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Discussion Starter #1
Just thought I would throw a data point out there for those like myself who are very unsatisfied with the "upgraded" JBL system. For about $300 I was able to convert the system from something I disliked every time I used it, to something I am now quite happy with. My original thought was to replace the sub speaker with something of a higher quality and an amp to drive it with. My thinking is that no 8" factory integrated sub in the automotive world really operates only at sub frequencies and that if I could get more level out of it, the extra lower mid would fill in much of what I felt was missing in the rear stage of the whole system.

Anyway, I took it to a shop and when they removed the panel in my 2016, they found that the factory sub was such a lightweight, incredibly thin, toy of a speaker, that there was no way a quality replacement would fit in the panel space. Reluctantly, they talked me into trying a small box with a Kicker 8" R series sub, an amp that allowed adjustment of level and crossover point, and an aftermarket harness that plugged right into the factory system. Total out the door was $300. The original system is still in place as well so this is just an addition. With a little fiddling and bringing the crossover point adjustment up a bit higher, the effect really filled in the entire rear of the car. I have to say the sound stage is really transformed and actually the highs and mids are much more easily appreciated when there is some energy in the rest of the spectrum to join them.

Although I initially didn't want a box, I can live with it and will put a quick disconnect so that it can be removed in seconds, if needed to be removed for the little space it takes up. The entire original system, including sub is still installed so at worst it just resorts to that.

Anyway, I know this may not be the solution for all, but I thought I would post it because the overall improvement is far more than one would expect from just a simple sub. It really does make a tremendously improved overall system for a relatively small investment. More particularly, it resolves my only significant regret from buying the car. As they say, your mileage may vary.
 

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Excellent post.

Could you toss up a photo so we can see what it looks like?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Excellent post.

Could you toss up a photo so we can see what it looks like?
I will, but it might take until tomorrow as I am at work with a different vehicle, and will not be home until much later tonight.
 

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Just thought I would throw a data point out there for those like myself who are very unsatisfied with the "upgraded" JBL system. For about $300 I was able to convert the system from something I disliked every time I used it, to something I am now quite happy with. My original thought was to replace the sub speaker with something of a higher quality and an amp to drive it with. My thinking is that no 8" factory integrated sub in the automotive world really operates only at sub frequencies and that if I could get more level out of it, the extra lower mid would fill in much of what I felt was missing in the rear stage of the whole system.

Anyway, I took it to a shop and when they removed the panel in my 2016, they found that the factory sub was such a lightweight, incredibly thin, toy of a speaker, that there was no way a quality replacement would fit in the panel space. Reluctantly, they talked me into trying a small box with a Kicker 8" R series sub, an amp that allowed adjustment of level and crossover point, and an aftermarket harness that plugged right into the factory system. Total out the door was $300. The original system is still in place as well so this is just an addition. With a little fiddling and bringing the crossover point adjustment up a bit higher, the effect really filled in the entire rear of the car. I have to say the sound stage is really transformed and actually the highs and mids are much more easily appreciated when there is some energy in the rest of the spectrum to join them.

Although I initially didn't want a box, I can live with it and will put a quick disconnect so that it can be removed in seconds, if needed to be removed for the little space it takes up. The entire original system, including sub is still installed so at worst it just resorts to that.

Anyway, I know this may not be the solution for all, but I thought I would post it because the overall improvement is far more than one would expect from just a simple sub. It really does make a tremendously improved overall system for a relatively small investment. More particularly, it resolves my only significant regret from buying the car. As they say, your mileage may vary.
Could this be connected to a radio without the JBL sub? I have the radio just below that. I also have an old amp and 10" sub box from my old vehicle. Would that aftermarket harness work? If so, what is it, and where can I get it?

Thanks for the post... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Could this be connected to a radio without the JBL sub? I have the radio just below that. I also have an old amp and 10" sub box from my old vehicle. Would that aftermarket harness work? If so, what is it, and where can I get it?

Thanks for the post... :)
I think it would work with any of the systems. I don't have a brand or model for the harness as I don't have the packaging but any car stereo store these days has access to a vast array of factory type connection harnesses and should be able to supply it. I can't tell you the price as I just had a system price. I'm sure the price varies depending on whether you're buying other stuff from them or not. Does you're old amp have a low pass adjustment, as most amps for subs do? I think that was a key piece in being able to adjust it to sound right with the existing system.
 

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Excellent post.

Could you toss up a photo so we can see what it looks like?
Attached is an image of how small the box is. Grill is not on it at the moment and normally I have it just laying down on its back. The dog is optional. As most owners know, its impossible to have the back of a Rav4 open without the dog jumping in....
 

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Your Humble Administrator
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...or a curious cat.
 

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You could always make a custom box for it :)

see attached.

Note* I use bungie cords connected all over the back to keep **** from sliding. I connect them to the baby harness connections as well, depending on needs...

*This is the 2014 LE model with my own custom audio mods*
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very nice fit. How did you shape the overall box, or did you find a general shaped one and adjust it to fit?
 

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Very nice fit. How did you shape the overall box, or did you find a general shaped one and adjust it to fit?
Well I really didn't want a box that didn't have a spot in the back, so I wanted something custom that kinda fit into the car. Going from there, I wasn't going to spend $300+(to just build a custom box - no relation to the $300 you spent for wiring and such - prices were estimates online at time of looking) for some shop to do it for me if I knew I could do it for less. The below is basically the method used. It made my car stink for like a week or so but to me it was completely worth it.

How to Make a Fiberglass Subwoofer Box: 19 Steps (with Pictures)

Custom Fiberglass Subwoofer: 9 Steps (with Pictures)

The shape is the shape of my car as seen in the method above. Attached is a photo of the inside of the "box" and you can see that its the shape of the back wall. It's a 12" shallow mount sub but honestly, I'm pretty impressed at the amount of bass it puts out.

It was my first time/attempt but am pretty settled in the ending result. It's been in the car since around August of 2015 and hasn't fallen apart yet :D

edit - my enclosure is more similar to the below. I did use a piece of MDF on the bottom because I didn't realize how hard that fiberglassing like this got....I doubt I needed to but it save a bit of resin too.

And don't let the vids or instructions fool you, it's messy as heck and stinks like no other. You NEED to have a vapor mask on and lots of rubber gloves. Theres a reason they tape up practically all of the back of the car.

 

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