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Old 02-13-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
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Speaker Installation for 2012 JKS with Detailed Pictures and Simple Instructions

Background:
I have the standard 130 HU with uConnect. There is no factory amp or sub-woofer with this system. I want to replace the front dash and soundbar 6½” speakers only at this time to find out if I can reduce or eliminate the “muddy” sound of the stock system and maybe add a little bass. Amplifier(s) and dashtop “tombstone” tweeters may be added in the future. I am not an audiophile, so please don’t start on me or my choices; I'm just a jeeper looking for a better music experience at a budget price, and hoping to help others that may feel the same.

Products Purchased:
1 ea. Polk Audio DB651 6½” Coaxial Speakers (pair) (soundbar) $55.28
1 ea. Polk Audio DB651S 6½” Coaxial Speakers (pair) (dash) $59.98
1 ea. DEI 050330 Boom Mat 6½” Speaker baffle (2-pack) (dash) $8.07
2 ea. Metra 72-6514 Speaker Harness (2 packs – 4 total) (all 4) $13.18


Total budget price of $136.51 included free 2-day shipping by Amazon Prime (2/2013). I also used a small bag of polyfill. This was bought a year ago when I filled the soundbar so I’m not sure of the exact price ($5-6?).

Tools required:
Ratchet with small extension
7mm ratchet socket ( I didn’t have this, but a 9/32” worked just fine)
10mm ratchet socket
T-15 Torx bit
Phillips head screwdriver
Regular head very small screwdriver (for prying panel edges)
Dremel or drill with cutting bit
Flashlight or other worklight



Soundbar Speaker Remove / Install (same for both sides)
1. Remove existing grill and speaker by using a Torx T-15 bit on handle driver or ratchet to remove the 3ea. screws. Retain the screws for later use, unhook the white plug on speaker rear and put grille and speaker aside (won’t need either). Notice the white polyfill in the soundbar that was installed previously (pic-1).



2. Carefully unpackage one DB651 (not the 651S shallow mount) speaker, speaker grille, foam gasket (already sitting on speaker), black adapter ring and bag of screws and clips. Also unpack 1ea. bag of the terminal harness adapters (pic-2 shows harness adapter, bag of screws and clips, and the foam gasket).

3. Using the 3ea. Torx T-15 screws from step #1, mount the black plastic adapter ring (pic-3) to the soundbar opening using tabs 1, 2 and 3. This adapter doesn’t want to sit flush or centered to the opening by itself, so adjust the position until it sits flush and flat in the opening and the 3ea. outermost tabs line up with the existing silver metal retaining clips. Be sure that the completely flat side of the adapter is against the soundbar opening.



4. Next, stack upside down the new silver grille, the speaker and the foam gasket, lining up the gasket screw slots with the speaker and grille screw holes. Now attach the spade connectors to the speaker tabs. This is idiot-proof because there is a wide and a narrow terminal that match up to a wide and a narrow metal tab on the speaker. Make sure that the speaker terminal is actually connected and not just stuck between the metal terminal and the plastic (like I did, see pic-4).


5. Pick up the assembled grille, speaker, foam gasket and harness plug assembly, and hold close to the soundbar opening. Plug in the white plastic fitting into the matching white fitting on the jeep wiring harness (pic-4).


6. Place harness plugs inside of opening to the side so they will not interfere with or rest against speaker when it is put in place. Line up the four holes in the grille with the four very small holes on the adapter (refer back to pic-3, holes A,B,C,D).


7. Place a provided long Phillips head screw in a grill screw opening and tighten about half way. Keeping the grille, speaker screw holes and gasket slots aligned, place another long Phillips head screw in the opposite side and tighten half way. Repeat for last 2ea. screws, hold grille, speaker and gasket tightly against plastic adapter in desired position and tighten all screws. See pic-5 for finished install.



