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Old 02-13-2014, 09:50 PM   #1
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Stock amp, new headunit, new speakers

I have been searching and found very little help with my question. If I did miss the answer to this question I apologize. I bought the 2010 Jeep Sahara with an aftermarket headunit already installed. The "kicker" (pun) is that my Jeep has the infinity sound system and I want to replace the speakers cause they suck! I've read that the best thing to do is to go the new amp route and bypass the factory amp all together but I would like to try the speaker change first. The speakers currently distort after 22 or so of volume (volume goes to 32) and the sub hits just ok. I'm trying to figure out IF I were to change the speakers out (including the sub) would it really be that bad running off the factory amp? In my younger days I had the typical 1000 watt dual 12" sub setup that would rattle your teeth but I'm far removed from that now. I just want decent sound and it seems like changing the speakers (including the sub) should work. Anyone done this and have some input? I just don't want to make the switch and realize that I still have to add an amp anyway and do double work. Thanks as always!!

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Old 02-14-2014, 09:24 AM   #2
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Any head is going to get distortion at 2/3 volume. First thing I would do is get a set of speakers that are capable of being amped. Polks are a good option for jeeps. Then see if you like them. If you still find yourself going to 2/3 then add a new amp.

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Old 02-14-2014, 10:31 AM   #3
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Copy that. Now would the speakers have to be 2 ohm because that's what the stock amp is pushing? Or if I put 4 ohm speakers would they still work? This is another issue because if I do decide I have to get an amp I want I know the 4 ohm selection is much greater than the 2 ohm.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:22 PM   #4
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I had the Infinity upgrade in my Sport. I took my stock radio out and replaced it with a JVC KW-NT810HDT last year still using the stock speakers and amp.

This week I replaced the front and soundbar speaker with Polk DB651 speakers still using the factory amp and sub. This thing sounds simply amazing. The Polk's are 4ohm vs the 2ohm that was stock and it works just fine. I highly recommend the Polk speakers.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:28 PM   #5
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That's the real world expierence I'm looking for. Many thanks!
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:09 PM   #6
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The speakers are not going to help with the distortion problem. In fact, the distortion will likely ruin most any speakers. The solution is to get an amp, which provides clean power, and not to use the Loudness button on the HU, which is the cause of the distortion and will blow out speakers.

2ohm speakers can handle half the power of 4ohm speakers. If understand what I mean. So, 4ohm speakers are best. If you get an amp, try to get one that is rated the same as the speakers, in ohms and RMS power.

If, your subwoofer is 2ohms, then it might be best to get 2ohm speakers, and a 2ohm rated amp, that has the same handling capacity as the speakers and subwoofer.

Of course, you could put in a 4ohm subwoofer, and then use 4ohm speakers, and a 4ohm rated amp. This is the way that I would do it. In fact, this IS the way I did it.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:34 PM   #7
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Ahhhhh I see. Ill keep that in mind. I'm still deciding but I'm leaning toward replacing the speakers first. I'm "skilled" (if u can call it that lol) enough to install an amp if need be and if I'm not happy with the outcome. The best thing would be if I could listen to a jeep with no aftermarket amp and new speakers and vice versa. If I luck out before I jump in to the project that would be awesome!
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ChasUGC View Post
The speakers are not going to help with the distortion problem. In fact, the distortion will likely ruin most any speakers. The solution is to get an amp, which provides clean power, and not to use the Loudness button on the HU, which is the cause of the distortion and will blow out speakers.

2ohm speakers can handle half the power of 4ohm speakers. If understand what I mean. So, 4ohm speakers are best. If you get an amp, try to get one that is rated the same as the speakers, in ohms and RMS power.

If, your subwoofer is 2ohms, then it might be best to get 2ohm speakers, and a 2ohm rated amp, that has the same handling capacity as the speakers and subwoofer.

Of course, you could put in a 4ohm subwoofer, and then use 4ohm speakers, and a 4ohm rated amp. This is the way that I would do it. In fact, this IS the way I did it.
Actually not correct. And in fact this is a very complicated subject.

In general a 2 ohm speaker will handle twice the power of a 4 ohm speaker. In reality it is not that simple because it depends on the capability of the amp and the speaker itself.

