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Taco Stereo Upgrade

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by TheMaster, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. Oct 6, 2007 at 5:49 PM
    #1
    TheMaster

    TheMaster [OP] Born to Ride

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    Looking for suggestions to upgrade stock stereo. Would like a few variations if possible with approximate budget price in each category. Head unit must contain ipod interface and a pretty decent FM tuner.

    1) Low budget stereo upgrade. Probably upgrade speakers only and add an amp, if possible. Preferably the stock unit stays.

    2) An average priced upgrade with pronounced highs and lows. Include easy to place sub enclosure.

    3) Good quality upgrade (non competition). Superior sound quality. Head unit must compliment interior. Ingenious sub placement without compromising cab space. Under seat installation??? Base transparency preferred.

    Jesse, if you are reading this please comment why a sub cannot be placed in an enclosed bed. This has always intrigued me. Since the human ear cannot determine where base is originating from, is it a feasible option? What effects will it have on sound quality?
     
  2. Oct 6, 2007 at 6:51 PM
    #2
    wormhole7

    wormhole7 Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see these questions answered as well, and one more if possible. Can you continue to use your steering wheel controls after upgrading the head unit?
     
  3. Oct 6, 2007 at 6:57 PM
    #3
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

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    wat?
    a guy i know back in texas ported a sub from an enclosed box inside his bed, into the back of his truck, and it sounded great.
     
  4. Oct 6, 2007 at 7:37 PM
    #4
    bledsoe3

    bledsoe3 Well-Known Member

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    You can purchase a device the will interface with the steering wheel controls. I don't have specifics because I haven't replaced the head unit yet.

    What I have done: New MB Quart components in the front (RCE 269). These have a 6X9 woofer and separate tweeter. Perfect replacement for the JBL system. MB Quart (EKA 116) 6.5" two way speaker for the rear doors. To drive those I used a PDX 4.150 (600 watts) Alpine amp. I also installed a Alpine MRD-M301 mono amp (350 watts) which I hooked to the factory sub. Both amps are mounted behind the rear seat, drivers side. This will not last. The amp keep shutting down because the sub can't handle that much power. The shop is going to build a custom box to replace the current sub enclosure. Due to the space available in my double cab I'll have to use one of the low profile subs, probably a 10". The other thing I had to buy was an OEM interface. JL cleansweep is the most popular. I'm not sure if all factory radios need this, but the JBL system does. With the factory head unit in you can't tell that anything has been done.

    I hope this answers some of the questions. It's not the only way, or even the right way. But that's how I did it.

    Here's a link to the type of front speakers I used.
    MB Quart speakers
    Disclaimer: I have no interest in these speakers other than they fit the factory hole in the doors.
     
  5. Oct 7, 2007 at 4:13 AM
    #5
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    TheMaster,

    I would suspect that you would be fine keeping the stock radio. I have in the last two weeks upgraded my speakers to pioneer TS-a series 3-ways, and put in the USA spec pa-12 TOY ipod interface. I wrote up a DIY on the speaker swap, which is stuck to the top of this page. The Ipod interface, is the most plug and play device I have ever installed. Take out the factory head unit per the first 3 steps in 007Tacoma's DIY (at the top of this page also), connect the plug to the radio, stick the controll box up behind the glove box, and run the ipod cable into the glove box. Hell the hardest part was to get the zip tie around the air duct to hold the controll box in place.

    Long story short, I have plenty of cear distinct sound with perfect highs and lows, and still have the looks of the stock deck.

    I don't know how loud you are looking to go, or if you do stereo competitions and need the sub or not, but I can now crank the radio loud enough with the bass set on +1 and the treble set on +2 to vibrate all the mirrors and get a pretty good massage through the seat and still have no distortion.

    just my $0.02
     
  6. Oct 7, 2007 at 4:50 AM
    #6
    TheMaster

    TheMaster [OP] Born to Ride

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  7. Oct 8, 2007 at 6:34 PM
    #7
    Jesse

    Jesse Well-Known Member

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    Themaster, you sure have alot of good questions. I will do my best to answer them for you. First of all I am glad that you agree that stock sound sucks. With that said, there are a few options. Beleive it or not, by just replacing your stock speakers, you will do your ears a big favor. Your stock radio does acually have good power. The problem is that when you turn up the volume, the speakers will distort. thats because those speakers are made of the cheapest materials. You might find this hard to belive, but if you replace your speakers with some cheap aftermarket ones, say some Performance Teknique($30/pair), your system will sound better. Thats because even the cheapest aftermarket speakers are made from better materials than stock and can handle more power.

