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2003 Boxster S radio upgrade. please help

Old 01-08-2019, 01:14 PM
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russpe
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Question 2003 Boxster S radio upgrade. please help

I recently bought an '03 Boxster S (sold my '00 Boxster base. Too slow.). I love this car but I hate the radio which is a CRD23 w/Bose (MOST) amplifier. This configuration has door speakers and "NO" CD changer. I thought an upgrade to a 4 din with NAV would be pricey but simple, by that I mean do-able. I would settle for a 2 din without NAV but I really need either an AUX stereo input and/or streaming bluetooth. I've done many swapouts in the past to other cars so I know what I'm doing but with this configuration I've run into a brick wall. It seems there is nothing compatible with the Bose MOST amp/speakers! Has anyone solved this? Are there products out there that I don't know about? Can a newer Boxster radio with my requirements fit in my '03? I'm really stumped here and would love to hear what the forum can suggest. Many thanks.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:30 PM
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GVA-SFO
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+1
Very good question, hope someone will ring in and have some info !
(I have this project too, with a 01, but did not started up yet.)
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:38 PM
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russpe
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So it isn't just me! Sorry, but good :-) Another thought... as I said there is no CD changer (in my configuration) and because of that I believe there is no option to enable the CD changer input from the CDR23 menu. I was hoping that I could use the vacated CD changer input connector to install an AUX connection in its place, then simply switch to CD changer mode and thereby "fooling" it to use the AUX connection in its place. So the next question is, is this a possibility? Can a CDR23 without a factory installed CD changer be configured to "unlock" or display an option to select the CD changer? Or do I need to swap out my CDR23 with one that included the CD changer option in the factory configuration?
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:19 PM
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Have you tried to talk to someone at Crutchfield? I've installed new sound systems in 3 Porsches now (2000 986S, 1987 928S4 and a 1990 944 S2 Cab) and these guys helped with speaker, amp and headunit set up questions. They had all the adapters for each unit. Super helpful. It's best to get someone on the phone if you have any questions at all. Good Luck!

Crutchfield.com
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by russpe View Post
I recently bought an '03 Boxster S (sold my '00 Boxster base. Too slow.). I love this car but I hate the radio which is a CRD23 w/Bose (MOST) amplifier. This configuration has door speakers and "NO" CD changer. I thought an upgrade to a 4 din with NAV would be pricey but simple, by that I mean do-able. I would settle for a 2 din without NAV but I really need either an AUX stereo input and/or streaming bluetooth. I've done many swapouts in the past to other cars so I know what I'm doing but with this configuration I've run into a brick wall. It seems there is nothing compatible with the Bose MOST amp/speakers! Has anyone solved this? Are there products out there that I don't know about? Can a newer Boxster radio with my requirements fit in my '03? I'm really stumped here and would love to hear what the forum can suggest. Many thanks.
I solved it.

New HU. New amp. New subwoofer. New 6 cd changer. New speakers. New wiring.

Problem solved.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:12 AM
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russpe
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Awesome Starter 986! That's the solution I've been trying to avoid but the only one that seems plausible (but without the 6 CD changer :-). I have tried Crutchfield, and they are normally a good choice but not for the Bose/MOST setup. All of their HUs have a special installation note that says "will need to rewire all speakers" (or something like that) and they won't work with the Bose amp either so I'm still holding out for a solution that doesn't cost more than the car itself. Somebody has done this... lots of smart people out there. Give it up!
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:55 PM
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I have the CDR-23 with Bose which uses the MOST communication set up without CD Changer. The previous owner had a Dension Gateway adaptor put in that utilizes the MOST system where a digital input (I use an old iPod) can be attached and the system thinks it's the CD Changer. Full control on the iPod and overall works very well. I'm not sure if Dension still makes the adaptor but you might shop around. Here is a link to their site.

https://www.dension.com/automotive/p...ns/gateway-500
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by russpe View Post
Awesome Starter 986! That's the solution I've been trying to avoid but the only one that seems plausible (but without the 6 CD changer :-). I have tried Crutchfield, and they are normally a good choice but not for the Bose/MOST setup. All of their HUs have a special installation note that says "will need to rewire all speakers" (or something like that) and they won't work with the Bose amp either so I'm still holding out for a solution that doesn't cost more than the car itself. Somebody has done this... lots of smart people out there. Give it up!
In all transparency... I took all my parts to my local sound guy, and left him to wire in everything. Aside from the subwoofer I purchased ($150) I removed everything else from my E30. Install out the door was ~$475.00

In hindsight, and after having become well acquainted with the interior, I'd run all my own wires and have the sound guy manage the connections.

