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Old 07-18-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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Life as an Audiophile - An Autobiography

First off, Im posting this from my phone so please bear with me. Secondly Im not really a full blown audiophile, just a mini one. So this is what I want to talk to you guys about, especially since the guys and gals who have been doing this for a while. I have a good amount of background knowledge in car audio, and have had everything from little speaker upgrades to full blown "blow your windows out" systems. From my reading here over time Ive gathered some information and drawn some conclusions about audio in the Wrangler. For starters it seems like a lot of you folks were left a lot to desire w/the stock audio system. Complaints ranging from not enough medium range, soft soundbar volume, to tinny sound quality and poor bass notes from the sub. For 2013 the wrangler is coming equiped with an alpine system. I have had experience with alpine in the past and find they make great quality equipment. However, given the cost of the system as an option i would have to guess its either their S or E series which im less than impressed with, as I had type R previously. Now, as for the subwoofer, acoustically speaking do you folks think theres even a point? With soft top equiped jeeps its going to lack the hard surface to reverberate off of back towards the front of the cabin. It may be worth it for hard top equiped jeeps, but for the soft tops im unsure. As a cheap upgrade over stock it may be worth it. Or do you feel it would be a better idea to just opt to go aftermarket? Either way I cant see a subeoofer being very good in a wrangler, especially after the removal of tops and doors. Thoughts? Concerns? Input? Go!

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Old 07-18-2012, 01:26 PM   #2
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:33 PM   #3
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i have 2 8" kicker subs
arc audio 1000w amp and an arc audio mini at 750w.
focal separates in the front and polk separates in the sound bar.
and a clarion head unit with 4v preouts.

it almost sounds good with the top off.
sounds decent with the soft top on.

the subs are a phantom either way. i can feel it in the seats and floor more than hear them.

i have changed this configuration about four times and i am as happy as i'm going to get.
i have never had to try so hard to get decent sound.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:37 PM   #4
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I'm far from an audiophile but often have more money than sense so have ended up with some very nice systems in my vehicles. Knowing in advance I would be replacing the factory system, I bought the base factory unit.

My plan is to, upgrade the factory speakers and install an amp and a mid range marine grade head unit that won't make me cry if/when it gets stolen. I'm going to skip the subwoofer for two reasons. 1) Because I run with just a bikini top for most of the year and 2) I couldnt' figure out a good place to mount it that still allowed me some storage.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
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I'm far from an audiophile but often have more money than sense so have ended up with some very nice systems in my vehicles. Knowing in advance I would be replacing the factory system, I bought the base factory unit.

My plan is to, upgrade the factory speakers and install an amp and a mid range marine grade head unit that won't make me cry if/when it gets stolen. I'm going to skip the subwoofer for two reasons. 1) Because I run with just a bikini top for most of the year and 2) I couldnt' figure out a good place to mount it that still allowed me some storage.
This is where I put mine because I didn't want To give up storage.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:12 PM   #6
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I have Kicker Stage 3 which replaces all speakers except the tweeters and adds a 10" sub (plus amps). The sub is ridiculous- there is so much bass I have to turn the bass down on some songs. Doesn't matter if the soft top is up or down. You can get fantastic bass even without a "hard" surface. (BUT the Kicker sub takes up a ton of room and is easily removed (read: stolen).) JPi4's is in a great spot. You'll never have audiophile sound in a Jeep but you can make it a lot better. You can only do so much without replacing the head unit too because adjustment is limited. Tons of Kicker threads & other speakers threads so just search the forum for additional threads/more details.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #7
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I built my box to fit flush with the tub on top of my rear driver side wheel well. It hits deeper and louder with the top off. My biggest complaint is the hard top and rollbar rattle I get with the top on. It's a 10" Polk MM being pushed by a 350 watt Alpine amp that I bought new for $150.

I see the pics loaded up, the first is a JL 8w3 that I blew and replaced.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:02 PM   #8
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A good system will start from the head unit. The new 2013 does come with alpine, but then again, it comes from the factory. I tested the 2012 7 speaker system and the stock system. Given the 7 speaker sounds pretty good after playing with the settings for a while, it aint what i'm looking for. The stock system performed horrible once i turned down the front and just listened to the soundbar. Imaging/delay is my main concern and both dont' cut it for me. Closing my eyes, i want my music to surround me....The 7 speaker did that but it sounded like everything is coming from everywhere at the same time. It does sound good though...the infinity played pretty darn good listening to "eagles - hotel california" but when i changed to hip hop, it was "OK". It really doesn't need to be upgraded.

