Major JBL stereo upgrade but keeping stock HU

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by UNCLBONZ, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    I actually thought it was very fair for a professional Tune. Most Audio shops charge between &125-$175 labor per hour so I got off pretty well. Apicella Sound is well know to be one of the best Car Audio Tuners out there. Besides he did a great job getting the entire system just right and spent 9 hours working on the system. All worth it to me. After spending many hours and lots of $$$ to install the system in the Prius it pays to have the tune done by a Pro.
     
  2. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    That's not a bad idea
     
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  3. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    I'm upgrading the 4ga. ground and power wires for the stereo to 1/0 ga. because of the upgrade of the 2 new amps. I'll look into a second location to ground everything out as opposed to the factory battery ground spot.
     
  4. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    bk-amp0-.jpg So I ordered this kit from KnuKoncepts to upgrade the Power and Ground wiring going to the Distribution blocks. Its 1/0 guage . Since I upgraded the two amps it now requires a heavier guage wire. I was running 4 guage feed wire from the battery and 8 guage to the Audiocontrol amps. I now need 1/0 guage from the battery and 4 guage to the amps. I may also be re-doing the amp rack for the 3rd time to clean up the install. Of course Install pics to follow
     
  5. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1119.JPG IMG_1526.JPG IMG_1595 (2).JPG
    So here are the three different amp rack designs that I went thru during the build with all the upgrades. The top pic is my first set up with all Audiocontrol DSP's and Amps. The Middle pic is is with the Helix DSP/Amp and one single channel Audiocontrol 175 watt amp for the Kenwood Subwoofer. The final set up is with the Helix DSP 8 channel amp and the Helix 1000 watt single channel amp for the new Adire 10" subwoofer. The first set up used a 4 guage main power and ground cable with 8 guage power and feeds to the amps from the distribution blocks. With my last set up I needed to upgrade the power and ground lines from the battery to the distribution blocks to 1/0 Guage wiring and 4 Guage to the DSP and amps because of the higher power requirements of the equipment. I re used the top of the second amp rack and just need to do some touch up painting and clean everything up. I also relocated the main power fuse holder onto the amp rack right next to the power distribution block. There just wasn't enough room at the battery location to fit a large fuse holder. It also makes for easier fuse changes if it becomes necessary.
     
    #165 UNCLBONZ, Nov 9, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
  6. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1599 (2).JPG
    My new Adire Brahma MK 2 10" 1000 watt subwoofer in the original .7 cubic foot pre-fab subwoofer box from Sonic Electronix. Still need to rework the fiberglass enclosure to encase the new spacer rings that were necessary to fit the much deeper Adire sub into the box. Likely do that in the spring when the weather gets nice again. The 1000 watt Adire obviously hits much harder then the 300 watt Kenwood sub that it replaced.
     
  7. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1596 (2).JPG IMG_1597 (2).JPG
    Some additional pics of the new set up. This wound up being a much cleaner looking install with a lot less exposed wiring. The very first set up with the Audiocontrol equipment looks a lot more impressive but the Helix system just sounds so much better in every way especially after the professional tune by Apicella Sound .
     
  8. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    AMP WIRE FERRELS.jpg I found these Amp power and ground wire ferrels on line and used them for the 4 connections to the amps. The attachment points for the Helix brand amps are very deep so standard wire ferrels don't work very well. These had a nice deep post that attached well to both the power wire and to the amp itself. $10. a pair. You cant see them in the pics because they're covered in tape while I'm waiting for my oversized shrink wrap to arrive. They are available in all different sizes . I used 4ga to 8 ga for my install.
     
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  9. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    As always very clean installation!
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  10. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    What did you do about the negative cable? Hook directly to the battery? I found a expander ring to go on the little battery post so I could use a full size ground clamp that gave me direct multiple connections.
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  11. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    No Dave . I used the factory ground location for the amp but I upgraded the ground cable to 1/0 ga. to match the upgraded power line. I don't know why Toyota used these tiny little pencil size terminals on their batteries. It's just GOOFY
     
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  12. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    So I did some calculations on the added and changed equipment and materials to come up with the new total weight gain. My first total came to 81 lbs as seen in post #116. Since then I have added the new A-pillar speaker pods and Focal Mid range speakers (+ 10lbs) and two new Helix amps to replace the Audiocontrol DSP and amps (+ 3lbs) The new Adire Subwoofer is a beast adding (+40lbs) plus miscellaneous fittings, Power and Ground Wiring, extra speaker wire for another (+5lbs) for a total of an extra 53 lbs. Add that to the original 81 lbs and I have a grand total of 134 lbs. total weight gain. Most of the extra weight gain is from the Adire Subwoofer. Much more weight gain then I would have originally guessed it would be.
    I still have not noticed any change what so ever in my fuel economy. Not sure why that is but it has stayed the same at about 48-52 MPG depending on weather and temperature. It is just starting to get a bit cooler here in New York so my MPG will definitely start to decline like it always does during the winter months .
     
