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Old 03-26-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
Shamus30
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Default 2013 EX-L Speaker Upgrade and Subwoofer Install

So I recently purchased a Black 2013 EX-L V6 4WD for my wife, and within the first 5 minutes realized that the stock sound system was pretty pathetic.

So after a few days of research and a lot of frustration trying to get info on disabling the ANC system, I pulled the trigger and bought new speakers to replace the stock door speakers front and rear, an 1000w Amplifier, 8" Subwoofer and Enclosure.

The full list of what I bought (including adapters) can be found here:

http://amzn.com/w/3ISJWIGBIQ38O


The first thing I did was to disable the ANC (Active Noise Control) Unit since by all accounts this system does not work well with aftermarket speaker upgrades.

After searching for days to find out how to get to the unit and reading about people disconnecting the mics for the ANC and losing Bluetooth capability or having to cut wires, etc, I decided the best route would be to unplug the ANC unit itself since it is a self contained control box.

The ANC unit on the 2013 is easily accessed via the drivers side kick panel attached to the front of the center console.



Unfortunately the plug is on the back side of the unit and it is a bit tight (certainly too tight for my meat paws to unplug it.).

But, the only thing keeping it from rotating on the mounting stud is a small tab at the top of the mounting bracket. Simply push that tab up so that it clears the slot and you can rotate the unit to access the plug and unplug it.




Replacing the stock speakers was very simple with the adapters listed in the link above. Though I did have to recess the hole for the mounting bolt by about 3/8" to make sure the speakers mounted flush to the adapter. (sorry no pictures). The door skins for the rear doors come off very easily (2 screws and a handful of pop trim fasteners). For the fronts, the bottoms of the door skins easily pull out far enough to change out the speakers without fully removing the door skin.

Looking at the pathetic magnets and cheap cone materials of the factory speakers, I know why it sucks so much.

Comparison:



The Polk Audio Speakers sound great on their own driven by the factory head unit (although I am sure they would sound even better with higher power).

All told install of all four speakers was about 30-45 minutes including the time to recess the adapter holes.

Next step was to run the wiring for the amplifier. I chose to use a true 4 Guage flexible wire, which is very thick.

There are 2 grommets to the left of the dead pedal which route into the inner fender.






I chose to route the Positive Power Cable through the hole used for the Hood Release Cable. There is just enough room to get the 4GA wire through without the grommet.

I then fed about 2-3 feet of wire into the inner fender area which can be accessed from above under the hood near the where the fender meets the windshield:



The rubber dust cover lifts right up and you can reach into the area and fish out the wire (or if you have giant meat paws, you can nicely ask your petite wife to reach in and grab it).



I then routed the wire inside the plastic trim piece that runs along the fender edge and routed the wire to the battery and installed the fuse and terminal ends.



In addition to the power wire, the amplifier needs a remote turn on that is wired to either the radio or another key switched source. For this I used a bussman add a circuit. And tapped into the ACC (radio) fuse location. Just load up two fuses in the AAC slots (they use mini blade fuses, not the micro like the crosstour uses, but it fits the slot just fine you just need to buy 2 7.5 amp minis to fill the circuit one for the radio and one for the circuit you are adding).



I then connected the 12GA remote wire to the crimp on the end of the AAC line, and routed it along with the power wire in the door trim channel.



Behind the seat belt unit in the pillar and back through the rear door trim channel.



Routing the wires from the door trim channel to behind the seat was a bit of a challenge, but I used a smaller gauge stiffer wire to route through then tied it to the power and remote leads to fish it through. There is a nice channel behind the seats that is covered with a spring loaded flap. Plenty of room in there for cables.



Next up, tapping into the stock subwoofer wiring to get the audio feed for the subwoofer.

Last edited by Shamus30; 03-27-2013 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:03 PM   #2
Shamus30
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So it took me a while to figure out the best method of getting an audio feed for the subwoofer. In the past, I have used a DSP (digital sound processor) coming off the factory head unit to split out highs, mids and lows. In this case, I did not feel it was needed since the factory subwoofer was already being fed only the lows.

