Amplifier, Speakers, Sub Upgrades -- A definitive guide? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Amplifier, Speakers, Sub Upgrades -- A definitive guide?

I've been reading the threads here and elsewhere and it seems that there is a lot of information scattered about re: upgrading the stock JK sub, amp, and Soundbar speakers. It would be great if we could consolidate all that knowledge here.

I will update this first post as I get responses/details.

Conclusions from Prior Threads:

1. It seems that the stock Infiniti amp is OK, but it has a crossover that limits the power and/or frequencies sent to the Soundbar.

2. The stock amp sends acceptable power to the stock subwoofer, but not enough to just plug in a better sub and get any real improvement.

3. To replace the stock sub and keep the stock amp/sub enclosure, you need a dual coil, 2 ohm replacement that is less than 4.5 inches deep.

4. The Soundbar speakers can be replaced with any 6.5" speaker that is equal to or less than 2 3/16" deep (unless you want to keep the stock grilles, which may require more specific choices).

5. The "Nitro" amp upgrade is the easiest way to replace the stock amp and get increased power to the Soundbar and the sub.

6. To get any improvement in sound it is NECESSARY to use soundproofing/deadening material in the Soundbar and, preferably, everywhere where there could be vibrations.
Questions:

1. What are the dimensions of the stock amp? I would like to purchase an aftermarket amp and put it in the same location.

2. To replace the stock amp, is there any special wiring harness needed to interface with the stock Head Unit? And/or, what are the inputs for the stock amp?

3. What are the outputs from the stock amp? Once it is replaced, can the OEM wires be used to feed new Soundbar speakers and a new sub?

4. If you replace the amp, are you still limited to 2 ohm speakers/subs for maximum output? That is, is this a limitation of the HU or the amp?
If you have specific information on these upgrades, please post so we can all learn from your knowledge!!!

Also, if anyone has done these upgrades in the past, please post your choice for Amp (if in same location as replaced stock amp), sub (and did it fit in stock enclosure), speakers (and do OEM grilles fit), and how it sounds.

Last edited by mbwd; 06-14-2009 at 04:31 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 10:16 AM
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I used a JL Audio 8W1v2-4 in my factory enclosure with an aftermarket Amp.


2009 JK - 2DR - 6SPD - 1/2 Doors
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmhines View Post
I used a JL Audio 8W1v2-4 in my factory enclosure with an aftermarket Amp.
Where did you put the amp? Was it in the same location as the OEM amp?

Did you need a harness?

Basically, could you share HOW you did it and the specifics?
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 10:32 AM
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Great topic...

Subscribing.

Phase 1 Complete. Sold JK
Phase 2 Complete. Bought a Tow Rig
Phase 3 on-hold. Buying a trail rig. Thinking a TJ or XJ
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 10:35 AM
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I upgraded my non-Infinity sound system - so this isn't going to work 100% for you unless you want to just improve your bass. I used the components listed below and mounted the AMP under the dash. I was able to run the power cable through the hole on the driver side cowl. Sounds much better now! :clap:


AMP: Pioneer GM-D7400M
SUB: JL Audio 8W1v2-4
PAC AOEM-CHR3 Add An Amp Adapter
Mopar Kicker Dash Speakers
Infinity Factory Tweeters and Soundbar Speakers
Factory Sub Enclosure












2009 JK - 2DR - 6SPD - 1/2 Doors
4.88 G2 Gears / Warn XD9000i / Custom bumpers & Swing Gate
XRC Rock Rails / 35" Kumho's on Black Rock Vipers
2.5" Mutt Lift / Rubicon T-Case / E-DISCO / VIAIR OBA
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Last edited by dmhines; 06-14-2009 at 10:38 AM.
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-14-2009, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmhines View Post
I upgraded my non-Infinity sound system - so this isn't going to work 100% for you unless you want to just improve your bass. I used the components listed below and mounted the AMP under the dash. I was able to run the power cable through the hole on the driver side cowl. Sounds much better now! :clap:
Thanks dmhines, that is very helpful information.

I looked at your setup and it seems that if you want to retain the factory HU, you need to get a harness. For those folks looking to do this, I found these folks make what we need. It is significant for the "add an amp" feature that you make sure to check whether you are buying the model for a "premium" sound system (i.e., your Jeep came with the Infinity amp) or not. Mine did, and the model number is CHYAA07 for an 07-08 JK with the Infinity amp.

I believe that this answers one of the questions in the OP, so I will add that information. If anyone knows that this is wrong, please correct me.
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-15-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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Does the JL Audio sub make a considerable difference or would you take out the factory enclosure and use a bigger sub. I believe JL Audio makes an enclosure with a larger sub in it. Something else I have looked at is replacing the factory enclosure with a Bazooka bass tube. Any thoughts?
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-15-2009, 08:09 PM
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bazooka tube= POS if your looking for considerably more bass id go kicker. they do not make a stealth box(that im aware of) however they have two shallow mount subs that are verrry thin.(possible to fit in stock exposure) and i believe their CVT which is their true shallow mount(also have a solo classic which is not as shallow but still a shallow mount) which runs around 400 rms or there abouts. JL is not very quality subs. If you want high quality for good price go kicker.

http://www.amazon.com/KICKER-quot-TH...5120398&sr=8-4

^extremely good price i believe the 10" is 400 rms at least 3-4 times louder then stock but very clean sounding. The box is very skinny and could easily fit against the rear wheel well next to the stock 8 where most stealth boxes go. The CVT 8 is 200 rms and mounting depth is 3 3/8" and the solo classic is 300 rms and mounting depth is 4 5/16" so i believe both would fit and add an extremely noticable but not over doing it sound quality.

