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2018 SR5 Non-JBl audio upgrade

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by panicman, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. Apr 19, 2020 at 11:02 AM
    #1
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    It’s not exactly a dirty secret that our trucks come with audio that is lacking. Sure, when sitting still and listening to music, I appreciate being surrounded by 7 speakers, and the sound quality is ok. But start moving, roll the windows down... lord forbid try to CRANK it... a well-intentioned let down. I made an audio upgrade one of my top priorities. I love music, I love cranking that music on occasion, and I haven’t touched any audio equipment in about 20 years. This thread is part install thread, and part product/vendor review. Lots of folks here have posted detailed walkthroughs, and I read a bunch and appreciate them. I see no need to duplicate their effort.
    I wanted an easy install, and I wanted the upgrade to be bang-for-the-buck economy. I also knew that doing the upgrade in stages would benefit me because I work more than full time, and can’t risk having my vehicle disabled for days.
    Reading many reviews, I found one vendor (who shall remain nameless- but it will become obvious) who offers a plug and play system that can be purchased in stages. The first stage is a 5 channel amp and 12” subwoofer. It comes with a harness that plugs right into the existing Tundra harness. It increases power to the existing door speakers and adds the 12” sub and a bass adjustment knob. The dash speakers are powered by the factory head unit, and are not affected (is my understanding and observation).

    I called the vendor and left a VM asking if they were still operating during the pandemic, and received a call back the next day. “Still in business, go ahead and order.’”

    On April 4, I placed an online order for the System 1A. I immediately got an automated email confirmation of purchase and a timeline of 7-10 days to ship. On 4/7 I received shipment details and tracking info. On 4/16, everything arrived. The order was complete and undamaged.
    4/17, I did a couple small things... installed the bass knob, ran the power to the battery, assembled the subwoofer and amp bracket, and laid everything out to install on 4/18.
    D5446F85-BC46-4C04-A88B-6C176B4BB2E3.jpg
    On 4/18, I threw a brisket an the Traeger at 9 (it was delicious) and commenced the stereo install. I pulled the passenger and rear seats, along with the factory rear insulation pad. The sub needs the space. I took some time lining the rear with Dynamat, and that took a while. I used 2 sheets.
    6474B05E-1133-4FE5-954D-68FC61B3772B.jpg
    Then, I positioned the subwoofer. I removed the factory amp.
    4BBCDD4F-F2CD-44AC-BB7F-3E45BD661FD9.jpg
    I plugged in the harnesses that came with the kit and took some time running all of the wires where they needed to go.
    97D0F66B-6A5B-4A75-98E2-110DA02B6B9D.jpg
    Once everything was in, I tuned the amp according to the online instructional video. It confused me at first, but made sense after after getting hands-on. Then, final install.
    970DED50-D3A8-4845-BBA1-A1371FA257D7.jpg
    I reinstalled my console with the added bass control knob...
    17626AA8-D690-46E8-8789-5E963FE8B17F.jpg
    And then I powered everything up. This system adds an astonishing amount of power, clarity, and bass in a fairly easy-to-install package that was pretty darn budget friendly at $850, plus 36 sq ft of Dynamat at $150.
    The instructional videos are very helpful and I never felt lost. I did not have to contact customer support.
    I do still need to complete phase 2, which will replace the door speakers. I will add to this thread when I have done that.
    There is one thing that bugs me about this install. During the tuning phase, the vendor warns that the top volume of the system is now 50, and warns that the EQ function of the head unit is no longer usable. I like adjusting the sound, so now my only sound quality control will be my EQ setting on my iPhone. I can live with it, but it is a bit of a pisser to me.
    So that’s my experience with this company so far. I understand from reading that people have had VERY mixed fortunes dealing with this outfit, and I am pleased that my experience has been good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  2. Apr 19, 2020 at 12:53 PM
    #2
    XxDODSONxX

    XxDODSONxX New Member

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    Thanks for the detailed post. Looking at this kit or the 1B kit. For my 2018 SR5 as well.
    I like the bass adjust knob location. Discrete and handy.
    Have you uncovered any new vibrations issues in the truck with the new bass? I hate it when you crank it up and it sounds good inside but outside things are rattling.
     