This is the HQ system I'm running, and it sounds great. I took a July trip to Lake Tahoe last July and, while on the freeway, started cranking it up. Louder and louder until my ears couldn't take it anymore... as it never maxed out so much that it became distorted. I was really surprised. The downside was that for the week following I was a puppet reciting, "Huh", "What", "Come again", "I'm sorry", and 'Eh". Thankfully I was unable to hear the muffled profanities my wife was slinging my way...

I bet you'd be surprised with the affordability if you sourced those parts. The 6-CD changer I don't use. It was laying around and thought I'd throw it in while he was there.

Rockford Fosgate Power T400-4 Amplifier
Eclipse CD 5425 Head Unit
Alpine CHM 5620 6-CD changer
Kenwood KSC SW11 Subwoofer 150W
Alpine SPR 50C 180W dash mounted front speakers
Crossfire FX52 100W deck mounted rear speakers

Keep us posted on the outcome.

Cheers!
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:18 PM
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Thanks. I have been to their web site an I think that this could be a possibility. That setup uses the CD changer's input but, as I do not have the CD changer option I don't know how I can enable that input. I've seen instructions that show how to do this by pushing the "TP" button for 8 seconds to display input options, but all that does in my car is mute the radio (regardless of how long the button is depressed). Is there another way to enable the CD changer input? Or is it possible that the CDR23 recognizes that a connector has been installed i the previously empty connector plug and in doing so provide input selection options?
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:29 PM
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Again thanks Starter 986. I'd really like to go that way but I find it difficult to invest hat much money into a car that I only drive for fun. I shopped until I found just the right price (for me) for a Boxster S and swapping out the entire audio system cancels out the bargain I found. Not saying I won't eventually go that route, just want to explore all options.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by russpe View Post
Thanks. I have been to their web site an I think that this could be a possibility. That setup uses the CD changer's input but, as I do not have the CD changer option I don't know how I can enable that input. I've seen instructions that show how to do this by pushing the "TP" button for 8 seconds to display input options, but all that does in my car is mute the radio (regardless of how long the button is depressed). Is there another way to enable the CD changer input? Or is it possible that the CDR23 recognizes that a connector has been installed i the previously empty connector plug and in doing so provide input selection options?
You don't need a CD changer to add this. The MOST system is a loop type system where in adding the Dension in the loop just makes the system think there is a changer.

Here are the installation manuals for Gateway and Gateway Lite. Configuration is very simple by using fibre optic cables and setting a few DIP switches with or without a changer
Attached Images
File Type: pdf
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:07 AM
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Seriously. Thanks Paulofto! I spent a good amount of time looking for an answer to this CDR23 dilemma and this looks like the easiest, most affordable solution. I ordered the Dension Gateway 500 from Bumper Plugs and hopefully I'll get a chance to install it soon. I noticed they also offer a bluetooth version (500S BT) but it may not be compatible with the CDR23 HU. Is this true? I may just give them a call tomorrow and change my order if it is. Either way, it has to be better than what I've got now.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:38 AM
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I'm not familiar with the BT version but I would imagine it has the same connectivity to the CDR-23 with the added advantage of having a bluetooth input as well as wired. You'd have to check with Dension or Bumper plugs.

One comment on the Bose system. I have seen many posters dis the system but quite honestly I have never had an issue with the sound. With the door subs, dash tweeters & midranges plus the rear subs & full range drivers I have mine tuned exactly how I like it. It is a fine system for rock, jazz and classical which is what I listen too. It may not be designed for booming bass junkies into hip hop or metal but for my tastes it sounds great.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:51 PM
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OK, just emailed Eric at Bumper Plugs (very quick response) and he says:

"The 500SBT requires PCM 2.1 (starting with 997/987). So the 500 will be best for the CDR. The aux input is RCA left/right so you may need an adapter cable, otherwise it’s all set. Let us know."

So the Gateway 500 is what I ordered. But as far as the CDR23 with the Bose (MOST) amp and speakers are concerned, I really had only 1 complaint ( or 2 complaints if you count no hands free phone ability) and that is the radio itself. When I play a CD it sounds great and the volume is plenty loud driving with the top down while breaking several speed laws. I don't care about bone shaking bass, in fact I think there is more than enough already. I recently bought the car in Missouri and drove it to New Jersey and the crappy radio had me hating life. So hopefully now with hundreds of songs (MP3) on my Android, I'll be able to shuffle my play list and drive to my heart's content. Good music is an integral part of cruising in a convertible... road noise and wind is overrated :-)

Thanks everyone for all the helpful advice.
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