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  #1  
Old 02-19-2018, 11:28 AM
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Default '08 Accord Audio Upgrade Suggestion

Hi everyone, my 08í Accord Coupe LX-S is 10 years old and Iím (hopefully) planning on keeping it for at least another 7 years. Iím not an audiophile and not looking to drop a lot of money, but I am definitely interested in improving the sound quality in the car.

Iíve done a ton of reading on previous threads and think I have a better idea of what I need in order to improve the setup.

My budget is $500 and I would like to keep the OEM look so Iím planning on keeping the stock headunit. Iím also only focusing on the front stage since I usually drive by myself or with my wife in the passenger seat. I'll increase the fade to the front and don't think I will upgrade the rear speakers.

I also do not want to have to mount anything in the trunk since I am always filling up the trunk with home renovation projects that weíre working on and need as much as possible (I'm often having to put the back seats down and feeding stuff through the center rear seat). I would like to mount most of the equipment under the driver/passenger seats or hide them in the dash if possible.

My current plan is the following, but I am definitely welcome to change it up if you guys see that I can get better quality/cheaper price:

1) Upgrade front speakers - Polk Audio DB 5602 Components - $130
-similar to the popular 5601 but an all black, more OEM look to them
-most threads talk about replacing their sail panels with the EX or higher trims in order to mount the tweeters, however the 8th gen seems to have a different design
-does anyone have any experience with mounting these or similar sized tweeters within the existing tweeter speaker plate?



2) Add powered compact subwoofer - Kenwood KSC-SW11 - $136
-not looking for a crazy amount of thumping, just want to fill in the lower frequencies
-has good reviews and want to mount under driver or passenger seat
-also considering Sound Ordnance, Kicker Hideaway, or Soundstream

3) Unsure if I need an amp. Considering Alpine KTP-445U 4 ch. Power Pack - $112
-want something easy to install and reviews stated hiding it in dash

4) Unsure if need LOC - AudioControl LC2i - $73
-Iíve read that stock HU DSP is horrible and that this would significantly help the system
-also very small and could easily mount under seat
-is this something that could be added later or would i have to completely redo the wiring

5) Sound deaden the door and seal up any door leaks
-need to do more research into how to do this specifically but I definitely understand its importance (especially after just finishing insulating my entire home - i know its slightly different but still)
-planning on reading Sounddeadenershowdown

Subtotal = ~$450
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2018, 08:25 AM
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1. I dont know much about those speakers. Polk are a decent brand. Generally adding tweeters to stock locations is fairly easy, but it almost always requires minor cutting and some glue.

2. I dont know that you are going to fit a subwoofer under your front seat. Pr-loaded subwoofers dont tend to offer a ton of low end(I dont mean volume. I mean they dont play much lower than door speakers are capable of.). you could probably take the money you are going to spend on the per-loaded sub and add it to your speaker and amp budget and get just as much low end out of the door speakers.

3. Given the choice I would skip the pre-loaded sub and get a good set of door speakers and amp. if you want more bass, maybe pull the rear deck speakers and upgrade them with some 6.5 subs and run the front stage and the rear subs off of a 4 channel amp.

4. You will need an LOC unless the 8th gen radio has a pre-out (the 7th gen does not). I dont know if you will need that loc specifically or just a cheap one. If you are going to get an amp you could probably get a less expensive loc and use the filters on your amp.

5. sound deadner is expensive. Generally speaking the more you do, the better off you are. Its hard to say a percentage of what your budget should be spent on deadner. You obviously have to have equipment too. I would get a minimal amount to start off with. cover your baffles and maybe some thinner parts of the door, and if you decide it is lacking or maybe when you get some more money, add some more.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for the reply!

If a head unit states that it comes with 3 Sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer), would I still need an LOC or amp?

I'm not exactly sure what that means, but based on reading other threads it seems like those are considered "high level"/"speaker level" outputs and are connected to using RCA cables?

I was wondering if just upgrading the HU with a better one and upgrading just the front speakers with components would offer enough of an improvement over the stock? I'm guessing I could always add an amp or sub in the future if I want more afterwards.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:07 AM
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If you have the Pre-outs you will not need an LOC. the pre-outs are what you plug the RCA cables into. the LOC is so you can plug in RCAs if you dont have pre-outs. Also 4v pre-outs is good. most after market stereos wont have pre-outs that strong.

The pre-outs are specifically for installing an amp. A pre-loaded sub where you just plug and play still has an amp, it is just built in and you would still need to use the pre-out. If you are going to add an external amp for speakers you will need pre-outs as well.

If it were me, and my factory unit had pre-outs that good there is no way I would replace the head unit if it werent broken. I cant think of any options I would want that couldnt be supplemented else where (nav for example just get a gps. not worth the head unit replacement).

speaker level out puts use the speaker wires to get the signal to the amp. some amps have them some amps dont. They arguably have benefits but I dont like them. I always use RCA cables. I would highly suggest just using them for an amp. it will save you a lot of work. If you get more into stereos and spend more time learning you may choose to use speaker levels but for the time being, I wouldnt fool with it.

