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RetroSound Delivers Streaming Audio to This Classic

Although Classic trucks are pretty damn cool looking, they don’t have all of the modern features we are accustomed to, like a solid audio system. These classic haulers came with the basics and that’s where the options ended. A radio and a single dash speaker were standard equipment. Although it was very minimal, it was better than nothing at all.

Now that we’ve entered the 21st century we can implement a lot of the conveniences that we are used to in modern vehicles in our classics, including multi-channel speaker systems and Bluetooth connectivity. We can even stream tunes from modern digital files and SiriusXM Radio. Since we have the capability to hook up our phones, we can also receive calls directly through the stereo system, just like a modern car.

Our ’62 GMC was like most trucks of its era. The stereo consisted of a tube-style AM radio with a dash speaker that had seen better days. Though we were able to listen to talk radio and news stations on AM, we couldn’t listen to our favorite jams on FM channels or from other devices. This is where our friends at RetroSound were able to help. We found a solution in RetroSound’s Long Beach radio, which has all of the features we previously described. Along with the modern radio we purchased a new dual voice dash speaker, two kick-panel speakers, a full-range rear speaker system and an amplifier to power the whole system.

Although we installed a modern audio system in our classic truck, regardless of the brand you won’t get the best output without doing some prep work first. RetroSound came to the rescue again with its new line of sound-deadening material that boosts acoustics and blocks road noise. When applied correctly, the sound-deadening material will also block extreme temperatures from outside.

Since we were lining the bottom side of our cab, we decided to upgrade to a high-loop carpet kit from Classic Industries as well. This product was made to suit by contouring to the shape of the floor and the transmission tunnel. As an added bonus, it included jute padding, which also bolsters acoustics and insulation.

Admittedly, we were intimidated by the thought of installing our own stereo, but we shouldn’t have worried because the system was simple enough for us to hook up in our own driveway. We don’t love wiring mobile electronics, but the schematics in the installation manual were fairly easy to follow, and RetroSound’s tech support was always available to help out over the phone. The only setback we encountered was stopping to take photos.

Now that our sound system is completely installed, it’s a lot more fun to drive the truck. The sound-deadening material, jute padding and carpet improve creature comfort and sound quality. Even the pain of driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic has been lessened now that we can listen to our favorite streaming tunes.

GETTING STARTED

First, we removed the factory tube radio by pulling off the knobs and removing the nuts.

We removed the mounting bracket and wiring from underneath the dash. Then, we dropped the radio out from underneath. Note that we also moved the ducting for our Vintage Air AC unit.

SOUND DEADENING

Since we were insulating our cab with RetroSound’s RetroMat (P/N MAT-30-SD), we needed to remove the bench seat. We took out eight bolts and removed the factory rubber mat.

Since our floor was solid with no holes, we cleaned it up and applied the material. We made sure to overlap the ends to block as much outside noise and heat as possible.

We had 60 sq-ft of mat, which was enough to cover the firewall, floor and rear panel.

SPEAKERS

To mount the 6.5-inch ultra-thin speakers (P/N R-652N) to the truck, we paired them with a set of kick panels. We simply dropped in the speakers, mounted them with the provided screws and dressed them up with the included covers.

We plugged in the included wires and attached the kick panels using a bunch of sheet metal screws.

CARPET KIT

Earlier we unrolled the carpet (P/N TK12101B1) and let it bask in the sunlight to relax any wrinkles. Once we were ready, we laid it over the floor.

We found that if we wanted to continue to use our high beam switch with the new kick panels, we needed to move it over. We covered the hole left behind with more material, and then we cut a hole in the carpet for the provided grommet.

The edges of the carpet were trimmed so we could mount the doorsills on top of them.

Our full-range speaker system (P/N R-TB8) boxes were placed in the back of the cab and wired under the carpet.

This 5×7-inch ultra-thin dual-voice speaker (P/N R-57N) replaced the dash speaker. We were able to use the factory bracket and wired the speaker.

LONG BEACH RADIO

The radio is universal and you can order a faceplate to match your truck’s original radio. This ribbon cable was plugged to the back of the faceplate, and we attached it with four screws.

The InfiniMount brackets were attached with four screws on each side. Be careful not to lose these; they’re tiny.

Using the stock radio as a guide, the radio shafts were put in place and mounted using a set of nuts and washers. Then we plugged them into the radio.

The radio was secured to the dash with a set of hardware installed on the shafts.

We used the included back strap to secure the back of the radio to the truck.

We added a matching set of knobs and a screen protector for a factory look.

QUADRAPHONIC 4 AMPLIFIER

To boost our speakers’ power, we went with the Quadraphonic 4 amplifier. It must be placed at least 20 inches away from the radio to make sure there is no frequency interference. We mounted it on the firewall.

All of the wiring was hooked up behindthe glove box, and the first thing we did was hook up the ignition switch wire.

Next, the speakers were plugged into the amp.

The yellow constant power wire was fed to the battery and plugged in. It’s not shown here, but the black ground wire was attache to a spot

We used the RCA cables to tie in the speaker signals to the amp.

The cigarette lighter was removed and this USB/AUX input was put in place and wired up

Since the Long Beach radio has cellular connectivity, we were able to install a speaker to enable hands-free calling.

The main radio harness was plugged in and the glove box was reinstalled along with the AC ducting.

FINAL SAY

Now that the system is complete, driving our truck is a whole different experience. All of the new features work fantastically and make it easy to listen to tunes and make calls on the road.

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