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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I was able to score a nice pair of Focal 6x9 speakers, and I am attempting to get them installed, replacing the crappy stock speakers in the doors of my FJ. Still using the stock stereo.

I got some GREAT info in these forums, as far as how to get the door panels off, and I was able to get the first speaker installed on the driver side. I thought I'd test it out at this point, hoping I would hear a substantial difference, from the stock speaker on the passenger side to my new speaker on the driver side. However, I was disappointed to hear that the new speaker did not sound any better at all, it actually sounded worse. When I tweaked the balance from full right to full left, it was the stock speaker on the passenger side that sounded a whole lot better. So now I am wondering if it could be one of 2 possible things:

1. I am wondering if maybe I got the +/- reversed, in my connection to the new speaker? If I did this, would it still have sound, just not sound as good as it should?
2. Do I need to get BOTH of the new speakers installed, before they will sound right?

Or is there something else I may be missing here?? Appreciate any info/thoughts.

Thanks!
--Brad
 

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My guess is that they'd sound a whole lot better if you had an amplifier running them instead of your head unit. Basically they need cleaner/more power.
 

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Hi all,

I was able to score a nice pair of Focal 6x9 speakers, and I am attempting to get them installed, replacing the crappy stock speakers in the doors of my FJ. Still using the stock stereo.

I got some GREAT info in these forums, as far as how to get the door panels off, and I was able to get the first speaker installed on the driver side. I thought I'd test it out at this point, hoping I would hear a substantial difference, from the stock speaker on the passenger side to my new speaker on the driver side. However, I was disappointed to hear that the new speaker did not sound any better at all, it actually sounded worse. When I tweaked the balance from full right to full left, it was the stock speaker on the passenger side that sounded a whole lot better. So now I am wondering if it could be one of 2 possible things:

1. I am wondering if maybe I got the +/- reversed, in my connection to the new speaker? If I did this, would it still have sound, just not sound as good as it should?
2. Do I need to get BOTH of the new speakers installed, before they will sound right?

Or is there something else I may be missing here?? Appreciate any info/thoughts.

Thanks!
--Brad
1) Don't accept blanket statements like, "You need an amp."

2) What year is your FJ in-dash unit?

3) What is the model number of your speakers?

4) Are the speakers brand new?

5) Did you use wiring harness adapters when connecting the new speakers to the stock FJ wiring?

6) Have you disconnected the dashboard POS speakers yet? It's easy - just pop off the grilles, unscrew the mounting screws and disconnect them at the speaker wiring harness.

7) Have you disconnected the POS headliner vibrator "exciter" thingies yet (if you have them)?

8) Do you have the basic FJ audio system or an upgraded one (with the factory subwoofer and/or rear speakers)?

9) When you say "worse" what exactly is worse? Is it the midrange, bass, treble, volume, etc? With just one speaker you can't test things like image and soundstage. Installing both speakers will make a difference.

10) What sort of music do you listen to? Classic rock, hip hop, rap, jazz, classical, etc.?

11) Are you listening to CD, MP3, WMA, FM, satellite radio?

Don't trust blanket answers from people who don't ask questions about your system and then explain their answers.

-FJ Florida-
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you FJ Florida!!! After reading through lots of posts the last few days, I saw a lot of solid info from you, so I was definitely hoping you'd chime in on this one... here are my answers to your Q's:

2. I've got a 2008 FJ.

3. The speakers are Focal Access 690 CA1.

4. They are brand new, out of the box. I scored them at Ultimate Electronics, normally they are $250, I got them for $150.

5. I did not get the Toyota wiring harness. I soldered them in myself.

6 and 7. I have not disconnected any other speakers yet. Are you saying I should disconnect all of the other speakers - the ones in the dashboard AND the ones in the ceiling ones??

8. Basic FJ audio system, no rear speakers

9. When I had the new speaker in the left side, then tested it out, I heard sound out of it, but no bass at all, very much just treble, and I had to tweak the volume up high to get anything that sounded "decent". That is what surprised me, is that basically, the stock speaker sounded a whole lot better than the new one I had just put in.

10, 11. I was just listening to radio for my tests - FM

I am guessing that it comes down to the fact that I have to install BOTH of the new speakers (and maybe disconnect the dashboard and ceiling speakers as well?) to hear decent sound... does that seem right? If I am putting in some nice, new 6x9 speakers, should I be disconnecting ALL the other speakers??

