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Old 01-27-2006, 09:24 AM   #1
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New Owner, Stereo Questions

Just got my car, 2001 S. Great machine so far, alot of fun to drive. Looking for a suggestion on modifying the stereo. From what I can tell, the previous owner installed a JBL AMP under the hood to power a sub that fits between the driver/passenger seat. What I don't like, is the stock receiver. I assume because there is no antenna, or at least none mounted vertically on the car, that's the source of my reception problems. Some stations pick up OK, but most sounds like they are just a little too far away or not quite tuned in. Is this common?

I'm considering doing one of two things. First, replacing the head unit if I can't fix the reception problem. Second, adding my MP3 player. Does anyone know if the stock CD player has a line-in that I could route out to the front?

Being that this is my daily driver, I need something to listen to while I'm driving!

thanks, Jeeter

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Old 01-27-2006, 09:57 AM   #2
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Many years ago I read a comic review on what drivers of different cars listened to. The one that always stuck in my mind was the 911 driver response: "radio station?, shut up and listen to the engine" I have to admit that as a new Boxster owner, I have found myself shutting of the radio just so I could listen to the sweet sound of the engine.
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Old 01-27-2006, 10:35 AM   #3
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Jeeter, you do have an antenna, but it's imbedded in your windshield. Beckers don't do that great of a job picking up signals though... my Alpine, hooked up to the identical antenna wire works much much better.

If your head unit is a 220, then it can be wired for MP3 input from what I've read from companies that sell them reconditioned. If its a 210, I don't think you can do it.

If it's a 22 or 23, I'm afraid I have no idea. These are units designed to work with the MOST system and may not be the same.
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Old 01-27-2006, 11:50 AM   #4
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Just picked up an Alpine head unit with satelite radio. I like the fact that it is a fully intergrated unit. Also, I have the ability to add an MP3 hookup into the back of the unit.

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Old 01-27-2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help. I think I should be able to run a cable around back or make some kind of modification. However, if I'm going to bother I might just replace the head unit. I found a few systems that have a USB input in the front as well as a front A/V jack. That should do the trick.

As for listening to the sound of the engine, I gave that a try this afternoon. Seems to work pretty good, except when I'm driving to/from work with all the traffic noise. Diesel trucks seem to overpower the sound of my engine in the cockpit!

Jeeter
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Old 01-28-2006, 07:22 AM   #6
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Many folks have given up on the Becker unit (junk IHMO) and moved onto an Alpine.

In my experience, a good trade off if you want quality sound and modern inputs.

Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:52 PM   #7
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I replaced the HU in my 2000 with an Alpine CDA-9847 (on sale for $170 at Best Buy ths week, by the way). For an extra $100 you can get the iPod hookup that powers the iPod on/off with the car, recharges it and lets you control it through the HU. I have the opposite problem on the reception. I had enough (not a lot) of stations on the Becker and now I get a lot more stations, but many of them are static-prone. Could have something to do with my location, I guess. The point: For less than $300 you can do what you are looking to do with this Alpine. Bonus: you can change the color of the illumination to what they call "Amber". I purposely bought this Alpine to avoid having some fluorescent lights on my HU. It's actually more red than amber and is pretty bright at night even though it's set to dim when the headlights are on, but it's closeenough. It also plays MP3 CDs.
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Old 01-29-2006, 09:21 AM   #8
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I am the new owner of a '98 with a faulty original head unit. The display is often garbled, it will not pick up some local stations, it turns itself off. When I consulted the local stereo shop we have used several times, they informed me if they replaced the head unit, it would disable my factory alarm system; and I would have to replace the amp and CD changer.
Does anyone know whether replacing the head unit, will disable my factory alarm system?
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:11 PM   #9
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i cant change the presets on mine how do you all change yours. I could only get the first two to change but im not sure how i did it i just kept messing with it because i dont have an owners manual.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:18 PM   #10
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Porsheguy, it's like most other car stereo's. First select the channel you want with the dial, then hold down the preset you want to program for a few seconds. The system will change to the old preset station, but if you hold it down long enough it will go to the new station and reprogram it. I found it a bit strange that it returns to the old station, but just hold it down long enough and you'll be set.

I went to Tweeter this afternoon after spending some time on the Internet. Looks like Clarion has a system that will accept a USB thumbdrive directly into the front. Perfect for me, since I have a ton of these and they are dropping in cost. This beats hooking up an mp3 player or messing with burning CD's. Alpine has something similiar but it requires some kind of adapter. This technology is taking off and I suspect in the next 6 months, since CES just happened, that they'll be more offerings.

thanks for everyones suggestions!

Jeeter
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sooner
Does anyone know whether replacing the head unit, will disable my factory alarm system?
I replaced mine with an Alpine and the alarm works great. I think you need to find another shop. They dunno what they're talking about.
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:43 PM   #12
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Easy replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by sooner
I am the new owner of a '98 with a faulty original head unit. The display is often garbled, it will not pick up some local stations, it turns itself off. When I consulted the local stereo shop we have used several times, they informed me if they replaced the head unit, it would disable my factory alarm system; and I would have to replace the amp and CD changer.
Does anyone know whether replacing the head unit, will disable my factory alarm system?

Hi Sooner,

I replaced my original Becker CDR 21 with a CDR220 OEM replacement unit from Ebay. The guys at Fred Opert Racing were selling them. Improvement all round. I've now got an input socket to plug my ipod in (sacrificed the CD stacker in the front but left all the cables intact should I wish to revert), the display is better, sound is better, what more can I say.
Can't comment on the alarm, as my car doesn't have one, only the factory immobiliser that certainly was not affected.

Sorry to disagree with a lot of guys on this board, but I prefer the factory look, and Becker head units are very high quality (Becker is part of Harman/Kardon). The speakers and factory amp from Nokia are the components I would look to replace.
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeter15
Porsheguy, it's like most other car stereo's. First select the channel you want with the dial, then hold down the preset you want to program for a few seconds. The system will change to the old preset station, but if you hold it down long enough it will go to the new station and reprogram it. I found it a bit strange that it returns to the old station, but just hold it down long enough and you'll be set.

I went to Tweeter this afternoon after spending some time on the Internet. Looks like Clarion has a system that will accept a USB thumbdrive directly into the front. Perfect for me, since I have a ton of these and they are dropping in cost. This beats hooking up an mp3 player or messing with burning CD's. Alpine has something similiar but it requires some kind of adapter. This technology is taking off and I suspect in the next 6 months, since CES just happened, that they'll be more offerings.

thanks for everyones suggestions!

Jeeter
thanks jeeter
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:34 AM   #14
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Problem solved. The dealer quoted $1000 to replace head unit, and immeadiately referred me to Ebay for $349 replacement, and also referred me to a local shop (Mobile Tech Electronics) for repair. The local shop replaced the head unit with a remanufactured for $400 installed, which works like new. Stayed with OEM and did not have to replace amp, CD changer or alarm system. Preferred local over Ebay.

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