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Am I crazy to upgrade NOW

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by double_b, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Feb 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM
    #1
    double_b

    double_b [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just bought an '11 Taco Double Cab TRD Off Road after having an '02 Taco X-Tra cab 4x4 SR5(2.7L 5spd no power windows or locks) from new and sold after 9 years for over half what I paid new for it!! Woot Woot.

    Anyhow as part of my negotiated deal I got the Blu-Logic installed for free. Works fine. No complaints. What I am not happy with is the lame factory unit and speakers. It's not the JBL but is the 6 disc changer.

    Now, I'm no audioholic or audiophile, etc. but I liek my music loud(er) crisp and clear. Not volume maxed out just to get mud and muffle. I had installed a Sony X-Plod(forget the model) in my '02 just a few months before I sold it. Never upgraded the speakers but even the head unti made a difference.

    So now I really want better sound, doesn't need to be show quality, just good clear, crisp sound with the ability to go louder than the factory unit.

    But am I crazy to do it now when the truck is only a few months old, has 3k miles on it and more importantly has the Blu Logic installed?

    IF I do upgrade I am thinking I'd like to stay under $500 and that would be for HU and speakers. I don't need/want GPS. I do use my iPhone 4 a lot. I am a little nervous about tearing a brand new vehicle apart but am confident with the info I've seen here I am fine doing it...just nervous that's all. hahaha
     
  2. Feb 23, 2011 at 1:44 PM
    #2
    cb0913

    cb0913 Well-Known Member

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    do it. it sounds SO much better. the stock radio is garbage.

    oh, and post pictures of the truck.

    and...hide your wallet.
     
  3. Feb 23, 2011 at 1:49 PM
    #3
    beatle

    beatle Well-Known Member

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    Just add an amp to the factory head unit. Clarity comes primarily from power.
     
  4. Feb 23, 2011 at 2:29 PM
    #4
    mattg43

    mattg43 Well-Known Member

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    This.

    And if that is not enough, upgrade the speakers. I would not mess with the factory head unit at all, its plenty good for your needs/wants.
     
  5. Feb 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM
    #5
    lopezoscar03

    lopezoscar03 Well-Known Member

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    lets see someone adds an amp to the there factory speakers with the factory radio. wouldnt you have to use an rca converter which makes you lose the rear speakers?
     
  6. Feb 24, 2011 at 12:01 PM
    #6
    supersuk

    supersuk Well-Known Member

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    Sounds!
    You can add an amp to your factory radio without losing the rear speakers. The only drawback with the factory head unit is the built in volume dependent equalization used to protect the factory speakers from too much bass at higher volumes. Products like the JL cleansweep and MTX RE-Q are used to combat this condition.
     
  7. Feb 25, 2011 at 12:28 AM
    #7
    DevL

    DevL Well-Known Member

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    The factory head unit is junk. Clarity does not come from an amp. I'd reccomend not listening to the previous posters. I dumped the factory head in the first three months. I now have over 4 grand in my stereo and don't regret it at all.
     
  8. Feb 25, 2011 at 1:34 AM
    #8
    SoBaySick

    SoBaySick Well-Known Member

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    Mine is 2 weeks old with 500 miles and I'm ready to upgrade the deck so you're not crazy lol
     
  9. Feb 25, 2011 at 2:40 AM
    #9
    TACOMA TRD

    TACOMA TRD Well-Known Member

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    Im the same way, I just put a Alpine HU in my truck along with 4 eclipse 3 way speakers. Sounds Awsome. Its really easy to install. Go to harbor frieght and get the plastic dash panel removers for like 5.00.

    Wait until you see how cheap the OEM speakers are, its amazing how any sound comes out at all. I did my whole system for about 350.00 through crutchfield.
     
  10. Feb 25, 2011 at 6:02 AM
    #10
    beatle

    beatle Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, this is wrong. While a good deck will improve the clarity to a point, the OP wanted "good clear, crisp sound with the ability to go louder than the factory unit." This is best served by a good amp. Keep in mind that an upgraded head unit will also require its own bluetooth module and will still not go as loud as an aftermarket amp.

    If SQ still isn't up to snuff with what you want to hear, you can keep replacing equipment, but in this case, an amp is the best first move. Speakers would be second.
     
  11. Feb 25, 2011 at 6:13 AM
    #11
    joerussell610

    joerussell610 When all else fails read the directions

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    dude just flip a coin or put ideas on little pieces of paper then into a hat and let fate decide your outcome. :pccoffee:
     
  12. Feb 25, 2011 at 6:21 AM
    #12
    mattg43

    mattg43 Well-Known Member

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    I am glad that the amount you put into your truck makes you an expert :confused:.

    Would it help to know how much I put into my last couple installs, the gear I have gone through, etc., or is it not really important to the situation?

    OP is asking for louder and crisper. He likes the Blue Logic. A small amp, like an Arc mini, or equivalent, would give the factory speakers more power, which would be a great way to improve loudness and clarity.

    I will admit I have not had experience using the factory deck, but almost all of those produced now days are fine, but lack in power - tend to distort the output pretty early - but the actual output is fine to use. I also seriously doubt you did any actual testing of the unit as far as signal output and power.

