By Paul Sonoda
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 8, 2006
The JVX KD-AVX1 is new from the JVC line of EXAD multimedia mobile receivers. Delivering an impressive array of feature, the KD-AVX1 is designed to be the single-DIN solution for the mobile multimedia experience. How well does it stack up? Let’s take a look.
The JVC KD-AVX1 is a single-DIN DVD/CD receiver. Dropping the detachable, motorized slide out face, the KD-AVX1 exposes a single slot load drive that will play CD, MP3, WMA, Video CD, and DVD formats. Not only will the unit play burned CD-Rs, it will also play “-R” and “-RW” burned DVDs as well.
The front face is a sweet looking gloss black with two large control button to the left, and a small, but good looking, three-inch full-color TFT screen to the right. Spaced around the perimeter are additional buttons that control secondary functions of the unit.
For low-level signal, the KD-AVX1 has front, rear, and subwoofer RCA outputs that generate a respectable 5Vrms. It also has a secondary set of RCA outputs as well as video/audio inputs and outputs to be used for external monitors, devices and cameras. The JVX KD-AVX1 also has front and rear powered speaker outputs rated to deliver 20 watts per channel using the CEA-2006 standards. In additional to having changer controls, the KD-AVX1 also has the capability to receive SIRIUS satellite radio (additional tuner box required). A multi-function wireless remote that controls completes the impressive set of features included in the JVC KD-AVX1.
One of the more impressive functions of the KD-AVX1 is the implementation of signal routing. The KD-AVX1 can accept input from a secondary source (an external DVD player, iPod or gaming device) and it can easily incorporate into the functionality of the unit. The dual zone capability is especially nice. Dual zone allows one source playing in the rear (say DVD) and a separate source playing in the front. When used with a separate monitor for rear seat viewing, the KD-AVX1 becomes two receivers in one.
What’s especially nice is the separate set of RCA outputs where the volume control is independent of the volume control on the face on the unit. Accessed through the included remote control, this RCA output is perfect for connection of a device that transmits signal to external headphones for the rear seat passengers.
The video input can also be used for a backup camera. When selected via the menu system, the KD-AVX1 will display the output of the camera on the screen when you put your vehicle in reverse. That is just cool.
Even thought the screen is somewhat small at 3 inches, it does display nice color. The menu system, CD text, radio station naming and MP3 menu systems are easily readable. To optimize the viewing angle, the KD-AVX1 has three selectable viewing angles. Also, the brightness controls and color of the unit can be fine-tuned.
The audio section is equally impressive. The KD-AVX1 uses its 96 kHz/24-bit Audio DAC to decode DVD and CDs. For DTS/Dolby Digital, there’s a optical digital output that can be connected to an external decoder. Tweaking the sound quality on the JVC KD-AVX1 is performed with the 7-band equalizer, fader, and balance controls.
Ease Of Use
Despite the lack of a conventional radio knob, the JVC KD-AVX1 is a very intuitive device. In a couple of minutes of fiddling with it, I was able to access and control a majority of its functions. This is a direct result of the menu-driven system used in the KD-AVX1.
The first big knob to the left selects the source, changes the volume, and accesses the menu-driven features of the KD-AVX1. The big button to the right chooses the CD, DVD, or MP3 tracks, and also selects the menu-driven options.
In addition to the supplied remote, the KD-AVX1 can also interface with steering wheel remote controls using additional adaptors from third party vendors.
The only real short fall of the ergonomics was the delay between selecting different tracks and playing them. Even on store-bought CDs, the delay was so long that you have the inclination to hit the button again, skipping past the track. However, once you realize this, it’s not too difficult to compensate.
The installation of the JVX KD-AVX1 is straightforward — the KD-AVX1 will fit into any standard DIN configuration. The chassis of the unit contains the bolt holes that fit most standard Asian vehicles. JVC also included a removable plastic trim ring that hides the chassis of the unit when installed through a DIN-size opening.
The KD-AVX1 audio and video connections and made via a “pigtail” connector off the back of the radio. All of the audio and video connections are gold plated to resist corrosion. Even though the basic installation of the JVC KD-AVX1 is simple, setting the system up and connecting it to the rest of your system warrants the use of trained professionals at your nearest authorized JVC dealer.
The KD-AVX1 came with an installation manual and a user/operation manual. Both manuals were well written and gave you enough information to properly install the unit. The installation manual provides all of the connections needed and basic locations where to get them.
Interestingly, there’s a wire for connecting to your reverse lights. I assume that this was to use the AUX video input for a back-up camera — no real clear information on this topic was available.
I did like the different system diagrams. Pictures speak a thousand words.
