Warned today about fitting a stereo, any help? [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Warned today about fitting a stereo, any help?

11th March 2003, 02:44 PM
:o Had my AS2 head unit taken out today by local saab dealer as you have to tell your car via a saab computer that it is now divorced!!!! The guy who took it out reckons that it can be really dangerous to your car and ECU to have another system fitted. He knows his stuff and seen this cause problems before, but what do you guys reckon i should look out for/ warn the stereo fitters next week. I know you shouldnt wire it through any of the existing stereo cables or touch any of the lives to the S.I.D. Just wondered if anyone out there has replaced their saab system with another one? Any tips/ warnings?

11th March 2003, 04:50 PM
Sounds like he's talking out of his ... :nono;

If you use the existing wiring, to the existing amp, to the existing speakers, then I can't see why you'll have a problem, however, if you tell the fitter, who I'd assume is a pro, that the 9-5 setup is 'balanced' between the head unit and the existing amp, they should be able to fit to suit without any trouble!

Check http://www.mitt-eget.com/saab/faq_audio.shtml
Very good info for 9-5 audio!

19th March 2003, 09:17 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Well, gone and done it!! Alpine head unit and changer, Alpine components in the front doors, Alpine 6X9's in the back, Audiobahn Sub and Rockford amp. Sounds excellent, and so far no problems, despite it all taking a whole day to fit. They make these cars a bit too well!!!

20th March 2003, 01:40 PM
Great stuff!

Would like to see some pics of that please!
And if you feel like jotting down your experiences for publication here and on saab9-5.com that would be nice!

11th June 2003, 07:12 PM
Hi this is my first time replying to a post
I have recently installed a system to my 9-5
I didnt want to remove the factory radio, so i took
the radio out tapped the wires behind the cradle for the
radio and used them as my four line preouts for my amps.
The radio sends 2 ch front and 2 ch rear line preout
with no amplification to a separate amp.
i didnt have a problem with the installation and it sounds
great! Im happy i did it. i still have the fuctionality and clarity of the original radio but with a lot more behind it.

20th July 2003, 04:04 AM
hey guys, just on the note of new systems in saabs, i chucked a 15" fusion encounter sub into my Saab 99' 9-5, wasnt to bad at all, i couldnt offer any advise on changing head units though as i only unpluged the parcel tray speakers ( or mini subs as it seemed) and used a RCA converter for the input of the amp and ran power from the battry. The only probs i ran into were for the actual powerage of the amp which i could only hook up to my accessory power and not when just the radio is on. No biggie as the sub is off if the key is just in the ignition in off position (even if radio is on) but if i turn accessories on it cuts in nicly.
overall im impressed. The encounter plus the already nice harmon/kardon speakers runs pretty sweet.

20th July 2003, 01:22 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Well, gone and done it!! Alpine head unit and changer, Alpine components in the front doors, Alpine 6X9's in the back, Audiobahn Sub and Rockford amp. Sounds excellent, and so far no problems, despite it all taking a whole day to fit. They make these cars a bit too well!!!

Since its alpine does that mean that you lose the remote controls on the steering wheel?

I heard that the only head units that can be adapted to work with those are sony ones. I'd like to upgrade my sounds but in my experience Sony car systems have been cack.

20th July 2003, 03:03 PM
Hi Mack and welocme..

I'm pretty sure that kenwood now offer a hook up for the steering wheel controls now..
That any better?
I'll see if I can find the link! :D

22nd July 2003, 06:52 PM
Hey, gotta tell you all that my system sounds the dogs bollox! Forget about all that bull about the saab system being great, it aint! I have had no problems with the car, as i was warned i might have. And as for the steering controls for the stereo, i gotta say they are a gimmick. And, yeah, sony aint up to alpine. Alpine systems are excellent in my experience, and i do like my music to be loud!!!!

8th January 2004, 09:29 PM
Just read the various posts including the 9-5 audio FAQ. In any event I saw that the first poster "divorced" his head unit from his car. Is this a necessary procedure to swap out a head unit with another one? In reading the FAQ it seemed like he was only talking about the CD changer. Also, does this "divorce" have to happen at a Saab dealer or can you go to an aftermarket car stereo installer. Also, any concerns about a voided warranty? I could see the dealerships getting cute with that one.

In any event and for background, I just received an Omnifi (20 gig mp3 player) for Xmas and since RF mod is not adequate, cassette deck adapter once again inadequate I need to get an AUX in and the only way I can think to do it on my '03 9-5 Aero is by swapping out headunits. Also, the bottom end on the AS3 is pretty weak (a bit of crackle when ever anything hits decently) and I thought I would at least add a sub or start swapping speakers. That means more power so another amp. Thoughts?

9th January 2004, 08:20 AM
Hog Wash...........

I have replaced the head unit and speakers in everyone of my Saab 95s, 9000s. You will loose the SID, but that is not big deal.

First you need the install kit and wire harness. I know you can get this from Nick at Taliaferro Genuine Saab http://www.genuinesaab.com/detail.asp?product_id=400106662 even comes with a nice pocket!!

