View Full Version : audio guru's inside(I.e. Mario, DIG, Stacy,Robert...ect...)

10-08-2013, 06:30 AM
System 10 overhaul

I have recently lost sound on drivers side of vehicle( if I balance it all the way to left I can hear the tweeter). So I'm sure my system 10 OE speakers have finally slowly started to kick the bucket.

The Toyota system is odd to me as if never seen a system where the amp feeds power to the HU. But I've also never had a car with a factory amplifier and non-amplified HU, possibly this is normal for factory systems that incorporate a factory amp?

The amplifier is 5 channel( one channel for head unit, one for tweeters and dash 4", one for 8" mid bass subwoofers, one for rear 6.5" mid range, and one channel for the rear deck)? No clue what power rating is for amp(maybe 200?)with 60watts to subs and 25 watts to the other 4channels.

Plan is to replace head unit with a double din amplified w/dvd and navigation, probably a Pioneer or maybe alpine depending on price.

Focal integration is200 8" components for the doors, focal 4" coaxial for the dash and focal 6.5" for the rear. (Being a vert I dont have the rear deck, so im not worried about those)
And possibly a sub or 2 for trunk(doubtful right away due to leaky top)

Being that the replacement HU will have front and rear preouts+ sub, should I bother with the factory amp and use the metra harness designed for retaining the stock system. Or a full out rewire and get a more powerful amp to power the speakers, if I can find one to fit under passenger seat like it is now.
Would rather not rewire entire car, but I can.

Maybe im.over thinking this because its late and its been a while since I have messed with a stereo system( ~9years since my last competition setup) so I'm a bit out of the loop.

10-08-2013, 06:37 AM
Probably over thinking but if I used the metra harness, due to factory setting of the amp feeding the HU for power and amplifation, wouldn't that screw with how the new HU amplifies and gets power?

david in germany
10-08-2013, 08:28 AM
If I may make a suggestion. Find the deck that you like, pull the factory system 10 amp and replace it with a JBL MS-8. The MS-8 is an 8 channel amplifier built into a DSP. Simply put, AMAZING piece of equipment. it is rated at 20w per channel at 4 ohms and I can assure you puts out more power than the system 10 amp. Amazone has them for under $500 which is a bargain when you think of what it does. Your stock speakers may infact still be good and the amp may be on it's way out.

If you are interested in the MS-8 I can go into more detail about it but it is a lot of info.

10-08-2013, 01:51 PM
i agree with david that driverside channel on the amp my be bad. the under part of the passenger seat is a little on the roomy side, im runnin an old school memphis 4 channel rite now that ive had sense high school. the amp intergration harness should be all you need.

The Captain
10-08-2013, 03:22 PM
Ditch all factory stuff. I used the Alpine PDX-5 marine amp in my vert. Gobs of power, class D efficient.

10-08-2013, 05:28 PM
Ill look into any sugestions. As I havent purchased anything

10-08-2013, 06:15 PM
im running in my very 6 inch alpine type r componits and types s in the rear and it it has plenty of mid bass, almost to the point of i dont wanna add a sub, but has plenty of high end sound

10-08-2013, 06:46 PM
If you want to minimize the rewiring you can do what the PO did to my GTS, take out the stock amp, use the Metra harness adapter and hook up your new amp to the existing wires. Then run a new power wire and add a ground and you're done.

10-08-2013, 07:07 PM
Never thought about doing that underscore

david in germany
10-08-2013, 09:07 PM
That is similar to what I would recommend when you decide what you are going to do. Either way, under the seat is the best place to tap into the harness to get to the door woofers.

