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Discussion Starter #1
I think I might have posted a while back about this but I'm getting a bit closer to pulling the trigger.

I already have a pioneer 4200NEX, morel maximo components (90w), and morel coaxials (80w) in my JKU.

It really doesn't sound bad at all at semi-loud volume but does start to distort when going above 20 volume or so.

I know the speakers need more/cleaner power.

So, I'd like some suggestions if possible.

The one thing I can't decide is whether or not to get a 4 or 5 channel amp. I have gone almost a year without a sub and could easily go another. I just don't plan on putting one in. But I do realize having a multi-purpose amp would make that easier in the future.

I'm hoping to stay around ~$200. If I went 5 channel, maybe a little more.

Another thing is where to mount. Depending on the size, I would probably mount it under the drivers seat. I'd either buy one of the ebay brackets or if I can find a DIY instructions on making a bracket, that would be great.

So, what do you run? Do you wish you had more power? I really want to have a little extra rather than not enough.
thanks
 

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I'm currently running an Alpine PDX-V9 5 channel amp. I have mine installed under the passengers seat on one of those aluminum eBay brackets as I have a Tuffy drawer under the drivers seat.

Specs on the amp:
100 watts RMS x 4 + 500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 or 4 ohms

My source is a Pioneer 7100NEX, from there it goes through the Alpine amp, and out to two sets of 6.25 Focal components, one in the speaker bar the other in the dash. It's also driving a JL Audio 10w1 sub-woofer in a custom box that sits over the rear passenger side wheel well.

It's MORE than enough for my needs. I wasn't concerned about using a "noisy" class D amp because it's in a Jeep and the odds of me hearing the minor loss in fidelity are pretty low just due to the environment. It fits nicely, is rugged, and kicks out more power than I'll ever be able to use.

THAT BEING SAID. There are less expensive options on the market that will likely do just as well for you. JL has a decent series of amps that will work. PPI used to make a great series of amps call Black Ice that were basically Hertz amps in a different case that everyone on the car audio boards raved about.

The JL Audio RD400/4 ($270) and the JX400/4D ($200) would both work for your needs and be close to your budget. I'd favor the RD400/4 personally, just due to the wiring locations being far easier to route under a seat. Your budget makes a quality 5 channel amp pretty difficult to find. Kenwood and Rockford both have options near that price point, but their power output levels are pretty anemic and not really ideal for your use.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Skippman.

The PDX-V9 has been at the top of my list since I got the Jeep last year. BUt it is a bit more than I want to spend. Some of the ones listed on Amazon are a little better priced but I'm not sure if they are authorized sellers.
So, do you have a JL stealthbox or is there another brand of custom sub box?


I'll take a look at the others you recommended. I know it's my choice but I am conflicted about going with a 5 channel vs 4 channel. I'm guessing if I did go 4 channel I could add a distribution block in the future for a sub amp.
 

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I bought my PDX off Amazon a while back, almost 2 years now and it's going rock solid.

I found a guy on eBay who makes custom boxes that bolt to the hard top bolt holes and it fits behind the passenger side rear seat and over the wheel well. I paid around $200 for it if I remember correctly. Originally I had my JL sub in their 10" prebuilt ported enclosure, but I snapped one of the terminal lugs off moving something and decided it was more in the way than I wanted. I'm very happy with my setup now and it's completely stealth. Other than the face of the head unit there's nothing showing to indicate I have anything other than the factory radio really.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks again. I see some thunderform enclosures but they all are loaded and $$$. Any chance you know who you got it from?
 

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Here's another possibility...Buy a small 2 Ch amp to start. Yes, 2 channel. Power the fronts with it and run the rears off of deck power. They're for rear fill anyway and will be playing at a significantly lower volume than the fronts. Then if you go with something compact you can install it up in the dash or behind the glove box. When you get to where you want to add a sub, then just buy another compact mono amp and do the same thing.

This is what I went with, but have yet to finish my installation:
i350.2 ? Precision Power

You can find these on Amazon for about $90.
 

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I like PPI amps for what they are. Super compact and very efficient. They're definitely making a comeback.

FWIW, I have seen pics of the PDX series being installed in the factory location under the steering column but I've not done that personally and it looks like it's a pretty snug fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
crazy - I've thought about going 2 channel. Might consider it. I don't really want to mount in the dash mainly because I want to be able to make adjustments a little easier. I know with the amp under the seat it really isn't ideal but I would mount the controls in a way where I could still get to them.

I've actually considered getting this ppi phantom series amp here.
P900.5 ? Precision Power

I guess I could bridge it to 2 channels and run the components off of them. Although that seems like alot of power for them. And I would get a sub channel if I decided to go that route.

Skippman - I have a few $$$ coming to me later this week so I have some time to decide. I'd love the PDX and if I can swing it I might. Any ideas how the ppi amps (either phantom or ion series) would compare to the PDX-V9 as far as SQ?
 

