Register now to get rid of these ads!

Stock radio with more speakers?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hotrod54chevy, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,590

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    Just like the title says, guys, I'm getting a vintage radio (haven't found on yet, going to a swapmeet and getting whatever 12v AM will fit my dash) and I'm pretty sure anything close to early to mid 50s (only thing big enough for my dash!) will only have one speaker. Do I need an amp to hook up my extra speakers? I have 4 JBLs that are already in the car, just need wired up again. I have a 2 channel amp, but if I need to get some of those tiny foreign amps or something I wouldn't mind. 2 6x9s in the back and what looks like 2 6 inch ones in front. Thanks for any help!


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  2. tred
    Joined: Mar 20, 2003
    Posts: 2,346

    tred
    Member

    you can't run all that off of just the head unit, it will sound like hammered dog shit.

    i'd go with 3 amps for what you have, but of course, it depends on what you like.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  3. It can be done, but you'll need to get one or more amps that have speaker-level inputs (not RCA inputs). Also note that AM radio has very limited frequency response (compared to FM, CD or tape), so even with amps it will still sound like AM, just louder.

    With audio, if you try to do it on the cheap, that's how it'll sound. Get a head unit that will drive the speakers. Retrosound has 'vintage' units for as little as $160.
     
  4. Blacktop VooDoo
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 130

    Blacktop VooDoo
    Member

    An older AM stock radio will be built to handle one, possibly two speakers. Each additional speaker added on will concurrently drop the OHM load causing the radio to run too hot. Newer radios have a "line out" enabling additional additional amps and speakers to be added at matched OHM loads. Unfortunately, the older radio's do not have this feature. The stock radio may be stamped with the recommended OHM load. Try to add a speaker or speakers that match the recommended load and try not to go less then that load rating.
     

  5. One other thing; unless you get amps with adjustable 'gain', you won't be able to adjust volume front-to-rear or side-to-side unless you install 'fader' controls (can you even buy these anymore?)....

    You can get around the impedance load issue mentioned above by connecting the speakers in series, but this will kill the volume level.
     
  6. Blacktop VooDoo
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 130

    Blacktop VooDoo
    Member

    The speaker jacks on older AM radios are "Powered" outputs. Running these outputs to another amps input will cause an immediate problem.
    Correctly said, adding additional or upgraded speakers to an old AM radio will do little to improve the sound.
     
  7. You used to be able to get amps that would accept speaker-level inputs (I know I've got at least a couple floating around in the shop) as well as RCA inputs. That may not be the case anymore, and trying to connect 'powered' outputs to RCA-type inputs won't work.....
     
  8. Look for how many ohms the original mono speaker has to be in your radio. At most, I would add two speakers, rear ones for that "Hi-fi" sound in the package tray. Or you can wire them up front, or wherever you want. Just make sure when you are done wiring them in, that they will all be correct. Correct resistance readings and all that, you know?
    Remember, it's only AM, so not much you can do about sound quality, although I do have an 80s mono speaker- alarm clock that can make AM sound crystal clear sometimes. Don't quite know how :D
     
  9. visor
    Joined: Aug 11, 2002
    Posts: 513

    visor
    Member
    from Missouri

    If you are wanting to install an original oem radio (is this for your 54 chevy?)
    It will be a tube unit. Great old radios but they will require work and possible
    upgrades depending what you want to do. I restore vintage hifi/radios etc.
    shoot me a pm if you want to go this route and I'll help you if i can.
     
  10. nickleone
    Joined: Jun 14, 2007
    Posts: 330

    nickleone
    Member

  11. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,590

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    Ok, guys, maybe I should have been more specific. First off, thanks for all the responses, they are indeed helpful. Yes, this is for my '54. I'm not putting the original radio back in it because that was 6 volt and the car's been converted to 12 volt. I know the make a 12 to 6 v regulator, but that bad boy is almost all heat sink, and then they suggest you use 2 in-line fuses with it and even THEN they still won't stand behind it if it blows up!

    Also, no offence, but I'm wanting a mostly stock looking dash out of this, and RetroSound units, although nice, are a little out of my price range.

    I've made a paper template of my dash opening, so I'm just going to take that to the swapmeet and find an AM radio that'll fit. That's all I'm doing, I'm only concerned with making it work with what I have to lower cost. I'm mainly curious about how to wire it up. If i should just keep the 2 in the rear and go with a dual voice up front, id be alright with that. Yes, I know it's only AM, but that's all I need. I plan on getting one of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23fHMi-7N0I from eBay for $65. Battery powered and will work fine for what I want. Yes, FM transmitters are usually shit, but I shouldn't have problems finding an empty station on the AM band. :D

    That radio that was linked from Amazon, I don't know what you're talking about with it having good reviews? 2 stars isn't all that good, especially when the first one says "DON'T BUY THIS!"


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  12. nickleone
    Joined: Jun 14, 2007
    Posts: 330

    nickleone
    Member

    I read 4 or 5 reviews elseware about putting that linked radio in older cars. They liked it for the price and ease of install and sound.
    That companys digital radio got very bad reviews.

    Nick
     
  13. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,590

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    Nickleone, I appreciate it, but my knobs are about 7 inches apart and it said the max for that is 5.5".


