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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a used '06 cobalt with the OEM "premium sound", no OnStar, no XM, no aux input... and had a few noob questions:

1. With the head units I've looked at on Crutchfield, it says I will lose the driver info with the new headunits unless I buy a special adapter for another hundred bucks or so. Are there any headunits where this wouldn't be an issue? What exactly is it that is lost? From some posts it sounds like it is just door chimes, but elsewhere it makes it sound like you lose the drive info center (which I was guessing was the mileage, trip counters, etc?)

2. I'm only really familiar with home theater audio. Most of the receivers I've looked at for the cobalt are four or six channel, but the vehicle has seven speakers. Will I need one with additional outputs to take advantage of my sound system?

3. While I like some of the features on the head units I've looked at, what I really need is an auxiliary input. Is there a simple and cheap way to add an aux to the oem unit? I've seen mods if you have the XM equipped on this forum, but nothing without it.

Thanks for any advice!
 

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You don't lose your information center, however you will lose chimes and Remote Accessory Power (the power that keeps your head unit on until you open the driver's side door or for 10 minutes if your door is not opened). You will also have to go get power from the fuse box, since a universal cobalt harness (cheap ones) don't do that.

I suggest getting the harness that crutchfield suggests. Usually they offer it at half price if you buy it with a head unit. It makes wiring your head unit a LOT easier, and also you can be sure you will wire your seven speakers properly.

Just to clarify, your seven speakers are: two tweeters and two midwoofers up front, two rear speakers and one woofer. You only need 4 channels for the mods and highs (tweeter and midwoofer counts as one for each side up front) and one channel for the sub. I think all head units would give you this functionality now. If you have more questions hit me up, glad to help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info.

Do you have any personal recommendations for a head unit?
I'm hoping to spend under 250 for the receiver, any mounting equipment, adapters, etc.

I'm no audiophile so I don't need high-end, and I don't even own any CDs. With the little research I have done this unit looks pretty good:

Sony DSX-S100 Digital media receiver at Crutchfield.com

So if I also purchase this recommended adapter package, all I would need to do is get power from the fuse box (I'm guessing on some terminal that is on accessory power?)
 

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Thanks for the info.

Do you have any personal recommendations for a head unit?
I'm hoping to spend under 250 for the receiver, any mounting equipment, adapters, etc.

I'm no audiophile so I don't need high-end, and I don't even own any CDs. With the little research I have done this unit looks pretty good:

Sony DSX-S100 Digital media receiver at Crutchfield.com

So if I also purchase this recommended adapter package, all I would need to do is get power from the fuse box (I'm guessing on some terminal that is on accessory power?)
If you purchase the recommended harness, then you don't have to get power from the fuse box.

I would stay away from Sony car audio, it doesn't have the BEST reputation. You can get better stuff for around the same price range. I'll see what I can find for you on Crutchfield;

---------- Post added at 09:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:54 AM ----------

OK after some searching on crutchfield, here's more info:

I think this stereo looks real good, and alpine has a good name;
Alpine CDA-105 CD receiver at Crutchfield Signature

also, I checked this "adapter" package and you don't NEED it. You only need the CR2-GM11 harness. Call crutchfield and tell them which stereo you want, tell them you ONLY want the harness, which retains the chimes and factory power options (I got it from them for $129 BUT if you're buying a stereo from them, they should put the harness at HALF price, or at least they used to) they have great customer service there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Haha... well, I'm just finding disagreement on this all over.
At another forum I'm told that for an '06 you won't lose the DIC or chimes. I guess I can just pull the fuse to the audio system and see if I still have the chimes/DIC.
I couldn't find that harness you mention at crutchfield, and the service rep I chatted with said the adapter was needed.
I would definitely prefer to do without the adapter... the reviews really have me thinking it is unreliable.
The receiver will still mount properly without it? I haven't tried removing the OEM unit yet, but since this only takes half the space I take it the bottom portion will just be open to the internal wiring?

Also, the Alpine looks alright, but it doesn't even include the aux input without buying another adapter. If I'm going to spend the extra twenty bucks for that, I might as well get one that is a touch more expensive but has it built in. Any thoughts on this model:
http://www.crutchfield.com/s_130P6200BT/Pioneer-DEH-P6200BT.html?tp=5684&nvpair=FFBrand|Pioneer

EDIT:
Yeah, I pulled the fuse for the radio and I still get chimes, DIC, and everything. I'm guessing this means Crutchfield is wrong for the '06...

Thanks again for the help.
 

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With an 06, you won't lose the chimes, and if you plug into the fuse socket for the sunroof to power your HU, you will keep remote accessory power. I just got the cheap harness and all my stuff works perfectly. But I had the base sound system, not sure if that will change anything.
 

