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Aftermarket Head Unit work with Bose setup??

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by dans3, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. dans3
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    dans3 Member

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    [Oct 12, 2003]
    I'm looking to get an aftermarket MP3 head unit but am worried that it will not work with my Bose Subwoofer and amplifier as originally fitted to my 2000 S3.

    Is there an adapter available? Does it work well? Where can I buy them from?

    Dan /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
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  3. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 12, 2003]
    Yeah thats not a problem... You have to get an 'active speaker' adaptor for the bose system...

    click here... look at the bottom item.. that is what you will need.. plus the facia adaptors

    Rich
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  4. dans3
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    dans3 Member

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    [Oct 12, 2003]
    Thanks, Rich! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif

    Now all I have to do is buy a decent head unit!
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  5. RAPS3
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    RAPS3 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 12, 2003]
    Rich,
    If this works then youve just saved me spending over a Grand, on a new setup.
    I went to Turners yesterday, theyre my local ICE merchant, anyway I asked about changing my head unit as on my Audi Concert one the LCD dispay is cracked. They told me that all of the system needed to be changed as the BOSE set up worked as a 2 ohm system and by putting a new head unit in alone. It would not work. They recommended putting in some 5" focal's in the front a focal amp and new sub. It looked good on paper but all I want is a new bloddy head unit !!
    Is this a definate. Have you tried it?
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  6. SimonP
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    SimonP Member

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    [Oct 13, 2003]
    Just to warn you - I had terrible problems with the adaptor and my new Alpine 9812RR when I fitted it to my non-Bose '03 S3. It introduced a ground loop noise that caused a buzzing/whining with the alternator (so it rises with revs etc).

    In the end we bypassed the active speaker system and replaced all the speakers, stock stuff was rubbish anyway, running speaker cable direct to the rears from the headunit.

    You may find the Bose adaptor/Bose amp works better than the non-Bose system and your setup will be fine. Just FYI if you do end up with problems.
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  7. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 13, 2003]
    I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's used this adapter with a Bose sub woofer. I bought one off ebay for £90, and although it worked fine off an Alpine HU, (after a bit of jiggery pokery with the wiring loom), it didn't seem to like the line outs from the Alpine. Everytime you turned it on or off, or turned down the volume to zero, it gave out a horrible "pop". Looking on the Audiworld forum, there was a very sad tale of someone upgrading the HU on a Bose system, and they talked about the cause of this "pop". Something to do with capacitors on the pre-stage of the amp. So I know it is a standard feature of the amp as opposed to a faulty unit. In the end had to by pass the amp and run the Bose speakers direct from an Alpine sub amp, which works fine within the confines of the unit, but would much rather use the Bose amp if possible. Does anyone know if this adapter cures this problem?
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  8. RAPS3
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    RAPS3 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 13, 2003]
    Andy,

    This is basically what the guy from Turners told me. But to be honest it went in one ear and out of the other. He said he wouldnt do it. But as said above I dont know whether he was just after me spending my dosh. He did seem quite genuine about it being a no no, and recommended me changing the system completely.
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  9. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 13, 2003]
    Yeah, I see your point, I guess it's one thing getting it to work with the adapter, but another whether it sounds any good. According to the guy on the Audiworld tech site, he spent weeks with his Bose system in pieces and ended up putting it all back as was. He very strongly recommended that you leave as is, or change everything.
    The Bose system is radically different from the non Bose system. It uses an external amp to drive all six door speakers, which are 2 ohms each, not 4 ohms, so you can't easily by pass it. The Bose sub is driven by it's own 100watt amp inside the sub enclosure. I think if you are happy with the Bose setup then the adapter should work fine (albeit subject to Audi's noddy wiring looms). I think problems arise when you want more power, and want to by pass the Bose amps. You then have to change the speakers, which you'd probably want to do anyway as part of the upgrade. I'm now wondering if the Bose sub runs off a connection from the other Bose amp rather than the HU. This could be why I'm getting the wierd "pops". I think I'll stick with the Alpine amp setup. If anyones interested, here's the latest development in the A3 sub experiment. Now I'm a dad, my wifes Alpine ported sub has had to go up in the loft to free up boot space in her A3T. So I bought a Bose sub in the laughable hope that it would give something approaching bass in the now subless A3. It was an improvement, but disappointingly used the same flimsy tupperware enclosure of the standard unit and even with extensive Dynamatting hardly provides a solid base for a sub. So I set about making a new enclosure from MDF. And here it is. I managed to make it about 2 inches bigger all round than the standard unit, by reorganising the wiring behind the standard unit. The improvement is dramatic, but now looking to shoehorn an 8" driver in there, as the poor little Bose drivers are struggling. I'll keep you posted:
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  10. dans3
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    dans3 Member

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    [Oct 13, 2003]
    ummm....

