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Discussion Starter #1
I have finally had it with the OEM headunit. Most people find it pretty good, but it is NO comparison to a high-quality aftermarket deck. Although there is a wiring harness available, there is no dash kit, so it's going to ba a full custom job. Of course, Honda has put an oddbal sized headunit (extra-wide double-din ??), so it follows that using the factory brackets probably won't work. Also, the problem of filling the hole where the OEM headunit was, with something more appealing than black ABS or speaker carpet-covered MDF. I've been installing audio and security systems as a hobby for 15 years, but any pointers or tips would help................Anyone ?
 

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I can't help on the head unit replacement, but I'm wondering why you think the head unit is the problem. I've done some fairly extensive testing and find both the frequency accuracy and response of the head unit is outstanding.

You can test the CD player via a test CD, and the FM section via a FM modulator, signal generator, and o-scope. We never tested the AM or XM sections.

The only "problem" I found with the head unit was that I couldn't EQ it to my liking, but if you like sound the way it was recorded the factory unit (in the RTL at least) is pretty (nearly perfectly) accurate. I could only get the frequencies down to four decimal places but it always accurate to the third and fourth decimal place. Depending on the frequency that's less that 0.1% THD. Not bad for a high end unit.

We were never able to test the speed of the frequency response but it's difficult to imagine that would be a problem on such an integrated unit.

Have you tried different speakers? It really makes a huge difference. Yes, we need more power but that's just adding an amp.

Why do you think the head unit is the problem? Just interested.
 

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Joe:

I'm interested in your last comment, "that's just adding an amp."

Where would you get the output to feed that amp????

Thanks,

Dave
 

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I would use an amp that allows high level inputs. Then you could just use the speaker outputs.
 

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Consider the amount of signal loss through the speaker(high-level)outputs. 16 gauge speaker wire, not to mention the length of the wire, can't be good. As a matter of fact it's not good. As far as a custom install, ever consider fiberglass? An easier custom look, you could use colored or transparent plexi-glass. You could get a little crazy and even mount some LED's behind the transparent plexi for a suttle glow in the dash. If you have any remote sensors(ie. remote eye for DVD/VCR/other source) you could hide them behind the panel out of sight. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. Staying with the factory headunit isn't an option for me, I own a car stereo shop. I just don't know how custom I want to go, or if I could wait a few more months for Metra to finally put out a kit. For me, I have always found benefits with aftermarket headunits. Easier to add a processor or even a line driver with RCA's. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
csimo said:
I can't help on the head unit replacement, but I'm wondering why you think the head unit is the problem. I've done some fairly extensive testing and find both the frequency accuracy and response of the head unit is outstanding.

You can test the CD player via a test CD, and the FM section via a FM modulator, signal generator, and o-scope. We never tested the AM or XM sections.

The only "problem" I found with the head unit was that I couldn't EQ it to my liking, but if you like sound the way it was recorded the factory unit (in the RTL at least) is pretty (nearly perfectly) accurate. I could only get the frequencies down to four decimal places but it always accurate to the third and fourth decimal place. Depending on the frequency that's less that 0.1% THD. Not bad for a high end unit.

We were never able to test the speed of the frequency response but it's difficult to imagine that would be a problem on such an integrated unit.

Have you tried different speakers? It really makes a huge difference. Yes, we need more power but that's just adding an amp.

Why do you think the head unit is the problem? Just interested.
My biggest problem is Sirius. I am using an aux input adaptor (SNHOND3) to give me RCA style inputs. The sound quality I get is OK, but the sound level is crap. I could have the volume of the headunit at 35-38, and the audio level of my Sirius tuner at max, and would only get about 2/3 the sound level compared to a pre-recorded CD.

To fix this problem, I used a line driver to boost my signal a little bit. It worked, but had a lot of problems with ground noise. I eventually cleaned up the noise, but the actual sound quality suffered. I can hear distortion/buzz that sounds like a loose dust cover on the woofer cone from every speaker, but only when I use Sirius.

I swapped my OEM speakers with some Infinity 6012s, and even Dynamatted the doors. They sound great, but lost some volume on each input (AM/FM, Sirius,CD), I guess they are not as efficient as the stock speakers. The trade off is well worth it though, they sound great.
 

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I had the same problem in my CR-V with the XM "Roadie2" unit, but the stock Honda head unit was fine. So, what I'm reading now is the head unit is not the problem...the Serius unit COMMUNICATING with the head unit is the real problem. Why didn't you say "I've had it with the Serius unit" instead of "I've had it with the Stock Head Unit"? Just wondering. :)
 

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My 2 cents -

I am going to take out the head unit and put in a touch screen to run a nav system, DVD and mac mini computer.

I can live with the head unit but plan on changing out the speakers either with Infinitys or Polk I think.

BUT.... I need a place to put the stock head unit :eek: I was thinking about fabbing a cover and placing it over the seat heater controls and relocating those.

Any thoughts?

Don't mean to take away from your issue rtpjunior but thought while people were thinking "stereo" I would jump in also.

Maybe you could use some of that space for a small lcd screen/dvd player?
 

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Curious, why do you need to keep the stock headunit? Ever thought of a Drivesoft system? I'm not sure how much memory you need, but they offer a 40 GB and 80 GB hard drive for their in car PC. Options for 7", 8", or 10" touch screen where applicable. The audio/video inputs are practically endless. You have touch screen controls for XM, Nav, AM/FM, DVD, CD, MP3, Rear Camera, and PC. If the 40 or 80 GB isn't enough, you have an external hub. Wireless keyboard and mouse, the system is pretty sweet. I am in the works to become an authorized dealer for Drivesoft in case your wondering where I got my info. It all depends on how you have them build your system, as well as how much you are willing to spend.
 

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I thought it would be nice to keep the steering wheel controls - don't know if they would work with other brands, etc., but think they wouldn't.

AND, unless you want to enter my RL in a "pimp my ride" contest AND I won, there AIN'T no way I could ever afford Drivesoft kind of stuff (went to their website and saw the pics and read about their product - sounds cool but not in my budget).

Plus, I already have some of the hardware and ALL of the software I need for my purposes.

Now, like I said, if you need a "demo" unit in Taos, I'm probably your man :p
 

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I know of a few companies that offer adapters so you keep your steering wheel controls when replacing the factory headunit with an aftermarket. The company that I use is Metra. They have been around a long time and I stand by their products. I know they offer such an adapter for the '05 Accord and numerous other vehicles, but I haven't checked if they work for the Ridge. They don't quite offer a dash kit yet, so my system is on hold. I'll keep you posted.
 

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ridgeman said:
Now, like I said, if you need a "demo" unit in Taos, I'm probably your man :p
Dang!

Living in Taos with a Ridgeline! Some people have it sweet. (Well, except for that Winter thing, but Mexico is close).
 

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I have an Alpine iva-310, 5.1 dts processor, sirius satellite radio and nav system in mine. They sell a stereo din unit for aftermarket on e-bay. I am in the process of installing the center chanel speaker. I also have the back up camera and interface for factory steering wheel control.

see post for "back up camera" started by me for pictures of system. I don't have the pictures anymore on this computer. I also have been doing this for about 20 years. Yes it's hard to quite once you go to quality sound. I also agree the factory unit sucks....Don't forget the Dynamat, lots of it....

I am posting a picture of another members setup which is similar to mine.
 

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