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Old 01-18-2014, 09:00 PM   #1
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Changing In-Dash Stero | Wedges or Soundbar?

I have a Dual MDMA75 marine grade stereo in my 95 yj and it plays fine, but it's white and the nighttime display is blue. I have red leds installed in the gauge lighting and under the dash and I just really don't the blue contrast. So, I think I'm going to sell it (it's new and came with the Jeep when I bought it a few weeks ago) and pick up something else and of course it will have a red display!

My question - wedges speakers are installed, but the speakers look cheap and don't sound great. I'm not into having a big audio system that will make me deafer than I am, just something that sounds good and solid. Can I change the speakers in those wedges boxes and would I really need an amp? Would a soundbar be better? Again, I don't want to drop a lot of money in it, I just want it to sound good and the wedges are already in place.

Oh, from what I can tell.....I don't think I'm even gonna get into replacing the dash speakers. It looks like a pain.

I appreciate the suggestions and advice in advance!

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:35 AM   #2
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Yes, you can change the speakers in the wedges to some better quality ones. You can get a good set that doesn't require a lot of wattage to power them and radio will do good. I'm guessing the wedges you're referring to are the 6x9 wedges behind the front seats. There's many choices of good 6x9s that do good off radio power, but a good clue to whether yours will perform good or not is flip the speakers over and look at the magnet. If it is abnormally large, the speaker more than likely will take more power to make them perform.

Of course an amp will always make them better because the radios these days don't really have good crossovers in them and they send a lot of unnecessary frequencies to your speakers as well as the fact that they're under powered which creates distortion. No matter what the box of the radio says (most say 200 watts or so), it's only truly going to put about 15-25 watts to each speaker. You can get a very small amp, say a 100 watt 2 channel to power the 6x9s and it will be a world of difference. Brands put big numbers on boxes just to sell their stuff, so don't be fooled. A good quality amp will cost you around $1 a watt, so if you're buying an amp that says 2,000 watts and you're paying $150 for it... well you get the idea. There's a reason JL Audio, Focal, Alpine, Kicker, and many more good brands cost more.. you get what you pay for. Also most of those brands offer entry level amps/speakers all the way up to overkill. For example, you can buy a set of kicker 6.5" mid-range speakers for $40-$70, or a component set for $100-$200, or you can go to their top of the line series and spend $700 for a single set and same with the other brands. It all depends on what you're willing to do, but don't think that you have to spend thousands of dollars to get a very good, crisp, loud stereo system.

I suggest visiting a local stereo shop (not a big box store like best buy) and talk to them and let them know what you want. If they sell brands like Boss, Dual, Pyramid, Pyle, etc, then don't even waste your time with them because you're going to spend money on cheap/flashy junk and not be happy with it. Everyone has their opinions on what's good and what's not, and that's why I'm not suggesting anything in particular to you. I worked for years in a local stereo shop that competed world wide. I've seen brands come and go and there's about 5-7 brands that we stuck with and stood behind for many years and then there's brands that we wouldn't dare touch.

EDIT: after a little google help, I came across this post. Skim through it to check out which brands to stay away from

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s...d.php?t=307829

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Old 01-19-2014, 12:47 PM   #3
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Man I really appreciate that info and your time! They are 6x9 wedges and the speaker cover says Rampage or Renegade (not at home right now) and they 'look' pretty cheap. I def want to upgrade them and listened to some Pioneers at walmart that sounded great....perhaps you or someone would have a recommendation.

The stereo I like is a Pioneer DEH-X8600BH which has a built in amp, 50 watts per channel I think. I know it doesn't compare to a true amp, but for me its a jeep that I drive back and forth to work, hunt out of, etc. and it may get wet and be in places that are isolated and easy to break into.
DEH-X8600BH - <b>NEW!</b> - CD Receiver with Full-Dot LCD Display, MIXTRAX, Bluetooth®, and HD Radio™ Tuner | Pioneer Electronics USA Would this be adequate to push a good set of 6x9s? If I'm crazy and should just add an amp let me know and ill take suggestions on which speakers to buy.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:19 PM   #4
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Man I really appreciate that info and your time! They are 6x9 wedges and the speaker cover says Rampage or Renegade (not at home right now) and they 'look' pretty cheap. I def want to upgrade them and listened to some Pioneers at walmart that sounded great....perhaps you or someone would have a recommendation.

