I Know Nothing About Car Audio, Please Help Me Learn (1 Viewer)

GTV

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I'm not an audiophile, I was always more concerned about going fast and looking good than sound. The factory stereos in all of my previous vehicles have been more than adequate, until now. The (assuming original) speakers in my 2007 LC are blown, I can't even listen to NPR at an audible volume without awful distortion. The wife says it needs to be sorted, I don't trust car audio shops so here I am.

I know there are threads pertaining to speaker replacement (and I will refer to them for installation) but what I'm looking for is a recommendation on which speakers and other needed components to choose. My LC came with a JL amp, same one that Crutchfield has here. It is originally a no nav model but had an aftermarket touch screen head unit installed (all I know is that it's Android based). It probably will eventually get upgraded to something with Apple Car Play but that's way down the road.

So, I think I want/need new speakers everywhere. I'd like to make use of my amp and get speakers that make the most out of it. My only requirement is that the speakers are only heard, not seen, and will be behind the factory covers. Sorry, no 12's in a custom box here ;) I am considering one of @BenCC 's sub panels but the fact that the sub has no protection makes me a bit nervous.

Any suggestions? I really appreciate the advice!
 
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Here's a thread with the speakers I went with along with some pics and install info. Post #53 includes a summary.

 
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So you have a non-nav 2007? That brings alot of options for headunits, lets see some pictures of your interior so we know what you have. I’m assuming the jl amp is under the passenger seat? You sure you don’t have room for just one twelve in a sealed box? Would sound awesome using the 300w sub channel from the jl.
 

GTV

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So you have a non-nav 2007? That brings alot of options for headunits, lets see some pictures of your interior so we know what you have. I’m assuming the jl amp is under the passenger seat? You sure you don’t have room for just one twelve in a sealed box? Would sound awesome using the 300w sub channel from the jl.
Yep, no nav ‘07. Details are in my sig. I have no idea who manufactured the head unit, there’s no brand name I’ve ever seen come up other than Android. For now it works, I’m not quite ready ($$$$) to replace it yet.
5D9CF94E-0987-4860-9197-8CEE3BA5521E.jpeg

JL amp under the passenger seat (unmounted for cleaning).
789424A5-9C95-4A29-827A-4109B0B1F316.jpeg

0E2DAB97-F610-4970-BF0E-7AEFEECAB4D4.jpeg

Other than that it’s all standard ‘07 LC inside.
DAA4394E-E97E-4342-87D6-4852B768517F.jpeg

Definitely not interested in a box :)
 
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Yep, no nav ‘07. Details are in my sig. I have no idea who manufactured the head unit, there’s no brand name I’ve ever seen come up other than Android. For now it works, I’m not quite ready ($$$$) to replace it yet.
View attachment 2473371
JL amp under the passenger seat (unmounted for cleaning).
View attachment 2473372
View attachment 2473373
Other than that it’s all standard ‘07 LC inside.
View attachment 2473378
Definitely not interested in a box :)
That’s a slick set up. That android head unit probably isn’t putting out a great audio signal, but like you said, will suffice for now as you will need to order a new fascia plate to replace it. The amp is using the factory speaker wires, which is fine. It’s also using the factory body ground point, which isn’t great, but it’s probably not a power hungry set up. What’s your budget for speakers look like?
 

GTV

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That’s a slick set up. That android head unit probably isn’t putting out a great audio signal, but like you said, will suffice for now as you will need to order a new fascia plate to replace it. The amp is using the factory speaker wires, which is fine. It’s also using the factory body ground point, which isn’t great, but it’s probably not a power hungry set up. What’s your budget for speakers look like?
I've never purchased speakers in my life but I was guessing I might get set up pretty well for $600ish? That's two tweeters, 4 door speakers and the sub, correct? I'm not trying to see how much money I can spend but doing this job once and doing it right is my primary concern.
Please explain how the factory body ground isn't ideal.

Also, can you confirm what speaker size and locations are in your rig? Your VX trim may differ from the US spec
I'm sure the VX thing isn't anything to worry about. This truck was originally shipped to Houston, it's US spec.
 
