Audio system upgrade

Idaho392

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Location
Idaho
Current Rides
2021 Rubicon 392, 2021 RAM 1500 Limited
Well, after several months of various upgrades on top of upgrades, I'm finally satisfied with the audio upgrades. I did all the work myself, so the labor was "free". LOL

Installed two JL Audio VX700/5i amps (one under each front seat). One feeds the front tweeters and midrange (both installed on top of the dash) and a 10" JL Stealthbox on the left side. The other amp feeds the 6.5" knee midbass and the top 6x9 rollcage speakers, along with the right side 10" JL Stealthbox. Every single speaker is on it's own channel, which can be crossed-over, EQ'd and time delayed individually (all from the app on a laptop or ipad). If you have a good USB microphone, the app will also do the EQ tuning for you. If you have a local audio shop with the "MAX" tuner from JL Audio, they can do fine tuning of the system (for about $400-$500).

I selected the Focal Flax Evo PS 165F3E 3-way system for the speakers. They are the best sounding speakers I have dealt with, and I've been a hobbyist with car audio for 35+ years. I mounted the 3" midrange in the stock location on top of the dash, and then the tweeter on top of the speaker grill. The 6.5" was mounted in the stock knee location (with the upgraded mounting boxes).

Total cost for all the parts was around $5,500... but the sound stage and imaging is totally amazing.
 

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Well, after several months of various upgrades on top of upgrades, I'm finally satisfied with the audio upgrades. I did all the work myself, so the labor was "free". LOL

Installed two JL Audio VX700/5i amps (one under each front seat). One feeds the front tweeters and midrange (both installed on top of the dash) and a 10" JL Stealthbox on the left side. The other amp feeds the 6.5" knee midbass and the top 6x9 rollcage speakers, along with the right side 10" JL Stealthbox. Every single speaker is on it's own channel, which can be crossed-over, EQ'd and time delayed individually (all from the app on a laptop or ipad). If you have a good USB microphone, the app will also do the EQ tuning for you. If you have a local audio shop with the "MAX" tuner from JL Audio, they can do fine tuning of the system (for about $400-$500).

I selected the Focal Flax Evo PS 165F3E 3-way system for the speakers. They are the best sounding speakers I have dealt with, and I've been a hobbyist with car audio for 35+ years. I mounted the 3" midrange in the stock location on top of the dash, and then the tweeter on top of the speaker grill. The 6.5" was mounted in the stock knee location (with the upgraded mounting boxes).

Total cost for all the parts was around $5,500... but the sound stage and imaging is totally amazing.
Great info. Taking me back to the PPI, Phoenix Gold, Rockford and Dynamat days.
 
Great info. Taking me back to the PPI, Phoenix Gold, Rockford and Dynamat days.
I go back to the Soundstream days too. Crazy how much things have changed.
 
Nice! How much modifying was needed to fit the factory locations? I am ultimately planning the Focal \ JL route myself.
 
The stock system was actually better than I thought it would be... I figured I'd upgrade it immediately but I've had the top off basically since the day I bought it so it hasn't been a priority. I'm starting to think through upgrades now so this is helpful. Install looks super clean too. Well done.
 
Well, after several months of various upgrades on top of upgrades, I'm finally satisfied with the audio upgrades. I did all the work myself, so the labor was "free". LOL

Installed two JL Audio VX700/5i amps (one under each front seat). One feeds the front tweeters and midrange (both installed on top of the dash) and a 10" JL Stealthbox on the left side. The other amp feeds the 6.5" knee midbass and the top 6x9 rollcage speakers, along with the right side 10" JL Stealthbox. Every single speaker is on it's own channel, which can be crossed-over, EQ'd and time delayed individually (all from the app on a laptop or ipad). If you have a good USB microphone, the app will also do the EQ tuning for you. If you have a local audio shop with the "MAX" tuner from JL Audio, they can do fine tuning of the system (for about $400-$500).

I selected the Focal Flax Evo PS 165F3E 3-way system for the speakers. They are the best sounding speakers I have dealt with, and I've been a hobbyist with car audio for 35+ years. I mounted the 3" midrange in the stock location on top of the dash, and then the tweeter on top of the speaker grill. The 6.5" was mounted in the stock knee location (with the upgraded mounting boxes).