Thanks again for the input,
BeeeeeRad
 

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Thank you FJ Florida!!! After reading through lots of posts the last few days, I saw a lot of solid info from you, so I was definitely hoping you'd chime in on this one... here are my answers to your Q's:

2. I've got a 2008 FJ.

3. The speakers are Focal Access 690 CA1.

4. They are brand new, out of the box. I scored them at Ultimate Electronics, normally they are $250, I got them for $150.

5. I did not get the Toyota wiring harness. I soldered them in myself.

6 and 7. I have not disconnected any other speakers yet. Are you saying I should disconnect all of the other speakers - the ones in the dashboard AND the ones in the ceiling ones??

8. Basic FJ audio system, no rear speakers

9. When I had the new speaker in the left side, then tested it out, I heard sound out of it, but no bass at all, very much just treble, and I had to tweak the volume up high to get anything that sounded "decent". That is what surprised me, is that basically, the stock speaker sounded a whole lot better than the new one I had just put in.

10, 11. I was just listening to radio for my tests - FM

I am guessing that it comes down to the fact that I have to install BOTH of the new speakers (and maybe disconnect the dashboard and ceiling speakers as well?) to hear decent sound... does that seem right? If I am putting in some nice, new 6x9 speakers, should I be disconnecting ALL the other speakers??

Thanks again for the input,
BeeeeeRad

Hi! Glad to meet you! :cheers:

It's getting late here in FL (11:55 PM) so give me 48 hours or so to analyze this additional info.

In the mean time, you probably will see many people say "Add an amp" and "Trash the in dash unit." Don't make any sudden decisions, except that I would go ahead and install the other Focal door speaker, and research here as much as possible regarding the wire colors that indicate + and - for your model year FJ to make 100% sure the door speakers are wired correctly. I know the wire colors are posted here somewhere, but I don't know exactly where right now. Search, or maybe someone else here can post an assist?

-FJ Florida-
 

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I could be wrong as I haven't played with my Fj stereo in a while..... The speakers in the FJ is 8 ohms. The HU cannot handle it. My other guess is that the Focals is 4 ohms. Try and disconnect the speaker in the dash and see if the sound on the Focals improves. I'm sure someone with better knowledge will chime in on this thread. Good luck!
 

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Thank you FJ Florida!!! After reading through lots of posts the last few days, I saw a lot of solid info from you, so I was definitely hoping you'd chime in on this one... here are my answers to your Q's:

2. I've got a 2008 FJ.

3. The speakers are Focal Access 690 CA1.

4. They are brand new, out of the box. I scored them at Ultimate Electronics, normally they are $250, I got them for $150.

5. I did not get the Toyota wiring harness. I soldered them in myself.

6 and 7. I have not disconnected any other speakers yet. Are you saying I should disconnect all of the other speakers - the ones in the dashboard AND the ones in the ceiling ones??

8. Basic FJ audio system, no rear speakers

9. When I had the new speaker in the left side, then tested it out, I heard sound out of it, but no bass at all, very much just treble, and I had to tweak the volume up high to get anything that sounded "decent". That is what surprised me, is that basically, the stock speaker sounded a whole lot better than the new one I had just put in.

10, 11. I was just listening to radio for my tests - FM

I am guessing that it comes down to the fact that I have to install BOTH of the new speakers (and maybe disconnect the dashboard and ceiling speakers as well?) to hear decent sound... does that seem right? If I am putting in some nice, new 6x9 speakers, should I be disconnecting ALL the other speakers??

Thanks again for the input,
BeeeeeRad
Nice speakers. I looked at their specifications online at Focal's website today. Looking at the speaker on paper, it looks like it may be a little bright in the treble for the FJ, which has a lot of hard reflective interior surfaces and not much sound absorption. They may sound a little light on the bass and a little heavy on the treble, but given the fact that the tweeters will be almost on the floor, even though you can angle them up, a little extra treble may turn out to be a good thing overall.

Fortunately, your Focal 6x9 coaxial speakers are moderately sensitive, hitting 89 dB at 1 watt at one meter across most of their frequency range. The factory spec of 91 dB at 1 watt at 1 meter seems a tad overstated because it is skewed by peaks in the treble. Unfortunately, the stock in dash unit probably isn't going to put out much more than about 10 or 15 watts per channel on a continuous basis (I don't care what its rating actually is). With that said, I can say for sure that with the factory in dash unit, your speakers will never play loud. In fact, if you push them very hard, the amplifier that is built into your factory in dash unit will "clip" which means it loses control over what it is reproducing and starts to produce distorted sound and current that can damage even really good speakers. So, be careful while you are using the factory in dash unit.

