Modern stereo system in a B Body - options/ideas

Interior

  1. 70chall440

    70chall440 Well-Known Member

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    Here is the deal, I am working on a 69 Plymouth wagon hotrod for a friend, its got a 440 6 pack and a 4 speed already. I've installed 4 wheel disc brakes and an EFI 6 pack (Fitech tri power). I am now working towards doing the wiring and as a part of this I am tasked with figuring out the stereo.

    The goal is to have clean sound, not necessarily loud but clean. The car's owner has provided me a Pioneer double DIN head unit which obviously will not fit into the dash, however I am thinking about installing the new gauges I got into the original radio position (like many do) and building an under dash mini console to house the stereo as well as the fitech hand held (as well as some USB chargers and perhaps some other things).

    What I am having issues with is speakers and speaker placement. Obviously there is the spot for the center dash speaker, but in this car there isn't a package tray so there is that. The owner doesnt want any boxes or anything, but is thinking about building an upper "boxes" that run along the roof so he can put in some indirect lighting and we are thinking of putting some small speakers in that for the rear.

    The owner does not want speakers in the doors (he used to have them and doesn't want them any longer) I could possible build some speakers into the mini console and angle them back and up, but it would depend on the speaker.

    I am looking for ideas, information, etc. as I am sure there are some "stereo" guys on here that can assist.
     
  2. Jerry Hall

    Jerry Hall FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    In the late 60's I installed Wedge type speakers under the front seats for a 8 track/FM under dash system along with 2 6X9's in the package tray. This doesn't cure your rear speaker problem but is a fix for the front.
     
  3. hammond472

    hammond472 Well-Known Member

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    Wireless Bluetooth speakers need to be charged but are small and open up a lot more mounting options including magnetic attachment! They can also be covered or painted to blend in.
    Retrofitting Bluetooth to the stock stereo head unit maintains a factory appearance with no ugly stuff hanging under the dash but allows the user the ability to connect to their phone, other devices and the speakers.
    You can fab up a charging harness to charge all speakers at once from the cigarette lighter and keep it in the glove box or hard wire if applicable. Modern crap looks out of place on old cars interiors.
    PS you can figure out how to modify the radio yourself if you can solder, read an electrical schematic, use an ohms meter and watch Utube or else use an FM or AM transmitter or send it out for modification. There are also videos of how to clean up a stock head units amplification circuit on the web and capacitors and output transistors are cheap. This can also be done to the older tube car and home stereos for cleaner sound and modern connectivity. The other cool thing about wireless speakers is you can switch them from the interior to the exterior if you are hanging out at car shows, working on or just hanging out by your car. You can also modify an amp to take a Bluetooth sign and hide it along with a speaker in a box anywhere in the interior as bass is undirectional. The passenger footwell and under the passenger seat are usually good choices for a custom box with a low profile speaker. Use a subwoofer enclosure calculator on line to help you figure the desired air volume to incorporate into your box design or it will sound like garbage. Just a few ideas for you to ponder.
     
  4. Roger63

    Roger63 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    This is just a general suggestion, tweeters are very small and may be installed in several indiscreet locations facing the passenger compartment. The driveres can be installed anywhere, and of course use a sub woofer. Screenshot_20200629-055631_Chrome.jpg
     
  5. 493 Mike

    493 Mike FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    I have no idea if you saw the console I built for my 65 Coronet. I used 1/2" MDF for the frame, my wife sewed up the cover. Just more food for thought.
    Mike
    IMG_1998.JPG IMG_2013.JPG IMG_2073.JPG
     
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    • matthon

      matthon Well-Known Member

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      That console is perfect.
      What are the cup holders, repurposed or actual cup holders from another car?

      I have a wagon, I use Bluetooth speakers and the music on my phone. Small speaker sits on dash on top of speaker grill and is enough sound. Charge on speakers last forever and once the charge light comes on it lasts plenty of time before a recharge is needed.

      Fyi on the FiTech controller, I used an old flexible selfie stick.
      Also in pic, Pioneer non-cd Bluetooth receiver, small and extremely light.

      20200629_094001.jpg
       
    • 70chall440

      70chall440 Well-Known Member

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      Thanks for the pictures, I had not see them previously. I am thinking of doing something similar but the owner doesn't want the console to come that far back I don't think. Its a work in progress, so we will see.
       
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      • 70chall440

        70chall440 Well-Known Member

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        Great information, I really need to become more knowledgeable in stereo components, I was under the impression that tweeters did not produce the full sound range. I agree that they would be perfect for this application. We do intend to run an amp, not sure about the subwoofer, mainly because I don't know enough about them yet. I was thinking that a sub woofer only produces the low octave sounds (ie the thumping) which the owner definitely doesn't want.
         
      • 70chall440

        70chall440 Well-Known Member

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        Thanks, the owner wants a CD player and I intend to make everything look as though it belongs in the car, so that Fitech selfie stick isn't going to work in this application. I made a holder for the one in my 52 Dodge PU which allows me to remove the handheld when needed or desired.
        IMG_2057.JPG
         
      • 493 Mike

        493 Mike FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      • Roger63

        Roger63 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Sub woofer will complete the full audio range, they are adjustable to limit bass response. But without it it will sound like a factory radio from an 80s ford pickup.
         
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        • 70chall440

          70chall440 Well-Known Member

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          Thanks, I will keep it in mind. The challenge will be the packaging and placement.
           
        • Xp29h

          Xp29h FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          I’m going to add some pics of what I did. I went quite a bit further than I think what you’re intending.

          I had the whole interior out so it was time. The car isn’t 100% original so didn’t matter to me..

