Because what could be more Japanese than a double DIN MiniDisc head unit with massive flip front and rainbow backlighting? 😀

I’d been wanting to do something with the generic Sony stereo in the Wagon All-the-Rs since it arrived and my first thought had been to replace it with a period-correct OEM Suzuki unit. Digging around in the parts catalogue I discovered that a double DIN unit had been offered as an option but unfortunately it wasn’t much of  a looker. I was quite taken by the idea of a super-sized stereo however and turned to the internets to find a suitable aftermarket example. And how do you go about finding an aftermarket stereo that will look right at home in a Japanese car from the early 2000s?

MiniDisc.

Although MiniDisc was always a bit of a niche product here in the UK I loved the portable MD players I had in the late 90s and early 2000s and it felt like a perfect fit for the Wagon. Yes, arguably the All-the-Rs was born just as the MP3 revolution was taking off but a 2DIN MiniDisc head unit will always look cooler than an aux lead and a “retro” MP3 player, right?

A Sony WX-7700MDX called to me strongly but as the head unit was really an “add-on” to a more serious parts order via Jesse Streeter (more on that in a future post…) I restrained myself and purchased a more affordable – but still very cool – Kenwood DPX-7021MPi.

The centre console is transformed and the installation was also useful as it gave me the opportunity to add an extra accessory power take-off into the stereo loom… you know, just in case 😉 I decided against purchasing an inline converter which helps catch more UK radio stations – Japanese radios are configured for a largely different slice of the FM band than in the UK – as there’s enough overlap to be useable in a pinch and MD > radio every time.