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What's the best way to upgrade stereo?

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Old 09-02-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
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Cool What's the best way to upgrade stereo?

I just got a 2013 4-Door PreRunner and am thinking of upgrading the audio and keeping the stock stereo. I've read a few threads where some were able to keep the stock stereo and add an amplifier and of course speakers and sub-woofer. My question is if I go this route is the sound clean and sweet? I've talked to a couple of different stereo shops and the first thing they tell me is that I need to spend around $2500, I thought that was outrageous, especially when I'm keeping the stock hu they also said I wouldn't need a sound processor, i.e., Jl Audio Cleansweep. I was thinking of getting some Rockford Fosgate 6 1/2 components in the front doors and something suitable in the backdoors and if I can fit it without major modification, a sub behind the backseat. I was also thinking of getting a 5-Channel Amp to power everything. Is this possible for under a $1000? I can get the door speakers between $3-400, the amp from $4-500 and then maybe a 10 in sub for $200(Ordered from online) Has anyone else had any experience in doing this? I appreciate the feedback!
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:08 PM   #2
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I kept my stock radio and only spent $316. I paid for the labor, a Boss amp, a 10"sub and the "stepdown" for the stock unit. My door speakers are stock though. Dont see why it would be that much unless you were re-doing absoloutly everything.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:12 AM   #3
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Yeah, I want good sound but not willing to break the bank(too many expensive hobbies), sounds like you got a decent setup.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:10 AM   #4
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Not possible for a grand. Im doing the same thing and its gonna be closer to 2 grand.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:14 AM   #5
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http://www.tacotunes.com/index.htm
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:33 AM   #6
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It can be done for close to your $1000. Leave the stock speakers add a Alpine power pack, small 250 watt amp and a 8 or 10
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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If you said front components cost 3-400, amp cost 4-500, sub cost 200. That’s a 1,000 bucks right there. You will still need a line out converter, wiring, dynamat or similar product, a sub enclosure, speaker ring adapters, and some misc. hardware. A good sub enclosure will cost some coin too. It should sound really good if you go that route. I am gonna be installing a similar setup in my truck soon. I’m just waiting on my stuff at the moment. I look at it like this. Toyota wanted slightly over 2,000$ for the jbl/nav/entune setup. I didn’t need nav and i am ok with the stock touch screen. So for less than the upgraded factory system i’ll be getting a much better stereo.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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Right on! I think the extra $ will come from getting something(subwoofer) that will fit behind the back seat, the door speakers an amp can be done under a 1000 but not happening with a subwoofer from what I've priced.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:07 PM   #9
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Crutchfield End of Summer Sale:

Polk 6.5" front components - $150
Polt 6.5" rear coaxials - $75
Alpine 4ch 50w amp - $150
Alpine 300w sub amp - $150
MTX 10" shallow mount sub - $125
Streetwires 8awg wire kit (x2) - $70
4ch RCA cables - $30
Sub amp RCA cables - $20

Equipment Total - $770

All of this can be installed with minimal effort by OP, assuming he has decent mechanical skills around a vehicle, save for the sub box which requires a bit more effort.

RCA's can be removed from this list but I'd highly suggest using them and installing a Line out Converter and running the RCAs so that after you get all this in, and realize just how shitty the factory head unit it, you don't have to deal with that mess later.

Rockford 4ch LOC - $40

Crutchfield SHOULD provide speaker mounting brackets (that's what they pride themself on, providing all the necessary adaptors and kits), and if not, it's easy enough to make some with a jig saw and a quarter sheet of 1/2" MDF available from Home Depot.

1/2" MDF ~ $20

If not capable of building your own box,

Tacotunes 10" unloaded sub box - $140

Grand total - $970, which leaves $30 for misc connections, beer, and pizza for any buddy that comes over and helps you out... if I were local, I'd do it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:17 PM   #10
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And when you do get around to a new headunit, or just decide to not fuck with the hassle of trying to integrate with it,

Kenwood Excelon DDX790 - $500, with some free goodies.

Just make sure you request the Scosche dash kit, or spend the previously mentioned $30 and get one from Amazon, and still at under $1,500
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #11
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In a previous life, I managed and sold high end audio/video equipment. Most customers wanting a complete system, always wanted to pick the hardware first. You should always select the speakers first. You can spend 2k on hardware and you will still get crap for sound from the Toyota factory speakers.

I always suggested spending 60% of the system budget on speakers.

Installing great speakers with a high quality small powered amp will make a good system sound great for less money. Find the speakers with the sound you like and build a system around THEM. Not the other way around.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:29 AM   #12
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Thanks a lot TurboGt, I appreciate the advice, I do have a feeling that when I do get around to getting this all done that my next step will be replacing the HU, I would love for it to sound great without doing this but we'll see. My truck literally has less than 500 miles on it, still brand new, I get in it and admire it, love the new car smell, gripe at the kids if they have any grass or dirt on their shoes, get behind the wheel with a smile on my face and turn on the stereo and its blaaaaaaaabarrrfff!!! WTH??? You'd think that it would sound half way decent but man, it's garbage, I almost get just as good of a sound out of my hand held IPhone speaker! As far as getting better component speakers, I have been spending almost every night looking on internet catalogues at different brands and pricing, leaning toward Rockford Fosgate's just because I had them 10-11 years ago in my s-10, sounded awesome, but willing to experiment with others that are affordable. I do think getting the best speakers I can afford to match whatever amp I get will be the key, thanks guys!
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboGT View Post
And when you do get around to a new headunit, or just decide to not fuck with the hassle of trying to integrate with it,

Kenwood Excelon DDX790 - $500, with some free goodies.

