: Replace entire stereo/nav system?



teros1
01-22-07, 11:02 AM
I've searched the forum/FAQ...they helped, but I couldn't find examples of this....

I've done significant work in upgrading my sound system (Cleansweep/amp/speakers/sub/Dynamat).

I've now determined that the huge weak link in terms of sound quality is the front end -- even the sound from the CD player sucks (and XM is far worse). My Cleansweep just doesn't help enough.

How do I know this? When I connect a $40 portable CD player to my AUX input (bypassing all the front-end/Cleansweep electronics), the sound quality improves 200%

So I see two options:

1. Hardwiring a ($300 or so) front end unit to the AUX input. This should work fine, and I'd only lack such features as 'fade.'

2. Replace the whole radio/CD/nav (including LCD) with a new Eclipse or Alpine unit. These have much-improved sonic and nav capabilities, but I'd lose the features available through the LCD (e.g., personalization) and probably nav, onstar, ???

(There may be a #3 -- somehow fitting the aftermarket front-end/nav unit to run in parallel to the present system.)

Since I dislike or nav (a lot), I'm tempted by #2.

Key question: Does anyone have experience with #2 (or #3)? Did it work? How much hassle was it to lose those features?

Thanks in advance,

Bob

Ak Jim
01-22-07, 01:51 PM
Could there be some thing wrong with the cd player in the head unit? Have you listened to other Vs or swapped out your head unit? Just a thought.

ssmith100
01-22-07, 02:12 PM
Teros,

The answer to your problem (and I have the same problem) is the Alpine VPA-B222. It will do everything you want and still allow you to keep the factory DAC stuff intact. You will have to have the factory NAV hacked to use the video input of the VPA but there are companies out there that will do it. TVandNAV2go being one of them. I have researched doing this for about two months now since most of the BMW guys are going this route so they can keep there factory DAC's and love this thing. Check it out here.
http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=VPA-B222

I am probably going to go with the new Alpine PXE-H650 instead with the new imprint technology which looks to be killer. The Cleansweep and the 3sixty (I have) just don't offer enough in allowing us to add external components to them. One set of aux ins isn't the answer.

Shane

ssmith100
01-22-07, 02:18 PM
Teros,

This is your second option. This is a dash kit made by Metra (Part number 99-2006) that will let you mount anything in there. Goin this way you will lose the factory DAC stuff though unless you can find another place to put it. Glovebox maybe???? Looked at this route myself.

Shane

darkwingfrog
01-22-07, 03:24 PM
You can add any system you want and keep your DIC if you find an OEM radio, non-nav, and mod it like I did. The details are in Reed's FAQ and can be found in the link in my signature.

ssmith100
01-22-07, 04:45 PM
Frog,

The problem is the V Nav DIC has a lot more access control than the standard DIC. The best solution would be to hack the Nav screen and use something like the Alpine vehicle hub. My problem is Nav2go wants $450.00 to do the modification and then of course the warranty on the factory nav unit is VOID.

I don't really mind voiding my warranty but I'm not paying $450.00 to do it. With the aux in of the hub it would allow the DAC and all it's functions.......NAV voice command, on-star.......etc to still work.

Shane

darkwingfrog
01-22-07, 05:35 PM
Out of curriosity, what access controls does the V Nav DIC have that the other DIC's don't?

ssmith100
01-22-07, 06:26 PM
The V's have a screen that goes to the "Competitive Driver Mode" that you have to accept from the DIC. The info screen and the setup screen I believe offer a few more features. I'm not sure that even the regular CTS DIC would even work with the V. The mod you made was very thought out and If I had a regular CTS would have definetly been an option for me.

Shane

yourgmsolutions
01-22-07, 11:52 PM
I don't really mind voiding my warranty but I'm not paying $450.00 to do it.



I know someone who can do it for $250, and also in case if radio has to go for warranty, he puts it everything back to stock, before you take it to the dealer (you just paying for shipping).
he is coming back by end of February, so if you still want it, that's not a problem

ssmith100
01-23-07, 12:13 AM
Very interested Mr Geek. How soon is he going to be back???

