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Mild upgrade for my factory sound system

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by not a charger, Dec 6, 2023.

  1. Dec 6, 2023 at 5:30 PM
    #1
    not a charger

    not a charger [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Planning to upgrade the sound system a bit in my 2023 SR. My goal is more clarity from the existing speakers, and improving the near non-existent bass. I'm not trying to rattle windows or to have a system that makes it sound like I'm front row at the symphony. I have a few criteria that I recognize are going to limit the outcome, and I am fine with that:

    - I am not changing the head unit
    - No cutting/splicing the factory wiring
    - No drilling holes in any sheetmetal (i.e., I'm not drilling holes in the floor under the seat to mount an amp)

    Here's what a local stereo shop proposed. Thoughts?
    - Alpine 6x9 Type S component systel, model S2-S69c (includes dash tweeters)
    - JL Audio 8 sub (behind the left rear seat back) with dash mounted remote knob
    - Raptor R5A4 amp, mounted to the sub box, powers the sub only
    - leave rear door speakers alone. They felt that without a more involved upgrade and an amp to power the door speakers/dash tweeters that replacing the rear door speakers would be a waste of money

    Any thoughts on the above proposed changes is appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Dec 6, 2023 at 7:08 PM
    #2
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    You’re going to lose a decent amount of volume by upgrading speakers and not providing more power. The factory radio puts out about 10w to the front speakers on a good day, and at 90w sensitivity, those alpines need a bit of power to really shine.

    consider adding a small 4ch amp down the road. The kicker key allows for an active setup in the front since you don’t want to mess with the rear speakers, and the built in DSP would clean up the audio from the factory radio.

    and it fits inside the dash
     
  3. Dec 6, 2023 at 7:15 PM
    #3
    soundman98

    soundman98 Well-Known Member

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    the raptor r5a4 looks to be only an amp wiring kit. the jl audio 8 sub is largely too vague to discern. they have many models of 8" sub.

    i'm definitely curious how one would install a powered sub with zero alterations to a vehicle. and while not cutting/splicing is entirely possible, my experience with most car audio shops is that's the first course of action to get the audio signal, as well as the required remote signal to power the amp on.

    i would definitely recommend listening to the speaker line they're suggesting-- each speaker line is pretty close in tone across the entire line, if you listen to a demo of any type-s speaker, it'd give you an idea of what to expect. every speaker line has a different tone, and everyone's individual preference means that some of that tone can be desirable, and some might not be. it's really up to you if that's worth it.
     
  4. Dec 6, 2023 at 7:41 PM
    #4
    Sandthemall

    Sandthemall Well-Known Member

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    Mild upgrade may get you mild results. Make no small plans. Go as hard as your budget will allow.
     
    not a charger[OP] likes this.
  5. Dec 6, 2023 at 7:47 PM
    #5
    Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster Thread Derailer

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    Second the key amp.

    I'm in your boat - I didn't want to spend a ton on a concert hall, I just wanted something a little better: something that sounded a little cleaner on my commute, and just enough to hear when the windows are down.

    Here is my personal recommendation:

    DIY it: If you can splice a wire and turn a screwdriver, you can install a stereo. It will nearly double your purchasing power by skipping labor, and you will know its done right. A shop is going to murder your wires with sloppy cuts and t-taps. They get paid by the hour - speed is their friend, not quality. They will be running their own wires over factory because its faster. (their wires will be nicer than factory, but also keep in mind it is going to be very difficult to uninstall a shop job if you want to restore a truck to stock). This is optional and up to your comfort level. I personally prefer doing it myself because my weekend job will be better than the guy who wants your car done in two hours. On the flip side, ask yourself who you want to be responsible for troubleshooting. :cookiemonster: No wrong answers there.

    Speakers - Get a set of components for the front. Nothing too fancy - Get on crutchfield and read reviews. This truck was really designed with components in mind - you do not want high frequencies coming in at ankle level.

    Amp - The front doors and tweeters should be amped. I love the kicker key for this it isn't a lot at 50w/channel, but it's a lot better than stock. There are also harnesses available to buy so that your only wire splicing happens at the amp - your factory wires remain blissfully intact.

    Sub - up to you. I run a powered 10" under the driver's seat which has a tiny amount of punch, and no loss of rear storage. A rear seat 10 will have a bit more oomph, but you are losing closet space. It depends on what you are prioritizing. I would consider a 10 over an 8 - A 10 can dig a little deeper, and while an 8 can reverberate much more quickly, a lot of the 8's best qualities are overlapped by the door woofers. Generally. It also depends on brands and enclosures, and subs are a whole 'nother can of worms. For simplicity and budget, a powered sub and a 4 channel amp make most people very happy.

    Foam - if you are feeling brave enough to DIY it, take the extra step and sound mat your doors. It'll make those $150 speakers really shine.
     
  6. Dec 7, 2023 at 1:37 AM
    #6
    not a charger

    not a charger [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I misread the invoice about the amp. The amp comes built in to the box The "amp" I mentioned is indeed just the amp kit.

    I like the idea of the Kicker Key setup. My primary goal is no cutting/splicing the factory wiring and no holes drilled in the floor. I'm a little hesitant to pull the dash apart on a brand new vehicle because I don't want rattles and squeaks though.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2023 at 3:32 AM
    #7
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    That’s not a problem you’ll run into on a Tacoma. I’ve pulled my dash apart probably 3 dozen times at this point and not a squeak.

    I strongly second the DIY route. It is extremely easy, and the amount of work I got paid to fix that expensive shops butchered was crazy.
    There are great shops out there. But they charge for their quality. $150+ per hour or more.

    Grab one of these to make life easy, even if you only do the sub. But it also simplifies the key and other amp installs


    IMG_5082.png
     
  8. Dec 7, 2023 at 3:38 AM
    #8
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Also, they quoted you a 4awg amp kit for the sub’s 250w amp… that’s complete and utter overkill. Good for 1500 watts

    you need 10awg and nothing more (unless you ever want to go bigger)
     
  9. Dec 7, 2023 at 5:40 AM
    #9
    Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster Thread Derailer

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    Another good point. Its so much easier to push a 10 or even an 8 gauge through the firewall than it is a 4.
     
    soundman98 likes this.

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