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Old 11-12-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
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Best speakers?!?!!

I have a 1999 Wrangler and my front speakers are blown lol, and my roll bar ones are ok but still sounds like shit...I'm a DJ...what are the best replacement without breaking my bank?

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Old 11-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #2
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I just went with Kicker 12CS5 in the front with Nalin adapters, and Kicker CS65 in the soundbar, had to special order from bestbuy but got them on sale, with insurance for 2 years for both, $120.

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Old 11-12-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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[QUOTE="JVLemur;6079346"]I just went with Kicker 12CS5 in the front with Nalin adapters, and Kicker CS65 in the soundbar, had to special order from bestbuy but got them on sale, with insurance for 2 years for both, $120.[/QUOTE

How does if sound
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:44 AM   #4
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I would go with the CDT's. They are 90watts RMS and have silk tweeters. They are made in California. They sound great and really smooth. I don't want to start a flame war, but I have these speakers with my PDX-V9 and they have been cranked up and for four months, thus far, they have held up great. Definitely get the Nalin adapters and switch out those horrible 4x6 speakers, whichever speakers you get.

You get a 1yr warranty with the CDT's and you can get a 5yr warranty for $10, and a ten year for $20.

CL 5EX
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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I have a 1999 Wrangler and my front speakers are blown lol, and my roll bar ones are ok but still sounds like shit...I'm a DJ...what are the best replacement without breaking my bank?
Stock head unit? If so, at the most, that puts out around 22 RMS watts/44 Peak watts so a good speaker choice would be Polk DB6501 speakers. They can handle 45 RMS watts/145 peak watts so they are more than up to the job. Their biggest benefit is they have a very high 93 dB Sensitivity rating which means they can be driven more than adequately by your stock head unit. I installed those into my previous (stolen) TJ and they really sounded good. Not to mention it will fit directly into your soundbar without any modifications.

There is no need pay more for a more expensive speaker that made to handle way more power than your head unit can put out... despite what some will try to convince you of.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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I recently replaced my front & pod speakers with the DB Polk's as Jerry suggests. My 99 TJ already had the front adapters installed for the larger speakers (5-1/2) and the 6-1/2 Polk's fit perfectly as well in the speaker pod on the roll bar. I also added a new Kenwood head unit from Best Buy with HD stereo, CD, iPod/iPhone front plug ins ($89 online sale), and with the $ I saved I installed a small Infinity amp behind the head unit. The sound and power are excellent, especially with the top off. Check Best Buy if you have one in your area because they have some great deals from time to time. Plus, I didn't spend that much to improve the sound over the original equipment. Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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I replaced the front with 5.25's and they are louder and less distorted. I thew in Polk db line. they sound great and are marine rated to an extent.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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I went with JL audio c2 series speakers, 4'' in the front and 5 1/4'' in the speaker pods. I'm also using there XD 400/4 amp to push them. I mounted it where the factory satellite radio box was. I'm using an Alpine head unit to run it. My jeep came with that crappy sub in the center console. I tossed it and am thinking of using a JL 10tw3 power wedge box either behind the rear seat or if I can cut out enough material out of the rear seat and mount it there. The speakers won't break the bank to bad but the amp hurts a little. I have been a JL and Alpine fan for a while but anything is better than factory speakers.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #9
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As posted above, JL or Focal is the way to go if you can spring for it. As a DJ, you are not going to like the Kicker crap. On a moderate budget, I went with Infinity kappas front and soundbar, then a JL sub. Needed an aftermarket HU and mono amp to drive it properly though. Maybe $800 combined. Not sure why people cheap out on this mod. If you spend any time in your Jeep, it is totally worth it. Life is short...pass on the cheap crap. Comparisons to stock are useless: my castrated dog coming home from the vet sounds better than 7-ch OEM.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #10
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I have an Alpine head unit, the larger Kickers in the dash with the adapters and kickers in the sound bar, sounds like shit for the most part, not bad with the ipod, I'm thinking of starting from scratch and was looking at this Vertically Driven Products 792515 - VDP Hi Fidelity 6 Speaker Overhead Soundbar for 87-02 Jeep® Wrangler YJ & TJ - Quadratec

Any experience with it from anyone?

