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Old 09-25-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
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JK Premium (Alpine) Sound - Summary + Easy Upgrade?

If you go " -here- ", you will find a discussion about wacking the entire sound system and replacing it with a Kenwood unit that went well. He does not say if he had the premium system, nor if he replaced any other components, but success is success.

|----------------------

Summary of "Premium Headend":
Here's what I've learned: standard on the '14 Sahara and Rubicon, and available on the '12 Sport (what I have now) is a "premium" sound system. The internals of that system consist of two Alpine amplifiers: 1)a dual amped unit for the front 4 speakers AND the roll bar and 2)a second amp for the rear subwoofer. Now the components themselves are clusterf**ked. The amps take high level outputs and if you replace the first amp you supposedly lose fader control to the front/rollbar. Also, the tweeter speakers are 2 (two) ohm speakers, as perhaps the front ones, so the thing gets loud with little actual wattage. What this means is if you replace the speakers with higher quality and higher resistance products, the system will not be as loud (and volume always trumps quality - softer sounder worse).
|--------------

Total Replacement Option:

To me the best thing about the "premium" system is the integrated subwoofer in the back. So, it seems to me the first choice with a new JK is to get the premium system, get the subwoofer with it, get the cheapest ("130") head unit you can, and then wack all of it and get a new head unit and new amps. Many report that the only thing you lose here is the "uconnect" button that allows you to use your voice to play a song (i.e., "play Helter Skelter"). If your new headunit has bluetooth voice dialing, you will still retain that.

Has anyone done this?

** Crutchfield reports that if you replace the headend you will lose the remote USB port in the center console. I can get no one to explain why this is so. But since most Pioneer/Kenwood headends have a rear USB port, a good installer can connect that rear USB to your remote one. Any feedback on this (flag it with "USB Info") would be appreciated. **

|----------------

Easier Replacement Improvement:

A second improvement, and the easiest, would be to go with an upgraded factory headend ("430"), then swap out the subwoofer driver in the back, wack the one Alpine subwoofer amp, replace that amp and go forward. Other threads talk about how the rollbar speakers, which at 6 1/2" look promising, actually are rolled off at 150hz by the Alpine dual amp - so even though they are big, they produce no bass. But if you bully up the subwoofer (go from a practical 50 watt which is the Alpine to a practical 300) amp, bully up the driver producing the bass, then the rolled off rollbar speakers aren't that big a problem.

You will get much better bass response - more detail, more volume - and still retain the clean look of the factory install.

My question, then, is this: on the "premium" platform, with an upgraded OEM headend (430 or the 730), has anyone successfully swapped out the sub amp and sub driver and 1)noticed better sound and 2)retained all bass control functionality from the (untouched) OEM headend unit?

Thanks.
Go Jeep.


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Old 09-26-2013, 04:14 AM   #2
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If you go " -here- ", you will find a discussion about wacking the entire sound system and replacing it with a Kenwood unit that went well. He does not say if he had the premium system, nor if he replaced any other components, but success is success. |---------------------- Summary of "Premium Headend": Here's what I've learned: standard on the '14 Sahara and Rubicon, and available on the '12 Sport (what I have now) is a "premium" sound system. The internals of that system consist of two Alpine amplifiers: 1)a dual amped unit for the front 4 speakers AND the roll bar and 2)a second amp for the rear subwoofer. Now the components themselves are clusterf**ked. The amps take high level outputs and if you replace the first amp you supposedly lose fader control to the front/rollbar. Also, the tweeter speakers are 2 (two) ohm speakers, as perhaps the front ones, so the thing gets loud with little actual wattage. What this means is if you replace the speakers with higher quality and higher resistance products, the system will not be as loud (and volume always trumps quality - softer sounder worse). |-------------- Total Replacement Option: To me the best thing about the "premium" system is the integrated subwoofer in the back. So, it seems to me the first choice with a new JK is to get the premium system, get the subwoofer with it, get the cheapest ("130") head unit you can, and then wack all of it and get a new head unit and new amps. Many report that the only thing you lose here is the "uconnect" button that allows you to use your voice to play a song (i.e., "play Helter Skelter"). If your new headunit has bluetooth voice dialing, you will still retain that. Has anyone done this? ** Crutchfield reports that if you replace the headend you will lose the remote USB port in the center console. I can get no one to explain why this is so. But since most Pioneer/Kenwood headends have a rear USB port, a good installer can connect that rear USB to your remote one. Any feedback on this (flag it with "USB Info") would be appreciated. ** |---------------- Easier Replacement Improvement: A second improvement, and the easiest, would be to go with an upgraded factory headend ("430"), then swap out the subwoofer driver in the back, wack the one Alpine subwoofer amp, replace that amp and go forward. Other threads talk about how the rollbar speakers, which at 6 1/2" look promising, actually are rolled off at 150hz by the Alpine dual amp - so even though they are big, they produce no bass. But if you bully up the subwoofer (go from a practical 50 watt which is the Alpine to a practical 300) amp, bully up the driver producing the bass, then the rolled off rollbar speakers aren't that big a problem. You will get much better bass response - more detail, more volume - and still retain the clean look of the factory install. My question, then, is this: on the "premium" platform, with an upgraded OEM headend (430 or the 730), has anyone successfully swapped out the sub amp and sub driver and 1)noticed better sound and 2)retained all bass control functionality from the (untouched) OEM headend unit? Thanks. Go Jeep.
Do not get lured in by the "upgraded" 430/730. It's still a poor sounding, weak technology POS. It's cannot be "added to" or "upgraded" because it still has very bad, muddy EQ that is only louder when you use aftermarket amps and speakers.