For the steering wheel controls you will need a aftermarket head unit that comes with a wireless remote then you can use the PAC SWI-X http://www.pac-audio.com/products/swi.htm I installed the transmitter eye up above right behind the front dome light. This makes it kind-of point down and out toward the head unit.

For those with On-Star you can also wire in the Sound Gate interface http://www.soundgate.com/products/onstar/index.htm

All of this is not to hard for the DIY or you can have your local car auto specialist do the install.

I have replaced my head unit with a Sony ES with Steering wheel controls and ON-Star still working. I have also replaced all of the speakers and installed Sub-Woofers in the trunk. I have around 700 watts of real power. I use MB-Quart Reference drivers all around and Sound Stream vintage amps from the late 80s and Audio Control X-Over and a Sony ES digital EQ and time alignment controller.

I worked for a high end Car auto store as an installer while going to collage back in the mid 80s..still can not shake my love for a good sounding car system!!

Lance from Houston
2004 95 Aero 5spm, Steel Gray, Sport-Tech, Tour-Pack, 18 Ronal LV's, PPC Stage-3.......

NOTE: Any Saab'ers living in the Houston Area, we will be getting togeather Jan 25, 4pm at Texadelphia, 6025 Westheimer, Between Fountain View and Hillcroft on the south side, 713-785-6700

9th January 2004, 11:11 AM
Great info, I really appreciate the post. Just one clarification, you mention Saab 9000's and I want to make certain that this info still holds true for an '02 or later Saab 9-5 Aero. Also, do you need to use the Sony head unit in order to get the controls? Any other head units you would recommend since I really only care about getting CLEAN sound from my Omnifi. Thanks again for a wonderful post I am sure that this question gets asked a lot. Regards.

9th January 2004, 11:24 AM
I have done the above in 3 9000's and two 95's

The PAC will work with almost any head unit that has a IR remote. It will not work with some Sony head units (NOT ALL, just some of them)(Check out there web site it gives all the details, link in post above) If you have a Sony you can get an interface that plugs right into the back where the stalk mount remote plugs in. SoundGate sales this interface (Link in post above).

As far as head units go as long as you stay with the big names you will be OK. Sony and Alpine are my fav's.

I also really like the digital time alignment feature you can get in some of the higher end Sony, Alpine and other decks (With-out external processor/box). When this is set up right the sound stage for the driver is awesome and even across the dash.....almost like they are playing on your hood evenly across!!

The install kit comes with all the plug in wire harness so you do not have to cut into any of the factory wires.

Lance from Houston
2004 95 Aero 5spm, Steel Gray, Sport-Tech, Tour-Pack, 18 Ronal LV's, PPC Stage-3.......

NOTE: Any Saab'ers living in the Houston Area, we will be getting togeather Jan 25, 4pm at Texadelphia, 6025 Westheimer, Between Fountain View and Hillcroft on the south side, 713-785-6700

9th January 2004, 06:39 PM

Seems like upgrading the stock stereo is becoming a popular topic and your posts on the subject are very informative ... what do you think about adding the instructions as a sticky in the 9-5 workshop?

9th January 2004, 07:20 PM
Once again, great info! I am going to the custom installer tomorrow and will be taking your info with me (Saab's are not hugely popular here out West and I would rather be armed with the info before hand). This will just be an assesment session, but I will update you on what they have to say.

Also, LanceBer did you replace all of your speakers? How did you install separates? Did you just put the Tweets up front and the mids in the doors or did you replicate separates at each install point? Man, I would love to see pix of the install your system sounds awesome.

As a FYI I, too, have had the bug for after market stereo equipment for a long time, however, I have always leased and have never been able to pull the trigger. IMHO there is a HUGE difference b/t aftermarket equipment done right vs. factory installed. I mostly feel it in stereo imaging and depth of soundstage, plus, of course, the thump of the bass. The AS3 is fine at reasonable volume but it never gives you that "being there" feel and if you turn up the volume it introduces a significant amount of distortion. I guess I am just a sound snob, but I am very excited about the possibility of getting the "full" sound only after market can deliver. And, no I don't work for a car stereo installer, nor do I sell aftermarket car stereo parts. ;)

9th January 2004, 11:57 PM

I installed MB-Quart Ref. 4" mid's with center mount tweeter (Mounts above midrange driver) in the dash. I had to use a drimil tool to make the hole a little bigger. I mounted the 6" MB-Quart Ref. Woofer's in each font door (I also had to break out the dremil to make the hole a little bigger). I have the mids and tweets separated with a MB-Quart Ref.-Comp passive X-Over powered by a SoundStream D100 (50W.X2). This is Electronically X-Over through a Audio-Control electronic X-Over. The low end goes to the door woofer and is powered by 1/2 of a SoundStream D300 (75X4). That is the front part of the car.

For the rear I have 6.5" woofer and tweets (Passive X-Over'd) mounted in a custom bracket I made to fit the 6X9 opening. I purchased some thin sheet metal and cut it out. The rear is powered by the other half of the D300.

The only speakers I did not touch is the center dash and the rear doors.

