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  1. #1

    Default Mike1157! Fox stereo sound quality- bluetooth and streaming

    Mike thank you for this excellent response to HCBERICH 's Bluetooth question (post below for reference!). I want to hear more "lecture" from you to improve the sound quality of streamed music in my fox! My experience with streaming so far is terrible and I need some suggestions for improvement or a switch in connection type on an old system.

    We have a paid subscription to SiriusXM on my wife's 3 year old explorer with a really nice sounding factory Sony system. XM sounds horrendous in it! When I listen to VanHalen or Def Leppard it sounds like listening to a cover band underwater! My memory from listening to CD's in the 80's tells me all this technology has not improved the sound experience we are getting and I'll bet you know something about it. IPhone streamed XM and Pandora leave me feeling the same way and the music is not nearly as enjoyable.

    In my 1981 Mustang I recently installed an old Kenwood two post head unit and some upgraded factory dash and hatch speakers wired through the OG thin speaker wires. I have one of those cassette to 3mm wire IPhone doodads. I am exploring other options and my plan is to rip my old CD's on my computer using a "lossless" setting and import them to an old IPod/IPhone and figure out a new connection. How would one integrate a new 3.5mm jack without losing too quality given my limitations? Add an amplifier with 3.4mm jack? Can I use this extra connection in the pic (amplifier pre-out?) somehow with an adapter? Other suggestions? Thanks!




    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1157 View Post
    As an audio guy, it always pains me when I read stuff like this on a forum. Using ANY adapter is just one more erosion of what people accept as decent sound quality.

    Music sources have always been measured by two references: Frequency response, and Signal to noise.

    Frequency response is typically seen as a measurement of the sources ability to reproduce the distance between the lowest low frequency, to the highest high frequency, measured in hertz (Hz)
    The normal human ear can hear a range between 20hz to 20,000 hz (most commonly referred to 20 kilohertz, or 20 khz)
    A super low thud from a bass guitar, kick drum, or bass machine can easily reproduce a 20 hz note, and is more often "felt" by us, rather than heard.
    Conversely, a 20khz note is a super bright ting of a cymbal, or the noise your ear hears as a ping when a tuning fork is struck.

    Every musical instrument, including a human voice falls between those two ranges.

    Signal to Noise is the sources ability to convey that signal w/o adding anything else (in the form of distortion) to that signal conveyance. Think of that as a percentage.

    So, as an example: If you sat in front of band making a recording in a studio environment free from any other noise clutter, that would be 100% authentic. The S/N would be 100db. You'd be able to hear everything, from the lowest low to the highest high.
    A CD copy of that session would be at the 90%, or 90db S/N. The frequency response would be between 10-22khz (beyond human hearing)
    A Cassette copy of that session would be at the 70db S/N. W/ a 30hz-18khz FR. (when played back on a high quality, home cassette deck)
    A FM broadcast of that session would also be around 70db, w/ even less FR more like 30hz-15khz.

    Now, when you add in the old factory radio which was notoriously bad in the mid 80's, you can also subtract about 10% from anything rated above.
    Lastly,...add in the degradation of a cheap adapter, and you get a flaming pile of crap.

    A cheap dollar store cassette adapter will probably show actual S/N in the 60-65db range, w/ a FR somewhere in the 50hz-15khz range
    A FM modulator placed in line of the antenna will be even worse, 55-60db, w/ a lousy FR at 50hz to 13.5-15khz.

    If your radio has an aux input on the back (which some factory head units have) use it. The S/N, and FR will be best that way, as it is a direct audio connection. I cannot tell what that input source is rated at though, but it will be as close to CD quality as you'll get. The pic of that female aux jack wired into the front trim is just a quick way to connect your listening device w/o having a cable laying around that is hooked to the back of the factory aux input.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-1mCjqJz...d_quality.html

    When talking about the compressed music files that you have on your phone, and depending on how badly they were compressed will also make for a crappy sounding end result, but that is a whole "Nother" lecture.
    Last edited by m81mclaren; 11-15-2019 at 04:40 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Following. I made sure to get a deck with that still has a CD player exactly for this reason. It's a '90 dash so it doesn't stand out like it would in your car. You can't enjoy quality speakers like you could back in the day with CDs now with most MP3/streaming music sources.
    Brad

