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Old 08-24-2013, 02:40 PM   #1
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2013 130 RES - Upgrade Plan - Comments/Advice welcome

Hey everyone...

After many hours of research, and going to places around town to listen to products, I think I have a reasonable plan in place. Iím documenting it here as a place to discuss my thoughts along the way, and share my experience for others to use in their research. Please feel free to provide any insight/advice you feel that would be helpful.

I have a JKU Sport S with the basic 130 RES Media Center with UConnect. I find that it has a reasonable quality for a factory head unit despite some of itís oddities such as the soundbar. That said, it lacks bass and clarity on the top end. It also lacks the power to overcome road noise from driving with the windows down, not to mention how bad it gets with the Freedom Tops off.

So here is the current plan:

- Pioneer AppRadio 3 SPH-DA210
- Polk DB6501 components in front dash
- Polk DB651s speakers in speaker bar
- Alpine MRX-v70 Amp: 60x4 + 250x1
- Pioneer TS-SWX251 10Ē Sub Enclosure

Need advice on a 4 gauge amp kit, as I have not researched this yet.


Why I picked these things:

I think itís key to keep in mind your taste, usage and budget in mind when planning something like this. There are many options out there that could be argued to be better than this, but I think this will serve my purposes well for my 4 mile a day daily driver.

AppRadio - I really like the Android integration of the AppRadio. I want a GPS in my dash, but Iím not willing to shell out the prices of a good in dash GPS from one of the brands I prefer (Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood). I already use the apps that it supports, and I really like the way the interface works. If I had a complaint about it, would be that it canít use USB flash drives. Iíd also prefer 3 sets of preamp outputs, but I can work with 2. (The Parrot Asteroid Smart looks cool too, but it costs more than the Pioneer and requires tethering. Alpine ICS-X7HD also looks nice, but lacks mechanical drive.)

Polk speakers - Of all the speakers I was able to find locally to listen to, I enjoyed the Polk DXI series at Best Buy the most. Since I couldnít figure out any significant different between them, I ordered the DB series to save a little money over the DXI that can only be found at BB/Crutchfield. Iíd really like the all black tweeters in the DXI components, but I may order the DBís and take some paint to them. I prefer my upgrades to look stockish if possible.

Alpine MRX-v70 - I got it on a deep sale at Best Buy. Amp + Remote bass knob for just over $200. This seemed like a great deal, and added some other useful options like channel summing.

Pioneer TS-SWX251 - I really like how low this thing sits. In particular, I like the idea that I could stack stuff on top of it. It won't ever get in the way of groceries or gear. I use an 8Ē sub with 80 watts in my home, and feel the 10Ē with 250 watts will do well in the Jeep. I couldn't find this unit in town to listen to, but I've heard many Pioneer subs in the past. Iím confident this will give the low end fill Iím looking for without being boomy.



What Iíve done so far:

First, I poly filled the sound bar. I think that helped out quite a bit. It seemed to stop the unwanted rattling, and allowed me to turn the bass setting up to pull more bass from the front speakers.

I had been considering putting some 6.5 drivers such as the Dayton 4 ohm models in the soundbar because I was unsure I wanted tweeters that close to my head. Over time I have moved away from this idea as I grew annoyed with how incomplete the sound was from the soundbar.

This morning, I installed the Polk DB651s in the soundbar. I immediately noticed a loss of bass, and a tremendous gain of clarity. The overall tonality is much more balanced, even with the rear attenuation that is occurring in the headunit. I hear aspects of guitars, symbols and voice from them that I have not heard in the Jeep thus far. In store, the Polks didnít exhibit much bass until you starting giving them some power. Weíll see how I feel after Iím putting 60 watts to them. Eventually, there will be a high pass filter on these anyways, so Iím not concerned about this long term.



Next Steps:

With the change of the soundbar speakers, I know that I need to replace the fronts. Iím hearing things from the back that I donít hear in the front. Thatís ok for the moment, but not for long. Next paycheck I'll order the DXI6501 or the DB6501ís. That should restore some balance to the sound, but will likely cost me some more bass response due to the lack of power.

Since Iím not willing to spend $500+ on the AppRadio and required accessories right now, I think Iím going to wait for it to go on sale during the holidays. It will be my Christmas gift to the Jeep.

Iím thinking a temporary solution would be to pick up the Pac Audio AOEM-CHR3. I could then power my speakers by outputting the front channel to the Alpine. Iíd setup the amp to mirror channels 1-2 over to 3-4, and setup the sub with the amp setting that draws the bass from summing channels 1/2/3/4.

