SSV Works Soundbar 6.5" speaker adapter installed

Varilux

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Finally got around to installing the SSV Works 6.5" Speaker Adapter (and SSV speakers) today.
https://www.ssvworks.com/product/Jeep-Wrangler-JL-and+JT-overhead-soundbar-6.5in-speaker-adapter

I have the base sound system with the middle sized receiver (7.5" I believe). Previously, I have updated the 3.5" speakers in the dash (and in the soundbar) with the upgraded Mopar speakers. I also installed a small powered subwoofer under the passenger seat. To be honest, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by the difference 6.5" speakers in the soundbar would make (after all, I just have the head unit powering the speakers- no amplifier yet)- happily, I was pleasantly surprised!

The difference with the SSV 6.5" speakers is really incredible- especially the mid-lows (which were really lacking with the stock system). Even my 25 year old son was impressed with the way tunes sound in the Jeep now (I should also mention I have a two-door, so not as much space to fill with sound). I was able to turn the frequency cutoff of the subwoofer up, because the 6.5" speakers definitely fill in the mid-lows.

Okay, so a few notes on the install:
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Here are the stock speakers (well, the smaller speaker is an upgraded Mopar speaker, but basically stock). You remove all the torx screws holding in the stock speakers, as well as the four torx screws holding in the tube towards the top of the speaker pod. Everything comes apart pretty quickly, and you're left with two speaker plugs (one for each speaker).
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These are the sections of your original soundbar that will be cut out. You just use the metal brace supplied with the kit as a template and follow your lines. Originally, I attempted to use a Dremel tool to make the cuts- this proved to be pretty frustrating. So I switched to a power jigsaw (10 teeth / inch blade), and it went like a breeze. You have to be careful not to let the blade poke up through the top of the soundbar, but it really isn't all that difficult to make the cuts (I didn't remove the soundbar, I just made the cuts with the bar in the Jeep).
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Here's the finished install... A few notes based on my experience.
1. The center portion of the speaker grille is easy to remove. I shot them with some satin red paint that comes pretty close to the red panels on the Rubicon dash. I'm glad I did, I think they make the speakers pop visually.
2. SSV supplies torx screws to attach the speaker pods, but I reused the stock aluminum screws (you still have to use 2 of their screws per side, but I think the aluminum looks better). Overall, if you didn't know what the soundbar is supposed to look like, you might think these speakers were stock- which I like.
3. Before I started on the second side, I thought I would hook up the second 6.5" speaker to hear what the finished result would sound like. I was really frustrated when the second speaker wouldn't produce any sound. I hooked the stock speakers back up, and still no sound. After some head scratching (and a bit of swearing), I turned everything off and walked away for awhile (which I finds helps a lot on some projects). When I turned the system back on, both sides fired right up. I then remembered the Jeep's sound system will not send a signal if it doesn't see resistance. If you run into this problem, just shut everything down for awhile (a few minutes) and let the Jeep "reset." Once the radio sees speakers in all locations, it will start sending a signal again (but if you don't give it some time to reset, it will just keep refusing to send a signal).
4. The frustration was worth it in the end, because it made me try something that seemed to make the sound better. I don't see myself putting tweeters into the extra spot available on the SSV pods (I didn't even cut out the little circle in the soundbar called for by the template, because I'm not going to install additional speakers). I had hooked up the first speaker to the plug that feeds the 3.5" speaker (you can actually plug the stock plug into the SSV speakers if you modify the plugs just a bit). When the other speaker didn't fire up, I decided to also splice into the OTHER speaker plug and wire the 6.5" speakers to BOTH of the stock feeds. This seemed to make the sound from the 6.5" considerably better. Someone who knows something about audio can tell me if I'm just imagining things, but it really did seem feeding the speakers with both feeds is the way to go (btw, the wires going to the speakers are black and white- I assumed the black was the negative and the white was the positive- if I'm mistaken, PLEASE post below so I can correct the polarity). Anyway, I highly recommend feeding the 6.5" with both stock speaker feeds (unless you're planning on adding additional tweeters).
5. Taking everything apart also gave me the opportunity to see what would happen if I removed the fiber fill I had in the soundbar. With the 6.5" speakers, things seem to sound better without the white fiber fill. When you make the cuts necessary to mount the 6.5" speaker, you create a larger enclosure, and I suspect that really helps these speakers put out sound. I'm not an audio engineer, but the stock configuration of the soundbar seems really poor.
6. The only thing I would change about this kit would be to have SSV offer a harness that could be used to bridge between the stock plug and the SSV plug (or ideally a harness that would connect both stock feeds into their plug). I would have gladly paid extra for such a harness, because the wiring was easily the most frustrating thing on this project.

