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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Bottom line up front: if you installed 77Kick25ABs, put bass blockers on them.

I have a 2015 JKU Saraha with the 430N (RHB) radio, base system (non-alpine).

Like many here, I upgraded the factory speakers to the Kicker "plug and play" 77Kick10s in the knee panels and overhead sound bar, plus the 77Kick25ABs in the upper dash and sound bar too. I bought the 4 sets (2 sets of each, 8 total speakers) on Amazon.

At low to medium volumes, it was a good and worthwhile improvement over the stock base speakers and I was fairly happy, especially since they connected with the factory harness directly without any splicing through the Metra connectors (key factor for me). However, at higher volumes above about 23 on the factory 430N head, I would get an occasional "garbled, muffled vibrating" type sound, especially on heavier bass songs, out of what sounded like the left front side (not exactly sure if from the Kick25 or the Kick10). I would have to turn the radio off and back on to get it to completely go away once it started. I was :mad: and thought maybe one of the kids had blown one of the speakers. So I ordered another set of speakers and put them in the front left sides (yes, a new Kick25 and Kick10). Still continued to happen. Argh! :censored: Apologized to my teenage driving age kids and kept looking for solutions. Turning down the bass in the 3 band factory 430N equalizer didn't seem to help, nor did moving the centering more towards the rear. Never happened below volume of 23 or so.

I then figured it must be some combination of clipping (lopping off / squaring off of the tops and bottoms of the normally rounded off sound waves at higher amplitude (volume)) caused by an underpowered head unit (I don't have an amp), and/or too much bass going to the smaller Kick25 front speaker(s) (since the 2015 factory 8 ohm "tweeter" has a 2.2 microfarad capacitor soldered inline that blocks frequencies below about 9000Hz on the factory 8 ohm speakers, and the Kick25s do not have such a capacitor/bass blocker).

So, to deal with the possible clipping issue, I have ordered and will be getting installed very soon a Kicker VSS (vehicle specific solution) Powerstage, which includes a powered sub and an additional amp with DSP for the other 8 speakers. In my case, with base system on the JKUS 4 door, it is a model PWRA415. I am having a local Kicker dealer install it this week because if installed by an authorized dealer, it comes with a 3 year warranty that would be only 1 year if I did it myself. I would enjoy doing it myself, but for a $150 install fee, I get 2 more years of warranty, so I'll let them deal with it. Jeep will remain completely stock and completely plug in-no splicing required in my case (for some reason, that matters to me (OCD?) or :crazy:). I know I could get better quality sub and amp, and probably for less money, but I wanted to keep the whole factory setup intact as far as the Jeep is concerned. Also, I am in my 50s and don't need to have the Jeep bouncing down the road from the tunes with the windows rattling (and neither do my kids), I just want a little better sound than stock. I'll post back here shortly what I think when it is installed. I don't see any Wranglers doing this VSS mod, but many other pickups have done it and they all seem to like it a lot. We'll see.

As for the other possibility, with no bass blocked, and a full range signal (including lows) going to both the Kick10 and Kick25, I figured the Kick25 is probably getting too much bass frequency. So, today I installed 600 Hz (on 4 ohm speakers) bass blockers model PAC-BB2PR (green colored) (ordered on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009D9IGIM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ). Debated about going to a higher Hz cutoff (800 or more), but figured the Kick25 is a "full range" (as much as a 3.5" speaker can be), and I didn't want to turn it effectively into only a tweeter, so 600 Hz is what I went with. To splice them in and keep the factory harness intact, I bought 2 sets of Metra 71-039C adapters from Crutchfield (https://www.crutchfield.com/p_12071039/Metra-71-039C-Speaker-Wiring-Adapters.html?search=metra_71-039c_speaker_wiring_adapters&skipvs=T ). I then trimmed off what I considered excess white wire length from the Metra 71-039C and from both sides of the blocker's wires, butt connected one end of the now shortened blocker wire to the shortened white (+) side of the Metra 71-039C, and soldered the other shortened end of the blocker to what I determined was the plus side of the 25AB (used a 9v battery with leads connected to the + and - side of the battery, and when the speaker moved outward when I momentary touched the speaker leads, then I knew it was correct polarity (if it pops in, you are hooked up backwards)). I clipped off the very end connector of the 71-039C black wire (so it was similar length to the shortened white and blocker combo length) and then soldered it to the negative side of the 25AB (BTW the negative side is the one with the additional 1/16" connector between the two leads as I figured out). I obviously soldered to the metal material on the outside of the female Metra connector that is permanently on the 25AB speaker (bypassing it effectively)--soldered where other solder joints were already in place. Connect the factory harness Metra to the above 71-039C setup, and you're done. There is plenty of room in the dash speakers for this setup to be shoved out of the way (as most know, the 25AB is almost too "tall" because of the air duct below it but a couple of rubber washer spacers help and this extra wiring has plenty of room on the sides in there to shove it out of the way). In the overhead speaker bar, it is much tighter and the opposite problem, so trim off more wire length initially from the 71-039C and blocker--there is room if the blocker and wires sit above the mounted 25AB, but there is no room along the sides.

