A repeat customer from Hanover, Pennsylvania, came to WSS Westminster Speed & Sound looking to upgrade the audio system in his new 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax. While he loved the in-dash navigation system and how well it integrated with his smartphone, he hated the sound quality. We went out to the vehicle with him and listened to several different cuts of music. We were both in complete agreement: The system sounded lifeless and dull. What made it even worse was this had the JBL premium sound system in it, so doing an audio upgrade was much more challenging. But hey, we love challenges!
At this point, we went back in the store and into the sound room to do some listening. After probably an hour of going over different products, we narrowed down our solution to three different proposals. The customer asked to think about this for a little while, so we shook hands and off he went. A few days later, he called us back saying he wanted to go with our top proposal, saying he liked the way that system sounded the best. We ordered the equipment and set an installation appointment.
Audison BitOne.1 Assists Factory Radio In Supplying A Clean Signal Source
As we mentioned earlier, this truck had the JBL system in it. That made an audio upgrade more challenging for a few reasons. First, JBL adds a whole bunch of equalization to the music, which is going to hurt the sound. After adding high-performance speakers, we needed a way to strip the music of this added “stuff” for the customer to get all the sound quality he expects. Second, JBL divides the musical signal into three parts, and we need a full range signal to achieve our sound quality goals. This is where the Audison BitOne.1 comes in. It is a very sophisticated sound processor that can take the musical signal from the JBL system and bring all the music back to its pure, unaltered form.
We stripped away all of the equalization added to the music, and put back all of the sound parts together, giving us a great platform from which to build the car audio system. If you look at the pictures, you will see we mounted the controller for the BitOne.1 discreetly in the sunglass holder in the overhead console. The controller is only needed when you want to adjust the subwoofer level control, or to change one of the sound quality presets we programmed into the system. We hid the brain of the processor under one of the front seats, right by the factory JBL amplifier.
Another thing that makes the Audison processor special is its ability to give us precise control over every speaker in the sound system. We gain specific crossover, time delay and 31-band equalization for every speaker in the system, giving us incredible tuning ability.
Natural Sound From Audison Front Speakers
For front speakers, we went back to Audison, choosing the AVK6 component set, consisting of a 6.5” woofer and 1.1” tweeter. We installed the woofer in the stock location in the front doors on a custom mount, and treated the doors with Hushmat to eliminate any rattling that may occur from the high-performance speakers now installed. We installed our closed cell foam rings on the front side of the woofers to seal them to the door panels, improving their output in the midbass region. We installed the tweeters in custom mounts underneath the factory midrange grills in the dash. If you look at the pictures, you will notice that the tweeters are aimed toward the listeners instead of straight up like the factory speakers. The result is a more natural sound stage across the front of the dash.
In This Toyota Tundra Audio Upgrade, Even The Passengers Have Great Sound
In the rear doors, we installed a set of high-quality coaxial speakers in the factory locations. These speakers are only used in the event of rear seat passengers wanting sound specifically for them. When the driver and front passenger are in the vehicle, the rear speakers are turned off, as they add nothing to the sound quality of the system.
Ultra-Thin JL Audio Subwoofer Fits Behind Rear Seat
When it came time for real sub-bass, the kind you can feel in your chest, we went to JL Audio. We chose their 13TW5v2, which is in a league of its own. This subwoofer is only 2.5” deep and works in an extremely compact enclosure. No other subwoofer on the market has this kind of output and clarity in such a compact design. Our technicians custom-made a sealed enclosure to fit behind the rear seat, completely hidden from view when the seat is up. We forgot to take a picture of the enclosure when it was still outside of the vehicle, so we only have a side view and a bottom view for you to see at this point. We mounted the enclosure securely to the vehicle, and applied Hushmat to the whole rear wall of the truck to eliminate any rattling or vibration.
Hertz Amplifiers Sound Great And Take Up Almost No Usable Space
For amplifiers, we chose two models from Hertz. We used the HDP5 to power the front speakers, with more than 60 watts of clean power going to each woofer and tweeter up front. It also supplied more than 500 watts of clean power to the 13TW5v2 subwoofer. The HCP2 supplied 60 watts to each of the rear door speakers. We mounted both amplifiers under the rear seat on the driver’s side. When the seat cushion is down, they are completely hidden from view, but lifting it back up gives easy access to the amplifier controls.
Great Gear + Great Tuning = Great Sound in This Toyota Tundra Audio Upgrade
We spent significant time on fine-tuning the Audison BitOne.1 processor, as that is what separates a good shop from a great shop. We believe every customer deserves all of the performance they pay for, so our team of highly skilled and expertly trained technicians will spend all the time needed to extract all of the sound quality possible from the system.
When the team at WSS Westminster Speed & Sound finished this truck, the customer thought we hit it out of the park. We kept the stealth look he desired, hiding all of the equipment, and we gave him incredible sound quality at levels approaching a live concert. He was grinning from ear to ear while moving to the beat of the music. We were thrilled! That is what we live for.
Step Bar and Remote Car Starter Upgrades
While we were talking about all of the audio upgrades, a few other topics came up as well. We sold the customer a set of Amp-Research power steps, which are hidden steps that motorize down six inches when the door is open. We love these things. We also added a Compustar 2W901 remote car starter with two-way control, so he gets a notification that his truck has started. He also can see the temperature inside his vehicle, so he knows how much time is needed to warm it up in the winter or cool it off in the summer.
Stop By Today And Find Out What Makes Us Number One!
If you own a Toyota truck and are unhappy with the way it sounds, WSS Westminster Speed & Sound can help. Since 1969, we have been working one on one with our customers, coming up with solutions that best fit their needs. We invite you to stop by our store with your vehicle and get to know us. We think you will find that we are a different kind of retailer – one that puts the customer first. We would love to show you why Mobile Electronics magazine chose us as one of the Top Mobile Electronics Retailers in the country in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and again in 2014.
Feel free to contact us here for more information about any of our products and services.