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Old 04-17-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
TribeVue04
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2004 VUE Red Line
Wrench Aftermarket Radio Problems

Hey all. I just installed a Sony - 52W x 4 AppleŽ iPodŽ-/Satellite Radio-/HD Radio-Ready CD Deck in my 2004 VUE Redline. Best buy gave me one harness. When I took the stock radio out, there were two harnesses. I installed it with the one Best Buy gave me and now when I use the radio, the speakers pop and crackle. What was the small harness for? Is there a different harness that should be used when installing a aftermarket radio for the VUE Redline? This car also a factory amp and sub. Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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2004 VUE Red Line
Wrench Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Just wondering...Would I have to hard wire the amp to the radio? I really don't want to take my car to Best Buy. I have heard nothing but bad things about their installations. I have installed radios and amps and subs before, but the sub and amp weren't factory. Thanks again!
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

It is possible to correctly install an aftermarket radio into a Saturn w/AAS, but you really need to know what you're doing. I wouldn't trust that anyone working at Best Buy's install bay would be able to correctly pull this off without knowing how the factory system works.

The trouble is that your factory radio sends the factory amp a pre-amp level signal through it's speaker outputs - not a high-level/speaker-level signal like your aftermarket radio has.

Your two options are to either a) bypass the factory amp - which would also disable the factory sub OR b) use a high/low level converter and correctly splice the RCA output leads into the aftermarket wiring harness.

If your radio has two sets of preamp outputs (front and rear), then you could just use those and splice them into the respective speaker leads on the aftermarket harness (and leave the speaker outputs on the radio unhooked). The catch with this is that there is probably no way to adjust the gain on the factory amp so it might not sound too good. This is why I think using a high/low converter with an adjustable output would be the better solution.

Furthermore, you may need to hook the remote amp lead (from your new radio) up to the wire in location B6 of your car's harness or else the factory amp may not turn on. However, the factory service manual says that the factory amp grounds out this wire (B6 at radio plug) to tell the factory radio to output a low-level/preamp signal. To test this, I would use an ohmmeter to measure the resistance between the wire at B6 and ground. If the measurement is zero or near zero resistance then DO NOT hook the remote lead from your new radio up to this wire - this would likely result in a short circuit since the remote lead is a positive output.

Also FYI, the "smaller harness" would be for your OnStar (if equipped) and/or factory XM satellite radio receiver (if equipped).

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Further questions in doing this. I have a 05 vue redline with factory subwoofer and am going to install a double din gps unit etc... However, I also want the factory subwoofer to work.

In reading the above I'm left with some questions. Would a boss b65n level converter work for keeping the signal to the factory sub at a good out put level to keep things safe with good sound quality with out damaging anything? As well it sounds like the wire on the factory harness for this is a single wire if I read the above correct. The converter would take the aftermarket radio rca and convert it to a 2 wire speaker output. So this leaves the question in connecting a + and - wires to the factory single wire.

I guess I'm just looking for more specifics on getting this done and ensuring the sub still works as it should and sound quality is acceptable. Any help in finding the right coverter or items to make this happen is greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Simple.

Buy RCA wires, short ones
Cut RCAs in half (not lengthwise)
Wire RCAs up to speaker wire section on radio harness (the one you will plug into the factory harness)
Connect RCAs to pre-amp outputs on HU
Enjoy

FYI, a lot of people talk crap about Best Buy installs, and it's true, we had some really bad installers. We also had more Master Certified installers than anyone else in the country, and some of the best installers in the country. We had a lot of guys wh closed down their own shops to work at BBY, and a lot of guys who were VERY high end installers that worked for BBY. Why? Because at some point, BBY gave them a paycheck every two weeks, while being out on their own didn't always, and their ass wasn't on the line.

A huge amount of our installs in Fort Myers were actually fixing the crap from fly by night (and some well established) mom & pop stores. We ran almost all of them out of business because, well, they sucked. Only one stayed open, and that was because they did all the illegal installs we wouldn't (bypassed video screens and the like). In PBG, there were no mom and pop stores, so we fixed a lot of installs from people who "had done it before" or had "a boy who installs stuff all the time".

