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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Subject: Anyone buy the USA '66 Custom Autosound radio?

I'm about to buy this radio... It's the one that looks like a concours '66 AM/FM Ford Mustang radio... Has anyone bought this and have it in their car?? I want to hook up an IPOD to it... and install it in my '66 convertible..Please respond.. Thanks, Tony Kovar
 

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Most everyone on the forum will not touch Custom Auto Sound . There seem to be quality issues . A search will yield lots of results.
 

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If you still have your AM radio send it off to have it modified to have a AUX input. I can't remember who it is but there is a guy that does it using top notch parts and the quality is supposed to be superb. Plus it will look original. You can't stoop much lower than Custom Auto Sound in the quality department. It's to bad that they have the market to themselves, so they can sell cheap Chinese made junk at top of the line prices that you would expect pay for high end Alpine and Pioneer head units.

I was fortunate enough to not have had to buy one to experience the quality since my car came with one.
 

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Yeah. Maybe someone can explain why somebody else just can't make an AM/FM original Fomoc look alike.
 

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I have owned two of the USA 66 radios. The first one I bought was just fine. I installed it and really enjoyed it. The second one I just installed this week. The on/off switch was bad and I called CA. They sent me a new switch right away, but I had to install it myself. While I was installing it, the strings (yes strings) that move the tuner indicator became entangled and I never could get them right again. They are sending a new radio.
 

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I have one in my concours coupe and it works ok so far. You can do audio in from your IPod.
 

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The old radio/stereo even high class home receivers used dial cord (string)
to move/position the station indicator. My old'70s Fisher (American Fisher)
worked that way! :p
 

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I have one... I was hesitant to buy it because of the company's bad reputation. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. It works great!
 

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It's good to hear they do have some good ones. I have been wanting one but have held off do to the bad press. Hopefully it sounds better than my original am/fm in my 66.

Larry
 

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I installed mine spring 2007 utilizing a 4 speaker arrangement. Getting use to the knob functions was a chore. Use aux in from my primary music. Unit works great.
 

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i got a USA 66 in my mustang and it works great?!? i think a lot of guys dont remeber how original radios worked but youre talking a reproduction analog radio taht looks right, fits right, and supports new technology... if youre expecting a "competition boom boom sound" from replaceing the head unit alone, thatd be like thinking you can bolt a large carb on an original 289 and instantly do 10 sec quarter miles
 

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WOW!!!! Somehow we resurected a nearly 4 year old thread about the USA-66 Radios!!
Tony, Did you ever buy one? The guys installed one in my '65 during the restoration along with the CHEAPER dual speaker setup despite my attempts to get them to use the "better" one.
My unit looks the part, seems to fit nicely, and even fooled the judges at Jacksonville this past May 2011-one said "hey, thats a rare one...does it work?" I just smiled and said "yes"
There have been numerous posts-mostly negitive about this radio-something about the tuner not being able to get squarely onto stations very easily-(thats the best way I can describe it) I think mine is one of these......I never expected it to sound like a modern high end factory installed system in say a 2011 Shelby, however I expected it to work/sound better than it did.
I also have the optional 10 disc changer hidden in my trunk-never played it until recently and the sound from IT through the radio was pretty darn good I must say, so the radio IS capable of sounding much better than it does on the FM band.
I Emailed CAS and got a reply about a week later from a female whos voice I could not understand most likely from Milasia of the Phillipinies...somewhere like that-I am going to write an old-fashioned paper letter to a MIKE DAUGHERTY who seemed to be someone of responsibility with CAS that was featured on a segment of My Classic Car with Dennis Guage, and ask HIM what I can do to get MY USA-66 unit "fixed"
Again, I am NOT expecting the world of sound out of this unit-(I am going to install the newer "DUAL VOICE COIL" speaker in place of the old, cheap dual speaker setup) and provided CAS will help me fix MY tuning problem I will be satisfied!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have'nt bought one yet, but I will though...
 

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I bought a restored 66 GT cpe for a good price and it came with one of CAS' cassette radios and it sounded so-so. Paid the seller and was getting ready to split when he told his son to go in garage and get the radio box. They put the original radio in that box. He told me it worked but it was crappy-so was the CAS in the dash! Peeked inside of box and it was a mint no pits ORIGINAL Am-fM. Thanked him and left. Later we got a couple speakers and hooked up the original Am-Fm and it DID sound crappy. Got $600 for it-7/8 years ago!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
$600 for an original AM/FM is good money.... I would not pay over $500.00 for it personally. You made out well..

Tony K.
 

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You guys do know that the originals were monotone only don't you?
As time goes by the prices will continue to go up on rare items such as the originals
am/fm units.
The '66 AM/8 tracks have gotten more expensive as well.
 

