'89 XJS Stereo crackling on cd and tapes

Hey guys,

I’ve just bought myself an '89 XJS, overall a decent condition car. However, I seem to have an issue with the stereo when using the cd changer or the tape functions there is an intermittent crackling sound but this isnt present on the radio function.

I have replaced the speakers (as I wanted to anyways) and no change.

Any light someone could shed would be greatly appreciated

Is this a stock jaguar radio or an aftermarket unit?

Intermittent crackling noises can be a couple all sorts of things, internal and external. Common causes would be earthing somewhere in the circuit or an intermittent short some where. It was a short in the amp part of the output then it would likely blow the amp and you get nothing so you can probably rule that out. Unless you can find a bad contact in the wiring at the back of the radio going to the speakers it is most likely a bad/aged solder joint on the board.

Is there any pattern to when this happens? Going over bumps? Does it do it just as often when the stereo is just turned on or also when warmed up? Are you sure it never happens on the radio or have you jut got lucky and not had that happen yet?

(And yes, I know transistor based stereos don’t “warm up” like older valve stuff but it is in a position behind the engine that can get quite warm!!)

It’s a stock unit.
It’s just happens, even when the car is just sitting still idling, there seems to be some pattern in terms of it tends to happen when certain instruments come in on songs.
But it will do this at all volumes.
I’ve let the radio play for quite a while and there’s no sign of it at any volume, even maxed out.
I was thinking it may be a bad connection or contact but I cant really tell from looking at the back of the stereo.

Not sure if it’s worth noting, I bought the car after it had been sitting for minimum six weeks, but I dont know if the sound system was used much prior to that.

And I’ve only had it just over a week.

It is likely an internal fault, commonly capacitors in old electronics, or possibly a dry solder joint.

Ok, thanks for the help, if that’s the case, are there any decent replacement stereos that can still use the cd changer?

I could be wrong about this but I don’t believe the 1989 XJ-S came with a stereo that included a cd changer. Our 1990 XJ-S convertible came with an AJ8700 stereo with a cassette player and no CD capability.
Maybe someone swapped out your original radio or somehow added an aftermarket cd changer? Where is your cd changer located?


It must be the head unit that’s faulty.
The clue is that on radio all is fine.
If it was the speakers or cables it would have a problem regardless the source selected.

The CD changer is in the boot, I think I was mistaken saying it was stock as there’s no jag branding on any part of it.

If I’m not mistaken Sony has the same ends on the cable that goes from radio to cd changer. When I first got my XJ-SC it had a Sony radio and a jag CD changer in the trunk. I think I’m telling you right on that, it has been 20 years ago.If I didn’t have so much junk to move in order to get to the trunk I’d go check. The CD changer is long gone, there was no disc holder with it so I removed it but the cable that went from radio to changer is still there maybe I’ll look one day this week, it’ll give me an incentive to clean out from around the car so as to finish what I started several years ago.

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From the other, radio code thread it seems unlikely that your 1989 car would have the Jaguar CD changer unit. For reference, my 1992 car has the Jaguar CD changer. Almost certainly a named audio brand underneath, probably with standard connectors.

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Yeah it turns out to be an old sony stereo, thanks all for your help, I’m going to look for one with compatible connectors if possible