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Old 01-01-10, 12:06 PM   #1
vasanda
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Default Stereo Questions

Hello all.

I just purchased a 2007 Lexus rx 350 a few days ago and have been researching on the forums like crazy. Thanks btw for all the informative posts!

One item that I am confused about is the sound system. I have the "premium" (not Mark Levinson) without Naviation and I am little confused as what i can do it upgrade it.

It appears that I can upgrade the cd player to an alpine, eclipse, ot etc. double din cd play with GPS/Nagivation. What is not clear is what I can do it with the upgrade.

-Do I need bi-pass or replace the amp so the speakers work? Or can I keep the amp with just run the amp off the after market head unit with some harness.

- Where is the amp? It seems to be made by Pioneer based on the links below; is the factory cd player also Pioneer?

-Are there better options for me out there for me? I just want to mainly get an ipod and bluetooth hooked-up. It seems like that alone will be 500 bucks so I figure just upgrade the head unit and get navigation also.

-What head-units sound best with the factory speaker and amps. Pioneer since the factory stuff is pioneer?


Here are some links that I saw with some information.

Thread one -

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-s...0-rx350-2.html

Thread two-

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-s...-dash-nav.html

Thanks in advance and sorry for all the questions.
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Old 01-02-10, 06:41 PM   #2
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Looks like the headunit is a pioneer also based on a thread I saw on the forum:


http://www.clublexus.com/forums/lexu...ne-levels.html


I would still appreciate feedback on the amp and faceplate.
Thanks.
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Old 01-03-10, 07:01 AM   #3
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I have the ML system and it sounds very good for a stock system. I keep getting the urge to strip everything out and put some other gear that I have in. Every time I think of how much work I'm getting into (custom sub box, amp rack(s), door pods, speaker placement, custom kick panels, etc.) I tend to drop the issue. But when I get into my other car with a complete setup I'm right back at the idea again.

I thought the adapter to hook up Ipod and whatever (vais (sp?) something) was only about $200? Much cheaper than a DD with navigation, dvd, etc.

Sorry I don't have any answers for you. The only thing I can think of is if you change to a DD with nav, there is a company that sells the trim piece for it. They also sell another electronic piece that allows you to hook up some other stuff (I forgot what else it allows you to hook up so you might want to check it out yourself).

www.beatsonic.com
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Old 01-03-10, 12:59 PM   #4
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You are facing two challenges ... physical and electrical.

Physical: The slots as is are non-standard. You have to worry about how a standard size equipemnt would fit and finish.

Electrical: The signals are again not standard in stock. So replacing one piece and keeping the rest is not easy.

I would suggest that you visit local installers [Best buy etc] and get the advice from the tech. You dont have to buy the system from them, but the education can be invaluable.


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Old 01-04-10, 08:14 PM   #5
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Vasanda,

You're in luck. You CAN upgrade your factory stereo with anything you want in your vehicle. I just recently replaced my factory head unit, speakers and amplifier in my 2004 RX330 with Navigation without losing any functions in my dash. It's not for the novice but with time and the correct tools it can be done. I will do a full DIY with pictures soon but here's some areas of interest.

1- Contact Beatsonic to get the new trim panel and correct harness for your vehicle. Most likely you need the SLA-82 but in my case I used the MVA-82. The harness you use is based on year, ML or no ML, and Nav. or no Nav. Tip, beatsonic stocks other harnesses not shown on their U.S. site.
http://shop.beatsonicusa.com/product...5&categoryId=2

2- Select whatever double-din head unit you want. I'm using a Clarion VX409.

3- I suggest changing your speakers. I used Infinty Reference Series 6x9's in the front and Infinity Reference Series 6.5's in the rear. I cut out the factory speakers and retained the factory "basket" and simply dropped in the Infinity's and soldered the connections behind the speaker. I also installed Stinger Roadkill in the doors.

4- I went with 2 12" Infinity Reference Series subs. This might or might not be your thing but it allows me to take the heavier bass out of the doors. The sub is not permanent so I can take it out in a minute.

5- The mono and 4-channel Alpine amps are mounted under the upper compartment in the hatch where your spare tire jack is etc. I removed the bottom tray so the amps could get better air flow.

6- I also installed a 7-band Clarion EQ which is hidden from view.

Again, a much more comprehensive DIY is coming soon!

Words can't describe how much better music sounds now. It took two weekends to complete but was well worth it! I was in the same boat as you trying to find out how to upgrade everything. I found a few threads where people changed some things but never how or who made the modifications. An installer maybe? Anyway, I always messed around with sound systems from high school to my mid 20's and was glad to see in my mid 30's I can still do it!

Here's some pics of my system. Sorry for the quality but it got dark on me. Enjoy!

Scott
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Old 01-05-10, 07:52 PM   #6
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Many thanks man. I can't wait to see end product in detail.

One question, can I keep the factory amp? How much did sound improve with the just the head unit being changed.

I am trying to avoid getting too involved. I used to have a very bad car audio addiction...I used to compete in the IASCA sound offs (before DB Drag Racing was popular). A thousand dollars can easily turn into a few thousand for me if I am not careful.

