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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, let's face it....the stock "upgraded" sound system sucks. I have seen a few people with barebones systems swap out amps, speakers, etc.

Can you swap or bypass the amp on a 2012/3 with a 430?

Any links to one of those 50 threads you have bookmarked is appreciated.

Thanks!

Chad
 

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Your best bet is to call a local high end audio shop. They will tell you yes you can bypass the amp but without replacing the HU or at least adding another high end audio sound processor like an lc6i or clean sweep that it will do you no good since the stock Head units have no real EQ or mixing capabilities. The sound will always be dull and hollow for that reason. I replaced my 130 with a pio 3300, RF 300 watt motorcycle amp and JLs front and back and with the default settings on the 3300 HU the sound was absolutely no better than stock. Once I configured the EQ on the 3300 to my liking then the entire system came alive and sounded 100x better than stock. The stock HU lacks that functionality which is why the sound is dead in comparison.
 

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If you are going to bypass the amp, you are better off tearing out the whole thing and starting over.....head unit and all.

If you want to keep the amp, you can't bypass....but you can work downstream of it. The problem is that it costs a boatload of money to get set up properly because you basically have to clean-up and "re-equalize" the stocks amp signal...then turn that amped signal into pre-amps...then add your own amp. So you are talking an amp (or two) and a signal processor downstream of the current amp.
 

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Yes you can. I did it in my 2012. I have the 730 and actually like it so I wanted to keep it in place. I used an AudioControl unit downstream of the factory amp to clean up the signals and change the signal from speaker level output to pre-amp output. Then ran this to my 5 channel Alpine AMP and used this to power the speakers. Replaced soundbar speakers with some Kickers and the sub with an awesome Alpine SRW-843D. Sounds way better than the Infinity system, although I still have not swapped out the front speakers and tweeters. I need to get around to that sometime.
 

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Yes you can. I did it in my 2012. I have the 730 and actually like it so I wanted to keep it in place. I used an AudioControl unit downstream of the factory amp to clean up the signals and change the signal from speaker level output to pre-amp output. Then ran this to my 5 channel Alpine AMP and used this to power the speakers. Replaced soundbar speakers with some Kickers and the sub with an awesome Alpine SRW-843D. Sounds way better than the Infinity system, although I still have not swapped out the front speakers and tweeters. I need to get around to that sometime.
2 general methods:

1. See above. LOC unit to convert to RCA and then processor/amp to clean up/power that signal. Benefits are you can keep the stock HU but you have to do a lot to get that sound to be something clean to supply to the speakers.

2. New HU on back. Benefits are you can choose your HU, keep/retain the factory wheel controls. Plus you have better voltage pre-outs for your amps. Clean sound right from the HU to the amp/speakers/sub. IMO the better way to go.

The 730 I thought had pre-outs built in? Not sure if it was 2 sets or 3 sets? If so then just go from the 730 to your amp of choice.
 

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Yes you can. I did it in my 2012. I have the 730 and actually like it so I wanted to keep it in place. I used an AudioControl unit downstream of the factory amp to clean up the signals and change the signal from speaker level output to pre-amp output. Then ran this to my 5 channel Alpine AMP and used this to power the speakers. Replaced soundbar speakers with some Kickers and the sub with an awesome Alpine SRW-843D. Sounds way better than the Infinity system, although I still have not swapped out the front speakers and tweeters. I need to get around to that sometime.
That isn't bypassing the amp, since you are still going through it (but that is just semantics),...but I agree...that is how you keep the stock head unit. You have to work downstream of the factory amp.

I looked at an LC6, LC7, and LC8....but I wasn't sure if you lost your EQ control at the head unit since the sound converter is re-EQing your amped signal back to pre-amp levels. Are you running another EQ down stream of the signal processor or did where you able to keep your EC control on the factory head unit (since the factory amp is still in play)?


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On a side note, none of the factory head units have pre-amp outputs.
 

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Another thread someone mentioned using a JL Audio Cleansweep why couldn't you put this as a direct install from the HU then use a aftermarket amp say Alpine PDX-5 all while retaining the HU and eliminating the junk amp.
 

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Another thread someone mentioned using a JL Audio Cleansweep why couldn't you put this as a direct install from the HU then use a aftermarket amp say Alpine PDX-5 all while retaining the HU and eliminating the junk amp.
Two reasons...

#1 - You can't easily eliminate the factory amp (and keep the stock HU) because in the factory amped sytem, the EQ and processing is done in the amp, not the HQ. So if you tap into the lines before the amp, and you go to hit adjust the treble or bass on your HU...nothing will happen. You will get a flat signal with no way to adjust it unless you add an EQ. So you are now talking a processor of some sort, then an EQ, then an amp or two.

#2 - These processors all work by cleaning up an amped, speaker level signal into a pre-amp signal. Such a signal does not exist prior to the factory amp. Plus, that amped signal is EQ'd. You may want to clean that up as well.

