My car audio install

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 25
edited March 11 in Car Audio & Electronics
Hi folks, About 4 1/2 years ago I upgraded the audio system in my 2010 Toyota Camry. As I wanted to get the work done professionally, I managed to find an excellent car audio dealer who was patient, professional & has good workmanship. The major challenge was that the factory deck was an odd size, meaning we needed to find a dash kit to perfectly match a standard 7" deck. My Dealer's simply ordered all 3 options available from different companies to find the one which matched best, and as you can see, the end result looks absolutely factory. In fact, that was essentially my philosophy - to build a 'stealth' system using the factory speaker mountings, though beefed up as you'll see below.

I went for Kenwood's (then) 2nd top of the line deck (DNX7330BT), but have just upgraded to a Kenwood DNX8160DABS which is an awesome Satnav deck & has DAB+ radio, Apple CarPlay & WiFi/Air mirroring. Fortunately, I already had a pair of Focal Polyglass 690 CV 6 x 9 rears, Polyglass front splits & a powerful Alpine MRV-F545 V12 class a/b amp on hand which saved on the cost of the build. My 6 x 9's were (almost) drop in replacements for the factory 6 x 9's, however I needed larger front splits, so I traded up my old fronts for a pair of awesome Focal 165W-RC Utopia splits which use the same driver materials as their high end home audio speakers, including the same BE tweeter. At the time, my Dealer was running a special on those speakers which was a bonus. That has been the best decision i've made buying car audio gear. The 6 1/2" bass midrange unit has amazing bass & dynamics, and the BE tweeter is very fast, yet utterly natural & is revealing details in the music i've never heard in a car before. Wonderful kit.

To give my Focal speakers a solid foundation, we chose Dynamat Xtreme sound damping material on the rear deck, but chose Focal Bam acoustic insulation for the front doors which provides a bit more attenuation of the back wave in a smaller door environment. Then we mounted my Alpine amp under the passenger seat & the crossovers under the driver's seat. No boot space chewed up! Mind you, it was a mighty effort to get the bigger 690 CV 6x9's to fit in the factory mounts. The problem was the magnet was so much bigger, the frame from the boot closure mechanism was striking the bottom of the magnet and starting to chip it's sexy polished finish. To solve that, my Dealer initially installed a custom MDF frame to raise them up, however I found the closure mechanism was still banging into the magnet. So this time my Dealer used an innovative solution; a strip of Focal Bam BR acoustic insulation which is soft and malleable on application to allow the material to be moulded & bond to the connected component...then it sets hard, creating a solid platform for connected speaker. That did the trick, with the added benefit of an extra layer of insulation for my rear speakers.

Lastly, I used Focal Elite series cables throughout which made sense for synergy with my Focal speakers & is good value. The end results are terrific, with little clue there is a high end system installed, other than the deck which could be mistaken as a factory unit from a distance. Hope you enjoy the photos!



After-market dash kit
Kenwood DNX8160DABS
Alpine MRV-F545 V12 class a/b amp
Focal 690CV 6 x 9's with Dynamat installed
Front door with Focal Bam insulation & MDF mounting finished
With Focal 165W-RC Utopia front splits installed
Utopia crossovers

Post edited by [Deleted User] on


  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,171
    Utopias in a Camry.. nice! Speakers probably worth more than the car! I'm a huge focal guy, Congrats... and be prepared to join the focal side with your home audio :naughty:
  • Cheers Mikey! The Focals are excellent speakers, especially the Utopias. I'm very happy with with my Magico S5 mk2's at home, but admit I am tempted by the new Focal Utopia cans which my friend says are crazy good B).
  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,171
    Bodhi wrote: »
    Cheers Mikey! The Focals are excellent speakers, especially the Utopias. I'm very happy with with my Magico S5 mk2's at home, but admit I am tempted by the new Focal Utopia cans which my friend says are crazy good B).

    Funny you mention the utopias, I just listened to those today. They are fantastic!

    I see some sopra no 2 in my future :sunglasses:
  • nbrowsernbrowser Posts: 6,271
    WHOOHOO! I'm not the only one with Focal speakers in a vehicle on here...granted all I've got is the integration line (entry) but they sound fantastic. Bodhi, nice system! Nicer than mine but I did the install and well...after removing half the interior to run all new speaker wire...some other corners were cut lol.
  • Cheers nbrowser! Focal have excellent quality control, and filter down technology from their flagship gear, hence i've found even their entry level car audio gear sounds good. They clearly offered the best bang for the buck when I was auditioning speakers for my build.
    ps: I hope you were able to weld the rear chassis rails back on :D.
  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,359
    Nice install. I just purchased 4 of these for my 1991 Nissan 300ZX:


  • Yep2Yep2 Posts: 412
    I listened to a BUNCH of Focals last year (not the Eutopias) & really liked what I heard (Xtant amp).
    I even liked the Bamboo Focals.
    Very nice install in your Camry!
    I never cared for Kenwood HU's until recently...
    Bought a demo 399 in the box w/warranty & LOVE the SQ (5-volt preouts)!

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 25
    edited March 13
    @Conradicles, those drivers look good. I tried to find them on Focal's website, but couldn't find them. Are they an older model? Is that an inverted aluminium dome tweeter? The tweeters in my 690CV's are the TN47 'Tioxid 5' tweeter which sounds detailed, but requires careful aiming as it is on the bright side. As far as 6x9's go however, the 690CV's are very good, thanks in part to the polyglass cone. The Utopia BE tweeter of course is on another level & sounds natural and very resolving.

    Yeah i'm very impressed so far with my new Kenwood HU which offers audiophile sound thanks to it's 24/32bit dac, 13 band EQ, DSP, time alignment & 5v pre-out. The Garmin SatNav works very well. Dab+ radio sounds crystal clear on most stations. Screen resolution, sensitivity and speed are all top notch too. I would have liked a telephone button next to the 'menu' button like my old deck, but that's not a deal breaker. Here is a write up on my deck fyi.
  • Yep2Yep2 Posts: 412
    Look @ Audison amps if you want to take a step up in SQ from that Alpine.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 25
    edited March 14
    Yep2 wrote: »
    Look @ Audison amps if you want to take a step up in SQ from that Alpine.
    Those look like very serious amps...thanks for the link Yep! I'm very impressed by the Thesis Quattro. I also like this crazy German amp. It is dual mono, has a copper chassis & is a high biased Class A/B amp -

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