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Dan Hackney's 1988 Jaguar XJ6

Putting some teeth into this cat's sound!

Dan Hackney and his 1988 Jaguar XJ6.

Dan Hackney's 1988 Jaguar XJ6 is his pride and joy. He loves the classic styling, the impeccable road manners, and the fun of driving a fine touring sedan. He also loves the sound system, though it wasn't always that way! The factory stereo in his Jaguar was limited by small speakers, placed low in the doors, and a low-powered factory cassette receiver. Dan took a good look at the system and came up with an outstanding plan on how to improve it. It took a little bit of work, and some creative thinking along the way, but the results are very impressive!

The first order of business
Dan began his sound system makeover by pulling out the factory receiver. For a replacement, he chose the Pioneer Premier DEH-P600. Consistent with all Pioneer CD receivers, it offers an outstanding tuner, an excellent signal-to-noise ratio, and reliable CD performance. The Jaguar's dash opening accommodated the DIN-sized receiver with no modifications. No problem there! However, there's no aftermarket wiring harness available for Dan's Jaguar, so he had to "hardwire" the new receiver into the factory wiring. The cosmetic match with the Jaguar dash is outstanding — the dark gray tone of the Pioneer's bezel is a perfect match with the Jaguar dash — you have to look twice before you realize there's an aftermarket receiver nestled in there.

The Pioneer CD receiver is an excellent match with the Jaguar's dash.

As we mentioned earlier, the stock speakers in Dan's XJ6 left something to be desired. The original layout featured 4" speakers — one pair in the front doors, and the other pair in the back doors. The speaker locations are low in the door panels, so Dan had to fix the dual problems of poor stereo imaging along with the limited frequency response of the factory speakers.

Dan replaced the factory speakers with new Kenwood 2-way speakers — a pair of KFC-1076s in the front doors and a pair of KFC-1077s in the rear doors. Both pairs of speakers have pearl mica polypropylene woofers with rubber surrounds, for tight midrange output. Also, their balanced-dome tweeter design offers excellent dispersion of the highs, so the stereo imaging is tight and focused and the high notes come through clearly. To further enhance the highs, Dan added a set of 1" Kenwood tweeters onto the windshield pillars. The tweeters came from a set of KFC-P503 5-1/4" component speakers (we'll find out later where the woofers went). The signal to the front speakers is routed through the KFC-P503's crossover networks, so the highs go to the tweeters, and the mids and lows are handled by the KFC-1076 speakers.

New Kenwood 4" speakers take the place of the original speakers in the front and rear doors.

Dan installed tweeters on the windsheild pillars for better stereo imaging.

Woofers, amps and cabling
With the tweeters and 4" speakers installed, Dan tackled the problem of how to get more bass into the system. Adding a subwoofer into the trunk would be the logical solution in most cars, but the XJ6 presents a few difficulties. First of all, the gas tank is positioned forward of the trunk, creating a barrier between the possible woofer location and passenger location. Also, unlike many cars, the trunk of the Jaguar is sealed off from the passenger compartment by steel panels, making it hard for the sound waves to penetrate through to the listeners.

Dan's solution was to take the 5-1/4" woofers from the KFC-P503 component system (remember them?), and install them below the back seat, firing forward. It's a clever and elegant solution. Although the woofers don't produce heavy bass, the added low frequencies create a solid low-end foundation for the music.

To improve the low frequency performance, Dan installed 5-1/4" woofers below the back seat — clever idea!

You may be wondering how Dan powers all of the speakers in his Jag. The answer is mounted in the trunk. A US Acoustics USX-4065 four-channel amplifier, mounted on the trunk front wall, provides 65 watts of RMS power for each of the 5-1/4" woofers and each front speaker/tweeter combination (the rear door speakers are powered by the Pioneer receiver). The adjustable high- and low-pass filters of the USX-4065 gave Dan plenty of options for tailoring the sound to his taste. Dan knew that his system would only sound as good as the cabling allowed it to, so he wired all the components with a combination of Streetwires power cable, Streetwires and Stinger RCA connections, and Monster Cable speaker wire. It took a bit of time and effort to run the cables for the system, but the end result has been worth it!

A US Acoustics 4-channel amp provides most of the power for the system.

Dan's got a system that gives him the complete package — a great-sounding system in a great-looking car. A little creativity and some work have really gone a long way here. Thanks for letting us check out your system, Dan!

  • Mike

    Posted on 10/22/2016

    Hey Dan!! What face plate adaptor did you use to accommodate the single DIN deck??

  • Craig from St. Louis

    Posted on 4/17/2016

    Can I get pictures of the sub woofer installation from JessN16?

  • JessN16

    Posted on 11/25/2015

    I owned this same car and did basically the same system, although we were also able to add a pair of 6 1/4" slimline woofers to the rear deck. It's the one panel in the back of that car that affords some access to the trunk. We mounted the amp (an old Xtant unit) in the same spot as the one in this install. A couple of things you need to know about this setup, though: One, old XJ40-body Jaguars are notorious for leaking into the trunk, not just around the trunk seals, but also through the fueling mechanism for the gas tank. We had to mount our amp off the floor of the trunk a bit as a precaution in case a heavy rain ever wet down the trunk carpet (and it did). Two, Jaguars are rather famous for the leather-and-gasoline odor many of them take on over the years, and you get three guesses were the gas smell would come from. Be wary of your electrical connections, that you don't unwittingly create an ignition system in the trunk. The best thing old Jags have going is that they are dining rooms on wheels. They are comfortable, stable and soundproofing goes above and beyond cars from competitors, no matter the age. So even though you're limited by woofer sizes and speaker locations, you don't have the kind of noise floor other cars have.

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/5/2015

    Willie, for a list of recommended car audio gear that will fit your Jag, use our vehicle selector. Take a look at what we suggest and if you have any questions, give an advisor a call at 1.888.955.6000.

  • Willie from North port

    Posted on 8/5/2015

    Looks great! And the sound has to be me Ideas for my minimalistic 1997 xJ6 system. Thanks for the details!

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/3/2015

    Robert, when the antenna's turn-on wire is properly connected to your stereo, the antenna will extend when the stereo is turned on. Instructions should come with any aftermarket antenna. If not, call the manufacturer, or you could see if you have any luck exploring our online Knowledge Base.

  • Robert from Ellenwood

    Posted on 8/2/2015

    Hi can you find out from Dan how he wired his power antenna to power up and extract? And please share the information with me. Thanks in advance. Robert

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