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2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE
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Discussion Starter #1
Inspired by Sunken's sound deadening project and somms budget aftermarket stereo retrofit project, I've decided to use all my newly acquired free-time (thanks Corona) to overhaul the audio on my 2019 Hybrid XLE (non-premium factory audio). I have already bought 2 sets of 36 sq ft of Noico 80 mm sound deadening material and Noico Red 150 mm sound insulating material. I was going to follow in Sunken's footsteps, but decided it would be better to do the speakers first before I lay out all the deadening material. For the speakers, I'm going to go a slightly different route than somms. I'll be adding a 6 channel amp/DSP and probably place it in the trunk near the 12 V battery. I'll need to re-route the factory headset output to this location and instead of splicing into the factory wiring harness, will probably create a new harness by buying the G4 connector and wiring it up. I'm planning on sending a wire to all 6 speaker locations from the amp. Instead of replacing the factory dash speakers with a 3.5 coax speaker, I'm thinking of buying component speakers for the front doors and placing the tweeter in the dash location. Not getting a sub right now, but after this that should be easy to add into the setup.

Front Speakers - Morel Maximo (Place tweeters in Dash)
Rear-Door Speakers - Morel Maximo Coax
Amp/DSP - Kenwood Excelon P-XR600-6DSP

Also, instead of using the passive crossover that comes with the component speakers, I'm planning on setting an active crossover for the tweeters with the DSP. Hopefully this goes along smoothly and then I can get to the deadening/insulation afterwards. I'd like to keep this updated as I go along this overhaul, but before I start, I just wanted to ask if this speaker setup seemed like a good plan.

Thanks
 

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I'll be curious how you mount the tweeter in the dashboard location as I plan to put a component set up front too. When you do get a subwoofer, how will you process its signal since your DSP is integrated? Wouldn't it be better to get Two 4-channel amplifiers (bridge 2 channels on one amp for the sub) and an external 8 channel DSP? I might be completely wrong though...just starting out in car audio.
 

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2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE
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Discussion Starter #6
I talked with a Crutchfield rep and they said this amp wouldn't work with the RAV4 since there is no compatible harness for the Maestro AR. I assumed I would still be able to use it since it comes with a universal RCA input harness and I'd just use that as input but might need a lineout converter.

Worst case, I'll probably go with a separate DSP and 4 channel amp and use passive crossovers for the tweeters. somms, would you recommend the DSR1? Still enjoying it?

Also, after reading more about the DCM, I'll probably cut the wiring for the FR speaker after the DCM so that it doesn't have an amplified signal coming in. This is going to end up being a fun puzzle.
 

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2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE
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Discussion Starter #8
Update!

I believe the planning phase is complete. I have made some big changes to the initial plan. Mainly, I changed out the 6 channel Amp/DSP into a separate DSP and 5 channel amp. I'll list everything I have and think I need for this project.

DSP - Helix DSP Mini
Add-A-Fuse Low Profile Mini (To power the DSP)
2 - 10 Amp Fuse for DSP
14 Gauge Copper Wire (Power/ground cable for DSP)
Ring Terminal for Ground Wire
Amp - Pioneer GM-DX975
Amp Wiring/Fuse Kit
Front Speakers - Morel Maximo 6 (Placing tweeters in Dashboard)
Rear Speakers - Morel Maximo 6 Coax
18 Gauge 9 Conductor Speedwire
14 Gauge Speaker Wire
18 Gauge Speaker Wire
Tacotunes G4 Harness Wire
Remote Turn-on Wire (Don't actually need this for DSP, found out it has auto turn-on. Also, the Amp Wiring Kit above comes with some.)
Dash Speaker Connector
Wire Loom
Front/Rear Speaker Mounts (Might return, speakers from Crutchfield came with free mounts)
Fiber Cloth Tape
Panel Pry Tools (Already had a different set for previous project)
Two-Sided Mounting Tape (Probably don't need)
RCA Cables
Speaker Wire Spade Connectors

Soldering Related:
Heat Gun
Shrink Wrap
Already had Solder/Soldering Iron

Sound Deadening/Insulation
Deadening
Insulation
Roller

Mounting
Jigsaw
MDF

Those are all the materials, now the plan. Starting from the headunit, I'm going to use the tacotune wire to connect to the G4 connector. I'll pass through the Front Right output to the factory wiring so that the DCM still gets the necessary input. Using the dash speaker connector, I'll get the output from the DCM and solder on the 18 gauge speaker wire. I'll send this back near the factory headunit. Then, using the 9 conductor speedwire, I'll solder it onto the FL,RL,RR out of the G4 connector and get the FR from the new wire previously mentioned. I'm planning on sending speedwire back to the trunk area.

