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Stock Head Unit with Aftermarket Speakers? Any good?

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by TacoNJ, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Dec 22, 2009 at 8:44 AM
    #1
    TacoNJ

    TacoNJ [OP] Member

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    Hi All!Names Pete – Long time reader and you all convinced me to pick up my first Tacoma. Just bought a Silver 2006 TRD Sport AC SR5 V6 with just over 30K on it. Had it for almost 3 weeks now and I’m lovin it. Handles the snow up out here in Jersey like a champ! I’ve always had semi-luxury vehicles and also always selected the premium audio packages so I’ve been spoiled with good sound in my cars. Years ago I was heavy into mobile audio so good sound in a vehicle is important to me. Needless to say, the stock system leaves much to be desired. I’m not looking for subs or amps or to rock the world, I just want loud clean sound without distortion.I picked up the TacoTunes mounting kit (6x9 & 6 ½”) and bought myself a set of JVC HX series coaxial which haven’t arrived yet. I thought I’d try just replacing the speakers without a new head unit for now. My question to you guys is what is your experience by simply replacing the speakers? Do you find the stock head unit isn’t powerful enough to improve the sound that well? If not, and you’ve added an aftermarket head unit, how well did replacing both improve your sound?This is as far as I’m willing to go. I’m not adding an external amp or sub so please don’t recommend them. I’ve been into car audio for a looooong time and really don’t want to get into it.Thanks in advance!PETE
     
  2. Dec 22, 2009 at 8:58 AM
    #2
    hendooman

    hendooman The Stroker Ace

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    Pete, Welcome to TW. I replaced all four of my door speakers with Infinity Components 6.5 up front and jl audios's 6.5 in the back. They are all powered by the non jbl 6 disc changer. While the sound is a lot better, it does start to crack at high volume. The head unit just doesnt have enough umph to get the full value out of the speakers. It is better that is for sure, but an external amp and a sub is in my future.
     
  3. Dec 22, 2009 at 9:03 AM
    #3
    TacoNJ

    TacoNJ [OP] Member

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    Thanks for your quick reply and good information. I noticed you went with nice speakers. JL Audio & Infinity speak for themselves. I purposely didn't go with a higher end speaker as I knew the stock head unit wouldn't drive them properly. The ones I ordered are more basic so I hope to get decent results.If not, I'll pick up a new head unit and give it a shot.Thanks again - Any more feedback is always welcome!
     
  4. Dec 22, 2009 at 9:36 AM
    #4
    IrishPilot

    IrishPilot Well-Known Member

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    Helpful thread.

    I really dont want to replace the stock HU...but its looking like I may have to. It seems the general consensus is that you can keep changing speakers, add amps, etc. and it still wont get you to where the simple addition of a new headunit will.
     
  5. Dec 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM
    #5
    TacoNJ

    TacoNJ [OP] Member

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    This is what I was thinking. A lot of factory HU's have some nice features and asthetics but their amplifiers are lacking severely in RMS power output. This usually leads to distortion at higher levels as the amp goes into clipping and can even ruin your aftermarket speakers even tho they handle more power.A typical aftermarket receiver will usually give you a good 20-25 watts x4 RMS which is good clean power and should make your aftermarket speakers come to life.Since I don't know the power output specs on any Taco HU, I was just looking for some input from owners who may have simply replaced the speakers. If you all recommend a new head unit, I'm all ears. :)Thanks again!
     
  6. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM
    #6
    NeoMoose

    NeoMoose Possibly Batman

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    I'm pretty sure the stock HU does some sound processing at higher volumes. If you start to turn the volume up, it seems that bass and even some of the mid range stops getting any louder while easier to reproduce, higher pitches sounds will keep increasing in volume.

    I don't know if that has any effect on your decision, but this seems to be fairly common practice to tune the sound of the cheap factory speakers. I had the same thing in my Honda Accord also before I got the Tacoma. Ended up doing a full overhaul in the Honda and now working toward a full audio overhaul of the Tacoma.
     
  7. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:34 AM
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    DaytonLax14

    DaytonLax14 Well-Known Member

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    Get a new HU first.
     
  8. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:35 AM
    #8
    TacoNJ

    TacoNJ [OP] Member

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    Hi Neo - thanks for the response...When you say "start to turn the volume up", do you mean with factory or aftermarket speakers? After seeing pics someone posted of the factory speaker, it seems to me they're the majority of the problem. The magnet is the size of about 4 quarters stacked and they appear to handle about 3W of power. The picture alone made me decide to replace them.
     
  9. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM
    #9
    NeoMoose

    NeoMoose Possibly Batman

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    I'm talking about the stock radio having some filters on the sound to keep you from blowing the stock speakers. The stock radio doesn't know if you have aftermarket speakers or not, so there isn't any way to turn it off.

    At least, that's what I think I've observed. I don't know if it actually has it or if I'm just suffering from some kind of placebo/cheap ass speakers thing in my head, but I think almost all factory stereos process sound to prevent blowouts unless they are the premium units.
     