8. Repeat steps 1 - 7 for other side; it will be easier because now you have experience.

My opinion: The fit, although not perfect, is certainly acceptable when you do some “fussing” with the adapter position. There are no cut or spliced connections. The speaker remove/install for the soundbar is a one beer task. Add a beer if you still haven’t polyfilled the soundbar before this install and have to do that first.




Dash Speaker Remove / Install – passenger side:
9. Remove glove box by pressing in sides to allow plastic side posts to pass through the opening and then pull towards you and up (pic-6). Notice the bottom tabs and how they mate to frame. Also notice that the owner’s manual doesn’t fit laying down flat.




10. Press dash side panel as shown to expose a lip that may be pried open with a small screwdriver (pic-7). Notice the tabs (6ea.) and how they fit to the dash (pic-8).



11. You can now see the whole passenger side black plastic speaker pod. Remove 2ea. bright copper colored 7mm screws from right side near the passenger door hinge (A and B, pic-9).

12. Remove 2 ea. black 7mm screws facing you at bottom of glove box opening (C and D), the black 7mm screw from bottom near door wiring plug (E, pic-10a), and the silver colored 10mm screw from bottom (F) that attaches the black metal pod-bottom frame to the silver dash frame (pic-10). Note that you must pull the plastic dash bottom towards you to make enough room to fit your socket to the 10mm frame screw head (F). Be careful not to dislodge the metal clip screw receptor from the pod-bottom frame.




13. Unplug the grey wiring harness at the upper rear on the black plastic speaker pod by pressing in on the tab to release (pic-10, above). The speaker pod is now loose and may be removed through the glove box opening by carefully turning and twisting until it is free.

14. You can now remove the factory speaker from the plastic pod by removing the 3 ea. Phillips head screws that attach the speaker mounting frame to the pod and unplugging the wire harness from the rear speaker terminals (pic-11).





15. Attach purchased speaker harness plug to connector inside pod, then connect wires with spade connectors to speaker terminals of a DB651S shallow mount speaker. Make sure to use the correct speaker because the regular DB651 will not fit correctly behind the dash grille. The spade connectors are different widths so it is almost impossible to make a polarity (+/-) error. No cutting, soldering or splicing of wires is required. Fill the pod loosely with polyfill. Next, fit speaker frame onto speaker pod. This is the first sign of trouble – it doesn’t fit and no plastic adapters have been sent in this speaker box. I don’t know if an adapter should have been included, but we will find a solution. There is not enough of an overlap of the speaker frame when sitting on the pod to make a good solid connection between the two. If you don’t feel comfortable here, go to an auto parts store or speaker outlet and purchase an adapter like the one we used in the soundbar.

16. Using a dremel or cut-off drill bit, cut all of the black plastic supports from the original factory speaker where the support meets the round frame (pic-12), then cut the mesh face and remove the paper cone and all of the mesh and rubber trim up to the plastic ring (pic-12a), then clean it up and even out any rough spots. Now we have an adapter frame to work with, and we know that it fits the pod perfectly because that's where it was installed from the factory.



17. Using the longer silver screws and screw-clips provided with your speakers, carefully put one screw through one of the speaker front mounting holes and through to the inside of the plastic ring created from the original round speaker frame, then attach a screw-clip to the end, and while holding in place, tighten the screw until the clip is resting firmly against both the plastic of the old frame and the metal frame of the new speaker (pic-13). Bend the clip up if necessary to obtain clearance at the pod mounting hole. Repeat with the opposite side, then with holes ½-way between (4 total screws and clips). When done, there should be a very tight and firm connection of the new speaker to the old modified frame. Problem solved! You will not use the provided grille because it will not fit correctly under the dash (we don’t want to create any rattles).




18. Position the frame tabs (note that one is longer than the other two) and fasten the tabs to the pod using the original screws. Tighten the screws down until there is a nice, tight connection (pic-14). No boom mat or foam baffles are necessary with this tight fit.



