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Premium Audio Upgrade for less than $250

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by bshammer0, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:08 AM
    #1
    bshammer0

    bshammer0 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Recently, I stumbled onto the EASY tweeter upgrade thread here and as often happens w/ TW it began a process of upgrading all of my factory speakers. I am beyond happy with the results of the inexpensive upgrades to the stock speaker system. In fact, my wife has a Bose system in her car which I've always listened to with envy comparing to my factory Entune Premium head unit and factory speakers (non-JBL). No more - mine actually sounds better!

    Why I upgraded? I found the factory speakers to produce decent bass VOLUME, but the clarity was terrible. Sound depth was very shallow. Crispness wasn't present really at any volume, but I felt I had to turn the speakers up to near max to hear the subtle notes and in doing this the whole thing had a muddy sound. Personally was resigned to live with it - my experience has always been that if I wanted to fix the factory sound I was normally looking at a $1000 minimum for amp, sub, speakers, etc.,

    What I've learned: The factory speakers are indeed pretty remarkable. When you take apart the doors you'll see what I mean. They are paper-thin, soft, and are only a few ounces... the fact that they are able to produce as much sound as they do is pretty astounding. But, what this also speaks to is the power that DOES exist within the stock head unit to amplify enough juice to make these produce sound.

    What did I buy and install? After buying the Subaru/kicker tweeters that are completely plug-n-play with no adapters or mounts, I was sold on the Kicker quality. After hearing some rave reviews from other forum members I decided to bite the bullet and replace the other front / rear door speakers! As of this writing I haven't done any sound deadening and not sure I will given how great they sound.

    Tweeters: HUGE difference - don't miss this important piece of the puzzle. The factory tweeters are worthless.... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PV6F8I2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Front Speakers: Kicker CS series
    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206CSC6934/Kicker-43CSC6934.html

    Rear Speakers: Kicker CS series
    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206CSC674/Kicker-43CSC674.html

    You will need adapters and mounts for the door speakers - luckily Crutchfield includes these when you order the speakers for free!

    Total Cost = $240 (NOTE: At the time of this writing, Crutchfield has buy 1 set, get one 1/2 off on Kicker speakers through 9/16)

    Install - while I didn't want to drop the cash on the premium OEM+ Audio system, it was really nice of them to do a tutorial. Taking the doors apart on the Tacos is actually pretty easy.

    Purchased this cheap hit to help with this task and it's been helpful to pry things apart with ease: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I0SUZOY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    How To: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=241&v=c37zgaUQsVo

    Install time - about an hour for all 6 speakers.

    Results: Wow! Amazed at the quality of sound I now have in my truck on the stock Entune Premium unit! Treble and Mid are crystal clear at all volumes now, Bass KICKS if you really want it to but at normal levels balances so well! I find myself listening to the same music at 2/3 of the volume I used to and the depth of sound is outstanding.

    No doubt there is value in dropping cash on an expensive system for those who want, but for many folks who are "meh" about the factory system but not wanting to invest in it this could be a very cheap and easy way to drastically improve the sound quality in your truck... all for less than $250!

    Edit: Since installing, forum members have tried (and succeeded) in improving the sound even more, also on a budget. If you want to invest another $30-40, there is also a cheap option to add some good sound deadening. Noico 50mil 25sq ft (this size is more than enough) is a quality alternative to Dynamat at a fraction of the cost. Sure Dynamat is the jam, but if you're reading this thread you likely aren't looking to spend yet another $150-200 on deadening. To be clear, this setup sounds fantastic in every way without taking this extra step. However, by installing this in your doors and behind the speakers you will achieve an even greater bass response and clarity. Install details can be found in the thread as well as pictures folks have posted. Highly recommend as an optional add-on.

    https://www.amazon.com/Noico-deadening-automotive-Insulation-dampening/dp/B012AVX5HQ
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  2. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:11 AM
    #2
    Captqc

    Captqc Well-Known Member

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    Nice! I'm planning to replace my speakers and this will speed up the process. Thanks for posting.:thumbsup:
    Update: got my door speakers installed, I went with 6.5” Kickers in all 4 positions and used the connectors off the OEM speakers instead of hard wiring them. Now just waiting for the tweeter to show up. As mentioned, the OEM speakers were really cheaply built and I’m amazed that they were able to sound as good as they did, but the new speakers are much better sounding.
    Update to the update: the tweeters came this morning and it took literally 20 minuets to install. Man oh man I can’t believe the difference!! Best mod so far! I was going to get an amp but after hearing the new speakers I’ve decided that its good enough for me now. I highly recommend changing out your speakers if you’re on the fence.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
    jhunter80 and bshammer0 [OP] like this.
  3. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:12 AM
    #3
    dg108

    dg108 Active Member

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    I second this. Did the tweeters already which was a huge improvement. Planning to install door speakers tomorrow, all 4 with mounts and adapters cost $112 shipped so I am under $200 to replace all 6.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:24 AM
    #4
    jsey21

    jsey21 Well-Known Member

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  5. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:29 AM
    #5
    goose443

    goose443 Well-Known Member

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    Way to go man...

