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I have had a 22 RTL Ridgeline for about a month and this is driving me crazy. Someone tell me who to write/who to complain to, I want this fixed and have never had this issue in any other vehicle. This -3 db on bass is not really a suitable workaround.
 

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2022 RTL-E Crystal Black Pearl
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I have had a 22 RTL Ridgeline for about a month and this is driving me crazy. Someone tell me who to write/who to complain to, I want this fixed and have never had this issue in any other vehicle. This -3 db on bass is not really a suitable workaround.
Good luck my friend. I believe that it is what it is and you're in a pickle. You can try to get them to replace your sub...but, my guess is that they are all the same anyway. Unfortunately, complaining to Honda may be futile.
 

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I have had a 22 RTL Ridgeline for about a month and this is driving me crazy. Someone tell me who to write/who to complain to, I want this fixed and have never had this issue in any other vehicle. This -3 db on bass is not really a suitable workaround.

it's fixable or bandaided if you want to spend some money.
 

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Definitely noticeable on my 21 Sport using both usb or line-in. Sounds like compression or clamping of loud bass notes that affects the whole spectrum. Not all songs, however. Daughter states she was able to reduce its effect by lower the volume of her iPhone's output. Just another disappointment with this vehicle. Still waiting for the dealer to call stating my replacement rocker control arms have arrived to fix my CEL issue on long trips.
 

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Looking for an update on this. I test drove multiple rtl and rtle 2021 and 2022 models. I used bt with volume max for all models. Rtl-e definetly sounded better by delivering consistent power. However put in perspective, was really no better than my 07 rtl, the base system in my taco or any other vehicle that has been equipped with “premium” audio.

As unimpressive as the rtl-e system was, the sport/rtl system finds even a lower floor. Resolution, balance and poor soundstage conspire to ruin the overall sq. However there is clarity at some frequencies and bass impact is adequate even though the accuracy is missing.

I can’t say I had enough time to exactly pinpoint the issue mentioned here as I wasn’t looking for it specifically. To my ear I naturally tuned out the bass and faded to the rear slightly.

My question is, are ALL base audio Ridgeline’s affected by this issue? For those that have noted the issue in their Ridgeline, have you ever heard another ridgeline (same system) that did NOT have the issue?
 

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Checking in to this one. Same issue with my '22 RTL, and sounds like a volume limiter kicks in & out when it hits under certain conditions. Depends on the bass level on the head unit, the volume of the media itself and if the volume level of the head unit is under 25-ish. However 25+ is too loud for my ears. So here's my work-around:

When using Bluetooth, back off the volume on the phone (iPhone 10R) to about 60%, problem solved. Not an option on Apple Carplay and same for a jump drive. So for those set the bass to -5 and the sub to +1. The fader is biased to the rear by 4 tics, set the volume to about 19-ish and set the treble to -1. Give or take some of those numbers by 1. This setting sounds like shit in the back seat but decent enough in the front.

I must say this is tied for 2nd worst stock system I've ever had. It's about as bad as our '18 RDX base after adjusting out the clipping, but not as bad as an '05 Toyota Matrix. (My best stock systems were in '03 & '11 Dodges.) But honestly, just about all Honda & Acura owners I know in real life are not music nerds or audiophiles in the slightest. Then- the average Ridgeline owner is 65... so it's no wonder Honda keeps installing this crap. Those of us who care are probably outliers.

Anyway I've been lurking here for awhile before buying the truck, and knew what I was walking in to. Going to replace the speakers one set at a time and see how it goes. I figure since the problem starts going away at volume 25+, I can try some higher quality speakers that can be driven by ~20 W RMS and with a lower sensitivity rating...
 

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Good feedback. I have come to the conclusion that all base systems have this issue. Complaints vary only due to the differences in source audio music types and audio resolution discernment.

Its funny that when I first started testing the base audio, I naturally tuned the system similar to what was described here however I was not aware of the issue at the time. To me it sounded like a frequency balance issue. There are some moments when the base system sounds not too terrible. Some accurate reproduction of certainty frequencies, and clarity at volume. I agree it can be improved with tuning of both the system and source device.

I wonder what the consequences would be if this issue was addressed with a processing change. Audio engineers were trying to achieve something when tuning this system. IMO this was an intentional decision. "Fixing" it may have other unknown consequences.
 

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Checking in again. Been playing with this tone generator, using bluetooth on the iPhone:


I've used this tool for testing crap speakers vs good ones, and for setting crossover Hz from subs to mains on my home systems. I was curious how the base RTL speakers would respond to this. Just did an "ear check" FWIW, no fancy scopes.

