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Old 08-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #1
wildBill83
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Exclamation 1993 Accorde SE Coupe BOSE stereo FACTS & MYTHS

Man I dug through this forum like crazy for info on the BOSE system in the 93 CB7 SE junker I just bought. Nearly all of the information was ass talk from people who did not have any experience with this year model and the BOSE stereo in it. I'm here to save the next guy some heartache with some hard hitting facts. Also the Chiltons and Haynes manual I have don't even mention the factory amp location or give a wiring diagram for the Bose system ... disappointing.

Myth #1
All Bose speakers have an amp attached to the speaker directly....

Truth #1
Um FALSE ... this coupe has a factory amp that powers all 4 speakers from a single separate location.

Myth #2
The factory amp for the coupe is in the trunk on the drivers side or under the passenger front seat.

Truth #2
Yeah right, there are not even mounting locations on the coupe in these areas and no stereo wiring to these locations. The amp is actually in the passenger cabin on the rear passenger side quarter panel. Remove the back seat and plastic interior and it is right there, held on with 3x 10mm nuts.

Myth #3
Bose factory speakers are 2OHM in this coupe.... so going aftermarket head unit requires new speakers.

Truth #3
False, Bose used 4OHM speakers in front and rear, the amp is a 35w x 4 channel amp. You can use the factory amp and factory speakers (or aftermarket 4OHM speakers) with an aftermarket head unit, but it is special ... keep reading.

Myth #4
Any Honda Stereo adapter plug will work with this model.

Truth #4
False, you have a choice at this point, use the pre-amp outs on the stereo and keep factory amp and speakers requiring a unique adapter or use the generic plug and bypass the external amp, using the stereo amp to power the factory speakers. (more on both of these further down)

Myth #5
This stereo uses a floating ground and is different than typical stereos.

Truth #5
All stereos use a floating ground, this is why you have 2 wires going to the speakers, otherwise the stereo would have 1 wire from the amp and the other wire to car body ground.

Myth #6
Aftermarket stereos will not wire in to the common stereo ground if you bypass the amp, requiring all new wiring to be installed.

Truth #6
Sure they do, the flow of electrons still come from the + side on the output of the radio to any internal floating ground, this will not damage the stereo as long as you combine the speaker (-) wires into a bundle and separate back out the negative bundle to each speaker (-) where you bypass the amp in the cabin. No new wiring required for a bypass what-so-ever other than some splice sections and soldering skills.

Myth #7
If you replace the head unit you have to replace EVERYTHING....

Fact #7
Wrong again ... you can use a special harness and not connect the amplified output speaker wires from the deck to the harness, instead make a harness by cutting four RCA coaxial cables and wire them to the harness speaker outs, remember to combine common grounds from RCA cables (factory harness yellow wire), other than that all RCA internal (+) wires go to designated matching speaker (+) locations on the harness, then plug this into the pre-amp outs on the head unit, TADA aftermarket head unit with Bose amp and speakers intact. Be sure you wire the amp power on and antenna power on wires to keep all factory functions. Be sure you are using a premium head unit with 4x RCA pre-amp outs, otherwise go the bypass route.

Myth #8
You have to run all new wires to bypass the amp.

Fact #8
I did nothing of the sort, I got the color codes from the stock head unit and the amp color codes from Crutchfield and wired together in this fashion in the amp compartment (do not use RCA cables for pre-amp outs for this method or wire amp power on wire from head unit, but don't forget the antenna power):
Crutchfield wiring guide with OEM colors

From head to amp -> from amp to speakers

Front Left
WT -> BU/GN
YW -> GY/BK

Front Right
GN -> RD/GN
YW -> BN/BK

Rear Left
BU -> BU/YW
YW -> GY/WY

Rear Right
RD -> RD/YW
YW ->BN/WT

That is not a typo the YW needs all speaker (-) wires going to it from the head unit and in the amp location separate it back out to the (-) wires going to the speakers.

Myth #9
You cannot replace the amp with an aftermarket amp.

Fact #9
Sure you can, just get a weak cheap 35wx4ch amp and get the Crutchfield wiring colors and wire it just the same as stock.

I'm sure there are more myths and BS flying around but hopefully this helps the next person with this headache of a system.