SHane

teros1
01-23-07, 12:22 AM
Could there be some thing wrong with the cd player in the head unit? Have you listened to other Vs or swapped out your head unit? Just a thought.

Alaska Jim,

I don't think that my CD player is defective.

In fact, it's quite possible (probable) that the stock CD player is at least OK. (Unlike the stock XM player, which is garbage.)

I believe that the real problem is the Bose electronics, and the inability of the CleanSweep to adequately compensate for their weaknesses and/or idiosyncracies.

Stay warm,

Bob

teros1
01-23-07, 12:46 AM
All,

Thanks much for your helpful replies.

The approach that I am currently leaning toward is simply removing the stock stuff (including the screen/buttons) and installing an aftermarket front end (radio, CD, nav, Sirius).

The result would look very much like the Metra picture (thanks Shane!).

Has anybody done this in a V?

Is there any 'really bad' downside (other than the obvious loss of access to personalization, the Competition mode display, 'door open,' etc.) to this approach?

In other words, will the car still work OK?

Thanks much,

Bob

teros1
01-23-07, 12:48 AM
You can add any system you want and keep your DIC if you find an OEM radio, non-nav, and mod it like I did. The details are in Reed's FAQ and can be found in the link in my signature.

Interesting...I'll look into this too!

Thanks,

Bob

teros1
01-23-07, 01:20 AM
This Eclipse system is another big reason I'd like to change -- built-in 30GB HD, automatically rips CD's as you play, and an optional back-up camera!

http://www.eclipse-web.com/avn/avn5495overviews.html

Bob

SBONES
01-23-07, 08:48 AM
i hear ya...im in the same boat...i have all jl audio...and the cleansweep. it's all in the signal..stock radio sucks.

SBONES
01-23-07, 08:51 AM
that eclipce is nice...real nice. i also have a stinger back up batt in the back. i need a stronger altonator..i hope i spelled that right. i would like to know how you make out with your stuff..my batt is dead if i dont drive the car.

darkwingfrog
01-23-07, 12:41 PM
This Eclipse system is another big reason I'd like to change -- built-in 30GB HD, automatically rips CD's as you play, and an optional back-up camera!

http://www.eclipse-web.com/avn/avn5495overviews.html

Bob

I went with the Pioneer because it has the same features as the eclipse but it records at 4x to the hard drive. The eclipse records as it plays in real time and just takes too long IMO.

lunarx
01-23-07, 01:52 PM
I think someone needs to test a CTS DIC in a V to see if loosing the V's NAV is an option for us.
That dam'n NAV is going to date our otherwise timeless cars.
The sooner we can ditch it and put modern electronics in our cars the better.

It sucks how auto manufacturers use the outdated NAV systems as a way to force people to trade in their cars instead of offering upgrades to new technology.

teros1
01-24-07, 02:13 AM
I went with the Pioneer because it has the same features as the eclipse but it records at 4x to the hard drive. The eclipse records as it plays in real time and just takes too long IMO.

Thanks much for the tip. The Pioneer unit does look superior in several key ways. I'll definitely investigate further.

Bob

ctsvett
01-25-07, 12:31 AM
people with regular CTSs have replaced the head unit...

Bottom line is if you repalce the head unit you will lose functionality (TC, personalization, trip odo, battery guage, warning messages!, etc).

Bottom LINE. My recommendation is to reloate the head unit (glove box) and use a kit to mount a full LCD/ CARPUTER/ aftermarket head unit into the place that it is now.

ssmith100
01-25-07, 10:26 AM
I really don't think relocation is the answer and I'm really not sure it would fit in the glove box...............I tried :banghead:

The only real answer we have right now is the CleanSweep, 3sixty, or the new Alpine PXE-H560. You could have Nav2go do there video input mod to the factory deck and use something like the Alpine Vehicle Hub but that is going to get expensive. It would probably be the best solution, but expensive.

