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Customs Old car audio...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flynbrian48, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,419

    flynbrian48
    Member

    I've reached the point in our '52 DeSoto wagon build that I need to get the dash painted and steering column painted and in, and that means I need to do something about a sound system in the original dash, which will probably need to be altered a bit to fit. I'm looking at a "Retro-Sound" unit for a VW, which has ivory colored knobs which would look good with the original ivory wheel.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has used one of these, or another older style radio and has some input. (I know, I know, this is a completely non-hot rod question, but I'm old, I want Blue-tooth, Sirius radio, and so forth). Thanks for any input anyone has. 96541589_10223334131724173_1905740627765624832_n.jpg
     
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  2. fordflambe
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 481

    fordflambe
    Member

    This is the one in my 52' Bel Air. Yes, the dash is a 55 Chevy...........The radio is retro for the 55' dash. It looks original, which i like. The physical dimension from face to back of the radio is only about 2 1/2 inches deep so it is very compact which leaves a lot of additional space behind the radio for other "under the dash" stuff. Mine is hooked up to an "in the driver fender" antennae and I don't know if it is original or aftermarket. My antennae does not do a great job so I am relegated to about 75/100 mile range. The push buttons are programmable and operate a servo operated tuner. The motor that moves the dial has stopped working on mine but the buttons still operate the tuner (have not torn into it to see if maybe a belt has slipped off of needle). Mine is AM and FM with MP3 port. The MP3 port on mine is in the back of the unit and requires a cable to make MP3 accessible. My cable is stored in the glove box and is easily accessible but messy looking. MP3 does work very well though. I think bluetooth would be much better option. The power output of the unit is big enough to blast you out of the car (don't know watts output). The unit in my car is probably about 10 years old so I am sure there have been improvements. They are not cheap. However I am considering a new bluetooth/satellite version for my current build. Hope this helps.

    1952 Belair (27).JPG

    Phil
     
  3. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,405

    belair
    Member

    Why the dash mounted mirror?
     
  4. fordflambe
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 481

    fordflambe
    Member

    The 52's had center divider in the windshield. When the Oldsmobile one piece windshield when in, you lose the center divider...........Could have opted for no inside mirror at all but decided to go this way.

    See you at Lubys?
     
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  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,880

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The dash insert that I am putting in the dash in my 48 (Dash isn't Chevy) came with a newly reworked radio. I'm leaving that in the dash and will run a pair of speakers off it just like back in the day and have a hidden head unit for my "sound system".
     
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  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,880

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Too late for you now but I used one of those stick on the windshield mirrors and mounted the tab that glues to the windshield to the header panel above the windshield and stuck the mirror on it. Had to countersink a hole for the screw to hold it to the header but it has been on there that way since 1981.
     
  7. fordflambe
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 481

    fordflambe
    Member

    I didn't really feel like the dash mounted mirror was out of place. There have been many cars thru the years with dash mounted mirrors. I had an option to do something different so I did.

    I actually have three mirrors on my 52' and use them all on our long road trips. They are all "fatties" and are well worth the investment (for me anyway).

    Ottos_MemorialDay_2018.jpg
     
  8. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,214

    Johnboy34
    Member
    from Seattle,Wa

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  9. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,886

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Love the DeSoto dash,it had a AM radio back then ,it's what I used in 1960 for my full custom Henry J.
    But the rod hot I completed in 1959 was a 28"A" roadster an it didn't. I still have the hot rod.
    To start with,for those others that live in the now bubble of hotrod missunderstud BS;
    I'll take ya back to the real 1950s/60s of teens an hotrods,I was there an part of it ,lived it!
    Why we built a hotrod/custom could be put into a lot of why's all mixed together,but one was for sure to get the eye of the pretty gals. To that end ,at the time was also rock n roll sounds*,a must have on a date an parked for submarine races.
    Late 50s I had a radio the size of a Camel pack of smokes,that played with or with out the earbud an that was my hotrod an beachblanket sounds.=Yes nearly all hotrods n customs of the late 50s an early 60s had a radio !!!! Even if not in the dash by factory.
    Some more history;A transistor radio is a small portable radio receiver that uses transistor-based circuitry. Following their development in 1954, made possible by the invention of the transistor in 1947, they became the most popular electronic communication device in history, ... Most radios included earphone jacks and came with single earphones that made it possible to hear even if hotrod EX was fairly loud.
    A hotrod/custom ride with out 50s n 60s rock n roll,is like a V8 running on 7 clys.