  10. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:41 AM
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    DaytonLax14

    DaytonLax14 Well-Known Member

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    that is correct
     
  11. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:42 AM
    #11
    rutherk1

    rutherk1 ElPhantasmo&TheChickenRunBlastarama

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    I am running the OEM speakers in the back, an aftermarket head unit, and some boston acoustic coaxials in the front.

    Upgrade your headunit and it will really bring out the sound in the OEM speakers. They OEM speakers really fill the cabin with sound if they have some proper power. People say they are junk but they are not. Judge me by my size do you?

    I have dumped to much money in car audio crap over the years and decided to go lean in my tacoma.

    Remember, listen to your ears. Not what the people on the forum tell you.

    Start with the head unit. If it still doesn't sound the way you want, upgrade the front door speakers with some good coaxials.

    Remember that a vehicle is the worst possible acoustic chamber.
     
  12. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:44 AM
    #12
    rutherk1

    rutherk1 ElPhantasmo&TheChickenRunBlastarama

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    It has a compressor in it if that is what you are talking about. That is more or less because of the low power amplifier chips.

    Before I replaced my fronts, I tried to blow them with my eclipse unit and they got really loud but didn't blow.
     
  13. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:45 AM
    #13
    TacoNJ

    TacoNJ [OP] Member

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    I considered this but after seeing the (lack of) quality of the factory speakers, that idea completely went out the window.This is all good info fellas, thanks much. What I'll probably end up doing is replacing the speakers and add a nice double DIN JVC HU.Keep any more experiences comin! Thanks again!
     
  14. Dec 22, 2009 at 11:57 AM
    #14
    trtripoli

    trtripoli lower management

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    I think people here at getting speakers that take alot of wattage to power. I beleive even with the JBL stereo, you won't be able to handle much. I know you can purchase aftermarket speakers that would have a lower power requirment. You can get aftermarket HU that put out a lot of power, but for the most part you just getting noise and not sound.

    what I reccomend (if you want to keep your HU) is get a JL cleanSweep (http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_cleansweep_pages.php?page_id=79) and run an after market amp and speakers off of that. Keeps a stock look and gives you aftermaket sound.
     
  15. Dec 22, 2009 at 12:25 PM
    #15
    TacoNJ

    TacoNJ [OP] Member

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    Another good idea I looked into but I decided against it cause of the external amp requirement and cost of the Cleansweep itself. Altho I've read alot of good things about them.My overall goal is to install a relatively inexpensive, simple system that still produces nice sound. I work for JVC and our mobile products are very nice. I'm currently waiting for a pair of 4 way CS-HX6947X 6x9s for the front doors and CS-V625 6.5s for rear fill. The 6x9s handle 80W RMS while the 6.5s are 30W RMS. The KW-XG700 double DIN HU I'm looking at puts out 20W RMSx4 (50W peak) so I'm guessing this setup will sound pretty good without breaking the bank.
     
  16. Dec 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM
    #16
    trtripoli

    trtripoli lower management

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    I'd say that would work, you just wouldn't get the best possible sound out of the speakers.

    I would also just double check the ohms of each speaker and make sure they are the same. If they are different you'll end up getting different levels of sound out of the front and rear speakers.

    EDIT: I just checked and they are both 4OHMs so you should be fine
     
  17. Dec 22, 2009 at 1:19 PM
    #17
    TacoNJ

    TacoNJ [OP] Member

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    Thanks for your hellp trtripoli.In your experience, do you feel the addition of an aftermarket HU will be better than the stock 6CD HU? (Non JBL)
     
  18. Dec 22, 2009 at 1:50 PM
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    trtripoli

    trtripoli lower management

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    absolutly. I've bought severl after market HU since I could drive and it was always the best purchase I've made. I had a 6 cd HU, but I replaced it with an eclipse HU and the ability to tune the stereo other than just base and treble. Basically replacing the HU with a good one, gives you 100X more adjustablity than stock. I've also always thought that replacing the head unit with a quality one also makes the sound a little cleaner. But for resale, a aftermaker unit isn't very good, which is why some people choose the cleansweep option. I don't plan on selling my truck and I love the look of my nav touch screen.

    The biggest difference you'll see is in the type of speakers you buy and if you choose to, the type of external amp you buy.
     
  19. Dec 22, 2009 at 5:13 PM
    #19
    TacoNJ

    TacoNJ [OP] Member

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    Well fellas thanks for all your input. Its good to hear some real world experience rather than assumptions of what "might" work.

    I've decided to replace the head unit along with all 4 speakers. 6x9s up fron and 6.5s in the rear. Also just ordered the JVC KW-XG700 double DIN HU and mounting kit & harness. Can't wait to install and hear it but the damn harness is on backorder till the 10th.

    I don't want to lose my steering wheel audio controls so I'm also gonna go for a PAC interface that will allow the controls to operate the radio. :)
     
  20. Dec 23, 2009 at 8:45 AM
    #20
    trtripoli

    trtripoli lower management

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    if you haven't ordered already, make sure you get the metra dash kit. Much more stout and definitly be hareder to rip off your radio since it uses the metal brackets from your stock system instead of providing you will crappy plastic ones that break like the scosche kit.
     
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