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Old 11-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
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Want to install a new HU in my jku

Hey all, I am looking to install a new head unit in my jku. I have been doing some browsing through the forum and have not found a direct answer to my question so I figured I'd put it out there. Sorry if it's been beaten to death and I'm stupid and can't find it.
I will start by stating I have a 2010 with the infinity system already in place including a factory sub. I believe it's a 130 but not sure, it's a 6 disc changer with no gps or touch screen. It does not have uconnect and I do not use the satellite radio. I plan on installing a single din stereo in place of the stock HU, with 50x4 power. It does have RCA plugs in the rear of the new unit.

Here's my questions:

If I install a new HU, I need an install kit and a wiring harness adapter correct?

Is there anything else?

Should I expect an improvement in sound quality and overall volume with the install of a new HU only?

Will the factory sub sound better or worse (bass wise) with a new HU?


I know I'm forgetting some questions but hopefully I will remember as answers come rolling in. I already know that to get the best results I should replace the speakers also, but this is not am option right now.

Thanks in advance for your help

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Old 11-26-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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The reason Wranglers use a single din aftermarket stereo in the earlier models is because the Double Din won't fit without tearing up the dash. There are few options for the stock 1-1/2 din slot. Once you have a later model Wrangler, with a Double-Din slot, there are much better stereos available.

You might get a little better quality sound from a good aftermarket HU but, not overall volume. Most HU's are about 18watts RMS. The 50watts is max value. Using the internal amp at high volumes, tremendously increases the distortion. So, this would decrease the quality. To properly increase the volume, you would need an amp, which outputs clean volume.

If you are taking out the stock HU, and you don't have the Uconnect steering controls, then all you need is the dash kit and the harness adapter.

If you want better sound from your subwoofer, I would consider a 7-band EQ. This will allow you to better tweak the sub channel. They are only about $50.

But, if you went with a good Double din stereo, they may have a 7-band EQ built-in, along with a lot of other great options.

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Old 11-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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The reason Wranglers use a single din aftermarket stereo in the earlier models is because the Double Din won't fit without tearing up the dash. There are few options for the stock 1-1/2 din slot. Once you have a later model Wrangler, with a Double-Din slot, there are much better stereos available. You might get a little better quality sound from a good aftermarket HU but, not overall volume. Most HU's are about 18watts RMS. The 50watts is max value. Using the internal amp at high volumes, tremendously increases the distortion. So, this would decrease the quality. To properly increase the volume, you would need an amp, which outputs clean volume. If you are taking out the stock HU, and you don't have the Uconnect steering controls, then all you need is the dash kit and the harness adapter. If you want better sound from your subwoofer, I would consider a 7-band EQ. This will allow you to better tweak the sub channel. They are only about $50. But, if you went with a Double din stereo, they may have a 7-band EQ built-in, along with a lot of other great options.
So what your saying is to get an amp to power all the speakers including the sub if I wanted volume and clarity. If I were to do this, what channel/power amp would I be looking at to accomplish this? And, would the stock infinity speakers be good to accomplish this also?
Btw, thanks
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:02 PM   #4
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And, would the stock infinity speakers be good to accomplish this also?
Absolutely not. The stock speakers are crap. First, you would need to determine how much power/volume you want, and then get speakers to handle it.

Changing out the speakers will definitely increase the quality too. But, I would seriously consider a good double din head unit with a built-in graphic EQ.

Otherwise, if sound "quality" is a serious consideration, and you want to go cheap with a single din, I would recommend the Clarion EQ746 7-band 1/2-din EQ with enhanced subwoofer control. The THD on this unit is 0.005% THD. That is quality. And, it is cheap. You can see a video below.

Clarion EQS746 7-Band Graphic Rotary Equalizer / EQ w/Aux Input

You can add the speakers and amp later, but you will get much better sound than just the bass and treble adjustments on the HU. I can guarantee that if you get the Clarion, you will not be disappointed.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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Absolutely not. The stock speakers are crap. First, you would need to determine how much power/volume you want, and then get speakers to handle it. Changing out the speakers will definitely increase the quality too. But, I would seriously consider a good double din head unit with a built-in graphic EQ. Otherwise, if sound "quality" is a serious consideration, and you want to go cheap with a single din, I would recommend the Clarion EQ746 7-band 1/2-din EQ with enhanced subwoofer control. The THD on this unit is 0.005% THD. That is quality. And, it is cheap. You can see a video below. Clarion EQS746 7-Band Graphic Rotary Equalizer / EQ w/Aux Input You can add the speakers and amp later, but you will get much better sound than just the bass and treble adjustments on the HU. I can guarantee that if you get the Clarion, you will not be disappointed.
So that is a powered eq then. It will enhance all the speakers and the sub as far as sound but also give a little bit more volume. Cool, I think I'm heading down the right road so far. Thanks for your help
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:32 PM   #6
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So that is a powered eq then. It will enhance all the speakers and the sub as far as sound but also give a little bit more volume. Cool, I think I'm heading down the right road so far. Thanks for your help
No, it is not a Powered EQ, but it does have gain. It will allow you to crank up the stereo and reduce the clipping which could lead to blown speakers. This is critical as you increase the power to the speakers. It also has enhanced subwoofer control which is good for easily adjusting the subwoofer between different genres. If you want good subwoofer control, this will give it to you. A good EQ is a must for any good sound system.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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I own a single DIN stereo with a 7-band graphic or 3-band parametric EQ, digital time alignment, 4v pre-outs.... you don't have to go to a Double DIN stereo to get quality audio control.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:39 PM   #8
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The powered EQ was back in the '80's. Yes, I remember having one. They seem to be pretty much gone now. Back then, it was much easier to add clean power to your head unit. The purpose was the same, that being, stay away from that loudness button on the HU, that adds a ton of distortion at high volume levels and blows out speakers. I actually had a Clarion Powered EQ back then. This is how I became familiar with the Clarion products of EQ. I remember trying a bunch of different EQ's back then. Clarion was the one that when I adjusted a frequency lever, I actually heard a clean drastic change in the sound quality.

