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Dont Want To Change My Head Unit...But Want Better Sound!

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by IrishPilot, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Sep 3, 2009 at 6:43 PM
    #1
    IrishPilot

    IrishPilot [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just curious what you audiophiles would suggest. Im fine with the stock HU, and short of dvd-nav style screens, I dont usually like the look of many normal aftermarket HUs.

    *Would some new speakers have a significant impact on the sound quality? (ie worth the expense)
    *Better off staying stock until Im willing to spend the money on a dvd-nav unit?

    Im planning on ordering the USA Spec PA15-Toy to use with the iPod, and would really like to bump up the clarity and quality of the system.

    Any advice, suggestions, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Forgive my ignorance when it comes to audio upgrades.
     
  2. Sep 3, 2009 at 6:54 PM
    #2
    81shark

    81shark Well-Known Member

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    stock speakers are junk. replace them and if that's not enough you can always go further
     
  3. Sep 3, 2009 at 6:58 PM
    #3
    higherlux

    higherlux Well-Known Member

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    speakers would be a improvement
    but a headunit would be a huge improvement
    or atleast it was with me
     
  4. Sep 3, 2009 at 7:06 PM
    #4
    Jigzor

    Jigzor Well-Known Member

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    Aftermarket HU would be able to push out more watts to aftermarket speakers than a factory HU would. Replacing speakers while keeping factory HU would improve sound but it would do justice to what the speakers could potentially do with more power. Changing the HU and keeping the factory speakers is ok. the speakers will sound slightly better and you'll have the options on the HU. If you want better sound change both the Hu and speakers, you won't be disappointed.
     
  5. Sep 3, 2009 at 7:16 PM
    #5
    dwzild

    dwzild Well-Known Member

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    Line your door panels with Dynomat or equivalent. I am planning on doing the same thing and keeping the factory HU. If, over time, you decide it's just not enough, you can always add a 4-channel amp and Re-Q. This will still allow you to utilize your factory HU and steering wheel controls, maintaining that stealthness.

    http://www.reqsound.com/
     
  6. Sep 3, 2009 at 7:18 PM
    #6
    Veccster

    Veccster bass turds

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    OK...similar situation here. I am also NOT an audiophile and am not experienced with systems. But, I had 4 speakers left over from past projects (decent but older speakers ~ from 10 years ago). I spent $70 for the 4 baffles required to install aftermarket speakers (Mr.Marv) and installed the speakers. There is definitely MORE sound. I still don't have clean bass but the sound is more rich.

    If I had paid for the 4 speakers (probably $120), I would not be satisfied with the investment (nearly $200 after baffles). However, when/if I upgrade my HU, I think the difference will be huge.
    Adding an amp and sub will also offer a great improvement for me.



    This may also help:
     
  7. Sep 3, 2009 at 7:23 PM
    #7
    Major

    Major Well-Known Member

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    I did what Dwzild recommends - kept factory HU, replaced speakers (Alpine 6X9 front and 6.5s in the rear) and added a 4 channel 50W Alpine amp and I have been very pleased. Much better sound and tons more volume. Good luck
     
  8. Sep 3, 2009 at 7:36 PM
    #8
    dwzild

    dwzild Well-Known Member

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    Did you use the Re-Q or JL Sweep? If not, did you just use line level inputs to your amp?
     
  9. Sep 3, 2009 at 7:50 PM
    #9
    NMG

    NMG Well-Known Member

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    Yeah if you want to keep your factory HU, I think something like the JL Sweep is the way to go. From what I gather, it will basically let you just use the factory HU as the source, while all of the processing will be done downstream of that, so you don't get the rolled off bass from the factory system at higher volume settings. Combine that with a good quality amp, speakers and some sound deadening in the doors and you should have a VERY noticeable improvement even if you don't want to add a sub for more low end extension and punch.
     
  10. Sep 3, 2009 at 7:53 PM
    #10
    Major

    Major Well-Known Member

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    I just used line out converters to the amp - it worked for me as I wanted better sound and a bit louder but not way loud. I like it - fits what I needed perfectly. Some may want a bit more?
     
  11. Sep 3, 2009 at 8:34 PM
    #11
    atsaubrey

    atsaubrey Dealer/Sales Rep for Sundown Audio.

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    Since your asking us "audiophiles", there is no substitute for an aftermarket head. By the time you pay for a Clean Sweep, RF 360 or ReQ, you sould have a BETTER head unit for the same price. IMO, switch out to a aftermarket H/U and be done with it. If you are even somewhat serious about sound, do it right the first time and try not to use an expensive "bandaid" to get it done. If your willing to cough up $200-$500 for a fancy LOC, message me and I think we can come up with a much better option using aftermarket. :)
     
  12. Sep 4, 2009 at 3:04 AM
    #12
    IrishPilot

    IrishPilot [OP] Well-Known Member

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    After some research, it looks like my first change may be dynamat, raamat, second skin, etc. for the doors. Still trying to find which one of these best fits my budget and the best place to buy it. Any suggestions?
     
  13. Sep 4, 2009 at 10:34 AM
    #13
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    I used Raammat. One roll was enough to to all four doors inside and out and the area behind the left rear passenger seat. They also have a Tacomaworld discount.

    Inside (I two layers of Raammat behind the speaker area):
    [​IMG]

    Aluminum flashing to cover the access holes.
    [​IMG]

    Outside:
    [​IMG]

    Ensolyte:
    [​IMG]

    I have before and after recordings that I did in the cab of my truck so I could see if there was a perceptable difference. I uploaded two sound files with the same radio settings, one before and one after:
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/audio-video/19912-raammat-finished-2.html

    I also did some screenshots of an audio program which shows the waveform of the two recordings before and after (all stereo settings and equipment was the same):
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Sep 4, 2009 at 5:20 PM
    #14
    IrishPilot

    IrishPilot [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Definite volume improvement based on your clips! How much did it cost you to purchase all the stuff?
     
  15. Sep 4, 2009 at 5:37 PM
    #15
    beastlytaco

    beastlytaco This is TW. One never knows what is a joke anymore

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    what if he just got an amp and ran that with his stock speakers and HU?
     
  16. Sep 4, 2009 at 11:54 PM
    #16
    Jigzor

    Jigzor Well-Known Member

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    IMO it would be a waste of money.
     
  17. Sep 7, 2009 at 8:34 AM
    #17
    KAPendley

    KAPendley Best Hack I Know

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    6 channel out put digital eq. 30 band eq PER channel. etc, etc, etc.................If this unit is added to ANY HU, it will improve sound by leaps and bounds. But its primary purpose is adding amps and better sound to OEM HU's.
     
  18. Sep 9, 2009 at 9:14 AM
    #18
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    It was about $200 for the mat, the ensolyte and the adhesive spray (for the ensolyte).
     
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