The below blog post will inform about the best practices for upgrading the audio on the
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (J120 model)
(2002 – 2009)
Land Cruiser Prado J120 (2002-2009)
The Land Cruiser Prado is a good Japanese full-size SUV for a premium audio upgrade. The car has a total of between 8 to 11 speaker slots (depending on variant) which are evenly distributed and staged for a good stereo audio sound response. This is mainly in front to give the driver, co-passenger and second row seat occupants a reasonably clear music experience. The 8 speaker, OE Toyota audio setup on the Prado reproduces a natural sound output. Though this audio setup sounds great to inexperienced listeners, it lacks detail at low volumes and head room at higher volumes. Anyone seeking a higher end sound quality are the ones who consider upgrades over the OE Toyota setup.
The purpose built speakers in the OE Toyota audio do sound good to passive listeners. But, the end effect just does not work for some who are used to a higher level of sound quality at home, in their AV rooms or in another one of their premium cars with a higher end OE audio like Bang & Olufsen or Burmester and more.
Toyota have installed large 6.5” speakers in the front doors in a way that brings acceptable lows (bass) right up front in the Prado. The problem actually lies in the actual build of the speakers and factory fit entertainment unit, which are purpose built and are meant to sound average to the experienced listener or music lover or audiophile.
Standard Speaker slots / locations of equipment in OE Toyota variants:
8 speakers in 4 doors, comprising of 4 tweeters / high-frequency drivers on the front and rear doors, and 4 mid woofer / speakers on all four doors. and 1 speaker in the dashboard (Center channel speaker). These variants come with an internal low power amplifier built into the factory entertainment system which powers all the speakers in the car.
Due to the build and overall cabin volume, the Prado needs powerful speakers in order to produce a clear and balanced music experience. The doors are built quite strong and sealed off with basic sound proofing / damping, which produces a average bass response compared to other Japanese / Korean cars in the same category. The overall large cabin size makes the car very flexible, when it comes to acoustic speaker arrangements for custom installations.
Some Prado cars can suffer plastic creaking and degradation on Indian roads due to the poor condition of the road surfaces, pockmarked with pot holes and ridges. Though this problem can be addressed with damping and soundproofing, some minor creaks here and there crop up in some cars. A lot depends on how the car is driven on bad roads and regular maintainence by the car owner.
Full Upgrade on OE Toyota Audio Variants:
The cleanest method of upgrading the audio on any premium car is to follow the least invasive wiring method. The right way of upgrading the audio on the OE Toyota Audio variants is to start with configuring a better source unit or entertainment system including basic features like USB, Bluetooth etc., an aftermarket sound processor / signal processor connected to the source unit acting as the master controller for the rest of the equipment to be added. The next step is to select sets of speakers and matching amplifier(s) staying well within the provided space in the car, which in case of a Prado is a medium amount of clearance (6 to 10mm). The final speaker configuration is a front 2Way setup (Mid-bass speakers in doors, tweeters in the A pillars) and Rear 2Way (Tweeter and Mid-range speakers in doors) speaker setup. An 8” / 10″ / compact 12|” Subwoofer with enclosure placement is to be placed in the boot for a deeper and more powerful bass response. All of this has to be powered by amplifiers with matching power and sound signatures to achieve a unique auditory experience as per user needs.
“ Some Tech Gyaan-
A Digital Signal Processor sums up the signals from the OE Toyota Main Entertainment Unit to flatten the input signal to provide a clean and controlled output signal to the aftermarket amplifier(s) to reproduce a very clear audio experience in cabin. “
Tuning and Room / Cabin analysis has to be performed extensively to recognize the points at which the Frequency responses have to match and merge. The installation as per fitment slots will be the same as OE Toyota Audio variants, however certain source wiring and configuration changes are done based on final audio configuration. Room / Cabin Analysis and Tuning of the audio takes some time and patience in order to achieve a perfect balanced sound. A stunning sound stage can be achieved with the right equipment and tuning setup.
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