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OEM Stereo Woes
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sammyman
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:18 am    Post subject: OEM Stereo Woes Reply with quote

My cassette player only plays one side of the tape clearly. The other side is really muddy sounding and distant. Any way to clean this? Tapes are before my time so I have never fixed a tape player (CD's are more my time).

Also, there is hardly any sound coming out of the right front speaker. It is very very faint. I swapped speakers with the front left door and the problem persists. What is the most common cause of this? Wiring in the back of the radio or something along those lines?
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Tobias Duncan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is that you have one very dirty head and a blown channel.
I would get a new unit.
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sammyman
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tobias Duncan wrote:
My guess is that you have one very dirty head and a blown channel.
I would get a new unit.


Is a blown channel fixable? I love the stock unit and don't really want to get an aftermarket. Does anyone fix these?

Edit: BTW, the only speaker that is quiet is the front right. Rear right is ok.
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Syncroincity
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything is fixable. Are you willing to spend $150 to fix a $40 stereo? 'Cos that's what you'll be looking at if you take it to a repair shop.


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1465195

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1515172

http://www.ebay.com/itm/89-90-FOX-RADIO-AM-FM-W-CA...007wt_1305
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morymob
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swap wires of front and rear speakers at radio end,no change check speaker they do go bad and if never changed paper cones come apart.
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shadetreetim
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: OEM Stereo Woes Reply with quote

sammyman wrote:
My cassette player only plays one side of the tape clearly...

I swapped speakers with the front left door and the problem persists.


Are you saying the problem only exist while playing a cassette? Or even on radio?

When you swapped speakers, did the problem stay with the location or migrate with the speaker?

These answers will clearly indicate your next move.
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T3 Pilot
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://customradio.net/us_en/products-page/truck/
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JudoJeff
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They sell cleaner cassettes that you squirt with alcohol and insert into the unit, then hit PLAY.

Or take a Q-tip, soak in alcohol, and wipe the head through the cassette door. You won't hurt anything wiping the wrong things, but the head looks like a little silver square. Crud does come off the tape and stick to the head.

The speaker is either dead (blown) or the wires int he back of the radio or at the speaker are loose. Radios are color coded as to what wire goes where.

Good luck.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sammyman wrote:
I love the stock unit and don't really want to get an aftermarket...


I'm not sure there was ever an official 'stock' unit so perhaps what you have is just an old unit.

Mine came with a Philips and, since the van was picked up at the factory, presumably installed there -- but I think the unit in delivered vans would vary.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Cabriolet's radio did the same thing. Cleaned the head, then awhile later it was back to its old tricks. Then it quit auto-reversing and chewed up the tapes. Then it quit ejecting the tapes. I didn't want to replace it either, but did; instead of having a stack of tapes floating around the car, I now drive with a little USB stick (kept the OEM unit though).

As for the speaker, it could be a faulty wire, faulty connection at the radio, or a fault inside the radio.

Ahwahnee wrote:
I'm not sure there was ever an official 'stock' unit so perhaps what you have is just an old unit.


There was. From 1985 onward, they were Heidelberg units (for the USA), similar to this:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The brochures show cassette radios as an option for the vans (weird 'cuz the Cabriolets came standard with them).

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1984: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/lit/1984_00_vanagon_02/Seite16.jpg
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having just bought some busses with original stereos, something i've never dealt with up until now....
MAN ARE THEY WEIRD!

First, VW wired it so that you can leave the stereo on and kill your battery without the car running. REALLY!?
Also, it doesn't illuminate unless the headlights are on! REALLY!?!?
Then lets talk about the knob.
I love a stereo with a knob, infact I won't own one with volume buttons....I HATE them. But this knob..... this knob is something else.

I'm not positive that you can't control the horsepower, shift points of the automatic transmission, and brake bias from this knob.
Push it in, it controls balance. Turn it normal it controls volume. Pull it out it controls fade. Push it in slightly and down while turning it clockwise and WEIRD things happen.

So far I guess i've been blessed with busses that had aftermarket stereos already in them. I can't wait to rip this creapy thing out and stick in a modern, simple, and highly affordable pioneer unit (gota make all the busses match so I know how these things actually work) that can play all the music in the world off a $10 flash drive and charge my phone.
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b00t
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncro Pilot wrote:
http://customradio.net/us_en/products-page/truck/


+1 on custom radio, they are normal looking black radios with no neon, flashing lights, cheesy graphics...they work and work well and even have weather band for when you are camping.

I just got the 5930 with Bluetooth, their newest one and it is awesome! And it has knobs for volume and tuner.
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tam_shops
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see the prices. HATE my stereo, not just the neon annoying lights, but it also has too many functions on the volume button. It's annoying!
b00t wrote:
Syncro Pilot wrote:
http://customradio.net/us_en/products-page/truck/


+1 on custom radio, they are normal looking black radios with no neon, flashing lights, cheesy graphics...they work and work well and even have weather band for when you are camping.