I decided to use the subwoofer wiring to feed audio to the amp. To do that properly and protect the amp from the higher watts that are coming through there, I used a LOC (Line out Converter) that converts the high level feed to a low level RCA feed.



The wiring connector for the factory subwoofer is easily accessed through the passenger side upper shock mount access panel (right where the rear passenger seatbelt feeds in).

Concidently, this area has enough room for the LOC and wiring.

I used a set of bullet connectors to connect the line out converter and put a set up bullets on the factory wiring so I can reconnect the factory sub if I ever take the amp and subwoofer out.



I then connected the RCA cables that will supply the amp and ran them down behind the seat and into the channel behind the seats to the drivers side where the amp and subwoofer are located.

For the ground of the amp, I wanted to make sure I had a good solid attachment on the chassis since 90 percent of car audio issues are related to poor grounding.

Under the left side storage area, there is a single bolt under a cover that lets you pull up the storage bin. Under there is the mounting bracket and two bolts which are attached to the chassis. I unbolted one and connected the terminal connector to of the ground to the bolt, and routed the cable up along the left side and brought it up between the front most carpeted panel and the side panel. This attachment point is perfect since it is within the 36" considered the max distance for a amp ground wire (sorry no pics).

In assembling the amp and subwoofer, I wanted to make it so I could easily take the amp and sub out as a unit if I needed the space or would be parking the car in a less than desirable area for a long period.

So I mounted the amp to what is usually the bottom of the speaker enclosure. and placed the ensemble in what would usually be the top (it is plenty stable). I then placed the ensemble in the drivers side nook in the cargo area. And connected all the wires (including the subwoofer remote level control which I routed besides the power and remote lead wires).



It fits nicely and doesn't take up a whole lot of room.




There you go. The amp install and all the wiring took about 90 Minutes (I am pretty anal about wiring and routing and cable ties and such).

As for the sound, it is worlds different than the factory sound and all told I spent right around $350.

Don't let the size of this subwoofer fool you, this is by far the best 8" subwoofer I have ever heard. I ran 2 JL Audio W7 8" subs in my last car and this single blows them away. Just read the reviews on amazon.

And the SSL amps provide some of the cleanest power of any amp regardless of price (.01% Total Harmonic Distortion).

Last edited by Shamus30; 03-27-2013 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:20 AM   #3
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Cool man! I like it!
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:01 AM   #4
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Great post Shamus!

I agree that the sound leaves something to be desired.

Question for you?

Did you try the sound with just the 6 1/2 speakers without the subwoofer upgrade? Was it a significant upgrade without adding the subwoofer?

Not sure the wifey will go for the box in the trunk yet.

Thanks,
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magdude View Post
Great post Shamus!

I agree that the sound leaves something to be desired.

Question for you?

Did you try the sound with just the 6 1/2 speakers without the subwoofer upgrade? Was it a significant upgrade without adding the subwoofer?

Not sure the wifey will go for the box in the trunk yet.

Thanks,
The sound was tremendously improved over the stock speakers, but the weakness on the low end was VERY apparent. I actually had the speakers in for a few days before the sub was installed. It does sound way better than stock for sure. I still missed the thump though.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:04 PM   #6
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Hey Shamus,

Another question - Did you try replacing the stock speakers and leaving the ANC system on?

Seems counter intuitive to me that the crappy stock speakers can do something that the better replacements can't.

I've read about the supposed problems replacing them, but don't understand why. Never seen a good answer.

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:32 PM   #7
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I did not, there were enough firsthand accounts of issues on Accord installs from trusted installers on some of the Car Audio forums to deem them credible.

Basically it is tuned to the factory sound levels and "guesses" that anything outside those tone ranges is noise. Once you add a full spectrum of sound outside what it is tuned for, it assumes all of that new sound is noise and tries to counter it.