10-08-2013, 11:51 PM
Have to run out for a bit. Will post back when I return. :)

10-09-2013, 12:32 AM
Well, I can't find my sticky now for the aftermarket amp install, but that is a good guide on doing exactly what David and Underscore mentioned.
As to driver choice, Focal is nice, but very pricey and I honestly think you can do better for the money spent.
Davids' suggestion of the JBL MS8 is a great one. It is designed for integration into OE systems and has a great amount of tailoring that can be done to get things sounding how they should/you like them.
For amplifiers, the Alpine PDX series are nice. As are some of the offerings from Massive Audio (Though they do tend to not put out their rated power, they do the job decently). But honestly anything you get should be fine as long as you are happy with it and it is able to do what it states.

Pioneer has some nicer headunits out this year. If you plan to go digital with your music (as in use a strictly digital source) Then Alpine has a nice inexpensive little headunit that just takes input from an iPod or other player and it works quite well. Shows album art and such too. I think it starts with IDX or something like that. (been a while as it's a few years old)http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alpine-iDA-X305S-MP3-Digital-Media-Receive-MP3-In-Dash-Receiver-/111181025720?pt=Car_Audio_In_Dash_Receivers&hash=item19e2e7d1b8
Kenwood has some nice HU offerings as well that you could look into.

For wiring, make sure you terminate your ends with nice connectors and use shrink tubing on the ends as well as label them properly. It will save you many headaches in the future, should you decide to change things up.

Also, it bears mentioning that you are most likely better served by only using the front driver sets. The rear ones won't do much for you. Just go with the 4" in the knee area, the 8" in the doors and some nice tweeters in the stock location and you should be ok. I know that the placements are not in any way ideal, but they are a good start until you decide to really get into things. ;)

10-09-2013, 01:35 AM
I only picked focal due to the only 8in component set that meets the depth requirement of under 3". Hell only 8" component period. I also prefer all speakers to match brand wise(ocd in me) rather than lets say focal in door, Pioneer in dash and kenwood in rear. Idk it just make sence to all the same

My friend also suggested finding good set of 4" components and using dedicated shallow 8" woofer.
Idk ive just started the research end of every thing. I agree the MS-8 is a neat little piece of equipment, not sure its enough power though or if I'd run a secondary amp long with it.

The two smallest amps besides the jbl I found are the pdx-5 from alpine and the xd700/5 from jl audio.

Overall goal is to appear as factory(beside the obvious head unit) as can be but much much better quality sound.

10-09-2013, 01:44 AM
Why do you say not to change out the rear 6.5"?

10-09-2013, 05:15 AM
Why do you say not to change out the rear 6.5"?

its problly bc rear is just manly used for fill sound and gets lost in a vert anyway when the top is down and is just barly there when the top is up, bc of the extra wind sound. also kicker makes a flat 8 ich sub that fits in the door with some trimming of the plastic. i thought about going that route in my vert b4 going with the alpine set up i have now

david in germany
10-09-2013, 05:33 AM
I can assure you, with the MS-8 you may only need an additional amp for subs. If you run a 8" in the door similar in power and sensitivity the it will push it without an issue. If you go with something more power hungry you will need an external amp.

My 1 series is set up very similar to a Celica with system 10 except that I have the 8" under the seats and not in the doors.
I am running from the deck (Dynavin D99) to the MS-8. The MS-8 powers 4" components in the door, the underseat 8" woofers, the rear fill 4" and provides signal for my Digital Designs SS1a amp powering a single 10" sub. I still have a free channel on the MS-8 that I will be using for a center channel.
I still need to tune a bit but at this point it is one of the best sounding systems I have ever heard.

10-09-2013, 05:50 AM
Interesting DIG. Is the ms-8 compact enough to fit under the seat?

Glad to see you have 1st hand experience with it. From your post it seems to be very customizable and able to change if I see fit down the road.

Ill look into it more definitely.

10-09-2013, 06:13 AM
You agree with Mario on driver choice?
Your running the earthquake 8" in the bimmer still? If so you like em?

Also think I may have settled on a HU- Pioneer sph-da210 appradio 3, but like driver choice that may change but from a software standpoint and options I like it.

david in germany
10-09-2013, 06:47 AM
I actually pulled the earthquakes and put in a pair of BMW L7 woofers in for the higher sensitivity. There is nothing wrong with the earthquakes though they are great woofers. I have no issues with any speakers mario recommends. The focals mentioned before have been known for harsh tweeters though.