    The Thing is that if you are going to be spending the money and time to replace your good factory speakers, midas well spend a little extra and get some better quality. Those $30/ pair speakers I mentioned are a good solution if your stock speakers go bad and you just want to replace them without having to buy them from the car dealership.

    Plan on spending around $250 and up for all four speaker replacements and an amp to power them. I put together a package for those of you who do not want to spend to much and still want to upgrade with quality components. If you go to http://woofersetc.com/ you can get the Phoenix Gold R6.5COAX for around $45/pair and the Phoenix Gold R5.0;4 amplifier for around $110. Phoenix Gold has been around for quite some time now. I remember when they were one of the best. Like anything though, they don't make them like they used to. Anyway, they are still quality components and you can't beat the price. Also don't forget to put some money aside for all the wiring etc. You can buy an amp wiring kit for around $20-$30 at your local shop. Then you will need a high to low level converter to keep your stock radio. That totals to around $250.

    Keep in mind however that this price means that you will do the install and make your own speaker adapters for your doors. If you don't want to make your own adapters, you can purchase some plastic ones from Tacotunes.com. Thats where I bought mine and they work great.

    O.K. lets go with a little more. Themaster, you mentioned that you wanted a head unit with an ipod interface and good fm reception. An aftermarket head unit will definately make a huge difference in your sound setup.The features you want are hard to find on lower end units. Either they have ipod interfaces or they have good fm reception. Normally, if they have bothe, you end up paying for them. I do however have an option for you. http://www.crutchfield.com/ has the Sony CDXGT6IOUi for $169. This unit comes with the builtin ipod interface and has a front auxilary input. It also has the front USB port so that you can load some music to a thumb drive and plug it to your reciever. The fm sensitivity is at 9dbf which is not bad. All those features for only $169 from Sony. If you search for this on http://www.ebay.com/ you can probably save some money but you cant beat getting it from Crutchfield because they give you a free wiring harness and dash kit along with free shipping. There are many units out there with ipod capabilities, but you have to buy the interface seperately which will cost you more money($20-$50). That also means more wiring, more work.

    Now I know personally that the products I mentioned above sound good and they will work for those of you who just want better sound without spending a fortune. However if you are like me, you want something with a little more bass. For you guys I researched this package which will work great and look clean. Take the mentioned speakers from the previous package, add a Phoenix Gold ZR 10d4/ subwoofer wired in parallel. Then get the Phoenix Gold Octane-R9.0:5 Amplifier to push your entire system. The amp is a five channel amp which will play all your door speakers with seperate channls and will power the 10inch sub with its own dedicated channel. The amp is $190 and the sub is $105. That means that this system will cost you around $545. The good thing about this setup is that you use one amp instead of two which will save you on wiring and save you space. This price is assuming you are keeping your factory radio.

    I hope I am not boring you, but we are not finished yet. Now for the better system. If you want better sound than the average guy and are willing to spend the extra money, this is what I suggest. Most of my systems consist of two amps. This is because there are not many 5 channel amps with high power. First, I would get something like the CDT Audio CL-61A or the MB Quart RCE216 components for the front doors. For the rear I would use the CDT Audio CL6.25X or the MB Quart DKE-116 . To power the doors I would use an Eclipse XA4000 which power 125 watts x4. I would then use something like the Mmats D1000.2 to power a pair of Kicker S10L7.

    One of the most overlooked peices of a stereo system is an electronic crossover. I highly recommend using one of these if you are using more than one amp. I personally use the MTX RT-X02A on all my installs. They dont make them anymore but you can usually find them on ebay for around $50. I currently have 4 of these myself because I know that they are the best ever made. Total for that package is around $1500 without the head unit.

