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Old 05-29-2012, 05:49 PM
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Kicker Stage 3 Audio Install

We just installed the Kicker Stage 3 factory audio replacement system on my 2012 JK with stock radio. I'll be adding installation photos in the next couple of days but a couple of people have asked about part #s and some specs. on different threads. I wanted to answer most questions in one place.
PLease see the attached PDF for a complete list of part#s by JK year and audio package as provided by Kicker.
Major points:
This system comes with replacement front and sound bar speakers, a 4 channel (48 W RMS per channel) amp with built-in crossovers for front and rear channels, a 200 W RMS amp for the sub and a 10" sub (with high quality/durable molded enclosure). No tweeters. It also includes all wiring harnesses to plug right into the factory ones, and the amps bracket right in behind the dash for "hidden" factory look install. No CAM BUS issues. It is very much a "plug n play" system and everything but the sub looks completely stock. Install took around 4 hours- on a scale of 1-10 (difficult)- my personal audio installer (husband!) gives it a 4 difficulty. But he's done a lot of audio installs so for a beginner the rating might not apply. Instructions were clear with one exception but you'll see that in the photos.
The important part- this system obliterates the factory system and then some. Sound is crystal clear at volume 30 and the bass from the sub is fantastic. There was no clipping, chirping or distortion. I recorded audio in stages- but in the end it was useless. The cheap microphone on my camera couldn't handle the bass and it completely distorted the audio recording. This is big a** grin territory good. Without the sub the bass is still good- with it you can open your own Club Jeep.
There are 2 cons to the system: price and in a way, the sub. The complete "Stage III" system is somewhere around $1000-$1300 depending on where you buy it. No need to argue that one- not for everybody. But Kicker makes it very easy to install and looks stock- you might be able to save $$$ versus non-Jeep systems by not needing a professional installer. Also if you're not interested in bass- you can skip the sub/sub amp.
One alternative/note: we discovered that by only adding the Kicker amp- the factory speakers sound MUCH better. The factory base head unit tests at only ~4 watts per channel. The amp in the head unit also clips heavily at any volume level above ~17 or 18. Terrible! By replacing the head unit or the amp alone I think the audio improves a lot. The front Kicker speakers are very reaonably priced so you can add those too.
The problem with the sub-woofer is also a pro- it locks into the backseat. Therefore it is easily removeable (pro)- and stealable (con). Jeep owners told Kicker they wanted it easily removeable so that's what they did. It's also centered behind the seat- which takes up a ton of the already measly (if you have a 2-Dr like me) rear cargo space. I personally have the seat forward or completely out most of the time- which takes away the mounting point for this particular sub. However, I've decided the dog is going to have to sit in the front seat now- I need that sub!
(I can't offer comparisons to the Infinity system since I don't have one).
Photos to follow in a day or two.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:02 PM   #2
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I want do this install myself... If possible... Could someone send the instructions, I can then determine if I could handle this myself or pay a pro to install it...
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