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Buy List Opinions - 2021 DCLB Non-JBL

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by SteveKayak, Oct 3, 2022.

  1. Oct 3, 2022 at 5:22 PM
    #1
    SteveKayak

    SteveKayak [OP] Member

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    I'm looking at adding a new sub and upgrading the tweeters in the near future. Based on my research and talking with a local shop, I switched to this approach rather than just replacing the indoor speakers and tweeter.

    This is my buy list so far:

    1. Sub/Amp: JL Audio Microsub+ 8" - ACP108LG-W3v3
    2. Add an Amp Adapter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087Z1794K?smid=A236UT9Z5WDWZA
    3.KnuKonceptz 8 AWG Install Kit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058OENJ2?smid=A1NLNJ4Y2QP8Z&th=1
    4. JL Audio bass control knob: RBC-1
    5. Bling Kingdom Pry Tools: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I0SUZOY?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
    6. Subaru Tweeters: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PV6F8I2?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
    7. Amazon Sound Deadener: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XMF2V77?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

    Any thoughts or opinions on the above list? Am I missing anything?

    I was originally going to just get new tweeters, front and rear speakers along with a kicker key amp, but after talking with the guy at the shop I changed my approach. He thought the biggest bang for the buck was just to add a sub. If I upgraded all the speakers first, I'd feel disappointed because the bass might be even less than stock. He believes Tacoma/Toyota does a great job of mimicking good bass with the stock speakers and replacing them without an adding a sub might be disappointing. Also, in-door speakers can't compete with the lower ranges a sub can hit.

    Installing myself rather than paying the shop $200 would keep my wires from being spliced in since I'd use the harness adapter. I'd also install the sound deadeder in the back and install the little knob up front. I kinda feel bad for not going with the guy who provided some good advice, but he also said he is super busy with a ton of other customers so I don't think he's hurting.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Oct 4, 2022 at 4:18 AM
    #2
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Skip that pry tool set and buy a skin wedge
    C60A5648-B585-4C42-80FB-7D17E7F37574.jpg

    Other than that, your upgrades will be simple enough. Add some bass and increase your highs just a touch. You’ll want more down the road so don’t be surprised when the dollars start adding up
     
  3. Oct 4, 2022 at 8:44 PM
    #3
    SteveKayak

    SteveKayak [OP] Member

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    Awesome, thanks for your help. I was going to go with 4 AWG wire to make the upgrade easier in the future but I'll probably just roll with this to see the difference. The 8 AWG seems like it will realistically have more capacity if I'm not blasting music anyways.
     
  4. Oct 5, 2022 at 3:17 AM
    #4
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    I would probably do 4awg anyway. Cost difference itsnt much and it’ll be there when you decide you want to add another amp
     
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  5. Oct 5, 2022 at 6:54 PM
    #5
    SteveKayak

    SteveKayak [OP] Member

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    Installed the "Subaru" Kicker tweeters. Much higher sound but I am kinda worried these are really just more tinny than stock. I'll give them a week or two. Lots of rave reviews about how they sound better. For fun I weighed each and the Subaru ones weigh about 28% less than stock.

    Do you think replacing the tweeters and speakers in the front with JL Audio C2 650 speakers and C2-075ct tweeters would be a better option? In the future I think I'd consider tossing in a VX400/4i amp to power them. It seems crutchfield sells the front 6 1/2 speakers and tweeters as a package: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_136C2650/JL-Audio-C2650.html. The difference in price between the JL audio 6 1/2 speakers and the system with tweeters is pretty close to what I paid for Subaru tweeters.

    Maybe I'm just too stuck on the salesmans pitch of JL...

    Oh and thanks for the advice on the 4awg amp kit. I decided to go that direction, just need to figure out how to crimp it all together since my tools technically can't handle 4awg crimping.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2022
  6. Oct 6, 2022 at 3:20 AM
    #6
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Those kicker tweeters are titanium dome tweeters which is why they’re so bright. Bright sound can make them seem louder which is why so many people think they’re better. I personally can’t stand titanium dome tweeters anywhere other than a jeep with the doors off where I need the extra highs to cut through wind noise. The JL you linked are silk dome tweeters which are much more my speed. Everyone’s ears are different so if you don’t like the kickers, trust your ears


    As for crimping 4awg, what exactly are you crimping? The fuse holder and amp shouldn’t need any crimped connections and I would assume the battery side and the ground already have ring terminals on them.
     
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  7. Oct 6, 2022 at 5:30 AM
    #7
    SteveKayak

    SteveKayak [OP] Member

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    It looks like neither side of the power cable have terminals.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Oct 6, 2022 at 6:12 AM
    #8
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Well that’s certainly frustrating. 4awg can be crimped pretty easily with standard Klein crimpers. Or swing by a local stereo shop and ask if they can crimp for you. But a normal pair of crimpers will work just fine as long as you have relief on the wires. Route along factory wiring, use thicker zip ties that will hold up in the engine bay. Make sure there’s not strain on your connections and you’ll be fine!
     
  9. Oct 6, 2022 at 4:56 PM
    #9
    SteveKayak

    SteveKayak [OP] Member

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    Any thoughts on the Audio Frog CS60 Component set system vs the JL Audio C2? Would it even make sense to do either of these without an amp for them on hand right away? I think I'm starting to go down a rabbit hole...
     
