Plug-and-play speaker upgrade?

bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
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Feb 3, 2017
8,061
NorCal
Upgrade that factory sub, ditch the anemic sub amp and get an amp that will compliment it, then DB's all around. Amps are small enough these days you could stuff it behind the HU.
 

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
If you look at the speaker specifications from JBL and Polk, you'd see that the JBL GTO actually puts out very slightly less sound volume than the Polk DB series do when driven by the exact same wattage.

A speaker's Sensitivity specification is how much sound volume it produces with a given power level input.

The JBL GTOs put out a 91 dB sound pressure level when driven by a 1 watt input.
The Polk DBs put out a 92 dB sound pressure level when driven by a 1 watt input.

That 1 dB sound pressure level difference between the Polk DB and JB GTO is certainly not enough to be able to hear, our ears can only tell a 3 dB sound pressure level difference, but the Polks are definitely very (!) slightly louder at the same power wattage input.

Both of those speakers are considered high sensitivity which means neither requires a lot of power to put out a lot of sound.

https://www.jbl.com/gt7-gto9/GTO329_.html?cgid=gt7-gto9&dwvar_GTO329___color=Black-GLOBAL-Current#start=1

https://www.polkaudio.com/products/db6502
I didn't use the GTO 329's and I am not comparing to the more expensive 6.5" Polk DB6502's. I am comparing the JBL GTO 529's with the Polk DB522's since they only cost about $60/pair.

The Polk DB522 is rated at 91 dB at 4 Ohms
The GTO529 is rated 92 dB at 3 Ohms

From what I was told, if you compare the 3 Ohm sensitivity speakers vs. the 4 Ohm speakers, the 3 Ohm speaker sensitivity will be ever more impressive. An audiophile told me this and some general searching seems suggest there is something to what he said. That said, I myself am not an expert and would be curious to know if this is correct.

https://www.jbl.com/car-audio/GTO529_.html
vs
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107DB522/Polk-Audio-DB-522.html
 

bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
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Feb 3, 2017
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JBL makes some nice stuff. I wouldn't hesitate using either choice. Currently running Polk DB's, a noticeable improvement.
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
9,972
Escondido California
It's actually easier for a 3 Ohm speaker to put out more sound volume than a 4 Ohm speaker because its lower impedance (electrical resistance) forces the amplifier to put out more power. In some cases more than it should. The lower the impedance of the speaker, the more apt it is to make an amplifier unstable unless the amplifier was specifically designed for the lower impedance. That's from having spent spent 40 years in the technical side of the electronics industry.
 
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,411
Northern WI
I'm looking at 4x the Polk DB 522.

Any suggestions for the double din unit? Ideally, I can connect my Android phone and a high resolution backup camera. And I want a physical volume button.
 

skrelnik

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Jan 10, 2018
877
CT, United States
To run these you will need (at least) a factory sub. I have this setup and with just the speakers it was incredibly anemic. Once I swapped in a low-end sub in the center console the system balanced out and is pretty great now (though I have some rattle reduction to do sometime).

A sub is not required to see the benefit of upgrading the four main speakers. I upgraded to just the Polk DB speakers in my previous TJ with an aux amplifier and the improvement in sound quality was startling. My previous TJ did not have a subwoofer. Adding a subwoofer is a nice thing to do, I have one now, but to say it's required isn't really true... unless you're into playing your music loud enough to irritate those in cars surrounding you.

The factory sub is at best a mid-woofer, so once you upgrade the speaker pods to those 6.5" Polks those fill the void.

The factory sub is a nice addition, but not necessary for this set-up.
 

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
It's actually easier for a 3 Ohm speaker to put out more sound volume than a 4 Ohm speaker because its lower impedance (electrical resistance) forces the amplifier to put out more power. In some cases more than it should. The lower the impedance of the speaker, the more apt it is to make an amplifier unstable unless the amplifier was specifically designed for the lower impedance. I spent 40 years in the technical side of the electronics industry.
Exactly, this is what I am saying. These JBL's are specifically designed to be loud without supplying much power. Of these two speaker choices, if you are going to add an amp, I'd go with the Polks since they have more leg room for that. However, if you don't want to add an amp, then go with the JBL's because they will perform better than the Polks. That pretty much sums it up.
 
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skrelnik

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Jan 10, 2018
877
CT, United States
I'm looking at 4x the Polk DB 522.

