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Is the Harman Kardon Option Worth the Money

7300 Views 120 Replies 70 Participants Last post by  GlockandRoll
I ordered a 2023 Challenger on 11/16/22 and did not order the HK option. Is the Harman Kardon a must-have or is the stock audio system adequate? TIA
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Must have for me. Always have the music on.
The HK is barely adequate to me. I would probably be disappointed in the alpine.
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All that said. I’d take an aftermarket system with a 4 channel and a 2 channel amp. With components and twin 12’s which would blow the HK out of the water. Shake tje car to pieces too 😁. A couple 1000 watts would do it. Need a new alternator and maybe a second battery though.

but I plan to keep the JB stock; this isn’t a car I’d hack up.
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That’s the HK bass compared to an alpine. 😁
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I've never been blown away by ANY factory system. Just try and get the least crappy one :)
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Lol. The HK is not a bass heavy system, my Tahoe has more bass than the HK system. The HK system WILL NOT shake the car or rattle the doors. I view it more balanced than bass heavy, you can always play with the EQ anyway.

Sit in a car with a real sub and then sit in the HK system :)

Bass heavy is when you feel it in your chest. The HK system will distort like crazy if you try to really play it loud.

Yeah no way it's 900 watts, the factory probably just adds up the peak wattage handing of each speaker, lame. It's probably like 200 rms.....
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ha! Similar history here. I remember way back I had 2 12” subs in the trunk of my Pontiac. Man, bass was not ever the word. It would rattle the license plate and shake the mirror so bad you could see out of them. It was nice for songs when you wanted heavy bass, but you could barely listen to a regular song without it sounding like a nightclub. 😂
Lol. The good ole days where you had a sub box just laying across your backseat.
I don't know if the latest HK is any better, but the HK in my '16 was trash. Ended up gutting the whole system and went aftermarket. View attachment 609099
That looks real nice and custom. Mind sharing the specs of your system? Is that sub/amp enclosure custom made or can that be bought from a vendor?
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I'm with you, $2k won't get you too far in the aftermarket audio world.

$500 for 4 channel amp:
Alpine R-A60F R-Series 4-channel car amplifier — 100 watts RMS x 4 at Crutchfield

$500 for mono sub amp:
Alpine R-A75M R-Series mono subwoofer amplifier — 750 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms at Crutchfield

$700 for 6 speakers:
Alpine R-S69C.2 R Series 6"x9" component speaker system at Crutchfield
Alpine R-S65.2 R-Series 6-1/2" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield

$380 for single sub:
Alpine R-A60F R-Series 4-channel car amplifier — 100 watts RMS x 4 at Crutchfield

The total for this decent quality, but somewhat basic setup of a system is already a little more than the HK system, but doesn't include any of the needed accessories like wiring, adapters, sub box, etc. Not to mention installation which will add a non-negligible cost. All in you're probably looking at $2.5-3k for this system that probably won't sound much better than the HK system.
What you have above isn't as many speakers as the HK, but it for sure will have way more watts and be so much more powerful and LOUD. 100watts RMS speakers will be ridiculously powerful, and a huge aftermarket sub would rattle the windows out.

The HK doesn't specify RMS values, its all peak. If you added the peak watts for that aftermarket setup you'd be in the 2000 watt+ range.
For me the upgraded Alpine system I had was already plenty loud. Unless someone is trying to impress (or annoy rather) folks from blocks away and cause themselves chronic hearing loss, I don't see the appeal or need for an overly powerful system. For sure, the one I listed would be capable though. The more important benefit in my eyes would be that the more headroom each piece of equipment has, the higher quality and lower distortion that frequently comes with it. Pushing gear near its limits is usually when things get a bit ugly.
I guess we’re different. I can play the HK and it will distort before I want it as loud as I want lol. I like it LOUD at times. I’ve been known to blow speakers 🔊
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