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Old 04-07-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
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Need some thoughts on a replacement amp

So I took the factory Alpine amp out of my JKU Sahara today and replaced the speakers, I've run new wiring directly to the head unit and it sounds OK but I want a bit more oomph, especially at the low end.

I'm currently torn between a five channel amp driving all four speaker sets and a new subwoofer, and just getting a mono or two channel amp to drive the sub. I think I'd probably prefer a five channel unit, but whatever I put in I want to put back in the same location and the factory unit is TINY. Has anyone put a new amp in there, and specifically can you recommend a five channel unit with a small enough footprint to fit?

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by woansleftpeg View Post
So I took the factory Alpine amp out of my JKU Sahara today and replaced the speakers, I've run new wiring directly to the head unit and it sounds OK but I want a bit more oomph, especially at the low end.

I'm currently torn between a five channel amp driving all four speaker sets and a new subwoofer, and just getting a mono or two channel amp to drive the sub. I think I'd probably prefer a five channel unit, but whatever I put in I want to put back in the same location and the factory unit is TINY. Has anyone put a new amp in there, and specifically can you recommend a five channel unit with a small enough footprint to fit?
Pioneer has some new Class D amps that are pretty small. I think it's a 4 channel though. I just put two Alpine aftermarket amps in mine, an MRX-F65 (4ch) and an MRX-M55 (mono). They fit under the front seats easily and they are also class D. They rock pretty hard so far.

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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I was trying to avoid putting amps under the seats, I'm bored with cabling now. I'm wonder if I can use the backing plate from the factory amp to support a larger unit - the factory unit is only about 8x6. I don't think I can increase the vertical dimensions, but I might be able to support a bigger model horizontally. Otherwise, I think it's just going to have to be a mono/2 channel unit to run the sub, and then adding a four channel at a later date when I can be bothered to spend a day fishing cable under trim panels and carpets.

I was hoping that someone might have been through this pain already!
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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I was trying to avoid putting amps under the seats, I'm bored with cabling now. I'm wonder if I can use the backing plate from the factory amp to support a larger unit - the factory unit is only about 8x6. I don't think I can increase the vertical dimensions, but I might be able to support a bigger model horizontally. Otherwise, I think it's just going to have to be a mono/2 channel unit to run the sub, and then adding a four channel at a later date when I can be bothered to spend a day fishing cable under trim panels and carpets.

I was hoping that someone might have been through this pain already!
No matter what, you'll need to run a new power wire to that amp. The wiring for the factory amplifier is very tiny - 12 gauge at best. I was able to easily hide a 4 gauge power wire for the under seat amps under the door trim, and there is a grounding post under the seat where the heated seats ground out.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:06 PM   #5
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That's useful to know, thanks. Where did you bring the power wire through the bulkhead? After playing with the head unit settings a bit today I'm pretty sure I'm just going to run a mono/bridged 2ch amp for the sub, so I'm actually toying with the idea of mounting it in or next to the sub enclosure; the only problem with that is that I can't run power and RCA all the way to the rear next to each other, but I figure I'll be fine if I put them under the carpet either side of the driveshaft tunnel. Much easier than trying to fish through kick panel trim (unless there's an easy way of removing the trims, I didn't find one?).

Any thoughts? Does it make a difference whether the amp is in the rear or the front?
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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That's useful to know, thanks. Where did you bring the power wire through the bulkhead?
There was an unused hole above and to the left of the brake pedal. I'm guessing it's used for the clutch linkage. If you have a manual, you'll probably need to drill or find another. That hole came out just below the master cylinder and I had to run the power cable behind the engine. I removed the engine cover (easy, just snaps on) and zip tied the power cable to an existing run of wires.

Quote:
After playing with the head unit settings a bit today I'm pretty sure I'm just going to run a mono/bridged 2ch amp for the sub, so I'm actually toying with the idea of mounting it in or next to the sub enclosure; the only problem with that is that I can't run power and RCA all the way to the rear next to each other, but I figure I'll be fine if I put them under the carpet either side of the driveshaft tunnel. Much easier than trying to fish through kick panel trim (unless there's an easy way of removing the trims, I didn't find one?).

Any thoughts? Does it make a difference whether the amp is in the rear or the front?
It should make no difference where the amps are - however shorter runs of power cable preferred, but not necessary. I was able to push the carpet down and tuck most wires underneath the plastic. On the lower door trim there are just those plastic fasteners that you can pop out with a forked tool or a stiff putty knife. They sell replacements most places for like 50 cents each or less.

The RCA wires I ran tucked under the the passenger side of the center console very easily. From there to the rear you might have to lift up some carpet, but it's not glued down or anything.

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