On the JVC Web site, www.jvc.com, I was able to quickly locate the KD-AVX1. There was good information outlining the features of the unit. Downloadable literature was available, but the manuals for the KD-AVX1 were not. You can, however, purchase a copy of the manual on the store section for $10.07, plus tax and shipping.
Sound Q & Performance
The sound quality and performance of the JVC KD-AVX1 was impressive. The KD-AVX1 delivered 19.89 watts, unclipped, into 4 ohms with the volume control set to 31 out of 50. At 32 on the volume, the unit delivered an impressive (although slightly clipped) 23 watts. In listening tests, I was able to comfortably use the volume control up to 33 without any audible distortion. The RCA outputs delivered a respectable 5.19 Vrms at 47 on the volume control.
To adjust the KD-AVX1 so that the RCA and speaker level outputs clip at the same time requires setting the fader control to 4 out of 6 on the front and rear, respectively. This would allow an external amplifier to be used on the front speakers and the internal power of the KD-AVX1 to be used on the rear.
The sound quality matched the performance of the JVC KD-AVX1 — smooth and without artifacts. The DVD performance was stunning on an external monitor. On the unit’s 3-inch display it was, well, as good as you would expect on a 3-inch display.
Having a DVD player as an MP3 decoder gives you the ultimate music changer. Even recorded at 320 Kbps, you can fit around 25 complete CDs on a single DVD. That makes listening to your music that much more easy and fun.
The JVC KD-AVX1 is an impressive unit — its signal routing is second to none. This unit is perfect for a single in-dash solution where a full-size front monitor is not required.
If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced DVD, dual zone solution, the JVC KD-AVX1 deserves serious consideration. <<
Lies, Damn Lies, and Amplifier Specifications
The JVC KD-AVX1 is an impressive device. Referencing the CEA 2006 ratings, the KD-AVX1 easily exceeded all of its specifications. However, the maximum rating for the speaker output is unrealistic at 50 watts per channel. Even at the maximum volume control setting, the unit was only capable of delivering the voltage to generate around 45 watts with 40% THD + Noise.
The JVC KD-AVX1 On the Sonoda Scale
Strengths: Packed full of useful features, easy to understand menus, dual zone capability, sounds great
Weaknesses: Controls sluggish
Best Use: Perfect do-it-all player when you don’t need a video screen in front of the vehicle.
Performance Value (Out of 5): * * * *
Performance vs. Weight (Out of 5): * * * *
Capability to play cd, cd-r/RW, mp3. wma and dvd (Out of 5): * * * * *
Manuals, Online Support (Out of 5): * * *
Price & Contact: $649.95 (MSRP); 800.526.5308, www.jvc.com
Maximum Power Output: 50W x 4 at 4 ohms
Continuous Power Output (RMS): 20W RMS x 4 Channels at 4 ohms with no more than 1.0% total harmonic distortion + N
19.89 Watts into 4 ohms unclipped
23 watts into 4 ohms less than 1% THD + Noise
5.19 Vrms on RCA outputs
16 - 22,000Hz (DVD fs=48/96 kHz)
16 - 20,000Hz (CD)
40 - 20,000Hz (Amplifier)
DVD Player Section
Video Format: NTSC
Video DAC: 10-bit/54MHz DAC
DTS/Dolby Digital/MPEG Audio: Yes
Dynamic Range: 93 dB (fs=48 kHz)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 95 dB (fs=48 kHz)
Channel Separation: 85 dB (at 1kHz, fs=48 kHz)
Wow & Flutter: Less than measurable limit
CD Player Section
MP3/WMA Compatible with ID3 Tag/WMA Tag: Yes
Disc Name Registration
MP3 Control: Yes (CH-X1500 Only)
CD Text: Yes (CH-X1500 Only)
Preset Stations: 18 FM, 6 AM
Frequency Range: 87.5 - 107.9 MHz
Usable Sensitivity: 11.3dBf (1.0 uV/75 ohms)
50dB Quieting Sensitivity: 16.3 dBf (1.8 uV/75 ohms)
Stereo Separation: 35dB
Capture Ratio: 1.5dB
Frequency Range: 530 - 1710 kHz
Sensitivity: 20 uV
Selectivity: 35 dB
Screen Size: 3 Inch
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Screen Resolution: 186 x 220 x 3
LCD Type: TFT Active Matrix LCD with Wide Viewing Angle
Color System: NTSC
Dimensions (W x D x H)
Installation Size: 182 x 52 x 160 mm (7-3/16” x 2-1/16” x 6-5/16”)
Panel Size: 188 x 58 x 18 mm (7-7/16” x 2-5/16” x 3/4”)
Detachable Face Plate Size: 169 x 58 x 24 mm (6-11/16” x 2-5/16” x 1”)