Speaker impedence is not an issue for you right now. The factory speakers are 8 ohm in the dash and 4 ohm in the door for approximately 2.66 ohms overall in the front. Your Focal speakers are 4 ohms, which is fine.

Next, what is your overall budget? Can you afford a new head end unit? If so, can you also afford an amplifier, not necessarily a huge one, to go along with it?

Since you already have the speakers, I would begin by installing both of them in the door locations. Make sure you have a good fit between the speaker and the door. Any air leaks from the back of the speaker to the front will kill your bass in a hurry. Foam weather stripping often helps assure a good seal. As you install the speakers, try to stick some Dynamat onto the exposed sheet metal around the speakers. Dynamat is expensive stuff, but it does not neccessarily take a whole lot of it because Dynamat is so good at killing vibration, even if only part of the metal is covered. Don't waste scraps of Dynamat. You always can stick scraps somewhere. Even scraps will deaden a significant area around them. Good stuff.

As you install the speakers, make sure you have them wired properly. I found the color codes below for the wires on this site (no guarantees), or you can order a pair of wiring harness adapters from Crutchfield just to make sure. Please post what colors you wire to each terminal.

Driver's side
+ Red/Blue (or possibly pink)
- Blue

Passenger's side
+ Red
- White

The next thing you will want to do is unplug the dash speakers. They are crummy paper 2.5" 8 ohm sort-of tweeters (but not really). You don't need them junking up your sound. If you carefully pry the grilles up (don't use a screwdriver - I use a plastic putty knife to prevent damaging the plastic) they are easy to unscrew and unplug. You can take them out or leave them there, but unplug them.

The next thing you will want to do is turn off the vibrating headliner exciter thingies. They sound exactly like what they are - vibrators attempting to make sound by vibrating the fabric covered hardboard headliner. Not good. Not good at all. If they are the only thing on your rear channels, you can simply fade all the way to the front. However, if you want to use the rear channels for other speakers (like I did) you will need to cut the wires to them. There are various posts on the forum here discussing how to disable them.

Always use a very good quality CD for testing the system. Don't use FM, MP3, or WMA. If you don't have any high quality "audiophile-type" recordings, any high end home audio shop can help you pick one or two. Depending on what type of music you like, I probably could give you a few recommendations, as long as it isn't rap or hip hop.

Start there and see what happens. Also, decide what your overall budget for the system is because I think you are going to want and need some more system upgrades to get those nice Focal 6x9 coaxials to sing the way you want them too. When you decide on a budget, post it, and we can offer further advice from there. Also be sure to keep us posted with your progress and experience as you go. If you have any questions or run into any snags, just post them here.

-FJ Florida-
 

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Nice speakers. I looked at their specifications online at Focal's website today. Looking at the speaker on paper, it looks like it may be a little bright in the treble for the FJ, which has a lot of hard reflective interior surfaces and not much sound absorption. They may sound a little light on the bass and a little heavy on the treble, but given the fact that the tweeters will be almost on the floor, even though you can angle them up, a little extra treble may turn out to be a good thing overall.

Fortunately, your Focal 6x9 coaxial speakers are moderately sensitive, hitting 89 dB at 1 watt at one meter across most of their frequency range. The factory spec of 91 dB at 1 watt at 1 meter seems a tad overstated because it is skewed by peaks in the treble. Unfortunately, the stock in dash unit probably isn't going to put out much more than about 10 or 15 watts per channel on a continuous basis (I don't care what its rating actually is). With that said, I can say for sure that with the factory in dash unit, your speakers will never play loud. In fact, if you push them very hard, the amplifier that is built into your factory in dash unit will "clip" which means it loses control over what it is reproducing and starts to produce distorted sound and current that can damage even really good speakers. So, be careful while you are using the factory in dash unit.

Speaker impedence is not an issue for you right now. The factory speakers are 8 ohm in the dash and 4 ohm in the door for approximately 2.66 ohms overall in the front. Your Focal speakers are 4 ohms, which is fine.

Next, what is your overall budget? Can you afford a new head end unit? If so, can you also afford an amplifier, not necessarily a huge one, to go along with it?

Since you already have the speakers, I would begin by installing both of them in the door locations. Make sure you have a good fit between the speaker and the door. Any air leaks from the back of the speaker to the front will kill your bass in a hurry. Foam weather stripping often helps assure a good seal. As you install the speakers, try to stick some Dynamat onto the exposed sheet metal around the speakers. Dynamat is expensive stuff, but it does not neccessarily take a whole lot of it because Dynamat is so good at killing vibration, even if only part of the metal is covered. Don't waste scraps of Dynamat. You always can stick scraps somewhere. Even scraps will deaden a significant area around them. Good stuff.

As you install the speakers, make sure you have them wired properly. I found the color codes below for the wires on this site (no guarantees), or you can order a pair of wiring harness adapters from Crutchfield just to make sure. Please post what colors you wire to each terminal.

Driver's side
+ Red/Blue (or possibly pink)
- Blue

Passenger's side
+ Red
- White

The next thing you will want to do is unplug the dash speakers. They are crummy paper 2.5" 8 ohm sort-of tweeters (but not really). You don't need them junking up your sound. If you carefully pry the grilles up (don't use a screwdriver - I use a plastic putty knife to prevent damaging the plastic) they are easy to unscrew and unplug. You can take them out or leave them there, but unplug them.

The next thing you will want to do is turn off the vibrating headliner exciter thingies. They sound exactly like what they are - vibrators attempting to make sound by vibrating the fabric covered hardboard headliner. Not good. Not good at all. If they are the only thing on your rear channels, you can simply fade all the way to the front. However, if you want to use the rear channels for other speakers (like I did) you will need to cut the wires to them. There are various posts on the forum here discussing how to disable them.

Always use a very good quality CD for testing the system. Don't use FM, MP3, or WMA. If you don't have any high quality "audiophile-type" recordings, any high end home audio shop can help you pick one or two. Depending on what type of music you like, I probably could give you a few recommendations, as long as it isn't rap or hip hop.

Start there and see what happens. Also, decide what your overall budget for the system is because I think you are going to want and need some more system upgrades to get those nice Focal 6x9 coaxials to sing the way you want them too. When you decide on a budget, post it, and we can offer further advice from there. Also be sure to keep us posted with your progress and experience as you go. If you have any questions or run into any snags, just post them here.

-FJ Florida-
Excelent advise...

But BE CAREFULL!!! The mod bug can bite a little bit harder with sound system upgrades (at least for me)

I started out just like you, i upgraded the OEM 6x9s in the front with some pioneers. I was hoping for a substantial increase in sound quality only to find out that I really didnt get any difference in sound quality at all!

After doing some research i found that adding a head unit not only gives more power to the speakers, but also, gives you better tuning options. Apparently there is more to sound than treble and bass. Theres sound frequensies, low pass filters, high pass filters ect.... So i upgraded my head unit to Kenwood Excelon KDC-X395 CD receiver at Crutchfield Signature I got a nice boost in sound quality however, i felt it still lacked. By the way, crutchfield.com is the only place i will go to buy my sound products. They have been awesome to work with

After doing some more research, i found that adding a subwoofer can add depth to the music. I always thought that a subwoofer is just for people who like rap music and want everybody to hear them coming down the street.
Well, i gave it a try... my cousin had two Rodferd Fosgate subs and an amp. We built a custom speaker box.... http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/stereo-electronics-electrical/126069-mt-sub-box.html

I used his amp to power my pioneer 6x9s and a sound ordnance M1350 to power my subs Sound Ordnance™ M-1350 Mono subwoofer amplifier — 350 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms - Reviews at Crutchfield.com

Im not much of a base guy however, when I adjust the bass just right, my system sounds awesome. I used the other amp to power my 6x9s. It made a huge difference in sound clarity, exactly what I wanted. My next upgrade will be the dash speakers...maybe tweeters....maybe rear pillars, see what i mean? This mod bug just kills me!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thank you SO MUCH for the great info and input, to FJ Florida and Jas12682!! It is great to have some guys that provide some hands-on, experienced advice! I was hoping to get back to you sooner on this, but I wasn't able to make any "progress" on this until yesterday. After reading through lots of forum posts, and most importantly your replies, my plan is to go ahead and get my Focals installed, then take it from there.

So I was able to get the door panels off, and I was following the advice I saw in the post about using the existing "brackets" from the stock paper 6x9's that come with it (http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...08215-how-install-new-6x9-speakers-doors.html). I pulled them out, cut out the crappy paper speakers, and while trying to set my new Focals into this bracket, they don't quite sit flush. I soldered them in, then screwed them into the doors. Attaching some pics.







When I tried to put the door panel back on, it wouldn't quite snap on - I could tell that the speaker was sitting out too far. So at this point I wasn't sure if it was because the speaker was sitting out too far, or because the "flange" on the door panel was too big, or a combination of both. Poking around in the forums, I see some folks that have mentioned that they have cut back on the flange on the door panel, so I assume this is OK to do??

I also made a quick call to Crutchfield, to get their input on potential brackets that may make this easier. The guy pretty quickly explained how although Focals are great speakers, they do NOT do well with the stock stereo. He said he's seen it several times before, that a customer ordered Focal speakers, installed them with the headunit, then ended up returning them because they sounded crappy... not good news!!!

However, I bought my Focals at the Ultimate Electronics going out of business sale, so there are no returns... and I've already destroyed one of the stock paper 6x9's, so it's forward or bust!!!

So again, my plan is to try and get the Focal 6x9's installed and working, and I'll go ahead and disconnect the dash tweeters and roof speakers. At that point, it will only be the Focals in the door, and I'm HOPING they sound decent.

But I'm guessing you guys are right, that the "mod bug will bite hard"... I really didn't go into this thing with any kind of budget for a new soundsystem. It was simply the fact that I saw these nice 6x9 Focals at a great price, and I thought what the hell, let's upgrade my stock speakers in the doors... now it's looking like I may need to also upgrade the stereo, and slap in an amp as well...

I guess I'm OK with that, as long as I don't have to dish out too much cash. If I could get a new stereo and amp for around $200-250, I'd be OK with it. The Crutchfield guy was suggesting an Alpine head unit, coupled with their "KTP445 Head Unit Power Pack", which looks like sort of a pseudo-amp? I'm thinking if I'm gonna go that route, might as well get a full on amp... appreciate any input on this. also, if I get an actual amp, where do you typically install it?

Anyway... as of today, I still have not been able to get the Focals installed, as I don't know if I should try and do one (or more) of the following:
- further modify the plastic harness that I cut the old speaker out of, to try and get it to sit more flush.
- cut out some of the flange on the door panel
- order a bracket from Crutchfield - when I spoke to the guy at Crutchfield, he said that I'd still have to modify their bracket to get it to work, so I don't think it makes sense to do this?

Again, thanks for the input so far, and appreciate any more advice you may have...

--Beerad
 

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Thank you SO MUCH for the great info and input, to FJ Florida and Jas12682!! It is great to have some guys that provide some hands-on, experienced advice! I was hoping to get back to you sooner on this, but I wasn't able to make any "progress" on this until yesterday. After reading through lots of forum posts, and most importantly your replies, my plan is to go ahead and get my Focals installed, then take it from there.

So I was able to get the door panels off, and I was following the advice I saw in the post about using the existing "brackets" from the stock paper 6x9's that come with it (http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...08215-how-install-new-6x9-speakers-doors.html). I pulled them out, cut out the crappy paper speakers, and while trying to set my new Focals into this bracket, they don't quite sit flush. I soldered them in, then screwed them into the doors. Attaching some pics.

When I tried to put the door panel back on, it wouldn't quite snap on - I could tell that the speaker was sitting out too far. So at this point I wasn't sure if it was because the speaker was sitting out too far, or because the "flange" on the door panel was too big, or a combination of both. Poking around in the forums, I see some folks that have mentioned that they have cut back on the flange on the door panel, so I assume this is OK to do??

I also made a quick call to Crutchfield, to get their input on potential brackets that may make this easier. The guy pretty quickly explained how although Focals are great speakers, they do NOT do well with the stock stereo. He said he's seen it several times before, that a customer ordered Focal speakers, installed them with the headunit, then ended up returning them because they sounded crappy... not good news!!!

Anyway... as of today, I still have not been able to get the Focals installed, as I don't know if I should try and do one (or more) of the following:

- further modify the plastic harness that I cut the old speaker out of, to try and get it to sit more flush.
- cut out some of the flange on the door panel
- order a bracket from Crutchfield - when I spoke to the guy at Crutchfield, he said that I'd still have to modify their bracket to get it to work, so I don't think it makes sense to do this?

Again, thanks for the input so far, and appreciate any more advice you may have...

--Beerad
I have no idea on Earth why those Focal speakers are not fitting flush and true up against the plastic where the old speakers were cut out, unless either: 1) The frames of the speakers were bent when you bought them, or 2) The screws mounting the speakers are overtightened, distorting and possibly bending the speaker frames permanently, which would affect voice coil alignment and suspension and destroy the speakers' sound forever. My Rockford Fosgate 6x9's fit perfectly flush and true, as did the Infinity speakers in the thread I used for reference when I did mine.

