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Old 08-19-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Need help with upgrading audio system

Hey y'all

I'm new to having a wrangler but I'm not happy with the stock audio system. Can anyone suggest: head unit, door speakers, sub and amp? And I've also been looking but can't seem to find a write up for a DIY on the audio

Thanks in advance for help
Ryan

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Old 08-19-2013, 06:59 PM   #2
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Head unit: take your pick based upon the feature set you want

Door speakers: there aren't any door speakers. Assuming you mean dash speakers, you have the choice of coaxials or components, I recommend a good component set

Sub: this will be driven by how much space you're willing to give up, and how important security is to you

Amp: will be determined by the speakers you choose

Also: you have two speakers in the soundbar over your head, you're probably going to want to replace those as well

You need to give us lots more information if you want anything other than a list of what other people have installed in their Jeeps, and why each one is the absolute very best thing in the world. Budget, features, requirements etc.

There are loads of write-ups for install etc in the Communications and Electronics forum.

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Old 08-19-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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detachable face plate is a must for me in a jeep stereo. People still steal them and leaving it with the doors off and no faceplate I know they wont bother to even look at it.

Also when I put new speakers in I reused the stock grill so when walking by it looks like nothing special.

I used a JVC head unit with JL speakers. good quality and if you shop around you can find some good deals on them.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
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Yeah I'm looking for something affordable just to increase the quality a little bit. Not looking for anything crazy
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Also, what year Jeep do you have?? That makes a difference! A JKU can fit a LOT more audio than a CJ/YJ/TJ can..
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
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Not crazy, $500? Or not crazy $1500?

Crazy is still a fairly vague price estimate. Do you have priorities, like is a new head unit the most important thing? Would you be willing to skip speakers to get a better head unit with more features? The gang here is great, if they understand what you're really looking for.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:22 PM   #7
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Ok sorry for being vague. I really don't need a head unit because the features the stock hu have are fine. Basically I want more bass and a better sound quality. And I would say 500$ would be my max spending price. I have a 2013 2dr sport. And space isn't really an issue for me
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
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$500 is a little tight for amp, four speakers, sub and the various other bits you'll need, but it's doable. I'm assuming you'll do the install yourself, and if you are willing to build the sub enclosure rather than buy one pre-fabricated you'll have more to spend on the components.

For your speakers, I'm going to suggest that you look at a set of forum favourites, Polk Audio db6501 components for the front and db651 or db651s coaxials in the soundbar. Polk make really good budget speakers and these work really nicely in the Jeep. They're marine-rated, so if you do go submarining or get caught in a downpour it's one less electronic component to worry about. For the soundbar, you want the 651s (the shallow mount unit) if you want to keep it looking completely stock, but if you don't care about re-using the factory covers then you can use the 651 which is a bit more powerful. Regardless of which you use, the four speakers should set you back about $180-200 on Amazon. If you want to save money here you can put coaxials in the front rather than components, but there is a big difference in the way the sound imaging works when you have the tweeters up high.

Next your sub. Loads of good budget options around for this, assuming you're willing to build your own enclosure (more of that in a minute) I'd look at 10" units. You can get massively powerful speakers for very little money, but you're not going to have the amp to drive them so don't be tempted to sacrifice quality for power. Kicker make great subs and you can pick up their entry level units for $50-60, anything giving you in the region of 200-300W RMS is going to give you enough welly to get started and work well with the amps you're likely to be looking at. Make sure that you get single voice coil, not dual voice coil.

For your enclosure, if you're the kind of person that has some plywood or MDF lying around then you're in business. It's just an airtight box (sealed unit is fine, don't worry about venting), you can find plans and details on the web but it's exceptionally simple. Liberal use of glue and silicon sealant to ensure it's airtight is key. As long as you get the right volume and displacement, it doesn't matter too much what shape you make it. If you must buy one, you can get them for $40-50.

Amp is next. You can either go with two amps, a four channel unit for the speakers and a single channel (monoblock) amp for the sub, or get a five channel amp that does the lot. (You could just amplify the sub and run the speakers directly off the head unit, but it doesn't really have the power to get the best from the speakers - I wouldn't recommend it.) You have a load of options here, so the first thing you have to decide is where you want to install it. If you want to hide it in the dash, you'll need a small unit and physical dimensions will limit your choices. If you're happy to install under the seats, that opens up your choices more. Expect to pay at least $150-200. People will extol the virtues of particular brands and hate on others (personally I think Kenwood's amps are a pile of crap) but when you know where you want to install it, we can look at options.

To connect the amp, you're going to need a bunch of things. You'll need:

- wiring kit to run power, ground etc
- line output converters to convert your speaker level outputs to pre-outs (some amps have speaker level inputs, and it might be worth a few bucks extra on the amp for this feature to avoid using LOCs)
- RCA cables to connect the LOCs to the amp (if you're using LOCs)
- speaker wire
- electrical connectors

Budget another $50-60 on connectivity.

By my reckoning that's a shopping list of $450-500. You can probably shave some money off here and there, but be careful with some of the real budget components - they're sometimes the price they are for a reason. Don't be afraid to look at second hand, there are plenty of people like me who enjoy taking their vehicles apart and replacing components for fun, and there's some really good stuff available on Craigslist etc. Just be careful if you do, because some people will set their rigs up badly and then work them way harder than they should. Don't be afraid to ask to hear them in action, if someone knows what they're doing they won't mind and if they do, walk away.

Good luck.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Yep

^x2. If you want to spend that kind of money go with the above. Otherwise, I would go with other speakers, a JL sub, etc. but expect to pay more.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsumtoy View Post
^x2. If you want to spend that kind of money go with the above. Otherwise, I would go with other speakers, a JL sub, etc. but expect to pay more.
I think if it's your first upgrade, it's a good idea to do it on a budget. It gives you a much better idea of where to go next. Hell, this is far from my first upgrade and I still started with the Polks in the Jeep. Granted I'm now planning to replace them with Focals, but unless you're really sure how your vehicle is going to sound I would never advocate throwing thousands of dollars at it in the first instance. When I first did the Jeep I thought it was the sub that was going to let me down, but I'm actually really happy with the bass response from my little JBL unit. I'm glad I didn't spend lots more.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:05 PM   #11
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I am new to WF and this is my first post! This thread has just about everything i have been looking for, but i do have a couple questions....not sure if i should start a new topic/thread. since they are related or could be helpful to someone reading this post ill add them here

I am starting a what i want to be a complete audio rebuild. I am have gone with Polk in the past so i have chosen to go with Polk Audio db6501 components for the front and db651s coaxials in the soundbar. My first question is:

Base on those speakers, what woud be a good / ideal AMP size (wattage) i've been looking at 4 ch amps.

Apline 180W KTP-445U - 4 ch - would something this size be ok? opinions welcome!

I am also going to run the lines for a sub (prob a 10" kicker).

question #2:

what would be / is the ideal route for the associated lines? i plan on locating the sub enclosure in the back of the jeep. any suggestions on good locations for the AMP?

again any help or suggestions will be welcomed!

almost forgot! 2013 unlimited sport
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:11 PM   #12
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