I talked to PAC yesterday for about ten minutes to see if they were going to build an adapter to help with our problem since they just released a bunch of new ones at CES. There response.......no. Apparently the BUS system our car uses is only used by the CTS with Nav. They haven't been able to crack it yet and still allow us to keep the DSP settings and on-star. Maybe next year.

I really think the PXE-H650 will be an answer for us. Who wants to be the first???????

Shane

atdeneve
01-26-07, 09:54 AM
If using the Alpine vehicle hub, is the Cleansweep / 3sixty / Alpine PXE-H560 still neccessary?

What exactly does the vehicle hub provide for - the option to use the above processors in parallel, as opposed to in-line with the stock headunit, thereby going around the crappy signal?

Really itching to overhaul the whole audio system. Just wanna go the best route. A computer install with a large hard drive and all of the endless possiblities that come with it seems like the ultimate set-up. Anyway, if y'all audiophile gurus provide some guidance / info, I'll bring the plunger.

Damn, really gotta do some lookin' into all this craziness. Cept don't even know where to start. Shite.

ssmith100
01-26-07, 11:42 AM
If you use the HUB then the CleanSweep, 3sixty or PXE-H650 "are not" necassary. You will have to add a video monitor or have the factory NAV modified to accept another video input. The HUB has an auxillary input (Speaker level inputs) that allows you to switch back to the factory Nav, on-star......etc so you still have access to your factory DAC.

The HUB is basically it's own Alpine radio (AM, FM, XM) but allows you to connect the Alpine changer, Blackbird...........etc. The nice thing about the HUB is it allows your new external amps to be connected to it and not have to use the input signal out of the Bose amplifier. I would recomend going to the Alpine site and down loading the user manual and it will show you all it's capable of doing along with how to install.

The most expensive thing will be having the factory NAV modified for a video input as most places charge about $450.00 to do it and it "will" void the warranty on the NAV unit. The other option of course is having an external monitor put some place.

Shane

atdeneve
01-26-07, 12:14 PM
The factory NAV itself, as far as its general track record seems to indicate, has not really been a problem in terms of needing warranty repairs, has it? The buttons, yes, but the NAV software itself, aside from its inherent quirks? And the buttons can not be denied warranty on the basis of the NAV hack. Hell, they probably won't even know.

Also, GM Geek mentioned that it could be done for 250. Even better, would it be possible for the hack to be easily switched back and forth, being reloaded as neccessary?

By the way, why does the Hub need a video monitor? It can't just be 'hooked up' to the NAV, without the video input hack?

Yea, I should take a look at the manual to get a better idea of its capabilities. Gratz.

ssmith100
01-26-07, 01:19 PM
The hub has to have some type of display so you can see what your doing.

Shane

teros1
01-27-07, 11:08 PM
Well, I ordered the Eclipse AVN5495, and I intend to install it without any Bose stuff inline. (The Pioneer AVIC's superior nav and broader feature set were tempting....)

I intend to try to preserve the factory features by installing the radio elsewhere -- maybe a bigger custom enclosure in the trunk than the one that I already have.

Failing that, I will try to do without the factory features (personalization, etc.). My biggest concern is losing the LOW FUEL warning, esp the way the Maggie gulps gas when prodded.

I should have some results to report in about a week...exciting stuff! :stirpot:

Bob

thebigjimsho
01-27-07, 11:16 PM
Your avatar is still freaky looking.

ctsvett
01-28-07, 01:06 AM
somebody mentioned that TC will not work without the radio. I dont think competition mode will but I have not personally confirmed these two points.

Careful.

Reed

dvandentop
01-29-07, 11:42 AM
anyone want to sell me a stock nav?

BeagleBrains
01-29-07, 02:04 PM
I wish there was still a Radio Delete option. Then my A/V choices are expanded exponentially. In my Jeep Wrangler, I remove everything and do a total custom install. Very gratifying. However, my wife wants her car, the V, untouched.
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/v3/pg/division/demo/0,,2076_310069681,00.html#unit=AVIC%20Z1&section=VEHICLE%20FITMENT
Every aftermarket manufacturer has specific applications, the Cadillac included. Of course, all of the current applications include iPod and such connections with controls. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: