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Old 02-21-2011, 07:03 AM
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Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

I am surprised that I have not seen too much talk about the sound quality of the Premium Audio System.

Overall, I would consider the sound to be decent for a factory installed system. My three biggest gripes are (1) the lack of bass response; (2) the effect of the 3.5" center speaker on the sound, and (3) the lack of sound adjustments in the internal equalizer.

The bass response in the entire vehicle is definitely the weakest part of the entire audio system. &, no, I am not a heavy metal or rap bass booming youngster. When I test the sound in my garage and go into the rear storage area of the JGC, I can hear adequate bass. However, it definitely stays in the far rear and is not transmitted in enough db or dispersion to the front of the vehicle.

I assume that the inclusion of the center 3.5" speaker (try finding a replacement for this size driver) is to increase the # of speakers in the Jeep for advertising purposes or to be able to provide for a DD system. In the JGC, the inclusion of this center speaker seems to muddy the sound. I would prefer no center speaker so that when I adjust balance I can listen to the sound go from L to R. I do not hear this 3.5" speaker as offering a real benefit to the SQ.

Any owner who has used the internal equalizer understands the minimal adjustments offered here.

For now I have increased the Bass EQ on my Ipod Classic to offer up some bass boost.

I am thinking of replacing the Alpine Amp with a JL Audio XD700/5 amp and the front with a pair of JL ZR speakers and the passenger with JL C5 speakers. The 3.5" center & the two trunk 2.5" tweeters would for now be omitted from this upgrade because I am not yet ready to go to multiple amps, and my opinion is that these three speakers offer little benefit other than upping the # of speakers for marketing purposes. The 8 inch woofer will be a work in progress depending upon what I can fit in when I open up the trunk side where the woofer is open. However, I think that the higher end separate cross overs that come with the JL speakers will greatly assist the bass impact.

I will probably wait a month or so before undertaking the upgrade, but will report back upon completion.

Feel free to post your own opinions on the factory Alpine Premium Audio factory system.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:13 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

Quote:
Originally Posted by gostan4484 View Post
I am surprised that I have not seen too much talk about the sound quality of the Premium Audio System.

Overall, I would consider the sound to be decent for a factory installed system. My three biggest gripes are (1) the lack of bass response; (2) the effect of the 3.5" center speaker on the sound, and (3) the lack of sound adjustments in the internal equalizer.

The bass response in the entire vehicle is definitely the weakest part of the entire audio system. &, no, I am not a heavy metal or rap bass booming youngster. When I test the sound in my garage and go into the rear storage area of the JGC, I can hear adequate bass. However, it definitely stays in the far rear and is not transmitted in enough db or dispersion to the front of the vehicle.

I assume that the inclusion of the center 3.5" speaker (try finding a replacement for this size driver) is to increase the # of speakers in the Jeep for advertising purposes or to be able to provide for a DD system. In the JGC, the inclusion of this center speaker seems to muddy the sound. I would prefer no center speaker so that when I adjust balance I can listen to the sound go from L to R. I do not hear this 3.5" speaker as offering a real benefit to the SQ.

Any owner who has used the internal equalizer understands the minimal adjustments offered here.

For now I have increased the Bass EQ on my Ipod Classic to offer up some bass boost.

I am thinking of replacing the Alpine Amp with a JL Audio XD700/5 amp and the front with a pair of JL ZR speakers and the passenger with JL C5 speakers. The 3.5" center & the two trunk 2.5" tweeters would for now be omitted from this upgrade because I am not yet ready to go to multiple amps, and my opinion is that these three speakers offer little benefit other than upping the # of speakers for marketing purposes. The 8 inch woofer will be a work in progress depending upon what I can fit in when I open up the trunk side where the woofer is open. However, I think that the higher end separate cross overs that come with the JL speakers will greatly assist the bass impact.

I will probably wait a month or so before undertaking the upgrade, but will report back upon completion.

Feel free to post your own opinions on the factory Alpine Premium Audio factory system.
@ gostan4484 : interested to learn results when you do this, I didn't receive my summit yet but I like high quality sound...may follow your lead here...
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:13 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

Personally, I find the system to be very listenable meaning it doesn't fatigue you with artificial peaks in the equalization. The staging is very good and the distortion seems to be kept pretty well in check.

I find the quality of the sound to be more tied to the source than any deficiencies in the reproduction. If I play one of my higher end, well mastered CD's the sound it very good, easily as good as some $2000 - $3000 aftermarket systems I've heard. The higher sampled mp4 audio sounds good as well but of course it falls a bit flat on FM, Sirius and some of the lower sampled mp3 tracks. Overall I'm very pleased with the system and see no need to invest a dime in it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:08 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

Quote:
Originally Posted by gostan4484 View Post
I am surprised that I have not seen too much talk about the sound quality of the Premium Audio System.