19. Position the assembled black plastic speaker pod back into place through the glove box opening. There is a metal tab on the metal pod frame to attain correct positioning. Attach the factory plug at the upper rear of the pod, re-install and tighten all of the screws (2ea. copper colored 7mm screws from door hinge side into pod, 2ea. black 7mm screws on dash below glove box opening, 1ea. black 7mm screw facing upward next to the door wiring harness, and the one 10mm black screw that holds the metal pod frame to the metal dash frame). Rest the glove box in the hinge tab holders, squeeze the glove box sides in to let the plastic posts clear the dash sides, and close the glove box.


20. Press dash side panel back into place after lining up the white tabs on the panel with the receptacle holes on the dash.


Congratulations! – you are finished with the passenger front dash speaker install! This was a two beer project if you were careful – just remember that the length of time required to complete this and the last task is directly proportional to the number of beers consumed .



Dash Speaker Remove / Install – driver side:
21. Remove side plastic dash panel near driver door hinge (mirror image of passenger side).

22. Remove the door-stop strap and door wiring harness plug to allow for plenty of room because this side is a little more space-restricted than the passenger side. The speaker pod will eventually be removed from this side, and we’ll need the room. If you don’t want a “Jeep mirror dimple”, place a soft towel on the hood where the mirror will hit, or put something in place to stop the door from opening that far.

23. Remove the trim panel that surrounds the steering wheel. Pry gently at points shown and pull away from each tab, working from top to the bottom hinge tabs (2ea.) (pic-15).




24. Next, remove four 7mm black screws (A,B,C,D) that were revealed after removing the trim panel (pic-16). Remove the 7mm black screw (E) that is facing upwards holding the dash near the door wiring harness connections.



25. From the side near the driver’s door hinge, remove 2ea. 7mm bright copper screws (F,G), (pic-17). Do not unplug the white plug connection; it is not the speaker pod wiring.

26. Pull the dash out at the bottom towards the driver’s seat to get room to remove the 10mm upward facing screw that holds the speaker pod metal bottom frame to the lower dash metal frame (pic-18). This is again the mirror image of the passenger side.



27. Next, pull the plastic dash away from the speaker; you’ll need a lot of space for the pod to be removed. Once you have enough room, feel the plug and wire harness attached to the upper right rear of the speaker pod (as seen from driver’s seat). This is again a mirror image of the passenger side, so you should be able to do this by feel alone. Once you have located the plug, press the tab in and remove the plug and wires from the pod.

28. Now pull the dash bottom way back away from the speaker with one hand while using the other hand to work the pod free. Don’t worry – the dash will not break or crease even though you need a lot of clearance.

29. Once the pod is free, go back and repeat steps 14 – 18 for this side (unplug speaker from pod, fill with polyfill, make an adapter from the factory speaker, mount the new speaker to the adapter, connect the wiring harness, and mount the finished speaker assembly to the pod). This should be a piece of cake with all of the experience we gained from the passenger side.

30. When the new speaker and pod are complete, hold the pod near the dash opening until it is close enough to re-attach the pod wiring harness plug. Once the plug is attached, work the pod back into place while holding the dash out of the way.

31. Once in place, reinstall the 10mm screw (H) that holds the pod to the metal frame, reinstall the two 7mm bright copper screws (F, G), then reinstall the 4ea. 7mm screws (A, B, C, D) around the steering wheel column and the 7mm screw (E) under the dash facing upwards near the door wiring harness.

32. Reinstall the steering column trim panel and the dash side panel. Re-attach the door limit strap and the door wiring harness plug to the receptacle under the dash.

Again, congratulations are in order! You are now a lot more familiar with YOUR Jeep and how it was put together. A 6-pack should have covered your time start to finish. You probably also learned a few new words while trying to extract the pods from their resting place behind the dash.

