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Audio options for 3rd-gen non-JBL Tacoma

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by alarien26, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Oct 30, 2017 at 3:56 PM
    #1
    alarien26

    alarien26 [OP] Member

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    A few months ago, I picked up a 2017 TRD Sport quad-cab Tacoma with the 7" screen, but no JBL system. When I bought it, I figured the stock audio system would be sufficient, but now I'm looking to upgrade.

    I've got a fair bit of experience with mid- to high-end home audio equipment, but haven't done any car audio mods for over ten years.

    In lurking around the forums here, I've seen a ton of options - including ********* systems, OEM Audio systems, and custom systems from Crutchfield etc. I'm ideally looking for something that would allow me to keep my head unit (for steering wheel controls, back up camera, and the stock appearance), so the ********* SQ2 system was quite appealing on the surface. However, I've seen plenty of negative comments about the company or the experiences members have had in dealing with them.

    I live in a pretty small town in the mountains in BC, Canada, so I don't have easy access to a shop with a great deal of car audio experience, so most of the work would be DIY (in other words, the simpler the better).

    My budget would be around $2,000, but I'm a bit flexible. Lower is generally better, but sound quality is paramount.

    Any recommendations or shared experiences would be most welcome!
     
  2. Oct 30, 2017 at 4:08 PM
    #2
    IndyFastlane

    IndyFastlane Well-Known Member

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    I had the OEM+ system in my wrx and it was fantastic. Going off of that experience, I would not hesitate at all to go that route. Very high quality sound and relatively easy install. Customer support from OEM+ was also excellent when I had questions.

    That said, I didn’t want to spend the money on a new system when I got my tacoma. I found out (from the OEM+ guys, actually) that the tweeters used in the tacoma are identical those in the Subaru.....and figured out that the subaru kicker “upgrade” speakers that you can get from Subaru are a direct fit into the Tacoma. I installed them and the difference is striking. For me.... I find the system with just the tweeters replaced is very acceptable. There’s a thread somewhere around here that I started several months ago about the tweeters if that interests you. “Easy tweeter upgrade” or something along those lines was the title.

    Good luck and congrats on the new tacoma!
     
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  3. Jul 20, 2018 at 5:56 AM
    #3
    Shveet

    Shveet Well-Known Member

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    the Subaru upgrade audio mod is rather common https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/premium-audio-upgrade-for-less-than-250.510424/
    for around $250 you can swap out the doors and tweeters as i believe they are all plug and play.
    Just about every thread/post about the audio system will tell you to go towards the same Subaru "H631SFJ101" Tweeter Kit - which are used in the WRX, STI, Forester, and a few other models under the "upgraded audio package". Amazon seems to have it the cheapest.

    edit: added some stuff
     
  4. Jul 20, 2018 at 7:10 AM
    #4
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    If you're looking at spending OEM or ********* prices, I'd avoid the linked "less than $250 thread"

    While it is a great upgrade for those keeping to a cheap budget, and I have contributed a bunch to that thread and many like it, you are going to want better if you're willing to drop some pretty coin on your system.

    I personally kept my factory head unit like you, and did my whole system with kicker K-series (red label.)

    Are you planning on doing the work yourself? Or having a shop do it? This will impact your budget significantly
     
  5. Jul 20, 2018 at 9:43 AM
    #5
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    If I were to put together a good system to fit in that budget, this would be my personal best bang for your buck

    AudioControl LC-6.1200 $700
    Kicker 44KSS6704 6.75" Components $230 (on sale for $172)
    Kicker 44KSC6704 6.75" Coaxials $100 (on sale for $75)
    Kicker 43TCWRT124 12" Loaded enclosure $250 (on sale for $188)
    (to fit the 12" you must cut off two of the car seat latches on the back wall. If you need these latches for a car seat, the 10" version works well also)

    Then I would highly recommend the bass knob
    ACR-1 $50

    You will also need good 4 or 0 awg power/ground wire for the amp. I always use Kicker (PK4 is a good option) but the KnuKonceptz stuff seems to be good as well. Be sure to get 100% copper (OFC) and not any cheap cca (aluminum) garbage. Also be sure it has a good fuse holder (I hate the plastic tubes because you have to take them apart to swap a fuse, then your hot lead from the battery is exposed. Kicker's fuse holder is my favorite.) I would allot $70 to this.

    Then all the wiring, brackets, harnesses, etc which I've listed Metra part numbers below

    Main Harness 70-1761
    Reverse Harness 71-1761
    Front Speaker adapters to fit 6.75" 82-8147
    Rear Speaker adapters 82-6600
    Speaker harnesses x2 72-8104
    Speedwire x2 MC918-20
    all together should run under $150

    Then a good bag of 22/18 butt connectors or a roll of solder and some heat shrink. $5-15

    That brings you to $1,565 before tax, assuming full price on everything (drop that to $1,423 with current sales as of 7/20/18)

    Spend the rest on some Noico 80mil sound deadening material to put all over your door panels and back wall

    That should bring you in just shy of that $2000 mark after taxes

    I feel like that will be about the best system you can get for that money.

    As a disclaimer, this is my exact setup aside from the amp. I have the Kicker KX800.5 and an AudioControl LC7-i because the 6.1200 didn't exist at the time. I would absolutely get that amp instead.
     
    danmtchl and brianbrn like this.
  6. Oct 13, 2018 at 12:56 PM
    #6
    SagA*

    SagA* Member

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  7. Oct 13, 2018 at 1:28 PM
    #7
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Yes, they do fit in the rear doors. Metra part # 82-8148 works like a champ.

