: 94 Concours Radio Question

05-17-05, 06:58 PM
Hey, thanks for looking at this post. My question is: What radios from other models and years will fit my 94 Concours. I have the standard am/fm cass and want to put in an updated Bose unit.


05-18-05, 11:10 AM

I don't think the base system control head can be replaced with a bose control head that easily. The reason being that the Bose systems all have discreet amplifier modules attached to each of the speakers, rather than a single central amp located in the head unit or in the trunk (this varies by model/year, my 95 base deville had an integrated stock head unit with no trunk module, concours base system was different and bose was different again).

Bottom line, even though these head units used the E&C bus (in 94 and 95, 96 and up are all class II bus which is different again) to control the amp/tuner module in the trunk, the bose systems have a unique amplifier arrangement, thus the bose head unit probably won't work with the remaining parts of the system being non-bose.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Cadillac has really stuck us with a load of crap as far as sound systems go. The stock systems (regular and bose) are now so integrated into the vehicle electronics that they are nearly impossible to change and end up with a clean installation that doesn't cause some kind of aggravation.

I raise this point because I am a firm believer that anything the car makers (including Caddy) can do as far as sound systems are concerned can be (and usually is) done better by the aftermarket. Personally I think the Bose systems sound like garbage - as do all Bose products IMHO.

My brother has a TOTL Bose with RDS and DSP in his 99 Deville and it is WAY to heavy on the bass and too lean in the high end even with the tone controls set flat. If you don't use the DSP it sounds thin, and if you do use it, it gets to muddy. Basically, I've found no way to get what I consider to be a decent sound out of it - and if I'm driving the car, then the only opinion of what sounds good that matters is mine, not what some engineer at Delco or Bose thought.

This is all the more irrirtataing since removal of the stock system requires a lot of work, ingenuity and extra parts (interface adaptors etc.) to prevent the car from popping codes due to the loss of the factory radio electronics (it looks for them on the data bus, and will cause errors if they are missing) and to retain the use of the steering wheel controls among other things.

Another issue is that of being able to upgrade to a better factory system. This [increasingly] is not an option as the cars are spec'd and built for a certain audio system setup at the factory. Even if you could justify the price of a better factory head unit, there are often other modules required, and harnesses are different from one system to the next making it a nightmare (and an expensive one at that) to try and put an uplevel factory system in place of a base system. This is just stupid. Look at the CTS - if you don't order a car with XM from the factory, there is no good seamless way to add it after the fact. I don't understand this mentality at all - for God's sake, they could provide an upgrade path that would make something like this possible, they just chose not to. Are they trying to be vindictive, or are they just clueless?

My other complaint is that the up-level factory systems are grossly overpriced when the vehicle is bought new. For the money you'd shell out on a bose system (yeah, look at that option list on the window sticker and laugh - or gag) in a brand new Cadillac, you could get enough high end aftermarket equipment to set off seismographs in Hong Kong and still get better sound. Of course, they don't seem to want you to have this option as they have made so difficult to get rid of the factory system so you can put something really decent in.

Now that I've got that off my chest, I don't want anyone here to think I'm down on Cadillac. I love my Caddy, and wouldn't drive anything else. Moreover, all the car makers have adopted this program of essentially locking you into the lousy factory systems, so this isn't a problem unique to Cadillac or even GM.

I guess most people are content with the mediocre to average factory stuff, so that's what the car makers design for. This attitude comes at the expense of those of us who prefer to "roll our own" and so now we have to jump through hoops to get to where we want to be, when it used to be so easy <sigh>.

Oh well, I don't suppose I gave the anwer you wanted (sorry) but this post gave me an opportunity to air out my grievences on the subject. I'm done bitchin' now, I promise.