What Aftermarket Radio Do you Have? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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What Aftermarket Radio Do you Have?

I'm shopping for an aftermarket radio and have searched old threads but not much there that I could find, except comments about their exhausts as radios or blanking plates (not what I'm looking for). What radio are you using and how much cutting or modification did it take? Posting pictures would be greatly appreciated. I posted in audio area too because there doesn't seem to be as much action there. I have an 84 Spider.

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 08:12 PM
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Don't cut your Alfa! I would highly recommend a RetroSound stereo, which I just installed in my 78 Spider. The install was a snap; the unit is engineered to adapt to the old style two-post stereo opening. It is pricier ($299) than a cheap Best Buy type thing, but I think it's worth it for the appearance and for the ease of install. You want the Euro model. I did have to reuse the faceplate that was with my original Alfa radio cuz the RetroSound one was just a couple mm too tall (coulda made it work but it would have looked crowded). There's a bit of cutting and drilling of the mounting plate but it's easy.

There's also a nice array of options for either a chrome look or a matte black appearance. It doesn't have a CD player but you can hook up a changer and/or an iPod. They also have a nifty built-in MP3 hook-up that allows you to just use a thumb drive full of music, which is what I've been using.

Here's the link: RetroSoundUSA.com - Classic Radio Systems, Speakers, and Accessories

There are also one or two other similar options out there on eBay etc. I'll try to post a pic or two tomorrow.

Dan
78 Spider Veloce

Former "vintage" cars: 74 Fiat 124 Spider (first car); 70 Volvo 164 ("the tank"); 74 Datsun 260Z (only started on fire once); 80 Honda Civic wagon; 89 Saab 900; 71 MGB ('Blue B')
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 08:39 PM
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Most of the radio's sold by Crutchfield will fit the Alfa Spider; if they will not fit they will tell you so. I bought a Dual, but have not permanently installed it as I am still doing interior restoration. But I did a trial fit and it fits OK. No modifications or cutting required. I ordered the small installation kit (mostly had the DIN tools to install the radio into the collar which comes with it). You install the collar and bend the tabs which secure it behind the dash surround. Then when you install the radio into the collar with the DIN tools, it covers access to the bend tabs and the radio cannot be stolen without having the correct DIN tools. Different radios have their own DIN tools, but they all install about the same and use the collar to really secure the radio to the dash. The Dual I ordered has a removable face plate, so if you take the trouble to remove the face plate when you leave the car, it is supposed to discourage theft as what good is the radio without a face plate and the operating controls contained in the face plate. That's the theory anyway.
Robert
1988 Black Spider Veloce

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 09:50 PM
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The '84 may have been the last year Spider with the 3-hole (not single DIN) dash mounting for the radio. So, if one wants to keep it original in appearance, a "retro" 2-shaft radio would be the appropriate choice. if a DIN opening is there, the sky's the limit, and no cutting will be required.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 10:45 PM
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Not for you but I went with a minidisc player years ago and it's fantastic. I've got a recorder and with Rhapsody I can record pretty much anything that fits my fancy. The minidiscs are robust - they can take just about any abuse and the sound quality is on par with cd.

BUT, in reality it's an obsolete media. Do you want to look at it or listen to it? If the latter then get an XM with input for your mp3 or ipod. There's no crime in having good sounds. Yes, an Alfa is all about driving but how can you have fun driving if you're friggin' worried about how your radio LOOKS?



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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 11:01 PM
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i put a nakamichi cd400 in my 92 spider.

one thing that i wanted was something that did not look like a pinball machine with all the colors.

this unit is great, very classy and very simple.

the green illumination matches the dash lights which was a pre-requisite.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spid...er-veloce.html

1992 alfa romeo spider veloce
2000 saab 9-3 coupe
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 04:04 AM
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1st let me say that my Spider is a driver that I use and not some museum piece that must be preserved at any cost. I went ahead and "butchered" the dash in my '82 Spider. I was able to find a nice Sony radio/CD player. I'm happy with the fit & finish. The "modern" radio looks like it belongs there. With the top down the car can be a bit loud. So I installed an aircraft intercom. Now driver & passenger can carry on a reasonable conversation, without shouting, while listening to tunes.


"Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."
Larry the Cable Guy
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 06:10 AM
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Alpine CD player

Quote:
Originally Posted by RI VELOCE View Post
What radio are you using and how much cutting or modification did it take? Posting pictures would be greatly appreciated. I posted in audio area too because there doesn't seem to be as much action there. I have an 84 Spider.
The PO installed an aftermarket Alpine CD player and replced the kickpanel speakers with Blaupukts. The little speakers were not cutting it, so i built a small box for behind the seats and put 2 6X9s in wired to the older Alpine deck. My wife covered the box with vinyl. The speakers were less than $20 and the peak power of the radio is 40w, so it's not exceptional, but i can hear it at 70 with the top down, no prob. Nice punchy midrange right through the seats too.

