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2005 JBL Premium Sound, Front Speaker Blown

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Audio and Electronics' started by dragonrand, Feb 17, 2012.

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  1. dragonrand

    dragonrand Junior Member

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    Some cursory searching didn't turn up anything, but if I missed a relevant thread, my apologies in advance and please direct me there.

    I went out of town for two weeks and allowed my ex who was house-sitting for me to drive my 2005 Prius. I came back to discover a blown front right speaker. He said he'd somehow bumped the volume knob on power-off of the stereo, so the next time he turned it on it blasted at full volume. The other speakers appear to be okay.

    I have the premium JBL speaker package so I don't know if that complicates my repair/replacement options. IIUC, each door has a sub/midrange speaker and a tweeter, and afaik, only the front right sub/mid speaker is dead.

    I think I should either:
    1. replace the blown speaker with an identical matching speaker.
    2. replace both the front main speakers with similar or superior speakers.
    3. replace all four main speakers with superior speakers.

    While I appreciate audiophile-quality "phenomenal" sound, I've mellowed over the last decade and am willing to accept "very nice" sound that's free from obvious distortion or coloring. What I don't know is how having separate tweeters affects my choices and decisions. Is the amp sending full-range sound to the main door speakers or is it rolled off at the high frequencies? Is there any detriment to installing full-range speakers in the doors? Will the tweeters in full-range door speakers compete or clash with the JBL tweeters or cause an overly bright or harsh sound?

    I'd love to hear how any of you might go about solving the problem of a blown front door speaker in a Prius with the JBL "premium" sound package. I'll state at the outset that I'm not interested in making extensive mods or having the result be cosmetically or functionally different (i.e. window issues, protruding speaker grilles, etc.).

    Thanks in advance for all input!
  2. dragonrand

    dragonrand Junior Member

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    Don't everyone talk at once. ;) Should I have gone about asking my question in a different way/place?
  3. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    You should consider that the JBL amp is also blown. I had a front door tweeter go south, replaced under warrenty. You will need to match speaker Impedance if you plan to use other than the OEM JBL's.

    I think option A is your best bet, get a replacement from Toyota, swap it out. When you do, make sure car is powered down!
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  4. dragonrand

    dragonrand Junior Member

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    Thanks for the reply, KK!

    I contacted the local Toyota dealer and a replacement speaker costs $172.74. I then called a respected local car audio place (they installed my iPod kit, and it was a good experience), to ask about replacing two or four speakers. The car audio guy (I'll call him Tim) advised I could replace 2 or 4; they cost $100/pair, or $150 for a set of 4. Installation is $80 bucks for 4, $40 for 2, and (as was the case with the iPod kit) there's a lifetime warranty on the installation and a 3-yr warranty on the speakers.

    The speakers Timrecommended are Hertz DCX 165.2. I found another mention of Hertz speakers in this forum, and although the poster liked the showroom sound, he was not happy with the sound once installed. Here's his thread. I brought this to the attention of Tim, gave him the model# of the speakers that had been used, and he wasn't surprised, saying those speakers are a step up from mine and do require a better amp to push them.

    The 165.2 speakers he recommended to me are 4 ohm, but with high sensitivity, which according to him should provide equivalent volume, in spite of being higher impedance than the JBLs. He specifically said those speakers are recommended for use with stock HUs and should NOT be used with higher-power amps. Their shop has been trained by Hertz and installing their stuff for a few years now, and Tim seems confident in his recommendations.

    I scheduled my car in for tomorrow afternoon, figuring that with a lifetime installation warranty, I can always ask them to swap me to different speakers at no additional (labor) costs if I'm not satisfied with the outcome.

    Any thoughts before I take the plunge?
  5. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    WOW, sure glad mine was uner warrenty!



    Well, as long as the Sound Pressure Level, and Frequency Response of the Hertz Speakers are very close, I would say go for it. As long as the balance of SPL from all the speakers stays within specs that JBL set when they designed the system, it should sound fine, if however you notice the fronts are either way too loud, or soft, your going to have to consider another speaker with the SAME Impedance. I assume you are going to replace a pair, and not just the one speaker. Replacing just the one would defiantly throw the system out of proper balance. That would sound bad!

