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Old 10-01-2018, 06:02 PM
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Speaker replacement with component speakers info

Looking into replacing my speakers, replacing the head unit made worlds of difference. Speaker is only as good as it's amp after all. I know I could just go with the kicker upgrade, but I don't really like that option. I would like to maintain component speakers front and back. There are lots of choices and ultimately will probably go with Polk DB's as I've used them in a lot of builds in the past and they have served me well and they are water resistant.

My question is for those that have installed component replacements front and back. Since there is no proper crossover on the stock paper speakers I'm thinking there is a lot of room for improvement. However because of this I'm not sure where to mount the crossovers front and back. Also how do you route the wires without mangling the stock wiring?

Anyone have advice and maybe even pictures of your install to help me understand what i'm involved in to get this installed?

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Old 10-01-2018, 11:47 PM   #2
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When I tore mine apart and installed new tweeters I found that it would not be that hard, just time-consuming. Taking apart the dash and pulling the enclosures. I thought I would do the components when I did the whole system but never got around to it. Mine was easier (2013) since I had the tweeters up front but I think the newer ones have 3 or 3.5-inch speakers, so you might need an adapter for the tweeter to fit in that hole. Fronts would be the only pain as it's a tight space under the dash.

If I was going to do it I would epoxy the crossovers to the back or side of the enclosure up front. I have even seen them mounted inside the enclosure as well. Run the tweeter wire down to it and make sure to polyfill the exclosure too. In the back just double sided tape or epoxy it to the soundbar so it doesn't rattle around, polyfill that too.

If I was going to tear mine apart again, I would do components up front and an alpine power pack amp. I have that setup in my DD and it is loud and crisp.

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Old 10-03-2018, 06:03 PM   #3
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I have recently done this myself. As Nick stated above, it’s not difficult, but it is very time consuming.

I can tell you there is plenty of room behind the dash for your crossovers. I used adhesive Velcro to hold em in place. I wiped the surfaces down with 91% rubbing alcohol prior to application. The passenger side crossover is stuck to the inboard side of the air filter housing; out of the way of the glove box opening and closing. The driver’s side is stuck to the inboard side of the lower speaker box. Both can be accessed without too much effort.

As for the rears, i’d recommend using two or three way speakers as opposed to a component set...less wires to run, and the crossovers are normally integrated into the unit as opposed to having to worry about running more wiring and hiding the crossovers. Just remove the stock tweeters and toss em, or you can disconnect them and retire em in place.

If you’re going to install an amp, you’ll be running new wires. If you want to use the existing wiring to connect to your speakers, I have a link to a Mopar site that shows all of the connections and the wire colors for pos and neg at each speaker.

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:21 PM
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Thoughts on going with components with built in crossovers? What speakers did you guys use? After talking with Crutchfield for a bit i think i'm more confused now than when i started. And now i'm worried about everything sounding tinny with no amp.
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Old 10-04-2018, 01:37 AM   #5
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On my 2014 I pulled the side dash panels off and had instant access to the tweeter wiring. I attached my crossovers in there with double sided tape. Plenty of room. Some have attached their crossovers to the back of the lower speaker boxes and just ran the wire up the side. This was my first install and it did not take too long and was not hard. Just be patient. There's plenty of speaker install write ups in the forum. Good luck
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:49 AM   #6
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As I tell everyone go out and listen to all the different speakers and pick the ones you like. Then buy an amp to power them properly. Under powering a speaker is worse than having to much power. The speaker will clip because it does not have the power that it need to reproduce the signal.

I am running Audison Voce speakers up front powered by Hertz ML Power 5 in 3 channel mode, 200 watts to front speakers with gain turned down to to provide 125 watts and running the sub at a full 380 watts. Sound bar speakers are Morel Maximo's powered by the H/U. Sound bar speakers are turned way down as they are close to your head and they primarily only provide fill.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:40 PM   #7
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Thoughts on going with components with built in crossovers? What speakers did you guys use? After talking with Crutchfield for a bit i think i'm more confused now than when i started. And now i'm worried about everything sounding tinny with no amp.
Do they make components with built in crossovers? Not sure about that one, but that means nothing. Im no audio install or equipment guru, but I know what I like. I installed Inifinity Kappas and Inifinity Reference; with an Alpine amp, and Pioneer H/U. Some of it was left over from a previous vehicle. But what I have now Im very happy with.

