Audiophiles beware! I was desperate... and broke!


Captain Jack Sparrow

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Desperate times call for drastic measures...

I'm almost positive that I have created the world's most terrible sound system setup. Therefore I've gotta share this with you.

Recently, my amplifier failed, so I had to make use of what I already own. I remembered that I had an old car stereo in the garage, which I removed from my car, because it was only a 2-channel unit, when I replaced it with the 4-channel version.

Strapped for cash, I needed something which can act as a multimedia amplifier. Desperately.
So I dug the old car stereo out from the garage, phoned Volkswagen who gave me the security code, and behold, here is my creation.

This is the Volkswagen Beta V, 'Home Edition' manufactured by Blaupunkt.
The switch to the right of the stereo controls the PS_ON signal to the PSU, and the rear switch controls the dashboard illumination on the stereo.

IMG_20170904_212232.jpg

Now with AUX input!!!!!! :cool:
The black box with the RCA connectors on top of the CD drive is an aftermarket Connects2 AUX input interface. This connects to the stereo via a port on the back of the CD drive, which is intended for the Volkwagen 6 CD changer. The interface works by emulating the CD changer.

IMG_20170904_212449.jpg

The stereo contains one STMicroelectronics TDA7376B class AB power amplifier module (The 4-channel Volkswagen Gamma has 2 of these modules). The TDA7376B is capable of 2 x 40W at 4 ohm (limited to 2 x 25W at 4 ohm by Volkswagen).

I was pleasantly suprised when I heard the sound produced by this stereo. I have to have the bass flat (±0db) and the treble on +5dB, as there already plenty of 'oomph' to the sound. The stereo sounds much better now than it ever did when it was installed in my car. Although this is hardly ideal, I think this could be viable for a few months at least, whilst I shop around for a new amplifier.

It's got an AM/FM tuner, cassette player (which has never chewed a tape), single CD player and RCA aux input. Sadly, it does not have a Phono level input! :D But this is what I call a real micro Hi-fi system!

But wait, AC voltage in the UK is 220-240V AC, I hear you cry! Fear not, because I am powering this with an old FSP 350W ATX PSU, which has been gathering dust since I removed it from an early iteration of The Black Pearl many moons ago.
The stereo is fused at 7.5 amps, so I figured that the 2 x 16 amp 12V rails on the FSP PSU would be more than adequate for this, without even breaking a sweat.
As you can tell, the Captain is very resourceful.

I actually cannot believe how well this works, even though you're probably going to laugh at me. I was kinda expecting this crazy idea to end in a mini firework show.

Well done to Volkswagen and Blaupunkt, most tape decks installed in older vehicles generally sound terrible and always chew tapes up.

My only gripe with this stereo is that every time I turn off the ATX PSU, I have to enter a 4-digit code on the stereo in order to use it again.

Is this 'ghetto' enough for you? Or have you seen worse? I think this is better than a ghetto blaster!!!!1!!!! :lol:

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Ian

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Haha, if it works, it works :). I just love the fact that you've got to enter in a security code to get audio :lol:.

Pretty inventive, that's for sure! :thumb:
 
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Captain Jack Sparrow

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Neat effort. Bit too tidy looking for a real steampunk build.
That's some valid criticism, but the steampunk style probably wouldn't fit with its surroundings (huge black TEAC cassette deck right next to it)!
If I wanted to give it that vintage industrial look, I suppose I could replace the PS_ON and dash illumination switches with something like this...



Is the Barbarian happy yet? :D

I'm really proud that this totally works as it was intended, and it cost just £5 to complete. It's also good for the environment, because I'm making use of old, decommissioned, 'obsolete' equipment which would have been destined for landfill if I couldn't find a use for them. This might be considered as a 'kludge', but you gotta admit it's one of the better ones! :cool:

Even better, I now have a hardware CD player. That might seem like a little thing to you, but I used to use the iTunes on computer to play audio CDs through the old amplifier. And that wasn't very good.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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