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Radio...or what do you do for sound?

J

juggler

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I have had my '76 Stingray for almost a week now and have gotten over the initial rush......sort of.

It's gotten to the point where I am wanting some decent sound when I am driving.

I have not checked the numbers yet to determine if I have an 'original' or not, but either way I do not want to alter the interior just to accomdate a sound system.

My goal is to place a unit into the dash that will 1) not damage the dash 2) get better reception 3) allow me to play MP-3's or CD's.

I will also want to add some speakers in the back. No, I will not mount them permanently or damage the integrity of the interior........I am thinking velcro.

So, any thoughts/ideas?
 
Joined
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1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
do not, i repeat do NOT use velco to fasten speakers in the back!
I use to manage hi-end car audio shops and even el-cheapo lightweight speakers can become dangerous flying objects in an emergeny stop or an accident. do you want to get slmmed in the back of the head with something that is made of metal and a heavy magnet not to mention sharp corners?
No? I didn't think so! :)

for a radio, your best bet is to buy a replacement bezel and cut it out to a standard DIN size opening to accept a modern sized radio that will be better for reception, overall sound quality and will play CD's, MP3's etc.
without making ant modifications you are limited to the size and therefore quality of your front speakers but thems is the breaks in life.........
what you CAN do if you want to make a big difference in the sound is to build or have a custom car audio shop build for you custom kick panels to hold larger size speakers such as 51/4" speakers. Than remove the stock kickpanels and store them away safely like you will do with your original center bezel and install the custom speaker kickpanels.
This will allow you a much better sound and the car can always be returned at anytime back to 100% stock condition without any permanant damage.
 
J

juggler

Guest
I didn't think of that :duh You two probably saved me from a major headache........not to mention what would've happened if my wife got hit.

Once I put the car up for the winter I will be pulling the dash. Then I can replace the existing speakers and deal with finding/fitting a radio.

Also chase the (&^$%# intermittent short that is causing my dash lights to go on/off.

Now to go search for tips on the best way to remove the dash, and whether it is worth it to pull the steering wheel or work around it.

Thanks again
 

6880 Mike

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1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
...Now to go search for tips on the best way to remove the dash, and whether it is worth it to pull the steering wheel or work around it....

Six of one, half dozen of the other. I've done it both ways -- wheel on, wheel off. You don't save a whole lot by taking it off.

My advice would be to order the '76 assembly instruction manual. Study the diagrams of how everything went together at St. Louis and you'll begin to see the "logical" method of taking it apart. Order a reproduction owner's manual while you're at it.

FWIW: Original cluster bezels are getting expensive. I would not cut an original bezel. If you're set on a dash mounted CD system, I would purchase a reprodution bezel and cut it, or move toward one of the aftermarket units which comes with a preceut bezel. Pack away the original bezel and hang on to it.

;)
 
J

juggler

Guest
My advice would be to order the '76 assembly instruction manual. Study the diagrams of how everything went together at St. Louis and you'll begin to see the "logical" method of taking it apart. Order a reproduction owner's manual while you're at it.

Good advice, and something I want to do ASAP, since the Chilton's leaves a bit to be desired in some areas.

I am about to use the search function to locate a place that sells the above manuals, but do you have a reccomendation?

I already planned to "Do No Harm To Original Parts", and have created an area to store anything I want to alter.
 

red70vette

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Feb 22, 2003
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Cortlandt Manor,NY
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1970 red cpe 350/300
Most of the major parts suppliers carry Custom Autosound radios. The good news is they fit the guage bezel without any cutting and they look pretty good. The bad news is they sound like garbage and last about 1 year. At least that is my experience and that of several other vette enthusiasts that I have spoken to. I have yet to hear 1 good word about these radios.

The only solution is to cut the bezel and install a decent sound system. You can get speakers to fit the dash panel and add others either in the kickpanels or make a sound box and secure it in the rear deck area.
 

bossvette

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May 19, 2003
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I have a card from a guy at Carlisle that rebuilds old radios with modern electronics, I'll look for it.
its amazing how small the goods looked in the old cases at his booth.
 

Evolution1980

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Cleveland, Ohio
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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
First, I'm one for "making better at the possible expense of originality". So let me say "If you are keeping the car original, do it for you because you want to. Don't do it with 'the next owner' in mind." With that said..

