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Old 07-12-2018, 01:45 PM   #1
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2002 S audio upgrade question

I have the six-speaker system with the amp. I'd like to replace the HU with something that allows me to plug in an ipod and also make bluetooth hands-free calls with my iphone. I'm not an audiophile but wouldn't mind improving the sound a bit.

Should I ditch the factory amp altogether and just get a more powerful HU?

I don't have rear speakers now but will eventually, if that's a factor.

Any recommendations on head units? Should I upgrade the dash and/or door speakers? Any recos?

Sounds like I should wire a mic for phone calls to get best results. Yes?

I intend to do this myself and have only basic audio installation skills.


Appreciate your advice.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:54 PM   #2
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Just went through this and also have the six speakers, factory amp, cd changer..etc. I changed out the head unit with a double din pioneer and integrated the factory amp. It might take a little more then basic audio skills, but I found it extremely easy.
Ill post pictures in this thread.
There are four pre-amp outputs that I used from the rear of this unit and they send sound to the door subs and the front/rear speakers. Changes to fader front to rear work as expected and the subs thump.
REMINDER: in this car, yellow is constant power and Red is switched...get that wrong and you lose all your setting every time you remove the key, gotta pull out unit and swap em.
Car Audio Innovations website is helpful and if you want to buy a kit, their prices on the HU stuff are competitive. Harness stuff is fair. Consider it at least. I just used the advice to make sure I didn't make mistakes.
https://cai-store.com/
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:09 PM   #3
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Any decent HU will put out as much power, if not more, than the factory amp. You can eliminate it.

Mine came with a Sony HU rated at 55 watts per channel (around 22 RMS) and 4ch amp. I took the amp out and sound level was about the same, but sound quality (clarity) was much better without the amp (non-stock infinity door and dash speakers).

Last edited by particlewave; 07-12-2018 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:24 PM   #4
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I've found Crutchfield's site to be really helpful. They have a great configurator where you plug in your make/model/year and the populated results are only those that fit your specific model. This saves a lot of guess work - take a look at the link below if you're curious.

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-SoW1rGs9lVa/car/carselector.aspx
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:29 PM   #5
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I tried hard not to get carried away and bought modestly priced consumer grade stuff for the project. It is fantastic, sounds fantastic and I have no regrets.

I selected the Pioneer DEH-X4900BT, and strongly considered the Kenwood DDX795BH. Most any of the Head Units are ok, you need to decide what features are important. I wanted to integrate wade into the head unit via the pioneer app and cheat a navi system out of it, but honestly, this is clunky and doesn’t work consistent. (worthless)
I have BT, Spotify via BT with control, (Man did my data consumption go up…:+)), USB (I stashed a 256GB SS HDD under the dash with thousands of songs in nice little folders) and put the parking brake hack on the wires so the DVD works without having to tie in the parking brake. I never intend to watch a movie when driving, but tying into the parking brake was a PIA.
Note: Choose the appropriate one for you head unit, but: “Micro Bypass ALL AVH-X Video In Motion Interface for Select Pioneer Receivers”)

My car had 2 speakers behind the seats and I upgraded to 4 speakers using 3-1/2” Infinity References using the stock harness. I bought euromotorspeed’s “1997-2011 Porsche Boxster Custom Rear Speaker Bracket Set” off ebay to fit them.
Front speakers were swapped to Alpine 4” SPS-410s (a bargain and great little speakers.
I replaced the Door Speakers (SUBS) with Pioneer TS-G650. I modified the stock baffle boxes to accommodate the switch from 5.25. (this is time consuming, but I'm a craftsman…looks and sounds great)

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Old 07-12-2018, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitry at Pelican Parts View Post
I've found Crutchfield's site to be really helpful. They have a great configurator where you plug in your make/model/year and the populated results are only those that fit your specific model. This saves a lot of guess work - take a look at the link below if you're curious.

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-SoW1rGs9lVa/car/carselector.aspx
Helpful suggestion, but this really doesn't work when you are building out a custom system and want a double-din, or better speakers in the door, dash etc. The dash speakers are proprietary. The speakers behind the seats are add-ins or add-ons depending on whether you got the options at purchase.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jandr95 View Post
I have the six-speaker system with the amp. I'd like to replace the HU with something that allows me to plug in an ipod and also make bluetooth hands-free calls with my iphone. I'm not an audiophile but wouldn't mind improving the sound a bit.

Should I ditch the factory amp altogether and just get a more powerful HU?

I don't have rear speakers now but will eventually, if that's a factor.

Any recommendations on head units? Should I upgrade the dash and/or door speakers? Any recos?

Sounds like I should wire a mic for phone calls to get best results. Yes?

I intend to do this myself and have only basic audio installation skills.


