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Squire5000

Installing Xm Radio On A 2004 Es 330

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After toying with the idea of purchasing an Acura TL, I bought a new ES 330 yesterday afternoon, my thrid ES Model. Very happy with my decision.

At any rate, one of the thing I liked about the TL was the XM radio. Of course, Lexus doesn't offer this as OEM but my sales rep said they could install one in the sunglass holder and wire it into the radio at a cost of $500.

Has anyone done this? If so, I'd like to learn of your experience and satisfaction with the install/product. Thanks in advance.

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I am also thinking about getting XM Radio on the ES330 I will be buying next week. The local auto/music shop offered to set it up at $600. There will hook it up in the trunk.

Also, how much did you pay for the car excluding MV charges and taxes?

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You can certainly have a unit installed via an FM modulator, I'm thinking of doing this myself. Sound quality wont be quite as good as a hardwired connection but at least you'll have XM.

Now, that said the LS430 and the Solara Toyota have built in hookup kits for the XM radio so it will run straight through the navigation system. I've HEARD that the Solara kit will work on the ES330 (they have the exact same navigation head unit) if you have navigation this may work.

I'd shop the install, I'm sure a high quality stereo shop can do as good or better a job than the Lexus dealer for a lot cheaper. I've been told they could do a custom install of the XM panel for around $200 and it would look like it came on the car, I'm going to mount it on the headliner between the overhead console and the sunroof.

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it is possible to include the xm radio ouputs into the inputs for the cd changer also.

there is a kit out on the web somewhere that accomplishes this, i don't have the link anymore though. do some googling and you will find it.

it looks to me like they just mix the signal into the input for the changer. I don't think you loose the changer audio, they just both play on the same inputs so you will have to remember to stop the cd player if you want to listen to xm.

btw, the fm modulators have problems too. they can cut out at times especially in urban areas where there are strong radio signals. i opted to just use the cassette adapter even though its messy.

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The dealer knocked about $2500 off the sticker of $35,175 (which I think included destination charge but not taxes and all that stuff).

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FM Modulators arent so great. My friend and I drove from Michigan back to NYC and had to change the frequency of the modulator a few times because other stations creeped in. And also, before you drop all that cash on XM, consider Sirius ;) Every review of sirius VS xm content puts Sirius way out front as a much better service.

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Yes, if you have the nav system and you have the 6 disc in the console and the one disk in the dash behind the nav screen then you can run the XM straight through the input for that CD Changer. You will loose the ability to use the CD changer, but you'll have all the added programming on XM (with CD quality digital sound) and the one disk in the dash.

ANOTHER option I've seen done is they actually hard install the tape adapter in, and hide the cord that comes out so it looks perfect. You get almost digital quality music and don't loose the CD Changer. With the ES w/ nav it would be perfect because the tape deck is concealed underneath the nav screen. Unfortunately the ES330s dont have tape decks.

As for Sirius vs. XM, my only fear there is that while Sirius may be rated better they're definately the underdog, its a sort of Mac vs PC deal. I'd be afraid Sirius would go under and my equipment would be useless. Plus XM has made some changes (commercial free now) to kind of deliver the final blow to Sirius.

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For fear of ending up like martha stewart, i wont disclose much, but as someone with their foot in the door at sirius, they're not going anywhere anytime soon... your equipment will be worth the investment ;)

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ANOTHER option I've seen done is they actually hard install the tape adapter in, and hide the cord that comes out so it looks perfect. You get almost digital quality music and don't loose the CD Changer. With the ES w/ nav it would be perfect because the tape deck is concealed underneath the nav screen. Unfortunately the ES330s dont have tape decks.

The problem using that type of hookup is you're taking a Digital Signal and converting it back to an Analog Signal and then back to a Digital Signal. Too many conversions to suit me.

By the way: The real reason I didn't buy an ES330 is because it didn't have a cassette player. :lol:

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any standard input on a head unit is already analog...

the cd changer has a digital to analog converter on it. unless you have some kind of setup that actually runs a digital cable to the head unit (i.e. optical cable or digital coax), but i doubt (i could be wrong here) that a stock stereo, even a lexus one, would do that.

BUT the casette setup does sound worse than just running the line into the head unit mainly because of the fact that it has to run through the play head of a tape mechanism.

i run an ipod through the casette and I find it to be pretty good. if you jack the volume up high you can hear the typical hiss from a tape deck, but while the music is playing it sounds fine. better than any actual casette tape could sound I am sure.

actually for those with an ipod, the ashtray on a gen1 es300 makes a great ipod caddy! it just takes some small mods and some black weatherstripping and you have yourself a handy popout ipod caddy that even gets lighted when the headlights are on :cheers:

of course you couldn't use it as an ashtray then, but I don't smoke...

