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2018 JGC Trailhawk
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just bought myself a 2018 Trailhawk. It's my first brand new vehicle since 1999 and I love everything about it except the stock Alpine audio. I have been doing me reading and research about replacement but it's going to come in stages as I just cant afford to do it all at once. Here is my initial plans and ideas and I'm looking forward to peoples thoughts, input and opinions.

Stage one: Replace front and rear door speakers

Hybrid Audio Unity U2 or U3 in custom sail panel pods on axis
Hybrid Audio Unity U69-S in the stock 6x9 location
Hybrid Audio Mirus M61-2 6.5" coaxial in the rear doors
Fatmat on all doors and door panels
still use factory amp and settings

Stage two: Sub replacement and Amplifier replacement

Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP
iDatalink Maestro AR with harness for factory integration
JL Audio Stealth box
JL Audio JX500/1
Fatmat used in the sub area

I would not use the center channel or the D pillar speakers with this setup

I am completely open to suggestions on everything.

Thanks!
 

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JGC TrailHawk MY18
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Hi Headonistic, You didn't say what Trailhawk you have. Cherokee or Grand Cherokee. Interesting you should says this. My wife and I both bought a 2014 Grand Cherokee Laredo (Australia) and I just upgraded mine to the 2018 Trailhawk. I love it but I think the low cost Laredo with fewer speakers has a much nicer sound (tone) to my older ears.
After spending so much more for the Trailhawk I am a little disappointed with the sound. I even lost my storage space in the rear which is now filled with a subwoofer. I would prefer the extra storage space than a subwoofer that offer nothing to my ears in the front seat.
 

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Give your Alpine system at least a couple hundred hours of break-in before you make a final judgment on it. I hated mine at first but like it pretty well now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jeepski it is a 2018 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

BubbaATL 200 hours is a bit extreme for everything to break in and I have about 70 hours on the system already, yes it sounds much better but not up to my standards or taste.

I ordered Audiofrog tweeters, 6x9 midbass, 6 3/4" coaxials and a polk 3.5" center for starters. After break in I'll evaluate if future upgrades are needed.
 

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I only say that because at about 200 hours mine still seems to keep getting better. Or, as I've observed before, maybe I'm just getting more accustomed to it.
 

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I have never heard of a break in period for speakers. I should Google it.
Surely they are at their best from new unlike a good bottle of wine.
 

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How do you measure getting better at 200 hours. Maybe ones ears get more matured.
...or just resigned maybe.

But I did think the system sounded really terrible at first, like everything was coming through a thick pair of socks. But it's really opened up over the last couple of months to where I'm thinking I can - maybe - actually live with it.

It's still VERY source dependent and I swear (sometimes) I think it sounds better via Bluetooth (Samsung Galaxy S7) than USB.
 

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Sirius doesn't sound good on anything. They use two tons of compression.
 

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I have also always thought Pandora/Spotify via Bluetooth sounds a lot better coming from my Samsung than from my wife's iPhone. And, come to think of it, same for the Motorolas I had before the Samsung.

Probably all in my mind.
 

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Thank for the confirmation. That's strange though, because they're is no Alpine logo anywhere, the sticker only says '9 Speakers and Subwoofer'
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Huh ... yeah it doesn't show up on my build sheet or window sticker. But the puff stuff still uses the brand name, e.g.:

"Two available premium audio systems add to the sensory experience: a nine-speaker Alpine® Surround Sound System and a Harman Kardon® System featuring multichannel processing and 19 high-performance speakers."

https://www.jeep.com/grand-cherokee/interior.html
 

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Huh ... yeah it doesn't show up on my build sheet or window sticker. But the puff stuff still uses the brand name, e.g.:

"Two available premium audio systems add to the sensory experience: a nine-speaker Alpine® Surround Sound System and a Harman Kardon® System featuring multichannel processing and 19 high-performance speakers."

https://www.jeep.com/grand-cherokee/interior.html
Thanks, never even noticed that. I was actually going to buy a Wrangler this time around after 3 GC, but the new ones weren't out yet so I thought the Trailhawk was kind of a compromise. The new wrangler was coming out with the bigger 8.4 Uconnect, etc. So I actually saw the Trailhawk on the lot and just went with it so I didn't do the usual research.

I guess it takes 19 speakers for it to sound good. :rolleyes: My two issues although not major are the stereo and the heater wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I replaced the center channel speaker with a Polk dB351 last night. It's not a world changer but it did liven things up by adding some upper midrange that was missing and also lifting the sound stage a bit. With such a small easy speaker upgrade making a difference like this I can't wait to see what difference the Audiofrogs are going to make.
 

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I have never heard of a break in period for speakers. I should Google it.
Surely they are at their best from new unlike a good bottle of wine.
It's 100% for sure a thing. New speakers are at their WORST. 200 hrs seems a bit extreme, but so what. Either way, you do need at least 50 hrs for any speaker to start to sound the way it should. Go to any higher end audio electronics store (home or mobile) and they will tell you something along these lines.

My stock Alpine does sound better after about 100 hrs, but still not anywhere near as good as a good aftermarket setup.

I am in the middle of doing JLs all around with a Pioneer 8" in the sub location. The sub is in, with some polyfill and I'm not seeing a huge difference. I have the JLs but want to do them at the same time as the Amp and factory radio integration. I have the PAC CH41 on the way. Most likely will do an Alpine 5 channel for 4 speakers and the sub. Wasn't planning on doing a DSP...think I'll be okay going without one, guys?
 

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The factory dsp is the biggest hurdle to cleaning up the factory 9 channel. Currently doing research to see if there's a multi channel amp I can use to replace the factory amp and keep everything working.
Already upgraded the sail panel tweeters with Dayton Silk Domes and the difference is huge but the top end roll off is still very noticeable. Still, they brought the front soundstage up out of the floor and I don't have to Max out the Eq anymore.
Will have Infinity Reference 3.5 in center shortly to see if it raises the quality of uConnect calls and fills in the soundstage or not.
As for the DSP or not question I've used the Alpine, JL and JBL automatic mic based DSP and heard good and bad things. None of them can compete with a proper manual setup by an experienced professional and sometimes they can make a real mess and make things worse. So it all comes down to how much time and effort you want to put in to your setup.
 

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As its said beauty is in the eyes of the beholder likewise audio sound quality is in the ears of the beholder.

My '18 GC TrailHawk which has the 9 speaker + sub audio system has fantastic audio sound quality.....IMO!
But then again i'm relating that to my '16 Ford F150 which has the world's crappiest tinniest sound system with no base what so ever.
 
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