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Custom Autosound

To all those concerned:

Custom Autosound is the original manufacturer of replacement radios for classic cars. established in 1977- this year we have sold our ONE MILLIONTH radio.
That is a lot of our radios out there!
I have read all the posts on this forum and there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to audio, and especially CAR audio.
Custom Autosound's return rate is less than 1%. Industry average (ie pioneer, kenwwod, alpine, pyle, etc) is 6%.
Of the 1% we get back- 80% have water/oil damage- which is the only instance not covered by our warranty.
Speaking about warrnaties, industry average warranty (ie pioneer, kenwood, alpine, pyle, ect) is one year. Custom Autosound's warranty is 2 years.
********************************************************
-sound quality-
There are many factors that greatly impact sound quality. We are not building competition sound systems. We are building replacement radios for classic cars- intended to be an improvement over the stock unit and support common modern devices. The manufacturers of these devices (ie XM, Sirius, Apple, Bluetooth, etc.) have to release licensing in order for us to build a component that is compatible. Which they are not inspired to do.
Understand the biggest impact on the sound quality is going to be:
1) speaker wattage and ohm rating (there has to be adequate wattage to drive the speakers) our units wattage range from 160-240 watts and require 4 ohm speakers which is now the standard ohm rating. Original speakers ohm rating was 8-12ohms.
2) speaker location and range (are they directed towards the listener and do they cover multiple ranges)
3) enclosure (if the speakers arent enclosed sound will bleed out)
4) proper installation (if the speakers are over torqued it wont allow them to move)
5) phasing (the speakers need to be pahsed correctly)
6) wiring
All of our units are amplifier ready so if you need more sound-amplify!
And always check and double check your grounds!
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-reception-
Most common problem is proper antenna connection, and antenna grounding. A quick way to determine if it is the antenna try AM. Not tuning in?? check your antenna connections.
on the USA 66 ***this is a reproduction radio***
which means it has an ANALOG tuner. there is a small rubber band that connects from the knob to the tuner. For those of you who remember what stereos were like in the 60's and 70's you understand the real difference between analog and digital tuning.
If you want a digital tuner look at our USA 630, USA 230, or USA 1 models.
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-cost-
The car audio industry abandoned tuner shaft style radios many moons ago. It wasnt by accident, it is because the shafts are expensive to build and notoriously unrealiable. Custom Autosound covers over 400 applications. The tooling costs alone are astronomical. Moral of the story... we are in this business for the love of cars... we are not getting rich. Walmart has din sized units that are going to sound fine for around $100. Chinese factories stamp them out all day everyday. But we dont ever recommend cutting your dash.
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-fitment-
Keep in mind car manufacturing was not the exact science in the 60's and 70's as it is today. Audio was an after thought at best. And electronics?? the only thing they were concerned with was an alternator to charge the battery and give enough juice to fire through a set of points.
Custom Autosound has spent the last 35 years scouring through junk yards picking up sample dashes and bezels. Reproduction dashes are not stock dashes. If you have a reproduction dash chances are you will have to file slightly to bring it into factory specs. If it is the original dash remeber it is probably 40+ years old and things have a tendency to warp and wear after 40 years. just ask my knees!
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-competition-
Custom Autsound is the originator of the replacement radio and audio solutions for classic cars. Since 1977 we have been dedicated to the classic car community. Our "competitors" are comprised of former employess who stole many of our designs. Sad but true.
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Bottom line we are here to help, cant make everyone happy but we try. We at Custom Autosound are a family with the average tenure of over 15 years. If there is an issue give us the opportunity to correct it.
Feel free to contact me directly:
Ryan McDonald [email protected] 714-773-1423 ext 205
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
 

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Ryan, What exactly is your position @Custom Auto Sound? What you have posted here is obviously taken from something in writing on your website.
You know if you were to listen to OUR complaints rather than just talk up your products may be we could get somewhere.
Obviously you were told about this descussion that was started well over 4 years ago now.
I know for absolute truth that your USA-66 units had problems with tuning in stations in the earlier ones that somehow you folks fixed, thats my only complaint with mine-I know only too well about the rubber bands and antenna stuff, you are somehow trying to place the blame on someones car and not willing to accept the fact that your early USA-66s were flawed.
I intend to contact Mike Daugherty as I mentioned in an earlier post and ask HIM to help on my unit. I know that the original am/fms and even the ams and am/8tracks that they could be tuned in easier than the USA-66 unit that I presently have.so don't try & play THAT card because it won't work with me!
 

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Mr.Hypo...
Custom Autosound is a company that is doing its very best to address any and all complaints that people have about our products.
No Card Playing here Sir. It sounds like your upset and that is regrettable. With every generation of radio we make we strive to make them better. And its feedback like yours that helps us. Mike is an extremely knowledgeable and has spent literally a lifetime in car audio.
I'm glad to hear that the latest models have met your expectations, and its unfortunate that you had a bad experience four years ago.
Sincerely,
Ryan McDonald [email protected] (714)773-1423 ext.205
 

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Just an opinion from my personal eperience. Many of we older people forget. Young ones weren't there.

You know how your 40 year old Stang doesn't just start with a turn of the key? It's not EFI. It may not handle as well as a 5000# 2009 Town Car. It probably is noisy at 80 mph compared to your 2000 Camry.

In 1957 the transister radios were getting popular. Early stereos were reel to reel magnetic tape or 2 parallel gtoove phono records. The first car stereos were 8 track cartridge tape players. FM stereo was marginal in a home system, in 67 the early auto FM stereo radios were doing good if they played clearly at 30 miles.

In the 80s young people carried boom boxes, a good sounding one was around $150 and weighed about 20#.

Today we are used to auto sound systems from the factory that are engineered as a complete system. A typical standard base car system has 6 or more speakers in tuned areas of the vehicle and matched to the dash unit. The auto is a known area, usually soft material. Our 1997 Chrysler T&C minivan has a sound system that is fantastic! If I crank it up so the bass can be heard a quarter mile away I'd be discusted by the distortion. At adult sound level it sounds great!

My point is a vintage Mustang wasn't designed with an integral great sounding audio system as part of the design. It's a challenge to add on a system that will sound decent without butchering the car. The original availible systems could be best rated as poor.

In my opinion 2/3 of the poor sound is speaker possibilities/location, interior etc.


Slim
 
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