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Old 08-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #1
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JL or Focal

Ive been using JL since the mid 90's(back then with PPI Amps. Now im showing my age). Still use JL Subs but now replacing the Alpine "Premium" speakers throughout. Thinking of either the Focal Access or the JL C2 setup. Anyone have experience with either in a Wrangler? Already have the Kenwood XR-400 Amp(for its small size) and a JL 10w6 in a sealed enclosure(sub already installed and sounds great even with roof off).
Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-09-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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I've got focals for my dash speakers, with polks in the soundbar. I'm happy enough with the focals to debate switching the soundbar to focals too.

Of course, this all comes eith a caviat. You arent going to get great sound in a wrangler, especially with a soft top, so it may be wasted money.

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Old 08-09-2013, 10:59 AM   #3
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I have the focal component in dash and coaxial in sound bar with 2 jl audio 10w1 in a sealed down fire box In the back running everything off the jl 700/5 amp and it is extremely loud and clear. You can't go wrong with either speakers.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:01 AM   #4
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Oh yea and kenwood 470 touchscreen head unit. Mine is a jk hard top. But with top off sounds great as well.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:11 AM   #5
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I run primarily all JL stuff. Have for a long time.

I have C2-650 components up front, C2-650 coaxials in the sound bar, an 8" W3 in an enclosure and a XD 700/5 amp driving it all. Source is a Pioneer HU.

My system cranks with hard top, soft top, no top, whatever. Clear sound at any volume.

I experimented with C5 and really don't think the $$ increase is correlated to the quality increase. As in not much difference to my ears between the two groups. C2 level is well built. Plus the tweeters drop right into the tombstones with zero modification flush mount.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:13 AM   #6
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I've heard good things about focal but I find some killer deals on JL stuff from local shops so thats what I've always used. I got my rear 6.5 cl2's for like 50$ when I got the cl2's for the front.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:24 PM   #7
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I just put in Focal components ISS165 and coaxial ISC165 with 8" JL sub in stock enclosure with 5 ch JL amp and an Audio Control 6 ch Line Output Converter with AccuBass. All I can say is wow. What a difference, hardtop on or off, at least with my iPod. With the stock HU, pretty much still blows. But that will be taken care off shortly. Oh and I also put Dynamax inside front doors and front floor and behind speakers in sound bar. This does make a difference.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgnbull1227 View Post
Ive been using JL since the mid 90's(back then with PPI Amps. Now im showing my age). Still use JL Subs but now replacing the Alpine "Premium" speakers throughout. Thinking of either the Focal Access or the JL C2 setup. Anyone have experience with either in a Wrangler? Already have the Kenwood XR-400 Amp(for its small size) and a JL 10w6 in a sealed enclosure(sub already installed and sounds great even with roof off).
Thanks in advance.
I'm using Focals too. Third car with them. I've run Polyglass and Kevs previously but those were in much more expensive German cars with better acoustics.

The Access exceeded my expectations, even in an open air vehicle. When I compared the two in store on the board I went with Focals. I probably listened to 10 sets of components. If it wasn't a convertible, I would have gone with power kevlars again.

I am running two Sundown 10" subs under the front seats and think they are outstanding especially when you compare prices and performance with JL.

Sound quality is a personal preference and everyone's ear is different. Go listen in store and decide.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:58 PM   #9
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Go listen in store and decide.
This is the sensible advice. More accurately, take your favourite CD or MP3 - a piece of music you know really, really well - to the store with you and have them play it through both sets of speakers. That's how you'll decide which you prefer.

