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Retro-Modern Head Units

Posted by Dreams Realized, Nov 28, 2020

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  1. Dreams Realized

    Dreams Realized Proven Member

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    DISCLAIMER: I cannot upload photos because I am still in the middle of the ocean. So I will just link the systems I am about to talk about. SORRY

    So I have had alot of time on my hands. And with that time, naturally I look at pictures of my car. And one thing has been sticking out. My damned single DIN pioneer head unit looks cheap and ugly with it's gloss black plastic. I had a double DIN pioneer before this and I got rid of it because it too looked out of place.

    I may be an old spirit at heart (I'm 26) but I don't care about these kids and their damned touchscreens. I want physical feed back. Knobs and buttons. I don't seem to be the only one who is getting fatigued from having to choose between touch screens and head units who haven't modernized their appearance since 2003.

    Blaupunkt recently released a 1980s throwback, but Americans can't utilize the DAB and a $500 price tag is hefty:
    https://www.blaupunkt.com/en/nc/products/car-multimedia/car-radio/products/single/19059/

    Hell even Porsche is selling a retromodern head unit for an absurd $1000. And it too has DAB that we can't use:
    https://newsroom.porsche.com/en/202...-infotainment-systems-classic-cars-20622.html

    I really like the 2g oem infinity sound system for this reason. PLENTY of knobs and buttons. Cassette and CD, even an AUX input:
    https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/oem-stereo-compatibility.527095/

    I also really like the Kienzle mcr-1060BT for it's simplistic retro look. And lord look at all those buttons :pray:. But they are rare and never seemed to have made it to the states:
    Adverts.ie › ie › audio › kienzle-mc...
    Kienzle Mcr 1016 Bt Bluetooth Car Radio Vag For Sale in Clonakilty ...

    I have found retrosound head units which are meant for 60s 70s cars but I designed their hermosa unit to look like it came from an early 80s car with cassette. It's very minimalistic and I enjoy having my knobs to play with as I drive. At $300msrp after all is said and built I feel this is my best bet:
    https://www.retromanufacturing.com/products/hermosa-radio-no-knobs-or-mounting-bezel

    I am a DSMer so I enjoy being a cheapskate. Blaupunkt and Porsche are too much and for that reason I'm out (insert shark tank meme here). I need my modern comforts such as bluetooth audio and hands free calling so I can't exactly go with OEM. Does anyone else feel the same way as me? Am I the only one who is willing to die on this hill?

    I know a few of y'all use monitors and touchscreens for tuning interfaces, but has anyone else found other retro modern head units that would look natural in our center stack?
     

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  2. motomattx

    motomattx Proven Member

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    I like the simplicity of knobs and buttons, some things didnt need re-inventing and radios are one of those things, they got them right back in the 90's and thats where the innovation should have stopped, other than say adding XM radio and bluetooth, the stock Infinity is great if you can find a good working one, you can get a bluetooth to aux in adapter to use your bluetooth devices with it and your set, the VW modern radios in some of the cars Jetta etc have knobs and buttons on them and still have aux in and XM, very nice units and double din, the problem with them is that they are coded to the ecu and cant be easily used outside of the car that they come in.
     

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  3. talonesi95t

    talonesi95t Supporting VIP

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    I sent out two oem single din radios, one infinity and the other non infinity, to get a aux added to them. I believe I could have had them add Bluetooth but I was to cheap and really don't care for it as plugging in the aux cord is fine with me.
    Factoryradioservice.com was the place I sent them to but a quick Google search and the site is no more which is sad.
    My idea was to use the infinity radio with aftermarket amps to power the speakers.
     

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  4. motomattx

    motomattx Proven Member

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    It seems that its common for the aux and factory volume control on the double din Infinity unit to act up, my volume did but I still have the unit in hopes of fixing it.
     

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  5. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

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    The volune knob (just a reostat) and the aux port are more than liky just dirty and if you open it up and clean it with Electronic Parts Cleaner, they will probably work as normal again. I used to mod stereo's and CB radios and you can't believe how dirty those things can get inside. I can get the cleaner at the auto parts store. Might want to give it a shot.
    I am the old dude (56) and i like my Kenwood units. One knob for volume, preset buttons, aix in and its a single din so the place under my stereos all have the pocket to put my phone or odds and ends (and covid masks) in.
    I have these in 3 of my DSMs.
    16066564105677898177174318007727.jpg
     

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  6. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

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    Thought I would throw in my three cents into the conversation ( remember the extra cent for US /CAN currency exchange ) I love the Kenwood systems too..In fact I got one in my Eclipse and In the Dakota too. Stuck the originals back in these boxes .. Never know...some one might need them..My only problem is I should have gone with some thing different in the truck cause having two identical system`s caused a problem connecting to blue tooth . I have two pairings and the phone cant figure which one to use to conect... Problem solved... I just download every thing to a 1G memory stick and got rid of Spotify and saved ten bucks a month. I have many sticks.. one for Alternative....Oldies ... Base and Christian ..

