Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have done a search, know I've seen it, but can't find it! Does anyone know where the Amp is for the rear sub in a base model (non bose). Thanks, am considering an amp upgrade to drive the Pioneer sub I put in. Not looking at huge power, but some improvement
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
The factory base radio sub amp is on the passenger side under the plastic interior trim over the rear wheel.
If you plan on replacing it, be aware of two things: 1)The power lead used for the factory sub amp is not heavy enough for a bigger sub amp.
2) The signal for the factory sub amp is speaker level from the rear door speakers. This means that whenever you fade the rear door speakers, you fade the sub also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Does anyone have specific advice for the non-Bose system upgrade? I think I am getting somewhere with suggestions but then find the source is discussing a Bose upgrade. I did tonight buy at Best Buy the Panasonic 6 1/2 three way and the Panasonic Sub Woofer but will wait to hear from one of you as to if this works well for the Non-Bose system I have with out upgrading the amps. I feel I am a good judge of sound but I am not interested in spending $$$$ and a lot of time. any thoughts?

I was also wondering if I need to do with anything with the little tweeter that came with my base. That's assuming anything is under that 1" cover.

I lied, another thing I was wondering do I need three ways in the rear seat as in the front? Thanks to all!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Obeejr,

Thanks for the info. I knew the speaker wiring approach to the amp, but had not thought about the fading issue. Good point. Figure I could use the original amp wiring for the "power on" sensor, and that way only have to run the amp main power. Glad Acura could save a nickel...................


Kigasner,

I upgraded my fronts doors with Pioneer 3 ways, the back doors with 2 ways (1645s, that way I did not have to cut rain covers) and the Pioneer sub in the back. The door speakers make a very big improvement. Certainly worth doing...even if you later decide on an amp you now have speakers. The sound is not "audiophile" at high levels, but to me is acceptable with the speaker changeout. The sub makes an improvement, but is not a quantum leap by any means, It would like more power ( then with more power a better enclosure,,,,) I would definitely do the 4 doors, front first if money an issue, then the sub and see if that makes you happy. Like I said, a big improvement. One recommendation, if I were doing over, I would look at Infinity Kappas or Polk Audios for the doors. the Pioneer's sound very good, but are a little bright IMO. The Polk/Infinty have a little better bass and balance (one again IMO). Circuit City sell both, and while listening in the showroom can be deceiving, might give some idea of the difference. Pioneer's are not bad though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Infinity Speakers w/ or w/o seperate tweeter

I noticed that the base speakers have only wiring coming to them and not leading back to the tweeter. This makes me think that the factory tweeter has some type of crossover or filter built on the back of it or a filter up near the head unit where the feed comes from.

I noticed the Infinity's, I plan to buy at Circuit City, have a set with the tweeters separate from the main speaker, $199 and a set with the tweeters built into the 6 1/2 speaker,$99. I assume the front speakers could use either with the separate tweeter system replacing the factory one located on the inside of the side mirror or the $99 system. But with out any answer as of the wiring question above I am reluctant to install the $199 system with the crossover box witch needs to be mounted in the door between the two speakers and run separate wire to the tweeter until I know about any other filters that exist on the factory base unit.


Your thoughts?

Also what gives with this matting every one refers to for sound absorption, if it is worth it and do I apply it in front and back.

Thanks again.. from MN
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
kJGasner,

The front door uses a simple (filter) to get rid of bass notes. What that means is the original wires come direct from the radio (full range) but have a capacitor installed in the wiring. This is a low cost, and low elegance solution, but you will see many such filters at a stereo install shop. the high end Infinties you are talking about have a separate crossover network. The 6.5 speakers get only the frequencies below the cutoff of the crossover, and the tweeters get only the freqs above (with filters, the 6.5s get it all). By having the speaker separate from the tweeter, you do not have the tweeter blocking some of the bass and the crossover is of higher quality.

Above said, for a normal install, basic speakers in the door seems the way to go. To install the separates, you would have to pull the door panel off, run wires from the 6.5 to the tweeter, find a place for the crossover......... I just installed the 6.5 3-way in the door, left the tweeters as they were, and was done in 10 minutes per door. If you are planning to ultimately go high end, the seperates are better. But as a basic upgrade the 3-way 6.5s are easy and inexpensive. The seperates come into play with new amps etc. Harder installation. listen to both at CC and see if you can hear a big difference.

