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Old 10-03-2018, 07:26 AM
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Radio head? More needed?

I’ve got a 2015 jku rub, it has the premium sound system and i really am impressed with it. That said, who doesn’t always want just a little more. We have a quality auto sound shop in town but before i get into sales pitches, really want first hand jeep owner input on this. Is just a head unit replacement the best i can do (as all know, the blue tooth sucks). Or is a head unit and amp upgrade better? Couple of subs under seat in custom molded boxes (still keeping the rear factory as well) make this even better? I know there have got to be some good threads but I’ve searched and have not found one where someone was trying to improve/tweek the alpine premium. Probably cause it’s a really nice factory setup...i just want a little more!
Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

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Old 10-03-2018, 08:25 AM   #2
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I have a 2015 two door Rubi I bought in May of this year with the Alpine upgrade with the 430N radio. I also liked the Alpine upgrade but the 430N was horrible. I couldn't get all my Sirius channels and I also wanted a little more out of my sound system. I was already kind of spoiled because I've had two nice stereo installs in my two previous vehicles with one being an 09 JK. I went to a stereo place near me and talked to the owner/installer and told him what I wanted. I mainly listened to my songs on my old ipod, nothing with a lot of base, mostly rock/hard rock. He told me replacing the head unit should help with a little better sound also. I had the Alpine ILX207 installed. The head unit is awesome and friendly to use but the equalizer is daunting. You need an audio engineering degree nowadays to know how to get perfect sound. The guy showed how it works and I played with it for at least 2 weeks and it still sounded worse with the new head unit. I couldn't even play my old ipod hooked up to the usb in the center console because the ipod was too damn old. He also installed the maestro unit so I could keep my factory controls on my steering wheel.

So, after complaining to this guy I decided to go to another stereo place in another town and told them what was going on. They also played around with the equalizer and couldn't get the sound I wanted. I had to have good sound so I dove in and got this installed:

JL-RD900/5 Class D 5 Channel Amp
Kicker Q Class QS Series 6.5 Component Speakers
I kept the stock Alpine subwoofer

The sound I have now is awesome but it was at a cost. They put the amp under the passenger seat and the component relays under the drivers seat. The stock Alpine amp sounds great with the system. They also put dynamat in the speaker bar. I also ended up trading in my Android for an Apple phone. I can now listen to my whole ITunes library from my phone. Anymore questions or advice just ask. I've spent a lot of money over the years having nice stereo systems in my cars.

Retired Air Force
2015 Rubicon

Past Jeeps:
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2002 TJ APEX
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:34 AM   #3
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Garbage in garbage out. I resisted replacing my 430 for too long. Start with a HU replacement to an aftermarket of your choosing and go from there IMO.
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Old 10-04-2018, 01:45 AM   #4
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Did you try new speakers? My buddy replaced his with some Infinity's and it was a big improvement.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:46 AM   #5
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As said garbage in garbage out, speakers won't fix the issues with the head unit and the amp, you just end up with better garbage.

If you like the stock head unit get a Dsp to clean up the signal and adjust the timing correctly. This would assume also going with an aftermarket amp. Otherwise just changing the stock head unit is a good improvement.

What I tell most people who are interested in better sound is first go out and listen to all the speakers and find the ones you like. Then get an amp that will power them and finally pick the head unit of your choice.

What I would not do is multiple subs in different locations with also running a DSP. You want all the sound to hit your location at the same time. Running the rear sub plus a couple of under seat subs will insure that does not happen with any H/U I can think of on the market today.
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:37 AM   #6
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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I completely ripped & replaced the stereo in my 2017 JK Smoky Mountain. Couldn’t stand the “premium Jeep sound system”. Kenwood eXcelon DNX 893s head unit, Kenwood eXcelon X801-5 amp, 2 x Pioneer TS-2002 8” subs in shallow custom box, Focal FPX 1200.5 amp, Focal KX3’s in front, Focal KX2’s in roll bar, & 2 x Focal P25F 10” subs in separate box. Added SiriusXM receiver & back up camera. Cost me about CAD $12k all-in, but it’s the best sounding Jeep system I’ve ever heard. Bach sounds as good as LL Cool J. All 4 subs behind rear seat... Jeep still looks stock.
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:41 AM   #7
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Totally agree with previous poster... keep subs in one location. Fronts and roll bar create sound stage; you want your subs together. You don’t have to go over the top like I did. Pioneer makes 8” and 10” shallow mount subs with good snap and more weather resistant than traditional subs for when you have the top off. Easily fit behind rear seat in shallow mount box. I have 4 subs and they’re all hidden behind the fully functioning rear seat in my 2 door Smoky Mountain.
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:46 AM   #8
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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+1 on the d class amp. Cost effective & doesn’t draw as much power for the heat. I put a kenwood excelon x801-5 and a Focal FPX 1200.5 in my 2 door JK & they are awesome.

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