And yes youre right. The more you research, the more confusing it can get. Terry above is correct. Find a good quality sound shop and listen to the speakers they have on demo. I will tell you though, that Crutchfields is as good a resource as there is for products and advice.

Good luck in your decision and install.
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:49 PM   #8
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Speakers come in about as many configurations and flavors as you can possibly imagine. Inexpensive coaxial (and some component) speakers may have a rudimentary crossover integral to the speaker, in the form of a capacitor/coil glued to the basket that performs basic crossover functions to divide frequencies between the mid and the tweeter. Proper outboard passive crossover networks, while taking more effort and thought to install, will usually have the ability to give you better sound. If you have a really good aftermarket head unit with built in 3-way crossover capability, you don't necessarily have to use outboard passive crossovers that come with your speakers, but if you aren't 100% sure of what you are doing, using them is a good idea. You can mount them elsewhere in the dash, or closer to the amplifier (if that helps you), but that means using multiple runs of speaker wire to the components from the mounting location.

Most of the cheapest "drop-in" upgrade speakers you'll find don't need too much power, but won't necessarily sound much better than the stock ones you are replacing. The majority of good aftermarket speakers really need more power than a head unit's internal amplification can provide, so using a proper amplifier is a must if you want them to perform well. The lower the frequency you are reproducing, the more clean power it takes to play that frequency at the same volume level as midrange and high frequencies if you want to avoid pushing the amp or internal amp in the radio into clipping. If you want good midbass performance, that means using an amplifier. For our Wranglers, the speaker enclosures in the lower dash are pretty small- this can choke off some of that midbass response, especially if you plan on putting additional items like crossovers inside these enclosures which makes the space the installed speaker sees in the enclosure even smaller.

You haven't told us much about what year your Jeep is and what sound system it came with (which has changed several times between '07 and '18), but some of these with a factory amplified system do have crossovers upstream of the OEM speakers- inside the factory amp. Depending on whether you have a 2014 and prior or a 2015 and newer Wrangler, you'll have some different approaches to mounting component tweeters up front. As for aftermarket speakers sounding "tinny," this will depend on how you install things, your amplification, and what type of head unit you plan to use. An aftermarket component speaker properly amplified will typically play cleanly down to about 80hz, or about where you want to hand off low frequency duty to a subwoofer. Mounting that aftermarket speaker in the Jeep's mid enclosures may limit this and push the required high pass filter you'll use higher, especially with lower amounts of power and a mid that doesn't have a good amount of excursion capability. If you want good midbass and lots of low frequency output in the bass region, that means an amplified subwoofer and a capable set of component speakers with proper amplification. It may even mean porting the dash enclosures, or at the very least stuffing them with polyfill (which tricks a speaker into seeing a larger enclosure volume than you actually have). Clipping, be it from the internal amp in a head unit, or from a weak amplifier, sounds terrible...if the amount of power a clipped amplifier sends to a speaker exceeds its thermal power handling, it can cause a speaker to "release the magic smoke" in addition to sounding terrible, and you only get to do that once. Having enough clean power to send to a speaker ensures the amp is not driven into clipping in trying to provide enough volume, and ensures the mids have enough clean power to prevent things from sounding tinny. Most aftermarket head units list power ratings in "peak" or "max" watts, which is at fully clipped output, so no matter what the manufacturer might suggest, it won't compare well with a proper amplifier. The factory Jeep radio is lower power still, and the amplified factory systems use pretty modest amounts of power that won't properly drive high quality aftermarket speakers.
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:18 AM   #9
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Speakers come in about as many configurations and flavors as you can possibly imagine. Inexpensive coaxial (and some component) speakers may have a rudimentary crossover integral to the speaker, in the form of a capacitor/coil glued to the basket that performs basic crossover functions to divide frequencies between the mid and the tweeter. Proper outboard passive crossover networks, while taking more effort and thought to install, will usually have the ability to give you better sound. If you have a really good aftermarket head unit with built in 3-way crossover capability, you don't necessarily have to use outboard passive crossovers that come with your speakers, but if you aren't 100% sure of what you are doing, using them is a good idea. You can mount them elsewhere in the dash, or closer to the amplifier (if that helps you), but that means using multiple runs of speaker wire to the components from the mounting location.

