Go Back   tbirdforum.com > Thunderbird Model Years > Flair Birds [1964-1966]

Flair Birds [1964-1966] You have a Fourth Generation Bird or just have some questions about them? Then this forum is for you, check it out.

Sound System upgrade for 1964

This is a discussion on Sound System upgrade for 1964 within the Flair Birds [1964-1966] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; Hopefully this will start a series of helpful posts for others as well. I want to upgrade the sound system ...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)   IP: 63.125.4.210
Old 07-07-2010, 07:21 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ashburn, VA
Posts: 41
Rep Power: 0
rweaver56 is on a distinguished road
Garage
Sound System upgrade for 1964

Hopefully this will start a series of helpful posts for others as well.

I want to upgrade the sound system on my 1964. I am interested in hearing/seeing how others have done this. I would love to hear reviews of the Custom Autosound radios (apparently the other player, Retrosound, doesn't have a fit for the 1964 yet) or any other custom radio options you have employed. Pictures would be great.

Also, did anyone do anything creative with speaker placement, etc? I currently have the dash mount and the package tray mount. It looks like I might be able to install 2 small tweeters/speakers on either side of the rear vent. Has anyone tried that? Got pics? How about up front? Kick panels? In door?

What about subs and amps? Stealthspeakers?

Thanks in advance for any feedback. And please, include pictures.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)   IP: 173.74.104.18
Old 07-07-2010, 07:38 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Keller, TX
Age: 84
Posts: 797
Rep Power: 93
Harley Eaton is on a distinguished road
Many are very dissatisfied with the Custon AutoSound model USA !. I did sell these when I was in business, but the quality of sound left much to be desired. I believe they also sell a Kenworth model that is much better. Speakers can be mounted in the doors as on the 1966 Thunderbird. Also in the front kick panels.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)   IP: 131.55.121.8
Old 07-09-2010, 11:21 AM
verdejor's Avatar
Tbird Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Panama City, FL
Posts: 70
Rep Power: 12
verdejor is on a distinguished road
I got 5.25 in speakers on the door panels toward the front of the car... when I put in the new carpet in the car, I took the opportunity and cut-out a hole on the cardboard section of the door panel to let sound through, then I put the new carpet on bottom of my door panels. this way, you can't see any speakers in the car. btw, use the speaker "foam cups" when installing the speakers...it sounds much cleaner.

I also installed some cheap speakers behind the kick panels, but left them in and cut the audio line b/c I didn't like the sound angle. (I don't have a fuse box located in passenger side anymore after I rewired my car)

put 2 3.5 speakers in dash v/s the single speaker--no adapter needed! just use the butterfly bolts for the old speaker and make them fit!

have a 3000 watt amp for the bass in the trunk located behind cover panel I made where spare used to reside and a 1000 watt for mids/highs under front passenger seat. built my own sub enclosure for a kicker solo baric. I'd be glad to send you some pics/video so you can hear. I use the custom autosound radio with a ipod cable and I think it sounds awesome. radio station frequency not so great...but I don't listen to the radio unless theres bad weather and I wanna know I'm not heading toward the light....lol
__________________
It's not all that, But it's mine...
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)   IP: 74.249.63.125
Old 08-06-2010, 06:44 PM
smithm31's Avatar  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Upstate S.C.
Age: 64
Posts: 11
Rep Power: 0
smithm31 is on a distinguished road
I put the Custom Auto Sound USA in my 64 and it has to have the worst sound quality I have ever heard.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)   IP: 173.188.66.102
Old 08-06-2010, 10:29 PM
dans65's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Age: 46
Posts: 96
Rep Power: 18
dans65 is on a distinguished road
I have a Custom Auto sound for my 65, it is mounted in my stash of spare parts now
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)   IP: 60.231.212.144
Old 11-17-2010, 02:37 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 17
Rep Power: 0
lazy390 is on a distinguished road
hey guys if your prepared to take your time and stuff around you can get a great sound from the old girls.
Ive fitted a new top end pioneer head unit under the passenger seat, made adaptors to fit 6 inch 3 way 150 watt speakers in the dash and between the rear seats using the original mounts and a serious amount of egg crate foam, big amp in the drivers rear quarter behind the panel and a sub in a box. It took ages to get the sound sorta right ( as the stereo is now front to rear not left to right)and the front speaker aims at the screen with most of the sound trying to come out from under the speaker while the rear is aimed straight out !
this is easily removed and the only thing that gives it away is the remote.
PS the original radio still works!
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)   IP: 67.115.139.15
Old 12-20-2010, 04:23 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Age: 34
Posts: 2
Rep Power: 0
quivanphan is on a distinguished road
Soudn Quality

I was planning on installing the Custom Autosound stereo in my 65 Thunderbird.

