Car Stereo newbie looking for Advice - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-21-2010, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Car Stereo newbie looking for Advice

Hey all. I am looking to upgrade the speakers in my Base model (non-Infinity system). I am a newbie to car stereo so I appreciate any input, especially if I am wrong about something. Based on my research, I feel like my money would be best spent either by going with cheap, but better than factory, non-component speakers (option 1) or by going all out and getting nice component speakers with an amplifier (option 3). My assumption is that nice component speakers will be so limited by the factory stereo that they are not worth the extra money unless they are amplified.

Specs:
-Front Speakers Only. (I usually run Bikini+Windjammer, rear speakers are unplugged)
-Factory Headunit (theft and aesthetic concerns)
-Under $200 preferably

Options I'm Considering: (prices from Crutchfield)
1) Standard Speakers: Infinity Reference 6022si $59.99. 6.5", 3/4" integrated tweeter, 50W RMS.

2) Component Speakers: Polk Audio db6501 $199. 6.5" components with crossovers,100W RMS.

3) Component System ($200) + Line Output Converter (Audio Control LC6i? $120) + Amp (Estimate $200)


Any other speakers I should be looking at? Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-21-2010, 01:27 PM
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I get components. You can definitely save about 30% if you Google the stuff you want... Crutchfield is expensive.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-21-2010, 03:42 PM
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There's an old saying that goes like this: "Crap in equals crap out.".

What this means is that even if you upgrade your speakers to the best models available they will still sound like crap because the source signal from the head unit is crappy. In fact, better speakers MAY actually make your stereo sound worse. Why? Because better speakers may have the ability to reproduce EVERY noise artifact in the source signal where as the stock speakers may not have had tonal resolution to reproduce those artifacts.

Here's another example from a different media source. Take a modern high definition television and watch a traditional analog, low resolution program on it. The picture you're seeing appears to be worse then when you watched that same analog program on an old, non high definition set. Why? Because the old set didn't have the resolution to reproduce the video artifacts in the analog signal. In contrast, the high definition set has the resolution to reproduce every bit of noise in the analog signal resulting in a poor picture. In order for a high def set to really shine you need a high def signal.

The OEM speakers that are in your JK are not that bad. In fact, they are probably comparable to the top of the line after market speakers from a few years ago. If you want to improve your overall sound quality you should look into a new head unit and/or a dedicated amplifier to push the OEM units. This will net you the biggest increase in performance.

Another thing to consider is that the type of material a speaker is made out of will affect how that speaker sounds. A stiffer, harder material will sound brighter then a speaker made out of softer, more pliable material. When choosing a speaker you should factor in what type of music you like to listen to. If you like rock then a harder material is probably what you want as opposed to a softer material that may sound better when listening to the likes of Jazz and classical. If you look at the materials a speaker was made out of when the term "audiophile" became common you will find that most speakers were made out of paper, not some for of metallic composite.

All in all, if you're on a quest to upgrade your system then start with the links in the chain that will net you the biggest gains, the head unit and amplifier. Save your money on speakers until you've had the chance to hear what a better and more powerful source signal sounds like through the OEM units.

Good luck.

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post #4 of 5 Old 02-01-2011, 11:32 AM
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I bought a 2010 Wrangler Sport last August. First upgrade I did in phases. I got a deal on the mopar kicker 6.5" speakers. $107.00 for four of them and that includes shipping. I read on the the net that I should stuff the soundbar with polyfill so I went to an art supply store, bought some fill. The soundbar upgrade was easy. next was the dash. there are a lot of instructuions on how to do this and the mopar kicker speaker kick comes with them so I will not get into the upgrade. It does require patience since you don't have a lot of room to play with. I stuffed the speaker boxes with polyfill, installed the speakers. .. total time was @ 45 minutes. I went for a ride an noticed a difference... a big difference. .. but turn the volume and bass all the way and the strereo amp would get swamped. .. so.. the following week I bought the kicker amp from just for jeeps. They offered me ir at a $100.00 discount. It took me about an hour to install it. I went for a ride.. it was better, dynamic range improved, still the amplifier got swamped at loud volume levels so .. I took the sub speaker out that was intended to go to the kicker sub kit.. and connect it directly to a small sub. .. it worked!
A little thump... not booming but the swamping was gone! I created an L bracket out of aluminum and and fastened that to the 10" sub anclosure removed the passenger side rear cargo hold screw and fastened the l bracket down with with the cargo hold screw. cargo hold functionality is still there plus I can easiily remove the speaker for access to the jack.

My next upgrade is to purchase a 1000 watt sony xplode or something like that.. something that would take the speaker out level to the sub.

I'd like to upgrade the kicker amplifier but right now I do not have the wiring diagram.
I've asked kicker several times... I will try again.


My wrangler stereo upgrade sounds much better than stock, it doesn't sound as good as a 500 watt Alpine setup yet but I'm getting there.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-01-2011, 11:38 AM
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Why do you unplug the rear speakers?

Drive fast over bumps
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