    So @1990TSIAWDTALON you think your old at 56 ... Jeee buddy I`m 69 years old so I must be ancient


    Kenwood Radio.jpg
     

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  7. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

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    Well I couldn’t agree more about several points made here. My frustrations run beyond the audio, and on to all the large displays, touch screens, and general philosophy of more is better. The last dash that I actually liked was the Fiat 500 Abarth, though even that was altered (degraded) during the production run (and the car looked like a hot rod roller skate). While my 1g had lots of issues that I’m still sorting through, it has the big factory equalizer with a little green led on each slider, and it plays my Lynyrd Skynyrd and Grateful Dead cassettes. I do wish I could add a hard line aux into it, but not high on the list at the moment. I prefer design and convenience that enhance the driving experience, not distract from It. We each have a sweet spot there, and I’m sure my 20yo Son would roll his eyes it at my griping when he eventually buys a Tesla. At least he can drive a “standard” trans, hardly any of his friends know how. Though it is purely from necessity, he can’t understand why anyone would choose one.
     

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  8. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

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    I hate touch screens ... My uncle has one and every time he plays with it he travels into the next lane.. Many times I`v grabbed the wheel to stop a collision while he`s reading his emails... Yea right ... email in a car.... CRAZY.. In the famous words of Russell Peters dad " Some body`s gonna get hurt real bad "

    https://www.instructables.com/Hack-an-Auxiliary-Input-to-a-Car-Stereo/
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020

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  9. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

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    Larry, I NEW you had a couple years on me, but for the most part, there are only a dozen or so of us "Mathusala's" ROFL on here.
    Dam Old Farts.....:ohdamn:
    Marty :)
     

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  10. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure they make a aux in box that goes in line with the antenna.
    Like this....it's an FM modulator
    https://www.amazon.com/iSimple-IS31...ut+adapter+antenna+jack&qid=1606672663&sr=8-5
     

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  11. m1nd64m3

    m1nd64m3 Proven Member

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  12. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

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    Well you just can`t beat plug and play.. See Marty .. you can teach an old dog a new trick...LOL
     

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  13. Dreams Realized

    Dreams Realized Proven Member

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    Part of what made me decide to even do research on head units in the first place is the design language of the old 80s digital dashes. Think Buick Reatta, Toyota soarer and cressida, and even the 1st generation subaru brat. I love it and the OEM 2g infinity systems but like @motomattx stereos didn't need reinventing save better sound quality and creature comforts.

    I LOATHE touchscreens. By definition you have to take your eyes off the road to operate them because you have no feedback. Hence my love of buttons and knobs... A weighted knob in my hand. Oh man just gives me chills thinking about it.

    I have heard whispers on the internets that people can retrofit handsfree calling into older double din units with presets(?) I could also always get a seperate handsfree calling unit like one of those mobile Amazon Alexa units for $20
     

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  14. steve

    steve DSM Wiseman

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    I'm still rocking my replacement for the factory radio.

    Front.jpg

    I don't need Nav, BT, or any of that stuff in this car. Just something that gets louder than the exhaust. :)
     

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  15. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

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  16. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

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    Sure!!! :thumb:
    Sorry cassettes OMG
     

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  17. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

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    Like AL Pacino would say ... SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIENDS "
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  18. IHeartMyHonda

    IHeartMyHonda Proven Member

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    I had a pioneer double din touch screen in Spyder for about 3 months. I only put it in there because my factory infinity took a crap.

    It. Was. Awful. No only did I have to look at it to change the radio stations, but I couldn't see anything on the screen if it was sunny out. Ya know, the best time to drive a spyder..

    I ended up buying a replacement infinity tape deck w/aux from someone parting out a 2g. I took it apart and cleaned out all of the grime, and cleaned the contacts on the volume encoder. Now the interior looks 100% stock again.

    I would love to have a retro-looking double din that doesn't break the bank. But, until then, aux will have to do.
     

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  19. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

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    Off topic and I apologize but....
    These have tunes and "tunes" and my secret program. :cool: 16066964351454314214453085045949.jpg
     

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  20. DakFink

    DakFink Probationary Member

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    FYI: Many Mid to High end aftermarket Amps and DSPs now have Bluetooth and aux inputs for external sources. Allowing you too keep the Factory head unit and add Aux or Bluetooth device in at the AMP/DSP

    I personally like the Touchscreens BUT as stated, have found that trying to use them while driving is a bit of a pain and dangerous. I just learn to use the remote very well!!
     

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