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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-11-2013 09:41 PM
viperx6x9x I never had a kenwood radio, but have some ancient kenwood 10"'s and amp in my silverado. The things sound awesome and hold up well. I only wish I didn't have to sell them with the truck just so I could sell the thing. I would put them in my TJ in a heartbeat if I could.

As for HD radio, if i read correctly, if a station broadcasts in HD the main difference is data like song/album/artist is also broadcast. An HD capable radio will display this, a non HD radio will just play the song and display the numbers of the station. I guess the audio signal quality may also be better but my ears can't tell the difference.
02-11-2013 08:56 PM
Luck881 This weekend I installed a Kenwood KIV-700 i picked up from a guy at work for $100. I got the wiring adapter and a installer toolkit from walmart for about $40. the deck is perfect for an iphone or ipod touch, it displays and functions just like the ipod screen. it also does Zune (who cares ) USB, Sirius, HD Radio (whatever that is), and has a regular aux input that I want to connect to my Cobra 75wxst through a headphone splitter. As for mounting, I was able to reuse the bezel and bracket from my old Sony deck. For 140 all-in it was a pretty good upgrade.
02-11-2013 07:35 PM
Dare I am looking at doing the same thing, my main issue is the Bluetooth, any issues with hooking to an iphone 4 or 5? I drive quite a bit and the speakerphone in a jeep is a little too quite
02-11-2013 07:22 PM
Dlwmorgan You should just use a tablet...the nexus 7 can fit in a tj dash bezel with small modification and cost about $200
02-11-2013 06:45 PM
_plaisance jvc bluetooth around 70-80 dollars great head unit i think model is kdx-50 or something close to that
02-11-2013 04:53 PM
JustinCHorst You made a good choice on the headunit, I went with bracket number one...never had to remove the rear support brace because the HU is shallow and it fit fine...if you would, however it is very easy.
02-11-2013 04:28 PM
Roobie Bros. I bought the JVC KD-X50BT for my Silverado and I really like it alot. No real issue with it. The remote is tiny, I think too small. But I never was going to use it anyhow so it doesn't matter much to me. I'm about to buy another one for my 2006 Jeep, glad to hear it fits. I'll load some pictures once I do.
02-02-2013 03:17 PM
paul65k I used the 2nd one for mine. I was able to bend the bracket a little (while in place. I added a screw in the back sticking out......drilled a new hole in the bracket and once through it was very solid and the tension of the bracket will keep it in place during any rough jostling.....if you have small hands you can add a nut (my original plans but with the screw sticking through almost an inch and the tension from the bracket there really was no need for me.

Once you get in there you will figure it out.....pretty straightforward!!
02-02-2013 12:44 PM
viperx6x9x Do you have the links to these 2 receivers?

With either one you may have to remove that support bar because most aftermarket radios are deeper than the factory ones. If you can, there is usually a bolt hole in the back of the new radio to hook up the security bar to but it usually doesn't line up, reuse the bar to make it just a little harder to steal. You will probably have to do some bending of it, or i have seen some people on the forum make brackets.

The 2 choices I saw for my radio for the brackets were a universal and a factory specific. the universal ones usually come with interchangeable pieces to fit it to all kinds of cars, while the vehicle specific one bolted right to the front of the dash using the same holes as the factory retaining screws.

I got the vehicle specific, made it a lot easier for me. Mine is a 2002 if it helps you for comparison, but the 2 bolts holding the radio in are where it bolts up. I think the 03-06 TJ's had a 3 bolt design.
02-02-2013 12:06 PM
OldFatElvis Crutchfield is giving me the option of two different brackets. I'm assuming the second one. Any thoughts? Thanks again.

1) In-dash Receiver KitModify Fit -- You'll have to unbolt or cut out the factory stereo's rear support bracket to make room for your new receiver.

2) Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep In-dash Receiver KitModify Fit -- 98-09 Chry/Dodge/Jeep "I" kit w/ pocket
02-02-2013 12:05 PM
4wheelin
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFatElvis View Post
Thank you everyone! Excellent feedback and suggestions. I think the JVC KD-X50BT will be the one for me. Again, thanks everyone for all the input.
When you do your radio install, take some pics during the process and then post them up on here (in a new thread). You never know when someone else will want what you did.
02-02-2013 11:30 AM
OldFatElvis Thank you everyone! Excellent feedback and suggestions. I think the JVC KD-X50BT will be the one for me. Again, thanks everyone for all the input.
02-01-2013 07:53 PM
viperx6x9x Yeah I am doing pretty much the same, replace it when it breaks. Stock radio wouldn't play cd's and the volume knob didn't work so I replaced the radio. Whatever breaks next determines what happens with the rest of the speakers.
02-01-2013 07:42 PM
paul65k I left all the factory speakers in (including sub and amp) and they sound pretty good to my surprise....much more crisp that with the factory stereo.....I think I'll just leave it alone until something goes out or I see something killer on sale....even then this is not a DD....well kind of but I only drive about 3 days a week and then only a couple of miles......Off road will be great.....especially when I take the HT off.
02-01-2013 06:15 PM
viperx6x9x
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALjeep View Post
So the ones who have upgraded from the factory unit, are you still using the factory console sub? Just curious because I want to upgrade my sound system and was wondering if the sub is still necessary with the better sound upgrade
Depends what you want to do, if you want an aftermarket amp and sub, then you can just pull out the console and disconnect the sub.

