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Old 09-17-2019, 08:11 PM
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time to upgrade the sound bar

Well its time that I upgrade the sound bar (curse you Wranglerforum!!!) because I am doing the Tweeter mod (although I have always been in pursuit of better sound) so with the tweeter mod going to be done soon and the sound bar upgraded speakers already in I want to pull the sound bar and the front speakers and line the inner portions of the boxes with sound deadener and the sound baffle surrounds so yea, let the fun start!!


should I stick with what I have now (alpine OEM "upgrade" speakers) or go with something different? should I use coax speakers or non coax speakers? same for the fronts?

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Old 09-18-2019, 12:10 AM   #2
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I tried changing out the premium speakers with some fairly expensive hertz speakers (Hertz MPK 165.3 Pro)


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Sounded like crap and I ended up putting the Alpines back in.


What I found was that the Alpines were specifically built for that sound bar and you're not going to get a better sound. The alpine speaker is deep enough so the magnet rests right up against the back of the box which reinforces the back to keep the vibrations down. The hertz speakers aren't anywhere near as deep so at higher volumes the whole backside of the sound bar was vibrating like crazy. I did keep the hertz tweets and cross overs though.


Now I suppose what you could try (I didn't) is gluing a wood spacer to the magnet on your replacement speaker and let it act as reinforcement.


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Old 09-18-2019, 02:04 AM
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I do see where your coming from, would these work better in the front boxes (i am planing on hitting those as well, the main thing with the sound bar is I plan to put sound deadener or sound dampening to get the "hollow" sound out of the bar as I think I am pucking oup the reverbs inside the box and it is creating that hollow sound...

would you suggest those for the front positions? should I go with another set of the 77KICK10 for the front of the jeep or just stick 2 way coax speakers in the fronts? I am currently running two 77KICK10's in the sound bar as is and have enjoyed the sound from them...except the "hollow" sound I get from the bar....
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:02 AM   #4
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Upgrading the sound bar correctly is time consuming. The big issue with the sound bar is the vibration. If I get my other computer unpacked I can post some picture of what it takes. You need to make sure left and right are totally separated. I did this by stuff as much closed cell foam as I could between the speakers, then seal it up with sound dampening material.

The next thing to do is make the speaker hole stiffer. I used 3 wooden dowels screwed and clued the front and back. I also added a piece of sound dampening behind the speaker. I also added some poly-fill.

Last thing I did was cover the whole sound bar with dampening material. The I bondo'd and sanded the entire bar, then painted it. I will say that from a sound perspective it is about perfect. It does not vibrate at all. From a looks perspective it could be better.

I probably spent about 120 hours on this.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:35 AM   #5
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Wow! Looks like a lot of time, talent, and treasure is involved to make a worthwhile improvement.
I’ll just revel in my loss of hearing and loud tires and be happy with the OEM equipment and savings.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:28 PM   #6
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Well its time that I upgrade the sound bar...
Don't forget that the stock head unit is limited specifically for those crappy stock speakers. Fiat, in its infinite wisdom, has figured out how to prevent those cheap speakers from sounding bad, by cutting out certain frequencies in the software of the head unit.

In short, a speaker upgrade will only be complete with an aftermarket head unit.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:38 PM
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Don't forget that the stock head unit is limited specifically for those crappy stock speakers. Fiat, in its infinite wisdom, has figured out how to prevent those cheap speakers from sounding bad, by cutting out certain frequencies in the software of the head unit.

In short, a speaker upgrade will only be complete with an aftermarket head unit.
after market HU already completed hehe, but I do agree about Fiats "infinite" wisdom.....but again corporate greed has a factor in it too....
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:53 PM   #8
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I did sound deadener material like dynamat all on the inside of each encloser, including the soundbar. Just placed strips of it covering most of the inside. Especially the backside and edges. Then added some polyfill and I can do full volume with zero distortion or rattling. Stuffed it pretty fill of the polyfill.

I used JBL speakers all around and it sounds great. Stock headunit and had stock "premium" alpine sound.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:32 AM
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I did sound deadener material like dynamat all on the inside of each encloser, including the soundbar. Just placed strips of it covering most of the inside. Especially the backside and edges. Then added some polyfill and I can do full volume with zero distortion or rattling. Stuffed it pretty fill of the polyfill.

I used JBL speakers all around and it sounds great. Stock headunit and had stock "premium" alpine sound.
what type of JBL speakers did you use?
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:32 PM   #10
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I changed my mind!


I cranked her up last night and the alpine speakers were bottoming out something awful (too much power for them to handle.)