I honestly just wanted to change the head unit and maybe throw in a inifinity basslink or something. I did this on my 300M before and I sounded pretty good.
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Old 01-06-10, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanda View Post
Many thanks man. I can't wait to see end product in detail.

One question, can I keep the factory amp? How much did sound improve with the just the head unit being changed.

I am trying to avoid getting too involved. I used to have a very bad car audio addiction...I used to compete in the IASCA sound offs (before DB Drag Racing was popular). A thousand dollars can easily turn into a few thousand for me if I am not careful.

I honestly just wanted to change the head unit and maybe throw in a inifinity basslink or something. I did this on my 300M before and I sounded pretty good.
I wasn't able to use the factory amp. The beatsonic harness I used didn't match wire for wire. The problem is that these harnesses are for Japanese market vehicles and they don't use the exact same head units and speaker configurations we have. My harness matched pin for pin but not wire for wire. You can use the speaker wires on your new head unit and tap into the unplugged harness at the factory amplifier. The only problem is you won't be able to hear the dash mids and tweeters. The factory amp has a 6-channel output. I'm using the Alpine 4-channel to power the door speakers and the power from the head unit front channel speaker wires to handle the mids and tweeters with a bass blocker installed. This is what pushed me to go with an aftermarket amp.

BTW, if you remove the mono amp and subs you can get a system close to mine for under a $1,000.

Hope this helps.

Scott
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Old 01-08-10, 08:20 AM   #8
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RX330 clt, nice job!!! I bet it sounds fantastic. Question, when you close the hatch where the amps are located, do you feel they are venting enough?
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Old 01-08-10, 10:51 AM   #9
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I have my aftermarket amps and subwoofers underneath the cargo area. The amps are in the forward tray. The tray near the backseats was removed to drop in a custom subwoofer enclosure. I haven't had a problem with venting or anything. And this way everything is hidden.
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Old 01-08-10, 12:02 PM   #10
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Can you take a picture of that, I really would like to see it. I have all the components already for my system setup just need idea on how to get it done right.
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Old 01-08-10, 04:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike DeAno View Post
RX330 clt, nice job!!! I bet it sounds fantastic. Question, when you close the hatch where the amps are located, do you feel they are venting enough?
Thanks. The sound is so much fuller and alive. The amps have a good amount of air flow with the plastic tray removed. I've driven almost 8 hours with the stereo at a moderate to high level with no heat issues or shutdown.

Scott
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Old 01-08-10, 07:10 PM   #12
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mowmow, sorry I only have this picture now and it doesn't help that my interior is black. I'm going to take a few more pictures before I turn in my 330 tomorrow for the 450h.

My installer did a great job and was very creative. He made the enclosure out of fiberglass and even built in some slots for the jack and stuff between the subs. The Clean Sweep is under the tray where the amps are. And all the speakers were changed out with kick panels in the front.

Now I have to figure out what to do with the 450h because I really like having a little seat massage
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Old 01-08-10, 08:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanda View Post
Many thanks man. I can't wait to see end product in detail.

One question, can I keep the factory amp? How much did sound improve with the just the head unit being changed.

I am trying to avoid getting too involved. I used to have a very bad car audio addiction...I used to compete in the IASCA sound offs (before DB Drag Racing was popular). A thousand dollars can easily turn into a few thousand for me if I am not careful.

I honestly just wanted to change the head unit and maybe throw in a inifinity basslink or something. I did this on my 300M before and I sounded pretty good.
vasanda:
I alluded to non standard levels ... As you get to luxury makes .... Mercedes used optic and Lexus uses differential signals [l+,l-, r+.r- and gnd] as pre-amp levels. Theory being the noise induced is canceled out. The sub out from is standard [sgnal (l+r) vs gnd]. So changing individual pieces is hard to do. From stock you can change speakers and sub. Some say that by changing speakers they get adequate improvement.

Search on Aux-in or ipod and you can see the discussion there.

Salim
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Old 01-12-10, 06:20 PM   #14
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Where is the stock amplifier located?
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Old 01-13-10, 01:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitlz View Post
mowmow, sorry I only have this picture now and it doesn't help that my interior is black. I'm going to take a few more pictures before I turn in my 330 tomorrow for the 450h.

My installer did a great job and was very creative. He made the enclosure out of fiberglass and even built in some slots for the jack and stuff between the subs. The Clean Sweep is under the tray where the amps are. And all the speakers were changed out with kick panels in the front.

Now I have to figure out what to do with the 450h because I really like having a little seat massage
Thats a great picture !! Your installer really did a good job hiding the subs and amps. I had a fiberglass enclosure for my old car with 2 JL 10W6 v2 in there I'm thinking of doing just 1 this time, now that I have a 1 year old boy, can't really crank it up when he is in the car. Happy for you that you are getting the new 450h, it's sure is a cool car too. Can you let me know what is the color code for the ski rack up top.
My friend owns a body shop and I would like to paint my faded black ski rack to the new metallic silver color.
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RX Machine mount Quad Projector Retrofit finished

Scion Machine mount quad projector retrofit write up
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Old 01-13-10, 01:57 PM
 
 
 
 
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