All in, I'm well under $1,000 for everything (plus about 10-16 hours combined for all the installs... a lot of that is invested in upgrading the knee panel speakers). I have a friend who has the premium Alpine system in his JL, and we both agree my system sounds as good or better. I'd say the best endorsement comes from my 26 year old- who likes his "music" unbearably loud and certifies that my current set up gets the job done. Even with the top and doors off, we can get the audio performance we want.
- The head unit is still stock (the "middle one" - 7" screen I believe)- it's the only OEM audio component in my Jeep.
- Dash speakers are the Mopar Kicker upgrade (from a Dodge model- think it's 77KICKERAB or something like that). This was my first upgrade, and it made an immediate difference.
- Soundbar speakers were replaced with SSV 6.5" pods (running their speakers, very happy). Alpine states the soundbar speakers are just "fillers," and they are if you stick with the small OEM speakers. With coax 6.5" speakers they become a big part of the sound- definitely worth the upgrade.
- Knee panel speakers were replaced with Infinity 6.5" coax speakers using Metra pods. These are the most difficult speakers to upgrade, but does a great job at filling out the front sound.
- SoundOrdnance powered subwoofer is installed under the passenger front seat. I think it's only an 8" sub, but it definitely does the trick for me.
- Installed an Alpine KTP-445 amp (did a whole write-up, it used to be possible to make this a plug-n-play install using components from Alpine- but the harnesses are no longer available anywhere). It is definitely worth it to install this little amp (which can be placed above the glovebox or- as mine is- under the passenger seat next to my subwoofer). One of the advantages of the Alpine KTP is you do not need to wire in resistors- just hook up the speaker inputs and outputs and you're good to go. Another advantage is you can actually just draw power from your radio circuit (you'll need to install a power cable for a subwoofer- but not for this amp).
Did you only use the Alpine KTP amp without a PAC AMP PRO or any other pre-amp? You didn't have issues with the head until not recognizing the speakers?