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WJ Tube Doors Now Available!*VOTE NOW Help Metalcloak Giveaway an XJ Suspension*TJ 5.25" Speaker Adapters - NalinMFG

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Unread 12-27-2009, 07:22 PM   #1
Peregrine777
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Want to stealth upgrade my previous audio upgrade

First off I just want to say how glad I am to find a forum dedicated to Jeep audio. You guys really seem to know your stuff. I didn't know about all this 4-5 years ago when I upgraded my stock system.

Here's the deal: I live in Miami, so going stealth was a priority back when I decided to upgrade. I didn't think I could get away with sub boxes since I have a soft top, and sometimes no top at all. What I ended up doing was replacing the head-unit with a Pioneer DEH-3700MP (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4):

Pioneer DEH-P3700MP CD receiver with MP3 / WMA playback at Crutchfield.com

I swapped out the dash speakers with 5.25 Infinity Kappa 52.71 Coaxials (2 ohm, 55 watt RMS):

Infinity Kappa 52.7i 5-1/4" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield.com

In the factory soundbar, I threw in a pair of 6.5 Infinity Kappa 62.7i coaxials (2 ohm, 75 watt RMS):

Infinity Kappa 62.7i 6-1/2" 2-way car speakers For 6-1/2" and 6-3/4" openings at Crutchfield.com

(I also took the soundbar off, flipped it around and placed it on the INSIDE of the rollbar since I have a Bestop Halftop and needed the speakers inside the cab)

I realized that the sound bar is the worst place to put good speakers because it's right by your head and it ruins the stereo image, but the great thing about the Pioneer HU is the "Front Image Enhancer" a.k.a. internal crossover! I was able to send ONLY 160hz and below to the soundbar acting as my "subwoofer".

My rig did the job well enough I suppose, even though the imaging sounded a little unusual, but it was WAY better than the stock setup I had before. The problem is that what little bass I had completely disappeared once I got over 50mph. Because my spiffy Kappa speakers were underpowered by the 22 watt HU, I ended up slightly blowing the right speaker in the dash
when blasting the radio on long distance trips. Also, over time, with people hitting their heads on the tweeters in the soundbar, the tweeters got knocked loose and I was too lazy to resolder the resistors so I just yanked the tweeters clean off since I was using those 6.5's for bass only. Now I just have some ratty wires sticking out of a grill-less woofer which is great actually because any possible thief passing by would take one look and think I have a POS ghetto system!

But after finding this forum, I'm all inspired to kick it up a notch! I'm still undecided about getting a sub, so I settled on an intermediate step: I ordered a 4-channel amp, the Eclipse EA4200 (60 watts x 4, 140 watts bridged):

Eclipse EA4200 EA Series 4-channel car amplifier 60 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms at Crutchfield Signature

I picked this one because it is small enough to fit under the driver's side seat. It also has adjustable crossovers for both front AND rear channels.

Anyway, if you've read this far, here are my questions for all you gurus:

1) I found out my head unit only has 1 set of RCA pre-outs. But I can't find anything online or in the manual that tells me if this is a pre-out for a subwoofer or if it is a full-frequency pre-out. I'm going to guess that it's an all-purpose pre-out, but if it is, can I use Y-adapters to feed both front and rear channels at the amp?

2) I realize that the amp is only going to give me a modest bass boost at best, and that the amplifier is more about volume. Apparently, the big achilles heel with Jeep audio is that the dash speakers are basically hanging in mid-air with no enclosure. Yes, I tried stuffing poly-fill back there, but that barely helped. (And by the way, DO NOT use the foam baffles Crutchfield sells for your dash speakers, they make 'em sound worse). My Kappas, even at their best, had little to no mid-bass. Does anyone know of somebody who built in-dash enclosures? Yeah, I know about those Pod things, but those would get stolen in a heartbeat where I live. I'm all about stealth.

3) The Kappas in my dash are nice and have crystal clear highs, but they are a little bright for my tastes. Since I plan on replacing them soon, do you have any recommendations for 5.25 coaxials that have at least a little warmer, bassier sound? I'm leaning towards these JL Audio C2-525X's:

JL Audio C2-525X Evolution™ Series 5-1/4" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield Signature

At 60 watts RMS, they perfectly match the Eclipse amp.

