Upgrade for base factory Toyota ?

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Kirk Gunn, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Just picked up a Toyota Highlander with the base sound system and need upgrade advice.

    Similar to upgrading your HT, what's the biggest "bang for the buck" ? Upgrading speakers or the heady unit first ?

    Also, any comments on specific manufacturers of both speakers and HUs are appreciated. Value clarity over volume, as I'm an old fart. No need for a 350+ watt sub [​IMG]

    Would like an HU that handles MP-3 CDs and XM/Syrius (still on the fence on which one). An external-connection for an ipod-type device would be nice also. The current Toyota HU is "double height" with both a CD and tape player, does this complicate my choices ? Note - new HU does not need cassette.

    Thanks for helping a car newbie !
     
  2. KenWong

    KenWong Stunt Coordinator

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    How much are you looking to spend? Also, are you looking for a more complicated set up such as a 4 channel amp or just sticking to a deck and 4 speakers? If you're looking at no external amplifier... Check these out:

    Alpine CDA9835- or the CDA9833... the 9835 has the "biolite" display, basically, a nicer display that displays one more line, more colors, etc... It's the alpine that has the V-drive technology built into it's headunit, this is probably the only headunit that has a slight improvement in sound quality versus all the other units due to a slightly higher power (10 more watts).

    For speakers... it now depends on your type of music and whether you want to buy them in a store or find them online... cause i know a lot of people would swear by CDT audio(which I agree is good, but unable to find in a store). I would recommend something with a pretty good bass response as well as a nicer smooth sound... infinity's... whether you want the kappas or the reference is up to you..If you like a brighter sound- try eclipse... but as far as speakers go... go take a listen and then decide... for speakers.. taste differs from person to person.

    As far as the headunit goes.. the only reason I suggested the alpine is due to its more power... and its ability to have the Ipod adapter put with it so you can control your ipod on your headunit.

    Also... upgrading your speakers or your headunit- which one makes more of a difference, I have heard differences and pros and cons for each one... Since some speakers are also easier to power than others, it really all depends.

    And no... thought you have a 1 1/2 din or even double din radio right now, when you buy the mountingn bracket or fitting kit, it takes that hole for the factory radio and fits it to the size of an aftermarket radio.
     
  3. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Thanks Ken - I am just looking at the deck and 6 speakers (the Highlander has tweeters up front).

    The smoother sound with decent bass response sounds great, not really into bright speakers. I'll check out the Infinity's coupled with an Alpine. Was hoping to stay between 500-750.00... we'll see !
     
  4. Mike~Sileck

    Mike~Sileck Supporting Actor

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    If you don't go with a specialized head unit for the ipod I can whole heartedly recommend the Itrip from Griffin Technologies. It plugs right into the ipod and plays your songs on any radio station (yes any, you need to download european freq's though, but it is a nice feature to have). It needs no batteries as it draws power from the ipod itself.

    For my ipod I also have a charging cable for it. I have a plug in my center console so I snake the cord out of that and sit my ipod in my cupholder, it makes for a really nice experience. I believe its a belkin, but I could be mistaken. Anyways, good luck!!
     
  5. Brad_Harper

    Brad_Harper Stunt Coordinator

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    You may not be able to replace the headunit. The headunit is likely networked to all the other modules in the car and you could screw things up by removing it. Speakers won't be a problem though. I find they are usually the best thing to replace.
     
  6. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Interesting feedback, Brad. Crutchfield does list various decks as being "compatible" with the Highlander, but I'm not trusting that info at face value....



    I'll have to check with some of my "sources" to see if it's an issue.



    Thanks again to all. Guess the Ipod connectivity is not a requirement, just a "nice to have".
     
  7. KenWong

    KenWong Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe the highlander doesn't have all the intergrated crap... where the deck also contols the A/C and stuff like that. The best thing is to go to your local audio shop, or even retailer, ask them what you'll need... or simply: "Can I install a radio/CD player into my car?" and see what they tell you. Assuming that they're somewhat knowledgeable, they should be able to tell you. I've only seen problems with incompatible with a radio in a few cars- which mainly are the super new hondas- where the audio volume control is kinda integrated to everything else and some american car companies.
     
  8. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    The Highlander's audio controls (and the deck) sit in it's own compartment, so it seems "easy" enough.



    My barber has a son that works for a custom installer, so I'll probably have him do the work as a side job. His clients have won a few "best in show" awards so hopefully this job isn't beneath him.... His last job was tricking out a Chrysler 300 w/7 LCDs. I believe 3 flipped down from the trunk for a tailgate party. I gotta get a picture of that !



    Thanks again for all the feedback !
     

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