Sent from my GT-S7710 using Tapatalk 4

david in germany
10-09-2013, 06:49 AM
The MS-8 will fit under the seat like it was made fot it!

Sent from my GT-S7710 using Tapatalk 4

10-09-2013, 08:20 AM
Staying brand loyal in car audio only gets you so far. We all have a brand or two that we tend to gravitate towards.
But there is always something better or worse for that same dollar you are spending.
Do your research and make an informed decision. You will always be happier for it in the end.
If there is a higher sensitivity driver with similar specs and frequency range... Get it if it fits your budget and needs.
If you want better drivers/tweeters, there are many great options that are not a part of any "set" that you will find.
Do your homework. Do the math, see what you can get to with what you have and THEN decide what you want.
This means being realistic in your goals both in respect to budget and power goals. There will always be some compromise.
Also to consider are crossovers.
Are you going to spend the money and time trying to find the correct crossover networks that will work with your driver sets?
Or, will you simply go active and spend a bit more knowing that you now have a greater range of flexibility in your choices going forward?
It is all food for thought, but David and I as well as Luni have been around the block a time or two. ;) So please ask all the questions you like.
We will be here.

- Mario

One note of import:
Figure out why your current setup is not operating as it should before you start throwing money at it. Unless you just want a new setup. If that is the case, disregard this note. ;)

10-09-2013, 08:37 PM
I'm budgeting around $2500 for everything. I think I can do it way under that though.

10-09-2013, 08:52 PM
$2,500. ? Damn son! :D
For that you can get some really decent gear and still have funds left over for a movie and a nice meal for the family. lol

10-09-2013, 09:02 PM
I'm budgeting around $2500 for everything. I think I can do it way under that though.

damn man i recently built someone at work a killer system for way under that, i did it for around 1200 and that was with the cost of install. i will agree with shadowlife, brand loyalty will only go so far as far as sound goes. just figure out what you want out of your system and go from there. but i will suggjest to go with something that has a fair amount of mid bass and equal that out with a good set of highs sense your not running a sub at this moment in time.

10-10-2013, 12:00 AM
Shiiieeet... I'm at like maybe 800 if I count my HU (three years old now), all the wiring, 6 speakers (not the tweeters), and my amp... with another 320 for all four tweeters and a Optima Yellow Top yet to be spent. I just need to get time and space to install it. However, my complex is out of garages right now and the person I normally visit to work on my car is busy every weekend when I'm home.

Parts list:
Pioneer AVH-4300DVD
Alpine SPR-10TW (Tweeters, eventually)
Infinity 429i (Front)
Infinity 629i (Rear)
Renegade RX830 (Doors)
Alpine MRX-V70

10-10-2013, 02:03 AM
I know it seems very high but im basing my pricing just off of the manufacturer websites so far. And they are then estimated in my head. I know by using Amazon and eBay I will save alot of money. Ive never built a system where I cared about over all sound, my past systems were strictly bass and lots of it....and very very loud. So making every thing to work togather and sound the way it should is new to me.

Headunit- between $400-800
Amp- $500-1000 Ms-8 + secondary (if the jbl isn't enough)
Wiring+ connections- no idea on price till I get into the car and see how bad the existing wiring is.
Speakers- guessing between $500-800 depending on driver choice and woofer choice for the door

Maybe I'm way far off idk.

10-10-2013, 02:57 AM
If you're going to be replacing every major component, might as well replace the 20 year old wiring anyway with some fresh, oxygen free copper wiring.

Also... if I include the tweeters, my total cost of speakers alone is only ~330. So I'm guessing you're looking at full blown matched component speaker sets? Granted, I'm running "older" model Kappas that are end of life, so I got them pretty cheap (new in box, though). Heck, my head unit was EoL and I got "upgraded" to what was the current generation of head unit at the time. Even then, I still only paid $200 for my unit... for features I don't use anyway...

