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  #1  
Old 29th November 2009
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teblhasa teblhasa is offline
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Default Radio & Amp Questions

My double din Clarion radio barely has sound when you turn it all the way up. Not sure what's going on, although the guy that sold it to me said something about not being hooked up right in the back of the radio. Radio reception is fine. There's a new aftermarket antenna installed.

Can you help me troubleshoot this problem? How do you get the fascia pieces off and access the wires for the radio? And... I'm assuming the amp is underneath the passenger's seat, correct?

I'm assuming my cd player is screwed when it doesn't read a cd and makes sanding sounds, then spits it out...
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  #2  
Old 29th November 2009
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DanF. DanF. is offline
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Yeah, CD player sounds like it's broken. You could try one of those CD cleaner discs and see if it does anything.

Does your car have ACC or MCC? In my car the ACC unit pops out easily, and I can access the back of the head unit from there. (I have an aftermarket unit, not that it makes any difference.)

You may want to think about taking out the factory head unit and upgrading. Onlinecarstereo.com has some good deals.
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  #3  
Old 29th November 2009
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Yeah, that's what I was kind of afraid of. Is it as easy as throwing a stereo in and making sure you have a good conversion cable? I was warned that the factory speakers had odd ohm ratings and you could blow your system if you do an aftermarket radio. ??
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Old 29th November 2009
YoungSaaber YoungSaaber is offline
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That's not really going to happen, I don't think. Typically headunits, mine certainly, are 4x50W. I don't know a lot about these things but I know that you won't manage to blow the stock speakers with that...I guess you'd need subs and amps etc to get serious power going. Bearing in mind for an easy install you'll not be using the amp under the driver's seat if you put an aftermarket headunit in.
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  #5  
Old 30th November 2009
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Yeah I really don't want to mess with the factory amp, and it might be blown anyways. They have radios with built in amps, and some say they're very strong. I'm thinking of trying that mode firsy since its cheaper and easier. I'll otherwise add in an aftermarket amp. I'm more interested in getting sound going, it gets a little boring just listening to loud tires. The previous owner swears everything worked up til a week ago, but what could have gotten unplugged/changed to take the sound away? We still think the amp's toast
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  #6  
Old 2nd December 2009
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I ended up buying a cheap JVC system ($50 discount through Amazon) and it'll be here tomorrow, I'm so excited! I hope it will work fine and that either the factory amp and/or equalizer (since cd doesn't work) is out and not the speakers themselves. Guess we'll find out! I'm hoping to get it in tomorrow night but if I need a different cable and can't find one around town... I'll be kinda bummed.

I'll probably add a different amp in the future, as it looks like in order to access the factory ones I have to remove seats and stuff. Blah. I won't touch electric seats.
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  #7  
Old 3rd December 2009
Robinb Robinb is offline
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Best thing I ever did was to get rid of that old Saab radio and CD - replaced with a Clarion single-DIN radio/CD and freed up a precious DIN slot as well.

However, I did find that the new unit had its' own amp, and the Saab amp was intermittently interfering with the sound. So, removed and discarded the massive Saab amp from under the passenger seat. No other problems, speakers were fine once the proper connectors were installed.

Last edited by Robinb; 3rd December 2009 at 06:12 PM.
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  #8  
Old 7th December 2009
92GriffinEd 92GriffinEd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinb View Post
Best thing I ever did was to get rid of that old Saab radio and CD - replaced with a Clarion single-DIN radio/CD and freed up a precious DIN slot as well.

However, I did find that the new unit had its' own amp, and the Saab amp was intermittently interfering with the sound. So, removed and discarded the massive Saab amp from under the passenger seat. No other problems, speakers were fine once the proper connectors were installed.
How did you go about removing the stock amp? I'm thinking about doing the same (replacing stereo and amp), but then reusing the wiring to update the amp with a similar one with a bit more wattage per channel, as I've upgraded the speakers. Is this feasible/realistic? What kind of time commitment am I looking at to swap the amp, and what do I have to remove to get at it?
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  #9  
Old 7th December 2009
92GriffinEd 92GriffinEd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teblhasa View Post
Yeah I really don't want to mess with the factory amp, and it might be blown anyways. They have radios with built in amps, and some say they're very strong. I'm thinking of trying that mode firsy since its cheaper and easier. I'll otherwise add in an aftermarket amp. I'm more interested in getting sound going, it gets a little boring just listening to loud tires. The previous owner swears everything worked up til a week ago, but what could have gotten unplugged/changed to take the sound away? We still think the amp's toast
Had this exact problem in my car. For me, the amp was fine; it was the CD/EQ head unit that was fried. That's actually what all the other stereo components plug into (radio, disc changer), since it has the EQ on it. First, I would try to find someone with a working CD from your model/year (or at least close; I know they changed the plug design somewhere around '91, so try to get a 92 or newer Clarion) and just swap the in-dash CD player; another option is to get your cd player benched (maybe a local stereo shop or dealer?). As far as the swap goes, I don't even recall having to re-enter the code, since the stereo stayed installed the whole time. Then, turn her on and see if she works. Could save you some time and hassle to know exactly what's wrong with your stock system.
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  #10  
Old 9th December 2009
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Yes! We got the new radio in and it works perfectly! So the cd/equalizer was blown. I don't know the cost of fixing it or where to take it to. I probably would get it fixed it were cheap, then turn around and sell it. I kept the old radio in as suggested, and put the new one underneath it. We ended up rewiring the speakers from the amp and using patches to put the new one in. Next thing I have to get is the cable to run from the plug to my iPod. I don't have the $46 to pay for the iPod kit for the new radio. I guess I don't care at the moment if I can control the player with the buttons or not. I'm just happy I have sound! I'll have to play more with the settings to see how thumping I can get the music. I always said a good system will rattle the mirros, and that's a must.
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  #11  
Old 9th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teblhasa View Post
Yeah, that's what I was kind of afraid of. Is it as easy as throwing a stereo in and making sure you have a good conversion cable? I was warned that the factory speakers had odd ohm ratings and you could blow your system if you do an aftermarket radio. ??
I think this can be true if the speaker's impedance is lower than the headunit supports. My c900 had "2-ohm" OEM speakers in the back, and the PO had wired them to a new headunit that was designed for 4-ohm speakers. Speakers didnt blow but sound cut out constantly.
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  #12  
Old 12th December 2009
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Yesterday morning the sound died but when I turned the unit off and turned it back on, the sound was back. Weird! Otherwise I've had no problems with the new radio. We did new wiring from the head unit to the amp under the passenger seat though. Hoping I don't have to do any more mods, the sound may not be totally rockin' but I'm just happy to have good radio sound. I've known quiet, and I just don't want to go back there.
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