The cvt 8 is 74 on amazon and the solo classic is 108 0n amazon. both fit qualifications to fit in stock box or the cvt 10 in the box for 136 is a steal. Youd need either a kicker 300.1 to power them or a 400.1 for the 10" the kicker zx 300.1 is 160 online and the 400.1 is on sale right now for 162! both could probably be found same or little cheaper on ebay and then youd just need a cheap wiring kit (8 guage) for like 30 bucks. and an rca converter( i have one i can give you for cost of shipping)

i right now am running a kicker L7 15" 1000rms with a kicker ZX1000.1 and a pioneer avic f90-bt double din touch screen navi to help power the stock speakers and the sub. I know alot about car audio and by far kicker is the highest quality at the best price and destroys the competitionl. If you have any ?s let me know ill be glad to help
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 05:30 AM
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Bass tubes suck for the most part. A real way to pull of more sub with less loss of space is to do a rear tub kit from jeepswag dot com, fiberglass theinside of it and build a box out of it utilizing a small space required sub.here are some of what I plan on using.

http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_s...p?series_id=30

http://marine.jlaudio.com/products_c...php?page_id=69

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/prod...p?model=PDX-5M



Not sure on head unit yet, I will probably keep the mygig for a while, but this one has peaked my interest a bit.
http://www.clarion.com/us/en/product...409026674.html

I am trying to get my hands on a cheap sound bar to do some experimenting with making it larger, fixing rattles ect, I have a friend that is a plastics welder and I used to make a lot of abs formed speaker pods and amp racks way back before they were more mainstream so I know that I can pull it off. I've always been big on concealment and factory looking installs.

The Alpine pdx5 has a small enough foot print that I can get it into the stock amp location, that way it is high from the water if offroading and the supplied ac vent to keep it cool is always a plus.

The marine speakers have different parameters that help them utilize a "free air" or "acoustically challenged" environment like the jeep as well as all the marine components are saltwater tested to resist long term corrosion and water abuse.

If you just want to throw in some great sounding speakers and the soundbar is not going to cut it I plan on using the Bose 151's or 251's I had these on my off shore boat and they sounded great and severe offshore abuse didnt phase them at all.

http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/...kers/index.jsp
I also suggest that for most of you that are doing stereo work or any electrical work in the jeeps to solder as much as you can and where you have to use screw terminals to components make sure that you use dielectric grease to keep corrosion away.

Cant remember how linking works so I hope this is not in bad forum taste, just trying to help.
Oh and over 10 years of custom car and marine audio for some back ground.

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Post count from the "other" place when i was following the "herd" was 692 on 4-2-09, not a noob...

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post #10 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 08:35 AM
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for that clarion to fit your going to have to use a dremel and there is little to no space within the dash to fit your wires and the harness. When i did my pioneer i had to dremel out the cross bar from factory HU and tuck my wires over by the steering column to get the HU all the way in place.
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post #11 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 05:27 PM
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what did you run into replaceing the front dash speakers.
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post #12 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 06:37 PM
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i havnt done mine YET but when i do im putting in kicker components which fit in all the current stock mounts and running a 250.2 which could possibly fit where stock amp is or will mount it under the passenger seat.

However when i bought my aftermarket HU it had 4v pre outs which i think stock is like .5v pre outs which GREATLY inhanced the stock infinity speakers. like i said i am running a L7 15" which is 1000rms 2000watts!! and i can still hear my music perfectly with the sub pounding with that much power w/o it being drained out or anything so if your planning on going aftermarket HU (which you should anyway if ur doing aftermarket speakers) you might want to put it in first to see how improved the stock speakers are before you blow the cash on speakers. id make sure to get 4v pre outs on what ever aem HU you get. higher pre out=louder more quality sound
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post #13 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 08:13 PM
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I know a guy who installed a better speaker system and the tweeters fit in the stock location on the dash with no problems plus they look stock. The speaker system is a German company called Rainbow and the series is the Germanium series. The actual tweeters are of the CAL25 series. I attached a photo. That is the system I am thinking about for an upgrade. Cost a little bit more but it is all about what you want out of your system. The woofer/mid mounts up to the stock position as well and from what everyone is saying, the speakers are great. Now, just have to focus on how to do the same to the speaker bar. I would like to have the same speaker series for all the woofer/mid tweets. The sub is the easy part it seems.
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post #14 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 08:19 PM
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im sure many companies can do everything from stock to tweeter and fit. i know i sound like a broken record or a salesman but kickers tweets up to components and sub all fit in stock so you could run all ur speakers including tweeters and sub all in stock location using stock housing w/o modification
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post #15 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 08:23 PM
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I decided to use my entire rear area for athree 10s. Ill post pics when its all done. mine is gona do some shows is why I picked it.