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  14. Blacktop VooDoo
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 130

    Blacktop VooDoo
    Member

    You might try finding an old AM radio to fit your opening to give the stock appearance then install a modern stereo in the glove box or under the seat.
    If sound quality isn't that important, just hook up the AM unit and enjoy--no problem! Just keep your speaker ohm load in range.
     
  15. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,475

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    It is possible to convert your 6v tube AM radio to a 12v tube AM radio. It requires a different vibrator, you can make a solid state one or buy a NOS 12v one. It also requires different tubes with 12v heaters but they are not expensive and they plug into the old sockets.

    I think that is about it, maybe Pontiacpiano or Visor have some thoughts on this?
     
  16. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,590

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    Rusty, I don't currently have a 6v radio, so if I'd be buying a "new" one anyway, might as well just buy a 12v one to start with. Blacktop, that's what I was saying, just get an AM one and be done with it. I use my glovebox for tools and I'd rather not stick anything under the seat. I'm sure AM will be fine. Plus it keeps anyone from wanting to steal it! :D Thanks again, guys!


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  17. If it is a tube type, chances are that B+ will be running through the primary of the speaker transformer. This is not a good thing for untrained folks to mess with.
     
  18. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,590

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    I wouldn't be messing with the transformer or tubes, I'd only be hooking up speakers and installing. The case would never come off.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  19. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,590

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    Will one of these bad boys only take 1 speaker? My dad has a few without boxes. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1377791890.491889.jpg


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  20. 54fierro
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 493

    54fierro
    Member
    from san diego

    I wanted to keep the original look but have a modern stereo also. I ended up finding a head unit with a remote and mounted it in the glove box. I cut a couple of slots for the remote to operate. Cesar

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  22. This could be a case of trying to save money but not doing so.....

    Radios with shafts/knobs are now extremely rare new. Using a used OEM radio in a custom install isn't a good idea. If it fails, you'll be faced with a now-specialized opening (and there's more variation in OEM radios than you think, even among brands/models) and trying find that model used radio may prove difficult. Connecting additional speakers to a OEM radio will probably kill the amplifier stage in it unless you use outboard amps. By the time you make this work with reliability, you'll have most of the cost of a custom head unit and still have a used radio.

    The base-model Retrosound unit will work better, is replaceable if needed, and can be made to fit nearly any install as long as a rectangular faceplate and two knobs will work. They get pretty good reviews too. Stay away from CustomAutoSound, as their reviews aren't good. Pyle has been and still is cheap crap...
     
  23. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,590

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    Harley Jim, I appreciate it, but I've seen those before and always thought the looked a bit tacky. I'm trying to piece something together now with the stock bezel, I'm just not sure yet. Thanks.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  24. hotrod54chevy
    Joined: Nov 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,590

    hotrod54chevy
    Member
    from Ohio

    Crazy Steve, I wasn't going to cut anything. I have one of those gain knobs that Ryan used in his amp only how-to that I was going to go with before I decided I'd miss having a real radio. I might end up using it for volume control when all is said and done. If anything, I'm not cutting or modifying the dash, but I have no problem tearing apart a radio if I need to. I've already done that once with a broken one to make my dummy radio that I have now. I can throw something behind there of in the glovebox, but I'm a customizer who can't leave shit well enough alone and wants a little more functionality out of it!


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  25. I know all about that.....:D
     
  26. visor
    Joined: Aug 11, 2002
    Posts: 513

    visor
    Member
    from Missouri

    To try and answer your question on how many speakers you can run.
    If you are just going to run an oem or aftermarket radio, I would limit to
    just two speakers on one channel. A stereo radio (two channels) you could run four.
    This is without outboard amps. I would look for an aftermarket radio, and
    that way you would also have fm. Am band died with the Wolfman.
    KXRB was the best!
    Just keep the ohms no lower than 4ohms
    Two 4 ohm speakers wired parallel = 2ohms.
    Two 8 ohm speakers wired parallell = 4ohms
    If you wire in series it will be higher.
    Two 4 ohm speakers wired in series = 8 ohms.
    This is for just your basis solid state stuff.
    An old tube radio better to run at 8 to 16 ohms.
     
  27. visor
    Joined: Aug 11, 2002
    Posts: 513

    visor
    Member
    from Missouri

    Hey Rusty, sound like you have been there before. You are pretty much right
    on. Other that a few tweeks with the power suppy caps and coupling caps
    and resistors its all good. Finding quality radio vibrators is getting kind of expensive.
     
  28. Hot rod I did take one of those am/fm like your pic in post 19 and cut it and moved the knobs out to fit in my 49 chevy truck. it was rough to extend the string out and make it work correct. if you have one lying around!
     
  29. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,148

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Try this, it should work. The old radio volume will control the speaker volume out of the booster amp. (You must have the old radio speaker hooked up.)

    OLD RADIO SPEAKER HOOKUP.JPG
     
  30. This is the best suggestion yet. I'd just do that and be done with it. Why bust your ass to listen to crappy AM? I plan to leave the stock radio and speaker functional in my Buick just for novelty sake, and hide a nice set of speakers and amp in the trunk. Volume knob out of sight under the dash. AUX jack hooked to my iPhone in the glove box, and no one will be wiser. Great invisible sound for cheap.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.