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Prius C Aftermarket Stereo

Discussion in 'Prius c Audio and Electronics' started by Wharfe, Apr 20, 2012.

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  1. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    Hello,

    Been reading a little online but I'm looking for more solid advice. Just bought a Prius C 2012 in Canada and wanting to replace the factory stereo.

    One of the local shops said there's "nothing available" for it yet with the head units so the best I could do is use a booster with the factory head unit and replace the speakers.

    I'm confused though since I have seen some discussion on the forums here about others replacing the stereo.. So what exactly is the problem? Will any Double DIN head unit fit but I may need to have a face plate piece fabricated?


    I'm advanced in electronics but have never done anything with cars before. It looks like replacing the speakers would be easy, but I wonder what's involved with replacing the head unit on my own & having the steering wheel controls keep working.

    Any advice, experience, etc would be great.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. SquallLHeart

    SquallLHeart The Techie Guy

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    any double din headunit will fit and work... it's like any other stereo install.. buy wiring harness.. and color match wires and hook them up. a 5th grader could figure that part.

    the only thing is the availability of a dash kit to fill up the extra empty space that's left over.

    if you don't care about aesthetics and want a really nice stereo that sounds good.. just upgrade the headunit and work out the kinks of a dash kit later... either waiting for some company to make one.. or fab something up yourself.

    there are steering wheel control adapters available on the market. just use one of those.
  3. actiondonkey

    actiondonkey Member

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    All correct. The dealer was just lazy because his computer doesn't have the C yet. Dash kit is the only thing that an be purchased right now but it isn't a necessity to install a new head unit.
  4. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    Thanks to you both. Does anybody know the speaker sizes for the Prius C?


    Going to tackle the stereo install, and a Viper SmartStart system as well, on my own (hopefully)
  5. Daze

    Daze Prius C Owner

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  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Another option is to install an amp, new front speakers and a small subwoofer using the factory stereo. This will provide a nice upgrade in sound quality and volume. Later, you can install a new stereo when a proper installation kit becomes available OR a good stereo shop can make a custom kit for you out of wood, fiberglass and or ABS plastic.
  7. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    I considered that but opted to go with the replacement head unit. I am an audio guy at heart, so I don't care if there's a hole in the dash! I do plan to take it to a shop and hopefully have something fabricated.

    Clarion Head unit & Alpine speakers with the harness and steering wheel control adapter on the way. Will update with how things go. I'm sure there will be more questions, but this forum has been a great resource, read a lot of helpful posts.
  8. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Right on. :) I did high end car stereo for over a decade. It's so nice to have a clean sounding system.

    Post pics when you are done!
  9. actiondonkey

    actiondonkey Member

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    Which clarion head are you going with?
  10. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    The CX501. Didn't see it in person but the ones I have seen non-Clarion were cheap feeling. Don't need a GPS either. Just wanted a quality unit with a big volume knob.
  11. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    Alright I'm back with some updates and questions.

    First of all, no wonder the factory system sounds awful. Absolute crap. The speaker magnets are barely bigger than a stack of 6 quarters.


    I started out with one of the rear door speakers. Door panel is quite easy to pop off.

    Couldn't see a way to remove the factory speaker without busting off the rivets, but I don't imagine I'll ever want those again. Cut off the factory connector, too, and replaced with some Female Quick Disconnects which will connect to the Alpine Speaker.

    First of all the new speaker doesn't really seal around the existing hole too well, which means there are some gaps for air to come frontwards, and that's a terrible thing when dealing with speakers.

    The doors also are not designed for audio. Lots of shaking. Definitely not designed like my Dodge Caliber was (with the awesome factory stereo!)

    I'm thinking that I'll need to fill the area behind the speaker with some R-20 insulation.

    I don't want to get in to things like Dynamat, but I think I will get some of those dampening squares to surround each speaker.. Will that do the trick for sealing the hole around the edge or should I use something like caulking?

