Hello, from a new member!

Big Kitty

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I live in northern Virginia and own a 2001 Jaguar XJ8, which I love all to pieces. No, it's never been wrecked, just a figure of speech ;-)

Here is my "debut" question, and please, all, try not to laugh when I get to the "cassette" part...

My Jag has the factory equipped Alpine audio system that has a CD changer in the trunk/boot and also includes a quite decent cassette deck integrated with the tuner and audio controls. As an audio professional, I know how fine a cassette can sound when made on properly calibrated decks, of which I have several in my studio. For years, I have been making "for the road" mixes of my favorite music and the Alpine system's deck reproduced them nicely.

Of late, however, the cassette part of the system has had badly diminished high frequencies, on both channels - i.e. muddy sound on cassettes of known high quality. It sounds like what you'd get with a badly fouled playback head, and it occurs whether or not Dolby NR is selected. I've made several attempts at cleaning the tape path with Alsop wet cleaning cassettes, with no improvement noted. What I'd really like to do is go after it with the good old fashioned cotton swab and denatured alcohol, but design of the deck (dropping cassette into transport after inserting in slot) does not allow for this. I use only premium cassettes, so I realize it could be a failure downstream from the head that's causing the crappy H/F response, if the head is not physically fouled by oxide residue.

Anyhow, my reason for posting is to find out if any on the forum may know of a really skilled shop that services these units. The factory "re-manufactured" units - if one is even still available - are ridiculously high priced - especially if this is nothing more than a fouled head or perhaps one that has internally failed and can be replaced.

Sure, I could transfer all my precious mixes to CD, but I'd definitely prefer to get the transport part of the system looked at by an expert in the event it's an easy fix. So, if anyone has had first-hand experience with such a shop or independent tech, anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, I'd be willing to ship the head unit to them.

Many thanks for any suggestions!
 

S-Type Owner

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Not to send you off in another direction, but this is primarily a British forum, so knowledge of specifics relating to auto sound system services in Virginia. or the Southeast is likely to be a bit thin here.

You might want to also post over on the so-called "American Jaguar Forum" as well. Their general tech forum can be found here:


There is also a Southeast Regional Forum over on "jaguarforums.com" which might be a help as well. One other suggestion is to find a used unit on an auction site, have it rebuilt and then do a swap, saving your original head unit for eventual refurbishment in due course.
 

John Wilko

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Hello and welcome. As above I would look for a replacement second hand part
 

Big Kitty

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Hello and welcome. As above I would look for a replacement second hand part
Thank you, John. That might just be the course - certainly less expensive than a good tech plus shipping. It might - if I'm lucky with the tape transport - also buy me some time to find a tech to work on mine, while having full functionality of a "spare."
 

Big Kitty

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Not to send you off in another direction, but this is primarily a British forum, so knowledge of specifics relating to auto sound system services in Virginia. or the Southeast is likely to be a bit thin here.

You might want to also post over on the so-called "American Jaguar Forum" as well. Their general tech forum can be found here:


There is also a Southeast Regional Forum over on "jaguarforums.com" which might be a help as well. One other suggestion is to find a used unit on an auction site, have it rebuilt and then do a swap, saving your original head unit for eventual refurbishment in due course.
@S-Type Owner
Thanks so much for this valuable guidance. Actually, I did not realize I was posting to a primarily UK forum, but I do like your idea of finding a decent used one and doing that swap, thus buying time with (hopefully) full functionality of my audio system, with the luxury of taking the necessary time to find the right tech to clean, service, and if necessary rebuild my original transport. That appeals, as I do intend to keep my XJ8 for the long haul!
 

NM_OLD

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@ NM_OLD - Thanks so much. It actually had not occurred to me to check for used head units
It might be useful to get one and play around to see how you'd go about getting to the heads and cleaning them in your existing unit
 
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