Custom Autosound review - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old May 1st, 11, 8:21 PM Thread Starter
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Andy
 
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Custom Autosound review

Hey guys -

I did a bunch of searching before I bought a new radio and despite some of the suggestions you guys made, I went against them and bought a USA-630 for my 66. Anyway, I wanted to give you guys who are thinking about this a quick review.

First, the install is relatively easy and the look of it is nice. These are two huge benefits for me as I wanted to keep up the stock appearance as much as I could and I didn't want much fab work.

Second, the sound itself isn't bad. I can certainly hear the music with the windows down on the highway. It's not exactly loud, but I can hear it and sing along.

Now for the bad.

If you want decent quality sound, you'll need to use the pre-amp outs (there are two so if you want seperate subs, you need to be creative).

If you plan on going with an Ipod, this is the major problem for me. I'm hoping there is a way to fix it but so far I can't figure it out. Here's the deal. The radio doesn't have the ability to display the song name. Not a big deal but a negative. Second, if you have an Ipod with hundreds or even thousands of songs that you like to mix into playlists, think again. The radio will only recognize the first 10 playlists on your Ipod and it does so alphabetically. Third, it will only recognize the first 99 songs of the playlist and it will play them in whatever order you put them in using your Itunes. Fourth, there is no shuffle feature. Very annoying. There is also no ability to search for different artists/songs so if I want to hear something that isn't on one of those first 10 playlist, I'm S.O.L.

I did not purchase the CD changer option so I can't comment on that. The radio works fine. There are 12 FM presets and 4 AM which is plenty for me.

I have also had some weird issues where I'll be driving, hit a bump and the radio turns off. If I immediately hit the BAND button, it turns back on which leads me to believe it's not due to my wiring (I have checked it twice but it still could be that). It also does weird things when using the playlists where it sort of does it own random mix for a couple songs and then resets itself. Normally, this would be annoying but since it doesn't have a random anyway, I kind of enjoy it.

I've only had the unit for about 9 months and the car has been on a hoist for five of those months while I did other projects and I am strongly considering other options. If you are contemplating this purchase, please feel free to PM or ask questions below and I will try to help. If anybody else has these same issues and has found a remedy, please let me know. Thanks guys

66 SS Convert, 4-speed
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old May 1st, 11, 8:40 PM
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Bryan
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

RETRO SOUND

I have a CAS 630 in my 59 Chevy----I hate it.
Sounds like crap----the i-pod sounds better.
It is scratchy like it cannot get a good signal
And I still get an alternator whine even with filters.

I did not really have high expectations of the Retro Sound unit when I bought it for the 66, and was pleasantly surprised.
With a bit of adjusting it sounds pretty darn good on it's own without an amp.
The i-pod don't sound so hot, but the USB port sounds great as well.

I'm considering getting another RetroSound for the 59------and maybe, I might get one for the Ranchero as well

Bryan's toyz

59 ElCamino 454/TKO 5spd--(daddy)
66 ElCamino 3oh7/TKO 5spd (mousey) Almost done On the street now!!!
65 Ranchero v8/4-spd, that my uncle bought new
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old May 1st, 11, 9:48 PM
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Dale
 
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Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
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Re: Custom Autosound review

I just put a CAS 630 in my 67 El Camino and use the USB port and thumb drive for most of my music. I don't have an iPod and don't expect to get one anytime so connectivity to one isn't an issue for me. I can survive on ripping my aging CD collection and recording my vinyls to .MP3 format.

Initially I only have a couple of 6x9 speakers in small boxes behind the seat and while not optimal, they work. Only been in the car a month or so but so far I'm happy with it.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old May 1st, 11, 10:43 PM
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Steve
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

I have the Custom Autosound with just the i-Pod connection. Kinda slim for sound with two speakers in the kick panels. I wanna add two in the package tray, but I'm not hopeful for fuller sound. The strange quirk with this unit, in particular, the change mode button does not always work.

The dial light is too bright at night.

I'd like to look into the amp for added power......

Steve O.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 11, 8:32 AM
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Geoff
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

I have the CAS with kick panel speakers and rear box speakers. At first was disappointed in sound quality so took the Crutchfield advice and installed a Kicker amp via the pre-outs...BIG difference, I am pleased
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 11, 7:18 PM Thread Starter
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Andy
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Posts: 190
Re: Custom Autosound review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan59EC View Post
RETRO SOUND

I have a CAS 630 in my 59 Chevy----I hate it.
Sounds like crap----the i-pod sounds better.
It is scratchy like it cannot get a good signal
And I still get an alternator whine even with filters.

