Pioneer Electronics

Pioneer XM Radio 903XM

[10/25/2002] Reviewed by: Kevin Overbeck -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

XM Radio is a new 100 Channel satellite receiver designed to connect to any existing FM car stereo. It has a controller that mounts to the dash for selection of the channel/category and a satellite receiver that I mounted in the trunk on the rear firewall. The receiver is about the size of a notebook and wires to power (12VDC), the antenna plug, a satellite antenna that is about the size of a computer mouse and the controller that I mounted to the dash just below my in dash factory unit.

Installation took me all of three hours. I was impressed with the installation instructions, sound quality is FANTASTIC!!! I was going to change out the factory unit and put in a CD unit but none "looked" right for my Miata.

Anyone who has put a radio in a car can do this in one evening and have CD quality sound, 100 channels of music, news and sports for under $300.00 and a monthly subscription of under 10 Bucks.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Pioneer MP3 CDR CD player

[3/20/2002] Reviewed by: John -

Applicable to: '90 - '97

i got this Pioneer MP3 player from crutchfield for $330. model number deh-p7400mp it plays MP3 files and cd or cd-r files. you could have up to 130 songs on one cd that gives you 10 hours of music you record your self with change a disc. nice screen saver with files name disply.

great player, almost like haveing a 6 disc cd changer in your dash without having to break your wallet buying a cd changer and etc.

i recommend this player for all the MP3 fans out there. for $330 it's not too bad

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Pioneer FH-P4000 Double DIN AM/FM/CD Casette

[3/14/2002] Reviewed by: Cam -

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Silver-faced Double DIN unit used to replace the stock MSSS1.

While some people like the MSSS1 head unit, I didn't. It skipped like mad, even after doing the well-known skip fixes, and the sound quality was fairly poor. Because I have a 93 LE, I wanted to keep the stock look as much as possible, and this unit allowed me to do that. The wiring was straight-forward using the Metra wiring harness, and the head unit installed with dremeled brackets from a generic Metra install kit. Because the unit is not quite as large as the opening in my M1, I cut out a filler plate from a trashed radio console to fill the gap. It looks great, and I got several compliments from other Miata owners who watched me do the install. Now I've got a new silver-faced Pioneer dual DIN unit in my 93 LE to replace the old silver-faced Pioneer dual DIN unit-MSSS1. The MOSFET chip is extremely powerful for a head unit, and it seems to be just the right amount of wattage for the stock Pioneer seperates. This unit has brought my entire system to l! ife.

This unit cannot be used to run the bass transducers in the seat in addition to the door and headrest speakers. You'll need an amp if you want to run six channels.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Pioneer 4300 in-dash CD player

[1/13/2002] Reviewed by: Bill Holman -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Pioneer in-dash CD palyer with flip down, removable face. With 50 watts per channel output, and rotary volume control (which I like better), 18/6 FM/AM pre-sets and very good equalizer settings for bass, mid-range and highs.

This solution was inexpensive and plays CD-R disks without a problem. It tool less than 3 hours to do and the sound is so much better than original factory plus I now have a place for my cell phone and garage door opener. I did upgrade to 80.00 a pair Alpine speakers last year.

The original CD went bad so removed the entire stock system. The antenna wire plug was jammed under the frame so I cut it at the radio body. Off to Walmart, Pioneer player (189.00). To Autozone for harness adapter for Miata (9.99). Poineer wires matched the wires on the adapter. Now I had a harness to go from the CD player to the car harness. I bought a solderless antenna male end at Radio Shack. The original Miata side brakets worked fine. Put rear center support stud in place with the rubber grommet which lined up with the hole in the upright bracket frame. I mounted the radio using only the front 4 screws. I used the original radio covers & sheers to make a box for the hole left, covered it with felt.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Pioneer CDX-P1250 12 disc changer

[7/28/2000] Reviewed by Raymond Doan -

Applicable to '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is a 12 disc CD Changer from Pioneer that interfaces with any of Pioneer's IP Bus head units. It also includes 100 Disc Naming, 24 track programming per CD up to 100 CDs, CD Text capability, and is Voice Control Ready.

