DenisC

Modern Radio but vintage

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good morning to all, you would know someone tell me if there are radio aesthetically identical to the original but has the features of a modern car radio, for example, USB, aux etc ??

I have a 1975 buick century coupe

thanks in advance 

denis 

IMG_3553.JPG

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Sounds like a good move , keep the look , but actually receive fm , would love as my radio works but only am and no am here in Cyprus , pity bit far from Texas

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The radio in the picture is not an original factory radio. And original factory radios wit am&fm bands should be fairly easy to obtain. Then those radios can be altered to provide an auxiliary input jack. But keep in mind that the radios are not super powerful amplifiers and the tone quality is not going to improve substantially.  I believe most electronic genius hobbiests can alter a factory radio for you and there are products available that users can install themselves to accomplish this same thing. 

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If you have deep pockets and want something that looks aesthetically identical, this place might have what you're looking for: http://www.vintageautoradio.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=64. But first you need to find a factory radio. Otherwise you can check places like classiccarstereos.com that sell modern radios that don't look original, but fit into the existing dash for most classic carts without modification. I think JohnD suggested the best option, which would be to find a factory original AM/FM radio that should be relatively easy to find for your car. Unfortunately I don't have that option since as far as I can tell Buick didn't offer a factory AM/FM radio for the Skylark in '64, and radios from the larger Buicks of the day won't fit in my dash opening.

 

I use an FM converter in my '64 Skylark. They were a popular accessory back in the '60s and '70s when FM broadcasting came into its own and most cars had AM-only radios. The upsides are that they're relatively cheap if you shop around (got mine on eBay for $15.00) and work well enough if there's good FM reception in your area. Downsides include analog tuning, not-so-great audio fidelity, lack of stereo, and having to hang something under the dash.

 

I used FM converters in my cars in the early '70s, so I'm accustomed to the trade-offs and can live with them. Considering that FM converters were an accessory back in the day you could consider them more "original" than a modern radio that simply fits in the dash, yet looks nothing like a radio of the day and requires you to add a bunch of speakers to your car.

 

Whatever you do, good luck and have fun with it. You have a lot of options.

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Here is a picture of what a stock 75 Regal radio would look like.  This one with the tape player is neat because if you can find one of the cassette adaptors for using a CD player, which were so common in the 2000's you could get them for 15 bucks or less, then you can use that for running any device which uses an ear plug.  It's what I use in my 78 Estate Wagon.

 

Image result for 1975 buick am/fm radio

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18 hours ago, Machine Gun said:

I use an FM converter in my '64 Skylark. They were a popular accessory back in the '60s and '70s when FM broadcasting came into its own and most cars had AM-only radios. The upsides are that they're relatively cheap if you shop around (got mine on eBay for $15.00) and work well enough if there's good FM reception in your area. Downsides include analog tuning, not-so-great audio fidelity, lack of stereo, and having to hang something under the dash.

 

I used an FM converter for years in my 63.  The "analog tuning, not-so-great audio fidelity, [and] lack of stereo" were features of the stock Wonderbar, so I didn't see those as drawbacks.  And, it fit in the ashtray, so it was neither unsightly nor in the way.  I've since swapped out that setup for a factory AM/FM -- but I'm not convinced it's much of an improvement (if any).

 

If the goal is to listen to music on some outboard device (e.g. iPod) through your radio, and you've already got FM, there are scads of transmitters that will take a patch cable from the headphone jack and broadcast an FM signal that you can tune to.

 

You also need to remember that these cars weren't designed for high-fidelity audio to begin with.  Which means that -- unless you're going to gut your interior to add an array of new speakers -- you're somewhat constrained by the limits of the factory system.  If you are going to install a bunch of new speakers so you can have a "sound system", then having radio that looks like stock probably doesn't matter to you.

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As mentioned, the radio pictured in your instrument panel is NOT a factory or even factory-style radio.

 

The Delco radio pictured is an AM/FM/Stereo/Cassette tape unit.  The cassettes came out in 1979, before that the tape units were 8-track, but similar cosmetics.

 

You can do the vintage radio route and get all of what you desire, PLUS "more amp" for "more sound".  They are about $450+ just for the new Delco-look radio.

 

There are several dynamics of the factory radios GM car lines used back then, which can be unique to GM.  One is the speakers.  They were typically "self-grounded" speakers, which means only ONE wire going to them as they ground internally when bolted to the vehicle's speaker mounting mechanism.  "Normal" radios use two wires per speaker, one "+" and one "-".  ANOTHER thing is that GM used only two speakers for factory stereo radios, one front and one rear, NOT all were 4-speaker systems.  There will be a place for two speakers in the rear package tray, but two in the front can be problematic.  There were some places that used a mounting plate to mount two 3.5" speakers so there could be "R" and "L" speakers in the front, side by side, rather than one at each corner of the instrument panel at the base of the windshield.  If the vehicle does not have power windows, there can be room in the door panel to mount 5.25" round speakers, one in each door, near the front lower corner.  BUT you'll need to cut things to get them installed, whereas the 2x3.5" speaker plate mounts in the same place as the factory front 4x10" speaker, under the dash pad.

 

Considering what's in your instrument panel now, you'll probably need a rear brace to keep the radio anchored in the instrument panel, in addition to the "shaft nuts" under the knobs and such.  This will help ground the radio chassis and keep it from vibrating on rough roads.

 

ONE more thing to be cognizant of is the distance between the radio's shafts.  Just for good measure as in some years, they were NOT all the same for all Delco radios.

 

It could well be that by the time you found a '79-style radio (better amps, a much better rear wiring plug-in) and then have the USB ports and such added to it, you could well be near the price of the retro-style aftermarket radio with all of that stuff already installed PLUS the "more amp" included.

 

Perhaps your smartphone can be loaded with your music and played through a pair of wireless Bluetooth speakers?  That would be much easier to do!  Put one speaker in each corner at the base of the windshield, securing each with a spot of Velcro.  Might not shake the inside rear view mirror on the bass notes, but would be easier and less expensive to do.  I think some phone have an FM radio in them, or an app you can download to make your phone a radio tuner?

 

NTX5467.

 

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