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Improving sound in your stock stereo

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by sandie, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Mar 27, 2007 at 11:57 AM
    #1
    sandie

    sandie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm clueless when it comes to AV stuff. I want to improve the sound in my taco, but i'd like to keep the stock stereo (i've purchased the dodads to add my ipod to the mix too! YAY!)....what have you done to improve sound in your stock stereo system?

    i searched the AV threads here, and i see talk about amps and speakers and other assorted AV stuff...and sad to say, i don't know anything about those things...but it looks like the amps take up room...i only have an access cab, and i'd like to not have to use up any of the limited space i have :D

    anyway, i'm curious to see what you all are using...maybe as simple as some upgraded speakers, or as fancy as...well...whatever's fancy! ;)

    thanks!
     
  2. Mar 27, 2007 at 1:09 PM
    #2
    Dust Devil

    Dust Devil Well-Known Member

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  3. Mar 27, 2007 at 1:39 PM
    #3
    Ldytaco05

    Ldytaco05 it's all about me

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    well sandie i just went ahead and got a connector for my ipod it only cost me $30 at best buy, it works great :) and the sound quality is also satisfactory.
     
  4. Mar 27, 2007 at 1:52 PM
    #4
    sandie

    sandie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    cool! :D now what kind of amp/speakers/etc do you have?
     
  5. Mar 27, 2007 at 1:56 PM
    #5
    Mr Marv

    Mr Marv 1-831-383-0308 Vendor

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    What don't you like about your current system? Is it not loud enough? Do you not like the sound of the speakers? Do you need more bass?
    My guess(?) is you don't like the sound of the speakers (since from my personal experience the speakers are the weakest link in the sound system) so I will address that situation.
    There are a couple of issues when you change the speakers and keep the stock headunit. First is the non-defeatable EQ'ing built in to compensate for the poor quality speakers which could actually make your new speakers sound worse than the stock ones (at the least they won't sound as good as they could). Also, some factory headunits have a "bass limiter" which automatically reduces the bass at higher volumes to keep from blowing the poor quality speakers (again this would not allow the maximum benefit from the new speakers). You can check if yours has this by turning up the volume slowly and see if you notice a point where highs keep getting louder but the bass doesn't. There are devices made that "re-program" the built in EQ and bass limiter however they are as/more expensive than a good aftermarket headunit plus you'd need to add an external amplifier. In my humble opinion, since the speakers are what actually make the sound they are usually the first thing I replace to improve the sound (proper installation/tuning are a MUST) and with most newer vehicles I suggest the owner change the headunit as well. Since you want to keep the factory headunit, you could try changing just the speakers (if that's what you don't like) as long as you are aware that you may have to change the headunit as well if you want the optimum sound from the new speakers.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2007 at 2:03 PM
    #6
    Ldytaco05

    Ldytaco05 it's all about me

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    I only have stock speakersand planning to upgrade. thanks marv this would give me an idea on what to upgrade i know i have to have multi amp so my over all sound system would be great, but i want my "Diva" to be better than ever. :)
     
  7. Mar 27, 2007 at 2:07 PM
    #7
    Mr Marv

    Mr Marv 1-831-383-0308 Vendor

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    No problem "adopted daughter"! :D I will be installing a simple system in a 2007 DC next week or the week after so I'll try to do a little tutorial with pictures :) .
     
  8. Mar 27, 2007 at 2:13 PM
    #8
    sandie

    sandie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    thanks mr. marv :D
    it just seems like the stock stereo sound is "weak" and almost "tinny"...it's almost like it goes from being barely audible, to being annoying, and there is no in between. i suck at describing this stuff :shrug:

    the only reason i wanted to keep the stock stereo is looks...it just looks cleaner IMO than adding an after market stereo (the dash looks so nice and clean and orderly!)

    anyway, i'm hoping more people will respond with what they have installed and how they like them so i can use their trials and errors to make my own decision :D i'm a sheep! ;)

    mr. marv, what kind of speakers do you like if i were to say just get some new speakers?
     
  9. Mar 27, 2007 at 3:00 PM
    #9
    Mr Marv

    Mr Marv 1-831-383-0308 Vendor

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    I had a feeling it was the stock speakers you didn't like! First thing I'll say is that the sound of speakers is very subjective. I always suggest listening to speakers yourself whenever possible since "I cannot hear what you can hear and you cannot hear what I can hear!" I know this is not always possible so I will give you my "subjective opinion" on what I personally like and there are numerous reviews of brands I will mention on the internet.

