Speaker replacement upgrade

RSK

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Hey so coincidence, I already had those Focals laying around from a previous build. I had also ordered the metra pods. Went online tonight, and crutchfield was running a sale on those dash speakers for like $65, so I picked those up as well. I'll get it all installed this weekend or next week, I appreciate the recommendation. I'm going to really seal up those pods in hopes that I can pull a little tighter midbase from the system. In the future I want to do the heigh10 head unit swap and do a full build out, but if I can upgrade the current system for free (I had enough crutchfield rewars money to cover the 3.5s), why not do it? Did you notice more volume with these?
More of just better sound quality than major volume gain IMO. Meaning hearing sounds you couldn’t hear with the OEM Alpines. I added a kicker HS8 in the rear driver side backrest compartment behind the seat after doing the dash and felt that really topped off the needed balance front/rear overall sound. Take your time on the dash removal. It’s all doable and time consuming PITA, certainly no rush job.





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LSguy

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More of just better sound quality than major volume gain IMO. Meaning hearing sounds you couldn’t hear with the OEM Alpines. I added a kicker HS8 in the rear driver side backrest compartment behind the seat after doing the dash and felt that really topped off the needed balance front/rear overall sound. Take your time on the dash removal. It’s all doable and time consuming PITA, certainly no rush job.
Appreciate the heads up. As long as it isn't a volume decrease. The stock volume isnt really bad, but was hoping for some increase. So you added the kicker in behind the drivers seat? Did you also keep the factory sub? I was considering one of two possible options. One, pulling out the factory sub panel and enclosing it, layer in fiberglass to reinforce it. Possibly port it for more volume and grab a better sub to drop into it. I'm not sure what kind of wattage the factory amp is putting out on the sub channel though, this may be a determining factor. Theres also the possibility that the enclosure could be mofidied to accept a 10 inch sub.

Second idea, create 2 sealed or ported enclosures in the sound bar and drop in my 2x 6.5 inch kicker low profile subs. They hit deep, but arent super loud. Being right behind your head though it would be fine. Issues here are, wattage output on the amps speaker level outputs, coming up with a crossover to bring signals down to bass, and of course somehow dealing with the rattle that would be associated with subs in the roll bar.

Haven't given a ton of thought to either idea really as I've been focusing on bringing out crisper highs and better midbass. Bass will be my next target though.
 

RSK

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Appreciate the heads up. As long as it isn't a volume decrease. The stock volume isnt really bad, but was hoping for some increase. So you added the kicker in behind the drivers seat? Did you also keep the factory sub? I was considering one of two possible options. One, pulling out the factory sub panel and enclosing it, layer in fiberglass to reinforce it. Possibly port it for more volume and grab a better sub to drop into it. I'm not sure what kind of wattage the factory amp is putting out on the sub channel though, this may be a determining factor. Theres also the possibility that the enclosure could be mofidied to accept a 10 inch sub.

Second idea, create 2 sealed or ported enclosures in the sound bar and drop in my 2x 6.5 inch kicker low profile subs. They hit deep, but arent super loud. Being right behind your head though it would be fine. Issues here are, wattage output on the amps speaker level outputs, coming up with a crossover to bring signals down to bass, and of course somehow dealing with the rattle that would be associated with subs in the roll bar.

Haven't given a ton of thought to either idea really as I've been focusing on bringing out crisper highs and better midbass. Bass will be my next target though.
No volume decrease at all, sound is much better and cleaner. You can really hear the highs/mids better and not muddy like the OEM. You will be happy and worth the dash pull to put the metra’s in there. If I were doing it again I would have put components in the dash instead of coax, but you can’t go wrong with any 6.5” over the OEM speakers. If you already have the speakers, use those. Like you, I plan to add an amp later in life, so they will be amp ready when that time comes.

