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Toyota Avalon Audio Questions



  • If you do decide to find an aftermarket replacement, make sure it is not only the same or better wattage rating, but also the same exact impedence load (ohms)as well.

    ** 97 XLS w/ All The Toys! **
    ** My Baby! **
    ** Enjoy & Long Live Your Avalon! **
  • Regarding the sound in Avalons being pretty decent, check out my post in the Avalon/Sirius Forum - I don't want to repeat myself here but my experience with my XLS was like an awakening; it's been the very first time I've been excited about the sound in my '03 XLS. --How difficult is it to remove the head unit and tap into the speaker wires? OK, this place is only giving you free information because they're trolling for your OEM head-unit repair business. Take the free info and then RUN from that repair concept: CAUTION - when you first pull that top A/C vent the clips are a little stiff; there are 3 of them NOT 2! One is top-dead-center and the other two are on the bottom at each side. (I'm assuming the standard head unit doesn't have line outs --??) Mine's JBL so my experience is limited to that unit; I don't know if you have a downstream amplifier. If there's an adapter for your system Metra, Soundgate, Scosche, P.I.E. ONE of these manufacturers makes it. You can use their site/s as an easy place to find out if the solution exists. Email their support if you need to, that's why they exist. I had good luck with the Metra harness which in my situation included 4 RCA/IN jacks so I could feed line-level from my aftermarket head unit. The best deal I could find on the Metra parts I used came from my LOCAL INDEPENDANT RETAILER! NO OEM HARNESS HACKING! You WILL be able to find a plug/adapter to get you tapped into the factory wiring. The factory wiring is OK for small upgrades; if you were going "bigtime" you'd eventually be running bigger/better speaker-wire anyway. --Is there an existing hole in the firewall that can be used to pass a power lead from the battery, or does a new hole have to be drilled? Nein! Drillen Ist Verboten! You can get your power from the factory radio harness if you're using an adapter harness - be aware that in addition to aftermarket head-unit harnesses, there are also adapter harnesses to accommodate adding amplifiers to the OEM head unit. You'll have to map out your plan and select accordingly. If you end up only tapping into audio wires and still need a 12VDC feed, steal it from the lighter. (I don't smoke so that'd be no inconvenience for me.) That lighter operates by resistance and I'm sure the power-wire/fuse has adequate juice. If you're motivated I'm sure you can find an accessory fuse position on the OEM fuseblock. NO DRILLING! You can easily run an extra wire through one of the factory grommets or even fish one through a loom if you're lucky/skilled. Try running a long piece of string-trimmer-line through whichever loom looks promising. File/sand the line blunt first, work from the engine compartment inward if you can, a sparing amount of dish soap might coax things along. If it's a NoGo, just push it through alongside the loom. Once you can see it on the other side of the firewall tape your new wire to it and make the pull back into the engine bay. --What's the best way to run wiring from the head unit to the trunk? WELL! I dropped one of my radio-bracket bolts down and it ricocheted backwards down under my console shifter - I was in there with an extendable magnet and a small mirror in order to retrieve it. It goes WAYY back! Remember there's no driveline under the hump so I'm guessing there's a tunnel all the way back. Otherwise why a hump in the rear footwell? At the very least you can get a wire from the firewall to the back of the front seat. From there you could pull the back seat out and fish your string-trimmer-line forward under the carpet. I'm still counting on the tunnel but I may need to fall back on fishing too. --Did you have to put a hole/grille in the rear shelf to get enough bass in the cabin? OK, when you remove that OEM "subwoofer" (which you SHOULD) you'll have a hole to pass wind into the passenger compartment. That OEM speaker was and never will be a sub, and the only decent free-air woofers I've ever heard were 15" diameter. Needless to say the average Avalon driver (including me) doesn't need or want a subwoofer that size. It was just a lame way for Toyota to throw a sub in an Avalon, as nearly an afterthought. Does anyone believe someone tuned that enormous trunkspace to suit the acoustic needs of that puny speaker? A friend of my builds boxes and he said it didn't much matter which way it pointed due to the configuration he wanted to use. You know: sealed; ported; transmission line, etcetera. Besides, true lower bass frequencies are nearly non-directional. I don't know which he plans on but I do know the box is a compact rectangle because I saw one he built for a Camry. He put a single 8" JL sub in it and built the box around the specs for that particular woofer. It's a real sub, albeit a puny one by today's standards. It's tight and fast, never flabby. Right now I'm using one 6" Bazooka Tube which is corner-loaded on the left side of my trunk, almost touching the back of the rear passenger seat. It sounds "good" but I'm looking for "much better". If I go for the box solution he assures me plenty of air will pass through the factory speaker hole. My Tubes are old and if I was going to buy them again I'd go for two 8's or a single 10". You can even get them with onboard amps (active sub vs. passive) which might save you some hassle. By the time you did enough bastardy to get ANY speaker to "thump" in that stock position, your rear deck would be vibrating, buzzing and undulating like someone playing a tree-saw. Not to mention the license plate frame, the plate itself, and anything else not nailed down. Gas tanks are notorious for rattling. OK, I'll quit reddening your eyes, good luck! (Here's a picture of the harness I used, just to give you an idea:
  • okay so can the wattage be higher? but the ohms has to be the same. how do i know the ohms in the sub thats in there now. and how is installation on these things?
  • I recently purchased 5-1/4 inch speakers for my avalon, but they do not fit the factory mounts. in fact, the inside of the doors looks like a minefield of problems. Has anyone ever installed new speakers using the factory speaker housings, or is a kit necessary? Also, it appears that the factory speakers were slightly smaller than the 5-1/4 speakers i bought. Is it possible that best buy and circuit city were wrong when they told me that 5-1/4s fit the 97 avalon? Toyotas are great cars, but after today im going to dread taking them apart to install audio components. Can anyone help me?

