Upgraded Factory Radio Users

Turbo6Smackdown

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2005
5,399
57
48
SE Michigan
Who here has a factory radio that has been rebuilt and upgraded with an auxiliary output here. I was wondering how they compared to better aftermarket units. Anyone?
 

zapp240

Active Member
Mar 17, 2016
207
48
28
56
Pittsburgh, PA
Hey Turbo, I looked into doing the process myself. I have a link that explain it and being an electronics tech it wouldn't be that difficult. The problem is even after upgrading the speakers, the factory radio was a dog to begin with. With low power output from the stocker and somewhat noisy (THD) internal amps, the sound even with an external source is alot to be desired. I put a FMDA adapter on the antenna lead and run my satellite radio thru the stock unit. even with satellite it still sounds poor but it will get me thru until i loose the novelty of having a stock looking interior and put a real system in the car. just my .02$

Unless the upgrades includes seriously upgrading the components of the stock unit or somehow putting the original face-plate on a modern radio, i would go quality aftermarket if your not after the stock look.
 

Turbo6Smackdown

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2005
5,399
57
48
SE Michigan
Not totally sold on a stock radio but if there's a modded version that will sound at least as good as my cheap low level kenwood 1 DIN, then I'd do it in a minute. I'm not an audiophile by any means, but I do require a semi decent sound coming out of my radio. I'd love a decent sounding stocker with aux input for my mp3 player. That would be awesome.
 
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John Larkin

Sublime Master of Turbology
May 25, 2001
3,588
189
63
57
Nashville, TN
I used this: https://www.amazon.com/AudioControl-Channel-Converter-Subwoofer-Control/dp/B01EDFPNSG

AudioControl LC2i. It's really simple - you tap two speaker wires (left and right) and then you can control an external amplifier to run whatever speakers you want. I run a 4 channel with 2 of them bridged for a sub. The other two channels drive the front two CSII speakers I replaced and I wired them in series I think to reduce the ohms. There is more wiring needed here as you will probably put your amp in the trunk but that's the price you pay. The key to good sound is a small sub, I use an 8" and it is plenty.
 

marcus jul

Member
Jan 6, 2015
89
27
18
52
El Sobrante California
I have a stock AC Delco with a aux input installed. It works good. The aux input sound is better than the radio sound. I got it before I installed the Zapco pre amp wich has an aux input also, so I don't really use the head unit aux now. I might just sell it.
 

marcus jul

Member
Jan 6, 2015
89
27
18
52
El Sobrante California
This is good to know.
If you go with a stock radio, witch I think looks way better then any new deck, get a line level block that will give you RCA outputs connected to your your speaker wires then you can use a preamp. I listen to sports talk radio alot, but when i want music I just plug into my Zapco preamp and listen to Pandora and stuff. You can get a line level block on ebay for around 10 bucks.
 

usetaboost

SAY CAR RAMROD!!
May 4, 2005
6,921
118
63
iowa
Shelf all the stock crap. I put together an ok setup for just over $200. Makes road trips more gooder. Don't need fancy shit to sound better than 30yr old paper speakers.

Sports talk radio always makes me wanna do big smokey burnouts too.
 
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usetaboost

SAY CAR RAMROD!!
May 4, 2005
6,921
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iowa
One 4 channel kicker I had lying around from early 2000s, a 75 dollar amp off Craigslist, new kicker cs speakers for the dash, 20 dollar used sub, 35 dollar box. Rear speakers and deck had already been replaced.
 

usetaboost

SAY CAR RAMROD!!
May 4, 2005
6,921
118
63
iowa
My rule of thumb is, if it sounds like crap or I just can't plain hear it going down the highway with the windows down, it is the good enough.
 

fast NY Six

Active Member
Jan 31, 2016
314
55
28
40
upstate NY
I have a stock AC Delco with a aux input installed. It works good. The aux input sound is better than the radio sound. I got it before I installed the Zapco pre amp wich has an aux input also, so I don't really use the head unit aux now. I might just sell it.
Who here has a factory radio that has been rebuilt and upgraded with an auxiliary output here. I was wondering how they compared to better aftermarket units. Anyone?
I am currently having the radio for my 87 GN restored/upgraded. I wanted to keep it completely stock appearing, so I'm getting a 4 ft aux cable installed out the back of the radio. They sound great, I have one in my 86 limited.
 
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RED LS1

SENIOR MEMBER
Dec 31, 2001
605
62
28
Philly Pa
When you add the AUX cable to the factory radio how do you make your Ipod/Phone play music through it? Where are you running the cable to to mount the AUX?
 

fast NY Six

Active Member
Jan 31, 2016
314
55
28
40
upstate NY
as soon as you plug your phone in, the radio cuts out. I didn't mount the aux, its tucked up behind the radio. I leave the aux cable plugged in all the time routed to the console.
 
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