Don't waste $$$ on Soundbar Speakers - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Don't waste $$$ on Soundbar Speakers

FYI ...

I bought a set of MOPAR Kicker Speakers for the soundbar. I installed them and they sound no better than factory. Even with fader all the way to rear they sound pretty lame. The front speakers really CRANK when Fader is set to Front but not so with the soundbar.

Turns out the soundbar and front speakers are the Identical Part # and identical speaker. Apparantly there is some sort of suppression in the wiring for the soundbar speakers so they cannot be turned up loud.

I will be putting the factory soundbar speakers back in ... and putting the Kickers in the Dash.

Also ... the Kickers weigh about 5X as much factory speakers and are plug and play.

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post #2 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 05:50 AM
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good to know!

Are the speakers 2-way or 3-way speakers?
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 06:02 AM
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Yeah, I noticed that too. I replaced mine a while ago and they didn't sound much better than the factory speakers. I read that Chrysler restricted the signal going to those speakers because there was a problem with vibration in the sound bar. Instead of fixing whatever was making the vibrating noise, they weakened the speakers. Not sure if that's 100% true, just what I remember reading somewhere.

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post #4 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 07:03 AM
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I've got to say my soundbar speakers sound pretty good, I upgraded them to Infinity 60.7cs and there's a big improvement over stock. Now, I also upgraded to the Nitro Amp, but frankly don't believe it had that much to do with it. I also filled the soundbar with polyfil.
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 07:10 AM
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The stock amp or head unit, hell I don't know, limit the sound bar speakers. Something to do with the soundbar vibrating on some crap like that.

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post #6 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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I do not have the Infinity system but I would assume the supression has to be somewhere in the harness. For those that have the Infinity system ... do your sound bar speakers attain the same volume as the dash speakers? They should since they are identical speakers. All MOPARS use the same Head Units so I wouldn't think they had specially supressed rear speaker HU's just for Wranglers.

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post #7 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 12:57 PM
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^ Agreed. Perhaps there's an in-line crossover? And is there a stock amp on the base system? I'm pretty sure it's just run off the deck- Mark W.

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post #8 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 01:27 PM
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I don't have the infinity system either but I've read an extensive thread either here or elsewhere (can't remember). In the Infinity system it's in the amp. There was supposedly a problem with soundbar rattling at loud levels so it was limited in the amp.

People were buying the Dodge Nitro amp, direct drop-in without limiting sound to the rear.

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post #9 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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I moved the Kickers to the dash. They sound much better in the dash enclosures. Driver side was a royal PITA to replace. Passenger side is piece of cake since the entire speaker enclosure can be removed through glove box opening.

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post #10 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaduke2003 View Post
^ Agreed. Perhaps there's an in-line crossover? And is there a stock amp on the base system? I'm pretty sure it's just run off the deck- Mark W.
I have the stock system, NO amp. I turn the radio of alot, but if I turn it up I do get a rattle in there. Having read what a pain it is to make anything aftermarket work, I just turn it off, especially at highway speeds.

If you have the stock system, you can not add the amp without replacing the entire wiring harness, which I am pretty sure isn't available.
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-21-2009, 07:13 PM
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Have you guys tried the kicker replacement amp? I have read several people who have either changed the current factory amp using star scan or replacing it with nittro amp to get better sound out of replacement speakers.
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post #12 of 25 Old 04-22-2009, 03:10 AM
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I ended up doing a combination of using the nitro amp and grounding one of the hardtop wires to get a big improvement in sound. Since I don't have the hardtop wiring, I had to ground the wire behind the instrument panel. Without grounding that wire, the nitro amp made little difference.

I remember this being talked about on the other forum a long time ago, seems it worked for some and not for others...

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post #13 of 25 Old 04-24-2009, 09:32 PM
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The JK amp limits the output to the soundbar. I am in the process of replacing the factory amp, and I should see some major improvements in sound quality.

Or at least I'll know tomorrow, anyways.

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post #14 of 25 Old 04-25-2009, 07:15 PM
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You guys are discovering one of the most overlooked aspects of car audio, that it's not just the speaker that generates quality output. The enclosure, the amplifier, the source material and the speaker all play major roles in how the music sounds.

