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Looking for advice or compare/contrast on the iron aces preamp mod -vs- aftermarket head unit.

I assume most, if not all, of the high volume distortion on Harleys is a function of the fact that there are no preamp outputs on the radio so any aftermarket amps are forced to amplify an already amped signal.

Is it worth it to drop the coin on an aftermarket head unit with all of the necessary purchases that go with it, or does the Iron Aces preamp mod sound just as good?


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Looking for advice or compare/contrast on the iron aces preamp mod -vs- aftermarket head unit.

I assume most, if not all, of the high volume distortion on Harleys is a function of the fact that there are no preamp outputs on the radio so any aftermarket amps are forced to amplify an already amped signal.

Is it worth it to drop the coin on an aftermarket head unit with all of the necessary purchases that go with it, or does the Iron Aces preamp mod sound just as good?


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Going after market will definitely cost 2x as much as the iron cross mod... I spent almost 450$ for an Alpine 149bt and the hawg wired install kit...

Now I justified it because I wanted usb inputs and bluetooth and it was basically 220$ more than iron cross audio to upgrade to an aftermarket receiver.....

The Alpine 149bt is a great radio....
 

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I'd go after market, you can always sell your OEM unit and make up a lot of the cost. Basically you'll probably end up spending close to the same amount but have a better sounding more versatile unit.

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I'd go after market, you can always sell your OEM unit and make up a lot of the cost. Basically you'll probably end up spending close to the same amount but have a better sounding more versatile unit.

Sent from my SPH-L710
I agree... It took almost a month but mine sold with the 5.25" speakers for 325$
 

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We use the Iron Cross mods for all our installs.
3v clean pre-amp out works great on everything but the RF amps...but we cant get any radio to sound right with the RF when using pre-amps.
 

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We use the Iron Cross mods for all our installs.
3v clean pre-amp out works great on everything but the RF amps...but we cant get any radio to sound right with the RF when using pre-amps.
Racer X,
I've got an RF 300 amp, four 6.25" RF speakers and HK head unit. I've never thought the sound to be of a very high quality, particularly weak on the base. It sounds like the head unit is my problem? Would the Alpine head unit make a noticeable difference?
LPrez
 

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Racer X,
I've got an RF 300 amp, four 6.25" RF speakers and HK head unit. I've never thought the sound to be of a very high quality, particularly weak on the base. It sounds like the head unit is my problem? Would the Alpine head unit make a noticeable difference?
LPrez
No

we've tried that amp a couple of times, and have never been impressed.
Cant speak for the speakers.

We currently use alot of the ARC Audio K125.4 with alot of success with a wide variety of speakers.
6.5's will never give you booming base, but we get enough of s useable frequency response
 

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So, its sounds like the amp is my problem (no pun intended)? Thanks for the letting me know about the lack of base. The four 6.25" speakers are mounted in the upper and lower fairings. What options do I have to get more base--after I change the amp?
 

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So, its sounds like the amp is my problem (no pun intended)? Thanks for the letting me know about the lack of base. The four 6.25" speakers are mounted in the upper and lower fairings. What options do I have to get more base--after I change the amp?
Impossible to say without hearing your current system or knowing what you're expecting.
Most basic rule regarding speakers (all other things being equal)
larger speaker area = more air movement = more bass
We've have some pretty good results with J&M 7.25 and Biketronics 7.1
 

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While I've only had my shark for a week I can't really comment on the durability of the hk radio. However I can comment on the durability of the last 3 head units I've used last one being the Sony DSX-MS60. Out of all the head units I tried on my softail, all the face plates kept losing contact and turning on/off constantly. I have noticed that my softail front suspension is a lot stiffer/harsher than the shark which is probably why none of my last head units have lasted longer than 3k miles. My suggestion is if you go aftermarket go with a solid face receiver.

My softail is currently using the boom handle bar amp setup pushing a couple clarions. Sad to say its working better than any aftermarket receiver.

I'm thinking my shark will retain the hk radio and I'll have iron cross do the pre amp outputs but I'll do the rear aux myself.
 

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We use the Iron Cross mods for all our installs.
3v clean pre-amp out works great on everything but the RF amps...but we cant get any radio to sound right with the RF when using pre-amps.
Sadly, I'm glad to know that after all installing and re-installing , tweaking and cussing I've done with my RF amp and Sony Head only to be dissapointed with the sound - I'm NOT doing anything wrong. :eek:
It did sound pretty dang good when it was in my Batwing but I haven't had much luck in the RGC.
Guess I just justified buying an ARC or Alpine amp!
.... One slightly used RF amp for sale :D
 

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Sadly, I'm glad to know that after all installing and re-installing , tweaking and cussing I've done with my RF amp and Sony Head only to be dissapointed with the sound - I'm NOT doing anything wrong. :eek:

It did sound pretty dang good when it was in my Batwing but I haven't had much luck in the RGC.

Guess I just justified buying an ARC or Alpine amp!

.... One slightly used RF amp for sale :D

Which RF Amp are you selling?



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Rf bld

Sadly, I'm glad to know that after all installing and re-installing , tweaking and cussing I've done with my RF amp and Sony Head only to be dissapointed with the sound - I'm NOT doing anything wrong. :eek:
It did sound pretty dang good when it was in my Batwing but I haven't had much luck in the RGC.
Guess I just justified buying an ARC or Alpine amp!
.... One slightly used RF amp for sale :D
This is what I used in my setup. It cleans the signal up pretty good.

http://www.rockfordfosgate.com/products/details/rf-bld

Try this and tell me what you think. BTW I'm running two RF PBR300x4 amps.
 

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You can alway install hi to low impedance RCA converter between the HD head unit and the amp cheaper than the Head unit mods. Then you plug any amp you like.


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after I sold my stock HK unit on Ebay, my Alpine 149bt with Hawg Wired install kit only cost 150$....... The Iron Cross upgrade was going to be 145$..... It was a no brainer to go with the Alpine.....
 

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You can alway install hi to low impedance RCA converter between the HD head unit and the amp cheaper than the Head unit mods. Then you plug any amp you like.


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RCA converters simply "lower" the amplified audio signal, adding another layer of signal manipulation. Works when there is no other solution available, but does result is additional signal degradation.
The more the signal is manipulated. the worse the final audio output will be.
 
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