For the DSP, I'll be tapping into the fusebox in the driver's area with the add-a-fuse and a 2 amp fuse. I'll crimp on the 14 Gauge copper wire and send this back to the trunk area as well. I was planning on doing the same thing for the remote turn-on wire, but this isn't necessary with my DSP. I do need to find a good ground point for the ground wire, but I'm sure there is one in the trunk area. Now, all the wires needed for the DSP are in the trunk area. The RCA cables are used for the DSP output. It has a 6 channel output, but I'll only be using 4 channels right now. A 5th channel will be added later for a subwoofer.

For the Amp, the input will be coming from the RCA cables connected to the DSP. I'll use the wiring kit from Crutchfield to tap into the 12 Volt battery, which is located in the trunk for the Hybrid RAV4 models. The DSP has a remote-out that I'll connect to the remote-in of the amp. Then, I'm planning on running wire from here to all 6 speaker locations.

I'll be sound deadening/insulating along the way as I'm doing everything mentioned above.

I might have gone overkill with everything I ordered, but because of Amazon's new policy about restocking only essential items due to Coronavirus, I wanted everything I thought I needed just in case. That way I can get the build done and not have to wait a month for a part.

Next step is to start taking the car apart! Let's do this!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
DSP Update!

I removed all the paneling in the trunk area to get started on the wiring. The stripped out trunk area can be seen by clicking here. I also modified the tacotunes harness. As stated above, I passed the front right to the DCM. Then I soldered on an 18 gauge wire to the dash speaker connector. I cut outputs 1+3 of the connector and used outputs 2+4. These are the ones that feed into the tweeter. Note, the coloring is off on the connector I bought as mentioned in somm's post #289. After soldering on the 18 gauge speaker wire, I ran this back to the factory headunit area and soldered it onto the gray wires shown in this picture of my modified tacotunes harness. I then ran the speedwire back into the dash, behind the glovebox, and down the right side of the car to the trunk area. For power, as mentioned above, I tapped into the D/L fuse in the fusebox with an add a fuse. I soldered on a 14 gauge wire to the add-a-fuse and ran it back to the trunk area down the left side of the car. For ground, I found a bolt in the trunk area. Then, I connected these 10 wires to the DSP. I played correlated mono pink noise just to see how flat the factory tuning is. The output of all 4 channels can be seen here. I didn't get to tune the DSP, ran out of time! I'll be doing that tomorrow. My speakers and amp come in Saturday so I'll probably set those up then. I still need to figure out exactly where I'll mount it, but the opposite side of the 12 V battery seems like a decent spot. It'll just be annoying to re-access. Also, getting new speaker wires into the left and right doors might be a P.I.T.A., but we'll see.

Stripped Trunk Area
Modified Tacotunes Harness
Factory Signal Analyzer
 

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Also, getting new speaker wires into the left and right doors might be a P.I.T.A., but we'll see.
Why not just run it back from the amp to where you cut the taco tunes harness? Or you just want to run better/thicker wires?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why not just run it back from the amp to where you cut the taco tunes harness? Or you just want to run better/thicker wires?
A couple reasons, mainly because of how I’m dealing with the DCM. I’m already sending the FR signal through the factory wiring since I don’t want to feed it an amplified signal. Also if I do want to upgrade to a 6 channel system later with active tweeters in the dash, the wiring is all ready. It just makes future work easier and allows for more options.
 

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2020 Rav4 Hybrid XLE + Cold Weather, Ruby Flare Pearl
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Foil-backed butyl is a sound dampener - it prevents ringing and dampens vibration, and is more effective than adding the same equivalent mass. It prevents panels from resonating, which stops the panels themselves from generating noise, and helps stop low frequencies from passing through. Asphalt instead of butyl is slightly better than nothing but no better than adding the same equivalent mass. It also makes a horrible mess if you use it somewhere that gets hot.

