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Recently purchased a 67 plate IS300h so still very much learning the car at this stage.

Whilst configuring my audio settings I noticed that the rear speakers are very week when compared to the front speakers. I noticed there is a circular impression in the rear deck grill as if there is a speaker in there but no sound comes out. I can only hear sound coming from the speakers in the rear doors. Is this standard setup for the IS300h audio or is there something wrong with my audio?

I noticed there is nothing in the setup menu referring to any subwoofer either so I take it there is none?

Thanks for any help.

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I assume you have "standard" Lexus system, because if you had Premium or Mark Levinson I doubt you would make the query.

If it is standard system then I am afraid there is not much you can do, it is worst system currently fitted to any premium car, even something like ford fiesta has better audio (it isn't even good comparison as fiesta has rather good standard system with 10 speakers).

I was warning people here for long time how terrible Lexus standard system is. Sadly, I forgotten to warn you that this is something to check - quite unbelievable that Lexus still have these systems available. Some people thinks I am Lexus hater, but my goal was always just to raise awareness that standard system in Lexus IS mk3 and RC are subpar and just not acceptable to be in any car at all.

The Lexus standard system only has 6 terrible quality speakers, 4 in front doors (woofer+tweeter) and 2 (woofers) in rear doors, nothing on rear deck and no subwoofer at all. It sounds horrendous as well, like somebody fitted cheap radio speakers into cardboard box. I guess system is ok if you just listening to radio, but it is not suitable for any music at all.

There isn't much you can do, certainly not in settings. My advice would be getting something like ~800w amp + ~2x300w coaxial (to rear deck) and 600w sub in the boot (alternatively active sub and 400w amp). Very simple to wire and convenient to fit - you will already have empty place on the side of the book where amp "meant to go" and holes for the speakers in rear deck (it is possible to fit coaxials of exactly same size without modification), simply place sub in the boot and it should be only 2 wires coming from the front - power and sound. Now I know that this sounds like a lot of watts, but on car speakers 300w isn't really comparable to 300w RMS, more like ~75 maybe. So above set-up would give balanced sound for the car.

There is not much point ripping the existing speakers as there is no amp in the car and head unit amp would not be able to run any better speakers anyway.. Unless you want to fit second amp and replace existing speakers as well. The reason I would not advise it is as wiring all the door speakers and amps would be wiring nightmare.

 

 

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Alex you should do a search on the forum, as I think you will find this topic along with the 12v Battery the most talked-about topics! I even put up a post a couple of years ago about the audio quality. I was extremely disappointed with the audio quality especially after spending 18k on a premium vehicle... In the end I fitted 2x 6x9 speakers on the rear shelf and a 10in dvc sub in the boot. Not for the feint of heart as the entire rear seats and panels need to be removed to get to the rear shelf. The shelf is welded in and cannot be removed. Cutting holes in the metal parcel shelf required a nibbler and a wooden mounting board to mount the speakers. The only good thing was there was plenty of welded nuts to bolt down the wooden speaker board. The wiring was a PINA as had to break into the wiring for the rear speakers. I used an amp which accepted high level inputs and also had an output to provide for the sub amp. Also use an amp which can auto sense power on, saves having to run a remote power on wire from the headunit.... The sound is drastically improved and the balance isnt bad considering the crap speakers lexus used...I also replaced the screen with a 10.25in android screen which has improved the whole experience. I can stream music from YouTube, Soundcloud, my home NAS and use Google Maps and pretty much any android app. The best thing about it, it all looks oem... 😉

Anyway good luck with what ever you decide to do. 

 

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if you have a round dial to control the audio system then you only have

6 speakers and you wont have a speaker where the circular impression is but

if you have the square style of controller like a joypad then you have an 8 speaker system

and a sub should be fitted under that impression you'll also have an extra speaker on

the top of the dash in the middle.

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1 minute ago, 200h said:

if you have a round dial to control the audio system then you only have

6 speakers and you wont have a speaker where the circular impression is but

if you have the square style of controller like a joypad then you have an 8 speaker system

and a sub should be fitted under that impression you'll also have an extra speaker on

the top of the dash in the middle.

That is true only for pre-facelift cars, facelift cars (with wide-screen Sat-nav) all have square pad now.

Lexus counts coaxials like components 🙂 So it is "10 speakers system", but I believe you are right regarding there being only 8 actual locations... Aside from counting speakers incorrectly "Premium" it is actually decent system and to be fair in my experience just as good as Mark Levinson. 

 

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Thanks for all the info. A bit disappointed but it's fixable. 

Are wires running to all speaker locations regardless of 6 or 8 option? Would fitting the speakers and amp myself involve running wires from the head unit? 

