The New After-Market Car Stereos Sure Beats Those Old 8-Track Units

My first exposure to car stereos was the Muntz 8-track my cousin Willard had in this customized Ford van (Hey, it was the 70s; those kinds of vans were the thing. Seat belt laws pretty much killed them.)

Muntz 8-track


The tape that got the most play was this one.

Nazareth - Greatest Hits

I seem to recall that “Hair of the Dog” (cowbell!) was one of the songs that got caught between tracks. It slowly faded down to nothing and then KA-CHUNK! The heads moved, changing to the next track on the tape whereupon the song would fade up and finish.

Fast-forward to today’s car audio. Most of us wouldn’t think about ripping out the factory unit because of its tight integration to the car’s systems. Just look around: how many specialty car audio shops do you see these days?

But that doesn’t mean that the after-market car audio industry is dead. Pioneer has just launched a new collection of head units that incorporate smartphone connections. Bluetooth, USB connectivity, Pandora, HD radio–the works.

Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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