Today, its much different. Now you have to contend with crossovers, and all sorts of different levers to set up amplification. Back then, the powered EQ was just plug and play.

But, the idea is still the same today. At low volumes, you use the loudness button, with built-in presets, to EQ the voice, to bring it out. At high volumes, you can't use it, because it adds to much distortion. And, without the loudness button and built-in presets, you loose the voice, at high volumes. It gets buried, because the voice is in the mid range, and most stereo's only have bass and treble adjustments. Even with my Alpine PDX-V9, it sounded like crap, turned up loud without an EQ. It just sounded dead to me. If I turned down the bass and treble, I lost them. A good EQ brings the music to life at high volumes, without adding a bunch of distortion and noise. Hence, the 0.005% THD on the Clarion EQ746. It is amazing, hearing the difference.

I guess inflation, and getting more money out of the consumer probably played a part in the elimination of the Powered EQ. Now, I'm becoming one of those who was part of the "olden" days. Yipes! lol.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
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I own a single DIN stereo with a 7-band graphic or 3-band parametric EQ, digital time alignment, 4v pre-outs.... you don't have to go to a Double DIN stereo to get quality audio control.
I never said that you had to go Double Din to get quality audio control. I just said that some Double Din Stereo's have 7-band graphic EQ's built-in. And, if your vehicle has a Double Din slot, you don't have to cut your dash to get a Double Din stereo installed with that sort of control.

Most of the single din stereo's have presets(3-band), and only bass & treble control. Someones idea of a rock preset, without a subwoofer, is not my idea of a rock preset with a subwoofer. Heck, someones idea might not be my idea, period. So, to get my personal preference of "quality" adjustment, I knew I needed a good 7-band EQ. Clarion, fits that bill, with its 0.005% THD 7-band EQ, that fits into the available 1/2 din slot, left behind by our single din radios. I just set it, and forget it, and my personal setting fits all my genres. I may have to adjust my subwoofer control for Hip Hop or Power Pop. You not only get 2-bass frequency controls, 3-mid range frequency controls, and 2-treble frequency controls, but you also get overall gain control, fader control, and enhanced subwoofer control. All at a touch of a dial, instead of constantly pushing buttons on your HU while you are driving, if they even have any of those controls other than fader control. There is even an AUX button to add a CB radio.

With my Alpine PDX-V9, I would get a blasting of the music at 7-8 volume on my HU, and I never went above 16. Instead of adjusting my amp, which was already tuned to my system capabilities, I just turned the gain down on my Clarion. I now get more control of the volume between 7-8. The 16 now becomes 32 (out of 39 maximum), and the 7-8 becomes approximately 8-16. The control over the volume is much better now too. When I get wild on the open highway, I might turn it up to 35-36.

This Clarion is awesome. Don't knock it, if you haven't heard it or tried it.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:54 PM   #10
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FYI if you have to turn the head above 3/4 you are getting distortion. So for your head you should not go above 29.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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FYI if you have to turn the head above 3/4 you are getting distortion. So for your head you should not go above 29.
The RMS of the HU is rated at full volume. So, the distortion is not dependent on the dial setting unless the loudness button is pressed. Then, the RMS ratings is not applicable. This is why it is important to have a good external amp and a EQ with low THD. This way you won't blow your speakers with the horrible distortion caused by the loudness button at high volumes. The loudness button is not meant for high volumes. It is meant to give better fidelity at low volumes. It is just given as a max output rating.

If you experience distortion, it is probably because the loudness button is pressed. Otherwise, the 1% THD, RMS value is not noticeable. Turning up the bass and treble to clipping levels is not wise either.

If you hear distortion at 3/4 volume, it could also be due to clipping. This is why a good EQ is needed because the clipping is distortion and could blow speakers. The music you are listening to could also be oversaturated during ripping, which would make the clipping more noticeable at high volumes. You could check and correct that in a sound studio program on your computer, like Sound Forge, for example.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:39 PM   #12
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It does not mater if you have an eq and or amp all signal on a head unit gets distortion after 3/4 volume on both speaker level and line levle

Also no matter how good your eq and amp are if you feed it bad in you get bad out.

When I worked with pro audio we called it garbage in garbage out.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:29 PM   #13
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It does not mater if you have an eq and or amp all signal on a head unit gets distortion after 3/4 volume on both speaker level and line levle

Also no matter how good your eq and amp are if you feed it bad in you get bad out.

When I worked with pro audio we called it garbage in garbage out.
I use to run my HU at full RMS volume (39), because it didn't have enough power in my Jeep. And, it didn't distort. Of course, I have owned a recording studio for over 20 years, and I'm a singer musician, so I am well aware of the sound of badly recorded music. Some people rip music but don't properly adjust the gain.

If I put on a song, and it started distorting because the audio was clipped, I turned down the volume. If I really liked the song, I would normalize it, and readjust the EQ to eliminate the clipping in my computer Audio program. Then, I could play it in my car at full volume without the distortion. But, it had nothing to do with the HU distortion, it was the music. And yes, I agree. If you put crap in, you get crap out.

Also, if I pressed the loudness button, it would distort at 25. So, I got a good amp, and I never used that loudness button because I didn't want to blow out my speakers.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:06 AM   #14
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Below is what clipped music looks like graphically. You probably won't even notice it until you turn up the volume really high, then you will hear horrible distortion. The second graphical display is how properly recorded music looks. You probably have never seen this unless you work with studio sound programs.


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