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SC- stereos model clarification.

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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Cookeh
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Cookeh

SC- stereos model clarification.

Post by Cookeh » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:53 pm

Good evening,

I was hoping someone could clarify the differences between the different SC- stereos available for the P80s? I have heard of the Premium Sound System options (SC801 and 805), and I'm aware some models (SC900 and 901) came with amplifiers.

My question is how does the sound quality vary between the non-premium sound system variants and the standard options. Do they have in-built amps, or different DACs?

I am also aware that the amps work with all SC-models, but they are very hard to find in the UK now so command quite the price. Often they don't include the harness either, which ends up costing the same again. I have found a rather good deal on an SC801 Premium Sound System, however, and I'm wondering if its worth the investment over the standard SC805 I have currently.

I've been trying to trakc down accessory catalogues to find the specs of each SC-unit in order to check stuff like power output, but I've had very little luck.

scot850
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scot850

Re: SC- stereos model clarification.

Post by scot850 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:22 pm

Most were made by Alpine. However market variances may mean different options. As far as I have found over here is that all P80 head units had built in amps with the exception of the SC-900 and SC-901 which had no internal amp. The 'Premium Sound' units are supposedly better and fuller sound but I have no way to confirm this. All my P80's from a 93 850 came with Premium Sound units with the exception of the 'R' with a SC-901. I had an SC-900 which were the 'bad' version of the 3 CD disc changer head units. I believe the sound quality was actually better than the SC-901 when played back to back.

Over here the units are also getting harder to find. I used to have a bunch of amps and cables and may still have. Problem is I have limited access to my stash in storage for the next 3-4 months. Shipping is the killer of course.

There are also possibly 3 amp options. There is a 4 x 40W and a 4 x 50W amp as well as the 4 x 100 (?)W version mounted in the trunk side panel of the C70's. Last I checked the amps could still be bought new but the harness is NLA.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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Cookeh
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Cookeh

Re: SC- stereos model clarification.

Post by Cookeh » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:21 am

Thank you, Neil. It seems you are correct that there are three amplifier options (4 if you count a measly 4x16W option that I've never seen or heard of!). It appears the 850s had the 4x40W option which is positioned infront of the heater core, whilst for the V70s it was upgraded to a 4x50W option that lives under the passenger seat.

I was finally able to find the full accessories pack for the 850/S/V/C70s, for the EU market. Here is the link:

https://accessories.volvocars.com/sv-se ... .D?lang=en

Referring specifically to the audio system, whilst several options aren't in this accessories book (i.e. SC801, SC900), it appears that the headunits remain the same and have the same power output regardless of whether they have "Premium Sound System" written on them or not. It seems to be that the 'Premium' part comes from a different set of speakers being fitted.

I'd welcome any personal experiences to confirm or dispute this though, as that accessories pack does not give the full picture. I'd also welcome comments/pictures on the type of speakers others have behind the grilles if they have a factory denoted "Premium Sound System" headunit - that would allow easy comparison with my speakers, which I know from the vin and original options to not have any of the Premium Sound System options (speakers or headunit).

scot850
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scot850

Re: SC- stereos model clarification.

Post by scot850 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:50 pm

There is talk around that there were different grades of speakers used, in particular the door speakers. With whatever is in my 00 'R' I have tested many different head units that I have then sold on to other Volvo friends in this car all connected through the Volvo amp under the front seat. I have to say it is hard to be definitive and say there was a huge difference in sound quality. The only time I noticed it was with the SC-900 and SC-901 back to back comparison. The SC-900 actually had a nicer and fuller sound in my opinion.

I have had SC-815/6 units and older with no CD. Those with Premium sound still sounded good. Our 93 850 GLT had a non-CD Head unit (SC-805?) but it had one of the best of all sounds in the car with good controlled base and clear treble.

I have heard others have replaced the old OE speakers with good quality new speakers and found the improvement significant. You may have to look for what is a direct swap fitment if there is still anything out there today.

As to what speaker Volvo used I have no idea. Again market may have variations.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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BEJinFbk

Re: SC- stereos model clarification.

Post by BEJinFbk » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:59 pm

Dynaudio FTW!
And maybe a sub...
A good sub always helps. :mrgreen:
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)

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