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1966 Riviera GS Aftermarket & Stereo Install


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Wanted to reach out to the Kings of Buick Riviera to see if there was some good/great advice when selecting a stereo for the 66 Riviera. Any purchase types, types & install info for the beginner.  Also, I know there's a 6x9 in the rear but does anybody know what size is in the front?Thanks & have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Edited by Big Ricky
Added an additional Q for the same topic. (see edit history)
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I don't have the same year car, but I did just finish installing a speakers and a sub and amp into my '64 literally the other day.  My car already had the AutoSound USA 230 stereo which has that retro look but has more modern internals.  If I were to buy one today, I would make sure it had Bluetooth capabilities which mine does not have.  All my music comes from my phone which is connected via an AUX jack that I have discretely coming out of the side of the console.

 

Scott Drake Custom Autosound USA-230 Radios USA-230-7C

 

For speakers I bought 2 pairs of JL Audio speakers (C2) which I custom installed onto the back rear shelf.  They come in various sizes.  I'm still figuring out what kind of custom grill I want to go with on these.

 

JL Audio C1-525x C1 Series 5-1/4" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield

 

Then a lack of bass made me buy a combo amp/subwoofer which I have sitting under the passenger seat.  I went with a JVC CW-DRA8 unit which offers a ton more bass than I need, but it seems to be a nice all-in-one unit.  I might consider moving into the trunk (behind the rear seats), but for now it is fine.

image.jpeg.748b2bf5ec207de82d3df8816246fd06.jpeg

 

They might not have the absolute lowest prices, but Crutchfield is usually the go-to place for audio equipment for as long as I can remember.  Their website lets you put in your make and model car and it will tell you what speakers are in there now.  For the 1st gen Riv it doesn't have it, but for later ones it might. 

 

I am not an audiophile by any measure, but I think the system sounds pretty darn good and is way louder than the single speaker set-up I had in there before (a single 6x9 between the rear seats). 

 

Here are some in-progress pics of the interior torn apart if you plan on doing it yourself:

 

 

IMG_20200815_102637804.jpg

IMG_20200815_150941301.jpg

IMG_20200825_195339565.jpg

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On 9/2/2020 at 8:31 PM, Hazdaz said:

I don't have the same year car, but I did just finish installing a speakers and a sub and amp into my '64 literally the other day.  My car already had the AutoSound USA 230 stereo which has that retro look but has more modern internals.  If I were to buy one today, I would make sure it had Bluetooth capabilities which mine does not have.  All my music comes from my phone which is connected via an AUX jack that I have discretely coming out of the side of the console.

 

Scott Drake Custom Autosound USA-230 Radios USA-230-7C

 

For speakers I bought 2 pairs of JL Audio speakers (C2) which I custom installed onto the back rear shelf.  They come in various sizes.  I'm still figuring out what kind of custom grill I want to go with on these.

 

JL Audio C1-525x C1 Series 5-1/4" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield

 

Then a lack of bass made me buy a combo amp/subwoofer which I have sitting under the passenger seat.  I went with a JVC CW-DRA8 unit which offers a ton more bass than I need, but it seems to be a nice all-in-one unit.  I might consider moving into the trunk (behind the rear seats), but for now it is fine.

image.jpeg.748b2bf5ec207de82d3df8816246fd06.jpeg

 

They might not have the absolute lowest prices, but Crutchfield is usually the go-to place for audio equipment for as long as I can remember.  Their website lets you put in your make and model car and it will tell you what speakers are in there now.  For the 1st gen Riv it doesn't have it, but for later ones it might. 

 

I am not an audiophile by any measure, but I think the system sounds pretty darn good and is way louder than the single speaker set-up I had in there before (a single 6x9 between the rear seats). 

 

Here are some in-progress pics of the interior torn apart if you plan on doing it yourself:

 

 

IMG_20200815_102637804.jpg

IMG_20200815_150941301.jpg

IMG_20200825_195339565.jpg

Custom Autosound makes a bluetooth adapter that plugs right into the USA630 in my 65. Not sure its possible on the 230 though.

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The 66 - 67 radios are not easily retrofit because the face of the dash is angled and the radio faceplate is angled to match. The rest of us are blessed with flat dash panels. That's why I recommended having the original rebuilt.

s-l1600.thumb.jpg.dd5b8ed4a136eb801169a3bbd42645f9.jpg.d57e1935465a2ec12abe4bba985b85db.jpg

This is a picture from a different thread here on the forum.   You can see the angle of the faceplate.