    I no longer use a transistor radio*,I still drive the same hotrod I drove to highschool in 1959 . Have a great sound set up hidden under dash now, along with two fairly big speakers up under there as well,
    an a tiny little control switch 1in. X 1.2in. on side of steering column. It also has a plug in chip of 200+ 50s n 60s tunes=sounds in my rod are what they should be,not the crap of today. The radio was the sound track of life in the 50/60s ,EX an tire smoke was only.
    Now days your cell phone can play it all an link to a speaker set that is made to blue tooth with them,so hiding that is EZ. 021.JPG
     
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  10. From my view point, If I had it to do over I would install something hidden with a remote control.,

    I purchased a classic audio am/fm/ tape deck long before the wagon was finished, I thought it would look similar to the original and I reworked the dash to move the radio to a different location.

    The radio had never worked like I think it should, locating the antenna under the car may be the reason but it just doesn't look right, HRP
     
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  11. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,151

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Antennas need to see clean air. Hidden antennas are usually blocked somewhat by the steel body or framework, decreasing their ability to pull in anything but strong stations. If you don’t want an antenna to be seen, then one of the motorized hidden ones is probably the best choice, you can lower it to hide it when you park, raise it when you leave for best reception.

    And yes, hidden power antennas are traditional. My Lincoln came factory with one in the drivers front fender, it was vacuum operated!
     
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  12. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,419

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Thanks for the thoughts you all. We like the Sirius radio in our two late models, it's very nice for cross country trips, which is what we'll be doing with the DeSoto. I don't have room for a unit with a CD player, too deep to clear the AC and the wipers. We are behind the times and don't have a big music library in our phones, (which is the obvious common sense solution, and why I want BlueTooth), so what we should to is simply download some music. Streaming music is great at home on our Alexa, I like that but without WIFI everywhere that's out.

    The DeSoto has a very pretty radio face, but it has only one dial knob, the tuning is a small dial above the push buttons, so I don't know if it can be fitted with a modern radio behind. I guess that's worth looking into.
     
  13. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,830

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This is what I'm thinking about for my '54 Ranch Wagon. Pricey so I haven't pulled the pin and I have no idea how well it will work but I like how it looks like the original radio. The company offers other original looking units. You might find one you like.
    http://www.vintageautoradio.com/ 1954 Ford AM FM Bluetooth® Radio.png
     
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  14. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,596

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    ...........or you could use this tube type genuine MOPAR radio and antenna purchased from me for dollars 20 plus ship. selector button covers are shown laying in top of the radio. or not. 102_2560.JPG 102_2562.JPG 102_2563.JPG
     
  15. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,818

    goldmountain

    Don't think that there is anyplace that will make a nice looking retro Desoto radio. Since I don't use a cellphone I went online looking for a modern radio and all of them are capable of taking those little sticks with lots of memory for holding as many tunes as you would ever want. No bulky CD changers or anything and they are dirt cheap with remote controls. However, it is a slippery slope for old timers. Since I get lost on freeways in unfamiliar roads, I upgraded to something with a GPS screen. Now that I have this little screen, I add a backup camera because that coupe is hard to see out of and also those little LED lights now on the license plate lets people know I'm backing up. At least I mounted it under the dash instead of inflicting a huge hole in it. I would include a picture but I don't want to get in trouble here.
     
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  16. I will point out that Retrosound units have one feature found nowhere else AFAIK; their head units are actually four discrete parts, not just a box with adjustable shafts. The faceplate can be separated from the main box, as can both of the shaft units. So if you have space considerations behind the dash, the main box can be relocated if needed. And the shafts can be moved also... want both on one side or below the faceplate? Doable with theirs. Or if you use extension cables, you can move them even further. This gives you a lot more options for a install.
     
