What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

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MisterH
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What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by MisterH » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:34 pm

'Afternoon all

I have come to the conclusion that while my electric aerial is now working, the radio/cassette unit must have packed up, as it simply does not work.
as such, I am now looking for something to replace it with, either a Volvo unit, or a period-correct aftermarket unit, as I do not want some shiny digital Halfords thing that clashes with the rest of the interior. However, I do not know what is and isn't compatible, or what to look for. In the training manual it says that the cavity is compatible with many makes and models of sound system, but I presume most cars were fitted with the factory one, as the option to have no radio fitted seems very rarely taken up.

Does anyone have any recommendations? also where should I look? eBay seems to be the default choice, but are there more specialist vendors out there?

Many thanks
Ben
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by brinkie » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:19 pm

I understand that Volvo has been delivering cars with Volvo-branded Philips radio-cassette units, actually anything in single DIN format fits, there must be plenty around and also the ISO to Volvo 400 adapter cables are still available. My first radio-cassette player was a Philips DC532, which I bought when Volvo was still producing the 480 and it fitted perfectly in my 480 when I installed it 20 years later :)
There are also many Volvo units to be found for little money, but many of them require a special adapter cable, and those adapters are very hard to find. I resorted to making one myself out of a Volvo 900 series (or whatever car the radio came from) to ISO adapter cable and an ISO to Volvo 400 adapter cable.
The reason I wanted a specific radio (Volvo CR-905/906 radio/cassette or the CT-906 radio/CD player) was because it has CD changer control, you can connect a Bluetooth adapter to it, which conveniently connects to 21st century technology without sacrificing the period-correct looks.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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MisterH
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by MisterH » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:27 pm

brinkie wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:19 pm
I understand that Volvo has been delivering cars with Volvo-branded Philips radio-cassette units, actually anything in single DIN format fits, there must be plenty around and also the ISO to Volvo 400 adapter cables are still available. My first radio-cassette player was a Philips DC532, which I bought when Volvo was still producing the 480 and it fitted perfectly in my 480 when I installed it 20 years later :)
There are also many Volvo units to be found for little money, but many of them require a special adapter cable, and those adapters are very hard to find. I resorted to making one myself out of a Volvo 900 series (or whatever car the radio came from) to ISO adapter cable and an ISO to Volvo 400 adapter cable.
The reason I wanted a specific radio (Volvo CR-905/906 radio/cassette or the CT-906 radio/CD player) was because it has CD changer control, you can connect a Bluetooth adapter to it, which conveniently connects to 21st century technology without sacrificing the period-correct looks.
So, what are these DIN things, I haven't taken the radio out yet but I imagine it has a certain plug type that is shared with different brands, if I were looking for a unit, what would I be looking for for compatibility? also, what is an ISO?
Forgive me, I am not very clued up when it comes to in car entertainment :P , but I presume that most units would be compatible with most cars, I know the Blaupunkt Toronto in our Audi quattro is shared with many German car brands of the era
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by jamescarruthers » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:01 pm

You can get an adapter to make your car's wiring ‎accept the modern connector that all use. On the age of your car you're likely to need one listed for a 240 of the same age.

When you take the radio out, post a picture of the connectors and we can take it from there. 

Brinkie is right, pretty much any single-DIN radio will fit.

If you go modern, I'd suggest a Pure Highway single DIN radio (you can change the colours to nearly match the car's stuff) and some uprated speakers. This will certainly need an adapter cable, which you will be able to get from Autoleads, or similar.‎

If you go vintage, genuine Volvo isn't bad and many can talk easily to an amplifier which is a nice upgrade, also suggesting replacement speakers if you do this too.

It depends what you want really. Do you want CD, Bluetooth, Aux. In?

Other vintage stuff I'd contemplate would‎ be Alpine and Blaupunkt.
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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MisterH
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by MisterH » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:41 pm

jamescarruthers wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:01 pm
You can get an adapter to make your car's wiring ‎accept the modern connector that all use. On the age of your car you're likely to need one listed for a 240 of the same age.

When you take the radio out, post a picture of the connectors and we can take it from there. 

Brinkie is right, pretty much any single-DIN radio will fit.