I think this would give me a reasonably decent setup for my needs until I pick up my head unit. Once I do this, I intend to use the PAC RP4-CH11 harness to retain my steering wheel controls.


Subjects I could use advice:

Amp Installation Kit - my amp requires a 4 gauge kit.

Amp installation - Will this amp fit under the steering column? I'd prefer it up off the floor if possible. Dimensions are listed as: 10-5/8'' x 2-1/4'' x 9''

Misc: I'll be installing all of this myself, and I've never done that before. Any little things that you end up needing that you would not have expected?

-------------------

AnywaysÖ Iíll be posting from time to time with upgrades and thoughts about them. Feel free to comment, or provide any advice you may think relevant. Hopefully, this is helpful to someone else as well.

Thanks in advance,

Jason

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Old 08-24-2013, 04:35 PM   #2
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I'm running the exact same amp and speaker set up, but with a smaller sub (JBL GTO804).

I really like the 6501 components, a lot more than I like the 651s speakers. I'm almost certainly going to replace the soundbars with Focal Access.

The MRX-V70 is a cracking little amp for the money, I'm very pleased with it. I couldn't see a way to sensibly fit it in the dash though, so I went traditional and installed it under the passenger seat on a jeepedjeep aluminium bracket to keep it clear of water, snow etc.

For your amp kit, go onto Amazon and look up Knu Konceptz kits. Despite the painfully bad name, their kits are exceptionally high quality and very well priced.

Nothing out of the ordinary needed to install it. The advice of WF on how to remove the dash and trim panels was exceptionally useful, other than that you need crimp connectors, speaker wire and a bit of patience. There are a couple of tricks to installing the tweeters, post up when you get to that stage and we can help out.

I'm dying to get first hand reviews on the AppRadio 3. I suspect that very shortly I'm going to give in and buy it.

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Old 08-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info about the amp/dash. I'll have to look into that bracket. Is this something I'll have to remove the seat to install?

Is this the amp kit you are referring to? Amazon.com: KnuKonceptz Kolossus 4 Gauge OFC Amplifier Installation Kit: Car Electronics

I've read that JBL is a nice sub. It's one of the few 8's I've been eyeing if I decide I don't want this flat pioneer box. I'm also interested in the Polk Audio DXi 108.

The AR3 is about 390 on Amazon right now. If you want to get it from an authorized vendor, Best Buy should price match it.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:20 PM   #4
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I was going to also suggest Knu Koncpetz wiring kits until I saw someone else already did! so, +1!!

You can buy them direct from Amp Installation Kits, HDMI Cables
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by VertigoTX View Post
Thanks for the info about the amp/dash. I'll have to look into that bracket. Is this something I'll have to remove the seat to install?
Yes, but it's only six bolts. I won't lie, it's a bit of a fiddly and annoying job to put the seat back but it's well worth the effort to make your install clean.



Overkill. I used this one:

Amazon.com: KnuKonceptz KCA Complete 4 Gauge Amp Installation Kit: Car Electronics
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:54 AM   #6
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Woansleftpeg,

That's a great picture, thanks for sharing. It looks like you have the remote bass knob as well. Where did you mount it?

What head unit are you currently using?

I had overlooked the kit you linked because it used Copper Clad Aluminum instead of full copper. I take it that it works well for you, and the CCA is not really an issue?

Looks like Crutchfield put the Polk DXI6501's on sale this morning. They are $149. I'm tempted to order them due to the all black tweeters, and I probably won't find them lower until Christmas. By comparison, the DB6501's are around $115 on Amazon. The savings on the DB's would pay for the wiring kit. Hrm...
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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Or this, which looks like a ridiculous bargain:

Amazon.com: Polk Audio DXi6500 6 1/2" Component System - 300 Watt: Car Electronics

I have the RUX-Knob currently sitting underneath the parking brake, but it isn't mounted. I'm probably going to take it back out, it doesn't do anything that I can't easily and quickly do with the EQ.

I have a JVC KW-AV60BT currently, I got it because I wanted a removable faceplate; it's an OK unit, but some of the functionality is a bit annoying. I'm waiting to find a bargain on AppRadio 3.

KK kit is absolutely fine for me; I'm not building a high speed data network, I'm sending a few amps to a car amplifier. I don't have a problem with CCA.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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I've had systems with Sub control in the head unit. It got annoying to have to go through multiple menu systems on that Pioneer unit to tweak the sub to fit the various sources and styles of music I like. Eventually, I found a compromise setting and mainly left it there. At least conceptually, the knob sounds like a great idea to me. I'm curious as to whether I could put it in one of the button slots just below the AC controls.