4) I don't plan on replacing the Kappas in my soundbar anytime soon since I'm just using them as woofers (and unlike my in-dash Kappas, they aren't blown ). They are 2-ohm 75 watt speakers, and according to Eclipse, the EA4200 runs 70 watts at 2 ohms so they match perfectly. But is it a bad idea to run 4 ohm speakers in the dash and 2 ohm speakers in the soundbar? Would it hurt the amp?

Well, this is getting long enough so I'll stop here. I'm sure I'll have more questions as they come to me.

TIA and Merry Xmas!

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Unread 12-27-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
mylt1
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one problem i see is if you buy those speakers you will have one set running 2ohms and another set running at 4ohms. i doubt your amp will like that. one option you can try is to ditch the sound bar all together and run the fronts and add in a small sub. if you dont have to tilt your seat forward to let someone in the rear you could build a box for an 8" sub to fit under one of the seats. it will be some work but it can be done. yes, i understand that you wont have full "fill" in the system but you will have mids and highs coming from the dash and bass coming from the sub. its just an idea to toss out there.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
Peregrine777
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So the 4 ohm/2 ohm thing is bad for the amp? The specs on the amp seem to specify it is stable at both 2 and 4 ohms. I understand you generally want things to be matched, but would mixing 2 and 4 ohm actually hurt the amp?

Regarding the sub: yeah, I was thinking of doing that down the line. What I like about my idea is I can use the crossovers in the amp to approximate some bass in the meantime. But eventually I could bridge the rear channels to send 140 watts RMS to a real sub, and then power the soundbar from the headunit for some rear fill. But I haven't made up my mind yet what kind of sub setup I'm willing to go with. I REALLY like the idea of running an 8" sub in the center console and seeing how satisified I am with that. But I have a factory console in a 97 TJ with no sub, and from what I've been reading here, I'd have to have a box custom made. I don't have the skills to do that so I'd have to find someone locally who could do it for me.

But who knows, maybe I'd find the 8" in the console to weak and I'd go ahead and just do the in-seat SirG thing. At that point I'd go whole hog with a 10" or two with a seperate amp.

It never ends!
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Unread 12-28-2009, 11:22 AM   #4
mylt1
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its stable at EITHER 2ohms or 4. not both at the same time. as for bridging the amp, you need to make sure it is 4/3/2 ch viable. some arent 3ch. all will do 4/2. if it does 3ch it may require other parts to make it 3ch.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
Peregrine777
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OK thanks for the info. I'm still leaning towards those JL Audio C2-525x's for the front, but I'm doubtful the 6.5 version of the same line would fit in the soundbar. I'm going to have to think about this.

Regarding the 4/3/2 channel thing: I just looked up the specs for the amp on the Eclipse page:


ECLIPSE 4/3/2 Channel Class D Amplifier with Channelflex Crossover plus Subsonic Filter EA4200 | Fujitsu Ten

It says it is 4/3/2, so hopefully I should be ok if I ever decide to run a sub.

While I've still got your ear, can you tell me if it would be OK to use a Y-adapter for the amp since my head unit has only 1 RCA preout?
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Unread 12-28-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
mylt1
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yep, Y adapter is fine. one thing to check is what ohms can the amp run at when bridged for 3ch ops. might be worth an email to eclipse just to make sure. i would think 4ohms only because thats where it runs when bridged but its hard to say.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
rubibluejay
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I just took a look at the owner's manual for the DEH-P3700MP. You should have 2 pairs (front/rear) of 2.2 Volt preamp outputs. Here's the owner's manual, just incase you don't have it.

http://akamaipix.crutchfield.com/Man...130DEHP370.PDF


Jay

Last edited by rubibluejay; 12-28-2009 at 04:26 PM.. Reason: Edit: model typo
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Unread 12-28-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
Peregrine777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubibluejay View Post
I just took a look at the owner's manual for the DEH-P3700MP. You should have 2 pairs (front/rear) of 2.2 Volt preamp outputs. Here's the owner's manual, just incase you don't have it.

