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Old 08-18-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
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original stereo speakers: how many watts?

How many watts will the stock speakers handle in the 1997 Jeep Wrangler SE....? I'm still using the original factory installed AM/FM radio (without cassette or CD), with rear sound bar with original factory speakers, and 2 factory speakers installed in the front dash. I'm considering replacing the original radio, and I don't want to over-power the speakers and damage them.

Is there a link on the web that has the specs?

Thanks for any insight.

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:50 PM   #2
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No head unit or radio by itself and without an auxilliary power amplifier will be able to overdrive the OE speakers. About the most power you'll get out of a new radio or head unit is 12-15 RMS watts.

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
No head unit or radio by itself and without an auxilliary power amplifier will be able to overdrive the OE speakers. About the most power you'll get out of a new radio or head unit is 12-15 RMS watts.

I don't understand what you're saying, so try to paint a picture with words for me. I'm thinking about replacing the standard AM/FM stock factory radio, which appears to be very basic, with a current model Kenwood that is rated 50 watts. When I crank that up... will I blow the old original speakers...?

Thanks for any insight.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRH

I don't understand what you're saying, so try to paint a picture with words for me. I'm thinking about replacing the standard AM/FM stock factory radio, which appears to be very basic, with a current model Kenwood with is rated 50 watts. When I crank that up... will I blow the old original speakers...?

Thanks for any insight.
All watt ratings from head units are over rated. Also, you are Much more likely to damage speakers from UNDER powering them than overpowering them. Like Jerry said, most aftermarket head units will put out an average of under 20 watts per speaker.

Also, you will be disappointed if you expect a big improvement by installing a new head unit. The stock speakers are paper and cardboard and very low quality. If you want better sound out of your system, you will need new speakers as well. Make sure the speakers are rated in watts to as close to the output of your new head unit as possible to prevent damage to the speakers and allow better sound. It will also allow the head unit to now work ad hard.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
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The "50 watts" the Kenwood is advertised with is not really 50 true (RMS) watts per channel. They often misleadingly use Peak or Music Power watts which are higher than what the radio can put out continuously. Continuous power is rated more conservatively as "RMS" watts.

That Kenwood radio does not put out that much more wattage than the factory radio does in reality so no worries with the OE speakers.

Once you get that radio installed, I'd start saving for speakers. You will get a more dramatic improvement in how your Jeep's audio system sounds with better speakers than with a better radio. Be careful on speaker selection though, some speakers require too much power to sound good without also installing an external power amplifier. Good speakers that don't require more power than your stock radio or Kenwood can provide include the Polk DB series which are relatively inexpensive.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input. But I guess I'm still looking for the actual spec sheet on the original factory speakers. I can't find that info in the owners manual. I'm sure it must be out there on the net if I knew where to find it.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:06 PM   #7
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It would be a miracle if you could find the wattage rating for the speakers the factory installed. Don't get into analysis paralysis, you can trust what we're telling you here.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:21 PM   #8
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More specifically, the new head unit that I'm thinking about installing is rated: 22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels.

...but if anybody out there used to work for Jeep or somehow knows the specs on the original factory speakers... please chime in. Thanks.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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22 watts will only harm the speakers if you play it so loud that you hear them distorting. At average volume, your new Kenwood will only be putting out 5-8 watts, it doesn't put out 22 watts until you crank the volume way up. Beyond that is just reserve power.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:32 PM   #10
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The only way you will get more than 20 Watts out of a Headunit is if Lightning Hits it.

I can tell you right now, Kenwood Headunits begin to Distort at 26 on the Volume Level when Using the Internal Amp. So make 25 your Max Volume, and you'll be Fine.

If you Add an External Amp, the Volume begins to Distort at 34 through the RCA Outputs. So make 33 your Max Volume.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Duramaxxed View Post
The only way you will get more than 20 Watts out of a Headunit is if Lightning Hits it.

I can tell you right now, Kenwood Headunits begin to Distort at 26 on the Volume Level when Using the Internal Amp. So make 25 your Max Volume, and you'll be Fine.

If you Add an External Amp, the Volume begins to Distort at 34 through the RCA Outputs. So make 33 your Max Volume.
My kenwood stereo is hooked to the OEM speakers and these volume levels are about right. If you have the factory subwoofer in the center console be sure not to turn the bass up on your stereo's equalizer or it starts distorting before the other speakers do.

/I miss my 640 watt RMS amp pushing 2 12" subs.
//Don't miss the ford exploder though.

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