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Help! Huge car stereo install questions!!!

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Audio and Electronics' started by nbapitbull, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. nbapitbull

    nbapitbull New Member

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    So I NEED your help! I am looking to purchase a newer prius but I am a HUGE car stereo junkie. I'm not talking low end best buy type garbage. I need to know what type of wattage a prius can handle and what steps I would need to take to beef the car up. Are prius' alternator based or is there some sort of inverter system I would need to put in place? I will be running a total of 10-13 speakers totaling around 3,500 watts. I HAVE RUINED A CAR IN THE PAST with this setup by frying an alternator, ignition system and battery and if I buy a prius, I just cannot afford to trash the car due to my audio needs! What measures do I take? Where can I buy the necessary equipment? Has ANYONE actually done a REAL high fidelity/high power setup in a prius before? A BIG thank you to anyone who can provide me with some answers! Oh yea, I'm a delivery driver so this system will be on blast 40+ hours a week!
  2. alfa737

    alfa737 Member

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    Hi nbapitbull,
    welcome...one question I can answer right away is that prius does not have an standard alternator.. it has two battries, one big one to power the hybrid system and another small one to run car electronics. It already has an inverter that charges the small battery but that system is no way powerfull enough to handel the sort of load you intend to put on it..
    in reality prius dosent even have a standard starter motor so it has a smaller battery than most cars.

    Other members from the forum will be able to provide rest of the info
    you require since i am not much into "high fidelity/high power setup".
    six speakers are plenty for me:)
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  3. cruzinbill

    cruzinbill New Member

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    Im running about 2k watts with no problems. Plan to do a ton of sound deadning.... there is 0 from the factory.
  4. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Are you talking peak power or actual continuous power? There is a HUGE difference. The car can handle 2,000w continuous power without a problem although you will want to replace the oem battery with an Optima yellow top and probably add a large cap just to help reduce the likelihood of popping a fuse. ;)

    If you are talking about 3,500w continuous power then you may be out of luck because I don't think the system can supply enough current to feed the amplifiers. I believe the Prius is limited to 100-150amps. I ran 1,900w without an issue but I may have been starving the amps. I've since reduced the power to 900w.

    If you are serious and not trolling then I would consider another car if you want to do something that large.
  5. nbapitbull

    nbapitbull New Member

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    I am talking about 3,000 watts continuous. I see that you have Arc audio amps and those are what I will be running. I figured that people would say a bigger battery and a capacitor but i'm afraid that might not be enough. I will be running either 4 or 5 Arc amps to Hybrid Audio Legatia SE speakers including a Hybrid Audio 6.5" long throw sub in the cab and either 1 or 2 10" Hybrid Audio subs in the hatch. My installer told me that since they have yet to do a large setup in a prius that I should do the research on its limitations and find out how to bypass them with either bigger equipment or more of it. I really want a prius and plan on getting one before the end of this spring because as a delivery driver....50+mpg sounds a whole lot better than the 27 i'm getting right now:)
  6. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Two 10" woofers in the trunk. Overkill, in my opinion.
  7. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Yeah I don't know that kind of wattage is possible due to the limitations of the inverter setup. If you could somehow get enough battery storage capacity to cushion the amperage spikes then it may be doable. Since most of the time you are not running at max wattage it may work but it could also stress the hybrid system. I don't know who could answer these questions for you. Maybe Patrick or seilerts would know.

    The other option is to use less power but more cone area. IMO you really don't need that kind of wattage to make the Prius stupid loud. Just get creative and use four 15s or 6 12s or 8 10s or even more if you don't care about a back seat. I've heard some very loud cars that were using less than 1500w but doubled up on cone area or used well designed bandpass enclosures.

    Keep in mind that if you tax the HSD system too hard you will lose mpg. All that energy you are using essentially comes from gasoline. :)
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  8. GeoGeek

    GeoGeek Member

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    I'm all for overpowering speakers vs. underpowering them. Given the speakers you listed, you should be able to get massive output from 2,000 Watts RMS or less. Do you already have the amplifiers? Is that why you want to use so much power?
    Digital amps are a great way to get more output from less current draw.
  9. nbapitbull

    nbapitbull New Member

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    Understood but i may not even do the subs depending on the overall acoustics. Honestly, if I can be satisfied with a huge front stage setup (the way music was originally intended to be heard) then I will stay away from any subs but in a Prius...there's not a lot of up front room. Trust me, I'm no "bass freak" but some music has notes that just cannot be reproduced properly without a sub. Final note, Hybrid Audio is currently developing a 13.5" reference sub that will eclipse any and all speakers in a sound quality sense. Look that company up, all they do is win REAL awards:)
  10. nbapitbull

    nbapitbull New Member

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    You say "limitations to the inverter setup" but does anyone make a different and larger capacity inverter? I REALLY want to bulletproof this car with any and all precautions before an install. I agree with your cone area suggestion but with more speakers comes more amplifiers to power them which in turn need more current wether they are digital, HD, etc. Let me be clear again, I am not looking for some huge bass setup so the idea of "four 15s or 6 12s or 8 10s" is not for me. Ideally, I would like to run a pair of Hybrid Audio's L8SE midbass in EACH DOOR, 1 pair or Hybrid Audio's L3SE midrange and 2 pair of Hybrid Audio L1PRO tweeters that would be set up as 1 midrange with 2 tweeters on each side. They would be in a custom fiberglass enclosure that would mount at the bottom of the a-pillar completely covering up that small triangular window. Furthermore, 1 (and if possible) or 2 Hybrid Audio 6.5" long throw subwoofer(s) would be fiberglassed where the passthrough area is above the transmission by removing all the plastic below the shifter column. If that would be enough bass to keep up with everything else then I would stop right there. If not, 1 or 2 Hybrid Audio 10" subs would be placed in the back. Before even putting a sub in the back I would be running 5 amps. I could potentially be running over 3,000 watts peak power with no subs in the back. RMS at maybe around 2,500. And yes, I know that 2 8" speakers would not fit in each door. 1 could fit and the other would be put into a custom kick panel. I hope that was descriptive enough, LOL!
  11. nbapitbull