My conclusions:
I am happy to have done this project on my Jeep. While it took a bit of adjusting the few available sound control options on the basic 130 head unit with uConnect to get the optimum sound for my personal taste, I am very pleased with the result. The sound is clear and bright and the bass is a bit more “punchy” and less “muddy” than with the factory speakers. Adding volume does not distort the music, but seems to help the sound clarity.

The dash-top tombstone tweeters sound just OK, but the tweeters in all four coaxial speakers bring a whole new level to the high end. I hear more instruments and sounds than previously, and have actually moved the tweeter settings back to just above neutral. I’m not sure that crossovers and new dashtop tweeters would offer a whole lot of improvement for another $50-$60 or so.

In closing, I think I got a whole lot of improvement for a budget price of about $130 (plus beer) delivered to my door. I did not end up using the speaker baffles, but I did some testing of the sound before I cut and trimmed them for a trial before eventually discarding them altogether. I am a happy camper and don’t feel a need to start installing amps or power packs, although I’m certain that they would take this sound to a whole new level.

Hope this helps somebody…
John (b.lister)
Posted on JEEP WRANGLER FORUM 2/2013

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Old 02-13-2013, 11:49 AM   #2
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Great write up and just the info I need! I've been wanting to do some audio replacements myself to get the stock 130 to play a little louder and a bit more bass with overall better sound. Wanted to use the same Polk speakers basically and do the exact same thing you did except I've been a bit afraid to pull the trigger after some bad experiences in the past. With your info here I am much more reassured about this! I will probably replaced the tweeters myself since its not much more money.

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:48 AM   #3
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Wow, thanks for the painstaking detail and photos!
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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Excellent write up - just pulled the trigger on the same components - hoping to get them installed this coming weekend.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Just ordered Looking forward to putting them in.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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Thanks for the awesome write-up. I will use this and upgrade these same 4 speakers in my Jeep. I have same system but don't even have the UConnect. I previously installed 4 Polk db651s speakers in an old ski boat I had replacing the factory kenwood and the difference was a big one.

Two questions: Did using the adapter bracket on the soundbar speakers cause them to hang down out of the sound bar more than you would like or are they flush enough that they are fine? Also, I have a softtop and would like a little louder volume when top is down sometimes, but don't want to install an amp. I've noticed that sometimes certain speakers are louder or quieter with the same amount of power. Any noticeable difference in volume with the Polks vs. the factory speakers?
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:35 AM   #7
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Yeah, this should be a sticky.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:58 PM   #8
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this is great, needs to be a sticky as I am sure to need it soon!
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volfo View Post
Thanks for the awesome write-up. I will use this and upgrade these same 4 speakers in my Jeep. I have same system but don't even have the UConnect. I previously installed 4 Polk db651s speakers in an old ski boat I had replacing the factory kenwood and the difference was a big one.

Two questions: Did using the adapter bracket on the soundbar speakers cause them to hang down out of the sound bar more than you would like or are they flush enough that they are fine? Also, I have a softtop and would like a little louder volume when top is down sometimes, but don't want to install an amp. I've noticed that sometimes certain speakers are louder or quieter with the same amount of power. Any noticeable difference in volume with the Polks vs. the factory speakers?
The soundbar speakers look fine to me using the new grilles from Polk, but that is just my opinion. I think, if you use the dB651S (shallow mount) you might be able to use the factory grille covers, and the difference should be just ¼" or so lower than stock (the width of the adapter). Others here have used the 651S shallow mounts in the soundbar; maybe they will chime in and let you how how they feel.

I found that the stock system is still underpowered, but if you fade output to the rear a bit and crank it up some, they sound remarkably better than stock. Because I can't leave the damn Jeep alone, I just installed a 430RBZ Mygig head unit and love it (used, plug and play). It may be my imagination, but I think it sounds better than the 130RES that I had.