Phil
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 12:13 PM
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Here are is a pic of the installed RetroSound unit, plus a shot of the USB thumbdrive hidden in the dash that holds my music (up to an 8GB size, so you can get a couple hundred CDs on it I would guess).

I used the original faceplate that came with the Alfa Romeo radio; I regret that I repainted it gloss black, where matte black would have looked better. Otherwise it's a great install with no cutting.
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Dan
78 Spider Veloce

Former "vintage" cars: 74 Fiat 124 Spider (first car); 70 Volvo 164 ("the tank"); 74 Datsun 260Z (only started on fire once); 80 Honda Civic wagon; 89 Saab 900; 71 MGB ('Blue B')
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
1st let me say that my Spider is a driver that I use and not some museum piece that must be preserved at any cost. I went ahead and "butchered" the dash in my '82 Spider. I was able to find a nice Sony radio/CD player. I'm happy with the fit & finish. The "modern" radio looks like it belongs there. With the top down the car can be a bit loud. So I installed an aircraft intercom. Now driver & passenger can carry on a reasonable conversation, without shouting, while listening to tunes.

You have the exact same interior that I do Geezer. What did you use to cut the dash and what model Sony is it?
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 03:58 AM
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RI VELOCE,

I don't remember which Sony radio/CD player it is, but it is a DIN mount. I made a template the size of the face plate and the the hole required. Next I centered the template over the radio opening and used a Dremel tool to cut out the dash. If you have a Dremel with a right angle drive it will make the job easier. There was quite a bit of cussing involved but the effort was worth it to get some good tunes. Sorry that I didn't take any pics of the process. BTW the steel in the dash is pretty tough so the cutting went pretty slow. Also putting a pair of speakers behind the seats is a good idea.

"Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."
Larry the Cable Guy
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcalfa View Post
Here are is a pic of the installed RetroSound unit, plus a shot of the USB thumbdrive hidden in the dash that holds my music (up to an 8GB size, so you can get a couple hundred CDs on it I would guess).

I used the original faceplate that came with the Alfa Romeo radio; I regret that I repainted it gloss black, where matte black would have looked better. Otherwise it's a great install with no cutting.
Very ,very nice.
This is the look that I would choose.Sharp,classic and elegant-just like the car!
Btw,what's the sound like? Do you get good bass and mids as well as enough "topdown" volume?can it compare to a alpine,pioneer,etc?Can an amp be connected?
Thanks,D.

1969 1750 Spider*Giorgia?*
1970 1750 Spider*magica*--mi ha lasciato per un altro,luglio 2015
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 09:29 AM
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Since the only comparison I have is the original anemic Alfa radio, it's hard to say. The sound and power is certainly good enough, and the stats seem in line with any decent aftermarket radio. There are inputs for an amp, subwoofer, etc., if you want that also. I may someday add either an amp or small powered sub to fill out the sound more, but for now it has plenty of power for my needs.

The biggest drawback for my setup as it stands is the front speaker placement in the doors (which was where the stock speakers were). It's literally the worst possible location because the driver and passenger block the sound (if I lower my left arm it's like raising the volume). Someday I may splurge for new door panels and then relocate the speakers to the footwells where they are on later Spiders.

BTW, the latest edition of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car mag (the one with the orange Beemer 2002 on the cover) shows them installing one of the RetroSound units. They also seemed very impressed with the quality and ease of install.

Dan
78 Spider Veloce

Former "vintage" cars: 74 Fiat 124 Spider (first car); 70 Volvo 164 ("the tank"); 74 Datsun 260Z (only started on fire once); 80 Honda Civic wagon; 89 Saab 900; 71 MGB ('Blue B')

Last edited by dcalfa; 05-02-2009 at 09:36 AM.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
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Not for you but I went with a minidisc player years ago and it's fantastic. I've got a recorder and with Rhapsody I can record pretty much anything that fits my fancy. The minidiscs are robust - they can take just about any abuse and the sound quality is on par with cd.

BUT, in reality it's an obsolete media. Do you want to look at it or listen to it? If the latter then get an XM with input for your mp3 or ipod. There's no crime in having good sounds. Yes, an Alfa is all about driving but how can you have fun driving if you're friggin' worried about how your radio LOOKS?



Just a question: Is the vent defroster slide plate in your car original? Or did you make one out of stainless?? Looks like it is chrome from the pictures. Looks great btw. Peter

Peter L. Carver, MA
Spiders, spiders everywhere...
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 04:59 PM
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I have an ultra cheapo from Kmart. Something like $29. Something no scumbag would want to steal by ripping out the wiring and instrument panel. It does have an input jack for an IPOD, however.

John Stewart
74 Spider
91 164S
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