Anyway, that was my install experience. If I hadn't noticed the speaker not firing up and spent 45 minutes trying to figure out why, it would have only taken me a couple hours for the whole project (including painting the grille pieces), and I consider it time well spent. I'm really REALLY happy with the way these speaker fill out the sound in my Jeep. I may still get an amplifier at some point, but I can now crank the volume the whole way to 38 with no distortion at all (I typically listen at 20-22 on the volume, and with the new speakers, that's plenty loud to enjoy my music.

Highly recommend the kit, good luck with your installs, and hope something in the above helps!
Pete
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algoo31

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I got mine installed this weekend as well! Went with the Alpine R 6.5 coaxials. I ended up taking the whole sound bar off and lining it with dynamat and pollyfill. Pretty awesome sound overall. Next weekend I'll get the metra pods in!
 

jeeplaw

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Wow, it sounds like you bridged the stock amp and sent more power to the 6.5s. First person I heard of doing that! Does it really make that much of a differenc? Also, do you have significant midbass from the soundbar now?
 
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Varilux

Varilux

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I didn't notice the speaker being "louder" when I connected both feeds, but the sound seemed "fuller." Originally, I only hooked up the wires that feed the stock 3.5" speakers, and I thought the speaker sounded a little "tinny" (not a lot of mid-bass). When the other speaker wouldn't fire up, I thought perhaps leaving the feed to the slightly larger speaker unhooked might be causing the radio not to send a signal, so I hooked those up as well. To my ear, doing this filled in the frequencies the speaker emitted.

The 6.5" speakers definitely fill in the mid-bass. I have my subwoofer hooked up to a power source that only comes on when the Jeep is actually running, and before when the subwoofer wasn't on it felt like the lower frequencies were just missing. Now, I could stand to listen to the system without the subwoofer (I mean, adding the sub back in is still a noticeable improvement, but I have now turned the frequency cut off on the sub so it is only producing the lowest frequencies).

I suspect at some point I am going to have an amp installed (doubt I'll try it myself- wired amps before, but the additional need to add resistors in the speaker feeds is making me think I'll just pay a professional). For the money I've spent- I'm really happy with how my non-premium system is sounding. Basically, all I've done is:
1. Replaced the 3.5" speakers in the dash with upgraded Mopar speakers (there's some package that was offered in a Dodge that uses better speakers) $40
2. Installed an 8" powered sub under the front seat $249
3. Used the SSV pods to swap the soundbar to 6.5" speakers $199 (including speakers).

For under $500 total spend, I feel like I've gotten far more than $500 in improvement to the sound.
 

msandhu413

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I didn't notice the speaker being "louder" when I connected both feeds, but the sound seemed "fuller." Originally, I only hooked up the wires that feed the stock 3.5" speakers, and I thought the speaker sounded a little "tinny" (not a lot of mid-bass). When the other speaker wouldn't fire up, I thought perhaps leaving the feed to the slightly larger speaker unhooked might be causing the radio not to send a signal, so I hooked those up as well. To my ear, doing this filled in the frequencies the speaker emitted.

The 6.5" speakers definitely fill in the mid-bass. I have my subwoofer hooked up to a power source that only comes on when the Jeep is actually running, and before when the subwoofer wasn't on it felt like the lower frequencies were just missing. Now, I could stand to listen to the system without the subwoofer (I mean, adding the sub back in is still a noticeable improvement, but I have now turned the frequency cut off on the sub so it is only producing the lowest frequencies).

