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Details about  KENWOOD Excelon KHD-CX910 Music Keg by Phatnoise Phatbox

KENWOOD Excelon KHD-CX910 Music Keg by Phatnoise Phatbox See original listing
Item Sold
Item condition:
May 13, 2012 20:00:04 PDT
Winning bid:
US $129.50
6 bids ]
$19.95 Standard Shipping | See details
Item location:
USA, United States


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Item specifics

Used: An item that has been used previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully ... Read moreabout the condition




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 Just a quick heads up. I'm genrally quick to answer, but if I'm delayed responding to questions, I may be out of town. It's vacation season.

First off. Yes, this is a complete system. No, nothing else to buy to work with your CD-Changer compatible Kenwood headunit!   

If you have detailed question, you may find the answer at www.phathack.com. This user based website has an infinite amount of info on all things Phatnoise.    

  PLEASE NOTE: This auction is for the complete Car system Picture provided is for reference. the player may or may not have blemishes and/or scratches.

    If your looking for an additional DMS memory Cartridges (40-Gigs) or a faster USB cradle (USB-2.0), I have some available. Contact me, and/or check my other auctions. I give discounts for multiple purchases.

 If you looking at this system, then most likely you know what it is. But for the uninitiated, I've provided some back ground down below.   

  Insured shipping is $19.95 continental US. PO boxes $3.00 extra.

  WORLDWIDE shipping available. Contact me for a quote!   or  Go to www.usps.com and get a sample quote on Insured Priority shipping on an 8-lb package. Include Insurance in your quote.  


  I prefer PayPal. 

I DO NOT charge fee's for using PayPal, like others may. But VERY important. Users must, must provide PayPal "Confirmed Address" or some proof of residence.  You can provide a document  with your name and address matching PayPal records, No exceptions!  If you can't do this, DO NOT BID!  Questions??? Ask me! If you buy this item and are unable to provide a PayPal "Confirmed Address" or some other form of PROOF of residence, that means a document of some sort showing your name and address matching PayPal records, you will be refunded you money, less my fee's regarding this auction. Including fee's for this listing AND fee's to relist this item. If you have ANY questions?? PLEASE ask before you bid. Thanks

  QUESTIONS??? I welcome all questions. Please ask! Make sure the question is not answered in the bid.

  war Someone once said, "What price, piece of mind" I believe it's priceless. This Squaretrade warranty costs you very little. Cheap insurance i'd say.

  What are the benefits of buying a SquareTrade Warranty Plan?
A SquareTrade Warranty gives you the peace of mind about your purchase. If your purchase breaks or experiences a failure during normal usage, your Warranty Plan covers the cost of repairing your item. In cases where your item cannot be repaired, you will receive a refund up to the original price you paid for the item.

The SquareTrade Warranty is fully loaded with features that go beyond what the manufacturer's warranty:

  SquareTrade Manufacturer
 Length of warranty coverage: Up to 3 years1 Up to 1 year2
 Parts & labor Warranty service available Warranty service available
 No deductible or hidden charges Warranty service available Warranty service available
 Transferable Warranty service available Limited
 Renewable Warranty service available
 "No Lemon" policy Warranty service available
 Protection from power surges Indicator Limited
 In-home service --large items like TVs Warranty service available Limited
 Nationwide service network Warranty service available
 24/7 toll-free phone support Warranty service available
 Warranty refundable at any time Warranty service available
1 Typically, manufacturer warranties last 3 - 12 months.
3-year warranty available on new and refurbished items that have at least a 90-day warranty
   from the manufacturer. Used items have a 2 year warranty available.


What is a Music Keg?
First, let's dispel any notion that this product has a connection between drinking and driving. Just because you put a Keg in your car, doesn't mean that you'll have suds.

Second, let's consider just how cutting edge this product is. Cars have long had tape players, CD players, and CD changers — and more recently, DVD players have been added to the mix. But the hottest trend in music storage is the hard-disk drive. Products like the Apple iPod surpass a CD player because hard-disk drives can hold hundreds or thousands of albums in compressed form. The Music Keg is a hard-disk drive for in-car music playback. Moreover, it is designed to move music files easily between your home PC and your car. You can rip thousands of files into the Keg at home, then take that music library for a drive. Cutting edge indeed.

The Kenwood Music Keg uses a 10-gigabyte drive. The disk capacity determines how much music you can load into your Keg. File size determines how many files you can load. But you can easily get thousands of songs. I have 40-Gigs available.

What's included?
So, exactly what do you get when you buy a Keg? For starters, you get three pieces of hardware:
  • a car-mounted player (that is styled to look like a car power amplifier, complete with purely cosmetic cooling fins),
  • a plastic-clad cartridge (called a DMS module) that holds the all-important hard-disk drive,
  • a desktop docking station (with a USB cable) that connects to your home computer
  • PhatNoise software that lets you rip files and download them to the Keg.
It's important to note that the Keg can be controlled with most of Kenwood's head units and with all Kenwood head units that offer CD changer and CD-Text capability. A compatible Kenwood head controls the Keg, and also provides power to it, and accepts its audio output signal directly. If you don't have a Kenwood head, you can use a Kenwood KCA-R70 FM adapter that controls the Keg and plays its audio signal through your through your FM tuner (or through your head's auxiliary inputs). I decided to do a complete Kenwood install, so I had a Kenwood Excelon KDC-X869 sent along as well.