Subwoofer: This operates from 25-220 Hz, and is really inconsistent across that range. Either putting the ear on the back seat or sitting in the driver seat, frequencies drop out or get muffled significantly across that range. They completely disappear from 140-150 Hz, come on strong again from 170-200 and fade out >200. In music I notice how certain bass tones drop out while driving. Opinion: I have two subs in the house and this RTL one acts like my cheap one but worse. Terrible!

Door speakers: These start responding at ~50 Hz and run up to about 12,000. They give fairly consistent sound. Except for how the fader is biased towards the front, I don't hear a difference between fronts vs backs, and the speakers do have the same part #s online. Opinion: honestly not terrible for what they are - basic cones, probably paper.

Tweeters: These start responding at >3000 Hz, but they are plain harsh! Nastiest tweeters I've heard in a long time! I understand there is a bass-blocker cap in-line here.

I used to mess with this stuff from the early 90s until about 10 years ago. I think I'm going to get into it again, starting with a speaker upgrade. Going to do the tweeters, sub & door speakers in that order, and check a few things along the way. I don't see how this can hurt sound quality with speakers that are rated to work with modest W RMS. If it needs an amp, then that will come afterwards. I'll report back my findings to this thread as I go.
 

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Saw this the other day. This was an accord, but users were complaining of poor audio (not necessarily the same issue as the RL) and changing this setting helped. Any idea what this setting changes and does the rl have the same option?


I doubt there is a magic switch that will improve the ills of the base system. However, small improvements may add up to something.
 

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Update: dropped in a new set of tweeters a few weeks ago. Went with Kicker 46CST204 and left out the bass blockers. Pretty easy to install after reaming out the openings a little. These start at 1500 Hz loud & clear, however I think too much voice is going to these. They are LOUD and bright in comparison to stock, sound much better but are off balance with the rest of the speakers. They needed some break-in time which helped, but it is still a bit off. If I can fit the giant bass blockers into the pillar I'll experiment with these some more. Otherwise I'm looking at a set of Polk components for the front pillar + doors. Will post more as I experiment more.
 

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I actually don't find the stock tweeters that bad. At least not nearly as bad as the stock tweeters in my RX8 Bose system. The system seems out of balance with a bit of a hole in the midrange to mid-base. The sub sounds isolated and does not mix well with the rest of the system.

While I have had the experience of the music fading in and out (like the amp is pulling power) I find it to be very track specific with about 10% of all songs being notably affected. Also it only happens at specific volume levels (around 12-18). Tuning the audio to address the issue by backing down the bass adj and increasing the sub does help address the issue. However, I have found it exasperates the midrange sq issues I described above. To me the system sounds best with the treble at -1 to -2 and the bass around +1 to +2. The sub at 0 or -1. This makes talk radio sound less tinny and adds a bit of fullness to the mid and mid bass range. Music from R&B, hip hop, pop and rock all sound better with these settings (minor tweaks aside) IMO.

So how much of a problem is the issue described in this thread? Not much. Sure the issue exists but only on specific tracks and only at specific sound levels. Since 60% of the time I am listening to talk radio, that means the fading issues affects about 1% of the content I listen to. With the settings I am using 99% of the music sounds pretty damn good for a stock system. I might try some component swaps down the road, but for now I am happy.

Also I did go into the service menu and there was no setting as was described for the Accord.
 

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So how much of a problem is the issue described in this thread? Not much.
This is strictly one opinion, but if you're casually into music it's an issue and if you're a music nerd it's a big issue and possibly a dealbreaker for some folks at >$42k. Even my 13 yr old daughter commented how bad it sounds. I've owned all the Big 3s + Honda/Acura, Nissan & Toyota brands-- and Honda/Acura simply does not have a clue. Life is too short to waste time on poor speakers. Now if you only use XM/FM/AM (low quality streams), the base system is fine. If you stream high quality the stock system sucks, however I still believe it can sound good enough with some mid-range speaker upgrades + tweaks to bass, treb etc.

Update on the Kicker CS tweeters: As mentioned above I originally left out the supplied 4500 Hz crossovers and they were sounding LOUD down to 1500 Hz. I dug back in it this weekend and found enough room in the pillars to hold them away from the air bags with zip ties. Verdict: good upgrade for $75; they were easy to install and sound clear & bright with no harshness! There are better tweeters out there, but for a budget sport/RTL upgrade this set is well worth the money & effort and it fixes the #1 problem IMO.

Now time for the next thing-- fixing that ridiculously inconsistent bass. Once I figure out which drop-in sub to use, and install, I'll report back.
 

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Update on the sub. I replaced the stock sub with a Kicker 48CWRT84. Stock sub is a 2 ohm, so I wired the Kicker's dual 4 ohm coils for a 2 ohm load.

