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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a used 2014 MDX Tech SH-AWD a few months back. The stereo was just ok, with a decent soundstage but overall a bit anemic and uninspired. Based on similar posts, some other mdxers shared this opinion. So I started the upgrades... long story short, it's a bit of a project, integrating with the stock system post-factory amp, disabling the ANC, etc.

Yesterday I dropped the '14 off for service and was provided a '17 Tech as a loaner. The stereo in the '17 sounds noticeably better - it has the same general ELS house "sound" as the '14, but fuller, with better mid-bass and bass. It sounded more like what one would expect from a luxury car.

An older thread made more sense - a '15 owner noted a lack of bass, but a '17 owner/audiophile really liked the system.

So I did some searching to see if any critical parts had changed across these model years. The speaker part numbers haven't changed, besides the sub, which might be a factor. However I'm speculating that the more likely factor is the amplifier, which changed part numbers - '14 -'16 is 39186-TZ5-A12; '17 is 39186-TZ5-C12. There's the potential for the amplification circuit itself to have been improved, as well as the DSP and noise cancelling handling. The ANC part # didn't change across these model years.

Does anyone have any insight on this? If the amp is indeed the transformative factor - it would make for a relatively easy upgrade for earlier models.
 

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I'm not sure. Here's a 2015 amp vs 2017 amp. Notice how the 2015 says 2 ohm/4 ohm while the 2017 says 2 ohm only. The 2017 came out of a base model though. Still trying to find a tech or adv. The 2015 came out of a tech, but shouldn't make a difference I thought. I've noticed that the plugs for the amps are different between the pre 2017s and the 2017s as well, but this actually changed in late 2016 models as well. They're $200 each from the junkers if you want to give them a try.

EDIT: Ok yes, there is a difference between the base, tech, and adv units. C02 in 2017 for base, C12 for tech, A71 for Adv. There's also A51, H02, and a few others. I'm lost.. lol
 

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More speakers in higher trims and more with RES. Dunno if connectors change between trims, but number of output amp sections must change. A lot of processing happens at that so-called amp, not just amplification.
 

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Agreed @Wanderlust, I have the '14 Tech wiring diagram (which looks like the '16 mdx amp photo above) and it describes the small square connector as outputs for those extra speakers - satellite, sub, and roof. And yes the amp does seem to be tangled up with all manner of inputs, so cross year compatibility might be a long shot.

Thanks @neoshi. Yes I see the variants now. Perhaps someone with access to the online manuals can check it out/chime in?
 

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@neoshi; Can you help me locate MDX 2017 amplifier module in base model? (amp part# 39186-TZ5-C02). Volume does not go up and stays at zero when volume knob is turned. Trying to diagnose it myself.
 

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which volume knob?
Presumably the dinky little volume knob that pops out of the dash if you push on it. Right next to the audio power button. Haven't you found that yet? :wink:

It could be just the stupid little knob that isn't working. Does it work with steering wheel controls? Also make sure mute isn't enabled.

Other than these silly little things, this is a dealer service job IMO. Warranty.

BTW, tuner module is behind the trim on the passenger side of the cargo area. I think the amp module is behind the driver side kick panel in 3rd-gen MDX ( by the driver's ankles ), but I could be wrong. Other vehicles it's behind the passenger side kick panel.
 

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Yeah! I am talking about the volume knob that pops out. Good news is, I have located the amplifier module and removed it. Just want to give you a bit details about the vehicle. I bought a flood damaged 17 MDX. I have revived the vehicle and got the state inspection done (Emission and safety). Now the car is road worthy. But, I have to work on few more issues to make it 100%. One of them is the audio.
I have removed the amplifier module and noticed oxidation/rust formation on the circuit board. Most probably its toast. I will post updates as I fix them.
 

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Yeah! I am talking about the volume knob that pops out. Good news is, I have located the amplifier module and removed it. Just want to give you a bit details about the vehicle. I bought a flood damaged 17 MDX. I have revived the vehicle and got the state inspection done (Emission and safety). Now the car is road worthy. But, I have to work on few more issues to make it 100%. One of them is the audio.
I have removed the amplifier module and noticed oxidation/rust formation on the circuit board. Most probably its toast. I will post updates as I fix them.
Well at least you knew you were buying a flood damaged vehicle and were comfortable fixing it up knowing it likely had a lot of issues. Hopefully you got it dirt cheap :)

With as much wiring, circuits, sensors and autonomy in this vehicle (and most newer vehicles), I'd be curious just how many issues a flood damaged vehicle will have. Once water and moisture/corrosion work their way into wiring and circuits you need to rip it all out, and with as much tech as is in the MDX that would be a massive undertaking.

Hopefully once you finish fixing up the remaining issues it's smooth sailing from there on out!
 

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Sorry just noticed your request but glad you found it.

If the flood damage was contained to only the lower portion of the vehicle, then there aren't too many harnesses to worry about i think, but the hvac system could be growing mold in the ducting to the rear, as would the surface under the carpet. You should also probably change out all the fluids as I'm sure some water got into things like the differential from the pressure vents.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

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Hey did changing the amplifier help with the audio problem? bought a flooded mdx and having same problem that volume stays 0-1
 

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Update: I have replaced the amplifier and the audio is working great now. Part replaced: 39186-TZ5-C02 Amplifier module for MDX 17 base
 
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