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Installing a RetroSound Head Unit - 1967 Chevelle

2/22/2021
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How long has it been since you listened to broadcast radio? The popularity of streaming music services has driven the demand for Bluetooth equipped car radios to skyrocket. Enter stage left, Retro Manufacturing.

With as much focus as I had put on performance and reliability, I’ll admit, I hadn’t given much thought to the sound system. I figured that was what I was building 3” exhaust for. When it came time to assemble the dash, I began hunting for the right choice in head units.

Normally, I would locate or purchase a factory radio delete panel for the dash and hide a garden variety Bluetooth capable radio in the glovebox. What I found with this project was a double-whammy. I couldn’t beg borrow or steal a re-pop delete plate (chrome plated plastic part). There was also no way that I was going to fit a single din stereo in the modified glove box supplied with Vintage Air Surefit systems.

Wait, why are there so many boxes?

So. . . a factory fit type radio it is. I chose the RetroSound line as it was recently added to our selection. The concept is ingenious. The main head unit can accept multiple faces, as well as tune and volume knob modules. They can be configured in a multitude of ways. The downside? Assembly of those pesky, small and fragile components.

Full disclosure, when I decided to finally open the box, it was when I was ready to poke the radio through the freshly restored dash as the cherry on top. Hopes dashed (puns always intended). I didn’t get that completed project photo that night. In fact, I didn’t even manage to get the radio assembled that night. I made it through the instruction manual.

Some assembly required.

That’s a step that I always recommend. Whether it’s a model car kit or a Quadrajet rebuild kit. Through that step of the process with RetroSound, I discovered a lot of features this stereo had that I wasn’t aware of. They’re really a quite well-equipped unit. Especially compared to the $30 Walmart units I typically install. It’s got an extensively adjustable equalizer and selectable low-frequency Hz as well as USB, Aux, and Bluetooth inputs.

As the pieces came together I was even more thankful that I had opted to assemble the dash outside of the car. I ended up test fitting the depth of the knobs. They attach to the main body with metal “L” brackets that I had to trim and contour to fit in the space behind the dash. I couldn’t imagine going through that monkey motion laying on my back in the car to fit, refit, trim and refit.

In the end, it came out looking very nice and perfectly at home situated in the mostly stock appearing dash. Once I’ve finished the rest of the sound system, I’ll give an update on the power and sound quality from the RetroSound components.

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