As a previous client of Bay Area Audio Visions, the owner of this brand-new, “top o’ the line” Grand Cherokee already knew what to expect from a sound system from our shop. His last vehicle, a Ford Escape, did receive a topnotch sound system that he was happy with for many years. But when it came time for a new vehicle, he chose this Grand Cherokee audio, Jeep’s premium Harman Kardon sound package, hoping it would satisfy his discerning tastes. Guess what? It didn’t …
That’s when we got the call. And, knowing what he had in his previous vehicle, we knew we had to meet and exceed his expectations.
Enter Audiofrog, Helix and JL Audio.
Helix DSP PRO Is The Heart Of This Grand Cherokee Audio System
The Jeep already had a factory 8.4″ UConnect navigation screen with all the audio sources he could ever want, but we wanted to make it better. Using a Helix DSP PRO as the heart of the new system, we were able to take the factory-amplified signal and add a line driver, active crossovers, time alignment, precise level control and 31-band EQ to each channel in the system. We installed the piece right next to the factory amp behind a panel in the driver’s-side cargo area.
JL Audio Amplifiers, Subwoofers And Audiofrog Speakers
The DSP feeds directly into two JL Audio HD amplifiers, then on to a three-way active component set up front, a single set of rear fill speakers and a subwoofer in the cargo area. An HD 600/4 powers a pair of Audiofrog GB60 6″ mid-bass drivers installed in the factory door locations and a pair of GB25 2.5″ midrange speakers installed in newly custom-built pods in place of the factory tweeter location – in the door sail panels, with 150 watts each. An HD 900/5 amplifier powers the Audiofrog GB10 1″ tweeters with custom trim in the A-pillars and another set of Audiofrog GB25 midranges in the rear-most factory location – in the upper cargo area, with 100 watts each. The subwoofer section of the HD 900/5 delivers 500 watts to a single JL Audio 10W3v3 in a Stealthbox designed to fit perfectly in the passenger side cargo wall. We installed the two amplifiers on a custom rack under the inverted spare tire in a stacked fashion, out of sight and out of mind.
The Audiofrog speakers, with the transparent power of the JL Audio amplifiers, deliver amazing details at any volume level and such dynamic range that they make you shake your head in disbelief. As stated before, the Helix DSP PRO takes everything to the next level with its precise and vast control.
A Smile On The Client’s Face Lets Us Know Our Goal Was Met
Although the system appears to be very simple on paper, and possibly in person, it is far from it. While it is very straightforward, all the details of the system are well thought out and executed to achieve one goal: excellent sound quality without disrupting the vehicle’s ergonomics. And according to the smile on the owner’s face after listening for the first time, we think it was a mission accomplished.
This system certainly blows away the factory 19-speaker offering in every way. And ideally, when it’s time for a new car in a few years, this Jeep owner will give us the opportunity again to blow him away.