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I didn't see a recent recommendation for this - so I'm posting a new thread. I'm sorry if I didn't see a good, recent post on this.

I have a 2006 Ridgeline with no Nav and the factory sub.

I don't care about Nav (unless it's included) - i'm interested in music and a good looking unit that fits well in the dash. I'd love to have Sirius and reuse my XM antenna. Also, I'm not an Apple guy - I'm Android and would like to connect via Bluetooth for phone calls - and I currently use Google maps for Nav.

Music is the key - so I'm interested in reusing my factory sub if possible. Also, streaming music from an Android or Google Play (would consider spotify) or USB device....

I'm sure there are a lot of audiophiles out there that know a lot more than me - so please feel free. I'm tech savvy and have installed many car stereos with the help of Crutchfield installation kits - so I'm up for some labor here.

Please give me your recommendations! I don't want to spend a ton of money - so don't go crazy on me.

Thank you!
 

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Some food for thought:
The RL, regardless of year, accommodates the "double DIN" European standard. Kits to adapt mounting and wiring are included free with the purchase of a stereo from on-line suppliers like Cructhfield and Sonic Electronix.

"Sound quality" among the various choices is remarkably similar because nearly all built in integrated circuitry is the same in a $100 or $400 H.U's. out there, regardless of who builds them, so the selection of dash unit comes down to cosmetics and features you like and what is required for the overall system. There is literally no double DIN H.U. that won't fit the RL. But there are a wide variety of features to choose from.

As an example, one of the Pioneer AVH X700 series H.U's. will give you adequate built-in power for a component speaker system in the front of the RL, and full range speakers in the rear doors with sub woofer connection and software control options, bluetooth interface for your phone, USB and/or analog input options for an external music source and an option for XM (although Pioneer's XM module is not cheap). But there are many other brands out there.

See this link for examples.

You'll see comments about 15 watts vs. 25 watts (or whatever) with H.U. power output. Although more appears to be the obvious choice, in reality the acoustic difference between those numbers is nearly imperceptible. Again, most of the integrated circuity in dash units come from the same or similar component suppliers, but when the marketing department of an name brand OEM gets a hold of technical specifications, the rated output of two units using the same internal components suddenly becomes 25 watts instead of 15 watts. It ain't real.

Aside from the individual speaker system characteristics, fit and efficiency are among the most important in a small system. So to make the most of available power, look for higher sensitivity in a system and go with it. The delta between 93 vs. 96db sensitivity is pure hair splitting, but that doesn't stop people from arguing over the subject. As long as they physically fit, you'll be satisfied with sound most name brand systems produce compared to the factory system.

Nearly any 6 1/2" component speaker system will fit in the front of the RL. Assuming you'll be installing mid-woofers in the door/tweeters in the dash, other than fit (which I strongly recommend over coaxial speakers in the door only), asking for specific recommendations is like asking if you should put salt of your french fries to improve taste. Sound, like taste, is a personal thing so any specific recommendation is likely to be based on the taste & experience of the listener.

Adapters for door mounts will ease installation but you'll likely hear criticism of the virtues of using plastic adapters vs. other methods. The difference between use of off-the-shelf adapters is more hair splitting. IMO - unless one is handy at fabrication and is looking to squeeze infinitesimal sonic benefits out of their system, off-the-shelf adapters will do the trick nicely. BTW: both Sonic Electronix and Crutchfield supply free plastic mounting & wiring adapters with speaker purchase.

You'll also see comments about the virtues of "sound stage" using component - front speakers only. That topic is also a matter of opinion and there is ample psycho acoustic study to support valid arguments either way. Let your wallet be the guide on whether you choose to install rear coaxial speakers inn the factory location. With or without them, you'll be happy with improved sound from the drivers listening position.

Since you mentioned utilizing the factory sub, (I fully support that idea) I'd suggest using one of the many small footprint out-board amplifiers out there connected to the sub output of a H.U. If the amp has a small enough footprint, and supports a mono wiring option, it could be installed behind the dash or in the console without having to remove the backseat. The most "difficult" part of adding an amp to the system will be choosing the correct place to tap power. A small, current efficient class D amp (most are these days) doesn't require direct connection to the battery but finding an appropriate factory power source can prove challenging. The issue here is how much current the factory wire is capable of conducting. There are lots of familiar, safe, name brand options here. I'd recommend going with some of the better known OEMs - stay away from brands like "Boss" and "Pyle" who compete for the bottom $ consumers by short cuts in design and quality.

There are many threads here on the topic of installation tips and tricks. They'll make a huge difference for your effort. Use the search engine on this forum and look around, you'll find good info about door panel & dash removal as well as power sources for an outboard amp.

