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Scion xB 2nd-Gen ICE & Interior In-car entertainment and electronics...

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Old 08-30-2007, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Stock stereo + better speakers?

Hi all,

I have an '08 xB and quite a bit of experience installing stereos. But, to be honest, I'm feeling a bit lazy lately and I really don't want to rip my whole new car apart to put in a big system. The stock head unit is loud enough for me (I have sensitive ears) but it crushes the hell out of the mid-range which is annoying the heck out of me.

I'm wondering, if I were to swap out the stock speakers for some really high-efficiency multi-way ones, would it make a huge difference? I'm not opposed to getting the premium unit put in if that would help as well.

My main goal is a clean sound that gives a good reproduction of the source material. Is this a feasable option?

Thanks in advance for the advice, I'm really enjoying being part of the boards here at scionlife

Jeff
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:08 AM   #2
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My bad for not searching enough before posting.. after manually perusing the forum for a bit I did find a similar thread. Bigfieroman seemed to answer my question.. I may try his Polk 651s solution in the near future. Hopefully that will satisfy me enough to not spend a fortune redoing the whole thing
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:39 AM   #3
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I just put in the avic-d3 in my b2, and total night and day difference in the factory speakers. They sound a ton better, to where im going to delay replacing them. Just my .02
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:50 AM   #4
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That's an awesome HU, surely.. but I don't have that kind of cash to throw around atm We just bought two 08 xBs and I'm kinda tapped. I just want something that will give me enough of a boost to get rid of the "thin" sound without breaking the bank.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:25 AM   #5
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Just had my Polk's arrive just the other day, they will be going in this weekend, I went with teh db650 for the rear and the db6500 component for the front. Had the same in my xA and loved em.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:28 AM   #6
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EDIT

How bout this (and I didnt bother reading what you wrote) since arguing with you guys is liking arguing with retards ...

Just change your speakers, it will make your stereo sound amazing! Who needs 2/4 Channel amps? Why do they even make them? The almighty powerful 160w Pioneer stock stereo will supply your $200-300 component speakers with more than enough power to make your car into a SQ and DB champion.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:26 PM   #7
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even a sony xplod deck would be good to do that, probably about the same as 4 good speakers. Pluse a lot easier to install
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:29 PM   #8
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Is it worth sacrificing the on-wheel controls and stock iPod/aux inputs for that though? I dont really want to lose those features.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:33 PM   #9
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I used the PAC SWI-PS with my pioneer and it allows me to keep my steering wheel buttons. It runs about 50 bucks
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:42 PM   #10
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I have my Zune hooked into my aux via a dash-mounted docking station atm. I'd probably have to drill holes in the dash to run it into the back of a new HU if I were to install one
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:13 PM   #11
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The "DSP" functionality of the stock xB and xB2 HUs are well known for not being the cleanest on the planet and for producing some odd quality sound reproduction. Replacing the stock HU with a better unit will make a dramatic improvement in overall sound quality as well as produced frequency range, thereby resolving your concern without having to pull the door panels to replace factory speakers that really are not all that bad. If you are searching for crystal clear, well-defined audio imaging and stage, then you should start concerning yourself with replacing it all, but if you are just interested in filling out the sound, start by replacing the factory HU.
As someone stated earlier, PAC makes several interfaces that allow you to maintain your steering wheel controls, so loss of steering wheel interface functionality is not a concern.
Even though the premium HU is nice, you would be much better off spending the $400 on a better aftermarket HU.
You should have no problem getting by with a clean install of an aftermarket HU, even with the use of the aux interface, with a little clever wire running and basic plan.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:30 PM   #12
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At the risk of starting some kind of holy war, which I have no intention of doing I have to ask if you have any proof that a new radio will create a more noticeable change in sound quality than new speakers? The reason I ask is simple, imagine installing a cheap $99 dollar head unit in the xB, and all the parts needed to keep is as close to factory function as possible would also require a $50 iPod add on, the $50 Pac SWC, and $30 in kits and harnesses, for a grand total of $230 bucks. Let alone if this guy has SAT radio as that is a bare min of $100 itself making it $330. Keeping in mind this expense still only gets you the $99 cheapy radio. Now lets look at what kind of speakers you could buy with that same money, or even if we trim clear back to only the $99 originally spoke of for the radio itself. You will always get a larger return on investment on speakers up to the point of the law of diminishing returns than electronics will afford you, especailly when you are giving up all the function that the factory has already provided.

