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Help me complete my setup

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Tacobart, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Jan 5, 2011 at 10:52 AM
    #1
    Tacobart

    Tacobart [OP] Member

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    Hi All, first post on TacomaWorld so I have high expectations that I will be pointed in the right direction! First, let me describe what I have. I have a 2010 Taco Access Cab. I also have Image Dynamics CTX65CS components that will be going in the front doors. I have an Alpine PDX-F4 amp (100Wx4RMS) ready to go under the driver's seat. What I don't have yet, in no particular order, are: a head unit, a sub, or any rear speakers. I DO have a Parrot MKi9200 bluetooth device currently hooked to my factory head unit (non-JBL).

    Part of my quandary is that I bought the Parrot to handle my phone calls - I'm on the road a lot and on the phone a lot. It also allows me to play an iPod, thumb drive, or stream music from my Droid either via a music folder or via Pandora. While this is all very great, it is not without occasional hiccups. Such as unexpected launching of one or two music apps (music player plays one thing and MixZing plays another at the same time!). This happens randomly or after I end a call. Sometimes the play list gets stuck and plays a particular song over and over. Also, the volume controls are separate from the head unit volume controls, which isn't ideal but I'm used to now. Mostly.

    So, do I ditch the (2 month old) Parrot and get a head unit that can handle bluetooth and stream music? If I get a new h/u and keep the Parrot, will they fight over the streaming music and/or phone call??? I just don't know the answer. Any advice or first-hand knowledge would be appreciated.

    Since the amp I bought doesn't accept speaker line level inputs (RCA jacks are needed) I think I need a new head unit. The features I'm looking for are iPod controls and (possibly) Bluetooth. If it handles calls, I want it to have excellent voice command controls, like "Dial Jane Doe at work", etc. I might occasionally want to pop in a CD. I don't need nav, I have a Garmin and my phone does nav as well. I can spend between $200 and $300 on a head unit. Recommendations are appreciated.

    So I've got two channels of the four committed to driving the front door speakers. I have two left over. I can either combine them and power a 200W sub that would need to go under the passenger seat, or I can power two rear speakers. I'm only looking for fill sound - face it, it's a small space inside a truck. Possibly I can just power the rear speakers directly off the head unit then power a sub off the two channels? Or I can buy an 8" powered sub like the Sound Ordnance B-8PT Single 8" Amplified Flatsub, which would free up two channels on the sub to power the rear speakers.

    What setup do I go with? Any recommendations on rear speakers (do I go with low peak wattage and power them off the head unit?) If so, what is a recommendation for a sub that I can stuff under the passenger seat? I am SO not looking for a competition setup and don't want to annoy neighbors when I drive to work in the morning but I do want good fidelity at good volume but the hardest-hitting sub isn't on my wish list. What's reasonable? Powered or unpowered? And, if unpowered (meaning I power it off the amp), what enclosure will fit under the passenger seat?

    For some weird reason, I don't want to modify my truck's interior in order to install a sub but I don't mind adding surface mount rear speakers, possibly beneath the rear fold down seats, so that the speaker grills are visible. Also, does anyone know if they have holes inside the access doors for speakers on the 2010 Access Cabs??? I know the door panels don't have speaker holes but I think they may still have holes in the framework to accept speakers. Toyota brilliantly moved the rear speakers into the headliner. Yes, they are just glued to the inside of the headliner and they have about the same acoustic fidelity as my old TRS80 computer speaker!!! I saw a nice write-up of rear speakers mounted so they faced forward and sat beneath each rear jump seat. That looked pretty nifty, but if I can put 'em in the access doors, so much the better (and easier).

    I realize this is a ton of writing but I decided I wasn't getting good answers as a result of not giving people enough information. Hopefully, this describes what I'm trying to do. Thanks in advance for your advice! :D
     
  2. Jan 5, 2011 at 11:22 AM
    #2
    Leggo

    Leggo slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

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    hold out for another week till the electronics show ends then look into a new head unit from pioneer, they are going to release one that does it all this year I am told.
     
  3. Jan 5, 2011 at 12:13 PM
    #3
    Tacobart

    Tacobart [OP] Member

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    Will do. Thanks for the tip!
     
  4. Jan 6, 2011 at 6:20 AM
    #4
    Tacobart

    Tacobart [OP] Member

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    Anybody wanna weigh in on rear speakers v. powered sub v. built-in-amped sub? Anybody have any ideas on the potential for a bluetooth war between Parrot and a BT head unit? Please give some reasoning on choice other than "they're the best, man!" Thanks!
     