    Thank you.
  • The wattage can be higher but never lower. The ohms must me the same. On most speakers, the ohms is usually shown on the speaker magnet itself. it may be 4, 8, 16, or 32 ohms. If someone on the forum here has the same speaker, they might be able to post it if it's the same one.

    ** 97 XLS w/ All The Toys! **
    ** My Baby! **
    ** Enjoy & Long Live Your Avalon! **
  • Hey smith1... RE: "I would appreciate hearing anyone's experiences with adding a subwoofer to the 2005+ Avalon." Apologies; I used the Evelyn Wood "sped-read" method, skimmed your post, and did not see your year '05+ year-model stipulation. (RTFM) Still, most of my original reply to you, I stand behind. EXAMPLE: Today my dealer put a NEW JBL head-unit in my '03 XLS, even though they HAD sent my original piece to wherever they sent it for repair. (Zero dollars to me as per my 84 month extended warranty! Wheeee!) I have to say that my original JBL unit must have been a lemon from the git-go, even before the in-dash CD changer went dormant. The reason I say that is because there is no doubt the new JBL radio sounds better than the original did on day one when the car was new. The service department was surprised to see I had already wedged a replacement in and interested enough to ask that I leave the Clarion unit in until the mechanic took it into a bay. (I had taken a crash-kit with only the tools I needed in case they wanted me to pull it.) In the shop they listened to the first part of several tracks from an Alison Krauss AKUS LIVE CD which has pretty diverse range. Then the mechanic pulled my aftermarket unit and buttoned up my dash/console with the new JBL unit. That took mere minutes and we played the same tracks in the JBL's CD player. Everyone agreed the Clarion sounded better, but not so much better that the JBL had to come back out. The difference was in the separation and soundstage (yes, I said it, "soundstage"). I don't want to call the JBL "muddy", but I guess I have to. Certain instruments and vocal passages grouped together? Clustered? They just seemed to pick a set of speakers and come out of that "zone". Most of this happened in the speakers in the rear seating area. (Door speakers.) They're so small they ought to be called "weakers". However, the Clarion was able to drive them better and the finger-picking and vocals had an arrangement and positioning to them as opposed to the spatial uncertainty the JBL produced. It might be because the Clarion is one of what was known as their "Pro-Audio" line when it was new; that series put out a minimum of 4-volts at the RCA's. Now I see that some Clarion models don't mention specific output-voltage - those are all the lower-end models. The specs on the midrange to big-dough units all say 4 volts. Maybe the H/U is just handing the OEM amp a better signal? You know what they say; garbage in = garbage out. The JBL is good for MUZAK and when you're driving and concentrating on what you should be, it's good enough for background ambience. When you're sitting still listening to the JBL with the engine on OR off, that's when the Clarion unit pops into your mind. Another big safety plus of the Clarion is the included remote - I need to relearn all the button functions because it's been in mothballs for years, but I can reduce volume, pause CD's etc. without leaning forward or looking down. (Steering wheel controls were not available on the '03.) We were on a twisty mountain road with no other cars headed down to the dealer and the Clarion sounded great. We took the same road going home with the JBL installed and it didn't sound much different than it did when we were flanked by semis on the 10, 605, and 210 freeways of Los Angeles. What am I saying? I don't know! I suppose I just have to say the aging aftermarket unit kicked the JBL in the faceplate; enough so 3 persons and myself agreed on the result, but we also agreed the JBL was "adequate". It's going to bug me having said that, but I'm leaving the JBL in until I decide on a Double-DIN NAV-capable unit, AND that unit is on sale at a deep discount. The JBL does blend with the interior better than the Clarion, but as I said you can have any suitable substrate professionally coated with the exact same burlwood finish as OEM parts. Also... you ought to be able to find removal instructions for the 05+ Avalon head-unit online. Try Metra's PDF library. Later