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Also, can you confirm what speaker size and locations are in your rig? Your VX trim may differ from the US spec
It's a US truck. all of the 100s in the USA are considered "VX". and the only difference toyota ever offered in speakers was the mid range for the mark levinson lx470 system.
I've never purchased speakers in my life but I was guessing I might get set up pretty well for $600ish? That's two tweeters, 4 door speakers and the sub, correct? I'm not trying to see how much money I can spend but doing this job once and doing it right is my primary concern.
Please explain how the factory body ground isn't ideal.
Well, it's not ideal because it adds a bit of resistance and hence voltage drop on the power run to the amp. A better solution would be a ground from frame to amp and adding a ground from the battery to the frame at the battery. Even better is running a ground wire from battery to the amp. But as I say that's really not that necessary unless your amp draws alot. Probably never going to be a bottle neck.

I would spend some of your budget on noico 80mil 36sqft sound deadener from amazon(70$), one box will be enough for all your doors. Then if you go on crutchfield, any of the highly rated 6 1/2 sets will be fine. 120-200$ for a set. Get one set that's seperates, and another set you can mount the tweeter coaxial. In terms of the subwoofer, other members know more about utilizing the factory enclosure. I think an 8 inch? woofer is what will fit in there. I am curious however, because I only see 2 sets of RCAs coming from the headunit. Does it have subwoofer out? or does the amplifier cross over and output to the subwoofer?
 
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Are my expectations/budget reasonable? Like I said, totally out of my wheelhouse here.
I was already considering getting some sound deadening for the rear wheel wells, adding some to the doors seems like a great idea.

Get one set that's seperates, and another set you can mount the tweeter coaxial.
I am curious however, because I only see 2 sets of RCAs coming from the headunit. Does it have subwoofer out? or does the amplifier cross over and output to the subwoofer?
You're totally speaking greek to me here with these two quotes 😅 Please go into more detail or maybe post a link that explains car audio for dummies :)
I really appreciate your help so far, my audio knowledge has already doubled since posting this thread!
 
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Are my expectations/budget reasonable? Like I said, totally out of my wheelhouse here.
I was already considering getting some sound deadening for the rear wheel wells, adding some to the doors seems like a great idea.





You're totally speaking greek to me here with these two quotes 😅 Please go into more detail or maybe post a link that explains car audio for dummies :)
I really appreciate your help so far, my audio knowledge has already doubled since posting this thread!
No worries
Component speakers of seperates as I called them mean you have the 6.5 inch woofer, and a tweeter. Coaxial speakers have the 6.5inch woofer, with the tweeter mounted "coaxial" or in front of the woofer. Components have better imaging, hence why you want them up front. in the rear, coaxial is fine because the imagery isn't as critical.

The head unit (the android thing in your case) is sending out low-level audio signals to the amp to be well amplified. Generally head units have 3 sets of RCAs. RCAs are those grey and red pairs of wires that are going to the amp. 1 set of RCAs carries Front left and right, 1 set carries rear left and right, and most head units have a third set, a Subwoofer left and right. Subwoofer is the low frequency stuff, the bass

It looks like however you only have front and rear RCAs going to the Amp, which I guess means the installer found that the headunit did not have a subwoofer out set of RCAs, or the head unit allows you to choose between rear/sub. Appears the installer chose to run it with front and rear, and no subwoofer. Most mid range headunits will have the 3 sets of RCAs.

Lots of good youtube videos on car audio for beginners.
 
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The good news is you don't have to upgrade everything at once. That amp is a really really good starting point.
Start with getting speakers installed. If your happy with the system, then rock on. Then if you wanna take it further, get a new headunit, then if you feel you're lacking bass, upgrade the subwoofer.

Also I should have asked earlier, but there is a subwoofer behind that left side quarter panel? The stock audio system very well may not have had one... which may mean there is a subwoofer out on the headunit, but its just not being used. I can sell you one of my 100 series stock audio system subwoofers.
 
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That amp is solid , clean output. Easiest with existing radio (2 rca sets) would be get a Comp set with higher sensitivity, bridge 4 chAnnel power on that amp and get a 6.5 replacement sub . could be done 250-400 depending on Comp set you want. The kicker slim 6.75 sub Works for a lot of folks. Big win for you with amp Being aftermarket as most guys try this with factory amp to minimal success.

