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Old 10-29-2010, 02:35 AM   #1
Mgg4591
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Default Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

So I've had an Alpine IDA-X200 head unit in my car for over a year. Just recently i discovered my factory cassette player with EQ in my basement and i was thinking about how much better it looks than the after-market stereo. In comparison the Alpine looks a bit tacky with the chrome buttons and blue lighting, and i much rather prefer the look of the factory system over any after-market. I would be sacrificing the iPod adapter and sub woofer output if i switch back, but i was gonna buy the AUX adapter that hooks into the CD changer connector. I may also buy the adapter that allows hookup of an amp and subs through a factory stereo, so that wouldn't really be an issue either.

So my question is, am i crazy for wanting to go back to the old system just for the factory look? I mean i could get the AUX and subs hooked up so it wouldn't be like i am losing any features, plus i really like having actual radio preset buttons right in front of me rather than having to go through a digital menu to access them.

My other question is, are there any other Saturn stereos that i could use in my car, modifications or not? I really like the system in the sky, but i do not know if that is do-able, even with modification. I do have a double din dash kit handy, so i could fit a square two din system as well. It seems like wiring would be the main issue, if the thing would even fit.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

That doesn't sound crazy to me. Do whatever floats your boat. Besides, the Saturn S-series is a classic.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

Look for the factory CD player, the one in my avatar.
It is possible to get an adapter that connects to the speaker outputs and will give you the input that your sub amp needs.
I can tell you it has very good sound quality and looks perfect in the dash.
Has a nice rotary, analog volume control as well, I hate those digital deals all the new stuff has.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

Only thing the factory CD player has over my JVC KDA-615 is...5 band eq. JVC only has 3
I can make the light up _any_ color I want, from white to pink to yellow (sorta matches outside color) to blue (looks SWEET when my glow gauges are on).
6 buttons for the unused FM presets, AM is turned off.
I can plug a USB thumb drive into the front of it & play MP3/WMA CD's so I'm sorta my own radio station.

Overall suggestion: upgrade receiver

As for swapability, and gen 2 receiver will work. I even plugged in a gen 1 receiver to a gen 2 once and it worked 95% fine. Dimmer works opposite between gens so the dash was dim and radio bright or radio dim and dash bright. Rather annoying
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

I also dislike the garish chrome and blue lighting that so many units have. It will take some looking, but there are black stereos with amber lighting out there.

I haven't looked much because the ones I'd seen were a couple hundred bucks, and the one I have was $40 shipped

I like the factory CD unit, but it doesn not play MP3.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

Two beefs I have with my Clarion HU: (1) the display is impossible to read in daylight. The LED display isn't that bright, and dims with the parking lights (stoopid idea), and the face lens is nothing but glare. (2) The clock gains time like the dickens. At least a couple of minutes a month, maybe more like a minute a week. I've taken to set the display to stay on the station frequency, and not even display the time, as it's pretty useless.

Anybody know of an affordable aftermarket unit that:
* has a daylight-readable display
* keeps time better than a random generator
* has a rotary (analog or digital) volume knob
* has aux input
* receives AM stations well
* (bonus) has a USB input
* (bonus 2) has an HD tuner
? Not looking for a lot of power, just enough to drive the four aftermarket coaxial 6.5"-ers (Sony + Blaupunkt).

If the factory unit played MP3-CDs, I'd go for it (with an aux input via the changer connector), for the very same reason as the OP - the clean OEM look (and inherent theft deterrence).

For aftermarket, I always thought a cool idea would be a mounting kit that would recess the radio slightly (my one complaint about the AI and Scosche products), so you could remove the aftermarket unit's faceplate and shove in a dummy faceplate from a cannibalized factory unit, to cover both the aftermarket HU and the stash shelf.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

i managed to fit a 2nd gen stereo into my 1991 SL2. the stereo has tape and AM/FM but no EQ, so it is the thin single-DIN lookalike.

I did have to modify the front plastic a bit, but it was easy work with a Dremel. you'll also need an aftermarket mounting kit for the 1st gen car. it looks a bit ghetto, but it's fine for a beater daily driver.

Also, the stock radio surround piece in the 1st gen will hit the 2nd gen stereo because the 2nd gen stereo is a bit deeper than the 1st gen. If you cut the back rail it may just clear.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

I just recently installed a JVC KW-XR610 Double DIN stero in my car.

To Madpogue-It fits your description of a "perfect" system. It also dims at night and is bright in the daytime (with multiple colours that is). It has a rotory volume control, plus USB and AUX ports in the front. And satelite ready too.

Since it is a Double DIN, it fits perfectly in the dash. I do miss the pocket though, but I store everything out of sight now in the console.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlainMDavos View Post
I just recently installed a JVC KW-XR610 Double DIN stero in my car.

