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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:26 PM   #1
M2LJ
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Why Does my Sony xPlod Set-Up Suck?

OK, since the stock CD player went tango uniform, I decided to put a Sony xPlod stereo and speakers in my 2005 LJ.

I picked up a Sony CDX-GT32W Xplod as it had all the features I liked and was reasonably priced.

I also installed four Sony Xplod XS-R1344 5-1/4" 4-Way speakers to replace the stock ones (using the adapter plates in the front).

Well, I am less than impressed. No matter how I adjust the setting, it sounds like crap. The speakers, rated for 160W, can't take much volume without distorting. The receiver can't pick up the majority of the stations the stock stereo did, and the sound from it almost sounds mono. CDs are better, but still not good; my MP3 player is not as good as a CD.

Needless to say, I am disappointed. I wanted a fairly inexpensive but decent stereo, and got one that other than playing CDs and my MP3s is worse than the stock stereo.

So, two questions...

First, is there anything I can do to improve what I've got? I don't have the stock woofer in the center console, and don't want to add one. I've tried various settings as well as played with the different equalizer settings to no avail.

Secondly, if this set-up can't be tuned in to work better, does anyone have any recommendation of a good stereo/speaker set-up for about $200? I know that's not a lot, but I think I should be able to get something for that amount that sounds as good if not a little better than stock.

Of course, any other recommendations are welcomed!

Cheers! M2

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Unread 09-30-2010, 07:24 PM   #2
RogueSpear2023
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Because these Sony parts are pretty much the bottom of the barrel when it comes to after market stuff, despite what phony ratings they put on there stuff. About the only thing you can do is add a 4 channel amp to you speakers, but they still may not sound great to you just because they are Sony. As far as upgrading the CD player go look at Alpine CD player, they make very good quality equipment get the best one you can for $200.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 11:38 PM   #3
SnowdogMarc
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X2 ^

I've had the Alpine that's in my Jeep now in 2 other vehicles. The head unit I had before from them was close to 10 years old and still worked great...only the back lighting on the display was pooched so you couldn't see anything on it. They make some good stuff and even the entry level HU are good.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 09:02 AM   #4
SirGCal
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You have a multi-part problem...

1) imbalanced system.
2) expectations of sound results without personal speaker experience.
3) Grossly underpowered system.
4) Not 'real' Sony products...

OK, Now I'm not a Sony fan myself what-so-ever... But if you like the way they sound, then you can be just fine with them. Only you can know that however. This is number two... However properly setup, the cheapest or lowest-lineup equipment can sound fair to even pretty good.

Number four however, those models are not in Sony's lineup or historical search. This means they are 'retail' models made just for places like Walmarts or Pep Boys for example... Generally the bottom-end of their lineup.

To fix both one and three, you need a proper amp for those speakers... 50-80W RMS is what you're after. Once you get the speakers up to power, they should sound much better. Right now, your head unit is trying hard to push them but it's like a dirt-bike trying to tow a pickup truck. It might actually move it but not fast and not far... The speaker designed for more power than the head unit can even think about so the head unit can not control the speaker at volume. However, this distortion could actually cause damage.. This is what happens when people suggest too low power is harmful. When pushed to distortion, that's when the problems hit.
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If you can't take a nano-second to press shift/period/etc. and make proper sentences and paragraphs, I don't know if I can take a few minutes to respond to your topics... It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but a little effort goes a long way.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 09:47 AM   #5
matt62485
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also, make sure ur crossovers are setup properly if the headunit has them. try to run the components like 80hz-125hz up. if u have them crossed too low it could causing some distortion.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
M2LJ
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Sir G Gal

Being audio-illiterate, I am more apt to ditch what I’ve got and try to find a simple system (a head unit and speakers) that works versus trying to get this set-up right.

From what I’ve read, the Sony components aren’t well thought of in the first place, and maybe I can find a decent set-up that will be as good if not a little better than the stock components.

I really don’t have a sensitive ear, I just want something that sounds halfway decent at volume…