Like everyone else seems to be iterating...If you are insistent on keeping things original, get a repro or used console cluster and cut it to fit a standard DIN radio. You can still buy slot radios (or whatever they call them) that are newer, but you'll get absolutely gouged on the price and the quality leaves much to be desired. For what you'll pay for a newer radio to fit the OEM cutouts, you can get a used cluster and a even nicer radio than the retrofit.
For the rears, you can either buy custom tailored boxes or make your own. I know there's a couple C3 owners here that have made some nice boxes. However, the trick is making it so you still have room for your T-tops or any other storage items.

I don't know what speakers are in the back of the '76, but the '80 was a standard 6x9 or 8x5 or something. Something easy enough to come by from a quality mfg. It was easy enough to replace the OEM paper speakers with some nice poly speakers. Same with the fronts. However, I just gave up on my radio a while ago. The "plastic fantastic" is so loud inside and rackety overall that it just wasn't worth it to me. Plus, I like the sound of my car. I'm constantly just listening to 'it' when I drive. No radio needed! :D

On long roadtrips, I take my laptop (or MP3 player) and just slap on the headphones. Then I just cruuuuuuuise!
 
J

juggler

Guest
IPOD has been the solution so far, especially with the tops off.

While I also enjoy the sound of the engine, I have always purchased/installed quality sound.......just makes the drive better to jam on some blues or Floyd while crusin' :D

That said, I also agree that I am doing this for me and my wife. My only caveat when making changes to the car is that I am able to get it BACK into original if/when it is time to sell.

I think I can accomplish both by removing and storing any parts I will be altering.

I did not see any cut-outs in the back for speakers, but once I get some manuals (see my other thread requesting info on the best to have/where to buy) I will look into it.

I think bottom line is if I can replace the radio and put in some good front speakers it would be a major improvement.

Thanks for the tips.
 
J

juggler

Guest
I found the custom autosounds, they do look good.......and custom fit is a plus.

I require good sound though, and more than a year of operation would be a plus also. :eyerole

Anyone else have experience with these radios?

I am in no rush and have the time/interest to do it right the first time.
 
Joined
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1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
lots and lots of issues and unreliabliity with the Custom Autosound units from various posts about them.......
 
J

juggler

Guest
That's what I was looking for, some informed opinions..........thanks :upthumbs

I will be spending more time on this, but so far I've found Sanyo and Pioneer units that look interesting. Anyone ever hear of KHE?

I am thinking along the lines Evolution1980 suggested. I'll probably pull the present radio/bezel and replace it with a plug'n play set-up, keep the original in storage.

This way I can get the CD options, etc. and get the sound I want without too many hassles. Radio/bezel/speakers and maybe antenna upgrade for a little over $500.......not bad.

Here are some links to where I've been so far.

Thanks again.

RADIO's

http://www.madvet.com/shop?frame=4.307.5907

http://www.madvet.com/shop?frame=4.307.6747

http://www.madvet.com/shop?frame=4.307.5349

And my favorite, though it is out of stock
http://www.madvet.com/shop?frame=4.307.5338
 

Evolution1980

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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
This way I can get the CD options, etc. and get the sound I want without too many hassles. Radio/bezel/speakers and maybe antenna upgrade for a little over $500.......not bad.
Wouldn't spend a lot of time on the antenna. You'd be better served finding a head unit with a good FM Mono Sensitivity.
This figure tells you how well a receiver can pick up FM radio signals. The smaller the number, the greater the ability to pick up weaker stations. Expressed in decibel femtowatts (dBf).
I'd say that anything 11dBf and under will be pretty good. With a standard antenna and a sensitivity of 10 or under, you can usually pick up out of state stations. Sometimes I can even pick up Toronto stations from here in Cleveland.

Since you have time on your side, get yourself a Crutchfield catalog. They are very good with reviews and comparisons, as well as having very good tech support. You pay a bit more, but it can be worth it. Otherwise, use their catalog / online reference and then check out places like eBay for New In Box ("NIB") head units.
 

Evolution1980

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Messages
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Cleveland, Ohio
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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
Daryllawman, did you need help posting a pic? :D
 

71-84 IMSA Widebody

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Youngstown Ohio
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71-84 IMSA Widebody
I just sing along to the beat of 4" open side pipes, it only knows one song, "GO FASTER"
 

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