The result? Bass is much more precise. With the stock sub, bass notes were either too loud or disappeared, while turning the sub volume up past +1-2 made it muddy. Now I keep it at +5-6. Volume is slightly improved, because it's cranked up. Nothing window-shattering but overall the sound quality is much better. If you're big into EDM or rap, or if you're a bass head you're going to want more-- but you won't be relying on a single little 8" anyway.

And to the point of the thread: so far replacing the tweeters & sub does nothing for the clipping issue by itself. You still need to tweak the bass, treble, fader & sub (and device output volume) to get it to sound right.

But now with the tweeters and sub replaced, the mid range isn't bad but leaves something to be desired. Now considering component woofers for the fronts and 2-ways for the rear later this summer. If upgrading those speakers helps the clipping any I'll report back here, otherwise I'm done contributing to this thread. But I will eventually start another one documenting my upgrade process.
 

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Interesting. I am coming to the conclusion I won't be able to leave this system stock for long. I will be right behind you with the upgrades.

1) The volume attenuation issue is improved or exasperated by changing the bass level. This is nothing new but it is pretty obvious if you jack the bass all the way up. I have noticed more music is affected and probably impacts 5% of what I am listening to.
2) As the system breaks in, I have noticed and over accentuation or maybe harshness of the treble. I am now using -4 on that setting. The mid-bass to bass is boomy even without the sub unless it is dropped down to -2 or -3. This helps balance out the midrange hole and solves the attenuation issue noted above. Jacking the sub up does not help is it does not blend well with the rest of the system. It is not accurate and cannot even achieve some of the lowest frequencies. I leave it at 0 as a max. Anything else just makes the sound muddy.

It seems like with the most optimal tracks (for the oem DSP) the system sounds OK. Most of the time the system sounds both peaky and patchy. Some notes are too forward, others parts are just missing. The best way to address the shortcomings of the system is most likely a modified DSP. However a much easier route to improvement would be some well selected speaker components.

I would say sensitivity of at least 91. Tweeters with a fairly wide range would probably be less peaky. Something that covers down 3000-3500Hz would be ideal. 1" soft dome/silk, non-metallic. Not so sure on the door speaker. 6" or so, something efficient to boost the midrange. The coaxial version in the back doors. Sub, I would probably leave for awhile.

Keep the info coming, look forward to seeing the progress.
 

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Before replacing the tweeters & sub I scrubbed through this forum many times and found limited info. But it seemed that splicing into the harness or adding an amp could open up a can of worms. Not chancing that on a brand new vehicle! Sadly, the days where you bought a bunch of gear and got it all to work in any ride are gone.

Anyway the one thing that sounded straightforward was simply using new speakers that aren't power-hungry and matched stock impedance (important). Lots of name-dropping on Hertz, but mainly on Gen-1s and none for '21-22 base/RTLs. I was in the hobby from '95-'12 but got rusty. I'm sure Hertz sound good but frankly I've never heard of this brand. I'm also concerned about paper woofers simmering 11 mos/year in the Houston heat & humidity. Searched for a mid-grade, long-time brand that wasn't hungry, poly+rubber-ish materials, and I sort of fell into Kicker.

IMO the tweeters are the #1 upgrade. The CS (titanium) tweeters are a bit bright but they are designed to balance the CS woofers, not the stock ones. Currently set to +1. And the sub upgrade is nice because you can crank it all the way up and let it handle bass & mid-bass, even with the bass setting at -2 or -3. Another tweak is to bias the fader to the rear 3 or 4, and add the volume back in. Now it sounds clean without clipping and my 13 yr old daughter agrees it sounds good now.

I may grab CS & KS component sets and try all the different combos. Once that's nailed down I'll work the rear. Any leftovers should fit in the RDX. BTW the tweeters are 3/4" while the door speakers are 6 1/2" or 6 3/4". Some claim 6 3/4" don't fit right. Some also claim the aftermarket brackets don't fit. But these things are almost never 100% plug & play. We'll see.

I'll be out a few weeks but will start a new thread when I get back.
 

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Check out this thread...more than just tweeter stuff in here:

 

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So when I had my gen 1, I used hertz for the upgrades and was pleasantly surprised at the value, balance and efficiency they provided. In that vehicle, I used components in the front, coaxial in the back and threw in a 6” tube. That basic setup with a Kenwood 7” lcd head unit worked surprisingly well.

From my recollection, that system sounded considerably better than the 22. I would use hertz in a second, however they use a split crossover for their components. That would be a pain to wire. I suppose I could just use the cross over on the tweeter and go full range on the door speaker. I assume the factory dsp is not sending full range anyway.
 
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