Even if you took a $1,000 dollar speaker and dropped into a ****ty enclosure the music would sound ****ty as well, despite the quality of the speaker being used. In my opinion the biggest problem with the JK's upgraded Infinity system is not the head unit or the amp or the speakers, it's the ****ty quality of the enclosures. The factory enclosures are made out of plastic which rattles, buzzes and resonates like a swarm of bees. It doesn't matter how good of an amp you have or how good of speakers you install because the enclosures will limit any gains you thought you acquired with the upgrade of quality after market components.

I wouldn't waste my money on after market speakers or amplifiers but rather spend a few dollars to deaden the plastic enclosures so they don't resonate. Then and only then would I determine if after market speakers and amplifiers were needed. If you do it the other way around you will just be wasting your money. (This opinion is of course just an opinion which you may or may not agree with.)

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post #15 of 25 Old 06-14-2009, 09:32 AM
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Talking

I'm with MaloCS, about halfway. It sounds like a necessity to do good soundproofing/deadening on the soundbar before any electronics upgrades.

That said, I do want to get some cleaner sound out of the system. I have the upgraded Infiniti 6 dvd player. I've been reading the threads here and elsewhere.

Conclusions:

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, 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.
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 their any special rig needed to interface with the stock Head Unit? 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 anyone has done this 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.

I'm also going to post this as a new thread.

Last edited by mbwd; 06-14-2009 at 09:39 AM.
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post #16 of 25 Old 06-22-2009, 08:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmhines View Post
I moved the Kickers to the dash. They sound much better in the dash enclosures. Driver side was a royal PITA to replace. Passenger side is piece of cake since the entire speaker enclosure can be removed through glove box opening.
How much of an improvement are the kickers over stock?
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post #17 of 25 Old 06-25-2009, 01:26 PM
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How much of an improvement are the kickers over stock?
I would wager that they aren't much improvement over stock due to a number of reasons. One, the source signal is the same; Two, the amplifier power is the same; and Three, the enclosures are the same. By just addressing one component in the chain without addressing the others more then likely will not net you the gains you are looking for. On the other hand, if you were to address ALL of the components in the chain your chances of achieving better sound is greatly increased.

Having said this I believe the primary limiting factor in the OEM Infinity system to be the enclosures. They resonate which produces distortion and robs the stereo of available power. By simply deadening the enclosures the music sounds cleaner and louder.

The next limiting factor of the system is the sub woofer enclosure and power. The sub enclosure is just TOO small to allow the speaker to generate enough sound pressure levels to get loud. Additionally, the supplied power is also too weak to get those bass notes to the front of the cabin. By upgrading the amp to at least 200 watts and the sub to at least 10" and an enclosure that's built to manufacturer spec will go a long way in increasing the quality of the system.

Upgrading the sub will also benefit the other aspects of the system. Because we now have an excess of bass frequencies we can turn down the bass level on the head unit. Since the bass level is now turned down we can also turn down the treble and mids. What this does is raise the distortion ceiling of the system. With the distortion ceiling raised we can effectively turn the stereo up to louder volumes without generating distortion. On the other hand, if we have the tone controls cranked we are effectively lowering the distortion ceiling. By lowering the distortion ceiling we are generating distortion at much lower volumes and the stereo sounds bad. I.E. - By lowering the tone controls distortion is now generated at volume 30 instead of 24. This is just an example as I do not know the actual values. These hypothetical values are just being used to illustrate a point.

If you're interested in cleaner and louder sound I would do it in this order:
  1. Start with deadening the **** out of the OEM enclosures with Dynamat or Secondskin. Since the enclosures resonante so badly, just by deadening them you are going a long way to reaching the sound you want.
  2. Upgrade the sub to a 10" unit in a ported enclosure built to manufacturer's specs. Along with the sub woofer upgrade I would add an after market amp pushing at least 200 watts. More power will never hurt the cause so if you want more then get more.
  3. Tune the stereo correctly by lowering the tone controls. A generic way to do this is to set each tone control to 0 and only adjust them to the negative. This will ensure that you're raising the distortion ceiling instead of lowering it which allows the stereo to be turned up louder without distortion being generated.
  4. At this time, after the above mods are made, I would determine if I wanted to upgrade the speakers.