This has to be one of the better CD Changers I've dealt with. I had the changer mounted in my trunk on the right panel that holds the tail lights and license plate. This thing is practically impervious to bumps. It has skipped 3 or 4 times since I bought it a month ago. And when attached to a Pioneer headunit, the disc naming capability comes in handy when you want to change CDs and can't remember which CD is in which tray.

Overall, I would recommend this changer to anyone who has a Pioneer headunit. If you want to add this changer without changing your headunit, Pioneer also sells an FM Modulated version in 6 or 12 disc form. This will run off the radio of your current headunit without having to change it.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Pioneer DEH-P8200R

[7/12/2000] Reviewed by Raymond Doan -

Applicable to '90 - '97 '99 +

The one feature that stands out the most on this unit is the Organic EL display. Basically, it looks like a good monochrome computer screen. It even includes 3D screensavers of dolphins and an ancient ruin! The head unit has 45W x 4 peak and 22W x 4 RMS. It's a CD unit with CD Changer controls, Easy EQ to control the sound, 18FM/6AM presets, flip down face for access to the CD slot, Detachable faceplate, DFS alarm, and a knob to control the volume and a wireless remote control. I paid $430 for this unit and replaced the Mazda Sensory Sound System in my 1993 Miata.

I had a local Circuit City install this with the Pioneer CDX-P1250 CD Changer. It took about an hour for them to do it. The sound quality that comes out of this unit is great! The built-in amplifiers had more than enough power to drive the speakers. In fact it plays twice as loud as the stock MSSS in my car. The unit has yet to skip on me, and I've taken it over some decent bumps on the road.

The only thing I wasn't able to do was to hook up my bass shakers in the seats of my car. But, again, the sound that comes out of this thing will make up for that loss. I would highly recommend this unit to anyone looking for an aftermarket player.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Pioneer DEH - 1100 AM/FM CD player

[6/22/2000] Reviewed by James F. Hoffmeyer -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Pioneer DEH - 1100 AM/FM CD player $160

Jensen 3 1/2" speakers J135FR 50 watts $25/pair and Jensen 5 1/4" speakers XS2540 105 watts $40/pair the speakers are available from Walmart

The installation was just as layed out in Crutchfield instructions except the receiver mounting plate was definately a tight fit.To get the DIN mount into the receiver mounting bracket. It can be done, but it was definately not a slip in part. Along with this installation I replaced the origional door speakers with the Jensen xs 2540 speakers. The box says it fits 90-98 Miada's. The origional speakers have a three screw mounting and the xs2540's have a four hole mounting system. Not to worry as an adapter plate is provided with many pre drilled mounting holes and slots, however; none fit the Miada. The more difficult thing was figuring out which wire was the positive and which was the negative wires. The 1991 mx-5 Workshop Manual came to the rescue. The final part of this installation was the installation of Head Rest speakers. The coding on the Crutchfield harness showed what wire colors to use for the head rest speakers.

A little triming of the foam and the speakers fit right in the seats and snaking the wire down the back of the seats was easy. All in all the radio and speakers work quit well together and for $256 I have a complete system with head rest speakers for less than many radios.


Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Pioneer DEH-P 4100

[1/24/2000] Reviewed by: awaffleboy -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is replacing the Pioneer 4000 for the 2000 year. Best Buy has them in stock and will start selling them soon. It has little changes including a new buttons that have a better appearence. The greastest improvement is the sound quality. This is the cleanest and loudest deck I have heard yet at 45 x 4watts. It still has the DFS alarm, which is also louder this year. One downfall is the credit card remote from last year.

