Entire Sound System Upgrade in our Suzuki Jimny JB74! (Inc. Audio Sample!)

We are massive music lovers and we can not go on a road trip without music, especially good quality sound!

We experimented with many different solutions until we finally worked out what worked best but at the same time we didn’t want to break the bank by getting too carried away. So here’s what we did!

(This is a rough guide to give you an idea of what you could do rather than it being a step by step instruction page)

Just too quickly mention, we are no experts in sound. We just like our music to sound the best it can without going to any extremes. We have a bit of knowledge on audio set ups from previous experiments. Our set ups in other cars have usually consisted of plenty of research and then a bit of trial and error.

Before you read about the work carried out, here is a quick list of all the components we used should you need a reference:
Head unit – Pioneer SPH-DA120 (ours is discontinued, newer model is SPH-DA130DAB)
4″ Door Speakers – InPhase XTC4CX (3 way crossover included, however we used a 2 way)
1″ Tweeters – InPhase SXT1
2 Way Crossovers – InPhase (No specific model number)
Subwoofers – Kenwood KSC-SW11
Head unit Fascia – Connects2 CT23SZ21
Steering Wheel Control Interface – Connects2 CTSSZ002.2 
Factory USB Adapter – eBay Special (Retains your factory USB Socket)

DISCLAIMER!:
Crossovers – We used a 2 way crossover in our final set up which we had laying around from a kit we bought a while back. It can not be bought separately, though other brands do make their own you can purchase.
Steering Wheel Control Interface – No mention of working with a Suzuki Jimny however we bit the bullet and tested it. We confirm it works in our situation. All though the ‘MUTE’ button now only drops volume to around 50%, not 0%.
Factory USB Adapter – No mention of working with a Suzuki Jimny but again works in our situation.

At the end of this blog you will find a YouTube video we put together to allow you to hear what music now sounds like in the Jimny. The music was recorded on a Zoom H1n and was not edited at all. Make sure to wear headphones as laptops, phones and tv’s will not replicate the sound as well as your headphones, or a good pair of speakers.

As standard the SZ5 comes with a nice touch screen head unit. It has all the features you would want, especially Apple Car Play and Android Auto. But unfortunately we have the SZ4 model so we didn’t get the fancy features of the SZ5 head unit, nor does it have a large screen, never mind a touch screen.

The factory SZ4 head unit

Both variants of the new Gen4 Jimny have massively improved audio quality over the older Gen3 Jimny, but for us it still wasn’t good enough.

The first thing that bugged us was the fact it was missing low end BASS! Who doesn’t love door rattling bass!? …Well not us anyway, but it’s always nice to have just a bit of depth to your audio. Luckily we had an under seat subwoofer sitting around which we connected up using the wiring harness which was supplied with our subwoofer and noticed a nice difference in sound.

The Kenwood subwoofer is a perfect size to fit under the front seats without the seat catching and also leaving plenty of space for a storage bag or feet from rear passengers

However, the factory door speakers still didn’t ‘cut the mustard’ so it was time to focus on them.

Again luckily we had the following knocking around:
4” Door Speakers
1” Tweeters
2 & 3 Way Crossovers

With everything we had laying around we fitted the new speakers and tweeters trying two sets of crossovers out, you can read about that here.

Our initial impressions were good. The speakers and tweeters paired with a crossover made a nice improvement. Due to the crossovers separating the frequencies the audio sounded better than before as previously the original factory speakers had to play all the frequencies which it wasn’t capable of doing properly.

Factory speaker disassembled to use as an adapter for the new InPhase 4 inch speaker.

After quite some time we noticed the factory head unit was struggling to power our new 4” speakers and tweeters which ran through the crossover.

The factory head unit puts out 20watts per channel which is a very small amount. So we got an amplifier to give the set up some more power. However with a keen ear we actually started to notice this wasn’t the way forward as the amplified sound didn’t quite have the quality due to the poor audio processor and lack of controls over the audio outputs.

The only way around this would be to upgrade the head unit.

So after some time we bit the bullet and treated the Jimny to a lovely used Pioneer head unit.

