Jump to content

- - - - -


Product Details
Manufacturer: CALIBER
Distributor: CELSUS
Web Link to the RCD 120BT: http://webshop.caliber.nl/products/view/details/rcd120bt.html
Typical Selling price: £149.99

“What the HECK is THAT?” I hear some of you cry! Well, the Caliber RCD 120BT is an utter boon to anyone with a ‘fun’ ride that is from the era when cars didn’t need massive diagnostic computer systems to re-set a dashboard light. You just put more oil in until the light went out, or changed the damn car battery. And that was about all the warning lights we used to need.

Anyway, as far as I know, there is only one other brand that addresses this retro-market for a system to entertain you in an older car and their one is awfully complicated by comparison.

A Talk Audio BEST BUY.

This is simply a headunit. A damn clever one. A car radio for a classic car. The 120BT has the look of an older era unit with the ‘two spindles’ thing being a brace of adroitly-placed rotary controls and it comes in shades of noir or else shiny chrome, dependent upon if you have say an old Rover, with a dark and leathery interior or one with veneered woody panels and chromed bits. I had the shiny one, that’d look great in American cars and anything with a chrome ring to the binnacle.

The archaic look is where old-fashioned ends, though. The 120BT hasn’t got a DAB radio, is all, since FM is still easy to supply on different tuning step-chipsets to make a headunit fit for either the UK/Europe or else USA. And that XM/Sirius digital radio thing in America is a world different to our DAB. In any case, the RCD 120BT unit can accept an auxiliary input straight into the fascia and the distributing company, Celsus, also sell hideaway DAB solutions and cunning antennae. So you could add another product to do this if you are already a listener to a digital-only station. It is no FM slouch, meanwhile, with automatic strongest-station store on six presets and three bands of said presets. The RCD 120BT also has a pre-out to make it louder via an amplifier. Or two….

The two sticky-outy bits are in fact full on digital push and tweak controllers and access all the stuff you need. The fader/balance and also the bass/treble as well as a DSP that offers “flat”, “classic”, “pop” and “rock” settings, in addition to source selection and volume. There’s even a multi-source ten second intro-play function. And wow, what a selection of formats and sources! It’s a digital power house that forced me into making music doodads in various formats again.

For one, there is a CD slot and next to it, behind the gently-spring-loaded fascia that drops at the press of a button, (or can be completely detached) is the hole to slide a postage-stamp sized SD card. As well as regular PCM 44.1 CD from disc, you can play MP3 or other formats on a CD, as well as all the same formats on the SD. Then as if that wasn’t plenty, there is a USB socket on the front and so I popped some tunes in there too. That auxiliary is also on the front as a 3.5mm tip/ring/sleeve stereo jack and can be used for anything with an analogue output. So that DAB unit I mentioned above or in my case, an old USB powered and loadable SONY ‘Walkman’ MP3 player that ONLY outputs in analogue. Also, you can stream music on the A2DP protocol from a phone. So, five sources all at once. With a single CD, a well-stuffed SD card, up to 16GB! And radio…. Oh and the Bluetooth comes up as “Car Audio” and worked/paired instantly.

And here is my video test and review.


Overall 8.8
Sound Quality 8
Appearance/Display 8
Ease Of Use/HMI 9
Features 9
Value For Money 10

I liked it a lot and would definitely have an SD card of tunes that were just specific to my car’s era and musical icons (no matter how cheesy) stashed permanently inside. It’s a good looking bargain.

The single criticism is that the removable faceplate needs a cloth bag or case to put it in when taken off the unit, but a small window cloth would do the job.


Radio: FM (With RDS)
Radio Presets: 18 FM
Power: 4x 75W
Inputs: Aux (3.5mm)/SD/USB
USB/SD Max size: 16 GB
Playback: CD/MP3/WMA plus Bluetooth A2DP + AVRCP ID3 Tag
Outputs: Rear (RCA)
Display: LCD
Illumination: Blue
Installation depth: 165mm
Included: External microphone (BT)