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Volvo RWD 444-544 Forum

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radio 444-544 1962

I'm buying a solid '62 544 as a daily driver. It's never had a radio. I want to install one, and am interested in success stories about aftermarket sound systems -- both head unit and speakers. Pushing the limits of possibility, my ultimate fantasy is a Sirius-XM/AM-FM/tuner/antennas set-up. (Already got a 12-volt electrical system and good alternator.) Any advice?





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    Adding radio to 12v 544 444-544 1962

    Dean;

    If its already a 12V system, you have lots of options...limited only by your budget...I do prefer to install a functional vintage OE radio in the normal position for a proper period look, and to add a modern sound system discretely (with equally discretely located speakers...under the dashboard facing passengers as well as possible).

    When installing a sound system into a vintage Volvo which did not previously have one, you will need to add RF (Ignition), as well as power line noise suppression, see: http://www.sw-em.com/Radio_Notes.htm ...also be aware of high stand-by currents which cause Battery discharging and have falsely been diagnosed as Battery issues. See: http://sw-em.com/Battery%20Notes.htm#overnight_battery_discharge ...so you might want to power a power stage by way of an Ign Slave Relay. See: http://sw-em.com/Ignition_Slave_Relay.htm

    Cheers





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      Adding radio to 12v 544 444-544 1962

      A different suggestion -

      I have the following setup on my 67 (12 volt) Duett...

      I have an original for the year Bendix Volvo branded am radio in the radio recess in the dashboard. Not functional but looks great.

      Soon to be installed:

      I purchased a marine bluetooth driver / 6 inch 2 way speaker combo set up that I pair to my phone. There's nothing (literally nothing) that I can't access through that set up. The driver will be hidden and the speakers mounted inside panels ahead of the doors. The driver is actually 4 channel but I plan on only 2 speakers.

      I have the same setup mounted in the ceiling of my basement workshop and another one in the ceiling of an attic office. They sound phenomenal.

      As for satellite radio, I've never been a fan. Essentially everything is available either via Apple Music or the TuneIn app. You can do podcasts as well.

      Another advantage - cost. I already have my phone and Apple Music subscription ($14.95 per month for the whole family; that's like 4 cars worth of radio). The Blue tooth driver and speaker combo barely set me back $100.

      KaiS '67 Duett





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      Adding radio to 12v 544 444-544 1962

      Thank you, Ron! Extremely helpful.





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      Adding radio to 12v 544 444-544 1962

      Hello,

      I have done many stereo installations in old Volvos.

      Here is what I recommend.

      Get 1 of the Autosound or Retrosound head units. I prefer the version that has independently mounted switches. The head units are shorter and you don't have to worry about the wiper linkage hitting the back of the head unit or the wires.

      The amplifiers in these head units are weak and IMHO, poor quality, but since I recommend an external amplifier, it doesn't matter. I prefer to mount the amplifier(s) in the trunk.

      If you don't have to have the latest and greatest super expensive super high output amp, go with last years model or even the year before. I will shop around a little at some of the local car stereo shops and ask if they have any old stock. The price is always a lot lower for older stock as they want to clear the shelves or shop online.

      I shop for speakers the same way. And speaking of speakers, you want to get speakers that can handle the power of the amp you choose. I bought the speakers, amplifier and speaker boxes all online for install I did.

      When it comes to speaker installations, I HATE MAKING BIG HOLES IN ANY OF THE INTERIOR SHEET METAL AND INTERIOR PANELS!!

      I prefer to use small prefab speaker boxes which are easily available and can be attached with screws to the interior so you don't have to make any large holes AND THE SOUND QUALITY IS SO MUCH BETTER.

      For 2 speaker systems, I prefer to install a pair of 6"x9" 3 or 4 way speakers on the hat rack under the rear windshield pointed at area above the back of front seats at the ear level of the passengers.

      If you want 4 speakers, I recommend a pair of 4" 2 way speakers for the front to be installed in some speaker enclosures that can be mounted under the dash that can be screwed to the kick panels and can be angled up to point towards the passengers.

      Although it is way easier to run speaker and power wires along the sides of the interior, the wires invariably drop down onto the floor where they can be stepped on and damaged.

      I prefer to run all connecting wires via the dead air space inside of the rocker panels when wires are needed to go to the rear speakers and rear mounted amplifier(s). It is a lot more work, but the wires are protected better and they are out of sight for a cleaner look.



      --
      Eric
      Hi Performance Automotive Service (formerly OVO or Old Volvos Only)
      Torrance, CA 90502





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        Adding radio to 12v 544 444-544 1962

        Thanks, planetman! I've been looking at RetroSound's Longbeach, which is SeriusXM ready and has a 25 watts x 4 channel power RMS MOSFET amplifier with front and rear RCA pre-outs. From your experience, is this too little amplification for casual listening while driving? I'm thinking of 2 6x9" 3-way speakers on the back hatshelf and 2 smaller 2-way speakers under the dash. Your further advice will be much appreciated.





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          Adding radio to 12v 544 444-544 1962

          As a bit of an audiophile, I guarantee you will not be happy with the sound quality using the built in 25 watt per channel amplifier, so if you care about how it sounds, be prepared to use an external amplifier.

          About a year ago, I put together and installed a 4 speaker with subwoofer system in a 1800E. I used an inexpensive 4 x 200 watt amplifier that also had a 400 watt output for a subwoofer and it really sounded good.

          The owner already had installed a Retrosound head unit and some crappy front and rear speakers, but a decent subwoofer. The amplifier didn't have enough power and the wiring was poor quality and too small.

          2 areas NOT to cheap out on are the speakers and ALL of the wiring. For example, I used an expensive low level 4 channel RCA cable to connect the head unit to the amplifier in the trunk. That cable is made of wires which are done in twisted pairs like internet cable which increases signal strength and reduces noise over long distances. This cable also included the trigger wire to turn on the amplifier when the head unit is turned on.

          IIRC, the cost of all of the wiring was more than the cost of the amplifier which was the cheapest component. Even the total cost of the speaker boxes was more than the amp.

          --
          Eric
          Hi Performance Automotive Service (formerly OVO or Old Volvos Only)
          Torrance, CA 90502
          hiperformanceautoservice.com or oldvolvosonly.com





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          Adding radio to 12v 544 444-544 1962

          Dean;

          As a general rule, an honest 25W will be plenty power for "casual listening while driving". I agree with Eric, about not making big holes for speakers...I have installed some small two-way speaker boxes in the footwells, pointing at the passengers, and the sound is quite nice, with very good imaging as the tweeters are almost directly pointed at the listeners.

          Happy Listening!





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