I have the Alpine "premium" sound package, is it worth a speaker upgrade? - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:57 PM   #1
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I have the Alpine "premium" sound package, is it worth a speaker upgrade?

Countless jeepers have said that the relatively cheap speaker upgrade (dash and sound bar) in their jeep was well worth it. What's not clear to me is for those of us who already have the premium alpine sound system (I have a '14 JKUR with 730n), is the upgrade still very noticeable?

While the premium alpine system is far from impressive, if it's only going to be a minor improvement i'll pass. I don't plan on adding extra amps, new tweeters, sub, new head unit etc.

Sorry if this has been addressed, i haven't found it.

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Old 09-04-2014, 07:13 PM   #2
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Replacing the speakers will sound better, however the problem really lies with the factory head unit because it turns down the bass as you increase the volume. The only real solution to this would be a new aftermarket head unit or a good sound processor. A sound processor like the AudioControl DQ-61 will allow you to retain the factory head unit and prevent it from turning the bass down.

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Old 09-04-2014, 09:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weissja36 View Post
Countless jeepers have said that the relatively cheap speaker upgrade (dash and sound bar) in their jeep was well worth it. What's not clear to me is for those of us who already have the premium alpine sound system (I have a '14 JKUR with 730n), is the upgrade still very noticeable?

While the premium alpine system is far from impressive, if it's only going to be a minor improvement i'll pass. I don't plan on adding extra amps, new tweeters, sub, new head unit etc.

Sorry if this has been addressed, i haven't found it.
Just swapped my rear speakers out, night and day difference! I have the 730n with the Alpine premium sound too!

Rear soundbar replacement speakers that work great!!!
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:18 PM   #4
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Save your money on speakers and buy a $5 bag of poly fill and fill the sub encloser and sound bar. Difference is night and day.

And in the end if your still not satisfied you only out $5 versus spending a few hundred and still having the same issues.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MANGOJK15 View Post
Replacing the speakers will sound better, however the problem really lies with the factory head unit because it turns down the bass as you increase the volume. The only real solution to this would be a new aftermarket head unit or a good sound processor. A sound processor like the AudioControl DQ-61 will allow you to retain the factory head unit and prevent it from turning the bass down.
Thanks for the input Mango. Interesting about the sound processor. So it overrides the head unit's EQ I'm assuming?

I'm probably one of the few who, aside from it being a sound quality inhibitor, really likes the 730n. I've got other mods in mind that take priority at the moment anyways.

Bass isn't my biggest interest, just overall clarity and sound quality. I don't know enough to articulate exactly what i'm looking for but i'd love the speakers to have more of a presence if that makes sense.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:53 PM   #6
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I am trying to replace my sound bar speakers on a 2014 JKURX and the color wires do not match up to the posted 2013 wires I found.

Anyone know which wire is hot and ground on a 2014 in the sound bar? My choices are on the left side Black/white stripe or dark green. On the right side the wires are baby blue and light green.

Help.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:06 PM   #7
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I'll probably do poly fill at the very least. Maybe I'll change the soundboard and if I'm happy with the improvement I'll go for the dash speakers as well.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 04screamin View Post
Just swapped my rear speakers out, night and day difference! I have the 730n with the Alpine premium sound too!

Rear soundbar replacement speakers that work great!!!
Several of us on this forum have replaced the rear speakers of a stock sound system only to find no appreciable difference. Either I personally am deaf or those that report big improvement are wishing too much to hear it. The front speakers may be a different story, but when it comes to the rear just make sure that those few 10mm screws that attach the sound bar to the roll cage are secure, stuff some polyfil in the bar and save your $65 for some other mod.

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I'll probably do poly fill at the very least. Maybe I'll change the soundboard and if I'm happy with the improvement I'll go for the dash speakers as well.
As I say above, polyfil yes, soundbar speakers no. Just play with the fade adjustment on your sound system and note how most of the volume comes from the front speakers. The rear ones are mostly there to take up space.
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:09 AM   #9
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You can also PolyFill the sub enclosure. Also search the JK Discussion forum for the "Stock Tweeter Mod" thread. I soldered in some 4.7uF caps in parallel with the existing a caps. You'll get much more sound out if the dash tweeters. The new caps were $3.50 at Radio Shack.
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:17 AM   #10
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I have also been looking to improve on the stock system. Where is polyfill available & is there different types , maybe one better than another , thanks
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:41 AM   #11
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I have added a new capacitor to the tweeters and there was a huge difference.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:41 AM   #12
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I have done 3 system upgrades, 2 Infinity systems and 1 Alpine system. On both Infinity systems, including my own, I used the Infinity 6032si 6.5's. For the Alpine system, the owner bought the Kicker 77KICK10's.