The best way to visualize it is to basically think of the factory amp as part of the HU...not as a separate amp.

That is why everything happens downstream of the amp....and that is why so many people give up and start witn a new HU. It eliminates the need for trying to do anything downstream of the factory amp.
 

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VERY POOR ENGINEERING on Fiat's part! Wish I would've known all this prior to purchasing I would've not gotten a 730N model with all the components. Sounds like I'll be trying the downstream idea down the road, but the cost factor is starting to outweigh how bad I want to have a rockin system in the JK
 

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VERY POOR ENGINEERING on Fiat's part! Wish I would've known all this prior to purchasing I would've not gotten a 730N model with all the components. Sounds like I'll be trying the downstream idea down the road, but the cost factor is starting to outweigh how bad I want to have a rockin system in the JK
Yup...you are now seeing the issue.

You spent an extra $1500 on a factory nav system....so you are keeping that. But to upgrade the rest of the system means a very expensive processor/EQ plus amps when in hindsight you could have used the money from the 730 and processor on a new Head Unit AND amp AND speakers.

This DQL8 (processor and EQ) is $600 at Crutchfield....but it illustrates what you need to do.



Oh well...live and learn. The benefit of the factory HU is that it helps keep thieves away.
 

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Where would you be able to mount the DLQ8? I can see myself going that route but that is a lot of extra stuff to cram in limited spaces.
 

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Where would you be able to mount the DLQ8? I can see myself going that route but that is a lot of extra stuff to cram in limited spaces.
I don't know...under one seat with a 5 channel amp under the other seat? But that is a lot of wiring to deal with....plus you don't want to get caught topless in the rain with a $1000 worth of electrical equipment sitting on the floor right beneath you.

I'm going the cheap-o route and I want to stay stealth/low profile. New speakers and poly-fil. I'll just have to live with the stock amp for now.
 

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(Pitching in here for options questions). Since I'm considering a 13' Sahara this is what it looks like in my book.

1) No upgraded HU.

2) Upgraded to 430n - $1,000. +$160 connectivity. So let's say $1200.

Given #2, and #2 what cost are you looking at to getting an "aftermarket" fix?

#1 You'd replace headunit, and speakers. You can still find "voice activated" controls aftermarket, can't you? But basically you'd lose steering wheel controls right? Probably $2k for headunit and speakers?

#2 You keep the 430n. You have to upgrade the "downstream" - will this make the alpine speakers sound adequate or do you have to replace the speakers too? Basically you save the headunit and get to keep the connectivity/voice stuff? What's the cost?

I think others than myself may find this comparison useful.
 

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Another thread someone mentioned using a JL Audio Cleansweep why couldn't you put this as a direct install from the HU then use a aftermarket amp say Alpine PDX-5 all while retaining the HU and eliminating the junk amp.
On my last vehicle, I originally bought amps and speakers and did the JL Cleansweep to keep my factory NAV.

I immediately didn't like the way it sounded. The audio shop spent lot of time trying to tune it, but now matter what it just didn't sound right. I ended up replacing the head unit with a Kenwood Nav. So yeah, all in all, I ended up spending around $2500 on audio.

So didn't really end up liking my last vehicle and paid to have it all transferred to my Jeep. This will be the last time I do an aftermarket stereo. I wish I could've gotten that money back to mod the Jeep now.

Plus, you worry about it if you leave the Jeep with the top off.
 

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(Pitching in here for options questions). Since I'm considering a 13' Sahara this is what it looks like in my book.

1) No upgraded HU.

2) Upgraded to 430n - $1,000. +$160 connectivity. So let's say $1200.

Given #2, and #2 what cost are you looking at to getting an "aftermarket" fix?

#1 You'd replace headunit, and speakers. You can still find "voice activated" controls aftermarket, can't you? But basically you'd lose steering wheel controls right? Probably $2k for headunit and speakers?

#2 You keep the 430n. You have to upgrade the "downstream" - will this make the alpine speakers sound adequate or do you have to replace the speakers too? Basically you save the headunit and get to keep the connectivity/voice stuff? What's the cost?

I think others than myself may find this comparison useful.
Connectivty is $495 on a Sahara with either the 130 or 430. (It was $485 prior to October 1st, and was $385 last year.) That reduced price you see is for the 730 (which already has some of the features of connectivity, that is why it is cheaper). I'm not sure if the connectivity price for the 730 went up or not 10/1 or not. Jeep.com has not updated their prices yet.

You are probably going to have to replace the speakers no matter what....but that is the cheapest and easiest fix to make. The factory 6.5's don't even have tweeters in them.

In case you have not noticed... Jeep = Just Empty Every Pocket
 

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I see.

I'm still confused at what the real options are. Ugh I wish this sounded fine out of the factory lol.