I just drove around for about a half an hour, and the sound is much "cleaner" and less muddled, and my nuisance "garbled/muffled/vibrating" sound did not happen during this trip :). So, perhaps my main issue was with too much bass/low frequencies reaching the 25AB. I hope this solves my problem for good. It could be my imagination, but I think the phone speaker and navigation sound better too-more in stereo???? Wife says "good, now we can cancel the expensive VSS system upgrade" :rant:, but I told her we already put half $ down so too late ;)

I hope this helps someone else. I'll post back when the VSS Powerstage is installed and let you all know how it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I said I would follow up, so here it is. The Kicker Vehicle Specific Solution Powerstage PWRA415 was installed by an authorized Kicker dealer today. I had them do it to get the 3 year warranty, vice 1 year if I did it myself.

Drove around for a while (top on). It sounds great to me. More clear, more volume, certainly more "boom", everything. Of course, as most of you will point out, I could have done better for less or same $, but I was trying to stay stock on the Jeep-side of things for this install (for some unknown reason, I'll admit).

Also, realize, I am 51 years old, and I flew jets in the military for 20 years, worked around airplanes for nearly 35 years, and shot guns most of my life, so my hearing is, well, let's say, less perfect than it used to be. ;) I think a person's happiness with this product will be proportional to their age; you young whipper-snappers won't like it nearly as much, but for us in the old fart crowd, I think you'll be amazed the factory radio can sound this good. I think I offended most in the last sentence :D. Yes, perhaps a bit on the expensive side of "average" but so far ...
:thumb: :iamhappy:
 

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I said I would follow up, so here it is. The Kicker Vehicle Specific Solution Powerstage PWRA415 was installed by an authorized Kicker dealer today. I had them do it to get the 3 year warranty, vice 1 year if I did it myself.

Drove around for a while (top on). It sounds great to me. More clear, more volume, certainly more "boom", everything. Of course, as most of you will point out, I could have done better for less or same $, but I was trying to stay stock on the Jeep-side of things for this install (for some unknown reason, I'll admit).

Also, realize, I am 51 years old, and I flew jets in the military for 20 years, worked around airplanes for nearly 35 years, and shot guns most of my life, so my hearing is, well, let's say, less perfect than it used to be. ;) I think a person's happiness with this product will be proportional to their age; you young whipper-snappers won't like it nearly as much, but for us in the old fart crowd, I think you'll be amazed the factory radio can sound this good. I think I offended most in the last sentence :D. Yes, perhaps a bit on the expensive side of "average" but so far ...
:thumb: :iamhappy:
Thanks for the info. I was wondering about those Kicker Powerstage offerings. I was trying to keep my 2017 JK merely plug and play but am finding I'm having to build a harness to integrate an Alpine KTP445U amp since I don't want to hack into the hardness. I have the stock 130s head unit and it sounds fine for the time being. I've already installed the 77Kick10s in the dash and soundbar. I also purchased a Rockford Fosgate P300-12 for some bass. Now to get the amps and sub hooked up. At least I save $$$.
 

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Thanks for the info and the write up. By the way, the crutchfield link doesn't work. Also you bass blockers have a 300Hz cutoff because the 25AB's are 8 ohms.
Happy Trails,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info and the write up. By the way, the crutchfield link doesn't work. Also you bass blockers have a 300Hz cutoff because the 25AB's are 8 ohms.
Happy Trails,
Sorry, not sure about Crutchfield link not working. Working ok for me when I click on it here from iPad or on pc but maybe because it is my link. Look for the model number 71-039C on their site and hope it comes up that way.

As for the 25ABs, measured them with Multimeter, definitely 4 ohm not 8. The stock small speakers on a '15 (edit: with non alpine, I'm not sure about alpine) are definitely 8 ohm measured with meter and written on them.
 

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Sorry, not sure about Crutchfield link not working. Working ok for me when I click on it here from iPad or on pc but maybe because it is my link. Look for the model number 71-039C on their site and hope it comes up that way.

As for the 25ABs, measured them with Multimeter, definitely 4 ohm not 8. The stock small speakers on a '15 are definitely 8 ohm measured with meter and written on them.
Thanks for the correction and the model number, I'll look again at my 25AB's. Could swear that they said 8 ohm right on them when I installed them - but I'm getting old...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just in case someone later comes along and gets confused by my post, you absolutely don't need 71-039C to hook up a 77Kick25AB directly. The 25AB is plug and play with factory harness. But I used 71-039C so I could rig up the bass blocker on the 25ABs and splice up the 71-039C instead of permanent factory wires. Also realize the 71-039C is only for the "small" speaker factory wire connector. It would also work great for those of you who want to install other brand speakers as a converter from Jeep factory harness to flat plug (that's its design purpose!)(it does not show as compatable with 2015 Jeep Wrangler on Crutchfield but it is). The large speaker factory wire is a different size connector (should be 71-050 on Crutchfield I think) if you wanted to splice in a different blocker on the bigger kick10 speakers or use it as intended to convert from factory wire to flat plug on other brand 6" speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the correction and the model number, I'll look again at my 25AB's. Could swear that they said 8 ohm right on them when I installed them - but I'm getting old...
My small factory ones that I removed definitely said 8 ohm on them and meter agreed. They had a 2.2 microfarad capacitor ( I think; it was hard to read) which would make them cutoff freqs less than 9000 Hz at 8 ohm, effectively making them only play on the higher freq side in the tweeter range.
 
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