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Sure, the input isn't going to be as good as running a line, but its better than the FM modulator and you don't loose your CD Changer...

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If you're interested in getting XM, I would suggest connecting it via the cassette adapter. I am a member of an online XM forum (www.xmfan.com) and everyone agrees that the cassette adapter will give you the best sound (aside from wiring it through an Aux. input port)... especially with a high-quality stereo. I personally use the Delphi Roady with a cassette adapter. $119 bucks for everything you need. No professional installation required (I wouldn't want a radio shop messing with my car anyway.) It's a handy little unit, and has awesome features. The sound is incredible... I've adjusted the Dolby settings on my stereo to compensate for any background noise, and you would think you were listening to a CD. Regardless of whether you get XM or Sirius, you'll love satellite radio. :D

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I read the forums at XMFan.com all the time :cheers:

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You guys are starting to convince me to get satellite radio!! Is it really worth the extra monthly expense? It's about $10 a month.....right? :rolleyes:

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My dad has it on his 04 LS430 (they have a direct hookup for the LS430, runs through the nav screen and everything) and he says its all he ever listens to. Any kind of music, talk, comedy, traffic, news you could want. Its like the difference between cable TV and broadcast TV. He and I both like country music but we like more of the older lesser known (less pop-like) music that you can't find on broadcast stations, but its there on XM.

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I resisted buying XM radio for quite some time, thinking it was an expense I could live without. Finally, I broke down and bought it on one of my compulsive shopping sprees, and I've never regretted it. It is definitely one of my favorite toys. I've since installed receivers in my home and at the office. The Delphi Roady unit that I bought is completely portable... you can easily disconnect it and move it around with you. I've also given the same unit to several friends as gifts, and they love it. I don't know much about Sirius, but my experience with XM has been incredible. Once you get it, you'll be happy to spend the $10 every month.

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The Sirius radio is all I listen to in the car, and at home. I bring the here2anywhere plug and play unit with me to other peoples houses even, its really spectacular. Later this year, Sirius will be offering satellite video over its existing satellites and anyone with a Sirius unit with an LCD screen will be able to get it, should be pretty cool :) www.siriusbackstage.com has all sorts of great info on that stuff!

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I stopped off at Tweeter today and I can have XM custom installed for under $300, hidden in the top armrest bin where nobody would ever see it, done with an FM modulator. I sat in two cars, one done with the FM modulator and one done with the line in jack, and while not as good as the line in jack the FM modulator was better than FM reception.

I'm very pleased and will have this done soon.

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I've purchased XM and have been using in my home audio system and with their boom box outside. Have the auto attachment kit but have held off because I haven't figured out how to run the antenna through the trunk to the console. Any suggestions or details will be appreciated. Thanks

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First off, before fully installing the antenna, you should consider getting it painted to match the roof of your car, I got mine done at a local body shop for 25 bucks, looks fantastic like OEM.

I'm going to say that the 97 install of the antenna wire wont be all that much different than the 02 probably. Put the antenna in its place on the roof (But dont put the adhesive on till the end, just use the magnet for now) I routed the wire right under the thin rubber moulding around the rear window, try lifting it up with a straight pin/needle, and work the wire under it around the side and down (This is kinda tedious, but you want to get it all under for a clean look) Route the wire all the way until it goes to the bottom of the glass where it can go into the trunk without being seen outside. From there, i put the wire through the ski pass-through (Thin enough that it can still close afterwards) and then tucked it into the rear seat. Then i trailed it out from there to the plastic moulding at the bottom of the door and it goes under there nicely. The only place where the wire comes out of hiding is to jump from there to go under the drivers seat (Didnt feel like ripping up the floor carpet to figure this one out, and the wire was too short to continue all the way forward and around) So i trailed it under the drivers seat, and right up into the center console, and from there just take it to where you need it. Just try to get creative tucking and hiding, and good luck! Let me know if you'd like a picture of a specific place along the way.

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I just place my antenna (a Delphi mini antenna) on the front dash near the A Pilar and I get perfect reception. I've run the wire through the trim around the door, under the driver's seat, and up to the console. I went with this option for two reasons: 1) I don't want criminals and vandals to rip the antenna of my car, 2) I don't want criminals to know I have XM. I'd suggest finding a small antenna and testing it inside your car for the reception "sweet spot." My antenna is about 2"X1.5"X.5" and its not in the way at all.

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The install guy who is going to do mine said the same thing, he would just put the antenna on the dashboard.

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