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Discussion Starter #1
All,

I want to improve the audio of my not yet delievered Rav4 XTR. I wanted to keep the original head unit if it possible.

1 - Changing speakers and dynamat the doors ? Will there be a significant difference ?

2 - Is there anyway to hook up my iPod ? (Without changing the head unit)

3 - Am I being silly not changing the head unit ?

4 - What the standard speaker size in front and back and how many speakers are there ? What size can fit in place of the standard ?

Much appreciate anyone suggestions/recommendations.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
iPod

If you don't mind a single wire hanging out of your cassette deck, try a $10 cassette adapter with your iPod. They work better than the FM transmitters (wider frequency response with the cassette deck).

You can get some units like the Belkin charging unit that lets you charge off the 12v adapter, and use the dock connector on the iPod, rather than the headphone jack - so there is only 1 wire to the iPod. The Belkin adapter includes a preamp and volume control as well. This setup works very well, near CD quality.
 
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Re: 2005 RAV4 UK - Best Way to improve sound

Heya jeegnesharooni! rav4

Great questions! My 2 cents below...

jeegnesh said:
1 - Changing speakers and dynamat the doors ? Will there be a significant difference ?
ABSOLUTELY!!! Anyone who says otherwise either dynamatted their doors incorrectly, have their speakers out of phase, or just purchased poor quality speakers! In fact dynamatting alone without buying new speakers makes a HUGE difference! Just make sure to completely seal the air inside the door from getting to the front of the speaker, and voila! Instant speaker enclosure for the price of the dynamat!
jeegnesh said:
2 - Is there anyway to hook up my iPod ? (Without changing the head unit)
Yes. Not sure which head unit you have, but if it has a cassette deck, there's adapters for that, or else FM modulators, either of which are very simple to use.
jeegnesh said:
3 - Am I being silly not changing the head unit ?
Not at all. To each his own, so who are we to say you should want something else? :p Otherwise everyone here would drive RAVies with the same stereos, same rims, and same mods.
jeegnesh said:
4 - What the standard speaker size in front and back and how many speakers are there ? What size can fit in place of the standard ?
I'm running 6-1/2" FanaticQs in all of my doors. Be careful how you ask that question, because even tho up to a 6-1/2" speaker will fit in the hole fine, the depth of the speaker may interfere with your ability to roll down the window all the way. My FanaticQs are really beefy speakers with deep magnets and the front windows bump when rolled down, so I can't roll down my windows the last inch or so. Not a big deal to me, but if it is to you then you need to consider the speaker depth.

Much appreciate anyone suggestions/recommendations.[/quote]

I have pics of my Dynamat and stereo and speaker installs with how-to's if you're interested, on [My Website] if you want to try doing it yourself. Happy RAV'n!

..ChimChim
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I, too, resisted changing out my stock unit for a long time.
I spent quite a few bucks on PIE, Soundgate, adapters,
AUX devices, etc. I finally caved in and removed the stock
HU in place of a Kenwood aftermarket with Sirius tuner.

Best thing I could have done.

I've never had an aftermarket stereo before but if I knew
at the start what I know now, I could have saved a LOT of money.

The install really looks clean, the sound is great, and my IPOD is
hooked up to it also (which incidentally, you CAN hook to the back
of your stock unit using an interface from PIE, etc.)

jerij
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Speaker depth

Per my experience, recycle the OEM speaker mounts as spacers and depth is not an issue.

Benny
 

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Re: Speaker depth

Benny said:
Per my experience, recycle the OEM speaker mounts as spacers and depth is not an issue.

Benny
Good call Benny! Completely agree with reusing the original mounts. Certain speakers just are "too deep" though. Even with the mounts my FanaticQ magnets bump the window. Scosche makes spacers that are slightly deeper than the original mounts, but even those don't prevent the bump with mine(and most probably others). I think in most cases they'll work fine unless you're buying really beefomatic speakers. Happy RAV'n!

..ChimChim
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I am embrassed to say I did not have email notfication on and thought no one replied, boy was I wrong, thanks for all the great info.

I got my rav a few days ago and its lovely, the stereo sounds pretty good for standard not as bad as I thought it might be.

Cassette adapter is the easiest and what i used in my previous car, can you believe this when i order my RAV in the UK the toyota dealers do not have a cassette option whatsoever so that wipes that out.

Been using iTrip LCD and working pretty good, i really want to use the controls on the steering to get forward and rewing working that would only happen with some gadget will have to think on that one.

