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A Comprehensive Look at Volvo Radio Upgrade

MVS Volvo Forum members cardiegoV70, BEJ, JRL, 101, DragosGD absolutely kill it with advice on pre-2001 Volvo radio upgrade:

“You have your SC-901 head unit. Check.
You have the Dolby processor. Check.

Sounds like you do NOT have the center speaker / dash yet. That’s OK – it can be added later.

Your amplifier options are:

  • part #6816302 – 4 x 50W that mounts behind the radio
  • part #1384848 – 4 x 40W that mounts behind the radio
  • part #9452029 – 4 x 50W that mounts under the passenger seat

JRL is right – the “correct” amp for the SC-901 setup with Dolby processor installed is the 4 x 50W underseat unit. The Dolby processor mounts in the spot behind the radio where the other amps would normally be mounted.

HOWEVER – I’m here to tell you that ANY of the amps will work. The Dolby processor is small enough that it can be shoehorned into the space to the left of the glove box and the cable will still reach the head unit. That’s what I did.

Is the upgrade worth it? I think so. I kept the stock speakers and the setup has much more bass and crisper highs. I’m very happy with it. I have NOT installed my center speaker setup yet (I have the Dolby center speaker dash sitting in my basement, but the speaker is toast and a new center speaker is $110+).

What I’m running:

  • SC-901
  • Dolby processor
  • 4 x 50W amp behind the radio
  • glovebox 6-CD changer
  • USA Spec iPod adapter (have to change plugs between the changer and iPod adapter)
  • (future) Center speaker

I do have a part #1384848 – 4 x 40W amp that mounts behind the radio with the mounting bracket and harness in my basement that I would let go for $80 shipped if you are interested. I doubt you would be able to tell much difference between a 4 x 40 amp and 4 x 50 amp. I couldn’t.”

Volvo Radio Upgrade
Volvo Radio Upgrade

Audio upgrade 1998 V70: Dolby, amp, speakers

3 Comments

do u still have the amplifier that goes under the seat, if so ill take it

Is it possible to just simply swap the 816 for the 901?

Or is everything else necessary for it to function?

If so, I’ll need to run back to the pick and pull ASAP.

Eric Hoffman says:

The three-disc container won’t eject. It goes through the motions, but returns to the play position and the SC 901 display reads ERROR. Any suggestions on getting the public library’s 3 audio-book discs out of my ’99 V70R?

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