Both were significant improvements over the factory speakers. The factory speakers are low efficiency. One important factor in replacing the 6.5's is impedance matching with the factory amplifier. The stock speakers are 2 ohms and if you put in 4 ohms (common for 6.5's) you cut the amplifier power in half. Often the results are less than satisfactory because someone just buys their favorite brand and misses the specs.

The other important factor is the efficiency of the speakers. Every 3db improvement is like doubling your amplifier power. I estimate the factory speakers to be about 88db and the Infinity 6032si is 93db. So that is like more than doubling your amplifier power. The other speaker that I have found that gives you similar performance is the JBL P662s. They absolutely do play louder and sound better.

Another very inexpensive mod, as mentioned above by AGS, is the Stock Tweeter Mod. This $3 mod really brings the factory tweeters to life. They aren't as bad as they sound, but the crossover on them is horrible. Once replaced they actually work like you would expect.


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I have also been looking to improve on the stock system. Where is polyfill available & is there different types , maybe one better than another , thanks
I just used the stuffing from an old cheap pillow. It can also be found at Walmart. It is easy to do and the key is to NOT stuff it full. Just fill the area without compressing the polyfil will work the best.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:42 AM   #13
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You can also PolyFill the sub enclosure. Also search the JK Discussion forum for the "Stock Tweeter Mod" thread. I soldered in some 4.7uF caps in parallel with the existing a caps. You'll get much more sound out if the dash tweeters. The new caps were $3.50 at Radio Shack.
I did this too. I found them online for $.48 a piece after buying 10. Do it!! It is worth it.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:09 AM   #14
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I had the Alpine speakers in my 2013 JKU and they distorted horrible when I had the volume turn up when going topless. I replaced all of the speakers with the Kicker 77kick10 speakers and they sound much better. They never distort at all.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:42 AM   #15
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Aren't the 77Kick10's 4-ohm? Are they just so much more efficient that you don't lose volume? I know a lot of folks really like them.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:01 PM   #16
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I had a 2012 w/ the base system. My 2014 w/ the alpine is much superior, but not that great. the soundbar is the weakest link to the system. if you take all the components and place it on a better enclosure or a different vehicle, I bet it would sound 100 times better.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:33 PM   #17
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Aren't the 77Kick10's 4-ohm? Are they just so much more efficient that you don't lose volume? I know a lot of folks really like them.
That is exactly my guess on the Kickers. You lose amp output and gain efficiency which basically offsets, but I think the efficiency gain is more than the power loss. Then they sound way better so that is a win.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by weissja36 View Post
Countless jeepers have said that the relatively cheap speaker upgrade (dash and sound bar) in their jeep was well worth it. What's not clear to me is for those of us who already have the premium alpine sound system (I have a '14 JKUR with 730n), is the upgrade still very noticeable?

While the premium alpine system is far from impressive, if it's only going to be a minor improvement i'll pass. I don't plan on adding extra amps, new tweeters, sub, new head unit etc.

Sorry if this has been addressed, i haven't found it.
I kept coming back to all the threads re: speaker/sound system upgrades and the various responses are all over the board, rendering the topic; clear as MUD.

I finally went to BEST BUY last weekend, cash in hand ready to purchase speakers and do the speaker upgrade and polyfil mod all at once. I told the BEST BUY car stereo guy what I was looking for, and he basically told me not to waste my time or $$ unless I was changing the head unit. I was bummed. I LOVE to spend $$ on my Jeep LOL!
I had already purchased a bag of polyfil at Michaels Craft store (big bag $5.89, could've got by with little bag $3.89, now I have 2/3 of a big bag in my garage you can have)

I came home and stuffed the soundbar and subwoofer full... sounded like A$$. I looked up the threads again and decided that maybe I packed it too much. So I took most of it back out and kept it fluffy in the soundbar and sub. Checked it out and it sounded pretty much the same as before I ever did anything. So there you go... clear as MUD.

