Classic and antique cars either don’t have ANY stereo equipment, or what they have is in serious need of an audio upgrade. The WSS team takes pride in delivering high quality audio upgrades in classic cars! We have worked on many classics over the years and have installed modern technology and improved sound in all of them. Think about it… If your 2009 Chevy Silverado has Bluetooth and iPod control, why would you not want to enjoy these great features in your 1969 Camaro? Or do you love listening to the stereo in your 1970 Mustang Mach 1, but get frustrated when the stereo doesn’t have enough output to listen to it at highway speeds? We have the answers you are looking for!
Classic Line: “We Need More Power”
We recently had a customer from Manchester, MD bring us a gorgeous 1937 Ford truck. This classic had a LOT of work done to it already. From the motor, to the suspension, to the paint job, this vehicle had been completely restored and customized. It was beautiful inside and out. There was a stereo installed in the dash, speakers in the doors, and a pair of speakers cut into the sides of the custom center console. The stereo did not sound very good… And when the vehicle was running it was essentially useless. This client was not happy with the sound quality and wanted much more output.
In Dash Audio Upgrade In a Classic?: “Logical!”
The first thing we did was replace the head unit. To build any classic car stereo that’s where you need to start. WSS is an authorized dealer for Custom Autosound, who makes replacement radios for many classic cars. These quality units are designed to look like the original radio (depending on the application) and not take away from the “factory look” of many shaft style head units. They also make a product called Secret Audio which is a complete package for a totally hidden head unit, in cases where there is no opening in the dash or if you’d like to leave the original where it is.
In this particular vehicle, the dash had already been customized and cut out for what’s called a DIN size aftermarket radio. This means it was a 2” x 7” opening. We decided, with the client’s approval, to install an Axxera XDMA7800 cd player in the dash. This head unit gives us several great features to compliment this classic car stereo. It has Bluetooth built into it for hands free phone calls. This gives him the ability to take important phone calls LEGALLY while driving. When receiving a phone call, the stereo will mute any music being played and show caller ID on the display. This head unit also has full iPod control through a USB connection. It will display the track information and allow the client to browse playlists and search for songs on any compatible iPod. The display changes colors as well, allowing us to set it to a color that matched the rest of the lighting in the dash. We now had a great quality cd player in the dash of this classic car and could continue building this project!
“You’re Coming In Loud And Clear Captain”
The placement of the center console speakers that were already installed was not ideal. We already knew we would be choosing a different location. With the speakers in the center console, you could barely even hear the right speaker since it was aimed at the passenger foot well. After discussing this problem with the customer, we decided to replace the door speakers and simply disconnect the pair in the center console. It would have taken away from the overall sound quality of this system.
We installed 6”x9” German Maestro Concept coax speakers in the doors, and were able to reuse the existing custom grilles. The German Maestro Concept series speakers were a great choice for this vehicle. The tweeter is based on German Maestro’s MegaSphere technology, delivering crystal clear treble even at higher volumes. They can handle a decent amount of power and we knew they would produce plenty of output to reach the client’s goal. Also, the depth of this type of speaker is very accommodating, which was important since the door panels were custom and did not allow for a speaker with a large basket and magnet on the back. The fit and finish of the speakers in the doors was perfect. Now we needed to put real power to them to make them jam!
WSS Sulu-tion? “Don’t Call Me Tiny”
As with many class cars, we had basically NO room to mount an amplifier. This created an issue. We knew that this client wanted the most output possible from the two speakers in the doors so we were going to have to find a solution. The answer was the Arc Audio KS125.2 mini! This 2 channel amplifier was so incredibly small that we can actually mount the amp BEHIND the radio inside the dash! The amplifier was now completely hidden and nothing was sacrificed to do this.
Arc Audio designed this amplifier to be extremely efficient. Because of this, the heat sinks on the amp can be made noticeably smaller. The amp produces 70 watts per channel at 4 ohms, and 125 watts per channel at 2 ohms. One really cool feature built into this amp is Arc Audio’s BX circuit technology. BX is Arc’s incredible bass enhancement. Here is the detailed description of how this works straight from Arc Audio: “BX uses the principle of the missing fundamental, which creates the sensation of low frequencies by generating a carefully calculated series of harmonics designed to simulate the auditory experience in the human ear caused by the missing fundamental pitch. These harmonics extend the perceived frequency response up to 1.5 octaves below the speaker cutoff frequency without perceived distortion, increased peak power consumption or peak speaker excursion.” In layman’s terms, the BX technology essentially allows the speaker to reproduce deeper and more powerful bass than you would ever expect. Since we were not adding a subwoofer in this classic car stereo design, the bass extension and “full” sound quality was very important. We now had a cd player, single amp, and one pair of speakers installed… And you would think we had added three times as much equipment!
Mission Accomplished: “Beam Me Up!”
This project was now complete! The team at WSS is willing to take on any challenge in creating a great stereo in any classic car. We have designed and created many of them over the years, and classic car audio has become a major part of our business. We are happy to make all of your hopes and dreams become reality for the stereo in your vehicle! Just because your 1932 Chrysler or 1948 GMC did not come with a radio does not mean you have to suffer in silence on the way to that next big car show. At your convenience, stop by our facility and let the highly educated staff give you a full demonstration of all the technology and sound quality upgrades for your classic beauty!
For more information, give us a call at 410-857-5300, EMAIL US, or just stop in and allow us to show you around!