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  #13  
Old 03-20-2016, 09:39 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

Ok mophead, you'll be pleased.

Ended up going to Best Buy and having them do the install today. Because they were behind, they mentioned that they might be tight on time so I should give them prioritization. Ended up only doing the Infinity Kappas in the front and rear doors - no sub and no center speaker. I figure that the center speaker is a fast 15 minute job that I might do myself, and the sub is a drop in that many say requires 20 minutes. I'll see how bold I feel next weekend, or I might just take it back to BB.

Spent 20 minutes cycling various music. This met/exceeded all of my expectations and the difference is extremely noticeable. Basically, this is what I expected this system to sound like from day 1. Had I done this first I'm not sure I would have bothered with the sub (but I will, since I have it). The center channel seems so easy that I guess why not, but bass seems sufficient. The biggest difference is that the sound is so much cleaner/clearer. Worth noting: the installers added sound dampening material to the install. Before this, even the alpine caused the doors to rattle. Now it is much better despite the Kappas having stronger bass.

I'll provide additional updates as I add the center/sub. No pics included because it looks exactly the same.

tl;dr - great upgrade that I highly recommend, total cost was about $370 parts (including $50 sound dampening material) and $200 labor (including $50 for adding all the sound dampening material) for just under $600.

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  #14  
Old 03-20-2016, 10:12 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

Thank you! I didn't want you not having everything completed at the same time, but now we'll see how much improvement the sub makes on it's own. There are several posts about the factory sub boxes. You should search them for info. One installed DynaMat inside and out to strengthen the box with decent results. I don't suspect either the center or sub will be too much of a problem installing. Just read a post on a Stealthbox install. he had some issues with the panels lining up. Take your time and go slow. I'm sure there ought to be a YouTube video showing panel removal so you know what you're getting into. Good Luck and keep us posted.


Oh and I really liked my Kappa's in my Ram, so it won't be long before I'm doing the same. Waiting to see how this sub replacement goes and sounds though. I really don't want to deal with the cost of the Stealthbox and amp either. Wish we could just change out the factory amp with better quality and power. I'm surprised nobody (mfg) has done this. Must not be cost effective for them??? The speaker swap is a no brainer and piece of cake comparatively.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2016, 10:31 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

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Originally Posted by mophead View Post
Thank you! I didn't want you not having everything completed at the same time, but now we'll see how much improvement the sub makes on it's own. There are several posts about the factory sub boxes. You should search them for info. One installed DynaMat inside and out to strengthen the box with decent results. I don't suspect either the center or sub will be too much of a problem installing. Just read a post on a Stealthbox install. he had some issues with the panels lining up. Take your time and go slow. I'm sure there ought to be a YouTube video showing panel removal so you know what you're getting into. Good Luck and keep us posted.


Oh and I really liked my Kappa's in my Ram, so it won't be long before I'm doing the same. Waiting to see how this sub replacement goes and sounds though. I really don't want to deal with the cost of the Stealthbox and amp either. Wish we could just change out the factory amp with better quality and power. I'm surprised nobody (mfg) has done this. Must not be cost effective for them??? The speaker swap is a no brainer and piece of cake comparatively.
Not your fault at all, just how it turned out. On the other hand, it really is a nice opportunity to find out how much of a difference each of these upgrades make. The most expensive and extensive is done, and it is already what I would call "good enough." My bar for good enough is at least equivalent to my memory of my old ZJ with the Infinity Gold sound (which really was a fantastic system). This is already better - and given that I'm going off of my memory from many years ago (meaning, it includes the rose colored glasses of nostalgia) it is probably significantly better.

It all comes down to what you want out of your improvement. An upgrade increasing volume or bass output is a very different upgrade than just increasing clarity due to crap speakers. I just wanted to latter and I already got that. The remaining upgrades will be the cherry on top.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:41 AM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

Eagerly awaiting the next installment...
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:52 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

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Originally Posted by midsouthduckhunter View Post
Eagerly awaiting the next installment...
The next installment will get even more interesting because I'm going to try to do the rest myself, having never wired speakers before. How new to this am I? Lets put it this way - I just ordered a new socket wrench set and some dynamat (for the subwoofer enclosure).

