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mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/3/16 11:30 p.m.
lnlogauge wrote: If you use modern technology, I think you are crippling yourself by keeping it retro. I purchased a pioneer DEH-X6700BT for the honda odyssey. The bluetooth works amazingly well, and the convenience of cordless technology is hard to beat. You aren't driving a show car, so what advantage is keeping an accurate time piece?

not so much retro.. but tasteful. I have found that most modern aftermarket units are so full of flashy lights, obnoxious animations, and blingy chrome that they really do not fit into any dashboard... sadly it is the youthmarket driving this phenomenon. I remember being on a website where somebody posted up a very tastefully designed $1000 headunit.. it was simple and would have looked at home in any 80s or 90s car as looking OEM. The "kids" trashed it, saying for that kind of money, they wanted the face to do more than just have buttons and knobs.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet UltraDork
3/4/16 9:50 a.m.

A lot of the stuff they make now is really tacky looking. I like tech as much as the next guy, but if I'm putting something in a classic car, I want that tech in a package that looks like it belongs in there. Last stereo I had in the Trans Am was a Pioneer one that had this cheap chrome and silver on it. While it worked fine, and it looked ok in my wife's old Kia, it looks out of place in a dash that used to house a shaft-style radio with two knobs. Plus, the chrome started to peel. Ugly!

At the time, the Kenwood EZ-500 was the bridge between classic looks and modern tech. Also, they designed it with ease of use in mind, hence the "EZ" in the name. I always found that Pioneer and Alpine stuff was easier to use, but the EZ-500 is even easier to use than those. I wish someone would make something like that again without going down the path of those RetroSound radios which are expensive and not as feature rich.

Sound wise, I have always liked Alpine better than any of the others, especially when using aftermarket speakers. They just sound cleaner to my ears, and I've found that I can get better sound out of the head unit without messing around too much. Pioneer was always the "bang for the buck" brand though. There are usually so many audio settings that it's easy to get lost, but they sound good for the money after you dial it in. I never liked Kenwood stuff until I bought the EZ-500. While it's a great head unit, it still doesn't output the sound of an Alpine, but it's on par with Pioneer. JVC makes some nice stuff too, and I'd rank them up there with Pioneer. I'm not a fan of Clarion or Blaupunkt, though. Clarion stuff seems to sound crappy and break a lot, and the last Blaupunkt I had was really nothing special and more in line with a parts-store Jensen or Boss than the upper tier of brands.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 Dork
3/4/16 2:07 p.m.

Well, I guess I bought a head unit on eBay. It is an Alpline TDM-7544, and it looks to be in good shape and working- despite the CL-esque images in the listing. $38 shipped to my door. At least the seller accepts returns if it is doa. It will look like this one (not the actual one but similar condition):

As of this moment, my plan (as was recommended earlier) is to spend another $8 or so on an Alpine M Bus to headphone plug adapter and just plug my phone in for tunes when I need them.

I haven't done a ton of research on the install yet, but I'm hopeful I can find a "pig tail" assembly to plug into the Saab wiring and then splice that into the Alpine harness so I don't have to cut any of the stock wires. I'll research that tonight.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 Dork
3/4/16 2:25 p.m.

Do you know what speaker sizes you need?

Esoteric Nixon wrote: In reply to paranoid_android74: You and me both. My cars both have weird speaker sizes, and I am afraid that changing them will have little effect on sound quality.
paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 Dork
3/4/16 2:33 p.m.

There is no doubt the technology you can get in an aftermarket stereo is way cool, and is really very affordable.

And you are right, my car is by no means a show car, I don't know if it ever will be. It's more of a time capsule really- 100% all 1991 stock. It even came with the original window sticker. There's more to the car's story but it isn't really pertinent to the thread.

A more modern stereo and technology would seem out of place to me. Going with the old head unit will (I hope) allow me to sneak digital music into it without it being too obvious.

lnlogauge wrote: If you use modern technology, I think you are crippling yourself by keeping it retro. I purchased a pioneer DEH-X6700BT for the honda odyssey. The bluetooth works amazingly well, and the convenience of cordless technology is hard to beat. You aren't driving a show car, so what advantage is keeping an accurate time piece?
paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 Dork
4/1/16 10:19 p.m.

I started a build thread on what I have so far on the stereo thing.

Forum linky here

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