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Old 04-02-2015, 11:41 AM
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Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Hey guys just a quick post here for anyone interested in taking the Focal and Polk upgrade route and retaining the stock amp and DSP settings and are looking for a little more punch down low without also going all in on a JL stealthbox/custom box with an additional mono amp... after much research going into the purchase of my 15' Altitude I went ahead and ordered the "upgraded" 9 speaker alpine setup and immediately replaced the stock speakers with the much covered Focal/Polk upgrades which I was VERY pleased with... having said as much though, I knew I wanted to do a little more something with the subwoofer setup as well and at first I installed just a Kicker dual voice coil (2 ohm's each) 8" to see what that would do in replacing the stock paper cone craptastic stock subwoofer... and while i would say this improved the system some (which it was only essentially a $150 upgrade) I don't really recommend it... however, i think stepped up and purchased the Helix Esprit E10W subwoofer ($219.00 from Crutchfield) and took the stock box and cut out the existing mounting ring and fiberglassed in a new mounting ring for the 10" (which you can see from the pictures attached) and then mounted the E10W into the existing box which was also stiffened a bit with some deadening mat... now then, the E10W is a dual voice coil design (which you need because the stock amp actually has two leads, one for each voice coil) and each voice coil is 2 ohms (which also matches the stock system) and, additionally, this particular woofer is both very efficient (about 88 db per watt) and is a shallow mount PLUS the resulting stock subwoofer box as modified comes out to be about .55/.6 cubic ft. sealed which is exactly what that woofer calls for... the finished box (as modified) is shown in the last picture and I can tell you that even with the front Focal's and the Helix not being broken in yet hardly at all, the efficiency of that Helix sub along with the additional woofer cone area that comes along with moving up to a 10" from the 8" stock subwoofer has made a dramatic difference in the low end of that system which now matches up fairly well with the grunt the front focal's are capable of generating... now then, not saying that the resulting sound is going to win any IASCA SPL competitions anytime soon but as i am now firmly in my middle 40's I am finding that I appreciate a competent sound system as opposed to desiring a competition system and the resulting system is VERY competent.

Also as a bit of a side note, I ran out of time and had to button the system back up before we could install the polk db351's in the D-pillars which i am still planning on doing but it is not a bolt in upgrade if anyone is interested in pursuing same... probably going to trim the back and hot glue the speakers onto a wood mounting plate and then on to the back of the trim piece as much as anything because i have the speakers and because i do (personally) like a bit more rear fill than some other people might like and because i just plain hate the idea of leaving two freakin' stock speakers in a system i have replaced everything else with... when i have done so in a week or two i will follow up with an update, again, just in case anyone was interested as i have seen some links concerning the D pillars but i don't know if anyone has answered this question (about how DB 3151's sound back there) as of yet.

So with all that said, I am enjoying my jeep very much and and quick shout out here to all of you have have posted previously as personally I VERY MUCH appreciate the time everyone devotes to posting in this forum as it is informative and entertaining!
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2015, 12:37 PM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

very nice! sent you a PM.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:27 PM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Do you think using the E8W without modding the enclosure would provide any noticeable improvement?
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:34 PM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

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Originally Posted by marius8998 View Post
just in case anyone was interested as i have seen some links concerning the D pillars but i don't know if anyone has answered this question (about how DB 3151's sound back there) as of yet.

So with all that said, I am enjoying my jeep very much and and quick shout out here to all of you have have posted previously as personally I VERY MUCH appreciate the time everyone devotes to posting in this forum as it is informative and entertaining!
Greetings,

With the Polk's you should get a little fuller sound. It might be just enough for your liking. The real problem is that you have no ability to control the speaker in terms of time alignment. You are stuck with the factory settings.

Enjoy the system and more important, enjoy your JGC.

Best for now.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:05 PM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Hey guys! Two replies here as yeah on the polk's I think just a touch more filler is what I'm hoping to achieve out of the d-pillars as right now I am compensating by fading to the rear so we shall see... As to adding the 8" helix E8w as a drop in plug in and play in the existing box, there are a couple issues there as I ran into the same things in the kicker 8" I tried first which is the 8" is about 2db less efficient which doesn't sound like much (no pun intended) but keep in mind that 3db represents effectively double the volume and the loss in efficiency combined with having less cone area to work with and your defiantly not going to get as good a result as with the e10w... It will probably sound better but just not as good... Hope that helps!


