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Old 01-04-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
casioqv
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Default Adding an aux input to a factory Volvo stereo

This is for the factory Volvo stereo with the EQ-2111 graphic equalizer (as my 1984 760 has). This mod retains all of the factory functionality, and let's the volume, balance, and fader controls on the factory head unit adjust sound from your iPod or other device. The sound quality is excellent!

Parts needed:
-1/8" stereo normally closed panel jack (radio shack p/n 274-246)

Wiring pinout in the 5-din connector of the EQ-2111 equalizer:
red: right + to amplifier (sound out from EQ)
white: left + to amplifier (sound out from EQ)
black: common audio ground
yellow: left + input (sound out from head unit into EQ)
green: right + input (sound out from head unit into EQ)

Wiring for 6 pin 274-246 radio shack jack:
1: connect to audio ground (black wire from 5 din)
2: connect to cut yellow wire on equalizer board
3: to input yellow wire from the 5-din connector (sound from stereo right)
4: to input green wire from the 5-din connector (sound from stereo left)
5: connect to cut green wire on equalizer board

Pinout for 6 pin 274-246 radio shack jack:


You just need to "intercept" the yellow/green wires inside the equalizer with the panel jack so that when the headphone jack is disconnected it passes through as normal, and when you plug in your device input is taken from it instead. You do this by cutting the yellow and green wires inside the unit and wiring each end of the cut portion to the audio input jack.

The panel jack itself can be mounted on the plastic faceplate of the equalizer in the upper right corner just where there is no metal backing plate (middle of the Volvo logo).

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I suspect that this mod will also work on other models of Volvo equalizer, although the wiring might be slightly different. I think you could also wire up RCA inputs and outputs if you wanted to use this equalizer/aux input between an aftermarket head unit and aftermarket amplifier, although you'd be limited to 2 channels.

Last edited by casioqv; 01-05-2011 at 04:16 AM..
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:52 PM   #2
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Interesting information, but the quality will not be anywhere near as good as modern 4x50 headunit which also has a CD and ipod connecter rather then aux.

But it's great if you want to have a concurs standard Volvo.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:40 PM   #3
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Interesting information, but the quality will not be anywhere near as good as modern 4x50 headunit which also has a CD and ipod connecter rather then aux.
I doubt that... especially if you happen to have the large 2x60 Mosfet HA-5161 amps (a la 780). It's simply not physically possible to fit that kind of hardware into a 1 din head unit. I really doubt that any so called "4x50" head unit produces even a significant fraction of 200 watts RMS. Even the lowly 4x20 watt amp probably easily compares to the most expensive 1 din headunits.

Some reasons I can see to use a factory 760 stereo with an aux input:
-Extremely high quality ergonomically placed controls with great tactile feedback, and just overall high quality construction
-Looks stock and won't be a theft target
-Aftermarket stereo installs tend to reduce car value, especially once they're considered "old"
-Probably already installed and working in your car
-Backlit controls are easy to operate in the dark, but don't add tons of ambient light like modern stereos with huge flashy screens
-This is literally a $2.49 modification vs whatever a top quality modern head unit costs (I assume considerably more)
-I just want to listen to some low bitrate pirated mp3s in my noisy as hell 26 year old car- not exactly an ideal listening environment for the discriminating audiophile

I've bought expensive head units about 4 or 5 times for Volvos, and always had the windows broken and the units stolen within months, even if I took the faceplate with me. I've *never* had a car with the stock stereo broken into once.

Most importantly I'm a luddite and despise anything even remotely modern

Last edited by casioqv; 01-04-2011 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casioqv View Post
I doubt that... especially if you happen to have the large 2x60 Mosfet HA-5161 amps (a la 780). It's simply not physically possible to fit that kind of hardware into a 1 din head unit. I really doubt that any so called "4x50" head unit produces even a significant fraction of 200 watts RMS. Even the lowly 4x20 watt amp probably easily compares to the most expensive 1 din headunits.