    I'm sure there will be lots more rattling but I don't want to overcomplicate. Not having a hollow door and also sealing the edge properly should suffice.
  12. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    Here's another piece of helpful advice: You may need an antenna adapter to hookup the factory antenna to an aftermarket stereo. I've just ordered one now. The Toyota has a big plastic connector on it. I could probably tear it apart and wire on a connector but I'd prefer to just use an adapter. I've ordered one and it will be here this week. Updates to come.
  13. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Do you know what the magnet on the back of the speaker is made of or are you assuming magnet size determines the output quality of the speaker?
  14. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    Well there are a few different factors that would affect it like the material it's made of, etc, but generally yes.. The magnet on the factory speakers is just way too tiny. It can't handle much power. The cones are cheap paper. The whole thing is very light. I work with speakers & audio for a living so it's just easy to identify that the factory speakers are junk!

    Attached a side view of the factory speaker, and then a view of the Alpines I'm replacing them with. You can see the factory speaker barely has a magnet!

    Attached Files:

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  15. Pittmonster

    Pittmonster New Member

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    I saw those magnets are real small when u took the speakers out. Was there much room in the door for deeper magnets for speakers with bigger magnets than the alpines you got. Did u amplify you speakers? And yea the factory speakers blow:wacko:
  16. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I too worked with high end car audio for decades and your first post sounded very noobish when it comes to car audio. Many speaker manufactures use a better magnetic material like neodymium to reduce speaker weight and magnet size for specific applications. My question was had Toyota done the same thing in an effort to reduce weight. If speaker sensitivity is high and power is low in the OE system then I don't see what your gripe is about. It is a matched system. Now should you decide to add more power then you have altered the system design (cheap and lightweight) and will need to make adjustments like purchasing speakers that fit your design goals.

    It's kind like saying the OE fuel system sucks because it won't support the 1,000HP turbocharged engine you just dropped in.
  17. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    F8L, the factory system sucks. There's no power, it sounds cheap, it is made of cheap components. Totoal garbage. The tweeters sound like plastic. I am well aware of the different magnet materials which is why I mentioned it originally. Regardless, there is no material that would allow a magnet of that size to be any good. It may have been designed with cheap & lightweight in mind but it was not designed with sound quality in mind.

    Pittmonster, there was a surprising amount of extra room in the door. I could have went with deeper speakers. I'm gonna try out the new head unit first and see how it sounds, if it's not enough then I will add an amp.
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  18. kkim

    kkim Active Member

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    exactly which model of alpine speakers are you using?
  19. ajtozzi

    ajtozzi Junior Member

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    Please do not use R-20 in your door. It's not designed for vehicle applications nor is it meant to get wet. Use a product that us designed for vehicles, such as Dynamat, Hushmat, Roadkill or my favorite, STP.

    Since you "work withe speakers" you should be well aware that one should never mount a speaker to metal. Ever.

    Make a small adaptor plate out of ABS, mount that to the door using a small amount of silicone, a thin gasket and threaded screws. Then mount your speaker to the ABS using T-nuts or something similar. Be sure to use a foam gasket around the speaker before you mount it.

    If you really want to achieve good sound out of door mounted speakers I generally take the following steps:

    1) seal all unnecessary holes in the inner door skin -small pieces of ABS and some black silicone works wonders to do this

    2) dampen the entire door - both the inner and outer door skins

    3) install a deflection pad behind the speaker on the outer door skin

    4) mount the speaker as described above

    5) seal the speaker to the door panel using thick foam
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  20. Wharfe

    Wharfe Junior Member

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    Alpine SPR-60C for the front and SPR-60 for the back.


    ajtozzi, thank you for the helpful info. I do work with speakers but I have never done a car install before.

    I think I am already using something ABS like you describe, because it came with the speakers. The speaker itself is not directly into the metal. First I installed the "plastic" ring that came with the speaker onto the door, and then the speaker onto the plastic ring.

    Did not realize there was such a big job involved with dampening everything. I'd rather not have to tear all of the doors apart. I've got some damping material on the way now, but I may need to order more.

    Thanks again, much appreciate the advice.
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