Thanks for sharing. I'm new around here. This is my first post.
I've been reading the forums since 7 days ago when I purchased a 2003 MDX Base with 209k miles on it! (yeah choosing to buy a car with miles that high was a little nerve-wracking..but this thing has been immaculately maintained and I have all the dealer service records from the original owner). I don't think I've ever seen someone do absolutely everything by the book before. Tranny done only once at 156k.
So I'm loving the vehicle, but I'm a little disappointed with the audio quality of the base (non-Bose) audio system, and I'm sorely lacking an aux input for my iPhone. (full iPhone control a plus but Apple is going to change the connector in the next rev so I don't want to go too far down this path…)
Sound quality: It's just, well, "muddy". I am looking to take a measured, relatively low budget approach to upgrading the system. I have self-installed pro-level audio in past cars and have the IASCA trophies somewhere in the basement to prove it. Of course, most of that action happened in the 90's. My last "system" car was sold off in 2001.
Since then, I've had a string of about 8 leased vehicles that I was reluctant to mod, plus other items of life took priority. You know, like building my business, marriage, kids, home ownership, mortgage, on and on. You get the idea.
So, while I have a (somewhat) extreme car audiophile past, I'm not going to that level with this car, but I really want a sound quality bump and iPhone input, while I'm at it--bluetooth handsfree. Other features nice but not the priority. After all, back then I practically lived in my car, and today I drive about 10K (or less) miles per year.
What I'm looking to do here is preserve all the cargo space so I'm not going to be doing any custom enclosures, or even fiberglass in the doors. Stock swaps. In fact, my sequence of improvement priorities would probably be:
1-Install new double-din head-unit
2-Consider using additional amplification
3-Swap speakers only if necessary
Questions for you:
A)You say you are using your head unit to do a high pass on the stock speakers? What head unit can do this? Are you using the amp in the head unit for this or does the MDX base (non-Bose) have an amp somewhere? What head unit BTW? (I know it's "crappy JVC" but I could pull up specs and see what features/capabilities are)
--I've been wondering how much better the stock speakers would sound with a clean signal and better amp feeding them. Might be enough to satisfy me on this one.
B) How are you tuning? Any outboard eq/crossover? All in head unit?
C) Speaker wiring…are you going through factory wiring harness? (that would be much easier if I can get away with it)
D) Subwoofer feed to back. Is this line level or are you dropping speaker level back to line level for your amp. I'm assuming you are running the amp in mono mode to support the sub?
E) Custom fit wood bracket for sub? Tell me more about it. Made it yourself? Does your stock speaker grill still fit over it okay?
BTW I have a couple of old 10W JL Audio subs in a self-built dual-chamber ported 3 cu ft. box. LOL boy did that thing rock in the day. Could pull and perhaps re-use one in the MDX (may need to find a low profile one instead though).
I've also got a few old MB Quart separates and coaxes that may or may not be useful on the MDX. I've got some 4" coaxes pulled from the dash on an old car but can't think of a way to use them in the MDX. But I also have a pair of 6" separates. The problem there is the tweeters are too big to fit in stock locations. Honestly if I can get the stock speakers sounding better I may just quit there. Details and thoughts appreciated.