A straightforward installation
Unpacking these components and getting ready for installation is easy (and Crutchfield goes to special lengths to help you). The box showed up with everything I would need, including a mounting bracket and wire harness for the head unit. Crutchfield includes a very detailed yet easy-to-follow installation guide, which even a novice should be able to follow. The KDC-X869 installed without a hitch, and I used the AUX inputs, a pair of RCA cables that hang down behind the player, for the inputs from the Keg.

After checking to see that I had everything I needed, it was time to get the Keg up and running. Before you start ripping discs, it's best to complete the car installation part of the task. The car player has a shutter on one end that accepts the DMS module, lights that show when it is powered and operating, and a socket for the specialized cable that connects the Keg to a head unit. You can install the player almost anywhere, with the four included screws; it doesn't have any user controls, and you probably won't be loading and unloading the DMS cartridge all that often. Since it looks like a power amplifier, it would look at home mounted next to your power amps. (Just make sure you leave enough clearance to get cartridges in and out).
Time to rip
Installation chores completed, it's time to rip. First, you must install the PhatNoise Music Manager software. It runs on Windows 2000, ME, 98SE, XP, & 7 and, like most Windows applications, it installs itself. The docking station is a plastic caddy that accepts a DMS module. It has power indicators, a power socket, and a USB cable. To use it, simply add power (a wall converter is included), plug a DMS into the docking station, and connect its USB cable to your PC.

The PhatNoise Music Manager software lets you download music from the Internet, design playlists, and convert music files from one format to another. Once you've got your tunes ready to go, transfer them to the DMS cartridge with a click of the mouse, and then insert the DMS into the Keg in your car.

Creating playlists
The PhatNoise software lets you create, catalog, and play music files, and download them to the DMS. Its CD Encoder is a conventional ripper; you choose a file type (such as MP3 or WMA) and a bit rate (the higher the bit rate, the better the sound quality, but the larger the file size, so the less playing time per DMS). Then you load a CD into your PC's disk drive, choose the songs (or the entire disc) you want to rip, and a few minutes later the compressed files are stored on your PC's hard-disk drive. If you are connected to the Internet, the software will find album and song titles and automatically assign them to the files. Now, using the Playlist Manager, you create playlists by dragging in music files. Finally, you use the Device Manager to drag and drop songs from your PC's hard drive to the DMS to create virtual "discs" of music. All this might sound complicated, but it's not, really. If you have ever loaded files to a portable MP3 player, it's simple. If you're a newbie, you'll learn in an hour or less.

The Music Keg on the road
After you have loaded a music library onto the DMS, it's time to hit the road. A Kenwood receiver (like my KDC-X869) makes it easy to harness the Keg; it lets you see all the file names stored in the DMS, and access and play any of them. The virtual "discs" on the DMS appear in the display in much the same way that physical discs in a CD changer would appear. Importantly, access is instantaneously fast; many head units (including the KDC-X869) play CDs with MP3 files, but the Keg is much faster at initializing and finding the songs you want. In addition, clearly, the Keg holds a lot more songs.

Bits and pieces
Sound quality can be very good — and very bad. It depends entirely on the bit rate. At low rates of 64 kbps, sound quality is okay for casual listening, but the rolled off high-frequency response and slight compression artifacts can be heard. At higher rates of 128 kbps, fidelity starts to come alive and at 192 kbps you will be hard pressed to distinguish between your Keg copy, and the original CD. Also, many critical listeners believe that at any given bit rate, particularly lower bit rates, WMA files will sound better than MP3 files.

Test drive
Whatever bit rate and file type you choose, the Keg can sound as good as you want it to. I put the system to one of my favorite acid tests — Pat Metheny Group's Offramp (ECM Records). Recorded in 1982 (the PhatNoise software ran out to the Internet to find that out for me) this album, particularly "Eighteen," has a bright clarity that tends to expose flaws in many codecs. I encoded "Eighteen" in WMA format, 128 kbps, and transferred it to the DMS. Drummer Danny Gottlieb plays a steady ride cymbal that was sharp, distinct, with none of the artifacts that a poor codec would introduce. In addition, at 1:38 in the song, Pat Metheny's lead guitar plays three phrases, panned hard left, then center, then hard right. This is followed by Gottlieb's tom fill panning the opposite, from right to left. This extreme stereo imaging was accurate and precise. At this bit rate, the WMA files sounded very good — not CD quality, but certainly acceptable.

Bottom line
If you want lots of music, and don't want to compromise sound quality, then go for the 10-Gbyte KHD-CX910. This will blow away your MP-3 plugged into your stereo, yes even the I-Pod.  

Whichever model you choose, if you want a lot of music on tap, then a Kenwood Music Keg will be perfect for you. If you have never experienced the cool factor of ripping CDs and creating compilations, then the Keg will rock your world, and introduce you to the excitement of MP3 and WMA. If you already have a PC stuffed full of music files, and are tired of carrying around CD wallets of files, then the Keg will be equally revelatory.

Yes, a CD-R might hold 10 or so hours of music, but what if the song you really want to hear is on a different CD? Yes, you could swap out discs, but that's not nearly as cool as accessing the Keg. Clearly, a hard-disk drive is the most convenient way to store lots of music and on long drives, that library might be the best friend you've ever had.

Simply put, the Keg will be the hit of the party. But please, no under-age listening.

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