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Car Audio - your thoughts with upgrade

post #1 of 3
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 3
The alternator must be able to handle the draw of all the batteries (1 or more) and sparkplugs and various other electronics.
I say 1 or more, because many people with killowatt subs hook (1 or more) sealed batts to the sub amp daisy-chained to the main from the trunk. Sometimes with some caps too.

If the alternator can support the load you are connecting to it then you are fine... otherwise you could damage the car from undervoltage or strain.

Depends on your budget.
post #3 of 3
Even a very modest amp/ sub combination will have the capability to drown out a new head unit with 14W x 4.

Also the new head unit may not have any HPF function.

All depends on budget and goals. Stock alternator should be fine for modest amplification.

Maybe start with aftermarket sub with stock head unit first. This is most conservative way.
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