  5. Jan 6, 2011 at 8:01 AM
    #5
    ToyoDrew

    ToyoDrew Well-Known Member

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    I know they are out of your stated price range, but Pioneer announced the AVIC-Z130BT and the AVIC-X930T yesterday. Check out their website for the specs...specs-wise, they look similar to the 120/920 but with more "apps" built in. But with the new ones announced, look for discounts on the current ones. Heck, even their older ones can get a software upgrade (for a fee).

    I'm curious what the other companies are going to come out with (I know that Alpine is announcing theirs today...not sure about others).

    EDIT: Looks like Pioneer is actually coming out with 9 HU's for 2011...the cheapest will be $150. But I hope you have an iphone to make any use of all of these apps...otherwise it's all for nothing (which sucks for me).
     
  6. Jan 6, 2011 at 9:12 AM
    #6
    Tacobart

    Tacobart [OP] Member

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    I will check them out, thanks. This leads me into yet another question for anyone. All you hear about is iPhone, iPhone, iPhone. Blah, blah, blah. I have the red-headed stepchild of the iPhone, the Motorola Droid. It's a great phone but you can really get an inferiority complex from all the manufacturers' talk about iPhone compatibility and their deafening silence on anything else.

    Can I assume that if it works with an iPhone it will work with a Droid? I can and do stream Pandora through my Parrot MKi9200 blue tooth no problemmo. Does anybody have any good or bad experiences about this stuff? I'd hate like heck to buy a $1500 receiver that can't play Pandora because I've got a Droid and not an iPhone, or not have my voice recognition work properly, or whatever.
     
  7. Jan 6, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    #7
    Leggo

    Leggo slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

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    I am thinking the new HU will have the handsfree and not have to load your entire phone book every time you get in.It also lets you touch the screen and never even look at your phone or your Ipod to make, receive calls, and play tunes. Streaming should be just fine with your droid I am told. It also is a much cleaner to look at as there are no add on screens sticking out from the dash. You can get steering wheel controls as well. I am about to pull the trigger on the new HU set up instead of the parrot and the Ipod link because they do not work as well as I would like
     
  8. Jan 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM
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    ToyoDrew

    ToyoDrew Well-Known Member

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    At least you have an Andriod product! That means your phone will "most likely" be the next one to be integrated (IF that happens)...so at least there is hope for you. lol Me and my blackberry have little hope.

    I did read in one of the tech blogs that other phone support is "in the works"...but who knows how long that will take (IF the rumor is even true). It would make sense (from a business standpoint) for Pioneer to get that feature working for all smartphones. Otherwise they are severely limiting who their potential consumers are.

    Personally, I also wouldn't invest in this version until other phone support has been confirmed by the company because there doesn't seem to be any differences in the hardware (from what I saw while briefly skimming over the specs of the 130/930 only).
     
  9. Jan 6, 2011 at 12:33 PM
    #9
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion Sounds Gooooood

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    I'd forget about rear speakers. You wont need them to be honest. Don't get a sub with an amp in it because they're no where near the performance level of a regular sub in a nice box.

    That amp you have makes good power. I'd say use the front two channels for the components you have and run 200RMS to a good 10 or 12 that's fairly efficient.
     
  10. Jan 6, 2011 at 12:53 PM
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    Tacobart

    Tacobart [OP] Member

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    ItalStal, Thank you for your advice! I've seen enough of your posts to value your opinion! So, now, here's one for you. What sub can I stuff under my passenger seat? I've got an Access Cab (got rid of my 2008 Tundra 4-dr) and now it seems like my audio options are pretty limited as a result. Is there a small sub and enclosure you're aware of that I can fit under my passenger seat? I use the back for my kids 2X a week at least and the other 2X a week it's full of my mtn biking gear. Point is, something that chews up a lot of that space back there doesn't work for me. Space is now at a premium. Any recommendations? Do I need to build a box or are there "stock" enclosures for this situatuion? I'm thinking it's got to be a shallow mount...

    What you did beneath your rear DC seats is Ridiculous!!! However, I just don't have the time or $$$ to have that done. I'm looking for a very simple, no mod approach if possible.
     
  11. Jan 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM
    #11
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion Sounds Gooooood

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    Hmmm, access cab is beyond my knowledge realm. I honestly don't know what those guys do.

    I do recall seeing a certain JL audio stealth box that fit in the center console and pointed towards the rear of the truck. No idea how much that is or what it sounds like.

    That style might be an option though. Do you typically use a lot of the space that's inside the center console? Would you mind sticking a sub in there by way of center console modification?
     
