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Stock stereo options...

Since we're on the subject...  I think I know the answer to my question, but
I'd like to hear any opinions/thoughts.

Is it possible/plausible to replace the factory (non-Bose) head unit in the
late 80's model 80/90 without replacing the factory speakers?

My assessment thus far is no.

The front speakers are powered by an amplifier built into the head unit - no
problem there.  But the rear speakers have their own amplifiers attached to
the speaker frames.  This means that they're receiving an unamplified signal
from the head unit.  I suppose you could buy an aftermarket head unit with
RCA outs and try to utilize that signal as a supply to the rear speakers,
but I have my doubts.  Anyone been down this road?

I suspect my best option will be to pull all four speakers, install well
matched components, then install an aftermarket head unit.

I had a JVC FM-modulated CD changer hooked into the factory system and it
sounded pretty decent actually, but it croaked on me two weeks ago (6 years
of service...not bad).  Not having CD audio is driving me nuts.  I've heard
other listers condemn FM modulated CD changers, and I know they're not as
clean as direct digital output, but it was a really economical alternative
to gutting the entire system and starting over.  These hybrid self-amplified
factory systems are a real pain in the a$$.  The FM mod option was the
ultimate in security.  Factory head unit, speakers etc. with CD changer and
Sub concealed in the trunk.   Worked really well, but I don't really want to
invest in another FM modulated changer for fear that the factory headunit,
or a self-amped speaker will croak a month down the road and make me wish
I'd just bought a new headunit.

Thanks for letting me vent.  Again, I think I know my options, just thought
I'd throw it out for discussion.

Dan Sinclair
1988 Audi 90, 69K mi.
Picture and details online at: