JBL 9 speaker audio- Not good- reception not good

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by chinna, May 6, 2009.

  1. chinna

    chinna Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Is it me, or the so called JBL 9 speaker audio system... that disappoint me?

    Even with all the adjustments, the treble is not good, not good separation of instruments. The base is loud, but not tight as I would expect from separate component system.

    I did check all the speakers output just to make sure all are working.

    Also, the FM reception is very weak. the NPR station which I generally listen(KUOW 94.9) gets lot of static( other stations seems to be okay). This is with standard antenna. All other cars I used sofar has clear reception of this station( though this is weaker station relatively).

    My comparison for sound quality was my previous vehicles, Mitsubishi outlander with basic CD audio system with 6 speakers, and my previous Honda Accord with basic CD with 6 speakers, and my current another vehicle 2007 Kia Rondo with only 4 speakers.

    In all the above Radios, the Base was tight and clear, highs were very clear( esp Mitsu Outlander) and smooth. Radio reception has been better.

    To make it clear -
    Accord Audio system -OEM is Alpine
    Mitsubishi Ourlander - OEM Inifinity
    KIA- Some company in South Korea.

    Can anyone shed some light on this issue? is there anything I can do without replacing hardware?
    Is it the JBL amp that bad, or
    it is the speakers that sound bad?
    or is it the head unit itself is lousy and not feeding good audio to JBL amp?

    Also, I am not looking for more output, I hardly ever go over 50% of volume, I need to clarity, and separation of instruments.

    Though my friend has Prius, but it is with base stereo, so I can not really compare with it. So I do not have reference point.

    Thanks
     
  2. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    Complaints about the JBL Premium Sound System abound. Many posts in many threads have addressed it. I suggest you look at the following threads for more info or run a search on the specific topic of your choice:
    1. JBL Premium Audio System uncovered
    2. Looking to upgrade the JBL "premium" speakers...
    3. [​IMG] My official Prius stereo mods thread.
    4. Want to add some bass and make your speakers sound better?
    5. Please Post Your Stereo Upgrades
    6. middle speaker on JBL
    7. JBL Premium System w/ the '04 - something wrong - ear
    8. New Stereo- goodbye JBL, hello pioneer!
    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Politburo

    Politburo Active Member

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    Poke around some other threads.. I think someone replaced the stock speakers and was pleased.
     
  4. chinna

    chinna Member

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    Thanks for all the hints!

    But it really sucks to know that AMP itself is pretty bad. I was wondering how did Toyota even approved this lousy amp and kept continuing the same amp!!? Do Toyota think Prius owner does not care about Audio quality, only care about Fuel efficiency!!?:mad:

    We pay for premium sound and get even worst than basic system...arrgh:mad:
     
  5. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    Doesn't help much but like some, I popped off the center speaker above the MFD and disconnected it. It did help, albeit a little.
     
  6. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    You're welcome.

    I know how you feel, though I still would rather have the MPGs and the other amenities. Even so, I had problems with the amp and the dealer replaced it for me (no charge, of course, as it was within the warranty period!).
     
  7. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

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    The amp, and the speakers are better than most stock oem audio systems, and it's great for most people. Honestly, sound quality from the JBL was decent, and it has better speakers than the 10 cent speakers that other base systems have. It lacks power and punch, a need that can be rectified with some aftermarket purchases.
     
  8. chinna

    chinna Member

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    I was wondering How much of an improvement I would see if I just replace front Tweeters with good tweeters( May me something like Inifinity reference series).

    I do not want to spend too much money, I do not want to rip open door panels.(Though I did for my one of previous vehicle, including installing power windows myself). And I do not want to give it to these WorstBuy(I mean bestbuy) etc, as 95% of the time these guys botch the installs, either they would not run the cabling properly, or they seal the weather sealing properly.

    Anyways, any advice on only changing the tweeters?

    Thanks for wonderful forum and wonderful people over here!! :)
     
  9. PriusLewis

    PriusLewis Management Scientist

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    At the VERY least, replace the 1" tweeters with Infinity Reference tweeters (I've seen them for as little as $40/pair new on Ebay). I replaced all 4 door speakers with Infinity Reference 6 1/2" coaxial that I bought for $150 for 2 pair. I then added a 5-channel amp and Rockford Fosgate Punch 10" edge-drive subwoofer in a small, down-firing enclosure. My car did NOT have the JBL system, but I would have done the same thing if it did (and gotten rid of the JBL amp). See my post: http://priuschat.com/forums/audio-electronics/61011-2006-package-2-stereo-upgrades.html
     
  10. chinna

    chinna Member

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    That is what I am asking, if it provide any imrpovements at all. I would not mind replacing these tweeter esp in front, provided that improves the quality of the highs. May not be substantial, but any improvement would be good.
     