  3. Apr 19, 2020 at 3:21 PM
    #3
    Army_of_One

    Army_of_One New Member

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    Very clean! Did you get behind the rear window access with the dynamat?
     
  4. Apr 19, 2020 at 3:56 PM
    #4
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    Thanks!

    So far no rattles. I turned it up a bit and got out and listened, and I did not hear any obnoxious rattles. Today I was driving with both hands on the wheel, and I did hear my driver door panel/armrest vibrate a bit, I just pushed on it and it went away. I am confident that when I Dynamat the doors in phase 2 that won’t happen again.
     
  5. Apr 19, 2020 at 4:00 PM
    #5
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    Thank you!

    I essentially just replaced the factory insulation blanket. I pieced around the access cover, and then tried to insulate the panel completely, avoiding hardware and wires and ensuring the panel can be removed if needed.
    I have to say, the Dynamat does a better job of sound deadening than that blanket. Even closing the rear doors now you can tell the difference. The whole cab seems quieter.
     
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  6. Apr 19, 2020 at 5:12 PM
    #6
    Tactun

    Tactun New Member

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    Just bought my Tundra SR5/XSP last week, and I think I'll be doing something similar and upgrading in stages. Did the same with my 2010 Tacoma.

    I really wish Toyota would put a better sound system in but maybe it's better since it forces you to install a better system.

    On the sticker it listed the audio as "Audio Plus- 8" Touch Screen." Is that basically the same system? Non-JBL?
     
  7. Apr 19, 2020 at 11:35 PM
    #7
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    I would think so. My window sticker says “Entune Audio Plus”.
     
  8. Apr 29, 2020 at 11:25 PM
    #8
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    Phase 2 will begin shortly....

    E6B05D4D-9A27-47A3-B77F-9CF221138651.jpg
    A huge shout out to James at tech12volts. He set me up well, and was fast and helpful.
     
  9. Apr 30, 2020 at 7:53 AM
    #9
    Kung

    Kung Not so FNG

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    Let me know what you think of them - I've got a JBL Stadium 5 amp driving one 10" kicker in an enclosure, but find the mids/highs are lacking (obviously) and have the exact same set on order. Looking forwarding to installing them!
     
  10. May 2, 2020 at 3:15 PM
    #10
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    Done!

    I was able to get the front doors done last night... uh, er... this morning...

    Got up today and did the rears.

    The Hertz install thread that is a sticky on the Audio Forum is a good guide to use for the installation. My truck is non-JBL, so there were some minor differences.

    a link to that thread: https://www.tundras.com/threads/tech12volt-hertz-door-speaker-install.41276/

    Thanks @BlueBottle !!

    First off, huge thanks to James at Tech12volts. Not only does he provide good product, but he was an email away, and this guy gets back to you FAST. I don’t know how he does it.

    James sent me 4 Hertz K-170 component speakers with built in crossovers. He included the plug and play harnesses, two tweeter-ready Toyota sail panels, assorted hardware, and the door speaker mounting adapters.
    1EEC7A3D-0517-49A1-B6A1-54A60EF5CB1A.jpg

    I didn’t take many pictures that are worth adding here. They look practically identical to BlueBottle’s in his install thread. A big thanks to BlueBottle as well, as I did follow his install steps with only minor exceptions, and his narrative was right on.

    I started with the fronts. The sail panels that James provided accepted the tweeter and its locking bezel nicely. I used Dynamat, focusing on the metal around the speaker, as well as open spots on the inside of the outer door skin, and anywhere on the inside of the door that offered a flat spot that I could clean and apply the mat to.
    D2F0297B-952A-456E-A688-A648CF7B63E1.jpg

    I soldered the positive and negative leads from the included harness to the driver, and connected the front tweeter to the remaining leads using my smallest posi taps. Everything installed easily. I reassembled the truck and started on the back driver door, but it was getting late. I realized that the tweeter will not clip nicely into the factory position on the rear door panel, and I felt I was forcing things hard enough to risk breaking the locking bezel. It was about 2am so I called it a night.