Also wondering if I just need an amp, was also looking at this for a woofer set up Quadratec Exclusive JW-SUB1-CV - Custom Rear Subwoofer Kit with 10" Kicker CompVR Subwoofer for 97-02 Jeep® Wrangler TJ - Quadratec
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:26 AM   #11
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My suggestion would be go to a decent shop, and actually LISTEN to a bunch of speakers.
Personal preference rules here, what sounds good to one person sounds terrible to another.

I've always been a fan of CDT and their customer service is great. Most need some power though to really shine.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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I have an Alpine head unit, the larger Kickers in the dash with the adapters and kickers in the sound bar, sounds like shit for the most part, not bad with the ipod, I'm thinking of starting from scratch and was looking at this Vertically Driven Products 792515 - VDP Hi Fidelity 6 Speaker Overhead Soundbar for 87-02 Jeep® Wrangler YJ & TJ - Quadratec

Any experience with it from anyone?

Also wondering if I just need an amp, was also looking at this for a woofer set up Quadratec Exclusive JW-SUB1-CV - Custom Rear Subwoofer Kit with 10" Kicker CompVR Subwoofer for 97-02 Jeep® Wrangler TJ - Quadratec
I don't think Kickers are a bad speaker, though I don't think they are as good as CDT's. From all the "hoorah" about Polk speakers, they are probably better sounding too. But, I don't think that speakers are your particular problem. Loud is not going to improve sound quality. Loud will only improve sound volume. And, here is where those, who have not had the experiences that I've had, are going to start flame wars at me. If you want to improve sound quality, I would recommend an EQ.

Certain speakers just don't sound well on the flat line(Zero EQ). And actually, I don't believe that they should. I noticed that Infinity Kappas sounded great on the flat line, but they were not actually giving a flat response. CDT's sound extremely flat and smooth on the flat line which is probably why they sound so great with EQ. You really can't get great EQ from just bass and treble adjustments, especially if you listen to vocal music. What I like about seven ban EQ's is that they give you 2-bass band adjustments, 2-treble band adjustments, and 3-midrange adjustments. The midrange adjustment is critical for vocal music. Clarion is also a long standing good reputation for EQ's.

You will especially want an EQ if you get an amp. This is because some frequencies might get over saturated at loud volumes, and start to clip. Clipping actually creates distortion. And therefore, it ruins the sound quality. It's similar to turning up the music, and then over saturating the bass. The bass will start to distort really badly because it is clipping. The Clarion EQS746 allows you to make fine adjustments to seven different frequency bands. It also lets you adjust the subwoofer level and set the gain for the HU. Being able to fine tune the music is critical if you have a discerning ear. A really good Clarion 7-band EQ is only about 50 dollars, and it fits into the 1/2 din space that your single din aftermarket radio left behind.

I would also check out some of the reviews on the soundbar. Like the factory speakers, many reviews say that the soundbar speakers are crap and you have to switch them out. While it might be fun to get a spice soundbar with spice interior, just be prepared to switch out the speakers, especially if you have a speaker amp. While it says a 200 watt speaker system, that is probably max power and each speaker is probably 45 watts RMS. I am basing this on the reviews, because if the speakers were 200watts RMS, I doubt anyone would be complaining about them.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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My suggestion would be go to a decent shop, and actually LISTEN to a bunch of speakers.
Personal preference rules here, what sounds good to one person sounds terrible to another.

I've always been a fan of CDT and their customer service is great. Most need some power though to really shine.
^x2. Totally agree. What you want to do is get a decent shop with an built in EQ. Listen to the speakers flat, then add EQ, and see how the speaker responds and sounds with different frequency changes. But, you'll also need a good EQ for this test. Otherwise, you will just have to test the speakers with only flat, treble and bass adjustments. You turn up the treble and see if you hear a discernable change in the highs. How is the quality of the high? Do the same for the lows. For the flat, you want it to sound fairly flat, but with energy(It's hard to explain). Basically, Is the quality of this speaker good enough so that you can listen to it without EQ of any kind?
A shop is good for comparing products, but don't expect their setups to be definitive, or all defining. Some decent shops have horrible setups.

I went to a decent shop with a horrible setup. For some reason all their components sounded horribly distorted. You couldn't hear any bass from anything expect the subs. I also noticed there was no insulation behind the speakers. It may have also been a wiring problem. I just trusted their recommendation on the CDT's, because I was so disappointed with my Infinity Kappa's, and their customer support was so great. I was right, and the CDT's are turning out to be some really amazing speakers.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:06 PM   #14
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I have the Polk db's up front, Kickers in the bar. while the shop listening environment is a great place to start, I think our Jeep are the limiting environment. The dash angles the speaker at the floor. Yes, you can angle it a bit so its not as bad. Add a tweeter up at the dash, etc. But now we aren't talking something without breaking the bank...

