Stereo in E Type

An interesting observation and one I have inadvertently followed for many of my music choices. Mine unit sounds very much like a ‘car radio’ not a home sound system and that suits me fine.

I agree that the sound of the engine and exhaust is itself quite pleasing but some drives (especially all day drives) are more enjoyable with tunes.


@Wiggles: too funny (about the stereo exhaust pipes)!

@Tom T: those JBLs were sweet. It was around 1980 that I fell in love with Magnepans. I got a set of the Tympani (1-U)s and spent the next twenty-five years trying to get enough power for them. I finally traded them in for the 1.7s.

@O.P. (Gary): another ‘out-of-the-box’ solution might be to get something like a portable bluetooth soundbar and put it in the cubby behind the seats firing upwards. Attach with Velcro, fold up the cover lid and voíla, great sound (at least theoretically).

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IIRC, back in the day, when the Marantz Model Nineteen was the benchmark for quality, a key metric was not just watts but the amount of distortion at those crazy claimed outputs.

I’m perfectly satisfied with my self fabricated radio console, the car was missing that part when I bought it, and the inexpensive tuner/CD player and speakers, I installed in it. At 70+ years of age my hearing isn’t what it used to be, and at 70 MPH the audio environment of the FHC isn’t so hot either.

Or, to drown out that: “What the hell is it now, noise?” ( Clunk, rattle, etc)


The only holes we made were in the fibre board under the dash. Still have the original radio console and speakers maybe one day I’ll put it back in and along with my twin strombergs :crazy_face:

Yes. Many of the claimed power specs were “RMS Peak” or with 1% distortion. Which in a home system is completely unacceptable.

The other issue that no one is addressing is where that crazy amount of power is coming from. Anything more than 50-75W of power is going to draw more amperage than the standard wiring can reliably hold (and the wiring is pretty marginal to begin with). So you start adding 8-, 6-, 4-gauge wires for a power amp.

Digital amp requires much less draw, running a 150 amp alternator powering my ECU, Stereo and car.
4 years clean sound no fires… of course all wiring in the circuit is to manufactures recommendations.

I’m confused, as mine is a Series 1 OTS, and I don’t recognize the speaker slots in your car. I don’t have any of this from the factory. In your configuration, what were these areas used for before the addition of your sound system, and how did you avoid cutting anything?

The speaker box is custom and is placed in the space behind the seats, that houses the 2x 8 inch subs firing down, 2 6 inch mids and some accessory plugs where the jaguar emblem is. The Amp is in the boot with a customer MDF plate with windows to display amp and flag for symmetry.

Everything is neatly done and tucked away, hardly noticeable, just the double din deck is a bit of an eye sore for me.

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Ah, so you covered the “parcel shelf” behind the seats with a special enclosure. I get it. Brilliant! I assume the amp in the boot is fastened down somehow. And you didn’t have to cut a hole for the cables to run to the boot? My car has no easy access. Also, in my S1, there is definitely zero space above the fibreboard underdash covers, so a speaker would not fit, and downward sound would likely be as bad or worse than the factory speaker console. What series is your car?

I think we can agree on two different approaches. I still occasionally show my car, and wish for it to appear “stock” in most areas that count. I drew the line on 100% authenticity when I put in a modern cooling system, as I was tired of the incessant hot running and constant risk of overheating. I guess the want of improvements can escalate from there!

This pic is telling. It was taken in 2019 at a concours where the car won best of show, and the complete hidden stereo system is installed. Note “floating” subwoofer behind seats, reattached after judging. The alloy radiator and ceramic exhaust manifolds were judged down, but there was “no modern stereo” to cause lost points.

Bass is non-directional, so a speaker used as a sub-woofer can be positioned in nearly any direction. The enclosure space behind the speaker has a much greater impact on bass than speaker direction.


Absolutely stunning car Tom.

My car is a series 2 that qualifies for Special Division Modified status at the Concours. It’s a new division that is now judged.

There was no major holes or body modification for the system. They tried to use existing holes and crevices where possible. I was very clear to the shop that everything must be reversible with minimal work.

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Agreed, the subwoofer especially needs space, as the enclosed speaker makes an incredible amount of movement.

100 percent the shop had to build the box to a specific volume in order the get the best bass for the buck.

I’d like to see your car one day, and see how the shop pulled it off.

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The radio from 1972 in my V12 OTS is mono, and maybe a good 1.5 watts, but the engine has ca 250 hp and the original four way tail pipe makes it quadraphonic, right? :smiley:



How about a photo of the speaker box you had custom made? VERY nice car!

Backstory trivia. As others experienced, my 67 S1 OTS E-Type used beater similarly came with an AM/FM mono radio with one speaker on the driver side of the console. You couldn’t hear it over about 40 MPH, so it was only good when you overheated in traffic.

In 1971, it was in the early days of car cassette players, and I found the “Carsette by Tenna” at my local radio shack, along with a stereo headphone adapter that coupled to the speaker wires. The “Carsette” was too large to fit in the console, so I grafted it and the adapter into the open cubby using a knife in the fibreboard, and electrician’s tape to attach the wires to a pair of enclosed speakers that came from an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. (I had yet to own a soldering iron, and was too cheap to spring for wire connectors.) I set the speakers on the parcel shelf behind the seats.

So now I had both a neat stereo tape player with two clunky speakers and a mono radio which I never used.

The headphone adapter was 1/4 inch, and the headphones were the big bulky type, as the first Sony Walkman with mini headphones was ten years away. One of my most surreal early driving experiences was redlining with the hood down on the freeway in Montana, a state with no top limit, the music blaring at top volume through those headphones.

Oh the dangers. Oh the stupidity. Ah, youth.

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For my FHC I, like others here, spent much time contemplating speaker placement. Since I had only ever known the car with speakers installed in the footwells next to the bonnet latches, it was a natural and familiar choice for me to continue using those locations. However, I did want to add rear speakers, and wanted them to be as invisible as possible. I tried several options but settled for putting them in the cubby lid. The speakers have to stand proud so custom bases were used. The backs of the speakers need to be concealed too, so they were covered as well. The setup will do for the time being.