To Madpogue-It fits your description of a "perfect" system. It also dims at night and is bright in the daytime (with multiple colours that is). It has a rotory volume control, plus USB and AUX ports in the front. And satelite ready too.

Since it is a Double DIN, it fits perfectly in the dash. I do miss the pocket though, but I store everything out of sight now in the console.
Hm, thanks, I'll check it out. Indeed, I would also miss the stash pocket (shoulda put that on my list...). So is the dimming based on a light sensor, or on the dash light wiring connection? If it's the latter, that's just what I DON'T want, since I drive with at least the parking lights on pretty-much all the time. No interest in satellite or anything else for which I'd have to sign up and pay. HD would be the cherry on top.

Hm, wonder if they have a similar single-DIN machine....
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

Thanks for the input everyone. I sold my alpine to a friend and we installed it in his car today. As for myself i did a search on car-part and found a wrecker 12 miles away in Brooklyn who had a 1998 CD player for 50 bucks. I brought it home, then installed, and it works great. The only issue i am having is that the back-lights on the buttons seem to be burnt out. Is it possible to take the bulbs from my cassette deck and install them in the CD player?

Heres a photo:


You can see all the buttons are dark except for the sliders.


I also scored a nice set of Alpine speakers, crossovers, and tweeters that were a regular 129.99 in store, but i had BestBuy price match online and i got them for 65 bucks. Just have to get a set of the same series but with the built in tweeters for the back, and everything should be great. If the bass is decent enough i may minus the sub that i have from my old setup. Hopefully the headunit can power the speakers or i may need to buy an amp, or just my old sub amp.
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2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71 241,xxx
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

The dimmer on the JVC is connected to the dashlight. But I don't recall it being too dim to not see in the daytime. Plus it is HD radio ready, just get the small black box.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgg4591 View Post
I also scored a nice set of Alpine speakers, crossovers, and tweeters that were a regular 129.99 in store, but i had BestBuy price match online and i got them for 65 bucks. Just have to get a set of the same series but with the built in tweeters for the back, and everything should be great. If the bass is decent enough i may minus the sub that i have from my old setup. Hopefully the headunit can power the speakers or i may need to buy an amp, or just my old sub amp.
the stock radio won't have 50W per channel, if that's what you're asking. it will distort at high volumes because you're drawing too much power. you can pick up a 200W 4channel amp at a swap meet or ebay or whatever for around $30, make sure it has high level inputs (they have different names, high impedance, high gain, whatever) 50W/ch RMS is decent enough for a stock stereo and you'll never burn out the radio or the speakers with such a small amp.

If i didn't use USB and AUX on my deck i'd probably want a stock radio as well, they just look nicer.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

How would I hook the amp up to the stock radio? Would it be the same adapter to hook up the subs or do I need something different?
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by genewitch View Post
the stock radio won't have 50W per channel, if that's what you're asking. it will distort at high volumes because you're drawing too much power. you can pick up a 200W 4channel amp at a swap meet or ebay or whatever for around $30, make sure it has high level inputs (they have different names, high impedance, high gain, whatever) 50W/ch RMS is decent enough for a stock stereo and you'll never burn out the radio or the speakers with such a small amp.

If i didn't use USB and AUX on my deck i'd probably want a stock radio as well, they just look nicer.
Thanks for the suggestion. I installed everything and can see what you mean about the power. When i crank it relatively loud it gets crackly, but its crystal clear at low volume though. I saw a few BOSS and Sound-station 400watt amps on eBay for 50 bucks free shipping, so ill probably order one of those. They also have speaker level inputs.

Found a thread on here about how to change the lights on the CD player. Now they work great:



Speakers and tweeters:




I hooked my 1000watt Kenwood up through the rear speakers with the speaker level inputs. Got the settings perfect and it hits exactly how it did with the subwoofer output on my Alpine HU.


So far everything is going great. Got the OEM CD player, front speakers and tweeters in, and the sub working just how it was with the aftermarket head unit. All i need are the new rear speakers which i am gonna get on Friday, the 4 channel amp, and the AUX adapter.

I still can't believe how great this 12 year old head unit sounds, even without the amp.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Gen 2 stereo swap-ability?

Good job man!
I will only recommend one thing other than the obvious get an aftermarket deck :P

Run a 2 channel amp... Having a sub in your trunk and components in the front is all you need to give you a proper listening experience in your car. 4 channel amps are less common giving you less choices, and are not necessary and infact not as good sounding as 2 components up front.

I run SPS-600C's (same as yours) in both my cars up front only, with 1 sub in the trunk of each car, and they sound fantastic.

If you must get a 4 channel amp I will recommend the Alpine MRP-F300.
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