10-10-2013, 03:09 AM
My statement should be clarified. $2500 is a great budget and in my opinion very realistic depending on the choices made for gear.

Another thought is that if you buy some really nice gear that makes you happy, you will most likely continue to enjoy it for many years to come.
So, it isn't like it is a waste. Audio gear can change vehicles easily and continue to provide service long after it is deemed "old".

10-10-2013, 03:30 AM
Very true Mario. I don't plan on separating with my vert so its more of an investment more or less.

Did you see what I put about my friends idea of using a 4" component setup, vs the 8" and using a dedicated 8" sub on its own ?

As far as wiring goes idk what ill do ill have to see how the wiring looks and then decided if I want to replace it all or leave it.

10-10-2013, 03:50 AM
Well maybe the 4" component may not be the way to go. They are few and far between.and expensive.
might be better to not do a component setup at all...idk just thinking out loud.

david in germany
10-10-2013, 05:42 AM
I would recommend a separate sub. Reserve the 8" in the doors for midbass duties. If you do decide to go with the MS-8, look for an 8" with high sensitivity and lower power rating. I won't go into detail how to set up the MS-8 until you have it and are planning the setup. You will know what I mean when you get to that point.;)

4" components are available. Top of the price range are Morel $500.+ just for the set. DLS and CDT both have sets that are affordable as does Focal. I picked up a brand new set of Fosgate Fanatic 4" components from eBay for just under $100 a little bit ago. (I bought them just in case I needed them, if you need them let me know) another option, look for a set of original MB Quart 4" components. I prefer the Premium series that have the 6ohm dome tweeter and the better x-overs though.

In my BMW I am also only running 4" components so don't think that is a bad thing. You have more options because the Celica enclosure is deep enough to take almost any 4" on the market, not quite so with the BMW.. Ask me how I know..

10-10-2013, 06:40 AM
The other option is to use the open backed plates for mounting 5.25" drivers from a System 10 Celica. Just a thought.

David, you hit it on the head with the 8" drivers serving midbass duty. I have my Illusion ND8's in exactly that capacity and they are great. (I also have them band-passed on a 24dB slope) ;)

10-10-2013, 06:42 AM
Yeah when it come to brand I have no clue who makes what or who is a good brand for what type of speaker. In my younger days I was kinda in unspokenly sponsored by a local audio shop because I used what ever they told me would be best. Don't get me wrong they are #1 in my area and have numerous awards and such. I wouldn't question my friend/sales guy, but I dont want to be limited buy only equipment they carry.

I'm definitely set on that MS-8 now that ive researched it a bit more. It is an awesome machine. I will benefit alot from it with what I want out of my system.

As you know David the biggest limiting factor for the 8" sub is the depth I have to work with in the door, want to stay within the 3". Going with a dedicated 8" do you think seperate mono block class d amp or rin just off the jbl ms-8?

10-10-2013, 06:45 AM
5.25" isn't a size for the stock system 10, unless you mean convert the 4" in the dash to that size.?

david in germany
10-10-2013, 07:30 AM
5.25" isn't a size for the stock system 10, unless you mean convert the 4" in the dash to that size.?
but if you are lucky you can find a pair of OEM Toyota Celica 5.25" mounting plates. ;)

As seen in picture #2 of this thread

Run the dedicated sub off of a dedicated amp if it is for sub duties, if you are talking about an 8" in the doors, run it off of the MS-8 otherwise you will have distortion from the vibration in the doors.

The original design of the Celica even though it sounds backwards is;
4" woofers in the dash and 8" mids in the door. The door woofers were more "flash" but the location has some great advantages.