Run your signal cables (rca) from radio to amp.
run a power wire from battery to amp.
Ground wire from amp to frame.
and wire the remote out wire from radio to the amp.

As for the other speakers you can leave them hooked up as is, or run them off an amp to if you want more output.

this can be accomplished with a multichannel amp to run all the speakers.

Or 1 for subs, 1 for the others. I like this better, i find it easier to put lows on subs, and highs/mids on the others. Then you don't put extra stress on speakers by pushing frequencies through them they weren't meant for.

Then just disconnect the factory sub so you don't have to listen to it. I would leave the other wiring in place in case you ever sell it so you can keep your expensive audio stuff for the next vehicle.

____________________________
if you want the easier route, just find a decent 6" replacement sub with the right Ohm rating (i can't remember what that is off hand, plenty threads about it on the forum though.) and splice it in where the factory sub was.

You will get a lot better sound out of upgrading everything, but spend far less money and time just replacing the stock sub. I haven't decided what I am going to do yet but I am leaning towards total upgrade.
02-01-2013 04:14 PM
JustinCHorst
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALjeep View Post
So the ones who have upgraded from the factory unit, are you still using the factory console sub? Just curious because I want to upgrade my sound system and was wondering if the sub is still necessary with the better sound upgrade

Im using the fatcory sub and speakers, probably wont change them until something happens to them..sounds fine to me... Ive gone hifi in previous Jeeps and Im just happy this system is easy/cheap and with the addition of the Bluetooth head unit it is everything I need....I like having the sub, but if it didnt come that way Id probably be fine without it also.
02-01-2013 03:20 PM
ALjeep So the ones who have upgraded from the factory unit, are you still using the factory console sub? Just curious because I want to upgrade my sound system and was wondering if the sub is still necessary with the better sound upgrade
01-31-2013 10:50 PM
Phil.Dye
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinCHorst View Post
This one:

JVC KD-X50BT Digital media receiver at Crutchfield.com

It is very highly rated...lives up to the ratings from my point of view....look for an online coupon or a refurb on crutchfield and you can get a great deal on it....with the free install stuff they sent me it fits like a glove and looks perfect.
I have the same radio and absolutely love it. I have no need for a CD and love the fact I can have my iPod hooked up all the time and still use the BT to take calls and stream Pandora. Plus it has to AV outs so I can run both my amps.
01-31-2013 10:45 PM
paul65k
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffreybomb View Post
Oh, damn! I completely forgot about being grandfathered in with the unlimited data. Good call!

The only drawback is that AT&T "caps" the data flow after a certain amount. It goes slower, but I've never really noticed. I bet I'd notice when streaming songs, maybe?
Actually Pandora uses very little data so that alone won't cause you to hit the limit.......I use it all the time and it may be like 1GB a month....MAX!!!
01-31-2013 07:07 PM
Jeffreybomb Oh, damn! I completely forgot about being grandfathered in with the unlimited data. Good call!

The only drawback is that AT&T "caps" the data flow after a certain amount. It goes slower, but I've never really noticed. I bet I'd notice when streaming songs, maybe?
01-31-2013 02:13 PM
JustinCHorst
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
Yup.....I agree completely.......Pandora is the bomb!

On my system I have noticed that the sound quality (and volume level) is much better with the iPhone connected through the cable (USB) than with the BT streaming audio......although the BT works very well too!

Also to be noted is that you can plug in any iPhone/iPad/iPod with the right cable. In my case if I'm on a very long trip I'll use the iPad as it is grandfathered on an unlimited data plan and you dont need to see the display in any case as the Pandora functions are managed through the radio when connected through the cable......if you want to see the screen and manage through the device then you connect via BT.

It should be noted that this was the first radio I had ever installed in a vehicle although I do have basic electrical knowledge but using the supplied harness and installation kit it was pretty straightforward and worked like a champ the first time I plugged it in.....the only issue I ran into was matching up the wires when installing the harness as I'm red/green color blind and I had to ask my wife to help me with 4 of the wires to make sure I had them right.

Give it a try yourself, pretty hard to mess it up in all honesty and worst case is you could take it to an audio installer if you get stuck.....but you wont!!!

Good luck!
I do the same thing and I am also grandfathered with my iphone...and this was my first install as well...it was so easy and looks perfect, I wouldn’t pay someone to do it..Believe me if I can install it in 30-45 minutes and have it be perfect anyone can...I even routed the BT speaker for my phone through my steering column and it is hardly noticeable and works like a charm...I sure don’t miss not having a CD player on mine but if it a big deal for some it is easy to pay a bit more and get one..
01-31-2013 11:35 AM
paul65k
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinCHorst View Post
I use it all of the time...it is free and streams right to the car stereo..basically you make your own radio stations, you add an artist or song, or genre and it will play that song/artist/genre as well as artists or songs like it, it awesome
Yup.....I agree completely.......Pandora is the bomb!