Any suggestions for the double din unit? Ideally, I can connect my Android phone and a high resolution backup camera. And I want a physical volume button.
Consider the Polk 6.5" for the speaker pods, it is worth it from a sound standpoint. Pics of what it looks like. Also, stuff the pods with polyfill regardless of speaker size.20180425_072931.jpg20180425_072908.jpg
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
9,972
Escondido California
Exactly, this is what I am saying. These JBL's are specifically designed to be loud without supplying much power. Of these two speaker choices, if you are going to add an amp, I'd go with the Polks since they have more leg room for that. However, if you don't want to add an amp, then go with the JBL's because they will perform better than the Polks. That pretty much sums it up.

P.S. As I read more on this, when you said "92 dB driven by a 1 watt input", this is actually the efficiency rating. The 92 dB listed on these speakers is the sensitivity rating (2.83V/1m) notation. From what I understand, the sensitivity is a better measurement.
No, we're not saying the same thing. You keep saying the JBL speakers are designed to put out more sound volume with less power. You're clearly misunderstanding the Sensitivity rating which is the industry standard for how speakers are compared to know how much volume is put out when driven with a precise amount of power.

Though the difference is insignificant and the difference wouldn't be detectable by human ears, the Polk puts out 92 dB of sound from one watt of power. The JBL puts out 91 dB. 1 dB less. The JBL puts out slightly less volume. Using the specifications provided by JBL and Polk.

I'm done with this particular discussion, it's a subject I'm well versed in.
 

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Polk DB stuff in mine as well.

These dash speaker pods also made a noticeable improvement.

Select Increments DPE03065 Dash-Pods (without Speakers) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T1AB28Y/?tag=wranglerorg-20
You know, my 2005 already has these stock pod. I reused them when I upgraded my front speakers. Is this because I had an upgraded sound system? (you know, the crappy advertised 7 speaker system that is really only 5 speakers with 2 mini tweeters in the front).
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
9,972
Escondido California
I'm adding polyfill to the cart.

Crutchfield says 6.5" doesn't fit. What harness do I need to make them work?
6.5" fits in the soundbar used in 2002 and older TJs without modification. I'm not sure about the sound pods introduced in in 2003.

Buy your polyfill at your local yardage store for 25% of the cost an audio store sells it for. It's called pillow stuffing jn yardage stores. Same exact stuff.
 
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bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
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Feb 3, 2017
8,061
NorCal
Don't waste your time on 6.5's in the sound pods. They are so close to your ears you need to tone them down to get a proper sound stage.
 

jjvw

Your Jeep's name is Karen now.
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2018
5,361
Colorado, USA
You know, my 2005 already has these stock pod. I reused them when I upgraded my front speakers. Is this because I had an upgraded sound system? (you know, the crappy advertised 7 speaker system that is really only 5 speakers with 2 mini tweeters in the front).
The factory speakers also used an exposure. The ones I linked to are for a larger 5.25" speaker.
 
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,411
Northern WI
You know, my 2005 already has these stock pod. I reused them when I upgraded my front speakers. Is this because I had an upgraded sound system? (you know, the crappy advertised 7 speaker system that is really only 5 speakers with 2 mini tweeters in the front).
That's what I have too.

Buy your polyfill at your local yardage store for 25% of the cost an audio store sells it for. It's called pillow stuffing jn yardage stores. Same exact stuff.
You don't know my salvage yard. Everything is double what it should be. :( Does synthetic stuffing from an old pillow work?

03+ doesn't fit without modification. Not worth it IMO.
In this case, I'll stick to the smaller ones. I don't want to spend too much time on this, just enough to get a solid improvement without spending a week on it.
 

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
No, we're not saying the same thing. You keep saying the JBL speakers are designed to put out more sound volume with less power. You're clearly misunderstanding the Sensitivity rating which is the industry standard for how speakers are compared to know how much volume is put out when driven with a precise amount of power.

Though the difference is insignificant and the difference wouldn't be detectable by human ears, the Polk puts out 92 dB of sound from one watt of power. The JBL puts out 91 dB. 1 dB less. The JBL puts out slightly less volume. Using the specifications provided by JBL and Polk.

I'm done with this particular discussion, it's a subject I'm well versed in.
I am not trying to argue, just to better understand. I always appreciate your responses. I removed the P.S. from my last post because after I reread it ,I wasn't sure if I had understood what I thought I did! I am just trying to understand...if two speakers are both are rated at 92 dB sensitivity, wouldn't the 3 Ohm speaker have more volume potential than the 4 Ohm speaker when you plug in a modest 22W amp rated for 4 ohm speakers? This is the method (or gimmick if you want) that JBL is playing to make their speakers louder when using with lower powered head units and stock speaker wire harnesses. This is what they are selling and I bought it, whether right or wrong, LOL.