Up until my stock sub blew (last week) the Polk/Kicker setup with the stock head unit sounded great for my needs. I'm no DJ, that soundbar above and behind your head makes up for the lack of insulation and dynamics of an 'ordinary' car.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:04 AM   #15
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I would go with the CDT's. They are 90watts RMS and have silk tweeters. They are made in California. They sound great and really smooth. I don't want to start a flame war, but I have these speakers with my PDX-V9 and they have been cranked up and for four months, thus far, they have held up great. Definitely get the Nalin adapters and switch out those horrible 4x6 speakers, whichever speakers you get.

You get a 1yr warranty with the CDT's and you can get a 5yr warranty for $10, and a ten year for $20.

CL 5EX
Please note that if you get these, you will have to cut out the curve i the metal bracket that holds the stock speakers. Also, the depth of these are so great that the back of the speakers will be sandwiched against the air duct. I am also not very impressed with the sound of these so far. I just installed them yesterday and they sound very thin and tinny. I would hope this will improve when I put an amp behind them. Right now I have it being driven by a Sony HU that I just put in.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:57 AM   #16
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Please note that if you get these, you will have to cut out the curve i the metal bracket that holds the stock speakers. Also, the depth of these are so great that the back of the speakers will be sandwiched against the air duct. I am also not very impressed with the sound of these so far. I just installed them yesterday and they sound very thin and tinny. I would hope this will improve when I put an amp behind them. Right now I have it being driven by a Sony HU that I just put in.
I guess you don't have a subwoofer. Because, any sound system will sound thin and tinny compared to one with a subwoofer. An amp won't solve that problem, only a subwoofer will. Of course you'll need an amp to power them.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:17 PM   #17
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I guess you don't have a subwoofer. Because, any sound system will sound thin and tinny compared to one with a subwoofer. An amp won't solve that problem, only a subwoofer will. Of course you'll need an amp to power them.
or maybe its the fact that those speakers dont have a low frequency
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:34 PM   #18
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Jeeps are supposed to have stereos???? I knew I had forgotten something.

My jeep has a 2 meter ham radio where the stereo would normally go in the dash, but in other vehicles I have always been more than happy with Polk Audio. They aren't the cheapest, or most expensive, but they sound amazing for mid and high range. If you want Bass, MTX makes a nice encloser to mount 2 10's behind the rear seat. If you don't need the rear seat, that would open your options up a bit.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:01 PM   #19
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or maybe its the fact that those speakers dont have a low frequency
Clearly, for the low frequency you want a subwoofer. But, if you want a great sounding, powerful speaker at a decent price, that works well with subwoofers, I think CDT is the best for that consideration. On Crutchfield, I didn't even see a JL that could handle 90watts to 150watts RMS.

If you don't plan to use a subwoofer, then I agree that there are better woofers than the CDT. But, all woofer systems will sound tinny compared to a subwoofer system, IMHO.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:59 PM   #20
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Clearly, for the low frequency you want a subwoofer. But, if you want a great sounding, powerful speaker at a decent price, that works well with subwoofers, I think CDT is the best for that consideration. On Crutchfield, I didn't even see a JL that could handle 90watts to 150watts RMS.

If you don't plan to use a subwoofer, then I agree that there are better woofers than the CDT. But, all woofer systems will sound tinny compared to a subwoofer system, IMHO.
Chas, how much better do you think the CDT cl-6ex are than Polk DB651 and why?

I have just bought CDTs per your recommendation and so far I am underwhelmed. Maybe an amp will bring them alive but powered by the hu, they are just real thin sounding.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:07 PM   #21
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Chas, how much better do you think the CDT cl-6ex are than Polk DB651 and why?

I have just bought CDTs per your recommendation and so far I am underwhelmed. Maybe an amp will bring them alive but powered by the hu, they are just real thin sounding.
They require more power than the HU can provide which is why I always recommend Polk DB series speakers for low power amps or head units without aux amps.