I have a question for those of you who are complaining about sound quality. Are you using just the head unit to play music and listen to the Radio?

Is the quality any better when you use an IPOD or if using amps instead of powering speakers with the headunit?

I am assuming that it would sound better if I am using an Ipod/Iphone with High quality MP3s with an amp powering the speakers since the head unit will just act as a pass thorugh for the audio.

Is anyone doing this already? Does it sound better than just using the head unit to power the speakers?

I really like the idea of using what looks like the OEM stereo controls to play music and especially controlling the volume.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)   IP: 96.252.225.5
Old 01-04-2011, 12:17 AM
Gary Tayman's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 84
Rep Power: 13
Gary Tayman is on a distinguished road
I just now stumbled onto this thread.

Quick story about the Custom Autosound USA stereos:

Several years ago I was looking into becoming a dealer for Custom Autosound; not for their stereos but because I liked the Dual Voice Coil speakers. In the beginning I ordered a USA-5 for my T-Bird, and a SecretAudio SS to tey out on the bench. The USA-5 was fair, but could only pick up local stations. Sound quality of my Stereo Conversion (which I removed for the test) was far superior. Within a week the USA-5 started acting up; not holding stations, having to reset every time I got in the car. Plus the tiny buttons were impossible to see, and the display was so dim it was also unusable. The SecretAudio played on the bench for about 5 minutes and then quit. BOTH had to be sent back for warranty.

So I bought speakers and forgot about the stereos. BUT -- that was years ago. I began receiving memos regarding how they were improving their production techniques so as to make the sets more reliable. The stereos themselves were redesigned, and redesigned again. Sometime later I purchased another stereo to try, and this was as different as night and day! Then they introduced the newer "concours" series, namely the USA-230 and the USA-630, and have found these to be quality products.

So basically, if you have an older USA stereo, particularly with the tiny buttons, they are rather junky. The newer versions of these same stereos have brighter displays and rocker switches instead of buttons. These are improved. The current versions, with five large buttons not unlike an original radio, are pretty decent. The Stereo Conversion still outperforms the 630, but not by much. Quick note: conversions are rated at 180 watts, while the 630 is 240 watts. The 180 is RMS; the 240 is peak. In reality they are about the same.

If you want original look, go with the conversion. If you like the bells and whistles, go with the 630. If you're on a budget, the 230 is a good player, just more basic. The older USA-1 is still being made, as a few people still ask for cassette players!

Now another bugaboo -- speakers. The Dual Voice Coil speakers are great in the 6x9 size; the 4x10's aren't bad, the 5x7's are so-so. I personally hate ALL 5x7's. For a 64 T-Bird, you can install a DVC-3001 in front, a DVC-3015 in the back (if you have that option), connect both left channels to the front and both rights to the rear, and you have the full power and full stereo effect. Another option is to use the DVC-3001 in front, and Undercover Stealth Speakers under the front seats. These speakers sound great, and I would LOVE to put them in my own T-Bird, but my car has power seats on both sides. Someday I'm going to play with them anyway; I'd rather go with the undercovers than a DVC-3015 in the rear. Every so often I get a pair in stock, but end up selling them before I get to try them out in the car.

For a 66 with tape player, the ONLY option I know of is Stereo Conversion. The original speakers are 4x8's in the doors; you might try to fit 4x6's in there (which for some odd reason sound better than 5x7's), or you can go with the DVC in front and/or undercovers under the seats.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)   IP: 96.252.225.5
Old 01-04-2011, 12:36 AM
Gary Tayman's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 84
Rep Power: 13
Gary Tayman is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by quivanphan View Post
I was planning on installing the Custom Autosound stereo in my 65 Thunderbird.

I have a question for those of you who are complaining about sound quality. Are you using just the head unit to play music and listen to the Radio?

Is the quality any better when you use an IPOD or if using amps instead of powering speakers with the headunit?

I am assuming that it would sound better if I am using an Ipod/Iphone with High quality MP3s with an amp powering the speakers since the head unit will just act as a pass thorugh for the audio.

Is anyone doing this already? Does it sound better than just using the head unit to power the speakers?

I really like the idea of using what looks like the OEM stereo controls to play music and especially controlling the volume.
As for USA Stereo sound quality, read my last post. The difference in sound quality is not really dependent on FM vs. iPod or whatever, but on the stereo itself -- and of course speakers.