If you have the 430n. And you replace the speakers. You'd basically still have shit sound because of the Amplifier, right?

And the way you can "fix" that is with the DQL8 diagram you posted?

So basically you can make your system sound fine for an extra $600 with stock headunit and whatever speakers you go with?
 

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This is precisely why I went with the base radio on my build. I knew I'd want to upgrade the audio pretty quickly. Factory HUs are just plain bad, or as mentioned, costly to bring up to even a mediocre level of performance.

I plan to get a cheap-ish single DIN HU, Polk components up front, Polks for the sound bar, powered by the in-line Alpine amp, then a replacement 8" sub powered by a mono amp.

EDIT: Oh, and what a mess illustrated in that diagram of the DQL8. I'm with Mark, no way in hell I'd try that in a Jeep.
 

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I see.

I'm still confused at what the real options are. Ugh I wish this sounded fine out of the factory lol.

If you have the 430n. And you replace the speakers. You'd basically still have shit sound because of the Amplifier, right?

And the way you can "fix" that is with the DQL8 diagram you posted?

So basically you can make your system sound fine for an extra $600 with stock headunit and whatever speakers you go with?
Well...shit is in the "ear" of the beholder....but yeah....even with new speakers, you are really limited by factory amp. You can add a processor, an EQ, and more amps to try and "fix" the sound but...when you add it all up, you would be better off just buying a new head unit and a good 5 channel amp.

You will get a much cleaner signal that way.

Keep in mind that if you go downstream of the factory amp, you are basically taking an EQ'd and amped signal...stripping down the power to get to pre-amp levels, and either re-amp that pre EQ'd signal, clean up the pre-eq'd signal (Clean Sweep) and amping, or adding an EQ to your processor to "re-EQ" the pre-EQ'd signal and amping. That is a lot of processing.

Bottom line:

A processor and such is a remedy.
A new HU is a cure.

Or just live with the stock sytem. It won't kill you...it is just...disappointing....compared to what it "could" be given a 6 channel amp and openings for four 6.5's and a 8" sub.
 

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This is precisely why I went with the base radio on my build. I knew I'd want to upgrade the audio pretty quickly. Factory HUs are just plain bad, or as mentioned, costly to bring up to even a mediocre level of performance.

I plan to get a cheap-ish single DIN HU, Polk components up front, Polks for the sound bar, powered by the in-line Alpine amp, then a replacement 8" sub powered by a mono amp.

EDIT: Oh, and what a mess illustrated in that diagram of the DQL8. I'm with Mark, no way in hell I'd try that in a Jeep.
How much will that cost you? And what features do you lose by doing that?

Well...shit is in the "ear" of the beholder....but yeah....even with new speakers, you are really limited by factory amp. You can add a processor, an EQ, and more amps to try and "fix" the sound but...when you add it all up, you would be better off just buying a new head unit and a good 5 channel amp.

You will get a much cleaner signal that way.

Keep in mind that if you go downstream of the factory amp, you are basically taking an EQ'd and amped signal...stripping down the power to get to pre-amp levels, and either re-amp that pre EQ'd signal, clean up the pre-eq'd signal (Clean Sweep) and amping, or adding an EQ to your processor to "re-EQ" the pre-EQ'd signal and amping. That is a lot of processing.

Bottom line:

A processor and such is a remedy.
A new HU is a cure.

Or just live with the stock sytem. It won't kill you...it is just...disappointing....compared to what it "could" be given a 6 channel amp and openings for four 6.5's and a 8" sub.
Maybe I'll go back to the dealer and give a real test off my iPhone instead of the radio when I was test driving. I am in a 2010 Mb C300 right now and the sound system in it does well for my ears. I'm pretty happy with it all around. I'm not sure how it compares to what's in the Jeep.

If I don't choose the 430N what do I miss out on?

What scares me is possible resale value and functionality loss from steering wheel inputs.

Ultimately all I want is bluetooth audio streaming from my iPhone and a pretty dashboard headunit that will be able to have a backup camera when reversing.
 

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Maybe I'll go back to the dealer and give a real test off my iPhone instead of the radio when I was test driving. I am in a 2010 Mb C300 right now and the sound system in it does well for my ears. I'm pretty happy with it all around. I'm not sure how it compares to what's in the Jeep.

If I don't choose the 430N what do I miss out on?

What scares me is possible resale value and functionality loss from steering wheel inputs.

Ultimately all I want is bluetooth audio streaming from my iPhone and a pretty dashboard headunit that will be able to have a backup camera when reversing.
If you don't get the 430n you miss out on Nav, a monitor, and an HDD.

I considered ordering the 430n at first....but I'm hoping I can find a take-out on ebay for cheaper. I don't care about nav, but I would like to have the HDD and monitor for movies and to add a back-up camera one day.
 
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