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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive got an '03 Access Cab that has the stock setup. Heres what I want to do and need suggestions. I'll be replacing the stock front component speakers, not sure with what yet. Plan on leaving the rears for now. Looked at Orions. I also have a Q-Logic enclosure for the back coming which Im pretty set on putting in the RE-8 subs which are rated well and very cheap.
1. I want a new head unit with Nav, bluetooth, Ipod, etc. Ive looked at the new Alpine IMA-W900, some of the Kenwoods such as the DNX-6160 and Pioneer Avicx910-920. Heard and read some not great things about the Pioneer such as slow bootup and reliability. Any other choices that would be good to consider? Like that the Kenwood as a remote on some of their units. Pandora would be nice but not many have that.
2. What type, power and make of amp should I get for the complete system? 4 channel or just a mono for the subs and use the head unit to drive the front speakers? Im really clueless when it comes to amps and ohms, etc. I have an old Sony 4 channel by 25 watt amp but dont think that will be of much help.
Ive got about $1400 to work with including installation since I cant do it.

I dont listen to the booming rap and dont need a competition setup. Just want a full sounding clean system. Suggestions, makes, model numbers appreciated.
 

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If space is an issue I would recommend going with a nice 4 channel amp, run channels 1 + 2 to your front components, then bridge channels 3 + 4 to power your new sub. When choosing your amp try to match the bridged output of channels 3 + 4 to the RMS rating of your sub.
 

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If space is an issue I would recommend going with a nice 4 channel amp, run channels 1 + 2 to your front components, then bridge channels 3 + 4 to power your new sub. When choosing your amp try to match the bridged output of channels 3 + 4 to the RMS rating of your sub.
x2

There are a number of good 4 channel amps out there that will do what you want for a reasonable price.

-Wes
 

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Alpine sells a 5 channel amp 1+2 fpr front 3+4 for the rears and 5 for your sub.
 

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The more power the better. Get as much as you can afford then dial it back to protect your speakers. I don't care what anybody tells you the idea that you need to match rms ratings watt for watt is not correct. Better to have too much than too little.

Garbage in, garbage out. If you want a system with balanced sound, amplify both the front and substages. If you just want boom but with enough highs to 'keep up', amp the sub and leave the fronts off the head unit. Your bass will sound awesome, and your subs will keep thumping like a champ long after your front stage has exceeded its dynamic range and begun to distort.
 

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whatever you do, get an amp for your front stage. That would be my first step (along with new 6.5" component speakers up front), and then worry about the sub. For good brands of component speakers, look at CDT, Focal, Dynaudio, etc. Speakers are very subjective, so be sure to listen to as many as you can to figure out what sounds good to you. Some people prefer silk tweeters, other metal tweeters, it just depends on your taste.

don't even worry about rear speakers, especially if you are getting a sub... GlassWolf's Homepage

For amp(s), assuming a sub and no rear speakers...

4channel amp -- front channel for comps, bridge rear channels for subs
OR
2ch amp + Mono amp -- 2ch for comps and mono for sub
OR
2ch amp + 2ch amp -- 2ch for comps and the second 2ch bridged for sub

Any of those options are pretty much the same. Assuming equal power, #2 will be less of a draw on your electrical system because Class D amps are more efficient (80%) than Class A/B amps (50%).

Speaking of electrical system, you'll probably want to do a "Big 3 Upgrade" w/ 4awg wire. Depending on your amps, you may need to upgrade your alternator as well. First thing to do is figure out how much available amperage you have after your stock vehicle takes what it needs, then calculate how much your amp(s) will draw....


  • take the amp's total wattage (RMS) rating
  • divide the wattage by 12 (at idle) or 14.4 or 13.8 (above idle, whatever your alternator puts out). To be safe, use 12.
  • then take that result and multiply it by 1.2 for class D, and 1.4 for class AB
  • the result is your current draw at full output (shortcut for class D is to take the wattage and drop the last digit. 1000 watts is 100A @ 12VDC)
  • add up the totals, then figure you may need 1/2 to 1/3 of that figure for typical daily driving use, and more for showing off

i would stay away from Sony car audio equipment. Here's a good list of brands to look for or stay away from.... Copy of the CAC Good, Bad, and Ugly List - eCoustics.com

For a HU, i'm considering this one... Clarion VX709 (VX-709) Double DIN 7" Touch Screen Monitor + DVD Player . Bluetooth is already built in, so need need for an add-on accessory. The Nav module is sold separately, but it is "nav-ready."

Hope that helps. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok heres where Im at. Got the Q-logic box for the storage compartment. I have a set of RE Audio components coming for the fronts. RE Audio 8 inch subs for the Q-logic box. Keeping the rears stock for now. Not sure which head unit yet, still undecided. Really like to find one with NAV and Pandora.
How bout this amp someone is selling, says its new with the box. Can get it for $150 at the most.

