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Old 09-27-2011, 11:08 AM   #1
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Speaker Advice

I'm very familiar with car electrical systems but no really with audio stuff, I know all the basics of it just never built anything. I have a 2011 DC with the factory 6 disk raido, none JBL, and the factory speakers are weak. I don't need to have all the cars around me hear what I'm listening to but when I can turn the radio to max volume and it not even hurt my ears their is a problem lol. Been thinking about maybe just some nice components in the front door, maybe a small sub behind the rear seat, can't really decide. Wondered if anyone could throw some opinions. Read some on here about what some of you guys have. I don't want to shake the truck to pieces but I do like my music decently loud. I've drove tacoma's with the JBL and want something louder than that I just don't want it to be annoying to drive loud. Mainly listen to rock by the way.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:10 AM   #2
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A headunit upgrade will make the stock speakers sound much better. Also it makes adding an amp in the future much easier.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreyTRD View Post
I'm very familiar with car electrical systems but no really with audio stuff, I know all the basics of it just never built anything. I have a 2011 DC with the factory 6 disk raido, none JBL, and the factory speakers are weak. I don't need to have all the cars around me hear what I'm listening to but when I can turn the radio to max volume and it not even hurt my ears their is a problem lol. Been thinking about maybe just some nice components in the front door, maybe a small sub behind the rear seat, can't really decide. Wondered if anyone could throw some opinions. Read some on here about what some of you guys have. I don't want to shake the truck to pieces but I do like my music decently loud. I've drove tacoma's with the JBL and want something louder than that I just don't want it to be annoying to drive loud. Mainly listen to rock by the way.

You are a little like me. I probably like it a little louder, but I think you'd be content with my setup.

Hertz 165L Component drivers (6.5")
Kicker KS13 tweeters
JL 300/4 amplifier
Rockford Fosgate P3DS 10" DVC subwoofer
JL 250/1 amplifier

If you read above, I do a little review for the hertz speakers I just got. They are amazing and you can crank em up and it won't hurt your ears like most speakers will. However, the ability is there to crank it all the way up and piss off the neighborhood if you're in a bad mood... mostly its just amazing sound.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:26 AM   #4
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Got a couple of grand, then swap out everything.

Want to keep the EOM disc player for whatever reason, don't have a few grand, but money isn't bad, then consider adding on a sound processor, and speakers.

Modest budget, get a relatively cheap amp with high level inputs and a set of modestly priced component speakers up front.

Bottom end budget, get a set of pioneer speakers from wally-world.

You need to know before you start buying what final sound quality goals you have and what price would you pay without thinking you were dumb for eventually "paying that much", and then make purchases toward that goal.

I've installed my own car stereo units since 1967, and many times over the years wish I would have followed my own advice (including with my current Tacoma).
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
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I really want to keep the factory head unit I've just never liked any aftermarket ones more than the factory style ones as far as looks and easy to use while driving. Brian is yours off the factory hu? Your setup is similar to what I had in mind. As far as buget goes, I'd be willing to go to $1000 total for the whole system, don't really see going past that though.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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factory head unit is crapola and many people have problems down the road. for example mine in my 06 would read only a few of my cd's and they were hardly scratched.

you'll also lose tons of tuning options and you'll probably need a line driver to pump up the preout voltage, im just guessing...

you can have a pretty decent sound with 1000 bucks, anything will sound better than stock.

pioneer h/u-$200
PG rsd65cs-$80
PG rsd coax-$50
50x4 amp-$200
250x1 sub amp-$200
cheap 10" sub-$150
homemade sub box-$25
wiring and connectors-$125

$1030 rough estimate
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:53 PM   #7
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Since you'd like to keep the facory headunit i would recomment a nice set of component speakers up front. I would recommend a set of JL tr component speakers or Kicker KS component speakers. These will both keep your budget down but add some great sound. Both these speakers sound great off factory powered decks, no need for an amp.

You don't need to go crazy to achieve better sound, the factory system is complete junk so even a moderate upgrade will make a vast difference. As others have said, adding a headunit will make a huge difference as well, but i would still recommend upgrading your speakers along with a headunit.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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yay JL and kicker.......not

can people not recommend something other than JL?
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:28 PM   #9
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My big concern with swapping head unit's is almost every one of thems plastic you use to mount the aftermarket one in is total crap. Also, just about every after market HU I've used is such a pain in the ass to use. Like I always have to give instructions to people just to be able to change the radio stations Lol. Definitely do not like single din's in our trucks, I'd have to have a double din if I did swap.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:33 PM   #10
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Also, probably a stupid question but, I have factory installed sat radio, I'm guessing they make adapters to make it work with aftermarket HU's?
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreyTRD View Post
I really want to keep the factory head unit I've just never liked any aftermarket ones more than the factory style ones as far as looks and easy to use while driving. Brian is yours off the factory hu? Your setup is similar to what I had in mind. As far as buget goes, I'd be willing to go to $1000 total for the whole system, don't really see going past that though.
I am not using factory head unit. Right now I have a cheap Sony in there. I only bought it for bluetooth streaming capability to fill the void while I drove cross-country. I'm thinking I will end up getting a Kenwood for the 24 bit sound and USB capability.

