Replace 2003 Moon and Tunes Stereo

Stereo, security systems, vehicle electronics, and electrical-related discussions
tmdteach
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:31 am

Replace 2003 Moon and Tunes Stereo

Postby tmdteach » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:25 am

Hello,
I am purchasing the Pioneer MVH-200EX from Crutchfield to replace the original head unit in a 2003 Vibe with the Moon and Tunes package. I've read on this forum that something like a Scosche SLC4 Line Output Converter is necessary to use because of the factory amp. Other people, however, say they didn't use one. Does needing one depend on the new HU you are using? If so, will I need one with the MVH-200EX? When I chatted with Crutchfield, the rep said their records do not indicate I need the line output converter and when I put it in my cart on their web site, I get a note that says "This item is NOT recommended for your vehicle". So, my question is... Do I need this product or not? This is my first installation so I'm trying to read as much as I can and be as thorough as I can. Many thanks for any input.
TIna

zbyers
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Replace 2003 Moon and Tunes Stereo

Postby zbyers » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:19 pm

I used one of those simple adapter kits from walmart just fine. the 03, to the best of my knowledge, did not come factory with an amp so you should be fine.
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tmdteach
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:31 am

Re: Replace 2003 Moon and Tunes Stereo

Postby tmdteach » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:07 pm

Thanks for replying. My 18 year old's newly acquired 2003 does have a factory amp under the passenger seat. That's the "tunes" part of the "moon and tunes" package. The "moon" part is the moonroof. The vehicle has tweeters on each front door as well. Was all set to do a quick and easy HU exchange until I read about this upgraded stereo package and how people were getting a lot of static and pops from not using the converter. Then others with this package didn't use converter and didn't have a problem. Maybe it has to do with how loudly you play the stereo??? I don't know... just trying to not have to redo an install because I left something out.

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ColonelPanic
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Re: Replace 2003 Moon and Tunes Stereo

Postby ColonelPanic » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:58 pm

I tried it with and without the speaker level converter with two aftermarket radios on two '03s with moon & tunes. While the aftermarket radio did work without the speaker level converter, a level of white noise was introduced that I found was unacceptable. Without the converter, it may not be too noticeable when listening to a louder song, but any quiet passages will have a hiss. Not to mention things were very loud in general, even at lower volume levels.

I never noticed any pops when not using the converter, just static... I recall the pops being prevalent when people tried to wire in the aftermarket radio's line level outputs into the speaker wiring in the harness as a workaround for this issue.

The speaker level converter adds an extra cost, more points of failure and more junk you have to find space for inside the dash, but to me it's worth it. Your mileage may vary.
03 Vibe base. Born 10/14/2002 06:07 AM
Neptune. Auto, Moon & Tunes, power package. 130k mi.

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zbyers
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Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Replace 2003 Moon and Tunes Stereo

Postby zbyers » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:23 am

Rough day yesterday. I was thinking factory sub. Sorry for the confusion. They do have the amp, but not the sub. Like ColonelPanic said, it'll vary.

I do get a bit of white noise, but I also have a blown speaker or two so I'm not sure that's the cause. The white noise started more once the one rear speaker blew... ya know, 15 year old car with 265k on it. I have replacements, just work has been busy.
Ruby- 03 Salsa, Ray[is]AWD- 04 Salsa AWD, Simon- 03 Silver "Faux by Four"
Raven- 03 Abyss GT, Neptune- 05 AWD, Robyn- 07 Stealth Gray Metallic, Mystic- 09 AWD

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BustedVibe
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Location: Wisconsin

Re: Replace 2003 Moon and Tunes Stereo

Postby BustedVibe » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:35 am

Wouldn't white noise/ background hiss indicate a grounding issue?
Maybe you should look into that aspect.

I replaced the factory HU in my 2004 with a Pioneer HU. I don't remember if we just picked up a local adapter kit or ordered a Metra harness, but we did not use line level converters or anything. Just the wiring harness. My brother did the wiring mostly.

I did lose good AM/FM reception but I didn't really care to investigate what we failed to account for, as I don't listen to the radio, I got the deck for iPod control and bluetooth streaming from my phone.

I do have background hiss, its always there, even barely perceptible when you turn the volume all the way down. In general I have no found it interferes too much with the music though, you will start to notice it when you turn the deck halfway up (30ish, I think it goes to 60)

I figured when I get around to replacing the factory amp and speakers, etc I will probably do a full rewire of the car, run fresh cables, etc

I know some people ground their unit to the chassis and even run their HU power directly off something under the hood.
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kostby
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Re: Replace 2003 Moon and Tunes Stereo

Postby kostby » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:57 am

In a 2003 Vibe with factory Moon & Tunes, factory speakers, and factory aux amp, the white-noise hiss is ALWAYS present when the head unit is on.
It's less noticeable with the engine running, and when the system is playing radio, CD, or music, but it is always there.

Turn off the factory head unit, and the factory aux amp under the front passenger seat continues to emit an audible white-noise hiss through the speakers for about 20 seconds before the aux amp powers down, even with the car switched off.

So, as I recall, one of the reasons the line output converter was created for this setup was that the factory speakers were rated at just 2 ohms.
The other reason being that there was no line-level outputs on the factory head unit, nor the aux amp.
Owners who replaced the factory speakers with 4 ohm or 8 ohm units without changing the head unit and amp also noticed a significant loss in volume.

Why? On the Vibe new car spec sheet, a Moon & Tunes with "6 speakers and a 160 watt amp" into 2 ohm speakers looks far more impressive than an "80 watt amp" into 4 ohm speakers, or a "40 watt amp" into 8 ohm speakers.

The factory subwoofer was first available at the start of the 2005 model year ("smooth nose"), available at dealers as early as May 2004.
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My 2003 Vibe Base Auto 2-tone Salsa "SalsaWagon" was built in May 2002. I acquired it in Feb 2004/Traded it in on a 2016 Honda HR-V in Feb 2018
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