Know the old saying about a boat being a hole in the water to throw money in? Ever think car/truck audio is a similar never ending story that mostly consists of the sound of money being sucked out of your wallet? I must hate money -- since I spread it around almost as fast as it comes in.
I started out, like most of us, with an OEM system. In my case it was the single CD, non-JBL system.
Having just bought the truck, didn't have much ready cash, but wanted more music at hand, so I bought a non-JBL 6-CD changer off a forum member at a fair price.
Just wasn't enough music at hand for me. I picked up a Grom unit and a 32 GByte USB stick (that wouldn't work at the time on 2011 models). So I sold the Grom to someone with an older model Tacoma and purchased the Toyota iPod interface along with a 64GByte iPod Touch. Bought a Blu-Logic Bluetooth box as well. BlueTooth since work requires hands free phone or loss of driving privileges (if caught); a bonus was the ability to stream audio from my phone when I wanted to hear new stuff, but without listening to the obnoxious local FM personalities.
So now I have spent a few hundred and have on hand a quite reasonable supply of music, but as many have observed, the OEM sound quality is somewhat lacking.
IMO the biggest bang for the buck comes from speakers, so I began to consider speakers. Add in that at this stage I decided to keep the OEM head unit, which may or may not have sound tailoring. To fix that I pick up an Alpine PXE-H660 unit - has the side benefit of I can do active crossovers (with the right amp). So more $$$ goes out for a JL Audio XD 600/6 amp and my on-hand, old school, Xtant X603 amp I planned to use stays in the closet. The XD 600/6 is used to drive a set of Seas midbass & tweeter speakers in an active arrangement using the Alpine to correct the OEM headunit frequency response, as an active crossover, and a TA/EQ device. The JL is set up so the tweeters are on channels 1 & 2, while 3 & 4, and 5 & 6 are bridged to drive the midbass units. 150 Watts RMS coupled to the 8-Ohm RNX motors in the Seas speakers (and some judicious use of damping/deadening products from RAAMAudio) produce a delightfully unexpected amount of bass. As a result, I decide to hold off on any sub arrangement until I've lived with the system for a while.
Then my lovely wife offers to upgrade the OEM headunit with a Pioneer Avic-X930BT. Can't turn that down can I? BTW, that should be here by Friday, just got the UPS shipping notice.
Note to self: remember in the closet along with the Xtant amp you also have have some old CDT Audio speakers (with 1" silk dome tweets) as well as some new & unused Vifa XT 25 ring radiators to try out if/when bored.
Did I mention I purchased a set of speaker baffles from forum member hookedontronics, but the depth of the MDF baffles wasn't enough for the Seas speakers I picked to clear the window. I really prefer not to use MDF, and my usual source of Corian dried up, so I sourced some 1" thick King Starboard (boating guys know that stuff). So I ended up making my own baffles (used a cutting board from Walmart for the tweeter baffles) and the LineX coated MDF baffles joined my growing collection of dust gatherers.
And I still haven't figured out what to do for a subwoofer arrangement....