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I’m on a quest to totally upgrade the audio system in my ’10 GMC. Since I’ll be using the truck as a workhorse to travel to shows, I decided to make my time on the road more enjoyable. A good sound system will make long distance trips a breeze. To help me get a handle on the job, I turned to some professionals.

The guys at Street Beats Audio in Wichita, Kansas have a long history of top-notch stereo installations and even higher quality audio gear. Street Beats is Wichita’s only Signature JL Audio dealer and an Alpine Flagship Installer.

A few conversations with Street Beats owner Sean Puckett and a new system layout was created. We decided that the shop would install a setup typical of something you would purchase if you stopped by most audio installation shops looking for something to take your system to the next level. Street Beats replaced the boring single-CD factory head unit with a popular Alpine X008U navigational head unit, two sets of JL Audio C2 speakers powered by JL’s XD 700.5 five-channel amp and a Stealth Box that houses two 12 W3 shallow-mount subs. A Viper Smart Start alarm that is smart phone capable protects the truck and its newly installed gear. If you’re like me and constantly secondguess whether or not you’ve actually armed your vehicle, this alarm is for you. It uses an app to allow you to check the status of your vehicle anywhere.

It didn’t take long for Street Beats to bring my truck into its shop so the process could begin. To my surprise, the staff went the extra mile and brought in a couple of extra goodies. Two sets of JL Audio interconnect RCA cables and a Stinger Pro 4-gauge wire were installed to supply the audio signal and power to the amp cleanly. As you will see in the following installation, it’s possible to remove the factory GM premium stereo system and add several upgraded components to experience much better sound from the stereo.

SOURCES

 Street Beats Audio
316.943.8444
Streetbeatsaudio.com

JL Audio, Inc.
954.443.1100
jlaudio.com

Alpine
310.326.8000
Alpine-usa.com

Viper
Viper.com

THE GEAR
  • Alpine X008U navigational head unit
  • Alpine KTX-GM8W-0 Prefect Fit installation kit
  • JL Audio C2 650X coaxials
  •  JL Audio C2 650 two-way components
  •  JL Audio XD700/5v2 amp
  •  JL Audio 12w3 preloaded Stealth Box
  •  JL Audio XDCLRAIC2- 18, XD-CLRAIC4-18 RCA wires
  • Stinger 4000 series wire kit
  •  Axxess GMOS-LAN- 012 OnStar harness
  •  Axxess ASWC-1 universal steering wheel control
  • PAC TR-7 universal trigger output module
  •  VIPER VSS5000 Smart Start alarm

DISASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION

My truck is an SLT model, so it came with the optional front bucket seats and center console like a Yukon or Tahoe. The center package tray must be removed to access the factory speaker wire bundle.

Here you can locate the factory speaker harness as well as the USB factory connection point to be hooked up later to the Alpine head unit’s USB wire to use the factory USB location.

We used a plastic door removal tool to take off the dash bezel to access the factory stereo.

Next, we move on to the factory door speakers. Carefully remove the door panels to get to the speaker.

Since we will be installing components up front, the tweeters in the A-pillars are also removed.

After the speaker wires were soldered in place, we installed the JL Audio speakers. As you can see, the components are in front, and the coaxials are in the rear.

Street Beats has learned that when running multiple wires to a single location it’s best to use a great product from Stinger called Speedwire cable. This multi-conductor insulation cable connects to the factory wire harness hook-up located under the center package tray.

Once all of the wire connections were made to allow the Alpine to work with the GM OnStar and steering wheel controls, we installed the head unit into the dash.

Since the Alpine X008U uses an 8-inch screen, it’s required to also use Alpine’s Perfect Fit installation kit that has a redesigned radio bezel to allow new head unit and factory HVAC controls to fit seamlessly together just as if it were factory made.

We chose to mount the microphone above the rearview mirror to allow use of Bluetooth calling features.

The best location for the GPS antenna to receive the optimum signal was on the dash near the heater vent.

The passenger firewall is a good spot for the inline fuse block.

The four AWG Stinger Pro series wire were brought into the cab through the foot well on the passenger side since the battery is located on that side of the truck. To prevent audio signal interference it’s best to run the RCA wires along the opposite side of the power wire, in this case the driver’s side.

With the JL Audio Stealth box mounted under the rear seat, the amp and cross-overs can be mounted directly to the box, and then the connections are made.

As you can see, JL has provided a great spot that provides a clean and simple design layout that made our installation a breeze.

With all the audio gear out of the way it was time for the guys at Street Beats to install the Viper Smart Start alarm system. This process must be executed by a qualified shop to ensure everything is done correctly.

The awesome thing about this system from Viper is the smart phone integration that allows you to check on the status of your vehicle wherever a cell signal is present, 24/7. Combine that with the remotestart function, and your ride can be started on a set schedule or manually directly from your phone.

OUT ON THE ROAD

Once the key was turned in the ignition the sound gods provided amazing tunes from the JL Audio speakers. Thanks to the design ingenuity of the Stealth Box, I can have booming bass without sacrificing cab room.

The Alpine X008U touch-screen allows me to select from a full array of sound tuning options so that I can get the exact sound I want.

With the state-of-the-art X008u navigation software I’m able to locate gas stations, restaurants and even clothing and accessories stores. Now long road trips are easy thanks to Alpine’s touchscreen feedback.

 

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