Remember your ears hear the speakers, not the electronics, the cost to make a difference in sound quality of electronics is much higher than the cost to make better sound from a speaker. If you want to put this to the test run into any store and listen to a set of $99 speakers, and compare them to a pair of $250 speakers and tell me if you can hear the difference. Then take any one set of speakers and compare two different source units and see if you can hear the difference.

The speakers will make the most cost effective sound quality change for you.

I will also say as UV7 eluded to, if this is a money is no object deal, then you may be able to hear a slight difference is a $99 head unit to a $400 head unit, but that is still a double the cost, for half the return of the speakers, in this case.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:58 PM   #13
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EDIT

How bout this (and I didnt bother reading what you wrote) since arguing with you guys is liking arguing with retards ...

Just change your speakers, it will make your stereo sound amazing! Who needs 2/4 Channel amps? Why do they even make them? The almighty powerful 160w Pioneer stock stereo will supply your $200-300 component speakers with more than enough power to make your car into a SQ and DB champion.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMirthfulScion
My bad for not searching enough before posting.. after manually perusing the forum for a bit I did find a similar thread. Bigfieroman seemed to answer my question.. I may try his Polk 651s solution in the near future. Hopefully that will satisfy me enough to not spend a fortune redoing the whole thing
Be aware, I already had an AVIC-D3 installed at the time of the speaker replacement; but thanks for the mention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L4rry_B1rd
= waste of money.

Get a better HU and the stock speakers will sound much richer and fuller. The stock speakers arent bad (they are not paper cones) but the stock HU is weak.
Wait, when did you buy a 2008 xB?
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:09 PM   #15
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I have the premium H/U bought it used for much less than factory cost, then sold my old one on ebay.

My premium H/U ends up costing me less than $200, all functions RCA outs, ability to set all Freq flat, retain all oem functions and looks completely stock.

I would start with something like that. Add a small and and speakers. Honestly your could probably get it all done pretty cheap.... also best investment is to sound deaden your doors
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:16 PM   #16
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EDIT

How bout this (and I didnt bother reading what you wrote) since arguing with you guys is liking arguing with retards ...

Just change your speakers, it will make your stereo sound amazing! Who needs 2/4 Channel amps? Why do they even make them? The almighty powerful 160w Pioneer stock stereo will supply your $200-300 component speakers with more than enough power to make your car into a SQ and DB champion.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L4rry_B1rd
Well considering the stock HU is tuned specifically to the stock speakers, changing the speakers makes no difference. The HU will continue to feed the same frequencies and provide the same SQ whether the speakers are stock or aftermarket. Moreover, the stock HU puts out 6w RMS at the most and is setup to not push the speakers at all. So no matter what speakers you have, 6w RMS is junk.

On the other hand, AM HU's provide around 20-30w RMS and are designed with more SQ in mind. They will push your speakers no matter if they are stock or AM, as opposed to the stock HU. They also have more SQ functions and provide actual tuning ability meaning you can tune your stock speakers to sound better.

A system is only as good as its source. It is always best to invest in the best HU possible because it will inherently make the rest of your system sound better. If that system consists of stock speakers, then it will make the stock speakers better.

