Recommend a replacement stereo for a Gen 2 w/ JBL?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by wowbobwow, May 22, 2018.

  1. wowbobwow

    wowbobwow Junior Member

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    I've got a 2008 Touring Edition Prius that I really love - it's just crossed 140k miles and it's still performing beautifully. Unfortunately, I have been hit by the MFD failure glitch, but other than occasionally wishing I could tinker with the climate controls, it hasn't been that big of a deal.

    I am thinking about upgrading my stereo though - the car already has the JBL 'premium' sound-system and navigation system in place and it sounds great, but I'd really love a more modern interface and modern bluetooth connectivity with my iPhone X.

    Any suggestions for an aftermarket head unit that would be a good match for this setup? I'd really love something that supports Apple CarPlay - has anyone here configured their older Prius for CarPlay? Alternately, I'm totally open to any non-CarPlay suggestions that someone here can vouch for - lemme know what's working well for you!
     
    #1 wowbobwow, May 22, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  2. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    First you should understand that if you want to replace the stereo on a Prius with JBL, you have to replace the speakers as well, or add crossovers and resistors. This is due to the digital crossover in the amp and low resistance of the speakers/tweeters (they're 2 or 3 ohms, most headunits will only work down to 4 ohms). See this for reference: Prius JBL Audio system response, specs, and photos

    When replacing the headunit, you have two options, either use a kit and install a double DIN unit, or leave the factory player install a single DIN unit below it, where there's door and small cubby. There's a long thread on PC about this; google 'stealth install Prius'. This has the advantage that to the outside with the door closed, the system looks factory so should be less attractive to thieves.

    If I was to replace a headunit today, I'd probably go for this one (considering this one for my Honda Element).
     
  3. Kenrico

    Kenrico Member

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    Have seen some conversions where aftermarket is substituted for Prius Multi Media Display - but the toyota onscreen controls and displays are long gone .

    Am interested in a more stealth solution but for the same reasons as the OP . A few years ago it was the rage to replace the 6 disc changer in the lower dash center with some toy bluetooth module that plugged into its changer control .. it was more of a handsfree callings solution than a true AD2P stereo player .

    Currently running a HB-01 Plus for mic and phone connection into the aux port . Works great considering its under $40, but 12v adapter sometimes backs out a hair and can't fully isolate charger feedback because its so rink a dink.

    Ideally want a (2) secondary head unit that is hidden or resides in the physical space of the cd changer .. clean power & ground to unit and have it use the aux in or changer input into existing stereo . Like the new mechless single din receivers ..must have bluetooth , android would be a plus . Because of the smoke flip down door , could even enlarge the mounting hole if needed without it looking sketch.

    That would eliminate cables, give me hard wired blue tooth reception and not cannibalize the factory Multi Media Display.

    Any ideas, suggestions or worthy mechless receivers ?

    Kenny
     
  4. wowbobwow

    wowbobwow Junior Member

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    This is really helpful info - thank you!

    I'm a little bummed that having the fancier JBL speakers actually makes my idea harder and more expensive, rather than easier and less expensive. As someone who's reasonably tech-savvy but not experienced with car stereo stuff, this whole thing is bordering on overwhelmingly complicated. I guess the basic question I'm now looking to have answered would be, "does anyone have a suggested shopping list for exactly what I'd need to buy to end up with a nice new stereo in my Prius without replacing all the perfectly-good speakers?"

    Of course, maybe it's just not worth it anymore - between the cost of a new stereo (let alone one that's CarPlay compatible) + all the required doodads and cables + replacing the entire set of speakers, I'm now picturing this project costing a significant chunk 'o change.
     
  5. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    You can get an inexpensive bluetooth adapter that will plug into your aux input in the center console and get the modern day bluetooth connectivity. MFD can be repaired and/or replaced by a repaired/refurbished unit for fairly cheap. Search PC, I am pretty sure it's been discussed to death with excellent info being the result. Why go through so much trouble when the solution can be pretty simple and keep the car stock. If you are happy with the stock JBL system, then you are just an MFD repair and an inexpensive BT adapter away from your goals.
     
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  6. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    This is good advice if you're not an audiophile like me who has to custom tailor their sound system (y)(y)
     
  7. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    I understand, but I thought I read the OP mentioned they are happy with the JBL system and only wish for a more modern BT connectivity and the MFD not working makes the audio system difficult to control.

    I think it is really difficult and expensive to get audiophile quality sound in the car. It's also not very practical as anything with any kind of dynamic range is almost impossible to listen to in the car due to high levels of ambient noise. A good enough system such as the Prius JBL is really good enough for the application, IMO. I have heard really nice systems in Audi and VW made by Bose with lots of DSP to match the particular interior of the car (i.e. leather interior would get a different tuning than cloth, wagon different from sedan, etc). That really works and sound really good, but again, in a car it's kind of a waste unless the car is much quieter than most cars are.
     
