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post #31 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2019
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Originally Posted by jtrosky View Post
Hmm - I'm sure my local cabinet maker could make you that style of setup for about $684,129.19 (+ tax) - unfinished, of course...

Just an option. ;-)
The funny thing is, when I was a little kid in the late 60's, these cabinets were a dime a dozen. Besides the radio consoles, console TVs and TV/stereos were common, too. After the radios and TVs quit working, folks would sometimes keep them as furniture, but often would throw them out where they could be had for next to nothing.

My dad acquired two old TV consoles from his uncle to use as storage in the garage. With the picture tubes and electronics removed, and some shelves added, they worked great

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post #32 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2019
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My thoughts, your radio box is quite spot on with the overall performance. It doesn't particularly matter what wood you use from particle to oak, you're not going to hear any tonal differences but what does matter is what aesthetic you like and how durable it is. Any tone from wood is overpowered by speakers rather than any acoustic sound, but with that being said you'd ought to design something that compliments your sound. A bigger box resonates were a smaller frame won't as much, the sound at the back of your speakers are going to fill the box much like the Impala's rear deck speakers do.

But since you got the box ordered maybe you can copy other monitors for fit and finish of the box, place fabric or short fiber carpeting, that's what recording studios have had the walls but now they have designed foam padding too. Since your box appears to be relatively sealed system you may want to have some way to relieve sound waves, heat, air pressure, etc. Don't need much, just a fan cut out would be okay. From what I know from guitar amplifiers, tube and high wattage amps generally are designed with a open back for air cooling with some having a fan on heated surfaces. I don't think 12V 6A powered units would be enough heat to require an open back, but open back plays a role in sound too.

I like your idea, it's a perfect way to use an unwanted system along with unused speakers.
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post #33 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2019
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Had not seen any mention of this, but are you having the box built with separate chambers? If it were me, I would build it so that the speakers were chambered off internally from the electronics, with doing so you could have the speaker box chambers sealed/glued and your hinged back access only to the middle would not need to be sealed nor any worries about how tight it closed. Would also make it possible to vent the middle portion where your electronics will be and even add a fan to circulate air in that section if needed. Just a thought and you may already have planned it this way but I had not seen any mention. You would not need an access panel on the back for the speakers since they are easily removed by screws from the front. Ideally if it were my project for appearance sake I might be more inclined to make an access hinged door below the middle portion. Would be cleaner looking if the back was solid, jmho.

Another consideration, I think you had at one point asked about porting the speakers, you can check the cu ft of the box sections(inside dimensions), if it is big enough porting would not be needed. Before finalizing the box, might check to see what is suggested from pioneer for those speakers in a sealed box. Might be some minor adjustments that could be made on the front end adding an inch or two here or there rather than later coming back and determining the box is not allowing enough air to move.

With as much as you are looking to spend, might as well do it right.
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post #34 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2019 Thread Starter
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No, I did not have the box built with separate chambers for the speakers. This is just a "fun" project and it's not going to be an "audiophile" quality sound system. :-) I'm only spending about $150 on the box. Everything else, I had on-hand already - just putting some un-used parts together into a wooden box for a decent-sounding, very-versatile media player. I just wanted it to look nice instead of something I threw together myself (screws showing, crappy wood, not strong enough, etc). The amount of "stuff' that this unit will be able to do is awesome - since it runs Android and has a 7" screen, I can even use it to watch TV, play youtube videos, etc. Hell, I can even use it to "cast" the video to a big TV if I wanted/needed to. There is just so much functionality packed into these small 2DIN car radios - especially if they run Android - the possibilities are limitless. Although, being tied to a power outlet is kind of a limting factor. Who knows, maybe I'll modify it to use rechargeable batteries at some point, but that is not planned at this point.

I wanted to keep the box "open" inside to give me plenty of room to work. I *may* add some type of insulation to the inside of the box, but even that will be on an "as needed" basis depending on sound quality. But I think that the unit will sound pretty good as-is, especially since I have Viper4Android working on the head-unit. Hell, with Viper4Android, I even got just a single stock Impala door speaker to sound pretty good - without any enclosure at all, just sitting on my workbench while testing the headunit. :-)

That being said, if I'm not satisfied with the sound quality, I can always go back and do whatever I need to in order to get the sound quality where I want it, so I appreciate any and all input - keep it coming if you guys think of anything else! Any unusual uses you can think of being that it runs Andoird?
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post #35 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2019
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Check out what I did to a stock Impala radio!