Total cost for all the parts was around $5,500... but the sound stage and imaging is totally amazing.
Were you able to maintain voice alerts i.e. gps guidance coming from your front speaker? I think it's the left front dash speaker. Actually that's a good question. Which speaker(s) actually plays back voice? dash or front knee speaker... or both??? Thanks
 
Nice! How much modifying was needed to fit the factory locations? I am ultimately planning the Focal \ JL route myself.
I made some mods on the top dash 3" cutouts, as I tried 3 different speakers there. I would guess the stock hole would hold the Focal 3" driver without any mods.
The knee speaker locations require the Metra adapter pods to fit a 6.5" driver. They are a huge pain to install, as the entire dash has to come apart... but it's worth the upgrade.

 
Were you able to maintain voice alerts i.e. gps guidance coming from your front speaker? I think it's the left front dash speaker. Actually that's a good question. Which speaker(s) actually plays back voice? dash or front knee speaker... or both??? Thanks
I have never used anything that does voice alerts, so I honestly don't know. I used the PAC Audio adapter that plugs into the factory harness and then provides RCA or Fiber connections to the amplifiers. I used fiber, which was awesome. The beep chimes actually come from the PAC adapter (which I placed behind the glove box).


The listed features claim the navigation prompts are still active.
 
I have never used anything that does voice alerts, so I honestly don't know. I used the PAC Audio adapter that plugs into the factory harness and then provides RCA or Fiber connections to the amplifiers. I used fiber, which was awesome. The beep chimes actually come from the PAC adapter (which I placed behind the glove box).


The listed features claim the navigation prompts are still active.
I have the AP4 in mine as well, behind the head unit (a tight fit but I got it in there), as I added an aftermarket amp so I could add a 12" sub. (I blew the factory sub in about 2 weeks).
Where the factory sub was is where my amp is now mounted, inside the sub enclosure. I'm wanting to add additional front & rear speakers & tweets and a 4 channel amp, or perhaps just upgrade the existing speakers. The factory sound has great sound quality, just not loud enough, so adding more power with speakers that can handle it is my only option. If I add speakers and an amp and leave the factory stuff in there then I'll continue to get voice playback, though it may be harder to hear the voice notifications over my aftermarket speakers, unless I change the AP4 settings. Anyways, that's where I was going. If you plug into the AP4 with a laptop via a usb cable (with the installed app) you can adjust the setting to where it'll allow voice playback to play through your amp, a specific channel (I'd keep it front left). Or you can turn voice notifications off completely. There's other settings as well. I have a usb cable inserted into the AP4, continually plugged in with the other end of the cable left in an easily accessed area (so I don't have to pull the head unit out to adjust AP4 settings) and you can make live adjustments while your favorite music is playing. This also makes AP4 firmware updates easier. You may already be aware of this, but if not... :)
 
Well, after several months of various upgrades on top of upgrades, I'm finally satisfied with the audio upgrades. I did all the work myself, so the labor was "free". LOL

Installed two JL Audio VX700/5i amps (one under each front seat). One feeds the front tweeters and midrange (both installed on top of the dash) and a 10" JL Stealthbox on the left side. The other amp feeds the 6.5" knee midbass and the top 6x9 rollcage speakers, along with the right side 10" JL Stealthbox. Every single speaker is on it's own channel, which can be crossed-over, EQ'd and time delayed individually (all from the app on a laptop or ipad). If you have a good USB microphone, the app will also do the EQ tuning for you. If you have a local audio shop with the "MAX" tuner from JL Audio, they can do fine tuning of the system (for about $400-$500).

I selected the Focal Flax Evo PS 165F3E 3-way system for the speakers. They are the best sounding speakers I have dealt with, and I've been a hobbyist with car audio for 35+ years. I mounted the 3" midrange in the stock location on top of the dash, and then the tweeter on top of the speaker grill. The 6.5" was mounted in the stock knee location (with the upgraded mounting boxes).

Total cost for all the parts was around $5,500... but the sound stage and imaging is totally amazing.
How did you mount the tweeters to the dash grills? I would like to try a dedicated midrange and tweeter as my last setup with JL Audio C2 3.5” coaxials did not sound very clear.
 
