Red Echo

February 24, 2009

My car is equipped with its original 1987-vintage stereo, which no longer works. I don’t need a stereo when driving around in town, but I sure would like to have one by my next road trip. The car stereo I want to buy, however, almost certainly doesn’t exist: all I want is a plain black panel with a volume knob and a USB jack. No buttons, lights, colors, labels, logos, video panels, pop-out-folding-media-player navigation devices, or any other such flappery, please – just let my iPod fill the car with music.


  1. Sounds easy enough to solder up ;-)

    Comment by Asher — February 24, 2009 @ 9:36 pm

  2. It does, but I think I’ve decided to spend a little money to save a little time, and buy this nice little receiver. It’s not as plain as I’d prefer, but it’s cheap, remarkably unobtrusive for a car stereo, and has a USB jack right on the faceplate.

    Comment by Mars Saxman — February 26, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

  3. Great car! I used to have one almost exactly like that, 1986 RED 325e. Bought it in 1996 for $2k and sold it in 2005 for $900 with a busted clutch and more rust than I wanted to deal with. It was FUN and cheap to own!

    I have a 1992 black 525i and it is a luxo ride compared to the 325. Bigger trunk too. It had working AC when I bought it but it broke in 2 years. I can’t seem to own a car with working AC…

    I’m with Asher. All you need is an amp, a few parts and you could have a cool minimalist iPod connect. The radio in my 525 still works well and I retrofitted a iPod connection into the trunk mounted CD changer line. If I ever get motivated I will program a Picaxe chip to emulate the now dead CD changer that has to be in place to tell the radio to activate the input.

    The new HD radios are cool but most modern car audio equipment is too bright and flashes too much for me to concentrate on DRIVING.

    Comment by Lewis — March 18, 2009 @ 5:43 pm