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2005 RX330 Stereo Upgrade

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Old 06-26-14, 03:21 PM   #1
thegrouse
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Default 2005 RX330 Stereo Upgrade

Good afternoon,

I just purchased my first Lexus this week. I have not driven it too much but it was cared for very well. I checked the VIN and it was Lexus serviced every 5k for just about all of the 90k miles it has. One of my first issues is going to be a Navigation DVD update and a stereo upgrade. The Navigation DVD appears to be the original. It looks like Sewell has the new one for 135$ or so. I could not find any used ones in the classifieds or on Ebay. That should take care of the navigation. The stereo seems a little more involved.

I spent quite some time last night reading through countless threads on different options. I saw that the Beatsonic seems to work well but it is 400$ for just the kit. I visited with most of my local car audio shops today and I was less than confident in their knowledge of the Lexus audio/navigation system. Many shops told me that they will not even try to install a new stereo. I do not have a Mark Levinson system or a DVD but I do have the factory Navigation. How can I determine if I have the JBL sound system? These seem to be important factors in determining what will work.

This leaves this install up to me. I have a sound mechanical and electrical background as far as hooking it up but I am concerned about everything working once it is together. I spoke with the folks at Crutchfield and they seem pretty sure if I use all of their adapters a new double din will work and I will not lose my steering wheel control So my question is does anyone have the same setup that I do and if so have you tried the Crutchfield adapters?

I have an Iphone 5 and I just want to be able to play my Iphone through the radio. I do have a few cds but I would mainly use the Iphone. I looked at a possible integration kit to keep things simple but I do not want to put anything in the glove box or have a dedicated cable that comes out from behind the stereo. I normally have my phone plugged in on the charger so bluetooth is not so much of a necessity but I would not be against it because the hands free would be nice. I think this feature can be used with the stereo and not the navigation?

If there are any threads that address my issues I apologize. I have utilized the search feature but I could not find out definitively if the Crutchfield setup will work without losing any of my Lexus items. Thanks in advance for any insight and advise.
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Old 06-26-14, 04:45 PM   #2
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Welcome, and good first post.
There is a Sewell discount for forum members, either search for it or someone will have the info.
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Old 06-26-14, 07:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by thegrouse View Post
I have an Iphone 5 and I just want to be able to play my Iphone through the radio. I do have a few cds but I would mainly use the Iphone. I looked at a possible integration kit to keep things simple but I do not want to put anything in the glove box or have a dedicated cable that comes out from behind the stereo. I normally have my phone plugged in on the charger
An aftermarket interface would be the easiest to install but it does leave a cable which you state is not desired. However, if you're connecting a charger anyway you have a cable running to the phone already. We have the USA Spec interface in our 08 RX 400h and use it along with a Panavise bracket and ProClip mount for the iPhone 5/5s and it all works very well IMO.

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I spoke with the folks at Crutchfield and they seem pretty sure if I use all of their adapters a new double din will work and I will not lose my steering wheel control
Unlikely without an SWI (steering wheel interface) which most aftermarket head units require to work with factory steering wheel controls. You might want to confirm that.

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Originally Posted by thegrouse View Post
If there are any threads that address my issues I apologize. I have utilized the search feature but I could not find out definitively if the Crutchfield setup will work without losing any of my Lexus items. Thanks in advance for any insight and advise.
If you only look for threads on Crutchfield you'll limit what you can find. Most of the aftermarket install threads should be useful to refer to.

Last edited by takeshi74; 06-26-14 at 07:48 PM..
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Old 06-26-14, 08:10 PM   #4
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An aftermarket interface would be the easiest to install but it does leave a cable which you state is not desired. However, if you're connecting a charger anyway you have a cable running to the phone already. We have the USA Spec interface in our 08 RX 400h and use it along with a Panavise bracket and ProClip mount for the iPhone 5/5s and it all works very well IMO.

It always seems that those USB cords go bad. Maybe it is because I buy the cheap ones on Ebay. I do not want to remove the stereo if the USB cord goes bad on the interface.


Unlikely without an SWI (steering wheel interface) which most aftermarket head units require to work with factory steering wheel controls. You might want to confirm that.

In order for the steering wheel controls to work I would be required to purchase an additional adapter. I believe I will need a total of 3 adapters plus a dash kit.