TIP:
Always solder and use two coats of liquid tape to seal everything and keep it permanent and prevent shorts. Crimps and twist nuts are a point of failure, and to help diagnose any problems you want to eliminate points of failure up front on the first go. NEVER WORK ON STEREO WITH BATTERY (-) CABLE CONNECTED, ALSO SAFE TO NOT DISCONNECT THE (+) JUST THE (-) ONLY ON THE CAR BATTERY.

Last edited by wildBill83; 08-05-2012 at 01:56 PM. Reason: added tips for DUH moments
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:21 PM   #2
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I know you want to move away from the Bose amp installed in the car instead of implement it with a new sound system but there are other offerings from Bose in Honda/Acura cars that may provide better options. I do not speak from experience at all. In fact, I know little to nothing about sound systems. However, the '91-'95 Legend LS/GS had Bose audio and used a stand alone amp. Same thing with the '96-'98 2.5/3.2TL and the '92-'94 Vigor. I'm not saying these amps would be an upgrade but it might be worth looking into for those with SE Accords.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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about truth 4.....heres a link

http://metraonline.com/part/70-1724

by using this harness with the correct headunit you can get slightly more volume and quality out of the existing amp and speakers. this would be accomplished with a headunit with 3 or 5 volt preouts vs the standard 1 to 1.5 volt outputs.....this is why i like the kenwood excelon decks...higher rca outs. yo could use line drivers....but i dont suggest that because of price vs a little better head.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGRICH View Post
about truth 4.....heres a link

http://metraonline.com/part/70-1724

by using this harness with the correct headunit you can get slightly more volume and quality out of the existing amp and speakers. this would be accomplished with a headunit with 3 or 5 volt preouts vs the standard 1 to 1.5 volt outputs.....this is why i like the kenwood excelon decks...higher rca outs. yo could use line drivers....but i dont suggest that because of price vs a little better head.
that was just sittin there


as fas as the Bose system goes, if i get my hands on an amp from a 93 Se, am I able to install it in my 90 LX
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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Wow

I just learned something new that's very useful info thanks for that.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrett View Post
I know you want to move away from the Bose amp installed in the car instead of implement it with a new sound system but there are other offerings from Bose in Honda/Acura cars that may provide better options. I do not speak from experience at all. In fact, I know little to nothing about sound systems. However, the '91-'95 Legend LS/GS had Bose audio and used a stand alone amp. Same thing with the '96-'98 2.5/3.2TL and the '92-'94 Vigor. I'm not saying these amps would be an upgrade but it might be worth looking into for those with SE Accords.
Good info, if anyone does go that route please add to this thread. I'm interested in how it goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGRICH View Post
about truth 4.....heres a link

http://metraonline.com/part/70-1724

by using this harness with the correct headunit you can get slightly more volume and quality out of the existing amp and speakers. this would be accomplished with a headunit with 3 or 5 volt preouts vs the standard 1 to 1.5 volt outputs.....this is why i like the kenwood excelon decks...higher rca outs. yo could use line drivers....but i dont suggest that because of price vs a little better head.
Correctamundo! I describe how to make that harness from a generic Honda harness on Fact #7, it is just the center wire from the RCA to the correct wire on the harness (bypassing plug) and all shielded RCA wires (external wires) wired to the yellow wire on a factory harness. I would only be cautious about the Bose amp being over powered by the 5v pre-amp outs. I believe the Bose head unit puts out the basic 1.5v on the pre-amp channels, but don't catch me lying, I'm not silly enough to hook a voltmeter up to it to test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbycos View Post
that was just sittin there
as fas as the Bose system goes, if i get my hands on an amp from a 93 Se, am I able to install it in my 90 LX
Got my old amp on eBay now (not promoting just saying) and there may be a few in junk yards you can cop for little $$ (open them before leaving to look for bad boards), but yes it is entirely possible, but you will be wiring it nearly like an aftermarket amp, your head unit should either have 4+ sets of pre-amp outs (not low range pre-amp outs, those are for subs), or get a working Bose factory deck from the donor car. Check the display before leaving the junk yard and also be sure the serial number is easy to find on it because you will have to call Honda for the unlock code. Follow the Crutchfield wiring guide posted above for a full factory solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILLYBOPROCK View Post
I just learned something new that's very useful info thanks for that.
Glad to be of service!
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:38 PM   #7
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Hated my Bose in my SE.
At a small import gathering, I borrowed some hand tools and removed the amp. We then played football with it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff_cb7 View Post
Hated my Bose in my SE.
At a small import gathering, I borrowed some hand tools and removed the amp. We then played football with it.
Can't say I would blame you, the laundry list of problems is nuts, and the damn thing isn't even designed or built by Bose... Alpine and Honda had more to do with it than Bose ... shame on all three.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff_cb7 View Post
Hated my Bose in my SE.
At a small import gathering, I borrowed some hand tools and removed the amp. We then played football with it.
lol. I took all the Bose stuff out of my SE coupe I had, and I kept it all in a box. When cleaning out my garage, I found it and thought 'who the hell wants OEM Bose junk?"