"Duca Brothers Customs"
2008 Rubicon, (Dana44s locked), 5" BDS adj. suspension lift, 2" BDS body lift, 15x10s, 37x14.50 15 toyo mt, custom painting, river raider bumper/highlift mount, Pioneer touch screen, custom system (3) 10s, hd reel driveshaft, Rock Krawler hd steering/tierod.
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post #16 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DucaBrothers View Post
I decided to use my entire rear area for athree 10s. Ill post pics when its all done. mine is gona do some shows is why I picked it.
what rms are you running on all three together
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post #17 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 09:14 PM
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It is all up to what you want.

The bottom line is, it is up to what you want out of your system. Some people want three subs to fulfill their needs. Others will be good with general or stock speakers. Some also are fine with the Kickers (which are great direct replacements) but there are those that want a little more sound quality. There is a lot of great information here in this thread.
Me? I will be fine with the stock sub or a replacement for the stock location but I am wanting better sound in the mid-bass tweeter range. So I am going to go with a little bit more expensive speakers and mods to get what I want. It is all up to your wants and needs.
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post #18 of 21 Old 06-16-2009, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFX View Post
The bottom line is, it is up to what you want out of your system. Some people want three subs to fulfill their needs. Others will be good with general or stock speakers. Some also are fine with the Kickers (which are great direct replacements) but there are those that want a little more sound quality. There is a lot of great information here in this thread.
Me? I will be fine with the stock sub or a replacement for the stock location but I am wanting better sound in the mid-bass tweeter range. So I am going to go with a little bit more expensive speakers and mods to get what I want. It is all up to your wants and needs.
DogFX
extremely good point. its all in the person and what they want. point is obviously people here know alot on this subject and you can ask ?s on here pertaining to what you have in mind youll find just as good of answers on here about audio/visual work as you will on body work so get an idea of what
want as far as what type of quality, loudness, and overall resort and then go from there.

on another note to all the guys knowing and willing to help with audio ?s i thought i was the only one on this forum that was far more experienced with a/v work then with body work being as i did all my a/v work before i started working on body and picked up everything i know in the process. kinda the whole point of joining a forum dont you think
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post #19 of 21 Old 06-17-2009, 12:04 AM
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don't know what point you are trying to make but I was a MECP certified first class installer I the 90's, did Evander Hollifields 93 mustang convertible, 123 relays, everything electronic in the car was controlled through the code alarm remote. I was the first person to have to figure out the one wire door locks in the US it was a ford probe gt and ford sucked at tech assistance. I am more than willing to help anyone in need anytime feel free to ask. as for the 3 10's why do they need the whole rear? you doing a bandpass box? if I did any kind of serious sub in the rear I would do a single reflex bandpass using a 15" speaker. it would be all the bass you would ever want and you can throw crap all over the box as long as the port is left to vent and if you bolt it from under the chassis you can mount the amp inside and no one can steal it or damage the sub or amp. I still can't believe that no one has done a flush mount amp rack on the rear tailgate yet with caps if no dual battery. im not trying to gloat just trying to show that I've been around and after modding my factory alarm have realized that im not near as limber as I was 10 years ago and can't see how I got under all those dashs'. guess that's why I have so many shoulder problems LOL.

kicker has definitely become a reputable manufacture. I just have always liked going against the grain and doing stuff different I guess. I still think the sound in the jeep would have been way better if the sound barwas mounted at the rear cage where it slopes down, that way the bar would have some angle to it for sound deflection. right now it is fired down and away from the drivers ears and is another reason they are hard to hear, then the fronts fire in somewhat of a downward position as well. it would be nice to be in a shop again and have one of these to play with.
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post #20 of 21 Old 06-17-2009, 12:42 AM
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Upgrades

Everything said here is great. Not trying to offend anyone or their ability. I also installed in the 80's and 90's and I share your shoulder pain and in the lower back. How did we do all that? Anyway, all great points but everything is to individual taste. Three tens will tend to have better punch and faster recovery then a 15 but then again it depends on the box, the damping factor of the amp driving any of those configurations and the music, among others. I know someone who refused any sub over ten inch so I created a hyperbaric, vertically imposed dual sub system where the subs faced each other mounted in the trunk and to get the most punch and air movement I vented the system throughout the ****pit. Great punchy sound for the music the customer liked, Jazz. That is what makes all of this great. All of the different advise, and I am really going to need it when I go to mod my Jeep. I don't know everything and I am always willing to learn. I would like to keep my stock system, so I am going to need some advise on that when it comes time. Thanks. DogFX

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post #21 of 21 Old 06-17-2009, 12:49 AM
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rob4607, The sound bar mount suggestion is great! I never hear my sound bar. I was planning to just change the speakers and adjust a 4 channel amp to equal out the sound. Your idea would be perfect but I do not have the ability to fabricate anything here in S. Korea. I sometimes miss the garage and the tools, also but not the pain.
Cheers,
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