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Haha... well, I'm just finding disagreement on this all over.
At another forum I'm told that for an '06 you won't lose the DIC or chimes. I guess I can just pull the fuse to the audio system and see if I still have the chimes/DIC.
I couldn't find that harness you mention at crutchfield, and the service rep I chatted with said the adapter was needed.
I would definitely prefer to do without the adapter... the reviews really have me thinking it is unreliable.
The receiver will still mount properly without it? I haven't tried removing the OEM unit yet, but since this only takes half the space I take it the bottom portion will just be open to the internal wiring?

Also, the Alpine looks alright, but it doesn't even include the aux input without buying another adapter. If I'm going to spend the extra twenty bucks for that, I might as well get one that is a touch more expensive but has it built in. Any thoughts on this model:
Pioneer DEH-P6200BT CD receiver at Crutchfield Signature

EDIT:
Yeah, I pulled the fuse for the radio and I still get chimes, DIC, and everything. I'm guessing this means Crutchfield is wrong for the '06...

Thanks again for the help.
pioneer HU are great! they offer lots of options for tuning your system. i have an 06 balt and you do not need the expensive harness. all my chimes and other annoying noises still annoy me, but that is what they are there for.

Clarion CZ101 CD receiver at Crutchfield.com

this is the HU i have in my car and i LOVE it. it allows me to customize almost everything, plus it has the AUX jack. not to mention, you get a lot of quality for little $
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Yeah, I like that the Pioneer has the USB as well. I'm kind of leaning toward it and the Sony I originally posted. That seems to be a pretty good price for the Clarion, but I'm really not finding many reviews on the unit.

Will I be able to use my steering controls without purchasing an additional adapter? I can probably do the wiring myself so long as the connections are available and documented. What is the "cheap harness"? On Crutchfield I only get linked to the $180 dash adapter.
 

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Yeah, I like that the Pioneer has the USB as well. I'm kind of leaning toward it and the Sony I originally posted. That seems to be a pretty good price for the Clarion, but I'm really not finding many reviews on the unit.

Will I be able to use my steering controls without purchasing an additional adapter? I can probably do the wiring myself so long as the connections are available and documented. What is the "cheap harness"? On Crutchfield I only get linked to the $180 dash adapter.
if you go to any car audio place, you should be able to pick up the harness for like $20. the "cheap harness" is just the standard harness that is used by other GM cars. the "expensive harness" is the harness needed to retain chimes and other warning sounds for 07 and up balts. for the 06, we only need the basic one. sucks there weren't so many reviews on the clarion, just means people haven't found out about how great of a unit it is.

as for the steering controls, there is no "easy" way of just wiring it to the unit and it works.
you HAVE to by the adapter for it. you'll want to make sure whatever HU you get, that it is compatible to use the steering control to begin with. once you got that info, you can find the adapter, which should be sold on crutchfield. hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, I tore everything apart, and the main thing is I'm not sure where to tie in for power.

I see fuse 20 is the sunroof, but I'm not sure how to get to the wire to splice in.
 

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Okay, I tore everything apart, and the main thing is I'm not sure where to tie in for power.

I see fuse 20 is the sunroof, but I'm not sure how to get to the wire to splice in.
easiest way is to just pull the fuse and insert the power wire into the slot, then put the fuse back in.
 

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take out the fuse, wrap the wire around one of the two prongs on it then put the fuse back in tight with the wire. The 20A sunroof fuse should be fine.

Or you could go get an add-a-fuse at your local hardware store. It's basically plugs into your fuse box but has a place to put your fuse and a wire sticking out as well for wtv you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I bought the unit to add a circuit to the fuse.

Everything seems to be working fine... and I actually had less difficulty programming the steering controls than I expected.
The only minor thing is the mount doesn't lock the HU in any way. If you try you can pull it out as far as the wiring allows without too much difficulty.

I'm not too concerned about that. As long as I don't find my battery dead tomorrow morning or something I'll consider the installation a success.

Thanks for the support everyone!
 

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Yeah, I like that the Pioneer has the USB as well. I'm kind of leaning toward it and the Sony I originally posted. That seems to be a pretty good price for the Clarion, but I'm really not finding many reviews on the unit.

Will I be able to use my steering controls without purchasing an additional adapter? I can probably do the wiring myself so long as the connections are available and documented. What is the "cheap harness"? On Crutchfield I only get linked to the $180 dash adapter.
For steering wheel controls, you'll need an aftermarket control interface for that particular radio (If it isn't available for the radio you want, you're out of luck) to interface with your steering controls.

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