Appreciate your advice.
I have a thread on my upgrade. Did a single din pioneer prs80 about $300 from crutchfield paid $20 for them to prewire the connector. Was plug and play. I used factory amp for awhile but then changed it to a alpine PDX v9. Speakers i used 3 way hertz 165 pro components. Cai brackets except door, speakers i bought extra set of door boxes off ebay cut them up installed 6.5 inch mid sub. Dash was 3 inch mid and seperate tweeter. Subwoofer i found an old color matched 996 cabriolet passenger bose subwoofer. Removed the bose driver, then installed an 8” pioneer shallow mount used the piece i cut for 5he 8” driver to plug the hole where the bose driver was. Dynamat inside box and added some poly fill.

The pioneer hu has a network mode supports active cross over points or can operate in normal. Has great eq. For price excellent unit. That and speakers made big impact, but amp and sub pushed it over top. Everything can be removed and returned to factory also.

My system is pretty advanced, but used 2 channels from hu amp to run tweets, 4 channels off amp to run mid and mid sub channels with cross over bbetween drivers setup on amp. 5th channel drives the subwoofer. The cross over between high mid and sub is handled by hu in network mode.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:15 PM   #8
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+1 for Crutchfield. Great company to work with.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rexcramer View Post
+1 for Crutchfield. Great company to work with.


For the record, I sourced speakers and head unit from crutchfield and modified harness. Had to move ac controls down, so that was a little fabrication but it’s fun.


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Old 07-13-2018, 05:01 AM   #10
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I added this to my factory system...

https://isimple.com/catalog/professional-installed-kits/isfm2351


It lets me do everything you ask.

Love it.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:10 AM   #11
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follow-up audio update question

Thanks for all the replies, gang. If I buy a replacement hu, can installation be as simple as unplugging the old and connecting the new -- all at the back the of the radio? This means I keep using the factory amp, which may be a really bad idea.

Or plug in a new hu and bypass/remove the amp, which, if I understand this properly, means pulling the speaker wires off the amp in the frunk and routing them into the car and into the back of the new hu.

If the new hu has decent power, is running it through the existing amp just a bad idea because it will actually make the sound quality worse?

You can see I'm trying to simplify the hell out of this to match my skill level.

Any further advice for this audio greenhorn?
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jandr95 View Post
Should I ditch the factory amp altogether and just get a more powerful HU?
Your factory amp includes a frequency crossover to send only low frequencies to the door speakers, which are woofers.

Ignoring this fact means you'll have woofers in the doors receiving the whole range of frequencies ... something they're not designed for.

You can take to the bank your aftermarket head unit won't include a crossover and connectors for woofers only.

...

Now, you may have noticed that your factory head unit has a fader and that all it does is turn off the front speakers. I'd recommend to everyone that the first step for an audio upgrade should be fitting the rear shelf speaker setup and connecting these speakers to existing rear speaker outputs. You'll then have a working fader and better sound. With the factory head unit, you have two choices for wiring rear speakers, (1) the direct to speaker outputs on back of radio, and (2) the rear speaker amp out outputs already existing in your wiring to amp. Thing is, your 4X40 amp has rear in but doesn't have rear outputs, but its pretty easy and inexpensive to find a 996/911 6X40 amp which obviously is equipped with rear speaker outputs. These come in coupe and cabrio versions and since your Boxster is a cabrio ... . When I did this, a nice surprise is that the door woofers really came alive. Given the inherent ambient noise driving a Boxster, I see no need for any other radio "upgrades."

BTW, at beckerautosound.com, you can get a connector wire for ipod and similar input.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:14 PM   #13
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Aftermarket HU, ditch the amp, and use better quality aftermarket 2-way speakers (any good 2-ways will come with passive crossovers).

If you have a high level of "inherent ambient noise" in your 986, you should take better care of it. Even with my loud modified exhaust, the stereo can easily be cranked up to surpass it.

The stock amp is best recycled for scrap.
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:24 PM   #14
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My suggestion for economical upgrade is swap the factory hu, change factory amp to the 6 channel 996 cabriolet amp, and new dash speakers.
Use the rca out on the new hu metra has a install kit so its plug and play. This will add eq, bluetooth most likely and few other options depending on hu.

The 6 channel cab hu will allow the fader to be used and as mentioned open up the bass from the doors.

If you really wanted to do it nice, get the pioneer prs80 hu run it network mode. Use seperate 4 inch mid tweeter dash, run tweeter off hu unit amp for high freq. run mid and low to factory 6 channel amp. I ran this configuration for awhile and sounded very good.

The pioneer hu in network mode has active cross overs and time alighnment functions. Has really nice eq, i think for $300 best bang for the buck in a head unit.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:48 AM   #15
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Simple, cheap, effective.......

.....https://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_74185_iSimple-Tranzit-BLU-HF-ISFM2351.html

I have been running this in my 2004 with factory Bose system, all the speakers, etc.

Works like a champ.

Just buy this and install it and start using Waze and streaming Spotify and making hands free calls today.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:20 PM   #16
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swap the head unit and use the stock amp, it drives the door subs properly. Yes, there are harnesses that are plug and play. Use 4 audio outputs to amp, get the switched and steady power right and its that simple.
Suggest updating the speakers as well, the speakers in the dash weren't good new, they are wasted by now.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:31 PM   #17
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Thanks, everyone. This helps greatly.
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