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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings.
First post here. Time to stop searching and start asking.

My last install never happened for a few reasons.
Still have the equipment which are a few (Mantz) ESX amps, Phoenix Gold Ti Elite (Morel) 3 way component set (surround damaged on a 9"), 4 Rockford HX2's and a T3000BD amp that never saw power.
Another vehicle I still have has some Morel components (Forgot the line... Tempo+ maybe),
OLD (20 years almost) Alpine MRV-F545 with some old Orion XTR subs currently.


Anyway... I am looking for some ideas for a setup for a 2021 4Runner.
Ideally, I would like an active front stage, and rears would remain stock.

I really don't want to swap the OEM HU out as I have yet to find anything that would look "stock"

Non cookie cutter/rebranded stuff, made in USA if mostly possible or country with REPUTABLE and reliable manufacturing.
Looking for two 10" subs, sealed, which I have my eye Morel UW 1058's. (Yes, 8 ohms per)
I have two UW 1058's for home theater/music, and I am in love with them.
Maybe Illusion Audio C10/XL?

For amps I have been looking at Linear Power, TRU, and Zapco mostly.
Or I would be open to having the ESX amps rehabbed and use those.

Front stage, I'd like an active 3-way, but I am leaning to active 2-way.
Again, no rebranded stuff.
I think it is easy to see what I am going for here.


What I am liking about Linear Power...
(USING AMP WITH “OEM” FACTORY RADIO:
The new line of Linear Power “LP” Series amplifiers can be used with an “OEM” factory radio without the use of a line level converter
https://www.linearpower.com/files/LP2250.pdf )


I am about to place an order for some sound damping/mass loading products as well.
In the past, I have used SecondSkin and RAAMmat products. Anything new/better than the Butyl backed stuff these days?
I have 180 sq ft in an older 4Runner and 120 sq ft in a Tacoma.

Already have some "rust proofing" equipment and material on the way.

Open to recommendations and ideas.
Keep in mind I prefer to use equipment made here that is not simply rebranded or simply boxed here.


Have at it.
I am listening.
I am ready for the usual forum arguments.
 

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Greetings.
First post here. Time to stop searching and start asking.

My last install never happened for a few reasons.
Still have the equipment which are a few (Mantz) ESX amps, Phoenix Gold Ti Elite (Morel) 3 way component set (surround damaged on a 9"), 4 Rockford HX2's and a T3000BD amp that never saw power.
Another vehicle I still have has some Morel components (Forgot the line... Tempo+ maybe),
OLD (20 years almost) Alpine MRV-F545 with some old Orion XTR subs currently.


Anyway... I am looking for some ideas for a setup for a 2021 4Runner.
Ideally, I would like an active front stage, and rears would remain stock.

I really don't want to swap the OEM HU out as I have yet to find anything that would look "stock"

Non cookie cutter/rebranded stuff, made in USA if mostly possible or country with REPUTABLE and reliable manufacturing.
Looking for two 10" subs, sealed, which I have my eye Morel UW 1058's. (Yes, 8 ohms per)
I have two UW 1058's for home theater/music, and I am in love with them.
Maybe Illusion Audio C10/XL?

For amps I have been looking at Linear Power, TRU, and Zapco mostly.
Or I would be open to having the ESX amps rehabbed and use those.

Front stage, I'd like an active 3-way, but I am leaning to active 2-way.
Again, no rebranded stuff.
I think it is easy to see what I am going for here.


What I am liking about Linear Power...
(USING AMP WITH “OEM” FACTORY RADIO:
The new line of Linear Power “LP” Series amplifiers can be used with an “OEM” factory radio without the use of a line level converter
https://www.linearpower.com/files/LP2250.pdf )


I am about to place an order for some sound damping/mass loading products as well.
In the past, I have used SecondSkin and RAAMmat products. Anything new/better than the Butyl backed stuff these days?
I have 180 sq ft in an older 4Runner and 120 sq ft in a Tacoma.

Already have some "rust proofing" equipment and material on the way.

Open to recommendations and ideas.
Keep in mind I prefer to use equipment made here that is not simply rebranded or simply boxed here.


Have at it.
I am listening.
I am ready for the usual forum arguments.
For damping materials Resonix is owned by a member here (@SkizeR), and it's good stuff, Stinger RoadKill and Dynamat are still good too.
For your other questions, you've got some good older stuff, it'd be a shame to not use it. For integration with your stock head unit I would go with some sort of stand alone interface to allow maximum flexibility with the rest of the system. Oh, get a dsp also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just came across Resonix earlier.
They are not too far from me.

Maybe one day I'll dust off the old stuff and snap some pics. It would piss me off though seeing what never was.
Love the old ESX stuff to this day.
I know I have at least three amps as one was going to be for each of the highs, midrange and midbass.
 

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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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All new or reusing old gear?

You’ll likely want a DSP to integrate with the factory HU and give you advanced tuning features for an active front stage. Plenty of options here, people on this board tend to go with MiniDSP or Helix, but Audio Control, Zapco and Mosconi make them too.

Personally I’d go with 2 amps; a 6-channel for the font stage and a sub amp, unless you want rear fill then I’d go for 2x 4-channel amps. Tru and Zapco are awesome brands; others like using Arc Audio, Audison, AudioControl, Mosconi or Helix. If you’re short on space Rockford Fosgate Power series are small and clean, and so are Biketronics, and I think they’re both made in USA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All new or reusing old gear?

