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2011 Accord Coupe needs help

Old 08-25-2012, 07:24 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Default 2011 Accord Coupe needs help

Trying to upgrade the stock sound system but so far it is a big fail. 2011 Accord Coupe (EX-L), Dual Climate Control, 7 speaker setup. Wanted to keep the stock HU and dash looking original, steering wheel controls, bluetooth, etc.

Purchased Focal PS165 for front and Focal IC165 for rear speakers. JL 8W3 v3-4 sub powered by a JL XD 700/5 amp.
Focal information on setup of the crossovers appears to be marginal at best and I am a total newbie on setup of systems like this. A friend installed the system and set the tweeter crossovers to mid position on both switch settings. The sound is very bad; little from the tweeters, all sound is from the main speakers. I did at least get rid of the ANC by disconnecting the microphones, but other than that, it is pretty bad sounding.
I know it is fixable but not sure where to start. I need help badly.

Last edited by fwood; 08-25-2012 at 07:32 AM.
Old 08-25-2012, 09:07 PM
MacLeod's Avatar
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Location: Ringgold, GA
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Using the stock head unit is always gonna be a problem cause for one, it EQ's the signal coming from it. To make these OEM systems sound a lot better than their cheap paper cone speakers normally would, they crank up the bass and highs on their signal to make the sound a little beefier so you think you got a good deal with their "premium" sound system.

Problem with using the stock head unit is that when you tap into the speaker leads to run them into your amp, your amp is also amplifying those EQ'd frequencies as well. This is bad. There are a couple things you can do. If youre set on keeping the stock head unit (you can get adapters that will allow you to use your steering wheel controls with and aftermarket head unit just FYI) then check out the JL Audio CleanSweep. They run $300 which is kinda steep but if you can afford it, theyre invaluable. What they do is they take the EQ'd signal from your stock head unit, flatten it, boost it to 8 volts and then send it out to your amps. This means almost the same source signal that youd get from an aftermarket head unit.

Now the downside to the CleanSweep is that you have to use its volume control which negates the steering wheel controls which you said you wanted. So this is probably not for you, but thought Id throw it out there for you just in case.

Another would be to get the dash kit that will allow you to put an aftermarket CD player in. Youd lose your LCD but with a PAC adapter, could retain your steering wheel controls and depending on the head unit, have Bluetooth and iPod features.

Alright, so if both those options are out, here's how you can tune your system a little. You wont have much flexibility but you can do a little. You should have 2 switches on each crossover. The one near the bottom is the cutoff frequency. This will determine what frequency the tweeter is cut off. This should be set to the highest point. Focal tweeters are VERY bright and you want as little midrange coming thru them as possible. 4,000 Hz is about the sweet spot.

Now the 2nd switch is the tweeters output level. You want this at -6 which is the lowest setting. High frequencies hurt a lot more than lower ones do so you want these coming at you lower than the midrange.

Now if you wanted to get really serious, you can sell those rear speakers and then take your front speakers and bi-amp them off that JL. Youd run your tweeters off the front outputs of the amp and the mids off the rear. This will let you tune the tweeters output a lot better with the gain control. Doubt youll want to do this and its not necessary, just some more FYI.

Try tinkering with the crossover settings for now and see how that works out.
Old 08-26-2012, 08:00 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Thanks very much for the advice. We did tweak on the crossovers and gains and got the system sounding much better. May consider bi-amping the system and running the rear speakers off of the HU. The small sub is now in a downfire box in the trunk. Will probably move it back to the rear deck in a sealed enclosure as there isn't much thump right now. The DF enclosure was handy and an experiment.
I have thought about scrapping the stock HU and I might if I can retain the steering wheel controls and ipod/thumbdrive connections in the console. Not sure what all I would lose though.
I mostly use ipod or thumb drive and don't use cd very often at all.
Old 08-26-2012, 08:55 AM
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Location: Ringgold, GA
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Depends on the aftermarket head unit you buy. There are virtually endless models and features available and some that are even iPod only! Use Crutchfield to at least check on the steering wheel adapter as their website will match the car with the head unit as not all head units are compatible with the steering wheel controls. With that adapter, you'll keep your volume and track up and down and you'll have USB connectivity if you get a HU that has that feature but you'll have to use the HU and you'll lose the connection in the center console. You'll also lose the LCD screen too as it works off the factory radio.
Old 08-26-2012, 02:54 PM
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you can retain steering wheel controls with most headunits - something to check first. PAC-Audio sells the steering wheel interfaces. some are HU brand specific, some are generic. Programming them takes about 5 minutes but you better be able to read and understand instructions.

The outputs from the Honda system can certainly use some processing, and there are many ways to do this. Alpine, JBL, MTX, Audio Control, Audison, JL Audio, etc. all sell products specifically for OEM HU interfacing with amps and speakers. Each one is different and has different features. It's a good idea to fully research (and read owner's manuals) before committing the money and time.

Aftermarket speaker installs are VERY sensitive to the installation. Very rarely will a "drop-in" install sound any good. You need to recreate all factory seals at the speakers - that includes speaker to door panel/grill, speaker to mounting adapter, mounting adapter to door metal. Weatherstripping foam is how to create those seals - if your installer didn't use any foam, then you are lacking seals. remove your door panels and take a pic of the speaker install and we can comment. I've put at least 40 hours work into each of my front doors in the past 5 years, constantly improving them. A lot of that time is in customization and experimentation (i've also removed metal and modified the door panel). Keep in mind, they are the speaker enclosures, and they should be treated like speaker enclosures. With a new install, I can fully treat and prep a door for a speaker installation in about 6-8 hours - per door (includes baffles, deadener, seals, absorption, panels, etc) without modifying the door panel.

where you place the sub in the trunk will determine what you hear. experiment with locations but also realize the factory HU amp is designed to limit bass to the factory speakers.

how did you give the new amp a signal from the stock HU? pics of wiring connections at the amp, crossovers, and HU would help us help you.
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