I also have two 12" subs in a sealed enclosure powered by an infinity Kapa amp (150X2)

The head unit is a Sony ES CD with an external EQ / X-Over / Digital Time alignment processor.

I set the system up with a Audio-Control 1/3 octave spectrum Analyzer for sound stage and overall system response. This is not a system that gets loud and bumps...it is one that is accurate and has well placed sound stage.

Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions,

Lance from Houston
2004 95 Aero 5spm, Steel Gray, Sport-Tech, Tour-Pack, 18 Ronal LV's, PPC Stage-3.......

NOTE: Any Saab'ers living in the Houston Area, we will be getting together Jan 25, 4pm at Texadelphia, 6025 Westheimer, Between Fountain View and Hillcroft on the south side, 713-785-6700

21st January 2004, 02:51 PM
I just thought I would give an update. Saturday is my install date for my new car stereo in my '02 Saab 95 Aero. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my installer had worked on multiple Saabs and confirmed Lanceber's previous posts (everything should work fine, but I will lose the SID). I will know for SURE after the Saturday install, but I will let you all know.

Btw, I am having the following installed:

Alpine 9811 head unit
Omnifi hard disc media jukebox
Alpine 6.5" SPX separates (tweets up high and mids in doors)
Phoenix Gold Titanium 500.4 amplifier (bridged for sub, stereo for fronts)
Phoenix Gold Titanium 10" sub in enclosure in the back
stock speakers in back doors driven by Alpine headunit
wireless controls per Lanceber's post.

I am pretty excited. My only issue is how stupid modern headunits looks these days. Man, do we really need all of this noise? Anyway, should be cool.

21st January 2004, 07:17 PM
Glad I could help and please let us know what you think after the install. I know you will wonder how you every lived with a stock stereo!

Lance from Houston
2004 Steel Grey 95, 5spM

22nd January 2004, 05:32 PM
when y'all say "losing the SID" does this mean that it is completely non-functional after installing an aftermarket head unit? as in, it doesn't even turn on? or does it just lose the stereo capabilities, but still turns on to display temp, etc?

29th January 2004, 05:38 PM
I may want to check out your installer if he's close by.
Shoot me an email.

30th January 2004, 08:51 AM
Hej !

So, a few words....

IF you're going to replace the Saab Audiosystem, it's a good idea to "divorce" the Audiosystem, because then it can be fitted to another 9-5 !

And one word of caution, MAKE ABSOLUTLY SURE that the I-bus wires are disconnected from the connector in the cage.
We've seen quite a few car where the non-Saab system interfears with the bus system, causing anything from a no-start to "minor bugs".

30th January 2004, 09:01 AM
Sorry I should have been more clear, when I said you loose the SID I meant you only loose the stereo information on the SID.

Hej Dr. Boost: Can you please give a little more detail? I have a Saab After market kit from Saab (With the pocket) It came with a wire harness that I have plugged into the factory wire harness. The only wires I am using from the pig tail is for power, ground, ignition. I am not using any other wires in the harness. Should I do something else? Is a kit for a 2001 95 compatible with a 2004 95?

Also thanks for the very useful info here at SaabCentral, glad to see you on this board also.

Thanks, Lance

2004 95 Aero, 5spM

3rd February 2004, 12:32 AM
Sorry for being delinquent on my post. In any event, the installer finished my install and it is SWEET! The sound is simply sublime. The best way to describe it is that it is like a very nice home stereo (full sounds and great soundstage, imaging and great bass w/o flatulence ;) ). I'm not sure if I can give props to the installer on here, but I totally recommend them as they understand Saab related issues (I own a '02 95 Aero) and they stuck it out until it was done right. They are Autohaus in Concord, CA (ask for Shane) Btw, If I am not allowed to post these types of references let me know (and remove what you need to from my post or I can do the same).

In any event, I tried to make it as stock looking as possible so I can reinsert the original stereo if necc., however, the headunit and Omnifi are pretty conspicuous. That said, the speakers are behind stock grills and the amp (attached to the back seat), crossovers (attached to the rear deck), Omnifi hard disk (attached to the rear deck, as well) and woofer are in the cavernous trunk.

As for some of the info floating around here. I can confirm Lanceber's statement on the SID. All you lose is the radio info the rest of the stuff (DTE, temp, clock) all work just fine. I also had the installer add the IR piece so I can use the stearing wheel controls to run my Alpine headunit. The cool thing with that is you basically can program them however you want (ex. the upper left button is my 'mute' button since I am on the phone alot during my commute).

With respect to 'divorcing' my headunit, I decided not to as it may go back in this car at some point and I don't need to sell it.

Per Lanceber's post I would like to understand the issues surrounding I-Bus wiring. I will check with my installer to make certain there is no issue there.

Lastly, I just wanted to thank Lanceber again for spreading the word that you CAN swap out these babys and have the same kind of aftermarket sound that discriminating audiophiles expect. Let's hope that it stays this nice over the years to come.

Btw, my total with the purchase of all of the equipment (less the Omnifi) in my last post, plus pro install was about $2k in case you were wondering.

3rd February 2004, 12:59 AM
teamills and lanceber thank you both for the great info on this thread.
Could either of you post an interior pic?