You’ll likely want a DSP to integrate with the factory HU and give you advanced tuning features for an active front stage. Personally I’d go with 2 amps; a 6-channel for the font stage and a sub amp, unless you want rear fill then I’d go for 2x 4-channel amps. Tru and Zapco are awesome brands; others like using Mosconi or Helix too, but if you’re short on space Rockford Fosgate Power series are small and clean and I think they’re made in USA.

Going for new ideally. I can easily do a "retro" install, but not reallllly wanting to get amps rehabbed.

But, I HAVE been out of the game and a few years ago I browsed for a few days and was happy when I saw Linear Power came back.
Too many companies have been sold or started producing in Asia and there is just too much out there now to basically relearn what is worth the "investment".
It was easier in the 90's when most everything was still made here as far as mobile audio goes, and if you put out garbage at a time when so many were buying, word traveled fast in the days of the "dawn" of the internet.
 

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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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387 Posts
You largely get what you pay for. If you’re looking at brands like Tru and Zapco, at that price point you’re not getting knock-off crap, you’re getting something that great quality and will last. (JL continues to pump out great gear too.)

I’d agree about rehabbing 20+ year-old amps...unless it’s sentimental, I’d just get something new.
 

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Going for new ideally. I can easily do a "retro" install, but not reallllly wanting to get amps rehabbed.

But, I HAVE been out of the game and a few years ago I browsed for a few days and was happy when I saw Linear Power came back.
Too many companies have been sold or started producing in Asia and there is just too much out there now to basically relearn what is worth the "investment".
It was easier in the 90's when most everything was still made here as far as mobile audio goes, and if you put out garbage at a time when so many were buying, word traveled fast in the days of the "dawn" of the internet.
JL Audio amps are still great, I'm running 2 XD 400/4's and have used an RD 400/4, they are the same except for some better potentiometers on the XD and a mono? input switch on the RD that simplifies bridging (no Y adapter needed, the XD's are smaller and better looking, the RD's are cheaper by $100 for these models, same power, noise, and distortion specs for both.
The Rockford amps mentioned above are quite small and have excellent specs that make me wish I hadn't gone with JL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You largely get what you pay for. If you’re looking at brands like Tru and Zapco, at that price point you’re not getting knock-off crap, you’re getting something that great quality and will last. (JL continues to pump out great gear too.)

I’d agree about rehabbing 20+ year-old amps...unless it’s sentimental, I’d just get something new.

I prefer going new. I don't have it in me to go the rehab route of the older amps.
I could "package deal" them on eBay and let someone else who is into that process enjoy the older stuff.
 

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This thread is likely to get technical quickly so I will just comment on the original question. I think it is worth keeping the OEM Head Unit if possible.

Ideally, you could keep all of your standard functions and still have great audio. But in reality, it's not always the best option. Here's how I, personally, decide. Many will disagree but again, it's just my own preference.

"IF" you are lucky enough to have access to clean, low-level signals, then I keep my OEM deck and rip everything else out. I don't like using LOC units, but that's just me. My current build is just like this. I'm taking the signals going into the factory Bose amp located under the seat and going straight into a DSP. Fortunately, the input signals are completely unmolested since everything takes place in the Bose unit. A bonus is that I retain all of the functionality except two pieces of electronic trickery that I want nothing to do with anyway.

Good luck partner!
 

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2017 Cadillac XTS
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I used a DQ-61 to leave my factory head alone, takes a little tuning but works. I like t he auto amp turn on to reduce wireing and allows the use of the stock head unit. Tucks in nice behind stock carpet.
286606
286607
 

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Keeping the stock head unit retains all vehicle controls, which is very nice. Yes aftermarket can replace those controls, but it comes at a price and you may have to wait for it to be developed for your 2021.

If you have a stock external amplifier then there is probably a Metra integration kit that you can plug right in to the connector for the external amplifier to pull a flat signal. If you do not have an amp then you will definitely need a DSP to defeat and overcome the the stock tuning. Good news is you can buy an amp with a dsp built in.

As for the speakers and subs, anything can sound good with proper tuning. Find what fits in your vehicle and read reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies so far, gents.
Being out of the loop for awhile, and my last new car purchase was in '05, I am not up to speed with some things.
Like if it is worth aiming for an SQ install using the factory headunit.
In all other vehicles, they were replaced with Eclipse, Pioneer, Clarion or some other 'quality' unit.
I am pretty sure the truck will come with the JBL array, but I am not sure which package.

I am pretty much set on an all Morel driver selection. 3-way active front stage is ideal.
I want to use Linear Power to power everything (personal choice), unless I mix and match between LP, TRU, Zapco, but my OCD would be kicking in.
Ideally, LP/TRU would have a 6 channel unit, hence the mentioning of Zapco Z-150.6 AP for the front stage.
And looking towards 2 LP2250's. One bridged for each Morel sub.
And GASP, I would like an EQ. Not all of us "hear" the same.

(The "old" stuff I have was basically a tri-amped/three-way front stage handled by the ESX amps and the subs would have been run off the RF T3001bd, but like I said, that fell thru and the equipment just sits to this day)

I would run up to Apicella for this install if the price was right, as I am just not really into certain work anymore.
I would get the equipment working, somewhat cleanly installed and wind up saying "F it, good enough".
What I want is fairly easy as I don't want a permanent install as there are more than enough times where I need the full space of the rear with seats folded down.
Amp rack and sub enclosure that is quickly disconnected and removed.
 
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