          I’m sure you know older cars such as these weren’t designed for sound like we want today. Lots of good sound proofing is key. I’m not talking for loudness either. I was looking for clarity throughout the lower volume ranges. Don’t get me wrong, this is a beast of a system but a couple things out of it may help you with you’re project.

          these I built with dense board and glued together and routed to form shape and angle I wanted. Then used resin to form and after that topped with leather glued to the top.

          B092CE98-33CA-4411-A8AD-89AC583C9337.jpeg
          They fit right under your legs in front of the seat pointing straight up. Door speakers don’t work all that great but these sure do.. secured right to seat frame with Velcro on the bottom. If Velcro fails they’re not going anywhere. It’s truly a great location for sound to be heard in these old vehicles.

          so here’s where the clarity and crispness of all the frequencies come from.. the bass is to give those lower frequencies the human ear doesn’t hear well and on its on control. The capacitors, one per amp helps supply and maintain power for start up and help along the way.. not really necessary but...last are the two amps one for just the sub and the other for everything else.

          D85CF009-FD2F-4ABF-9CB8-59E214CBF6AA.jpeg

          76209FA8-A9FE-4476-84DB-019721732060.jpeg

          3DA879AB-0BAC-43DE-9455-378DBDB5AB88.jpeg
          completed.

          The platforms they are on I built and covered. Used heavy angle brackets and bolted to cross member for back seat. The holes already existed! The amp platform I used larger and heavier angle steel and bolted to trunk supports on each side. Holes already existed! So no damage to vehicle and sturdy.

          An amp will definitely help everything out if your guy wants or decides to go that route. Just have to run the larger power wire to the amp location before closing everything up. Definitely do not have to go to this extreme by any means But it’s really clean and yes loud if I want it to.

          If there is anything I can help out with don’t hesitate..good luck!
           
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          • Roger63

            Roger63 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Nice work sir
             
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            • 70chall440

              70chall440 Well-Known Member

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              Thats awesome information. So are those speakers directly under the seats? I have seen some "stealth" speakers that do exactly that. Like most of us "old" guys, we tend to think that the amps and sub woofers are only for big booming bass that the kid in the Honda next to you at the light is thumping, but I do know that this is but one use for all this equipment and that this same equipment is needed or desirable to produce really good sound.

              Again, the packaging is a very important aspect, the owner does not want it visible if possible so that power bass sub woofer (at least I think that is what it is) won't work. I do have room (maybe 4" tall, width of the car) where I can hide all sorts of wiring, amps, etc. I am attaching a picture of the area I have to work with, it is pretty big but not tall. The dotted red lines indicate the area where the cover goes.

              There will be a number of things under this cover in this area, there will be a relay for the fuel pump for one thing, but it leaves a lot of room. The spare tire area will be occupied by a spare tire, jack and wrench.

              Rear Area.jpg
               
            • Xp29h

              Xp29h FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Yes, as far under as I could get them and still point straight up and not be blocked by the seat..

              378625E9-BA66-4C41-9CB2-82C78E445B44.jpeg

              Floor is a little dirty! Oops I’ve been driving the crap out of it! :lol:
              Looks like plenty of room in the back to hide some little goodies. Yes I figured by the sound of things your guy wouldn’t go this extreme. That is certainly ok! But a good little amp will make all the difference. It doesn’t even have to be a bazillion watts either..

              here’s how I bolted that amp board in. I don’t know if you’ll have the same option.. same on both sides and worked well as grounds too! Before I was completely finished and all nice and neat.

              there are some things you’ll want to look at if you end up with an amp. Look at some stuff that I put in for little secrets if you will and send them to you.. if you look in the pics, you can see em but..

              DD421948-DB4A-4329-B93C-5EF578B789F5.jpeg
               
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              • 70chall440

                70chall440 Well-Known Member

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                Thanks again. I am not exactly sure how well something like that (speakers) will go over with him. As I said I am looking at some stealth speakers that go under the seats, seems counter intuitive to me as I would think the seats would block the sound but I am not sure.

                So, on this note; most head units support 4 speakers (2 front, 2 back). Am i right in thinking that an amp would be used to drive anything other than the 4 or does the amp drive all? Perhaps another way to address this is a hypothetical; if I run 1 center dash speaker, 2 under seat (or somewhere) speakers and say 2 speakers in the rear, how do I connect all of this?
                 
              • matthon

                matthon Well-Known Member

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                Imo, amps and subwoofer not needed, although I used to have those years ago.

                My Pioneer Bluetooth receiver puts out plenty, coupled with Infinity speakers in the front and Pioneer in the rear, the sound is crisp, adjustable, and loud enough to drown out any conversation.
                I was pleasantly surprised.

                I made a bracket and put the tweeters where the center dash speaker used to live.

                I modified my kick panels and put 4" speakers in them. I believe you can purchase ones for oval speakers.

                Then, put 6x9s in small old school home stereo boxes and mounted behind the rear seat (fastback).

                Just a few additional things I did, if it helps or sparks more ideas.
                 
              • Xp29h

                Xp29h FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                Subwoofer definitely not needed. Amps, depend on wattage of stereo guy has and really what it is he is looking for. If it’s just a light cruising system, then probably not.

                I looked before I stared building the front seat speak. I tried underneath and not a lot of room and blocks the clarity of any sound. It was really difficult to locate a good spot that you can’t see from outside the vehicle and aren’t staring at you from within and keep good sound. This entire retire of the car with stereo design and placement was a good 6 month period!

                I guess my first look would be at the wattage of the double din unit and then really nail down what he wants. Show some options etc and then go from there.
                 
              • Roger63

                Roger63 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                It really depends on the car owners flavor of music. I'm a classic rock guy with a bit of the new stuff and everything in between.
                 
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