/27/17 10:55 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,156
UT
BHopkins Offline
BHopkins  Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,156
UT
Marketing.

They are trying to increase market share while using the reputation of their good name to sell inferior product to those who would normally not be able to afford what was traditionally a Blaupunkt product.

Nothing new. Others have done the same thing. John Deere. Sony. Cub Cadet. And the list goes on and on.


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2007 Mercedes SL550 - M1M 5W-40 & MB OEM filter
Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4499469
08/27/17 12:33 PM
08/27/17 12:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,324
USA
slacktide_bitog Offline
slacktide_bitog  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,324
USA
There's a NOS Blaupunkt Heidelberg on eBay right now (made in Portugual by Bosch). eBay item #322661829197

Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: BHopkins] #4499474
08/27/17 12:35 PM
08/27/17 12:35 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 2,304
WA (USA)
Y_K Offline
Y_K  Offline
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 2,304
WA (USA)
Originally Posted By: BHopkins
Nothing new. Others have done the same thing. John Deere. Sony. Cub Cadet. And the list goes on and on.


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"This forum talking about 4wd systems is like when other forums talk about oil."
Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4499839
08/27/17 08:27 PM
08/27/17 08:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,462
Georgia
DeepFriar Offline
DeepFriar  Offline
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,462
Georgia
Sad to hear this about the Blue Dot. My introduction to good FM car stereo audio was in a 71 Volvo 142E (may have been an S). It was a revelation to a kid that grew up mostly rural and without FM. These days I see $5,000+ Burmester options in cars and just laugh.

Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4500258
08/28/17 09:49 AM
08/28/17 09:49 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,699
Southeast
meep Offline
meep  Offline
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,699
Southeast
I bought a blau around yr 2000 and ended up not being impressed at all. the internal amplifier was dreadful with high-end component speakers, and the buttons all deteriorated and became unusable in about 10 years. The only thing likeable about it was the styling and the electronic functions, but the poor SQ and sub-par switchgear really hurt. Never again.

I'm in an alpine phase right now, but of the 4 I've installed and 2 that I've helped others install, 2 lost bluetooth functionality in about 2 years.

I'm not impressed with pioneer's UI, but generally like their SQ. I've been tempted to try kenwood but the alpine's SQ is so good I've been afraid to go elsewhere.


2018 F150
2015 crv (wifey!)
Re: cheap blaupunkts? [Re: bmwjohn] #4503047
08/31/17 06:38 AM
08/31/17 06:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 672
New England, USA
wings&wheels Offline
wings&wheels  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 672
New England, USA
Blaupunkt's certainly aren't what they used to be but are probably good enough. I do not like the new designs; too video gamey for me, but many current aftermarket radios are like that.

If you are determined to get a European radio, try the Becker. Big $ but a nice radio. I replaced the Blaupunkt Acapulco in my Lotus w/ a Becker Mexico Pro a while back. Looks and receives much better.

Or, find an older Blaupunkt and have it rebuilt. My TR6 has a 1974 Blaupunkt Frankfurt mono that I had rebuilt 10+ years ago by a reputable restorer and it is still working well.

One caveat; I am not a audiophile, so take my advice for what it is...

Last edited by wings&wheels; 08/31/17 06:48 AM.

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