Keep the AM radio, and go MP3

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lebu64

Guest
Here is an alternative to ripping out the AM radio. I have one of these systems installed in my Skylark and it sound great. I am using 1 sub and 2 3-way speakers . I did not cut any holes and the AM radio still works! I did use a different set of kickpanels for the speakers (the originals are stored away) The MP3 unit is so small that I can put it my pocket at car shows, and I can also transfer the MP3 unit to my GTO very easily. The back seat cross brace has original holes that can be used to mount the sub box. The back of the sub box also makes a good base to mount the amp, so no holes are needed. I can also plug in my iPod, but I prefer the MP3 player that comes with it because of its size (its as small as a pack of gum).
If you hang out at the Huntington Beach Donut shop on Saturdays, look for a 64 Skylark. I can show you the system.

http://cgi.ebay.com/AM-FM-Stereo-Radio-MP3-Amp-Not-Custom-Autosound_W0QQitemZ9727657998QQcategoryZ4950QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 

Jim Carmichael

New member
I bid on this unit but wonder if you need an FM radio to make it work. I only have the original AM and was told they don't make a kit for that.
 
L

lebu64

Guest
Jim,
No FM radio is needed. The system operates independently from the AM radio, which is why the AM radio can still function.
The head end unit (that small thing between the seats in the ebay ad) stores all the music and it also has a 5 band eq (Rock, Jazz, Pop, etc..)and a FM tuner. I prefer the MP3 function more because of the digital quality and a 150 songs takes me a while to listen through. The other secret to the system is the special amp. It makes the MP3 player come to life. At 720W, it drives my speakers plenty. You can use 4 speaker, 3 speaker, or 2 speaker setup. The amp also has a built in cross over so you can fine tune the freq outputs to your liking.
 

sicksteve

New member
My old DAT walkman connected into the optical digital input of my source unit sounds SO much better than compressed MP3 digitized garbage.

I think with the quality associated with old Buicks that they deserve nothing less than the best. If you can't afford a whole system, do so one at a time. I am far from a talented installer, but there are some who can put a mobile refernce sound system in your car without changing the stock aesthetics one iota.

When I hear this "I can get this Custom Auto stereo that fits in my Buick...", I just cringe. Even before I had my first classic Buick, I started looking at the advances in high-end mobile audio that allowed true 100+RMS amplifier, and thus, true dynamics (not loudness). There are so many companies that are using the stock head unit and a central pre-amp, re-equalization unit that becaomes the control unit for the car's stereo. Now, no one has any reason for not adding a quality system, if you can keep your original head unit and have a state-of-the-art stealth system, as well.
 

Jim Carmichael

New member
No I was out bid on that one but they offered me a second chance however so many of those are a scam with people just out to get your money that I didn't reply.
 
S

skinner

Guest
Hey Steve,

I think that the two systems you are comparing aren't even in the same ballpark. DAT units would have the following disadvantages;

1. Price - DAT units typically run about $1000 for the unit alone! - this whole system sold for $350 with EVERYTHING (MP3, amp, cables, all wires, fuses, etc.)

2. Functionality - DATs are designed for use in controlled environments (recording studios, etc.). You can't store hundreds of songs like an MP3 player, you can't even skip tracks! DATs are sequential devices...who wants to spend time using the "FF" button to find the song they want? :clonk:

3. Wasted sound quality - yes, DATs have better sound quality than a compressed MP3...but how much of that will actually be noticeable when you factor in the speaker distortion, road noise, and the inevitably poor acoustics of the vehicle?

4. Reliability - DATs are very fragile. There is no way in hell I would put my $1000 DAT in a car during an Arizona summer! MP3s on the other hand are much more durable. They are solid state devices so there are absolutely no moving parts.

Bottom Line: DATs belong in the studio, not in a car.

Looking at this auction it appears to be a very fair price. Doing a quick calculation I could probably put together a comparable system piece by piece for about the same price. But, I think it would be definitely worth it to buy it all from the same place....it would save me the leg work. :bgrin:
 
L

lebu64

Guest
Jim,
I hear you. I have gotten emails like that in the past too. A real easy way to tell if the offer is legit, is to look at your ebay inbox, login to your ebay account, and click on the "MY MESSAGES" link. If the second chance offer shows up, it is real. I always contact the seller direct if I have any doubt.
I am buying another system for one of my other muscle cars, and I have been told that there will be more on Ebay in about a month. Don't outbid me!:D
I wish I would have bid on this one because the cheapest I could get is $389 (only because I know someone who works there).
 

Jim Carmichael

New member
Now i'm confused about what system to buy. I don't know much about stereo equipment as you don't need much of a system to play country music. It all sounds the same!
 
L

lebu64

Guest
Jim,
I would wait to buy the MP3 system myself. As an owner of one already, I can tell you that you won't be disappointed.

P.S. Johnny Cash sounds really good on my system.
 
S

skinner

Guest
Jim,

It all comes down to what you are looking for. You could put an aftermarket CD player in the dash, glovebox, etc....but I really don't recommend it. It would take a lot of modification to your dash, which is something you don't want when you're trying to keep the vehicle original. The cool thing about that system you bid on is that it is completely reversible....and not to mention you can take the MP3 player with you when you leave the car :bgrin: . The days of CD changers are long gone....you can fit literally hundreds of songs on an MP3 player as small as your thumb. If you decide you don't want the system anymore, or you sell your car, etc....it will be VERY easy to remove. You won't even have to mess with your dash. Believe me that is a HUGE plus! I've been installing car stereos for the better part of 7 years and MP3 systems are becoming common place. I will say that this company appears to be the only one marketing exclusively towards the classic car market. Other companies have adapters that let you hookup an MP3 player to an aftermarket stereo.....but what about those who want to keep the original vintage radio? So far this is the best solution I've seen.
 

76 Regal

New member
Stereo alternatives

For those of you who do want to upgrade and update the sound of their audio systems, without sacrificing appearances, Custom Auto Sounds make several models of stereos that would be compatible with your car. I have a model USA-6 in my Regal, and from what I hear, they have updated it to be able to accept MP3's, iPods, even satellite radio. I hope this helps.
:shield:
 
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