Most of the cheapest "drop-in" upgrade speakers you'll find don't need too much power, but won't necessarily sound much better than the stock ones you are replacing. The majority of good aftermarket speakers really need more power than a head unit's internal amplification can provide, so using a proper amplifier is a must if you want them to perform well. The lower the frequency you are reproducing, the more clean power it takes to play that frequency at the same volume level as midrange and high frequencies if you want to avoid pushing the amp or internal amp in the radio into clipping. If you want good midbass performance, that means using an amplifier. For our Wranglers, the speaker enclosures in the lower dash are pretty small- this can choke off some of that midbass response, especially if you plan on putting additional items like crossovers inside these enclosures which makes the space the installed speaker sees in the enclosure even smaller.

You haven't told us much about what year your Jeep is and what sound system it came with (which has changed several times between '07 and '18), but some of these with a factory amplified system do have crossovers upstream of the OEM speakers- inside the factory amp. Depending on whether you have a 2014 and prior or a 2015 and newer Wrangler, you'll have some different approaches to mounting component tweeters up front. As for aftermarket speakers sounding "tinny," this will depend on how you install things, your amplification, and what type of head unit you plan to use. An aftermarket component speaker properly amplified will typically play cleanly down to about 80hz, or about where you want to hand off low frequency duty to a subwoofer. Mounting that aftermarket speaker in the Jeep's mid enclosures may limit this and push the required high pass filter you'll use higher, especially with lower amounts of power and a mid that doesn't have a good amount of excursion capability. If you want good midbass and lots of low frequency output in the bass region, that means an amplified subwoofer and a capable set of component speakers with proper amplification. It may even mean porting the dash enclosures, or at the very least stuffing them with polyfill (which tricks a speaker into seeing a larger enclosure volume than you actually have). Clipping, be it from the internal amp in a head unit, or from a weak amplifier, sounds terrible...if the amount of power a clipped amplifier sends to a speaker exceeds its thermal power handling, it can cause a speaker to "release the magic smoke" in addition to sounding terrible, and you only get to do that once. Having enough clean power to send to a speaker ensures the amp is not driven into clipping in trying to provide enough volume, and ensures the mids have enough clean power to prevent things from sounding tinny. Most aftermarket head units list power ratings in "peak" or "max" watts, which is at fully clipped output, so no matter what the manufacturer might suggest, it won't compare well with a proper amplifier. The factory Jeep radio is lower power still, and the amplified factory systems use pretty modest amounts of power that won't properly drive high quality aftermarket speakers.

My apologies to the OP for hijacking, but you seem to be quite a bit more educated in audio than I would ever try to be so I'm hoping you can answer a quick question or two for me....


I have a 2015 JK with the 430 RBZ head unit. I do not have the Alpine upgrade. I'm no audiophile, but I would really like to get a little more bass than the factory speakers can provide. Not rattle your your neighbors mirrors bass, but something a little better than the "hollow click" sound I'm getting now if I go to +2 bass on the equalizer. Outside of that, I'm fine with pretty much everything else. Will the Kicker speaker upgrade get me closer to where I want to be? I'm looking at swapping out the lower dash and rollbar speakers with the KICKER 43CSC654. My wife has a 2016 JKU with the Alpine upgrade and I'll be honest, the sub makes a world of difference. I know I won't come close to that with these, (I may consider adding a powered sub of my own down the road) but should I expect a noticeable difference over the factory speakers or are they going to be too under powered with the stock head unit? Also, will I need to disconnect the factory tweeters if I install the Kickers since they have their own built in?


Thanks for any help you can provide...
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:46 AM   #10
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My apologies to the OP for hijacking, but you seem to be quite a bit more educated in audio than I would ever try to be so I'm hoping you can answer a quick question or two for me....


I have a 2015 JK with the 430 RBZ head unit. I do not have the Alpine upgrade. I'm no audiophile, but I would really like to get a little more bass than the factory speakers can provide. Not rattle your your neighbors mirrors bass, but something a little better than the "hollow click" sound I'm getting now if I go to +2 bass on the equalizer. Outside of that, I'm fine with pretty much everything else. Will the Kicker speaker upgrade get me closer to where I want to be? I'm looking at swapping out the lower dash and rollbar speakers with the KICKER 43CSC654. My wife has a 2016 JKU with the Alpine upgrade and I'll be honest, the sub makes a world of difference. I know I won't come close to that with these, (I may consider adding a powered sub of my own down the road) but should I expect a noticeable difference over the factory speakers or are they going to be too under powered with the stock head unit? Also, will I need to disconnect the factory tweeters if I install the Kickers since they have their own built in?