The pre out voltage is important because it will allow your amplifiers to run more efficiently. They will require less gain to produce maximum power. Like I said 4v is a high pre out. Better than most aftermarket. Be aware though, that this means you will run a lower gain setting. Gain is not volume. If you crank your gain **** with that high of a pre-out you will surely blow speakers and probably the amps.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:18 AM
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That makes a lot of sense, thanks!

Yeah my stock HU doesn't come with those specs, but I was thinking instead of paying for an LOC and having more connections to worry about I would upgrade the HU instead.

Would an amp be necessary with the new HU if I upgraded the front speakers with ones that had higher sensitivites? Trying to see if just replacing the HU and front speakers would work, or would an amp be a necessity since that would save a little over $100.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:42 AM
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Its completely up to you, but by swapping head units you loose a lot of factory capabilities and it can be a major PIA to get them back with all the modules. no more steering wheel controls and stuff like that.

On top of that it is less connections to connect an LOC than it is a head unit. I misunderstood what you were saying about your head unit. In older cars I am all for new head units, in newer ones, I tend to lean towards maintaining the factory one. but again, I havent looked at the specs or pricing for your car but it is wont be simple if you want factory retention and it wont be cheap.

An amp is not necessary for new speakers ever if you just want them to work. But the amp makes the biggest difference in the sound IMO. many people will argue it is better in some instances to amplify the stock speakers instead of replacing them without amping them. head units have built in amplifiers (your factory and a new one). if you replace the factory HU the new one needs better crossovers and more power to be an improvement. I wouldnt dismiss the factory unit as not capable. Find out the specs and then compare to the new one.

The amp is more than just power. a good amp gives your crossovers and filters. be weary of 100 dollar mids and highs amps. did you have a praticular one in mind?

tell me your cars specs and radio features and I will do some research. also link me to the amp and HU you are looking at. Theoretical conversations are great but I can more directly answer your question if I know the hardware we are talking about.

Edit: Also on a budget build that LOC is way over kill. I would just buy one of these and do the adjustments through the HU and the amp.
Amazon Amazon

edit:edit: Just remembered this. You can wire it inline in your factory wiring. not need an loc. Its a small amplifier that stays in the dash behind the radio which will probably fit your needs/wants perfect.
Amazon Amazon



Last edited by neophyte; 02-20-2018 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:05 PM
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So I have the most basic Ď08 Accord, I believe itís called the LX-S. Itís radio is extremely basic and only shows the time and whether itís set to FM/AM/Aux/CD. The car doesnít have dual-climate control either.

My my steering wheel has controls for volume and changing the source to fm/am/etc. On Crutchfield they mention that you can purchase a harness that will restore the steering wheel functions and honestly if it ended up being a touchscreen headunit I would only use the volume controls on the steering wheel.

I donít really have any amp in mind but am thinking it will need to be 4 channels and I would like to try mounting it under the seat as opposed to putting it in the trunk.

I was was looking at this HU since it has Android/Apple CarPlay compatibility, the ability to add rear view camera, and nice preamp outputs:
https://www.crutchfield.com/S-JacvB1...H-1330NEX.html




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Old 02-20-2018, 01:24 PM
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thats a 350 headunit. plus the 150 dollar steering wheel control adapter and the 40 mounting bracket you are already over budget.

they dont make just a volume button module, its all or nothing and you have to program it. I have never had much luck but some stereo shops will do it for a minimal charge.

mounting an amp under the seat is possible. gonna have to remove the seat to do it, but thats just a thing.

Might I ask why you want a 4 channel? if you are going to run the speakers off the front two and bridge the rear for a sub thats a cost effecitive way to do it. If you want it because you have 4 speakers, I propose to you that the rear channels are not that important in a budget build, and you could just run all four speakers on two channels. also just realized that the amp you listed was the alpine powerpack that I linked. sorry about that, that is a pretty good unit and I think it would suit what you are doing well.

also in your budget you have not priced in wire and connectors. copper isnt cheap.

I am drifting and I feel like I am being counterproductive.

I like your original Idea. If I were you I would take your original post. put in the alpine power pack (I dont believe you need an LOC) skip on the sub and the LOC. put the money from the sub towards higher end speakers and the money from the LOC to deadning the door.

I, personally, would do that, forgo the polk and get morels for the door.
http://www.woofersetc.com/c-172-spea...rs-system.html

or maybe these hertz:
http://www.woofersetc.com/c-172-spea...er-system.html

Last edited by neophyte; 02-20-2018 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:58 PM
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Sorry I forgot to mention that I can get that HU for around $220 which is why I was considering it.

For some reason I thought I would need 4 channels but now that I look back could I get away with 2 channels. I would just replace the HU, the front speakers (Morels) for around $150, and a 2 channel amp?

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Old 02-20-2018, 02:04 PM
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That would work. I like morels, but brand is entirely up to you. morels, hertz, focal any of those are really nice and if you could cut in one place to get a better door speaker I think it would be worth it. but if you go with a regular amp you will need an loc. if you go with that powerpack you wont need the loc. the power pack splices inline with your current system.
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