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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2004 Solara SE, but am not really happy with the stock audio system. I am thinking of an upgrade, am not sure how to proceed with it.

I dont really want to change the head unit, as it will kill the entire interior looks of the car.

Can anyone give me suggestions on how should I go about this upgrade ? Like what speakers do you recommend, or some other stuff I should put in (like an amp), etc. My budget is around 350$ for the total process (I hope its enough).

Thanks
DD
 
2005 Tacoma X-Runner
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350$ ouch. But doable. Focus on mainly the front components. Get a nice set of components for around 150 or so on ebay. And spend another 150 or so on a 2 channel amp for them. The other 50 bucks can go to a amp power kit and a speaker to rca converter. Then later you can get a single 12 inch sub with a mono amp to push that. That's be the cheapest way for a good system. I'd really reccomend getting a new cd player though because you can run rca's to the amps instead of speaker level inputs or converters. You get cleaner sound that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
More info..

Thanks for ur tips.. i will defiitely go on those lines.

What I didnt like about the stock audio system is the music dosent have enough "volume/depth" (they are loud enough). it just feels that it has 2 speakers in front of me that are playing some music, dont get that "surround" effect, and rear speakers seem totally insignificant. u have suggested that I replace the main (front) speakers initially, will this help me with this problem ? BTW, solara has a 6-speaker audio system.

A friend had told me that i will get a lot better sound if i just replace all the speakers, but i dont know how much will it help.

Is it possible to change the head unit without changing the looks of dashboard ?

Is there a good installation guide for this kind of job ?? (The more i think about it, more im getting interested and making a DIY project ).

BTW, Im a total newbie in this stuff,

Thanks a ton for ur superfast responses.
 

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Platinum Shift Customs
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556 Posts
yes there is alot of ways - you could mold in a screen w/ player into the dash - matching the texture and color or you could put a differnt player somewhere in the car alltogether.
 
2005 Tacoma X-Runner
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I'd change out the cd player. If you want a stock looking cd player look into nakamichi. Only problem is that it's going to be single din, and you'll have to get a pocket to go there. Pioneer and kenwood make some decent double din sized cd players but I don't like the looks. I like the eclipse decks and the pioneer decks the most. Just splurge and get this


It looks factory ;)
 

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Platinum Shift Customs
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FYI Toyota owns Denso - Denso makes the screens and nav systems for our vehicles and they also make them for Eclipse :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did it !! thanks all.

I upgraded the audio system in my car. Put Infiniti Kappa component system in front and Infiniti speakers also in the rear. Spent 430$+tax on everything, (total 6 speakers, installation and a 3 year warranty).

Bottomline: IT ROCKS. Thanks all of u guys for the help :).
 
2005 Tacoma X-Runner
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Nice. Now save up for a good 4 channel amp and it will really rock.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Amplifier with auxiliary input...

Hi
I have replaced the stock speakers in my solara with infinity 692.5i and 60.5cs speakers. I am now looking to get a good amplifier to go with them. I am considering getting a infinity 4 channel amp installed (just because my speakers are also from infinity, i thought getting the amp from same company will work well).

I also want to have an auxiliary input in the system to connect the ipod. Do the amplfiers have any provision for a seperate auxiliary input in them ?? Are there any recommmendations other than the infinity series ??


Thanks !
Dwipal
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow ! Thats was a super quick reply !!
I am looking for something in 300$ range. I didnt replace the head unit, just the 6 speakers. Replacing the head unit will spoil the interior looks of the car. It really has a well designed integrated audio panel.

Also, i am not looking for any fancy features like MP3 or anything. Just need an auxiliary input which takes in the ipod, which will be the primary source of music. The only option i currently have is the FM transmitter which sucks big time.

Thanks !
DD
 
2005 Tacoma X-Runner
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The infinity amp wouldn't be a bad choice. It looks like it will send plenty of power to them. They also have speaker level inputs too so that helps.

http://www.cardomain.com/item/INFREF7540A
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4950&item=5742223374&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

There are amps out there that will probably have cleaner power.

I personally would go with a 2 channel amp to the fronts only and run the rears off the headunit. This amp would do that very well.
http://www.edesignaudio.com/nine2_overview.htm

For the iPod get one of these

http://www.discountcarstereo.com/detail.aspx?ID=548
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is there any reason to use the amp for only front speakers ? Arent the rear speakers more powerful typically and need more power ??

Also, if i decide on getting a subwoofer in future, will i need to install another amp for it ?
 
2005 Tacoma X-Runner
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I like to hear the music coming from the front. The idea is to reproduce what a concert would sound like. That is the music coming from the front. Some people prefer to have equal amount of power/sound coming from the rear as well.

A well installed high end component set of speakers in the front with the right amount of power(100+ RMS) will have better imaging and sound stage compared to front and rear speakers.

When you plan to get a subwoofer you will indeed need a seperate amp to power it. Or you can get a 4 channel amp that will alow you to bridge two of the channels to power a sub and use the other two to power the front speakers. I reccomend to get a seperate amp though. One other option that might suit your tastes is to get a 5 channel amp that will power everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow ! This is just so complicated. I personally like sound coming from rear as well, should feel a "surround sound effect", like some sound (like vocals) coming from front and the bass from rear (which was the reason i had replaced the rear speaker).

Do you think putting in a 2 channel amp. to drive the front speakers, a mono amp to drive a subwoofer, and using the head unit (mine is the stock one) to drive the rear speakers work fine ?
 
2005 Tacoma X-Runner
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That's how I would do it. Except I'd also change out the headunit. Also sound dampening the car with Raammat/dynamat will make it sound better and stop the interior rattling after the subs.
 
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