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Upgrading the sound in my 1998 SC 300

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Old 06-24-17, 03:29 PM   #1
cluu888
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Default Upgrading the sound in my 1998 SC 300

Hello, I have a Pioneer AVH-290BT already in car when I purchased it but now I want to upgrade all tweeters, speakers, sub in center rear, and of course a 5 channel amp to power everything, please on advise on what brands that is good and pretty good on the price that I can put in my car thanks
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Old 06-25-17, 09:44 AM   #2
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Any well known audio brand will do for speakers. For a sub that fits in the rear deck, take a look at this thread https://www.clublexus.com/forums/per...tion-pics.html
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Old 06-25-17, 10:07 PM   #3
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I guess the peeps that installed the pioneer really doesn't know what they were doing because it sounds with no bass etc. i drove a rental car and that rental car sounded better than my car lol. thanks Blkexcoupe i will read up more before i start changing out all new speakers etc
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Old 06-26-17, 12:08 AM   #4
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it has nothing to do with the install. the sc300 has a terrible oem stereo system. any modern rental car will sound "deeper" by comparison.
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Old 06-26-17, 12:20 AM   #5
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would suggest looking at image dynamics idq subs for the rear deck since they're designed for infinite baffle/free air. don't slap a sub in there unless you know it's meant for open air usage.
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Old 06-26-17, 03:32 PM   #6
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hueman, will there be a lot of modification if i buy one of these image dynamics idq subs, or can i just replace it without any types of making a bracket etc, thanks for the recommendation
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Old 06-27-17, 11:44 AM   #7
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It's possible that the factory sub isn't wired up. The stock stereo is decent for an old car.

As far as brands go Rockford Fosgate and Alpine are good choices.
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Old 06-27-17, 12:07 PM   #8
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Yeah, the standard "Metra" kit often used for double-din decks generally doesn't connect the sub signal. The signal wire at the deck should be the same no matter which system you originally had (Pioneer with or without CD changer or Nakamichi.) I don't remember what it was off the top of my head, but the basic method is to get a cheap RCA cable to cut and then splice in to the factory wires, which is all the Metra kit was doing for the other channels, anyway, just through the harness.

The other option is to run a new signal wire all the way back to the amp, plus power wires, and add a sub amp, which is what I did (because I didn't know where the sub signal wire was.) For that route you'll either want to know which system you have or replace the sub all together since the Pioneer subs are either 1 or 2 ohms and the Nakamichi sub is 5 ohms. That'll make a difference for amp selection. The Pioneer subs can't handle too much power, like 50-60 watts for the 8" and 80-100 watts for the 10". The Nakamichi should be able to handle about 120-150watts; but it's 5 ohms, so getting a 150-160watt amp only gives you 4/5 of the rated power, anyway (but the sub will run nice and cool.) The factory amp needs a lot of signal, so turn down the gain on your new sub amp pretty far to start with.

If you do replace the sub and want to mount in the factory location, you're looking at either an 8" or 10" sub, but it needs to be shallow since the gas tank is right there. I think the mounting depth is like 5" or less. Plus the factory grill won't attach, so it's either loose, you figure out a way to attach it, or do a different grill. Keep in mind that these subs are getting old and the foam surrounds may be getting brittle if it was in the sun a lot, so you might be looking at changing the sub either way.

Now, if you do have a Pioneer system you can get the factory Nakamichi sub and it should fit with no issues, I think even the grill swaps across the sizes. The Nakamichi 10" sub is pretty good, all things considered.
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Old 06-27-17, 12:34 PM   #9
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Sub signal wiring info:

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/lex...b-working.html

Scroll down to section C. It should be the same for all 3 systems. Other sections are fairly specific to the Pioneer systems, but I think this part is universal according to the wiring diagrams I was looking at.
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Old 06-27-17, 09:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cluu888 View Post
hueman, will there be a lot of modification if i buy one of these image dynamics idq subs, or can i just replace it without any types of making a bracket etc, thanks for the recommendation
honestly don't know. if you're not comfortable making a bracket, it may be worth getting it professionally installed. however! this guy just used the OEM stock subwoofer ring on his image dynamics sub:

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/sc-...ml#post5483283
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Old 06-27-17, 10:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matguy View Post
If you do replace the sub and want to mount in the factory location, you're looking at either an 8" or 10" sub ... Plus the factory grill won't attach, so it's either loose, you figure out a way to attach it, or do a different grill.
Or you can mount an aftermarket sub in the stock basket with a bit of elbow grease. That gives you a good seal against the deck and the tabs to clip the parcel shelf grill into.
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Old 06-27-17, 11:36 PM   #12
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Or you can mount an aftermarket sub in the stock basket with a bit of elbow grease. That gives you a good seal against the deck and the tabs to clip the parcel shelf grill into.
Yes, I have heard of that working, I just wasn't sure how much work or luck there might be in getting everything to line up, plus I don't know what sub he has or wants to go to (such as wanting to put a 10" sub where an 8" used to be.)
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Old 06-28-17, 02:35 PM   #13
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So first I have to see what size of sub is there already and then buy something that is free air sub and slim one that won't hit the gas tank, will keep you posted with what I am going to purchase as in tweeters, speakers, sub and ampifier.
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Old 06-29-17, 12:25 PM   #14
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Here's the sub size breakdown, assuming it's all stock and no one mixed&matched anything.