I could easily show how a $5000 speaker could sound positively awful when driven by the headunit.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #22
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You will see below that it depends upon your application. If you want Powerful speakers for a subwoofer/amplified system, CDT is the most powerful and cost effective. CDT's a known for silk sounding tweeters, not ringing tweeters. IMHO, it makes no sense to amplify a system without a subwoofer, because you'll just have loud tinny sound.

Clearly, the subwoofer handles the low frequency range.

Kicker Comp 10" Subwoofer
Frequency range 30-500Hz


Polk DB521
ohms:4
Price: ~$75
Watts:45RMS
frequency range:60Hz-20KHz

Infinity Kappa
Price:$135
ohms:2
Watts:55RMS
frequency range:55Hz-22Khz

JL Audio C2-525X
price:$180
ohms:4
Watts:60RMS
frequency range: 63Hz-22KHz

JL Audio C3-525
price:$430
Watts:75RMS
ohms:4
frequency range:48Hz-25KHz

CDT CL 5EX
price:$89
ohms:4
watts:90RMS
frequency range:70Hz-20KHz

CDT CL-51CV
price:$150
ohms:4
watts:150RMS
frequency:75Hz-20KHz
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:21 PM   #23
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Your chart is missing a key specification for a speaker buyer that is running a standard head unit as the OP is running, the speaker's Sensitivity rating. A speaker's Sensitivity rating seems to be of no importance to you since you never mention it... but it is a critical and extremely important specification for those who actually understand speakers and their specifications... and for those buying speakers for a low power HU as the OP has.

So once again, you only ever seem to talk about the maximum power a speaker can handle. That's like only worrying about a tire's maximum speed rating when it never gets driven even half that speed. My TJ is a rock crawler so it doesn't benefit by running a tire rated to 170 mph. Same with speakers. If you're not running a big amp, as few here do, the speaker's maximum power rating is nothing more than misleading for most speaker buyers and many audio hobbiests... though perhaps the speaker's max power rating exciting to some who don't really understand speakers as well as they think they do.

I always quote a speaker's Sensitivity rating, which you never quote, since it is the speaker's Sensitivity rating that indicates how much power it requires to drive it... which is especially important when talking about standard HU's without an aux amplifier. A speaker's Sensitivity rating is how many dB (loudness or sound pressure) it will put out when driven with a certain level of power. If it has a low sensitivity rating like in the low to mid 80 dB range, as most high wattage speakers do, it will not put out a satisfying level of sound with a standard head unit. A speaker with a Sensitivity rating over 90 dB or greater, like Polk's DB series, will work fine with a standard head unit since they don't require more watts than a standard head unit can provide.

The speaker's max power rating is seldom in my thoughts when recommending an appropriate speaker for a Jeeper. That is always your main concern and the spec you primarily talk about... and it shouldn't be. Most people here aren't running big amps, they are Wrangler owners who typically don't have an interest in competition levels of sound... and for them, we need to worry about the power it requires to make it sound good, which is indicated by its Sensitivity rating. Not its maximum power handling ability.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #24
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Geez. I must be getting old. 2 of my speakers have been blown for the last 5 years and I don't give a hoot.

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Old 12-03-2013, 08:40 PM   #25
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Geez. I must be getting old. 2 of my speakers have been blown for the last 5 years and I don't give a hoot.
and you said "give a hoot" lmao.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #26
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and you said "give a hoot" lmao.
Watch it there whippersnapper
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:42 PM   #27
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Watch it there whippersnapper :P
even better..!!
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:43 PM   #28
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Chas, how much better do you think the CDT cl-6ex are than Polk DB651 and why?

I have just bought CDTs per your recommendation and so far I am underwhelmed. Maybe an amp will bring them alive but powered by the hu, they are just real thin sounding.
You can see by my above comparison, that speakers are basically useless as woofers, because subwoofers better handle the woofer-subwoofer range. You can't compare a 5.25woofer to a 10"woofer/subwoofer.

Where speakers shine are in their midrange-tweeter range.

Where CDT's shine are in their silk tweeters, midrange and their power handling capacity. Their tweeters are smooth and crisp, not ringing.

In order to take the most advantage of a CDT, you need to be able to really adjust your mid-range and tweeter frequencies, because CDT's respond well to frequency changes. I was amazed at how well they worked with my EQ. This is why I recommend a 7-band EQ, where Clarion shines. You combine a Clarion, CDT, and a good subwoofer, setup and you will have an awesome powerful system. The Clarion is only about $50-60, and it fits in the space left by our single din radios.