Yes, you will need to trim the flange inside the door panels to get the door panels to fit back on (see link below). I am much, much more deeply concerned about the speaker frames not fitting flush though. I recommend immediately using a perfect straight edge on the Toyota plastic old speaker frames and on the Focal speaker frames to see if either is deformed. Please post your findings, as I think they are absolutely critical.

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/stereo-electronics-electrical/122575-2011-audio-mod.html ... "If you use the factory speakers to manufacture your own brackets, just be sure not to overtighten the 2.5" screws that mount the new speakers to the sheet metal of the door. Overtightening could distort the speaker frames."

I have been a Crutchfield customer since ... I dunno ... like 1986 (25 years - scary)? For now at least, I would ignore them. Work with what you have first - especially why the speakers are not fitting flush.

Interesting side note: Crutchfield's techs from the basement of their headquarters in Charlottesville, VA actually worked (several times) on one of my amateur IASCA competition installations in 1990 when I had an alternator whine issue that defied the laws of physics. I took it to the headquarters in Charlottesville, and the techs came outside and gave it a complete anal exam on several occasions to try to figure out the problem. I've been inside their call center and worked in person with their technicians. I love Crutchfield, but for now, let's work with what you have and answer the question about why the speakers are not mounting flush.

-FJ Florida-
 

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This is awesome, I just installed 6.5" polks today. The 6x9 to 6.5 conversion plates would not fit so I did the same thing. I used the existing bracket. I have a Pioneer 3100DVD head unit and I also installed 4" coaxial polks in the dash. I disconnected the speakers in the headliner. It sounds great. Dynamat is a must. From working with that a few times strips of the material work awesome if you only have a small amount. I had no problems putting my door covers back on.
I ALMOST want to suggest either
1) (if you are skilled) You could cut one inch around those brackets if you had a perfect level mark to use. It is possible. The plastic is quite soft.
or:
2) I have had issues with installing door speakers before. Ive made a form out of 1" plywood and drilled that onto the door, after I cut out the template for the speakers.

Your pics look good...I never changed anything and it fits.
Make sure nothing else is in the way. Sometimes the door panels can flex a bit. After my handle is back on, i start from the top....insert the two screw and work from the sides down. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi all,

OK, after looking at this again, I finally have some GOOD news! I don't know if this was a "newbie" mistake or not, but when I was taking the bracket from the stock speaker, there was a good portion of "lip" around the edge that I had to cut out, for my new 6x9 speaker to sit flush.

Here's a picture of the bracket before I cut anything out:


And after I trimmed out the edge:


Once I had cut that part out, then the speaker sat in nice and flush and clean!!! Beautiful...

Then I went ahead and installed them into each door:




I also cut back a little bit of the flange on the door panel, and it fit on just fine.

Then I disconnected the 2 "tweeters" in the dash, and faded the stereo up to the front, so at this point, it was not putting any power to the roof speakers, and ONLY using my new Focal 6x9's, and it sounded pretty decent!!! Not great, but good...

So at this point I'm pleased, but not "blown away". And now I guess I'll have to figure out what the next step is - could I start with just a new stereo, I'm assuming that alone would make a nice difference? And beyond that, add in an amp, and I'm sure that would kick it up another step?? And of course, I'd love to get a nice subwoofer at some point..

is it "best" to get all these components at once - new stereo, amp and subwoofer?? Or can I space them out, one at a time?

Again, I really appreciate all the input and advice!! These forums are invaluable...

--Beerad
 

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I think there are two different ways to go about it.

1- If you like the look of your stock head unit, i know crutchfield has some options to add components to your stock system. However i have not looked in depth at this option.

2- replace the head unit with after market, if you do this, your 6x9s will receive more power and sound better

FJ FLorida is right though, take your time and adress one problem at a time. Researching car audio upgrades can be very exciting. I think i went a little fast at times with my ordering. For example, i ordered some pioneer 6x9s when i looked at the HOW TO INSTALL 6x9s thread(Just like what you did) only to find out that a 6.5 inch component speaker system with tweeters is the better option. Im calling frys today for there return policy. Im thinking that for 250-300 you can get an amp and head unit no problem. Crutchfield is a great place to start!
 

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Hi all,

OK, after looking at this again, I finally have some GOOD news! I don't know if this was a "newbie" mistake or not, but when I was taking the bracket from the stock speaker, there was a good portion of "lip" around the edge that I had to cut out, for my new 6x9 speaker to sit flush.