I suspect at some point I am going to have an amp installed (doubt I'll try it myself- wired amps before, but the additional need to add resistors in the speaker feeds is making me think I'll just pay a professional). For the money I've spent- I'm really happy with how my non-premium system is sounding. Basically, all I've done is:
1. Replaced the 3.5" speakers in the dash with upgraded Mopar speakers (there's some package that was offered in a Dodge that uses better speakers) $40
2. Installed an 8" powered sub under the front seat $249
3. Used the SSV pods to swap the soundbar to 6.5" speakers $199 (including speakers).

For under $500 total spend, I feel like I've gotten far more than $500 in improvement to the sound.
For the powered sub under the front seat - which sub-woofer did you purchase (seems it would be very tight fit)?
Driver side or the passenger side (and does it interfere with moving seat back and forth? I was planing to add a sub in the tool box in the trunk space (i don't plan to go without top during rain..)
Thanks.
 


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I too am curious about the under seat powered sub. Any pictures? Does it block the vent that's under there?
 
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Varilux

Varilux

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msandhu413 said:
For the powered sub under the front seat - which sub-woofer did you purchase (seems it would be very tight fit)?
Driver side or the passenger side (and does it interfere with moving seat back and forth? I was planing to add a sub in the tool box in the trunk space (i don't plan to go without top during rain..)
Thanks.
JRod said:
I too am curious about the under seat powered sub. Any pictures? Does it block the vent that's under there?
The brand on the subwoofer is "Sound Ordinance," and I purchased it from Crutchfield. I've posted some pics of it installed. The sub is under the passenger seat. It does fit under the seat, and the seat is free to move forward and back without contacting the sub. I did trim the air vent to fit the sub in place (but I have a two door and will never have anyone in the back seat anyway- because I removed the back seat 15 minutes after getting the Jeep home and it will be reinstalled 15 minutes before I leave for the dealership when I trade it back in :^).

These pics were taken right after I finished the install. Since then, I have rotated the sub 90 degrees so the controls face the outside of the passenger seat. I don't know why I didn't install it in this direction to begin with, because when it is oriented with the controls facing the outside of the seat it doesn't interfere with the rear floor mat (it does in the other direction). The way it is facing now is almost a perfect fit.

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The brand on the subwoofer is "Sound Ordinance," and I purchased it from Crutchfield. I've posted some pics of it installed. The sub is under the passenger seat. It does fit under the seat, and the seat is free to move forward and back without contacting the sub. I did trim the air vent to fit the sub in place (but I have a two door and will never have anyone in the back seat anyway- because I removed the back seat 15 minutes after getting the Jeep home and it will be reinstalled 15 minutes before I leave for the dealership when I trade it back in :^).

These pics were taken right after I finished the install. Since then, I have rotated the sub 90 degrees so the controls face the outside of the passenger seat. I don't know why I didn't install it in this direction to begin with, because when it is oriented with the controls facing the outside of the seat it doesn't interfere with the rear floor mat (it does in the other direction). The way it is facing now is almost a perfect fit.

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How did you wire your sub?
 
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Varilux

Varilux

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mr187 said:
How did you wire your sub?
I ran a 6 gauge wire (perhaps a bit of overkill for this application, but I might run another small amplifier off the same feed sometime in the future) back from the battery. I threaded the wire back to the rear drain plug to get into the cabin. I used a punch to open a small hole in the drain plug, then forced the wire up through the plug. This leaves everything completely water-tight without the need to create another hole in the body, and I can even still remove the plug should I ever need to drain water from the Jeep. I taped the wire down to the floor board under the carpeting, and it emerges under the seat.

For the speaker feeds, I pulled the door sill and located the speaker wires that feed the sound bar. I tied into those per the instructions that came with the sub.

For the "on signal" wire, I hooked up to an ignition power source in the dash. I only want the sub to power up when the engine is actually running. Not that it draws that much power, but I don't want to risk draining the battery because I had the audio running with the engine off.
 

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Great post! I have the same model, white, did you have the OEM (in floor) sub?
 


