Installation Tips

Install video from CJ Pony Parts:

Here are answers to some of the common questions we get:

Trouble shooting your wiring:
if your radio shows all symbols on its screen (AKA "Gibberish"), this more than likely is a sign that the Retrosound's yellow wire’s fuse is blown, or there is no voltage going through the yellow wire of our radio. (Remember that our radio needs power to both the red and yellow radio wires to operate) if you checked the fuse and the radio is still not working— Take a volt meter (NOT A TEST LIGHT) to measure voltage before AND after the fuse. See if you get 12 volts before and after the fuse at the very back of our radio. If the radio does still not function, please call us or email us at

It is also important to check your vehicles alternator & regulator to make sure it is not sending out more than 15 volts, higher voltage will harm not only our radio, but any radio you would install in your car– Again, use a Volt meter to check this.

No Speaker Output Problem.

Our units do not suffer from “No Output” or “Low/Weak/Distorted Output”. More often than not, it is a simple issue with a speaker wire or the way the radio was wired up to speakers. With the way that the amplifiers are put together inside of our units, all it takes is one wire to have one issue and it will shut down the entire amplifier section. This means if you have a wire shorting to another speaker wire, arcing across a speaker terminal, pinched below a piece of sheet metal or running board, insulation that has been shredded back and wire touching body metal, or a speaker that is far below 4 ohms, these things will cause the amplifier to go into protection and shut off all output. By removing the issue, the amplifier will immediately resume play.

Our radios are not a “common ground” style. This means that the negative terminals of the speaker wires are not linked to a ground path or a piece of body metal. They will not function if hooked up this way. It will cause the internal amplifier to shut down. The speakers need to be wired with one wire for the positive terminal and one for the negative terminal, and these wires need to go from the radio to the speaker and no where else. If you link two or more speakers together and the resulting impedance is lower than 4 ohms, the amplifier will shut down. If you wire both coils of a dual voice coil speaker together in parallel, you will shut down the amplifier. Parallel wiring means jumping a wire from positive to positive, and one from negative to negative and then wiring the pair up to the radio normally. If you wire the voice coils of a dual voice coil speaker out of phase, you will shut down the amplifier. Out of phase means that you have the left hand voice coil wired properly, but you have the positive and negative wires reversed on the right hand side. This essentially forces the speaker to attempt to move in both directions at the same time, resulting in zero motion and a short back to the radio. If you are taking a dual voice coil speaker and wiring it to be 8 ohms, you need to place a wire between the left hand voice coil negative terminal and the right hand voice coil positive terminal. This leaves you with a single positive and a single negative terminal on the speaker. Now wire it up as a normal speaker. Do Not place a single wire across the left or right hand positive and negative lead. This shorts the coil and acts like a parking brake on the speaker, resulting in a short back to the radio. You’ll want to verify that all of the speakers that you have attached are four ohm and working. Speakers that are less than four ohm will cause issues. Speakers that are over four ohm could be old and may be failing. You may need to perform a physical test on them, which is to carefully move the cone in and out. A frozen cone will make an awful noise and have zero bass. Make sure that any speaker leads from the radio are going from the radio to a speaker and no where else. If you are not using four speakers, the extra wires need to be taped off and not attached to anything else. Make sure that all of the speaker lines are not going to ground or multiple speakers. Make sure none of the speaker terminals are touching ground or sheet metal. Make sure there are no pinched leads or leads that are arcing to metal. If you are using a dual voice coil speaker, make sure that you have the polarity correct. If one side is not wired the same as the other, the speaker will try to move both ways at the same time and short back to the radio. This will also make an awful noise.

Engine Noise Issues.

If you are experiencing engine noise, ground loop, alternator whine, charging system interference, “an audible tachometer” issue, or other unpleasant high pitched noise that varies with the engine RPM, and have an external amplifier installed in the system, there are many things to help troubleshoot the problem.

Make sure that the amplifier gains are not all of the way up. If the radio is at around 20 on the volume level, and the system is louder than you can stand, then the gains are too far up. Back them off until the maximum volume level is right around 40 on the meter. This may resolve the noise issue immediately. Amplifiers amplify. If you have the gains too far up, the amplifier will amplify everything.

An easy part of any amplifier install is to add wires before reassembling the car. It is best to run a ground lead along with your RCA leads and remote turn on wire. If noise occurs, you can disconnect the radio ground from the dash or firewall point, and set it to ground back with the amplifier in the rear. This removes part of the “loop”.
There are many noise filtering devices on the market. The ones that tend to have the best results are inline RCA noise filters, such as Pacific Audio Corporation’s (PAC) SNI-1. These mount behind the radio on the RCA leads.
Other inline power noise filters can be used, if everything else fails. These install on the power leads behind the radio. If you choose to use these, make sure that they are a three wire design, as in a lead for the ground, switched power and constant power leads. These need to be rated at 5 amps per lead minimum.
On rare occasions, noise can be introduced through the antenna lead. The easy check is to unhook the antenna lead from the back of the radio. If this corrects the noise issue, there is an easy fix. You will need to purchase an antenna extension from a car audio dealer or an auto parts dealer. With a set of wire cutters or straight blade, remove about an inch of insulation only from the middle of the extension. From there, cut only the outside braided shielding. Do Not break the center conductor or the insulation around it. Once you have done this, you can wrap the extension with electrical tape or shrink tubing.


RETROSOUND ANSWER: No, this is the beauty of the radio's patent pending bracket system, cutting or modifying the radio, not your dash is what this radio is all about! Cutting / drilling the radio's bracket is ok and this allows many owners of foreign (British, German, Japanese, etc) cars to fit our radio into their vehicles. You will not harm your warranty in any way. For questions about modifying the bracket system please feel free to email us at or call us at 909-364-1372. Keep in mind, no other radio made today is as flexible as ours and modification to the radio is encouraged to ensure proper fit!

For those of you purchasing our VW/Euro radios, currently you will need to modify our bracket system prior to installing the faceplate, but don't worry, this will not harm your radio or brackets, that's what makes our radio fit into virtually any car, no other radio can do this! below are some notes on how to do this:

Retrosound Euro/VW Bracket Modification
Get your own at Scribd or explore others: Health Religion radio secrets


Here's how to fit our new metal knobs to your Retrosound shafts!!

Metal Knob Install Guide 100808 - Upload a Document to Scribd

For any questions regarding this bulletin, please contact our tech support via email: or call us toll free @ 888-325-1555 or 909-364-1372

For advanced installers only, the model one's faceplate unscrews from the main body of the unit about 3.5-4" allowing for some serious custom applications!

Check out the photos here:

IMG_4643 (Custom)

IMG_4644 (Custom)

Installation Tips and Tricks are coming soon!!

Please check out these videos to learn more about our revolutionary radio system!

USB & function Overview of the Model One C