Audio upgrades - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 09-21-2012, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Audio upgrades

Just picked up my 2013 Unlimited, and WOW, the stereo SUCKS.

I love the Jeep, hate the stereo. I visited one car audio place and they basically said to come back when I have 1100. Why that number, I don't know.

Anyway, there's got to be an easier way.

I have the connectivity package. Don't want to get rid of the deck because of the bluetooth, sirius, etc.

Has anyone upgraded the speakers with the factory deck with good results?

I was told that the entire speaker bar needs to be replaced because you can't get good acoustics with the stock speaker bar. True?

What's a good upgrade for the factory tweeter, because honestly, I think the most distortion comes from those? Or, shall I just disconnect them?

Basically, I just wanna know what y'all are running, and if you don't mind, how much did you spend?
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post #2 of 42 Old 09-21-2012, 06:48 PM
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You can do some upgrades on the cheap that help but to get truly good sound, you need to replace the deck. There are many threads about it if you do a search. You don't need to get rid of the soundbar. Just some simple stuff liky lining it with Dynamat and stuffing it with polyfil does wonders.

Here is what I did and with the exception of my deck, I have around $200 in it.
-lined soundbar with Dynamat ($40)
-covered front speaker pods with Dynamat($20)
-stuffed soundbar and front speaker pods with polyfil ($15)
-replaced all factory speakers with the Kicker upgrade (77KICK10) speakers ($140)

The real problem (other than crappy stock speakers) though is that the factory decks limit power output to the rear speakers so you either need to replace the factory head unit or have an amp installed to boost the power to the speakers.

Hope this helps

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post #3 of 42 Old 09-21-2012, 10:11 PM
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Heavy D is right you will probably be disappointed with keeping the stock head unit. It has a limited power output. You could change the speakers out and do the dynomat/polyfill and see if your happy with the results. I put Polk 651 in the soundbar and 651s components for the fronts and tweeters combined with a kenwood headunit I am happy with the way it sounds. I wouldnt bother with a local audio shop unless you know their quality and reputation. Look at Crutchfield or Sonic Electronix online for your parts and do the instal yourself.
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post #4 of 42 Old 09-21-2012, 10:22 PM
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I started out with the pods and bar. Used SecondSkin Damplifier in both locations. Then I fiber filled the pods. I replaced the craptastic factory speakers with Infinity Reference Series Coaxials which are true 2 ohm speakers. When you factor in the 18-20 ga. speaker wire the OEM's use, the 2 ohm plus wiring bumps your ohm rating back to 4 ohms which maintains decent output.

After all of that, it still sucked. Sounded much more clear, but zero bottom end due to so little power. So, out went the factory deck and in went a Clarion FZ501 Media Only/Bluetooth unit. This added the much needed power along with the features I was lacking in the original unit. Still wasn't what I wanted. Finally added a Bazooka BT6100A and that rounded everything out without completely destroying what little cargo room a 2 door has.

So far, I havent thought of changing anything and it was around 5 bills worth of equipment to get me where I am. I installed it all myself though, so that is how the cost is so low.
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post #5 of 42 Old 09-22-2012, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome, this is good info. Formulating a plan...

Like I said, I don't wanna replace the deck, so I think I'll go with an amp, and replace the speakers with the Kicker upgrade. Lot's of positive feedback on Amazon and only $140 for 4 speakers. Not bad.

What about the tweeters? Replace or remove?

Recommended amps?

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post #6 of 42 Old 09-22-2012, 09:44 AM
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ive had about 5 different amps in the jeep. and have switched many times.


im now running stock headunit. kicker speakers front and back. be sure to stuff the overhead and front speaker pods with polyfill. helps A LOT.
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post #7 of 42 Old 09-22-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango Alpha View Post
Awesome, this is good info. Formulating a plan...

Like I said, I don't wanna replace the deck, so I think I'll go with an amp, and replace the speakers with the Kicker upgrade. Lot's of positive feedback on Amazon and only $140 for 4 speakers. Not bad.

What about the tweeters? Replace or remove?

Recommended amps?
If you get a pair of component speakers for the front you will have the tweeters to replace the stock ones. The Polk ones I did required that I trim the plastic a little to make them fit.
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post #8 of 42 Old 09-22-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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I just filled the sound bar with polyfill. What a difference. Great tip.

I'm gonna wait to fill the front pods until I get replacement speakers, and do the fill/replacement at the same time.

Good shit here guys. Thanks!

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post #9 of 42 Old 09-22-2012, 06:40 PM
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Due to them being sealed pods, instead of free air, like in many stock vehicles with speakers in doors, make sure that you seal the speaker into the pods. so air cannot flow in and out of the pod. It will make them sound blown if not sealed.
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post #10 of 42 Old 09-23-2012, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Okay guys, Polk DB651 or the Kicker 77KICK10?