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  17. I've used Retro on 2 cars now and they work great (the '41 p/u and '56 panel). You have a few choices,

    1. RediRad that lets you use something like a phone or media player over your old radio.
    2. Vintage looking new radios (can get all the bells and whistles)
    3. Send in you old radio, get it restored and upgraded (with circuit boards like the ones used in Retro Radio)
    4. Retrofit your own radio with upgrades.


    RediRad :
    https://redirad.com/

    New retro radios:
    https://www.retromanufacturing.com/
    https://www.radiosforoldcars.com/newradio0F.htm
    https://www.classiccarstereos.com/

    Upgrade/restore your radio:
    Here on the HAMB https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/bill-the-radio-guy.1094287/
    http://www.turnswitch.com/radio1.htm
    https://www.joesclassiccarradio.com/Resto.html
    https://classiccarradiorestoration.com/
    http://dandmrestoration.com/services/radio-repair/
    http://www.taymanelectrical.com/stereo.htm

    Do it yourself:
    http://www.tech-retro.com/Aurora_Design/Home.html
    https://www.vintagecarradio.com/stereo-conversions/stereo-conversions/fmr-2-7-am-fm-receiver/
     
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  18. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,063

    loudbang
    Member


    Contact this member @PhilA in this thread he does what you need. https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1951-pontiac-radio-restoration.1193864/

    He really knows his radio shit. :)
     
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  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,405

    belair
    Member

    @fordflambe I went the last time before the virus shut things down. I had the 56 Nomad. If your car is the one I think it is, I like it a lot.
     
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  20. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,818

    goldmountain

    On your comment about being too deep to clear the wipers and AC, my unit with the GPS is less than 2" thick because it doesn't need all the hardware to drive a CD player. Without CD's, you get your glovebox back. My old suction cup to the windshield GPS was supposed to have lifetime map upgrades which I have never been able to figure out. This thing you just swap in a new card. My wife accuses me of being cheap and I am. This cost less than $100, but the way I figure, my sound systems have never been all that great anyhow with wind noise with a vertical windshield, it is probably good enough. Hopefully, this time around with Kilmat all over the place I might have something.
     
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  21. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 912

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    Get a mini jack patch cord, cut the female end off. Solder two 1K resisters onto each positive lead. connect the resisters to the radios amp input wire and solder the grounds onto the cabinet. Plug the jack into your I-pod and you have a nice sounding modern radio. Usually those tube radios sound much better..
     
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  22. oldsjoe
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 2,523

    oldsjoe
    Member

    Hey Brian This guy can make your original radio do exactly what you are looking for. The best part is he uses your original radio and it bolts right back in where it came from. Below is the message I received from him when I inquired about having my radio converted. Have not done it as yet it's on the to do list. Joe


    Yes indeed I can convert this radio to modern AM/FM Stereo! The components are made by Aurora Design, who builds components for new cars in Detroit.



    The price for converting an original AM/FM radio is $400. As for options, there is the BT-2.5 Bluetooth, which offers music streaming, hands-free calling, and functions like SIRI using your phone, for $170. There is also a USB-2.5, which allows you to play music directly from a flash drive, for $100. The BTU-2.5 offers both for $220. The stereo offers 45 watts per speaker, up to 4 speakers, however if you have an external amp and wish to use it, I suggest Line Outs, offering line level outputs for four channels plus a mono subwoofer, for $15. You did not specify your location, but return shipping is $20 for continental US. If outside Florida there is no sales tax.



    Turnaround is currently about 2 weeks, give or take.



    If you have further questions, please let me know. Thanks!

    Gary Tayman

    Tayman Electrical LLC
    Collector Car Audio
    http://www.GaryTayman.com








    Gary Tayman

    Tayman Electrical LLC
    Collector Car Audio
     
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  23. fordflambe
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 481

    fordflambe
    Member

    I was slobbering over your Nomad. Very nice! I look forward to getting another look at that beauty!

    In my younger days, I drove a 55' Cameo for daily driver and dreamed of owning a trifecta of a 55 Nomad, 55 Vette, and 55 Cameo..................that never happened.
     
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