Cheers! M2

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Unread 10-01-2010, 01:24 PM   #7
SirGCal
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If the head unit does what you like; and you're not picky on overall sound quality specifics, adding an amp might be the easiest for you to do honestly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirGCal
If you can't take a nano-second to press shift/period/etc. and make proper sentences and paragraphs, I don't know if I can take a few minutes to respond to your topics... It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but a little effort goes a long way.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 12:54 PM   #8
kuruma
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Sony ain't the prettiest girl in the stable to be sure. Not bad just not good especially if you're into SQ. You'd be better selling this stuff off to someone and starting over. Look into getting some good Marine Grade equipment from Crutchfield or the like and you'll be better off. Just like everything with the jeep research is key!! Check out reviews and specs and then research the materials used in the specs. That'll give you the best idea of what you're buying and why it will/won't work for you. Marine Grade will ensure that it survives that unexpected rain shower when the sun is out and the sky decides to pee for no reason. (ask me how I know)
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Unread 10-04-2010, 07:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirGCal View Post
If the head unit does what you like; and you're not picky on overall sound quality specifics, adding an amp might be the easiest for you to do honestly.
^^^^^X2^^^^^^
I think this is a good idea considering that you have already spent the money on the system. If keeping costs down is important, they you have to try an amp to see if you can get the results that you are looking for. Its just more cost effective at this point. Good luck!
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Unread 10-05-2010, 10:57 AM   #10
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I know the explods are fairly cheap stuff, but my HU, speakers, and subs sound fine. I think you might have gotten damaged items.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 03:10 PM   #11
1997V8ZJ
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Personally I will not ever buy Sony products, I have found them to be pieces of crap. I know someone has already stated this, but the max power advertised on the speaker is usually twice the power of the speaker.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 04:32 PM   #12
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M2LJ,

Your never going to get great sound out of an in dash unit. They are all severely underpowered. You will need an amp to get some solid rock'n sound. I'm not talking boom crazy but rock out windows open and no distortion. I'm some what of a stereo freak but not into all the cross overs. I just want good sound at a fair price. I listen to everything but late 70's 80's and 90's are among my favorites.

I looked at your sony on the sony page. Its pretty bottom line. 208w or 4x52 is its max output. Sony didn't put its RMS in the manual. If they did i missed it.

The 5 1/4 are never going to put out any Bass. So unless your into talk radio and NPR 50's and 60's tunes you probably wont be happy.

I've had sony's, pioneer and Alpines. In my world it doesn't matter if its not amplified. Simplified all you get out of a head unit is features and interface.

I had the sony BT 5000 (my fav radio to date but no USB) and currently the BT3700U (aprx $200).
I ran both of them threw a 4x75 RMS amplifier.

The BT5000 was in my original "ManVan" a Plymouth voyager
75x4 RMS (sony labeled the amp as 800 watt but thats a bunch of bs)
Infinity references components in the front
xplod 6x9 in the rear.
50w Bazooka tube
And it filled that vast car like i was in a theatre.
but to play anything to its best a sub is needed to fill in the lows.

In my current ManVan (chrysler pacifica) i started with only the headunit upgrade, i wasn't happy till i did the amp and speakers. I could have stopped at that point but once having a sub filling in the bottom end i didn't stop till that addition.

Sony BT3700U
75x4 Crutchfield amp (sound ordinance)
Infinity reference components
5 1/4 rear door
and a Sound ordinance 100w under the seat sub

I know people tend to think of subs as Getto Boom but its not. Same as watching TV with TV speakers or using a stereo. If you cant tell or appreciate the difference when watching then it wont matter.

That all said, If you do any open air driving in your wrangler your gonna loose all your fidelity, and volume. It really wont matter what speakers your running they will sound like the 5 1/4's unless you plan on putting in some serious components . A sub will still help bring the lows.

My opinion and my opinion only.
-joe
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Unread 10-21-2010, 08:59 AM   #13
odinseye84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1997V8ZJ View Post
Personally I will not ever buy Sony products, I have found them to be pieces of crap. I know someone has already stated this, but the max power advertised on the speaker is usually twice the power of the speaker.
In this case, perhaps 4x!
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Unread 10-22-2010, 02:44 PM   #14
gily25
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I'm surprised to find you have an LJ that doesn't have the center console subwoofer. I also assume since you have an LJ the speakers are in the dash and the sound bar? I only ask this because we had a CJ owner here once who had just used the magnets to hold the speakers to the rear fenders LOL. I would suggest you make sure the polarity on those speakers in correct. Reversed polarity could make them sound really hollow and distorted.

In your first post you mention you have $200 to do it right...basically you would be in the same boat you are now. When people come along with that budget we usually recommend a head unit and 4 5.25" speakers of 35 watts rms or less. Some variation can be had with the speakers...a lot of people shoot for polk, infinity or alpine's type s line. Mostly the reason to go the better speakers is that when you decide you want an upgrade you're adding an amp and cheap speakers don't handle an amp so well.

I would add the amp to your set-up and see if that helps you out. You'll be looking for a 4 channel amp and a basic amp wiring kit. An amp will also help you control the frequency and high pass cut-off to the speakers...the head unit you linked doesn't have those features and their key to sound quality.

If you don't want to do the amp then I would recommend replacing those speakers with 4 quality speakers where you can verify the rating is 35 watts rms or less.
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Unread 10-22-2010, 03:50 PM   #15
GMB34
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I'd get a Kenwood, Alpine, Pioneer deck. There both pretty good. Kenwood, Clarion, Pioneer are all good speakers
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