For an unpowered system, and being cost effective, I agree with Mr. Bransford, that Polk is probably best.

Clearly, CDT's are better than Polks in handling capacity. You wouldn't need a CDT if you aren't going to amplify the system. You can't use a Polks if you are going to really amplify the system.

I believe CDT tweeters are better than Polks. CDT are renowned for their silk tweeters. Frequency response alone does not make a tweeter great. I couldn't stand the harshness of the Infinity Tweeter, once compared to the CDT. If you look at high end speaker reviews you'll see that CDT is applauded for its silk tweeters as compared to harsh tweeters.

I believe CDT is a better midrange speaker too. This is where CDT shines because they are made to compliment powerful systems. A powerful system without a subwoofer is crap, IMHO.

In the low range, I have no problem bowing to Polks or JL's. But, these are speakers made to use without a powerful subwoofer system. You would lose them in such a system because they aren't up to the power needed to compliment such a system. A 45-60watt speaker would not work in a 500watt sub system. You would want at least 100watts for your speakers.

There is no doubt that without cost considerations, or amplification, JL speakers are best.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:06 PM   #29
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Your chart is missing a key specification for a speaker buyer that is running a standard head unit as the OP is running, the speaker's Sensitivity rating. A speaker's Sensitivity rating seems to be of no importance to you since you never mention it... but it is a critical and extremely important specification for those who actually understand speakers and their specifications... and for those buying speakers for a low power HU as the OP has.

So once again, you only ever seem to talk about the maximum power a speaker can handle. That's like only worrying about a tire's maximum speed rating when it never gets driven even half that speed. My TJ is a rock crawler so it doesn't benefit by running a tire rated to 170 mph. Same with speakers. If you're not running a big amp, as few here do, the speaker's maximum power rating is nothing more than misleading for most speaker buyers and many audio hobbiests... though perhaps the speaker's max power rating exciting to some who don't really understand speakers as well as they think they do.

I always quote a speaker's Sensitivity rating, which you never quote, since it is the speaker's Sensitivity rating that indicates how much power it requires to drive it... which is especially important when talking about standard HU's without an aux amplifier. A speaker's Sensitivity rating is how many dB (loudness or sound pressure) it will put out when driven with a certain level of power. If it has a low sensitivity rating like in the low to mid 80 dB range, as most high wattage speakers do, it will not put out a satisfying level of sound with a standard head unit. A speaker with a Sensitivity rating over 90 dB or greater, like Polk's DB series, will work fine with a standard head unit since they don't require more watts than a standard head unit can provide.

The speaker's max power rating is seldom in my thoughts when recommending an appropriate speaker for a Jeeper. That is always your main concern and the spec you primarily talk about... and it shouldn't be. Most people here aren't running big amps, they are Wrangler owners who typically don't have an interest in competition levels of sound... and for them, we need to worry about the power it requires to make it sound good, which is indicated by its Sensitivity rating. Not its maximum power handling ability.
I didn't mention max rating, I only mentioned RMS rating. All the ratings I listed were RMS ratings.

As far as sensitivity, I left it out because it doesn't matter "to me". I don't care about how sensitive the speaker is to the power, if it can't handle the power. All that would matter at that point is whether the speaker will blow out, hence RMS.

I can understand why sensitivity is important to you when considering non-amplified speaker systems. I don't mean to disrespect the importance of sensitivity to you. But, when I think of an good to great car audio upgrade, power is an important part of the equation. And, hence, sensitivity is less important to me, as compared to "ohms", "RMS", cost, and frequency response.

Again, no disrespect intended, "Mr. Bransford." Notice how I'm beginning to use "Mr.", when I refer to you. I do it to show ultimate respect.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #30
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Posts: 2,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
Geez. I must be getting old. 2 of my speakers have been blown for the last 5 years and I don't give a hoot.

I can understand that by your profile picture. You and your Jeep are "one with nature."

My Jeep and I spend most of our time, commuting on the highway for hours at a time. Hence, I'd go crazy without some nice music to calm my nerves with all the crazies on the highway, and to drown out all the noise.

There is nothing as wonderful as the Beach Boys or the Doobie Brothers "Rockin Down the Highway", cranked up, while driving down the beach coast with the top off. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

Or, pulling off unto a trail, to Lynyrd Skynyrds "Swamp Music".

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