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OK ordered the SSV Soundworks package before Christmas. I finally had time to install Sunday. I had purchased Poly-fill and MTX 6.5's from Cruchfield, Unfortunately sound is not great? I have black and white wires from jeep soundbar to both speakers on both sides. Set Black as ground White as hot. Tried both out puts and I swear sounds like polarity is backwards. Haven't had time to swap yet, but when I fade to back I LOOSE bass and it sounds shallow like the phase is backwards. Did I miss something? Too much Polly fill? Wiring bass ac-wards? Any one else have this issue. Nervous about tieing both outputs together...
 

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I also did the ssv 6.5 adapter swap this weekend. I used a dremel tool with the plastic cutting wheel to make the cuts. There was a few parts where it wasn't deep enough so I use a small blade I had for a hack saw. I took the blade off the saw and cut by hand since it was so little to cut. Worked great. Total time was maybe around an hour and a half. I didn't pre-charge my dremel and it died half way through so I had to wait for that to charge back up.

I did not use any poly-fill so far. For speakers I went with Alpine R's. They are using a set of speaker wire adapters I got off cruchfield which ended up plugging into the tweeter side of the cables. The sound is hand over fist better then before. Nothing crazy, but actual noticeably bass. My jeep is running the basic 5" screen with no sub.

I plan on getting the 6.5" kicker panel adapter pods and putting another set of alpine R's in there along with getting the alpine upgraded audio setup w/sub next time I see it on sale.
 
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Varilux

Varilux

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KGriner said:
Great post! I have the same model, white, did you have the OEM (in floor) sub?
No, I just have the base sound system with the 7" screen (no factory amplifier or subwoofer).

AlanD said:
OK ordered the SSV Soundworks package before Christmas. I finally had time to install Sunday. I had purchased Poly-fill and MTX 6.5's from Cruchfield, Unfortunately sound is not great? I have black and white wires from jeep soundbar to both speakers on both sides. Set Black as ground White as hot. Tried both out puts and I swear sounds like polarity is backwards. Haven't had time to swap yet, but when I fade to back I LOOSE bass and it sounds shallow like the phase is backwards. Did I miss something? Too much Polly fill? Wiring bass ac-wards? Any one else have this issue. Nervous about tieing both outputs together...
The white/black threw me as well. I tried connecting them both ways and couldn't discern much difference, but in the end I assumed black was negative and white was positive. The speakers sounded a bit hollow to me as well until I connected both speaker feeds to the speakers- YMMV.
I had poly fill already installed in my soundbar before installing these speakers. After installing the 6.5", I decided to take everything back apart and pull the fill. The sound seemed (to me) to be noticeably better without the polyfill. I believe the larger speaker probably benefits from a larger enclosure to create bass.

crackrk said:
I did not use any poly-fill so far. For speakers I went with Alpine R's. They are using a set of speaker wire adapters I got off cruchfield which ended up plugging into the tweeter side of the cables. The sound is hand over fist better then before. Nothing crazy, but actual noticeably bass. My jeep is running the basic 5" screen with no sub.
Now that I've got a few days of driving with the 6.5"s installed, they really do put out a LOT more mid-bass than the stock speakers. In fact, I've had to dial down the bass on the equalizer quite a bit and set the balance forward a couple clicks to keep the bass from overwhelming the higher frequencies (have cut my sub down a bit as well). I currently have my treble maxed out, mid set at two bars, and bass set at three bars (with the balance set two clicks to forward). With those settings (and my subwoofer set to only produce the lowest frequencies with very little gain), the system is sound really nice.
 

AlanD

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Well I'm going out of town on a business trip. When I get back, Ill try putting both sets live and pull out 3/4 of my poly fill.. The more I think, the more I'm thinking I put too much in.
Thanks...
 

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Thanks for this thread, it's reassuring to see some of the speakers folks are using in their soundbar with the SSV adapters. Has anyone run into any issues with the 6.5" speaker depth and it fitting into the soundbar pods with the adapter in place? I'm worried about the speakers I'm looking at Here being too deep to fit into the soundbar once I get the adapters in place.

Any thoughts? And thanks for the help! I'm going to look up the Alpine 6.5's mentioned and see their depth.

 

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