The bass response in the entire vehicle is definitely the weakest part of the entire audio system. &, no, I am not a heavy metal or rap bass booming youngster. When I test the sound in my garage and go into the rear storage area of the JGC, I can hear adequate bass. However, it definitely stays in the far rear and is not transmitted in enough db or dispersion to the front of the vehicle.

.
I am assuming you mean LOW bass (< 80 Hz)?? There is not bass below about 70 HZ or so but the mid/upper bass is sooooo boomy that I turned down the bass all the way and it still does not sound natural.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:39 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

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Originally Posted by mjw930 View Post
Personally, I find the system to be very listenable meaning it doesn't fatigue you with artificial peaks in the equalization. The staging is very good and the distortion seems to be kept pretty well in check.

I find the quality of the sound to be more tied to the source than any deficiencies in the reproduction. If I play one of my higher end, well mastered CD's the sound it very good, easily as good as some $2000 - $3000 aftermarket systems I've heard. The higher sampled mp4 audio sounds good as well but of course it falls a bit flat on FM, Sirius and some of the lower sampled mp3 tracks. Overall I'm very pleased with the system and see no need to invest a dime in it.
I agree that the SQ differs dramatically from source to source. Sirius is certainly disappointing. All of my music on my IPod is Apple Lossless because I have a Wadia ITransport as part of my home audio system, in order to bypass the 25 cent internal DAC in the Ipod. CD's also vary by disc, depending upon the original recording, but no way does the SQ of the factory Premium unit equal a well thought out after market system (and who wants to keep changing CD's in the single disc CD slot). I know that this is all subjective, but I will go out on a limb and suggest that our different perceptions of the factory premium stereo are likely to do with differing audio systems in our homes.
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Originally Posted by 2011RitterGC View Post
I am assuming you mean LOW bass (< 80 Hz)?? There is not bass below about 70 HZ or so but the mid/upper bass is sooooo boomy that I turned down the bass all the way and it still does not sound natural.
I agree, there is little to no low bass. No doubt, the bass issues are connected to the amplifier (no pun intended).
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:46 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

gostan4484, I tend to agree with you despite quality of music source, and I'm not a shake the street type listener. Given work hours and family commitments, the rig tends to be where I get the most music time. Though the system is solid, it just doesn't pop at either the high or low ends.

I'm waiting for warm weather as well, but will likely try another 8" subwoofer and perhaps a higher output amp. If the system is still a bit flat, I was then going to start with the tweets, dash, and front door speakers one at a time to chase it down a bit. Check out s search here, there were a few earlier threads on the subject. The wk2jeeps.com website shows decent steps to remove interior trim and whatnot to get at equipment, but it is a bit of a PITA with the plastic pins and connectors.

Agree with the commentary on the "equalizer" being short featured as well. As mjw said the sound stage is good, which you'd expect with 9 speakers, but the treble/mid/bass sets alone aren't quite cutting it.

In that regard, I thought about a new head unit as well, but the multi media functions are so good with the Mygig, that it would be hard to take that leap.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:55 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

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Originally Posted by moosehead View Post
gostan4484, I tend to agree with you despite quality of music source, and I'm not a shake the street type listener. Given work hours and family commitments, the rig tends to be where I get the most music time. Though the system is solid, it just doesn't pop at either the high or low ends.

I'm waiting for warm weather as well, but will likely try another 8" subwoofer and perhaps a higher output amp. If the system is still a bit flat, I was then going to start with the tweets, dash, and front door speakers one at a time to chase it down a bit. Check out s search here, there were a few earlier threads on the subject. The wk2jeeps.com website shows decent steps to remove interior trim and whatnot to get at equipment, but it is a bit of a PITA with the plastic pins and connectors.

Agree with the commentary on the "equalizer" being short featured as well. As mjw said the sound stage is good, which you'd expect with 9 speakers, but the treble/mid/bass sets alone aren't quite cutting it.

In that regard, I thought about a new head unit as well, but the multi media functions are so good with the Mygig, that it would be hard to take that leap.
I wish it were flat, thats its problem. The freq. curve is all over the place.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:50 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

I have a pretty competent home theater system (Denon/Paradigm), but I find the Alpine system just fine. It isn't ideal; the highs are a little muddy and the bass is boomy, but I've never considered a vehicle to be that great a listening environment anyway (bizarre acoustics of the cabin, intruding noise from outside).