    Also of note - Many aftermarket decks have loudness based EQ curves built in, and most people use them, or do something similar. Different areas of the sound spectrum are volume dependent, so a boost of low end at low volumes, and a decrease in upper frequencies at higher volumes is actually preferred - in modern CD players it is usually a "loudness" setting, and often has different levels you can set.

    I also know that many aftermarket tuners allow you to program this in, or do so automatically. Ever do any reading on the JBL MS8 or Audison Bitone and actual features?

    The factory speakers are so small because the magnet on the motor is NEO magnet, not ceramic. They are a lot smaller, but that does not affect quality.

    This is not to say that a decent install, even a low budget one, would not help the situation, but I doubt it would be necessary for the OP's original stated goal.

    Either way, good luck!
     
  13. Feb 25, 2011 at 8:46 AM
    #13
    double_b

    double_b [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the responses so far. It seems like there are two lines of thinking. Amp and clean up the factory HU or all new HU. I looked at the JL Cleansweep and figure for the price of that, decent speakers and an amp I would be at the same price if not more, than just getting an aftermarket HU and new speakers.

    I liek the Blu Logic but my bigger hang up was if I was being wasteful by having it installed then replacing it. But the more I listen to the factory system the quicker I can get over that hang up. Drivign back from Philly yesterday listening to Metallica was more like Muffletallica. Ugh.

    I wonder if I can use the Blu Logic mic for other aftermarket HU since it's already installed and looks good. hmmmm

    So I do think I am leanign toward aftermarket HU and speaker replacement. So now begins the search for what to get. I do like Crutchfield and have bought several things from them and don't mind paying a little more for the service they offer.(Actually installign a factory replacement Rosen GPS HU in my wife's Highlander this weekend).

    I know I can talk to an advisor there but I would love to hear any suggestions as to units and speakers that keep me around $500. Non-GPS unit with Bluetooth and good iPod controls.

    Any advice on speakers?? I don't want to install a sub-woofer so I want to get speakers that fit in factory spots that will do decent bass, as decent as can be w/o a sub.
     
  14. Feb 25, 2011 at 9:01 AM
    #14
    beatle

    beatle Well-Known Member

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    Give the people at Crutchfield a call and ask them about integrating the mic with an aftermarket headunit. I don't believe it can be done, but it would be nice to be wrong in this case. :)

    I'm planning a headunit upgrade for my 98 first (used Alpine 9887 deck), but mine is truly junk as it doesn't even have a CD player, much less support for bluetooth or satellite. :) Next will be a set of Infinity Kappa speakers. Their ultra-high efficiency will let me get the most out of my available watts. If I still need more volume, I may add the Alpine KTP-445 amp that just plugs in line with the headunit. Not as much juice as a dedicated amp, but it'll be good enough with the efficient speakers.

    If I had a factory deck with bluetooth, I'd likely try to hold onto it. I tried Alpine's latest Bluetooth offering in my wife's Civic, but always ended up with echo no matter where I placed the mic. Factory bluetooth implementations look much cleaner and work much better.
     
  15. Feb 25, 2011 at 10:01 AM
    #15
    JoshLV

    JoshLV Well-Known Member

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    Do it. It's never too early :D
     
  16. Feb 25, 2011 at 2:59 PM
    #16
    Brandon###

    Brandon### Well-Known Member

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    My experience: I added an alpine amp to a factory HU and it sounded like trash. I amplified a trash signal and got loud trash. I got rid of the factory HU and installed an Alpine and the difference was night and day.

    Do what you want. I learned my lesson though.
     
  17. Feb 25, 2011 at 3:06 PM
    #17
    '02TRD

    '02TRD Well-Known Member

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    Alpine Digitial media receiver, in single or double din size (about $300) great interfacing with ipods/iphone plus direct use with iphone pandora internet radio. check them out
     
  18. Feb 26, 2011 at 2:52 PM
    #18
    DevL

    DevL Well-Known Member

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    I could go into a long explanation of why I'm right and you're wrong about quality But I won't. Not only does the head unit lack quality it is quite unreliable.

    The most important thing for clarity is your source material. If you don't have good source material you will never have crisp sound. Next is all of the electronics combined. That's all processing and amplification. Then comes speakers... you have to have all of the underlying elements for the speakers to make crisp sound.

    As for the audison bit 1 I helped tune one in a maserati install. It has its own headaches and problems and still never sounded as good as my tacoma, even with better K2's up front. The factory head just butchered the sound too much.

    I think the original poster wants a new head unit, a good 4 channel amp and JL c5 components. They have the best bass response if you refuse to use a sub.
     
  19. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM
    #19
    DevL

    DevL Well-Known Member

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    Also if you want crisp sound don't use pandora the sound quality is garbage. I pay for my pandora. This allows for increased sound quality which is only acceptable at low listening levels.

    Remember the first step to crisp sound is good source material. Pandora is full of very poor source material.
     
  20. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:10 AM
    #20
    TurboGT

    TurboGT Stirring the pot since...

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    I was reading up on the JL Audio CleanSweep and it's tempting me to keep the stock 6disc unit when I upgrade...

    Seems like a pretty cool unit
     
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