Good Luck,

John
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:58 PM   #10
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Great write-up. I'm thinking about undertaking this task. A little nervous about the ones in the dash, but we will see...
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:24 AM   #11
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Got these from Crutchfield and will be installing today. Already replaced the 130 RES with Kenwood KDC-HD552U last week...sound was ok with the stock speakers, but I think these Polks will sound so much better! Crutchfield came with instructions. But this write-up will be be a great help, thanks!
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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Anyone know what the maximum mounting depth would be for a speaker in the dash or in the sound bar?
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:32 PM   #13
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wow... the most complete and fun to read DIY manual ever! Thanks for that!
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:45 PM   #14
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Thanks Again!

I did this yesterday, exactly as you suggested. Sounds much better, particularly when I turn it up. It also seems a little louder, even with the stock head unit. Will be replacing the stock head unit soon with the Kenwood Excelon 997 that I just received today from Crutchfield.

Thanks again! (and yes, it is weird but my db561 speakers had the adapter plate, like yours did, and my db651s speakers did not!)
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:35 PM   #15
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Bought all these exact parts and some polyfill today. Altogether it was $141.00 and it will be here on Wednesday (love that Amazon prime). I don't know if I can wait for the weekend to the the install!

Thanks for the great write up. This is just what I was looking for.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:08 PM   #16
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Sure - Why not... Great write up. Thanks!!
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:16 PM   #17
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This is fantastic, without having read this I just ordered almost the same speakers - I got the DB6501 component speakers though, so I'll have to figure out how to swap out the tweeters in the tombstones on top of the dash. I'm sure I can figure it.

One thing to mention - I bought the speaker adapters because the Crutchfield site said I needed them to fit speakers into the housing, but your post seems to suggest that they come as standard with the Polk units. Can someone clarify please?
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:19 PM   #18
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Just did this upgrade. What a sound difference! HU and all 4 speakers. Thanks for this write up! I even redid all 4 speakers twice! As I was appeasing the OCD in me!!
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Red Belly View Post
Just did this upgrade. What a sound difference! HU and all 4 speakers. Thanks for this write up! I even redid all 4 speakers twice! As I was appeasing the OCD in me!!
Which HU did you put in?
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:32 PM   #20
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Which HU did you put in?
This.


With these.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:21 AM   #21
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This is fantastic, without having read this I just ordered almost the same speakers - I got the DB6501 component speakers though, so I'll have to figure out how to swap out the tweeters in the tombstones on top of the dash. I'm sure I can figure it.

One thing to mention - I bought the speaker adapters because the Crutchfield site said I needed them to fit speakers into the housing, but your post seems to suggest that they come as standard with the Polk units. Can someone clarify please?
Adapter rings came with the 651 speaker pair but not the 651s slim speaker pair. Not sure why. I used the original factory ones as described in the original post but would have bought them if easily available and I had known.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:11 AM   #22
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If I'm going to upgrade the HU it will be a Double DIN to take up all the usable space, as most have been doing. Just the HU and speaker swap is a big upgrade to the sound, I see. Good to know. Thanks for the write-up's.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:42 AM   #23
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Thank you for this write up. I know I have to go down this road, either with the Polks or the Kicker upgrades. I was sitting in my Jeep yesterday adjusting and playing with the stock radio settings. I think mine is a 130 unit without U-Connect. Very VERY basic radio.

When I totally dial out the front speakers, there is so little bass that you would think the sliders were switched all the way to the left. When I add in the fronts and adjust the sliders to near my enjoyment level it becomes almost acceptable.

While not an audiophile, and am a former musician and Choral group singer. I enjoy a wide range of music and like hearing some of the subtle nuances of voice and instruments.