Lets look at 2 amps:

Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X5 1000 Watt 5-Channel Class AB Car Amplifier
RMS: @4 ohms: 75 watts x 4 channels + 200 watts x 1 channel
RMS: @2 ohms: 125 watts x 4 channels + 500 watts x 1 channel

JL Audio 900W 5-Channel Class-D HD Series Car System Amplifier
RMS: @4 ohms: 100 watts x 4 + 500 watts x 1 channel
RMW: @ 1.5-3 ohms: 75 watts x 4 + 500 watts x 1 channel

The difference in amp's, the Fosgate amp can handle more current. The JL amp throttles the current (over current protection) if the load drops to 3 ohms or lower.

Remember also that it is possible to over drive the amp. This can double its power output. So when selecting speakers you want to be aware of this. If you get speakers rated for 75 watts and your amp puts out 75 watts assuming the same impedance, in general you are probably ok. But if you like sound at the up end of the knob it would be best to get a speaker that is rated higher than your amp output.

Match the speaker to the amp, don't buy a speaker until you know the capability of the amp.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:49 PM   #9
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Good info. Keep the knowledge coming! I might start my own sound shop after this thread ends Lol!
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:59 PM   #10
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I know 4 ohm is the bees knees but anyone have reviews on 2 ohm speakers?
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:28 PM   #11
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There is a reason there are not many 2ohm speakers. Also a aftermarket hu is not 2 ohm stable.

Don't go by what chas is saying. His info is incorrect.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:38 PM   #12
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Actually not correct. And in fact this is a very complicated subject. In general a 2 ohm speaker will handle twice the power of a 4 ohm speaker. In reality it is not that simple because it depends on the capability of the amp and the speaker itself. Lets look at 2 amps: Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X5 1000 Watt 5-Channel Class AB Car Amplifier RMS: @4 ohms: 75 watts x 4 channels + 200 watts x 1 channel RMS: @2 ohms: 125 watts x 4 channels + 500 watts x 1 channel JL Audio 900W 5-Channel Class-D HD Series Car System Amplifier RMS: @4 ohms: 100 watts x 4 + 500 watts x 1 channel RMW: @ 1.5-3 ohms: 75 watts x 4 + 500 watts x 1 channel The difference in amp's, the Fosgate amp can handle more current. The JL amp throttles the current (over current protection) if the load drops to 3 ohms or lower. Remember also that it is possible to over drive the amp. This can double its power output. So when selecting speakers you want to be aware of this. If you get speakers rated for 75 watts and your amp puts out 75 watts assuming the same impedance, in general you are probably ok. But if you like sound at the up end of the knob it would be best to get a speaker that is rated higher than your amp output. Match the speaker to the amp, don't buy a speaker until you know the capability of the amp.
You would be fine to run an amp with more power then the speakers are rated for as long as you set the gains properly with a dmm using test tones. So for 75w rms speakers you would be fine with both of those amps.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:57 PM   #13
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I'm taking it all in. A local guy owns a sound/custom shop and his JKU is ridiculous so his wont help me. But I was talking to a guy at work (we live in same neighborhood) and heard that one of the guys that works there has a mild audio system in his Jeep. I'm gonna stop by there on Tuesday and see if he'll let me sit and listen to his system. I'm not planning in having any audio work done so hopefully he'll play nice! Hey if I HAVE to put an amp in then I will but I really want to try to hear the difference before I go one way or another. Thanks again for all the insight.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:25 PM   #14
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I know 4 ohm is the bees knees but anyone have reviews on 2 ohm speakers?
Lets not get stuck on the impedance of the speakers. You want to build a system that sounds good and is balanced. It is always best to find a shop somewhere so you can listen. You have much more selection in the 4 ohm range than you will with 2 ohms. If you want a system that will put out sound look at Frequency Response and Sensitivity.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:39 PM   #15
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Ok. I'm going to bring all these talking points up when I talk to them. Thanks everyone.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:27 AM   #16
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Actually not correct. And in fact this is a very complicated subject.

Lets look at 2 amps:

Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X5 1000 Watt 5-Channel Class AB Car Amplifier
RMS: @4 ohms: 75 watts x 4 channels + 200 watts x 1 channel
RMS: @2 ohms: 125 watts x 4 channels + 500 watts x 1 channel
Good point, but, I'm not sure you understand what I was saying.