Some reasons I can see to use a factory 760 stereo with an aux input:
-Extremely high quality ergonomically placed controls with great tactile feedback, and just overall high quality construction
-Looks stock and won't be a theft target
-Aftermarket stereo installs tend to reduce car value, especially once they're considered "old"
-Probably already installed and working in your car
-Backlit controls are easy to operate in the dark, but don't add tons of ambient light like modern stereos with huge flashy screens
-This is literally a $2.49 modification vs whatever a top quality modern head unit costs (I assume considerably more)
-I just want to listen to some low bitrate pirated mp3s in my noisy as hell 26 year old car- not exactly an ideal listening environment for the discriminating audiophile

I've bought expensive head units about 4 or 5 times for Volvos, and always had the windows broken and the units stolen within months, even if I took the faceplate with me. I've *never* had a car with the stock stereo broken into once.

Most importantly I'm a luddite and despise anything even remotely modern
I took the easy way out. No head unit at all. Just an 1/8-inch cable connected directly to my amps. Plug iPhone in, play a song, and I'm happy. I'm quite sure no one will steal a gutted head unit that is simply lined with padding and automotive carpet.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:39 AM   #5
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pics added
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:35 AM   #6
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kinda a cool mod...

got way too elaborate a aftermarket radio in my 242 and wanna go back to something simple and basic. this'd be cool if it were for a radio, sans equalizer...nowhere to put that conveniently in my dash.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mylesofsmyles View Post
this'd be cool if it were for a radio, sans equalizer...nowhere to put that conveniently in my dash.
If you have a radio old enough that it has a mechanical potentiometer (I think most RWD Volvo factory stereos) for the volume control, than you should be able to wire an aux jack by intercepting the sound from the preamp into the volume potentiometer.

Newer stereos with digital volume control I find too confusing to figure out where/how to wire the aux input internally.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by casioqv View Post
If you have a radio old enough that it has a mechanical potentiometer (I think most RWD Volvo factory stereos) for the volume control, than you should be able to wire an aux jack by intercepting the sound from the preamp into the volume potentiometer.

Newer stereos with digital volume control I find too confusing to figure out where/how to wire the aux input internally.
you already lost me...i'm not one for electrical problems...let alone electronic.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casioqv View Post
I doubt that... especially if you happen to have the large 2x60 Mosfet HA-5161 amps (a la 780). It's simply not physically possible to fit that kind of hardware into a 1 din head unit. I really doubt that any so called "4x50" head unit produces even a significant fraction of 200 watts RMS. Even the lowly 4x20 watt amp probably easily compares to the most expensive 1 din headunits.

Some reasons I can see to use a factory 760 stereo with an aux input:
-Extremely high quality ergonomically placed controls with great tactile feedback, and just overall high quality construction
-Looks stock and won't be a theft target
-Aftermarket stereo installs tend to reduce car value, especially once they're considered "old"
-Probably already installed and working in your car
-Backlit controls are easy to operate in the dark, but don't add tons of ambient light like modern stereos with huge flashy screens
-This is literally a $2.49 modification vs whatever a top quality modern head unit costs (I assume considerably more)
-I just want to listen to some low bitrate pirated mp3s in my noisy as hell 26 year old car- not exactly an ideal listening environment for the discriminating audiophile

I've bought expensive head units about 4 or 5 times for Volvos, and always had the windows broken and the units stolen within months, even if I took the faceplate with me. I've *never* had a car with the stock stereo broken into once.

Most importantly I'm a luddite and despise anything even remotely modern
Thanks for the tips. I really like the basic functionality and lack of attention of the factory radio. Living 2 blocks from a very large low income housing project flashy stereo components is risky. That and I have a couple of equalizers and an extra 2x60 amp and back shelf speakers I have been wanting to plug in to run with the 4x20 amp running the 4 door speakers. Now I can easily listen to Pandora in the car at appropriate volumes.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:50 AM   #10
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You must live in dodgy area's if you get your middle range stereos stolen from your Volvo, I have to say it's not very common for stereos full stop to go missing unless they are the latest and greatest.

