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Car Audio - your thoughts with upgrade

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to get a 2005 Toyota Highlander from a friend. Mechanically it's in excellent condition. But the sound system needs work.

It has the stock system, non JBL.

I'm thinking of upgrading the head unit and adding a subwoofer with an amp to start. The units I'm looking at are Alpine or Pioneer and put out 14-18 Watts RMS x 4.

Any recommendations? I have no experience doing car audio - is this something a novice can do or is it better to leave it to the pros? I say that you have to run a wire from the car battery to the amp that looks complicated.

Is it better to go all the way and replace all the speakers at the same time? Rather than just head unit and adding a sub?

I'd like to put a sub in a custom enclosure in the back to preserve cargo space. Here is a picture of how I'd like it to look:


Any tips would be appreciated.
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Come on peeps. No comments on this?
post #3 of 7
This part of the forum is about building speakers and subs, primarily for home use. Respectfully, your question is mostly about "standard" car stereo upgrades, which is off-topic. Maybe someone will suggest a good car stereo forum.

-Max
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subjga View Post

I say that you have to run a wire from the car battery to the amp that looks complicated.

That statement alone would have me recommend you take it to someone who knows what they are doing. wink.gif

If you still want to learn more about it DIYMA is a great place to browse around and get acquainted with the CA realm.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subjga View Post

I have no experience doing car audio - is this something a novice can do or is it better to leave it to the pros? I say that you have to run a wire from the car battery to the amp that looks complicated.

+1 on bassaddict! I wouldn't say that it's complicated as more of a pain in the a$$... biggrin.gif I did this once on my camaro which required me to take out all my seats, some of the dashboard panels, door panels, lift up the carpeting, etc... It wasn't fun but what I did do is replace everything. I even reran new 12 gauge speaker cable all throughout the car which isn't easy with seperates when the crossovers are located in the trunk. I would say leave it to the pros as it seems like you're not totally understanding what needs to get done. In a lot of these new or newer cars the radio also controls other parts such as climate control which makes it nearly impossible to replace the radio and adds to the complication/expense of adding aftermarket equipment just to get an amplifier installed and working. I'm not familiar with the vehicle that you're looking at but considering it's a 2005 I'd say that it's highly likely that the radio is integrated into the car.
post #6 of 7
I run pioneer decks religously because theyre workhorses and they have ALWAYS been the cats meow. eek.gif Im not really experianced with doing easy builds in car audio (deck + subs) cause it always becomes a full FULL system rework at 5x the budget i originally planned. www.diyma.com is a pretty amazing place to lurk for this kinda stuff. or hell sign up and post your question biggrin.gif we could always use more people over there biggrin.gif:D:D

edit: what kind of budget are you working with? ill help you fubar that bitch goooood tongue.gif
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
The 2005 Highlander radio is not integrated as far as I know - it doesn't do anything else, so no controls will be lost. I know what you mean by integrated, when the stereo also has on-screen touch controls for climate control, navigation, etc. This one does not have that.

Budget? Maybe $150 for the stereo (Pioneer sounds good, something with bluetooth to integrate the cell phone), maybe another $100 for the amp, then the sub.

My experience building subs is limited to 1 that I build for home-audio. It's bigger than a mini-fridge and uses a 15" Dayton HF. It's a beast!

Thanks for the comments. I'll check out that other forum.
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