What you need to do with the MS-8 in setup is,
Channel 1 - L dash 4" and tweeter setup as "1 way" x over 100hz hp
Channel 2 - R dash 4" and tweeter setup as "1 way" x over 100hz hp
Channel 3 - L rear 100hz highpass
Channel 4 - R rear 100hz highpass
Channel 6 - L Door 35hz subsonic 100hz lowpass
Channel 6 - R Door 35hz subsonic 100hz lowpass
Channel 7 - not used subwoofer to add later
Channel 8 - not used

When you add the sub woofer (if you do add a dedicated one)
Channel 1 - L dash 4" and tweeter setup as "2 way" x over 100hz hp
Channel 2 - R dash 4" and tweeter setup as "2 way" x over 100hz hp
Channel 3 - L rear 100hz highpass
Channel 4 - R rear 100hz highpass
Channel 6 - L Door F L low range 60hz subsonic 100hz lowpass
Channel 6 - R Door F R low range 60hz subsonic 100hz lowpass
Channel 7 - 25hz Subsonic 80hz lowpass
Channel 8 not used

I wish they had the MS-8 when I had my Celica....

10-10-2013, 09:35 AM
Ah, that was such a good thread. Changed a mind in that one too. :) Now that, is an accomplishment. Plus it was hawt how Stacy broke it down. Shit made me proud. :D

10-11-2013, 01:17 AM
Wow those 5.25" plates are sweet. Bet they are near impossible to find.

How did you do the tweeters in the kick panel David? Modify the existing ones?

10-11-2013, 01:26 AM
If you decide to go the component route, I think I still have a NIB set of R4c's


10-11-2013, 01:43 AM
Wow those 5.25" plates are sweet. Bet they are near impossible to find.

How did you do the tweeters in the kick panel David? Modify the existing ones?

The 5.25" plates are stock on many Celicas. Either check at a wrecking yard or just buy them from Toyota.

If you read in the other thread he listed he mentions it. Run a nice length of wire to them and them use double sided tape and play around with placement to have them where they are best.
Then take a sharpie and mark out your center point.
Next, measure the diameter of your tweeter (from the back where it will be mounted in) and use a compass to mark out your cutting area.
Make sure there is enough room to mount the tweeter where you want to behind the panel.
If there is enough space, proceed with cutting out the plastic and mounting your tweets and running your wires.


10-11-2013, 02:52 AM
I missed that part.... ill have to go back over it better later tonight. Lots of good info.

david in germany
10-11-2013, 09:20 AM
There is a little flat spot towards the rear where it turns to the door. Towards the top of it it gets a bit wider and gives you more room to mount. My tweets had a pretty big mounting cup (swivel tweeters) and they had plenty of room. Swivel tweeter mounts are the way to go as well because you can adjust aim point. I started mine by aiming the passenger side at the driver's head and drivers side aimed at the passenger's head.

One big note, if you have the mirror pods already, the MS-8 should be able to make up the alignment by it's self.

Even bigger note. I told Mario about this in pm but, be prepared to relearn ALL of your music. The MS-8 will blow your mind with what you will hear that you missed in your music before. It is a bit hard to get it in your head all of your sound coming from in front of your face... I would suggest in the beginning to set the seat position to "front" before you focus it to "driver" .

10-11-2013, 07:27 PM
Yeah I have a system 10(or 8 because I dont have a rear deck) so I have the mirror tweeters.
I found a few subs that meet the mounting depth requirements. Ill post back later with links to them. Im at work currently.

Yes im excited about the ms-8.

10-14-2013, 06:45 AM
Just for reference:

That isn't the only review like that I found either. It seems that the MS series of amplifiers from JBL are a force to be reckoned with. Incredibly flexible, put out their rated power, and make things easy for a novice to deal with in regard to tuning and setting things like gains etc.
The beautiful thing about them is that they do their same rated power into either a 4 ohm load OR a 2 ohm load and you can control the outputs as well. They are pretty damn intelligently designed, in my opinion. They have a very small footprint and coupled with class D circuitry, they don't need massive heatsinks on them. Perhaps common enough now days, but I sincerely like the approach they have taken to all of the parts in their design. It reminds me of the Alpine PDX series, but with a load more flexibility and forethought put in.

