Plug and Play amp upgrade to basic system

TJJL19

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Varilux, I ordered the wire harness and T harness, it was the opposite of your order,the T harness is on backorder. I tried to deal my way to a cheaper price on the RCA cable, but they would not budge on the price.
So how did you add the RCA cable? Sorry to be a rookie at my age, so how did you know the ground to the RCA cables?
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TJJL19

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Sorry I forgot to mention it's for the subwoofer
 
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Varilux

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TJJL19 said:
Varilux, I ordered the wire harness and T harness, it was the opposite of your order,the T harness is on backorder. I tried to deal my way to a cheaper price on the RCA cable, but they would not budge on the price.
So how did you add the RCA cable? Sorry to be a rookie at my age, so how did you know the ground to the RCA cables?
Yeah, it is odd that each component of the wiring has the same price- even though some of the components are far more complex than others. The T Harness is the same price as the power cable... don't know why they priced it that way.

There are four wires that come out of the T Harness for the sub. The main harness should hook up to the sub out plug and provide you with a run to wherever you place the sub (probably under the passenger seat). All of Alpine's wiring seems to be pretty consistent in that the positive feeds are solid in color, and the negative feeds have a black stripe.

I happened to have an old set of RCA plugs I hadn't used from another Alpine amp, and I noticed the wires coming out of the Alpine RCA plug had the same setup (one solid, one black stripe). I just connected solid to solid and stripe to stripe, and it worked out fine. However in your case, you're probably going to be using an RCA cable where you cut through the wires and then splice them in. There are a couple of things you could do that might help...

You could just order something like the cable at this link Speaker wire to RCA Adapter
You would connect the silver feeds to the positive (solid color) wires and the copper feeds to the negative (black stripe) wires (on setups like this where you have a silver and copper wire, the silver is pretty much always the positive feed).

Or, you could also just cut into an old RCA cable you have lying around the house (I know we have a few of them- you only need one cable, because you can use the connector from each side). Hopefully when you peel back the insulation you'll see two wires with different colors. Just make sure you are consistent in hooking up the positive (solid) wires to the same color on each plug and the same for the negatives. As long as you wire both plugs the same way it should be fine (because your sub will probably have a phase adjuster- if you notice the bass doesn't sound right, just adjust the knob to reverse the polarity and you'll be set).

If you are really concerned about getting positive and negative correct, you could hook up the sub, power it, and plug in one of the RCA plugs with the wires unconnected. Take a small battery (AAA or a 6v smoke detector battery) and touch one wire to the positive and one to the negative. Look at the speaker as you do so... if the speaker pushes outward, you have the correct polarity (i.e., the wire you have on the battery's plus terminal is the positive and vice versa). If the speaker cone retracts backwards into the sub, you have the polarity reversed.

Since it will take a couple days for the T Harness to come off backorder, I would probably order the adapter in the link from Walmart and go that way.

Hope this helps, I'm an amatuer myself, but usually figure things out eventually (usually by watching a bunch of YouTube videos :^).
Pete
 

Liberty0rDeath

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Glad I found this thread! Thanks for the write up @Varilux . We are preparing to go naked and I know that our messily 5" uconnect factory set up isnt going to cut it. I ordered the 77KICK25AB for the top dash, Metra JP-1014 pods with Kicker 46CS654 speakers for the knee dash, SSV JJT-SA065 soundbar adapters with Kicker 46CSS654 component speakers and I knew the speaker swap would be nice but I was dreading getting an amp. This will help a lot on the ease of use for the upgrade. I dont have a sub in mind yet so that will be tackled later on. I do have a 7" uconnect radio on the way also so while I have the dash torn apart I will try to do it all in a weekend. Pretty much an entire sound system swap. I ordered both harnesses (both on backorder) and the alpine amp so I am hoping that portion of the upgrade will go nicely. The only question I have while I wait on all the packages to get here:

Was there enough room behind the radio for the additional radio harnesses? Any specifics on placement of the those that I need to be aware of? I read the placement of the amp above the glove box, so I am good with that, unless you have seen any need to change since your install?