If you go modern, I'd suggest a Pure Highway single DIN radio (you can change the colours to nearly match the car's stuff) and some uprated speakers. This will certainly need an adapter cable, which you will be able to get from Autoleads, or similar.‎

If you go vintage, genuine Volvo isn't bad and many can talk easily to an amplifier which is a nice upgrade, also suggesting replacement speakers if you do this too.

It depends what you want really. Do you want CD, Bluetooth, Aux. In?

Other vintage stuff I'd contemplate would‎ be Alpine and Blaupunkt.
Thanks guys

I do not want to have any connectivity, in my opinion, phones and cars should be kept separate, and I like the period touches that make everything have that much more character (although as I am discovering with the Rover, I miss the auto tuning to get the best signal, but the quattro radio from '86 seems to have better reception and retention than the '94 Rover radio :? )
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by brinkie » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:37 am

DIN and ISO are standards (OK, if you go full pedantic :lol: there must be a number following DIN and ISO referencing the exact standard but nobody ever uses that number :lol:), it boils down to this:
The Volvo 480 has a standard "DIN" sized slot for the radio. Anything produced conform DIN will fit, more precise, single DIN because there are also double DIN slots to fit radio's with DVD player and/or satnav. This standard has been around for pretty long, so there are plenty of aftermarket radios.
"ISO" refers to the connectors at the back of the radio, which has become an industry standard. However, car manufacturers have their own standards, so there is always an ISO adapter cable needed to connect the radio to the car's wiring loom.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by Alan 480 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:38 pm

I might even have the special 'cassette holder' that replaces the STANDARD bottom cubby hole . . .. . . .
i say might cos there is a load of 'parts' in loft :wink:
Alan

480 ES 2litre x 2, C30 1.8ES, SS1

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MisterH
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by MisterH » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:33 am

jamescarruthers wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:01 pm
When you take the radio out, post a picture of the connectors and we can take it from there.
Here is the rear end to the Volvo VC708 Unit in my Car, as requested:
Image

Image

and the cavity from which it came:
Image
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MisterH
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by MisterH » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:41 am

having a serious think about this one:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alpine-BI-LE ... %7Ciid%3A1

it is quite pricey so would have to be compatible before taking the plunge
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by jamescarruthers » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:07 pm

Looks cool anyway! It will be compatible but you will need to either chop the wiring and fit new plugs or find an adapter to go between the two.

I suspect the easiest, but bulkiest way will be have an adapted from Volvo to ISO (modern plug) then an adapter to from ISO to vintage Alpine‎. I say this because it will be the easiest to acquire. 

Can you ask the seller for a picture of the plug?‎
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by brinkie » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:23 pm

It looks like the Alpine radio has standard ISO connectors fitted. No need to chop things up and splice wiring together, just a cheap adapter cable and you're sorted.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by MisterH » Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:34 pm

My father was talking to a vintage Hi-Fi shop owner the other day and at some point before the end of the year I'll take the unit down for him to have a look at, but I think it may have been water that got It
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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by dcwalker » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:14 pm

Ben, I think I might be able to help you here...

Back in 1986 my father bought a then-brand new VW Passat. At the time they all had Blaupunkt radios in them. Also at the time theft of units was rife, and sure enough in 1987 off went ours. The replacement unit was a Blaupunkt Windsor SQR38, which was the current model in 1987.

I have no idea why but for some reason when Dad sold that car I kept the unit. It hadn't had that much use and I suspect I thought it would be a useful to spare to have. Since then it has been carefully stored in a bag inside the box for a Philips DC502 (which was the first replacement unit I bought for a 480 radio, so seeing Brinkie's first post brought back memories!) away in a cupboard in the garage.

I have no means of testing it but there is no reason why it should not still be in full working order.

I have taken some photos and it looks to me as if the connections might even be the same as on yours. Certainly the speaker plugs are, and you might have to split that connector block but hopefully the label on top of this unit would let you check that? It would certainly look right at home as well, I think.

Anyway, come back to me if you think it might offer a solution for you - if nothing else I can guarantee it's "period", and I certainly wouldn't be looking for anywhere near as much as the Alpine you provided a link to :shock: :D

Best

David
Last edited by dcwalker on Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current: 1994 480 GT (plus 2004 C70 Collection & 2010 V50 SE)
Previous: Celebration 467 (returned to Martin Mc); Celebration 346 (re-homed with Alan480); Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73 (sold on after 6 years), 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by dcwalker » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:15 pm

And the aforementioned photos...