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1 hour ago, jframe said:

Custom Autosound makes a bluetooth adapter that plugs right into the USA630 in my 65. Not sure its possible on the 230 though.

Huh... I've been to a bunch of sites and none of them showed a separate module for the 230.  And honestly I don't know if it is that big of a deal.  I bought a BT adapter that I had plugged into my AUX jack (probably $20 from Amazon) for like 2 years.  It was tiny and I could hide it anywhere, but BT is still slow to connect regardless (not the fault of the phone or adapter, just the way BT works).  I kind of like the immediacy of simply plugging the AUX into my phone and having the phone as my touchscreen controls.

 

If my next phone doesn't have a headphone jack, I'll have to take another look into going BT though, so thanks for the heads-up.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/2/2020 at 7:24 PM, Big Ricky said:

Wanted to reach out to the Kings of Buick Riviera to see if there was some good/great advice when selecting a stereo for the 66 Riviera. Any purchase types, types & install info for the beginner.  Also, I know there's a 6x9 in the rear but does anybody know what size is in the front?Thanks & have a great Memorial Day weekend.

I have a new 6x9 and a new 4x10 left over from my aftermarket install if you are interested. I installed a retrosound unit, looks and works great!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/24/2020 at 4:39 AM, Riviman said:

Go the way Rivnut stated. I upgraded mine in the 66 and it works flawlessly.


Second that. I did my ‘63 AM only to AM/FM/Bluetooth etc and happy that I did. The Australian agent also supplied a high wattage two way 6x9 that fitted in the existing space at the centre of the rear seats.

 

Plays from a USB that I fed into the centre storage console or from my phone, only change you can see is an LED inside the dial when on FM stereo. Even the phone mic is dangled by the rear view mirror.
 

Funny, I still play AM radio or often have it OFF! But nice to have it when you need it!

 

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just checked with a dealer in PA. that does the Aurora conversion for my 66 Riviera and was quoted $575.00. 

Bluetooth, USB and cellphone ready. Turn around time is currently 16 weeks.  Remove the knobs, pack well, add a $200.00 deposit check and ship it.  If you have the AM/FM slide bar selector, that will still work correctly. If you have an AM you will have to turn it off and on to achieve FM. I currently have the AM/FM stereo so I’m going to look for a non working AM/FM radio and convert it.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Mr. Ricky

 

First you have to pop off the horizontal chrome strip depicted in the image.

Tape everything up to prevent scratches. Use a plastic spatula to pry it out. It may spring out.

The upper valance screws are now revealed.

Then you remove all the metal valances (at the knees), ash tray assembly then center A/C louvre and duct.

Disconnect wiring  /antenna.

Remove the radio knobs and nuts. 

Then you have a metal support bracket under the radio (if it wasn't lost). Support radio at same time or you'll crack the plastic bezel and / or scratch the clear instrumentation lens.

 

Take your time. 

 

Good time to strip the valances and ash tray door - re-paint.

 

 

 

PA310034.JPG

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On 9/2/2020 at 5:28 PM, RivNut said:

My advice would be to have the original radio converted to what ever configuration you want.   Then ask the conversion person what speakers he'd recommend.  

 

http://www.turnswitch.com/radio1.htm

 

 

 

 

 

RivNut you have the Aurora video and then a link to turnswitch. They appear to be different companies. Which do you recommend?

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The Aurora video is from the Turnswitch website. Perhaps Turnswitch is a distributor. I don't really know. Either way, I think its an ideal setup.  Call Turnswitch and ask them. Best siirce for the correct answer.

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On 10/15/2020 at 3:58 PM, Vintage_barry said:

I just checked with a dealer in PA. that does the Aurora conversion for my 66 Riviera and was quoted $575.00. 

Bluetooth, USB and cellphone ready. Turn around time is currently 16 weeks.  Remove the knobs, pack well, add a $200.00 deposit check and ship it.  If you have the AM/FM slide bar selector, that will still work correctly. If you have an AM you will have to turn it off and on to achieve FM. I currently have the AM/FM stereo so I’m going to look for a non working AM/FM radio and convert it.  

In their website, Turnswitch quotes $385 for the conversion on a basic radio, higher on a Wonderbar, etc. An additional $25 for auxiliary input for MP3, iPad, satellite radio, etc. Check out their entire website for additional information.

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