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  • Radio conversion poll

    Originality is only original once; and old tube radios, once gutted, can not be returned. But the original purpose of the radio was to provide all the broadcasts that were available before Frequency Modulation was conceived.
    Vacuum tube radios are recognized as delivering clear, full, warm sound; and the AM signals can be pulled from over a thousand miles on a clear night; while the FM signal reach is limited but pierces even through mountain tunnels.
    It's your car; your radio. What's your choice?
    60
    Only original once; don't even consider change.
    31.67%
    19
    Sell original radio and install delete plate.
    1.67%
    1
    Gut it and maximize broadcast options.
    33.33%
    20
    Depends on how very old and really rare.
    33.33%
    20
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

  • #2
    No choice tab for my solution. I have the original stock radio in place (disconnected) with an easily removable modern am/fm disc stereo receiver mounted under the dash. My car is not a show car, it is a car I drive often.

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    • #3
      My original radio has been refurbished by Radio Roy, completely to my satisfaction. First appearances suggest an original radio, however it has been refitted for AM, FM, blue tooth and satellite, all of which contribute to my enjoyment.

      Peter Bishop
      Director,
      Northeast Zone

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      • #4
        I sold the working radio in the 55 then converted a nonworking radio for fm/am.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PeterHawk View Post
          My original radio has been refurbished by Radio Roy, completely to my satisfaction. First appearances suggest an original radio, however it has been refitted for AM, FM, blue tooth and satellite, all of which contribute to my enjoyment.
          Same here , sounds great, still looks like the day it was made !

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          • #6
            I had the original radio restored, but had a port installed so I can connect and stash a basic MP3 player in the glovebox. The problem with old radios is they don't come with the old stations. But I collect old radio airchecks and radio broadcasts of baseball games, so I upload them to the MP3 player and while I'm driving along in my '61 Lark wagon, I can listen to radio or baseball games from the era. Completes the feeling of time travel, especially when I'm driving at night when there is little traffic on the road.
            Dean Seavers
            Sacramento, CA

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            • #7
              I posted the poll because I am torn. I have three Studebakers with original radios that no longer work; but all three are driveably enjoyable. All three I have owned in excess of a quarter century. All three are acceptable at shows and have in fact won 1st, 2nd and 3rd at SDC National meets, but are also driven anytime I fancy. I'm about to spend some money to make the radios please my nature, and am reaching out for the counsel of my brethren.
              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
              sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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              • #8
                Same as Peter above. Excellent conversion by Radio Roy with an upgrade to Bluetooth, USB, etc. The radio looks completely stock. Commands are made by twisting the volume and tone knobs of the radio. The only giveaway is a very inconspicious microphone for voice commands. I also installed a new front and rear speaker. People are surprised when I receive an incoming telephone call over the speakers via the Bluetooth connection. You can stream anything you have on your phone, e.g., music, navigation, Sirius XM. My 1962 GT Hawk is stock except for this upgrade.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  I replaced all the wax capacitors and some out of spec resistors along with installing a solid-state vibrator in the Philco in my 55 President last winter. The radio is a real performer. For me there is no need to 'upgrade'.
                  I guess I should admit some small prejudice toward the AM mode though, it is my principal form of ham operation.DSCN1141.JPG

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the compliments, gentlemen.

                    In the San Francisco Bay Area, there are no music stations on AM. Occasionally the Indian station will play some Bollywood songs, but that's the extent of any music.
                    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                    • #11
                      On the timeline regarding music on AM stations; FM stations started coming in to their own in the late '60's. Capable of stereo broadcasting to short distances, they appealed to the limited audience of opera, classical, avant-garde, alternative tastes. No respectable businesses advertised there because they expected few listened.
                      Until the advertisers realized their audience was no linger patronizing the AM stations because they were nothing but advertising.
                      And, once the advertising dollar infiltrated the job description of the FM program manager, the FM stations reduced themselves to broadcasting the mediocrity they thought their advertisers demanded.
                      And now, if you don't have FM reception, it seems you are relegated to enjoying either the abysmal morass of talk radio or the barely more tolerable sports broadcasts.
                      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                      sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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                      • #12
                        Convert one. See how you like it. I listen to very little over the air radio. Most of the time I listen to mp3's on a thumb drive.

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                        • #13
                          My vote is with Peter using Radio Roy technology. I can't help it I'm a Sirius Satellite junkie.
                          Bill

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                          • #14
                            Just a historical note. Major Armstrong conceived of FM radio in the early 1930's, and FM radios were built and sold prior to WWII, operating on a band now used for VHF television. The modern FM band got going circa 1949.

                            And there were a lot of short-wave and long-wave broadcasts available that most car radios could not receive, some European radios excepted.
                            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                            • #15
                              Radio? Are you kidding? I'm too preoccupied listening to every noise to make sure everything is operating correctly. Besides, the sound of the 289 is music to my ears.
                              "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
                              R.W. Emerson

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