I upgraded my headunit from the late 760 amp and headunit with a pioneer one years ago, the sound quality instantly improved, mostly as all those systems only half work in the first place. And in my 740 too, sounded so much better with just a headunit change. And I do use cd mp3's so I needed the headunit to listen to music.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:37 PM   #11
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This mod does work very well to add the capability of playing virtually anything with a headphone jack through the factory sound system - I have done the same thing with a cr-814 radio and an external EQ and have been using it for a couple of years now - sound is great and the cr-814 also is able to control a trunk mounted cd changer for even more music versatility.

But it's not necessary to have an external EQ attached for this to work - although the EQ does improve the sound of the system. You can simply attach the phono headphone jack to a cable connected to the EQ din jack on the back of any of the volvo labeled alpine made radio headunits that have a EQ jack on the back. I have them in both my 240's and my 740 and have sold several to others! It's pretty simple to solder up a cable - on my 240's I mounted the jack in one of the blank toggle switch spots - makes a nice clean convenient installation. I think I still have a couple of extra cables made up if someone wants one - for $15 I'll dig them out and mail it!
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jimsig View Post
But it's not necessary to have an external EQ attached for this to work - although the EQ does improve the sound of the system. You can simply attach the phono headphone jack to a cable connected to the EQ din jack on the back of any of the volvo labeled alpine made radio headunits that have a EQ jack on the back.
I tried that on this specific stereo before adding the jack inside the equalizer, and it worked but the bass was almost entirely filtered out and it sounded really terrible.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:45 PM   #13
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very cool. need to start adding these to the site
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:22 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by casioqv View Post
I tried that on this specific stereo before adding the jack inside the equalizer, and it worked but the bass was almost entirely filtered out and it sounded really terrible.
Don't know why it would have done that - I have one on a cr-814 without an eq and one with an eq - and both sound great. I have also done this on several other volvo factory decks including the td-6141 and even a cr-2170 which is an older (early 80's) lower slot factory AM/FM/cassette radio that still had the manual pushbutton presets (and an eq jack on back) without using an eq -

In my opinion, for a pre-91 240 (91 is when the speakers began to be fed directly from the external amp IIRC) the cr-2170 in the bottom slot fitted with one of these external jacks for an mp3 player is the ultimate "factory original" plug and play sound system - and it frees up the upper dash slot for some cool gauges too!
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:45 PM   #15
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Very coll mod, very well done. For a quick, non expensive mod its great. I too replaced my head unit and I can for a fact tell you that the replacement head unit did make a big difference... Now that being said all props to u for the mod. I just need more than that and my MTX system kicks @SS!!!!!

As far as being stolen....I leave the keys in the car, sometimes in the ignition.....
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:51 AM   #16
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Don't know why it would have done that - I have one on a cr-814 without an eq and one with an eq - and both sound great.
The only answer I can think of is that the equalizer itself distorts the sound (increases bass) even when set totally flat and either the head unit or amplifier are configured to compensate for this. So if you just bypass the equalizer entirely, most of the bass will be filtered out.

For Volvos without a stock EQ do they have some sort of "loopback plug" that jumps the pins together where the equalizer would normally plug in?
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:15 PM   #17
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The radio from my 88 765 has a bypass plugged into the EQ jack.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by casioqv View Post

For Volvos without a stock EQ do they have some sort of "loopback plug" that jumps the pins together where the equalizer would normally plug in?
Yes, that is exactly what they have - just a simple jumper plug.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:46 PM   #19
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Default Loopback plug

My 940 came with a factory CD player (player in the trunk). Now that I tossed it, I have to keep the DIN cable plugged into the radio for it to work, although it doesn't make sense to me why that is so. Nothing connected to the other end of the cable. Is it likely that my DIN cable pinout is the same as in the first post? I'd like to get rid of this 10 foot cable on the floor!

thanks!
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:59 PM   #20
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Default Line Level and EQ

I see that the OP has an IPOD, and I understand that they do have a line out feature. Other MP3 players do NOT have a line output, which leaves the headphone output as the only possibility. It works to some extent, but does not produce great audio quality unless an intermediate amp/EQ is employed. The car's EQ unit operates at audio line level (about 1 volt p-p, at 5K-10K impedance) so unless the EQ is faulty, the bass distortion is coming from the speakers themselves which are not able to pump out the necessary bass frequencies. In a normal home stereo, the speakers are restrained by physical or acoustic baffles. Door speakers don't have much of that, so the speaker's suspension has to be very firm to keep the cones in one piece. Just a little audio trivia.