The stereo I like is a Pioneer DEH-X8600BH which has a built in amp, 50 watts per channel I think. I know it doesn't compare to a true amp, but for me its a jeep that I drive back and forth to work, hunt out of, etc. and it may get wet and be in places that are isolated and easy to break into.
DEH-X8600BH - <b>NEW!</b> - CD Receiver with Full-Dot LCD Display, MIXTRAX, Bluetooth®, and HD Radio™ Tuner | Pioneer Electronics USA Would this be adequate to push a good set of 6x9s? If I'm crazy and should just add an amp let me know and ill take suggestions on which speakers to buy.

Thanks again!
That head unit will definitely push some 6x9s pretty well, an amp will just push them easier.. so no, you don't have to buy an amp as well unless you want everyone to hear you from way down the street.. Then you have to worry about them watching you when you park and just hope your stuff is still in the jeep when you get back.

If you have any local stereo shops, I'd still suggest dropping by just to see what other brands sound like. As for the pioneers, if they sound adequate to you, then by all means, just remember you're testing them in a controlled environment whereas the jeep is a very noisy environment. Not to mention they're facing right at you compared to being behind your seats. The walmart may not like it, but go back and crank the radio up pretty loud (as loud as you'd have it in the jeep) and make sure you don't hear them crackling or distorting. As for some good sounding 6x9s on radio power, I'd recommend something like Kicker CS series, Memphis M class, and then maybe the pioneers. I used to really abuse speakers when I was in the industry to see how they held up and for the money, those three would be good decisions for non amplified stereos. PS I run Kicker in my jeep and have for years and years. I've filled them with mud and dirt and washed them out, hit them with some low psi compressed air , let em dry and crank em back up. Not many brands take the abuse, but they do for sure.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:59 PM   #5
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Ok I will most likely grab some kickers and replace the speakers in the wedges. It looks like the PO ran some basic speaker wire to them...looks like what I have for my surround sound system in the house. Do you recommend a specific gauge?

Yeah I don't care about anyone down the road hearing me! Do you know of a diff head unit that has more ampage than that Pioneer I mentioned for the same money?

Hey, off topic but I know u have a 95 yj like mine. The vent door for the heater box looks to have a foam filter. Mine is horribly dirty and I was wondering if the heater has to pull air through it...if so I'm sure its putting a strain on it. I'm gonna clean it the best I can but do u know if they make a replacement?
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:25 PM   #6
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Link: Kicker 4x6's for the dash

Link: Kicker 6x9's for the wedges/boxes

These should go well with that Pioneer stereo. I'm not sure about the front dash speaker swap though...man that looks like a pain in the rear.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:35 PM   #7
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You don't need a heavy gauge wire for the speaker wire. Anywhere from 14-18 gauge would be fine. As far as head units, they're all going to put out about the same amount of power.

I'm not 100% sure about the filter. Mines pretty bad too but my rig is just a weekend toy. I never turn the heat or a/c on in it.

The front dash speakers are a big pain but well worth it if you change them. For the driver side I found it a little easier to take the speedo/tach out and you can kinda reach the top nuts. If I remember correctly the nuts that hold them in are 8mm or 5/16. It just takes patience and a deep socket. You can also loosen the dash a little and remove the e-brake lever for a little more room.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:04 PM   #8
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Pictures?
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:27 PM   #9
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Good info JD I appreciate it. I gather that you didn't take the window down and all that like I've seen suggested. The passenger side looks like its doable from underneath but the drivers side looks like a real pain. I will drop the ebrake lever and pull out the tach, etc like you said. Thanks man!

What did u need pics of Chas?
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:56 AM   #10
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Good info JD I appreciate it. I gather that you didn't take the window down and all that like I've seen suggested. The passenger side looks like its doable from underneath but the drivers side looks like a real pain. I will drop the ebrake lever and pull out the tach, etc like you said. Thanks man! What did u need pics of Chas?
Yeah I never dropped the windshield. Just be ready to spend some time doing it and try not to get frustrated. It's definitely doable without taking the entire dash out. Your hands will just end up with red marks all over them haha. I'd also run new speaker wire to the dash speakers while you're doing it. It'll only take a couple feet for each one.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:48 PM   #11
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I think I might go with a centra-pod and drop some kickers in it. It says that it is made for 5.25" but I read that a guy put 6.5"s in his.

