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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to upgrade my 2014 “premium” sound system. I have done the tweeter mod, poly-fil and put Infinity speakers in the sound bar. I’m still not happy with the sound. I have the 130 head unit and I’m looking into replacing it with an aftermarket unit. I read that if I replace the head unit I should take out the factory amp and replace everything. Is this the general consensus? I don’t want to spend a bunch of money if it’s not going to improve the sound.
 

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Without a doubt YES. The stock HU has a sound profile that reduces the bass output as you increase the volume in an attempt to protect the stock speakers. It also has reduced output (regardless of volume) below 50Hz. With a good aftermarket HU you'll also get audio tuning capabilities that none of the stock HU's can touch: time alignment and a true EQ (not just bass/mid/treble). What's your budget?
 

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I want to upgrade my 2014 “premium” sound system. I have done the tweeter mod, poly-fil and put Infinity speakers in the sound bar. I’m still not happy with the sound. I have the 130 head unit and I’m looking into replacing it with an aftermarket unit. I read that if I replace the head unit I should take out the factory amp and replace everything. Is this the general consensus? I don’t want to spend a bunch of money if it’s not going to improve the sound.
Replacing your head unit will definitely be an upgrade. As well, you may want to consider the addition of an amp and a sub. I recently upgraded my 2015 stereo (with the 430n HU) by changing out the speakers in the soundbar, installed upgraded component speakers up front, and a high-end amplifier to push the system. I also have a Kicker Hideway sub under a front seat, and it works well. However, I recently purchased a larger sub from a friend and will be having it installed sometime in the near future.

The problem with the Jeep stock system, outside of the 9-speaker Alpine, is that 6.5" speakers don't push that much air and are weak in bass response...resulting in a sound that is high in treble or "tinniness" and low on mid and bass response. Plus, you have speakers just a couple of inches above your head, which is going to be the primary music/sound you hear. I am not aware of any car audio speaker that is meant to be placed on top of your head with the expectation that it will sound as good as a system in a typical vehicle setup where you rear, mid and front speakers that are tuned appropriately for the best imaging and sound.

So, if I were you...just keep building upon your system and you will get to a point where you are satisfied. A new head unit is a definite start, then an amp, and then a sub to round out and balance the sound. That's the way I've gone and with every addition the sound has improved substantially.

Best of luck and you will get there!
 

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Web is spot on. An decent aftermarket HU voltage output alone will double (possibly triple).
The Premium speakers after the PRS Mod with a better HU will sound very good understanding that "very good" is highly subjective.
 

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I just installed the 9 inch alpine x009-wra that's specifically made for the JK. The lighting matches the stock green lighting on the rest of the vehicle perfectly. It made a nice improvement to my sound system (the 9 speaker premium). In a few days I'm also adding a 5 channel alpine amp.
 

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Once upon a time in an audio land far far away.....

I won't spend that on a HU now. Congrats to those who did. I'm sure it's a nice unit.

I might consider the Raxiom HU. Lotta features includes the BU camera.
 

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I've done similar as you: Upgraded all the speaker to Kicker brand and added our upgraded tweeters as well. It sounded good with the OEM 130 unit, but not great. I then upgraded to a Pioneer AVIC Nav unit. Wow! What a difference. We took acoustic measurements with a digital microphone and you can see the difference. There's much more EQ adjustability on most of the higher end upgraded head units / nav units out there.

-Rick
 

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I've done similar as you: Upgraded all the speaker to Kicker brand and added our upgraded tweeters as well. It sounded good with the OEM 130 unit, but not great. I then upgraded to a Pioneer AVIC Nav unit. Wow! What a difference. We took acoustic measurements with a digital microphone and you can see the difference. There's much more EQ adjustability on most of the higher end upgraded head units / nav units out there.

-Rick
Great unit - Great Price - Great WF Sponsor! Sign me up Rick!
 

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ouch $3500? My wife would keep the Wrangler and kick me to the curb.

looks like an awesome unit, but I can't swing this.

Alpine | Jeep Wrangler Audio: Radio and Navigation Restyle Dash System - X009-WRA
You can do better on the price, even Best Buy will do $3k installed, some are closer to $2,500 and if your savvy you can have them throw in a free reverse camera. Also the x009 can control up to 8 accessories such as lights and compressors so it's a viable option to an Spod.
 

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Great unit - Great Price - Great WF Sponsor! Sign me up Rick!
Yes, sir! If you have a iPhone these Pioneer AVIC units rock with Apple Car Play (latest firmware update is needed first of course). The Kenwood units and the Alpine I sent you via PM are all very nice as well. Just let me know which one you would like a quote on, Scott!

Thanks,

-Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the great replies! Sounds like a decent HU is my next step. I was thinking about something like the Pioneer AVH-X3700BHS. From what I have seen it means losing fade control and Uconnect but Im OK with that if it sounds better. Does anyone know if I have to run a new mic for the Bluetooth?
 

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I guess I would be one of the few people who would say, "you definitely can achieve excellent sound using the 130 h/u..."

