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Old 01-24-2014, 07:36 PM   #1
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So I picked up my Jeep today and was surprised how unimpressive the Alpine Audio System is. It doesn't sound like the sub in the back gives off any kind of bass at all. The stereo system I had in my Patriot with the BA upgrade and 8" sub sounded great so I figured this would be as good or better. Has anyone had the same experience and perhaps can give me some advice?

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Old 01-24-2014, 07:45 PM   #2
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Yeeees!!!! Sometimes I don't think my rear sub is even working

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Old 01-24-2014, 08:23 PM   #3
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I'm planning to rip out the entire thing eventually... Had the "premium" Infinity system in my 2012. Was not impressed with it, so when I ordered my '14 I got the base audio system. Unfortunately the Rubi X comes with the Alpine "premium" setup.

I am starting with a new head unit, then amps and will do speakers last. Although, I may end up buying a powered sub before I do amps. I haven't started building yet ( still waiting in delivery), but have a build thread going in the Communications and electronics section. A few others do too.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:46 PM   #4
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I just picked my Jeep up yesterday and had very low expectations due to the comments on the internet of the Alpine system. I must say that it doesn't sound as bad as I expected.....once I tweaked it a bit it is acceptable for what I listen to. Certainly not great but it'll hold me over until I feel like tackling in a few months. My plan would be just a modest speaker upgrade and a line level amp.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:00 PM   #5
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Coming off my 2010 Sahara i was satisfied with the Infinity setup. When I bought my '13 Rubi was so disappointed with the Alpine setup. My head unit is the 430N.

I just completed a modest upgrade replacing stock speakers with Pioneer components (fit perfectly ), a JL Audio XD700 5 channel amp, and a 10" JL audio sub with angled box that tucks perfectly behind rear seat. $1000 in parts.

Now I am happy with the system and from the outside looking in it appears to be stock.

I also had the shop install a backup camera and nav tool interface. That was an excellent mod.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:42 PM   #6
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I can't believe the folks at Alpine allowed Jeep to put their name on such a crappy sound system. Alpine's aftermarket gear is like night and day compared to the factory junk.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:19 AM   #7
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So it sounds like it's not uncommon for the sub not to be putting out a decent amount of bass?
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:51 AM   #8
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It's VERY common for it to sound like it's not working.

I replaced just my speakers (wasn't interested in changing amps or headunit) and it made a huge of difference.

I replaced the sub with a Kicker (Kicker CompD 8-2 8" Dual 2-Ohm Comp-D Series Car Subwoofer), the soundbar speakers with these (JBL GTO638 6.5" / 6-3/4" 3-Way Grand Touring Coaxial Car Speakers) and the front speakers with these (JBL GTO608C 6-1/2" 2-Way Grand Touring Component Speakers System) all for under $215 shipped!
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:35 PM   #9
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It's VERY common for it to sound like it's not working. I replaced just my speakers (wasn't interested in changing amps or headunit) and it made a huge of difference. I replaced the sub with a Kicker (Kicker CompD 8-2 8" Dual 2-Ohm Comp-D Series Car Subwoofer), the soundbar speakers with these (JBL GTO638 6.5" / 6-3/4" 3-Way Grand Touring Coaxial Car Speakers) and the front speakers with these (JBL GTO608C 6-1/2" 2-Way Grand Touring Component Speakers System) all for under $215 shipped!
Can I replace the sub with any other 8" sub or does it need to be a certain type(specs)?
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:55 PM   #10
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The Alpine system is based on 2 ohm impedance.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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I was stoked to find a Sport model with a slew of upgrades that included the Alpine system. But I, too, have found it pretty unimpressive. It can generate some pretty good bass at times, but I have to tweak the equalizer depending on the genre of music I'm listening to to produce decent sound reproduction. I had an '09 Pontiac Vibe prior to the Jeep, that that thing's sound was stellar. I'd expected at least the same performance from a 2014 vehicle.

It's good enough for moderate volume listening, and sometimes it sounds excellent. But blasting black/death metal in the Jeep at high volume is most unsatisfying. Speaker upgrades are probably in my future.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:54 PM   #12
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Poly fill your enclosures and look into a better head unit
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:44 PM   #13
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Knuckles,

How difficult was it for you to replace the Sub? Also, were the JBL speakers you choose for the Soundbar simply plug and play or did you have to do additional wiring to get them to work?