I've been pretty satisfied with the stock sound system after upgrading the dash speakers to Terra Acoustics. I am now interested in more low end. Mounting a driver side Stealthbox seems straightforward enough. Is wiring in the amp for that box complex ? IS there an unused RCA out somewhere I can use?
ETA: Looks Like I'm going to buy the AP4-CH41 :)
 
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Do you have any low level background noise after adding JL amps, with PAC AP4? Given gain controls on amp are set properly.
————————————————————————————————————————
I tried same thing in my 2013 Ram 3500.
Using Front: Focal Kit No 7 Utopia BE 3-Way with Crossblock powered by (2) McIntosh MCC602TM (300W x 2) used bi-amp capabilities of Crossblock
Rear: McIntosh MCC302 (150W x 2) Focal Utopia 165W-XP rear doors
Sub: Mosconi Zero 3 (1040w x 2) Illusion Audio 12XL sub
Processing: Mosconi 8to12 Aerospace

Tried using Ram Uconnect head unit, but ended up with low level digital noise. Tried using digital output from AP4 to processor.
Ended up adding single din Pioneer DEX-P99RS high end head unit, mounting in center console. Sounded a world better.
Truck interior was completely disassembled and treated with sound insulation. Roof, firewall, floors, rear wall behind seat….So quite, really made a difference.
—————————————————————————————————————————

For my 392, I want to keep it much simpler…. however my ears are used to a stereo system of audiophile quality.
Maybe two JL type vehicle specific sub enclosures?

1. Looked at OEM Audio Signature Edition for JL. (Speaker replacement, with processor)

2. Stinger HEIGH10 for JL (10” screen) retain factory functions.

3. Alpine Restyle I509-WRA-JL
for JL (9” screen) retain factory functions..

Anyone have any experience with any of these three.
 
Does the PAC AP4 bypass the factory amps?

It works in parallel with the factory amp. The PAC can work in conjunction with the factory amp, or not if you so choose. You can install the PAC and not hook up any RCA cables to it and your factory amp & speakers will still work. You can also disconnect your factory amp and run your system (get your signal) totally from the PAC via RCA cables.
Me, I use it in conjunction. The factory speakers, minus the factory sub, all run off the factory amp. My PAC provides signal for an aftermarket amp & sub.
 
Do you have any low level background noise after adding JL amps, with PAC AP4? Given gain controls on amp are set properly.
————————————————————————————————————————
I tried same thing in my 2013 Ram 3500.
Using Front: Focal Kit No 7 Utopia BE 3-Way with Crossblock powered by (2) McIntosh MCC602TM (300W x 2) used bi-amp capabilities of Crossblock
Rear: McIntosh MCC302 (150W x 2) Focal Utopia 165W-XP rear doors
Sub: Mosconi Zero 3 (1040w x 2) Illusion Audio 12XL sub
Processing: Mosconi 8to12 Aerospace

Tried using Ram Uconnect head unit, but ended up with low level digital noise. Tried using digital output from AP4 to processor.
Ended up adding single din Pioneer DEX-P99RS high end head unit, mounting in center console. Sounded a world better.
Truck interior was completely disassembled and treated with sound insulation. Roof, firewall, floors, rear wall behind seat….So quite, really made a difference.
—————————————————————————————————————————

For my 392, I want to keep it much simpler…. however my ears are used to a stereo system of audiophile quality.
Maybe two JL type vehicle specific sub enclosures?

1. Looked at OEM Audio Signature Edition for JL. (Speaker replacement, with processor)

2. Stinger HEIGH10 for JL (10” screen) retain factory functions.

3. Alpine Restyle I509-WRA-JL
for JL (9” screen) retain factory functions..

Anyone have any experience with any of these three.
I took my Jeep in for an upgraded sound system several months back - it turned into a total PIA. They installed PAC in the jeep, ran all new wiring to the new speakers, added a sub with it's own amp, a new amp for the new speakers. Everything was cool - EXCEPT - there was a crackling sound on the speakers. I took it back 4 times and told them it wasn't right. Everyone (me and the audio shop) was beyond frustrated with it - so, being as cool as they are, they solved this problem by installing the Stinger Heigh10 (AT NO CHARGE). This fixed the problem.

These guys (Denver area) have installed many sound systems in Jeeps - but they said they had never run into this issue. While I"d like to give a shout out to the shop that did it - I'd better not, because I'm sure they don't want to see another 392 Wrangler over there..........

