archive . / retrotech / JVC_caraudio

JVC KS-RT211 + KD-MK77

Head unit with shuttle at back

Permit me, if you would, to waste your time by spinning this anecdotal story about two components from my previous expensive and laborious car sound installation efforts. It has three parts.

Act I

It was the late afternoon of 06-02-1998 when I took a spontaneous drive down to Western Bazaars in Klerksdorp to purchase a JVC KS-RT211 Radio/Tape/CD Shuttle Controller head unit and the associated KD-MK77 12-disc CD Changer combo for R2099.00. They were apparently made for the North American market. (I also bought a jigsaw because I would need to cut some holes soon.)

The remaining components (subwoofers, speakers, amplifiers, cables) were assembled over the following few days. The installation was completed in March 1998.

And it sounded good. First priority, though, was inconspicuousness: you could certainly hear the system -- but you couldn’t see it, and that was of utmost importance in a place like Johannesburg.

In April 2001 the Jetta was crashed. The sound system’s components were salvaged, packed away, and soon found themselves on the other side of the planet.

Act II

In June 2006, the whole lot was unpacked and hooked up in the basement labs in an effort to install them in a new car.

Ghosts from the past in the basement lab

Although the components had survived the accident, they simply refused to harmonise with this car.

The two JVC units were re-packed and went into storage once more; they got replaced by more modern components. Finally completed in October 2006, the overall installation was an abysmal and expensive disappointment that left me with a lot of spare parts.


In April 2019 they were unpacked yet again and hooked up in another basement -- almost identical to the lab setup from 13 years before. The notable difference to the previous effort, though, is that something completely different is being built. No, this old shit ain't going into my new car!

Click image for large view

KS-RT 211: Instructions and Service manual | Box | Nameplate | Without control panel | Control panel in case
KD-MK77: Instructions and Service manual | Box | Nameplate | 12-disc magazine

Furthermore, the cassette player of the head unit had died. The CD shuttle is alive and well.

Too bad. Off to eBay with the two of you!

This page last updated: 04-05-2019