Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of JUNE's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I promise I have read, I have read so many threads here in the last couple of months about sound system upgrades, my eyes are crossed. Sometimes the more you read the more confused you get...

So I know very little about sound systems, my husband says he does...but we are total opposites when it comes to what we listen to and how we want to hear it. He can do the installing part, but he won't do the reading part, so I have so I can have an idea of the end result I want and what steps to take to get to there. I am having to read, decipher and relay all of this to him.

I have a 2013 Rubicon and I am pretty sure I have the Alpine upgraded system since I had the RHR radio, I have an amp and a subwoofer. We have not gotten to speakers yet, so I am not sure what those are, but I am assuming Alpines. I will say, if I do have the upgraded Alpine system, it sounds like crap. I am no audiophile for sure, but it is muffled and most all music sounds really bad. I only listen to music on the ipod connected to a USB, but I listen to many different kinds of music.

After all of my reading I decided to start with the head unit. I got the Kenwood DDX374BT. It is installed and there is a lot more power, but still sounds like crap. So now we will replace the speakers and get an amp. I am going to go somewhere and listen to the different brands of speakers, but really I am looking for clean and clear, not loud. I don't need anyone to hear me from a block away or hear me thumping at the red lights. I also don't need plug and play as I do have faith that my husband can do a slightly more difficult install, just not TOO difficult because it is patience he lacks. :) I don't want to spend a fortune, but I don't have to buy the cheapest either. So if anyone wants to make recommendations on speakers that would be greatly appreciated. Also a good middle of the road amp that will power those speakers.

Here are some questions I still have after reading...

One thing I am not clear on is the sound bar speakers...I have read there are separate tweeters in the sound bard, or did I? Or is that just some models? If there are no separate tweeters I have read most just go with coaxial speakers there and poly fill.

The other part I am still on the fence about is components or coaxial speakers in the front lower dash, do the components really make that much of a difference?
If I get the components it appears they come with a set of tweeters OR I have read many prefer instead the 3.5 speakers with bass blockers? I have the tombstone tweeters and really don't want to do a lot of cutting, but the speakers themselves need to go, I hear nothing out of them.

Now I know the end sound will have a lot to do with speaker settings on the actual head unit and I am reading about that now. If I can't get that myself, I will probably pay someone to do that once everything else is done.

I know this can be all very subjective, but any advice on input would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,383 Posts
Hey @bobchase! :beerdrinking:
@Titanium63

So here is what I/we did to come up with the PRS audio system. The first thing was to fix the output on the factory tweeters. You can find that info in the stock tweeter mod thread. For a '13, you would use the 4.7uF capacitor. It significantly lowers the crossover point to something usable.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/stock-tweeter-mod-cheap-662985.html

It's around 50 pages of discussion, but it simply works.

Then for the sound bar I started researching to find the best overall match for the current amp and the needs of the audio sound stage. Since we have a 2 ohm system, you don't want to just through any old speaker in there. You want to come close to what the impedance that the amp is looking for to maximize output. Also since we don't have a ton of power in the factory amp, you want a speaker with high efficiency. That's where I ended up with the Infinity 6032si.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/speaker-upgrade-infinity-6032si-904409.html

You can see there are multiple contributors to this project.

For the sub, we were looking for the same criteria as for the sound bar speakers. The Pioneer got us close and the results aren't bad. But to really match up with the system you need to drop a small amp on the sub to bring the output up. Lots to read on it here.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/subwoofer-mod-replacement-921921.html

A number of people have started with amping the sub before replacing it...

Also, a few people have changed out the dash 6.5's, but that is a mistake. The factory 6.5's have better midbass and are a better match for the modded tweeters. That's how you get the best sound stage.

This produces a system that is very premium in sound quality for just a few hundred bucks. It's weakness? We are still on the factory amp and it's output isn't all that great. If you are trying to hurt your ears, it won't be enough.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
One thing I am not clear on is the sound bar speakers...I have read there are separate tweeters in the sound bard, or did I? Or is that just some models? If there are no separate tweeters I have read most just go with coaxial speakers there and poly fill.

The other part I am still on the fence about is components or coaxial speakers in the front lower dash, do the components really make that much of a difference?
If I get the components it appears they come with a set of tweeters OR I have read many prefer instead the 3.5 speakers with bass blockers? I have the tombstone tweeters and really don't want to do a lot of cutting, but the speakers themselves need to go, I hear nothing out of them.
Newer jeeps come with 8 component speakers. Two woofers in the dash, two tweeters in the dash, two woofers in the soundbar, and two tweeters in the sound bar. Some jeeps have the addition of the subwoofer in the rear. Your jeep will be similar but will have only two speakers in the soundbar.

Coaxial speakers are two speakers in one, the woofer and the tweeter, and a number of people replace all four of the soundbar speakers (in your case two) with two coaxials for ease of install, price, etc and because the soundbar is more for filler than direct sound. The 77Kick10 is a popular coaxial soundbar replacement because you can greatly improve sound over stock for $65 a pair.

Some people also replace the front woofers with the 77kick10 or equivalent to upgrade the sound in the front, again because it's an easy and cheap way of improving the sound. This adds more tweeter to front but having sound come directly from the top of the dash is important for listening so people leave those tweets in, modify those tweets for better sound, or replace them with better tweeters.

