New Head Unit...or not? - Toyota Tacoma Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 11:26 AM
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New Head Unit...or not?

i'd like to upgrade to a better head unit but i've regreted that in the past. I added a new HU to another car...then could never get the sound right. with the factory HU the sound/speakers were balanced somehow. there was no amp...even if i turned up the volume there was no distortion. after upgrading the HU i could never get it to sound right. maybe bc the factory HU and speakers were matched and the new HU has a little more power.

i'd like to upgrade the HU in the taco and have aux/usb inputs. with the factory HU in the taco...it seems like the sound is nice and balanced. i'm afraid that i'll never get the sound right and eventually have to get new speakers. but then of course the HU won't have enough power for the new speakers and i'll need an amp.

anyone else notice this?


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#2 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 11:39 AM
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Re: New Head Unit...or not?

Odds are a better-quality head unit will make the OEM speakers show their limitations (they are, after all, cheap OEM units that are now circa 8 years old).

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 11:41 AM
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Re: New Head Unit...or not?

Yeah, when I replaced mine for a USB HU, I noticed the same thing, but once I added a subwoofer and swapped out my stock speakers for some aftermarkets, I was able to get better sound overall. My Sony HU had enough power to supply the mains, but I did add a sub amp to keep it clean and balanced.

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#4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 11:10 PM
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Re: New Head Unit...or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadman33619 View Post
i'd like to upgrade to a better head unit but i've i'm afraid that i'll never get the sound right and eventually have to get new speakers. but then of course the HU won't have enough power for the new speakers and i'll need an amp.

anyone else notice this?
i always say get speakers first... like Enola suggests, the factory speakers have much to be desired.

however, one mistake people do all the time, is get speakers that have a much higher power handling than the internal amp can provide. this causes the new speakers to sound weak. for example, a 25 watt RMS power handling speaker will be louder and have more bass than a 75 watt RMS power handling speaker, when running on the 17 or so watts RMS that an internal amp can provide.

get the higher handling speakers only if you plan to add an amp later.

your factory head unit is a very low end Panasonic. the factory speakers match the power quite well, and also match the bass equalization too... thats why it sounds half decent to you.

other aftermarket low end Panasonic units have basically the same bass equalization too. if you insist on keeping the factory speakers, it will sound about the same if you stick to Panasonic. however, it could be much better.

other manufactures that have a bass heavy equalization in their low end units, are Alpine, Pioneer, and Eclipse. still, with new speakers, they will sound even better. ( and Eclipse does not really exist anymore )

low end Kenwood and Sony have a weak bass equalization... so you will need speakers... and even then, you may not get the same balanced sound without an amp.

this all changes if you are willing to buy a mid line unit. while all use the same basic internal amplifier, ( including the factory unit ) the mid line units do have more sound control, and you will be able to make the sound the way you want it.

good luck !

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#5 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:21 AM
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Re: New Head Unit...or not?

thanks for the explanation, daveds50....that makes perfect sense. is there a way to know the power handling of the factory speakers? i do plan to replace them eventually (all my money is being sucked into a bathroom remodel) but for now i'd like to replace the HU. this is the one i'm looking at
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_1304400...D.html?tp=5684

would i be helping ...or hurting by adding this without new speakers?
FYI... my goal here is to get the HD tuner and aux input. instead of getting add-on accessories that will give me these, i'd rather replace the unit.

thanks again


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#6 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 06:27 PM
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Re: New Head Unit...or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadman33619 View Post
thanks for the explanation, daveds50....that makes perfect sense. is there a way to know the power handling of the factory speakers? i do plan to replace them eventually (all my money is being sucked into a bathroom remodel) but for now i'd like to replace the HU. this is the one i'm looking at
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_1304400...D.html?tp=5684

would i be helping ...or hurting by adding this without new speakers?
FYI... my goal here is to get the HD tuner and aux input. instead of getting add-on accessories that will give me these, i'd rather replace the unit.

thanks again
you would be better off spending $40 more and getting the DEH-P7400HD instead. there is a whole lot more sound control with that unit. as a plus, the USB is in the rear, so you can use the extention to mount the USB port anywhere you want. i am not a fan of front USB, as i have fixed so many faceplates with broken USB ports. one hit on a plug or USB drive sticking out the front, and the faceplate is broken.

like Enola says, you will find the limitations of the stock speakers quick with a bass heavy equalization. it will sound way better at low volumes... however, the factory speakers cannot handle low frequencies like that. you may find a lot of speaker distortion at high volumes.

if i recall correctly, the factory speakers are 20 watts RMS. Pioneer makes a 30 watt RMS 6 x 8 speaker that works well on the internal amp, and can be bought for around $25-$30 shipped a pair on ebay. another better and cheaper option, is Pioneer 30 watt RMS 6.5 round speakers... but you will have to make adaptors for them.

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