I wrapped up my ‘Project 4Runner‘ with an entirely new audio system. Ever since I was a teenager car audio has been a hobby of mine. I spent a few years as an installer at local car audio shop. Every car I have owned has had some level of an aftermarket stereo system in it but this is one of the best so far.
When it comes to my audio preferences there are a few must, starting with clarity. I enjoy crystal clear audio from low to very high volume levels. Another important factor is NO RATTLES. I use a lot of Dynamat Thick Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener to provide sound deadening and tighten up the sound by reducing the sound db while riding down the road.
When it comes to bass… it has to hit hard, hit the deep notes, and remain clear. The rolloff needs to be smooth with no gaps in frequency meaning the crossovers need to be set perfectly. Setting the crossovers takes bit of time. I start with a good general set up… separate / midranges at 80hz and up and the sub around 65hz or so with a 12db rolloff. It all depends on your car, style of music you listen too, and gain levels. I set the gain on the amp driving my separates at about the 1/2 way mark or little over. The sub amp is turned all the up and then backed off just a little. However, I also use the JL Audio subwoofer level control knob and can control the subwoofer level setting on my head unit which is currently the Alpine ICS‑X7HD.
My advice is to set the gains and crossover points to where they initially sound good. Drive around for a few days listening through your music… careful not to over play anything to the point of hearing any level of distortion. Make a few mental notes and then make adjustments as needed. I found after doing this a few times and trying various gain levels and crossover points… after a couple of weeks I had it near perfect to my listening preferences.
So lets talk about the gear. I have always been a fan of Alpine and JL Audio. I have never ran any subs other than JL Audio. In the past I have always ran Alpine power but for this build I decided to give the JL Audio digital amps a try and I am very impressed with the results.
JL Audio C3-650
2 pair for front and rear doors