I'm not that critical a listener and hence wasn't that dissatisfied with the factory Bose speakers. But I wanted to use a head unit with a removable face (I live in New York City). I considered replacing the active Bose speakers, but it's a bigger project than simply changing the head unit. A quick switch of the head unit would immediately reduce the possibility of vandalism and give me time to consider different speaker alternatives.
A number of listers previously recommended the Crutchfield interface ($89.95), which I installed following Crutchfield's instructions. I am using the rear window antenna. (I assume an external antenna would greatly improve my reception?)
I also found that the (2 volt) preamp outputs from my Alpine head unit mate up with the Bose active speakers without using the Crutchfield interface. The overall system amplification with this setup was lower than when using the Crutchfield interface hooked up to the head unit's speaker level outputs. This is actually better because much more of the range of the head unit's volume control is usable (with the Crutchfield interface, low volume settings on the head unit are already quite loud). However, the loud crackling noise, that occurred with the Crutchfield interface and only when I turned off the head unit (I mistakenly said it also occurred when I turned on the head unit), also occurs every time a station or function (tape, CD player, etc.) is changed. The crackling noise and the alternator whine level are unaffected by the volume setting of the head unit. With the volume set at its lowest level (no source coming through the speakers), the crackling noise and alternator whine are just as loud as they are with the volume set high.
Just a rew questions. Has anyone had a better experience using the Crutchfield Bose interface with head units from manufacturers other than Alpine? Does anyone know how the Audi head units eliminates the alternator whine/crackling noise? Al and others: What speakers did you install in place of the Bose speakers (I'm not sure I'm quite ready to do as much as Sargent did)? Wolff: Are you satisfied with the Bose speakers driven directly by your (Sony) head unit?
Thanks for your help,