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Last edited by MaloCS; 06-25-2009 at 01:45 PM.
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post #18 of 25 Old 06-25-2009, 01:59 PM
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I disagree. Although enclosure does effect overal quality it has limited effect on loudness **although lining with dynamat and stuffing with polyfil will dampen distortion making minor change to loudness**. Similar with subs sealed box=cleaner less boomy bass ported=not quite as clean but increases boom(referring to amount of air pushed)

The problem with the system is the amp!!! i have a L7 15" in my jeep with a 1000.1 Kicker ZX amp. The amp is test rated at 2180 watts and 1215 rms the sub can handle around 1500 rms before you start risking sub damage and 2200 watts. Therefor i have the perfect amp for my sub. Same equation say my buddy has the same exact sub in his jeep but his amp is say a 300.1 so probably rms would be around 400 my sub is going to be double his in loudness and most likely his amp would fry b/c it is too weak! Same thing with putting in aftermarket speakers.

You could spend a thousand dollars and get the most advanced speakers in the world and put them into the jeep. Sound quality may go up b/c the speakers are nicer higher quality speakers but the LOUDNESS will NOT chage. Your speakers are only as good as the amp you have ur speakers are 75 rms a piece you have 4
75x4=300 rms. This means you need an amp pushing 300 rms. if the stock speakers equal idk just throwing a number 150 and the amp pushes 150 and you put on the same kickers ur only going to have 150 worth of sound! Your speakers are only as good as your amp idc how much you spend on them it wont change loudness


**Installing an aftermarket HU with higher pre outs (mine are 4v) will increase loudness and quality one because higher preouts = crisper sound and aftermarket HU add power to your system they generally contain "mini amps"**

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post #19 of 25 Old 06-25-2009, 07:01 PM
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Scotty,

Absolutely! That's why I inserted the amp into the equation to better quality sound but it's only part of the equation. In my opinion with almost 20 years of car audio under my belt I've come to learn that the enclosures are just as important as any other component in the stereo chain. Enclosures are even more important the more powerful an amplifier is.

It takes energy to make the enclosure resonate. That's energy that could be utilized by the speaker to be more efficient. The speaker doesn't have a chance of sounding good if the enclosures are weak. The same is true for amp power. The more power that's generated the easier it will be for the enclosures to start resonating thus negating the benefits a more powerful amp would normally provide.

The first step in the JK is deadening the enclosures. After that's done then the benefits of better speakers and a more powerful amp can truly be enjoyed. I agree with you on your opinions concerning amplifier power but it won't matter how good it is if the enclosure resonates like a swarm of bees. Sometimes it not always the most sexiest part of the equation that needs addressing.

You make some good points concerning ported versus sealed enclosures but a well built ported enclosure can sound just as tight as a sealed enclosure and is way more efficient then a sealed enclosure as well. A sealed enclosure is wasting 50% of the energy produced by a woofer and in my opinion I would like to utilize that energy to make my stereo louder. Over a course of 20 years I've come to learn that better efficiency is often better then straight up brute force. Also, don't mistake better efficiency for being weak.

You make some valid observations and it sounds like you know what you're talking about. I would love to shoot the **** with you as car audio is one of my favorite passions.

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Last edited by MaloCS; 06-25-2009 at 07:09 PM.
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post #20 of 25 Old 06-26-2009, 02:08 AM
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i am quite pissed that my whole page a just typed got deleted when my computer decided to refresh the page

MaloCS

I have not exactly been working in car audio for 20 years but i know quite a bit.I totally agree that sub enclosure a big part of the stereo factor. A bad enclosure will totally rob a speaker or sub of power and if not properly made even cause damage that being said i dont believe that the stock enclosures are that bad. I think that the easy(and cheap) solution is stuffing as much polyfil as possible and dynamating the loose/weak wobbly parts would suffice. My point was that the stock enclosures arnt horrible and will work with minor changes if any. I agree 1000000000% that enclosures make a difference and if this was a COMPETITION system i would totally back and recommend going to an audioshop with enclosure tuning software and have them custom build and tune a box specifically to what your looking for and your specific sub or speaker. That being said this is for a DD non competition driver who is looking to add a little more power and wouldnt notice that it was dampened or restrained by the enclosure w/o hearing one that had a better enclosure. throw some polyfil and dynamat in there get some nice aftermarket speakers and let that shlt rock

