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So in another thread we began talking about replacing the audio system in these new RAV4's during a great thread about sound dampening (found here: https://www.rav4world.com/threads/the-sound-deadening-project.297973/ ). Curious if anyone has any experience with the premium system.

Specifically I find the system just sounds muddy in the mids and the high notes are sloppy and tinny. I think its a driver issue, but worry also it could be a software issue (either in the amp or head-unit) trying to compress the sound to make it more contrasty/sharp for the general audience who doesn't care about audio quality.

So things to talk about:

1. How hard will it be to find new speakers for this system given JBL seems to have put a lot of custom touches on it.
2. Anyone changed out speakers or amps on this system yet?
3. Anyone figured out where all 11 speakers are? So far I've counted 8...
4. Anyone know the gauge and quality of the speaker wiring run in the car? Is any slack left at the speakers?

 

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FWIW: Pictured above is a comparable 8 channel DSP amp fairly close in specs to the 800W peak 8 channel DSP amp equipped in the 2019 RAV4 w/JBL.

You would have to keep in mind the installed JBL speakers are power matched to the specific 800W amp so in order to properly upgrade the speakers you should really also try and upgrade the amp as well and vice versa...
 

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Discussion Starter #3




FWIW: Pictured above is a comparable 8 channel DSP amp fairly close in specs to the 800W peak 8 channel DSP amp equipped in the 2019 RAV4 w/JBL.

You would have to keep in mind the installed JBL speakers are power matched to the specific 800W amp so in order to properly upgrade the speakers you should really also try and upgrade the amp as well and vice versa...

oh absolutely we planned on upgrading the amp and speakers at the same time. I just want to make sure we can do it all without messing with the headunit.
 

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Curious if anyone has any experience with the premium system.

Specifically I find the system just sounds muddy in the mids and the high notes are sloppy and tinny. I think its a driver issue,
I couldn't disagree more. After minor tweaks of the EQ, I find the JBL system to be outstanding, and crystal clear. This is playing CD quality FLAC files and also HD FM. If I crank it up it just gets better.
If you're playing compressed files or BT streams, your issue is more likely in the source.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I couldn't disagree more. After minor tweaks of the EQ, I find the JBL system to be outstanding, and crystal clear. This is playing CD quality FLAC files and also HD FM. If I crank it up it just gets better.
If you're playing compressed files or BT streams, your issue is more likely in the source.
I'm coming from a custom built system in my last vehicle and audio/video is my career, I'm a commercial multimedia director out in Dallas, and brought several of my own reference materials to the car for testing. Audio and video are basically my life (though much more on the home theater side). The system sound is fine for most people, i fully recognize that, but I feel it very much lacks what I want though, and it has nothing to do with the source. The 3 slider EQ is extremely problematic as well, boosting the treble even one notch causes an upper level clipping to occur, if you listen to a lot of classical or soundtracks it completely kills it (exaggerating, but its a subtle details that is lost). Lowering it has an extreme steep drop off that goes from overly bright to suddenly too thin and no bite at all, no middle ground. Upping the mid section instantly muddles the sound, some people might like it but its too pronounced and has almost a sharpening effect to it.

Everything I am talking about is subtle, but I notice it immediately walking out of my office setup in getting into the car. I'm super picky, its not a fault with the system or car, its rather I have a higher expectation for it than what it can achieve in its current state. But I'm going to fix it and make it perfect!
 

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Everything I am talking about is subtle, but I notice it immediately walking out of my office setup in getting into the car. I'm super picky, its not a fault with the system or car, its rather I have a higher expectation for it than what it can achieve in its current state. But I'm going to fix it and make it perfect!
OK, I get it. Anyone who disagrees with you is too ignorant to know the difference. Check. Clearly you haven't heard many OEM audio systems.
 

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OK, I get it. Anyone who disagrees with you is too ignorant to know the difference. Check. Clearly you haven't heard many OEM audio systems.
You say it’s great I say it’s not, with the exception of any mechanical failures in either of our systems, the only other thing It could be is different ideas of what great is. I think it’s perfectly fair for people to have different opinions and standards for what they like and don’t, that’s not a bad thing :).
 