The HS8 is self powered to the battery. so it doesn’t rob anything from the OEM head power or OEM amp wise. I agree the 8.4 premium head unit is pretty nice and a keeper just on functionality. I placed the HS8 sub behind the rear backrest passenger seat in the little storage tray at the back of the cab. Perfect fit, just slides in with no movement at all and didn’t even have to tight down the sub (tight enough). The HS10 is too big and wouldnt fit in the same spot I put mine, so would have to go under a seat or swap the OEM sub if going with something else. I considered removing the OEM sub, but wasn’t necessary with the HS8. Plus much easier staying outside of that sub wall compartment and wiring swap complexity. I did keep the factory sub connected to complement the new HS8 sub. I have an entire detailed write up on the sub install too if you didn’t see it.

Also tested some Focal 6.5” and Morel 4” in the soundbar, but neither sounded any better (actually sounded worse IMO). Obviously not the high quality speakers. Determined it’s the way they are wired or just not enough OEM amp power to drive them.

One day I’ll probably add a nice entire system amp and upgrade the soundbar with 6.5 speakers. I did add 3.5” C2 JL Audio to the soundbar and it was a nice and noticeable improvement over the OEM speakers. Quick swap and under $100. Actually I’m pretty content with sound right now and may not do anything more until I run out of other mods (that’s funny, run out of mods). Keep us posted on how things go for you.
 

oceanblue2019

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That kicker 4 inch comes with a tweeter, seems like overkill to have a 3 inch with a two way tweeter and a four inch with a two way... But maybe not.

I bought another set of the Dart 3 inch kicker upgrade speakers for the rear soundbar and am pretty disappointed that I really can't tell the difference. Installing them in the front was a big increase in treble pop/ stereo imaging etc. But in the rear you can only hear the tweeter if you stick your head under it in the back seat...

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Tweeters are very directional so this makes sense in the rear. In the front they reflect off the glass but if you could aim them forward that would help further (and with component setups with small tweeter pods you can do this).

This is also why in the knee locations it's better just to have a woofer as a coaxial setup in that location any highs will be lost - they are not likely to get to your ears. Going with the Metra pods and some 6.75" woofers helps get more lows up front.
 

LSguy

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No volume decrease at all, sound is much better and cleaner. You can really hear the highs/mids better and not muddy like the OEM. You will be happy and worth the dash pull to put the metra’s in there. If I were doing it again I would have put components in the dash instead of coax, but you can’t go wrong with any 6.5” over the OEM speakers. If you already have the speakers, use those. Like you, I plan to add an amp later in life, so they will be amp ready when that time comes.

The HS8 is self powered to the battery. so it doesn’t rob anything from the OEM head power or OEM amp wise. I agree the 8.4 premium head unit is pretty nice and a keeper just on functionality. I placed the HS8 sub behind the rear backrest passenger seat in the little storage tray at the back of the cab. Perfect fit, just slides in with no movement at all and didn’t even have to tight down the sub (tight enough). The HS10 is too big and wouldnt fit in the same spot I put mine, so would have to go under a seat or swap the OEM sub if going with something else. I considered removing the OEM sub, but wasn’t necessary with the HS8. Plus much easier staying outside of that sub wall compartment and wiring swap complexity. I did keep the factory sub connected to complement the new HS8 sub. I have an entire detailed write up on the sub install too if you didn’t see it.

Also tested some Focal 6.5” and Morel 4” in the soundbar, but neither sounded any better (actually sounded worse IMO). Obviously not the high quality speakers. Determined it’s the way they are wired or just not enough OEM amp power to drive them.

One day I’ll probably add a nice entire system amp and upgrade the soundbar with 6.5 speakers. I did add 3.5” C2 JL Audio to the soundbar and it was a nice and noticeable improvement over the OEM speakers. Quick swap and under $100. Actually I’m pretty content with sound right now and may not do anything more until I run out of other mods (that’s funny, run out of mods). Keep us posted on how things go for you.
Yeah I personally wouldn't use these focals if I didn't already have them on hand. I was actually concerned with there being too much highs, considering the focals as well as the 3.5s are generally considered to be bright speakers. Any issues running 4 tweeters up front? I didn't see your sub writeup but I'll take a look for sure, because I'd like to know how you went about grabbing signal for the new sub. I'm assuming from the factory sub wiring, but am curious from where.