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Old 04-02-2015, 09:16 PM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

That definitely helps. Thanks! I can really appreciate all the work you have done. In my younger days I was a "bass head" and had 4 15" subs in my truck. Super loud, but low sound quality. Now I appreciate a more balanced system. The 9 speaker system sounds OK to me, but just lacks some bass and crisp clear highs. Not sure how far I want to tear into it.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:50 PM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by marius8998 View Post
Hey guys! Two replies here as yeah on the polk's I think just a touch more filler is what I'm hoping to achieve out of the d-pillars as right now I am compensating by fading to the rear so we shall see... As to adding the 8" helix E8w as a drop in plug in and play in the existing box, there are a couple issues there as I ran into the same things in the kicker 8" I tried first which is the 8" is about 2db less efficient which doesn't sound like much (no pun intended) but keep in mind that 3db represents effectively double the volume and the loss in efficiency combined with having less cone area to work with and your defiantly not going to get as good a result as with the e10w... It will probably sound better but just not as good... Hope that helps!


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Greetings,

You are the first one here other than myself have stated the 3db rule.

Best for now.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:43 AM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by marius8998 View Post
Hey guys just a quick post here for anyone interested in taking the Focal and Polk upgrade route and retaining the stock amp and DSP settings and are looking for a little more punch down low without also going all in on a JL stealthbox/custom box with an additional mono amp... after much research going into the purchase of my 15' Altitude I went ahead and ordered the "upgraded" 9 speaker alpine setup and immediately replaced the stock speakers with the much covered Focal/Polk upgrades which I was VERY pleased with... having said as much though, I knew I wanted to do a little more something with the subwoofer setup as well and at first I installed just a Kicker dual voice coil (2 ohm's each) 8" to see what that would do in replacing the stock paper cone craptastic stock subwoofer... and while i would say this improved the system some (which it was only essentially a $150 upgrade) I don't really recommend it... however, i think stepped up and purchased the Helix Esprit E10W subwoofer ($219.00 from Crutchfield) and took the stock box and cut out the existing mounting ring and fiberglassed in a new mounting ring for the 10" (which you can see from the pictures attached) and then mounted the E10W into the existing box which was also stiffened a bit with some deadening mat... now then, the E10W is a dual voice coil design (which you need because the stock amp actually has two leads, one for each voice coil) and each voice coil is 2 ohms (which also matches the stock system) and, additionally, this particular woofer is both very efficient (about 88 db per watt) and is a shallow mount PLUS the resulting stock subwoofer box as modified comes out to be about .55/.6 cubic ft. sealed which is exactly what that woofer calls for... the finished box (as modified) is shown in the last picture and I can tell you that even with the front Focal's and the Helix not being broken in yet hardly at all, the efficiency of that Helix sub along with the additional woofer cone area that comes along with moving up to a 10" from the 8" stock subwoofer has made a dramatic difference in the low end of that system which now matches up fairly well with the grunt the front focal's are capable of generating... now then, not saying that the resulting sound is going to win any IASCA SPL competitions anytime soon but as i am now firmly in my middle 40's I am finding that I appreciate a competent sound system as opposed to desiring a competition system and the resulting system is VERY competent.

Also as a bit of a side note, I ran out of time and had to button the system back up before we could install the polk db351's in the D-pillars which i am still planning on doing but it is not a bolt in upgrade if anyone is interested in pursuing same... probably going to trim the back and hot glue the speakers onto a wood mounting plate and then on to the back of the trim piece as much as anything because i have the speakers and because i do (personally) like a bit more rear fill than some other people might like and because i just plain hate the idea of leaving two freakin' stock speakers in a system i have replaced everything else with... when i have done so in a week or two i will follow up with an update, again, just in case anyone was interested as i have seen some links concerning the D pillars but i don't know if anyone has answered this question (about how DB 3151's sound back there) as of yet.