If you only look for threads on Crutchfield you'll limit what you can find. Most of the aftermarket install threads should be useful to refer to.
It looks like I can get everything I need plus the stereo for under 350$. They told me they have a money back guarantee and tech support if there are any issues. I would just hate to have to tear it all out and start over if it doesn't work correctly.
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Old 07-19-14, 03:01 PM   #5
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I recently bought a kit from GTA car kits . Plugs into back of head unit , gives you a cable for IPhone .Buy the extra kit for Bluetooth . works awesome sound quality better than cd .Steering wheel controls work .They have video showing how to install very easy took me 30 min . I think I spent around 160.00 . well worth the money to me . This is direct input not that crappy FM modulation that sounds bad .
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Old 07-19-14, 06:42 PM   #6
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might spring for the RX GTA kit as well...looks simple to infall and id love an aux line in
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Old 07-21-14, 01:21 PM   #7
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I recently bought a kit from GTA car kits . Plugs into back of head unit , gives you a cable for IPhone .Buy the extra kit for Bluetooth . works awesome sound quality better than cd .Steering wheel controls work .They have video showing how to install very easy took me 30 min . I think I spent around 160.00 . well worth the money to me . This is direct input not that crappy FM modulation that sounds bad .
How user friendly is the operation once installed? I have not bought anything yet.
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Old 07-22-14, 01:20 PM   #8
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I got the GTA too, I think their Ebay site was a bit cheaper. I watched the video on their website 3x and the install was super easy. Get the right tools and it's like 15 minutes.
Using it after the install is pretty easy, you have to make sure you're on the right "disk" on the display but the steering wheel controls work when using an Ipod or similar product via that cable. Sounds great too.
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Old 07-22-14, 02:55 PM   #9
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Sorry but while I think the stock (non ML) stereo was far from horrible, I think the sound was also far from great. If you've ever driven a 2007 Honda with a stock stereo (and laughable anti-theft) then yes you would know horrible. And I have. But, if there is even an inclination for good sound, I would replace everything. That's just me. I see people in their newer (I am '07 rx350) vehicles still using their phones trying not to ram the car in front of them while they screw around... I push two quick buttons to voice dial, one to answer a call, iPod control, Pandora... whatever, and sound is actually great. But you need to spend some money, and find someone who has confidence in doing the install. In my opinion.
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Old 07-22-14, 03:30 PM   #10
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Sorry but while I think the stock (non ML) stereo was far from horrible, I think the sound was also far from great. If you've ever driven a 2007 Honda with a stock stereo (and laughable anti-theft) then yes you would know horrible. And I have. But, if there is even an inclination for good sound, I would replace everything. That's just me. I see people in their newer (I am '07 rx350) vehicles still using their phones trying not to ram the car in front of them while they screw around... I push two quick buttons to voice dial, one to answer a call, iPod control, Pandora... whatever, and sound is actually great. But you need to spend some money, and find someone who has confidence in doing the install. In my opinion.
I think it depends on how long someone plans to keep the car. Three years ago I spent about 1300 getting the latest and greatest (NAV/BT/handsfree phone/back up camera, etc) and it was well worth it to me. It took my car into the 21st century technologically..I don't know if it would be worth it if you don't plan to keep it for several years at least. I plan to drive mine until gas cars are outlawed.
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Old 07-22-14, 08:03 PM   #11
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Good afternoon,


This leaves this install up to me. I have a sound mechanical and electrical background as far as hooking it up... .
Then you might as well do it yourself. I've had the beatsonic kit in for a little over 2 years and I have not had a problem with it. There's very little splicing and there's a way to maintain all factory wiring. I read on many post people think the beatsonic is too expensive, I say do what's in your budget but 1.) it works, unit is reliable and they are a Club Lexus sponsor, 2.) you would be paying someone just as much or more if they're installing it for you. 3.) If you ever want to change the head unit again or put back in the factory unit you can do it yourself.

The Beatsonic kit does have steering wheel controls just not as many options as the Metra kit, which allowed me to keep all my steering wheel functions.

I have a non hybrid, '09 with factory navigation but without Mark Levinson. I was inspired by Carver and the other members here that did write ups and decided to do it myself and have not regretted it. Check out his thread http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-s...dnx6960-3.html and thoroughly read through it and watch the clips from Youtube regarding the wiring and removal of the panel.
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Old 07-22-14, 08:03 PM
 
 
 
 
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