Audio systems have come a long way in the last 30 years from when factory-equipped FM was cool and an eight-track was high tech. CDs are the norm today, but fitting an in-dash unit into an older classic or musclecar is impossible without hacking up the dash.
Our '70 Monte Carlo needed some help in the audio department, namely because what was there wasn't working very well, and our singing doesn't sound as good in the car as it does in the shower. The dash was uncut and still had the original AM radio installed. The previous owner, not wanting to cut the dash, had hung a generic stereo below it.
The Monte is not a rare model, it's not an SS or highly optioned, so the thought of cutting the dash to install a new DIN-sized in-dash AM/FM/CD unit entered our minds. After all, it's not as if the dash couldn't be replaced later if we wanted to, and this car is a daily driving so ease-of-use is of the utmost importance.
We then decided that a more interesting and prudent option would be to install Custom Autosound's Secretaudio system. This option offered all the conveniences of a modern audio system and 100 (4x25) watts of power but could be installed anywhere in the vehicle and operated with a wireless remote control or small, wired controller.
Remote-controlled headunits are not new, but what makes this particular system different is that it has a Radio Frequency (RF) remote as opposed to an InfraRed (IR) remote-Custom Autosound offers systems with either remote. The difference is that the RF remote will work up to 40 feet away even if the tuner is mounted in the trunk, whereas the IR remote must be pointed at an exposed LED panel to work.
The install took less than a day, even with doing a few custom touches, and should not be out of the skills of most enthusiasts. The only wiring is for the tuner which consists of a power lead that comes on with the ignition, a battery lead to maintain memory, and a ground. The speakers are just positive and negative to the tuner, and the rest is plug-in cables.
Now that we have some basic tunes, our next step will be to add some more speakers and a couple of amplifiers because we can never leave well enough alone-so stay tuned.