So with all that said, I am enjoying my jeep very much and and quick shout out here to all of you have have posted previously as personally I VERY MUCH appreciate the time everyone devotes to posting in this forum as it is informative and entertaining!
Congrats on the new sub!

I'd like to thank you for sharing that great idea and hope you can update us with the performance after the break-in time, I think I'll go that route soon because that's exactly what I (and many forum members here I guess) was looking for after replacing the doors and center speakers.. The JL Stealthbox + mono amp will cost 2x what I paid for the HAT speakers and I'll still pay international shipping, your alternative solution looks simple, effective and at a very reasonable price..

Any more details/pics on the installation for noob DIYers?
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:55 AM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stJeepGC View Post
Greetings,

You are the first one here other than myself have stated the 3db rule.

Best for now.
Our Audio Expert do you think the Helix Esprit E10W subwoofer would work well (match) my HATs (Imagine 6x9 components front, Mirus 6.5 coaxial rear)? or do you recommend other brand/model (something in the $200 - $250 range) with similar specs? I've checked the HAT Imagine subs but they're not shallow to fit the factory box..

Thanks
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Old 04-05-2015, 01:05 PM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherif View Post
Our Audio Expert do you think the Helix Esprit E10W subwoofer would work well (match) my HATs (Imagine 6x9 components front, Mirus 6.5 coaxial rear)? or do you recommend other brand/model (something in the $200 - $250 range) with similar specs? I've checked the HAT Imagine subs but they're not shallow to fit the factory box..

Thanks
Greetings,

Most subwoofers will work well with the upper speakers. It is just a matter matching them correctly to your liking and the equipment you have which includes the sealed sub enclosure in the JGC.

The Helix in that price point uses very good material for the woofer. In terms of matting to the OE sub box, it should get down to around 30z and possible a little more if you extend the box like the OP did. Power, you are limited to the factory amp which should give you some good punch.

The real problem lies in the Factory DSP. Your frequencies and time alignment is predetermined for the OE system. Most folks find that the lows from the single sub lingers in the cargo area and sounds weak. While the fronts are overpowering. To correct this, you now have to go for an aftermarket DSP unit or an external amp that has a DSP built into it. The same problem can occur if you go the JL Audio Stealthbox even through it is tuned correctly to the JGC with the 10W3 woofer that they use. On the flip side, some folks find that is enough for their liking and do not need to adjust anything.

Regarding the HAT subs, from my understanding, they work extremely well in custom boxes. They do get down extremely well if the box is tuned correctly. For an SPL system, I am not sure how they handle. It is recommended to have a good DSP unit in the system. Tuning a sub box for car audio is a skill in it's self. It much different from building a custom box for pro audio.

Not that active any more in audio, but I still keep myself updated.

Best for now.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:13 AM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Good morning! Was tied up doing the family Easter thing yesterday so I wasn't able to post anything though I did have a chance to read a bit yesterday evening... couple of things here... first I absolutely concur that the only way to truly get this thing back to a "true" flat so that you (or a car audio specialist you hire) can then fine tune for the particulars of the jeep's environment so that you can then start dialing the system into the particular musical nirvana that your looking for (bass head/classical savant/jazz afecionada/competition ear, etc.) is to sum the built in amp outputs and then cleansweep it or use some other DSP to undo the factory DSP settings... having said as much though, as has been referenced previously such mechanization(s) start to get pricey pretty quickly particularly if your having to pay someone to complete the work in question and to be honest the aftermarket DSP tools available are capable of doing so many great things that (IMO) unless your ready to spend the time to really come to grips with what it is that your doing when you start "messing" with the settings available to you, well then you should probably hire someone to do that work...

Now then as much as I used to enjoy "messing around" with this stuff in my younger years as I have had a "system" at varies levels of audio debauchery since I my first car 25 years ago, where I am now is that I like to keep things simple, I like to keep my expenditures to a reasonable level (since I am married and have a wife that has firmly taken over the position of being my single most expensive bad habit to support! :-)) and as such I am willing to trade off dialing in the last few percentage points of performance here and there for simplicity and least costly... That is why my hat is off (pun intended) to the guys that discovered HATs and Focals/Polks as replacement speakers to work with the factory amp and I am so appreciative of everyone posting their experience here as that was right in line with my thought process of simple and relatively inexpensive especially considering the resulting upgrade in sound quality the expense netted in turn...