There are old wives' tales and myths concerning "head units" and "amps." If your purpose for obtaining an amp is to make it "sound better", you're wasting your time and money. A setup with 2,000 watts is not going to sound any better than one with 200 watts, or even 20 watts. It can play louder, but not better.

You must ask yourself why you NEED 200 watts or more in a car in the first place, when a 30 watt stereo seems sufficient for any living room. The reason is speakers; they are very inefficient. In fact they are actually "loaded", designed somewhat to "starve the treble to feed the bass." You get less bass out of a smaller speaker, and those tiny 3" speakers some people use just won't cut it. The answer is not to feed it 2,000 watts; better to use speakers that are more efficient; meaning usually the biggest you can fit in there. With decent speakers you can get great sound and plenty of volume from these stereos without having to add an amp. Purposes for an amp are (1) if you're really hard of hearing, or (2) you're really enticed by some magazine ad that says your car will rock with a WHIZBANGG 10,000 watt amp in the trunk.

BTW, something really cool with the 630; the iPod adapter is an extra-cost option but the stereo INCLUDES a USB port. With the port, you don't need the iPod. Just upload your music to any flash drive, and play the drive through your stereo. THAT is a cool feature.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)   IP: 69.231.146.27
Old 01-04-2011, 02:37 AM
redbird1's Avatar
Los Angeles Ca.
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 92
Rep Power: 14
redbird1 is on a distinguished road
Garage
Thanks for the information Gary.
For a while now I have been debating what system to go with in my 66.
I had heard horror stories about autosound, so decided against them.
Now with your information I may reconsider my options.
I want to talk to some who have installed the #630 and get their opinions.
Bob.
__________________
Plan your work, and work your plan
http://public.fotki.com/redmk4convt/
http://www.cardomain.com/id/lincmk4
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)   IP: 71.197.111.4
Old 01-11-2011, 12:09 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northern California
Age: 28
Posts: 19
Rep Power: 0
grossman09 is on a distinguished road
I found an amp and sub combo at frys electronicsfor a decent price. Its only about 10"x12" and about 3 inches tall. It is all in one, a super thin sub and the amp. You can mount it under the passenge seat or in the trunk against the back seat or right above the spare.

Heres the link:

FUSION Electronics ? Car and Marine Audio
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)   IP: 69.198.146.57
Old 01-27-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN 55106
Posts: 5
Rep Power: 0
phillip6412 is on a distinguished road
Sound System

I went with a Sony Xplod stereo mounted under the passenger seat so I can keep the factory stereo installed in the dash. The Sony deck that I am using has the capability of either using a wireless remote of a corded joystick remote. I also went with this deck because I can use my Ipod with it.

I used (2) 3 1/2" Kicker speakers in the front dash with a home made bracket. I have also mounted an additional pair of Kicker 3 1/2" speakers inbetween the rear seats. I have plans to replace the rear speakers with the Custom Auto Sound 5X7 as soon as I get my bird out of winter storage sometime in April.

Once that is done I will have to see how the sound is but I think that I will put some sort of amplified sub in the trunk possibly where the spare tire is by relocating the spare tire down to the floor of the trunk.

In doing this I believe that I can improve the sound quality in the bird and also keep it looking as stock as possible without cutting and making modifications to the interior.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)   IP: 96.252.225.5
Old 01-27-2011, 04:21 PM
Gary Tayman's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 84
Rep Power: 13
Gary Tayman is on a distinguished road
I would be VERY curious to hear the difference between the Kickers, similar Kenwoods, and the CAM 5x7 (DVC-3015). Generally the larger the cone area of the woofer, the better the bass -- but -- I HATE anything in the 5x7 size, and the Dual Voice Coils are no exception.

I personally have a Custom Autosound DVC-3001 (4x10) in the front and a DVC-3015 in the rear. Both left channels to the front, both rights to the rear. The front speaker is okay, the rear stinks; in fact it actually rattles, sounds like gunshots, if there's lots of bass. Now, before going any further, these are OLD DESIGN speakers. I've talked with the designers about the problem, and was told they're fixing it. Sure enough, new speakers up and down the line. I had tested another 5x7 on the bench and found it to be much better, but I could still make it rattle. Now -- this is with a conversion radio, which has a lot of bass. The USA stereos have less bass, and thus probably don't have a problem. I have yet to replace the speakers in my car to determine the difference.

It takes time and money -- and a good cleaning out of the garage, but I want to do some personal experimenting with speakers in my own car, to find out what sounds best in there. Then I'll recommend it to T-Bird customers.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
radio, sound system, speakers


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0
Garage vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.