This morning I went and bought 6x9's (Kenwood Excelon KFC X694) and am fitting them into the sound bar. I don't think the 6x9's will produce any better bass because of the limiting size of the sound bar but I should be able to drive them harder. They don't need to produce a lot of bass anyway... that's what the dual 12" subs are for.
I hope this sounds okay because there is no going back!


The soundbar face plate has been pretty much cut out and I made an adapter out of 1/2 inch ply to accept the 6x9's (they still need to be painted and caulked in). The back was reinforced with 1/2 inch ply. The ply has been glued and screwed (PL construction glue) so it should hold pretty solid.


Today the glue is drying and tomorrow I need to paint, caulk and finish but here is roughly what it looks like:


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Old 09-21-2019, 06:49 PM   #11
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Having listened to the '14's Alpine Premium sound system (8 speakers) for 5 years and 107k miles, what FCA did to the Recons system with the 9 speaker system, I don't need to upgrade. It was like night and day. I love the sounds of the 9 speaker system. I might take it apart and pack it with sound deadening material some day, but in no hurry to do that.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:28 PM
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Having listened to the '14's Alpine Premium sound system (8 speakers) for 5 years and 107k miles, what FCA did to the Recons system with the 9 speaker system, I don't need to upgrade. It was like night and day. I love the sounds of the 9 speaker system. I might take it apart and pack it with sound deadening material some day, but in no hurry to do that.
mine is just the base 6 speaker set up so yea, I don't really want to do much more then clean it up some....
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:51 PM   #13
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Having listened to the '14's Alpine Premium sound system (8 speakers) for 5 years and 107k miles, what FCA did to the Recons system with the 9 speaker system, I don't need to upgrade. It was like night and day. I love the sounds of the 9 speaker system. I might take it apart and pack it with sound deadening material some day, but in no hurry to do that.

I've ripped my 9 speaker system out pretty much completely now. Sounded pretty good but not enough power.... and of course once you go to an aftermarket head unit it no longer (precisely) match the system anymore.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:16 PM   #14
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I've ripped my 9 speaker system out pretty much completely now. Sounded pretty good but not enough power.... and of course once you go to an aftermarket head unit it no longer (precisely) match the system anymore.
My wife starts beating me over the head when I turn the volume up over 50%. I occasionally hear one of those nostalgic 70's songs that I just can't resist. My top volume when I'm by myself and want to rock out is about 60% then my ears start complaining. It still sounds good at 60-70%. No break up or distortion. I really love it.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jim74656 View Post
Well its time that I upgrade the sound bar (curse you Wranglerforum!!!) because I am doing the Tweeter mod (although I have always been in pursuit of better sound) so with the tweeter mod going to be done soon and the sound bar upgraded speakers already in I want to pull the sound bar and the front speakers and line the inner portions of the boxes with sound deadener and the sound baffle surrounds so yea, let the fun start!!


should I stick with what I have now (alpine OEM "upgrade" speakers) or go with something different? should I use coax speakers or non coax speakers? same for the fronts?
Mine's is a 2014 that had the alpine option. Here is what I did. Finally happy with the sound.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:50 PM
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cool, I posted in that thread also, your some of your pictures didn't seem to be working
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:01 AM   #17
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Mine's is a 2014 that had the alpine option. Here is what I did. Finally happy with the sound.

That's cool. I couldn't get mine under the seats though... too big (dual 12"). Built a custom box for them which sits just behind the rear seat.
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:15 AM   #18
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I would have done those Mopar KICKER Upgrades in the front before the sound bar.
If you not out to spend a whole lot of money on speakers, the Kicker UPGRADE or the OEM Alpines. The Kicker 6.75” Deluxe Speaker Upgrade Kit are great and better than the Alpine SPV-65X-WRA I relaxed them with. The 6.75 Kickers gave really nice mid-bass. The alpines, NONE! But having a sub now it does not matter and they are clear sounding.
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:16 AM   #19
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I changed my mind!


I cranked her up last night and the alpine speakers were bottoming out something awful (too much power for them to handle.)


This morning I went and bought 6x9's (Kenwood Excelon KFC X694) and am fitting them into the sound bar. I don't think the 6x9's will produce any better bass because of the limiting size of the sound bar but I should be able to drive them harder. They don't need to produce a lot of bass anyway... that's what the dual 12" subs are for.
I hope this sounds okay because there is no going back!


The soundbar face plate has been pretty much cut out and I made an adapter out of 1/2 inch ply to accept the 6x9's (they still need to be painted and caulked in). The back was reinforced with 1/2 inch ply. The ply has been glued and screwed (PL construction glue) so it should hold pretty solid.