    My objectives are very different than most so what I use may not be feasible for all and some may have never heard of what I will mention. I personally like very "natural" sounding speakers that reproduce the recording as faithfully as possible. In my new competition system I will be using Scan Speak Revelator mids/highs with Dynaudio midbass drivers and probably a pair of 12W6v2's. The Scan Speaks (and many variations of them) are home audio based drivers that are used in several high end car audio component sets including Alpine F#1 Status and Genesis. They are among the most natural sounding out there IMO but as mentioned they are not for everybody (some sets costing upwards of $4000.00!).

    In my current "daily driver" system I am using Dynaudio components. These are also very natural sounding drivers which are used in some higher end factory systems such as Volvos and I believe some VW's. DLS Iridiums (which I have used in the past) and SEAS are also on my "favorites list" of natural sounding speakers when not considering cost (these all retail upwards of $800.00 per set).

    For more "reasonably priced" speakers my personal favorites are the new Pioneer Premier PRS components. After reading the many favorable reviews on them I bought a set to try out. I was a little skeptical based on the price ($549.00 retail but around $250.00 on eBay) however I was pleasantly suprised after hooking them up! Instead of me giving my opinion check out the review at the link below (my opinion was almost exactly the same as the magazine reviewer)

    http://www.caraudiomag.com/testreports/0612_caep_pioneer_premier_ts_c720prs/index.html

    None of these are by any means the "best" speakers out there for all situations rather what I personally like. I will say that the Pioneers were the most impressive to me based on the price as I have heard many that cost quite a bit more that did not sound as good IMO. In any case, "since speakers are actually what make the sound" my suggestion is to buy the best sounding "to you" speakers that fit within your budget. Also, don't forget that proper installation/tuning plays a HUGE role in how speakers sound. "A good speaker installed properly will sound better than a great speaker installed improperly" :D
     
  10. Mar 27, 2007 at 3:06 PM
    #10
    sandie

    sandie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    yeah, i think whatever i find, i'll have to make a trip up to monterey with a six pack for some help with installation ;)

    THANKS!!! thats awesome info!!!
     
  11. Mar 27, 2007 at 3:08 PM
    #11
    Dust Devil

    Dust Devil Well-Known Member

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    When you are mounting speakers in a door, what can you do to mess it up??

    I am curious as I will be installing the things I listed above in the next week or so......
     
  12. Mar 27, 2007 at 3:44 PM
    #12
    Mr Marv

    Mr Marv 1-831-383-0308 Vendor

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    Sounds good! If you do decide to come up let me know as I have a friend that owns a local shop and gives me a nice discount and maybe I can help you out with what you need :) .

    Almost forgot, since you like the clean look of the factory headunit how about one of the double din dvd or dvd/nav units? Those look really nice in the dash IMO :D
     
  13. Mar 27, 2007 at 4:05 PM
    #13
    Mr Marv

    Mr Marv 1-831-383-0308 Vendor

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    The idea is to SOLIDLY mount the speakers and deaden any surfaces around them to prevent door resonance from making the sound "muddy". You also want to make sure and seal any large openings to prevent the speakers back wave from interacting with the front wave which will cause cancellation (speakers emit sound from both sides of the cone). If you check the 2005-2006 Toyota Truck pages at my photobucket link below you will see pics of properly installed speakers. The mids and tweeters are mounted to MDF baffles and the dark gray stuff you see over the entire door is a closed cell foam called "Ensolite". I havn't had a chance to post the "before" picture however beneath the Ensolite is a "mass loading" material called RAAMmat (very similar to Dynamat Extreme at a much cheaper cost). The RAAMmat "deadens" any panel resonances and the Ensolite helps "arrest" higher frequencies such as wind and road noise. The inside of the outer door skin is also covered with the RAAMmat and a couple of layers of Ensolite can be added just behind the speaker.

    Almost forgot, here's a link to a tutorial on installing these products. BTW, if anyone wants to order some of these materials be sure to mention to Rick that I sent you from here and he'll give you a little forum discount :).

    http://www.raamaudio.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?p=ht
     
  14. Mar 27, 2007 at 4:13 PM
    #14
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    Can you check and tell us if the 2007 factory head unit has a base limiter?
     
  15. Mar 27, 2007 at 4:30 PM
    #15
    Mr Marv

    Mr Marv 1-831-383-0308 Vendor

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    It has already been replaced with an Eclipse dvd/nav unit and I didn't think to check beforehand. Maybe someone here with the stock setup can give it a quick check? :)
     
  16. Mar 28, 2007 at 9:39 AM
    #16
    Dust Devil

    Dust Devil Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Marv....looks like I have to order more stuff..
     
  17. Mar 28, 2007 at 9:54 AM
    #17
    Mr Marv

    Mr Marv 1-831-383-0308 Vendor

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    No problem. :) Have fun with your system and let us know how it turns out! :)
     
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