I hear ya on the busted knuckles....I could tell from just reaching around that it would be a mess trying to replace those dash speakers.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:17 AM   #12
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I've thought about the center pod too and may end up getting myself one eventually.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:40 PM   #13
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This actually looks like a pretty good deal:

Jeep Wrangler YJ 87 95 Kicker CS464 CS6934 Factory Speaker Replacement Package | eBay

I don't know, I'm day to day with decisions. lol When I get something installed I'll post back! Thanks for the time and info, I really appreciate it!
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:29 PM   #14
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Yeah that's a good deal
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:19 PM   #15
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I had priced both sets for the same money about everywhere so I feel like I'm geting the boxes just about for free. Not sure if I will use them or the wedges and just change out the speakers. Ill sell one or the other and recoup some money.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:21 PM   #16
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What did u need pics of Chas?
Your speaker locations. So, that I can see where your speakers are mounted and their sizes. It sounds like you have box wedges with 6x9 in the rear?

How about the front? Are they 4x6 speakers, and have you considered trying to put higher quality 5.25 there, and is that even possible?

I know its possible in TJ's. I'm just not sure if it can be done with YJ's.
In a TJ, it takes two screws to access the front speakers.
I do know that 4x6 speaker quality really kind of sucks. That is why most TJ owners have switched to 5.25 with the Nalin adapters, myself included.

The very best thing you can do with speakers is to go to a shop and hear them before you purchase them. This way you can hear the bass response, and hear how the speaker sounds overall. The speakers bass response is important if you don't plan to add a subwoofer.

Also,you mentioned your ears bleeding. That would be caused by harsh tweeters, such as those in the Infinity Kappa line. Some people like those types of speakers, personally I don't. Therefore, it is best to go to a shop and hear how they sound before you buy them. This way you won't be disappointed with them.

A subwoofer actually smooths out the sound. Unless of course, you are really pushing it, and thumping the bass.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:10 PM   #17
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The stereo I like is a Pioneer DEH-X8600BH which has a built in amp, 50 watts per channel I think.
That spec is misleading information. JD95YJ is correct and he sums it up quite nicely.

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Of course an amp will always make them better because the radios these days don't really have good crossovers in them and they send a lot of unnecessary frequencies to your speakers as well as the fact that they're under powered which creates distortion. No matter what the box of the radio says (most say 200 watts or so), it's only truly going to put about 15-25 watts to each speaker.
This is true. The HU is only going to put out safe clean wattage up to the RMS value. These aftermarket HU's are under powered for most speakers, and driving them to the "50 watts" is going to add huge amounts of distortion, which can blow speakers. 50wattsx4=200watts.

You can see this on the Crutchfield details page for the Pioneer DEH-X8600BH.

Pioneer DEH-X8600BH CD receiver at Crutchfield.com

The RMS value is 14watts@1% THD. The THD is Total Harmonic Distortion, or basically the "Distortion" level of the HU. As a general rule, anything above 1% is bad.
The max wattage, 50watts, is obtained by using the built-in amp which adds huge amounts of distortion.
The continuous wattage on this unit is given as 22watts, and the specification admits that it is already 5% THD, which is very bad.

Trying to add gain, by increasing the treble and bass, above the continuous wattage value, to add more volume, will add even more distortion. But, this does not mean it is a bad HU. It has a lot of good options. And, these RMS and THD values and rules, are true for most all aftermarket HU's, as accurately stated by JD95YJ.

So, if you wanted more volume, above the 14watts, which is low for volume, although safe, I would add a small amp as mentioned by JD95YJ.

Amps, like HU's are clean to their RMS value. So, if you got a amp that was 50watts@1% THD, then you could safely have 50watts of power.

You just have to make sure your speakers are rated above 50watts RMS, and not something like 40watts RMS. Don't be fooled by the max rating on the speakers. Only use the RMS value.