I purchased the 2012 with the standard system because i will upgrade it to my convenience later on (really later on). I'm gonna get a unit with ipod connections, and imaging (units always get obsolete each year) up to my old audiocontrol EQ, and my cadence amp mated to my RE sub/image dynamics c/o (i'm not sure if it will fit...i need to do more homework since i just purchased the car). only use the soundbar for rear fill when my back seats are occupied....the thing is, I DON'T KNOW OF THE JEEP CAN HAVE THAT KIND OF SOUND.

I'm going for overall sound quality and not ear piercing loudness nor earth shattering thump. To each their own...as long as ur happy with your system, thats all that matters.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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One more thing, if it comes with an Alpine system from factory it won't have the same speakers as what they sell through the stores. They are generally cheaper speakers made for the car companies that sound good for how they set up their system. I had a Dodge that I paid extra for the infinity upgrade. When I pulled the speakers, they were the cheap paper cone lightweight speakers with an infinity logo inked on the magnet.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:20 PM   #10
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I almost think people should provide credentials before posting here- in my business and personal life I've met tons of "audiophiles" that had no idea or liked crap. That being said, I've designed, installed, and owned home audio systems in the hundreds of thousands and car systems in the tens of thousands. THAT being said, I know audio. Couple of my thoughts: 1. I have the stock Infinity system, and I'm actually pretty impressed with it. Because of the tweeter placement, there's a fairly good balance, the four midrange drivers do pretty well for vocals and the sub has decent punch and depth for most anything I listen to while driving. 2. Given the changing of surfaces, equalization would be/is crazy difficult/impossible without electronic manipulation. 3. If you had the hard top and kept all panels on, you could treat its hard surfaces and start to tune it. 4. Even with 3, you'd have to do lots of playing to come up with a much better, balanced system. If you move around, you'll notice the sub isn't as potent in the passenger seat. The law of reciprocity is alive and well there.

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Old 07-18-2012, 04:17 PM   #11
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One more thing, if it comes with an Alpine system from factory it won't have the same speakers as what they sell through the stores. They are generally cheaper speakers made for the car companies that sound good for how they set up their system. I had a Dodge that I paid extra for the infinity upgrade. When I pulled the speakers, they were the cheap paper cone lightweight speakers with an infinity logo inked on the magnet.
This troubles me, as even the type e & s i mentioned in my forst post sound horrific and these are going to be cheaper? Argh no good. When i built my previous system it constituted of an alpine cdx-105 head unit, alpine type r 3 way components and a set of type r coaxial, 500 mono alpine amp, massive audio 2 farad capacitor, and 2 10" JL audio 10w3v3's with custom made boxes for top mounting and front facing port. Im wondering if at this point in time it would be better to build a monster subless system. High quality speakers and an amplifier, just pick speakers with a broader range. The sub is worthless acoustically when the waves have zilch to bounce off of. Dynomating a hardtop and cirtually the wholr rear of it would almost be necessary. Too much work and money for such little result i would think for most folks.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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A good system will start from the head unit. The new 2013 does come with alpine, but then again, it comes from the factory. I tested the 2012 7 speaker system and the stock system. Given the 7 speaker sounds pretty good after playing with the settings for a while, it aint what i'm looking for. The stock system performed horrible once i turned down the front and just listened to the soundbar. Imaging/delay is my main concern and both dont' cut it for me. Closing my eyes, i want my music to surround me....The 7 speaker did that but it sounded like everything is coming from everywhere at the same time. It does sound good though...the infinity played pretty darn good listening to "eagles - hotel california" but when i changed to hip hop, it was "OK". It really doesn't need to be upgraded.

I purchased the 2012 with the standard system because i will upgrade it to my convenience later on (really later on). I'm gonna get a unit with ipod connections, and imaging (units always get obsolete each year) up to my old audiocontrol EQ, and my cadence amp mated to my RE sub/image dynamics c/o (i'm not sure if it will fit...i need to do more homework since i. just purchased the car). only use the soundbar for rear fill when my back seats are occupied....the thing is, I DON'T KNOW OF THE JEEP CAN HAVE THAT KIND OF SOUND.

I'm going for overall sound quality and not ear piercing loudness nor earth shattering thump. To each their own...as long as ur happy with your system, thats all that matters.
I found that weird cuz while reading this I had hotel cali playing on my ipod....any how I have a kenwood head unit with ken wood front speakers and in the sound bar fusion marine speakers (parents own a boating store so they were just laying around so why not put em in) all together it sounds alright
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:29 PM   #13
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Mine. Sounds good enough all the time, and with the seat in the correct place, you can't see it. And the amp is inside, all is waterproof. So far lol.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:35 PM   #14
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You'd be surprised how much bass you can get in a Jeep. As long as you don't point your subs straight into the air or directly into something( less than a few inches to allow the soundwaves to reflect) you'll feel and hear it. I've heard the infinity basslink sounding decent behind the seat in a TJ with the top off. I also heard 2 lower model mtx10's firing down that sounded really loud and deep.