Factory speakers are poor quality and likely not made by Alpine unless it is their Haiti manufacturing division. Sub is equal to a set of Walmart desktop PC speakers.

If you spend a little time reinforcing and modding the sound bar, you can get punchy mid-bass from 6 3/4" speakers in that location with no rattle.

Order the cheapest option and replace it all with aftermarket. You can reconnect your center console USB and most every aftermarket HU has voice recognition features and SQ that blows away OEM. My "Uconnect" button activates attenuation on my Pioneer HU, every other button maps up perfectly and I can use Siri with my iPhone 5.

My entire aftermarket install is stealth with the exception of the HU, but that has a removable face plate for when I park with the doors off. The head unit looks no different that a 430/730. Subs are under the front seats. Amps are tucked under the dash.

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Old 09-27-2013, 06:38 PM   #3
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@'Mattk11'

Thank you for the direct, emphatic feedback. I enjoyed reading your response, especially the "Walmart" subwoofer bit and the total murder of the 430/730 pair. I am now looking at wacking all of it.

Can you tell me more about your install? Did you replace the front speakers (mids and tweets) as well? What did you use to keep the Jeep tweeter housing in tact? Also, my install guy wants to put the amps back in the hidden compartment. He says the amps give off too much heat to stuff in the dash. Can you address this, as well as list the amps you used in your new setup? And, may I assume, that you did NOT have the OEM 8" subwoofer enclosure in the back right of your Jeep?

Thanks for your response, looking forward to your answers.

.R.

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Old 09-27-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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Do not get lured in by the "upgraded" 430/730. It's still a poor sounding, weak technology POS ...
( see previous post ).
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:23 AM   #5
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Haha, I was feeling a bit snarky when I replied to the 430/730 questions. Sorry if I offended anyone with truth. Ha

I replaced everything.

Pioneer 8500 DVD player-never played a video on it but wanted factory look and removable face.
Focal components up front - not hard to do, just time consuming. There are many write-ups about it. The tweeters fit in the factory pods with a little dremel trimming.
Focal coax in sound bar - I re-built my sound bar with fiberglass and expanding foam to make it a pretty good speaker enclosure.
I have all three amps in the dash, no circulation or cooling issues for almost 9 months now - Rockford Fosgate PBR line of small but powerful amps. Beware, I have gotten caught in a couple rain storms with the top off and that back compartment get completely flooded - like filled to the brim with water.
Subs under the front seats - fiberglass so they are water resistant. Took out the factory sub enclosure and sold it. Put in a JK sport black panel so I have more storage room.

In fact I sold everything that was stock. Funded about $500 toward my aftermarket set-up.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:20 AM   #6
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Haha, I was feeling a bit snarky when I replied to the 430/730 questions. Sorry if I offended anyone with truth. Ha

I replaced everything.

Pioneer 8500 DVD player-never played a video on it but wanted factory look and removable face.
Focal components up front - not hard to do, just time consuming. There are many write-ups about it. The tweeters fit in the factory pods with a little dremel trimming.
Focal coax in sound bar - I re-built my sound bar with fiberglass and expanding foam to make it a pretty good speaker enclosure.
I have all three amps in the dash, no circulation or cooling issues for almost 9 months now - Rockford Fosgate PBR line of small but powerful amps. Beware, I have gotten caught in a couple rain storms with the top off and that back compartment get completely flooded - like filled to the brim with water.
Subs under the front seats - fiberglass so they are water resistant. Took out the factory sub enclosure and sold it. Put in a JK sport black panel so I have more storage room.

In fact I sold everything that was stock. Funded about $500 toward my aftermarket set-up.
Is there an aftermarket sub that will fit in the factory enclosure? I also noticed that the sub in my 2014 has two plugs. Will the replacement sub have the same? I'm just looking for an inexpensive drop in. Don't want to get into amps yet. Thanks
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:25 AM   #7
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Is there an aftermarket sub that will fit in the factory enclosure? I also noticed that the sub in my 2014 has two plugs. Will the replacement sub have the same? I'm just looking for an inexpensive drop in. Don't want to get into amps yet. Thanks
. Nothing that will sound any better powered by about 30 - 50 watts that the OEM amp puts out.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:23 PM   #8
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Is there an aftermarket sub that will fit in the factory enclosure? I also noticed that the sub in my 2014 has two plugs. Will the replacement sub have the same? I'm just looking for an inexpensive drop in. Don't want to get into amps yet. Thanks
1)If you mean by "two plugs", you mean two wires connecting to the subwoofer - yes, that is common and no problem. When disassembling, always make sure to note which wire is connected to the positive pole of the existing subwoofer.

