Buy Prius III for stereo or upgrade Prius II?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by AnUnidentifiedMale, Apr 28, 2010.

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  1. Buying a Prius II and upgrading the stereo on your own

    63.2%
  2. Buying a Prius III for the JBL stereo and two additional speakers

    34.2%
  3. Not sure

    2.6%
  1. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    Rebound,

    JBL system includes better speakers, slightly better headunit, AND a much better amplifier. And so what if the JBL headunit is slightly better because when you go aftermarket, you need to scrap the OEM unit, which means you have to buy a brand new headunit, right?

    Are you saying that the base and JBL system uses the same 440-watt amplifier with DSP?? I did not think that they did.

    Yeah, your Kenwood has a separate amp?? Or are you saying that the puny amp in the kenwood is good enough? Ahh, so, you spend $950 on a NAVI. But, now you have no separate amplifier nor speakers nor subwoofer (nor amp for sub). Can you do all that for another grand? Wait, don't forget about the extra harness, cables, etc..

    And to produce a similar spectrum of frequencies that the JBL makes (lows, mids, and highs), you need ALL THOSE THINGS I LISTED.

    I see that you do the install yourself...wonderful. Not everyone is as handy as you. If they are not, then they need to pay installer to do it. And, of course, not all installer will take proper care when doing this stuff.

    I have one of Garmin's top NAVI...and i much prefer the one that came on my Prius. Logic is better. Signal capturing is much faster. Sure, it doesn't have 3-D view, but i could care less for that view...i want logic and fast signal capturing...those are the two most important aspect of navigation IMHO. I hope that your Kenwood is better than my top-rated Nuvi.

    I have seen the aftermarket NAVI units installed on this forum...although well done from aftermarket point of view, but no thanks. I like things to look INTEGRATED with the flow of the dash. It is like installing a big fat Evo-like spoiler on a Prius...sure, the spoiler looks well-made and well-secured, but it looks out of place.

    Lastly, how does your sound system sound at this very moment? Do you think that it is better than JBL system? Don't forget, when you buy a JBL system as the one in the Prius, you also buy REALLY GOOD system tuning that not many aftermarket equipment can match. The soundstage is well localized on the dash...high up too. The backseat passengers also has decent soundstage to the front...and it is high up too. And when i say high up, i don't just mean the high frequencies...i mean the mids and high frequencies up at eye level. Can you do the same aftermarket? Nope. The best that you can do is put tweeters in the A-pillars or something and the woofer down at your feet. What does that do? Well, the sound can be bright or harsh as the tweeter is too close to your ears with respect to the woofer down at your feet. And what does woofers make? Mid-range frequencies. And are midrange frequencies DIRECTIONAL? hell yeah! And what is one of the most important rule in proper sound stage? NEVER separate the mids and highs far apart. Don't believe me? See home theater or home sound systems. The mids and highs speakers are close together up high in the cabinet.

    Tell me your plans in upgrading your system. What components are you buying? I assume that you will get a pair of components up front. Maybe coaxial for the rear doors. Then what? You're going to power all these speakers with the puny amp in your kenwood? How about your low frequencies (bass)?? The woofer in the front door can't handle the bass. Are you going to get subwoofer too? If so, then that definitely requies its own amplifier, right? Now, compare your finished product's weight with the JBL system. I am sure that the weight difference will be significant...will it impact MPGs? Probably not, but you're defeating Toyota's exhaustive work to reduce weight on the Prius. The JBL system uses a headunit (probably same or less weight than your Kenwood), 8 speakers with neodymium magnets (less weight than 90% of woofers out there...neodymium aftermarket woofers are pretty expensive!), and ONE separate amplifier.
     
  2. scottcocoabeach

    scottcocoabeach Junior Member

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    Package II - I just got mine last week. This week I put in a Pioneer Avic Z110BT Navigation System with Backup Camera and a self-dimming mirror. I also put in the PAC-SWI so my steering wheel controls work. Awesome system for about the price difference of getting a package III without having all this additional functionality.

    On the used Market if someone was lookiing at my car versus a stock Package III I guarantee they would pick mine with the upgrades every time. Yes it takes some work - but the end result is worth it. If all you want is a decent stereo and don't care about other upgrades then go ahead and get the III. I knew I would rip it out anyway so there was no reason to get it in the first place.
     
  3. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    Actually, i would bet that all the aftermarket upgrade (esp. audio) is worth next to nothing when you sell your car. The only rare exception is if you sell PRIVATELY your car to a fellow car audio enthusiast who trusts you and who has the SAME opinion on the stuff that you put in it. Otherwise, you go trade it in or sell to CARMAX and you get zero dollars.

    On the other hand, if you sell a Package III, Carmax or dealership will instantly recognize this on their computer and will give you more money. Go look up EDMUNDS.com and try and appraise your car. There is no box to check off that you have a kick nice person aftermarket stereo. Nope. BUT, there is a box to check off which PACKAGE you got.

