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Old 05-10-2018, 01:13 PM
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jedieb's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 21
Upgrading the Sound System for my 2018 Willy's

So here is what I've got on my Willy's:

Radio 430
8 speakers it came with

I was very tempted by the Alpine PSS21WRA Full Sound System Upgrade, but honestly, it's more than I want to spend. So I think I'm going to slowly improve the sound system in stages. I am perfectly fine with keeping the head unit. Maybe somewhere down the line after I've finished with everything else I'll go backwards, but it's just not a deal breaker for me. I'm not an audiophile, I just want better sound when I'm driving with the top down. My goal isn't to have people in the next zip code listening to my music.

My tastes are simple, if Zeppelin, Van Halen, or AC/DC are on I'm loving life. TBH, my favorite group is Journey so that's what's coming out of my speakers. If I'm parked next to someone and they're playing hip hop so loud that my windows are shaking my first impulse is to punch myself in the face to make the pain stop. When I ride in my daughter's car and she's playing Taylor Swift or what passes for modern R & B it takes all of my will to not unbuckle and dive from the car. These are my tastes, these are the sounds that soothe me.

I'd like to build in this order:
1. Speakers
2. Amp
3. Underseat Subwoofer

After that I'll consider going back and replacing the head unit but it's not a must have, I really like the 430 and don't want to change the dash much anyway. I'm basically looking to spend $500-$1,000 in total, but I could go a bit under or over since I'm doing this in stages. Any tips and suggestions would be much appreciated.

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Old 05-11-2018, 05:29 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Hesperia, CA
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I am always hesitant about giving advice on the base systems for these years because I have yet to see an accurate wiring diagram of how they hook it up. All 430's have the same output, front right and left, rear right and left. Acoustically they all have the same problem, rolls off the lows and exaggerate the highs. And how exactly do they wire the 8 speakers up.

Anyway I can provide some general guidance. Lets talk the amp first. Normally with a stock head unit you would run you speaker out wiring through a LOC and then into an amp. Hopefully your LOC can restore the base signal but in the case of the 430 what you really need is a DSP. That gets pricey in a hurry but we now have an all in one solution, the AudioControl D-4.800 High Power Multi Channel Amplifier with DSP Matrix Processor. This amp accepts speaker in inputs from the stock deck, output is 4x125 watts at 4 ohms, is 2 ohms stable, will sum and puts out a sub pre-out and is a DSP so you can dial in your sound, something you can't do with the stock head unit. By far the most expensive peace of the build at $700 but IMO well worth it for what you want to do.

Speakers, well until you listen to them it is hard to give advice, my war is much different than yours but trying to keep the cost down there are a few options that people like. For the sound bar most people are getting rid of the 4 speaker setup and going to a coax. A lot of people like Polk audio so Polk Audio DB652 DB+ 6.5-inch (DB 652) would fit the bill and at $60 the price is right. For the front speakers staying in the Polk line you can get the DB6502 component setup for $119.

So right now once you buy adapter rings, wiring, ext. you are probably just a little over $1000 but have a very good system. For the type of music you like you might not even need a sub, rock need to go down to about 125 hz unless you like Emerson Lake and Palmer.

But speaking of subs under seat does not really work on a 2 door unless you raise the seat. If you don't mind them taking up the foot well then they will work.

Anyway I would start with the amp I recommended as the first step. It should run your stock speakers just fine but you will need to turn down the power. In fact with the ability to clean up the audio signal you might find the stock speakers to be good enough. And if not you have already done the hard work, adding speakers latter and adjusting the gain for the new speakers will be simple.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:50 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 13
I upgraded my system with Kicker speakers and added a Rockford amp under passenger seat. Best thing to do is stuff the speaker holes with poly fill also, cuts down on the rattle/hollow sound and makes even the stock speakers sound better. It sounded better after the speaker upgrade but didnt really come alive until I changed the head unit to a Kenwwod. The factory unit is very under powered and mudding sounding to me. You can get a Maestro Data Link and keep all steering wheel controls also. I had an Alpine sub with mono amp from a previous vehicle so I installed that also. Now if they pull up next to me being inconsiderate like I wanna here the bs they listen too, I can crank some Ozzy or Five Finger Death Punch and watch them roll there windows up,lol.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:57 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Plymouth, MA
Posts: 999
This setup did it for me. Sooooo much better than the stock system!

2015 JK 2-dr Willys Wheeler

Head Unit -
Alpine iLX-007 CarPlay

Alpine MRV-F300 mounted under front driver's seat

Front Speakers
Alpine SPS-610C

Soundbar Speakers
Alpine SPS-610

Alpine PWE-S8 - mounted behind the front passenger seat.
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