    Today, armed with more wit and patience, I gave it another try. The tweeter fits in the factory position, but the locking bezel will not ride deeply enough in the mount to clip. So, I used two thin, long zip ties and lashed them into an “x” holding the tweeter in tightly. Works fine. Also, for the non-JBL systems, you can simply unplug the factory rear tweeters and leave the plug alone. I taped mine to the existing wiring to get it out of the way.

    More Dynamat, and in everything went.

    Going from the bone stock Toyota SR5 Entune Plus non-JBL to a system with a 12” sub, 5 channel amp and these component speakers is simply night and day. All told, I spent maybe $1300, and I kept the factory head unit.

    These are not big speakers, but they put out big, clear sound. Here is a side by side with stock:
    BBA88EDA-C721-46EC-B7CD-7A73B107BA18.jpg
    01E7F56C-7A84-4FFD-A6FB-091AD86BE2F3.jpg
    0EDF8EC9-3A5D-4047-9DAA-3801707D6F9A.jpg
    The difference in sound is jarringly improved. I know very well that this is not a high end, cutting edge system, but it sounds VERY good, and at about volume 10, you lose almost all vehicle noise, and can hear every distinct part of the music with great separation and clarity.

    I have noticed, after installing the TT’s amp and sub, I have a hiss when there is not music playing. Hoping I can reduce or eliminate that. (Anybody have advice?)

    I absolutely recommend James at tech12volts. The guy is fast, great with advice, and he takes pride in his work.

    And to close this off, I will add that the “other” company still has not sent me pricing on the component door speakers I inquired to them about.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
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  11. May 4, 2020 at 2:05 PM
    #11
    jburcina

    jburcina New Member

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    Do you need to remove the factory rear insulation pad for the sub box to fit?
     
  12. May 4, 2020 at 2:17 PM
    #12
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    Yes, the factory rear insulation has to be removed. No way a sub will fit if you don’t.

    You’ll need to put something in there for sound deadening. I used Dynamat.
     
  13. May 4, 2020 at 2:21 PM
    #13
    jburcina

    jburcina New Member

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    Thank you for replying. Good information to have!
     
  14. May 4, 2020 at 2:23 PM
    #14
    DSTundra

    DSTundra New Member

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    Strange... I got the dual JL Audio sub box from James and it fit fine without removing the factory insulation blanket.
     
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  15. May 4, 2020 at 2:25 PM
    #15
    jburcina

    jburcina New Member

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    where did you find that set up at?
     
  16. May 4, 2020 at 2:30 PM
    #16
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    My sub is the one pictured. It would not have fit without removing the blanket. It’s a really tight squeeze even with the mat gone and the Dynamat in.
     
  17. May 4, 2020 at 2:49 PM
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    DSTundra

    DSTundra New Member

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    OK, I was thinking you got your sub from James, but looking at the picture it's obviously from TT, so we have two different things.
     
  18. May 4, 2020 at 2:51 PM
    #18
    jburcina

    jburcina New Member

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    I'm thinking I would like to go with one 12 maybe two. What box do you recomend?
     
  19. May 4, 2020 at 4:59 PM
    #19
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    After my experiences dealing with both TT and James at tech12volts, I would ask James at Tech12volts for his recommendation.
     
  20. Jun 24, 2020 at 8:30 AM
    #20
    panicman

    panicman [OP] Everyone remain calm.

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    One important note when installing this equipment: on the front doors, orient the adapter such that the speaker position is as far REAR as possible. If you don’t, the speakers will not line up with the grills in the door panel and the sound is negatively affected.

    Rear door speakers go on only one way, so nothing to mention.
     
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  21. Jun 24, 2020 at 9:34 PM
    #21
    dspilot

    dspilot Professional Nomad

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    Nice write up. Thanks for posting......
     
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  22. Jul 10, 2020 at 7:22 AM
    #22
    Omizzy84

    Omizzy84 Stay strapped or get clapped

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    Awesome right up! Thanks for the information.
     
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