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Discussion Starter #1
In Canada, we have to purchase the NAV system in order to get JBL Synthesis in the Venza so it costs $2K or so. So for those of you with the JBL system, do you think the sound quality justifies the cost? I'm not really big on the Nav so for me, the $2K is all about the sound quality. I haven't been keeping up with the aftermarket audio market so I don't know if one could buy a better system and speakers for $2K. Aftermarket CD/Nav head units seem pretty popular these days when I quickly peruse through local flyers.

I wasn't very impressed by the stock sound system in the non-JBL V6 or I4 models that I've test driven thus far. I don't know if the bass or treble were not setup well, but it sounded very "tinny" to me. Unfortunately they didn't have any Venzas with the JBL/Nav package. Any thoughts from those who care enough about audio quality to compare the JBL synthesis to the stock system, or aftermarket?
 

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I have the upgraded JBL, but no NAV (I use my Garmin). I love the sound of the system.
I'd recommend going back to the dealership and listening to the upgraded system, then go back to the normal system and tweak the bass, mid & treble.
2k is certainly a lot if you don't care about the NAV.
IMHO...
 

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I have the base system. It only has bass & treble adjustments and no matter what I try, I still don't like it. Very poor sound quality in my opinion.
It does let you set separate settings for FM, SAT and CD, but it doesn't really help.
 

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I'd say you just need to find a Venza with the upgraded JBL system and take a listen - The quality of sound one hears is very subjective; too subjective for someone to give an opinion about with the risk being $2k.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd say you just need to find a Venza with the upgraded JBL system and take a listen - The quality of sound one hears is very subjective; too subjective for someone to give an opinion about with the risk being $2k.
Unfortunately there are none to be found in western Canada, or so it seems. If anyone knows of a dealership that has one please do tell!
 

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Hi all,
I have the JBL Synthesis No NAV. , and I personally like the sound of the system.
It's very clear at higher volumes.
I was lucky enough to order mine No NAV. .
I'm not sure what the stock system sounds like , but I'm glad I got the JBL.
Does anyone know how many watts the JBL is rated at?

My vote is:thumbsup:eek:n the JBL synth.
 

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In Canada, we have to purchase the NAV system in order to get JBL Synthesis in the Venza so it costs $2K or so. So for those of you with the JBL system, do you think the sound quality justifies the cost? I'm not really big on the Nav so for me, the $2K is all about the sound quality. I haven't been keeping up with the aftermarket audio market so I don't know if one could buy a better system and speakers for $2K. Aftermarket CD/Nav head units seem pretty popular these days when I quickly peruse through local flyers.

I wasn't very impressed by the stock sound system in the non-JBL V6 or I4 models that I've test driven thus far. I don't know if the bass or treble were not setup well, but it sounded very "tinny" to me. Unfortunately they didn't have any Venzas with the JBL/Nav package. Any thoughts from those who care enough about audio quality to compare the JBL synthesis to the stock system, or aftermarket?
Hi Zensei,
You have a point there, for $2k the right person could put a nice system in the Venza.
I'm not sure its worth the money for the stereo.
I think if I had to do it again, if I had to get the Nav to get the JBL , I probably would.
I'm not into installing stereos anymore.
 

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If the question is, is the JBL worth $2000.00?? Then I'd have to say no. Not if you dont really plan to use the nav. I didn't need the nav, but was able to get the JBL, and I will say its the best stereo system I've had in any car over many years...aftermarket or new. To me its worth 1000 to maybe 1500 even, but I dont think there is a car stereo out there I'd pay 2k for.

But...that said, something else to consider. Is the dash board different with the non JBL cars? Are there the same speaker covers and openings just without the additional speakers? Reason I ask, the dash board has given some people issue with mis alignment, and if the aftermarket people have to make cutouts and use their own system in the dash...it could become an issue if there has to be warrantee work from alignment issues. Or, I suppose you could use more the doors and kick panels, but same possible issue.

Could be a catch 22 issue with stereo if stock sound system openings are not present.
 

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Without sounding too harsh, the JBL speakers are good drivers, placed well, and sound very good to me. My older cars have had synthetically derived four channel decoders (SQ and variable synth), running each of four channels throught 7 band equalizers, one 40w RMS per channel for each bass driver and one 40W RMS per channel for each mid and hi, in each quadrant, and a two channel amp running a pair of subs running up to 400 RMS watts per channel. I like loud, clean sound.

Is it worth 2K in the Venza without the GPS. No, not in your wildest dreams. You can buy a lot of better hardware for 2K - getting it installed is completely another major pain however. But, I use and need the GPS for traffic purposes where I live right now much more than locating my butt or another's location. And, I am old and decrepit so I can no longer lay on my back for days on end reproducing above sound systems in today's complex vehicles, so with that said, it does indeed play loud and clean, but does not replicate the surround fields/staging I had in earlier coaches nearly as well but does do some improvement over base stereo staging and the factory installed single sub that came with mine and will duel very well against the rapper sitting next to you at the light.
 