I did not really have high expectations of the Retro Sound unit when I bought it for the 66, and was pleasantly surprised.
With a bit of adjusting it sounds pretty darn good on it's own without an amp.
The i-pod don't sound so hot, but the USB port sounds great as well.

I'm considering getting another RetroSound for the 59------and maybe, I might get one for the Ranchero as well
Why do you think the iPod doesn't sound right? I would think it would sound best. Does anybody else have this problem??

66 SS Convert, 4-speed
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 11, 10:10 PM
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Steve
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff1200 View Post
I have the CAS with kick panel speakers and rear box speakers. At first was disappointed in sound quality so took the Crutchfield advice and installed a Kicker amp via the pre-outs...BIG difference, I am pleased
Geoff....For me, being a non-audiophile, what is it, how does it install and is it budget friendly?

Steve O.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 11, 11:33 PM
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Dale
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff1200 View Post
I have the CAS with kick panel speakers and rear box speakers. At first was disappointed in sound quality so took the Crutchfield advice and installed a Kicker amp via the pre-outs...BIG difference, I am pleased
I'd be interested too in what Kicker amp you used. There are all kinds of models at http://www.crutchfield.com/S-tSeI6U6...cker_amps.html.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 11, 8:28 AM
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Geoff
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

www.crutchfield.com They are VERY helpfull. The amp was on sale for $99.00 and is 250 watts. Use quality wires, I also bought the installation kit on their advice (good call) It's not going to win any sound contests but I am real happy with it.

Cheers,
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 11, 9:07 AM
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Dale
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

There are 9 listed on their Kicker page, you don't have a model number?
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 11, 10:45 AM
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Bryan
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyecell007 View Post
Why do you think the iPod doesn't sound right? I would think it would sound best. Does anybody else have this problem??
I think (on the RetroSound) that the transfer speed (baud rate??) or something to that effect makes a big difference in sound quality.

Without having to add an amp--the retrosound sounds better.
I don't think one needs to spend $300 on a stereo and then have spend
another $100+ for an amp to make it sound halfway decent.

Bryan's toyz

59 ElCamino 454/TKO 5spd--(daddy)
66 ElCamino 3oh7/TKO 5spd (mousey) Almost done On the street now!!!
65 Ranchero v8/4-spd, that my uncle bought new
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 11, 1:39 PM Thread Starter
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Andy
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

Agreed - if I go that route, I should just go with a remote stereo...

66 SS Convert, 4-speed
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old Jun 5th, 11, 10:41 PM
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Steve
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

Got the package tray speakers in and, WOW, what a difference! The kick panel speakers are Kenwoods from Best Buy--whimpy at best. The p/t/s are generic from Wallymart. They are VR3 3WAY whatevers. But add a rich tone/bass to the radio. I was able to hear music at 70 MPH with two windows down over the headers and welded can type mufflers. iPod is still superior to FM stations. I'll rate my CAS up three notches from ear level speakers...

Had to wack 5X7 ovals in the package tray of the '65--wah-wah...

Steve O.
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 11, 10:34 AM
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CJ
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 35
Re: Custom Autosound review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorvation View Post
Got the package tray speakers in and, WOW, what a difference! The kick panel speakers are Kenwoods from Best Buy--whimpy at best. The p/t/s are generic from Wallymart. They are VR3 3WAY whatevers. But add a rich tone/bass to the radio. I was able to hear music at 70 MPH with two windows down over the headers and welded can type mufflers. iPod is still superior to FM stations. I'll rate my CAS up three notches from ear level speakers...

Had to wack 5X7 ovals in the package tray of the '65--wah-wah...

Steve O.
How did you cut the holes in the package tray? I'm wondering what the best way to do this without removing the back window.
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 11, 12:20 PM
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Steve
 
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Re: Custom Autosound review

I had the B/G out to re-set and stop some leaks. I used RH and LH sheet metal shears. '65 has one factory 6X9 oval centered. I'da stuck a single in if I wasn't R&R ing the B/G. And, yes, I used urethane cause Butyl Taped is evil.....

Steve O.
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