    Now I'd rather wait until someone else has tried it before I buy a new head unit!

    I'd like to keep all the existing setup apart from the hed unit, can't afford to replace everything!
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  11. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 13, 2003]
    Well if any of u guys are coming to the xmas meet, then u can borrow my bose adaptor to see if it works.. if u can wait that long anyway.

    Rich
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  12. RAPS3
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    RAPS3 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 13, 2003]
    [ QUOTE ]
    AndyMac said:
    used the same flimsy tupperware enclosure of the standard unit

    [/ QUOTE ]
    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh_roll.gif Thats one way of putting it.

    [ QUOTE ]
    now looking to shoehorn an 8" driver in there, as the poor little Bose drivers are struggling.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hmmm new Dad eh - This sounds like more of an escape plan to get in the garage for a couple of evenings to escape. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    I think I'll stick with the cracked LCD display on the Audi HU for now. I'll buy the system Turners recommended bit by bit and then change the lot all at once.
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  13. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 13, 2003]
    I can't believe anyone would acuse me of needing an escape plan, I love clearing up pooh & sick.
    It's only because it's an emergency that needs resolving that's forcing me out of the house for hours on end, honest.
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  14. comdw
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    comdw Member VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 14, 2003]
    AndyMac - very interested in your Bose sub modification - is it easy to do? how much better does it sound.

    Let us know how the driver replacement goes. Given the difficultly/expense in changing head units I think alot of us would be interested in any small mods that can make the BOSE setup sound better. Is it also possible to get better (2 ohm) replacements for some of the other speakers in the car?
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  15. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 14, 2003]
    It's difficult to say on the improvement, as this sub is replacing a 10" Alpine 300w baby, so it's never gonna thump you in the chest like that does. I've never heard a standard Bose setup, apart from in the showroom, which isn't really a good guide. All I can say is the rattling has gone, you can put your hand on the sub at decent volume and barely feel any vibration, and there's a good amount of air pumping out of the port on the front. I think the limiting factor is the little Bose drivers now, as they are being driven by a 300w amp, and are struggling. I've ordered the only 6.5" sub I can find from Car Audio Direct today, a JL unit, I could probably shoe horn an 8" Rockford Fosgate driver in there but I think this would be overkill given the limited volume of the enclosure. Even the 6.5" unit has nowhere near the enclosure space it needs, it's really an experiment. I don't think there are replacement Bose speakers available, I've never seen any. The limiting factor is the lack of bass. If you install a good sub, you can turn down the bass to the door speakers and get a much better sound from them. I'll keep everyone posted.
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  16. philsudbury
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    philsudbury Member

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    [Oct 15, 2003]
    hmm, i've been thinking about this too. Did you lose radio / cd display on the dash with the kenwood head unit?
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  17. SimonP
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    SimonP Member

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    [Oct 16, 2003]
    phil65 - you will lose the in-dash display if you change from the Audi head unit to any after market unit. The top portion of the display, above the temp, will simply remain blank.

    Personally I haven't really found it a huge loss as it never displayed the CD-text name anyway, just track number, though I do still find myself glancing at it every now and again.
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  18. tomsinclair
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    tomsinclair Member

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    [Oct 16, 2003]
    Yes the display in the dash does disappear but don't really miss it as all the info is on the HU. The other warning indicators still work if needed.
    #17
  19. ben
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    ben New Member

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    [Oct 30, 2003]
    i'm interested in the adapters/blanks that fit either side of the standard HU so it fits the Audi HU sized hole. Does anyone know if these components are available in the polished wood look material you find in S3s ? I've looked all over the net but nothing.
    #18
  20. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 30, 2003]
    I doubt it, they are usually designed to match the HU rather than the dash trim.
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