  12. Jan 6, 2011 at 2:03 PM
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    Tacobart

    Tacobart [OP] Member

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    I checked it out... Not sure it's for me. I'm not quite ready for "reducing storage capacity by about 90%."Ouch! All my junk goes in there, man! I guess I'm more willing to sacrifice on sound than to lose 90% of the console. Does anyone have any experience putting a sub under the passenger seat or someplace that isn't in the way and doesn't require a huge mod?

    Could even be an 8" single sub... I'm starting to sound a bit desperate! Thought this would be relatively easy.
     
  13. Jan 6, 2011 at 2:53 PM
    #13
    Leggo

    Leggo slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

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    my TRD sport access cab came with a sub on the wall between the rear seats, factory. It works ok I guess.
     
  14. Jan 6, 2011 at 3:56 PM
    #14
    silvr07taco

    silvr07taco Well-Known Member

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    First of all, i feel the same way as you, i don't want to compromise any passenger space, and i don't want to modify anything in the truck. so i cam up with my solution.

    i have an 07 access cab with a 12" sub in it, i still have use of my two rear seats, and can access the storage under the seats.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jan 7, 2011 at 5:17 AM
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    Tacobart

    Tacobart [OP] Member

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    That looks like a good solution! I like the setup - thanks for taking the time to post a pic of it. Is it permanently secured with screws to the truck at the back and bottom, or did you use industrial strength Velcro or some other means to secure it? There may be a few times a year that I may need to yank it and use the whole space back there.
     
  16. Jan 7, 2011 at 7:29 PM
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    silvr07taco

    silvr07taco Well-Known Member

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    its a solution that works for me, and yes you called it, i used 3m duallock velcro on the rear of the box, i did not want to drill any holes or anything in the truck, so far it has been ok
     
  17. Jan 7, 2011 at 9:11 PM
    #17
    the arkitect

    the arkitect I will gladly pay you on Tuesday...

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    I think the best option to keep your storage space is to pick out a HU to fit your needs and mount your amp under the seat. Pop open the access doors and find out if you can mount 6 1/2s in the doors. If you can, then get some high end 6 1/2s and run the components and new speakers off of your amp. That should be plenty for your needs. Don't worry about trying to mount a sub under the passenger seat, there's just not enough room under there for anything decent.

    If you mount 6x9s in the storage lockers under the jump seats, would you have to open the jump seat every time you got in the truck.

    I would concentrate on a custom install in the access doors, but that's just my opinion.
     
  18. Jan 10, 2011 at 5:44 AM
    #18
    Tacobart

    Tacobart [OP] Member

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    Guys, thanks for all your help. I think I know where I'm headed now, at least with respect to speakers and subs. Arkitect, I think your advice is really sound (no pun intended) but I've been bitten by the audio bug. I had a long conversation with Mr. Marv on Friday and anyone who's ever bothered to call him knows he's a straight shooter. Great guy. For what it's worth, his opinion is that you need at least a 10" sub to faithfully reproduce lower sounds in the way they are meant to be heard for a wide range of music categories. He, coincidentally, is just finishing up a prototype for the '10 Taco Access Cabs that is a direct bolt-in sub enclosure that goes where the rear center storage locker is. Unbolt, remove, drop in, bolt down. Ta-da!! (Famous last words?) This enclosure doesn't work on earlier models, which had less are more difficult to work with due to their "unfriendly" rear area configuration. If I had an '09 or earlier, I'd choose Arkitect's solution and stick some big 3-way speakers in the access door panels and call it a victory.

    So I'm cutting Mr. Marv loose on a sub enclosure and ordering up a shallow mount 10" Pioneer TS-SW2501 (not the TS-SW251).

    PDX-F4 amp under the driver's seat, Image Dynamics CTX65CS in front doors (which I hope I don't regret - I bought impulsively without really researching first) and a very simple head unit. I've decided for now to live with a simple h/u and keep the Parrot MKi9200, which can handle bluetooth, voice commands, iPod, thumb drive, and a mini-jack aux in. It's not perfect but it'll do. A bit of sound deadening around the 6.5" midwoof locations without going crazy and, voila, that's it. Got a good local installer lined up to put it all together. I COULD do it myself but just don't have the time (and it's damn cold here for the next month!). Now I'll be rocking before February if all goes well. Will post some pics when all this happens.
     
  19. Jan 10, 2011 at 7:44 AM
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    the arkitect

    the arkitect I will gladly pay you on Tuesday...

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    Just keep in mind before you buy your sub-check with Mr. Marv on the cubic feet of the box he is building and make sure the the Pioneer is optimized for that space. Image Dynamics makes great products, so don't fret over choosing them.
     
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