Basic Speaker upgrade

sgtmajor138

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I am trying to do what I can to help the poor sound quality in my Jeep without spending a ton of money. I am an old artillery guy so it is really bad if I notice how poor the sound quality is. I have researched and got a lot of recommendations to replace the dash and 3 1/2" sound bar speakers. It was also recommended to use the Kenwood Excelon KFC-X3C speakers for both. I watched a YouTube video of that swap and was really impressed.
Well, those are out of stock EVERYWHERE. After a call with Crutchfield, I found the JBL Club 322F would work in the dash. I ordered a set and installed. Not overly impressed but it is what it is. Maybe it will be better when the others are swapped.
My question for the group, I need to replace the sound bar 3 1/2" speakers. Kenwood's are out of stock. JBL's do not fit without "modifying" the sound bar. Does anyone know of a decent set of speakers like the Kenwood's that do not require modifying the sound bar? My financial advisor (wife) asked that I stay around the cost of the Kenwood's. I have the sad little 5" head unit with the basic system but surely replacing these will help. :)

TIA for any help.
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Jeepeto

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I am trying to do what I can to help the poor sound quality in my Jeep without spending a ton of money. I am an old artillery guy so it is really bad if I notice how poor the sound quality is. I have researched and got a lot of recommendations to replace the dash and 3 1/2" sound bar speakers. It was also recommended to use the Kenwood Excelon KFC-X3C speakers for both. I watched a YouTube video of that swap and was really impressed.
Well, those are out of stock EVERYWHERE. After a call with Crutchfield, I found the JBL Club 322F would work in the dash. I ordered a set and installed. Not overly impressed but it is what it is. Maybe it will be better when the others are swapped.
My question for the group, I need to replace the sound bar 3 1/2" speakers. Kenwood's are out of stock. JBL's do not fit without "modifying" the sound bar. Does anyone know of a decent set of speakers like the Kenwood's that do not require modifying the sound bar? My financial advisor (wife) asked that I stay around the cost of the Kenwood's. I have the sad little 5" head unit with the basic system but surely replacing these will help. :)

TIA for any help.

What's the problem with the stock system? It may not be the speakers themselves. I was rather impressed with the base model stereo in my 19, I did however have an issue with an annoying rattle coming from the sound bar. Turns out one of the bolts holding the sound bar speaker in over the passenger seat wasn't fully seated due to galling of the threads from the factory. I had to take it apart and re-tap the hole in order to get the screw to fully seat, but that solved any issues I had with the factory system. It was plenty loud, and as long as the EQ was set reasonably it sounded pretty good for a base model factory system.

Can you describe your concern with the system?
 

Scott.B

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I bought the Kicker CS series for mine, I was not wanting to spend a lot of money on them and figured most anything is better than stock! Have not installed yet. The hardest part was getting the Tetra harnesses.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NSDKVW4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NS9FVKB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I finally found the harnesses and plan to install soon. I found these from youtube replacement and the guy seemed really happy with them over stock and good budget speakers.
 

Yogi

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CaJLMetalHead

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I am also looking into upgrading my audio system as I have the same as yours.. the basic, sad little 5'' unit...

Here are a couple 3.5'' speaker options with good reviews...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084HL6DW...olid=2FUATVVTIXPSD&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001P86SP...olid=2FUATVVTIXPSD&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I know you don't want to spend a lot of money on the upgrades.... I have been doing quite a lot of research on this upgrade.. a couple of things I realized from reading is that:

- Replacing just the speakers probably won't give you a significant improvement in audio quality... especially if you only replace the 3.5'' speakers.. see.. both the 3.5'' speakers are connected in parallel to their counterparts in both the front dash and the soundbar.. and as such.. they will rob power and throw things out of balance (different impedance for example)... You can try disconnecting the lower speakers on the dashboard.. the ones at the knee level.. you can reach the speaker pod from behind and disconnect them without disassembling anything (I did it yesterday just for fun)... try it and check if that improves the sound of your newly installed 3.5'' speakers

- Connecting the speaker with the wrong polarity will also cause less than optimal audio quality..

- Going with the "way-too-cheap" solution will only cost you more in the long run.. (in my opinion is better to start buying the parts little by little if money is tight, but 6 months from now you will be more satisfied with the results.. even on a budget build where you keep the sad little 5'' head unit there are options to improve without costing $3000)...

Here is my plan:
- Get the PAC AmpPRO AP4-CH21 Aftermarket Amplifier Interface ($279) .... this device connects directly to the 5'' unit to process the output from the speakers and convert them into a signal an amplifier can use ... a budget 4-Channel amplifier should do the trick.. (2 front channels - 2 rear channels)
https://www.crutchfield.com/S-N9YqL...7hJIHhb1TD3f4P4pwbkWbpsSkJJmGb7kaAoXFEALw_wcB

- 4 Channel Marine compact micro amplifier ($200): It is a cheap amplifier with good reviews... compact and powerful enough to be able to install somewhere behind the dashboard (I don't want to install it under the seats)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NGPND2...olid=2FUATVVTIXPSD&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

- As for speakers.. you could probably survive with 3.5'' speakers front and rear... or perhaps replace the soundbar speakers with a single 6.5''
 
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CaJLMetalHead

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Yeah.. .what causes confusion is the fact that the 3.5'' and the 4'' stock speakers use different connectors..

This is what I have for Metra harnesses for the 3.5 and 4 speakers:

For the 3.5'' speakers:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NYW13SK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For the 4'' speakers:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XFPK244?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

Once I receive them next week I will confirm fitment and I will update this post.
 

Scott.B

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Right the harnesses was a bit confusing think I have the right ones now... I hope :)
 

emptyminded42

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Following since I'm interested in getting a new head unit with CarPlay and some new speakers.
 

Heimkehr

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I am trying to do what I can to help the poor sound quality in my Jeep without spending a ton of money.

I have the sad little 5" head unit with the basic system but surely replacing these will help.
I installed Infinity speakers in the dash, and am well-pleased with the improvement in sound quality.

There's nothing wrong with the Uconnect 3, either. ;)
 

Mx5red

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There are several decent options for the 3.5", I'd look for ones with high sensitivity or SPL rating, play louder for the same power amplifier. Usually the "better" the speakers, the more power they need to actually sound good. So buying expensive speakers may not really sound any better unless you have an amplifier providing enough power.
More power sounds cleaner, as well. Use an amplifier with the stock speakers and they'll sound better.
To answer the question, Infinity, Kicker, Kenwood are the first ones I've seen mentioned as easy plug'n'play options. Others are fine too probably, just look at the SPL rating.
As @CaJLMetalHead noted there are 3/5" tweeters and 4" woofers and they have different connectors...
I have the Alpine upgrade and am not sure how the base stereo is wired. At least with the Alpine, the roll bar speakers are not given much signal so even when fading sound to the rear it doesn't sound very good/loud. I'm not sure if the base stereo would be like that. In other words I'm not getting much out of the roll bar speakers and it wasn't worth changing them out, I don't know if that's true with base stereo. You could try plugging some 3.5"s in the sound bar and seeing, but I definitely would not use an adapter plate to put in 6.5" or 6x9" speakers back there.
 
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