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  3. #3

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    Archer over at Crutchfield pulled together a solution that included a "line driver" that boosts the IPhone 3.5mm signal because it's under-powered which then connects to a Rockford Fosgate amp that then connects to my head-unit (maybe because that pre-out cable is proprietary). @ $300+ probably not the solution for me. Why the RF amp does not have a 3.5mm input is beyond me! The alternative budget solution would be to get a JVC KD-X260BT "Digital Media" receiver and stick it in the glovebox and keep the Kenwood cassette just for period looks in the dash (or swap back in my factory Ford deck) . It's $65 and has hard wire input or Bluetooth and enough power to drive my speakers but the specs say no Iphone support so may also not work. Any other simple options?
    Current FEP:
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  4. #4
    FEP Power Member qikgts's Avatar
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    Not Mike but...

    I'm guessing you have a 13 pin din cable there. I'm talking about the big white one. If so, you might get lucky with the below combo.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/13-Pin-10-F...kAAOSwcrdcuQzH

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Authent...4383.l4275.c10

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/RCA-Female-...xtm6YakfnRnXMg

    Another option might be to send your head unit off to someone like I linked to below to see if they can make it work as is or if they can fit an adapter to the Kenwood making do bluetooth, usb, etc.

    https://www.billtheradioguy.com/

    Cheaper and more like the cassette adapter route but through the FM side of the deck... Plenty of options like this out there, just search FM modulator...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Car-Bluetoo...8AAOSwz~Jc94Eg
    Last edited by qikgts; 11-16-2019 at 03:21 PM.
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  5. #5
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    For a test, went outside and connected my phone's mp3 player to the truck's non bt Sony 222 amp.
    Connected the phone to the Sony's RCA jacks with a Y adapter. Worked fine. Took a couple minutes.

    On mine, the factory Ford radio's speaker connections are hard wired to the amp's high level input.
    Phone mp3 player was connected to the amp's unused low level (RCA) inputs.

    Had to turn the dash radio off, otherwise both radio and phone mp3 played at the same time.
    Any sources connected to both high and low inputs on this Sony are combined, amped, and sent to the speakers.

    No extra switches are provided on the amp to select high/low input, nor separate gain adjustments for high and low inputs.
    Amp gain had to be manually readjusted, either to 1/2 (hi level in) or full (low level in), when switching to either source.

    Volume level was adjusted at the radio or mp3 player like always.
    Last edited by gr79; 11-16-2019 at 08:06 PM.

  6. #6

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    Thanks qikgts I'll check into those options CA-C1AUX looks promising but not sure it will work as an input source. I called Kenwood's tech line and they had no specs for the cable for KRC2000 although she looked at my pic. She suggested one of their Marine amps KAC-M1824BT and to plug my phone into the input like GR did and run my speakers to it instead of the HU.
    Last edited by m81mclaren; 11-18-2019 at 11:46 AM.
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  7. #7

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    Ok a little more digging and found another options for the glovebox- Blaupunkt Toronto TRT1049. It's probably small enough to fit in the shallow glovebox ridiculously cheap at $20 on Amazon and has Bluetooth, aux, and USB. I can keep the Kenwood or my stock Ford HU for looks or if the CA-C1AUX is compatible with my KRC then I could theoretically use both.
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  8. #8
    FEP Supporter ccurtin's Avatar
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    The BT Kenwood is the route I'm going this winter. The leads are supposed to be long enough that I can mount it under the seat and the plug into the speakers where they connect (mine aren't factory, had to cut the factory wiring to rewire the speakers).

    Quote Originally Posted by m81mclaren View Post
    Thanks qikgts I'll check into those options CA-C1AUX looks promising but not sure it will work as an input source. I called Kenwood's tech line and they had no specs for the cable for KRC2000 although she looked at my pic. She suggested one of their Marine amps KAC-M1824BT and to plug my phone into the input like GR did and run my speakers to it instead of the HU.
    I'm an FEP Paid Supporter and proud of it. Are you?

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  9. #9
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Seen a bluetooth cassette adapter today at WM in the electronics dept.
    Did not know they were made.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/ION-ITR20...SABEgK8dfD_BwE

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