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I have the JBL without Nav and I think it's an excellent system. It is much better than the optional JBL Synthesis that I had in my 4Runner. It's also better than the 8-speaker JBL (non-Synthesis) that I briefly tried in a Highlander.

I also agree with the earlier comments, though -- this is something that's very subjective. I think the only way you'll know is to listen to it for yourself. You wouldn't want to assume it's not worth it without listening to it, pass on the option, and then regret not trying it later.

In Hawaii we have the opposite situation -- Navigation is not available, even if you wanted to pay for it. The one thing the navigation provides that the non-Nav JBL lacks is the support for wireless stereo streaming via Bluetooth. Maybe they'll add it to the 2010 non-Nav system when they add USB support.

Here's a link to a video about the Bluetooth streaming feature from cars.com:

Video: 2009 Toyota Venza iPhone Streaming Bluetooth Audio
 

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Well yes up here in Canada we don't have an option for the JBL system unless we order the NAV.
Sucks I tell ya.!!!
Anyway I went with the stock system. Given that it will probably only lack bottom end I have everything ready to start my build with my 2 old school JBL's P1220 II which are monsters.
The amp to power them would one of the following.
HiFonics Zeus VII for both subs or since I have 2 of them still brand new go mono one for each sub.
Zapco Z300 or a Z600 for both subs or since I have 2 of them still brand new go mono one for each sub.
Earthquake PA-2300 for both subs or since I have 2 of them still brand new go mono one for each sub.
MB Quart QAA2500.
ESX 275.2

This will probably keep me happy until I bypass the headunit and install a new one in the center armrest.
I really don't think I would mess with the original center console, plus I like the stealth look.

What do you guys think?
 

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Unfortunately there are none to be found in western Canada, or so it seems. If anyone knows of a dealership that has one please do tell!
Zensei, I know of 2 V6 Venzas with JBL & NAVI in Winnipeg, Mine and another that arrived at my Dealership when I went in for Service work last week. Have to agree with the comments re Sat Radio, that is, it loses some quality, BUT on Local FM Stations it Booms out the Power!!
 

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Well yes up here in Canada we don't have an option for the JBL system unless we order the NAV.
Sucks I tell ya.!!!
Anyway I went with the stock system. Given that it will probably only lack bottom end I have everything ready to start my build with my 2 old school JBL's P1220 II which are monsters.
The amp to power them would one of the following.
HiFonics Zeus VII for both subs or since I have 2 of them still brand new go mono one for each sub.
Zapco Z300 or a Z600 for both subs or since I have 2 of them still brand new go mono one for each sub.
Earthquake PA-2300 for both subs or since I have 2 of them still brand new go mono one for each sub.
MB Quart QAA2500.
ESX 275.2

This will probably keep me happy until I bypass the headunit and install a new one in the center armrest.
I really don't think I would mess with the original center console, plus I like the stealth look.

What do you guys think?
cutra, you seem knowledgable about all this audio stuff. Do you think just replacing the stock speakers would help the base stereo or be just a waste of money?
 

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from the JBL Synthesis Venza site:

11 channel 605 W amplifer
I am really enjoying the sound of the upgraded system. The quality of sound is so nice I have noticed I don't keep the volume up as high as I normally would. And when I hear a tune that needs to be cranked...oh my.

I know 605 watts is a lot but how does that compare to the standard system? and just what does 11 channels mean?

Randy
 

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Synthesis shmynthesis.....

Aftermarket sound will always sound better than the over priced sound the dealer will charge as long as you know what you are doing as far as aftermarket speakers are concerned.

The right speakers paired with the right amp....tuned perfectly will cost half of what you will pay for JBL synthesis.

I only say this b/c I am a guru when it comes to aftermarket sound.

EDIT: not a guru, just well educated.
 

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Synthesis shmynthesis.....

I only say this b/c I am a guru when it comes to aftermarket sound.

So you should be able to explain the watts and channel question. I understand stereo and I think I understand surround sound. What is up with the watts and channels?

Randy

BTW, I sorta keep track of who I know and what they know, but I really don't know a guru of aftermarket sound. I wish I did.
 

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I just took my first road trip with my new Venza (got it on 7/15) - 10 hours from Ohio to Maine, and probably not being the audiophile that many of you are with much more knowledge and discerning ears than I, I think it's a great sounding system with all of the sources...CDs, iPhone/Pod, SAT (for now anyway) and even FM. Of course, I've had Ford Explorers for the past 9 years, so you can take it with a grain of salt.

I know that the bass speakers had both my dogs waking up along the way!
 
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