95 Bose 5-speaker system Front Speakers make no sound - Camaro Zone - Camaro Forums and News

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Old 04-28-2017, 02:41 PM   #1
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95 Bose 5-speaker system Front Speakers make no sound

Alright, I've spent too many hours over too many days searching since my front speakers went permanently (probably) to silent mode.

When turning on the system, as in clicking the volume dial up, you do sometimes hear a pop, and I used to hear this pop being a little louder when the speakers worked, if I remember right. However, no audio goes through the speakers, only the rear. I was almost certain I've found a solution that involved soldering some points on a circuit board, but have not been able to find that again now that I have the problem...

Here's all the relevant facts I can think of, if anyone can guide me:
  • Rear "subwoofer" amp was replaced a few years ago by me.
  • This amp is located in the sub box, and powers at least the sub, plus possibly the 2 middle sail speakers.
  • Sail speakers do have audio coming out, but I have been convinced for some time they don't put out full volume, you have to put your ear up next to them to tell they're on. (So it's like it's getting a pre-amp signal but no amped signal)
  • Front 2 speakers POP, and have no audio.
  • If you put your ear up to the front 2 speakers you can hear static, as though the amp is on but has no signal.
  • I have 1 of the front speakers + amp removed for inspection. Amp doesn't appear to have any bulging capacitors.
  • AM/FM reception has been weak for years, and may have been a problem when I replaced the rear amp.
I think my next stop is the head unit. But is there some other separate box I need to look at where I might find those solder points? I'm comfortable doing all the work, but I don't like tearing apart panels when I don't know what I'm looking for.


Last note: EVERYTHING IS FACTORY I DID NOT CREATE A FRANKENBOSE SOUND SYSTEM.
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:11 PM   #2
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Quick update - I unscrewed the amp from its enclosure attached to the door speaker, and on the back of the printed circuit board there's some corroded paths, green when rubbed off with a white eraser.

I would post a picture but if you know what corrosion on a PCB looks like, that's what this looks like. If I rub or scrape it off on 3 or 4 spots, the exposed circuit appears copper in color, as opposed to the gold it should be. Maybe it's possible years of this slowly corroding eroded enough of the circuit (and in the right places) that it can't deliver the signal anymore?

If so, amp replacement seems the most logical next step.
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoaRyan View Post
Alright, I've spent too many hours over too many days searching since my front speakers went permanently (probably) to silent mode.

When turning on the system, as in clicking the volume dial up, you do sometimes hear a pop, and I used to hear this pop being a little louder when the speakers worked, if I remember right. However, no audio goes through the speakers, only the rear. I was almost certain I've found a solution that involved soldering some points on a circuit board, but have not been able to find that again now that I have the problem...

Here's all the relevant facts I can think of, if anyone can guide me:
  • Rear "subwoofer" amp was replaced a few years ago by me.
  • This amp is located in the sub box, and powers at least the sub, plus possibly the 2 middle sail speakers.
  • Sail speakers do have audio coming out, but I have been convinced for some time they don't put out full volume, you have to put your ear up next to them to tell they're on. (So it's like it's getting a pre-amp signal but no amped signal)
  • Front 2 speakers POP, and have no audio.
  • If you put your ear up to the front 2 speakers you can hear static, as though the amp is on but has no signal.
  • I have 1 of the front speakers + amp removed for inspection. Amp doesn't appear to have any bulging capacitors.
  • AM/FM reception has been weak for years, and may have been a problem when I replaced the rear amp.
I think my next stop is the head unit. But is there some other separate box I need to look at where I might find those solder points? I'm comfortable doing all the work, but I don't like tearing apart panels when I don't know what I'm looking for.


Last note: EVERYTHING IS FACTORY I DID NOT CREATE A FRANKENBOSE SOUND SYSTEM.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FoaRyan View Post
Quick update - I unscrewed the amp from its enclosure attached to the door speaker, and on the back of the printed circuit board there's some corroded paths, green when rubbed off with a white eraser.

I would post a picture but if you know what corrosion on a PCB looks like, that's what this looks like. If I rub or scrape it off on 3 or 4 spots, the exposed circuit appears copper in color, as opposed to the gold it should be. Maybe it's possible years of this slowly corroding eroded enough of the circuit (and in the right places) that it can't deliver the signal anymore?

If so, amp replacement seems the most logical next step.
The solder joints you are asking about has nothing to do with the issue you are having. The solder joints you are asking about is on the BCM (Body Control Module). There are 5 joints that have bad solder joints from the factory. This effects power windows and power for the radio (stereo Head Unit). This effects the stereo power on and staying on. This usually starts as an intermittent issue, then eventually goes to no power at all. But, this is not the issue you are having.