    As for power, the Key works great with them! I have done that setup in a lot of cars so far and everybody loves it.

    I’m running KS series on 50w per channel and I can turn it up to the point of being painful. The 45w per channel on the Key is plenty!
     
  8. Oct 13, 2018 at 1:45 PM
    #8
    SagA*

    SagA* Member

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    Awesome - that's what I was hoping to hear. Is there a plug-n-play harness available for the Key? I've done a lot of searching, but can't seem to find a write-up on the Key install... Looking for all the help I can get :)
     
  9. Oct 13, 2018 at 2:20 PM
    #9
    Exracer2

    Exracer2 Well-Known Member

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    BRO grille, KICKER speakers, Key amp, Hideaway sub
    I just did a Key install last week. I did not do a install write up but I did one when I installed my Kicker Hideaway powered sub. When I added the Key later on I used the same Metra harnesses from the Hideaway install. Basically you buy the two harness ends and solder or crimp them together with your Key harness and that’s pretty much it. Then run the power and ground wires and you are done.

    So my build started with the $250 tweeter and Kicker CS speaker upgrade. I then added the Hideaway powered sub. Last I added the Key for more volume. If I did it again I would do all the speakers and the Key first. I would likely do the Hideaway powered sub as well but if I was in a budget I would leave it till last.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...-premium-upgrade-kicker-key-180-4-amp.541375/
     
  10. Oct 13, 2018 at 3:38 PM
    #10
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    I actually emailed Kicker a while back looking to buy the wiring that comes with the Key so I could build some plug-and-play harnesses, but they don't stock extra, so that was a bust for now.

    Not too many write-up's, as I've just been getting the Key into people's builds recently. Only been available a few months now. But here is a mock-up of the two metra harnesses being used (71-1761 and 70-1761) with the Key interconnected.
    Photo belongs to @siKjiTz
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Oct 14, 2018 at 9:57 AM
    #11
    alexdbrz

    alexdbrz Member

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    I just went through this whole process, and I’m also a big home theater guy that’s dabbled in car audio.

    My advice would be to ditch the line level converter and use a dsp. I ran the lc7i for about a week before switching to the audison bit ten d. The difference was dramatic to say the least, even before I got into proper tuning.

    You can get a nice set of components for up front, a decent set for rear fill, dsp, a 5 channel amp and a 10” sub for around 2k if you shop around.

    For reference, I’m running an alpine pdx5, two sets of jl c3 650, Rockford p3 10” shallow mount sub, audison bit ten.
     
  12. Oct 14, 2018 at 1:05 PM
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    SagA*

    SagA* Member

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    @Exracer2 & @destin_meeks Thanks for the input! I'll likely be undertaking this in the next couple weeks. Wish me luck!
     
  13. Oct 14, 2018 at 1:39 PM
    #13
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Good luck! Let me know if you have questions
     
  14. Oct 14, 2018 at 7:35 PM
    #14
    SippiTaco

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    @destin_meeks so what should my switches be looking like on the amp? I FINALLY got everything hooked up and have a green light on my amp. I went ahead and went back and put some sound deadening on the front doors
     
  15. Oct 14, 2018 at 7:51 PM
    #15
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Do you have a subwoofer?
     
  16. Oct 14, 2018 at 7:56 PM
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    DocT

    DocT Member

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    Pop n lock. XD Depot HIDs. Joying head unit. JL XD700/5 amp.
    I'm in the middle of my own build. Third car I've put a system in. I'm also into home audio, have built a solid 7 sets of DIY speakers.

    I put in a JBL MS-8, a JL XD-700/5, and a set of morel virtus 602s. If I didn't already own the processor and amp, I'd go with the VXI series by JL audio. They fit easily under the front seats, and give serious control over the system.

    The JL stealthboxes seem great too, albeit a little overpriced.

    These vehicles are far easier to work on than the German cars I've had in the past. I was easily able to pull the carpet and run wires in a very OEM appearing manner. I threw in a bunch of dynamat, and the doors now close with a nice solid thud, instead of a metallic clank.

    I looked into the ********* and OEM+ systems, I didn't feel they are as valuable as building my own from scratch. Your opinion may certainly differ.
     
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  17. Oct 14, 2018 at 8:09 PM
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    SippiTaco

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    No subwoofer, just upgraded all 4 door speakers and plug and play tweeters for now. But....just realized, before coming inside, that my radio didn't wanna turn off when I cut my truck off lol. I just said f it for tonite tho. Btw I haven't even done the setup process yet. Didn't have time yet.
     
  18. Oct 14, 2018 at 8:11 PM
    #18
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    All dip switches should be up

    I’m guessing you had the auto turn-on set to DC offset, which makes the blue wire a 12v output. If this is tied into the red Metra wires, this will keep the radio on
     
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  19. Oct 14, 2018 at 8:26 PM
    #19
    SippiTaco

    SippiTaco Member

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    Probably so, I'll fix it tomorrow and update ya. Thanks
     
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  20. Oct 15, 2018 at 9:01 AM
    #20
    SippiTaco

    SippiTaco Member

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    Hey @destin_meeks that fixed the power issue. I have all switches up, except crossover switches. Have those both down.
    Where exactly is this amp supposed to be mounted at? Wanted it in my glove box, but dont think the wires are long enough. Also it doesn't really fit where I can fool with the settings and all. I just have it pushed down into the jungle of wires behind and below the head unit righ now.
    I still haven't had the time to run the auto setup . Gonna try to do it on my half hour lunch break, if it don't take too long.
     
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