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Old 07-05-2011, 10:21 PM   #21
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Is it likely that my DIN cable pinout is the same as in the first post?
I'm not sure, but you can remove it from the vehicle and test with a multi-meter to see what's going on. If the wires are looping back internally (and output hooked to an input inside the cable), perhaps you can cut it short and solder these wires together for the same effect. Ultimately you'll have to investigate exactly what's going on with a multimeter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
I see that the OP has an IPOD, and I understand that they do have a line out feature. Other MP3 players do NOT have a line output, which leaves the headphone output as the only possibility. It works to some extent, but does not produce great audio quality unless an intermediate amp/EQ is employed.
I am using the headphone output, not any line out from the ipod connector itself.

I don't totally understand what you're saying, but the ipod headphone connector seems to be equivalent in power to the built in radio input, on approximately half volume the way I have it wired up. It sounds pretty good: I'm no audiophile but I don't detect any major distortion.

It is not missing the bass as you suggest it would be, but it *does* miss the bass if I wire the ipod output directly into the stereo (in place of the equalizer), instead of as input to the equalizer. Perhaps the equalizer itself contains an internal pre-amp?
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:24 AM   #22
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can you do this if your 740 does not have a equalizer?
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:49 PM   #23
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Default IPOD and Line Out

I don't own an IPOD, but my searching reveals that they have a true line output. Take a look at how many products feature an IPOD docking station connected to a small radio or other amplifier. Those connections are of course part of the world's crummiest connector on the bottom of the unit. I'm almost certain you can get a plug for IPOD use in the car, with line outputs already broken out and ready to plug into your existing stuff.

Now the why. The audio output of an MP3 player is highly EQ'd so that the earpods sound good. They specifically match an earpod's quirky, and by most measures terrible, acoustical output. The earphone out is relatively low impedance maybe 30 ohms, I don't remember. The 2 combined above facts make the audio from the earphone out less than satisfying when used to drive a line input. The line outs on your IPOD are not EQ'd - that happens in the amplifier, and the impedance is correct for plugging into line inputs.

Obviously, you found out your hookup works. But since you have line outs, you will be amazed at how much better they sound if you use them!

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Old 08-19-2011, 06:21 PM   #24
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I'm wondering if someone could tell me how to perform a similar modification on my '97 960 radio. The factory setup is equiped with the option for a Volvo external CD player that, from what I've been told, uses a BUS-type cable connection.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:26 PM   #25
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I'm wondering if someone could tell me how to perform a similar modification on my '97 960 radio. The factory setup is equiped with the option for a Volvo external CD player that, from what I've been told, uses a BUS-type cable connection.

Any ideas?
I use my Samsung Rugby II phone for music on my '97 960.

I have 175 CD's loaded into it, and room for ~60 more full length CD's, not just songs.

How did I connect it? Amazon, Sony tape pick-up $10, and a USB micro to 3 mm mini cable, $5 which also has a microphone for hands-free.

FYI, scrap using the MP3 format, (iPods,, too) instead use .wmv files, better compression, better sound quality and can hold more information about artist, album, songs and graphics, which is all downloadable as you load the albums automatically from Windows Media Player through the internet (music directly from the CD, other info off the internet), takes ~2 1/2 min per album, and a couple seconds to drop & drag into the phone's chip as the computer see it as a 16 Gb hard drive.

I have had my head unit apart looking for a way to do this and since it is an integral amp/reciever/CD/tape player, it is not as easy as the '91 245 with the separtate amp. There is no line-in connections. I still use the tape pick-up on the
91, too, as it is the simplest and best sound, and the hands-free phone operation is the way to go.
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