  13. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    My last re-calculation was the one that I was dreading and that was the total cost of the system. This system went from the original 500 watt Audiocontrol system to the Current 1600 watt Helix system and of course the cost went up. My original total spent on the Audiocontrol system was $2,667 all in , which was not too bad considering. After living with that system for a short while I realized that I was not completely satisfied with the sound quality. The Audiocontrol DSP simply did not intergrade well with the Prius JBL stock system. I may have been able to just get away with adding the Pac Amp Pro and leaving the original DSP but I decided to go another route.

    I have added / Changed the following:
    $ 200- 2 extra rolls sound skin pro sound treatment
    $ 400 Adire Brahma MK 2.5 subwoofer
    $ 300 Helix M-X single single channel 1000watt amp (for sub)
    $ 1436 Helix V eight MK 2 DSP/8 channel amp
    $ 300 Pac amp pro
    $ 450 A pillar pods and Focal Mid Range spaekers
    $ 600 Professional system tune done by Apicella Sound
    $ 43 KnuKoncepts 1/0 ga amp wire kit
    $ 15 Additional heat shrink
    $ 20 Ferrels for both amps
    $ 33 Factory covers for dash speakers
    $ 234 Optima Yellow Top battery

    $ 4,031 new upgrades

    So I've added an additional $ 4,031 in equipment upgrades. That's more than the entire original system cost. I was able to sell both of the Audiocontrol amps and the DSP plus the 4" focal dash speakers for a total recoup of $761. So the new total cost of the Prius upgrade comes to $ 5,937. Was it worth it ??? The answer, for myself is a definite yes. I was able to dramatically improve the quality of the sound system while still keeping the stock factory head unit and all it's features. Did I get carried away....Maybe to some , but for me it was well worth it. The project was fun and interesting to do and I learned a lot about my Prius in the process. I'm in the Prius several hours a day going back and forth to work every day plus the many road trips to get my son back and forth to college so I wanted to have the best sound quality system that I could get out of the stock head unit. This system upgrade if done by a Pro stereo shop would be well over $10,000. By doing the install myself I was able to save quite a bit of money. The professional system Tune done by Apicella Sound in Stony Point New York was the only work the I out sourced and made the biggest improvement in the sound of the overall system. Well worth the $600 spent on the Pro tune.

    So that's my install blog for the 2011 Prius level 3 with JBL and Navigation. I'm super happy with the way it all turned out. If anyone has any questions about the install or equipment I would be happy to try to answer them based on my experience with this project. Thanks for watching. Drive safely

    Rick
     
  14. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    So you upgraded the negative cable to the battery to 1/0 gauge? Or the negative to the system from the factory ground?
    Yes, battery post size is a problem and challenge. Lol
    The expander battery post collars I found worked out to use my own multiple connection terminal for the negative post. Expander collar allows standard size battery terminals to fit. Least on the negative. Positive terminal another story with all the factory stuff. Just a big loop connecter used on that. No upgrade.
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  15. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    I kept the stock 12 volt battery to factory ground as is. No real reason to upgrade it like you would in say a " Big 3 " upgrade. As you know the Prius does not use an alternator to charge the 12 volt battery. What was upgraded to 1/0 ga was the ground for the amps. It runs from the factory battery ground location to the ground distribution block on the amp rack. From there the ground and power feeds to the amps are 4ga. I did this simply to match the 1/0 ga power wire running from the battery to the power distribution block that feeds the amps.
     
  16. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    Thanks Dave
     
  17. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1611 (2).JPG IMG_1612 (2).JPG
    I purchased and installed this 10" NVX starburst subwoofer cover for $23.00 to protect the Adire sub. It's a made to work with subwoofers that have a deep protrusion on the cone like the Adire. This purchase brings the project total up to $5,960. As you can see by the exposed extension trim rings that show behind the grill, that were installed to make the Adire sub fit the NVX box, I still need to cover these in matching carpet. In the spring when it warms up I'll likely remove all the carpet from the NVX box and stretch some fabric over the new trim rings and wet in some fiberglass to re form the box to better fit the new sub. Then re wrap the whole thing back in matching carpet. For now it's sounding really nice and this sub hits really hard. Plenty of bass for the little Prius.
     
    #177 UNCLBONZ, Nov 22, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  18. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    Can you open the floor hatch like that?
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  19. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    Yes, but I have to pull up on the opposite side and lift it up and out first then it comes right out. It's just the opposite to re install the cover. I put the speaker side in first. I'm not in there very often anyway because I don't keep anything down there but I do listen to the stereo EVERY time I'm in the Prius !!!
     
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  20. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    My Dayton audio sub. Bottom trimmed so I can open it. But a grill would be a problem. PXL_20211122_204313063.jpeg

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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