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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2012 Platinum audio upgrade advice

Without digressing into why I should even NEED to upgrade a 'premium' sound system in an expensive vehicle, it is time to pull the trigger on some improvement.

I have a 2012 Crewmax Platinum with JBL system. Lots of speakers, little sound quality. I want to do it in stages, and it will also include sound deadening. My first gen I upgraded with line out to an Eclipse EA4000 4 channel where I ran the fronts and an 8" closed box sub off the amp and left the factory amp to run the rears. It was adequate.

I still have the amp, which is perfectly usable. Budget... for this phase: lets keep it under $1000 (sound deadening separate) But its ok if in a second phase I spend another $500, or even a third phase to where the total is less than $2000.

I want to keep the functionality of the factory HU. If we replace the HU, it must be a clean look and the steering and other functionality maintained. It is not clear to me that the backup camera, CD player can integrate with aftermarket HU (maybe, that is what I am here to learn!)

So give me your recommendations on Phase I, with some vision to what you might do in subsequent steps.

My first thoughts are:

1)
New HU and adapters to fully integrate factory functionality (if possible). Use my existing Eclipse amp to drive a sub box behind the rear seat. Fosgate as a box with 2 10" subs for $350ish, which leaves $650 for a HU upgrade and install hardware. May not be enough $ to do it justice.

or 2)
Use factory HU and replace front door speakers and drive from the Eclipse amp via line out from the factory amp. Still need a sub. The fundamental question is whether the factory HU is adequate quality. Much posted on this, but its hard to 'know' since it is subjective.

For the sub I like tight punchy bass not window rattling volume. R&B, classic Rock, New age, indie, some jazz, even some bluegrass (pretty much everything but pop although my kids will have pop on when they ride). The previous 8" sub in a console closed box suited me just fine for the first Gen. I would guess 2 10's or even 2 8's would suit me fine. I would like a remote volume control, but am not sure I can get that if I use my Eclipse amp.

Am also wondering: given these seats dont fold, does it make sense to put the sub under the seat (otherwise not very useful space?).

Was assuming I would mount amp under passenger seat.

I welcome any suggestions/advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Lots more reading, research. Have resigned myself to a full system upgrade, although it will be in stages.

Am doing the hard part first and putting in wiring and sound deadening material. A PITA but did this on my first Gen and felt it was worth the effort (had that truck 10 years and hope the same for this one).

Will drop a sub in once I decide 'which'. Just recently saw this Kicker tcwc10 that looks like might fit: https://www.hifisoundconnection.com...Enclosure-2-Ohm-44TCWC102-New-KIC17-44TCWC102

Although I may just make my own box. My first gen had a home made box with an 8" which was enough for my old ears, I may do the same (a sealed JL 8" could sound good)

Maybe something like a Kenwood HU (ddx9903s), although the buttons feel a little flimsy to me. The alpines had a better feel to them (button feel is a hot button of mine). Havent decided on Nav. Budget isnt a big deal staged this way so lots of options.

I can upgrade the HU any time and keep the stock speakers directly into the HU. Then add sub and amp (leaning towards the Alpine mono block sub amp). Then do door speakers last.

First is the sound deadening and wiring, materials on order. (maybe save door deadening for when the speakers are done at the same time)

Maybe. We will see how it plays out when I get into it.
 

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Without digressing into why I should even NEED to upgrade a 'premium' sound system in an expensive vehicle, it is time to pull the trigger on some improvement.

.
I think we all pretty much agree the JBL sucks donkey balls. Everyone that starts off on your journey seems to eventually replace everything.

Im just not willing to go to the effort and expense to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think we all pretty much agree the JBL sucks donkey balls. Everyone that starts off on your journey seems to eventually replace everything.

Im just not willing to go to the effort and expense to fix it.
Ya. I was just trying to stay in denial about it hoping some rock would be overturned and a magic answer. It has been beat to death :deadhorse:, there are no magic answers. $$, time, and effort. And scrapping stuff.

Will have to figure out what to do with my dash speakers. I wonder if Toyota loses a sale due to having such a crappy audio. Many cars this would be a selling feature. Trucks seem not to play it up, maybe missing an oppy to differentiate from the competition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The sound system is getting gutted in stages.

