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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings AudiC5S6's Avatar
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    2006 Audi A6
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    Question Stereo wiring difference in S6 and S4

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    Can someone please school me on the wiring for these stereos? Specifically, are the stereos out of the S6 the same as the one in the S4? Is the wiring for them the same? What's the measurements of both? Can I take a new stereo from Audi, or aftermarket for that matter, for the the S4 and use the plug and play harness included to put it in the S6? Since I have the RS6 steering wheel, without music controls, do I still need the canbus? I haven't begun to dissect the stereo yet, but am electrically inclined, is it possible to just bypass the Bose, canbus, and completly hook up a aftermarket stereo the old fashioned way? I'm just contemplating ideas and input is highly requested. Basically I am considering buying either new S4 rnse or aftermarket since I can't seem to find anything that says it is for the C5 Avant . Thanks guys
    Last edited by AudiC5S6; 04-19-2017 at 08:28 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Jun 07 2005
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    Shepherdstown, WV

    The physical units can be different based on the dash depending on year.

    The basic wiring is roughly the same, as in the power connector is the same if the cars are of similar generations. They did change a few times over the years but in most cases cars of same years unless they released a new chassis will be the same. IF going aftermarket there are only a couple of harnesses for all Audis for the past 20 or so years, so that tells you that units between cars are wired the same, but see below for bose/not bose info.

    You can eliminate the canbus stuff, or use a canbus adapter with an aftermarket headunit. Depending on the year though this could mean adding wires, my 2003 for example gets the turn on signal via the canbus not directly into the unit on its own wire. So if using an aftermarket headunit with no canbus adapter you'll need to supply your own switched power. On canbus cars eliminating it is more complicated than just throwing in a headunit with a canbus adapter or wiring a car that is pre can.

    The amp part gets trickier. On non Bose headunits there are two basic ways they are wired either direct to each speaker from the headunit or to the fronts from the unit, then to the sub/amp from the headunit which then branches out to rear speakers. Your stock headunit should be labeled and show you which way yours is. I've actually never changed headunits on a setup that runs the rears through the bose amp so not sure if they are line or speaker level (I think they are speaker but check)

    On bose there is only low level output (for each corner speaker) to the Bose amp in the back. From the amp it goes to each corner. You CAN get harness adapters that will take the RCA outputs on the aftermarket headunit and run that into the bose inputs, did this on my A3 and started with it on my allroad, tested it but then decided to put my own amp in.


    so check your stock headunit labeling it should show it for all the ways that it can be wired, then compare that to your harness to see how it is actually wired up.
    80 rabbit pickup, 98 TJ 4bt cummins, 00 180TTQ 6spd, 02 Freelander, 03 Allroad 2.7t 6spd swap now with K04s, 06 A3 2.0T w/GT3071R (2012 JSW TDI and 2015 GSW TDI now in TDI purgatory )

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings AudiC5S6's Avatar
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    Chris, Thank you so much for that write up! It is very appreciated bro! Listen, I have the bose amp and actually just spliced into the amp power and outline speakers from that bose, to power and hook up my amp to my subwoofers. Now i want to hook up an after market updated satnav/dvd/wifi player with the same face as the original RNS-E. Do you know if the measurements are the same on the S4 and S6 stereo? Do they fill each dash exactly the same? I am thinking so as people sell RNS-E to swap between vehicles. Thanks again bro

  4. #4
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Jun 07 2005
    AZ Member #
    6784
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    Shepherdstown, WV

    one of the ebay/alibaba type android rnse clones? you should be able to order a can adapter with it that will handle all the wiring and it will come with adapters to go from the headunits RCAs into the bose amp harness. Just make sure you hook up one rca at a time as mine were not labeled correctly.

    They make C5 specific units, I don't recall if the radios shapes are interchangeable those years, never something I looked into.
    80 rabbit pickup, 98 TJ 4bt cummins, 00 180TTQ 6spd, 02 Freelander, 03 Allroad 2.7t 6spd swap now with K04s, 06 A3 2.0T w/GT3071R (2012 JSW TDI and 2015 GSW TDI now in TDI purgatory )

  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings AudiC5S6's Avatar
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    Sep 22 2016
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    2006 Audi A6
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    Denver/Co

    Yes, exactly. From eBay. The whole unit has the physical appearance but the software is Modern. I hope it works. $500.00 bucks to try it I guess

  6. #6
    Established Member Two Rings Clockwerks's Avatar
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    05 6mt allroad, Wife's Honda Pilot, impending feeling of doom with 2 C5 audis
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    Chris86, Do you have a wiring diagram for the ignition switch bundle?
    I don't mean to thread jack, but after removing my aftermarket keyless ignition, my stereo will not turn on with the key on. It has the flashing alarm light all the time. When I removed the
    "brain" of the push button ignition, I removed a wire going to my stereo bundle and I believe that was the "ignition on" wire. I'm thinking that I should be able to attach this to my ignition wiring as shown in the stereo wiring manual. (Or accidentally burn down my car...)
    05 allroad 6 speed, blue, color matched and bone stock so far...
    04 2.7 A6 6 speed with GT28RS Turbos, water/meth injection, 3" performance exhaust w/ RS6 tips, Koni FSDs, Eibachs, & H&R sway bars, 8 piston Brembos, RS6 18" whls, Drive train stab, RS6 body & alcantera interior, European RS6 pedals, R8 steering whl running a Kenwood 9980, Boost gauge, Blah, blah blah...

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