On my system I have noticed that the sound quality (and volume level) is much better with the iPhone connected through the cable (USB) than with the BT streaming audio......although the BT works very well too!

Also to be noted is that you can plug in any iPhone/iPad/iPod with the right cable. In my case if I'm on a very long trip I'll use the iPad as it is grandfathered on an unlimited data plan and you dont need to see the display in any case as the Pandora functions are managed through the radio when connected through the cable......if you want to see the screen and manage through the device then you connect via BT.

It should be noted that this was the first radio I had ever installed in a vehicle although I do have basic electrical knowledge but using the supplied harness and installation kit it was pretty straightforward and worked like a champ the first time I plugged it in.....the only issue I ran into was matching up the wires when installing the harness as I'm red/green color blind and I had to ask my wife to help me with 4 of the wires to make sure I had them right.

Give it a try yourself, pretty hard to mess it up in all honesty and worst case is you could take it to an audio installer if you get stuck.....but you wont!!!

Good luck!
01-31-2013 11:24 AM
DrewG Just wanted to throw a low cost alternative - I picked up one of these things
Amazon.com: PYLE PLMR18 AM/FM-MPX PLL Tuning Radio with SD/MMC and USB: Electronics
on sale for like $40. No CD Player, but it's got a USB socket and an auxiliary input on the front. Also, it gets weather band, which is occasionally helpful. Oh, and "water resistant"...which is what killed the old Alpine that the PO installed.
01-31-2013 08:41 AM
JustinCHorst
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffreybomb View Post
Do you use Pandora through your iPhone? I'm considering Pandora but don't know much about it.

Anything is better than the crappy Chicago stations we've got.

I use it all of the time...it is free and streams right to the car stereo..basically you make your own radio stations, you add an artist or song, or genre and it will play that song/artist/genre as well as artists or songs like it, it awesome
01-31-2013 08:13 AM
viperx6x9x Got mine on "cyber monday" on amazon, it was around $130 sony discounted to $70, I think it's a discontinued model anyway. + gift cards i got it for about $50. After getting installation stuff from crutchfield, and some soldering equipment and shrink wrap and such, I probably have around $100 in it.

I know it's a long wait, but you can score a nice deal if you save your gift cards now and wait till december. Don't wait till monday, start researching prices saturday and sunday, some of the good deals are already there.
01-31-2013 08:10 AM
Jeffreybomb
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k
all told I now have a completely modern system with B/T, Pandora, iPhone ...
Do you use Pandora through your iPhone? I'm considering Pandora but don't know much about it.

Anything is better than the crappy Chicago stations we've got.
01-31-2013 06:01 AM
paul65k I installed this unit Kenwood KDC-BT652U CD receiver at Crutchfield.com which I bought from Crutchfield......just last night and have to admit that it took me a little longer than 30 minutes.....more like an hour, but I could surely do it again in 30 minutes!

I have to say that the sound quality even with the factory speakers (7 speaker system) installed is dramatically better than the factory head unit....by far

The unit is amazing for what I paid ($108 including all accessories needed to install. Also bought the dash mount from Quadratec for the iphone Bracketron JEE-203-97 - Custom Bezel Mounting Bracket for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ & Unlimited with Portable Devices - Quadratec

and a ProClip mount for the phone Apple iPhone 4 / 4S used with a Case - Adjustable Holder with Tilt Swivel and Pass-Through Connector *-*ProClip Car Mounts for Mobile Phones, Tablet, and Handheld Devices= which I found in eBay for $40......all told I now have a completely modern system with B/T, Pandora, iPhone and charging capabilites all for $165 installed.

Good luck!
01-30-2013 06:27 PM
gmiller0737 I am partial to Alpine they discontinued the 1 I have the CDE-123,Another vote added to buy from Crutchfield full install kit & instructions included Free with most units & Great support if you need it for a budget unit check Alpine CDE-121 CD receiver at Crutchfield.com
01-30-2013 05:16 PM
viperx6x9x They are harder to find but if you get a 1.5 din unit they might have bigger buttons. Also usually more expensive than single (1) din units.

Most of your aftermarket radios are single din, hence the need for adapter plates. Your stock one is a 1.5 din. The bigger touch screen ones are 2 din usually and I don't think they will even fit without modifying the dash.
01-30-2013 05:11 PM
freeskier I'll throw out Sonic Electronix, they give you all the free stuff like Crutchfield but don't charge you a premium. Crutchfield usually has a pretty high mark up.

Nobody really makes a 1.5 din head unit, there's one I know of but it's way expensive. I paid 110$ for my Kenwood head unit, iPod USB and regular aux in, plus HD radio. Sonic Electronix also sent me free wiring and a nice Scosche install kit. There's also some cheaper Kenwoods with iPod USB but no HD radio.
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