    You just cost me $135 dollars...
     
  6. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:31 AM
    #6
    JdevTac

    JdevTac Negative Ghostrider

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    I did something similar though a tad further with addition of an amp for my rocksford fosgate speakers and it sounded great for a couple months but the sound has since lost its luster as I've become accustomed to it. I'm now a firm believer that the head unit just can't be totally saved. I put in a $150 Sony double din in my 02 4Runner with stock speakers and it actually sounds just as good if not better than my setup of stock HU with upgraded speakers.

    This is coming from a 2nd gen owner but I doubt HUs have changed too much
     
  7. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:44 AM
    #7
    Frogsauce

    Frogsauce Well-Known Member

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    This is great, I've been looking to upgrade at least those tweeters. Mine snap, crackle and pop...
     
  8. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:47 AM
    #8
    shakerhood

    shakerhood Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the write up.
     
    bshammer0 [OP] likes this.
  9. Sep 14, 2017 at 7:47 AM
    #9
    dnlskier

    dnlskier Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what my wife will say - THANX!!
     
  10. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:00 AM
    #10
    bshammer0

    bshammer0 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. Money well spent - 2 weeks ago i'd thought you were full of it had you told me I could get such an improvement for so little. you won't be disappointed
     
  11. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:01 AM
    #11
    bshammer0

    bshammer0 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Agree 100% - and your input along with others in the tweeter thread pushed me over the edge. Just wanted to create a non-tweeter specific thread to centralize! It's awesome!
     
  12. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:05 AM
    #12
    jsey21

    jsey21 Well-Known Member

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    You did the right thing by putting it over in it's own thread. I was amazed that the Subaru speakers dropped right in, connectors and all. That was so nice as Crutchfield does not have a great replacement for that speaker and I think what I got is better than what I was going to try through them.
     
  13. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:09 AM
    #13
    speedtre

    speedtre Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the write-up! The sound is terrible on the stock base Entune "Premium" setup and I just didn't want to spend $1000+ to fix the sound when I'm not sure I will have this truck more than two years at this point. At this price point, it will be worth it just for 2 years...:thumbsup:
     
    dg108 likes this.
  14. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:13 AM
    #14
    PoppinCorks

    PoppinCorks Well-Known Member

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    Gonna have to make an order now!

    Edit- any other considerations for different speakers in this price rangr?
     
    bshammer0 [OP] likes this.
  15. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:13 AM
    #15
    bshammer0

    bshammer0 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You won't regret it - that head unit had nice amplification. My experience normally has been if you want to replace the speakers on a factory unit you're gonna need an amp to prevent loss of volume. The opposite is true w/ this one - the amp is pretty strong on the head unit. It HAS to be to power those dinky factory speakers... Enjoy, my friends!
     
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  16. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    #16
    Critical05

    Critical05 Well-Known Member

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    Just picked up a pair of the tweeters. Seen a few mentions about removing the A pillar, other where they didn't. What's the consensus, remove A pillar or not?
     
  17. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:34 AM
    #17
    coma toy

    coma toy Well-Known Member

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    Yep, considering the OEM door speakers give off decent enough Bass, the biggest bang for the buck is just swapping out the Tweeters alone!
     
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  18. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:34 AM
    #18
    bshammer0

    bshammer0 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I didn't remove, no problems. Others have though so not sure you'll get "consensus" :)
     
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  19. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:36 AM
    #19
    speedtre

    speedtre Well-Known Member

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    You know about my frustrations with this truck, so when I'm not happy with something as important as the eng/tran setup, the "little things" like a shitty sound system are amplified 10x in their annoyance factor. Fixing this will help significantly with my stress level over this truck, even though I'm not really that big of an audiophile. I don't know if that makes sense or not reading it, but it makes total sense in my head! :D
     
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  20. Sep 14, 2017 at 8:37 AM
    #20
    bshammer0

    bshammer0 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Agree this is a significant step in the right direction - if you do nothing else replace those damn tweeters. Problem for me was that it actually made me realize how bad those door speakers were at producing mids and CLEAR bass... and for not much more than I spent on the tweeters to get all 4 doors upgraded was nice! The decent bass I'd agree with, but damn its so muddy sounding in comparison to these Kicker speakers.
     
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