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Old 08-27-2010, 12:30 AM   #1
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New Owner/Need Guidance/Upgrade Audio

Hi All!

Sorry to be a total noob for my first post, but I am hoping for some guidance and advice. I just purchased my first Jeep yesterday, yay! I got a 2008 Wrangler X 2DR and have started making a list of things I want to do to it already. First, and most important, I need to upgrade the sound. The stock is just not acceptable to my high maintenance ears, lol.

With that being said, I was wondering if there was a good thread or something on this topic that might not be a sticky. I stopped at Best Buy for a starting point and they tried to sell me an Alpine head unit, 4 Alpine 6.5" speakers, an Alpine amp for just the speakers, a Kicker Sub with box, a separate amp for the sub (Alpine) and all of the Geek Squad installation. To include satellite radio, out the door we are talking just over $1500.00.

I told the installer, as I will let you know, I am not looking to rattle houses as I drive by. I want to hear the music and not muffle it with bass. However, I want enough bass to feel it and to not be embarrassed when sitting at a light. Also, I am not wanting to spend a ton of money, definitely not $1500 at this time.

I was hoping that someone would know of a good combo of head unit, speakers, amp and sub that would work well for what I am trying to accomplish. Short of that, just some general guidance would be appreciated. I have considered buying the stuff from ebay or craigslist and trying to do some of the work myself as well. I just am very picky and it must look professional, so some of the stuff I don't think I could do myself.

I normally stalk the threads for weeks before posting, but I have been so swamped with FT work, FT school, packing for a move, etc.. that I don't have the free time to browse the threads as much.

Thanks for any help you can offer. Sorry for the long post!

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:41 AM   #2
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I wa looking for the same sound quality it seems you are. High quality without "boom-boom-parts-fall-off".
I also wanted to keep it on a tight budget. I added an amp and two sub speakers to the stock system, and imho I got tremendous "bang" for my buck. Additionally, I was not willing to give up any space for a giant sub box in the trunk, (even though I'm in an unlimited and have a bit more space than your 2dr.)
There are a number of bits and pieces to this whole project, but it wasn't complicated, or really all that difficult. Here's what I did-
I purchased 2, 8" Sub speakers. ( I think I got rockford fosgate because crutchfield was having a 2-for-1 deal). I also purchased a crossover thingee from them, but i can't remember what it was called. this bit was key, and was only $20. It allowed me to tap an amplifier into a system which did not have preamp outs. this meant that I could use it with my stock head unit. (I am currently looking at other head units for ipod control etc, but the situation is not so immediate anymore-it sounds great.). I already had an amp from a previous vehicle.

I removed one of the speakers in the sound bar, and wired the crossover thingee in line-basically tapping into the speaker's wires. I ran out of the thingee back to the input on my amp. I tucked the thingee out of sight inside my sound bar, and the amp I wedged behind the glove box. I build two small enclosures for the subs, each sub having its own enclosure. this is very easy- a little MDF from the hardware store a saw and some screws/glue and you're done. I hid each enclosure/sub under one of the front seats, and wired them back to the amp. done and done. It sounds fantastic-the key is that the missing mid/low end clarity is now being processed on its own. This is what the stock system lacks.

If I ever do decide to get a new head unit, the thingee becomes a true crossover, and I can use it to feed the amp in a different way- it has two modes of operation depending on how you wire it.

I can take pics it it helps, but this set up should at least get you going.

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Old 08-27-2010, 12:00 PM   #3
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Thank you! This is the kind of information I am looking for. So you didn't replace any of the 6 stock speakers? The package he was selling me would have replaced the 4 main speakers with Alpine units. He said they would mount the amp under one of the seats and the sub would be bolted down in back by the gate. He was only selling me one small kicker sub in a box. It was only $150 which seemed like a good price for the sub.

I guess I don't understand why I would need 2 amps, or if that is really necessary. The first amp is for just the 4 speakers and goes in the dash behind the radio. The second amp is for soley the small kicker sub.