Your issue is just the front speakers, which, with a factory Head Unit, are powered by the Factory Head Unit. Is the "fader" control set to the center position? Or front position?
My guess is the head unit is going bad. You can test the front speakers to make sure they actually work, using another source.




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Old 04-28-2017, 04:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ercmann View Post
The solder joints you are asking about has nothing to do with the issue you are having. The solder joints you are asking about is on the BCM (Body Control Module). There are 5 joints that have bad solder joints from the factory. This effects power windows and power for the radio (stereo Head Unit). This effects the stereo power on and staying on. This usually starts as an intermittent issue, then eventually goes to no power at all. But, this is not the issue you are having.
Ah thanks - explains why I couldn't find anything searching for Bose, lol!

My problem did start as intermittent, but is isolated to the speakers as the head unit is on and delivering sound to the rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ercmann View Post
Your issue is just the front speakers, which, with a factory Head Unit, are powered by the Factory Head Unit. Is the "fader" control set to the center position? Or front position?
My guess is the head unit is going bad. You can test the front speakers to make sure they actually work, using another source.
So actually with the Bose system, the front speakers are powered by an amp that is attached to their enclosure cradle. I just took one of them out. BUT I have read or heard about the head unit having issues maybe like this.

With the fader, if I go forward/back it makes the rear sound louder or quieter slightly. (actually it just changes the tone of it somewhat... a Bose thing) Balance does absolutely nothing.

Thing I did: Cleaned up the corrosion crudely and wiped with alcohol, just to see what happened. No change.

New info:
  • I can feel the speaker cones moving on the front, so actually they're getting power, and if I get my ear close enough can hear the static, too. This tells me the amps are working.
  • Also, since this started I have to turn the volume level higher to get the same sound level. This used to be intermittent which is how I know it's a different volume position.
Now I'm thinking the head unit is the place I should look. It's as if it isn't pre-amping properly. Rear amp has more power than the front amps, which could account for some sound coming out of it.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:22 PM   #5
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FYI - Parts Resource

By the way, this site is a good resource for repairs/parts: http://www.carstereohelp.com/chevrolet.htm

Unfortunately it never got that "web 2.0" update around 1999 or whatever so it takes some serious determination to read through!
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:48 PM   #6
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Update: I took out the head unit, disassembled it, then inspected it, and put it back together. There was another spot of rust on one place on the PCB, and 2 spots of rust on solder points. The solder points didn't look like they were affected, but the one on the board was like the door speaker's amp where it looks as though the circuit could be compromised.

I don't know if any of this translates to the issues I'm having. After all it could be faulty capacitors or anything else. It might be in order to replace BOTH front amps, and have the head unit serviced. That's a lot of work to go through, but since I'm evidently the only earthling that still has a factory Bose system I just might do it. Could be a good summer project.
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Old 06-14-2020, 10:04 AM   #7
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Finally made progress on this! Yesterday I picked up some used front speaker/amp enclosures at the local Camaro & Firebird grave yard where I've always found good parts and good prices. After swapping out each door amp they now work! Sound is good!

The problem I described as having to "turn the volume higher to get the same level" is more apparent now. It's really just the signal fading out and coming back. It could indicate a problem with the head unit or the antenna. I will have to test with a cassette to see if it's only on radio.
I know this is an old thread. But I felt it was important to answer some of the questions since it's so difficult to find info on the 1995. What an odd in-between year!

I found info elsewhere on part numbers, helped me at the yard. Hope it can help someone else:
The pre-95 part numbers are different. Option code was U82. The older door speakers were heavier and drove the bass with larger magnets.
  • Left door speaker: 16204531
  • Right door speaker: 16204521
  • Subwoofer: 16204541 (top of box)
In 1995, you had option code U65, lighter speakers in the front, then 2 in the back seat sails, and (maybe?) the same sub in the trunk. However the amp inside the sub enclosure POWERS the 2 in the back seat. This confuses many, many people so I'm making it clear here.
  • Left door speaker: 16196771 (speaker bracket BOSE 16189351 | DELCO 16189321)
  • Right door speaker: 16196791 (speaker bracket BOSE 16189341 | DELCO 16189311)
  • Rear seat speakers: 16215431 (stamped on face of speaker magnet, 10Ω LOL)
  • Subwoofer: 16196781 (top of box)
**These numbers are found on a sticker that's likely faded or missing. Door stickers are on amp enclosures. It says 'BOSE®' and 'Made in U.S.A.' in darker text, also has an assembly date toward the bottom right. Speaker brackets have additional numbers stamped into the plastic.**

This is incorrect: "All those Bose systems had an amp for every speaker."
This is correct: "Many 80's and 90's Bose car audio systems had an amp-per-speaker configuration. This varied by year and model."
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