As for the sound absorption material....the most popular brand is Dynamat. It helps filter road noise etc wherever it is stuck in place. Its primary purpose though is to keep and "reflected" waves from interfering with the speakers in the door cavity. The reflected waves can cause some sound distortion, can make the sound a little less solid, and if there are any loose spots will cause vibrations. Dynamat is an easy/cheap way to kill some of those reflected waves. I did a little in my install, mainly around\d the speakers vice the whole door interior. Can be bought at Circuit City/Best Buy etc for fairly cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Thanks lots!!

I went ahead with the $99 choice. Still little confused. If the filter is in line then would it not block out the signal that is going to the tweeter? When you said in line I assume you mean some where between the factory radio and the factory plug that attached to the factory speakers. I did not see any filter on the door speaker.

Any thoghts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
On the door speakers, there is not a filter installed. It passes the entire frequency set the radio provides (20-20K or more).

I have not verified exactly where they put the filter on the tweeter, it is probably on the wires to the tweeter itself, but may be hidden behind the door panel. It could also be on the tweeter itself, as the filters tend to be very small and can look similar to a resistor if they are for high frequencies. They work by filtering out low frequency inputs, but allow higher frequencies to pass through (called a high bandpass filter). The capacitance of the filter sets the frequency it lets through

A good crossover actually divides the frequencies that go to each speaker, filters simply "filter out" any frequency below its cutoff. A big speaker (woofer) can handle high frequencies w/o damage (they just do not play them well). The flipside; however, is not true. A tweeter will quickly be blown by low frequency at high power....hence the reason they filter them....if they do not blow, they would sound terrible.

Just plug the $99 speakers into the door harness (not sure if you bought the Honda/Acura adapter, I should have mentioned that) and you will very happy. Please let us know how the Infinity sound. I wish I had gone that route vice Pioneers...but the Pioneers are still a big improvement
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
They $99 are in and sound great! Yes I did use the adapter thanks. You were not kidding when you said 10 minutes to install! I also splurge for the same in the rear doors. I am not convinced the rear replacements helped a lot but I would have always wondered. As for if your Pioneers are a 2nd in quality I would not know but comparing the factory to these Infinity's it was night and day.

I did not mentioned to my wife about the switch and her comment in the first 5 minutes in the car listening to a CD was, wow this CD sounds great who is it. I told her it was one she has heard in the car before. She did not believe me until I told her I switched out the speakers after reading some guys suggestion on the internet . She said "smart guy".

Thanks a lot for the education and suggestion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
They are two way speakers. I did not see a Infinity 6 1/2" that was a three way.

I listened to a tape in the car that was of a man just talking. I was having difficulty hearing his voice, it seemed the range he spoke in was not being reproduced well by the speakers. I noticed this as well with a Billy Joel CD. I am not a audio guru but felt the range was lacking around the middle. As though the voices were muddled or flattened. This possibly would be less of a issue with a three way system. Still all in all the sound is far superior to the base speakers it came with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
kjgasner said:
They are two way speakers. I did not see a Infinity 6 1/2" that was a three way.

I listened to a tape in the car that was of a man just talking. I was having difficulty hearing his voice, it seemed the range he spoke in was not being reproduced well by the speakers. I noticed this as well with a Billy Joel CD. I am not a audio guru but felt the range was lacking around the middle. As though the voices were muddled or flattened. This possibly would be less of a issue with a three way system. Still all in all the sound is far superior to the base speakers it came with.
Do others have the same experience when using the infinity speakers with the tweeter combined rather than going the seperate tweeter with the crossover route? I listen to a lot of lectures on the road for continuing education requirments and want to make sure that I'll be able to understand the speaker.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
rspitz, how right you are. The Bose system has some really weird equalization. There is HUGE distortion added by trying to emphasize the highest highs (above 8 khz) and the lowest lows (50hz sown).

I believe that this was done intentionally to send large amounts of signal to spaekers that are poor at reproducing those frequencies. When you put better speakers on, you begin to see the problem.

I have been living with this situation for 3 yeras in my TL. I haver very hieg-end spekaers and amplification (A/D/S all around), but I can't get any mids or punch in the base. Since we have an MDX due any day now, I decided to dive back into the issue.

I bought some Audio Control equalizers off ebay ($80 each) and added them this weekend. You simply would not believe the adjustments need to get this system sounding natural. The highest highs a(16 khz setting) are some 20 decibels too high and the 90 hz to 250 hz (right where you get punch and mellowness in voices) were about 10 decibels too low. Blow 50 hz, there was too much signal.T hese units can also accept speaker level inputs, but I have't tried that yet.

I'll be posting more once I have teh system in place.