The amp puts out a higher wattage for 2ohms, in comparison to 4 ohms.

So, if you had a 2ohm speaker rated at 75 watts, and a 4ohm speaker at 75 watts, the amp would blow out the 2ohm speaker, at the 125watts RMS for a 2ohm speaker.

But,the 4ohm speaker would be safe at the max RMS value.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:51 AM   #17
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Lets not get stuck on the impedance of the speakers. You want to build a system that sounds good and is balanced. It is always best to find a shop somewhere so you can listen. You have much more selection in the 4 ohm range than you will with 2 ohms. If you want a system that will put out sound look at Frequency Response and Sensitivity.
Also, a good point. Sensitivity and Frequency is important, if you are looking to maximize the volume and low level frequency response for a HU only system, without a subwoofer.

Subwoofers handle the low frequencies much better than "any" mid range/woofer/treble speakers.

But, most modern music don't need killer high frequencies, as vocals don't reach such high frequencies. In most hip hop music the low freguencies are more important than high frequencies.

This is why the higher frequencies are harsh, because they are interpolated, and not actual vocal frequencies.

This is why I prefer a subwoofer, over a woofer/mid range/tweeter speaker.

This is also why I prefer a smooth 4-ohm tweeter speaker over a harsh 2-ohm tweeter.
(4-ohm Polk vs. 2-ohm Infinity)

I prefer my music "tight". Country music does not need a harsh, high ringing tweeter. No country singer will sing as high as Mariah Carey. And even she doesn't need a harsh, high tweeter.

Any musician knows that "tight" music is best. Music ringing all over the place sounds horrible.

In conclusion, a smooth tweeter, and a good subwoofer, is all you need for a great sounding system. IMHO.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:02 AM   #18
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There is a reason there are not many 2ohm speakers. Also a aftermarket hu is not 2 ohm stable.

Don't go by what chas is saying. His info is incorrect.
ha-ha. I think we are on the same page, and I don't know why you want to say that I am incorrect.

My statement preferred 4-ohm speakers, and that seems to concur with what you are saying. Why do you want to disagree when we seem to be agreeing?


I refuse to lose my long hair. lol.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:15 AM   #19
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Copy that. Now would the speakers have to be 2 ohm because that's what the stock amp is pushing? Or if I put 4 ohm speakers would they still work? This is another issue because if I do decide I have to get an amp I want I know the 4 ohm selection is much greater than the 2 ohm.
Not neccessarily. 4-ohm speakers are always better. You might get slightly lower volume, but you will have better handling capability.

And, a 4-ohm speaker will have less resistance, so the amp will run cooler.

A 2ohm speaker will draw more power than a 4ohm speaker, making the amp run hotter.

But, you will "push" the 2ohm speaker better, with a 2ohm amp.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:07 PM   #20
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Why do you want to disagree when we seem to be agreeing?


I refuse to lose my long hair. lol.
Because 90% of the information you post is incorrect making anything you say not reputable.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:21 PM   #21
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Because 90% of the information you post is incorrect making anything you say not reputable.
I'm not getting into a flame situation with you. I'm too much of a man to be affected by internet bullying. Sorry.

But, if you want to compare audio systems, we can do that.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:15 PM   #22
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Not neccessarily. 4-ohm speakers are always better. You might get slightly lower volume, but you will have better handling capability.

And, a 4-ohm speaker will have less resistance, so the amp will run cooler.

A 2ohm speaker will draw more power than a 4ohm speaker, making the amp run hotter.

But, you will "push" the 2ohm speaker better, with a 2ohm amp.
Actually 4 ohm speakers have more resistance than 2 ohm speakers. Ohm is a measure of resistance, the bigger the number the more the resistance.

If you by an amp that is rated at 4 ohms, running 2 ohm speakers through it will increase its output but probably reduce the sound quality and possible damage the amp.

If you run a 4 ohm speaker through an amp rated for 2 ohm you will reduce its power capability and never get everything you can get out of the amp.

Remember these are generalities.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:34 PM   #23
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Actually 4 ohm speakers have more resistance than 2 ohm speakers. Ohm is a measure of resistance, the bigger the number the more the resistance.

If you by an amp that is rated at 4 ohms, running 2 ohm speakers through it will increase its output but probably reduce the sound quality and possible damage the amp.