The stock speakers, although using less expensive materials sound really good anymore because the vehicles enclosures are designed to compliment them. To get good sound with my Infinity reference components I had to use polyfill front and rear, and remove the grommet in the front to port the enclosure.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:40 PM   #15
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I think the key component for a stereo system in the wranglers is this: quality speakers and an amp. Broad range speakers will need the extra power at higher volumes to support what little bass youll get, cause i think we've decided a sub isnt worth it lol
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:02 PM   #16
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Who decided a sub isn't worth it? The stock sub has an impressive amount of punch- have y'all listened to it? I can also imagine how solid my dual 8-inch Eclipse aluminums and Xtant amp combo would sound (though I like the space-saving factory setup) And as far as quality, sometimes positioning and enclosures are more important. I'll take the Jeep tweeter locations with stock tweets over Boston Pros in the kicks, like my old Audi!
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
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You'd be surprised how much bass you can get in a Jeep.

The stock speakers, although using less expensive materials sound really good anymore because the vehicles enclosures are designed to compliment them.
Oops, you already said it!
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:15 PM   #18
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I think the key component for a stereo system in the wranglers is this: quality speakers and an amp. Broad range speakers will need the extra power at higher volumes to support what little bass youll get, cause i think we've decided a sub isnt worth it lol
I agree. Even though i really want to put this or that in my car to make it sound better... at the end of the day, its still a jeep.
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:25 PM   #19
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This troubles me, as even the type e & s i mentioned in my forst post sound horrific and these are going to be cheaper? Argh no good. When i built my previous system it constituted of an alpine cdx-105 head unit, alpine type r 3 way components and a set of type r coaxial, 500 mono alpine amp, massive audio 2 farad capacitor, and 2 10" JL audio 10w3v3's with custom made boxes for top mounting and front facing port. Im wondering if at this point in time it would be better to build a monster subless system. High quality speakers and an amplifier, just pick speakers with a broader range. The sub is worthless acoustically when the waves have zilch to bounce off of. Dynomating a hardtop and cirtually the wholr rear of it would almost be necessary. Too much work and money for such little result i would think for most folks.