I even went the extra mile and added the XM tuner, and a Raspberry Pi computer.

I swapped the front circuit board out with one from a Pontiac Torrent, so that's why the buttons light up red.

2009 Impala LTZ(daily driver)

Last edited by zaharren; 01-13-2019 at 05:30 PM. Reason: adding more details
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2019 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plano-doug View Post
The funny thing is, when I was a little kid in the late 60's, these cabinets were a dime a dozen. Besides the radio consoles, console TVs and TV/stereos were common, too. After the radios and TVs quit working, folks would sometimes keep them as furniture, but often would throw them out where they could be had for next to nothing.



My dad acquired two old TV consoles from his uncle to use as storage in the garage. With the picture tubes and electronics removed, and some shelves added, they worked great



Doug



.
Yep, I remember that a LOT of people used to put their new TV's on top of their old console TV's when they died. :-) The old TV's were actually pieces of furniture that looked really nice - and people used them as stands for their new console-less TV's. While I'd take a modern flat screen over one of those old TV's any day, you still need a piece of furniture to put the flatscreen on (if you don't hang it on the wall).

I remember the old console stereos too - those long things with the horizontal sliding doors on top that revealed a turntable and AM/FM tuner.... Ah, the old days....

Times sure have changed! Man, you are making me feel really old now, Doug - thanks a lot! ;-)
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post #37 of (permalink) Old 02-02-2019 Thread Starter
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Well, I went and picked up my "car stereo in a box" today! All that I can say is "WOW!!!". Pics coming soon (have to take some). :-)

Now I have to get it all wired up...
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post #38 of (permalink) Old 02-02-2019 Thread Starter
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Here are some pics...

Here is the front:


The back:


Top (with the hinges to open the top):


The phone/tablet shelf at the bottom:


The inside view from the open top (nothing hooked up yet):


Handles on the side:


Handles from the bottom (so you can see how the handles are done):


And he even put feet on the bottom for me:


I was only expecting a wooden box with cutouts for the radio and speakers - but he actually mounted everything, made and put handles on the sides, put the top on hinges and even put feet on for me. :-) This thing is 100% furniture quality! A little bigger than I expected, but damn is it nice!! Love it, love it, love it! All for $200 (I gave him $250 as I felt $200 really wasn't enough)! I just can't get over how nice this thing is in person (the pictures really don't do it justice).

Thoughts?
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post #39 of (permalink) Old 02-02-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrosky View Post
Here are some pics...

<snip pics>

Thoughts?
Looks grand!

Turned out very nice. I like the stain - not too dark, just right.

The finished insides surprised me, but that will make it more durable - it won't absorb moisture which would allow it to expand and contract.

It's got a 60's vintage look to it, which I like very much.

Doug

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post #40 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2019 Thread Starter
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OMG - I cannot *believe* how good this thing sounds! I couldn't resist and connected the speakers and power brick last night and this thing sounds like a hifi home stereo - and a good sounding one at that - and that is without any speaker "filler" or anything. I had a hard time turning it off it sounded so good. I guess the large size really helps the bass - it sounds absolutely incredible - and I really haven't even "tuned" it fully yet.

I did run into a few issues that I have addressed/need to address (please help with #3 !!):

1. The bottom is made from a thin piece of plywood (much thinner than the rest of the wood) and it was vibrating due to the bass at louder volumes. the way it was built, there is a ~1/4 gap between the pieces that would normally touch the floor and that thin plywood "bottom" (hard to explain - will have to get a pic). Believe it or not, I fixed that with a rubber "wedge" that I originally bought to fill the gap at the back of the headliner in the Impala (where the headliner meets the rear windshield - an attempt to fix headliner vibrations before I sound-deadened the roof - it's actually made for car dash gaps. :-) Never used it in the Impala because it wasn't thick enough for the headliner gap. Works *perfectly* for this though. :-) ( https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/273379761906 )

2. The lid also vibrates because of the bass at louder volumes. I'll put some felt around the where the lid meets the box to fix that. Easy fix. :-)

3. I'm so upset at myself for this one... While messing with it at higher volumes last night, I used my hand to put downward pressure on the lid for a few minutes while listening at high volume. However, when I removed my hand, I found that the heat from my hand (I guess?) left a permanent handprint on the top!!! I'm guessing that the varnish wasn't fully "cured" yet??? I was *so* upset. I got it about 98% fixed just using some pledge and letting it soak in- not sure if that will be a permanent fix though. Will probably try some better wood "conditioner" this morning (I have some Amish wood milk or something like that which I forgot about). Is this a "normal" thing with newly finished wood?? Absolutely worst case, I can sand it lightly and apply some polyurethane, I guess (may not be a bad idea for the top anyway, just to help protect the finish a little more than regular varnish).

