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Old 06-09-2015, 09:20 PM   #1
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Audio Upgrade

My new to me 93 Excella has a bare bones OEM Sony car radio size FM receiver. That's all it is. No other inputs. No place to play cassettes let alone CDs

I am thinking about finally acknowledging the 21st century. I also want to take my CDs (a lot of which I recorded from vinyl I still have) and put them on something so I don't have to travel with a zillion CDs.

I don't consider myself an audiophile, just want something simple that works.

Suggestions?

Thanks,
Marshall
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:44 PM   #2
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Crutchfield.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:44 PM   #3
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I just got a Bose system with my Credit Card points that sounds amazing. Has a CD player and inputs for IPod or other devices. Incredible sound for size. It's a Bose Wave Music system. Going in my 68 AS Ambassdor International. Jim
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:53 PM   #4
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I put a ALPINE UTE-42BT Bluetooth Digital Receiver in my Excella. No CD, No moving parts, a USB port and input for I Phone. A few high capacity USB flash drives and I am good to go.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:24 PM   #5
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I am with you on this. My '06 AS came with a Sony radio circa '05. It did have some kind of tie-in to the Television speaker system but was- old. My TV no longer plays through the radio system. It is separate. I ordered a replacement right after I purchased but made a mistake. It was a good unit but did not have everything I wanted. I practically gave it away at a sale during the Canopener rally. My new one is a Pioneer DEH-X9600BHS CD receiver that does EVERYTHING. I can talk handsfree throughout the AS using the bluetooth and cell phone. It does do a light show even when off so there is some bit of getting used to that. I think of it as an animated night light. I believe that full dot LCD display is important now. Selecting a stereo, IMO is more about how intuitive the controls are for you. Pioneer units offer loads of features but they have a learning curve in operation. Some like them, some don't. I have also seen brands that oversimplify the controls and make you work a knob to death getting through menus. My advice is to go to a store and play with some various radios. The brand models are pretty similar as each has similar menu routing for users- FM go here, iPod go there, etc. but as the models add features they get more tricky. They are a far cry from on/off/volume and tune knobs for sure. The standard sized units like we have are somewhat at a disadvantage operation-wise as features have increased- less space for buttons. That is another reason the AV units have become popular aside from the screen of course. There are so many features today. I am slowly moving away from CD to iPod and how the radio shows the songs and connects is important- full dot display, etc. Good hunting. As far as pioneer radios go, check out their website and watch the videos on the various models. One that looks simple is the DEH-X8700BS, a new model. It even reads FLAC if you get into converting your music- FLAC is the digital format that loses no quality while MP3 is lossy.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:46 AM   #6
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I'm in the middle of the same project. I have phase I complete and that is digitizing all of the CD's in my collection. The good news is that fits nicely on a 64 gig flash drive. I then replaced the factory speakers with MBQuart OSC213 speakers. These did require just a bit of fitting to make them work in the trailer but are SO nice sounding.

For the head unit I put in a Fusion MS-RA205i with the addition of a remote head in the bedroom (MS-NRX200i). The system was a bit more money then other options but it has two zones of audio control. This allows me to have a bedroom volume and a living room volume control. It also has an optional bluetooth module to tie to your phone, etc.

I plugged in the flash drive directly to the Fusion unit and have access to my entire CD library on the road and by adding ounces of weight vs. dragging along hundreds of CD's or some sample of them and then really craving a particular one that didn't make the cut.

Another benefit of the Fusion head unit is that is also has a VHF receiver for weather radio and marine bands if you need to monitor weather conditions. My only complaint is that it doesn't have alert override for weather alerts.

I need to add a post to my blog detailing the install but I have not finished my control center redo so I do not have the head unit mounted permanently yet.
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:12 PM   #7
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Just spoke with my son in law who usually knows what he is talking about as far as this techy stuff. What he is recommending is putting the music on an I-Phone, to go along with my Mac computer, ( I am looking for a phone too) and using a FM broadcaster to send the music through the trailer FM radio.

What do you think?

I will consider all options.
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:27 PM   #8
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If you are an audiophile you will not be happy with the audio bandwidth over an FM transmitter. Best option is a unit with an iPod USB connection. Second best direct analog cable.
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:37 PM   #9
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If you have the music on your iPhone or computer already, all you need to do is at a bluetooth receiver to your Sony, then you can just use bluetooth to stream. If the Sony has an "AUX" input, you can use one of these:


http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F8Z492t...r+outdoor+tech

Sometimes the AUX is on the back of the unit. If you provide the full model number of the Sony I could help more.
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:43 PM   #10
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Lumatic - simple, well it depends on your definition. As leedav suggests, FM isn't an audiophile's choice but to overcome that hurdle means replacing more components.

Your son is correct if you want to limit your purchases. Especially if your TV has an older AM/FM only radio unit as well (without an AUX plug). Purchase one of these devices to bridge a smartphone (hopefully, you have one soon) on which you store your music:

Amazon.com: New Potato Technologies TuneLink Auto Bluetooth in Car Stereo Wireless Adapter for Android (Black) - 1001-01002D: Cell Phones & Accessories

You pair the hardware with an App:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...link&hl=en

Viola, tunes in either the vehicle or trailer during your travels.

There is an iOS compatible version as well.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Just spoke with my son in law who usually knows what he is talking about as far as this techy stuff. What he is recommending is putting the music on an I-Phone, to go along with my Mac computer, ( I am looking for a phone too) and using a FM broadcaster to send the music through the trailer FM radio.
No, it works but the music sounds like it is coming from a station not too close- some fuzz. That is great if you keep the old radio but not needed if you upgrade plus you have to convert all your music beforehand. You want bluetooth and full dot LCD display for sure for iPod/iphone stuff and probably an actual aux connection for direct connection. Some radios even have a place to put the iPod/phone in them! I would suggest getting a new radio before buying other things. That way you gain other options like CD to play what is not transferred to pod and handsfree phone as well. Many times getting those little goobers to work is not easy. Less is best. Changing out the radio is not difficult; however, the newer radios have a face mount that often requires a special key to unlock or detach it from the surface- basically a special detaching tool. That is the only part I found challenging as no such key came with my AS. Your older radio may not have such a thing.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:03 PM   #12
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Check out the Furrion DV-3100. IHMO, it's a screamin' deal for what you get.
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:15 AM   #13
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Just read about this on Amazon and it's a good deal

Amazon.com: Denon AVR-S700W 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi: Electronics

I think this will do it all for you and then some.... this is a today only deal on amazon though... good thing they have free returns
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:22 AM   #14
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At about 5 years of age, the Sony car radio/cassette player in our AS died. I didn't want to mess with a new wiring harness, so I purchased a new Sony brand car stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary input for an MP3 player. This made the installation pretty simple. I pulled out the old unit, disconnected the antenna and wiring harness, reconnected them to the new unit and slid it into place. Now, I have my entire music collection loaded onto iTunes on my laptop and copied onto my 160gb iPod. I get CD quality sound from my iPod without using an FM transmitter (I've used an FM transmitter in the past and the sound quality is not great). I just plug the iPod into the front of the Sony stereo, select the Aux input, and use my iPod to play anything I own. I have an extensive music library and it all fits on the 160gb iPod with room to spare. Apple doesn't make the 160gb model anymore, but a smaller capacity would work just as well even if I had to be a bit more selective in what I put on my iPod.

If you don't want to tackle the swap out of a new stereo for an old one, take your AS to any reputable car stereo store and tell them what you want. They should be able to handle it with ease. They could probably also upgrade your speakers, install a power amp, and give you an awesome rockin' sound system that would make your son jealous.
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