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Old 03-24-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
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Amp advice for a newbie

Apologies if this has been covered before, I've done some searching on the forum but couldn't find a thread that really covered what I was looking for (probably because it's a really stupid, basic question, but this is all new to me).

So, I picked up my new 2013 JKU Sahara three weeks ago. I knew I was going to replace the HU so I got the 130, but it does have the Premium package with the amp and the Alpine sub. This weekend I replaced the HU with a JVC KW-AV60 (chosen because it is a double DIN with removable faceplate, which I felt was a good idea with a soft top) and the PAC RP4-CH11 harness. The whole replacement process was easy and fun and it looks great, but here's my problem.

The PAC documentation said to connect the rear speaker outputs from the HU to the front speaker inputs on the harness and leave the others unconnected due to the fact that the factory amp only supports two channels. As a result, fading would not be possible. I did as they said, and they were right - while sound comes out, fading is not possible. I'm also presuming, although I haven't checked, that the sub is producing little or no output.

This isn't acceptable to me, so I'm assuming that I have to replace the amp with something capable of accepting and processing the output from the HU to give me control of all the speakers. However, I know nothing about ICE. Do I need a four channel amp, or five? Are there some that will work better with the stock speakers, or should I be canning all of them as well? Do I have space constraints for a new amp going into the location of the current amp? Is this something that someone with no knowledge of ICE or car electrics, but is reasonably handy, should even be attempting?

Any advice gratefully appreciated.

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Old 03-25-2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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IMO put a 5-channel amp in and completely ignore the factory amp. Use your PAC harness to get power from the factory harness and run RCA outs from your HU into your new amp and then run new wiring to speakers. And yes replace all speakers. Stock speakers are poor quality and have paper cones and microscopic magnets. In short they suck. The factory sub is slightly better than the crappy speakers, but really not by much. Replace that ASAP.

The factory amp is used in conjunction with the factory HU. Once you repalce the HU, the amp is useless for any fade control as you have discovered.

Do a search for my builds. I replaced everything from the new HU on back, new speakers, new amp, new sub, etc. You can make it sound great. But you have to replace everything and ignore the factory amp. I did the same thing and purchased my Jeep with the base 130 + Connectivity. I wanted steering wheel controls and the PAC SWI retains those buttons. Only thing I lost was connection of the center console USB for music. But with 2 USB directly from the HU, really it is no loss. The USB will still charge.

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:27 PM   #3
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Awesome, thanks. I'd like to tell you that I'm disappointed that I have to spend more money on upgrading the whole thing, and that is what I'll actually tell my wife, but in truth I think that's what I wanted all along.

Am I also going to have to replace the wiring, or can I just replace the amp and speakers and use the existing wiring for the new units? I don't need a huge amount of power, I just want to be able to get good quality music with the roof on and sufficient volume to hear it with the roof off at 70.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:37 AM   #4
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All of the factory speakers use a plug system to connect. I left all of them in tact (zip tied out of the way) and ran new wires to each speaker. That way if you ever sell you can revert back to factory plugs and put back the speakers.

Also the gauge of factory wiring is not ideal for powered signal. I ran a heavier gauge than factory.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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Yeah, sorry you are reading these details late but total mistake getting the premier sound system if you were planning on upgrading the radio from the start.
The stock amp runs on the canbus system, and it controls the fade and volume. If you plan on replacing one part, you're pretty much replacing it all (cept the speakers, but those are the cheap pieces). The speakers are matched to the amp, and really are not premium at all. You would honestly benefit by doing a full replacement, speakers, amp, HU, wires.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:08 PM   #6
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Good stuff, thanks all. Appreciate the help.

Lynskey, how difficult was it to run new cables? Do I have to remove a lot of panels?

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