Having made the Focal/Polk upgrade myself and having played around with it just a bit thereafter, I personally am not all that unhappy with the factory amp power (with these very efficient speakers) and the factory DSP settings and I think I will be particularly pleased once I can go back in and put the Polk's in the D-Pillars as I am hoping to get just a touch more rear filler as many hours of watching movies, etc. at home with a pretty sophisticated home theater setup has kinda got my ears used to being more centered in the soundstage as opposed to have it more front and center so I blame Denon for teaching my ears bad habits... point of fact I would point to the factory speakers as the primary culprit particularly when combined with the mystifying lack of appreciable gain from the Factory Sirius/XM receiver as that particular combo gave me a new appreciation for what "mud" might sound like if it was made into a musical... that being said though I knew going into switching out the factory speakers that the stock subwoofer also had to go but I really didn't want to go the JL Audio stealthbox route one, because I expense wise, what I would have in the stealthbox would be more than what I was going to have in all the other speakers combined, and two because then I would have to amp it right off the bat as the 10w3 in that box is not particularly efficient (though let me clear here, JL if your reading this post, I am a 20 year fanboy of your fine subwoofer work having installed everything from preloaded stealthboxes to every woofer in between your W0 and W7 class in my cars, jeeps and my boats for that matter so BIG FAN GUYS BIG FAN!!!!) so if I had went the stealthbox route then any chance of using the factory amp was kaput...

So basically that is the thought process that went into first trying to see if I could get away with a straight 8" "drop in" subwoofer in a slightly modified (stiffened) factory box which then led to me going (pretty quickly) to the Helix E10W 10" subwoofer route in a more modified still factor box per the pictures I posted previously... now then I will say this as well, prior to ordering the Helix and launching into modifying the existing box, when I had pulled out the original subwoofer box to try the "drop in" route on the 8" woofer, I played around with the box a bit so that I was comfortable when I ordered the Helix E10W that a more substantially modified box would still "fit" operating parameters called for by Helix... so having made the modification of the stock subwoofer box to accommodate the Helix and having installed it with the factory amp, I then picked up at least the option of the possibility of the Helix install sounding good enough (once it has broken in) that I will simply leave the system as is which would mean that it would then be not even a third of the cost of the stealthbox install which, once installed, again the stealthbox would have afforded me no real opportunity to determine whether to simply make use of the stock amp as it would have required an additional mono sub amp install right off the bat as well...

Now assuming that once the Helix has broken in though I decide that I really still need a bit more "kick in the pants" from the sub, well again the Helix as installed in the modified factory box, fits the operating parameters for that sub nicely so I would feel very comfortable throwing a $200.00 Alpine M500 amp into the system as I would put the 2 voice coils into a 4 ohm load and the 300 watts that alpine puts out would really wake that sub up... in addition with the rotary gain knob I could dial in the sub on a song by song basis as need be... finally looking at the fine work that VoyagerX did back in 2013 when he measured out the factory amp output/crossover points I would probably dial in about 6 db or so of "bass boost" on the amp at 50hz (its built into the amp) and then play with that in conjunction with bass settings on the radio to smooth out the transition between the rear sub and the front focal's (which really hit pretty freaking hard for a pair of 6x9's I must say) and yes guys I know that would very much be an audio band-aid as it were as I realize that somewhere a car audio specialist just had a coronary but in my mind in the cost/performance category this would be a win... that is if I decide I even want to go that route as right now I am still breaking in that Helix (and the Focals/Polks for that matter) and evaluating but, again, by going this route I wanted to be able to incrementally change the system at my pace with an eye toward best bang for the buck and least amount of relative effort!

Again thanks to all that have posted previously as I have thoroughly enjoyed the fine work everyone has put into their jeeps and appreciate everyone sharing their experiences as my "very limited work" here is entirely derived from the posted experiences of these other MUCH more pioneering souls!
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:10 PM
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Re: Alpine 9 Speaker Subwoofer Upgrade

Could you not just upgrade to the HK sub out of the SRT/Overland/Summit models?
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