  10. Oct 7, 2022 at 5:52 AM
    #10
    ZMan2k2

    ZMan2k2 “Hold my beer and watch this!”

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    I’d say the Audiofrogs would be nicer, especially when amped — IF they have a CLEAN signal. The factory HU is anything but. If you’re set on stock, it’s really a toss up. With a nice aftermarket HU, id go with the AFs, but I went Morel for ease of obtaining here in Canada. I’m like Destin, can’t really take titanium tweeters. My Morel Tempos are silk, and they are great.
     
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  11. Oct 7, 2022 at 6:49 AM
    #11
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Yes stereo equipment can definitely take you much deeper than you thought you would go. I learned that you either have to set a hard final budget and build a system to fit that budget, or throw the budget out the window completely. I was always the type to figure out what I wanted the end product to be, even if it was years away, then piece the system together in the most efficient manner to get that final product. I constantly see people do things in random steps that end up costing them way more time and money in the long run. They will buy a small powered sub to get some bass, then do the Kicker Subaru tweeters. Then swap their front door speakers, but soon realize they need an amp. So they will get the kicker key amplifier, but then realized their front stage is too harsh with the tweeters in the dash and coaxials in the doors. So then they splurge on a decent set of component speakers upfront and matching coax in the rear and then decide they want more bass. So they buy a monoblock amp and a 10 inch sub. But now the sub overpowers the expensive door speakers because the key is a pretty small Amp. So then they upgrade to a five channel amp but now they need a DSP and beefier power wire. And this goes on and on until they have bought and replaced every single item twice and wasted a few thousand dollars.

    -set a final budget
    -Design a system within that budget
    -work your way towards the finished product
     
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  12. Oct 9, 2022 at 1:14 PM
    #12
    soundman98

    soundman98 Well-Known Member

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    all i want to add to this is to try to find some local dealers that you can listen to the speakers you're thinking about installing before spending the money on them. bring your own music on a cd/flash drive/bluetooth, and see how it sounds to you.

    i don't care for many of jl's tweeters, or kickers, or alpines. that doesn't mean they make trash, it means my ears are different.

    at the $200-400/pr pricing you're looking at, you're right in the part of every companies 'moderate-grade' options. meaning that any and every company that makes speakers is going to make something that'll work. but every company will also have an intrinsic 'tone' to their speakers. as they indicated above, in a jeep, rocking through the sand dunes, a set of kickers are great for screaming over the wind noise, but they're hardly 'nuanced' kinds of speakers. the biggest and hardest part is identifying what tone you want from your speakers, and which brands fit that ideal.

    and if you've got some concerns about costs, keep an eye out for house brand gear. sonic electronics nvx lineup is really quite decent, but doesn't carry as much of a markup due to the lack of advertising and lacks some of the prestige of running name-brand gear.
     
  13. Oct 10, 2022 at 8:46 PM
    #13
    SteveKayak

    SteveKayak [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I went into this with a $1500 max budget and I'm probably around $850 now. I'll be returning the Subaru tweets to bring me back to ~$750. My plan now is just to install the amp, see how I dig it and then decide what to do next. I will call this upgrade "Phase I"

    I'm not one to blast music or drive down the highway with the windows down. I just want a little better sound quality out of the stock head unit. My experience with changing the tweeters makes me think that just swapping out those as a "phase II" might be a decent option. I'd keep well under the $1500 budget.

    I need to do more research whether just replacing the tweeters or a full component upgrade makes sense. If I do the full component upgrade, then I'll have about ~$400-$500 hundred left to work with. Then I'd be questioning if it makes more sense to buy an amp and/or DSP combo to try and make the most out of the stock speakers. What is a better "Phase II" option? If I do power the stock speakers how quickly will they just get blown out?

    Hopefully by the time I install the sub I'll have a better idea of what to do. I don't think I'll ever replace the rear speakers because the only passenger I usually have back there is my dog.

    After the Sub install I'll have about $650-$750 to work with if I want to keep going.
     
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  14. Oct 26, 2022 at 8:13 PM
    #14
    SteveKayak

    SteveKayak [OP] Member

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    Quick update, I installed the sub and its awesome. Really digging the extra bass. I ran a 4awg wire which in retrospect, was overkill. The wire did not fit into the sub so I bought some 4awg to 8awg adapters on Amazon for about $8 as a quick fix, but I think I'll just end up getting a distribution block and a little bit of 8awg wire instead.

    Before I do anything I'll just keep the current setup and continue to research the next steps, if any. Part of me is leaning towards adding a 400 - 600 watt amp that I'll mount under the passenger seat and buy some component speakers. I think I'm going to stay away from the Kicker Key and run either passive crossovers or active crossovers using an amp that's capable. My concern with the Kicker Key is white noise and lack of custom-ability. Tentative budget for the amp and new component set would be in the $750 range. Maybe JL Audio XD400/v2 amp and an undecided component set in the $300 range. Not really feeling the DSP route right now, but if I change my mind I'll be able add it later.

    Here are a few pics. I want to build a little rack with the remaining space next to the amp to clean up the wire and add the distribution block. I want to minimize the drilling in the rear plastic piece so I'll try and use the screws that already exist. I'm up for any ideas as well.

    Sub.jpg
    20221027_025624107_iOS.jpg
     
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