Now the dynamat response has got me thinking, because although the road noise is not bad I would prefer less, so dynmat would not only improve stereo but remove a bit more road noise, although I don't feel like pulling my new motor apart to do myself, any guesses at what likely costs are to get it done professionally ?
 

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If you are looking for the most sound improvement ditch the factory deck/receiver the minute you get into the vehicle. Factory steroes suck plan and simple. No matter what vehicle you purchase.

Replacing the speakers does help lots, but you will not reap the benefits until you put in an aftermarket deck. All stock decks have lack luster equalization and sound proccessing capabilites. Also, all stock decks attenuate bass frequencies automatically at higher volumes to protect the crappy stock speakers. Aftermarket decks do not have this so you can turn up the bass and get a larger sound stage.

Dynamat is also an excellent idea as not only will your music sound better, but it will lessen road noise. Personally I would go onto ebay and search for edead. Its very similar to the extreme dynamat, but is much much cheaper.
 

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Hi,
Everyone here has been advising you to ditch the factory unit and change the speakers. I went for a different approach and I am very happy with it. Just like u I wanted to preserve the factory unit because of the milage/fuel consumption and the other informative data that the factory unit spits out. The original speakers are full rangers. I just expanded their range by adding a Kenwood subwoofer at the rear end of the RAV and a pair of tweeter on the window sail panel. The sound is really nice. The next thing I did was to connect a wired FM modulator to the original antenna and the factory unit. The FM modulator is connected to the line out of my Sony NW-HD5 MP3 player . The sound is gorgeous. I do not know why folk complain about the wired FM modulator. (By the way I build my own tube amplifiers and full speakers and as I understand the best way to go with full range is to expand the range at the two ends.). The only disadvantage is that I can not change the tracks from my factory radio. But who cares; I just put my MP3 player with its 20GB into shuffle mode and just drive and listen for hours. If I want to get to the next song I press the forward button on the MP3 player instead. I have written a review on how to connect the FM modulator to RAV for the other RAV website (the australian RAV site). It should be displayed in a couple of days.
 
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Hi raj
It seems there is no hard & fast rule to the speaker/sound upgrade we all here things differently. I went for the speaker upgrade & sound deadening & now it`s complete I have to admit it sounds really good. The stock speakers are bad when you take them out & compare to quality speakers.
The stock H/Unit seems to produce the volume required with out distortion. The Infinity`s I have in the 4 doors work really well with the sound dedening because of the speaker enclosure effect (Gives more base) I will be sound deadening the floor pan back & front next.
I have been told by a specialist audio/car shop that I could improve again just by changing the H/Unit & also get the mp3/wma functions etc.
I might do this later but the improvement I have now far out weighs the original Toyota specs.
Regards
 

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I too wanted to keep the original head unit when I did my upgrade (to keep the fuel consumption and outside temp. info) the only problem is the stock head unit has no "Amplifier out", so no increase in power was possible. Had to change it up to be able to hook up my amp. Not sure if the US models have "amp out" plugs, but here in Switz. we don't..... kinda stupid when you think about it!
 
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This is all good info. I too want to keep the head unit for the stats plus I love not having to care about it and not having a face-off to worry about, as no one in there right mind gonna steal the stock unit, if they do they need there head tested or they have a RAV with broken head unit :D

So I made my first move, which kind of makes me keep the stock unit unless i want to waste money, i found the ipod2car in USA http://peripheralelectronics.com/web/ipod2car.asp i emailed them and they pretty quick to repond are very helpful they pointed me to 1 UK seller, spoke to them again very friendly and ordered the unit costs 99.99 plus 9.99 for car specific cable. This will charge ipod and still use my sterring controls for forward and rewind which is exactly what i wanted.

For any other UK folks the website is :-

http://www.fryersales.com/ (was in new product section) but i just called and spoke to them, if they cannot find a dealer near you they will sent direct to you.

SO ANYONE TAKE OUT 2005 STOCK unit recently and can advise ? hoping it here tomorrow.

RAJ - tell me more man, how is the sub connected are you using an amp ? same for tweeter how did you do that one ? whats the link to this site you mention ?
 

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Just my 2 pesos. Most stock HUs will not have preamp outputs. They do this on purpose so that less learned people will think they have to go ot the dealer to get an "upgrade", or else because the OEM versions of these HUs weren't designed to be upgraded because many(most?) people who buy these cars will not want to do so.

They do sell line-level converters that convert the powered speaker outputs into line-level, preamp outputs(RCA female plugs). They cost about $5 and work fairly well. I've installed a few of them in cars where people wanted their original stock HU to drive amps when no RCA plugs were on the back of the HU. Very simple and cheap to install.