Again- I'd hardly call my sub worthless. I have a crap load (technical term) of bass even with my top down. I think you're dead on with high quality speakers and especially the amps- but I wouldn't abandon the bass completely. You're not trying to bass up an entire room- just the front and rear of a Jeep. Yes you'll get less stellar results than say someone in a sedan, but how much bass and volume do you need? (You can NEVER have too much audio or power...but just sayin')
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:51 PM   #20
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Who decided a sub isn't worth it? The stock sub has an impressive amount of punch- have y'all listened to it? I can also imagine how solid my dual 8-inch Eclipse aluminums and Xtant amp combo would sound (though I like the space-saving factory setup) And as far as quality, sometimes positioning and enclosures are more important. I'll take the Jeep tweeter locations with stock tweets over Boston Pros in the kicks, like my old Audi!
Thing is though, its not just the enclosure that counts for the sound. It depends how the sound travels back through the interior to the passengers. The idea is to create kind of a cross path where bith the highs and the lows intersect the same point of the vehicle as close to (in most cases) the driver to deliver a full rich sound. What Im saying is, due to the open nature of the wrangler (ex. No top, no doors) and the soft material that the top consists of (may not apply to the hardtop) a lot of the sound and vibration will get lost. Not to mention it will lack a lot of ability to bounce back and reverberate through the cabin to reach the driver. Thats all im trying to get across. Now a dynamated hardtop may not suffer with the doors on...
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:00 PM   #21
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Thing is though, its not just the enclosure that counts for the sound. It depends how the sound travels back through the interior to the passengers. The idea is to create kind of a cross path where bith the highs and the lows intersect the same point of the vehicle as close to (in most cases) the driver to deliver a full rich sound. What Im saying is, due to the open nature of the wrangler (ex. No top, no doors) and the soft material that the top consists of (may not apply to the hardtop) a lot of the sound and vibration will get lost. Not to mention it will lack a lot of ability to bounce back and reverberate through the cabin to reach the driver. Thats all im trying to get across. Now a dynamated hardtop may not suffer with the doors on...
i'm using focal 165 kr2's in the front. the bass from these is pretty solid. they help make up for the lack of rebound from the subs quite a bit. and mids and tweets are adjustable. it takes a lot of adjusting to get the sound you want in a Jeep. i spent a lot of time adjusting the crossovers and the amp gains to try and get balanced right.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:03 PM   #22
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Yes, but remember that sound doesn't need reflections to be heard, otherwise outdoor concerts wouldn't work. The issue is directionality and reinforcement of the frequency wavelengths. For example, the higher the frequency the more directional it is and vice versa. This is why Jeep engineers threw the tweeters in those dashboard pods shooting right at your ears, the midrange drivers in the front dash/soundbar, and the sub as far away as possible (longest wavelength). As for bass, the location of the sub is almost the most important aspect of bass production. To do it right, throw the sub on the driver's seat and move around in the back- where the bass is loudest is where the sub should be placed: the law of reciprocity mentioned above works since the wavelengths of low frequencies are symmetrical. I bet it will be where the stock sub is. And we've not even touched on phasing, polarity, crossover anomalies, under and overtones, oh my!
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:08 PM   #23
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Im just not 100% youd be getting your full moneys worth with a softtop equiped jeep is all. And im kind of hoping we start getting more into the intracacies of it - its indeed exciting!
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:12 PM   #24
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Im just not 100% youd be getting your full moneys worth with a softtop equiped jeep is all. And im kind of hoping we start getting more into the intracacies of it - its indeed exciting!
I love this thread.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:28 PM   #25
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What do you want for intricacies? And, as far as "getting your full moneys [sic] worth," I think the best you can make it is getting your money's worth.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:58 PM   #26
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What do you want for intricacies? And, as far as "getting your full moneys [sic] worth," I think the best you can make it is getting your money's worth.
As far as getting my moneys worth, acoustically speaking and yes I knoe im beating this to death with chinese bamboo, is that given the nature of the vehicle the auditory pleasure is going to be stunted. I dont think I would put the same Alpine and JL system as my previous suv and get the same enjoyment, thus not being worth that level of coin. I honestly feel that the top is going to heavily influence sound reproduction, and how the sounds bounce. Even with a well thought out box...however as far as intricacies go - how about the vehicle design? Id like to combine brains to try and discover a way to make the wrangler as fun with the audio as it is with the off road. I dont care who you are, anyone and everyone enjoys blasting their favorite tunes. I just want it to sound good doing so!
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:34 PM   #27
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If I were to really get into it, I'd throw some Eclipse silk tweets in the stock locations, Boston Pros or Focal midrange drivers also in the stock locations (making sure to dynamat), and two eight-inch aluminum subs in a faux floor flat box facing down (2-8's are smaller, shallower, faster, and have more surface area than one 10). I'd then secure a digital eq and/or head unit with built-in eq to have three presets: one open air, with treble and midrange tweaked; one soft top with treble toned down a bit; one hard top with treble and midrange toned down a fair amount. I'm not sure the sub would need much adjusting, but of course I'd have 0, 90, & 180 phase controls- I want my bass punchy and tight, not saggy. I'd also play with phasing/balance on the tweets to work out the soundstage. Oh, and for amplification Xtant. Unless I could secure Macintosh and find more space (the real enemy in the Wrangler situation).
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:46 PM   #28
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Yeah, thay does give me a bit of pause. I can definitley see the 8's being the smarter choice given size but for individual boxes? Small or not thats basically going to eat up what littke trunk there is. Although at this point I guess we arent concerned about storage anyway. Presets are a smart idea for the digi head, my system was a few years older and my unit wasnt able to save presets for the ranges, it just remembered when you changed them. Where would you mount the amp, under the seat I would assume? That would definitley make adjustability hard if you needed to do so for whatever reason. Id dynamat the whole darn jeep i think. Quiter cabin makes for clearer tones. Man, I didn't really forsee thia being such a difficult process for the wrangler but I suppose it is!
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:44 AM   #29
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No, one box as deep as the woofer and as wide and long as necessary. If you built a false floor, you could use the rest of the space for the amp, cap, and eq/crossover, etc.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:21 AM   #30
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wow .... you guys are dammm fussy. I didn't blast the stereo when I took my demo ride just over 2 months ago. It was my 1st time riding in a Wrangler ( Unlimited model ) and I was more concerned about the ride. Plus I didn't want the Salesman to think I was crazy maxing out the volume.
I like my music LOUD as you can tell from this video .....



My bike now has EIGHT speakers, I added 2 tweeters on the dash up by the windshield. The radio is a stock Harley radio and all the speakers are made by Hogtunes. There is also a 40 watt Hogtune amp added to the front speakers. I can't believe you all want quailty music with the tops and or doors off with all that wind NOISE ..... LOL .....
I can't wait for when mine comes in 3 weeks so I can do the same experiment in my driveway like I did with the bike ;-)
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