I've been doing some research on the KnuKoncepts products this morning. There is alot of positive information out there about them. Thanks for pointing me to it.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:32 PM   #9
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I've had systems with Sub control in the head unit. It got annoying to have to go through multiple menu systems on that Pioneer unit to tweak the sub to fit the various sources and styles of music I like. Eventually, I found a compromise setting and mainly left it there. At least conceptually, the knob sounds like a great idea to me. I'm curious as to whether I could put it in one of the button slots just below the AC controls.

I've been doing some research on the KnuKoncepts products this morning. There is alot of positive information out there about them. Thanks for pointing me to it.
Those switches are part of a single assembly, it's virtually impossible to add additional switches into the blanks. If you do use the RUX-Knob then the best area I found, both in terms of easy cable run and keeping it unobtrusive, was under the parking brake. There are a few spots on the centre console it would work, but with the JVC HU it's a single button on the left to enter the EQ and then change settings. I appreciate the advice on the Pioneer though given my intention to go that way, I'll keep the knob in place for now.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:40 PM   #10
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I should clarify, the Pioneer unit I was speaking of was an older single DIN model. On the AppRadio3, it seemed like it was a matter of going to the home screen from whatever source you are in, swiping to the second page, tapping the Settings app, selecting the tab on the left that controlled the filters and sub, then you can change the sub setting on that page. I could be remembering it wrong, as I've only tinkered with it at Best Buy twice now. It still seemed like the remote knob would be more simple.

If the knob can't go someplace to make it look factory, it's going to have to go someplace that is semi hidden, and easy to get to while driving. I'll have to explore this a bit once I get to my install.

Today I've been reading about single DIN units. I realized the primary reason I'm interested in the AR3 is about GPS. A function I only use about once a month. Both the Pioneer DEH-X9500BHS and Alpine CDE-HD148BT look appealing.

Thanks again for the feedback. I've learned a lot today.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:35 PM   #11
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After much reflection and research this weekend, I ordered some additional parts.

I decided that the primary reason I wanted the AppRadio was to run my phone apps on the screen. My daily commute is 2 miles each way, so this would only be used on weekends/trips (and I have a Garmin I use on long trips). This is the only feature that can't be performed by other head units.

In addition, the AR3 would cause me to lose the ability to use flash drives. I had considered buying an iPod to leave in the console with all my MP3's on it instead. This is another expense. In the end, I don't feel that $600+ for head unit, Android kit, ipod cable + extra price of whatever iPod I choose was worth it to just see the output on the screen. Maybe in the future they won't be priced as such a premium.

I ordered the following last night:
Alpine CDE-HD147BT - CD/MP3/BT/Pandora/USB/AuxIn - NO HD Radio (Only 1 station I like in this town), and NO SiriusXM (don't care for the compressed quality)
Polk DXI6501 6.5 components - all black tweeter face
PAC RP4-CH11

I'll probably get the Daystar GPS mount, and get a phone cradle for my Samsung S3. I'll post an update once the next steps have been taken towards installation.

In the meantime, I feel like my db651s' are starting to break in. Seems like they have a bit more bass this morning on the drive in than they did over the weekend. Looking forward to the next set of changes.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:13 PM   #12
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Small update...

I realized I didn't install the foam baffles in the sound bar. So I went out after work, cut them to fit, and installed them with the db651s'. Soundbar bass has returned. It's a tighter bass, and not quite as deep as the stockers. I think that's perfect since I will add a sub eventually. Simple fix.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:46 PM   #13
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Everything came in today.

The PAC adapter actually has 2 harnesses in the package. RP4-CH11-A and RP4-CH11-B. With a simple glance, they appear the same. The manual states: "Only one of the two provided radio harnesses will be used. Remove the factory installed radio to determine the correct harness for your particular vehicle."

There is no other indication as to which one will be used without taking the head unit out. I kinda wanted to do all the soldering tonight before I pulled the dash apart.

Woansleftpeg, my googlefu turned up a thread in which you stated you used this harness too. Which factory head unit did you have, and which RP4 harness mated up with it?

Here is a pic of them both. "RP4-CH11-A" is on the left and appears to have 2 power and 2 grounds. "B" is on the right with 1 power and 1 ground. *EDIT* I'm guesssing the dual power/ground is for the premium system with amp?