Thanks for any help you can provide...
If you want true bass, you'll want a proper subwoofer. If you want midbass at realistic levels, you'll want an amplifier.

There are many here who have been happy with Kicker speakers, but I've never heard a pair I can honestly say I enjoyed the sound of. I would suggest listening to some at a stereo shop, or (even better), listening to a set installed by a fellow Jeeper to get an idea of whether you will like how they sound.

As for installing coaxials, the lower dash location will put the tweeters down low where they don't have a clean shot at your ears. High frequencies are very directional, so ideally you would use component speakers and put the tweeters where they can be directed towards your listening position. It is generally a bad idea to use coaxials with built-in tweeters along with factory tweeters. The lower dash locations are fine for a mid, but not so good a location for a coaxial with tweeters.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:03 PM
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Speakers come in about as many configurations and flavors as you can possibly imagine. Inexpensive coaxial (and some component) speakers may have a rudimentary crossover integral to the speaker, in the form of a capacitor/coil glued to the basket that performs basic crossover functions to divide frequencies between the mid and the tweeter. Proper outboard passive crossover networks, while taking more effort and thought to install, will usually have the ability to give you better sound. If you have a really good aftermarket head unit with built in 3-way crossover capability, you don't necessarily have to use outboard passive crossovers that come with your speakers, but if you aren't 100% sure of what you are doing, using them is a good idea. You can mount them elsewhere in the dash, or closer to the amplifier (if that helps you), but that means using multiple runs of speaker wire to the components from the mounting location.

Most of the cheapest "drop-in" upgrade speakers you'll find don't need too much power, but won't necessarily sound much better than the stock ones you are replacing. The majority of good aftermarket speakers really need more power than a head unit's internal amplification can provide, so using a proper amplifier is a must if you want them to perform well. The lower the frequency you are reproducing, the more clean power it takes to play that frequency at the same volume level as midrange and high frequencies if you want to avoid pushing the amp or internal amp in the radio into clipping. If you want good midbass performance, that means using an amplifier. For our Wranglers, the speaker enclosures in the lower dash are pretty small- this can choke off some of that midbass response, especially if you plan on putting additional items like crossovers inside these enclosures which makes the space the installed speaker sees in the enclosure even smaller.

You haven't told us much about what year your Jeep is and what sound system it came with (which has changed several times between '07 and '18), but some of these with a factory amplified system do have crossovers upstream of the OEM speakers- inside the factory amp. Depending on whether you have a 2014 and prior or a 2015 and newer Wrangler, you'll have some different approaches to mounting component tweeters up front. As for aftermarket speakers sounding "tinny," this will depend on how you install things, your amplification, and what type of head unit you plan to use. An aftermarket component speaker properly amplified will typically play cleanly down to about 80hz, or about where you want to hand off low frequency duty to a subwoofer. Mounting that aftermarket speaker in the Jeep's mid enclosures may limit this and push the required high pass filter you'll use higher, especially with lower amounts of power and a mid that doesn't have a good amount of excursion capability. If you want good midbass and lots of low frequency output in the bass region, that means an amplified subwoofer and a capable set of component speakers with proper amplification. It may even mean porting the dash enclosures, or at the very least stuffing them with polyfill (which tricks a speaker into seeing a larger enclosure volume than you actually have). Clipping, be it from the internal amp in a head unit, or from a weak amplifier, sounds terrible...if the amount of power a clipped amplifier sends to a speaker exceeds its thermal power handling, it can cause a speaker to "release the magic smoke" in addition to sounding terrible, and you only get to do that once. Having enough clean power to send to a speaker ensures the amp is not driven into clipping in trying to provide enough volume, and ensures the mids have enough clean power to prevent things from sounding tinny. Most aftermarket head units list power ratings in "peak" or "max" watts, which is at fully clipped output, so no matter what the manufacturer might suggest, it won't compare well with a proper amplifier. The factory Jeep radio is lower power still, and the amplified factory systems use pretty modest amounts of power that won't properly drive high quality aftermarket speakers.
Thanks ahead of time for the long thought out post. I know that took some time and I appreciate that. With that said you are talking out of my league and knowledge for sure. Sorry i didn't list year or anything, it was in my garage info and just assumed folks looked there. I have a 2015 JKU, it came non-alpine, and no sub. I have replaced the HU with a Pioneer AVH-2330-NEX. Nothing else has been modified other than some polyfil in the roll bar speakers.