Thanks again
 
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Liberty0rDeath said:
Was there enough room behind the radio for the additional radio harnesses? Any specifics on placement of the those that I need to be aware of? I read the placement of the amp above the glove box, so I am good with that, unless you have seen any need to change since your install?

Thanks again
The additional harness fits behind the radio. It might take a little bit of shuffling things around until you find just the right placement, but eventually you'll get to where the head unit pushes the whole way back to its mounting surface with no resistance. Just get everything back there and then slowly start pushing the head unit back into place. You may find one corner or the other ends up 1/8" or so short of mounting flush (honestly, you can apply just a little pressure and screw it right in, but I'm OCD enough that I wanted it to mount with no stress on the tabs whatsoever).

Regarding placement of the KTP-445U amp, keep in mind when I ordered the T-harness the main harness was on backorder. Since I have zero patience for such things, I just went ahead and created a main harness. Looking back, I wish I had just waited for the harness to come back into stock... it is a pain to make all those connections. I mention this because building my own harness did allow me to put the amp above the glovebox. I don't know if the actual harness from Alpine will allow for that (because in the Alpine set-up, that amp is under the passenger seat). If I had to, I could have put the amp under my seat next to the SoundOrdinance subwoofer (I think it would have fit), I just preferred having it in a more accessible place (in fact, I still haven't gotten around to zip tying the amp up into place- it is still sitting in the glovebox... that's a project for later today).

Good luck with the install of the 7" radio and amp! I just got my Jeep back from the dealer (my 7" radio and cluster have had a number of glitches since new- the dealer was able to update the software in each and they seem to be working much better now).
 
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Pressuregarage

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Varilux
So much information on this thread that I’ve needed!
Been seriously looking to upgrade to an amplified setup on the wife’s JLU
We have the 7” Screen non-alpine system.
My whole reason of NOT upgrading to anything was the very same reason of having to add resistors to the wires.
My main question on this topic is, how does this simple Harness/T-Harness correct that?
I’m under the assumption that using the alpine based “Power Pack” for the mids/highs setup is how it ties all together?
I have a definite plan on how I want to do the mids/highs speaker upgrades, and I understood that if I wanted to add a subwoofer to the system WITHOUT changing the head unit I could just tap into the wires..... but I’m still confused on HOW this relatively SIMPLE approach bypasses the need for adding the resistors
 
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Varilux

Varilux

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Pressuregarage said:
My whole reason of NOT upgrading to anything was the very same reason of having to add resistors to the wires.
My main question on this topic is, how does this simple Harness/T-Harness correct that?
I’m under the assumption that using the alpine based “Power Pack” for the mids/highs setup is how it ties all together?
The short answer is "I'm not really sure." However, in another thread I saw someone had hooked up the KTP without resistors, and- looking into the Alpine upgrade system (which uses the KTP amp)- it didn't seem as if they were using resistors either.
My guess is any amp that uses speaker level inputs creates the resistance the head unit needs to see. I saw a write-up of a Kicker amp install that didn't use resistors, so seems like an accurate assumption. The head unit will not send a signal if it doesn't see resistance (which I confirmed when swapping to 6.5" soundbar speakers), so it's obviously seeing resistance from the amp.
The write-ups which indicate the need to add resistors all seem to be connecting a digital sound processor before the amp. I'm guessing the DSP doesn't provide the necessary resistance.
 

Liberty0rDeath

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I have a question that hopefully isn’t too dumb. The amp has 4 channels, so which speakers are being amplified? If I’m replacing all the speakers do I get to choose which ones will be amplified? With replacing all of mine (dash, knee, and sound bar) I’m curious how this will work?
 