I am getting killed on not only the components but of course the labor and adaptors. I am going to post the list from the quote below so maybe it will help you or others point out red flags maybe or where I can cut back. I am not familiar with aftermarket installations at all as this is my first. I know I can find some of this stuff cheaper online though:

Alpine Head Unit CDE-102 $149.99
Alpine 6.5" Components $133.99
Alpine (I believe this is the other set of speakers?) $109.99
Alpine Amp (For just the 4 speakers) $119.99
Sirius Tuner $69.99
Sirius Alpine Adapter $69.99
Kicker Amp $299.99
Kicker 10" Sub $149.99

Amp Kit $79.99
Kit (Not sure what for) $21.99
Harness $99.99
Antenna Adapter $14.99
Speaker Harness (2) $12.99 ea

Head Unit Install $49.99
Component Speaker Install $99.99
Rear Speaker Install $39.99
Amp Install $69.99
Custom Mount $59.97

Total Parts Labor Equipment $1666.79 (Guess he did the math wrong because I just added it up to this total)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TDCoffee View Post
I wa looking for the same sound quality it seems you are. High quality without "boom-boom-parts-fall-off".
I also wanted to keep it on a tight budget. I added an amp and two sub speakers to the stock system, and imho I got tremendous "bang" for my buck. Additionally, I was not willing to give up any space for a giant sub box in the trunk, (even though I'm in an unlimited and have a bit more space than your 2dr.)
There are a number of bits and pieces to this whole project, but it wasn't complicated, or really all that difficult. Here's what I did-
I purchased 2, 8" Sub speakers. ( I think I got rockford fosgate because crutchfield was having a 2-for-1 deal). I also purchased a crossover thingee from them, but i can't remember what it was called. this bit was key, and was only $20. It allowed me to tap an amplifier into a system which did not have preamp outs. this meant that I could use it with my stock head unit. (I am currently looking at other head units for ipod control etc, but the situation is not so immediate anymore-it sounds great.). I already had an amp from a previous vehicle.

I removed one of the speakers in the sound bar, and wired the crossover thingee in line-basically tapping into the speaker's wires. I ran out of the thingee back to the input on my amp. I tucked the thingee out of sight inside my sound bar, and the amp I wedged behind the glove box. I build two small enclosures for the subs, each sub having its own enclosure. this is very easy- a little MDF from the hardware store a saw and some screws/glue and you're done. I hid each enclosure/sub under one of the front seats, and wired them back to the amp. done and done. It sounds fantastic-the key is that the missing mid/low end clarity is now being processed on its own. This is what the stock system lacks.

If I ever do decide to get a new head unit, the thingee becomes a true crossover, and I can use it to feed the amp in a different way- it has two modes of operation depending on how you wire it.

I can take pics it it helps, but this set up should at least get you going.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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some of those are not up to par on the price to quality ratio. next time just find what you are looking at getting and see if there are any changes that some of us would recommend, a lot of places like best buy need to get rid of some equipment or they end up loosing money so they will try to sell those item first. after x amount of time companies will come out with a new line of products and stores need to sell the old quick or they go on the EOL list, EOL is "end of life" and they need to sell them at a little bit of a higher price than what they paid to either break even or make just a few bucks.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:01 PM   #5
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Thank you for the suggestion, however I have not actually purchased anything so I am still needing that advice and the changes you would recommend. I just went to Best Buy to get a starting point and this is the list they provided me with.

I am not sure of what I am looking for as I have not done an aftermarket install before. I need to know what things are "must replace" items or "must add" and what are "optional", etc. I was looking to spend about half that amount or less for this, at least at first, so I basically need to know how far can I make $600-$800 stretch to have a sound system that I won't be embarrassed to play at a light and that I can actually enjoy...

If anyone has a list of equipment that you are satisfied with, please let me know so I have some ideas. Also, please help me identify areas to cut back in or expand in. I was looking at Crutchfield and it looks like I might be able to replace the head unit and 4 speakers myself to save on labor. I lake confidence but may be willing to try. I appreciate everyone's help and input, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jma20a View Post
some of those are not up to par on the price to quality ratio. next time just find what you are looking at getting and see if there are any changes that some of us would recommend, a lot of places like best buy need to get rid of some equipment or they end up loosing money so they will try to sell those item first. after x amount of time companies will come out with a new line of products and stores need to sell the old quick or they go on the EOL list, EOL is "end of life" and they need to sell them at a little bit of a higher price than what they paid to either break even or make just a few bucks.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:57 PM   #6
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with a nice powerfull headunit you can get away from adding an amp for the speakers, i suggest a component set of speakers, best bang for your buck is a set of infinity kappa or kappa perfect components off ebay. if you want to add a sirius radio i went with the plug and play unit so that you can get a home dock for it as well as a boombox. you can get a better sub for a few more bucks that will do more than 2 of those kickers, the lethal injection from incriminator audio runs for under $200 and puts out clear bass even at low volume, and when you want to have it pound hard its there.

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