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Old 08-30-2013, 08:42 PM   #14
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Off the top of my head, I think it's B that you need. If you check back through my post history you'll find the answer, I looked it up for someone else not long back. I'd do it but my missus is waiting for me to put a movie on.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:43 PM   #15
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No problem. Thanks for the response. I'll look through the post history and see what I can find. I'm going to pull it tonight around dusk to check it to be 100% certain. I'll just place everything where it goes without fully snapping it all into place. I'll wire up the harness tonight so I can install tomorrow morning.

This morning I installed the DXI6501's. It was both easier and harder than I thought. The dash trim etc... was easy. Figuring out where to mount, how to secure, etc... that was not. Ultimately, I found a spot to zip tie the crossover. I used some baffles and cut them down to a ring for the woofer installation. I then used the cut out "bowl" to make a cushion to zip the crossover with. I figure this will reduce any plastic/metal vibration noises from the mounting surface.

The driver's side wiring was rather short. I may consider patching in another foot of wire on it if it gives me any trouble.

The flush mount bezel for the tweeter is larger than the entire tombstone housing, so I won't be able to use that. The surface mount cup looks fine, but I need to tweak it a bit to make it mount. Since I live in an apartment, I drive down the street to a church parking lot with lots of shade to do stuff like this. I don't want to advertise to my neighbors what I'm doing. Therefore, I only had the tools on me that I thought I needed.

Right now, the sound is rather nice even though it's incomplete. Using a flat eq on the stock head unit with: dxi6501 woofers, and db651s in soundbar... there is a significant amount of bass from the CD and FM sources. These components definitely do dip down low for a 6 1/2. I'm very pleased so far.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:45 PM   #16
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VertigoTX - interesting you say "compressed sound" when you are describing Sirius but then you list Polk entry level speakers on your want list.

I would suggest if you want to open up the sound, look to a higher end speaker such as Hertz, Focal, JL even Alpine components. Even in their entry level. If your local store has a sound demo board, take a listen to the brands I mention above. They will be night and day in clarity compared to the Polks you list. Of course it all comes down to personal preference and you have to listen to appreciate.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:47 PM   #17
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On a side note, I have often read that our speakers are 2 ohm. While this may be true for the premium systems, it was not true for my base system. I have the 130 RES unit with no sub.

I used the multimeter to test the impedence of all 4 of the stock woofers I've pulled out. They are all 4 ohm drivers. Test results vary from 3.6 - 4.3 with 3.8 being the most repeatable result.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:06 PM   #18
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Eww.. I hate Satellite radio.. Horribly hollow, tinny sound!!
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:43 PM   #19
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Eww.. I hate Satellite radio.. Horribly hollow, tinny sound!!
I agree BTW. Great for talk radio when football season rolls around.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:50 PM   #20
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VertigoTX - interesting you say "compressed sound" when you are describing Sirius but then you list Polk entry level speakers on your want list.

I would suggest if you want to open up the sound, look to a higher end speaker such as Hertz, Focal, JL even Alpine components. Even in their entry level. If your local store has a sound demo board, take a listen to the brands I mention above. They will be night and day in clarity compared to the Polks you list. Of course it all comes down to personal preference and you have to listen to appreciate.
Mattk11 - Thanks for your input. Compressed probably wasn't the best choice of words, but it is really poor quality and I will not be renewing it. You are correct about one thing, it has everything to do with preference and perception. I can hear that my stock system is lacking, but I don't feel I have the ear for high end equipment. I certainly don't have the wallet for it either. Some speakers sound better to others due to what we like to hear, and sometimes that's not the "better" speaker. Who's to say what is best when the subject is rooted in perception?

I recently posted in another of my threads that I went to several reputable car audio shops in town. Specifically, I wanted to hear the Alpine Type R's and the JL C2/3's. None of them could be bothered to assist me (not to say they were rude, but they were understaffed and no one was working the sales floor). Only one of them carried Focal, and luckily the sound board was driving them, because I couldn't figure out how to change speakers. They did sound good, and they better because they were like $500 for the set. The shop that carried Alpine, didn't have any Type R's hooked up, and again there was no one working the floor to assist customers. This shop also had the JL entry models (TR), but I couldn't get the sound board to play anything through them. After waiting around for almost an hour, I left.

The only place I really got to learn anything was Best Buy. As much as I wanted to like the Alpine Type S, I didn't. What sounded best to me was the Polk DXI series. If I ever get a chance to hear any of those speakers, I'd consider upgrading again. Without hearing them, it's a crap shoot that I'm not willing to gamble. Next time I visit family back in Dallas, I'll go to some of the better shops to some listening. That may not be until next year.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:39 PM   #21
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Final update for today...

