A client from Portland contacted Kingpin Car & Marine Audio about upgrading the stereo system in his new 2016 Toyota Tundra. We scheduled a time for him to stop by our shop with his truck so we could look it over with him and explore ideas for the audio system. On the day he stopped by, we spent time looking over the Tundra, seeing how it was equipped, listening to the stock system and talking through ideas. After that, we brought him inside so he could listen to equipment that we thought would work well for him. This also gave us an opportunity for him to enjoy a tour of our facility.
Lackluster Stock Tundra Stereo
In this truck, we left the stock Toyota stereo system in the dash – it had all of the features the client wanted, so there was no reason to change it. The main reason the client came to us was that the overall clarity and output level of the stock stereo system was pretty weak. To be blunt, it sounded like you were listening to music from the other end of a tunnel. The highs were sorely lacking, the vocals sounded anemic and the bass was non-existent. When you cranked it up, it was like you were trying to accelerate fast on an icy road; there was nothing there. The good news is we can fix all of these things!
Massive Control Thanks To Audison Processor
We began by installing an Audison Bitone DSP processor in the outputs of the Toyota radio. This device does several things for the client. First, it de-equalizes the music, which is critical. Toyota, in its infinite wisdom, adds an equalization curve to all the music coming out of its radio in an attempt to make the cheap speakers sound better. Unfortunately, when you add this EQ curve to a good set of speakers, it makes them sound worse. It’s like going to a high-end steakhouse and putting ketchup on your steak. While that may be great for a burger, it only masks the great flavor of your quality steak. The EQ does the same thing to a good set of speakers.
The second thing the BitOne does is allow us to sum all of the musical signal back to a full-range sound. Many modern car audio systems divide up the musical signal and send them to appropriate speakers, but again, it only limits the sound of an improved system.
At this point, we had a full-range sound coming out of the Toyota stereo that was unmodified, just like the artist intended. Now the crew at Kingpin Car & Marine Audio can work their magic, using the crossover, digital delay and 31 bands of equalization available for every speaker in the Tundra, allowing us to maximize the sound quality in the truck. Helping to achieve this goal, the BitOne has a controller called a DRC, which we installed in a convenient location for the driver.
Hertz Speaker Upgrades
Next, we turned our focus to the front speakers in the vehicle. The client liked the sound of Hertz Mille speakers, so we installed a three-way package, going with the ML280 1.1” tweeter in the A pillars that we rebuilt to hold them properly in a position where they sound great. We installed the ML700 3” midrange in the stock locations in the dash and the ML1600 6.5” woofer in the front doors on custom-machined speaker adapters. We also installed our Stage 3 Ballistic sound prep in the front doors to eliminate road noise and the possibility of vibration or rattling.
Trifecta Of Subwoofers
Any good car audio system needs bass and, in this Tundra double cab, we made a custom enclosure that fit underneath the rear seat to house three Rockford Fosgate P3S-D4 10” subwoofers. As you can see in the pictures, the final product looked like the truck came with this as a factory option.
Behind the seat is where all the power resides. We chose two Audison amplifiers, the AV5.1K and an AV-Duo. All told, that means approximately 2,000 watts of clean power going to the speakers, with every speaker getting its own dedicated amplifier channel. The BitOne processor is also mounted behind the seat. All three of these products are on custom metal amp racks that we fabricated in our metal shop.
Finally, we turned our attention to fine-tuning the system. In the hands of an expert tuner, the results are incredible. Once we were finished, the sound staged across the top of the dash and you could pick out the instruments in different places. When you cranked it up, the sound was effortless.
Client Really Loved The Upgrades
On the day the client came to pick up his vehicle, we were excited to see if he approved of our work. He loved it! As he walked around the truck and looked over the installation, he was digging the attention to detail. When we cranked it up he was all smiles, knowing he was going to spend lots of time listening to his new audio system.
When you are ready to upgrade the audio system in your vehicle, we invite you to contact us HERE at Kingpin Car & Marine Audio of Portland. One of our team members will get together with you and your vehicle, listen to your needs, and design a system built specifically for you. Let us show you why Mobile Electronics magazine named us the Top Retailer in the Nation.