If you run a 4 ohm speaker through an amp rated for 2 ohm you will reduce its power capability and never get everything you can get out of the amp.

Remember these are generalities.
You are correct about the resistance(impedance). Thanks for the correction, and refining my understanding of Ohms Law. But, my conclusion is the same as your conclusion.

You should be safe running a 4-ohm speaker on a 2-ohm amp, but the quality might suffer. 2ohm speakers would be best for a 2-ohm amp.
This is what I said.

I prefer a 4-ohm amp with 4-ohm speakers, this is the best setup overall.
This is the way I did it in my Wrangler.

The quality of 4-ohm speakers is better with better resistance and handling capability. And,they sound better than 2-ohm or 3-ohm speakers, IMHO.

You definitely don't want 2-ohm speakers on a 4-ohm amp.
Even if the amp is 2 or 4 ohm stable, it will probably run cooler with 4ohm speakers. Heat is a critical consideration for amps, because most of them use passive cooling, and they heat up.

The "bottom line" should be to match the impedance of the amp to the impedance of the speakers. And, also match the RMS value of the speakers to the amp. This is also the way I did it in my Wrangler.

1) Match the ohms on speakers and amp.
2) Try to match the RMS value on your speakers and amp.
3) Use 4-ohm speakers and a 4-ohm amp.

Do you disagree?

Speaker Impedance Explained - Ohms

Why are ohms important?
Two reasons:
(1) If you connect your amplifier to the wrong speaker impedance, you risk damaging the amp. In tube amps, too high a load impedance (or a disconnected load) can result in damage to the output tubes or output transformer, while in solid state amps, if the speaker impedance is too low, the amplifier will tend to overheat and more power is used up in the amplifier than is delivered to the speaker. Too many speakers on a solid state amp can burn up the power output section.
(2) The amplifier will deliver maximum power (volume) to the speaker when the speaker impedance matches (is equal to) the internal impedance (called the OUTPUT IMPEDANCE) of the amplifier. Too low an impedance will result in weak output and poor tone. If the speaker impedance is higher than that of the amplifier, its power output will again be less than it is capable of.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #24
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No offense. Chas, nothing you're talking about makes any sense.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:04 PM   #25
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No offense. Chas, nothing you're talking about makes any sense.
My point exactly.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:00 PM   #26
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You are correct about the resistance(impedance). Thanks for the correction, and refining my understanding of Ohms Law. But, my conclusion is the same as your conclusion.

You should be safe running a 4-ohm speaker on a 2-ohm amp, but the quality might suffer. 2ohm speakers would be best for a 2-ohm amp.
This is what I said.

I prefer a 4-ohm amp with 4-ohm speakers, this is the best setup overall.
This is the way I did it in my Wrangler.

The quality of 4-ohm speakers is better with better resistance and handling capability. And,they sound better than 2-ohm or 3-ohm speakers, IMHO.

You definitely don't want 2-ohm speakers on a 4-ohm amp.
Even if the amp is 2 or 4 ohm stable, it will probably run cooler with 4ohm speakers. Heat is a critical consideration for amps, because most of them use passive cooling, and they heat up.

The "bottom line" should be to match the impedance of the amp to the impedance of the speakers. And, also match the RMS value of the speakers to the amp. This is also the way I did it in my Wrangler.

1) Match the ohms on speakers and amp.
2) Try to match the RMS value on your speakers and amp.
3) Use 4-ohm speakers and a 4-ohm amp.

Do you disagree?

Speaker Impedance Explained - Ohms

Why are ohms important?
Two reasons:
(1) If you connect your amplifier to the wrong speaker impedance, you risk damaging the amp. In tube amps, too high a load impedance (or a disconnected load) can result in damage to the output tubes or output transformer, while in solid state amps, if the speaker impedance is too low, the amplifier will tend to overheat and more power is used up in the amplifier than is delivered to the speaker. Too many speakers on a solid state amp can burn up the power output section.
(2) The amplifier will deliver maximum power (volume) to the speaker when the speaker impedance matches (is equal to) the internal impedance (called the OUTPUT IMPEDANCE) of the amplifier. Too low an impedance will result in weak output and poor tone. If the speaker impedance is higher than that of the amplifier, its power output will again be less than it is capable of.
Nothing is simple about this subject and that is with 40 years working electrical design.