Once I had cut that part out, then the speaker sat in nice and flush and clean!!! Beautiful...

I also cut back a little bit of the flange on the door panel, and it fit on just fine.

Then I disconnected the 2 "tweeters" in the dash, and faded the stereo up to the front, so at this point, it was not putting any power to the roof speakers, and ONLY using my new Focal 6x9's, and it sounded pretty decent!!! Not great, but good...

So at this point I'm pleased, but not "blown away". And now I guess I'll have to figure out what the next step is - could I start with just a new stereo, I'm assuming that alone would make a nice difference? And beyond that, add in an amp, and I'm sure that would kick it up another step?? And of course, I'd love to get a nice subwoofer at some point..

is it "best" to get all these components at once - new stereo, amp and subwoofer?? Or can I space them out, one at a time?

Again, I really appreciate all the input and advice!! These forums are invaluable...

--Beerad
I am very glad the speakers are sitting flush now. I am glad to hear that the speaker frames were not bent.

Putting some Dynamat on the sheet metal behind the door panels, and also some on the plastic door panels themselves would be my next step if you did not already. It does not take much, which is good because Dynamat isn't cheap.

So, what's next? I think you are at a crossroads as far as budget and effort.

If it were me, I would do two things at once: 1) Upgrade the in dash unit with a good quality one that has decent power. You could spend anywhere from $350 to over $1,000, and I do like Crutchfield. They may not be the lowest price, but factor in all the installation stuff they include, plus reputation, plus their tech support, and I find Crutchfield to be a good value overall. Get an in dash unit with preamp outputs so you can add an amp later if you want. 2) Preferably at the same time as the new in dash unit, I would do a custom install of the matching Focal 6.5's in the rear seat side panels. There are threads here about that install location. You can install 6.5"s in the rear seat side panels with a custom kit (or DIY). I think that would be a valuable addition. The Focal 6.5's are pricey at $200, and that installation location is going to be a bit tough, requiring cutting holes in the side panels of the FJ and running new wiring, but I think they would add a lot in combination with a new head end unit.

Amazon.com: Focal Access 165 CA1 6.5-Inch Coaxial Speaker Kit: Electronics


Then add an amplifier, or do it with the new in dash if you have the time and money to do the head end unit, amp, and rear seat 6.5's all at once.

Finally, add sub(s) if you are willing to give up the space, which I am not. Or, again, do head end unit, amp, rear seat 6.5's, and a sub(s) all at once, but that is a whole lot of work and time and money to do it right all at once. Plus, if you do it all at once, and you are not happy, it's much harder to troubleshoot why you are not happy because so many changes are made at once. If you go one step at a time and all of the sudden it doesn't sound right, you know exactly what changed. So, I like to install one thing or two at a time, then test and tweak for a while, and then move on to the next step after I am sure what I have already done is right. I like an incremental approach, but it requires patience. Patience is no problem if you are like me and have to wait while you save your money for a while to buy good stuff (like my brand new FJ, :lol:). When I pay off the FJ and then put away enough money to retire, then I will spend a few thousand on audio components for the FJ.

One more piece of advice: You are using high end speakers from Focal. Don't skimp on the rest of the components, and that includes top notch wiring - RCA wires to the amp(s), power and ground for the amp(s) and head end unit, and new wiring to the speakers instead of the factory wiring. Buy what you can afford one step at a time rather than compromising on the quality of what you buy trying to get more things all at once rather than top notch stuff one piece at a time. It's very easy to ruin a high end system by installing high end gear but putting one "not-so-good" component in the audio chain.

My 2 cents. Let us know how it goes.

-FJ Florida-
 

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^^^ x2 on dynamat or an equivelant. If you replace the head unit you probably won't NEED to run an amp. I have a pair of Sony 6x9, and a pair of JBL 3" in the dash running off deck power. At some point I'll amp them but they sound a lot better than the stock stuff. It wouldn't take a big amp either. I'll probably get the same Kenwood I'm powering my sub with. It was only about $60 on Amazon. You can get a decent head unit for around $130. Well within your budget. :cheers:
 

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Note that for people considering this who have 2011s, the XM antenna and USB/AUX inputs are likely incompatible with third party head end units so if you want an amp your best bet is probably one with speaker-level inputs.
 

