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  #1  
Old 01-30-2003, 12:03 PM
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Secret Sound System for 'Miss Daisy'?

I've been experimenting with ideas for a hidden audio system in 'Miss Daisy' my '60 220S Fintail, that doesn't require chopping holes in the original interior. The factory radio location in the dash has a very narrow height availible so a modern radio/faceplate won't fit or look right.
One option I'm considering is reinstalling the original working Becker AM tube radio for show, then installing a pair of 2-way compact 'cube' speakers under the front seats powered off a compact stereo amplifier unit concealed behind the dash. The only thing visible would be a small power switch and amp input jack mounted under the dash, to which I would cable the output from an FM/cassette walkman or battery CD player, which could rest in the console or glovebox.
I tried an old mid '80s Clarion unit that I had laying around, but it seems to be dead or, maybe, the output from my Walkman wasn't compatible. When connected to a Walkman it played weakly with the Clarion switch in the off/bypass mode but when switched on, it sometimes amplified for a split second, then nothing.
Does any one make or sell those compact stereo amp/equalizer units anymore?
(Not those Monster-Blaster amps the Rice-Boys have in their Civics!)

Thanks in advance, Mark
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Old 02-06-2003, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Does any one make or sell those compact stereo amp/equalizer units anymore?
I found this one:
http://www.cdzone.net/index.cfm?type=1&cat=4&product=702
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Old 02-06-2003, 05:39 PM
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Thanks Bjcsc,
I was beginning to think no one cares about 'old geezers' like me and our ancient automobiles' audio problems. Since the failure of my Clarion amp/equalizer experiment, I've tried one of those small, amplified computer-walkman speaker systems. It uses one 5 inch cube woofer/amp unit wired to two 4"x 5" L and R flat panel tweeters. But what sounds OK indoors doesn't have enough power and bass to work in my 220S.
Next, I tried a pair of 2 way 'cube' speakers, wired to a fairly powerfull mid '80s JVC boombox/equalizer combo just to test various speaker locations, including the footwells, rear shelf and under the front seats. With the JVCs' power and various equalizer settings, all of the tested speaker locations sounded pretty good. I still have an, untested, Blaupunkt amp/equalizer to try out, but if that turns out to be a dud, I'll probably have to go with this 'Pyramid' unit, you suggested. At about $20, the price is cheap enough! Thanks again.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-06-2003, 10:44 PM
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just a word of caution, pyramid makes horrible audio equipment, and the sound quality is going to hurt your years...
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Old 02-06-2003, 11:24 PM
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Well, for $20 I'm not expecting Bose or Blaupunkt. I'm just looking for a compact amp/equalizer, that would go behind the dash and power 2 speakers. I could even live with a decent mono unit if one was availible. One good speaker would beat two crappy ones. The FM/Walkman would be a Sony and the CD player would be a Panasonic. the 'cube' speakers are an early '80s pair of Japanese Kracos. Those tested out well in my 220S, as I mentioned previously. I hope my used Blaupunkt unit works. The Pyramid may be my only choice if I can't find a better unit. Unfortunately, I think these compact amp/equalizer units dissappeared with the '80s.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-07-2003, 01:11 PM
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Mark:
I have another experiment for you. Instead of the computer type speakers, try some coax 4" speakers and build your own box for them. They're cheap and if you built a small ported box, say 4 1/2" sq. by 6" deep with a 1" hole in the middle of one side you would get good bass response. You could even try lining it with different stuff, fiberglass, felt, whatever. The coax will retain your highs and you should be able to fit it under your seats easily. Of course pyramid isn't super quality (what is for $20), but it will do what you want it to do.
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Old 02-07-2003, 01:44 PM
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Bjcsc,
Actually, the 2 way 'cube' speakers, I've tested in the car, are a 4"x 4"x 6" pair of early '80s Japanese Kracos. They sound fine powered from a JVC Boombox/equalizer combo. Now I need to find a compact amp/equalizer to dupicate that performance. If my Blaupunkt unit turns out to be a dud, I'll probably try that Pyramid unit. I might be able to find that unit around here - I've seen Pyramid stuff at some local flea markets. Thanks all for the help.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-07-2003, 02:03 PM
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One other thing - last year I stopped by a local Bose audio dealer at the mall. I enjoyed the demonstration and was very impressed with the concept of only needing space for one mid-sized sub-woofer unit and the rest of the 'surround' sound provided by tiny driver modules. Not yet ready to dumpster my old-tech home stereo system, I asked the salesman if there was a similar Bose unit designed for car installation. He said that Bose sells them overseas but doesn't market then in the US! An attempt to preserve the manufacturers US monopoly on factory installed Bose systems, maybe?
What do you think?