Closed cell foam is an isolator - it’s the exact opposite of the butyl. If you have closed cell foam between two things, the vibrations of one don’t affect the vibrations of the other. It does not block very much sound, but is technically better than nothing.

Mass-loaded vinyl is a sound blocker - it’s heavy, so making it move takes energy from sound waves, and flexible, so it works well on a reasonable range of frequencies.

Denim insulation is very cheap and somewhat effective at absorbing higher-frequency sound. Like all fluffy insulators, it depends on having air gaps between the layers, so packing a bunch of it into a volume is worse than filling the volume without compression. It is also an effective decoupler, so you get a bit of both properties and lower weight at the expense of worse performance compared to CCF+MLV. If you’re choosing between CCF and denim, pick denim. Note that denim can have problems when it’s wet, so don’t use it without plastic bagging in the door cavity or anywhere else that gets wet.

Hydrophobic melamine foam (DO NOT use untreated) and 3M Thinsulate have about the same effectiveness in terms of high frequency sound absorption. They’re both substantially more expensive than denim, but they’re also both substantially more effective than denim. They also make reasonable decouplers, but they tend to be expensive enough that it’s not worth it over CCF if you don’t need the absorption or thermal insulation properties.

Finally, here are the stacks recommended by a bunch of people who know what they’re doing:
  • Door outer: sound dampener
  • Door inner: sound dampener, isolator, sound blocker, isolator where trim panels will touch
  • Interior trim panels, excepting headliner: sound dampener
  • Floor, firewall: sound dampener, isolator, sound blocker, isolator, carpet
  • Quarter panels, wheel wells, stationary parts of trunk: sound dampener, isolator, sound blocker
  • Roof, moving parts of trunk/tailgate: sound dampener, sound absorber
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So I'm 99% done with the upgrade. Wear gloves when doing the sound deadening/insulation, a lot of sharp metal! For the deadening/insulation, I did all 5 doors and the entire trunk area.

Regarding speakers, I had to change my original plan once again. I wasn't able to run speaker wire through the rubber grommet connected to the doors. On the interior side of the rubber grommet, all the wires are fed into the grommet using a connector that takes up all the space. Due to that, I had to send a speedwire back to the factory headunit area. Final wiring is as follows:

FR from headunit through factory wiring and DCM. Grab it near front right tweeter and send back to headunit. With this wire and the other 6 from the G4 connector, send all 8 to trunk area using speedwire. This was connected to my DSP as discussed in the DSP update. I connected the DSP to the amp using RCA cables. I was also able to mount the amp opposite side of the 12 V battery (again, hybrid model so this is in the back) with the DSP under it. I used speedwire to send FL, RL, and RR back to the factory headunit and soldered this onto the output of the tacotunes harness. FR of this harness was already used to send the preamp signal through the DCM. I have my crossovers mounted above the footwell areas in the front. For the right side, I connected laid a wire from the amp to the input of the crossover to get the FR amplified signal. Then 2 wires are sent up to the dash speaker area, one for the tweeter, and the other soldered onto the Dash Speaker Connector to use the door speakers. For the front left area, the tweeter is wired to the crossover the same way. However, the dash speaker connector outputs for the dash speaker carry the amplified signal, so a wire was soldered to these outputs and sent down to be connected to the crossover input. Then, similar to the right side, a wire was soldered onto the dash speaker connector to connect to the woofer output of the crossover and send the signal to the front left door. I also laid down a 12 gauge speaker wire connected to the amp that's just sitting in my spare tire area. Once/if I get a sub, I'll just have to connect this wire to it and won't have to open the car up again.

I still need to play around with the DSP settings. In the rear left panel, where my amp/DSP are mounted, I'm going to cut out a whole and put in this connector so that I can easily connect to my DSP for tuning. That part is currently on the way and is the only remaining thing I have left for the project!

Audio is now sooooo much better than the stock speakers. Can hear so much more detail and am 1000% happy with the upgrade. Still need to test out the sound deadening/insulation a bit more, but there definitely seems to be an improvement during the short high-speed drive I went on.

If y'all have any questions or need help/insight, let me know!
 
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