Also, for those trying to gain some real bass with minimum investment, pick up an Xtant 121M amp on ebay for around $120. It also can accept speaker level input and puts out more than its rated 125W, whcih is plenty to punch a 10" sub. Very, very clean sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
rspitz,

I have pioneers in my MDX, but the Infinty speakers in other cars. I have no problem whatsoever with voice over the speakers (either Pioneer or Infinity). Not having heard/seen problem, I could SPECULATE two sources. One being the tape.....tapes are not very good at higher frequencies and if the Dolby/tape type settings are wrong its gets worse. Have not even plugged a tape in my MDX, but CD plays voice fine. Second idea, and I am basing on above equalization comment, is based around the Bose amp. Bose amps are normally custom designed/equalized around their speakers. Normally that means a slightly less than 2 ohm load. When loaded with 4 Ohms, the amp may have trouble producing accurate music (voice). I would expect a loss in bass, as you effectively half the power. May though be affecting the entire range.

My MDX is a base model, and the speaker upgrade was huge improvement. May want to bring a tape to Circuit City and listen to voice over the speakers. That way, if you hit an issue, you can attribute it to the Bose system (assuming yours is a touring)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
mcclendons,

I am awaiting my 184 gg, hopefully within the next 10 days (end of build date was yesterday). Thankfully the majority of my lectures are now off of CD.

I am still not clear how much extra bang for the buck I would get for hooking up the separate tweeters with the crossover on the base audio system?

Thanks for any comments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
OK you coneheads (and I mean that in only the best of ways) - are the speakers in the base system the same ones as the touring? I'm thinking it's only a head unit difference, since many posts have noted that Bose has used, for lack of a better word, cheap speakers; figure they're the same as the base model. If so, I should be able to see some results by upgrading speakers.

Hi KJ, nice to see another Minnesotan on the boards, doncha know? Where'd you buy your X?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
RSpitz,

IMO, going the separate route without upgrading the amps etc would be of marginal use. One BIG advantage of the Infinity is that you can aim the tweeters towards the passengers, helping with the directional nature of high freqs. Even with the Pioneers, I am happy with the high frequency sound I get. The separates will have a little better bass (not blocked by the tweeters) and a little better sound filed/high freqs, but will be significantly harder to install and more expensive. Based on what I've seen, not worthwhile unless going all out (amps etc). Another factor, the tweeters in the upper door still function, so they do add some high freqs in. High freq speakers are much easier to make cheaply, so the originals are probably a little better quality than the basic door speakers. Upgrading the tweeters will likely provide little value.

IMO, the Infinity with the directional tweeters are probably the most cost effective upgrade (Pioneers OK to). If I were going with separates, I would probably go all out and get amps etcs. the old rule, the last 10% of improvement cost 90% of the $$$$.

Ghost,

The Bose system does not use the same speakers. In fact, speakers are the heart of a Bose system. the "base" unit uses 4 Ohm Alpine speakers (and a 2 Ohm sub) based on traditional approaches. the Bose system uses special Bose 2 Ohm speakers, and theoretically they are matched to the cars cabin. Bose systems gain the good sound by correctly controlling the wave reflections from speakers. Problem is, Bose is no longer really integrating the speakers into the car, but merely using available speaker locations. In short, Bose has become a little of a marketing gimmick for car stereos. I love my Bose home speakers, but was not impressed (for the $$$) with the Acura implementation. All that said, many have upgraded to aftermarket speakers and been happy with the touring. You do have to question then the cost of the Bose with the special Bose amps:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
HI all,
Just though I'd throw my $.02 in. I personally hate factory stereo junk errr, I mean equipment.
I will agree that replacing the factory speakers is the first and least troublesome step in improving the sound.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem with factory stereos (and most folks do not know this) is that the head units have electronic limiters built in that actually cut the highs and lows at certain volume levels to protect the low quality speakers that came with the vehicle. Most manufacturers do not want all of its customers "blowing" the speakers and having them replaced under warranty. I purposely bought the base model MDX so I could rip out the factory stuff an put in the good stuff. Not to mention that I frown heavily on Bose car stereo stuff as it is really overpriced junk.
I actually had an Alpine cd player, Alpine XM Radio Module, JL Audio amps, Focal component speakers and a JL Audio Sub installed in a stealth fashion and it sounds awesome.

BTW all you folks who want to add a sub in the factory location remember you either need to build a sealed box behind it or make sure you install an "infinite baffle" sub or it will never sound right and have problems down the road. The space behind the sub is not sealed at all.

I hope that helps.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
About this Discussion
17 Replies
7 Participants
mig
Acura MDX SUV Forums
Acura MDXers Forum - a community where enthusiasts discuss engines, tires, service and everything you need to know about the MDX!
Full Forum Listing
Top