[urq] RE: Mid 80's, period correct radios: which one ?

Pasqualoni, James E james.pasqualoni at gs.com
Wed Jul 27 15:59:31 EDT 2005

Good stuff.  Anyone have any suggestions for quality speakers to fit the oe


-----Original Message-----
From: urq-bounces at audifans.com [mailto:urq-bounces at audifans.com] On Behalf
Of Steve Eiche
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 4:46 PM
To: urq at audifans.com
Subject: Re: [urq] RE: Mid 80's, period correct radios: which one ?

FWIW, I put myself through college working in car stereo/alarm/phone
installation shop in the mid-late '80s.  That gave me first hand experience
with just about every radio available at the time.  (It also started my lust
for the Audi quattros when I installed a complex system in a new '88 5ktq.) 

I really don't know why anyone would want a Nakamichi TD 1200 anymore,
unless you love cassette tapes.  Those were known as the "Dragon for your
car" with automatic tape azimuth adjustment, like the Nakamichi home stuff,
but they weren't terribly reliable, and the RF section wasn't remarkable. 

Personally, my favorite at the time was the Alpine 7374.  It was all digital
(probably the first), including volume, balance, fader, etc. 
with the classic Alpine clear square buttons that changed colors when you
pressed them.  The controls were simple, the tape section was excellent, and
included Dolby B, C and dbx, along with tape seek functions that worked very
well.  I found one of these a few years ago (my second - I regretted selling
my first one) and still have it for 
some reason.  I really can't see installing it, but it is a classic.   I 
also like the Sony XR 73/74/7500 series headunits, which have good features,
reliability and a style and lighting color that match '80's Audis.  These
also control the same CD changers used by Audi on the '91 200qs and early ur
S cars.

As for the OE radios in the '83 ur quattros, they were made by Panasonic and
were pretty poor quality.  The switches failed like mad (I bought a bag of
20 of them to replace them as they failed in my Scirocco, and between my
radio(s) and radios that people brought to me, they went quickly.), the tape
section was prone to jamming and they were low powered.  I had a couple
about ten years ago, but threw them away.  
Probably should have kept them.

As for a good period OE radio, the Rothenburg from the '84+  cars were
pretty good and should still be plentiful in salvage yards. 

I do think that the modern aftermarket ICE (in car entertainment) systems
have taken a few steps back since about 1990.  The audio quality is no
better, and in many cases worse than what was available then, with more
emphasis placed on animated displays than sound quality.  The new amplifiers
put output power over accuracy and the speakers seem to emphasize styling
over performance as well.  As for the new controls, yuck.  Oh well, rant


>>I found the "perfect" period correct, urQuattro radio, according to

>>Payne: http://www.isham-research.co.uk/quattro/wiring/Typ85/mcc994.html
>>Now, finding a working unit in North America might be difficult...  :-) 
>>BTW, there is a new Nakamichi TD1200 for sale on eBay now (item number

>>570$ and still 2 days to go...
>>There is a market for anything, it seems...
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