    nbapitbull New Member

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    I currently have a handful of Alpine PDX amps that I'm dying to get rid of and I will before my next install. I also have the JL Audio HD 750/1 which are all SUPPOSED to be low current drawing amps but those companies are full of it. Trust me, in my neon, the JL amp for the sub paired with 2 Alpine PDX amps that were powering my front stage managed to fry my alternator, battery and ignition system! This is why I want to bulletproof my next car before an install which I REALLY HOPE IS IN A PRIUS!!!
  12. cruzinbill

    cruzinbill New Member

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    I was talking rms its actually like 1550 tho actually adding. I've had no reason so far to get rid of the Oem battery tho. There's no voltage drop on the battery that I have seen while system is on. Tho I never use it not in ready mode. Im running 3 way active fronts and a 12.

    Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk
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  13. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    If you are not going crazy with subs then I don't see any need whatsoever to run 3,000w. It is way overkill.

    Doing a nice dual speaker setup up front like you mentioned would be more than loud enough. Doing the 6.5"-8" subs in the center transmission hump area would produce very nice kick drum effects up front. A single 10" in the rear could cover the lower frequencies just fine.

    If you want the car to truly sound good then sound deaden the hell out of it! That is how you will achieve true clarity and midbass thud that sounds like a bowling ball hitting concrete. This will also allow you to get away with less power since less energy is lost vibrating car panels.

    Using tweeters in the triangular window area helps to create a nice center image when combines with some sort of digital time alignment feature. My stage isn't great but I don't care much beyond the center imaging. Here are shots of my "easily reversible tweeter pods":

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...iamond-audio-midranges-installed-finally.html

    I don't know much about the inverter or the complete power supply package so I'll let someone else answer that.
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  14. nbapitbull

    nbapitbull New Member

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    You've been a big help! Your install pics are choice! That's exactly what I want to do to the triangular window but squeeze a couple tweeters around it. Maybe only one would fit so I'd use gauge pods for the other two. The only reason that I am talking about such big power is because it is what the speakers can handle. It's not like I would have every amp at full gain and my volume on high but I want the car to be capable of that for a long term commitment:) As far as sound deadening, of course. That's the only way!
  15. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    It's just my opinion, but I have two thoughts: First, good amplifiers and speakers don't require 2,000 watts in order to produce more SPL than your ears can handle, unless you're doing this out of a need to annoy ever person within a block of your car (if that's the case, you don't care about sound quality, you just want to annoy people and you shouldn't do that).

    Second, I love Prius, but I don't think it's a good audio platform. My last car was a BMW, and there's a world of difference in construction and cabin quietness. The metal's thin, the plastic panels are rattle-prone, the tires are noisy... It's not the worst car in this respect, but it isn't great, not like my BMW was. With the vibration those speakers of yours would likely create, you'll have a poor experience unless you're going to put serious time into new tires, lots of soundproofing, and lots of panel tightening.
  16. nbapitbull

    nbapitbull New Member

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    I hear ya loud and clear. My intent with this thread was to find out the cars limitations and ways to bypass those limitations. I realize that it's not good for a sound stage but as I said before, I'm a delivery driver and there wouldn't be anything better for me than a Prius. Therefore, I realize that it's only going to get as good as it can in the stereo department. About the "need to annoy ever person within a block of your car" comment...that is not and has never been my agenda since high school 11 years ago:) I know that sound quality isn't generally achieved at extreme power. I also know that I don't hardly ever play my music at extreme power. I simply have an addiction to having the "best of the best" when it comes to such matters and I totally overkill everything. I'm the guy with the $5k stereo you pull up next to without ever knowing it because maybe I'm listening to comedy on Pandora or Christian worship songs at normal voice levels but then there's that one day where I drive by blasting something like Tom Petty's "Free Falling" or some Old School Snoop Dog "Gin and Juice". That's the day I build for:) Trust me, I'm not an ass.
  17. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Thought I would let others chime in here before I commented, as I learned and applied much of their wisdom to my 2010 install. I run Hertz High Energy speakers and 10" Sub (with JL HD-RLC) off a JL HD900/5 amp with a Kenwood DNX9960 HU and Sirius. All matched, balanced and tuned.

    Sound is crystal clear and tight up to 38 on volume before minor noise, though the ears can only handle about 25 volume for short periods while sitting inside the vehicle. You will be hard pressed to find a better sounding system, commuting or parking lot.

    All this off a 900W RMS Digital amp. I even removed the Capacitor (thanks F8L).

    frodoz Stereo Upgrade | PriusChat
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
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  18. eloplayspolo

    eloplayspolo New Member

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    the stupidity and ignorance in this thread is phenomenal.

    It's insane how much money people throw into car audio with no understanding of what they are doing.
  19. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    New member and first two posts...both negative. Good luck with that.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  20. eloplayspolo

    eloplayspolo New Member

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    Thank you, sir.
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