I'll try and take some pictures of these installs as well. I plan on trying this over the upcoming weekend.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:04 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

Devil,
As an electrical engineer, I strongly recommend you consider the socket set a gift to yourself and pay the installers. No reason to jack up your $50k truck. I can do stuff like this but I don't; it is not my core competence and my free time is expensive. If you still intend on proving your manhood, disconnect the battery first.
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:47 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

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Originally Posted by midsouthduckhunter View Post
Devil,
As an electrical engineer, I strongly recommend you consider the socket set a gift to yourself and pay the installers. No reason to jack up your $50k truck. I can do stuff like this but I don't; it is not my core competence and my free time is expensive. If you still intend on proving your manhood, disconnect the battery first.
Unfortunately, the "I will do it myself" was a promise to my wife, who thinks this is me being frugal. So now I'm stuck with it. But if I fry something I promise I'll post about it here for your education and amusement.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:30 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

Ok, all done. All installed via self-install. Total install time for the dashboard speaker? 15 minutes, anyone can do it. Total install time for the sub? About 2 hours, really recommend some level of competence. This post will include my notes from my install with pictures. If you don't care because you're going to get a pro to install, skip this to my next one that will include my impressions.

Install notes for the dashboard speaker:
- Wired it the night before. With the metra adapter, the infinity reference took 10 seconds to wire. Black to black, red to white and you're done.
- Pull the molding up, disconnect a wire to something (some sensor?)
- Unscrew old speaker, disconnect wire to it.
- Put in new speaker, connect wire to it, screw it in.
- Test speaker, smile because it works.
This is what it looks like at this point
- Reconnect molding/wire

Install notes for sub:
- Also wired the night before. Except to wire it, you actually have to strip off the connectors to the sub. In other words, you keep the harness that will connect to the car's wiring, but the part that goes into the speaker requires that you strip off the ends and expose the wires. You then push the button and snap the exposed wires into the speakers. You do this for both ends - black to black, white to red. Once done, this makes wiring idiot proof but harder than the center channel and you need a wire stripping tool. Here's what it looks like wired
- The real pain here is getting to the sub box. You have to remove several pieces of car moulding to get to it, many of which are clipped or screwed to the car. I used the Crutchfield mastersheet for instructions and won't regurgitate it here. At the end, you remove the entire panel covering the right side, disconnect a power adapter for a DC power port. You will finally get to a sub box that looks like : this (note, I already removed the screws)
- Now, you can't just remove the sub, even after removing the 8 screws around the sub. You have to remove the entire sub box, undo a screw in the back and that will allow you to remove the subwoofer out of the enclosure.
- I then used dynamat on the back to get it to look like this (don't worry about covering the back screwhole, the pioneer won't use it anyway
- You then connect it up (easy as can be - black to black), use original screws to screw it in.
- Test it. Notice that it now visibly moves. Smile.
- Replace all moldings.
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  #21  
Old 03-26-2016, 11:52 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

So how does this all sound? I will say that there won't be further work on this system because it is officially done. I don't feel an urge to replace the amp or head unit, I don't feel deficiencies in any frequency range. I won't even bother replacing the tweeters or rear column speakers. The system already has clarity and range. Insofar as I started this thread and endeavor with a goal to turn the Alpine system into a system that would be actually good, I feel that I've gotten there.

What many are wondering is the relative value of each of the upgrades. I would say about 80% of the improvement came from changing the 6x9 front door speakers to the 6x9 Infinity Kappas and the 6.5" rear door speakers to Infinity Kappas. If you do this, you will immediately hear a dramatic difference. Further, as time goes on and the speakers break in the bass increases and they become even better. In fact, even before I added the sub, I would say they made up for any lack of quality bass the system had.

The center channel speaker adds a bit to the mids. It is a mild difference but takes little money/effort. As others reported, voice calls are a bit clearer, and in general, the Infinity reference fits in better with the Infinity Kappas.

The pioneer sub rounds out the system and fills out the low end. Between this and the Kappas, I feel like I have enough bass. It is an improvement compared to the old sub, but if you're looking for huge booming bass this probably won't cut it. You'll have to go the Stealthbox + sub amp route.

Anyway, I just installed the sub/mid-range today. I may post another update on thoughts as I spend more time with this system. And of course happy to answer any questions anyone has.
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  #22  
Old 03-27-2016, 02:01 AM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

Good job guy! Nice pics. Even if the wifey doesn't think you're frugal or smart for doing automotive stereo work on the bathroom vanity, we are all impressed.
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:05 AM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

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Originally Posted by midsouthduckhunter View Post
Good job guy! Nice pics. Even if the wifey doesn't think you're frugal or smart for doing automotive stereo work on the bathroom vanity, we are all impressed.
Kitchen, actually. Wife thinks this was me being very frugal, but of course complained throughout about how long this was all taking. I can't win.
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  #24  
Old 03-28-2016, 03:37 PM
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Re: Alpine Speakers to Infinity Kappas - Minimalistic Upgrade?

How do the front full range Kappas speakers work? Are they getting full signal?
I tought it wasnt a full range signal to the oem 6x9 speaker
What is the impedance of the oem 6x9 speaker of the alpine system?

Are the kappas the same impedance as the paper alpines?
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