  8. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    Alpine PXA-800 does a nice job of working out the acoustics. One day I'll have one. Otherwise I use a old PXA-H600, utilizing the digital output ony deck and changer. Dynamat through out the car helped with road noise.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  9. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    Totally agree. I have a $100 pair of Pioneer bookshelf speakers on a good amp and an audio interface, and after listening to something in my car, I'll come and play it on them and be completely blown away. There's no question the bookshelf speakers in my room produce a far superior, more accurate sound (To be more accurate, the environment of my room produces a better sound really).

    That being said, the sound on my non-JBL Prius was pretty poor compared to my current setup in my car. The lack of crossovers, over-emphasized mid-bass and generally weird digital EQ from the stock headunit, etc., really contributed to a not great setup. There are a lot of ways my current setup is superior.

    That being said again, I don't think it's worth it to spend more than about $500 on a car stereo setup if you know what to get. The returns on investment past this point are really slim. So, I guess I would say a balanced approach is the way to go.
     
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  10. wowbobwow

    wowbobwow Junior Member

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    You guys (and this community overall) are fantastic - thank you for your patience and for being so kind with your replies to my silly question.

    FYI, I'm currently using this thing while running it through this thing, into the AUX jack in my armrest - it works okay, if a little 'soft sounding.'

    The basic advice here (fix the MFD and enjoy what my car can do as-is) is sound*, and I'll probably just do this.

    Thank you all again!




    *pun intended :)
     
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  11. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    That is exactly what I was suggesting. Once you fix the MFD you will have what you wanted. Please post about your MFD repair/repalce experience. Always good to have one more data point.
     
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  12. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    there are threads that mention an adapter called a "tyto" or something that will allow you to interface a modern head unit to the JBL power amp under the rf seat. that is easier than replacing the entire system and rewiring. still kinda pricey (which is why I still have the oem headunit).
     
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  13. peecee

    peecee Member

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    I replaced the lame factory JBL head unit, while changing nothing else (kept the amp and speakers). I'm not sure why people are perpetuating some crazy ideas about having to replace not only the head unit, but the factory amp and speakers (and most likely some wiring) just to get some simple modern conveniences.

    I'm using the following:

    PAC RP4.2-TY11
    Metra Prius Gen 2 kit (trim)
    Pioneer AVH-X5800BHS DVD Receiver

    I plugged the pioneer into the pac, plugged the pac into the factory harness, and done. No resistors needed to retain HVAC controls. MFD has full functionality. It has been working perfectly since January 2018.

    The only difference is that my backup camera shows on the Pioneer (aftermarket unit I bought that works with the Pioneer head unit), and not the MFD.
     
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  14. Kenrico

    Kenrico Member

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    My post was silly also ..I see how the whole radio comes loose and how the steering wheel controls are connected after some research. For my self I would be better soldering solid power to my BT device and hard wiring the output into system via aux in and maybe adding a filter then hide the cables ... cost would be what I already paid for the HB-01 plus and time .

    No point in keeping the 220k plus gen 2 'factory' ..could go through car and do speaker upgrades, amp and then a headunit like PeeCee -- but seems like Android Auto connectivity goes through USB cable not BT so would have to plug phone in ... and hide cable... and could play BT but would have to initiate from Phone, not from receiver screen unless plugged in .. ack! already have most of that functionality already.

    Kenny
     
  15. JSB_99

    JSB_99 Member

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    That's the exact same thing I did except with a Kenwood DDX-774BH and it works perfectly on an 08 also with the JBL system. Not an issue in over 8 months and the steering wheels controls work as they should too. I did have to switch two wires in one of the harnesses to keep the amp from cycling off and on but otherwise no issues. I didn't hookup anything for the back up camera on the kenwood and still get my stock camera on the MFD.
     
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  16. peecee

    peecee Member

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    Which two wires? Did you still get sound when the amp cycled? I'm noticing an odd problem while listening for more than about 2 minutes (never did before - my daughter drives the car). It seems to sound normal, then get rather "tinny" occasionally. I don't know if it has been like that all along, and my daughter doesn't even notice it. It would drive me nuts.
     
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  17. maf

    maf Junior Member

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    JBL amp is no problem, Axxess make an interface box that lets you plug into it. I put a Sony XAV-AX1000 in my 2005 with Nav & JBL. I also got the other Axxess box for steering wheel control. Crutchfield has all this stuff.
     
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