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Old 11-18-2001   #1
karfreek
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1989 CD Player

How good is the sound quality of the 88-89 CD Players? Is it better than the Cassette Decks in the GTA's. I want to up grade my unit, but want good sound. Let me know. I have already upgraded to Infinity Speakers.

Jay
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Old 11-19-2001   #2
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Also, can it play CD-R's?

Jay
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Old 11-21-2001   #3
FrankieRider2
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Jay, this is one that I'm able to actually reply to with some degree of knowledge.

I have a 1990 model reman'ed OEM CD player now in the red '88 GTA, and one of the new remote-control Pioneer direct-fit units in the black Notchback. From what I can tell, the sound is pretty well the same out of both units.... as far as the speakers that are in both cars now are concerned. They both sound fine to me. Any sort of CD sound is infinitely better than the cassette deck that was offered, and this new GM CD unit hooks in fine with my radio system and works with the UQ7 subwoofer system as well.

But you have to remember that you're still dealing with 1980s stuff when CD technology was in its infancy if you have one of these things.... and there were no CD-Rs back then. Even if you have a unit reman'ed like I did, it will still only be built to OEM specs. Plus it will be EXPENSIVE. Trust me.... been there, done that.

The GM deck skips on hard bumps (I live on a rural gravel road), whereas I don't think the Pioneer player would skip if you threw it up against a brick wall. Chalk one up for the "modern" boys....

You lose the steering wheel controls with the GM CD swap, but the wheel pad still lights up, so it doesn't affect the appearance. The GM CD players did use steering wheel controls in some models and I have bought the correct SWC plug for the radio, but haven't tried to wire it in yet to see if it will function in my red GTA. I have the PAC interface for the black Notchback, but haven't had much luck getting it to work correctly so far. It should make the SWCs function like the factory intended if I can ever get it figured out.

Basically, I wanted the GM CD deck for originality's appearance sake in my GTA, but the aftermarket decks are better due to the advances in technology. This is one swap I'd recommend against unless you can get a working CD player at a good price. It's just not a viable alternative otherwise for the technology you get in return.

If you want a GM CD player for your GTA, you can always try one of the later model units too. They will fit.... whereas they are not exactly a bolt-in installation, you will get a lot more advanced unit with minimal installation work. The newer radios (1993-2000) still look similar in most current models to the ones used in the GTAs years ago, so this might be a possibility for you as well. If I had it to do over, this would have been my course of action....

Just my humble opinion.....
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Old 11-21-2001   #4
Fred91GTA
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GTA CD players and CD-Rs

Hey Karfreek, I have a 91 GTA and it came with the factory original CD player. It plays SOME CD-Rs. I have some burned CD's with my own tracks on them that I downloaded as MP3s and converted to WAV files, and they play perfectly in the CD player. Also, I live in NYC, so they have all these street vendors selling ripped CD albums for $5 and they all work fine in my car. It depends on the quality of the CD-R though, as some of my friends have brought burned CDs into my car and they wouldn't work.

-Fred
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Old 11-21-2001   #5
Fred91GTA
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Help Me Please CD Player question

Hey guys, hope somebody with the factory original CD player can help me on this. I think my CD player is going. It's starting to get cold up here in NYC, especially at night, and the problem is, is that when it is cold, and I start to try to play a CD, the CD player won't work. As the car warms up, the CD player starts to work but the sound is horribe to say the least. Is this normal??? I know this is '80s technology but this is just rediculous!!! It's just one of those things that can irk somebody. Just want to have my car fully operating at full efficiency at all costs. Any fix for this problem??? Thanks.

-Fred
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Old 11-21-2001   #6
Fred91GTA
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Help Me Please By The way...

The problem gets worse with time. It's like as the CD player gets older, the worse the problem gets. Thanks.