Just my .02 never would not recomend someone wanting to spend the $$$ on custom enclosures but thats going to be in the mid to high hundys(hundreds)
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post #21 of 25 Old 06-26-2009, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
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i am quite pissed that my whole page a just typed got deleted when my computer decided to refresh the page

MaloCS

I have not exactly been working in car audio for 20 years but i know quite a bit.I totally agree that sub enclosure a big part of the stereo factor. A bad enclosure will totally rob a speaker or sub of power and if not properly made even cause damage that being said i dont believe that the stock enclosures are that bad. I think that the easy(and cheap) solution is stuffing as much polyfil as possible and dynamating the loose/weak wobbly parts would suffice. My point was that the stock enclosures arnt horrible and will work with minor changes if any. I agree 1000000000% that enclosures make a difference and if this was a COMPETITION system i would totally back and recommend going to an audioshop with enclosure tuning software and have them custom build and tune a box specifically to what your looking for and your specific sub or speaker. That being said this is for a DD non competition driver who is looking to add a little more power and wouldnt notice that it was dampened or restrained by the enclosure w/o hearing one that had a better enclosure. throw some polyfil and dynamat in there get some nice aftermarket speakers and let that shlt rock

Just my .02 never would not recomend someone wanting to spend the $$$ on custom enclosures but thats going to be in the mid to high hundys(hundreds)
I wasn't advocating the fabrication of custom enclosures as well. I just observed that the front pods and the rear sub enclosure resonate very badly. So bad in fact that the resulting distortion is competing with the music making people think the speakers are bad when in fact the problem is the enclosures.

For $40 and 4 square feet of Dynamat Extreme I was able to completely deaden the front speaker pods. Honestly, the results were amazing. I'm not talking about something that you have to strain to hear, it was quite obvious that a significant improvement was made. To verify that the Dynamat worked I only did the front passenger pod. I then played with the balance control to hear the difference between the treated and untreated enclosures. The difference was obvious and the treated pod sounded significantly better. For $40 and a few hours of labor I was happy with the upgrade and decided to keep the stock speakers and save myself a few hundred dollars.

As far as the sub enclosure goes I just removed it completely and didn't even deal with it. Regardless, I do not see the harm in deadening the **** out of it and seeing if that goes a long way in making the stereo sound better which I think it would. Even if one keeps the OEM enclosure and just replaces the woofer I would recommend another $40 worth of Dynamat or Secondskin and just go to town on that enclosure. Having a box that's dense enough to resist resonance goes a long way in achieving quality sound.

When I recommend an enclosure built to manufacturer's spec all I meant was that each company has dimensions for boxes that work with their woofers. For example, when a buddy purchased a Kicker S10L7 a tech document came with it that had several boxes already designed and ready to be built. All we had to do was buy the wood and cut it according to Kicker's specs and then assemble it so it looked like their diagram. We did modify the design a bit to incorporate some rabbet joints, dovetail joints and mortices but other then that the size, volume and port tuning are exactly what Kicker recommended. We didn't try and reinvent the wheel since Kicker had already done the physics and come up with the appropriate enclosure dimensions and port tuning. We just built it.


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Last edited by MaloCS; 06-26-2009 at 06:31 AM.
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post #22 of 25 Old 06-26-2009, 07:42 AM
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I just reread this entire thread. There's some really good info by everyone involved.

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post #23 of 25 Old 06-26-2009, 02:17 PM
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I just reread this entire thread. There's some really good info by everyone involved.
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post #24 of 25 Old 06-26-2009, 09:21 PM
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Thanks for the info/education!


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post #25 of 25 Old 11-14-2014, 01:08 PM
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Sound Bar and Subwoofer

I installed a new sound bar for my 2000 wrangler, shortly after, I installed a subwoofer and amplifier. Now the sub works but the sound bar is only producing bass, the mids and tweeters are now silent, even after disconnecting the amp to troubleshoot. Any ideas/suggestions on how to get the sound bar and subwoofer to work properly together?
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