Today the glue is drying and tomorrow I need to paint, caulk and finish but here is roughly what it looks like:


Attachment 4176191

Attachment 4176193

Attachment 4176195

Attachment 4176197

Attachment 4176199
6x9" speakers? Back to the 80's!! Hope it works out.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:36 PM   #20
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I would have done those Mopar KICKER Upgrades in the front before the sound bar.
If you not out to spend a whole lot of money on speakers, the Kicker UPGRADE or the OEM Alpines. The Kicker 6.75” Deluxe Speaker Upgrade Kit are great and better than the Alpine SPV-65X-WRA I relaxed them with. The 6.75 Kickers gave really nice mid-bass. The alpines, NONE! But having a sub now it does not matter and they are clear sounding.

I kept blowing subs, including the factory one. I now have dual 12" subs that will take a serious pounding. Couldn't get them under the seats though... too big.


I have a tuffy security enclosure in the back so I built a sub box about the same height as the enclosure, cut the enclosure short by 8" and the sub box now acts as the back of the security enclosure.


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Old 09-27-2019, 06:50 PM
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I would have done those Mopar KICKER Upgrades in the front before the sound bar.
If you not out to spend a whole lot of money on speakers, the Kicker UPGRADE or the OEM Alpines. The Kicker 6.75” Deluxe Speaker Upgrade Kit are great and better than the Alpine SPV-65X-WRA I relaxed them with. The 6.75 Kickers gave really nice mid-bass. The alpines, NONE! But having a sub now it does not matter and they are clear sounding.
I have the Kickers in the front, and the Rockford Fosgates are going in the rear
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:32 PM   #22
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I kept blowing subs

Curious what subs/amp you are using?

I finally did my stereo redo last week. I purchased probably 2 years ago a pair of 10’s (made by someone on this site) to mount under the front seats. Not really sure what I think of them yet thus considering doing a sub like what you have.

Also not sure what I think of the deck... however I am happy with my front speakers
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:19 AM   #23
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Curious what subs/amp you are using?

I finally did my stereo redo last week. I purchased probably 2 years ago a pair of 10’s (made by someone on this site) to mount under the front seats. Not really sure what I think of them yet thus considering doing a sub like what you have.

Also not sure what I think of the deck... however I am happy with my front speakers

I have now gone with two Alpine 12" subs (R-W12D2) 1500w RMS



My amp is a hertz HCP1DK amp (1100 watts rms)


I don't expect to be blowing this set up. I have had them cranked pretty good though, and they rattle the the living hell out of the jeep! Wife says she can hear me coming about 2 blocks away.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:28 PM   #24
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I have now gone with two Alpine 12" subs (R-W12D2) 1500w RMS



My amp is a hertz HCP1DK amp (1100 watts rms)


I don't expect to be blowing this set up. I have had them cranked pretty good though, and they rattle the the living hell out of the jeep! Wife says she can hear me coming about 2 blocks away.
I have hertz speakers... ml1600 and ml280 up front, I went with two audiocontrol amps, D6.1200 and LC1.1500 which are.. you guessed is 1200w and 1500w amps.

I do not listen to music super loud, want it accurate more then loud (I know, horrible vehicle for a SQ system) so I will probably just go with a middle of the road single 12. Debating on a JL Audio 12w6, I want something not huge enclosure wise I can remove it if needed. Never owned any of their products in the past, considering them mostly due to hopefully getting a good price on the driver. I see they also have some pre fab boxes as well..... hmmmm
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:06 AM   #25
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I have hertz speakers... ml1600 and ml280 up front, I went with two audiocontrol amps, D6.1200 and LC1.1500 which are.. you guessed is 1200w and 1500w amps.

I do not listen to music super loud, want it accurate more then loud (I know, horrible vehicle for a SQ system) so I will probably just go with a middle of the road single 12. Debating on a JL Audio 12w6, I want something not huge enclosure wise I can remove it if needed. Never owned any of their products in the past, considering them mostly due to hopefully getting a good price on the driver. I see they also have some pre fab boxes as well..... hmmmm

Removing it was important to me too. I built the sub box so that it can be easily removed. Undo 4 hand nuts and it slides out.




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LOL! I don't worry so much about accuracy anymore. With the howling of the MT's on the road and the wind against the soft top accuracy is pretty much out the window for me.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:17 AM   #26
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I have hertz speakers... ml1600 and ml280 up front, I went with two audiocontrol amps, D6.1200 and LC1.1500 which are.. you guessed is 1200w and 1500w amps.