Now, as I was driving I did notice that when I cranked to music up to about 19-20 volume (430N head unit) I really did notice a fuller sound. There was a much better low end (sub) than I'd ever heard before... so for $5 it was well worth it. And the improvement is good enough for me, that I'm not going to buy any speakers or do the tweeter thing. Not to say that they aren't improvements too, but $5 is so easy for the gain that its almost silly not to.

There you go... clear as mud.
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:28 PM   #19
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I can second the sound processor advice. I used and lcq1. I also put in four new coax speakers and a decent dedicated amp though. Before the processor, it was better but not quite there. Afterwards, great for the money spent.

I don't really think the Best Buy guy knows what he's talking about personally (or is just ignorant of the other option). After dozens of custom car installs from a few hundred to nearly $10k, stock decks are fine if you handle the sound correctly.
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:56 PM   #20
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I'm changing out my HU today. I don't mind the Alpine system stock, like it even better with polyfill. I want a fancy touch screen instead of my 130 so I got a Pioneer but I expect the sound to improve a bit more. My biggest complain then is the sub. I'll get around to doing the tweeter mod but for the most part it sounds decent.

Unless you're going to replace the whole system wholesale, IMHO it's probably smarter to do it in stages, replace this, tweak that until you're happy. If you can get to a place where you're satisfied without replacing speakers or whatever, then you can spend that money on other mods.

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That is exactly my guess on the Kickers. You lose amp output and gain efficiency which basically offsets, but I think the efficiency gain is more than the power loss. Then they sound way better so that is a win.
Hard to find specs on those Kick10's. I like they are plug and play, fit the factory opening, screw holes, etc. I think for me, a sub is more important. The sub in my wife's Scion isn't great but I downloaded some new music and played it in my Jeep and thought it sounded fine. Then I played it in the Scion and discovered there's a whole bunch of bass I can't even hear in the Jeep, even knowing it's there now.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Blkfenderslookbetter View Post
I kept coming back to all the threads re: speaker/sound system upgrades and the various responses are all over the board, rendering the topic; clear as MUD.

I finally went to BEST BUY last weekend, cash in hand ready to purchase speakers and do the speaker upgrade and polyfil mod all at once. I told the BEST BUY car stereo guy what I was looking for, and he basically told me not to waste my time or $$ unless I was changing the head unit. I was bummed. I LOVE to spend $$ on my Jeep LOL!
I had already purchased a bag of polyfil at Michaels Craft store (big bag $5.89, could've got by with little bag $3.89, now I have 2/3 of a big bag in my garage you can have)

I came home and stuffed the soundbar and subwoofer full... sounded like A$$. I looked up the threads again and decided that maybe I packed it too much. So I took most of it back out and kept it fluffy in the soundbar and sub. Checked it out and it sounded pretty much the same as before I ever did anything. So there you go... clear as MUD.

Now, as I was driving I did notice that when I cranked to music up to about 19-20 volume (430N head unit) I really did notice a fuller sound. There was a much better low end (sub) than I'd ever heard before... so for $5 it was well worth it. And the improvement is good enough for me, that I'm not going to buy any speakers or do the tweeter thing. Not to say that they aren't improvements too, but $5 is so easy for the gain that its almost silly not to.

There you go... clear as mud.
After reading numerous posts regarding the polyfill modification I decided to try it myself. Stopped at Walmart and purchased a $5.00 pillow which served as the polyfill donor. My Jeep has the Uconnect 130 AM/FM CD MP3 head unit with Alpine upgrade.

On my driveway "test bench" I experienced the same initial reaction as Blkfenderslookbetter states above - I didn't notice any difference.

But then I drove the Jeep and the modification is well worth it, as stated above. Clear audio with music, talk radio, podcasts, even Bluetooth phone calls! I now hear the subwoofer which I never could hear before the mod.

If you expect true high end sound this will not provide what you are after.
However, this $5 mod does provide me with more than $5 worth of sound improvement.

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