Next easiest but slightly more expensive is get a small dsp to get you the third channel and tunability. Then you can run active in the front (Awesome result) and stocks in back door or Comp set ur front and new coaxes in the back, and new sub. probably be right at 550-600 if you buy decent gear

get a pack of noico matting to soundtreat any door you put speakers in.


A few items to look at


comp sets( all fairly budget)
Good - 280 Watt 6.5
Better -https://www.google.com/amp/s/store.soundsolutionsaudio.com/amp/synergy-audio-fcs-65-component-set/
Even better-
Amazon product
Sub-
Amazon product
For option 2:
Amazon.com: Pioneer DEQ-S1000A 22W x 4 Compact Amplifier w/DSP: Car Electronics

if you want to do the dsp route (much needed tunability) note that it’s 22x4 so you can run rear speakers on that and still run active front stage on your five channel. this separate front stage below crossed over with a dsp walks all over any Comp set up to 300-400$ And it’s right at $135 you can also spend 60$ and get polycone woofers since some guys want a more weatherproof speaker than wool/paper...still be under $200 for a bad as front stage

https://www.amazon.com/Massive-Audi...1&sr=1-1-191b1ae3-0539-4250-ad39-b698e0b800f6

 
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GTV

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Also I should have asked earlier, but there is a subwoofer behind that left side quarter panel? The stock audio system very well may not have had one... which may mean there is a subwoofer out on the headunit, but its just not being used. I can sell you one of my 100 series stock audio system subwoofers.
Yes, the factory JBL unit is back there (I can see the box from the tool cabinet) and it is producing sound. I've been doing extensive research and it looks like the Kicker 6 3/4" is the best option the 100 series has to fit in the factory enclosure. That's the only component I've settled on, still debating door speakers. I'm attempting to get matching series for those so it all theoretically works in harmony but I'm realizing that may be a waste of effort.

That amp is solid , clean output. Easiest with existing radio (2 rca sets) would be get a Comp set with higher sensitivity, bridge 4 chAnnel power on that amp and get a 6.5 replacement sub . could be done 250-400 depending on Comp set you want. The kicker slim 6.75 sub Works for a lot of folks. Big win for you with amp Being aftermarket as most guys try this with factory amp to minimal success.

Next easiest but slightly more expensive is get a small dsp to get you the third channel and tunability. Then you can run active in the front (Awesome result) and stocks in back door or Comp set ur front and new coaxes in the back, and new sub. probably be right at 550-600 if you buy decent gear

get a pack of noico matting to soundtreat any door you put speakers in.


A few items to look at


comp sets( all fairly budget)
Good - 280 Watt 6.5
Better -https://www.google.com/amp/s/store.soundsolutionsaudio.com/amp/synergy-audio-fcs-65-component-set/
Even better-
Amazon product
Sub-
Amazon product
For option 2:
Amazon.com: Pioneer DEQ-S1000A 22W x 4 Compact Amplifier w/DSP: Car Electronics

if you want to do the dsp route (much needed tunability) note that it’s 22x4 so you can run rear speakers on that and still run active front stage on your five channel. this separate front stage below crossed over with a dsp walks all over any Comp set up to 300-400$ And it’s right at $135 you can also spend 60$ and get polycone woofers since some guys want a more weatherproof speaker than wool/paper...still be under $200 for a bad as front stage

https://www.amazon.com/Massive-Audi...1&sr=1-1-191b1ae3-0539-4250-ad39-b698e0b800f6

I'll keep the DSP in mind for the future, my head already feels like it's going to explode from only researching speakers! Thanks for the link on the Morel Ultra's. I was thinking of using the coax version of those in the rear doors but Crutchfield is out of stock on the front component speakers. Having the Morel component speakers up front, the matching coax's in the rear doors and the Kicker 6 3/4" sub should be a solid start, what do you think?
 
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You got two sets of rcas, can you power the sub channel without rcas from the sub channel to the headunit on that jl amp?
 
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Check the back of that android module To see if there’s more rca input. If not and if you were going to use a Comp set and coaxial set your could use a pair of y splitters out one rca set. Then just set crossovers on the amp by channel

don’t waste 180$ on rear coaxials. Get the regular maximos.

 

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