interfacing to 200 amplified speakers

Linus Toy linust at
Wed Jul 10 23:43:01 EDT 2002

At 02:45 PM 7/10/2002 -0400, Dan Simoes wrote:
>As some of you know, I have a 91 200 wagon (at the moment!) and I am
>replacing the stock Gamma radio with a non-OEM Aiwa unit.
>Crutchfield sells an adapter to allow you to connect to the amplified
>rear speakers (PAC OEM-2, $29.99) and I'm wondering if this is needed or
>if there might be other brands out there that are better.

>I may eventually replace the rear speakers but for now I want to leave
>them in.  My car is the non-Bose so I assume this adapter just converts
>the head unit output from an amplified to non-amplified signal, allowing
>the speaker amps to do their job.
>Any BTDT appreciated.  Thanks.

This isn't exactly the same, as I have a 91 200q sedan w/ Bose (had
Bose).  Over the 4th of July weekend, I installed a new Alpine 7874 head
unit with inexpensive 6x9 rears and 3.5" fronts (under the dash screens --
it really needs a 4", but the 4"s I found have too big a magnet to clear
the rest of the stuff under there)...Some of you are going to say WTF? but
there was some logic to all some may recall, I feel the real
music from the car comes from 20valves under the hood, so I originally
vowed to keep this simple and inexpensive.  After two speakers and the head
unit went bad, my plan was to install an old (period correct) Blaupunkt
Lexington (originally from my '87 4000csq) along with simple generic
speakers...after acquiring and installing the speakers, I bench tested the
Blaupunkt...10+ years of idleness didn't do good for the radio
reception, and controls for the tape were non-op.  oops.  A little
research, and the 7874 seemed to be the best bang for the buck.

Install leveraged what I could of the original components...
*  I left in the original 6-disc changer (even though the 7874 has its own
CD player).
*  the bose speakers were common grounded...I couldn't find any warning
against common grounding for the Alpine, but the Blaupunkt warned against
common grounding, so I undid this...the speaker ground wires are crimped
together at the radio end of the speaker wiring harness, before the signal
leads plug into the factory harness connector.
*  On the speaker end, the factory connector has four conductors.  Two of
these are switched power and ground for the amp, the other two are
signal/ground for the speaker.  Removing the factory connector from the
Bose speaker, I crimped 1/4" QC on the signal/ground wires for the speaker
and plugged it into the 6x9.  The power and ground for the amp go unused
*  Pyle 6x9 3-way speakers mount to the Bose 6.5" adapter.  Need to find
some 1/4" to 3/8" foam to fill the gap between the adapter and the speaker
frame (there's a huge paper stack glued on the Bose speaker to fill that gap.
*  I didn't feel like disassembling the front door panels so I decided to
drop speakers into the dash.  These literally drop into a slot and mounting
stud under the dash grill.  Anyone know what the best fitting speaker is
for this?  The cheap 3.5" speakers I got work, but are a tad small for the
space.  This does require fishing new wires to the head unit--easy on the
passenger side, more challenging on the driver side.
*  I used a Crutchfield factory harness adapter ($15), so I didn't cut the
factory harness (except for the common grounds on the speakers).  However,
it is really designed for the non-Bose cars, so I had to do some
verification of leads in the factory harness.  In addition, there's no
wiring diagram for the Bose system in the Bentley (but there is one for the
non-Bose wagon).  Interestingly, the Crutchfield wiring harness adapter
follows the same color code as the Alpine, and different from the factory
wires.  Hans & Franz strike again.

Sound...Just fine, thank you, for what I want, given the suspension on my
car (H&R V8 springs, Bilstein, 235/45-17" rubber) and the roads around here
(Seattle).  My "commute"--taking the girls to day care during rush
hour--isn't conducive to fine audio.  My listening preferences tend toward
neutral, open sound.  Its been a few months since I've had sound in my car,
so this is great :)  No sub, so no major thump from the system, if that's
what you want.  The dash speakers do much better than I expected, with good
presence and imaging (despite the reflection off the window) but perhaps
that's just their location vs. the down-low door speakers from
before.  Since this is all very subjective, if anyone in the Seattle area
wants a listen, drop me a line.

*  Linus Toy                      Insanity is doing the same thing   *
*  Mercer Island, WA              you've always done and expecting   *
*  linust at          different results                  *
*                                      - Roger Milliken              *

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