I wouldn't be surprised if a speaker upgrade (not even touching the head unit or amplifier) would help, but I would expect the cost would be out of line with the results. Personally, I'm not going to drop a kilobuck-plus just to improve on it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:15 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

Quote:
Originally Posted by gostan4484 View Post
I agree that the SQ differs dramatically from source to source. Sirius is certainly disappointing. All of my music on my IPod is Apple Lossless because I have a Wadia ITransport as part of my home audio system, in order to bypass the 25 cent internal DAC in the Ipod. CD's also vary by disc, depending upon the original recording, but no way does the SQ of the factory Premium unit equal a well thought out after market system (and who wants to keep changing CD's in the single disc CD slot). I know that this is all subjective, but I will go out on a limb and suggest that our different perceptions of the factory premium stereo are likely to do with differing audio systems in our homes.
I agree, there is little to no low bass. No doubt, the bass issues are connected to the amplifier (no pun intended).
I agree that the quality of the listeners "ear" is the most significant component in the equation and for those who have a passion with audio the factory system will disappoint.

I've been an audiophile for more decades than I care to admit. I can trace my roots back to the first Hafler DH-200 / DH-101 kit I built in the late 70's (yes, I'm old!)

I did the high end car audio stuff back in the '70's and 80's when Fosgate was just hitting the market and spent more money than I care to admit.

I have reached a point in my life where I'm not as critical since I don't spend nearly as much time formally "listening" being in a climate that allows me to spend 12 months of the year outside. I also came to a realization about 15 years ago that the "MidFi" systems had reached a point where the gains achieved by the true HiFi systems were only perceptible in a controlled listening environment and for me usually not worth the additional costs. I was also introduced to a relatively new (at the time) concept called listener fatigue. There are a number of somewhat difficult to measure coloration's added to the music that are not evident in the initial listening but cause listener fatigue after as little as 30 minutes of listening. One of the clearest examples of this would be the difference in the listening experience between a Bose system and a properly designed system like a Martin Logan or even a Paradigm mid-fi system. While the Bose may sound impressive to the untrained ear the coloration added to provide this "presence" is unnatural and your brain grows tired dealing with it over time.

With all that being said the listening environment in a vehicle is one of the worst in the world for music. It's a compromise at best and when companies like Alpine are asked to design a system they usually take the time to actually place listening probes in place and tune the system's response and speaker placement to account for the imperfect environment. Sure, it also has to meet a price point but overall what's being delivered in vehicles these days is akin to the advancements in MidFi systems 10 or 15 years ago where the additional costs required to actually improve them (not just make them louder) is only something the most discerning listener would be able to justify.

Sorry for the novel but I wanted to highlight what I see the current state of the industry to be and not just throw out a 2 line opinion.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:17 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

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Originally Posted by Technosavant View Post
I have a pretty competent home theater system (Denon/Paradigm), but I find the Alpine system just fine. It isn't ideal; the highs are a little muddy and the bass is boomy, but I've never considered a vehicle to be that great a listening environment anyway (bizarre acoustics of the cabin, intruding noise from outside).

I wouldn't be surprised if a speaker upgrade (not even touching the head unit or amplifier) would help, but I would expect the cost would be out of line with the results. Personally, I'm not going to drop a kilobuck-plus just to improve on it.
Wow, that's exactly the system I have (with a classic Velodyne sub) and I agree 100% with your assessment of the Alpine system.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:37 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technosavant View Post
I have a pretty competent home theater system (Denon/Paradigm), but I find the Alpine system just fine. It isn't ideal; the highs are a little muddy and the bass is boomy, but I've never considered a vehicle to be that great a listening environment anyway (bizarre acoustics of the cabin, intruding noise from outside).

I wouldn't be surprised if a speaker upgrade (not even touching the head unit or amplifier) would help, but I would expect the cost would be out of line with the results. Personally, I'm not going to drop a kilobuck-plus just to improve on it.
I believe that the design of the factory system will not allow for new cross-overs to be installed in a speaker only upgrade, which would minimize the benefits of changing out the speakers with no new amplifier.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:47 AM
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Re: Alpine Premium Factory Audio System

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Originally Posted by gostan4484 View Post
I believe that the design of the factory system will not allow for new cross-overs to be installed in a speaker only upgrade, which would minimize the benefits of changing out the speakers with no new amplifier.
I agree, I'm pretty sure the amplifier and speakers were matched so changing one wthout the other is probably a waste of time and money.
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