I want to get some decent sound, I'm not audiophile, but I'm tired of the poor muddy sound I get out of my setup. The HU improved things probably 50%, add in a nice EQ to suit my ears and I've been mostly happy. But as with all things jeep it's time to put some time/energy/money to make my two hours of daily time in my rig more enjoyable.

You post has really helped me see my ignorance on the subject. Makes me think I should at least consider letting some pro's set this up correctly for me. Proper crossover's, amplification, quality speakers, and possibly a small sub somewhere. Feeling a bit over my head.

When I was a teenager I had a pro shop build my system and it was great. Pioneer Premier HU, Polk speakers, Phoenix Gold Amp, and a set of JL subs in a custom enclosure and it was great.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:22 PM   #12
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Thanks ahead of time for the long thought out post. I know that took some time and I appreciate that. With that said you are talking out of my league and knowledge for sure. Sorry i didn't list year or anything, it was in my garage info and just assumed folks looked there. I have a 2015 JKU, it came non-alpine, and no sub. I have replaced the HU with a Pioneer AVH-2330-NEX. Nothing else has been modified other than some polyfil in the roll bar speakers.

I want to get some decent sound, I'm not audiophile, but I'm tired of the poor muddy sound I get out of my setup. The HU improved things probably 50%, add in a nice EQ to suit my ears and I've been mostly happy. But as with all things jeep it's time to put some time/energy/money to make my two hours of daily time in my rig more enjoyable.

You post has really helped me see my ignorance on the subject. Makes me think I should at least consider letting some pro's set this up correctly for me. Proper crossover's, amplification, quality speakers, and possibly a small sub somewhere. Feeling a bit over my head.

When I was a teenager I had a pro shop build my system and it was great. Pioneer Premier HU, Polk speakers, Phoenix Gold Amp, and a set of JL subs in a custom enclosure and it was great.
The reason I asked for the model year is to know whether you will be trying to modify tombstone type tweeter housings for aftermarket tweeters- in a 2015, you won't. You will have lots of room. If you want to install aftermarket tweeters in the upper dash locations, you can make a simple adapter to bridge the two factory screw posts, support the tweeters, and be secured by the two OEM screws that hold the factory 3.5" speakers in each corner of the dash.

Passive crossovers that come with component speakers are typically "set it and forget it" items made for the exact set of speakers- they will "hi pass" the tweeters, "low pass" the mids at appropriate frequencies to divide the two. A "Hi pass" filter is a crossover that allows high frequencies through, and "low pass" filter is a crossover that allows the low frequencies through. Some crossovers supplied with certain speaker models will allow you to adjust tweeter output relative to the mids (look for a mention of tweeter level in the instructions). You'll still want to apply a high pass filter to both mid and tweeter upstream of the crossovers at the head unit to prevent the set from trying to play full range. 95% of aftermarket components do not include a high pass filter for the mids- your head unit has this ability, and using one set between 80-100hz will help keep midbass output clean and undistorted by rolling off dedicated subwoofer frequencies that a 6.5" mid cannot play at an appreciable volume level without distorting.

As for brands, you'll have tons of choices. Since being purchased by DEI, Polk has less great options in the current lines than they once did. JL still makes some great subwoofers, but there are newer brands that can get similar performance for le$$. A custom enclosure built to spec will help get the most out of any subwoofer. Phoenix Gold has faded away some, but depending on needed power and budget, there are many good amplifier choices.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:28 PM   #13
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The tombstone type tweeter housings in the upper dash of 2014 and prior Wrangler JKs aimed tweeters relatively well. In 2015, Jeep fires the 3.5" "full range" speakers off the windshield- this isn't 100% desirable IMHO due to the fact the glass will give you a comb filter effect, but it can be worked with. You can make an angled adapter to rotate tweeters installed in this location more towards the listener to avoid the majority of comb filter issues while keeping the tweeter below factory grills.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:50 AM   #14
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I am about to do a system in the wife's 2016 Rubi. I am looking at Focal, Morel, Audison and CDT Audio 3 way components. Since Mopar was so kind to provide us with a actual dash speaker instead of the tombstone tweeter. The 3.5 midrange will bring the vocals up and the tweeter should fit in the corner where the windshield meets the dash pointed at the seats.

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