Toyota Tacoma Audio Upgrades

I’ve been meaning to do this project for years…. I’ve had this annoying rattling coming from the factory plastic inside the door panels on my 2013 Tacoma – which I...

I’ve been meaning to do this project for years…. I’ve had this annoying rattling coming from the factory plastic inside the door panels on my 2013 Tacoma – which I should have removed the first go around. When I went to remove the door panel, I discovered that somehow, (possibly through a hard kick of the door panel – who knows), that one of the Infinity component speakers I had put in there was damaged from the existing grill covers (I’ve got some modifications to do). The speakers would cut out at high levels which I suspected was more due to their power handling. I’m surprised they performed as well as they did for having a damaged seal around the speaker woofer!

So it’s time to replace the speakers! I figured I’ve been using a 6 1/2″ component speaker system for awhile, that I didn’t particularly care too much for, so I’m making the iffy move to 6×9’s. I know, I know, 6×9’s? I needed something that better matched up with the bass from the sub in the rear – there was just too much lack thereof in the front speaker space. I decided on the JBL Club 9630’s which I think are quite budget friendly @ roughly $88 a pair. They were actually recommend by a Crutchfield rep, but when I went to price check, holy cow Crutchfield, I know your equipment comes with great service, but at 40% more? Hard to compete with Amazon I know, I’d rather pay a tad more and get the great service, but not get stiffed in the process, lol.

I figured while I was in there, I would try sound deadening the door panels with some deadening material. Generally, the idea is to decrease road noise, and create a better ‘space’ for the speaker to do its ‘thing’, so I sealed on the inside of the door cavity, in addition to the outer shell. Now when I close the doors, it’s like closing the door on a high end vehicle. Tight & solid. I’m hoping that this also helps me hear the small communication speaker that I have connected to my VHF/UHF radio – sometimes I find it difficult to hear even with the volume turned up!

I must say, I’m quite impressed with them so far. I was afraid that by moving the tweeter down towards my calves, I’d lose alot of the highs. When I told the rep that I was using an Alpine Power Pack amp, this recommendation popped up. They fill the air with so much more dynamic range now, and a bit of bass to boot! The Power Pack drives these speakers nicely – as they’re suited for a wider range of sensitivity. The sound is so filling coming from the 6×9’s that I can barely tell the difference in the shift in highs, but I can really tell I was missing out on the mids with the 6 1/2’s. Since these are the only speakers in the truck minus the sub, I needed to balance out the bass in the rear of the cab, & these speakers do it nicely in a pickup! The sound deadening helped quite a bit in producing better sound all around. As far as road noise? Maybe a smidge.. not enough to really notice though, for that I’d probably need to do the whole cab.

-Johnny

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