    When you sell your car, the MAIN determinant of value (besides condition of the car) is the level of equipment that you got WHEN YOU BOUGHT your car, not what is put into it afterwards. It is just like tires...dealers don't give a crap whether you put on Bob's All-terrain vs. Michelin...they just care that the tires are in decent condition and not balding.

    Trust me, i have gone through aftermarket stuff...not worth it. NOW, if you guys REALLY put in the DOLLARS, then yeah, i agree aftermarket is worth it. BUT, this requires at least $3000+ dollars easily to create a true kick nice person stereo system that is worth it (relatively speaking of course because Carmax won't give you a penny for it!).
     
  4. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I'm all done with the flame war.
     
  5. Oibm

    Oibm Junior Member

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    Keep in mind that in addition to the JBL AM/FM/MP3 6-disc CD changer with eight speakers, integrated satellite radio capability and hands-free phone capability via Bluetooth you are getting the following extra with the Prius III:

    * Steering wheel-mounted Bluetooth hands-free phone-calling controls.

    which is a really nice feature to have and use when driving.

    In my opinion, definitively worth it.
     
  6. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    Well, here is something else to consider. The OEM NAVI is $3k (i have not looked it up, but i take your word). This is not just a $3k option. Because with OEM NAVI, you also get the JBL system with the much better speakers and a more powerful separate amplifier. Lets not forget, OEM NAVI also includes a 4-disc CD changer! Is there even a CD player in the Kenwood DNX6960 model?? So, you would need to buy a separate CD changer, which will add to the cost. Now, i guess that a lot of people use Ipods, but for me, i am still old-tech and use CDs. Now, add in the rear camera cost and just your NAVI alone is well over $1500 right there! And at that point, you still do not have speakers, a separate amp to power the speakers, nor even a subwoofer. Is it cost saving to go II? Not at all...not even close!

    I looked up your kenwood DNX6960 model. It is very nice, but i would not call the integrated amp "powerful". It is rated 50x4 max watts and 22x4 RMS. This is standard for most aftermarket OEM headunits. The JBL system is rated at 440 max watts via 8 channels. The beauty of the JBL amp is that it INDIVIDUALLY amplifies EACH speaker in accordance to the needs of each channel...and this is also how tuning can be done so well in the Prius because the amplifier has full control of each speaker. You just don't have that flexibility aftermarket unless you start looking at multiple amps in your car...and then you will need an ultra-expensive headunit to manage the signals and adjust phase timing of each speaker to properly tune the speakers.

    BTW, here is info on the JBL system: http://www.jbltoyota.com/toyota_prius/default.asp
    [​IMG]
     
  7. HypnoDave

    HypnoDave New Member

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    I purchased the III because of the Bluetooth and Handsfree capability. The JBL sounds fine to me, tho I'm no audiophile. The best thing is that the best price quoted to me for the III was only $137 more than the II.

    East coast pricing may differ from West coast, but you may be able to negotiate a very small difference between the two, making the III features that much more attractive.

    Good Luck.

    David W.
     
  8. boochi101

    boochi101 Junior Member

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    I went for Package IV for the JBL sound and Leather trim but did not wanted a NAV since I rarely use it.

    In P II it only have 6 speakers but in P III and above it has 8 speakers. Tuning the speakers for a Car's cabin is not a joke and you can not put ANY speaker and expect good sound quality. You may be OK with old model 4 speaker setup but the new cars have more speakers.

    Most of the times when the speakers/deck is replaced with after market one you typically end up with high mid+treble sound which may sound like high quality for some but the sound IMAGE is impacted. Also, once you remove factory speakers and install aftermarket ones you end up with improper fit and improper sound sealing which causes leaks and cut off of some frequencies. Off cource a VERY GOOD install will take care of this but I doubt a weekend DIY can do this. Not to mension the breaking of clips, rattles, periodic LOOK INTO etc etc.

    IMHO
     
  9. allargon

    allargon Member

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    I have a 2007 Prius with the full JBL stereo+9 speakers. It definitely could use aftermarket in terms of a subwoofer for most types of music not just rock or hip-hop. Even classical and jazz would benefit. The JBL system is detailed but very bright.

    I routinely listen to older CD's not MP3's or iTunes stuff. The JBL system is okay, but not outstanding, IMHO. The Mark Levinson systems in the Lexus' are much, much better.

    Who said they would never use Bluetooth? Whaaa? Built-in nav might be a waste, but Bluetooth is fairly useful unless you're using bluetooth with your standalone nav unit or something. Never again would I buy a car without Bluetooth.

    My vote is to buy the newest Prius that makes economic sense with the JBL sound system and add a sub.
     
  10. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Thai,
    I am not going to respond to incendiary language and get engaged in arguments. I'm very happy with my purchase and I'm certain that I made the best decision for me. I like this message board a lot and I'm going to avoid engaging with anyone who takes an argumentative tone here.
     
  11. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    The JBL on the new Prius is significantly better than the previous gen...so, i did not find the need for a sub with the new JBL system.
     
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