Know your installer, talk to them, and then make your decision. One of the installers I trained is one of 3 guys I would trust to work on my car, and he has less experience than a lot of the other guys I worked with. I worked with one guy who had been doing it for damn near 10 years and wasn't even as good as the guy I trained with a yer under his belt.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Really?
But, if I understand right there is only one wire going to the stock amp to get its signal source from the stock radio. This seems odd to me since every speaker wire or signal wire consist of a + and -.

So if in fact the signal wire for the stock amp is one wire this will conflict with the two wires in a single rca cable. So connecting both wires with in a rca cable to the single stock wire sounds like its going to create issues.

As well what about the remote wire for the stock amp? I have found right it should be a white wire on the stock harness. Can this be confirmed with a pin out? As well it should be easy as connecting the aftermarket radio remote wire to this stock white wire.

Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSTANGE View Post
Really?
But, if I understand right there is only one wire going to the stock amp to get its signal source from the stock radio. This seems odd to me since every speaker wire or signal wire consist of a + and -.

Thanks!
This might not seem as odd as you think. I had a Power Acoustik stereo that used only 1 wire. I thought it was odd, but it seemed to work just fine. So, I didn't question it...
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Ok. So of the + and - on the rca which do I use to connect to the stock signal wire?

Just want to be safe and not pop any thing. Thanks.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSTANGE View Post
Ok. So of the + and - on the rca which do I use to connect to the stock signal wire?

Just want to be safe and not pop any thing. Thanks.
JR - you were wondering in earlier post about wiring between stock radio and amp. I've attached two service manual extracts - one with radio/amp power and ground and one with speakers.

I've watched these responses to and from and suspect a bit of misinterpretation is occurring.

The stock or new radio must provide +12 to turn amp on and I don't know how you'll get four channel audio from new radio to amp on one wire.

I realize I'm behind the times but c'mon - how they do that?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 05 Vue - WBM - Pwr-Gnd.pdf (47.3 KB, 121 views)
File Type: pdf 05 Vue - WBM - Spkrs.pdf (24.5 KB, 87 views)
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Thanks grumpy! I'll check them out when I'm not on the bb. I'm confused as well how two wires will provide a signal to a single wire as well. I know I'm getting up there in age but this is new to me.

I don't want to buy a seperate amp wiring but I will if needed. If this is the case then what are the specs on the stock sub? Curious of th ohms, watts and all.

Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSTANGE View Post
Thanks grumpy! I'll check them out when I'm not on the bb. I'm confused as well how two wires will provide a signal to a single wire as well. I know I'm getting up there in age but this is new to me.

I don't want to buy a seperate amp wiring but I will if needed. If this is the case then what are the specs on the stock sub? Curious of th ohms, watts and all.

Thanks!
I'd stick with Vue amp. Its pre-wired to speakers and you only need to rework the 4-audio channel inputs to drive the amp.

Check XRL's post - he suggests you purchase and modify cables with RCA plugs (assuming the new radio has RCA jacks).

You could use the wiring diagram I attached to determine wire colors before attaching the new cables/plugs to the wire-pairs leading from radio to amp.

You'll also note the Vue amp is always connected to +12 but is turned ON and OFF by the radio applying and removing 12 volts to another input.

You'll have to determine if the new radio has this enabling +12 output. If - by chance - the radio provides a ground it'd be simple to add a "Bosch" relay to convert to 12 volts.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
I'd stick with Vue amp. Its pre-wired to speakers and you only need to rework the 4-audio channel inputs to drive the amp.

Check XRL's post - he suggests you purchase and modify cables with RCA plugs (assuming the new radio has RCA jacks).

You could use the wiring diagram I attached to determine wire colors before attaching the new cables/plugs to the wire-pairs leading from radio to amp.

You'll also note the Vue amp is always connected to +12 but is turned ON and OFF by the radio applying and removing 12 volts to another input.

You'll have to determine if the new radio has this enabling +12 output. If - by chance - the radio provides a ground it'd be simple to add a "Bosch" relay to convert to 12 volts.
Looking over grumpy's attachments confirms my thoughts. The factory amp takes in all speaker inputs, and a 12V turn on wire (your aftermarket deck should have this as a blue/white wire btw). Then it uses magic to separate out a lowpass signal for the subs, and amplifies all the speaker and sub outputs, then sends them to the speakers.

