SC2 CD-Changer questions

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Matthew Fries, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. I bought my 1997 SC2 brand new with the factory stereo and equalizer
    package, but I didn't have the CD-changer installed until about a year

    Now, the CD changer is starting to have trouble detecting discs. It
    loads the disc, and after a couple of seconds, the display simply says
    "Err" on it for about 5 seconds, and then it loads the next disc. I
    assume it means that there was an error detecting the CD. It used to
    be intermittent, but now is getting more and more common. The discs
    I'm using are factory pressed, not CD-Rs.

    Sometimes, if I let it keep changing discs over and over again,
    eventually it will be able to read a disc. Once it starts to read a
    CD, it seems to be OK for the duration of the ride.

    I have tried a cleaning disc to see if it's a dirty lens, but that
    didn't seem to help. This problem started showing up last summer, and
    completely disappeared during the cold winter months. Now that it's
    warming up, it's back, so I figure it's heat related.

    Has anyone else had any such trouble with their CD-changer?

    Here is the crazy thing: I have spliced an aux input into the audio
    lines that go from the changer to the stereo, so I can plug my PDA
    into it and listen to MP3s. Well, the stupid factory head unit MUTES
    the audio until it gets a disc-good signal from the changer, so I
    can't even listen to mp3s.

    Any advice? The CD-Changer was rather expensive, and wasn't even very
    solid (it would skip when I was turning). I would rather not buy
    another one of the same model. Is there any other brand of changer
    that would work in the Saturn, and still be direct-wired audio (rather
    than that RF modulated crap)?


    Remove the BALONEY from my email address.
    Matthew Fries, Jun 11, 2007
  2. Well I'd love to know too as I'd love a CD changer in my freaking car as I
    don't even have a CD player and I only listen to certain disks and this
    would be the perfect upgrade.

    Also cool that you live only 99 miles away!
    HyperCube33 \(Life2Death\), Jun 11, 2007
  3. Matthew Fries

    BläBlä Guest

    I'd say quit f'ing around with it and get one of these

    I got a 4 gig thumb drive for 25 bucks + tax and I got more than 600
    songs on it at the moment. (Takes a little while longer to que the
    bigger and fuller drives.) At one time I used to have a CD changer but
    it seems absolutely pointless these days. Now you couldn't give me one.
    Also I can take the a/c fm modulator and use it in any vehicle I'm in...
    BläBlä, Jun 12, 2007

  4. I just bought another 1GB SD card last weekend, so it would work well
    with that product. I don't really have that many MP3s. I suppose I
    could start ripping my CDs.

    Do you have that same model?

    I often listen to podcasts (in mp3 format), and my PDA will remember
    the position in the file if my trip ends before the file does. It
    doesn't really say from the product description if this FM transmitter
    will do the same (so I bet it won't).

    I really don't care much for the FM modulator quality, and I'm no
    audiophile. Honestly, I would rather replace the entire head unit with
    something with an aux input, or an SD card slot (do they make car
    stereos with SD card slots?). The only thing keeping me from doing
    that, is then my car would no longer appear stock, and the stereo
    would no doubt invite vandals and thieves.

    Anyone know of any FM transmitter mp3 player with bookmarking


    Remove the BALONEY from my email address.
    Matthew Fries, Jun 12, 2007
  5. Matthew Fries

    BläBlä Guest

    a/c? Errr I think I ment to say accessory there or something...
    You can buy packs of three 1 gig drives for less than 30 bucks usually.
    You can then stick different genre's of music on each one. I used CDex
    to rip my cd's. Doesn't contain bloatware or skinning crap.
    Yeah got it as a gift 6 months ago. Some still out there wont play mp3's
    larger than 128kbps. This one seems to play every bit rate mp3 I have.
    Of course you have to unplug it or it keeps playing. It picks up the
    same song, from the start, when you plug it back in. Not so great if its
    a novel (book on tape) with very few file breaks.
    I dont think it sounds bad at all. IMO convenience outways sound
    quality. And the greater capacity keeps you from hearing the same crap
    over and over.

    Don't think so but usb ports would be more universal. Haven't seen a pc
    without one. If you can plug a card reader into the players usb port
    then that would cover all formats. I think thats what all car
    manufacturers should work towards.
    Again it remembers which file it was on, it just starts from the
    begining of that file.

    And hey, its Walmart, if you dont like it, you can return it!
    BläBlä, Jun 12, 2007
  6. Matthew Fries

    James1549 Guest

    I bought that same exact VR unit about 2 weeks ago. I thought it was a
    great idea when I first saw it.

    I used it for about an hour total in all 3 of my cars. PIECE OF CRAP
    to say the least.
    I tried the MP3 format and then also the WMA format. No difference.
    Low power output so you have to turn the radio way up, causing hiss,
    distortion, etc... I followed all the directions for trouble
    shooting/ tips. Again, POS.

    Back to to Target for a refund. I did have to purchase an SD card
    reader to load the music, but I am sure I will other uses for it as
    time goes on.

    James1549, Jun 14, 2007
  7. Matthew Fries

    marx404 Guest

    Matthew, I have a SC2 also, and would have purchased the extra 6 Cd changer
    if I cold find the OEM, which was manufactured by Pioneer for Saturn. (I am
    suspect the the advanced audio system, which including tape deck was
    required to install the optional OEM cd changer was likely as well made by

    As mentioned above, if it is an OEM changer, I assume you must have the
    required tape deck, which I have plugged in my XM and MP3 player. I too am
    not an audiophile, but agree that the modulator sound is sub-par as opposed
    to a direct connection, it even says so in the XM brochure.