    Let us know how it works out for you! :D
  6. dragonrand

    dragonrand Junior Member

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    I actually decided to go all 4. Are the front and rear stock speakers the same or different in the JBL premium system? If the rear and front pairs are not the same it makes me question whether his plan to install 4 matching is the best one.
  7. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    There is a difference, Have you seen a schmetic on how the speakers are hooked up to the amp? I can supply one if you need, just PM me your email address. The back speakers are goingthrough a crossover built into the amp, the tweeter and larger speaker are a pair, they were matched for their outputs. This is where you really need to keep the impedance the same. Sadly the schmetic does not show the impedance of the speaker, you actually need to look at what's already there.
    If they throw the wrong speaker in the back doors, the tweeter to big speaker is going to sound way off, and that also is bad!
    Given the amount of money you are going to throw down, maybe doing just the blown speaker with a Toyota OEM would be easier and safer to do. you could mount it yourself! I have had my door panels off, it's easy to get to!
  8. dragonrand

    dragonrand Junior Member

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    Sent; thanks!



    So I got the 4 matching installed on Saturday, and now I'm wishing I had just ponied up for the single speaker from the dealer. :( No issues with a lower SPL due to the higher impedance, as I'd feared - it's just as loud as before, and maybe even a tad louder, which is fine by me. Guess the more efficient/sensitive db rating made up for it as they'd suggested it would.

    What does suck is the bass response. The "premium" JBL sound may not have been truly "premium" sound quality, but the low-end was surprisingly good for not having a sub, and IMO, the overall sound was pretty warm, full, and clear. With the bottom gone, the warmth and well-rounded tone is also gone. It sounds like a reasonably clear but average system that's a tad too strong on the mids. I can deal with it for voice like NPR news and podcasts (which are a big chunk of my listening), but only by setting the bass EQ to max, and the joy is gone from music listening. It's flat and unsatisfying to my ears.

    They gave me assurances upfront that if I was not satisfied, they would "make it right". Both guys I talked to were pretty confident in their recommendations. When I picked up the car I of course took their suggestion to give it a listen in the parking lot, and when I came back in unimpressed and asked about their refund policy, they said it's not something they usually do, but that the first guy ("Tim") that I'd spoken to was the manager and had more pull for things like that, and I should talk to him again when he was in on Monday.

    I then asked what they'd do next to restore the low-end/improve the sound if it were their car, and the guy made two suggestions - 1) either add a small 4-channel amp to boost it a bit, or 2) add a small sub in the back. Both of which are getting into territory and $$ I don't want to hassle with, as I think each step may just lead to another.

    It was on my to-do list to call today, but work was too busy to allow me to call. It may be just as well, as I'd like to see what suggestions come from KK and others before I hit them up with my personal wishes on how they can "make it right".

    Thanks again guys/gals.
  9. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    This is what I meant when I pointed out the SPL and Frequency Response has be close. The impedance difference may be enough to throw the crossovers off!
    However for about $100, you can go the route I did and get a BOSS BASS 600. It's a powered subwoofer that I set in the back, and it will fill in the low end you are missing! If you buy it from Amazon, OR SOMEONE THAT HAS IT IN STOCK, and pay a decent price and let them install it to make you "Happy" that might be a nice consideration!

    Here is a link to what I did..

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...3215-give-gift-base-boom-bottom-end-xmas.html

    EDIT, THESE GUYS HAVE IT IN STOCK.. $129
    http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarA...utm_campaign=google_shopping_Price_Comparison
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  10. dragonrand

    dragonrand Junior Member

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    Thanks KK. I wish there were a quick-and-dirty way I could audition that or another sub in my car to confirm that I'll be happy with the sound before I plunk down more cash. Has your sub been reliable? I saw a few negative reviews citing quick failures of new and replacement units.

    I like the simplicity of sticking it in the back, but don't like giving up the space or having to shuffle things around creatively when I pack the car for camping. Did you consider mounting under the passenger seat? One Prius owner/reviewer on Amazon said with a little creative bracket-bending he got it to fit under there, on top of the factory JBL amp. Also, would I be disappointed if I stuck it the bin under the lid in the trunk?

    I'm wondering if I'll be happier eating the loss and just buying the factory speaker. I might be able to get something for the virtually-new speakers on eBay or craigslist (tho I'm not sure).
  11. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Yes, it works just like the day I installed it. You are not going to hear this subwoofer 3 cars away, I just needed, like you, to fill in the bottom end that was missing in the JBL System.



    In order,
    1 - It's not that big,that's the beauty of this thing! You can pack around and on it!
    2 - I never considered mounting it under the passenger seat!
    3 - Yes, it would be muffled and at that point, there would be no point to doing this that way!



