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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some specs on the mid 80s Bose systems.

I have a 1985 Cadillac Eldorado, My factory headunit gave up the ghost a long time ago and I recently installed an aftermarket headunit. I believe my speakers each have their own amps, the rear ones appear to at a cursory glance although I haven't taken a closer look.

Most discussion I see here is on 90s model Caddys with Bose systems and I'm seeing a lot of secondhand info but not much real specs or technical info.

I've gotten my aftermarket headunit working with the Bose speakers (smooth sailing once I found out about the remote amp trigger wire), sound isn't great but they are 20 year old speakers. I haven't really noticed much distortion in the signal, more like the EQ across the spectrum is not balanced (some frequency ranges appear diminished, almost like a phasing issue.) and the right side channels, both front and rear, appear to be weaker than the left side channels.

However, I'm concerned about the Ohm levels and wonder if the Bose system from the mid 80s is similar to the systems from the 90s models and if I need any converters in my setup to prevent damage to my headunit.

I'm looking for specs, from what info I've come across so far, I gather at the very least, the headunit would send too hot a signal to the factory Bose amps on each speaker, which would mainly cause distortion and only cause damage at high volumes. But at worst, the ohm difference could fry my headunit.

Can anyone point me in the direction of some actual specs I could read and understand? I'm considering maybe wiring up some extra speakers in series to balance out the ohms and add sound reinforcement. In theory this would work but I'm guessing I'm missing something that's Bose specific, since I haven't seen anyone here suggest that as an alternative to outright replacing the entire system.

So, anyone that has any advice or can point me to some actual technical info, it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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2005 STS4 1SG: GM Acc Lights, Corsa, Platnium Grille, Volant
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The 80's Bose system was still powered by 4 mini amps each outputting only 50 watts back then as opposed to the 100 watts the newer ones did. All Bose speakers, and by all i mean throught Boses history in car audio, operate at 1 ohm. You can use the new hu with the stock bose but your risking frying the bose amps or worse yet your new hu. By adding speakers all you do is DECREASE the ohms of each individual speaker therefore only creating more risk. You best option DUMP THE BOSE. Cut the wires right before the amp, use the two speaker wires, tape off the power and ground for the amps and connect the speaker wires to the new speakers. Trust me it will be a huge improvement especally over 80's Bose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well, actually, increasing or decreasing ohms is determined by how you wire up the speakers, wiring in series will typically increase the ohm load, wiring in parallel would decrease the ohm load. there is still the matter of wattage to take into account but the info you provided gives me a good jumping off point.

one thing i'm unclear on here is that if the speaker is 1 ohm, that means the bose amp is rated for a one ohm load. typically that means it is capable of handling a slightly higher ohm load, probably 2-4 ohms but that depends on the amp itself. in any case, changing out the headunit would not change the ohm load, it just changes the level of the signal going to the amp.

is 1 ohm referring to the speaker or the amp? my understanding is the amp wouldn't be expected to provide an ohm load to the headunit, the distortion is just an artifact of sending an amplified signal into another amplified signal, similar to how guitar amps have multiple gain stages to add distortion. i could be wrong on this but, as a musician, i've never had to deal with ohm loads from amps connected to amps, only speakers connected to amps.

I know the door panel speakers are shallower than standard aftermarket speakers so i don't want to have to replace those unless i can find some the same size.
 

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I agree. It won't hurt your headunit unless you run it for a little while, but it's not worth the risk. I hooked one Bose speaker up to my home theater and it did alright for about 10 minutes. Then my amp started making funny sizzling sounds, so I disconnected it. 1ohm is almost a direct short, so it's sorta like crossing the speaker wires. Not all of the speakers Bose used in cars are 1 ohm, the mid 90's Acura's used a 2 and sometimes 4 ohm speakers. All of the GM ones are the Bose only speakers usless you get a converter for your HU.
 

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sry i neglected to remember bose in other vechicals i ment 1 ohm always for GM. As for the ohm load i suppose you could say the bose amps are "1 ohm stable" im useing that term VERY losely, however is it really worth the risk. I did the same test JC316 did with my home system. Sure it worked for awhile then the reciever shut off completely. I had to unplug it and plug it back in to even get the thing to power back up. In short why risk it? if youve changed the hu then obviously your not in it for the stock look so get some decent speaks and run them instead pioneer are very shallow built with flush tweeters so those would be rather god for your front speaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
cool, thanks for all the info, i'll look for some pioneer speakers. i do plan on upgrading everything eventually. i didn't pay much for my current headunit because i wasn't sure if there was any electrical problems contributing to the stock headunit dying or not.

if it works for now, as it seems to be and i don't experience any problems, i'll hold off on replacing the speakers for a few weeks and save up for some really good ones.
 
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