http://akamaipix.crutchfield.com/Man...130DEHP370.PDF


Jay
Jay, thanks for looking out! Yes, I saw that manual but I can't for the life of me find where it says there are 2 sets of pre-outs. And all the other spec sheets on vendor websites list only 1.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 06:06 PM   #9
Peregrine777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mylt1 View Post
yep, Y adapter is fine. one thing to check is what ohms can the amp run at when bridged for 3ch ops. might be worth an email to eclipse just to make sure. i would think 4ohms only because thats where it runs when bridged but its hard to say.
I've looked all over but I can't seem to find that info. I'm going to be receiving the amp tomorrow so I'll just look at the manual then.

But I'm still in a bind with the speaker situation. I had only planned on getting new fronts, but now that you tell me about the ohm mismatch, I'm gonna have to fork out more money than I had planned in order to replace the soundbar speakers.

I've narrowed it down to either the JL TRxxx-CXi's or the JL C2-xxxX's. The C2's are perfectly rated at 60 watts RMS but the cheapest price I can find is $110 per pair. On the other hand I can get the TR's for $80 a pair, but they are only rated at 50 watts RMS and my amp will push 60. Do you think I could run into problems pushing the 50 ohm speakers hard in order to hear them during highway driving?

Or what about mixing and matching the TR's in the front and the C2's in the back (since I would need more power for bass)?
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Unread 12-28-2009, 07:49 PM   #10
Peregrine777
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Bump to help me make up my mind.

1) The 2 JL's have similar specs except for RMS power. Aside from volume, would I really notice any sort of SQ or improved bass response between a 50w vs. a 60w speaker?

2) Do I run the risk of damaging the 50 watt JL's if I'm feeding them 60 watts during loud highway driving?

If I can get this info I will be placing my order.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 11:36 PM   #11
rubibluejay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine777 View Post
Jay, thanks for looking out! Yes, I saw that manual but I can't for the life of me find where it says there are 2 sets of pre-outs. And all the other spec sheets on vendor websites list only 1.
Scroll down to Audio Features.

Pioneer USA - In-Dash Receivers

Edit: I did a quick search. There is a pic of the back of the head unit in this link.

http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messa...09/442382.html



Jay

Last edited by rubibluejay; 12-28-2009 at 11:44 PM.. Reason: Edit: adding link
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Unread 12-29-2009, 10:18 AM   #12
gily25
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The speakers should be fine being powered at 60 watts, remember to set your gain correctly.

We've discussed this here before if you want to look around for the "why" aspect of why they'll be fine.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 04:24 PM   #13
Peregrine777
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Jay -- awesome! Good detective work. Don't know how I missed that.

Gily25: Yeah, I did a bunch of reading last night on the subject. Actually, after reading some articles at 12volt.com, including discussions involving some head honcho engineers at JL Audio and such, the notion that speakers are damaged by underpowering them is a myth. The geek-speak was above my head but one point they made is that you underpower your speakers evertime you lower the volume! And they said the transient spike caused by signal clipping is not of long enough duration to do anything. In their collective experience they said the most common source of damage was melted voice coils due to prolonged overpowering over time. Less rarely, a surround is ripped due to excessive excursion.

What I took away from it is that underpowering merely keeps your speakers from doing their best, and overpowering keeps the amps cooler and is fine as long as you don't excessively overpower over long periods of time.
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Unread 12-30-2009, 10:07 AM   #14
blkrubi88
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I don't know if it was mention in previous post or not, I skimmed it! You can do this if you want a sub! It's a write up from another forum! Hope the link works, I'm kinda new at computers!

http://Subwoofer inside of a Jeep Wrangler rear seat


Sorry! After posting the message I tried the link and it did not work!
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Unread 12-30-2009, 10:19 AM   #15
blkrubi88
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Subwoofer inside of a Jeep Wrangler rear seat - Jeepz.com
If this link doesn't work, I GIVE UP!
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