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The route I was going to use, being that it is fairly new, would be the
PAC AP4-CH42(R.2)

It says that it corrects the problem with NON amplified systems and gives you a usable low level signal and/or optical out,BUT after installing it the stock unit will not supply power to speakers anymore.
That’s why I was intrigued by this way of attacking it, because it uses the T harness and adds power to the system without the hassle of Rewiring the whole Jeep.
Honestly I’d love the versatility of adding a DSP and amplifier for all the speakers, but I keep asking myself if I want to really make it THAT complicated.
A few passive crossovers on the mids and highs and a nice powerful sub stage, along with your route is probably all we would really need. Just wish that the Alpine KTTP-445u had a set of pre-outs to expand it.
 

Pressuregarage

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I have a question that hopefully isn’t too dumb. The amp has 4 channels, so which speakers are being amplified? If I’m replacing all the speakers do I get to choose which ones will be amplified? With replacing all of mine (dash, knee, and sound bar) I’m curious how this will work?
Thinking it separates front and rear channels.
The dash/knee is the front(L/R = 1 &2)
And the soundbar is rear (Rear Left/Rear Right = 3&4)
 

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If you have the basic system (non-Alpine) and want to boost the power with an amp, there's a way to do so that will take all of about one hour to install...

The amp is the Alpine KTP-445U Power Pack (here's a link to it on Crutchfield Alpine KTP-445U Power Pack), and at $189, it's fairly inexpensive. This is by no means a huge amp, but it will give you 4 channels of 45w (which is more than double what the stock head unit puts out).

Okay, this is a universal amp- so how does it become plug-n-play? Well, the KTP-445U is the amp Alpine puts in its PSS-23WRA system (which also includes upgraded front dash speakers, and a subwoofer at a $1299 price tag). The PSS includes a harness for hooking that amp up to a JL, so all you have to do is order the harness to make it plug-n-play.

Crutchfield doesn't sell the harness separately, but you can purchase it at pacparts.com (which sells replacement parts for the Alpine PSS system). Here are the two harness parts you'll need:
Alpine 820SVV90ZUD-PQKUQV Main Harness ($42.86)
Alpine 820SVV90ZUD-WKUQV T-Harness ($42.86)

Unfortunately, the main harness was out of stock (and I'm impatient), so I just ordered the T-Harness and fabricated the main harness. Honestly, although it still only took about 2.5 hours to install from start to finish, almost 2 of those hours were spent building the main harness- so waiting a few extra days for the main harness to ship may have been worth it.

Here's a pic of the T-Harness and the ends of the KTP-455U. Although I had to splice the harness that came with the amp into the T-Harness, assuming you order the main harness all you'll need to do is plug one end into the outlets on the T-Harness and the other end in the KTP amp, and you'll be good to go.
ef8955bbcd68469416f9c5eb3dc97d6f6216b692.jpg

I already have a powered subwoofer installed under my passenger seat, and if you do as well you'll want to grab the signal for the subwoofer before the amp, because the amp has dip switches which allow you several high-pass options for your speakers. You don't want to grab the signal after the amp, because if you elect to use the high-pass, you'll lose some of the signal to your sub. The T-Harness has a sub feed that is used for the Alpine system, and I originally tied into that. The sub worked, but for some reason I could not get much power out of the sub- so I spliced into the wires going to the amp and my sub worked just fine again. [Edit: A day later, I realized the sub feeds from the harness were low-powered, so I cut the ends off some RCA cables, spliced the RCA into the sub feeds from the harness, plugged the RCA ends into my subwoofer, and it worked perfectly. If you get the main harness, I believe it will include the RCA jacks on the sub end- just plug them into your sub of choice.]

One of the advantages of the Alpine KTP-455U's small size is you do not need to run a power cable to the battery- you can literally just tap into the power and ground used for the radio. Per Alpine's instructions, if the circuit that powers your radio is over 15A (the JL's radio circuit is 20A) you just tie right into your harness. Here's a pic with the T-Harness installed in the dash- you can see the blue taps where I've tied into the radio's power supply. Also, since the amp is so small, you can put it behind your glove box (I have mine just laying in the glove box for now until I have all the settings just where I want them).
9ffcaa59940d785685f6923c177005a5df2b0ced.jpg

The red end of the harness plugs right back into your radio just like the factory harness would.

