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Finally! Thanks to some input from a variety of forum members, I finally got a hardwired modulator working well in the MOST equipped P. I've been screwing around with it on an off for months.

Bottom line is I can set the iPod at about 80% to 90% volume (EQ off) and run the Becker up to max (40) without overdriving the amp. The sound quality with mp3 coded at 192 kbps is very comparable to the same tracks played on the source CD in the Becker. The bad news is the only reason for this similarity is P's "hi fi" is a piece of crap. Which means seeking a solution for an aux line directly into the optical bus is not going to get you much more than a long wait and a lot more $'s. Or, you can spend $10,000 on a whole new system and listen to mp3 going through $5 worth of audio circuits in the iPod in a listening environment akin to a fish tank..

If any of you are interested here's some information that may be of assistance:

1) Don't use the dock connector. It will overdrive the amp. You're stuck with the headphone jack. Disconnecting the antenna amp or the antenna lead didn't cut it, I had to use the headphone jack.

2) EMI is a major issue/shielding is a challenge. For the patch cord between the iPod and the mod, forget about the Shack or any of the mobile audio sources. I tried the Shack, SIK and Belkin. The best result was about 60% iPod volume before the amp went unstable. I finally used a Klone patch cord (american-digital.com) and it was the determining factor in getting more output.

3) The audio side is an easy install. The power side is a pain. Again EMI and unshielded wire running all over the place. For the iPod, run off the battery is the only suggestion I can come up with. For the modulator, crank the Becker to max volume, turn on the mod and keep moving the wires around until you get the least interference. I started with a latching relay and an elegant install. I ended with the modulator plugged directly into the switched side of the cell phone tap and no switch. If you'd like to discuss this further drop me a line. I have a shoe box full of various bits and pieces to circumvent the EMI and all failed miserably.

4) Try to purchase a modulator with a steel case and the RCA jacks case mounted as opposed to lead mounted. I used an Audiovox which gave me the steel case but I had leads to deal with. At some point I'll cut them off and take the Klone into the mod. Again, EMI.

5) Overall I'd rate the sound quality as ok. Our DSP BMW blows it away with the iPod feeding it through the dock connector and using the Belkin unit. The outdoor speakers on our porch (B&W drivers driven by an old Onkyo) blows them both away. The living room system makes you want to never listen to audio in a car again.

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I am about to do a similar install in my 04 C4S. I am curious how you routed the wire from the modulator to your ipod. I saw the post where the ipod connection was made by routing the wires through the ashtray, but I don't think I want to go that route. I was thinking of possibly flush mounting a jack in the back of the storage bin in the bottom of the center stack. It would then be only minimally visible when I the ipod is not plugged in. Also, if I want to go back to complete stock, I would just need to replace the bin.

Finally!  Thanks to some input from a variety of forum members, I finally got a hardwired modulator working well in the MOST equipped P.  I've been screwing around with it on an off for months.

Bottom line is I can set the iPod at about 80% to 90% volume (EQ off) and run the Becker up to max (40) without overdriving the amp.  The sound quality with mp3 coded at 192 kbps is very comparable to the same tracks played on the source CD in the Becker.  The bad news is the only reason for this similarity is P's "hi fi" is a piece of crap.  Which means seeking a solution for an aux line directly into the optical bus is not going to get you much more than a long wait and a lot more $'s.  Or, you can spend $10,000 on a whole new system and listen to mp3 going through $5 worth of audio circuits in the iPod in a listening environment akin to a fish tank..

If any of you are interested here's some information that may be of assistance:

1) Don't use the dock connector.  It will overdrive the amp.  You're stuck with the headphone jack.  Disconnecting the antenna amp or the antenna lead didn't cut it, I had to use the headphone jack.

2) EMI is a major issue/shielding is a challenge.  For the patch cord between the iPod and the mod, forget about the Shack or any of the mobile audio sources.  I tried the Shack, SIK and Belkin.  The best result was about 60% iPod volume before the amp went unstable.  I finally used a Klone patch cord (american-digital.com) and it was the determining factor in getting more output.

