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81 Stereos



Hi all,

Just wondering what everyone has done as far as audio goes in their cars.

I have the stock radio/cassette, and as we all know ,, they dont sound very good, compared to todays technology.

Im not interested in modifying my Console Gauge cluster.

Any aftermarket Eq/ Amps and such that you would recommend?

I used to have an Alpine am/fm cassette that would have fit perfectly , but i sold it :(

Hi Kevin,

I mounted a Sony in the glovebox with a wired remote which I
will mount around the handbrake that can be removed with out detection of course.

A rectangle hole to slide the radio thru had to be cut in the back of the box itself for clearance. A new box can be
purchased for $23.00 so destruction was kept at a minimun.

I was hoping to wire the original Am/Fm/Cass/CB and the Sony
to the same speakers but I kept blowing the fuse in the Sony. More fooling around in the spring when I get it out.

I had upgraded to 4 expensive speakers years ago to try and
improve the so so sound of the factory unit.........sorry,
no difference. When I first turned on the Sony, It blew me
away the concert hall inprovement. Then try a CD for icing
on the cake.

I had called around to a few radio repair places for upgrade
information and prices over the years and never heard anything positive unless I wanted to drop $500+.

I was going to do an equalizer but how one guy put it.
"**** going in cannot be changed coming out"

Best Buy had the Sony CDX4000 marked down to $150.00 and
I purchased the Sony wired remote from Crutchfield for $34.95. I would have preferred a wireless but you would have to leave the glovebox door down to work it.

Have fun,
cruisin' tunes

Hi ksems,
After I had the new engine (old engine wasn't orig so I bought a new long block) installed, I went to a local car stereo business that dealt in Alpine. My console had already been cut for a poorly fitting aftermarket radio so I purchased a removeable face Alpine AM/FM tape deck to install with Alpine speakers put in the top dash area. I have two removeable truck box-type speakers resting in the back.
Now this summer...I want to install a proper speaker box with 8" woofers that I can remove and secure into the back. I have a 60W amplifier...don't know what I will do with that yet...and also an Alpine EQ with built in subwoofer and crossover features.
The system I had in my college car was a bit too much: Alpine deck-30W/channel, Alpine EQ mentioned above, 60W Alpine amp driving the front speakers and midranges, and a 300W Coustic amp driving the 4 10"s in back.
What did you say?
Uh, huh.
What I really need is something loud enough to drown me out so I don't have to listen to myself sing!
I want to build this into something that sounds nice but doesn't blow me out of the car! I only listen to tapes as I feel CDs are for the house. They stay nice forever and you can make as many tapes as you need to replace for listening on the road!
Silver Singing Away!

Well from now on, if I pull up behind another '81 and hear a voice singing away, I will know it's you and honk my horn! ha!

Sound System Upgrade

Kevin, I think my radio/cassett player is a Hitachi, exact fit looks good. I have a Pioneer amp mounted in the bottom of the compartment behind the passenger seat. Both done by a previous owner but obviously professionaly done.

I replied to your email but forgot this tidbit. You can actually send your stock radio to a vendor and they will take out the old parts and fill it with modern technology, thus keeping your stock appearance but having much better reception and sound quality. Then if you want to add a CD player mount it inside the glove box, they make multi-disk changers that are small enough...or take out the glove box and just use a hanger mount.


I installed a JVC Model #KS-RX177 AM/FM/Cassette/Stereo and Linex Acostic speakers all the way around. It is solid state with the tuner knobs, so it fit without having to butcher the console.

I'm not a stereo person but it works fine, I think it's 24 watt output or something like that, four channel stereo. Like I said I know nothing about stereo quality.

(yes I know it is/was a UL5 Delete L81 ;) )
Ksems, my vette had a crappion :), I mean Clarion in it when I got it. Whoever put it in wired it all wrong, and had some junk 6x9" speakers in the back and stock speakers in the dash and a Sony 250W amp. I wasn't satisfied with the clarion, so I got a JVC cassette deck with a 12 disc changer that I put in the glove box. It worked good, but I'm a car stereo nut, so this summer, I bought a Pioner Premier CD player for the dash, and took out the changer so I could have my glove box back.

Stereo now:
Pioneer Premier - lets just say EXPENSIVE :)
Pioneer 4x6" speakers in the dash (powered by the stereo)
2 Kicker 8" subs in the back
600 Watt amp :) (powers just the subs)

Sounds gooood. :)
Don't know if you are looking to spend that much, but I figured, I drive a vette, it's worth it. Having just 4 speakers is enough for the small space.

hope this helps,

Kevin, I ordered a direct replacement "Kenwood" from RIKS. Exact fit. Replaced the speakers with more powerful "Jensens". Works and sounds great.

Wowsers !

Thanks for all the replies.:D

Im going to check out that Crutchfield, ... I like the harness adapter idea ( so as to not cut my original wires )

Rare - does JVC have a site where I could look at that stereo of yours?

DDL- I like the Amp in the compartment idea as well.
I think Ive seen Kenwood or Pioneer amps for about $50- $70
that would/should fit nicely back there.

Scott - I would like to send it off and have the "guts"
replaced, but surely dont want to spend that kind of cash.

Im not going for real loud , but more sonic quality.
More bass , better sounding mid, cleaner high end :)
A "little" louder as well ...
Also , not really worried about having a CD player, cassette is okay with me.

I used to have an Alpine AM/FM cassette that I like but i had already sold it...oh well.

Thanks All,.. off to hunt on the web

car stereos

Kevin, thanks again for the info on setting the time on the 81. This time maybe I can help you. In the March issue of Corvette Fever there is an advertisment for "Classic Vette Stero and C.D." on their web site they show exact replacements for the 81's. There web site is....

http://www.custom-autosound.com After all my crying about setting the time now I am all shook up about replacing the whole unit... Good Luck I hope they have what you are interested in,,, Price seems right????

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