Having experience with AM HU's paired with stock speakers in both my tC, xB and my friends xA, changing the HU will give you the most bang for your buck.
Exactly! While I will not argue the logic that your ears ultimately hear the speakers, I can say, with plenty of experience in car audio, that providing adequate source to good quality amplification is the key to a GREAT audio system. Unfortunately, the stock HU does not provide, in my personal opinion, adequate source, nor ample enough amplification for a good quality audio system. What it does is attempt to make up for its tremendous lack of clean power with makeshift DSP features and goofy attempts at EQ settings, which are just bizarre when you consider what an EQ was actually designed to accomplish, which is to allow creation of a balance from natural losses and gains due to reflection and absorption of certain frequency ranges due to varying material types and surfaces within the confines of the cabin of the vehicle.
The stock HU's lack of power often causes the user to overcompensate on volume, thereby causing distortion, which yields ugly sound quality.
Replacing the HU with a more powerful, better designed HU will provide a dramatic step forward in sound quality as well as a significant change in stereo image and stage due to an increase in RMS power without the quirks of ridiculous DSP features that do not accomplish a worthy goal. This gain, as well as the HUGE increase in growth possibilities of the system makes the aftermarket HU a MUCH bigger bang for the buck.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:32 AM   #18
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Thanks for the advice all. I think I'm going to forego all stereo modifications and just deal with it. I really wanted to avoid having to do a bunch of hackjob creative wiring and dash modification to put in a new HU. Crutchfield says :

» To install this product, you’ll have to modify your vehicle.
» You will need to fabricate a mounting kit in order to install your new receiver.
» If the factory radio is replaced, the factory AUX input connection will be lost.

Fabricating a mounting kit is a little beyond what I feel like doing at the present time. If adding new speakers won't help, then I'll just say forget it and wait till my ears get used to it LOL
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L4rry_B1rd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfieroman
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMirthfulScion
My bad for not searching enough before posting.. after manually perusing the forum for a bit I did find a similar thread. Bigfieroman seemed to answer my question.. I may try his Polk 651s solution in the near future. Hopefully that will satisfy me enough to not spend a fortune redoing the whole thing
Be aware, I already had an AVIC-D3 installed at the time of the speaker replacement; but thanks for the mention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L4rry_B1rd
= waste of money.

Get a better HU and the stock speakers will sound much richer and fuller. The stock speakers arent bad (they are not paper cones) but the stock HU is weak.
Wait, when did you buy a 2008 xB?
What does this have to do with xB2?

Stock HU is the same, and the speakers in the doors are the same as xA, xB and tC. Just because they changed the look to the HU doesnt mean its some holy HU that provides massive improvement. Its a free HU, enough said.

As someone else mentioned, if he switches to the Premium HU that may or may not improve his SQ. I have no experience with the Premium HU but it sounds like it does provide features and functions that are normally found in AM HU's.

Well, first of all, the rear speakers do have a paper cone. I held one in my hand and felt it; it is defiantly pressed paper fiber.

Second, how do you know that all they did with the HUs was make them look different? The 2008s are advertised as being 160w (I assume that is max, of course.) Did the old HU have the same spec? Have you listened to both in the same car? (tC for instance) Also, assuming 160w is accurate, that would give an RMS wattage of 17w/channel if it is like EVERY other 40w max HU Pioneer makes. Even if they were LYING about the 160w max figure, and it was ~100w max, that would still yield about 10w rms...if they flat-out lied about the output. I wasn't aware of anyone who has put a 2008 HU on a scope and figured the RMS output.

Finally, even if the 6w rms figure was somehow accurate, it is still (barely) within the input spec of the db651 speakers. Simply the improved speaker materials would offer a substantial increase in sound quality. I had both the stock speakers and the db651 units hooked up the the AVIC, and the db651s were definitely better, way clearer/stronger response with the same input.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:14 AM   #20
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EDIT

How bout this (and I didnt bother reading what you wrote) since arguing with you guys is liking arguing with retards ...

Just change your speakers, it will make your stereo sound amazing! Who needs 2/4 Channel amps? Why do they even make them? The almighty powerful 160w Pioneer stock stereo will supply your $200-300 component speakers with more than enough power to make your car into a SQ and DB champion.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:14 AM
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