Also, did you add any "bass blockers" to any of the front speakers, and any polarity notes using the metra harnesses?
 

RSK

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Yeah I personally wouldn't use these focals if I didn't already have them on hand. I was actually concerned with there being too much highs, considering the focals as well as the 3.5s are generally considered to be bright speakers. Any issues running 4 tweeters up front? I didn't see your sub writeup but I'll take a look for sure, because I'd like to know how you went about grabbing signal for the new sub. I'm assuming from the factory sub wiring, but am curious from where.

Also, did you add any "bass blockers" to any of the front speakers, and any polarity notes using the metra harnesses?
No base blockers, tried them on the 3.5” and got a popping noise when powering on so removed them. No popping noise without the blockers and all is well.

I don’t know on the 4” tweeter replacing the 3.5” dash, but wouldn’t think it would fit.

I didn’t have to use the factory sub wiring for signal, instead I used the signal from the soundbar mid’s as suggested by another forum member and it worked fine. Below is a picture of the final location of the sub and the write up (post #62) if anyone is thinking about getting more base off the OEM speaker signal wiring harness and using a powered sub.

So far, replaced 6 of the 9 Alpine 8.4 Premium speakers and added the extra sub to now make a total of 10 speakers.

Upgrade List:
Top Dash: Infinity 3.5” REF3022cfx
Dash Knees: Metra-1014 pods and Focal RCX 165 6.5”
SB: 3.5” JL Audio C2-350x
Sub: Added extra Kicker HS8 Hideaway

https://www.jeepgladiatorforum.com/forum/threads/premium-subwoofer-upgrade.29422/
Reminder this sub went in a Gladiator, but the wiring is basically the same.
2fd3fc7d-438e-4202-8be8-94d7f014021f-jpeg.jpg
 

LSguy

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No base blockers, tried them on the 3.5” and got a popping noise when powering on so removed them. No popping noise without the blockers and all is well.

I don’t know on the 4” tweeter replacing the 3.5” dash, but wouldn’t think it would fit.

I didn’t have to use the factory sub wiring for signal, instead I used the signal from the soundbar mid’s as suggested by another forum member and it worked fine. Below is a picture of the final location of the sub and the write up (post #62) if anyone is thinking about getting more base off the OEM speaker signal wiring harness and using a powered sub.

So far, replaced 6 of the 9 Alpine 8.4 Premium speakers and added the extra sub to now make a total of 10 speakers.

Upgrade List:
Top Dash: Infinity 3.5” REF3022cfx
Dash Knees: Metra-1014 pods and Focal RCX 165 6.5”
SB: 3.5” JL Audio C2-350x
Sub: Added extra Kicker HS8 Hideaway

https://www.jeepgladiatorforum.com/forum/threads/premium-subwoofer-upgrade.29422/
Reminder this sub went in a Gladiator, but the wiring is basically the same.
2fd3fc7d-438e-4202-8be8-94d7f014021f-jpeg.jpg
Appreciate it. I wasnt speaking of installing 4 inch tweeters up front, I meant does having 4 tweeters up front (2 in the focals and 2 in the 3.5s) cause issues with overpowering highs?

Also, as your vehicle is a gladiator I do not believe I have the cubby location where you installed that extra sub? I havent physically looked. Condisering the possibility of 2 boxes under the back seats that could slide forward when needed to fold the rear seats, but haven't done any measuring yet. Seems feasible.
 

RSK

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Appreciate it. I wasnt speaking of installing 4 inch tweeters up front, I meant does having 4 tweeters up front (2 in the focals and 2 in the 3.5s) cause issues with overpowering highs?

Also, as your vehicle is a gladiator I do not believe I have the cubby location where you installed that extra sub? I havent physically looked. Condisering the possibility of 2 boxes under the back seats that could slide forward when needed to fold the rear seats, but haven't done any measuring yet. Seems feasible.
No issues with overpowering highs up front, it’s a good balance and you can hear the high/mids much better after the swap IMO.