But damn - never expected it to sound *this* good. :-)
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Last edited by jtrosky; 02-03-2019 at 04:36 AM.
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It looks like it turned out nice, but I still dont get it.

Oils from your hand are the cuprite. Check with the cabinet builder as I'm sure they can tell you exactly how to remove the mark.
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post #42 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rjayl View Post
It looks like it turned out nice, but I still dont get it.
What don't you get? I had a car radio and some car speakers laying around doing nothing. So I had a nice furniture-grade box built and put the radio and speakers into it. It's now a portable "media" center that sounds *and* looks AWESOME. Perfect for a game room, the garage, the "man cave", a bedroom or anywhere else you want a beautiful, full-featured "media box" that sounds and looks freaking awesome. You are NOT going to get this level of quality (build quality or sound quality) or flexibility from anything "store bought". It has a touchscreen, illuminated buttons, SD card slots, USB ports, bluetooth, wifi, AM/FM, CD/DVD player, Android App support (can even "remote control" it with your phone if you want!), can store TONS of media (music and video) on the device itself and supports any "online" media (Pandora, Spotify, I heart radio, police scanner, etc). Not sure what's not to "get". :-) It's a fun little project and something that I will enjoy for a LONG time to come.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjayl View Post
Oils from your hand are the cuprite. Check with the cabinet builder as I'm sure they can tell you exactly how to remove the mark.
Not sure if it was the pledge I used last night or just that it took time to "fade away", but the hand/finger prints are gone now. :-)
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To-do:

- Lighted power switch on the back so that I can keep in plugged it while letting it go into "sleep" mode for instant-on (basically a switch for the ACC wire).
- AM/FM antenna (need to convert GM antenna connection and hook up an antenna somewhere)
- Finish mounting everything inside (speaker crossovers, power brick, etc. I'm going to keep the power brick inside the box, I think, since it's so big).
- Mount USB ports (not sure if I'm just going to leave them inside the box since it's so easy to open or if I'm going to mount them somewhere so they can be used without opening the box).

Any other ideas?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrosky View Post
- AM/FM antenna (need to convert GM antenna connection and hook up an antenna somewhere)
Besides a fender mount antenna (like I used), the basic starting point is a 75-ohm antenna like this one on Amazon:




[Edit]I can't remember - do the GM cars have the extra small 75-ohm connector that needs an adapter?


Quote:
I'm going to keep the power brick inside the box, I think, since it's so big).
My only concern on that is it getting hot - ie, not getting enough air circulation. I wouldn't want to see you mar the finish on the backside, but you might consider mounting it there. You can get some of the 3M 2-sided tape (for body side molding) and mount it on the back of the cabinet without drilling. (But you might want to let the finish cure for a few more days first.)

HTH.

Doug

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Last edited by plano-doug; 02-03-2019 at 07:22 AM.
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post #45 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2019
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Looks like he did a nice job on it for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrosky View Post

3. I'm so upset at myself for this one... While messing with it at higher volumes last night, I used my hand to put downward pressure on the lid for a few minutes while listening at high volume. However, when I removed my hand, I found that the heat from my hand (I guess?) left a permanent handprint on the top!!! I'm guessing that the varnish wasn't fully "cured" yet??? I was *so* upset. I got it about 98% fixed just using some pledge and letting it soak in- not sure if that will be a permanent fix though. Will probably try some better wood "conditioner" this morning (I have some Amish wood milk or something like that which I forgot about). Is this a "normal" thing with newly finished wood?? Absolutely worst case, I can sand it lightly and apply some polyurethane, I guess (may not be a bad idea for the top anyway, just to help protect the finish a little more than regular varnish).

But damn - never expected it to sound *this* good. :-)
Let it fully dry then take some medium to fine steel wool and work it out. You may have to come back and refinish the area but with steel wool you should be able to remove the handprint.

My 6 year constantly asks why. What adults can learn from 5 and 6 year olds, to listen with your ears and mind open. Hard to learn when you don't listen ......
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