Upgrading to an after market head unit enabled us to ditch the amplifier we fitted as the Pioneer is capable of outputting 50watts per channel which was now more substantial. The Pioneer also has a proper subwoofer connector at the back allowing for better controls, meaning we could fine tune when the subwoofer would actually kick in and at what level. We also have a lot more control over the audio output for the speakers too, so we are able to tune the sound how we like it.

We have also added one more subwoofer to the mix to try and balance everything out. This means that we now have a subwoofer under both front seats and they are wired up in ‘stereo’ meaning they can work independently. Usually you only fit one subwoofer and wire it in ‘mono’ so that it plays both left and right channels.

We are now submersed in audio and can happily loose our voices singing a long!🎶

So this seems like a lot of work? Well it was but it was all done over a long period of time with constant tweaks to make it finally sound the way we like it. You can hear the guitar and cymbals in rock music clear as day but switch over to some dance music and you can enjoy the bass as much as you like. We love to listen to all sorts of genres so it is great to have a good set up to really enjoy the music.

Thank you for reading, all this information can be hard to understand never mind explained by someone who is not a professional. With plenty of research you can grasp what you need to know to make yourself your perfect sound system.

Below are some questions you may be asking yourself so here are the answers! If you do have any more questions, feel free to ask.

WHY DIDN’T YOU BUY THE SUZUKI SPEAKER ADAPTER KIT? INSTEAD YOU RUINED YOUR FACTORY SPEAKERS? (Confused? read this)
It is important to isolate the front and rear of a speaker. Speakers create sound waves. It is important that the sound waves coming from the front of the speaker enter the cabin and only the cabin. The factory speaker has a tight seal with the door card making sure all sound waves enter the cabin. We feel that the Suzuki Kit doesn’t do this as well as the factory speaker seal.

DO I NEED A SUBWOOFER AND HOW DID YOU CONNECT IT TO THE FACTORY HEAD UNIT?
Subwoofers are great at ending a bit more depth to your sound system. they can reproduce the low range frequencies far better than your mid range speakers in your doors. Our subwoofer came with a high to low adapter so we used the rear speaker output to send the audio to the subwoofers. You can buy high to low level audio adapters online. You may also notice with poorly set up speakers that sometimes when bass kicks in you suddenly loose the mid range or high range of frequencies as the speaker struggles to play everything.

WHY DIDN’T YOU FIT REAR SPEAKERS?
We are sat in the front when driving so we didn’t see the point of adding speakers in the back, we never carry passengers. We also pack stuff against the back side panels so the speaker would end up covered and deemed useless on a road trip.

WHY SHOULD I CHANGE MY HEAD UNIT?
Changing your head unit will allow you to have more control over the outputs. Many after marker head units will come with a dedicated subwoofer connection so you have full control over the subwoofer such as when it kicks in and the volume. You will also be able to have more control over more frequencies so you can dial in the sound you desire rather than selecting from a few presets. Aftermarket stereos will usually have better audio processors and amplifiers built in making your music sound better straight away. You may also gain features you didn’t have before, in our case: Apple Car Play and larger touch screen.

DO I NEED TO BUY EXPENSIVE SPEAKERS?
NO! Make sure you have a proper set up and make sure each type of speaker only receives the signals it is suppose to and at the optimum wattage it is designed to work at in an enclosed well treated area. If you all ready have a good set up then maybe buying more expensive components will ultimately make it better, but you still need to make sure everything works with each other.

DO I NEED TO DRILL HOLES IN MY DOOR TO FIT TWEETERS?
NO! However you may consider doing so because having dedicated tweeters reflects what was mentioned above. Having a speaker do what it is designed to is better than having one do everything. Speakers which have built in tweeters may not be as effective as having a dedicated tweeter running through a crossover. If you search around online you can actually find tweeters that can be surface mounted on to your dashboard.

WHAT IS A CROSSOVER?
A cross over receives audio signals and then splits the signals in either 2 or 3 ways. A 2 way cross over will split the audio into high and low range frequencies. A 3 way will split the audio into high, mid and low range frequencies. This way you’re making sure each speaker will receive the frequencies they are designed to handle.

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