It was very easy to disconnect and I have not noticed any increase in cabin noise as a result and the folks I talk to via bluetooth have said it sounds great.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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So did you not have tweeters in the front A pillars? Or did you just disconnect those? My system has tweeters and I'm wanting to do a speaker swap.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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So did you not have tweeters in the front A pillars? Or did you just disconnect those? My system has tweeters and I'm wanting to do a speaker swap.
I left the factory tweeter in the pillars, they aren't the best, but they work just fine and the coaxial tweeters in the doors more than make up for them with crisper highs.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:28 AM   #10
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My problem with the stock stereo is the lack of mid range and no matter how I set the bass and treble (you would think a car for this price would have a 5 band or at least bass, mid, treble!), even with the treble all the way down, there is a horrible high pitched feedback sound that is the same frequency as ringing ears!

I was thinking of getting something like a JBL MS-8 or MS-2 to fix this, but from what I hear from you it sounds like the ANC would try and counter that?

Is there a fix to just make the stereo sound more normal w/o cancelling the ANC or effecting the bluetooth, and/or warranty? Thus leaving it as stock as possible? I'm not an audiophile. I just want the headaches to go away and make the stock stereo not hurt my ears with high frequencies, even at low volumes. Some more mid would be nice too. If you ask me the stock sub thumps just fine.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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Do you recall what color the wires are for the LOC? Also how did you disable the factory sub?

Thank you for the great pictures. I have so much car audio equipment sitting in my garage from previous projects. I need to get on the ball and start installing some.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #12
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My mechanic says I have ASC not ANC. How does that change things?
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:41 PM   #13
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This could be a very stupid question.. I've never installed a sub or amp in my life..


I recently just bought a Honda Accord EX 6Speed, and the sound system in that just blows..

I was wondering if I were to follow this guide and buy you're whole setup would it be compatible?

Aside from the door adapters.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winmx1 View Post
This could be a very stupid question.. I've never installed a sub or amp in my life..


I recently just bought a Honda Accord EX 6Speed, and the sound system in that just blows..

I was wondering if I were to follow this guide and buy you're whole setup would it be compatible?

Aside from the door adapters.
I can't answer that question, but I'm pretty sure you can't change anything without disconnecting the noise cancelling system. This may piss off your wife by making the ride louder and possibly more annoying than the crappy stereo.
I can't get an answer from anybody about how to fix the stereo without disconnecting the ANC or ASC. I, myself am not ready to disconnect that yet, but the tinnitus and headaches the stereo causes even at normal listening volumes is making me consider it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:55 AM   #15
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I recently replaced my stock speakers. I tried to keep as much stock parts as possible, keeping the amp and head unit alone. I went with JBL speakers 6.5 inch in all four doors and JBL tweeters on the front doors. Cost $110. I bought some Dynamat and sound deadener and installed myself in the meantime before having the speakers installed. Also cut the speaker openings from the inside of the car panel with a Dremel tool and drilled out the tweeter sails.

I then went to BestBuy to have them professionally installed. It took about 3 hours to install. Not sure cost in labor yet. As far as I understand, the installer tapped into the main speakers going out the amp (located in the passenger side kick panel, next to the glove box. He wired the amp OUT into a crossover IN , then Crossover OUT to the Main woofer, and Tweeters OUT in to new tweeters for each side. The rear speaker I installed myself. So far, I am very happy with my setup. Music is more enjoyable. Bass is more sharp, while not obstructing the mid frequencies, Highs are more detailed with better sound separation overall. Before I was listening at Volume levels of 12-13, Bass 0, Treble 0, Sub +6. now I only need Volume 6-7, with Bass 0, treble -4, sub +1, while driving down a typical highway. Road noise is nearly eliminated (mainly due to the sound deadener).

As far as the ANC, I haven't noticed any changes to the noise cancelling, because the head unit and amp were not touched.

I have never done any car audio in my life. I would recommend doing what you can on your end, then letting the audio installer do the difficult parts, to essentially save labor costs.

Hope this helps
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