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Old 09-10-2008, 01:43 PM   #1
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Aftermarket Stereo Compatability

We all know the sterio center unit in the Camaro isnt all that normal in its design... but how will this affect its compatibility concerning after market sterio units/specifically head units?

I know the G8 must retain their center screen no mater what, due to the amount of electronics that are routed through and displayed there, so removing it is not an option... but any ideas on how this will work on the Maro?
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:48 PM   #2
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I seem to remember reading/hearing that head-unit replacement is dying off. That automakers are going the way of the "Silver box". Which is pretty much the car's brain. The stereo, gps, power windows, etc all get routed through one computer, and the radio controls are just buttons attached to it. Could be wrong, though.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:09 PM   #3
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I used to be in the mobile electronics field awhile back. I can tell you that dragoneye is correct. The headunit replacements have been getting more and more difficult to replace. But there are ways of doing the replacements. Just have to wait about six months or so until the aftermarket guys can get their hands on the camaro. Maybe youll see somthing after sema. Who knows.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:31 PM   #4
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the only reason i ever changed to aftermarket was cuz i wanted to play mp3s or have sat radio, or the original for whatever reason just stopped working. now the dealer ones do the first two for me, why would i change it :P
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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After the car is out a while there should be some install kits. None of the critical vehicle systems will be in the head. Everyone has to wait for GM to print service manuals really to find out what can and can't be done. But should be able to rip out the factory system and do aftermarket rig.

I do agree the quality of systems is going up and the Camaro has good base system and nice optional system and most people won't ever need to or want to replace it.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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There's always the issue of quality. That's a big motivator for music enthusiasts going aftermarket. JL's Cleansweep system is designed as an add-on for OEM systems.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:16 AM   #7
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After the car is out a while there should be some install kits. None of the critical vehicle systems will be in the head. Everyone has to wait for GM to print service manuals really to find out what can and can't be done. But should be able to rip out the factory system and do aftermarket rig.

The problem with that is the Heater/AC controls are integrated with the head unit. And the shape of the head unit is unlike anything in the aftermarket. So, to replace the Camaro's head unit, some aftermarket company is going to have to design a complicated mounting system that accommodates a double dinn head unit as well as a place to reinstall the HVAC controls. That will be a tall order and possibly not easy to do in an aesthetically pleasing way.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:19 AM   #8
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I saw that. It's gonna be ugly.

But with Moores law etc there is gonna be lot of new toys in the next few years. Sync is gonna look like an antique in 10-20-30 years.

I'll put it next to the Delco from my vette. Heck out at the family ranch we have pile of car radios going back to I think a 52 Ford truck.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:02 PM   #9
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Man dont do it. You can have aftermarket speakers/subs/amps and still keep the head unit. The head unit is a big part of what gives it its unique feel. Plus it would be a bitch to change any way.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:33 PM   #10
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Well it will be disappointing if that head can't be taken out above the AC controller. This would be bad news for the audio aftermarket and this car street rep among the custom audio fans.

Same as people that want performance mods on the powertrain. I am used to always modding my audio.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:35 AM   #11
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Well it will be disappointing if that head can't be taken out above the AC controller. This would be bad news for the audio aftermarket and this car street rep among the custom audio fans.

Same as people that want performance mods on the powertrain. I am used to always modding my audio.



The issues that they are having changing out the head unit in the G8 arent making anyone any friends either.
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:59 AM   #12
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Well it will be disappointing if that head can't be taken out above the AC controller. This would be bad news for the audio aftermarket and this car street rep among the custom audio fans.

Same as people that want performance mods on the powertrain. I am used to always modding my audio.
Yeah man i hear you I'm the same way. I started a thread about a month ago on this very issue because i want to add a couple of subs but keep the original head unit and possibly the original speakers because there soppesed to be really good crisp and clear. I found out that all you need is a crossover conversion or something like that. Any way the little part you need is around $20 from crutchfeild and with it you can add your own amplifiers through the head unit therefore you can add your subs. And you could always just change the Boston speakers by just buying new ones and installing them.
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:50 AM   #13
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There's always the issue of quality. That's a big motivator for music enthusiasts going aftermarket. JL's Cleansweep system is designed as an add-on for OEM systems.
Agreed and have heard the clean sweep in action on a new Z06 with all aftermarket JL Audio equipment and it sounded phenominal. Just make sure that you have it professionally installed and tuned too your liking or else it will sound like ass.
I plan on putting the JL Audio Clean Sweep in my 5th Gen (SS, of course) along with all my old school PG equipment as the HU in the 5th Gen looks great and wanna keep the intended look of the interior.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:13 AM   #14
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Yeah man i hear you I'm the same way. I started a thread about a month ago on this very issue because i want to add a couple of subs but keep the original head unit and possibly the original speakers because there soppesed to be really good crisp and clear. I found out that all you need is a crossover conversion or something like that. Any way the little part you need is around $20 from crutchfeild and with it you can add your own amplifiers through the head unit therefore you can add your subs. And you could always just change the Boston speakers by just buying new ones and installing them.

yea? i LIKE the head unit in the car, so i guess that would be the better option.

i think the only thing i actualy WANT to change out, in the "cockpit" is the shift knob. not sure who ok'd that thing haha.
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Old 09-13-2008, 04:08 PM   #15
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I seem to remember reading/hearing that head-unit replacement is dying off. That automakers are going the way of the "Silver box". Which is pretty much the car's brain. The stereo, gps, power windows, etc all get routed through one computer, and the radio controls are just buttons attached to it. Could be wrong, though.