I'm very much a novice when it comes to car audio equipment, so i don't want to do something that is going to be a huge undertaking.

TIA
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:12 PM   #14
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The sub is easy, but you'll have to make new screw holes. The kicker sub uses eight screws and the alpine is six. Its not a big deal as you're only screwing into plastic.

As for the wiring, you have two choices. You can either hardware (cut off the OEM plug) and solder the wires to the speakers which is what I did. Or, you can buy speaker wiring adapters. I'm pretty sure Crutchfield carries the. You'll need three sets...front, sound bad and sub.

Swapping the speakers is fairly easy and only takes a few hours for the whole job.

Hope that helps!
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:16 PM   #15
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Oh, I should add that if you hardwire, you'll need to determine speaker polarity.

I've seen several wiring diagrams online e, but have also seen conflicting color codes. The wires in my 2013 differed from all of the color codes I read. Seem Jeep uses various color schemes.

To determine speaker polarity, you can use the battery test and compare it to the stock speaker. YouTube shows many methods of how to do this if you search using "speaker polarity battery test".
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:30 PM   #16
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Changing the head unit helps lots!

I'd start there. Or, I did anyways.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:31 AM   #17
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Knuckles, just replacing the rear subwoofer actually made a difference? Im surprised because my guess was the alpine subwoofer was just under powered. If you could go more in depth on how the subwoofer change helped out. That is really all im interested in making sound a little better. Thanks
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:58 AM   #18
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Changing the head unit helps lots!

I'd start there. Or, I did anyways.
What HU did you have prior to making the switch? I have the 430 and it works well enough for my taste.
I've tried to find this answer, but does the Premium Alpine system come with a built in Amplifier?
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:02 AM   #19
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I'm trying to figure out my next steps too. Sport with the basic system. It's COMPLETE garbage! Embarrassing. My sound bar speakers flutter and bottom out with anything approaching any amount of volume OR bass.

My plan was to keep the head unit but put the Mopar speakers in (easy hook up) and poly fill. Then wire in a sub/box/amp that's removable in the rear.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:10 AM   #20
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I'm trying to figure out my next steps too. Sport with the basic system. It's COMPLETE garbage! Embarrassing. My sound bar speakers flutter and bottom out with anything approaching any amount of volume OR bass.

My plan was to keep the head unit but put the Mopar speakers in (easy hook up) and poly fill. Then wire in a sub/box/amp that's removable in the rear.
I have the premium Alpine system and it's not much better. I literally have to adjust the equalizer to play more in the rear to even notice the soundbar speakers.

That said, i have ordered a pair of 6 1/2 speakers for the Soundbar and an 8" Kicker sub to replace the factory. I will polyfill both the soundbar and the sub enclosure and hope that makes an improvement. From reading numerous threads on the topic, it seems to help.

Another thing i've done is i've ordered the Hotheads headliners and have read where the addition of those helps the acoustics of the interior of a JKU.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:07 PM   #21
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I have a 2014 Rubicon with that Alpine system and the bare stock head unit, and I'm not overly impressed having sold a Fusion with great OE sound, however this system is loads better than my old 97 with a sound bar that I put Polk speakers all around into... I get decent bass from the sub and it suits my needs having the soft top in the winter so far, but I think I will poly fill the enclosures and see if that makes a difference for the summer topless months. I often wonder how much difference a new head unit would actually make, such as one of the touchscreen models that come with the upgraded stock systems. I've seen writeups saying these are basically plug and play even if you pull one from a Chrysler Town and Country...

I haven't seen anyone touch on if you can put an amp into the system to get better sound... any input from you audiophiles?
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:06 PM   #22
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I am, by far, NOT an audiophile but I'll give you my answer and reasoning -

I didn't want to touch the head unit or the amp strictly for financial reasons. I wanted to see what could be done with just a speaker change.

I happen to like the functionality of the 430 head unit and how it integrates into everything so I don't know that, if funds allowed, I'd change it. The amp...well, if cash weren't an issue, I'd probably jump all over replacing the amp.