THIS POINT ON DOES NOT APPLY TO THE VUE
There's actually quite a few cars nowdays that do in fact send 4 speakers (or more) worth of audio over 1 wire using a data system (well, some use fiber optic cables and not wires, but that doesn't matter). Rather than passing the analog signals to the amp, they pass it all as digital information, which is then decoded by electronics that go with the amp and then the amp does it's own signal processing magic, and send amplified analog signals to the speakers. Pretty slick stuff, and it is one of the many things that is killing the aftermarket audio industry, because if you wanted to say, run your own amps and new speakers, you would need to then take in all the signals in the car (which could be 10 or more) and then sum them together, then level them to have a flat EQ, undo any sort of time alignment for the channels (maybe, I'd be more inclined to leave the TA alone and take the factory's hard work for my own), and THEN start with your own crossovers, equalization, etc. The short of it is it costs several thousand dollars in equipment and time to even be ready to install new speakers or amps in vehicles like this.

These systems aren't that common yet on stuff that isn't very high end, but it's getting more and more common. More common is a hybrid of this where volume and equalization settings are transmitted over data to the amp, with the signal itself being sent over 4 pairs of wires as an analog signal, but with no volume, it stays constant regardless of what your volume is set to. These sorts of systems have been around and somewhat common since about 2006 model year vehicles.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Clarifying.

I think I understand now. The amp remote switch wire from the after market radio connects to the amp switch power wire.

As for the speaker wires... The factory amp takes a low signal input and converts it out to an amplified signal to the speakers. So if I connect the speaker wires right off the new head unit I'd likely be over amplifying the signal and the quality would be pour.

So if this is the case then I need to pick up a normal speaker wire to rca convertor to connect to the factory speaker wiring for the amp. As well this covertor needs to be variable/adjustable for the out put to bring the sound quality back.

Just wanting to confirm and make sure I order the right convertor for this to work. Of course then the rca out from the convertor would get cut and spliced to the factory speaker wiring.

I'm going to order everything this coming Wednesday such as the 2 din gps units and an over head dvd player for the kids.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

The easiest way to do this would be to buy a radio with pre-amplified outputs z(typically used for aftermarket amps), and buy some RCA connector pigtails (wire on one side, RCAs on the other). That avoids the need for extra converters, which takes up precious space behind the radio (which is relatively tight).
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Thanks! Easy enough as the new unit will have plenty of rca's and I have bunch of old rca cables I can hack up. Thanks again!
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

So 2 things jump out at me. It was mentioned that you can splice RCA cables to make this work. That's easy enough. But the question was raised about there being no gain control for the factory amp. Has anyone hooked it up this way with success? If I don't need a convertor then I won't waste my money.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

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Originally Posted by dewayne View Post
So 2 things jump out at me. It was mentioned that you can splice RCA cables to make this work. That's easy enough. But the question was raised about there being no gain control for the factory amp. Has anyone hooked it up this way with success? If I don't need a convertor then I won't waste my money.
Crutchfield is the hookup. They have a line level to line level adaptor that will work. +1 for Crutchfield
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:57 PM   #18
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Question Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Is a line level adapter really needed? Anyone just take the low level rca's from aftermarket radio and hook them directly up to the metra wire harness? Which harness part number is the correct one to use as well?
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

Installed Kenwood DDX371 head unit. Used the 70-2102 Metra kit. Plugged right in and sounds good. No real control over bass, compared to the stick crappy radio.
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: Aftermarket Radio Problems

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Originally Posted by dewayne View Post
So 2 things jump out at me. It was mentioned that you can splice RCA cables to make this work. That's easy enough. But the question was raised about there being no gain control for the factory amp. Has anyone hooked it up this way with success? If I don't need a convertor then I won't waste my money.
I have an 05 Redline Vue with AAS audio system. I just spliced some RCA cables to the factory amp (FRONT & BACK AMP outs from new deck, spliced into existing speaker wires), works and sounds great. On my car ORANGE wires are my power wires. There are two Orange wires, the main/heavier gage goes to the deck, the second/lighter gage runs power to the amps speaker circuit. To provide power to the amp on this wire I just spliced the two orange wires together.
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