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crazy - I've thought about going 2 channel. Might consider it. I don't really want to mount in the dash mainly because I want to be able to make adjustments a little easier. I know with the amp under the seat it really isn't ideal but I would mount the controls in a way where I could still get to them.

I've actually considered getting this ppi phantom series amp here.
P900.5 ? Precision Power
That amp is fairly large. Mounting it under the seat will give you a little easier adjustment access, but how much are you really going to mess with it after the first few days? I decided to go with dash mount because I have a 2 door and want to eventually put a sub under the drivers seat.

The PPI Ion series are class D. This allows them to be small and efficient, but Class D are generally thought to not sound as good as one using a traditional power supply. I'm a snob when it comes to my home gear, but I'm not too concerned by the subtle differences in a Jeep. You may not be able to hear the differences because of the higher cabin noise. Although if this sounds like complete @ss once I get it installed, I'll be the first to report back.

PPI Phantom: Also Class D. It looks like these may have a little more sophisticated Xover adjustments. I'm not sure you would need this with the capabilities of your deck. Besides being bigger than the Ion series, these have a lot bigger heat sinks, which makes me think they probably run hotter. But this is all speculation.
 

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crazy - I've thought about going 2 channel. Might consider it. I don't really want to mount in the dash mainly because I want to be able to make adjustments a little easier. I know with the amp under the seat it really isn't ideal but I would mount the controls in a way where I could still get to them.

I've actually considered getting this ppi phantom series amp here.
P900.5 ? Precision Power

I guess I could bridge it to 2 channels and run the components off of them. Although that seems like alot of power for them. And I would get a sub channel if I decided to go that route.

Skippman - I have a few $$$ coming to me later this week so I have some time to decide. I'd love the PDX and if I can swing it I might. Any ideas how the ppi amps (either phantom or ion series) would compare to the PDX-V9 as far as SQ?
The dreaded sound quality question. It's all subjective. For the longest time I ran nothing but pure MOSFET in my cars. Look up a Phoenix Gold Titanium 700.9 sometime. That thing was a surfboard.

Ok, a couple points on PPI. From what everyone on the car audio forums has said PPI's Phantom series is basically a re-branded Hertz amp. Hertz, if you're unfamiliar with them, is considered an upper tier audio brand.

We could go down the rabbit hole of bi-amping and running full active (bypassing your crossovers) but that's completely unnecessary for what we're doing here. I, personally, would run everything direct. Meaning wire your crossovers for your fronts and the coax's in the rear directly to their respective channels.

This will leave your LFE (subwoofer) channel free should you decide to add something in the future. When installing the amp I'd make sure to pre-wire the RCA's for it and simply leave it (the subwoofer) turned off at the head unit.

Honestly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that PPI amp. A lot of the guys in the Mini and BRZ forums ran them because they're super compact and will sounds great. How do they compare to the Alpine? Probably pretty close sound wise if we're honest. Also, it's a Jeep. There are limits to the fidelity you're going to get just because of the interior and speaker placement.

As for the subwoofer enclosure I'm using I'll try and take a pic tonight and find the guys email address. There's also a guy on another forum who makes a water-tight enclosure for a single 10" that will fit under either the drivers or passengers side seat and appears to do an excellent job. I didn't go that route as I already had the Tuffy drawer and wanted to keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
crazy- I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Ion amp when you install it. DO you think you will be doing it soon?

I'm probably overthinking the SQ but I guess I mean I would like it as "clean" as possible considering my budget.

Skippman - Yeah, any pics or info on your box would be great. Although I don't plan on adding a sub just yet, I still like to research the options.
 

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crazy- I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Ion amp when you install it. DO you think you will be doing it soon?

I'm probably overthinking the SQ but I guess I mean I would like it as "clean" as possible considering my budget.

Skippman - Yeah, any pics or info on your box would be great. Although I don't plan on adding a sub just yet, I still like to research the options.
I can't make any promises but my goal is to have the amp installed before Memorial Day. Usually I'm too busy or it's too cold or hot out. BTW, my system is pretty much identical to yours only I went with cheap Kickers for rear fill instead of more Morels.

Class D amps don't have any inherent noise issues. By design they tend to be really clean. Class A/B tend to be a bit more sweeter and musical, but don't take that too literally. Most people won't be able to discern the difference. I think given your budget, you can't go wrong with the PPI Ion series.
 

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Number41, here's my setup if you're interested.

Replacement Head Unit Pioneer AVIC-7100NEX
Replacement Amp Alpine PDX-V9
Satellite Radio Tuner SiriusXM SXV300v1 Connect Vehicle Tuner
Front Speakers Focal PS165V
Rear Speakers Focal PS165V
Subwoofer JL Audio CP110LG-TW1
Backup Camera SunroadTek CCD 18 LED Night Vision
SWC Interface iDataLink Maestro ADS-MRR

My wiring diagram:
 

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I am running the Hertz HPD5 which is out of you r price range. But because this amp is now the ML Power 5, there Millie level amp you can get a good deal on the HPD5 if you look around.