  • Crutchfield's guide sez you can slam 5.75" speakers in my '03 Avalon's front doors. Yours? You can go look on Crutchfield's website. They also give you depth limitation specs. If the 5.25's are a go, Crutchfield will have adapter plates for sale (if they are needed). With those plates I'm sure you can persuade them to cut loose with a installation instruction sheet. Normally their fitment guide is pretty accurate, or else they'd experience mega-merchandise-returns for their errant information. BTW, my '03 Avalon is a far cry from my '68 Corona, but all through my Toyota ownership history I've found them easy to work on. A '75 SR5 pickup, '77 Corona wagon, '96 Celica, '97 4Runner Limited, '05 Tundra and of course the Avalon. OK, some things under the hood of the newer Toyo's look like Icelandic 'glyphics, but that's what I said about my '85 pickup and I ended up doing some of my own engine work on that. As for audio installation I've always done it. I've been "in-the-dash" of all my Toyotas; I had 3 two-channel amps, one 4 channel amp and a large passive crossover in my '86 SR5 Xtra-Cab. Three Soundstreams under the driver's seat and a 4-channel Alpine under the passenger's seat. The front had a component 3-way setup, there was one 6.5" directly under the Xtra-Cab window/s on each side and a Bazooka Tube on the floor behind each seat. The X-over lived under the driver's side package shelf. I lifted the console up and ran all my signal cabling on one side of the hump, all my power down the other side of the hump. What I'm saying is "You CAN do this". Go to your dealer and have them show you a microfiche of the door panel assembly - they might even have it "online" on their own intranet. Either way Parts can print you a copy. I almost guarantee the dealer won't spite you for doing it yourself - they normally want nothing to do with aftermarket installs. Hey! If you want the result and you don't want to pay some installer, you've got to step out on the ledge a bit. Later P.S. (No, I don't only buy Toyotas, but my other cars have been Nash, Divco's, Hudson's, Studebaker, '40 Chevrolet stakebed, '69 Nissan Patrol, Grumman Kurbmaster, '37 Indian-4, Ramblers, '55 Roadmaster, '57 Roadmaster, '57 Mercury, '63 Mercury, Five VW's, '70 Electra w/ Wildcat engine. I've had 50+ cars since high school. In other words Toyotas have been my "Old Faithfuls" since I bought my '68 Corona used. That thing sold me on the reliability. All but one of those Toyo's I purchased new. When you like weird vehicles you need solid transportation to fall back on when you can't find some elusive Hudson part or whatever.)
  • b1gatorb1gator Posts: 12
    You may have already gotten some responses under the XM/Sirius radio thread but here goes. I have an 05 Lmtd and I just had the Sirius system installed in the trunk that I bought from a Toyota Dealer through Ebay. I didn't use the antenna that came with the unit (the one that mounts by the rearview mirror) I replaced with a trunk mount from the installer. Cost of the unit was just under $300 and the Install was $100. Unit works great--same issue as others have mentioned with the limit of only 10 characters per line on the display for song and artist info
  • Does anyone know which brand of IPOD interface will work with the 2005 Avalon XLS that has the 6 disc CD changer in the dash and no AUX button?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Peripheral Electronics makes an interface that works great. I bought it at Best Buy for $149.99 (I think its cheaper now). Was going to install it myself, but for $60.00 extra I just let them do it. I had them run the connection into the center console (the large one, not the small one for your cell phone). When I park the car I just place the I-pod back into console and nothing shows. It works by pushing the "disc" button on the radio, it charges the Ipod and you can skip tracks with the radio or steering wheel controls. You can also control the I-pod direct. My car is an '06 XLS w/JBL 6CD, W/O Nav. Hope this helps!

