Ghosts from the past

On Wednesday, the 14th of June something very special happened: I climbed up into the attic, hauled out a few boxes and bags, lumbered them into the basement, and began to unpack what was recovered from my trashed Jetta’s sound system. Everything had been neatly tucked away, mostly into the original cartons — including much of the cabling.

There was a whiff of nostalgia in the air as I slowly unpacked everything and crudely connected the individual components that had survived the crash. Much to my surprise, there was no distinct stench of fried electronics as I powered up the contraption — instead, I was greeted by the warm and eager “hum” of a car audio system that had re-awakened from a five-year slumber and was rearing to be let loose again.

Ghosts from the attic in the basement labs

Short of a few dents, scratches and dust, all components were ready to resume active duty — with the exception of the Proton 6×9-inch speakers that were ruined in the accident (and weren’t that great to begin with). Everything else survived and was fully functional!

Let's see what's on the slab!

The JVC head unit and CD changer, on account of being some eight years old by now, do look less impressive and flashy when compared to most modern systems with motorised panels and silly animated LCD screens but still sound good — despite their age. They play CD-Rs just fine but due to their vintage cannot decode MP3s.

The only irritating drawback lies in the unit’s illumination: pale green instead of the rest of the VW’s new red/blue scheme.

It's alive, Igor. It's alive!

Considering how these must’ve gotten knocked around in the accident (how do you think the 6×9″ speakers got demolished?), I’m pleased to see that these survived — the Proton amplifier in particular. Though nowadays there are far meaner-looking goodies (with neon or LED illumination and VU-meters and such nonsense) to be found in car-fi shops, I’m quite sure these two boys can easily keep up with most of them.

Ready to thump!

Ah, the ugly monster that is the subwoofer box: Again, though there are far more exciting designs available nowadays, this beast with its two Pioneer 12-inchers — fed by the Starsound amplifier — still has the oomph to provide a nasty, deep, rumbling bass to rattle number plates and wing mirrors off lesser cars. The Bora’s boot, of course, is large enough to hide this contraption in and ensures that you will feel it without having to see it.

Faithless’s “Irreverence” has become the CD to tune the system to and still sounds great, despite the notable absense of another set of midrange speakers and tweeters — even if this pair of little RCFs can laugh off what the Proton amp is throwing at them.

Give it to us, baby!

Which of my old components will make it into the new car?

To fill in an audible blank, the following Tuesday I hooked up a set of Kenwood KFC-E6935 6×9″ speakers. These would typically be mounted against the backboard/shelf and more closely approximate what the final setup should sound like.

Hi! We're new to the mix.

So: what goes, what stays, and what’s still missing?

Photo credits: hmvh DOT net and/or manufacturer/retailer

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