Looking to upgrade stereo [Archive] - North American Grand Cherokee Association

: Looking to upgrade stereo

12-01-2008, 08:31 PM
Ok folks, looking to upgrade my 96 with factory infinity am/fm/cassete/cd , the cd player finally crapped out, the fm receiver is going bad(looses display and sound) and my door speakers crack and pop. SOOOOOOOOOo the wife wants to buy me a new head unit and door speakers for Christmas. I loved the way the factory stereo sounded new and want that sound or better. Now here is the rub, don't want a sub box right now, do too much camping to take up that space. Also do not want to spend a fortune, cause honestly , just do not have it!! Would like to run the factory amp, just upgrade the head unit and door speakers to something that sounds good for cheap. I also would like to run an i-pod through it. I do not care if the steering controls still work, I love em, but can't afford that adapter and the head unit is easily within reach in a ZJ. There ya go, let me know what ya'all recommend!!THANKS!!

12-02-2008, 10:28 PM
I was under the impression that the factory amp and speakers were integral.

I hear ya on the sub.

I went with an Alpine head unit and Infinity speakers (not the stock ones) in the doors. No external amplifier. Works fine for me.

12-02-2008, 11:25 PM
No, the amp for the infiniti gold (in all it's mighty glory) is under the rear seat (passenger side). It will run aftermarket speakers just fine, but probably isn't any more powerful than an aftermarket head unit.

The speakers in the doors are 6.75 all around, but you'll be able to put the more common 6.5" size in with no problem.

I would personally go with a nice component up front, something at least along the lines of the Polk DB's or the Infiniti Reference speakers--or something similar. Go take a listen to some at a local shop and see which ones sounds best to you. Sound quality is relative to the listener. I would spend more on quality fronts and skimp on the rears if it were me.

Since the speakers are up in the dash, I would highly recomend buying a component set that has a -3db attenuation switch on the crossover so that it can compensate for the +3db shelfing effect you get from the tweeter bouncing off the windshield. Otherwise you'll end up with a super bright 'ts ts ts ts ts ts' that high school kids think is awesome but sounds like complete swap meet crap.

I really like Alpine decks for their simplicity and overall quality, but I've been running a couple Panasonic's and Pioneers of the last few years and have been pretty happy. You'll get more features for your money on a Pioneer vs. an Alpine but the nicer Alpine have much better ipod integration. On that note, Alpine makes a line of decks with no CD player that integrate specifically with ipods and incorporate a very similar control method as the ipod itself. Another really cool feature is those alpine deck take the audio directly from the ipod (as opposed to the headphone jack) and uses it's own 24 bit DAC to convert the files from digital to analog. This eliminates the double DAC effect you can notice when you run an analog mini jack into a deck that then converts it back to digital then back to analog for playback. Those decks are slick.

Does that help?

12-03-2008, 01:12 AM
I have a pioneer 1.5" din unit and infiniti reference 6.5" in all four doors. works great for me... I highly recommend it if you want a clean sound and don't wanna spend big bucks.


12-03-2008, 06:46 AM
Guys THANKS for all the great info!!!! That is what I needed, was honest experience. Thanks for the pics too!! Looks good! I really appreciate it, so many times I get people telling me info that is way out of my budget when it comes to stereo stuff. You guys were a big help.Honestly I have not installed a new stereo in one of my vehicles in like at least 10 years, so times and equipment are WAY different! Most of my hot rods, did not even have a stereo, a good sounding cammed up engine negates the need for a stereo--ha ha.

*Jimmy, do you have that wired through the factory amp or just directly to the speakers?

*Cody, would you recommend just bypassing the amp then? And when you say component speakers for front, your talking seperate mids and tweets right? What if I want to use the factory tweets, or is that a bad idea?

12-03-2008, 09:48 AM
You can go either way. I bypassed the amp in one of my ZJ's and left it alone in another. It's about the same. I metered the amp in my 95 and it was pumping out about 11 watts or so per channel if memory serves. I would run it off the deck if it were me, but it may not be worth the effort for some people.

I would not run the factory tweets. If you put a 2 way (or even worse--3 way yuck!) in the doors, then leave the factory tweet in the dash, you'll now have 2 tweeters on dissimilar speakers coming at you from 2 different plains. It's going to be bright, and the highs will not match each other. It'll work, but if you're looking for sound quality I would avoid that. In all of my vehicles that have had an A-piller or dash mounted tweeter, I have relocated the tweeter to the door. It's just too difficult to get matched speakers to image correctly when the seperate components are over 18" from each other and on different plains to the listener.

12-03-2008, 11:29 AM
Cody is exacty right on the tweeters and the ts ts ts sound. However, remember it is a personal reference and it might bother one person but another may like it. Its one of those things where you just have to play with it and see what you like. One thing i really like about grands is they are perfect for cool stereo set ups since they have one big open area. I have a 93 so mine didnt come with an extra amp under the seat, so I didnt have that issue. But, if i did i too would have bypassed it. It just doesnt put out enough power to even deal with it. I just ran all six speakers (dash tweets, 4 doors) off the deck itself. It was a super easy install as long as you have a chrysler wiring harness.

I'm running the tweaters in the dash and 4 two-way 6.5" infinitis in the doors and i like to think i have it tuned just right for the amount of treble and bass i like. I'm also running a 600 watt amp and two memphis 12" in the back and I usually run those at -3 db as it has seperate sub controls on the deck (which is a personal fav).

12-03-2008, 03:39 PM
Jimmy and Cody, thank you very much!! I have actually never had a vehicle that had a factory amp and seperates (like the tweeter in the dash) before, so this is all new territory for me. I know the ts-ts-ts sound you are talking about, and I hate it! I listen to a LOT of hard rock and metal, so I like my bass and mids. And I am slightly hard of hearing(can't hear voices, like singing, well at all) so I tend to listen to it loud when I am by myself. I know my wife was looking to spend les than 500 on every thing, Our budget is really really tight, so may have to just get the head unit for now and save up for speakers down the road. I will bypass the amp for now, as it sounds like it is very underpowered compared to the head units we are looking at. THANKS AGAIN !!!!

12-03-2008, 05:03 PM
You could do it for $500 pretty easily...if you do the work yourself. $200 for the deck, $250 for the speakers (polk and infinit are almost always buy one get one half off this time of year) and another 40 bucks in harnesses and dash kits.

12-03-2008, 05:08 PM
You should be able to do it all for $500. I got my gear through Crutchfield. Infinity Reference series 6 1/2" two-way, $100 pair; Alpine CDA 9884, $180. It works for me and I even ditched the tweeters. You'll have money left over for beer.

And oh yea:

I listen to a LOT of hard rock and metal

Me too!

12-03-2008, 05:20 PM
Me too!

buuuuttt......you're technohead!!!!! I'm so confused!!!!!!!!!!!

12-03-2008, 06:33 PM
buuuuttt......you're technohead!!!!! I'm so confused!!!!!!!!!!!

Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Its all good man!

12-06-2008, 12:47 PM
Thanks guys, just got my crutchfield catalog and was on their site the other night. O yeah, metal and hard rock are my faves but I listen to ALL music. I can honestly say I have a very extreme taste in music from Korn, Chili Peppers, The Cult, Beatles, Hendrix to Hank Williams Jr, Meatloaf, Trans siberian Orchestra, and Amedeus. So I like to hear all the sound not just the Bass like a lot of the cars I hear sitting out front my house at the stop light. So thanks for your help and advise, it is very much appreciated!!