I got the tweeters installed this evening. A few challenges presented themselves throughout today, and the tweeters were no exception. The flush mount face is larger than the tombstone. It's not usable as a flush mount without some modifications. Lacking much in the way of tools, I moved on to surface mounting.

Driver's side went in fine. Pic below of final mount. Passenger side... I dropped the bracket down into the dash. I was unable to recover it, or figure out how to get enough of the dash off to get my hand in there. Found a 2 inch hinge with center hole in a parts box. Passenger tweeter is now mounted.

I'm really pleased with the upgrade so far. I'm too tired to pull the head unit and check the harness, so that's tomorrow mornings task. Once I verify the harness, I'll be soldering over coffee.

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Old 08-31-2013, 11:35 PM   #22
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Sweet! I was a little jealous of those tweeter tombstones in the JKs at first but mine worked out well anyway.. hope you enjoy the setup!!
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:19 AM   #23
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I just pulled the dash piece and looked at the back of the stereo. Harness appears to be a match for "B".

One thing I noticed that alarmed me... no USB connection. I had read that the USB in the center console was connected as a micro USB.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/wha...ml#post3654975

Reading further, it seems you have to find the Uconnect module and disconnect it from there.

Off to do some soldering...
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:48 PM   #24
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Perhaps I'm too timid with my dash, but I couldn't find the Uconnect module. So I cut a hole in the Metra pocket and stuck the USB through it. I think it will be convenient for flash drives, or guests to plug things in. I would assume that since the Uconnect is still connected to the system, that the USB in the center console can still be used for charging.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this experience. I've never done anything like it, so I was really nervous about it all before I started. I think it sounds really good to me, and I'm glad I decided to give this a shot. It's now capable of quite a bit of volume too. The system easily overpowers wind noise from rolling down the windows. I don't think I will need any further amplification on the speakers. I'll run with this for a bit since it's got a nice bass upgrade to it, and will delve into a sub/amp combo next.

One thing that I'm really impressed with is the Bluetooth audio quality from my Samsung Galaxy S3. All bluetooth audio is much higher quality now. Before, Google Music sounded good(ish) depending on the track, and Pandora was inferior. On this unit, Google sounds great and Pandora sounds pretty good but is still dependent on a good track.


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Old 09-01-2013, 07:29 PM   #25
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The Uconnect module in mine was directly behind the climate controls.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:34 PM   #26
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The Uconnect module in mine was directly behind the climate controls.
Ah, I didn't look there. The cable seemed to run down the left and deep into the dash. I couldn't get my hand back in there. I may investigate it again next time I have it out for RCA cabling.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:35 PM   #27
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I just ordered a JeepedJeep bracket. I'm more nervous about pulling up this seat than anything else with this project.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #28
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entry level speakers on your want list.
I guess we all have our pet peeves. I really dislike when someone doesn't read the information provided to them, them makes statements that are not constructive and provides nothing to the conversation. In effect, they waste everyone's time.

Let me help you out...

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...I went to several reputable car audio shops in town...None of them could be bothered to assist me...only place I really got to learn anything was Best Buy...What sounded best to me was the Polk...If I ever get a chance to hear any of those speakers, I'd consider upgrading again. Without hearing them, it's a crap shoot that I'm not willing to gamble.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:10 PM   #29
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I just ordered a JeepedJeep bracket. I'm more nervous about pulling up this seat than anything else with this project.
A plug and a few nuts, it's easy. You're taking the seat frame off the floor brackets, you're not taking the floor brackets off the tub. The amp bracket is a breeze to fit and to mount your amp to as well.

I'm not going to tell you that putting the seat back on once you've got the amp installed is easy, though. In truth, putting the front nut on the centre console side back on is a massive pain in the ass. My biggest recommendation would be to make sure you have a very small ratchet, and you might still end up having to do it the hard way with a wrench.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:35 PM   #30
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I'm not going to tell you that putting the seat back on once you've got the amp installed is easy, though. In truth, putting the front nut on the centre console side back on is a massive pain in the ass. My biggest recommendation would be to make sure you have a very small ratchet, and you might still end up having to do it the hard way with a wrench.
Thanks, that's useful information. I had a feeling going back on would be more difficult. I'll let you know how it turns out when I finally tackle it. Thank you for all the insight you have provided.

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