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • Thanks. Is that the IPOD2CAR interface? If so, does your CD changer still work? Do you receive song information in the information center?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Yes, its the Ipod2car. The CD Changer functions as usual. No you do not receive song data, it just reads disc 1, track # (goes up everytime you skip a song) and the time indicator just toggles back and forth between 1 & 2.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • Thanks. I will check it out tomorrow.
  • ovallerovaller Posts: 1

    I had the same problem but I found a local place that will recone the subwoofer for $40. Their website is Good luck!
  • manav82manav82 Posts: 16
    I own an 07 Avalon touring without NAV. I am having a problem with the display turning off and back on while driving. This happens on its own and all I am doing when this happens is listening to a CD. Usually after this occurs I lose the ability to adjust the volume or any audio settings (bass, etc...). The only way to regain controls is turn car off and back on.
    I have the XM Direct kit for Toyota and an Alpine Amp/Sub installed (done by Crutchfield). Any ideas? Thanks
  • beeman4ubeeman4u Posts: 34
    I have a 06 Avalon XLS without the Manufacturer navigation system but I have the JBL Syn. System. One year has passed and I must admit, I'm overall very satisfied. A few months in, I was experiencing the annoying dashboard squeaks but they are long gone, 20K miles now. My wife is now considering I get the Navigation system. I know there are portable models on the market but I am one for esthetics and was considering upgrading with the navigation system option model that is/was offered with the car in 06. I am not sure if my display window will need to be replaced or not, but overall does anyone know if this is even possible? And if so, what's the est cost; with and without the dealer installation. Thank you
  • manav82manav82 Posts: 16
    How did you get rid of the squeaks? I am experiencing the same problem.
  • cms1528cms1528 Posts: 45
    Unrelated Question for you, How is the amp/sub working out for you. Did you install it in the trunk or another part of the vehicle. I thought of dropping an amp/sub combo into the trunk but wasn't sure how it would sound.

    I have the factory JBL system now and I feel the bass is fair at best. Thought I would kick it up.
  • My wife is wanting to get a 2007 Avalon Limited.

    However, her and I are both sound quality freaks so we plan to replace whatever system comes in the car with aftermarket stereo and navigation systems. (No matter how 'good' a stock stereo is advertised to be, they always fall well short in terms of sound quality when compared to top notch aftermarket stuff.)

    Has anybody here replaced their stock Avalon stereo with an aftermarket system (Alpine, Kenwood, eclipse, etc.)?

    I am afraid that with all the systems (stereo/nav/climate control) being integrated into the one display, we may encounter problems when trying to scrap the stock system.

    Thanks in advance.
  • jwadle1jwadle1 Posts: 3

    I have a 2005 Limited with NAV and something has been "bugging" me since I got the car.. There is no vlume indicator.. When I turn the volume up or down, nowthing shows up on the screen... is this because I have NAV?

    Thanks for any help.
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