This is a new product that will be a great unit for the price. Installation will be the same as any din unit. You can pick up the parts at anyplace that installs. Please do not use Road gear parts, they are hard to use.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

PIONEER FH-P404 double-din CD/Cassette/FM-AM tuner deck amp

Reviewed by: Glenn Galbraith -   [7/26/99]

When it comes to car audio head units Pioneer knows how to give you the most bang for your buck. With this unit you get an in dash CD player along with an in dash cassette deck. That means you get three music choices in one unit with the ability to add on a six or twelve disc CD-changer. This unit also comes with three outputs for amplifiers, one which is dedicated solely to a non-fading subwoofer with built in crossovers in the unit to send any frequencies below what you set it at to the sub only instead of the smaller speakers to may have. There is a spectrum analyzer with seven different modes to put you in a hypnotic transe. You can name up to 40 CD's, display the time and date plus the wireless remote comes in handy when outside the vehicle.

I own a 1995 Miata which came with the 1.5" Din cassette deck. Pioneer made it very easy to install their deck. First I had to unscrew the gear shift knob. Next I took out the five screws holding on the center console between the seats and lifted it out. I then preceded to take off the center piece on the dash by unscrewing one screw at the bottom, unscrewing the factory radio and the cubby hole at the bottom. Next I pulled out the two eyeball vents with a flathead screwdriver, you need to do this to unscrew two more screws located inside the vents.) Once these screws were out I had to unplug the hazards. Once I had the dash and old radio out of the way I used a special adapter to make it so I could just plug Mazda's wiring straight to the Pioneers. Next I just screwed the Mazda brackets onto the Pioneer deck and then mounted them back on the dash. (As solid as the factory radio since it is installed the same.) Then I put all the dash back together.

This radio sounds excellent! With 40 watts x 4 (20 watts x 4 RMS) it has more than enough power to keep the music sounding clear at 85 MPH through my Polk speakers. If you are looking for a great factory replacement radio for your Miata I would definetley recommend the Pioneer FH-P404. At only $389.00 at Circuit City it is a power house in car audio!

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Pioneer DEH-43 CD Player

Reviewed by: Eli Troychansky -

When I was looking into buying a CD player I discovered that, much to my chagrin, the audio review section was a red-headed stepchild of the performance/ergonomics sections. However, an audio upgrade is frequently the first (and sometimes only) upgrade many Miata owners make. So I decided to share my experiences with this product in hope that this will spark an avalanche of audio reviews (yah, sure). Hey, stop pushing me of the soap box. BACK OFF! I'll help myself down. There, on to the review...

This headunit is made by Pioneer, a "consumer brand" that has nevertheless earned some respect even among car audio geeks. What this means is, while it's not in the realm of Eclipse, Alpine, or Clarion, Pioneer makes quality products at affordable prices. I chose this model because it offered all the necessary features (such as RCA preouts, det. face, etc) without redundant gimmicks at a very reasonable price -- it set me back $229 at Best Buy. The power outage is 15W RMS, 35Wx4 peak.The store offered free installation but I decided to install it myself. Besides, since extra labor is extra (doh) they'd probably charge me a small fortune for taking out the eyeball vents. :)

If you've taken apart your dash before, the installation is a straightforward process. A wiring harness (carried by Best Buy) and a dash kit (got mine from Crutchfield) greatly simplifies the procedure. Also make sure you have a soldering gun and electrical tape. It's all a matter of preparing the kit by plying/cutting off some tabs, then soldering the corresponding harness wires to the headunit wires. All in all, took me about an hour, including the dash assembly/reassembly. If you have never disassembled the dash before, it might take twice as long...

I am very impressed by the quality of the unit. It hasn't skipped on me once, all the controls are thoughfully laid out and easy to operate, and it even looks okay. Can't really comment on the sound quality since I use an amp, but it sounds great with an Orion 60x2 going into JBL 5.25" speakers, FWIW. My only pet peeve is that the trim ring around the face wobbles a little bit.. but that sounds like nitpicking. All in all, the DEH-43 is a very good choice if you are looking for a quality CD player without any bells and whistles.

Back to Product Reviews 11 November, 2002