Custom Autosound Radio Buyer's Guide
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Custom Autosound Radio Buyer's Guide


Custom Autosound Buyer's Guide

Custom Autosound is the original, classic, reproduction radio company and has been helping classic car owner's update and upgrade the radio in their classic car since the 1970's. There are 3 models of Custom Autosound radios that will fit all of their applications, the USA-230, the USA-630, and the USA-740. In addition, Custom Autosund also has the Slidebar radio for select models. This guide will explain the differences and also help recommend the right radio for you.

All Custom Autosound Radios Feature:

  • Electronic AM/FM Tuner
  • Auxiliary Input
  • Both USA/EU Frequency Reception
  • 4 Channel RCA Pre-Outs
  • A Minimum of 200 Watts of Peak Power Output
  • Digital Clock
  • 16 Pre-Sets (12FM/4AM)
  • 4 Way Fader (Front-Rear & Left-Right)
  • Separate Bass & Treble Control
  • Ready to Install, Out of the Box (The face is already attached and the knob spacing is already set)
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • 60 Day Advanced Replacement Warranty When You Buy from ClassicCarStereos.com

USA-740:

The USA-740 is the top-of-the-line Custom Autosound radio and comes with Bluetooth built in. In addition to having Bluetooth built-in, the USA-740 is the only Custom Autosound radio that has a subwoofer pre-out, a 7 color LCD display, and auxiliary inputs in both the front and the rear

The USA-740 comes with a microphone so that you can take handsfree calls with the built-in Bluetooth and also allows you to stream music from your phone, to the radio, and out your car's speakers. You can play your music from your phone without
having to plug anything in.

The subwoofer pre-out applies if you decide to add a subwoofer with an external amplifier. If you connect the RCA cable for the subwoofer channel on your amplifier to the subwoofer pre-out on the radio, you can control the subwoofer level from the radio.

The 7 color LCD display on the USA-740 allows you to match the LCD display on your radio to the color of your digital gauges. Or, you can match the color of your radio to the color of your vehicle if you have original gauges.

Having auxiliary inputs on both the front and the rear of the radio allow you to connect a device, such as a phone, to the radio in the front and also have an RCA input in the rear for a Sirius XM tuner, or any other audio input that may be more permanent than your phone.

The USA-740 does have a different appearance than the USA-230 and the USA-630. The USA-230 and the USA-630 both have a the appropriate GM or Ford brand logo on the nosepiece and the USA-740 does not. Ford and GM brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, GMC, Pontiac, Oldsmobile) are the only USA-230 and USA-630 vehicle makes that have an officially licensed logo on them. Mopar, VW, etc come with a generic badge.

The information above lists the features exclusive to the USA-740. In addition to exclusive features the USA-740 also has:

  • 25 Pre-Sets instead of 16 with RDS Information (Station, Artist and Song display on the LCD)
  • 300 Watts of Peak Output Power
  • 2 Ohm Stable
  • LCD Dimmer Control
  • Option to add the CD-1 External CD Player
  • Clock or Function Display Priority
  • USB Port
  • Last Volume Memory
  • Bass, Mid, and Treble Control
  • Loudness Compensation for Low Volume LIstening
  • DSP EQ
  • Automatically Fills Presets with Strongest Stations

You should go with the USA-740 if…

  • You want a classic car radio with Bluetooth
  • You plan on adding a subwoofer
  • You want your radio's LCD display to match the rest of your gauges or the color of your car
  • You plan on powering more than 4 speakers directly off of your radio
  • You want better control over the tone of your music with the ability to adjust mid-bass levels
  • You want the top of the line Custom Autosound radio

USA-630:

The USA-630 has the same appearance as the USA-230, but it includes a USB port, it has the connection that allows you to add the CD-1 external CD player, and you can add Bluetooth functionality with the BluKit (Sold Separately). In addition, the USA-630 has an RDS tuner that will display station, song, and artist information on the LCD display and it has EQ pre-sets so that you can easily tune your music to your listening preference. The USA-630 has 300 watts of peak power instead of 200 on the USA-230. In terms of sound quality, if you powering your speakers off of the radio, the USA-630 will sound better than the USA-230.

You should go with the USA-630 if…

  • You want a USB port to play music off of your thumb drive but you don't care about Bluetooth
  • You want to add a CD player, but you don't care about Bluetooth
  • You want Bluetooth, but the GM or Ford logo on the radio is important to you from an appearance standpoint

Slidebar:

Limited Vehicle Fitments

The Custom Autosound Slidebar radio has an authentic looking analog display that disappears to reveal a full-functioning LCD display. The Slidebar located in the center of the radio face moves left and right to either show or hide the analog display with a trap door style mechanism. The Slidebar has virtually the same features as the USA-740, but it does not have Bluetooth built-in. You can add Bluetooth to the Slidebar with the BluKit (sold separately) for both handsfree calling and wirelessly streaming music. You can add the CD-1 external CD player to the Slidebar radio, it has a 7 color LCD display to match your gauges or vehicle's color, it has a subwoofer pre-out, loudness compensation, a USB port, LCD dimming control, literally everything the USA-740 has with the exception of Bluetooth.

You should go with the Slidebar if…

  • You want the most original looking radio for your vehicle without spending $600+
  • You either don't want Bluetooth or you are fine with adding the Bluetooth external module (sold separately)
  • You plan on adding a subwoofer
  • You want your radio's LCD display to match the rest of your gauges or the color of your car
  • You want better control over the tone of your music with the ability to adjust mid-bass levels

USA-230:

The USA-230 is the most affordable Custom Autosound radio. It has a digital AM/FM tuner and an auxiliary input. The USA-230 has 200 watts of peak power output and is perfect if you are just looking for something simple to put in the dash and give you some sound. You can still connect your phone, your iPod, or any other device with a headphone jack to the radio. If you want to play music from your phone via Bluetooth, you can add the MBT-RX and play music wireless from your phone via Bluetooth through the radio's auxiliary input.