I just got the 5930 with Bluetooth, their newest one and it is awesome! And it has knobs for volume and tuner.

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Steelhead
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am extremely wary of answering direct questions on the samba with a "buy something else more expensive" answer, but in this case I would really suggest considering an alternative to fixing the old deck.

I've said it before in these pages but I HIGHLY recommend the nakamichi decks for clean power, timeless looks, and build quality. Not cheap but occasional deals on ebay...like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nakamichi-CD400-HIGH-END-A...35cdeb71db

someone should buy this.
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ThankYouJerry
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelhead wrote:
I am extremely wary of answering direct questions on the samba with a "buy something else more expensive" answer, but in this case I would really suggest considering an alternative to fixing the old deck.

I've said it before in these pages but I HIGHLY recommend the nakamichi decks for clean power, timeless looks, and build quality. Not cheap but occasional deals on ebay...like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nakamichi-CD400-HIGH-END-A...35cdeb71db

someone should buy this.


That is RIDICULOUS money for an old CD player. Starting bid $230?!?! That kind of money will by you a top-of-the-line brand new Alpine deck that is Bluetooth, HD, Pandora, etc enabled and looks great in a Vanagon.
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b00t
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call and talk to Sherry, they are great and very helpful. Pricing is from $100 to $300. I think mine was like 180. There is a thread about them search custom radio ?

tam_shops wrote:
I don't see the prices. HATE my stereo, not just the neon annoying lights, but it also has too many functions on the volume button. It's annoying!
b00t wrote:
Syncro Pilot wrote:
http://customradio.net/us_en/products-page/truck/


+1 on custom radio, they are normal looking black radios with no neon, flashing lights, cheesy graphics...they work and work well and even have weather band for when you are camping.

I just got the 5930 with Bluetooth, their newest one and it is awesome! And it has knobs for volume and tuner.
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K58
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a pioneer cassete deck that works great and I'll give you for the price of shipping
I'm not the least bit sentimental about this unit since installing a whole new system.
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Steelhead
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThankYouJerry wrote:
Steelhead wrote:
I am extremely wary of answering direct questions on the samba with a "buy something else more expensive" answer, but in this case I would really suggest considering an alternative to fixing the old deck.

I've said it before in these pages but I HIGHLY recommend the nakamichi decks for clean power, timeless looks, and build quality. Not cheap but occasional deals on ebay...like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nakamichi-CD400-HIGH-END-A...35cdeb71db

someone should buy this.


That is RIDICULOUS money for an old CD player. Starting bid $230?!?! That kind of money will by you a top-of-the-line brand new Alpine deck that is Bluetooth, HD, Pandora, etc enabled and looks great in a Vanagon.


Don't be offended...or do, but Nakamichi's top of the line are $800+ for a reason. These particular units are $500 new, this one looks to be used one year. Maybe you've never done a sound comparison with Alpine and Nak. Maybe this audiophile stuff and I should just shut it because I'm on the wrong forum. Regarding "looks great in a vanagon", it come down tastes, but every alpine I've ever seen has some chrome, glossy black,and a big digital readout. Not the worst offender in the market, but this thing below (top of the line alpine) would not look natural (to me) in my dash. To each his own. http://www.al-eds.com/images/Z/25256/3521/init_image.jpg

As far as bluetooth and pandora...not my cup of tea. I've tried. Would be nice but the low bitrate issue is too much of a compromise for my musical interests on the road (or off). You're a Dead fan...try a bluetooth of your favorite show vs playing a high bitrate CD through a truly high-quality system. its just not the same....by definition. Try the new matrix of Fox Theater (11.30.80)...sick show and the scar>fire is a top five (top one for me).

OP - Apologies if this a distraction from your intended topic. I'm no audiophile, but the quality and look of the nakamichi head unit is hard to match if you go the route of replacing. If you can sneak into one at a low price it might last you a lifetime. The truth is, if the rest of the system (speakers) aren't of good quality then any discussions of head unit sound quality are moot anyway.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.retrosoundusa.com/
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onemat
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sold car and home stereo begining in the early seventies for about 16 years straight. Also represented a few companies calling on delaers and sound companies. In 1979, JVC was making really good home gear, and had the "Sendust" head which had the widest frequency response and signal to noise ratio. They licensed the heads to Concord a small but worthy car stero company and to Nakamichi. I remember going to a class at CED areound 1982 and the Concord top of the line in dash, was $349.00 and the Nakamichi was about $500.00. The guys were identical. These days, you get a lot more bang for that kind of money. My $89.00 Kenwood (No CD) sounds great.
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