Car Audio Alternative
If you're like me, you think cars and music go hand in hand. I'm old school when it comes to cars, but when it comes to sound systems, my old Delco radio just doesn't cut it. My dilemma was that I wanted great sound, but I wanted to keep my original radio. Prior to upgrading the sound system in my 1970 GTO Judge, I had considered the Hidden Radio system but was leaning towards having the original radio rebuilt with modern solid state electronics. There are many businesses around the country that do these upgrades and they will also restore the appearance of your radio as well . However, after speaking to a few other car enthusiasts who had elected to have their radios upgraded, I learned that they were not satisfied with the sound quality.
Fortunately there is an alternative. During my quest for an alternative to upgrading my radio, I started paying attention to those folks who were playing their MP3's through their car stereos. I then started talking to the car audio techs at Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. asking them if it was possible to run an MP3 player directly to an amp. Everyone of them said they didn't think it could be done. Luckily, I ran into a fellow Pontiac enthusiast, Frank Marullo, who actually ran his iPod directly through his amp. That's all I needed to hear, shortly thereafter I purchased my one gigabyte IRiver MP3 player, four channel Pioneer 600 watt amp, (2) 6X9 four-way speakers and a dual voice coil speaker to replace the single speaker under my front dash board. I chose the IRiver unit because it had a little joystick that made it easy to operate. It also had a built-in FM tuner. For those not familiar with MP3 players, these little devices store and playback digitally compressed sound files (songs). You can download songs from the internet or you can copy your CD's onto the MP3 player using your computer. Another advantage of the MP3 player is that it is mobile. I use my player when I'm mowing the grass (just plug in head phones) or when I'm working in my garage (plug in computer speakers). In conclusion, I still have some tweaking to do, but overall, I am very happy with my new sound system.
The following photos show the installed system. If you want more information on the actual install process, please send me an email and I'll be glad to answer your questions.
The pictures contain from left to right: amplifier, 6X9 rear speaker, MP3 player with a modified iPod mount, MP3 player, amplifier switch in center console, dual voice coil speaker under front dash, power cable from amplifier to battery.