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Note that for people considering this who have 2011s, the XM antenna and USB/AUX inputs are likely incompatible with third party head end units so if you want an amp your best bet is probably one with speaker-level inputs.
Yep. Trashing the stock 2011 Toyota in dash leads to a whole lot of issues, which is why I spent so much time trying to preserve it and still get some accurate sound. Steering wheel audio control interface. Steering wheel BlueTooth interface. USB/IPOD/IPhone interface. XM connection. Of course there are various options available to deal with each problem, but I don't want to deal with it right now.

Speaker level to line (RCA) level converters introduce a whole host of various distortions, but for anyone who has to have more power than the stock 2011 in dash without replacing it, I guess it would be an option. At that point, I think I would just save my money, take it to a good audio shop, and have them replace the in dash unit as best they could ... and I am sure it would not be cheap with all the compatibility issues just mentioned.

Anyone with experience replacing the new 2011 in-dash unit, please post it. Thanks!

-FJ Florida-
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Again, thanks so much for all the great info, guys!! I think I'll take the advice, and do it a step at a time. At this point, I am gonna replace the head unit with something that puts out a little more power - I'm sure that will make the Focal 6x9's sound a LOT better! My brother-in-law works at Ultimate Electronics, which is doing their big "going out of business" sale (that's how I scored the Focals cheap), so he's trying to score me a sweet Alpine double-din touch screen. If that doesn't work out, I'll look on Crutchfield. And following the advice above, I'll try to make sure I get one with the preamp outputs, to accommodate future enhancements...

Two quick questions about the Dynamat:
1. Where do you get it? Is that the kind of thing they'd have at a Best Buy or Car Toys? Or do I have to go to more of a specialty store, or any good online deals?
2. I'm still a little uncertain of exactly where it should be going - should I be taking the speakers out of the door, and putting it in behind them? Or should I be putting it on the metal around the speakers?? Any more info on this (pics?) would be great!!

Thanks guys...

--Beerad
 

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You can find Dynamat at Best Buy or any car audio shop in your area, however, as with everyting else, you are paying full retail. I literally saved 50% by ordering from Amazon.

They sell it in kits, such as door kits, hood kits, etc., but the bulk backs are a better bargain and easier to install than a "one-size fits all" kit.

It seems like you have stumbled into the audio upgrade trap! These guys have offered better advice on the technical stuff than I can, but I would caution you to be realistic. I would always keep your budget in the back of your mind and don't go over board. You went from just upgrading your door speakers because you found a great deal on speakers, to shopping for dynamat...that is a big step and it is easy to get caught up in it.

I love my music, and I knew I was going to upgrade as soon as I heard the stock system, but had never installed any car audio before. I ended up with 6.5 components, new head unit, all the wiring, 2 10" subs in a Wicked CAS box, 2 amps, and a ton of dynamat & dynaliner. It was a blast taking everything apart and installing it all and it turned out great. I spent a ton of money and time, but I love it! I went into it knowing what I wanted to do and still blew past my budget...
 

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Again, thanks so much for all the great info, guys!! I think I'll take the advice, and do it a step at a time. At this point, I am gonna replace the head unit with something that puts out a little more power - I'm sure that will make the Focal 6x9's sound a LOT better! My brother-in-law works at Ultimate Electronics, which is doing their big "going out of business" sale (that's how I scored the Focals cheap), so he's trying to score me a sweet Alpine double-din touch screen. If that doesn't work out, I'll look on Crutchfield. And following the advice above, I'll try to make sure I get one with the preamp outputs, to accommodate future enhancements...

Two quick questions about the Dynamat:
1. Where do you get it? Is that the kind of thing they'd have at a Best Buy or Car Toys? Or do I have to go to more of a specialty store, or any good online deals?
2. I'm still a little uncertain of exactly where it should be going - should I be taking the speakers out of the door, and putting it in behind them? Or should I be putting it on the metal around the speakers?? Any more info on this (pics?) would be great!!

Thanks guys...

--Beerad
Amazon.com: Dynamat 10435 Xtreme Door Kit 4 Sheets: Automotive


Dynamat the sheet metal around the speakers inside the FJ when you remove the door panels. Also stick some on the insides of the plastic door panels where you can. It does not take a whole lot. Also, I took the liner out of the cargo area (easy to do - see my thread 2011 Audio Mod) and applied Dynamat to the sheet metal of the entire cargo area. A lot of noise was coming from back there.

I've looked at the Alpine Double DIN touchscreen at Crutchfield and wish I could afford it. It was something like $1,000 I think.

-FJ Florida-
 
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