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Old 03-17-2017, 05:58 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Audio System Upgrade - Scam?

Hey guys, I contacted a local shop to get a quote for upgrading my system in the car (head unit) to a touch screen double din. I was told I needed to buy a "amplifier interface module " so that they can swap the factory radio and attach new one to the AMP and speakers... module costing $249, mounting kit $199 and antenna $30 plus $160 labour.... PLUS cost for a head unit still.

Do I really need this amplifier interface module ?
Could I just buy a new AMP and not need this module?
Is the factory installed AMP worth replacing - replace with what?

Any recommendations as to what ~7" touch screen head unit I should buy and from where?

Thanks Guys
Scott

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Old 03-17-2017, 06:03 AM   #2
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Depends what year your Box is.. Pre 2003 is just a straight swap of head unit afaik. 2003+2004 needs a total amp and head unit replacement

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Old 03-17-2017, 06:10 AM   #3
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@itskenallen I own a 2001 Boxster S - also use a Android Samsung S7 edge phone so I don't need Apple Car play option...

Any suggestions on a 7" touch screen Head unit that's awesome but decent price?
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:48 AM   #4
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@itskenallen I own a 2001 Boxster S - also use a Android Samsung S7 edge phone so I don't need Apple Car play option...

Any suggestions on a 7" touch screen Head unit that's awesome but decent price?
Check crutchfield they are awesome. If you decide to chat with an adviser they are exceptional.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:48 AM   #5
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After questioning the shop about needing the module - here is the answer I got:
(Is this all true ??)

"The interface is required if we continue to use the stock amplifier. Otherwise the complete vehicle will need to be required and you will need a new amplifier and passive crossover networks pretty costly. The amplifier replacement will not effect the sound of the speakers very much and in most cases will cause a lot of issues that will need to be addressed ( issues with phasing and frequency separation ). The factory amplifier was designed really well. "
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:01 AM   #6
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What?
Do you have a newer model with the fiber optics? If not, then there's no need for an interface module.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:10 AM   #7
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Check crutchfield they are awesome. If you decide to chat with an adviser they are exceptional.
Have to say ditto on this. Even if you don't want to or can't do it yourself, or can't order from Crutchfield because you're in Canada, check out their online info for your car or give them a call. You will have more knowledge then to assess the shop you are dealing with. If you have an independent shop that works on your car, you might also want to ask them if they install radios or can recommend someone good to do the job.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:47 AM   #8
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Even if you don't want to or can't do it yourself, or can't order from Crutchfield because you're in Canada,
Crutchfield sells in Canada, They have a distribution facility in Mississauga.

Car Audio & Video at Crutchfield.ca
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:47 AM   #9
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I would go to a different place if you do not want to do this yourself. If your car was fiber optic (Most system, 2003 and 2004 with hifi or bose), you would at least need to rewire between the amp and the HU (while replacing both). But you would not have to rewire the speakers. I have not in my research come across an adapter for the MOST system to be able to use an aftermarket HU with the MOST Amp. But that doesn't apply for you. For your car they should be able to swap the HU and use the existing amp without the need for any extensive wiring. It should just be HU Harness to factory harness without much else.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:30 AM   #10
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The stock stereo uses a common ground on the speaker output (same for the amp input). Modern stereos use independent grounds for each speaker (floating ground).

The only head unit-to-amp interface you'd need is a FGA (floating ground adapter) which costs $5-$10, not $249. Sounds like the shop is imposing Porsche tax.

I'd replace it all (HU, amp and speakers), but if you're happy with the way the amp and speaker combo sounds, all you need is the HU and FGA.

The stock amp only outputs about 25watts per channel RMS, so most HUs with built in amplifiers are more powerful @ 45-55watts per channel. If the new HU you choose puts out more than 25watts per channel, ditch the amp completely as it will just choke the power (like feeding a 1" plumbing pipe into a 1/2" pipe).
If you replace or toss the amp, you need to consider the speaker ohms vs the new HU and/or amps ohm load capabilities.

Last edited by particlewave; 03-17-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:48 PM   #11
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I'd love to change my stock unit but unfortunately, being 2004, it'd cost me more money than I'd care to part with

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Old 03-17-2017, 03:01 PM   #12
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Car Audio Innovations are great. Rod knows his stuff. I bought sub units for my old 911
https://cai-store.com/

When I checked out the price to do my Cayman it was almost $2k Cdn to upgrade head unit by the time I bought all of the components. I'm not sure if an '03 is that expensive to do.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:01 AM   #13
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Having just spent yesterday ripping out some very hacked together wiring a 'professional car audio installer' did on my 986 about 10 years ago, I urge you to consider tackling this job yourself.

My '02 has the Bose upgrade and did not require any interface module. It's powering the Bose amp from speaker outputs on the head unit + a remote turn on trigger.

I installed a Pioneer AppRadio 4. It's not the newest tech, but I found it on sale and it suits my needs just fine (FM radio + Apple CarPlay).

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