These converters are slightly prone to adding noise, however most people who don't even know what a line-level converter is will most probably not even notice.

Anyways, if you are happy with the HU, there are INFINITE ways to upgrade the quality of the sound. Happy RAV'n!

..ChimChim

Heinznfries44 said:
I too wanted to keep the original head unit when I did my upgrade (to keep the fuel consumption and outside temp. info) the only problem is the stock head unit has no "Amplifier out", so no increase in power was possible. Had to change it up to be able to hook up my amp. Not sure if the US models have "amp out" plugs, but here in Switz. we don't..... kinda stupid when you think about it!
 

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RAJ - tell me more man, how is the sub connected are you using an amp ? same for tweeter how did you do that one ? whats the link to this site you mention ?[/quote]


First thing, u don't need a FM modulator since u have allready bought a Ipod2 connector that attaches to the auxillary out put of your factory radio. This is an expensive but a better solution since your steering wheel controls are active with your Ipod. So the referrence to the Australian RAV site which describes the FM modulator does not apply to you any more.
As far as the subwoofer goes, I have used a Kenwood subwoofer with a built in amplifier. It even has a connection whereby the high level output of the factory radio/CD is converted to low level output before it feeds into the Kenwoods inbuilt amplifier. This is because the factory radio/CD does not have a low level output, unfortunately. The best way to access the high level output wires for your low level input connection is the rear speaker wires as they travel in the vertical post/pillar that separates the front door from the rear door on each side. The power connection to the subwoofer is taken directly from the car battery. The switching wire for the subwoofer is connected to the radios ignition switch controlled wire (so that the subwoofer will not switch on if you do not turn the key, saving u from draining the battery). This wire can be located behind the factory radio unit. The Kenwood subwoofer unit comes with a wired remote controller that can be stuck on to the dash board. With the help of that u can choose your subwoofer frequency, volume, and phase. Now to describe the Tweeter. They are the simple titanium dome tweeters that are attached to the window sail panel (a triangular plastic on your front window frame on each side). U will have to pull out the panel and make a hole in it to fit the tweeter. The tweeter has its own first order crossover (a simple condensor). The tweeter wires are connected in parallel to the two wires going to the front speakers. U need to take out the soft inside panel of your front door to access the speaker wires. All this information (and more!) is available in this very website. The links with pictures are all there. Use search function to retrieve the information. e.g "tweeter", search. "subwoofer" search etc. Hope u have the satisfaction of doing it yourself. Good luck.
Raj.
 
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chimchim said:
Just my 2 pesos. Most stock HUs will not have preamp outputs. They do this on purpose so that less learned people will think they have to go ot the dealer to get an "upgrade", or else because the OEM versions of these HUs weren't designed to be upgraded because many(most?) people who buy these cars will not want to do so.

They do sell line-level converters that convert the powered speaker outputs into line-level, preamp outputs(RCA female plugs). They cost about $5 and work fairly well. I've installed a few of them in cars where people wanted their original stock HU to drive amps when no RCA plugs were on the back of the HU. Very simple and cheap to install.

These converters are slightly prone to adding noise, however most people who don't even know what a line-level converter is will most probably not even notice.

Anyways, if you are happy with the HU, there are INFINITE ways to upgrade the quality of the sound. Happy RAV'n!

..ChimChim
Most amps come with high-level speaker inputs. Some newer amps (like the MTX with Smart Engage) even switch on and off using the speaker-level imputs, negating the need for the blue power-on wire (although the blue power-on wire is still necessary for RCA low-level input connections).

I am no expert on stock head units (not to mention that I've never had a Toyota stock head unit in my RAV4), but I think that there is nothing really wrong with the stock Toyota head unit, unless there is a need for the connectivity or convenience of an aftermarket unit. Perhaps all one needs is an external amplifier and a set of speakers.

I'm not sure whether I said this before on these forums, but if my Toyota had come with a stock head unit, I would have gladly kept the stock head unit and simply upgraded the speakers and bought an external amp to power them.

Instead of a stock Toyota head unit, my RAV4 came with a Panasonic that I had to replace because it sufers from a bad case of AM interference. :(

Nevertheless, I'm glad with my current sytem. All I need now is a satellite radio receiver, and I'm done. :)
 
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raj said:
As far as the subwoofer goes, I have used a Kenwood subwoofer with a built in amplifier.
Raj, how do you like your Kenwood self-powered subwoofer? I'm not exactly a subwoofer kind of guy, but I once considered getting a self-powered subwoofer, like the Kenwood and the Clarion.
 
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