I wouldn't ever use stock head unit. I know on my JBL, and I think it holds true for the rest, when you crank up the volume, it flattens the EQ curve to prevent distortion... I really dislike this feature because it really only gives you 1/2 the usuable volume level and still maintain EQ. Also, keeping a factory head unit usually means getting Line-out converters and all sorts of special adapters on a per-case basis, when you can buy an aftermarket and gain much more control over your sound. If you're looking into a solid system, don't cheat yourself with a stock head unit. Its kinda like getting a Ferrari and puttin a pinto engine in it. It will literally give you a headache.

If you are dead set on it, however, JL does make a LOC called "CleanSweep" that might be worth looking into.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #12
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Everybody has opinions, and this is mine.

After a few months of ownership I switched from the OEM head unit to a Pioneer X930BT. But that was because my lovely wife offered to buy the Pioneer, not due to any sound quality issues. IMO the OEM headunit functions fine. Caveat: my truck is less than a year old so I can't speak to longevity. The 6-Disc model is produced by Panasonic and has essentially the same frequency response as the average Pioneer/Alpine/Kenwood deck. The OEM ASL scheme does distort frequency response though, so I would turn off ASL and set all tone controls flat for max quality.

To each their own, but for $1K and the desire to keep the OEM headunit, I would look at something like the following:
$250 on an Alpine PXE-H660 processor (512 channel equalizer -- I used one with the OEM and now with my Pioneer X930BT),
$150 on a 2-channel amp, maybe one of the new GH designs by Clarion or Vibe (I use a JL Audio 6-channel amp but I run an active system - same well respected engineer - Zeff - designed the Vibe and Clarion amps BTW),
$250 on a set of Hybrid Audio Imagine speakers (Mr Marv is a retailer, since I'm running active I use Seas midbass and mix & match tweeters depending on how I feel from time to time - have ring radiator, silk and metal dome tweeters to play with),
$200 on a small sub such as the Vibe LiteAir at SonicElectronix (170) or the Sound Ordnance unit (199) from Crutchfield (have no personal experience with either, but have heard at least decent things about them both -- the Crutchfield model has been talked about here on TW),
leaving ~$150+ for wiring and a bit of sound damping material (I like KnuConceptz for wire and RAAMat for sound damping, but there are many choices including getting a perfectly acceptable wiring kit from Wally-World)

With the Alpine processor, I venture to say the above system would, in sound quality, outperform $2K installs done by anyone without a lot of time and experience. With the amp, processor and sub all tucked away behind the back seats (or even possibly under the seats), no one will see anything out of the normal through the windows.

Again, just my $0.02. You really should visit stereo shops, best buy, whatever; listen and ask questions, trust your own ears.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:40 AM   #13
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Any one know what the output of the factory HU is? I think I might just throw some nice components in the doors and leave it at that for right now until I decide to go farther.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:34 PM   #14
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I can't remember where I heard/seen it at but I believe the output is 7watts.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:05 PM   #15
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Budget some money for sound proofing the doors. If you keep the stock HU get a processor and go active with an amp.
I kept the Stock HU but went with a Audison Bit One/Audison LR 5.1K/ Components are Hertz ML280 and ML1600 for the front and a JL13TW5 in a MR Marv box. Overall pretty nice without having to go overboard in costs.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreyTRD View Post
Any one know what the output of the factory HU is? I think I might just throw some nice components in the doors and leave it at that for right now until I decide to go farther.
Never measured, but typical is 17 Watts using a single stage power rail as is used in almost all OEM radios. OEM speakers are rated at 20.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddha4 View Post
Budget some money for sound proofing the doors. If you keep the stock HU get a processor and go active with an amp.
I kept the Stock HU but went with a Audison Bit One/Audison LR 5.1K/ Components are Hertz ML280 and ML1600 for the front and a JL13TW5 in a MR Marv box. Overall pretty nice without having to go overboard in costs.
Considering the OP had an approximate budget of $1K, I'd say the above system was well out of range unless the parts "fell off the back of a truck" somewhere.
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