2015 sahara ulimited stereo upgrade - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:49 PM
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2015 sahara ulimited stereo upgrade

So what upgrades would folks suggest?

I did get the "upgraded" Alpine system, it is above average for a vehicle stereo. I really don't like how the equalizer is 3 bands, and there is no separate sub control (the sub is way to "boomy" not a good integration with the other speakers).

If I was willing to spend a little what would people suggest in order of best bang for your buck?

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Old 07-26-2018, 08:07 AM   #2
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Hey Mibs!

Depends on a lot of variables. It's kind of like asking what suspension you should get. Lets see if we can narrow this down and get you a solution.

1.) What's your budget? High and Low ends?

2.) Do you drive with the doors and top off frequently or no?

3.) 2 Door or 4 Door?

4.) What kind of music do you generally listen to?

- Skip

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Old 07-26-2018, 07:21 PM   #3
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I put the pioneer 4200nex in her 2015 jku sahara with the alpine upgrade and the difference is amazing. While I love the system in my jk if I knew how much better the alpine would sound with a respectable hu I probably would have done the same thing in my jk and used the savings for other upgrades.
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Skippman View Post
Hey Mibs!

Depends on a lot of variables. It's kind of like asking what suspension you should get. Lets see if we can narrow this down and get you a solution.

1.) What's your budget? High and Low ends?


I'd say from $300usd to $1500usd. I know that is a large range however I have heard of cheep mods like different cross overs that can make a big difference to new amp/speakers etc.

2.) Do you drive with the doors and top off frequently or no?

I leave the top and doors on most of the time, however the most important times are when I have the top off haha. 95% I have the top and doors on.

3.) 2 Door or 4 Door? 4

4.) What kind of music do you generally listen to?
When in my jeep I listen to rock mostly: black sabbath, acdc, rush, tool, pink Floyd

- Skip

Right now I am not happy with the way the sub sounds, and the stock stereo has a 3 band equalizer (bass, mid, treb) I really cant control the sub properly with that. I am used to full range home speakers with no sub so the bass integration is perfect.

Also, based on my home stereo exp, I know most people underestimate the importance of good amplification however I know that is tricky in a vehicle due to power restrictions.


and, I am not happy with the way my android phone connects to my factory stereo, I have 20,000 songs on my phone and the stock receiver just cant handle that, so now I use the headphone out on my phone and an AUX cable. (my plan is to keep using the AUX because I would rather spend on speakers or amps than a new expensive receiver - unless that receivers amps are a large improvement)
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:42 PM   #5
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I would start with adding a new radio which can suck up your budget or 2x your max budget!

Then depending on how loud you listen to music a amp might be in order at some point. Amps really aren’t that difficult to add, depending on which amp or amps you go with determines the power/ground cables you need. You could spend a few hundred to a grand or so for amplification

Doing these will both drastically improve the sound quality.

I totally agree the alpine setup the bass is boomy and just doesn’t sound that good..... I use old infinity kappa speakers at home and agree subs can be difficult to blend into a system. A quality sub be it at home or in a car can sound great.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:49 AM   #6
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Mibs,

Alright. Looks like we have a good place to start. I'm going to echo NC25T and recommend a replacement head unit as the starting point. The Pioneer NEX series seems to be the go to that most Jeepers use. I'm currently running the AVIC-7100NEX. I chose this over the cheaper 4100NEX as I wanted to have GPS even without my cellphone for areas where reception is spotty.

The 4100 and 4200 NEX series head units have a lot of good features like a 10 band EQ, time alignment, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, excellent bluetooth hands free, good pre-amp outputs, and a SD card slot for storing your music on. I'm currently use a 64GB SD card in mine and have no problems playing back any audio format I want including FLAC.

If you do replace your head unit you're going to want something called an iDatalink Maestro. This module acts as an interface between the Jeep's onboard electronics and the head unit allowing you to do things like retain the steering wheel controls.