The wrangler would be different physically, but the wiring would be the same. Under the seat mount or in the rear cargo area would work. I know the JK can be outfitted with an aftermarket JL Audio subwoofer side mount box that blends in and looks OEM, but not sure on the JL’s. If available, I have heard positive things about them.
 

LSguy

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No issues with overpowering highs up front, it’s a good balance and you can hear the high/mids much better after the swap IMO.

The wrangler would be different physically, but the wiring would be the same. Under the seat mount or in the rear cargo area would work. I know the JK can be outfitted with an aftermarket JL Audio subwoofer side mount box that blends in and looks OEM, but not sure on the JL’s. If available, I have heard positive things about them.
Stealthboxs are available for the JL. Thats the first thing I considered, until I saw the empty box price of $600. I always prioritize maintaining a look that's as close to stock as possible, but not at those prices.

One additional question though. Grabbing the signal to the rear speakers, isn't that high pass signalled coming from the factory amp? Meaning, the lower frequencies wouldn't be present going to the sub. I'm not entirely sure how the signal filtering is done in the JL.
 

RSK

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Stealthboxs are available for the JL. Thats the first thing I considered, until I saw the empty box price of $600. I always prioritize maintaining a look that's as close to stock as possible, but not at those prices.

One additional question though. Grabbing the signal to the rear speakers, isn't that high pass signalled coming from the factory amp? Meaning, the lower frequencies wouldn't be present going to the sub. I'm not entirely sure how the signal filtering is done in the JL.
I’m no expert on the signal either, just followed the advice of others on the forum and the wiring diagram colors but it worked. I did have my polarity reversed at first. Meaning at center no base. At left or right full, base on each side only. Then swapped the left/right wires and the base was centered with what was expected.

You maybe able to access the Wrangler JL sub wiring easier than the Gladiator. That’s why I went with the soundbar wires as the sub is difficult to get to without major disassembling in the JT.
 

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I’m no expert on the signal either, just followed the advice of others on the forum and the wiring diagram colors but it worked. I did have my polarity reversed at first. Meaning at center no base. At left or right full, base on each side only. Then swapped the left/right wires and the base was centered with what was expected.

You maybe able to access the Wrangler JL sub wiring easier than the Gladiator. That’s why I went with the soundbar wires as the sub is difficult to get to without major disassembling in the JT.
Understood. One more quick question, did you have to add any resistors to the 6.5s or 3.5s?
 

RSK

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Understood. One more quick question, did you have to add any resistors to the 6.5s or 3.5s?
No, I didn’t seem to need anything additional.
 

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Can anyone tell me how there positive wire is added to the positive terminal with ess. My lights started to dim then i got a p1b1 code. I have 2 amps one pushing an l7 @ 1200 watts. And another amp pushing 4x95 watts and my lights dim. I think. Its where i put my positive cause i used one of the bolts that lead to the second battery.
 

LSguy

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Can anyone tell me how there positive wire is added to the positive terminal with ess. My lights started to dim then i got a p1b1 code. I have 2 amps one pushing an l7 @ 1200 watts. And another amp pushing 4x95 watts and my lights dim. I think. Its where i put my positive cause i used one of the bolts that lead to the second battery.
Are those RMS numbers? If so, you are encroaching on the point where most vehicles electrical systems begin to struggle keeping up. Look into doing the "Big three", possibly do try switching your connections around, and if nothing works it may be time to add a battery. Personally, I like to try and stay around that 1k-1500 rms system total just to make sure I don't run into any issues.
 

Kidcia

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Are those RMS numbers? If so, you are encroaching on the point where most vehicles electrical systems begin to struggle keeping up. Look into doing the "Big three", possibly do try switching your connections around, and if nothing works it may be time to add a battery. Personally, I like to try and stay around that 1k-1500 rms system total just to make sure I don't run into any issues.
I have a kicker CX1200.1 Mono Amplifier. And a ds18 CANDY COMPACT FULL RANGE CLASS D 4 CHANNEL AMPLIFIER 1600 WATTS. Rms at 80 watts per channel. So about 1500 watts give or take total.
 

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