Radio Dead -- would like to wire mp3 player directly


Unregistered guest
I have only used my radio ever to play mp3s or other audio from my laptop throu a tape adaptor. One day I was taking a long trip and decided to use my laptop again. When I started the tape running the radio did not work. After taking the tape out and switching over to FM I was only getting static/crackling and when I turned it up really loud I could almost hear someone talking but it was very very garbled(kinda like under water). So it seemed to me my head unit is dead. I have a 1993 nissan 240sx with a stock radio. The lcd broke on it before I purchased the car and so I am not surprised the radio went. I am not going to pull the head unit out for theft reasons(shiny radios be lifted from cars in my area). I have a handheld which I use to play mp3s but I would like to use my speakers in the car to play the songs.

My question would be how could I plug in my mp3 player without using a head unit. I don't think it has enough power to run directly into my stock amp(if I have one). If I have to have a head unit I will be mounting it under my seat and running the wires down the center consel.

Thanks for your time


Before anyone makes a comment about FM transmitters or RCA 2 mini cables I know that neather of those will work in my case.

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 2725
Registered: Nov-04
If you don't want to remove your HU for theift reasons, then leave it there and get a 4 channel amp. Then mounted it under your seat and let it power all your speakers.
2 channel amp will also work as long as it's 2ohms stable.
You can then use the headphone to rca cable to connect with the amp.

Gold Member
Username: Fishy

Tamarac Ft.Laud, FL USA

Post Number: 1055
Registered: Sep-04
If the h/u truly is dead you're definitely going to need some sort of amplifier to power your speakers. The problem with ipods is that they weren't designed to drive an amplifier(low voltage). I think some of the newer models have line outs, but am not sure even they provide sufficient voltage so a line driver of of some sort would probably be needed as well.

This thread speaks to the matter somewhat:

Many line drivers are fairly expensive, but a less expensive one

is recomended there.

David Navone's N-64 is a bit simpler, slightly less expensive device that should work as well:

A simpler solution would be to be buy one or two these lil amplifiers:

They were designed with MP3 players in mind and shouldn't require an external preamp/line driver and are fairly inexpensive. One would work, but two would provide slightly higher and cleaner output. Regardless you're not going to have fader capability and will require a mini plug/rca adapter with any of these solutions.

To avoid the hassle and complications of wiring an amp(s) to your speakers the simplest solution would really be an inexpensive CD player that you wouldn't mind losing to theft that has auxiliary inputs. You'd need to purchase a $15 adapter for your car that plugs into the factory harness as well.

This defintely isn't the cheapest unit you could fine, but Clarion Pro Audio is good stuff and this particular model isn't all that "flashy" and would do the job:

It just doesn't have the ability to play MP3 encoded CD-R's.

Well that should give you a bunch to think about.




Gold Member
Username: Fishy

Tamarac Ft.Laud, FL USA

Post Number: 1056
Registered: Sep-04
Come to think of it I'd check with the manufacturer before purchasing a h/u with aux inputs to make sure the sensitivity is low enough to be suitable for use with mp3 players.

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