You should go with the USA-230 if…

  • If just want something that will fill the hole in the dash
  • Sound quality isn't as important to you as simply having tunes
  • You want a radio in the dash, you plan on adding an amplifier, you don't plan on adding a subwoofer, and you primarily stream music from your phone via Bluetooth or FM radio. (MBT-RX sold separately)

Key Features That May Be Important To You:

Bluetooth

All of the Custom Autosound radios can be adapted to stream music from your phone, through the radio with Bluetooth. The USA-740 has full, hand-free calling and Bluetooth streaming built in. The USA-630 and Slidebar radios require you to purchase the BluKit separately for hands-free calling and Bluetooth streaming. You can add the MBT-RX Bluetooth adapter to the USA-230, USA-630, or Slidebar radio if you want to wireless play music fro your phone, through your radio

7 Color LCD Display

The USA-740 and the Slidebar radios come with a 7 color LCD display that allow you to select the color of the LCD display. The color options are white, red, blue, cyan, green, yellow, and pink. The USA-230 and USA-630 come with a negative LCD display that has a black background with white LCD letters and numbers.

Subwoofer Pre-Out

Both the USA-740 and the Slidebar radios come with a subwoofer pre-out. This allows you to control the level of your subwoofer on the radio. If you want to add a subwoofer to the USA-230 or USA-630, you will need to have an amplifier that will sum the 4 channel inputs for the subwoofer. (In 2020, most 5 channel amplifiers do it). The fastest and easiest way to control subwoofer output on any of the radios is to purchase a bass knob, if one isn't included with the amplifier you purchase/own.

Digital Tuner

All Custom Autosound radios come with a digital tuner. You do not need to worry about the radio losing signal because you hit a bump or pothole.

4 Ch. RCA Pre-Outs

The USA-230 and USA-630 have 4 channel RCA pre-outs. The Slidebar and USA-740 have 5 channel RCA pre-outs (4 Ch + Subwoofer).

Auxiliary Input

All Custom Autosound radios come with an RCA auxiliary input on the back of the radio. The USA-740 has an additional 3.5mm auxiliary input on the front of the radio.

USB Port

The USA-740, USA-630, and Slidebar radios come with a USB port. The USA-230 DOES NOT have a USB port.

CD-1 Changer Controller

You can add the Custom Autosound CD-1 external CD player to the USA-740, Slidebar, and USA-630 radios.

Disappearing Front Faceplate

Only the Slidebar radio has a disappearing, analog faceplate. You can drive with a full functioning LCD display, park the car, move the slidebar to the other side, and have an original looking analog display

Out of the Box, Ready to Install

All Custom Autosound radios come out of the box, ready to install. You don't have to worry about connecting a faceplate, attaching brackets for the knobs, figuring out where to space the knobs, or plugging the knobs in. In addition, the knobs are included and you don't need to purchase a bezel spacer or dash kit separately. The radio comes out of the box, ready to install.

LCD Dimmer Control

The USA-740 and Slidebar radios have an LCD dimmer control wire. Connect this wire to your dash light dimming switch and when you dim your dash lights, it will dim the radio's LCD display

Clock or Function Display Priority

The USA-740 and Slidebar radios give you the option to show either the clock or the radio display. The USA-630 and USA-230 show the radio display by default and you can toggle the clock to check the time. After a short while, the radio will go back to showing the radio display

USA/EUR/JAP/RUS Tuner Capability

All Custom Autosound radios come with USA and European tuner frequencies.

EQ Pre-Sets

The USA-740 and Slidebar radios have EQ pre-sets that let you select between Rock, Flat, Classical, Vocal, or Jazz EQ presets. On the USA-230 and USA-630, you can only control the bass and treble.

Bass/Mid/Treble Control

All of the Custom Autosound radios have separate bass and treble control. The USA-740 and Slidebar radios allow you to adjust the mid level as well for better control over your radio's sound profile.

Our Recommendation(s)

If you don't want to think or worry about what features you may or may not want, go with the USA-740. Yes, it is the most expensive Custom Autosound radio, but it also has the most features.

"I want a classic car radio with Bluetooth"

Go with the USA-740. You can also go with the Slidebar if you want a more OE appearance and buy the BluKit separately. If you really want the GM or Ford logo on the radio, you can also do the USA-630 with a BluKit, but we recommend the USA-740

"I really like the look of the Ford or GM logo on the radio."

The USA-630 is perfect if you want a USB port, the ability to add Bluetooth, or the ability to a CD player. Also, the USA-630 will sound better than the USA-230 if you are powering your speakers off of teh radio. Go with the USA-230 if you just want something to fit in your dash.

"I want it to look as original as possible."

The Slidebar radio is going to look the most original of any of the Custom Autosound radios. All of the Custom Autosound radios are designed to look classic in your dash, but the Slidebar takes it to the next level. If you have over $600 to spend on a radio and you want it to look almost 100% original, check out our Antique Automobile Radios.

"I just want something to fit in my dash and look like it belongs."

Go with the USA-230. All of our radios will look lik they belong in the vehicle, the USA-230 is the least expensive way to do it. It doesn't have the features that the other radios do, but it gets the job done.

Need more info? We'd be happy to help.
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