*trash bin*
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:18 PM   #10
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Well all I did was use the regular Honda stereo harness, wired it like you would wire any harness to an after market deck, but you have to wire the remote wire the blue one in order to turn on the amp.

This is the easy way of doing this but you have two problems doing it this way.
One you get a hissing sound when the music is off.

And two you can't control how much power the amp gives the rear speakers which is more then the front. you have no control over each speaker, just LF/LR and RF/RR.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #11
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Lot of good info, Bose system was not bad.... 20 years ago. You could do much better w/about $200-300 worth of new equipment though
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:19 PM   #12
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Interesting thing about #2.
In my 93 se coupe with bose the amp is not in the passenger rear quarter panel. It's under the passenger seat.
For my install i just swapped out all the speakers and the head unit. and used this to deal with the amp.

Now if i ever rework the system i'd most likely bypass the amp. But back when i did the install i never found anything that said it was under the passenger seat, so i couldn't find it.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnathanielc View Post
Interesting thing about #2.
In my 93 se coupe with bose the amp is not in the passenger rear quarter panel. It's under the passenger seat.
For my install i just swapped out all the speakers and the head unit. and used this to deal with the amp.

Now if i ever rework the system i'd most likely bypass the amp. But back when i did the install i never found anything that said it was under the passenger seat, so i couldn't find it.
yes....you are correct. in some cars they did that. i have seen cars and trucks that are the same year, make, model, and trim level (identical) and have different plugs on the radio or different size speakers....it happens.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnathanielc View Post
Interesting thing about #2.
In my 93 se coupe with bose the amp is not in the passenger rear quarter panel. It's under the passenger seat.
For my install i just swapped out all the speakers and the head unit. and used this to deal with the amp.

Now if i ever rework the system i'd most likely bypass the amp. But back when i did the install i never found anything that said it was under the passenger seat, so i couldn't find it.
Thanks for sharing that, I guess early year models and late year models make a difference. What month is your SE made in? This could be useful info for others.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildBill83 View Post
Can't say I would blame you, the laundry list of problems is nuts, and the damn thing isn't even designed or built by Bose... Alpine and Honda had more to do with it than Bose ... shame on all three.
Bose tuned the system, thats all that matters at the end of the day.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:00 PM   #17
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Ehhh they make some nice stuff

I really liked the bose sound system in my legend, it had a decent bit of power and the sound quality was very good. Then again i'm not an audiophile, so long as it makes noise and there isn't very obvious distortion i'm fine.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:10 PM   #19
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I went in their store in the mall and thought they had a lot of nice things in there

I mean i would never buy any of it because i'm cheap and there are cheaper things of similar quality but i wouldn't go as far as to say it's junk.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:31 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Tippey764 View Post
Bose tuned the system, thats all that matters at the end of the day.
Bose may have tuned the system but Alpine and Honda put in poor components.

The head unit fails six ways from Sunday, I had tried three OEM radios before going aftermarket and each one had a different electrical problem. I just about made one working head unit out of all three, but wasn't sure if it would have a similar fate.

The amp is just a simple 4 channel amp, but the components used are cheaper than any amp I have ever purchased. My amp is still good so one day I'm going to play with it in the house on my test bench and some spare car speakers.

I am in LOVE with BOSE surround sound TVs.
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