But I agree with @crazychile, if you want to save money just buy a good quality 2 channel amp. I currently run run mine in 3 channel mode, 220 watts to the front speakers and 500 to the sub. My 8200 runs the sound bar speakers. I my go active on the front speakers one day but that is down the road.

How did I get there, by using the autoEq function that comes with the NEX series H/U. After I ran it I found that it sets the rear speakers to run 10db less than the front speaker. 10db is ten times less power required. So if you are running your front speakers at 100 watts you rears only will run 10 watts. With 22 watts RMS it is more than enough power to run the rear speakers.

In the mean time if don't already have the CD-MC20 get it. It's like $20 on Amazon and AutoEq is a great tuning tool if you don't have dedicated tools. But I will be honest and say I am a little concerned with you having distortion at only 20 on the dial even if the speakers are a little under powered. It makes me wonder if you have a bad amplifier section in the head unit. I would also suggest getting a SMD DD1. It is great for not only for setting gains properly but it allows you determine the highest distortion free volume settings you can run, be it speaker out or amp out. But it looks like they are sold out everywhere.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
The hpd5 is a little long iirc and even at a good deal is probably higher than I want to spend.
I do have the mic and it made a very nice change in my system. Highly recommend it.

My speakers do start sounding pretty bad when I get above ~20 or so volume. When the bass hits, it sounds distorted. Which does surprise me because I thought the crossover on the components wouldn’t let those frequencies go into the speakers???
 

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The hpd5 is a little long iirc and even at a good deal is probably higher than I want to spend.
I do have the mic and it made a very nice change in my system. Highly recommend it.

My speakers do start sounding pretty bad when I get above ~20 or so volume. When the bass hits, it sounds distorted. Which does surprise me because I thought the crossover on the components wouldn’t let those frequencies go into the speakers???
Go into your audio settings and look at your cross overs settings. For your front and rear speakers HPF should on and set the freq for 125HZ. 6 inch speakers really won't play below that freq unless you get into some pretty high end speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks terry. I'll try to check today. BUt, what I don't get is why wouldn't the crossover block out any lower frequencies than the speaker could handle, regardless of the pioneer setting?


I really appreciate all the amp advice. Looks like the phantoms aren't even available anymore. Or if they are, the seller gets bad ratings. So, I'll keep looking into the Ion series or see if I can come across something else.
 

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A typical crossover for component speakers only contains a high pass/low pass filter. The higher frequencies are sent to the tweeters while everything else gets passed directly to the woofer/midbass/driver through the low pass side. They do make extra modules called base blockers that will kill anything below a certain frequency (120hz typically) to prevent this very thing. Typically the head unit controls the output to the amp through it's internal crossover.

Terry, do you know if there's any truth to the rumor that the Hertz digital amps are basically just rebadged PPI's? I couldn't get my local installer to admit to it, but looking at the board designs it seems pretty likely to me.

As for the AutoEQ function, I ran it on mine using my 7100NEX and it felt like all the midbass was sucked out of my system and I ended up turning it back off. I suspect it's likely a byproduct of my having two sets of components installed and it freaking out about the rear tweeters.
 

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......Terry, do you know if there's any truth to the rumor that the Hertz digital amps are basically just rebadged PPI's? I couldn't get my local installer to admit to it, but looking at the board designs it seems pretty likely to me.....
I doubt it, Hertz and Audison are owned by the same company, headquarters in Europe.

As for the AutoEQ function, I ran it on mine using my 7100NEX and it felt like all the midbass was sucked out of my system and I ended up turning it back off. I suspect it's likely a byproduct of my having two sets of components installed and it freaking out about the rear tweeters.
I also don't run AutoEQ, I use a custom settings depending on the type of music I am listen too, but I do use it as a tuning tool. Primarily to set TA and give me an idea of what the speaker level outputs should be. It was AutoEQ that keyed me in on the 10db difference between front and rear.

Last summer I was having some over heating issues with my amp, I have it located in the rear cubby, when temps got over 80 degrees outside. This amp was not my first choice but I got a great price for it and it has turned out to be a very strong amp. Channel A has 119 watts, Channel B has 98 watts and the sub channel is 557 watts.

But my front speakers want 125 watts so I was pushing Channel A for everything it had and this was probably causing the heating problems. The other 2 channels where turn down already. Then I remembered the AutoEQ speaker out settings. That lead me to bridging A & B (220 watts) and turning the gain way down and the amp running cool. I also installed cooling fans and that probably helped too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Maybe I need to look through mine again or I'm mixing terms. I know I did the microphone calibration and it does Time Correction (or whatever it's called). I'm not sure what the AutoEQ is. DO you mean it's what the mic calibration sets up???? I know I changed my EQ settings for something that sounds best to me. Actually there's two that I go between but 90% stay on one of them.
 
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