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the 6 speaker system i believe has its own internal amplifier

where as the 8 speaker and ML systems have a separate amplifier

located in the offside read corner of the boot under the carpet,

you can buy amplifiers that accept Hi level feeds i.e. straight from your

speakers this makes for an easy hook up

 

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Battery will be fine, same Battery handles 10/14 - speakers systems just fine.

In 6-speakers system as noted amp is integrated in head unit itself. Not sure if there is audio-out from head-unit, but if signal can be picked-up from speaker lines that obviously is easier.

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8 hours ago, Linas.P said:

Battery will be fine, same battery handles 10/14 - speakers systems just fine.

In 6-speakers system as noted amp is integrated in head unit itself. Not sure if there is audio-out from head-unit, but if signal can be picked-up from speaker lines that obviously is easier.

So the easiest route would be to tap into the rear door speaker wires and wire that to a high level amp? With that the only other wires to run would be from the Battery and a remote line from the head unit?

Is there any stock wires running to the area where the oem amp would have been located?

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My understanding is that you either run remote and power, or you tap into other speaker wires if you have amp high-gain input. Sadly, you would be better advised by @Inazone, as my experience is just general doing that to other cars. I have not fitted speakers in IS300h in particular, although I know where components of the system are placed to form a little bit of opinion.

As for components into rear door, I don't think it would work - there are no place to fit them and I don't believe you would want making new holes in the door. You can probably replace existing woofer in rear door with coaxial speaker, but I doubt there would be benefit as I said the head unit would be limited to something like 40-45W anyway.

The benefit of fitting speakers to rear deck is that they look OEM as there mean to be speakers by design and there are grills as you know.

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On 2/23/2021 at 9:16 AM, Linas.P said:

My understanding is that you either run remote and power, or you tap into other speaker wires if you have amp high-gain input. Sadly, you would be better advised by @Inazone, as my experience is just general doing that to other cars. I have not fitted speakers in IS300h in particular, although I know where components of the system are placed to form a little bit of opinion.

As for components into rear door, I don't think it would work - there are no place to fit them and I don't believe you would want making new holes in the door. You can probably replace existing woofer in rear door with coaxial speaker, but I doubt there would be benefit as I said the head unit would be limited to something like 40-45W anyway.

The benefit of fitting speakers to rear deck is that they look OEM as there mean to be speakers by design and there are grills as you know.

So are there spaces for coaxial speakers and the sub on the rear deck? I thought it was just one space for the sub?

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I cannot 100% confirm that, but I understand there is space and mounting points for speakers on rear deck. Based on what @Inazone said I assume the actual holes for the speakers are not cut in the metal partition. However if you have folding rear seats it will be easy to confirm this. 

Here is thread for US with some nice diagrams, just keep in mind that what's is called "standard" is equivalent to "premium" system in UK model. In your car you would have speakers fitted to only locations (2), (3) and (4):

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-3rd-gen-2014-present/875986-is350-speaker-sizes.html

One other thing to note - I do not recommend fitting sub to rear deck. Yes it would look OEM, but Lexus did it because of compromise between space and cost. Any boxed sub (even relatively compact) will deliver far better quality and performance... at the cost of taking space of 3 milk jugs in the boot. 

Besides, you may struggle to find sub suitable for being mounted in ... basically open air. Most of standard sub-woofers are meant to be fitted into enclosures. 

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On 2/24/2021 at 8:01 PM, Linas.P said:

I cannot 100% confirm that, but I understand there is space and mounting points for speakers on rear deck. Based on what @Inazone said I assume the actual holes for the speakers are not cut in the metal partition. However if you have folding rear seats it will be easy to confirm this. 

Here is thread for US with some nice diagrams, just keep in mind that what's is called "standard" is equivalent to "premium" system in UK model. In your car you would have speakers fitted to only locations (2), (3) and (4):

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-3rd-gen-2014-present/875986-is350-speaker-sizes.html

One other thing to note - I do not recommend fitting sub to rear deck. Yes it would look OEM, but Lexus did it because of compromise between space and cost. Any boxed sub (even relatively compact) will deliver far better quality and performance... at the cost of taking space of 3 milk jugs in the boot. 

Besides, you may struggle to find sub suitable for being mounted in ... basically open air. Most of standard sub-woofers are meant to be fitted into enclosures. 

Thanks for that Linas.

 

In the Mark Levison diagram there are two small tweeters fitted to the rear doors. Will the door cards for the Mark Levison fitted cars be different to standard models?

Not sure why Lexus didn't fit coaxial speakers to the rear doors in the standard models or just replicate what they did in the front. The front ones aren't fantastic but they are miles better than the rear. If I do an upgrade and tap into the existing wiring, I may upgrade the rear door speakers anyway. I rather do that than cut the rear deck.

