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Old 5th August 2006, 05:04 AM   #1
TO-3 is offline TO-3  Peru
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Default Bose System

Hey all. I recently purchased a ne-used car (97 Nissan Maxima) with a Bose system. Well not only is it bad to listen to, it skips on CDs with no scratches and brand new CDs.

My question, to any of you that may have had one of these systems, is where is/are the amps? and can I just swap in a new deck with minimal problems? I can figure it out but I am first opting for the easy answer. I have any test equipment that I need so if I need to do any minor, or major, operations, I am ready.

I was told by one friend that the amp is behind the deck. While I will replace the amp later, I just want to change the HU right away. I have also heard the the amps may be in the doors by the speakers? I have had no luck on the Nissan forums.

Thanks,

Jon
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Old 5th August 2006, 06:15 AM   #2
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Good luck...Bose is a bitch. Not only does it sound bad, they make the system's so hard to hack that you pretty much have to replace the entire thing if you want to get a decent system going.

AFAIK the amps are located behind the speakers. You could attempt to wire the speakers to the headunit directly, but be careful, the speaker + is attached to the amp +, but the speaker - is grounded to the vehicle's chassis, you need to take some care when wiring it to the headunit or you risk shorting out the headunit and destroying its built in amplifier.

If I had direct access to the vehicle I could give you more info, but I don't, so this is all I can give you for now...
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Old 5th August 2006, 07:12 AM   #3
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Nice response!

and the parameters for the Bose speakers are incredibly unusual...I think bypassing the Bose amps with an aftermarket head unit would make the speakers sound worse, really.
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Old 5th August 2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. I do hate the POS system and maybe it is time I break down and just buy new installation stuff. My current stuff is in storage in Denver, too far away. I guess I will endure until I can replace the front speakers as well and throw my amp in there as well.
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Old 5th August 2006, 03:27 PM   #5
rt7085 is offline rt7085  United States
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Default Bose Speakers

The headunit is not made by Bose; Bose is not in the headunit business. Only the amplifiers and the speakers are made by Bose. Applying any kind of after market speaker is perceived as 'tricky' because Bose speakers have a very low voice-coil impedance. It is usually 1 Ohm for the large bass drivers and 2 or 4 Ohms for the smaller drivers. So, when you select new amplifiers, make sure they can drive loads down to ~0.9 Ohms, to keep them out of the current protection or clipping mode. Picking an amplifier that cannot deal with this will lead to bad sound and/or blowing the drivers and/or the amplifier, for that reason. The Bose speakers are actually not bad at all, as long as you have an amplifier that can deal with them. The low impdance is chosen to be able to get more power into them. V^2/R is twice as large going from 2 to 1 Ohms, while having the same battery voltage. That is the sole reason. You probably try to listen at high volumes and experience non-optimal sound quality. This is because Bose protects their system by use of compressors, which are a bit on the agressive side for reliability reasons, making the sound quality change at high volumes; it effectively changes the EQ in a non-linear fashion. If you can turn the volume knob with care and avoid overdriving the speakers, you can make an attempt to turn the compressors off by picking an amplifier without them. Hacking the Bose amplifiers is also possible, but very hard. If you have to ask, don't attempt. Of course, you do have to re-equalize the system, because you also loose all your EQ by replacing the amplifiers. But you can mimic that with a aftermarket parametric EQ. You can get the curves by sweeping the stock amplifiers. Finally, Nissan has a CAN control network that controls the amplifier, e.g. turns the amplifier off. Now you have to do that using your iginition key.
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Old 6th August 2006, 07:20 AM   #6
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All that Bose equipment is repairable. And when repaired properly it sounds very good to the average car owner. This is why it has become the defacto standard amoung auto builders worldwide.
That and its fairly economical system to build into a car.

Some amps are located in a plastic enclosure behind each indivdual speaker. Others like Mercedes have one or more black box's located in the trunk or under the seat that hold all the amplifiers together in groups.
I know this because I repair the amps from time to time. I leave speaker replacement to my installer type buddies (I don't work on cars).
Anyway the head units are name brand manufactured.
So the deck is a name brand deck built to implement the Bose output standard that was developed entirely for the car audio industry.
Sorry to hear your deck is skipping, have you tried a cleaning CD to see if its lens dust related ???

Aftermarket companis make Bose interface modules that supply you RCA level signals, but they mostly cause sound quality issues. This is because Bose refuses to release any info on their private system.
There is a way around the Bose line level issue using all stock Bose equipment that will supply a RCA level signal via Bose decoding chips and it will have the EQ settings needed to make the Bose speakers sound like they should. ( not a cheap solution )

The other catch is you must run amps that are 1 ohm compatible as this is the load Bose decided worked best with 12 volt class D amp designs to get some real power to the driver.
There are a lot of 1 ohm amps out on the market. Phoenix Gold, and JL audio to name two. So between all of the posts you have the low down on Bose systems.
We repair the systems because there are a lot of folks out there that don't want to install a complete system in their car just to get a stereo to listen to. And not to mention the customization required to yank out all that Bose and replace it with aftermarket that fits and sounds acceptable.
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Old 6th August 2006, 12:53 PM   #7
rt7085 is offline rt7085  United States
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Default Line Level Inputs

The problem of signal matching between the head unit and amplifier is something you can easily fix. All you need to know is how much signal level the head unit puts out. Just burn yourself a disk with a 0 dBFS sine wave and turn the volume knob of the headunit up to maximum (or to a level just before clipping). Disconnect the amplifier.... or else.... Consider whether the headunit puts out a differential signal or a single ended signal. With Bose is is probably differential because it is more noise immune. This is why aftemarket amplifiers don't like to match up with Bose amplifiers, because they are commonly single ended. Anyway, every amplifier has a resistor attenuator circuit before you go into the ADC's. Rescale these to make the headunit line levels "fit" into the ADC, e.g. without overdriving them. The ADC input parameters can be found in dataheets all over the internet.
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Old 6th August 2006, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by justonemoreamp
~SNIP~ Sorry to hear your deck is skipping, have you tried a cleaning CD to see if its lens dust related ???

I have not used a lens cleaning disk on it. I have blown air in the deck and sometimes that helps. I once tried to take the deck out to do a thourogh job and cleaning off all of the elctronics and clean the optics properly, but I could not really figure out how to take my dash apart. Odd considiering most of my other cars I had no problems disassembeling.

My question was more out of curiosity. I was in the car audio industry for several years and I came to dislike Bose systems and I have always intended to change it out. I plan on buying separate components for the fronts and I am still trying to figure out what to do for a sub amp, but that is not as important as getting my main amp in. I just wanted to know if Bose would make it difficult for me to swap out the HU so I could start the transfomation. For now I will save up and upgrade the whole system at once. Maybe I'll give it another shot and try extracting my deck again to do surgery.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 6th August 2006, 06:41 PM   #9
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carstereohelp.com has instructions for your deck removal. Hope this helps out a bit.
We use this sites info from time to time on those "how did they do that" installs lol lol lol Good luck!
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Old 6th August 2006, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by justonemoreamp
carstereohelp.com has instructions for your deck removal. Hope this helps out a bit.
We use this sites info from time to time on those "how did they do that" installs lol lol lol Good luck!
THANKS!!!
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