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OEM HU + Kicker Key + Bi-Amp mode help

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by TenBeers, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. Jul 14, 2021 at 6:28 PM
    #1
    TenBeers

    TenBeers [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Rich
    Bentonville, AR
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    2018 TRD Pro Cavalry Blue
    CBI bed rack and sliders, CVT Mt. Shasta, Uniden 520XL, WeatherTechs, TRD CAI, 1Up USA hitch rack, speaker upgrade, Total Chaos bed stiffeners, Warn Hidden Winch Bumper and winch
    The cheap Subaru tweeter, speaker upgrade, and Kicker Key amp upgrade is a great improvement over stock, but I'm looking for maybe a little better sound. I did put 3-ways in the front doors, and that is maybe part of it, but the Key amp tuning probably helps limit the highs a bit from all those tweeters. But, I feel like I am leaving a lot of potential on the table.

    First, I really don't want to cut any wires or run a bunch of new ones. I made a plug-and-play harness for the current setup, so everything is still intact. I don't have a problem running some additional wires up to the tweeter locations, though. And, I have 2 daughters in college, so I don't want to break the bank but am OK with better than cheap. Really just need new front speakers and to do the wiring.

    So, here is what I am thinking.

    The Key amp has a bi-amp mode, so you can run your dash speakers on one channel and your door speakers on the other. Using this mode eliminates the need for any passive crossovers, and I like that. Also, sending half the power to the rear speakers seems like a bit of a waste. I'd like to switch to more of a component system, but this brings in some decisions to make.

    There are options for both mid-range dash speakers, or dash tweeters. Mid-range would be a separate purchase, while tweeters could be a separate purchase or part of a component system.

    Component systems only have a woofer and a tweeter, no woofer and mid-range options that I have found.

    Not many stand-alone 6x9 woofer options.

    Question 1A: Is going with a mid-range speaker in the dash a better option, or are tweeters better? If mid-range is better, can I just use the woofer from a component set? How do I choose? Or, just get a good component set and go with tweeters? Anyone have recommendations?

    Question 1B: If I split up a component system that is listed as 4 Ohm impedence, are they really 8 Ohm wired in parallel, or 2 Ohm wired in series? WTF, how to tell? Not good spec information. Does it matter? I feel like it does.

    Question 2: Will I still be wanting for a little more bass? It's not that bad now, but really depends on the source mix. Would an under-seat powered sub be worth it to fill out the sound, or would that just add muddiness? I prefer quality over quantity.

    Question 3: I realize that I will need to run 2 more wires on each side for this setup. I would like to make a new harness and keep all the stock connectors. The Metra 72-8110 harness looks like it might do the trick, just cut the loop-backs and connect the other amp channel to the output to the door. Am I thinking right on this?

    The harnesses are cheap, so I would make a whole new plugh-and-play harness, with the option of sending a signal to an under-seat powered sub.

    So have at it, TW. Let me know what I am totally clueless about.
     
  2. Jul 15, 2021 at 6:14 AM
    #2
    TenBeers

    TenBeers [OP] Well-Known Member

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    CBI bed rack and sliders, CVT Mt. Shasta, Uniden 520XL, WeatherTechs, TRD CAI, 1Up USA hitch rack, speaker upgrade, Total Chaos bed stiffeners, Warn Hidden Winch Bumper and winch
    OK, well, due to overwhelming response and some Googling, I have a direction I am going to try.

    Based on a recommendation in another thread (thanks to @destin_meeks), I'm going with the Kenwood KFC-XP6903C component speakers. They actually have a mid-high dash speaker, and each speaker is rated at 4ohms, so they should be fine for the Key amp to drive in bi-amp mode. Ordered all new harnesses so I can make a new plug-and play connection, and I'll leave some pig tails available for a powered sub just in case. Also got some sound mat since I didn't do that the first time around.

    I'll post up results and change the title when done.
     
  3. Jul 15, 2021 at 7:05 AM
    #3
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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  4. Jul 15, 2021 at 7:21 AM
    #4
    TenBeers

    TenBeers [OP] Well-Known Member

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    CBI bed rack and sliders, CVT Mt. Shasta, Uniden 520XL, WeatherTechs, TRD CAI, 1Up USA hitch rack, speaker upgrade, Total Chaos bed stiffeners, Warn Hidden Winch Bumper and winch
    Thank you, sir! These appear to combine everything from the connector to the dash speaker. Thinking what I need to do is run an extra pair of wires from the other amp channel and get it to the wires that go from the dash location down to the door, splitting those 2 signals.

    I grabbed the Metra ones that appear to be similar, but they have a loop to send the signal to the door wires as well. Thinking what I need to do is cut that loop and splice it in there. Need to spend some time drawing it out so I don't get confused, lol.

    Not going to rush it, so I have time to adjust the plan . . .
     
  5. Jul 15, 2021 at 7:40 AM
    #5
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    Well I was going to say to cut these where they splice together to get 4 individual wires, which will create the same thing you are talking about by cutting the loops. Same end result so you’re covered there!

    I personally would leave the loop intact, and just run new wires to the tweeter. This will leave less cutting/splicing and a cleaner situation in the dash, which will minimize points of failure.
     
  6. Jul 15, 2021 at 8:41 AM
    #6
    TenBeers

    TenBeers [OP] Well-Known Member

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    CBI bed rack and sliders, CVT Mt. Shasta, Uniden 520XL, WeatherTechs, TRD CAI, 1Up USA hitch rack, speaker upgrade, Total Chaos bed stiffeners, Warn Hidden Winch Bumper and winch
    LOL, that is certainly a "duh" moment for me. Overthinking it again. That is much simpler. Thanks, again.

    What are your thoughts as to how this will sound compared to current setup? Current setup is:

    OEM 7" HU (2018)
    Kicker tweeters
    Kicker Key 180.4 amp run to all speakers
    JBL GT7 speakers in all doors (6x9 3-ways in front, 6.5 2-way rear)

    Planning on hooking the rears up to the HU rear output just for a little fill (and for the rare passenger that rides back there, dog doesn't care too much).
     
  7. Jul 15, 2021 at 9:00 AM
    #7
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    I mean, it should sound a lot better simply because your highs won’t be blowing out your eardrums with 8 tweeters in the truck, and your staging will be much better getting your highs up on the dash in front of your ears and not down into the floorboard playing into your ankles.
     
  8. Jul 19, 2021 at 6:16 PM
    #8
    TenBeers

    TenBeers [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Member:
    #18067
    Messages:
    5,612
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rich
    Bentonville, AR
    Vehicle:
    2018 TRD Pro Cavalry Blue
    CBI bed rack and sliders, CVT Mt. Shasta, Uniden 520XL, WeatherTechs, TRD CAI, 1Up USA hitch rack, speaker upgrade, Total Chaos bed stiffeners, Warn Hidden Winch Bumper and winch
    Quick update, the Kenwood KFC-XP6903C dash speakers are not a direct fit. I took my time and got one in, but you can only use one of the original mounting bolts (used a screw directly into the dash plastic on the other side), have to trim the mounting hole a bit larger in multiple places, and you have to remove the small cone on the back side of the speaker grill. Looks like it will work fine, but took some time getting it to fit flush. I need to go back and put some foam around the perimeter.
     

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