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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking of replacing just the HU and upgrading the speakers. Wondering if I really need an amp and / or sub. I'm middle aged, not into really loud volume or annoying anyone else with my tunes. Don't really like the heavy thump and boom of some stereos I hear.

Simply put, I'm wondering if a new HU and speaker upgrade will offer enough improvement to the overall sound quality.
Budgeted so far for a Pioneer NEX system and either Polk or Kicker speakers plus install.

I have a '16 JKU Rubicon with the 430N stereo. It's not too bad of a system - other than the Nav being slow. Sound quality is meh as has been written about here. I'd like to be able to hear my tunes when the windows are down or the top is off.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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A new head unit and speakers will improve the sound a little, but won't work any miracles. Add a 4 channel amp to the new speakers and head unit. This will help with sound quality at lower volumes as welll as help when the top is off. Once you do that you can make the decision to add a sub or not.
 

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Top off definitely requires an amp. There is no real cheap solution to improve the sound. The factory sound in a Wrangler is not bad, but it is not great. If you want better than good sound, you have to think great. Good sound in a Wrangler with the top off, is better than good sound with the top on. So, you must think great sound to get the improvement. You must therefore think an amp, better speakers for that amp, and a subwoofer. Adding more volume to a system will not improve the overall quality of the system, it will just make it louder and harsher. If you add a bunch of treble and midrange and you don't balance it with good bass, it will not improve the overall quality of the sound. A subwoofer fills out the sonic spectrum. If you try to fill out the sonic frequency spectrum with basically mid range speakers, it will not work for the lower frequencies. Component speakers will not fill the sonic spectrum and you will just get loud harsh sound and crackling bass/mid range speakers, that can't handle the bass.

I would recommend an 5 channel amp, at least 100 watts per speaker, compatible speakers for that wattage, and a subwoofer. Then, you will have great sound over the sonic frequency spectrum. The Thump you hear is the same thump you will hear from a bass drum and a bass guitar at a rock concert. The thump you hear on the streets is just the thump from a different genre of music, made to be louder. It can be a softer thump and still fill out the musical frequency spectrum, which a component speaker alone just can't accomplish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input.

It looks like an expensive upgrade for 'good' sound. I may just leave it alone for a while.
I still have other trail oriented upgrades to budget for.
 

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Thanks for the input.

It looks like an expensive upgrade for 'good' sound. I may just leave it alone for a while.
I still have other trail oriented upgrades to budget for.
Ok, a different point a view and a little cheaper to boot. First let me tell you my system.

Pioneer 8200 NEX
Hertz HDP5 amp that was born very stout
Audison Voce AV K6 front speakers, 125W RMS
Morel MAXIMO COAX 6 rear speakers, 80W RMS
Memphis 8 inch sub (Just a filler while I wait for my 12 inch sub to be made)

I am currently running the amp in 3 channel mode, front speakers bridged and sub. The rear speaker are running off the deck. I just finished this this week after talking to my installer.

The NEX series as an autoEQ function is you buy the mic for it $20. When you run the function it sets up speaker levels and timing adjustments. It sets the sound stage up very nicely. The results of doing this are the rear speakers run about 10db less than the front speaker. So running my front speakers at 125w means you only need 12.5w to run the rear. The NEX decks put out 22w RMS so you can see there is more than enough power.

A simple 2 channel amp for the front speakers is all you need. If you later want to add a sub just get a mono amp to run that. There are more than a few of these and most are under $100. No reason to spend big money on a 5 channel amp.
 
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