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Unread 03-25-2011, 12:21 PM   #1
Mol
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How to Upgrade your sound system while retaining factory head unit (infinity)

This project is not an easy one - After losing much hair, drinking many beers, and completing somewhere around 60% of the install, I took it to a local car audio shop and had them finish.

For those of you that have more patience than me, and are more electronically savvy, here is the (or one of the) proper way to upgrade your factory infinity sound system.

Choose your speakers. For my application, I used the following:

Polk Audio DXI6500 component speakers - dash
Polk Audio db651s speakers - roll bar
JL Audio 8" sub - fits factory sub enclosure, single coil. ***You can pick a sub(s) that better suit your application, larger, more powerful, whatever, but you will need a custom box. In my case, this sub is PERFECT - it doesn't take away from storage space, and it as a 100% upgrade from factory. I'm not into the embarrasing, rattle your vehicle bumping crap you regularly hear out of 17 year old Barettas

I used the Jensen Power 5500 amplifier to power said speakers - this is a 5-channel, 500 watt amp

I used the MTX re-Q sound processor, more on this, why you need it, and other viable options later.
___________________________________________

I will provide an overview of the install, a basic verbal diagram, as it worked for me. I will not step-by-step walk you through the install - the reason for this being...If you need a step-by-step walkthrough, chances are that you have no experience wiring sound systems, or only minimal experience wiring simple sound systems...if this is you (like me), have a professional do it for you, or proceed at your own risk - it is entirely too easy (with the infinity system) to create problems much more expensive than the cost of install. To avoid extra cost, bring everything that you need to your installer:
  • Components for the dash
  • speakers for the roll bar
  • 2 or 5 channel sound processor (2-channel will suffice, but you will lose the ability to fade...that is, adjust volume to only the front or rear), more on this later
  • 5-channel amplifier
  • subwoofer of your choice - refer to my explanation above...if you're not into the thumping stuff, the sub I used is extraordinary - hits deep lows, very clean
  • Amplifier wiring kit (will include (1) 17' RCA patch cable)
  • 1 extra 17' RCA patch cable (more will be necessary if you buy a 5-channel processor)
  • (2) 1 female to 2 male RCA cables
  • Plenty of speaker wire
The way you set this up is as follows

Locate the factory amplifier, behind this panel (beneath steering wheel, at the driver's knees):


Pop the panel off and you will normally see an unpainted metal plate with four bolts. Remove the four bolts (they hold the factory amp to the top side of that metal plate) and you can wiggle the amp out from the back side (firewall side). My crossovers and sound processor are mounted to this plate:



Your factory amp will have two wiring harnesses - the one you are interested in is the smaller of the two, this will feed the sound processor, which will convert to a preamp signal via the patch cables you have -



Tie into the sound processor, run your patch cables to your aftermarket amp, and feed your speakers, components, and sub from the amp. Notice the factory sub is a dual coil - I used a single coil aftermarket, so which coil do I feed into the sound processor, 1 or 2? The answer is that it really doesn't matter. I used factory coil +/- #1 from the factory amp.
Using the 2-channel processor, my fronts and rears are being fed the rear signal. The combination of the processor and amplifier can be adjusted to properly set your speakers, with the dash being a little louder than the rears (having a pro do the install benefits someone like me, here...I would just start turning knobs and have no idea what the hell I was doing). you will lose the ability to fade. For the extra cost of the 5-channel, I don't really care about the fade function. Sound quality was not sacrificed, at least not to my ear, as it is 1K times better than the infinity system. The sub receives its own signal (one patch cable is for the subs, one is for the rears, which is split to the front and rears from the aftermarket amp).

This subwoofer does fit in the factory enclosure, which is why I opted to go this route. I did have reservations with regards to the quality of sound prior to purchasing (this was a very inexpensive sub when compared to its competition), but from what I understood, JL audio is a good product so I gave it a shot. I am very happy with the results - performance far exceeds cost. I was not able to retain the factory plastic sub cover Anyone have suggestions here for protecting the woofer?



You might do more research on the amp than I did - no problems with performance, and I like that it has a 17' remote subwoofer level controller. I haven't run it to the front yet, but it is nice to be able to adjust the sub level on the fly. My problem is the size...this was the only feasible place to mount, killing storage:



Overview

Factory amp out feeds into the sound processor via rears (in my instance), converts to preamp and runs to aftermarket amp, which feeds speakers.

