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Upgrading the sound system on your Jeep Wrangler TJ

skrelnik

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@skrelnik and et al, I just finished reading this thread from start to finish. Yeah that was most of the day but I am sick on the couch anyway so time well spent. I have a couple questions if you don't mind. Context: I have a new to me 2001 TJ that is for the most part stock but not for long. This Jeep had a subwoofer console but when I took it out for cleaning, the rear console (2 piece) fell apart into several pieces so now I have a short console but I still have the sub wiring harness tucked away. A PO swapped out the headunit with one of these cheapo Dual BT decks https://www.dualav.com/product/car/headunits/xrm47bt/. It's not bad at low speed, but I can't hear squat going down the road at 70 with the hard top on much less off. I have a Kenwood KAC-M1824BT amp https://www.crutchfield.com/S-mRFgV...7736&clickId=3981512957&&pjClickID=3981512957 bnib on the shelf and would like to use it if feasible. I think my plan is to grab the 5.25 and 6.5 Kickers from Crutchfield along with the Boommat cups for the front and of course all the wireing harness stuff.

With this gear, Kicker C or D series speakers?

You have repeated a few times that going with a component speakers up front was one of the better things you did and at one point you linked to this set. https://www.sonicelectronix.com/item-72200-NVX-VSP525KIT.html but that was some time ago. They are only marginally more expensive than the 5.25 Kickers, aside from having to hunt down the tweeter pods to mount them are these going to deliver significantly better performance than the coaxial front Kickers? I am by no stretch of the imagination an audiophile, if you ask my wife "deaf" is the term she uses regularly. Too many years in a Navy engine room destroying a lot of my upper frequency hearing. But I do enjoy singing along with the songs on the radio and my wife would prefer the radio be loud enough not to hear me.

I know at some point if I ever want to add a powered subwoofer, I'll have to update the HU at the same time because this one does not have line out ports for a subwoofer but I thought I would just try the main speakers for now and see how that goes.

Appreciate any input you're willing to give.
Thanks.

Relocating the tweeters to the a-pillar (or dash by a-pillar) makes a great improvement, but that location is not for everyone. If you have your top off and are offroading, overlanding or at the mall, these pods could get stolen. Could it annoy you to have pods on the dash, possibly? If none of that matters to you, I recommend the Kickers since they come with ideal tweeter pods, cost effective and a great value for what you get. Personally, I have custom pods, but they do add to the cost of the overall build and that's why I always revert back to these Kicker speakers that come with pods - easy DIY for a Jeeper, and not too bad on the wallet.

With an amplifier you want the C Series, but the Kickers I recommended that have the tweeters/pods, are the KS series, which is a level up from the C series. I would stick to the KS or C series for the overhead pods, or you can try another brand. Those NVX speakers are solid, but again, I would solely grab the Kickers based on the ease of install/tweeter placement.

The self-powered sub is a good idea in your situation unless you want to buy another amplifier and rear center console to fit a new 6.5" woofer.
 
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chudlet

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Relocating the tweeters to the a-pillar (or dash by a-pillar) makes a great improvement, but that location is not for everyone. If you have your top off and are offroading, overlanding or at the mall, these pods could get stolen. Could it annoy you to have pods on the dash, possibly? If none of that matters to you, I recommend the Kickers since they come with ideal tweeter pods, cost effective and a great value for what you get. Personally, I have custom pods, but they do add to the cost of the overall build and that's why I always revert back to these Kicker speakers that come with pods - easy DIY for a Jeeper, and not too bad on the wallet.

With an amplifier you want the C Series, but the Kickers I recommended that have the tweeters/pods, are the KS series, which is a level up from the C series. I would stick to the KS or C series for the overhead pods, or you can try another brand. Those NVX speakers are solid, but again, I would solely grab the Kickers based on the ease of install/tweeter placement.

The self-powered sub is a good idea in your situation unless you want to buy another amplifier and rear center console to fit a new 6.5" woofer.

