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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, after many posts and research, I began getting the ball in motion on the replacement of my factory audio system. My plan is to keep the factory deck, install an external 4 channel amp and replace the door speakers. I am not planning on installing a factory sub. Also, I am looking to install a Parrot bluetooth system (still deciding between the CK 3000 Evolution and the MKi9000).

Yesterday I ordered a JL 300/4 amp (4 channel, 75 watts per channel) and it should be here by Thursday. Today I ordered some Hybrid Audio Technologies (www.hybrid-audio.com) speakers; specifically a pair of the Imagine I61-2 (6 1/2" coaxial and convertible component set) and the Imagine I69-2 (6x9" coaxial and convertible component set). If you do a search on Hybrid Audio you will see the reviews and accolades they have garnered over the past couple of years. Based on my personal research, reviews read and discussions with trusted and knowledgable third parties, I decided to make the purchase. These hopefully will be here in the next couple of days and I will begin the install this weekend ("fingers crossed"). All that is left is purchasing some Dynamat for the doors and determining if I want to do a line-level converter or a JL Audio Cleansweep.

Keep posted and I'll be sure to take extensive photos.

Thanks to everyone for your input over the past couple of weeks.
 

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I'm so glad you are doing this project since I just bought a 2010 base highlander myself. Please if you can, take photos of any tough areas for the door removal.

I too am thinking of installing new components in the front and am not sure if it's best to mount the tweeters near the AC vents on the doors or to keep them in the window holes which I think contain factory tweeters. Can anyone confirm that these cars come with components already for the dash?

I was also considering putting a high quality GPS in the car but all the aftermarket units, as cool as they are, require a really bad looking dash adapter that replaces all the volume knobs which I'm not thrilled about. So if I can tap into the main speaker line and still get good control of audio out of a JL amp. I'm considering the XD400/4 version with the front 2 channels running the mains and the bridged back channels running a small sub.

Anyways, can't wait to see what you do since I'll probably be doing this same thing very soon.
 

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Bluesdeluxe,

I answered your posting on the TN Venza forum on a similar upgrade. I have also recently upgraded my 2008 Highlander Sport with new Polk Audio DB speakers in the doors. The dash speakers act as the tweeter in the original factory configuration so there likely is a capacitor or bass blocker to protect these tweets from being over driven. The dash speakers are small cones. I suspect that the separation between the door speakers and the tweeter is too great to blend with a small dome type tweeter and the typical crossover in a component speaker kit.

I agree with you on the ugly dash adapter for placing an after market double DIN navigation unit into the Highlander. The Rosen aftermarket nav unit retains the factory look of the Highlander dash but it is not cheap.

Jim
 

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Jim, are you suggesting then that the factory placement of the tweeters is not a good location to begin with? Or are you implying that the component tweeters will not sound good in the dash position because they are significantly different than the ones put in factory?

I've looked into the Rosen units but they don't get good ratings for GPS, Ipod integration, or overall interface graphics (which seems unimportant but who wants a 6-7" screen only to have pixelated icons).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think you need to consider what type of tweeter you would be using with your components when deciding on whether or not to use the factory location at the base of the windshield. If you are using a component set that has anything other than a very mellow sound, especially if it is a metallic material (titanium, aluminum, etc.), than you may want to consider putting it either on the A pillar or the door itself. My Hybrid Audio speakers are convertibles, so I will have the option to mount it coaxially.

I will take as many pictures as I can and post with my experience. Can someone post a line to anyone that has instructions on removing the door panels as well as any previous amp installs? Any ideas on location to run a power through the firewall? These items would be helpful.
Thanks,
Bryan
 

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Kujhawk80,

For access to the door speakers in the Highlander you need to do the following:
1. Carefully (with a pry tool or flat screwdriver) remove the concave plastic cup inside the door latch and the long inset trim piece of the door handle. This gives you access to three Phillips head screws (one behind the door latch cup and two behind the door handle trim piece).

2. Once those screws are removed you can separate the door panel from the metal portion of the door by hand. While you may need a slight pry to get started, you can usually begin at the bottom and carefully pull the door panel out and work around the sides and you should be able to lift the entire panel outward from the door.

3. Unhook the door cables and disconnect the connectors for complete removal of the door panel away from the metal frame.

There is a good thread on replacement of the door speakers of the Venza on the TN Venza forum that will add additional insight to how to deal with the mechanics of the speaker exchange.

I did not add amps to my Highlander so I can not help you on amplifier locating and such.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jim,
Thanks for the direction. I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of the Hybrid Audio Imagines. Hopefully I will begin the install this weekend.
Thanks,
Bryan
 
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