There are many choices for sound processors, and if money is not an option, I'm sure you can find something to use otherwise - but the MTX re-Q is a fantastic choice if you want to save a few dollars. I am very very happy with the results of my install.

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Unread 03-25-2011, 05:16 PM   #2
fightingmajor
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Wouldn't that amp get hot since it can't breathe properly where you have it located?
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Unread 03-25-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
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I actually had that same concern, but was told it shouldn't be an issue. I haven't had troubles yet, and I do check it after longer drives... Not too hot to the touch. I would aim for a physically smaller amp regardless, so you're not wasting storage space and don't have to worry about about issues with overheating. That is my only regret.
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Unread 03-25-2011, 06:17 PM   #4
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molshove I think you should be fine with it there. My WJ has the stock Infinity factory located under the rear pass side seat and I mounted a sub amp under the rear drivers side pass seat. No problems here, bet that sub sounds alot better eh!
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Unread 03-26-2011, 09:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoss View Post
molshove I think you should be fine with it there. My WJ has the stock Infinity factory located under the rear pass side seat and I mounted a sub amp under the rear drivers side pass seat. No problems here, bet that sub sounds alot better eh!
Much better! I don't understand how they get so little out of the infinity You could not know it was there if you were blind.
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Unread 03-26-2011, 09:29 AM   #6
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the amp is good there I put mine in the same place, mine pushes 1000 rms, doesnt over heat. the only thing you may want to do is strap that sucker down in there so it does not bounce around when your wheeling or hitting potholes, besides that the only thing i get nervious about is water pooling there.
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Unread 03-26-2011, 09:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam187st View Post
the amp is good there I put mine in the same place, mine pushes 1000 rms, doesnt over heat. the only thing you may want to do is strap that sucker down in there so it does not bounce around when your wheeling or hitting potholes, besides that the only thing i get nervious about is water pooling there.
Yep, I have it secured - I have the same worry about water, I'm going to excercise my brain a little and try to come up with a way to water seal the cover. I think the compartment being open to the scissor jack storage area lets it breathe enough that making the lid water tight will still be overheat-safe...
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Unread 06-17-2011, 08:34 AM   #8
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what size speaker's fit the front dash and the soundbar? i didn't see it anywhere in your post.

i heard that 5.25" fit the front, but i've also heard 4x6's fit the front also. i also heard that 6.5"s fit the front. and are the rear soundbar speakers a 6.5" also?
i have a 2011

thanks!
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Unread 06-17-2011, 08:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by immortalmetal View Post
what size speaker's fit the front dash and the soundbar? i didn't see it anywhere in your post.

i heard that 5.25" fit the front, but i've also heard 4x6's fit the front also. i also heard that 6.5"s fit the front. and are the rear soundbar speakers a 6.5" also?
i have a 2011

thanks!
See the speaker model numbers.

Polk audio DXI6500 components are 6.5" (dash)

Polk audio db651s are 6.5" shallow mount speakers (roll bar)

The JL sub is 8" shallow mount and fits factory box.

Mike
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Unread 06-17-2011, 08:42 AM   #10
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thank you so much.
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Unread 06-17-2011, 12:27 PM   #11
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Is there a good thread for just upgrading a standard RES stereo system? I have new JKU with basic RES Uconnect and SAT with some crappy speakers. I know there is more to getting good sound than just upgrading the speakers.
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Unread 06-17-2011, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tribalmonkey View Post
Is there a good thread for just upgrading a standard RES stereo system? I have new JKU with basic RES Uconnect and SAT with some crappy speakers. I know there is more to getting good sound than just upgrading the speakers.
This may help.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/n...tereo-1227580/
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Unread 06-17-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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Yep^^^ thats a great one
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Unread 06-18-2011, 04:10 PM   #14
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Thanks! I posted there and got some good feedback.
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Unread 06-18-2011, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molshove View Post
Yep, I have it secured - I have the same worry about water, I'm going to excercise my brain a little and try to come up with a way to water seal the cover. I think the compartment being open to the scissor jack storage area lets it breathe enough that making the lid water tight will still be overheat-safe...
At a bare minimum, set it on some standoffs as tall as you can get, this will also allow more air to get around it...
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