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Alpine CDE-103BT

Old 03-23-2010, 08:18 PM
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Alpine CDE-103BT

Hi all, I'm desperate for some advice, and these forums looked like a good place to try out. I recently purchased an Alpine CDE-103BT and had it installed. It's a great sounding deck but one problem.. it will randomly stop outputting to all speakers except the subwoofer. I reset the deck, reconfigure all my sound settings, re-pair bluetooth and all is great for a while again. Then suddenly, randomly, the same problem - there will be no sound coming out anywhere except for the subwoofer. Frustrated, I returned back to the place I had install it for me, and they tested everything out and then simply replaced the deck.

All is great now right? Sadly no, after weeks with no problems the same thing is happening all over again. It only happens after sitting overnight with faceplate removed... The other strange behaviour is sometimes I will remove the faceplate and it's still playing music?! The only way to stop it is to turn the car off. The problem is it's not consistent, it could work fine for a week, and then suddenly poof no speaker output. And I'm not happy about having to reprogram the bloody unit whenever this happens either.

Does anyone have any advice or has anyone ever heard of this before? Is this model of deck flaky or could there be some bizarre compatibility issues that will never be determined? I'm about to go back to the business I got it from again, but they won't have any more answers.

I always heard Alpine was a top company for car audio, I'm wishing I stayed with Sony now. The last Sony deck I had worked great for over 10 years.

So sick of flaky technology...

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Old 03-23-2010, 10:07 PM
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What kind of car (model/year) do you have? I did a quick google search on the deck and it seems people in general love it.

Where did you get it installed? I'm no expert, but it sounds like a wiring issue?

This may seem like a dumb question, but you do you have the sub amped separately? Or do you have everything running off the deck? Also, what sort of music are you listening to when this happens (if any)? Loud, quiet, bassy, etc.

And what sort of speakers/sub do you have? Stock, or after market (specify brand(s))?.

- One last note: I don't personally like sony car audio, nor do I know anybody that runs it, or suggests using it. I've only heard bad things about sony car audio, so I dunno if you'd be making a wise choice going back to it.

Last edited by Bauglir; 03-23-2010 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:09 PM
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What speakers are in the car?
It could possibly be that there is a short in one of the speakers, causing the amplifier in the deck to shut down.
It may pay fine at lower volumes, but crap out on you during spirited listening.
This has happened to me before, well not me but customer cars.
Really made me scratch my head a few times.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:57 PM
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It's a 2000 Civic SI. Front speakers are factory. Subwoofer and amp are Blue Thunder. The rear speakers are brand new Alpine 6x9 that were installed with the deck.

The previous deck had no issues, so I doubt there's a short unless the new speakers are causing it?!

To clarify though, the problem only occurs in the following morning. The stereo works fine, I remove the faceplate and take it inside. The next day I return the faceplate and no sound from any speakers except the subwoofer. It's not happening while I'm listening, it's only after it's been off for a while. Pushing the factory reset button restores sound to all speakers. This is obviously a problem with the deck, because resetting the unit resolves the problem. More than one deck having the same problem makes me believe there's a bug in the software, perhaps others have been lucky and not run into this bug yet.

I emailed the installer and the manager of the company that did the install asking what are my options and they have not replied. I'm assuming they have no idea what to do either, they replaced the deck once already..

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Old 03-27-2010, 08:46 AM

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I don't know if I would call fault on the CD player either. We've sold around 50 of these units already and not one bad thing about them.

I would ask the store to put the old CD player back in (factory or not) and see if that clears up the problem. If not then the old speakers as well. This should at least narrow it down.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:37 PM
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Is your battery fine? Sometimes with digital decks(small computers) and BT decks they don't boot up properly and have weird issues.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:32 PM
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Well I haven't had any power issues but that's a good point, thanks for the suggestion if it starts up again I'll check on the battery. However, not to jinx myself but it's been a few weeks and the problem hasn't shown itself. Hopefully it just stops on it's own - for good!!

I appreciate everyones input - if it does become a problem again and I determine the cause I will be sure to let everyone know.

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Old 04-13-2010, 08:09 AM
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to add to the well liked alpine stereo products... I love alpine. but I've found love with Kenwood HU's... don't ask why i just have. Never any problems with the thing.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:58 AM
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same problem

I bought a CDE-103BT four months ago, and I think I have the same problem. About four times in the last three months, I'll turn the ignition on and the unit will stop outputting any sound. I don't have a subwoofer, so I couldn't tell you if there's output there, but my front and rear speakers all go silent, even though the volume control seems to still function. Only way to restore sound has been to punch the reset button

Mine haven't always been overnight. The first time it happened, I was sitting in the car for maybe fifteen minutes, after having driven somewhere and parked, music on the whole time, engine off and ignition in accessory mode. When I restarted the engine, no more sound.

My suspicion has been the USB mode. It doesn't seem very well engineered. I've had issues with some USB sticks working and others not, and the unit not being able to read the directory structure when a song has certain characters in the filename. All no sound incidents have occurred when powering on the ignition while the receiver was in USB mode. So lately, I've been trying not to use USB so much to see if the problem happens in CD or radio modes. So far, nothing.

I think it's also happened when I rotated the key directly from off to start. When I've intentionally paused for a second in accessory mode before turning the key to start, it hasn't happened yet.

Have not tried contacting the manufacturer. Your post was the only other that I've so far come across. So I registered with the site despite being in California. But I'm a big fan of Canada, have driven through all but one province and two territories.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:20 PM
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You are not alone

This isn't a one-off issue.

I have a CDE-103BT installed in my wife's truck since mid-February ('twas a Valentine's gift) and just last week my wife told me that her radio stopped making any sound.

After poking around a bit I realized that both POWER IC and BT IN were set to OFF, so I turned them back on and everything seemed fined. Except that every time I turned the truck off then on, the POWER IC and BT IN would reset to OFF. No other item requiring memory power was affected.

I thought the deck might be in a confused state, so I popped the faceplate and pressed the reset button to clear things up. This is where things get worse, not better.

With the deck reset, now the POWER IC would stay ON when the truck ignition was turned off and on again. What about the BT IN? What BT IN? BT IN **DISSAPPEARED** from the settings menu altogether!

I pulled the deck from the dash and disconnected everything, then when I plugged it back in everything was back to normal until I cycled the ignition again, then it was back to POWER IC and BT IN turning themselves off.

So I pulled the deck again and left it disconnected overnight. I reinstalled it this morning and now have the following scenario:

1) POWER IC stays ON when I cycle the ignition - that's good.
2) BT IN (and all BT related items) are missing from the setup menu - that's bad.

Here's a twist with BT: I tried connecting my previously-paired phone this morning and the deck responded with the prompt to enter the 0000 code. After that it said pairing was complete, and shows the Bluetooth icon on the deck display, but the phone button does not activate voice dialing.

So in short, this deck is messed up, in a similar fashion to your decks (and the fellow posting on Crutchfield, if that isn't one of you).

I tried calling Customer Support, was directed to someone's voicemail and left a message, yesterday. No word today so I'll try calling back tomorrow.

Needless to say, this is a disappointing experience.
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