I do not listen to music super loud, want it accurate more then loud (I know, horrible vehicle for a SQ system) so I will probably just go with a middle of the road single 12. Debating on a JL Audio 12w6, I want something not huge enclosure wise I can remove it if needed. Never owned any of their products in the past, considering them mostly due to hopefully getting a good price on the driver. I see they also have some pre fab boxes as well..... hmmmm
One thing to remember is there is a big difference between a shallow sub, I think that is what you have under your seats and a full size sub. Shallow subs are very accurate and make for great SQ but they do not have the volume that a full size sub would have. If you are looking for earth shattering bass a full size sub is mandatory.

I am currently running Sound Integrity's BM MK V Sub, IMO the best 12 inch shallow sub on the market. It easily plays down below 20 HZ but will play as high as 500 HZ, something that a full size sub would have a problem with. But even cranked up all the way it will not provide that earth shattering sound my last build did with two full size 10's. That's okay though, I am older and I don't like rattling the bolts off the vehicle. About the only thing I miss is in the old setup is the back massage I got.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:40 AM
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i am not looking to rattle the bolts off of my Jeep or other cars around me, just a nice kick that I could feel
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Jim74656 View Post
i am not looking to rattle the bolts off of my Jeep or other cars around me, just a nice kick that I could feel
Having kick and also being able to feel it are really 2 different things. The only time I have been able to pull that off was in my last build on my truck with a 4 way speaker system, sub, woofer, mids and tweets. That was a very expensive build but by far the best system I ever had.

As you stated when you started the thread you are looking to upgrade the sound bar. IMO it is the number one cause for muddy sound in our rigs and has to be addressed. But once that problem is addressed the sound bar is not really that important, it really only applies fill for the sound stage.

Here is what I did. Front speakers are Audison AV K6 running 220 watts a side. This is an amazing setup but the speaker pods don't have the volume required for the woofer. We cut a 3 inch hole in the back and filled it with poly and they work great. Even though only rated at 125 watts RMS they handle this power with no problem.

Speaker bar has a set of Morel Maximo Coax 6 running of the head unit amp. A fairly inexpensive speaker but very good for the money. When setting the sound stage these run 6-10 db less than the front speakers.

The sub I have already talked about, it runs 550 watts.


Now has far a kick goes it is pretty good but that is really due to the Audison woofer. It will play down to around 50 HZ but I cross it over at 100 HZ. Small speakers are better at kick than larger ones. But feel requires a speaker that will move air and that is something a small speaker or a shallow sub won't do.

For the most part I listen to rock which in reality does not even need a sub but I also listen to classical which does. If I had the space and money I would run dual or quad 8 inch subs in sealed enclosures for the kick and a single 15 inch sub or larger in a ported enclosure for the feel.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:18 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by TerryC6 View Post
One thing to remember is there is a big difference between a shallow sub, I think that is what you have under your seats and a full size sub. Shallow subs are very accurate and make for great SQ but they do not have the volume that a full size sub would have. If you are looking for earth shattering bass a full size sub is mandatory.

I am currently running Sound Integrity's BM MK V Sub, IMO the best 12 inch shallow sub on the market. It easily plays down below 20 HZ but will play as high as 500 HZ, something that a full size sub would have a problem with. But even cranked up all the way it will not provide that earth shattering sound my last build did with two full size 10's. That's okay though, I am older and I don't like rattling the bolts off the vehicle. About the only thing I miss is in the old setup is the back massage I got.
I have sundown audio sd3 subs, I do not believe these are what we know today as a shallow mount sub, just a slim version of a standard sub? But yes, there is a difference in output between the two.

Most would probably be happy however for me I need more then what these can offer. I hope to do some rewire the subs this weekend and will see how they perform playing from 60hz-150hz or so..... I have a old image dynamics 10 in a small box I can try for sub duties for now

I am not looking for earth shattering, however I would like the sub to go deep, be accurate and feel it a bit. My last car I used a morel ultimo 12, which the shop I had make a fiberglass enclosure for me made the box smaller then I asked.... I wasn’t happy with the sound. Due to being a 1cu ft box, I tried a hybrid audio Clarus 10 which sounded really good, the morel needed 1.5cu ft to sound good.

In regards to 4 8’s + a ported 15, a quality 15+ in driver in the proper box can do everything well. They can give crazy accurate chest pounding response and go low. Stereo integrity has a few interesting drivers..... I listened to their 24in driver at a SQ car stereo competition and wow.... crazy good!
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:19 AM
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well by "kick i can feel" I mean a small amount of vibrations is fine if that makes sense?

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