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. :)
 
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tjancse

New Member
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Jun 5, 2022
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3
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Hickory NC
Could be.... my only experience was my 05 and it was easy peasy. The biggest trouble I had was getting the securing bar off the stock stereo.... like someone would steal that pile of crap! I just snipped the two sides of the plastic cross piece and out it came. A little trimming to clean it up and good to go.

The depth is more of an issue than the width in my experience.

I went with the Alpine shallow unit with the clip on amp. Together they were less deep that a standard Kenwood or Sony unit. I love it.... I didn't have to find a place to mount the amp and the connections were a breeze.

[/URL]

View attachment 292979

I had thought about getting this Alpine setup but got a cheap JVC. Well, it sounds cheap too. Think I'm going to return it for the Alpine. May I ask what speakers you went with? I replaced mine with 4x6 and 5.25 Kicker CS. It's sounds just ok to volume 25 then breaks up. Lots of highs but no fullness. Not sure if I need to swap the speakers out also. I was thinking maybe a small powered sub.
 

Rooscooter

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Chandler, Arizona
I had thought about getting this Alpine setup but got a cheap JVC. Well, it sounds cheap too. Think I'm going to return it for the Alpine. May I ask what speakers you went with? I replaced mine with 4x6 and 5.25 Kicker CS. It's sounds just ok to volume 25 then breaks up. Lots of highs but no fullness. Not sure if I need to swap the speakers out also. I was thinking maybe a small powered sub.

BLAM 5.5's in the dash and 6.5's in the bar. They are pricy however. I was lucky to find them on a British website during the early days of COVID for around $175 for all 4. They sell for $300 a pair in the US these days.

Hertz makes great speakers that fit the TJ. Go to Crutchfield and filter for the TJ. If memory serves I had those in a cart and ready to go when I found the BLAM's overseas.

The Alpine unit has been flawless for me. Recently they have put out a newer version with a couple more features. You might be able to find the older one for a markdown if you look around.

The breaking up you are hearing is the amp in the unit in all likelihood and not the speakers. Just swap out the unit and see if the speakers perform better. Then go for other speakers if not. My guess is a cleaner amp will help the speakers.
 

DavidBT

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Jun 10, 2022
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Has anyone removed the sub speaker from the console completely? Not a fan of the sub, and would rather have the storage space. Maybe even replace the center console?
 
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Akitadog

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Has anyone removed the sub speaker from the console completely? Not a fan of the sub, and would rather have the storage space. Maybe even replace the center console?

I removed mine and used the area to mount my Sub amp.
 

skrelnik

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Has anyone removed the sub speaker from the console completely? Not a fan of the sub, and would rather have the storage space. Maybe even replace the center console?

You could trade your center console with someone looking for one with a subwoofer. Lots of people try to add the subwoofer, but others like the space. Depends on how each person uses their Jeep.

Tuffy makes a center console without subwoofer, it is top quality and comes with a lock. Expensive, but you could then sell your existing center console and subwoofer insert to earn a couple bucks back.

 

DavidBT

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You could trade your center console with someone looking for one with a subwoofer. Lots of people try to add the subwoofer, but others like the space. Depends on how each person uses their Jeep.

Tuffy makes a center console without subwoofer, it is top quality and comes with a lock. Expensive, but you could then sell your existing center console and subwoofer insert to earn a couple bucks back.

[/URL]

Thanks, I'll have to think about the swapping or maybe selling it.
 

Akitadog

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Here is the mount I made and installed nutserts to bolt it the the hump.
1655312070920.png

1655312230279.png
 

chudlet

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Apr 18, 2022
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N Idaho
Here is the mount I made and installed nutserts to bolt it the the hump.
View attachment 337294

View attachment 337296

My console was crushed by the PO and came out in pieces. Eventually I want to put a powered sub back in (when money allows) and I really like this idea. Powered sub on one side and CB or GPRS on the other, back to back kind of setup.
 
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TJosh02

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
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Feb 6, 2019
Messages
133
Location
Toronto
So I am looking to change up a big portion of my audio system (again!). Looking for some advice and confirmations.

