What do I like most about my iPod?
The 1973 Becker Europa II Stereo AM/FM radio.
Nothing blemishes the center console or dash of a classic automobile quite like a period inappropriate piece of audio gear. I have a 1973 BMW 2002, and I have always hated the crappy late 80′s cassette deck that the previous owner had installed in the car. I thought about getting CD player, maybe something in an unobtrusive black plastic, as anything would be better than the ill-installed “champagne” colored Sears unit that was there, and I wasn’t exactly keeping a fresh rotation of cassette mix tapes the way I used to.
I was all set to get the CD player when I saw the Griffin iTrip FM transmitter for the iPod. That’s when it dawned on me that I should put the original radio back in the car. I got on the horn to my local Mercedes-Benz wrecking yard and located the Becker Europa, the kind of radio that would have been installed by the BMW dealer upon importation of the car. Actually, it would more likely have been a Blaupunkt, but the Becker is way cooler.
After reading some reviews of FM transmitters (almost all said that they sucked) I was pretty skeptical about how the iTrip was going to perform, but it actually works pretty well for me. It is MP3 over FM radio through car speakers after all, so it’s not reference for sure, but for me, having my radio returned to its original, German, chrome bezeled glory is more than worth any compromise in sound quality.
As for the Becker radio, its phenomenal. The tone is actually quite good. I love the heavy chrome bezel and “quality plastic” knobs. The mechanical preset tuning buttons and the warm incandescent glow of the dial lights really make me feel like a kid again.