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My weekend car is a 65 Pontiac Catalina, which still has its original AM/mono radio. For the last couple of years, I've gotten my tunes from a boom box in the back seat, powered by a cigarette lighter adapter.

I am getting the itch to upgrade the sound system, but I don't want to remove the original radio or cut up the dash, as I occasionally enter in old car shows. I'd prefer if nobody but me knew that a better system was there.

I'm thinking about a hidden head unit in/under the glove compartment (CD w/ aux input for an MP3 player), two small speakers up front, and an amp/sub in the trunk. I don't want to go boomin down the street, but you definately need a sub to hear the bass with the top down.

Any suggestions for components or a quality custom shop in the DC / Northern Virginia area?

Thanks,
Chris
 

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You shouldn't have a problem fitting a head unit in/under the glove box. Any mid-range deck should be capable of playing MP3/WMA straight off CD/DVD or memory stick. You could avoid needing inputs all togather. I might reccommend setting priority on your remote control functionality. You'd be better off w/ an RF remote if you want to keep that deck in the glove box and stealthy. (I really like some of the Eclipse head units)

Regarding speaker location, any good install shop should be able place them well hiddenn, even the sub and amp. It's really a question of money and how much you want to spend. I'm not sure what type of shows you enter so you obviously have considerations there. But a good custom install that isn't hidden shouldn't hurt you if it's done with taste and class - it could actually be very cool. Unless you are going all origional and need those points; you might reconsider some of your hardware placement. If you do go for origional points, then you really shouldn't put a system in anyway :^) )

I live in Washington (state) and can't suggest a local shop for you. I'd advise doing the research and ask to see pictures of installs, particularly custom installs in vintage automibiles. (and ask if the folks who did the installs still work there) Like most businesses, the quality of work they do usually gets advertised by word of mouth and they document their work in alblums. I'd stay away from the chain stores that don't specialiaze in car audio.

Just my opinions and thoughts, hope they help.
 
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