First up, replacing my HU with an Alpine ILX-407. Didn't want to spend that much money and really loved everything that the ATOTO S8 premium could do for a long less money. If fact I am loosing a lot of functionality with the Alpine but the problem is the ATOTO is draining the battery. Confirmed a 600ma draw with the Jeep off. ATOTO was willing to ship me a reconditioned unit or partial refund. I took the refund and bought the Alpine. Piece of mind that the build will be good.

I had the Polk db 5.25" Separates with the tweeter below the dash mounted and hated that location. Got tired of trying to figure out how to mount the tweeters on top of the dash, knowing I was planning on a cage upgrade that would place a bar across the dash as well as A-Pillar bars. Ended up JL C2 5.25" Coaxs.

I didn't upgrade the Polk db 6.5" sound bar speakers when I did the front JLs because I didn't think the JLs would fit in the soundbar. I have an Alpine 5 ch amp (MRX-V70 6x4 + 250x1 @4ohms) by the way and an Alpine SWS-10D2 10" sub. I have went through 3 different box configs to due to space reasons, more on that later.
I am really still not satisfied with the SQ of this system. Really didn't feel the JLs were an upgrade, but I think this is partially due to the soundbar speakers typically being dominant unless I seriously reduce their levels, which I did in the end, but then the midrange gets off to my ears, likely due to the tweeter being in the dash behind the stock grill.

So I am at a cross-roads where I want to try out separates again up front with the tweeter on top of the dash and upgrade the rear speakers at the same time, hopefully to match (same brand/series). I got some marine speaker pods for 6.5" that I plan to mount to the C-pillar header bar to move the rears backwards instead of so close to my ear which hopefully will balance things out a bit.

I am looking at the BLAM series speakers you guys mention here. I like the price. They look good on paper. Hi-eff is nice. (My home speakers are JBL M2 studio reference monitors, which are hi-eff, but run a pro-audio amp.) Any guesses on comparison to the JL C2s? The other chose is to get the JL C2 6.5" coaxs for the speaker pods and add a separate tweeters to the dash. Price would be roughly the same, maybe a bit including the extra tweeters.

Out of curiousity with the 6.5" BLAM Relax coax fit in the factory sound bar?

Then I have to figure out what to do about the 10" sub box. I have a Sound Ordinance ported enclosure that models perfectly for this sub and was by *far* the best sound I have had with this sub. However the sub box just didn't fit where it needed to go. So I tried two other boxes, that were sealed and didn't like either of those solutions and the SQ suffered quite a bit. I think this woofer really wants to be ported, even though it can run sealed with some EQ, and the other boxes aren't made as well.

I ditched the rear seats permanently but I am adding a Tuffy drawer to the rear so I can keep recovery gear and tools locked up since I just switched to soft top permanent. This means the sub is going to have to fit between my driver seat and the drawer. Might have to get a custom made box or another sub solution.
 

LJGreg

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Aug 12, 2018
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Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada
I have the 6.5" BLAM Relax in the factory sound bar but they don't sit flush. I ended up 3d printing some rings that match the contour of the pods that the speakers sit on so you can get a very solid mount. If you want the same, I can print you some if you cover shipping from BC.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4617429

IMG_5245.jpeg

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.43.48 AM.png
 

SSTJ

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skrelnik

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Jan 10, 2018
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CT, United States
I've been really impressed with my BLAM 20mm tweeter. They are tiny and were super easy to mount but put out amazing sound.

View attachment 350369

I just put the 165RC set into a different vehicle. powered by a Sound Digital amp, and it cranks. I cannot believe how loud and clear these BLAMs play, and these are their entry level Series. I picked mine up while on vacation, randomly ran into the Five Star Car Audio shop and picked these up. They have a great YT channel for reviewing products.


1660328909263.png
 

R3ID05TJ

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Jan 26, 2021
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Tucson AZ
I used to watch those guys all the time but there for awhile they were just doing the same boring shit all the time