-Fred
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Old 11-22-2001   #7
karfreek
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Franky- Thanks for your input, much appreciated. I have considered the Pioneer & Alpine Decks, but want to keep the car as stock as possible. I have looked at 90-92 decks, & have access to brand new GM units, but I have a feeling that I will have a voice that will say *Pssssst, that isnt right, you know this, why didnt you get the right one???* I have access to new 89 units, that are pricey, but I am willing to spend the $$$ to get the correct unit. I also show my car about 3-4 times a year & want the stock appearing unit in there. Well, I can deal with some skipping on really harsh bumps, but if it does it alot I will be up set. My big concern is the CD-R capatability. I think it should be fine, it really would depend on the quality of the burn...I wanna play my custom 80's discs...

As for the Sterring wheel controlls, I dont have them as I have a WS6 T/A. That way the CD PLayer will look like it should be there too.

Thanks Guys...

Jay
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Old 11-22-2001   #8
FrankieRider2
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
I completely understand about the originality issue. Jay, the CD decks from 1989-1992 are the same.... I don't know if the later models (90-92) are any different tech-wise.

I don't really drive my cars enough to worry about the "show" stuff. I will probably just unplug the CD player and pop the cassette deck back in for shows. It's about a 5-minute swap.

The skipping issue isn't really that bad, either. I just mentioned that so you'd know.

I wasn't paying attention on the SWC deal.... sorry. One of my neighbors down the road has a 1989 5.7L T/A sitting in a barn, and it does have the SWCs on it. A damn shame... it's a Lexan T-top car too. But he won't sell it.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old 11-22-2001   #9
karfreek
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Quote:
Originally posted by FrankieRider2
I wasn't paying attention on the SWC deal.... sorry. One of my neighbors down the road has a 1989 5.7L T/A sitting in a barn, and it does have the SWCs on it. A damn shame... it's a Lexan T-top car too. But he won't sell it.

I always thought the SWC's were only reserved for GTA's but have been seeing other wise lately. From what I can tell I have every option for the T/A in 1989 except for the SWC's & deck or the CD player. I do have the full logic cassette deck with 5Band EQ & 2 knobs, so it was ordered with a better deck, just not the best.


I have the Lexan tops, but they deteriorate after awhile, & would perfer glass. What color is the 89 you speak of? There was a 89 5.7L T/A on ebay a while back going for $9,000 with only 9,000mi. I am still trying to find how many 89 B2L's non GTA's were made...

I thought the decks changed in 1990 to a dual knob style?

This one is what is shown in the 1989 Brochure.
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Old 11-22-2001   #10
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I have been seeing these in the 1990-92's.
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Old 11-23-2001   #11
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Jay, the cassette deck you have is the same as the top-line GTA radio.... it just doesn't have the "Touch Control" buttons on it.

You are probably better off.... I can't imagine trying to tune that damn TC thing going down the road without the SWCs to use. Phew!

The CD decks shown in the 1989-1992 Firebird brochures show the same unit for all years.... the "Touch Control" deck like I have in my GTA. However, some cars may have used other radios.... who knows for certain?

That '89 5.7L Trans Am down the road from me is triple Black. It has the SWCs, the GTA "Ultima" seats.... everything but the factory CD and leather trim. It's a shame that nobody is doing anything with it.
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Old 11-25-2001   #12
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Cool CD

I have the factory Cd player in my 89 GTA and I it works good. When I bought the car 7 years ago the player didn't work the Cd would stay in the player. When I found out how rare a GTA was with the factory CD unit I decided to have it fixed at the cost of around $200 but it was worth it ! I added an AMP to it and have 2 12" MTX that are built into a hide away door from a Z28 and the quality sounds good. Not once has it skipped and the roads around here suck. I even bought a backup CD player for my car off of ebay for $25 just in case I need parts for mine it also has problems with the player.
As for what FRED91GTA said mine does the same thing IF and thats a big if I drive my car when its cold outside I have to wait awhile to use the player 'cause it won't play until it warms up inside the car.
As for CD-R's and good quality(name brand) CD works good.

You can see pics on my webpage.
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Old 11-26-2001   #13
tommydodso
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hey frankie how many plugs are in the back of your red gta for the radio with uq7 set up on it. i have been trying to get this to work i wanted to put it in my car but can not figure out if i have the right plugs or not. i have steering controls if that helps.
any input would be great.
thanks tommy
88 5.7 350 flame red
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