    Now for some answers on those other questions. Themaster, you can place subs in the bed of a truck. The thing is that if you do, you must either port them into the cab or cut the back wall of the cab so that the speakers face the cab. Even though it is true that subs are not directional, that doesnt mean you can cover them up and still hear good bass. They don't have to be aimed at your ears but the sound waves do have to make it to your ears. When the subs move masses amounts of air, those pressure levels are louder if nothing is blocking them. I could get into more detail but my message is already too long. Let me know if you need further elaboration on this subject.

    Last but not least , there is a way that you can keep your steering wheel controls with your aftermarket sound system. Depending on the type of receiver you get, there are two different adapters. If you get a receiver with a wireless remote control, you can use the PAC SWI-X (PAC ADAPTER). This adapter works great for most aftermarket decks. You have to program it to perform the functions you want. There is also the PAC SWI-PS. This unit only works with those units that have a wired remote control. The unit has a plug that plugs into the remote input of the head unit. The other end needs to be spliced into the factor wires that go to the steering wheel controls. Pleas let me know if there are any other questions. I am not a professional but I do sound systems as a hobby and have had the same questions you probably have.
     
  8. Oct 8, 2007 at 6:43 PM
    #8
    wormhole7

    wormhole7 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the answers guys. Its nice to have a site with this kind of support from those who have "been there, done that". :D
     
  9. Oct 8, 2007 at 7:19 PM
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    CornDog

    CornDog Well-Known Member

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    hey master and worm. i fig i give in my 2 cents. i personally am a big fan of pioneer audio. im usin a pioneer head unit w/ ipod hook up. im usin a custom box behind my back seats. i got 2 diamond D3's tucked in there. tight fit but its AWESOME sound. i still got factory door speakers but the pioneer head unit has a built in amp and it REALLY helps um out. all in all i got bout 250 in the pioneer and ipod hook up. bought the subs with the amp for like 600 couple years ago. but the box was the hardest thing to do. i had a guy custom build it. it was like 250. i dunno what yal r into but i listen to
    EVERY thing and my system picks it all up.
     
  10. Oct 8, 2007 at 8:08 PM
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    wormhole7

    wormhole7 Well-Known Member

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    By the way Happy Thanksgiving to "TheMaster":)
     
  11. Oct 9, 2007 at 4:38 AM
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    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    Jesse - That is an awesome amount of information!

    I have some questions for you (if you don't mind). I have a Pioneer DEH-P7800MP with the iPod interface. I would like to eventually replace my speakers with component or coax speakers and insulate the doors. I am looking for a bit better bass response, but I don't have room for an amp or a subwoofer as I use every inch of my cab at least once a week.

    So here are my questions about speakers/sound in my 07 Access Cab:

    1) Would you recommend using Coaxial or Component speakers?

    2) Since the front door speakers are 6x9 stock, I was thinking of replacing them with 6x9 speakers. Do 6x9 speakers give you more bass response than 6.5s?

    3) I am wanting to insulate my doors when I do this install. Do you have any recommendations for a brand or supplier to use?

    4) If I were to get a sub/amp, I would need a setup that fit under the front seats. Any suggestions on a setup for that?

    I am poor at the moment, so none of this will be happening soon. When I do get some cash together, I would love to not spend tons of money. I am not going to try to compete with the 16 year old in the Caprice Classic next to me at the light, but then again - I don't want to hear his music over mine either. ;)

    Thanks for the help!!! :thumbsup:
     
  12. Oct 9, 2007 at 4:54 AM
    #12
    TheMaster

    TheMaster [OP] Born to Ride

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    Are you telling me its Steak time again? Thanks Wormhole7. :)
     
  13. Oct 9, 2007 at 5:41 AM
    #13
    TheMaster

    TheMaster [OP] Born to Ride

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    Jesse,

    That's an awesome write up bud. Thanks for taking the time. Now I'm bold enough to replace my speakers to begin with but without an amp or sub. I'm being a cheapo because all my money is invested in Steaks :hungry: and mostly because I wont be keeping my Taco for too long. Can you recommend some speakers that produce more bass for this kind of set up? I'd also like to see you answer 007's question about 6x9's and 6.5's.