You are 100% correct. It's called multiplex, and BMW and MB started doing this in the mid-1990s with their electronics.

It is much more economical, and better for quality control, to engineer one main computer from which every vehicle accessory is operated, than to install many different components, each with their own main processors and memory.

How do you think most luxury marques get 2 person memory from the keyfob remotes for the seat position, steering wheel position, climate control settings, and stereo settings (the Lexus LS460 will even custom set the equalizer settings in memory based on which remote is used if it has the Mark Levinson system)?

I worked in the car electronics industry untill about a month ago when I switched to medical equipment, and I'll say the days of the DIN and DIN and 1/2 and double DIN standard stereo sizes are a thing of the past. Now, you can still, as some have said, wait untill some aftermarket company gets their hands on a vehicle and size up the fitment, contour, and electronic integration to put a standard DIN size aftermarket radio in. It will just be increasingly harder now without loosing other vehicle features, or without adding other electronic filters and processors in between.

My advice, and this is something I may do myself on my own Camaro, is keep the stock head unit, and if you want good sound run amps off the output of the stock head unit. You may have to install some gain adjustments to either turn them up or down before you hit your power amps, but its alot easier, safer, and better quality to do it this way.
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:00 PM   #16
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I think I will keep the stock unit as well but I will be running aftermarket amps and subs. It is good to know that it is possible because I am debating on one or two 13W7's.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:34 PM   #17
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Is Gm going to have an option for a factory Nav unit?, that is the only thing I will want to change, lol
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:50 PM   #18
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Is Gm going to have an option for a factory Nav unit?, that is the only thing I will want to change, lol
That won't be an option for the Camaro any time soon. The best you've got for navigation is OnStar coupled with a personal navigation unit. I like those better anyway.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:49 AM   #19
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I thought I read that navigation would become available as an option late 2009
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:04 AM   #20
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Well that sucks
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:08 PM   #21
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Good thing I am not buying until late 2009, seems the first batch of Camaro's will be missing features I treasure.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:20 AM   #22
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Just as long as the factory CD has 24bit DAC, it'll stay put... otherwise that will be first thing modded (even if i have to pull the factory deck apart and solder in better components)
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:54 AM   #23
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Just as long as the factory CD has 24bit DAC, it'll stay put... otherwise that will be first thing modded (even if i have to pull the factory deck apart and solder in better components)

That probably won't be possible: the HVAC, heated seats (if you get leather), power door lock button, hazzard flasher button, and all the radio and CD player controls look like they are integrated into one component. If you get the connections package or BA sound system it will also have the bluetooth functions integrated.

Your suggestion of "pulling the deck appart and soldering in better components" would require not only the factory schematic for the head unit, but also how it is integrated into the car's ECU, and where the tuner and amplifiers are located (the tuner isn't in the head unit, I can tell you that), so you will need to ask Sheryl Pilcher for the 500+ page full body control manual and wiring diagram.

Have fun!
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:12 PM   #24
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its gonna really suck if theres no way to change it.. all my cars i've ever owned i've done something with the stereo... i love Pioneer Double Din DVD/Navi units..... =(


what the hell am i gonna do with subs.. can i even fit any in the trunk? through the back seat??! =(
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:19 PM   #25
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its gonna really suck if theres no way to change it.. all my cars i've ever owned i've done something with the stereo... i love Pioneer Double Din DVD/Navi units..... =(


what the hell am i gonna do with subs.. can i even fit any in the trunk? through the back seat??! =(

The days of throwing a system into a car in a day are pretty much over. Even for cheapo cars like a Civic. Eventually, every new car will have full multiplex integration of all electronic functions.

Your best bet, if you insist on putting subs into the car, is check the Boston Accoustic sound system box on your order form, and then upgrade the sub (I recall there will be a sub included with the system).

Now, there is the option of bypassing the factory amplifiers and running your own amps. You will need to find where the low voltage pre-amped signal goes into the factory amps, pull them out of the factory amps, and route them to your own amps (however, for all I know, they could be grouped in a harness of about a hundred wires). Then, using your own speaker wire, run that wiring to all of your own upgraded speakers. Then you will at least have the system you want without the near impossible task of replacing the head unit with an aftermarket one (plus you also get to keep your bluetooth and steering wheel controls).

The downside of that is, again without the factory wiring diagram you won't know which wires are pre-amp into the amps and which ones are amplified output (trust me, there will me more than just audio wires going in and out of the factory amps - you will have digital communication wiring that the head unit, ECM, and tuner will all use to communicate with the amps). Everything is digital logic now, so you can also forget your old fashioned +12 vdc power, +12 vdc switched, and ground running the factory amps.

You'll still need them for your aftermarket amps (since the battery is in the trunk now, that will be easy), but you may not even find a +12 vdc switched line anywhere in the car (maybe the 12 volt accessory outlet on the console by the gear shift).

So, having said all that, before you even go out the store and buy a single speaker wire or a set of subs, do your homework. Test all the wires by the factory amplifiers to see what is what (don't short them out though).

If there is something you aren't sure of, don't attempt anything.
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