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Tweeter is fitted into door handle assembly, so it isn't different door card - not sure if internally it is different. Up to you really, but even if you find replacement for rear speakers you will still need separate amplifier.

e.g. ML

8d00a86b48514ce381d2fb1bc5b7ecfa.jpg

non-ML:

image.thumb.png.6e96979191f04e9827e97394dda79a00.png

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14 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Tweeter is fitted into door handle assembly, so it isn't different door card - not sure if internally it is different. Up to you really, but even if you find replacement for rear speakers you will still need separate amplifier.

e.g. ML

8d00a86b48514ce381d2fb1bc5b7ecfa.jpg

non-ML:

image.thumb.png.6e96979191f04e9827e97394dda79a00.png

Linas you are a star! Thanks for those pics.

Yes, I know I will need an amp for the door speakers but will need one regardless if I add coaxials to the rear deck wont I?

How is the Mark Levison system powered, by one multi channel amp in the boot?

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So a multi channel to the rear door speakers and sub in the boot would suffice right? Do they make multi channel high level amps? I never used a high level amp before.

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On 2/21/2021 at 7:41 PM, Inazone said:

Alex you should do a search on the forum, as I think you will find this topic along with the 12v battery the most talked-about topics! I even put up a post a couple of years ago about the audio quality. I was extremely disappointed with the audio quality especially after spending 18k on a premium vehicle... In the end I fitted 2x 6x9 speakers on the rear shelf and a 10in dvc sub in the boot. Not for the feint of heart as the entire rear seats and panels need to be removed to get to the rear shelf. The shelf is welded in and cannot be removed. Cutting holes in the metal parcel shelf required a nibbler and a wooden mounting board to mount the speakers. The only good thing was there was plenty of welded nuts to bolt down the wooden speaker board. The wiring was a PINA as had to break into the wiring for the rear speakers. I used an amp which accepted high level inputs and also had an output to provide for the sub amp. Also use an amp which can auto sense power on, saves having to run a remote power on wire from the headunit.... The sound is drastically improved and the balance isnt bad considering the crap speakers lexus used...I also replaced the screen with a 10.25in android screen which has improved the whole experience. I can stream music from YouTube, Soundcloud, my home NAS and use Google Maps and pretty much any android app. The best thing about it, it all looks oem... 😉

Anyway good luck with what ever you decide to do. 

 

Inazone, did you use two amps for your setup or one?

I really don't fancy cutting the rear deck, do you think changing the rear door speakers is any easier?

As you said you had to tap into the rear door speaker wire, I take it there is no wiring running to the boot or rear deck on our cars?

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2 hours ago, Linas.P said:

The manufacturers are different, size is probably the same. 6 speakers are made by Pioneer and 8/10 speakers by Panasonic (or maybe other way around).

This is not true. The front and rear door speakers are the same on the 6 and 8* speaker systems - part codes are the same.

Fronts are 18 cm, 4 ohm, 20 W. Rears are 16 cm, 4 ohm, 20 W.

Only the ML systems have different speakers.

 

*8 speaker system on vehicles 2013 to 2016. This changed to a 10 speaker system for MY2017 onwards.

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16 hours ago, ColinBarber said:

This is not true. The front and rear door speakers are the same on the 6 and 8* speaker systems - part codes are the same.

Fronts are 18 cm, 4 ohm, 20 W. Rears are 16 cm, 4 ohm, 20 W.

Only the ML systems have different speakers.

 

*8 speaker system on vehicles 2013 to 2016. This changed to a 10 speaker system for MY2017 onwards.

So what about 2017 onwards?

I'm trying to figure out if a simple active sub will make much of a difference rather than adding extra speakers to the rear. 

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2 hours ago, Alex34 said:

So what about 2017 onwards?

I'm trying to figure out if a simple active sub will make much of a difference rather than adding extra speakers to the rear. 

Adding simple active-sub would definitely improve things as main weakness of the system is no base at all (besides being overall underpowered), but it would not be perfect. Sadly, on standard system crossover is poor, because instead of focusing on mid-range and treble system tries to cover full range without dedicated sub-woofer. Meaning that once you go past ~ 60% of sound speakers just starts making terrible noise and blurring over frequencies.

I am not expert, but maybe adding active sub-woofer and retrofitting crossovers/filters to existing speakers would be decent solution e.g. that woofers in the doors would not even attempt any frequencies below say 500Hz and then each speaker could do it's own "role".

Actually, just seen this and thought you may be interested if looking for compact-active sub - something like this (not necessarily this particular, but overall form-factor):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VIBE-OPTISOUND-SUBWOOFER-SLIMLINE-ENCLOSURE/dp/B00DSNBWS0/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=vibe+active&qid=1614448730&sr=8-4

I doubt it would fit under the seat in IS, but it is compact and as well if you not planning to add additional speakers this is just the right power - 600w sub would be waste as it would overpower 80W speakers very quickly and you would need to set-it to 25% power anyway.

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