3) The audio side is an easy install.  The power side is a pain.  Again EMI and unshielded wire running all over the place.  For the iPod, run off the battery is the only suggestion I can come up with.  For the modulator, crank the Becker to max volume, turn on the mod and keep moving the wires around until you get the least interference.  I started with a latching relay and an elegant install.  I ended with the modulator plugged directly into the switched side of the cell phone tap and no switch.  If you'd like to discuss this further drop me a line.  I have a shoe box full of various bits and pieces to circumvent the EMI and all failed miserably.

4) Try to purchase a modulator with a steel case and the RCA jacks case mounted as opposed to lead mounted.  I used an Audiovox which gave me the steel case but I had leads to deal with.  At some point I'll cut them off and take the Klone into the mod.  Again, EMI.

5) Overall I'd rate the sound quality as ok.  Our DSP BMW blows it away with the iPod feeding it through the dock connector and using the Belkin unit.  The outdoor speakers on our porch (B&W drivers driven by an old Onkyo) blows them both away.  The living room system makes you want to never listen to audio in a car again.

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Wow, it looks like the MOST equipped radios are a real step backward.

I have the 02 with an analog radio, and have had NONE of the issues that you have had to deal with.

The audio from the dock connector is superior to the headphone connection in my setup, and I have had absolutely no problem with EMI noise from the power leads.

Here is the install for a 02 C2

As you noted, I chose to mount the cable through the ashtray rather than the storage compartment. The rationale for this is that you still have to control the iPod through its interface, so putting it where the driver or passenger can operate the iPod is better than hiding it away.

It is too bad that the only decent option for MOST radios is the inline FM modulator. In my opinion that is the best of a sub-optimial set of choices for audio input.

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Your install looks great, I'm just concerned about taking that much of the car apart! I've done it in other cars, but i am reluctant in this car. You are correct about the new radios being a step backward. I am considering getting an older CDR-220 so I can upgrade the whole system (amp, speakers, etc) without having to use an ugly aftermarket radio.

BTW your posting of your install was very helpful as I was not aware of the phone power connector available in the center stack. With the help of your post, I was able to get the correct part from Becker so that I dont have to cut any wires. Thanks!

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I am considering getting an older CDR-220 so I can upgrade the whole system (amp, speakers, etc) without having to use an ugly aftermarket radio.

This is the only "adult" aftermarket radio I found and put in my car. The display color is selectable and the amber matches perfectly with the other interior dash displays. For what its worth... good luck.

http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAudio/Pr...ProductID=13364

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This is the only "adult" aftermarket radio I found and put in my car.  The display color is selectable and the amber matches perfectly with the other interior dash displays.  For what its worth...  good luck.

http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAudio/Pr...ProductID=13364

Thanks for the info. This looks like a potential alternative. Does the unit have an AUX input?

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Triathlete--you seem to have a '99 C2. This means that you did not have to deal with the post '02 MOST based fiber=optic crap units like myself. We can't just swap out the head unit, but have to get rid of the other wiring and components as well.....

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Triathlete--you seem to have a '99 C2. This means that you did not  have to deal with the post '02 MOST based fiber=optic crap units like myself. We can't just swap out the head unit, but have to get rid of the other wiring and components as well.....

I also replaced the stock amp in the trunk as well as the head unit. The car's existing wire harness was used for the speakers with the exception of an extra pair of wires added to run the tweeters in the dash. I went with Diamond Audio Hex speakers that use an outboard crossover that requires a separate run to the tweets. All interconnects were aftermarket.

I'm getting better sound than the stock "Premium" system but can't say it was worth the $3500 as the background noise from the tires at highway speeds in in excess of 85 dB C scale. That's AFTER putting two boxes of Dynamat in the doors and rear quarter panels. The sound is pretty tight when its parked though... :)

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I also installed the Becker AUX input for use with my IPOD in my '02 996 but find an annoying alternator whine if the IPOD is powered via the cig. lighter socket. The sound disappears once de-powered and running off internal batteries. Did you note this or come up with a solution? Thanks

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