*Edit

Here are my main reasons why using the factory h/u is a good idea:
1. Theft - looks stock, doesn't attract attention like the flashy aftermarket systems (soft top + high end after market h/u = begging for sliced windows and stereo stolen)
2. Compatibility - works with Uconnect, steering controls, no problems or issues
3. Warranty - the least important, but still a valid point

Just my .02
 

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I guess I would be one of the few people who would say, "you definitely can achieve excellent sound using the 130 h/u..."

*Edit

Here are my main reasons why using the factory h/u is a good idea:
1. Theft - looks stock, doesn't attract attention like the flashy aftermarket systems (soft top + high end after market h/u = begging for sliced windows and stereo stolen)
2. Compatibility - works with Uconnect, steering controls, no problems or issues
3. Warranty - the least important, but still a valid point

Just my .02
And You are not wrong or alone. When I had my '14 and did my PRS Mod and now with my '15 and the New upgraded Alpine speakers - Both had/have the 130 and it sounds Great.
Big thing I want is a BU camera and I have had Both types )rear view mirror and the Large screen. I couldn't see much in tiny RV mirror one.
I would like a larger screen and in the Jeep vs the other vehicles I had them in where the screen was down low - the Jeep screen is up higher.
At the same time a more "Toy like" better sounding HU would be a bonus.
I don't want a $3,000 BU camera Toy but......
 

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I guess I would be one of the few people who would say, "you definitely can achieve excellent sound using the 130 h/u..."
And just to be fair, you should add that you are having to use a standalone DSP unit in order to do so. You are processing the hell out of the stock HU's signal. Without that DSP, it's akin to trying to squeeze blood from a turnip.
 

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And just to be fair, you should add that you are having to use a standalone DSP unit in order to do so. You are processing the hell out of the stock HU's signal. Without that DSP, it's akin to trying to squeeze blood from a turnip.
I agree.
A $300 dsp has greater tuning capabilities than any aftermarket h/u on the market (that I know of). The down side to the dsp is the time and experience needed to make it sound great.
 

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Thanks for all the great replies! Sounds like a decent HU is my next step. I was thinking about something like the Pioneer AVH-X3700BHS. From what I have seen it means losing fade control and Uconnect but Im OK with that if it sounds better. Does anyone know if I have to run a new mic for the Bluetooth?
The Pioneer AVIC units are the way to go if you are looking for a big touchscreen. The 2016 models (X800) are now out and I haven't seen last year's (X700) models discounted enough yet to warrant NOT getting an X800 unit. The less expensive X2800 might be an option if you don't care about HD radio.

You lose the fade control if you stick with the factory amplifier. You'll have to use the Mic that comes with the new HU. Uconnect is pretty bad so you'll most likely be much happier with the aftermarket HU's bluetooth capabilities.
 

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I installed the pioneer 5700. It does use its own microphone but the Bluetooth is better in my opinion. I wasn't sure it was worth it but now I am glad I did. With the new kickers it sounds pretty awesome for not money.
 

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I guess I would be one of the few people who would say, "you definitely can achieve excellent sound using the 130 h/u..."

*Edit

Here are my main reasons why using the factory h/u is a good idea:
1. Theft - looks stock, doesn't attract attention like the flashy aftermarket systems (soft top + high end after market h/u = begging for sliced windows and stereo stolen)
2. Compatibility - works with Uconnect, steering controls, no problems or issues
3. Warranty - the least important, but still a valid point

Just my .02
I had the 130 in my 2007 2 door with the factory premium sound, that thing thumped, and the sound was clean at max(It was Infinity back then???).
 

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In the search for better sound in my 15 JKU with a 130 base stereo I have done the following and very satisfied.

Audio Control LCi2
Alpine KTP-445U Amplifier
4) KICKER 6.5 Speaker upgrades
2) Alpine OEM 3.5 Dash speakers.

With all this, the music sounds great. I am getting decent mid-bass and good enough lows until I add a KICKER Hideaway sub later on.
The LCi2 cleans up carp H/U pretty good.

All that for less than a new aftermarket HU and probably the same sound.
Now I have a new 430 RBZ on the way and someday a back-up camera as well.

In all my cars, I have NEVER had the high-end stock radio and always had to change out.
But I am tired of losing steering controls or dealing with AM adapters, running new Bluetooth mics that look like crap or sound ok. Worrying about someone stealing my radio again, etc.

With the new set-up and 430 RBZ on the way, I get a stock look, touch screen, keep UCONNECT and the would will be as good or very close to the stock Alpine upgrade.

Might try out some OEM Alpine speakers in the dash pods for a true plug and play component system later on.

If your not looking for super high end audio, but just nice sounding music, a LCi2 and betters speakers will fix everything.

I would love to have Apple Car and a better overall H/U, but I want to keep it stock looking, plug and play and under $300 for a H/U that will keep Uconnect.

Until then, I will be a very satisfied.

The ONLY thing I miss with my Pioneer H/U in my previous car in HD Radio.
Maybe 2017 Wrangler OEM radios will have it and I can upgrade the OEM H/U again down the road. Otherwise, I get it through a steaming app for AM Sports radio here.
 
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