Just make sure you request the Scosche dash kit, or spend the previously mentioned $30 and get one from Amazon, and still at under $1,500
I really like the receiver and the features that it offers. What's the difference between the Scosche kit vs the Metra kit?
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:29 PM   #14
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I got my 13 last October and upgrading the audio system was my first big mod. I wanted to go the same route as you keeping the stock HU. I went with an Audiocontrol lc7i processor, Kenwood Excelon 900 watt 5 channel amp, Rockford Fosgate components up front, and two JL audio 10w1v3's behind the rear seat. I paid $175 for the labor but the owner of the shop made a deal with me on the parts and marked them all down so essentially i ended up paying the MSRP the parts out the door and installed. The system came out sounding great and I am extremely pleased with the installation the shop performed. All in all I paid around $1500 for the system.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSPerformance View Post
I really like the receiver and the features that it offers. What's the difference between the Scosche kit vs the Metra kit?
For me, the metra double din kit was just cheap on so many levels.. the radio was held in place by plastic brackets - I tried to use the factory metal ones and it didn't work with the dash plate (there's two seperate parts). The dash plate required some light modification to make it hold the stock clips, and even still it never really fit right.

I have to admit to only having a single din scosche kit, but I was able to use the factory metal brackets, attached directly to the radio, so super secure mounting, and the dash plate somehow connected to the brackets with minimal effort, and the whole thing fits really securely in the dash opening.

Plus, the asthetics of the Scosche kit are far better IMO.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:48 PM   #17
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Unless you want stoopid loudness and stoopid deep bass, then I'd recommend simply replacing the stock TACO HU and keeping all other items stock. I upgraded my 2011 Taco's HU with a somewhat expensive KW-NT810HDT. When I held each HU in my hand, the stock TACO HU felt like a TV Guide compared to the JVC, which felt like a Los Angeles phonebook. The 4x50 watt built in amps probably have a lot to do with that.

And you could probably get away with a HU in the 500-bones range and still sound really good. My new HU sounds an order of magnitude better than the stock unit and is much, much louder and stronger. In fact, I have to commend the stock door speakers in my TACO. They do sound quite good, now that they are being driven to their potential. Highs are crisp and mid-range is clear and punchy. But I'm not going to dodge the truth here... there is pretty much no woof / sub-woof in the doors with the stock speakers. If that is critical to you, then you really need to buy an aftermarket subwoofer unit (myself, I'd get a self-powered sub woof unit). Thankfully, my JVC has hook-ups for everything under the sun, and so will most decent aftermarket HU's. Just run some RCA's under the carpet to wherever you install your subwoofer.

Hope this rant has helped
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:25 AM   #18
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Question thanks for affirmation....

i just launched my search last night, and ended up at crutchfield.
looking to add sub-woofer into '13 access cab...

what's the 3rd party installation experience like?
would an engineering-saavy geek (not automotive) be able to install successfully?

or, is it worth saving the time/money/learning curve and just bite the bullet to have someone with the right tools/equip/know-how to do it?

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_975PP7E...mpact-Sub.html

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_975PP50....html?tp=61674

that tacotunes site looks very helpful...
http://www.tacotunes.com/index.htm




Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick54 View Post
I am with Gabe "Best way to upgrade stereo" simply CRUTCHFIELD....
Now they may not likely be the cheapest way to update, but that wasn't your question. They stand behind their sales, customize your purchase for your specific vehicle and will assist you in every step of the installation.
You won't be sorry.....
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:03 AM   #19
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eh, nevermind, going even simpler...

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_777B8PTD/Sound-Ordnance-B-8PTD.html?tp=114



Quote:
Originally Posted by denmen View Post
i just launched my search last night, and ended up at crutchfield.
looking to add sub-woofer into '13 access cab...

what's the 3rd party installation experience like?
would an engineering-saavy geek (not automotive) be able to install successfully?

or, is it worth saving the time/money/learning curve and just bite the bullet to have someone with the right tools/equip/know-how to do it?

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_975PP7E...mpact-Sub.html

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_975PP50....html?tp=61674

that tacotunes site looks very helpful...
http://www.tacotunes.com/index.htm
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:44 AM   #20
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Word of advice

Do yourself a favor and get some Tacotunes mounts for 6x9's and the tweeter mounts or 6-1/2 normal speakers. Replace both of those with some aftermarkets. I picked out Pioneer tweeters and Kicker 6x9's (You will have to hardwire at least the tweeters) for $130 total. I did end up powering my 6x9's with an amp but you don't have to. The stock speakers actually don't sound tooooo bad but they're fabric junk with foams surrounds and a magnet the size of a dime.

As for headunit I highly recommend getting an aftermarket one even if it's a $100 JVC or Pioneer especially if you're adding a subwoofer. The stock stereo does not allow proper tuning for an upgrading system not to mention the headache you're going to go through trying to hook up remote wires, rca's and filters.

Wiring Kit: Preferably 4 gauge - $75
Spool of Wire: $20
6x9 speakers: $100
Tweeters: $30
Headunit: $150 (Just to play it safe)
Sub: $100 (Build your own box out of mdf and you'll save yourself atleast 100 bucks)
Amp for sub: $200
Amp for door speakers: $150
Tacotunes mounts: Cant remember how much they are but lets say 60 bucks.

So basically your talkin about 900 bucks for a full system including headunit, amplified door speakers, and sub which should give you some badass sound if you buy good brands.

I agree with everyone crutchfield is the way to go for most stuff because they give you free brackets, stereo connectors and installation instructions. Do note that they don't make brackets for 6x9 speakers which is the stock size in your taco. Also definitely don't get the metra headunit bracket, get the scosche, you will have an option at checkout. The metra is crap and the scosche fits awesome to put it simple.



Don't forget if you want awesome sound, the tacomas also come with speakers in the ceiling! Replace those and you get great highs right on top of your head.
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