Phase 1) Sound deadening and wiring. A PITA and like to get it out of the way up front.

Phase 2) Head unit, speaker amp (Model TBD, Maestro, satellite antenna, backup camera, mic, USB.... many more questions to come). This will run stock speakers at first.

Phase 3) Sub (8" JL behind back seat), and amp) (had an 8" in the Gen 1 and it was fine for my tastes, but could be talked into a 10). Will make my own box. Likely sealed.

Phase 4) Door speakers. Model TBD (last truck I put Polk MOMO in and liked the sound, no longer available)



1a) Started first step by adding sound dampening to the rear doors and back of the cab. I put down some sticky butyl on the sheet metal, then ensolite CCF, then 1,8" MLV. The MLV was easier to work with than I feared. I am hopeful once I get the front done it will be noticeably lower noise level, I appreciate a quiet vehicle and feel these trucks are noisy.

The hardest part of this was getting the seat bolts out (some of these go through to the underside of the cab, and being in New England meant were rusted in place. This will be helped with some fluid film, but its just another aspect of living in the salt belt - even impacts a stereo upgrade!

This weekend I will be doing the front of the cab. Then the front doors last (more ensolite on order, there wasnt enough with the 'vehicle package').

1b) While the front seats and console are out for sound dampening, cabling will be laid:

4ga fused Power from the battery to speaker amp under the front seat (Eclipse XA4000 I already have). This same power cord will run to a sub amp under the rear seat (Alpine MRV-M250 to be purchased).

1 RCA from dash to sub amp
Remote line from the dash to the sub amp in rear.
4x RCA from dash to speaker amp under front seat

What did I miss for wiring? This will be installed in a sleeve under the MLV and be covered by the carpet when it goes back in. Am hoping this gets all the wiring out of the way while the carpet is out, and allows the HU/speaker upgrades to occur with just connectors

A future post on the HU/Maestro connections, as part of the next phase.


That is the plan, it will take a few weeks and some $$$. When I write it all out it looks like a lot of work...!! I am open to all suggestions, recommendations, advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Phase I complete. Floor, back wall, doors all with a layer of butyl, then ensolite, the 1/8"MLV. Wires pulled for a 4 channel amp under the passenger seat, and a mono amp under the rear center seat. (RCA, power, remote power, sub remote).

I will say a PITA.

Using an app on the iphone and going on the same stretch of road at 35mph brought the noise level from 78-80dB, down to 71-72dB. On the highway I was playing the radio at 20 volume, and now have it at 15 and hear it fine. This wasnt a peer reviewed study so take the data for what its worth.

Similar to the first gen I did, in that the doors sound better when closed, conversation in the cab is easier, the radio is not quite as loud. An overall perceived improvement in sound quality. Am glad I did it but its not for everyone given the level of effort.

Next phases will be more fun (buying and running electronics!).

I might hook the factory sub up to the sub amp with line outs, just for kicks in the interim while I build a box... if it blows it will just add motivation to get the box built.

:beerchug:
 

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Phase I complete. Floor, back wall, doors all with a layer of butyl, then ensolite, the 1/8"MLV. Wires pulled for a 4 channel amp under the passenger seat, and a mono amp under the rear center seat. (RCA, power, remote power, sub remote).

I will say a PITA.

Using an app on the iphone and going on the same stretch of road at 35mph brought the noise level from 78-80dB, down to 71-72dB. On the highway I was playing the radio at 20 volume, and now have it at 15 and hear it fine. This wasnt a peer reviewed study so take the data for what its worth.

Similar to the first gen I did, in that the doors sound better when closed, conversation in the cab is easier, the radio is not quite as loud. An overall perceived improvement in sound quality. Am glad I did it but its not for everyone given the level of effort.

Next phases will be more fun (buying and running electronics!).

I might hook the factory sub up to the sub amp with line outs, just for kicks in the interim while I build a box... if it blows it will just add motivation to get the box built.

:beerchug:
Really curious how the rest went and your equipment decisions, especially the HU. We just purchased a 2012 Tundra Crew Max Platinum from a private seller and I'm looking to upgrade the audio system since not only the sound quality but can't update the Navigation maps to current (stuck at 2018). Thanks!
 
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