2)I'm looking at the Pioneer 8" "shallow mount" series subwoofer (
Pioneer TS-SW841D). Very deep, tight bass in a flat basket. Always better to have tons of power behind a sub, but you will hear a difference with this because of both the depth (down to 30hz) and that it is (also) a 4-ohm driver. Has a functional air flow magnet structure also for hi-wattage applications. Can't miss replacement.

Thanks for writing.

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Old 10-10-2013, 12:26 AM   #9
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1)but you will hear a difference with this because of both the depth (down to 30hz) and that it is (also) a 4-ohm driver. Has a functional air flow magnet structure also for hi-wattage applications. Can't miss replacement. Thanks for writing.
Yes you will hear a difference especially if you chose a 4 ohm sub. But in a bad way.

The factory amp is dual 2 ohm meaning that you need to chose a dual 2 ohm. (Wired to 1 ohm). If you choose a dual 4 ohm you are effectively cutting the power from the amp in half. If it is a single 4 ohm and you plan to wire both leads to it, you have decreased the power 75%.

That Pioneer shallow mount is a poor choice to drop in the factory location for the reasons I listed above. There are countless threads about some kicker dual 2 ohm sub that some people have used with mixed results.

There is also no physical way you will get 30 hz from an undersized flexible sealed plastic enclosure with an 8" shallow sub unless it is made by magical stereo elves.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:37 AM   #10
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so if say someone was interested in upgrading, but not looking for attention grabbing window shaking bass, just want to be able to hear the sound a little better, and a little crisper, ESPECIALLY WITH THE TOP OFF, im not looking to replace the HU, so that is the first major draw back, and like others have said before im seriously leaning to keeping teh stock look for when the soft top is on and such. If i replace the Fronts with Components, and the Roll bar with coax., and insert a new 4x100 amp to power them after the HU, and maybe potentially later down the road drop in a new 8" with a small 500 mono to power that in the back, would this acheive what im looking for or would it be over kill.

im really not looking to go over the top, but i took the top off the other day for the first time and down the highway i had it all the way up to 33 - 36 and i was getting distortion, and still couldn't really hear it well. Looking to change out to something that can handle more power, such that 1/2 volume will get me what i want, to avoid the HU distortion that you seem to really get past 1/2 - 3/4 volume.

Also i see every1 touting away at Rainbow, focal, and JL. Ive been away from auto audio for a while since my last car had decent enough to be left alone stereo. Looking for opinions on Alpine type R's all around.
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:34 PM   #11
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so if say someone was interested in upgrading, but not looking for attention grabbing window shaking bass, just want to be able to hear the sound a little better, and a little crisper, ESPECIALLY WITH THE TOP OFF, im not looking to replace the HU, so that is the first major draw back, and like others have said before im seriously leaning to keeping teh stock look for when the soft top is on and such. If i replace the Fronts with Components, and the Roll bar with coax., and insert a new 4x100 amp to power them after the HU, and maybe potentially later down the road drop in a new 8" with a small 500 mono to power that in the back, would this acheive what im looking for or would it be over kill. im really not looking to go over the top, but i took the top off the other day for the first time and down the highway i had it all the way up to 33 - 36 and i was getting distortion, and still couldn't really hear it well. Looking to change out to something that can handle more power, such that 1/2 volume will get me what i want, to avoid the HU distortion that you seem to really get past 1/2 - 3/4 volume. Also i see every1 touting away at Rainbow, focal, and JL. Ive been away from auto audio for a while since my last car had decent enough to be left alone stereo. Looking for opinions on Alpine type R's all around.
I think you have it pretty well figured out. But remember that if you keep the factory HU, you will need a summing device like a bit 10, clean sweep or similar or you will just be amplifying very poor sound and very limited frequency ranges.

Speakers are personal preference and you should chose them by listening to them. To me Alpine Type Rs weren't in the top 3 speakers I listened to but that is personal preference.

100wpc would be perfect. 500w for an 8" sub might be more than you need. There aren't many 8" subs out there that handle that much power.

Whether you system is loud at 30-36 will depend on the gain setting on you amp and if they are properly set up. At maximum volume on the HU should be maximum gain on your amp WITHOUT distortion.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:10 PM   #12
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I was thinking about amp a heard about form the dealer that is a upgrade 77KCK056 made by Kicker it replaces the factory amp. Is it worth doing this with new speakers? And what about the sub amp where is that located and is there a replacement for that?
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:30 PM   #13
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I was thinking about amp a heard about form the dealer that is a upgrade 77KCK056 made by Kicker it replaces the factory amp. Is it worth doing this with new speakers? And what about the sub amp where is that located and is there a replacement for that?
. You'd see some improvement over stock. But For that kind of money, you could get a real amp or amps. Keep reading these forums. A lot of people are using the five channel Alpine PDX line. Some are using the Rockford Fosgate PBR line. They won't be plug and play, but double or triple the amount of power or more

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