For me, it's Metallica's Enter Sandman. It's such a masterfully produced album and song with such a distinctive and powerful riff, you can hear every nuance of the speakers. When I listened to the Focals the other day that song had never sounded better.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #10
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Focal hands down. They are all handmade in France. The know how to make their speakers. I have been in the business for 15 years. Now with the amplifier and subbox I would go with JL. We do a ton of Wranglers here and we typically do Focal 165KR or Focal 165KRX2 in the front and do 165KRCs in the soundbar. The Kevlar is waterproof, extremely durable and a good sounding speaker cone. Do a JL Audio HD900/5 and the 13TW5 Stealth box. Great setup!
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:55 PM   #11
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I have Focal Utopia Be's if you are an audiophile this is the only way to go. of course cost becomes an issue.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:13 PM   #12
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djberto is spot on. Best speaker in the biz. Made out of beryllium which is like 10 time the price of gold. With the right setup they sound like live music every time.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:14 PM   #13
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The Utopia tweeter would kinda be and awkward mount in the Wrangler. I am curious as to see what djberto did with the tweeter mount.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:14 PM   #14
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the utopia crossovers are a pain in the... to mount and hide where did you put it? i had a hell of a time putting in my krx crossovers mounted under the dash.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:16 PM   #15
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to the op if you want a good speaker at a ok price jl if you can spend the extra money and get the focal
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:11 PM   #16
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I have Focal Utopia Be's if you are an audiophile this is the only way to go. of course cost becomes an issue.
Utopias would be a complete waste in something like a wrangler, a vehicle with tons of road noise, and terrible imaging. Utopias need to be in luxury sedans.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:40 PM   #17
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I'm a big fan of JL, specifically the C5 setups.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:06 AM   #18
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I'm using this JL stealth box, and works good for me.. they have another version for the unlimited... mine is for a 2 door and fits perfect behind the rear seat, is also secure when the top is off
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:18 AM   #19
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USUALLY I would say the Focals.. for a Wrangler.. I might suggest the JL instead for a couple of reasons.
1. the extra cost will not be justified by the extra sound quality in a Wrangler (even more so by a soft top). These jeeps are LOUD on the road, With the windows down it gets louder.
2. I have always found the Focals to have bright tweeters..with our tweeter pods right up high in your face and near the windshield, you may want a softer sounding tweeter.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:51 AM   #20
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JL..... I sell it, use it, and love it.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:05 AM   #21
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Let your ears decide: find a shop that sells both. Close your eyes and tell the sales person to alternate between the two.

I went with JL, but didn't compare to focal.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:40 PM   #22
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Utopias would be a complete waste in something like a wrangler, a vehicle with tons of road noise, and terrible imaging. Utopias need to be in luxury sedans.
Never said they were in a wrangler, super charged regal, with matching sub. $4000 in audio probably isn't the best idea for a wrangler, but if he is looking at them, well they sound better.

As far as road noise goes, wouldn't that also be the case with many other speakers? seeing as how road noise can be as high 1800MHz only two speakers can handle that and sound better Focal K2's or higher, and Boston Acoustics high end models. Another example is, when people get new upgraded systems in the Lambo's and Ferrari's guess what they upgrade too, it isn't Rockford.

Imaging comes from the deck and crossover, a little in the amp depending how you are wired up so that should be a moot point.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:50 PM   #23
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the utopia crossovers are a pain in the... to mount and hide where did you put it? i had a hell of a time putting in my krx crossovers mounted under the dash.
When I have done this mod in Jk's (I have guy who works for me that had to have it in his.) we put in in a drawer under the passenger seat. I mean once it's set, there really isn't a true need to change anything, just filled the rest with some sound foam we have laying around so it wouldn't bounce around and added some PC fans to keep it cool. to the back or the drawer.

Quote:
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The Utopia tweeter would kinda be and awkward mount in the Wrangler. I am curious as to see what djberto did with the tweeter mount.
We basically cut the old tweeters out after folding the window down, but the Focal ones in place with some spare plastic and some higher end epoxy. then covered with fiberglass for added protection.

Don't get me wrong his JK is a mall crawler all day. but it sounds good! ALMOST as good as my car.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:01 AM   #24
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I've been pretty happy with my JL separates. I have JL separates up front and some so-so 6.5's in the sound bar for rear fill. The JL do sound really good. Many (like my wife) probably couldn't tell the difference between them and the Focal. So definitely try both out if you can. Might not be worth the price difference for the Focal. I wouldn't pay more for them.

I have a JL 4 channel amp for the mids and highs, a separate amp for a 10" sub. Lately I've been thinking about replacing the sub because it's a kicker and not very nice. I'm thinking of replacing it with an 8" that can be mounted above the rear wheel well. The 10" is just bungied to the back seat.

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