Audio enthusiasts would probably tell you that if you're going to the trouble and cost to replace the head unit and add an amplifier, then you should replace at least the 6 speakers and maybe even the subwoofer to take advantage of what head unit and amp can do for you.

If it was me (our sound needs are similar), I'd replace the 2 soundbar speakers with 2 coaxial, the front speakers with 4 components, and see where that got me. If the bass wasn't right then I'd likely do the subwoofer. And yah, poly-fil all the woofers.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,383 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,546 Posts
@Titanium63 ... I was too in your situation whereas I upgraded my 2014 alpine upgrade system with a new head unit. It made the sound much more lively but not drastically.

I upgraded my speakers to Morel Hybrid components up front, and Morel Maximo's for my rear fill as well as an amp. Adjusted the gain to match the head units output, adjusted the passive crossovers using the head unit, and voila ... I get good bass from the woofers, and high notes are still smooth and won't make your ears bleed at high volumes listening for extended period of times. I'm content with the oem sub, but a replacement is in the future but not at the moment.

For the value, I would consider Morel Maximo ultra's (or even the Maximo's since I also had their components for a month). There are many other brands that can fit the budget, but I suggest you go out to your local shops and listen to what they got before deciding... just don't let them install.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,383 Posts
Ah so two woofers in the soundbar or two coaxial?
The soundbar in the '07-'14 has 2 6.5 full range drivers. It also has a "bass blocker" in the amplifier so getting much bass there is impossible without doing a full system. But a coax can really help the fill for a decent sound stage.

The front 6.5 in the dash actually has good midbass and decent tone. The dash tweeter is actually quite good, it's just crossed over at 15khz which is useless. Fixing that for $3 brings the system to life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Very subjective, you are correct. I would replace the speakers with a trusted full set, and not try to adjust the factory speakers. If you have a new head unit, then adding a new amp, and a good set of speakers with a quality crossover is all you need. 6.5 co-ax or components in the dash. Sound bar, I would skip the tweets and just add 6.5 mids. (I have tweets now, and they only help to remind you they sit 6" behind your ear!)

I have CDT. They are pricey, but have good warranties, and I have abused 3 sets for over ten years and they still sing. I like them because they are sound quality focused, not loud, and no ear fatigue. Ear fatigue in a Jeep is a big deal, and the outside noise requires turning up the volume. If the tweeters are edge, my head start to heart.

Beyond CDT (niche brand) you have Focal, JL, Alpine R, Morel, and lots of other brands that make very good speakers. When shopping, just bear in mind Jeeps (1) eat mid-bass, and (2) emphasize the high frequencies. (Mid bass is huge, as it includes male vocals, guitar, piano, etc.) If you aim for "warm" sounding speakers it will be more even in the harsh jeep environment. Stay away from "bright" speakers. (IMO)

Don't go too cheap on the amp. I'd advise JL as the safest bet, but not the value leader. I also have Alpine, and there are hit or miss. Again, MANY options out there. Just find an sound quality amp, not a bass machine and you will be happy.

And don't forget to set the time delays on your headunit. It makes a big difference in the echo chamber of a Jeep that you get the sound arriving at your ear from each speaker at near the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lots of great advice, thank you all so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I have read the cheap tweeter mod thread, well maybe not all 50 pages, but enough to maybe try this and see what happens.

I need to read more about setting the gain and time delays, as well as all other settings, as I am sure none of that is set correctly. I do want a "warm" sound, my ears also bleed after listening to music too loud or "bright" for a period of time.

I think I will start with the sound bar speakers since the consensus seems that an easy plug and play kicker works just fine there and add the poly fill. It sure would have been easier to install all the dash stuff at the same time as we did the HU and I should have planned for that. :)

I am having a problem with the head unit that has to be fixed. Driving down the road the sound just goes off. At first I thought it was a head unit to speaker problem, but that seems to not be the case as you can turn it to the radio and it will play again. It has to be something to do with the USB connection, because that is when it stops playing. I plug my iPod into an Apple USB cable connected to the USB cable that came on the back of the new head unit. I was supposed to receive a Metra AX mini in with my head unit to attach the Kenwood HU to Uconnect so that my USB port in my console would still work, but it was left out of my box. It is on the way now and once that is done, I hope it fixes this problem.

The only other issue that may be causing it is I know we didn't flash the Maestro correctly, my husband checked the wrong option when it asked what kind of stock radio was in there and put the year of my Jeep as 12 instead of 13. So we plan to take the new HU back out and reflash the Maestro RR. Unless anyone else here knows that might be causing this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
The soundbar in the '07-'14 has 2 6.5 full range drivers. It also has a "bass blocker" in the amplifier so getting much bass there is impossible without doing a full system. But a coax can really help the fill for a decent sound stage.

The front 6.5 in the dash actually has good midbass and decent tone. The dash tweeter is actually quite good, it's just crossed over at 15khz which is useless. Fixing that for $3 brings the system to life.
HI
Do you recommend bass blockers? if so on all 4 speakers or?
I have stock 130 for now and upgraded the sound bar and removed the tweeter in sound bar.
Also have new speakers coming for lower dash..
Thx
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,383 Posts
HI
Do you recommend bass blockers? if so on all 4 speakers or?
I have stock 130 for now and upgraded the sound bar and removed the tweeter in sound bar.
Also have new speakers coming for lower dash..
Thx
In our application, I would only use a bass blocker on the 3.5's in the soundbar or dash.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top