To simply state that 4 ohm is better than 2 ohm is totally subjective. The truth of the matter is the biggest reason for the use of 4 ohm systems in our cars is because of the voltage and current available. If we had more voltage available we would be running 8 ohm systems. If we had more current available we would run 2 ohm systems.

Again the safest way for most people to approach this is to build a matched system. It may not be the best match of components, getting the most out of the amp/speaker set up but you won't fry the system either.

You can spend well over 50K to build top end system (been there) and it may not sound any better than someones stock system (not in my life). You can on paper design a perfectly balanced system and when you put it together it sounds like shit. IMO what Alpine and Jeep did the the JK.

IMO if at all possible find a shop that as the ability to put together the components you are thinking about and listen before you buy. If you put a system together without hearing it be ready to start spending a lot more money than you planned.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:56 PM   #27
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I'm hearing and taking in all that is being said. I fidget start this thread to cause problems Lol! My brother is going to donate his amps from his truck he's trading in so ill take it from there. Gonna be 4 ohm and bypass the factory junk. Thanks for all the advice everyone!
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:06 AM   #28
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Nothing is simple about this subject and that is with 40 years working electrical design.

To simply state that 4 ohm is better than 2 ohm is totally subjective. The truth of the matter is the biggest reason for the use of 4 ohm systems in our cars is because of the voltage and current available. If we had more voltage available we would be running 8 ohm systems. If we had more current available we would run 2 ohm systems.

Again the safest way for most people to approach this is to build a matched system. It may not be the best match of components, getting the most out of the amp/speaker set up but you won't fry the system either.

You can spend well over 50K to build top end system (been there) and it may not sound any better than someones stock system (not in my life). You can on paper design a perfectly balanced system and when you put it together it sounds like shit. IMO what Alpine and Jeep did the the JK.

IMO if at all possible find a shop that as the ability to put together the components you are thinking about and listen before you buy. If you put a system together without hearing it be ready to start spending a lot more money than you planned.
I agree 100%. I agree that it is best to build a matched system, ohms and RMS. I also agree that it is best to listen to the components before you buy them too. I have been saying this all along.

I just don't understand why Jeep continually used paper cone speakers in vehicles that were designed for environmentally challenging situations. Especially since, Jeeps are built specifically for those type of situations.

I also don't understand why Jeep used 2-ohm speakers. They were able to include the upgraded HU technology, but they ignored the component technology after the HU.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:14 AM   #29
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I agree 100%. I agree that it is best to build a matched system, ohms and RMS. I also agree that it is best to listen to the components before you buy them too. I have been saying this all along.

I just don't understand why Jeep continually used paper cone speakers in vehicles that were designed for environmentally challenging situations. Especially since, Jeeps are built specifically for those type of situations.

I also don't understand why Jeep used 2-ohm speakers. They were able to include the upgraded HU technology, but they ignored the component technology after the HU.
The point is there is nothing wrong with a 2 ohm setup. In fact your top single channel amps and subs run 2 ohms or less. Of course we are talking amps that can produce 40000 watts and subs that can handle 10000 watts and cost north of 10K.

The best advice I can give when putting together a system is as follows:

Establish your price point for each component
For speakers, compare all the speakers at that price point, buy the speakers that has the best sensitivity regardless of impedance or sound the best to you.
For tweeters if you like sharp highs, get metal, if you like softer highs get silk
For subs you will find that the top end subs run at 1 and 2 ohms. If you are serious you will run a separate sub amp anyway.
For amps get one that works not only at 4 ohms but also 2 ohms and 1 even ohm. Remember that speakers are rated at average so even a 4 ohm speaker will see 1 and 2 ohm loads depending on the freq.

There is much, much more that goes into this. You can easily spend more on the stereo system than the Jeep cost new.

Best advice and something I have done with the wife's vehicles is go to your local car audio store, tell them what you want, pay them the cash and let them install it.

There is a certain joy to doing an install yourself, but it sucks when things don't work out right. One thing for sure though is the Jeeps systems suck. I will probably re-amp and install new speakers. Now to figure out my price point. It is a Jeep after all, so it should not be that high. Famous last words.

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