    Thanks again for the awesome write up. You are the StereoMaster :D.

    Oh BTW, when the Alliance tries to recruit you :rolleyes: just pump up the volume to drown out the noise :laugh:.
     
  14. Oct 9, 2007 at 8:31 AM
    #14
    sawdust

    sawdust Unapologetic Texan

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    Yeah, Jesse, you are the StereoMaster. You need some sort of badge or title to reflect that. Thanks for the detailed writeup. I'm only just starting to think of mods to my truck and haven't picked a priority for the sound system yet, but I'll be bookmarking this thread.

    I like the idea of upgrading in steps. First the speakers, then an amp, then a head unit.

    007, I've never heard of door insulation. Can you explain why you want to do it and what the advantages are? Is it mostly to keep out road noise (hasn't been an issue for me) or to keep your music in?
     
  15. Oct 9, 2007 at 11:50 AM
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    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    Both. I have the sound shield from the factory, and (having been in other Tacomas) I am impressed with how much quieter my Tacoma is at highway speed. I am thinking about doing the doors and the ceiling in sound insulation. We will see.
     
  16. Oct 9, 2007 at 11:53 AM
    #16
    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    :eek: WTF?!?! You are giving up the Taco? for why? We are here for ya! :rain::sick::hungry::canada: Just curious...
     
  17. Oct 9, 2007 at 12:09 PM
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    sawdust

    sawdust Unapologetic Texan

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    That spray on rust inhibitor/sound shield? I got that too, but I haven't been in other Tacomas to compare.

    So, just to make sure I understand -- you're already impressed with how quiet your truck is, but you want to make it quieter? OK.
     
  18. Oct 9, 2007 at 12:19 PM
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    007Tacoma

    007Tacoma I dub thee malicious!

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    Yeah, my wife's RAV4 is still much quieter going down the road. Besides, when I add an aftermarket exhaust, I may need the extra insulation. ;)
     
  19. Oct 9, 2007 at 1:54 PM
    #19
    lsocoee

    lsocoee My hair is all natural Moderator

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    Most people use a combination of Ensolite and RAAMmat. Purchase it from http://www.raamaudio.com

    I've seen quite a few tutorials on the forums for installation.
     
  20. Oct 9, 2007 at 1:55 PM
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    Jesse

    Jesse Well-Known Member

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    007Tacoma,

    If you don't plan on adding an amplifier soon, your best bet is to buy coaxial speakers. The main reason for this is that components speakers normally require much more power than what your radio can deliver. On the average, component speakers range anywhere from 90 to 150 watts RMS each. There are even some that can handle 400 watts RMS. Coaxials on the other hand can usually handle from 30 to 75 watts RMS. If you buy components and dont use an amplifier, you will not benefit from what components are capable of doing, and you will pay much more for them. Almost like installing a corvette engine in your S10 pickup, but never reving up the engine more than 3000 RPM.

    If you are looking for descent bass response, then definately go with the 6x9 coaxials in the front doors. Again, if you don't plan on using an amplifier, try to look for some that have a high sensetivity rating. That means that the speakers are very "sensetive" therefore playing louder than low sensitive speakers given the same amount of power. Pioneers TS series speakers are good for this situation and are priced right. Normally, the bigger the speaker, the better bass response within the same category of speakers. 6x9s can move much more air than 6.5 therefore creating deeper sound. Take advantage of the 6x9 openings of your front doors. Most cars only have 5 1/4 or 6 1/2 inch openings and that is why alot of people use those size speakers. It is much easier to upgrade with the same size speakers as factory.

    As for the question on insulation, I think what 007Tacoma meant was sound deadening the doors. I personally prefer to use Dynamat Extreme. It is very expensive but if you plan to keep your car for a long time, Use this product. I have read dozens of articles on different materials and they all claim to be just as good as dynamat. Why do they compare themselves to Dynamat? Because they know what the product can do.
     
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