Also, your ohms need to match on the speakers and the amp. If your speakers are rated 50watts@2ohms, and your amp is 50watts@4ohms, you can still blow out your speakers. This is because at @2ohms, that amp is 100watts.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:28 AM   #18
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You just have to make sure your speakers are rated above 50watts RMS, and not something like 40watts RMS.

Also, your ohms need to match on the speakers and the amp. If your speakers are rated 50watts@2ohms, and your amp is 50watts@4ohms, you can still blow out your speakers. This is because at @2ohms, that amp is 100watts.
This it true ONLY if you you do not know how to properly set gain.

So for that combo a good amp would be something like the Rockford pbr-300x4

With 75w RMS x4 at 4ohm. Then set the gain to push 50w to the front high passed at 90hz and 60 to the rear low passed at 100hz
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:53 AM   #19
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Thanks guys; I've learned a lot about RMS here and during my searches online and changed my mind a few times as I'm prone to do. I guess, for me, I just want a good clean sound and would never have it so loud that I couldn't hear the person next to me but do understand that for a speaker system to reach it's potential that it has to have enough power supplied to it. I may put a small amp in.

For my yj, the front dash speakers are on the left and right by the door hinges and are a job to change with the passenger side being easier than the drivers side. Hard and apparently frustrating, but doable. I was messing around yesterday and noticed that the passenger side dash speaker has been changed and sounds pretty good. They drivers side is factory and the two rampage 6x9's or whatever they are in the wedges are junk compared to whatever is in the pass side dash. Anything I do will be an improvement I'm sure. I teach web design and networking and feel like I'm pretty tech savy, but sound systems have never been my thing. This is the first time that I've ever been interested in upgrading anything of the sort.

Chas you mentioned using a 5.25 in the front dash and I agree it would def. be better. I really have no idea if it would fit. I'd be tickled to death just to get the 4x6's in there. lol I'll have to research that.

For what I'm wanting, I was comparing and think the DEH-x7600HD would be fine and cheaper and I don't care if I have Bluetooth in the jeep. If it were my silverado, yeah. Pioneer DEH X7600HD DEHX7600HD in Dash CD MP3 WMA iPod HD Car Stereo Receiver | eBay

I've seen it advertised at 14 RMS and in many locations at 22 RMS so I don't know what's up with that. From the comparisons, the DEH and Kenwood Excelon both got great reviews.If you have a recommendation of a head unit that would better suit my needs, I'd welcome suggestions. Love the forum by the way....great ppl with great advice.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:06 AM   #20
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Personally I like Kenwood hu's but that is me. Go somewhere that has heads set up and any with them and see what you like.

5.25 will not fit in a yj unless you do a custom dash.

If I were you I would do just the head and speakers and see how you like it. If you need more volume get an amp. Just. Remember don't go over 3/4 volume or you risk blowing speakers even on just hu power
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:14 PM   #21
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Thanks kingcat, I think that's what I'm going to do. I don't think I'll need an amp really. With the Dual unit and speakers that are in it now I don't really like to turn it up too loud. Quality isn't good anyway plus my hearing is not the best; no desire to make it worse. I'm too old to be bumpidy bumpin anyway!
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:40 PM   #22
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The front dash speakers are a big pain but well worth it if you change them. For the driver side I found it a little easier to take the speedo/tach out and you can kinda reach the top nuts. If I remember correctly the nuts that hold them in are 8mm or 5/16. It just takes patience and a deep socket. You can also loosen the dash a little and remove the e-brake lever for a little more room.
I got the new speakers in the dash. The passenger side wasn't that bad, but as expected the driver side took some time and yes, my hand is scuffed up pretty bad! I pulled the speedo/tach out like you mentioned and it made it much easier to get in there. You basically have to work blind and I couldn't get a a whole socket or wrench (what I have anyway) in there in such a way to tighten anything. So, I used a washer, lock washer and thread locker on the nut and had to tighten them using the socket head and my hand. It worked just fine and everything seems good and tight! I can't believe how much of a difference there is just by replacing them. I can't wait to replace the 6x9's and the head unit.

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