I know most of you guys are gonna swear by whatever you're running. Is there anyone that has experienced BOTH and can honestly say one is better than the other?

I know the Polks are better quality, and marine grade, but might the Kicker's sound better because of a lower RMS, considering the stock HU?

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post #11 of 42 Old 09-25-2012, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ordered the Polks. I got a chance to listen to both side by side, while they both sounded good, the Polks had a slight edge.

Also ordered an 8" Polk woofer and 2 channel amp.

Here's the question. How difficult is it to run an amp with the stock head unit? I've never done that before, not even sure it's a good idea.

I want to keep the stock HU, but I just know that I'm going to get done with all of this, love the woofer, hate the output from the mids/highs.

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post #12 of 42 Old 09-25-2012, 05:45 AM
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Mine really sucked untill I switched the wires on the subwoofer. Big difference. Try that before you buy new stuff.

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post #13 of 42 Old 09-25-2012, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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I don't have the infinity system. No subwoofer.

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post #14 of 42 Old 09-25-2012, 05:51 AM
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Vote for the Kicker. I have been running this sound system since day one and it sounds fantastic. It has also stood up to the test of time so far, 3 years, and works flawlessly still

http://www.quadratec.com/products/14137_0002.htm
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post #15 of 42 Old 09-25-2012, 06:54 AM
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post #16 of 42 Old 09-25-2012, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Not bad. A little more involved than just amping the 8",but manageable.

Thanks for that awesome write up.

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post #17 of 42 Old 09-26-2012, 07:20 AM
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What polyfil are y'all using?

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post #18 of 42 Old 09-26-2012, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
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I don't have the infinity system. No subwoofer.
I thought the 13's upgraded came with a full alpine setup.

I know you didn't get upgraded, just saying I thought they were done with infinity.
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post #19 of 42 Old 09-26-2012, 12:09 PM
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What polyfil are y'all using?
Walmart pillow stuffing. Its in the fabric section for around $4
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post #20 of 42 Old 09-26-2012, 12:22 PM
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What's a good aftermarket head unit with Bluetooth, iPhone and navigation? I'd like better audio, but mostly want better nav, particularly off-road maps, such as Garmin topo. The mixed reviews I've read have not made me willing to drop $1k+ on a replacement for my RER.

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post #21 of 42 Old 09-28-2012, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Mark,

I've had aftermarket HU in the past, and my experience is that the Bluetooth features usually perform better with stock HUs.

I had a Sony HU in my Xterra. For music, the BT features worked okay, but it was useless as a hands free phone.

The 2013 connectivity package on this Jeep works GREAT. Only issue is the stereo is underpowered and poor quality speakers. So I'm replaing the speakers and adding a 5 channel amp and an 8" sub.

I won't lose any of the things that HU does so well, and I'll have a kick ass system that looks stock.

That's the plan any way.

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post #22 of 42 Old 09-29-2012, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango Alpha View Post
I'm gonna wait to fill the front pods until I get replacement speakers, and do the fill/replacement at the same time.
Definitely do it this way. The pods are a pain to take out, especially the driver's side so best to only do it once.

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Originally Posted by Tango Alpha View Post
Okay guys, Polk DB651 or the Kicker 77KICK10?
I know that you already picked the Polks but I think you made a good choice. I have the Kickers and haven't heard the Polks but think Polks are a betterspeaker overall. Only reason I went with Kicker instead was cost.

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Quote:
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What polyfil are y'all using?
Walmart pillow stuffing. Its in the fabric section for around $4
Yep, same here. Definitely the way to go.

Ron
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post #23 of 42 Old 04-10-2013, 06:39 AM
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I also chose polks, 651's for sound bar, 6501 components for upfront, I'm chosing to stay with my factory head unit but gonna use an audiocontrol lc6i oem intergration line converter, then sending signal into an kenwood excelon 5 channel amp to power speakers and an jl audio sub. I plan on poly filling, not sure about dynamating. Hopefully it rocks

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post #24 of 42 Old 04-10-2013, 09:54 AM
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I have a aftermarket HU, got the kickers front and rear from online car stereo for 90 bucks.
http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAu...cker_DS65.aspx

Already had a soundstrean amp. Added a custom JK box and 2 kicker 12's for 275 after making a offer on it on hifisound connection.
http://www.hifisoundconnection.com/J...B-PACKAGES-224

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post #25 of 42 Old 08-14-2013, 01:32 PM
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Hi there TangoAlpha,

Just bought a 2013 JK with the connectivity package last week and I'm pretty much in the exact same place you were a few months ago. Like you I'd like to upgrade my speakers but prefer to keep the factory HU because of the handsfree.

Can you give us an update on the project? How did it go? Did you happen to replace front and sound bar speakers alone before installing amp and sub? If so, how did that work out? I'm not sure the amp/sub are necessary to satisfy my needs.

Hoping to get some knowledge from your experience.

Thanks,

-JC
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