Nakamichi system: 10" sub, 5 ohms, single amp powers the whole system, that amp is under the CD changer. ~100 - 120 watts to the sub (from memory, I could be wrong)

Pioneer with CD Changer: 10" sub, 1 ohm, fronts and rear speakers are driven by the amp under the CD changer, sub amp is bolted to the tray near the rear speakers. ~80 watts to the sub (again, if memory serves)

Pioneer with no CD Changer: 8" sub, 2 ohms, fronts and rear speakers are driven by the amp under the CD changer, sub amp is bolted to the tray near the rear speakers. ~40 watts to the sub (memory)

In theory the Pioneer systems might use the same actual amp and the power difference may come from the impedance changes between the subs, but I'm not exactly sure on that.

Front tweeters are probably going to be your hardest thing to replace, physically. I would almost keep the stock tweeters and if you need to replace the front mids, just do that.

Rears are much more forgiving, to a point. While the trunk is an infinite baffle (free air), as it has more space than the relative volume the sub can push (likely over 10x larger than Vas, though I can't find the Thiele/Small values for the factory subs), it still has finite space that's pretty well sealed, plus the back wall of the trunk does add resistance before the sub actually becomes free air. With a large or compliant enough rear speaker plus a large enough sub that can move enough air, you can start to get back pressure on your rear speakers. That can add muddy-ness to your mid-s and in the case of the factory speakers, add to the buzzing if the foam surrounds fail. If that happens you can add a baffle behind the rear speakers, even something as simple as the XTC foam baffles could help with this. This issue also becomes more noticeable when the trunk is full of other stuff, plus it can cause the sub, itself, to perform poorly.

Otherwise, the hole is 6.5" with an adapter plate to 4", which the grill mounts to. The rear (and front) speakers between the Nakamichi and Pioneer systems have different speakers, but I'm pretty sure they mount the same. If you switch out the rears for 6.5" speakers your factory grill likely won't stay in place.

I would probably just get 4x decent 4" 2-way coax speakers. Replace the rears normally. In the front, just replace the front mids as is, but don't put the door back together all the way, yet. Test the sound, if it's too tweeter-y, put something over the tweeters in the coax speakers to test what it's like without them. If that's good, then clip the tiny wire that goes from the cone to the tweeter (unless it's wired for bi-amping, then just unhook the tweeter wire.) This way the mids will match between the front and back. If you want to go all out, you could also get separates with mids and tweeters. Install them as a full system in the rear. Try the front mids installed using the new crossover on the factory tweeter, if it's good, great. Otherwise then figure out how to decently mount the new tweeters. The mids blow due to the foam surround deteriorating, the tweeters, assuming nothing else caused damage to them, should last damn near forever.

But, if the speakers aren't blown, I know the Nakamichi speakers are pretty decent. The Pioneer system with a better sub should be similar (hell, you can literally toss the Nakamichi sub in where the Pioneer was and power it from a small amp, then the grill attaches, too.) But, as they age the factory speakers will fail. The foam surrounds become brittle. You can either replace the speakers all together, or attempt to replace the foam. There are universal kits that probably work, your mileage may vary. I'm thinking about doing this, but am currently dealing with front end damage that became a much hither priority.

The main issue I have with the setup is the placement of the front speakers, my knee blocks the driver's side speaker in my comfortable driving position. But replacement speakers aren't going to fix that unless I move them. For casual+ listening, I'm perfectly happy with the overall sound.
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Old 08-04-17, 06:16 PM   #15
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Sorry my post is so scattered, it's hard to post with pics on mobile.
I recently upgraded all of the speakers in my '95 (except the front tweets -that will be another project)

Here's what I used:
Two pairs of Cerwin Vega 6.5" components (used front door adapters and rear deck adapters)
A Kicker Comp S 10" sub that works in a free-air setup.

I had to bend the edges of the sub opening all the way around to let it sit flush but it's perfectly fine.

I still have the stock stereo, so I have not installed an aftermarket amp yet. Aside from being a touch underpowered with the factory amps, it does sound pretty good and the sub hits pretty well for good bass. I can live with it for now since I wired in an aux port a while back.









Last edited by Blutarsky0; 08-04-17 at 06:46 PM.
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