Image
Image
Image
Current: 1994 480 GT (plus 2004 C70 Collection & 2010 V50 SE)
Previous: Celebration 467 (returned to Martin Mc); Celebration 346 (re-homed with Alan480); Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73 (sold on after 6 years), 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by Jay-Kay-Em » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:03 pm

In my humble opinion, modern head units look totally out of place, and were peak offensive 2000-2005. Far too many flashing lights and colours.

Back in my 'yoof' at tech college, you were either a Kenwood or Alpine man. Pop "KENWOOD KRC" into ebay and feast on all the 80's and 90's gems!

If you didn't have mechanical eject/fast forward buttons, you were pretty flash!

With many of these old units, you can drag them into the modern era as there are adaptor cables that convert the rear CD-Changer input into a 3.5mm audio jack (aux-in). You can then bluetooth whatever you want.
MisterH wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:41 am
having a serious think about this one:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alpine-BI-LE ... %7Ciid%3A1

it is quite pricey so would have to be compatible before taking the plunge
Yep, that looks lovely. If applicable, make sure any of these old headunits come with the perimeter trim, otherwise you'll be able to see the cage

Image

You have to prise it off to install the removal tools and many break. It'll be another £15 if it doesn't come with the headunit you choose. if still available...(?)

My ultimate retro headunit is the Becker Grand Prix 2000.

Image

Its a long way off, but I will be fitting a Kenwood KRC-557L with optional remote control into my 480. It was the first ever head-unit I bought new in 1996. I worked every Saturday I could in 1997 to pay it off!

Image

Good luck in your search.

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by edie_fox » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:09 pm

Just saw this on eBay. Not sure what model you have (or if the seller is anyone on here)

Celeb CD player. I'd buy it as it's cheaper than the quote for repair to my radio but I want cassette. :D

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/volvo-480-Ce ... SwhLReEKPg

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by jifflemon » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:31 pm

edie_fox wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:09 pm
Just saw this on eBay. Not sure what model you have (or if the seller is anyone on here)

Celeb CD player. I'd buy it as it's cheaper than the quote for repair to my radio but I want cassette. :D

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/volvo-480-Ce ... SwhLReEKPg
Just a shame they've butchered the bottom right corner taking it out... :cryhard:

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by arthuy » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:03 pm

I fitted a Sony CD with a 6 disc changed. The previous owner had an apline set up but it was naff and faulty.

Image

These and the tape deck version were common fit to VW Golf GTI is 1995/98, also very popular with the car thieves who frequented our car park. I have a tape head with a 10 disc change in one of my other cars.

I would have got the tape deck but the CD head was cheap. The plan was to source and replace the CD for the tape deck so I could use a cassette adaptor.

The Sony units operate the antenna only when the radio is on and not the CD so nice feature.

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by Alan 480 » Fri May 29, 2020 7:23 pm

not really 'aftermarket' . . . I came across a VC802 in the loft which I'd forgotten about.

I reckon it will be the original from EVA, which was in the car when purchased back in 2002. There are holes in the boot where a changer had been fitted so it might be a 'low mileage' unit all I need to do is figure out if it still works!!!

I know I fitted a CD player just after I got the car, but I HONESTLY cannot remember if it works,

If it is of interest to anybody then I will see if it will power up, then consider testing for operation / volume etc, assuming I can find the code? although I seem to think I HAVE seen it written somewhere :?
Alan

480 ES 2litre x 2, C30 1.8ES, SS1

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Re: What period aftermarket radio/casette to use?

Post by dcwalker » Sat May 30, 2020 7:37 am

If - if - you can find someone at Volvo who is interested enough to dig, if it was Eva's original unit they should be able to give you the code against the registration plate, assuming all records haven't been destroyed...

Working, that unit would be ideal for Ben.

David
Current: 1994 480 GT (plus 2004 C70 Collection & 2010 V50 SE)
Previous: Celebration 467 (returned to Martin Mc); Celebration 346 (re-homed with Alan480); Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73 (sold on after 6 years), 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

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