  11. PriusLewis

    PriusLewis Management Scientist

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    They're the same as the coaxial tweeter in the speakers in my doors, and yes, they make a difference in the highs (in fact I didn't replace the upper tweeters yet since I have the Infinity's in the doors, but I would like to). You should hear a difference if you do replace just the upper tweeters IMHO.
     
  12. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I really was not impressed with the JBL system so I was happy to stick the the base model system when I purchased my car.

    I htink the stock amp and stock deck are your major limitations. I ran the stock base model speakers on an aftermarket deck and subwoofers and was pleased with that for quite some time. The only reason I upgraded the rest of the system later was because I had a set of $1,500 mids/highs and a $1,900 2 channel amp sitting in the storage room at the shop and I finally said hell with it and installed them. :rolleyes:

    I'm not real familiar with the JBL system I cannot really advise you unless you feel like ditching the entire system and going with aftermarket stuff. :(
     
  13. kurtjamesma

    kurtjamesma Junior Member

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    I have an 08 with NAV and the premium sound system is weak. It's taken me this long to figure out what to do about the lousy sound.

    I wanted to keep full functionality of all steering wheel and bluetooth controls.

    I will be adding:
    AudioControl LC8 eight channel line output converter and channel summing
    Pioneer GM-6400F 4-channel Amp (60W RMS x 4)
    Polk Audio db5251 5 1/4" component system (Front and rear)
    USA Spec iPod interface
    Dynamat for doors, floor, trunk areas

    This should provide me with a much better-sounding system.
     
  14. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I would look into a different amplifier and better speakers. Or at least go to a few reputable car audio retailers and listen to a few different sets of speakers. There is better sounding equipment out there.

    Some alternatives for a bit more money would be:

    JL Audio G4500 $349

    Arc Audio KS 300.4

    JL Audio VR650-CSi $299

    Focal Access 165 A1 $299

    I just think you are putting good money into other items and feel you should pay even more attention to critical components like speakers and the amplifier. The speakers especially. :)

    Maybe do a small 8" or 10" sub for the rear and use a 6channel amp instead of the 4channel?

    Arc Audio KS 900.6

    JL Audio G6600 $499
     
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  15. PriusLewis

    PriusLewis Management Scientist

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    Thanks for the tip on the JL amp. This makes a great replacement for my favorite 5-channel amp from Clarion Pro that I've used in the past (but which is out of production). I like 4-channel in amps so that my stock balance and fade functions work. My system uses Infinitys in the doors and a 10" Rockford Fosgate Punch sub in a small down-firing enclosure. I fully agree with your suggestion to use a multi-channel amp and add a subwoofer. I started with the speakers, then added the amp and sub because I wasn't satisfied with the result.
     
  16. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Aye, even a baby sub can really help round out a system and keep everything clean. Not having your mids work as the sole source of low frequencies is great and a small enclosure for a single 8" or 10" doesn't really take up that much room. :)

    I swear our cars were designed to put aftermarket stereo system in. It just doesn't get much better that the equipment locations in the Prius and I've been doing stereo stuff since 1992. :)
     
  17. allargon

    allargon Member

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    True dat... if you don't mind losing cargo, the Prius could easily accomodate a 12" or even a 18" (in a car, why?). I love the cargo space of my hatch too much to add a sub, but I agree that that would make that awful sound system sound much better. The first time I heard my 9 speaker system, I wanted to take the car back. However, I already signed on the dotted line. Since then, I've made peace with the car, its stereo and its other faults. (I've learned to love its good things like it's cargo space and mpg.)
     
  18. PriusLewis

    PriusLewis Management Scientist

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    My sub box is about 12 x 14 x 10 deep. It isn't tied down so I can re-position it forward when the rear seats are down to get more stuff in back. Hadn't thought about this until now, but if I make the cable from the amp in the under-floor tray long enough I could move the sub to the floor behind the driver's seat if I needed the cargo area completely free. Hmmm....I might have to do just that. The extra cable can be stuffed back into the under-floor tray area when not in use. My amp is also installed with industrial velcro and the cables bundled in such a way I can lift it out of the tray and place it on the LH rear seat back (when the seat is down) to lift the tray out for access to the spare.
     
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    That is what I do when max storage is needed. :)
     
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