If cash really weren't an issue at all - I'd gut the entire system and start from scratch.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:07 AM   #23
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There is a kicker upgrade available which replaces the sub, speakers and amp. It's manufactured strictly for the Jeep and uses all the factory connection. It's a huge upgrade and sounds great!
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:23 AM   #24
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There is a kicker upgrade available which replaces the sub, speakers and amp. It's manufactured strictly for the Jeep and uses all the factory connection. It's a huge upgrade and sounds great!
That's what I mentioned earlier; that may be my plan. But I haven't read too much on someone that's actually done this and thought it was a huge upgrade. Good to know! They're about $69 per set of 6.5's which isn't bad. Probably my next "mod".
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:48 AM   #25
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That's what I mentioned earlier; that may be my plan. But I haven't read too much on someone that's actually done this and thought it was a huge upgrade. Good to know! They're about $69 per set of 6.5's which isn't bad. Probably my next "mod".
I had them in my Sahara they sound great!
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:21 AM   #26
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There is a kicker upgrade available which replaces the sub, speakers and amp. It's manufactured strictly for the Jeep and uses all the factory connection. It's a huge upgrade and sounds great!
Is this an upgrade from the basic system or a upgrade to the already existing Alpine "upgraded" system?
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:22 AM   #27
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$1800 Turd I didn't really want or need. The Nav part is better then the old Chrysler system but not by much. My $150 Tom-Tom kicks its ass. I have not seen the Live traffic ever work yet while my Tom-Tom reroutes me all the time to save time. It was on the rig and I didn't have much of choice. I also hear of people having nothing but problems too. Lots of freeze up and replacement head units going into the field. My wifes bug with $1000 Fender Systems W/Nav is the best system I have ever heard in a car. Why the top brands like Alpine and Boss continue to put there name on crap for the sake of a little free advertising is beyond me. At some point it has to hurt the brand. Kids will now be like-" Alpine- they build that crap system used in my dads Jeep". They no nothing of the 70's and 80's. Stupid marketing people. It about the greed.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:28 AM   #28
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$1800 Turd I didn't really want or need. The Nav part is better then the old Chrysler system but not by much. My $150 Tom-Tom kicks its ass. I have not seen the Live traffic ever work yet while my Tom-Tom reroutes me all the time to save time. It was on the rig and I didn't have much of choice. I also hear of people having nothing but problems too. Lots of freeze up and replacement head units going into the field. My wifes bug with $1000 Fender Systems W/Nav is the best system I have ever heard in a car. Why the top brands like Alpine and Boss continue to put there name on crap for the sake of a little free advertising is beyond me. At some point it has to hurt the brand. Kids will now be like-" Alpine- they build that crap system used in my dads Jeep". They no nothing of the 70's and 80's. Stupid marketing people. It about the greed.
I believe the traffic update is part of some sort of subscription that is optional on the 430 set up and is included with the 730 set up...but I'm not 100% sure.

I'd take my in-dash GPS over my stand alone Garmin GPS any day...but GPS' are a personal choice...just like "dino or sythetic oil" debates. Personally, I hated the Tom-Tom after using it for about a month. Sold it for pennies on the dollar on eBay and wouldn't ever go back...but it's a personal choice. LOTS of people love them, I'm just not one of them.

I agree - Alpine, Bose, etc. should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their name on such a weak 'premium' system. There wasn't a Jeep on the lot with the Alpine system when I ordered mine so I took a chance...and hated it. But, with a couple hundred bucks in replacement speakers it sounds tremendously better now, IMO.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:21 AM   #29
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The 430N does not offer traffic updates. The 730 does provided you keep your satellite music subscription.

I have installed new speakers (pioneer), amp ( jl audio) and Sub (jl audio). System is 100x better but still lots of room for improvement.

If the weather ever thaws I will play with amp settings to see if I can balance stuff out. If not my next step is a JL Audio clean sweep which essentially takes an oem head unit like the 430n and fine tunes it's freq response to be like a high end aftermarket unit. Hoping I don't need to go there though.

My advice is work in stages. Start with speakers, then sub, then add power if you still feel things are lacking.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:32 AM   #30
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Do any of you guys know if an amp comes standard with the upgraded Alpine system? If so, does anyone know how powerful it is?

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