I'm by no means an expert at this stuff, but I have installed a few amps in previous vehicles, and it really does not get easier than this. There's no need to add resistors into the speaker lines (this was the thing that kept me from adding an amp before), you just plug it in and it works.

How does it work? Pretty impressively considering it costs about $270 all in with harnesses! I have the gains set super low, (the minimum position is about 7 o'clock, the dials are at about 9 o'clock), and can turn the radio the whole way up without distortion. Of course, going past about 26 becomes deafening (for me, anyway- my 25 year old seemed to be enjoying it), but it's good clean power that will let me get loud enough to enjoy music even with the doors and top removed. My base system (with the 7" head unit) is very comparable to the premium Alpine system in my coworker's JL at this point. Here's what I've done:

Front speakers upgraded to a premium Kicker used in a Dodge Dart- direct fit) Mopar 77KICK25AB - $44.50 pair
Powered 125w 8" subwoofer installed under passenger seat Sound-Ordnance-B-8PTD - $169
Speaker Bar upgraded with SSV 6.5" pods SSV 6.5" Speaker Pods - $199 (including 6.5" speakers)
Alpine KTP-4 channel x 45w amplifier (described above, with links) - $270

I think that puts me all in at around $685, and I'm completely happy with my sound system at this point. It sounds great during normal driving, and I'll be able to overcome wind noise when my Jeep is in its natural state (doors and rear windows removed).

PS- Thanks to emgeesea for bringing the KTP-445U to my attention, it finished off my system.
Okay Pete. You are about 30 mins from me. See you next weekend for my install :CWL::CWL::CWL: kidding of course.
Nice write up. Would love to do this and add a sub under seat someday...
 

Volbut32

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Great info! I have all my components except for the main harness and t harness, on back order. I plan to add a mono amp and sub in addition to the Alpine KTU.

I'm a bit confused as to how/best way to connect the mono amp. It may be more clear once I have the harnesses. Can anyone elaborate on this part of the process?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Varilux

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Volbut32 said:
Great info! I have all my components except for the main harness and t harness, on back order. I plan to add a mono amp and sub in addition to the Alpine KTU.
I'm a bit confused as to how/best way to connect the mono amp. It may be more clear once I have the harnesses. Can anyone elaborate on this part of the process?
Thanks in advance.
The T-Harness will have a plug that says "sub-out." This will be a low-powered sub signal from the head unit. The Main Harness should have a plug that connects to the sub-out. On the other end of the harness, you would just wire RCA plugs to those wires and connect to your mono sub-amp. Alternatively, you could use speaker level inputs by tapping into the rear speaker feeds BEFORE they go into the KTP-445U amp (you don't want to tap into them after the amp, because then if you use the high pass filter on the amp you'll be cutting the signal the sub needs).

I'm definitely not an audio expert (so someone who knows better please correct if needed), but I believe those are your two options for wiring your mono amp for a sub.

Okay Pete. You are about 30 mins from me. See you next weekend for my install :CWL::CWL::CWL: kidding of course. Nice write up. Would love to do this and add a sub under seat someday...
Happy to help- I'm running out of things to do in the garage! :^)
 

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Alpine PWD-X5, purchased but not yet installed, perfect boost for base stereo and even has a DSP
 
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Varilux

Varilux

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Alpine PWD-X5, purchased but not yet installed, perfect boost for base stereo and even has a DSP
That looks like a cool product- should make for a very tidy install (the harnesses should probably still help as well- I wonder if Alpine uses the same connector for the speaker in feeds). I bet 25w per channel is plenty (after all, the gain on the 40w per channel KTP has to be turned almost the whole way down). Please post a report on the results you get- I might use this unit for my son's vehicle.
 
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