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What a difference a year makes. Last year, we reviewed the Eclipse AVN2454 ó it was an all-in-one navigation/CD/DVD player with impressive features and few shortcomings. This year, Eclipse improves the concept with the AVN5495. How well does the new model compare? Letís find out.
Like its predecessor, the Eclipse AVN5495 is an ďall-in-oneĒ audio/video/navigation system. It has the ability to play CD/MP3 and DVD combined with the power of navigation. Replacing the CD drive, the AVN5495 swaps in an internal 30 GB hard drive that stores the immense data now required for navigation (gas stations, restaurants, hotels etc.). For its new bag of tricks, the AVN5495 6.5-inch tiltable TFT touch screen reveals accesses to a single slot for DVDs and a memory stick slot rated to accept up to 128 MB of MP3s. The real beauty of this unit is that it performs all of these functions in a double DIN area without the need for additional external boxes.
The Eclipse AVN5495 has front, rear, and non-fading RCA outputs. The much-needed improvement over the AVN2454 is the big increase from 0.8 volts RMS to 5 volts RMS on its RCA outputs. The speaker outputs have been re-rated to a respectable 15 watts per channel into 4 channels. Thereís still a maximum rated output voltage of 50 watts per channel. The AVN5495 can also control a couple of CD changers, accommodate a rear view camera (a proprietary piece from Eclipse), and accept and aux AV input. Basically, this unit will play everything except the less common DVD audio format.
A Closer Look
The biggest change to the Eclipse AVN5495 is the addition of a hard drive. Space not used for navigation is available for the Music Juke. According to Eclipse, the Music Juke can allow up to 3000 songs to be stored. When a CD is inserted into the AVN5495, it can be ripped and stored on the hard drive. Song information is available via the Gracenote CDDB, which contains information for over 230,000 songs. This is a cool feature that has its quirks. While it does record as promised, it does not allow you to listen to the stored music while itís recording. Also, the recording happens in real time instead of faster read speeds that youíre accustomed to with your
The new AVN5495 is a significant upgrade in performance. The AVN5495 navigation is based on hard drive instead of DVD. This allows a significant increase in information and speed at which the information is displayed. The real benefit of the AVN5495 is the ability to play DVD while using the navigation. (Even though itís only viewable on the external monitor.) The audio performance has drastically improved over the AVN2454. Using a high-performance 24-bit DAC (digital audio converter), this allows the AVN5495 to keep all of the signal processing, like the nine-band EQ, Circle Surround, and DSP sound field processing in the digital domain. Combine that with high RCA output voltage and impressively low 55-ohm source impedance, the results are a higher signal-to-noise ratio and better sound quality.
Looking a litter closer at the signal processing will impress you. The nine-band graphic EQ with six preset memories is adjustable in 1 dB steps up to 10 dB. Also, the AVN5495 includes DSP sound settings that simulate sonic signature from cathedrals to theaters to clubs. The AVN5495 lets you fine-tune the acoustical center of the listening space. The new Circle Surround II is an audio technology that is designed to generate multi-channel sound from any conventional CD or MP3 two-channel source. With it, the stereo sound field can be changed to sound higher and more up front, like two-channel home audio systems. The TruBass feature is designed using psychoacoustics to allow smaller speakers to generate seeming impressive bass without the need for larger subwoofers.
Ease of Use
The Eclipse AVN5495 is very easy to control. It will only take you couple of minutes to familiarize yourself with the controls. (Do this while youíre in your driveway, please!) The menu driven software is understandable and well written. Unlike the AVN2454, the volume control is located on the left-hand side. Thank you. Access of all the different audio and video formats is a snap. The only thing that I didnít like was the clock ó it only appears when the controls of the CD and Tuner are displayed. When the navigation map is on, the clock was nowhere to be found. Even searching the set-up menus didnít give the clock display as an option. On the plus side, setting the time of the clock is as simple as choosing whether or not to use daylight savings.
The Eclipse AVN5495 is an installerís dream. Without external boxes to install, only additional wire connections and its GPS sensor make this unit different from a standard CD player. For additional assistance, the basic wiring diagram is located on top of the AVN5495 chassis. Most Japanese and American vehicles can accommodate a double DIN radio, but you may have challenges from some European vehicles due to the different mounting standards used. As much as this unit is easy to install physically, it does require care and knowledge to install it properly. Interfacing the AVN5495 wires with the vehicle speed sensor, parking brake, and reverse lights makes this install better suited for the experiences installers at Authorized Eclipse dealers.
The Eclipse AVN5495 comes with three user manuals and an installation manual. The user manuals are broken down into a general reference guide and more function-specific audio/video and navigation operation manuals. These manuals are extremely detailed and are well written with plenty of pictures for easy understanding. Basically, if itís not covered in the manuals, it probably doesnít do it. Even though the AVN5495 is intuitive to use, I recommend keeping the manuals in your glove box for reference to assist you with the advanced capabilities of the Eclipse unit.