AVIC-4200NEX = $430
iDataLink Maestro = $100
ADS-HRN-RR-CH3 wiring harness = $25
Scoshe Install Kit ICCR6BN = $20

So for $570 you're getting a whole new head unit, bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 10 band EQ, time alignment, and a host of other features. If you can afford it, it might be worth the extra $100 to jump up to the 7200NEX for the built in GPS. That eats up about 30%-40% of your budget.

It's possible that tuning the factory sub using the Pioneers internal crossover might help, but to be honest I'm not sure if those variables aren't hard set in the factory amp, which you'd still have to be dealing with. I would consider bypassing that and wiring the factory speakers direct to the Pioneer, and getting an amp to drive the subwoofer.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:07 PM
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Great, thanks Skip!
I like the idea of gps built in so I might just go for that AVIC-7100NEX.

Does the iDatalink do anything other than the steering wheel controls, I really don't use them....


Sounds like the amp in my jeep is NOT part of the receiver/head unit, correct?
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:39 AM   #8
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I think the advice so far has been solid. I'm a big advocate of starting with a new head unit and then gradually upgrade other areas in steps so you can appreciate the incremental improvements. This also helps you avoid the practice of having to cobble stuff together just to utilize a less than ideal piece of equipment.


Head unit - may not offer a lot of sound improvement but gets you the feature set you want and a good foundation to build.


Then upgrade your speakers - could be a big improvement after a good head unit is in place, or it might be subtle. (wait on a sub at this point)



Then amp or amps - once you get some decent power behind your new speakers, they'll really start to come to life, even at lower volumes.


Then decide if you want to add a sub and sub amp and proceed from there.


When I bought my JK I immediately ripped out the head unit and replaced it with a Pioneer 4200. A few weeks later I upgraded the speakers. Then mostly due to time limitations, it took me almost a year to get my amps installed. Now I'm in the process of building a fiberglass enclosure to add the sub.
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mibs View Post
Great, thanks Skip!
I like the idea of gps built in so I might just go for that AVIC-7100NEX.

Does the iDatalink do anything other than the steering wheel controls, I really don't use them....


Sounds like the amp in my jeep is NOT part of the receiver/head unit, correct?

I'm not 100% on this. In my 2008 which had the Infinity upgraded system the amp was located under the steering column and was a separate unit. In the 2015 the amp is in the same location to my understanding. I opted not to do the install in my JK for time reasons and had a local shop do the work for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crazychile View Post
I think the advice so far has been solid. I'm a big advocate of starting with a new head unit and then gradually upgrade other areas in steps so you can appreciate the incremental improvements. This also helps you avoid the practice of having to cobble stuff together just to utilize a less than ideal piece of equipment.

When I bought my JK I immediately ripped out the head unit and replaced it with a Pioneer 4200. A few weeks later I upgraded the speakers. Then mostly due to time limitations, it took me almost a year to get my amps installed. Now I'm in the process of building a fiberglass enclosure to add the sub.

Chilie is right. Garbage In = Garbage Out. So you can spend a fortune on products like the JL Audio Clean Sweep, or if you're REALLY crazy an Audison Bit One processor to try and clean up the factory head unit, or you can just yank it and start with a much better source.


On the iDatalink Maestro, it really depends on the options your JK came with from the factory. Do you have uConnect? If so do you actually LIKE it? (which I doubt) Do you have the EVIC? Honestly, you can do without the iDatalink if you don't want the steering wheel controls. Personally, I love mine. I also love the fact the iDatalink lets you program the buttons any way you want.


You're probably going to need the following if you decide to not use the iDatalink:


PAC BHA6522 Reverse Wiring Harness = $20
PAC BAA22 Antenna Adapter = $20


I really feel like I'm missing something here. It might be worth reaching out to Crutchfield and asking them about all the installation harness you'll need.


I could eat up you're entire budget for you if you wanted and design you a pretty decent system. The only thing I'm hesitant to comment on in speakers. It's VERY subjective and you really need to find what sounds good to your ears.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:43 PM   #10
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Insane Audio.!


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