I also have to balance this out with a very limited budget and a soft top Jeep. Having a Jeep can be target enough. Having $1000 in audio equipment would be tempting fate too much.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #24
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Just wanted to add my thanks for this, I replaced the stock fronts and tweeters with Polk db6501 components today and the tutorial on how to remove the pods was invaluable. I made it a bit more complex for myself by using components rather than coaxials, but with some patience and a bit of MacGyvering it all turned out quite well. I've also run completely new wiring, partly because I want to retain the option of returning the vehicle to stock at some point in the future and partly because I don't want the new system to be let down by the quality of the cable. Once you get the dashboard open there's a surprising amount of space in there to create new cable runs.

Warbird, the great thing about upgrading the speakers is that no-one knows that you have done it because they're still covered by the stock grilles. Swap the head unit out for one with a removable faceplate and you're pretty secure.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:30 AM   #25
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Warbird, the great thing about upgrading the speakers is that no-one knows that you have done it because they're still covered by the stock grilles. Swap the head unit out for one with a removable faceplate and you're pretty secure.
I think that will be the path I'll be going down shortly. I can see and feel the quality of the kicker speakers and having them in the stock locations (only the sound bar for now) is nice that they are in the factory spots and look stock.

After doing the rear speaker install I am less than pleased with the results. I may have to stop and get some polyfill this afternoon and stuff the soundbar. The sound is still very muddy and not nearly as crisp as I would have thought. Beginning to think it is the head unit more than anything else. I've looked at some of the Kenwood Excelon head units and I think I may go that way.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:12 AM   #26
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To be honest, I've never been that high on Kicker coaxial speakers... but it seems that's what most people are upgrading to as they are made to fit the stock locations perfectly.

But yes, they would sound better with a new HU, then even better with an amplifier. It seems the 4 speaker only upgrade is substantial, but personally I'll put the speakers of my choice in with adapter plates.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:37 PM   #27
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I would like to note that I did do the install just as described in the write up. Going on three weeks and I love it. Sound is better and I can actually feel some bass!

Quote:
Originally Posted by b.lister View Post
The soundbar speakers look fine to me using the new grilles from Polk, but that is just my opinion. I think, if you use the dB651S (shallow mount) you might be able to use the factory grille covers, and the difference should be just ¼" or so lower than stock (the width of the adapter). Others here have used the 651S shallow mounts in the soundbar; maybe they will chime in and let you how how they feel.

I found that the stock system is still underpowered, but if you fade output to the rear a bit and crank it up some, they sound remarkably better than stock. Because I can't leave the damn Jeep alone, I just installed a 430RBZ Mygig head unit and love it (used, plug and play). It may be my imagination, but I think it sounds better than the 130RES that I had.

Good Luck,

John

I have been doing my research and am now hooked on getting a 430RBZ as well!!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:18 PM   #28
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Nice writeup. Wish I would have found it before I did mine. My thoughts are that upgrading the speakers in the sound bar is a waste of money if you are not replacing the head unit. What they appear to have done is built a crossover into the head unit that limits the frequency range going to those speakers. There is no bass back there and it sounds like there is nothing under 1000Hz. If you fade all the way to the rear then fade all the way to the front you'll hear it.

If anyone finds a solution to this it'd be very interesting to hear about. Some wiring diagrams indicate that there are two pair of wires for left and right "subs" as they call them. These are different from the sub leads should carry signals below 100Hz. I'm wondering if anyone has these leads and if they have tried twisting them into the leads that go to the sound bar.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:31 PM   #29
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Those speakers in the sound bar should not receive any low bass frequencies anyway as they cannot reproduce them. If I was building a system I'd high-pass them around 100hz (or to a point that sounds the best). Low bass frequencies should be low-passed to the subwoofer.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:56 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st1264 View Post
Those speakers in the sound bar should not receive any low bass frequencies anyway as they cannot reproduce them. If I was building a system I'd high-pass them around 100hz (or to a point that sounds the best). Low bass frequencies should be low-passed to the subwoofer.
True but we're talking about a stock head unit and upgrading only the speakers. They will not handle below 100Hz but it sounds like everything below 1000Hz is clipped. There is no mid-range, mid bass or bass coming from them.

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