I love it - it's way better than the factory stereo, much bigger and with a lot more features (Sport Guages, Off Road Pages, the Climate Control Page is way cool, and of course it's near the size of an iPad on my dash - which is great for using OnX Maps on the trails. It also gives you ALOT more control over the audio settings.

Everything still works with all of the factory switches (steering wheel, climate, volume knob, etc.)

So it took a lot to get there, but now that it's installed, I'd never go back to the stock stereo.
 

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I took my Jeep in for an upgraded sound system several months back - it turned into a total PIA. They installed PAC in the jeep, ran all new wiring to the new speakers, added a sub with it's own amp, a new amp for the new speakers. Everything was cool - EXCEPT - there was a crackling sound on the speakers. I took it back 4 times and told them it wasn't right. Everyone (me and the audio shop) was beyond frustrated with it - so, being as cool as they are, they solved this problem by installing the Stinger Heigh10 (AT NO CHARGE). This fixed the problem.

These guys (Denver area) have installed many sound systems in Jeeps - but they said they had never run into this issue. While I"d like to give a shout out to the shop that did it - I'd better not, because I'm sure they don't want to see another 392 Wrangler over there..........

I love it - it's way better than the factory stereo, much bigger and with a lot more features (Sport Guages, Off Road Pages, the Climate Control Page is way cool, and of course it's near the size of an iPad on my dash - which is great for using OnX Maps on the trails. It also gives you ALOT more control over the audio settings.

Everything still works with all of the factory switches (steering wheel, climate, volume knob, etc.)

So it took a lot to get there, but now that it's installed, I'd never go back to the stock stereo.
Do you think it was the PAC unit? Were you running analog to the amps or optical to DSP amps? I’m getting ready to go down same path. JL C7 components front and rear, PAC for OEM integration, JL Vxi dsp amps, dual JL stealth boxes, etc…
 
I took my Jeep in for an upgraded sound system several months back - it turned into a total PIA. They installed PAC in the jeep, ran all new wiring to the new speakers, added a sub with it's own amp, a new amp for the new speakers. Everything was cool - EXCEPT - there was a crackling sound on the speakers. I took it back 4 times and told them it wasn't right. Everyone (me and the audio shop) was beyond frustrated with it - so, being as cool as they are, they solved this problem by installing the Stinger Heigh10 (AT NO CHARGE). This fixed the problem.

These guys (Denver area) have installed many sound systems in Jeeps - but they said they had never run into this issue. While I"d like to give a shout out to the shop that did it - I'd better not, because I'm sure they don't want to see another 392 Wrangler over there..........

I love it - it's way better than the factory stereo, much bigger and with a lot more features (Sport Guages, Off Road Pages, the Climate Control Page is way cool, and of course it's near the size of an iPad on my dash - which is great for using OnX Maps on the trails. It also gives you ALOT more control over the audio settings.

Everything still works with all of the factory switches (steering wheel, climate, volume knob, etc.)

So it took a lot to get there, but now that it's installed, I'd never go back to the stock stereo.
Does the stinger allow for the aux switches to be changed like the factory unit? Also, does it have off road pages or its own version. And, how many siriusxm presets are there? Thx
 
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Do you think it was the PAC unit? Were you running analog to the amps or optical to DSP amps? I’m getting ready to go down same path. JL C7 components front and rear, PAC for OEM integration, JL Vxi dsp amps, dual JL stealth boxes, etc…
I believe they tried 3 PAC units, not sure if they were running analog or optical.
 
Does the stinger allow for the aux switches to be changed like the factory unit? Also, does it have off road pages or its own version. And, how many siriusxm presets are there? Thx
Yes - you can still change the settings for the aux switches just like the factory unit. Still has off road pages and a lot more. Not sure on how many SiriusXM presets you get, I don't use SiriusXM. Here's some pics:
 

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Yes - you can still change the settings for the aux switches just like the factory unit. Still has off road pages and a lot more. Not sure on how many SiriusXM presets you get, I don't use SiriusXM. Here's some pics:
Can you still use Uconnect app on phone to locate, start/stop engine, lock/unlock doors, send a destination from phone from app that shows up in navigation the next time you power up Heigh 10...just like factory head-unit?
 
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