Having the stock AM/FM stereo in your dash keeps your car’s classic good looks, but having to listen to the same radio stations gets boring. This is especially true when just about everyone has all of their favorite music stuck right inside their mobile phone or iPod just wanting to be heard while out cruising. Sure you could use an FM modulator to hear those MP3s, but modulators barely get a signal and when one finally comes in, the sound quality is horrible.

Those of us wanting to update and upgrade our sound system to accept the usage of smartphones and MP3 players without cutting the dash or stashing a stereo in the glove box has been limited. That was until the fine folks at Kicker came up with a solution for those of us with the stock stereo blues with its PXi50.2 Amplified Controller for iPod and iPhone. With this black box, anyone can easily add tunes to vehicles not previously equipped with a quality music source.

The PXi50.2 is a small unit that can be mounted under the seat or dash, leaving the glove box available to stash other things. A wired and backlit remote allows full control of the functions of both the PXi50.2 as well as the music device it is plugged into. Also, a 66-inch connection cable provides continuous charging to the phone or pod. The PXi50.2 comes with 50 watts of power (25w RMS x 2 at 2 Ohms), a differential audio circuit to reduce engine noise, and it even has pre amp out stereo outputs for use with additional amps.

We decided that we wanted to upgrade the audio in our 1967 Impala, so we took it to our friends at Car Stereo Connection in Anaheim, California, and they easily hid the unit under the car’s rather crowded dash. We also wired the remote into the ashtray and put the connection cable into the glove box for a completely hidden system. Of course, we didn’t stop there! We outfitted the car with a few more audio upgrades from Kicker including a Solo-Baric L3 dual 12-inch sub box, a IX1000.1 1000-watt monoblock amplifier with bass volume knob to power it, a IX500.4 500-watt (125 watts x 4) 4-channel amplifier to power a pair of KS6.2 6-inch component system speakers up front and a set of KS693 6×9 3-way speakers mounted in the package tray.

For just under $2500, we had a massively kickin’ system that looked virtually stock—but really rocked. This is how we put it all together.

<center><strong>1</strong>. Kicker's PXi50.2</center><strong>2</strong>. This is the PXi50.2. On the left is the brain of the unit. At the right is the wired remote control unit. Below is the 30-pin connection cable. The unit is also compatible with Apple's lightning connectors.<strong>3</strong>. This ashtray will be the home for the remote. It sits under the stock radio and is easily within reach.<strong>4</strong>. The PXi50.2 remote control is smaller than the ashtray's opening, so we will have to fab some sort of bracket to keep it nestled safely in the ashtray.<strong>5</strong>. To make the bracket, we made a template out of cardboard. Once the correct size and shape was found, we used some aluminum sheet metal to fab one up.<strong>6</strong>. A bit more cutting and shaping were done to the bracket before it was finished.<strong>7</strong>. The aluminum bracket was then fitted to the ashtray and deemed to fit correctly.<strong>8</strong>. The Kicker PXi50.2 remote was installed into the bracket and then attached to the ashtray.<strong>9</strong>. The ashtray was slid back into the dash and we took care to make sure nothing interfered with the ashtray sliding out or the pushing of the remote's buttons.<strong>10</strong>. The black box of the PXi50.2 was then attached to the bottom of the stock radio underneath the dash.<strong>11</strong>. The pigtail of wiring that came with Kicker's PXi50.2 was then sectioned off and installed into the unit.<strong>12</strong>. We installed the 30-pin connector inside the glovebox and ran the wire into the PXi50.2's black box unit.<strong>13</strong>. We also decided to add a full audio system from Kicker to give our new PXi50.2 some major wattage while rolling down the highway.<strong>14</strong>. Up front, a set of Kicker's 6-inch KS6.2 component speakers were installed into the kick panels.<strong>15</strong>. Out back, we hid a set of Kicker KS693 6x9 speakers in the OEM speaker locations below the package tray.<strong>16</strong>. Tucked neatly behind the rear seat, we added a 4 channel IX500.4 and mono IX1000.1 amplifiers to power the system.<strong>17</strong>. The last addition to the upgraded audio was to install the ground shaking Solo-Baric L3 dual 12-inch sub box.