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Old October 3rd, 2013, 01:35 PM
bradleyt09
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Brad Taylor
'97 D90 ST
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Stereo Discussion

Ok, I know this has been discussed a lot in the past. I have done a search and don't see any recent posts specific to my question, so here goes. It's time to upgrade the sound in my D90ST. I am not an audiophile and admittedly know very little about audio equipment so I'm seeking advice. I want to replace all four speakers with new coaxial speakers and have decided on the Polk audio DB651 speakers - these are marine rated and have been recommended by others on this site. I would appreciate help with regards to a new head unit. I don't care about CD, satellite or blue tooth. I plan on listening to Pandora and my ipod.

I've researched the crap out of this and would appreciate some advice. First, should I even consider an amp? Intuitively, it seems to be overkill as I'll be running with a surrey top and my speakers are mounted as original, down by my knees. I don't think the amp is necessary but would appreciate input.

Regarding head units, I have two that look interesting. They are different price points, but not significant enough to make a real difference. I'm concerned primarily with sound quality, and second with the look. I don't want a shiny silver head unit mounted in the cubby as it just doesn't jive with the look of the truck. Anyone have any experience with either of these head units?
Jensen Heavy Duty JHD1630B AM/FM Receiver
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_522JHD1...-JHD1630B.html
This thing looks like it was designed for a Defender. It's a beast, but no reviews online so I don't know anything about sound quality.

or the Kenwood KDC 255U
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113KDC2...-KDC-255U.html

If you have any audio knowledge or familiarity with any of this equipment, please chime in.

Cheers,
Brad
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  #2  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 01:55 PM
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1of40
NAS 97SW & 83 One Ten Tdi
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I like the Jensen too. It's got all I want/need. Been looking at this one and waiting for mine to completely die before I pulled the trigger.

If you go this route can you let me know where you get the install kit for the 97D?

Clay
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  #3  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 01:56 PM
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Jon Ruti
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I did a brief write-up on the alpine head unit, a set of four JL speakers and the alpine power pack (a mini amp). I'm really happy with the little power pack. As the power pack has broken in, the system has seen a measurable increase in overall volume. The quality of the sound also saw an immediate and positive impact once installed. It's a great upgrade with little to no impact on the factory look of the vehicle. I mounted the power pack inside of the cubby box and have since added a little false floor to camouflage the wiring. If you want, the power pack can be mounted underneath the cubby. Really, I love the system and the price was minimal.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=46794
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 02:07 PM
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If you want the most out of your system then you'll want an amp...especially in a ST...especially if you want to listen to music while on the highway with the top off.
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  #5  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Russell
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I also followed Jon's suggestion of the Alpine UTE-42BT head unit and KTP-445A amp. The setup works and sounds great for sub $200. When installing the amp, there is space in the factory cubby to install it without using any room inside the cubby box. The cubby has three compartments so to say. The front being the DIN sized slot for the head unit. The rear being the cubby box. However, between is dead space where the amp and all of the wiring fits cleanly within. Just cut open the bottom of the cubby from the underside to gain access to this third compartment. It is a complete blind installation from the top.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 04:16 PM
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Oscar
D110
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I'm planning on using the JENSEN MS2013BTR

can't hurt that it's designed for marine use.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA0FU0ND7316
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 04:22 PM
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rob grentz
1994 defender 90
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I've always had an alpine in my d-90 ST it has been rained on, snow filled, and in very dusy places and still works great?!?! but when it gets rained on and pretty wet it'll stop working for a day or two but then comes back too life I've had my d-90 since 1995 and only had to replace 2 head units and the nice thing about Alpine it that the DO NOT change the plug in the rear of the head unit, so to replace you just pull the unit and plug in the new one you don't have to rewire anything, Just my two cent
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  #8  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 04:30 PM
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Russell
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For $88 delivered from Amazon, let it get wet. In hindsight, wish that it had the automatic gain to compensate for wayside noise. Sort of a pain to turn the volume up and down between stops.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 05:55 PM
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Jon Ruti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down_shift View Post
I also followed Jon's suggestion of the Alpine UTE-42BT head unit and KTP-445A amp. The setup works and sounds great for sub $200. When installing the amp, there is space in the factory cubby to install it without using any room inside the cubby box. The cubby has three compartments so to say. The front being the DIN sized slot for the head unit. The rear being the cubby box. However, between is dead space where the amp and all of the wiring fits cleanly within. Just cut open the bottom of the cubby from the underside to gain access to this third compartment. It is a complete blind installation from the top.
Nice! I wasn't going to sleep until someone on this forum bought that thing...
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  #10  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 06:04 PM
bradleyt09
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Brad Taylor
'97 D90 ST
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Thanks to all for the feedback. Jon, that was a great write-up on the Alpine head unit and power pack. Nice set-up and pics. The small amp looks interesting and I'd definitely like to know more. I really don't want to modify or punch any holes in the cubby. I have a '97 and the cubby looks different than yours in the pics. I have a designated single din slot in the very front for the head unit, which can be covered or not as the lid of the cubby has a folding, hinged front section. The rest of the cubby under the lid is comprised of two separate sections. Jon or Russell, maybe one of you guys can answer this. As I don't want to put a hole between dividers in the cubby, I wonder if there is any space in the din compartment below the head unit to accommodate the amp? Russell, your point about automatic gain is a good one. Do you know of an Alpine head unit comparable to the one you used that has auto gain?
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 07:05 PM
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Joshua
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Check for space under your seats......
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  #12  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 07:11 PM
Lemonhead
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TB
1997 D90 SW
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Plenty of space in a '97 center console for an amp. If you have room and the cash - get an amp. Your speakers will crap out (distort) at high volume not because of the speakers but most likely because you'll push the internal head unit amp too far. A separate amp will help alleviate that problem. Also room under the passengers seat for a slimline powered sub - you'd be surprised how well it sounds.
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  #13  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:48 PM
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jruti
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Jon Ruti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyt09 View Post
Thanks to all for the feedback. Jon, that was a great write-up on the Alpine head unit and power pack. Nice set-up and pics. The small amp looks interesting and I'd definitely like to know more. I really don't want to modify or punch any holes in the cubby. I have a '97 and the cubby looks different than yours in the pics. I have a designated single din slot in the very front for the head unit, which can be covered or not as the lid of the cubby has a folding, hinged front section. The rest of the cubby under the lid is comprised of two separate sections. Jon or Russell, maybe one of you guys can answer this. As I don't want to put a hole between dividers in the cubby, I wonder if there is any space in the din compartment below the head unit to accommodate the amp? Russell, your point about automatic gain is a good one. Do you know of an Alpine head unit comparable to the one you used that has auto gain?
Sure, no problem! I neglected to see that you have a 97 so your "cubby" is a whole different party. I don't know if there is a space below the DIN compartment but given the sheer size of the center console in the '97s, I'm sure it's cavernous under there. Pull it up and see if you can mount it to existing holes on the floor. The only issue with the mini amp is that the harness it comes with is short so it naturally must be relatively close to the head unit (I'd say within a foot and half of the head unit). I agree with you - I wouldn't want to drill holes anywhere in the 97 console as it's plastic and NLA new. If the mini amp doesn't work out then you should take Josh's suggestion and mount a traditional amp under the seats as you wouldn't be limited by the length of wires. I remember another board member selling a 97 console a little while back - I'd search the for sale thread and look at the pictures of the console off so you can get an idea of what it looks like underneath.
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  #14  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 10:10 PM
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Bill Ski
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Jruti, I've actually been looking at that very head unit to put in my overhead console. I was curious how is the sound quality using the bluetooth input?
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