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Bought a used 997 with an aftermarket head unit

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Old 04-17-2018, 01:35 PM
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Rulez
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Default Bought a used 997 with an aftermarket head unit

I picked up a used 997.1 last week and it has an aftermarket head unit (Pioneer AVIC 7200 NEX). It's a pretty nice unit but the sound in the car is TERRIBLE. The car is non-Bose so I know it won't be great, but it's beyond bad and it makes me think something isn't right.

I'm assuming even non-Bose stereos have an amp somewhere in the car. Is it built into the factory PCM? If it's external, when installing an aftermarket HU do you have to replace the factory amp? Is there a way to retain it?

I don't know much about car audio, so I appreciate any help I can get. I had a 996TT before this with Bose and an Audi S4 with Bang and Olufsen. I don't need anything fancy, but it can't be crap either
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:38 PM
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Well, the best bet would be to find a good car audio shop and get the car fixed up with some good speakers and amp and stuff. As weak as the Bose unit is, the non-Bose is even worse. If they just dropped the head unit in place and left the OEM speakers in it, there's a lot to be desired. I don't know if the .1 cars have an amp for non-Bose systems (the .2 has PCM3 which needs an external amp to drive speakers bose or not). They may have bypassed any original amp, or perhaps the head unit is directly driving the not very good speakers.

But given that it is aftermarket, no telling who put it in or what they did to it in the process. You could pull the head unit out and look at how it is wired in. With any luck, they used a harness adaptor and did a minimum amount of hacking. Or it could be handyman special. No telling until you look at it.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:49 PM
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I pulled it out and took a look and they definitely used a harness adapter. It's not hacked up at all, although they didn't wire up the parking brake so there are certain features I can't use (Android Auto, for example).

There is a shop near me that I've used before so maybe I'll see what they say. Hopefully they know specifics about the audio systems in our cars.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:05 PM
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Tarek307
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Even if it was BOSE it won't sound as great as with the OEM unit- I spent $2,000 to update my car and i'm not happy with the way sound turned out at all.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:32 PM
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With the Pioneer 7200, you have a powerful, modern platform that could be updated for a MUCH BETTER audio experience. You need a new amp and better speakers. I used an AudioLab amp and Focal speakers, married to the Pioneer 8201 NEX. It's not a true surround sound system, but the clarity and dynamic range are close to the Mark Levinson system in my old Lexus LS. The focals swap right in to the existing enclosures. Any decent audio professional can do this for you. Sounds awesome and it shouldn't be a huge investment.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:55 AM
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My Focal upgrade turned out great as well - they've become my go to speaker company. In the 997 I had Bose and changed all the speakers and the sub amp, but left the PCM and the Bose amp. I could use a slightly stronger sub amp with the gain turned down but its still a million times better than the weird equalization and muddy sound from the Bose speakers.

In my 928 I did a full custom install using all Focal speakers except the sub - component 3-way speakers in the doors with 6" woofers, 4" mids, and separate tweeters, 6" 2-ways for the rear seats, and a 6 channel 1,000 watt amp driving them all with a JVC head unit that also displays the image from a license plate backup camera.

Attached is the write-up I did on the 997 speaker install.
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:07 AM
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they probably just put the radio in it, so i would have someone do amps and speakers. There are adapters that will allow full use while driving
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:54 AM
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I replaced my Bose with the AVIC 8000. Swapped out the amp with a JL Audio and Pioneer crossovers. Still have the Bose speakers (next upgrade), but the sound is pretty good. BTW, there is a firmware upgrade available for the AVICs that now has Apple CarPlay. Check out the Pioneer website to download. The only thing I'm missing, control wise is the station showing up on the main display on the dash. Just shows ----

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Old 04-19-2018, 10:03 AM
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Bruce In Philly
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An aftermarket head unit with original non-premium speakers should sound good (although I find the cheaper units have poor but powerful amplifiers that sound bright and hard). It should not sound bad. Of course it is impossible to define what good and bad sound is in words.... it brings in value systems etc........ If it sounds "terrible", I will assume there is some malfunction or configuration issue. I assume you tired this stuff out, but first, set all tone controls, equalizers etc to flat or "out". Then use the balance control and fader to isolate speakers and determine if the thing was wired up properly. After all this, I recommend going to a pro-audio shop who installs into Porsche environments. Otherwise, I am not sure you will get valuable help here with the limited information you provided.

I love music and am an audio geek...... The FIRST THING I do when I get into a rental is turn on the radio and turn off all that crap that may be configured "Hall sound" "Classical" "Rock" settings... yuck..... without fail, someone prior turned up the bass and treble to 11 resulting in me ejecting food from my mouth and blood from my ears. This is why good vs bad has is so subjective. BTW, back when I was traveling heavy, the best sound I got from cars was from Ford rentals..... go figure..... and yes, I chose Ford as my rentals because of the sound.

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