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-07-2003, 11:04 PM
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Sounds like you have a good plan. Although Bose satellite type systems may not be available for car audio, many others are close. The concept is the basis of component systems. However, these systems are high performance, and like anything else that is, require very specific installation, imaging, phasing, etc.. I think most audio manufacturers stay away from it because it is not going to be a "plug and play" experience for the customer. You really have to know what you're doing to set a component system up to where it will perform to the level of money you'll spend getting it. You can bet car manufacturers have engineered specific components to specific cars taking into account weird details like the cubic feet of the cabin and trunk, door cavity volumes and all that stuff. That performance would be a hard DIY duplication. If they tried to sell a "kit" promising high end results, they'd be more likely to end up with a customer service nightmare. However, when trying to get more bass in my 300CD (I play bass, both electric and upright so I miss it when I don't hear it) I had similar concerns as you. I wanted nothing in my trunk, no first aid kit augmentation/removal, no cutting into door panels or hat shelf. My factory speakers still work well, but fronts are 3.5" and only 4"s in the rear. After much research, I decided on a Blaupunkt Powered Sub. It is small enough to fit under the rear of the passenger seat (the usefulness or lack thereof you may be familiar with in the CD), totally out of view. It works absolutely great. Essentially, I have a satellite/sub system that sounds great and required zero modifications to my vehicle's originality. It's no boom car license plate rattler (who wants that anyway), but the sound is nice and full. I will be interested to see how it turns out for you.

As far as at home goes, I have an Aiwa NSX-V90 (bookshelf type system) that I've had since 1996. It has 5 speakers, all the Dolby Surround stuff, and an amplified subwoofer (that will rattle the windows) I think I only paid around $450 for the whole setup. Bose is nice, but so are Bentleys. Anyway have fun experimenting!
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Old 02-07-2003, 11:50 PM
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Bjcsc,
As you can see, I'm trying for decent car sound that requires minimum cutting or modifying the vehicle, (I've seen too many butcher-jobs in my time) but something more sophisticated than parking a boombox on the seat.

Can you give me more details on your Blaupunkt powered subwoofer. What are the dimensions? Does it connect to your existing car stereo? Does it take the audio off of both channels? Is it still availible and what was the price? It might be worth considering if my current plans don't work out.

My home audio is pretty ancient stuff - '70s Marantz receiver and '60s Dual automatic turntable, '60s AR-2 speakers, Revox A77 reel to reel deck and Tandberg 6000X reel to reel, and, for more modern formats, an '80s JVC autoreverse cassette deck and Crown CD player, most of it from thrift stores and flea markets.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-08-2003, 02:17 PM
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Mark:
The model # is VSB-120. The dimensions are 11.8"x8.3"x3.2". It connects to your existing car stereo and has both line level (RCA) inputs as well as speaker level inputs, so you can choose which to use. It is a dual voice coil (both channels). It is still available and sells for $230.50. I bought it from Continental Imports, which is Stevebfl's (from the tech forum) company. See the link below.



Blaupunkt VSB-120
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2003, 03:01 PM
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Thanks Bjcsc,
Pricey, but it's not a Pyramid. I'll add it to my list, in case my current car audio experiments don't work out.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-23-2003, 10:20 AM
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Turns out, except for the pretty control backlighting, my Blaupunkt equalizer is totally dead. Found a relatively cheap amp at Walmart I can try out before installing and get a refund if it's not adequate. If so, then it's probably 'Pyramid Power' for me.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-27-2003, 12:13 AM
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Mark, think yourself very lucky that Bose does not sell a car system in the US. They are the most overpriced, overhyped garbage, unless you have no self-esteem and are deaf, please stay away from Bose. Check http://www.intellexual.net/bose.htm and tell all your friemds too. This webpage has turned many people away from the dark side where Bose lives.

Bob H.
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Old 02-27-2003, 02:09 AM
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Bob,
I'm sure that Bose dealer demonstation was designed to sell. It sounded fine but, like I said, I'm not going to dumpster my old audio equipment. I recently saw a similar web posting alleging the poor quality of Fram oil filters. From what I've seen over the past 30 years, the use of, once reputable, brand names to sell 'junk' is pretty widespread.
I only mentioned the Bose concept as a possibility of getting an acceptable car system that didn't require hacking large holes in a vintage car interior. A friend has one of those $300 Bose Wave radios. It sounds nice, about as good as my '80s high-end Panasonic boombox but not quite as nice as one of my old Telefunken or Grundig table radios. Actually, if I was going to spend significant money, that Blaupunkt car subwoofer would be a possibilty. None of my local Walmarts stocks that 'inexpensive' amp I mentioned and the recent Ice-Age here in the DC area has halted my car audio experiments for now.
I will post more updates when I can.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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