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Old 12-10-2009, 08:20 PM
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Sound Help

I currently have the following set up for my 1999 Sahara.

* 2ea 4"x6" polk speakers in the front wired to 50 watts. (one is blown)
* 2ea 5 1/4" polk speakers in the soundbar wired to 50 watts.
* Rockford Fosgate 400watt p3s (shallow sub) in a non ported box, wired to
350watts.
* Alpine pdx-5m (5 channel marine) amplifier.
* Kenwood KDC-X993 CD/MP3 Receiver with Bluetooth, USB, Iphone, etc.

In the summer i can hardly hear my music when i have the top off of my jeep. I am new to the "jeep thing" and love my ride. I am looking for suggestions or tips on what i can do to increase the sound.

Also if anyone has any pictures of their setup and/or location of their sub, they would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-11-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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Well to start the obvious thing would be to replace your front speakers. I would do one of three things, either a 4x6 component plate that has the tweeter above the smaller round driver, you can get an adapter plate and run 4" rounds or with a little ingenuity you can custom fit some 5.25's in the dash. When I do my system I'm opting for the 5.25's and im going to go component, the tweeters will be mounted high on the dash for a better sound stage.
The sound bar speakers should be fine, personally I plan put 6.5's up there and make a custom angled mounting ring to make them fire slightly forward. One thing that will improve your sound dramatically is putting some dynamat behind the speakers before you install them, this will ensure that all of the sound will be directed in the right direction.
Generally 5 channel amps suck a little bit because they lack serious power going to the sub, not saying they are all bad, they have their place but if your looking for a good thump its the wrong choice.
Shallow subs again have their place but don't have a ton of power, they are designed for a pickup truck which has a very small interior volume. A wrangler with the top off has infinite interior space.
A sub(as well as all drivers) rely primarily on one thing to produce sound, the ability to move air. The volume of air moved equates from two things, the diameter of the cone and how far it moves in and out. Its easy to tell how big the cone is, but the amount it moves, or X-Max. A common X-max for a decent sub is 1-1.5 inches but some subs, like the JL W7, has as much of a 3" x-max. The larger x-max subs are normally defined as SPL subs(sound pressure level) and are designed to be LOUD. If you want a lot of bass you might want to sacrifice your rear seat to accommodate a box with a large enough VAS(interior air space) to allow the sub to perform properly. A lot of people over look this crucial aspect when choosing a box for their sub and because of it the sub will never perform at its peak. The VAS differs between sealed and ported boxes.
Ported boxes will give you more volume but it slows the response of your sub generally creating a muddy sounding bass. If you listen to long hitting rap this dosnt matter but if you listen to rock which often features a double bass drum the sub will never keep up. This type of box also requires more air space, sometimes as much as 2x the amount of a sealed, probably not the best idea for a jeep.
Sealed boxes can be much smaller and work by creating an air suspension system for your sub, assuming the box is air tight. This means the sub can't move as far because when it "hits" it creates a vacuum in the box pulling the sub back inward. Because of this the sub can be more responsive and "tighter".
I personally prefer sealed boxes and plan to make a large sealed down firing box for my wrangler, roughly 2.0 cubic feet in size to accommodate a JL W6v2 13" sub. It will float about 3 or so inches above the floor of the jeep. I will also dynamat the entire rear tub of the jeep, probably 2x on the floor, to create a sound proof environment assuring all the sound will be directed towards me and not my drive train. This will also minimize and with enough work eliminate all rattle.
You can also do a dual sub box but personally I prefer one high powered sub as opposed to 2 lower powered subs.
To power everything I recommend a good 4ch amp for the speakers and a D-class mono block sub amp for the sub, this type of amp is designed to handle to power requirements needed to make a sub sound perfect.

This is just a recommendation, it all depends on how good you want it to sound and how loud you want it to be, If you give me a better idea of the amount of work you want to do and how much you'd like to invest, along with your music tastes I can come up with a more personalized system to fit your needs. Feel free to ask any questions, unfortunately this is just a chunk of the iceberg, you also need to consider Ohms, speaker wire, and how to power all this with your jeeps electrical system without making your lights flicker or kill your battery and alternator.
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