Alpine MRP-F600

4 Channel Class A/B Power Amplifier


  • CEA-2006 Power Rating @ 4-Ohm: 100W x 4
  • S/N 80dBA
  • RMS Power @ 4 ohms: 100W x 4 (1% THD)
  • RMS Power @ 2 ohms: 150W x 4
  • RMS Power Brigded @ 4 ohms: 300W x 2
  • Continuously Adjustable Gain Control
  • Dual Sided Glass Epoxy PC Board
  • Non-Fading Pre-Amp Output
  • Discrete Pre-Amp Stage
  • Gold Plated Input, Output, Power and Speaker Terminals Connector
  • Adjustable Low-Pass/High-Pass Crossover
  • Speaker Level Inputs
  • Gold Plated RCA Input Connectors
  • Top Mounted Blue LED Power Indicator
  • Over-Current, Over-Voltage and Thermal Protection
  • STAR Board Circuitry
  • MOSFET Power Supply
  • Thermal Management Control
  • 4/3/2 Channel Design

 

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that's a good amp. what's the RMS rating of those RE subs? If they are anywhere from 100-200 watts each you should be fine. One thing to look at is the impedance of the voice coils? are the subs single or dual voice coil subs? You'll want to make sure that you can wire them together at a 4ohm load for the bridged rear channels of the amp.... Series Parallel Speaker Impedance

If you're keeping the rear speakers, just power them by the HU, and be sure to add a low pass filter to keep the high frequency sounds from getting to them. That's what wrecks your front stage. This can be done via an electronic crossover, sometimes built into the head unit. Or you can use a simple passive low pass filter. Ideally, you would want a bandpass filter to filter out highs (handled by the comps) and the lows (handled by the subs), and feed the rear speakers the narrow range of frequencies in between (more info on crossovers here). Also, you might need a phase shift. Sometimes that's built into the amp. As you can see, rear fill can be a challenge to maintaining a good front stage (which is what it's all about IMO), and for truck cabs, they do more harm than good as far as i'm concerned.

Oh, and just a note on Pandora. I love Pandora, but would never play that through my system. It's terrible quality audio. To me, it doesn't make much sense to spend $1,000+ on high quality audio components, only to play crappy mp3's and streaming audio through it. Kinda like polishing a terd, ya know? That being said, I only play CD's and lossless audio (FLAC, Apple Lossless, etc) in my truck. 320kbps MP3's compressed with the LAME codec are ok too, but i'll never play a song i bought through iTunes in my truck. So, i'm pickier than most. Once you get your system hooked up, try listening to a CD (not burned from MP3's) and then listen to a 128kbps MP3, and see the difference. Might not be a big deal to you. Just keep in mind that Pandora will be even lower quality. Again, just my opinion. Please don't take it the wrong way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok here's the specs on the subs.

Mica Filled Poly Cone
Santoprene Rubber Surround
Pressed Steel Basket
High Temp 8-layer Copper Voice Coil
FEA Optimized Motor Structure
Single Magnet
Linear Conex Spiders
Foam Gasket
Authorized Internet Dealer
Full Manufacturer's Warranty
*
350W RMS (pair)
Dual 4 Ohms
Mounting Depth: 4.5"
Mounting Hole Diameter: 7.3"
Electrical Q Value -Qes: 0.38
Mechanical Q Value -Qms: 4.21
Total Speaker Q Value -Qts: 0.34
Free Air Resonance -Fs: 22.8 Hz
Equivalent Compliance -Vas: 27.1 liters
One-Way, Linear Excursion -Xmax: 12 mm
Efficiency -SPL 1W/1m: 81.2 dB SPL
Effective Piston Area -Sd: 195 cm^2
DC Resistance -Re: 3.2 ohm
Force Factor -Bl: 15.4
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can get that Alpine Amp for $100. Seller says they bought it new and never installed it. Good buy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My only concern of course is not being able to test it. Dont want to get screwed. I read there are ways to do this by connecting to a 12 volt source but its not really something I know anything about.
 

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yeah, just bring a car battery and hook it up (the remote turn on wire should connect to the positive terminal too) to see if the power light comes on. If you want, you can hook up a sub, and get an RCA out cable for an iPod and use that as a source to listen to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wait, so can I just use my truck battery or it needs to be a separate battery? Can you detail how to get this set up to a sub or speaker and my Ipod? Remember, Im clueless.
 

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you can use your truck battery, just don't go blasting it for a long time, there is no fuse in between on the positive end. For the Ipod, you need a cable that is headphones jack on one end, and red/white rca on the other. It looks like a y, you can get one at radioshack, or even at a dollar store to be cheap. It wont give you good sound quality, but it will let you know the amp is working.

you want to connect the ground side last!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have that connector already for my Ipod. Can you tell me what get connected to the battery and sub in detail, I dont want to guess or screw this up.
 

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get some power wire, thicker than speaker wire (8 awg preferably) , and run that from the amp to the positive terminal of your battery. Run some speaker wire (20 awg is fine) from the remote turn on terminal of the amp to the positive terminal on the battery. Then, run some more power wire from the amp negative to the negative terminal on the battery. You should now see the amp power up. Next run some speaker wire to your speakers/subs (wiring config dependent on speakers). Check to see if the power light is still on. If still cool, hook up the iPod with that y-cable and adjust the gain on the amp to match the voltage output of the iPod as much as possible. Hit play on the iPod and you should have some speakers moving and sound. That means the amp functions. As tundrunk mentioned, don't play it long, and don't try to "crank it."
 
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