    Have you tried cleaning your CD player? I haven't seen anyone mention that.
    You can get a CD cleaner at Radio Shack or WallyMart. I would highly suggest
    that you try that 1st before anything else.

    marx404, Jun 16, 2007
  8. My changer is not an OEM CD-changer. I bought it from my Saturn
    dealer, and it is clearly a Delco brand.

    I seem to remember hearing that the digital protocol for the saturn
    cd-changer and head unit is the same protocol that Alpine uses. I may
    be wrong, however.

    I did try a cleaning disc, but it didn't help. I also took the
    cd-changer out, and re-soldered some of the joints on a small
    connector board, right where the data cable plugs in, but that didn't
    seem to help either.

    I did find this:

    It sounds like this device will fool the stereo into thinking that it
    has a working CD-changer attached to it, so it won't mute the audio.

    I'm not sure if it has the right pinouts though. I'll have to take
    some time and check.


    Remove the BALONEY from my email address.
    Matthew Fries, Jun 16, 2007
  9. Matthew Fries

    marx404 Guest

    um, Delco = OEM.

    if you already tried cleaning it and that failed, I would suggest changing
    the unit all together as long as the radio works. pioneer does sell a very
    small CD changer unit at Best Buy (and other stores) that will fit
    marx404, Jun 16, 2007
  10. Matthew Fries

    BläBlä Guest

    To be sure, you did turn its volume to 21 (max) right? Mine doesn't hiss
    at all. If I turn my radio way way up with the player paused I hear a
    little FM background radio noise but no hiss. (What I do start to hear
    is the FM noise generated by my volume button every time I press it.)
    87.7 is an unused channel here and thats what I tune them to. I recently
    re-ripped my cd's at a much higher varable bit rate and tried it out
    again and it more than equals, if not beats out, the FM stations in
    sound quality. I wonder if yours made noise because of the SD card? I
    use usb as I can plug it in to any computer. My camera's use Compact
    Flash as do higher end digital cameras so I avoid other cards...
    BläBlä, Jun 16, 2007
  11. Matthew Fries

    j.polley Guest

    Sounds like your not looking for an FM modulator - I don't like them
    either. FM's frequency response clips off too low.

    I had a 06 Sc2 with Cassette equalizer unit, It appears the 96
    equalizer unit is the same as in the 97 - At least from looking at Ebay
    actions. Originally I installed the equalizer radio, the wiring and Cd
    changer. I just recently removed the changer and replaced the head
    unit. The changer had begun to skip on quick bumpy turns, and to be
    honest, I just got tired of going to the trunk, to swap disks. My
    thinking, which was shaded by my laziness, was that getting the changer
    fixed would cost as much or more than replacing it.

    When I originally installed the changer, I used a Rockford Fosgate 6
    disk changer and a Scosche adapter. This adapter attaches at the
    changer end of the wiring harness and then plugs into the changer.

    If you are looking to replace the changer, USASPEC makes changers that
    interface with most OEM head units, or interface using an adapter. When
    I was shopping to install, a changer, I found that each interface
    manufacturer needed a different changer brand. Scosche adapters used
    Rockford Fosgate, PEI used either alpine or pioneer. You no doubt can
    find an adapter for a new changer.

    In my quest for convenience I just replaced Saturn radio with a new head
    unit. The replacement is a Sony CDX-GT610UI from Focus Camera for $129
    not including shipping. This unit has both a USB connector, and
    accessory jack (MP3 player) input on faceplate an Ipod interface cable
    that plugs into the Ipod's dock connector, and both sub and audio
    outputs on the back of the unit. The only drawback of this unit is
    the color of the display it is blue and cannot be changed. It also has
    a remote control, but given the small size of the SC2, having a remote
    is a non-feature. The power output for this unit is 17W RMS per channel
    @ 4 ohms. Be forewarned, if your still using the stock Saturn speakers
    the sound output will be lower than with after market speakers. Someone
    with greater knowledge may correct me here, but I believe the stock
    speakers are 8 ohms.

    I replaced the old radio bezel with a Metra kit. Metra makes a very nice
    looking bezel that installs an after market single DIN like this one
    radio into an SC2. (Audio Outfitters (99-3105 METRA ) It looks good,
    and has a small pocket at the top for CD's. I used Scoshe adapters for
    the wiring and antenna. Connecting the adapter the the Sony plug was
    easy, using a soldering Iron and some heat shrink insulation. The
    installation looks and sounds very good.

    reason I am suggesting this head unit is that I originally installed a
    similar unit in my truck, a CDX-GT61UI purchased at Walmart for $164.
    This unit appears to have the same specs as the unit I put in the
    Saturn. I've been using it for about 3 months, using the Usb with a 4
    gig drive and it has worked great. I tried it with my Mp3 player and
    this too sounded great. I don't have an Ipod so can't comment on this
    feature. Since it has worked so well in the truck, I thought I would
    purchase one for the Saturn, but could not find another on
    nor at two local walmarts. I have since purchased and installed the
    similar unit model # CDX-GT610UI at the much better Focus camera price.

    Good luck

    j.polley, Jul 8, 2007
  12. Matthew Fries

    j.polley Guest

    j.polley, Jul 8, 2007
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