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Old 01-19-2011, 09:22 AM   #1
Dukeboy01's Avatar
Drives: 2002 Camaro SS; 2001 Silverado
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 201
Question Thinking about upgrading my stereo and looking for advice

One of the drawbacks to having an eight year- old "new" car is that the audio system doesn't compare to what's available in the 5th gen. I don't have any problems with the sound out of the Monsoon system and my car came with the 12 disc CD changer, so I really wouldn't have anything to complain about... if it was 2002.

Since it's 2011 I want my XM radio and the ability to listen to my MP3 player through the stereo. Things like bluetooth and a built in navigation system would be nice, but I mostly want XM radio and a USB port for my Zune.

I've been going back and forth between adding an AUX port adaptor to the OEM head unit or going whole hog and replacing the HU with a new unit. Right now I can get by with FM tuners on my XM and Zune, but the sound quality is so much better when the devices are tied directly in.

Here are my options as I see them, with pros and cons:

1. Replace Monsoon CD changer with a Monsoon tape deck and then use a cassette adaptor with my XM and Zune.
Pros: Cheap, Do it myself, reliable (until the tape deck breaks down), keep factory appearance for car shows and such
Cons: Sound quality not the best, lose ability to play CD, still have extra wires running from external devices to plugs, quality of used tape decks ordered off of eBay can be hit and miss.

2. Add AUX adaptor to existing Monsoon CD unit, allowing me to plug and play XM and Zune
Pros: Cheapish ($70 or so for the part, from what I see online), DIY, keep factory appearance for car shows (if I hide the ports in the glove box or something), keep 12 disc CD changer
Cons: Not sure about sound quality or long term quality of the parts, still have extra wires running all over the place between external devices and plugs.

3. Replace stock HU with new HU that has all the bells and whistles I want.
Pros: best sound quality, ability to do everything I want through the HU and not have a bunch of extra wires and devices cluttering up the joint, clean integration if done right
Cons: COST, have to order a custom double din radio bezel if I get a double din radio or put up with it looking like hell with plastic spacers and crap if I get a single din radio (GM really screws us with 1.5 din radio sizes), will probably lose my 12 disc cd changer (from what the guy at the car stereo warehouse told me last night) with most modern HU

This morning I'm leaning towards going all in and replacing the HU, probably with a double din radio. I'm leaning towards double din because it would be worth it to me to pay for a custom radio bezel and have it look right than to be annoyed everytime I got in my car and had to look at a craptacular plastic frame surrounding a single din radio. What have you guys done with your 4th gens? Has anyone added the AUX adaptor? Do they work well?

For you guys that have swapped out your HU do you have any recommendations? I'm still in the early stages of working all this out. My "dream" replacement HU would have:

1. USB and 3.5 AUX jacks in the front
2. SD or micro SD card reader
3. Satellite radio ready (would add XM)
4. Ability to still use my factory 12 disc CD changer (don't really need it if I'm going to use my Zune, but would still like to keep it if I could)
5. Ability to keep my steering wheel controls
6. Cost $700 or less

Any and all recommendations, advice, pictures of the completed project, or other experiences that you guys are able to share will be appreciated.
Dukeboy01 is offline   Reply With Quote

4th gen, modifications, stereo, xm radio

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