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I had hoped that my stereo woes would have ended after replacing the Bose speaker/amplifiers. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and when I woke the Dragon from his slumber this year the stereo system failed to work. The unit lit up but is completely non-functional.

I do like music when I am traveling, especially on longer journeys. So I’m at the point where I want to address this. I have some longer term plans in this area, but for now I just want to do something relatively simple and cheap that will get me by.

I’d heard from a number of sources that it was possible to swap out the head unit and keep the Bose speakers but finding information on this was a little like looking for the rocking horse poo. Information on completely gutting the whole system was widespread but discovering how to do the less dramatic operation of replacing the head unit was much harder. After several hours searching I finally found a detailed discussion on the Mazda Miata forums.

In theory this should be relatively simple: remove the old head; install the new one using a convertor to change the outputs to something that the whacky Bose system can work with; button it up and done. That said, I’m under no illusions that everything will be that simple. I know just how frustrating these projects can get. I’ve also never done this kind of an installation before.

Selecting the head unit was fairly straight-forward. My needs were simple enough:

  1. Double-DIN unit – to simplify installation
  2. Auxiliary Input – So that I can plug in my GPS/Phone
  3. Available locally
  4. Errr… that’s it. Anything else is a bonus.

The stock head unit is really showing it’s age (apart from being non-functional!). There’s a CD player, a radio (that never seems to be able to pick anything up) and a tape cassette player (remember those?. That’s it, no flashing lights, no MP3 capability, and worst of all, from my perspective, no aux input.

Sony-WXGT90BTI looked on the Future Shop site and quickly found the Sony WXGT90BT. This is double DIN, has Bluetooth (which I may possibly use), CD Player, a front USB connector (which I probably won’t use) and other functions that I am not interested in. It was in stock at my local store too.

One nice feature is that you can change the illumination color (not elimination color as stated on the Future Shop website which sounds rather unpleasant!). This means I’ll be able to match the stereo to the car’s orange dash illumination and it will look less like an “add-on”.

With all those, this will be a major step up from the old Bose head.

Future Shop was also able to order the Bose adapter kit for me, which was a bit of a surprise. I’d been ready to order that online from Crutchfield as mentioned on the Miata forum.

I have to wait for the adapter kit to arrive. Once that’s here, it will be time to do the install and say bye-bye to Bose blues!

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