    At this point you already have the 4 speakers installed, pulling all that out and putting in a stock JBL, well, I doubt the installers will be happy, If it were me at this point, get the subwoofer, it's small. you can see how it fits in the back of my car. It's loud enough to fill in the bottom end
    It's a tough call, but you will have to make the final decision!
  12. dragonrand

    dragonrand Junior Member

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    Long overdue update:

    I gave it a couple of weeks to settle in as suggested by the guy who delivered the finished install to me. He'd suggested that Tim the manager would be my go-to guy for "make-it-right" options, so I went to see him last week. Tim listened to my system and agreed it had none of the punch the stock speakers had provided, clarity notwithstanding. He agreed to take back the speakers with no penalty, and to split the labor with me to re-install the stock speakers, if I liked that option. He also asked for a few days to check with suppliers and guys experienced with my situation, so he could come back with possible additional options for changing or adding to my system. I agreed.

    A couple days ago I checked in with him, and based on what he'd found, his gut feeling was that I wouldn't like anything he could do to "fix" the existing system, and we'd better swap the originals back in. I agreed, and ordered the replacement speaker from Toyota.

    I actually quite like the sound of the stock premium system, but would still like to add some fullness to the bottom end. So I think at this point I'll return to stock and enjoy what it offers while looking into subwoofer options to round out the bass.

    I'll post back with my results. Maybe while the guys have my car exposed during the speaker swap I should ask them to run me an audio lead to the cargo area? That way when I'm ready to add a sub, all I'd have to do is tap the battery for power.

    KK6PD, your setup sounds like exactly what I want, but after reading review upon review by people who loved the BOSS BASS product but had their product fail shortly after installation, I'm nervous to trust it. They all uniformly say the company is terrible to work with for support/service. It sounds like you've been lucky. I've found a couple of very similar products under different brand names, but the complaints are likewise similar. It makes me wonder if they're all produced by the same company and rebranded.
  13. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Wow, great update, just to be sure I just went out to the car to confirm, my sub works fine. Tell your Stereo guy, I give him a ATTABOY for all his efforts, you found a good one! I can very well imagine that a great many failures of the BOSS BASS could be happening due to "Driving the piss out of it" occurrences! Too loud is Too loud for all things, it all depends on how the unit was and what it was designed to do. I don't kid myself, this unit is meant for a small volume of space, Prius, at a moderate volume, properly wired into the system. Once balance is set, it should be left alone! It's not a concert bottom!
    I use an Ipod into the JBL system, Loudness on. The volume I run my system at is usually never above "25", usually around 18~20 on the little Vol Display that pops up when you change volume. To me the system sounds fine, although the center speaker thing was stupid.....it throws the separation off. But the BOSS adds just that little bit of fill I felt the system needed!
    I have Tinnitus, which is a BITCH by the way, so super loud is not really a option for me, I do not need it. That being said I drive the BOSS with a rather low level compared to others, but that may be why I am having no problems. 2 basic laws of science....
    "If you push something hard enough, it will fall over" Thuds First Law!
    "If you overdrive the Piss outta something, it will let the smoke out!", Sullivan's Third Law!

    So with those two laws of Logic implanted, when you come up with something, PICS!!! :D
  14. sktn77a

    sktn77a Member

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    I have learned the same lesson over and over in the past. OEM systems are actually very carefully engineered to give the best sound quality at the lowest cost. Speakers. in particular, look cheap but actually offer a better overall compromise in sound quality unless you go for a total rip-out and replace (Crutchfield's opinions to the contrary nothwithstanding). You can get most OEM parts on the web at 50% of the local dealership's parts departments but it sounds like it's all worked out for the best (especially as your ex will be footing the bill......................)

    :)
  15. Kutanks

    Kutanks Member

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    I know this is an old thread but it gave me an idea as to how I can "improve" my system. The first upgrade I did was replace the front woofers with alpines, which caused me to lose all the bass unless I cranked the volume. Next thing I did was install a 500w amp and 2 12 inch kickers. This gave me the bass I was looking for but it drowned out the lyrics in music. Because it was running of the stock radio I couldn't control the subs, listening to talk radio with subs sounds like crap lol. So then I got a new head unit and the only thing that's wrong is that the front woofers don't get as loud as the stock ones in the back...the left speaker also rattles, my guess is its not properly installed. I'm gonna take my car back to best buy and have them throw the stock speakers back in the car. And sell the Alpines to my friend whose looking to upgrade the speakers in his Saturn ion. Since he's running everything off his deck 4ohms should work fine for him. Anyways the moral of my rant is in hindsight I should have first upgraded my radio, that made the biggest improvement in the sound quality. CDs sound a little better and I miss having the 6 disc changer but I listen to my iPod mostly and the USB direct connection sounds 100x better than the cassette adapter I used before did.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
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