Anyhow, just wanted to share a bit. :)
The digital interface on the amplifiers seems a great touch as well since it eliminates the need to use a laptop.

david in germany
10-14-2013, 09:18 AM
I have been looking at their 500w mono amp and their 3 channel amp as well. Really cool stuff!

10-14-2013, 11:04 AM
Yeah David, their 500w mono amp is nice as well. Same family and features available with it and again, just a very well thought out design that I have some real respect for.
I had rather given up on JBL for car audio purposes in the mid nineties, but they seem to have really stepped up their game in the amplifier and processing arena. Kudos to them for sure.

10-21-2013, 07:39 AM
Blackhawk's setup:

• Bass amplifier (Kenwood) under driver seat
• Midrange amplifier (Alpine) under passenger seat
• Tweeters all run off the Sony Deck
• Component Alpines drivers in the rear
• Two-Way Alpine drivers in the dash
• Two Shallow Pioneer Subs in the door

Sound is faded forward, amplifiers are filtering out unneeded frequencies for their drivers, and I'm drawing off an Optima Yellow-Top battery charged by a high-output alternator with an overdrive pulley.

I had to add a good amount of sound-deadening to the doors and the floor. Totally worth it, and I love my setup.

10-22-2013, 05:56 AM
I still need to finish mass loading most of the car and then get some other dampers to apply over as well.
Still a ton of road noise coming into the cabin area as well as exhaust noise. Maybe not tons, but enough to annoy me after I drive a newer vehicle like my father's truck.

10-30-2013, 07:44 AM

JBL MS8 for $375. shipped :)

10-31-2013, 05:31 AM
Also for your consideration, an excellent HU, just a step above mine:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Eclipse-Fujitsu-Ten-CD7100/251367041982?_trksid=p3984.m2206&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D17902%26meid%3D2363355209499713487%26pid%3D 100052%26prg%3D8261%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D3310 52433139%26

11-08-2013, 02:34 AM
Ah, that was such a good thread. Changed a mind in that one too. :) Now that, is an accomplishment. Plus it was hawt how Stacy broke it down. Shit made me proud. :D

I haven't been online in a while with work keeping me busy and not getting internet installed until almost a month after we moved into the new house. I totally missed this thread, but Mario, that shit made me laugh. I completely forgot about that thread.

On a different note, we had 6.5's components installed in place of the 8" speakers in the doors on our st185. I took a sheet of ABS and cut it to make an adapter to fit the 6.5's in the factory System 10 speaker boxes. Unfortunately, I don't think I have any pictures. :(

11-09-2013, 05:18 PM
Good call on the ABS Stacy, it won't break down over time from moisture like MDF will.
And there is nothing wrong with using a good quality 6.5" driver in place of the factory 8". In fact, it may actually be easier to get it match up with the other drivers in the system, especially if running passive.

11-10-2013, 03:54 AM
I should really subscribe to my own threads lol lots of good info. Hopefully after Xmas I can start ordering goodies. Also might steal the Panasonic cd player out of the 4runner for now. My stock unit works fine but if I hit a slight bump in the road or a bump going into a parking lot, it shuts off hehehe.

Its not a bad CD player(the Panasonic) I just can't stand putting single din HU's in a space for a double din. Even with the dash kits they just don't do it for me.

11-11-2013, 11:19 PM
I run a single din unit with the factory pocket underneath. Works perfectly and looks stock. Because it is. ;)

11-12-2013, 05:35 AM
There's a factory pocket? I thought all Celica had double din headunit.

11-12-2013, 05:40 AM
There's a factory pocket? I thought all Celica had double din headunit.

The Celica had both an option for a double DIN (CD - Cassette System 10) and a single DIN. I got a little pocket under my stereo with a spring-set door that is off a factory AllTrac.