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I have the base sound system and it sounded like junk to my preference when I got it. A bit of sound deadening later, I enjoy the sound now. Does it sound as good as my Klipsch home theater system? Def not, but enough that I don't feel like investing in the audio for now. I know when I will, I am going straight up line converters with an hidden amp and small subwoofer and i'll probably try to get the oem panel that has the sub enclosure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have the base sound system and it sounded like junk to my preference when I got it. A bit of sound deadening later, I enjoy the sound now. Does it sound as good as my Klipsch home theater system? Def not, but enough that I don't feel like investing in the audio for now. I know when I will, I am going straight up line converters with an hidden amp and small subwoofer and i'll probably try to get the oem panel that has the sub enclosure.
I’ll be following your sound dampening guide when I do this, much appreciated for your time putting it together. Only thing I’m unsure of is if the hybrid will have any radical differences compared to yours.
 

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I have the JBL system in my 2019 RAV4 limited. I came from a BMW with Harmon Kardon system. The Toyota JBL system doesn’t even come close to my old Harmon Kardon. Whenever I’m playing music from any source, the songs sound awesome for about 4-5 seconds , then they seem to go quieter with less kick. Not sure what is going on, it doesn’t seem defective but maybe some kind of noise cancelling or compression from JBL. I’m seriously considering replacing all the speakers and amp as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have the JBL system in my 2019 RAV4 limited. I came from a BMW with Harmon Kardon system. The Toyota JBL system doesn’t even come close to my old Harmon Kardon. Whenever I’m playing music from any source, the songs sound awesome for about 4-5 seconds , then they seem to go quieter with less kick. Not sure what is going on, it doesn’t seem defective but maybe some kind of noise cancelling or compression from JBL. I’m seriously considering replacing all the speakers and amp as well.
I'll keep this thread up to date on my progress and findings.
 

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Sounds great to me ! It’s like the system sounds amazing then goes very weak after 4-5 seconds if that makes sense. I usually have my volume around 48. And I have tried all sources and even uncompressed wav files on a usb stick, with the same results for all.
 

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I have the JBL system in my 2019 RAV4 limited. I came from a BMW with Harmon Kardon system. The Toyota JBL system doesn’t even come close to my old Harmon Kardon. Whenever I’m playing music from any source, the songs sound awesome for about 4-5 seconds , then they seem to go quieter with less kick. Not sure what is going on, it doesn’t seem defective but maybe some kind of noise cancelling or compression from JBL. I’m seriously considering replacing all the speakers and amp as well.
I do wonder about the "Clari-Fi" marketing-speak in the picture at the start of this thread, specifically:
Transforms the listening experience by restoring lost audio signals
Improves audio quality into clearer, crisper, wider, and more dynamic sound

I wonder what they do to "transform" and/or "improve" the audio quality? And can it be disabled to test with/without? Just your observation that it sounds great for 4-5 seconds and then changes makes me wonder about some type of sound "processing", though I don't know why that should take 4-5 seconds.

I can't find anything in the manuals, but maybe there's a setting available via Techstream to disable or adjust the audio?
 

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I do wonder about the "Clari-Fi" marketing-speak in the picture at the start of this thread, specifically:
Transforms the listening experience by restoring lost audio signals
Improves audio quality into clearer, crisper, wider, and more dynamic sound

I wonder what they do to "transform" and/or "improve" the audio quality? And can it be disabled to test with/without? Just your observation that it sounds great for 4-5 seconds and then changes makes me wonder about some type of sound "processing", though I don't know why that should take 4-5 seconds.

I can't find anything in the manuals, but maybe there's a setting available via Techstream to disable or adjust the audio?
I agree. I have a feeling it’s some type of sound processing. And I doubt it can be shut off because it doesn’t look like there is a setting or EQ for it. It’s almost like it cuts the gain to the amp, thus resulting in lower audio and punch. I should use a decibel meter to confirm this.
 

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I agree. I have a feeling it’s some type of sound processing. And I doubt it can be shut off because it doesn’t look like there is a setting or EQ for it. It’s almost like it cuts the gain to the amp, thus resulting in lower audio and punch. I should use a decibel meter to confirm this.
Thats really my worry, if this is software in the headunit, pre-amp, we're screwed. No amp or speaker upgrade could fix that.
 

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