On the Eclipse Web site, www.eclipse-web.com, I was able to quickly locate information on the AVN5495. An abundance of marketing information was available with great pictures and downloadable literature. Due to the shear size, the reference manuals for the Eclipse AVN5495 was not available for download.
Sound Q & Performance
The sound quality of the AVN5495 is excellent. Thank you Eclipse for the increased voltage (5 V rms) to the RCA outputs. With an impressively low source impedance of 55 ohms, the AVN5495 should be able to function even in the most demanding of audiophile systems. Add the digital 9-band equalizer to the mix and you have a system that can correct for small frequency response problems without adding additional noise. The lack of a fixed-level audio output for headphones is disappointing. On the plus side, DVDs look outstanding.
Of course, the real reason that you buy this unit is for the navigation, and itís here that the Eclipse AVN5495 really kicks ass. While showing an enthusiast how fast the navigation works, we plotted a course from the depths of Florida to British Columbia. It took about three seconds. Cool. When following a route, you can take different roads and the AVN5495 immediately re-routes you to your destination. Also, when driving, you can display points of interest based on restaurants to gas stations to hotels. The navigation system works seamlessly.
The Eclipse AVN5495 is a extremely competent upgrade over the AVN2454. With more database information, the ability to play DVDs and navigate at the same time, and the new signal processing and performance capability, the AVN5495 is a worthy successor to previous models. The AVN5495 would be complete if it incorporated a fixed-level output with dual zone capability. The bottom line is that the AVN5495 is impressive, and with its improved sonic capabilities, a real sound performer. Add its simple user interface and you have an all-in-one navigation, DVD, and audio unit thatís hard to beat.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Amplifier Power Ratings
The AVN5495 is a fantastic unit. With the realistic power rating of 15 watts per channel, the AVN5495 can exceed its specs. As usual the maximum rated power of 50 watts per channel is totally unrealistic.
The Eclipse AVN5495 On the Sonoda Scale
Strengths: All-in-one packaging, great DVD and audio performance, fast navigation, awesome looking screen
Weakness: No fixed RCA output for headphones, canít listen to hard drive MP3s while recording, no dual zone capability
Best Use: A fantastic sounding navigation unit that plays DVDs. A great source for an ultimate system.
Performance Value (Out of 5): * * * *
Performance vs. Weight (Out of 5): * * * *
Capability to play CD, CDR-CDRW, MP3, WMA and DVD (Out of 5): * * * * *
Manuals, Online Support (Out of 5): * * * *
Eclipse AVN5495 Specs
Price & Contact: MSRP $2199; 800-55-ECLIPSE,
Dimensions: 34 mm x 13.2 mm x 38 mm
Weight: 86 grams
Power supply voltage: 4.2-5.0 V
Power consumption: 10mA (max)
Usage temperature: -30-85ļC
Storage temperature: -40-85įC
Liquid crystal panel: 6.5 type wide low reflection panel
Screen dimensions: 143.4 mm x 79.3 mm
Pixel count: 280,800 pixels (400 x 234 x 3)
Active pixel rate: Over 99.99%
Display format: Transmissive color filter format
Drive system: TFT (thin membrane transistor) active matrix format
Usage temperature: -20-65ļC
Storage temperature: -40-85įC
Reception frequency: AM530 to 1720 kHz; FM 87.85 to 107.9 MHz
Practical speed: AM22_V (S/N 20 dB); FM13 dBf (new IHF)
Frequency response: 30 Hz to 15 kHz (FM)
Stereo separation: 38 dB (1kHz)
Wow & flutter: Below measurement limit
Higher harmonic distortion rate: 0.03% (0 dB, 1 kHz)
Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
S/N ratio: 88dB (1 kHz)
Dynamic Range: 85dB
Total harmonic distortion: 0.03% (1 kHz, 0dB, 0.5 W output)
Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
S/N ratio: 80dB (1kHz)
Total harmonic distortion: 0.3% (1kHz, 0dB, 0.5 W output)
Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
S/N ratio: 85dB (1 kHz)
Rated output: 15 W x 4 (1 kHz, 1% 4 ohms) (EIAJ)
Maximum output: 50 W x 4 (test voltage 14.4 VDC)
Suitable load impedance: 4 ohms (each channel)
Power source voltage: DC 13.2 V (11-16 V)
Power consumption: 0.5 W x 4 output time about 3.5A; About 15A max
Exterior dimensions: 180 mm x 100 mm x 165 mm
Weight: 3.6 kg
Usable temperature range: -20 to +65įC