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"de-Bose-ing" the Vette



I want to add some good speakers and an amp, but keep the Bose radio unit. I've been told that the Bose stero unit outputs a difficult signal to input to a conventional amp (ie Infinity).
Has anyone any experience with this. I know there are wiring harnesses that allow a non-bose unit to connect to the Bose speakers - but this is the opposite of what I want; it's the wimpy Bose speakers that are the problem.

Corvette Kimmy

I have noticed that same problem and if I find a solution I will let you know. My 94 bose system could really be louder. Maybe it is that convertible thing being in open air. I just got my car 3 weeks ago so I am still getting to know it.


Ahh, good 'ole mobile Bose systems. Changing that setup is about as fun as driving a steak knife into your ear.

My 2 cents, replace the head as well as the rest of the system and save yourself a world of headaches and frustration. Not that changing the whole system is easy, it isnt, but at least you know you will be getting the sound quality your new speakers deserve and that everything will have a symbiotic relationship, of sorts.
The main problem with the Delco-"Bose" head units are, in random order--

A: They break.....all the time. If it hasn't yet, it will, and repeatedly thereafter.

B: The wiring is screwed. Here lies your problem. Bose head units output just what the built-in amplifiers need to re-amplify the signal. In a nutshell. hook up passive (i.e. bare) speakers to the deck and you will be lucky to hear anything. The signal simply is not strong enough to power even headphones....well, maybe. Just bare with me here.

C: No pre-amp outputs. 'nuff said...

D: ....I cant think of anything for "D" except that you will be more pleased with the aftermarket sound of a new deck. CD player perhaps??

P.S. If there is any misinformation here, let me know. To the best of my knowledge, if you have amplified speakers, there is no reason whatsoever to have a subsationally amplified signal. Saves them money and it makes more sense.


A lot has changed in stereo technology in the last 13 yrs. Your Bose head unit is just out-dated. You should replace the entire system while you have it apart. The life of a mobile audio system is about 10 to 12 yrs. After that, the speaker cones start to go and the heat of the interior affect the head unit. Heat and dust are the main enemies of your stereo.


Well-known member
Jul 18, 2001
Durham, NC
2002 Flat Black Z06
When I had problems with the Bose unit/amps/speakers in the 84 I had for a short while we just ripped out everything. However, in my search I found that you can keep the Bose head unit and feed it to an amp with an aftermarket kit. This will convert your speaker level outputs to a pre-amp level output to be used with your favorite amp. The kit is for a Bose head unit. Go look at www.crutchfield.com They make adapters and kits for just about everything and are a great source.

The kit you want I believe is PAC OEM-2 ($30). Look in their Car Installation section and Search for Bose. You'll see it. Not sure if this specific hyperlink will work but you can try it.




Well-known member
Aug 1, 2001
2003 Z06
Are Bose products generally pretty reliable and high quality? I've gotten mixed opinions on them.

I personally went with an Alpine 12 disc changer with the removable faceplate and it sounds great. I also replaced the speakers, but can't think of what they are offhand. I don't believe they were really fancy ones.

But like I said, my Pink Floyd sounds awesome!:cool


Thanks for the input everyone.
I should have originally said that I already added an 8" self-powered Kicker subwoofer. This is connected to the Bose spkr-amp output/spkr input and doesn't use mush if any power from the donor, it has it's own amp and crossover. It did such a great job of boosting low end sound that I want more than ever to imnprove the rest. It's a op down thing, and a Rock & Roll thing too - if you can't feel the sound - it's not there.
Crutchfield gave me a lead to the people who make the harness that converts non-Bose Stereo to Bose speakers (the opposite of what I want). They also make a harness for the right conversion, however since this harness is passive (non-powered)) it only balances the signal, it doesn't amplify it. I have another option too.
In 1989 GM offered a non-Bose Stereo as well as the Bose. I could try to get one of those and rip out the entire Bose stuff. Maybe sell it to someone who needs a complete system to fix up theirs.

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