How's that for a long winded, nebulous, non-committal reply? :act006:

Best of luck to you!
 

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How's that for a long winded, nebulous, non-committal reply? :act006:

Best of luck to you!
With my apologies to the many erudite pundits on the ROC, your response is clear and succinct to this 'Joe Beerbelly" ROC member. :act060:
 

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so the selection of dash unit comes down to cosmetics and features you like and what is required for the overall system.
Agree. Once you get above the "it's dirt cheap .. for a reason" price point, you're buying features and style.

These days, I would go with a Kenwood or an Alpine.

Chip H.
 

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A solution for the factory sub use with a new head unit.

If you are willing to loose the rear speakers, look in to some of the pioneers double din units,
You can bridge the rear channels and provide 70 watts to the sub, and no need to add an amp for the sub.

DDin touch screen equals DVD playback

There might be some single din sound oriented head units that may also offer the rear channels bridging for a mono 2 ohm safe load. That is a good thing about some the pioneers.

To me losing the rears is all worth it, rear sound screws up your front stage, when you go to a concert, you don't look at the band and expect the singers voice coming from behind you, for ambience and controlled output levels rears may be ok, but not worth it for anyone sitting in the front.
 

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A solution for the factory sub use with a new head unit.

If you are willing to loose the rear speakers, look in to some of the pioneers double din units,
You can bridge the rear channels and provide 70 watts to the sub, and no need to add an amp for the sub.

DDin touch screen equals DVD playback

There might be some single din sound oriented head units that may also offer the rear channels bridging for a mono 2 ohm safe load. That is a good thing about some the pioneers.

To me losing the rears is all worth it, rear sound screws up your front stage, when you go to a concert, you don't look at the band and expect the singers voice coming from behind you, for ambience and controlled output levels rears may be ok, but not worth it for anyone sitting in the front.
One other thought....

For those of us with dogs, losing the rear speakers stops the spouce from telling me to turn down/off the rear speakers
 

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I just got a 2013 and added an Alpine Carplay unit with a JL 5 channel amp. O tried it with the stock speakers and the sound improved but not as much as I expected. JL separates and JL coaxial were added and the sound improved again. The stock sub may need replacement next

The Carplay unit is is an ILX 007 and it is a great system if you are a iPhone fan.
 

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I was very happy with my JL Audio separates and HD900 amp. The Stealthbox worked well but I prefer a ported speaker.

Chip H.
 

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I just got a 2013 and added an Alpine Carplay unit with a JL 5 channel amp. O tried it with the stock speakers and the sound improved but not as much as I expected. JL separates and JL coaxial were added and the sound improved again. The stock sub may need replacement next

The Carplay unit is is an ILX 007 and it is a great system if you are a iPhone fan.
I debated on starting a new thread or attaching to this one. Since it is basically the same questions and the above posts are great, I went this path. Mods- please move into a new topic if you prefer.

I am looking to do the same thing in my 2008 Ridge. I am looking for: CarPlay, maintaining steering wheel control, maintaining the sub AND rear speakers if possible. I do not need massive power, or even much better sound than stock. My ears are not the great anyway. I may change some speakers if it fits into the budget but that is not my priority. But I would like "modern" features of Bluetooth and Carplay with my iphone so I can use the phone GPS, etc. Not sure if it works with Waze but that would be great too.

I see the ILX 007 mentioned here, also see some Pioneer units. It is kind of daunting to sort through the options. I would like to keep the costs reasonable so $1000 systems won't work. I am hoping for $600- 700 range complete, with me doing the install. Even less would be better of course as long as it is decent stuff. If anyone has a complete parts list to do what I want, that would be great! otherwise comments and suggestions are helpful.
 

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You'll get some good ideas by reading other threads here, and it sounds like maybe you have already. You'll also likely get some good replies directly to this one. The only comment I'd have, given your very well defined "wants" description, is that you should strongly consider new tweeters with our new head unit. It seems universally supported on this forum that you'll get most bang for your buck in that department, and that this change is most definitely noticeable as a positive sound improvement (even for the non-audiophile like you & I).

Hope this all turns out well for you.... BTW, the guys @ Crutchfield are reported to be very good at matching folks to their needs, given you can describe them well, as you have. You might try calling / contacting them for advice.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I saw the tweeter threads but have not read those yet. I hope some others post with a similar setup to my desires. I will also talk to Crutchfield. Regardless, I will post back with my build thread once I pull the trigger!
 

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I sent an email to crutchfield and got an answer back quickly. They say I can't keep all the speakers including the sub with any of the units. I can have all the speakers but will loose the sub unless I do a major rewire and amp system. Can just have the new unit power all the speakers and add a single channel amp be used for the sub or am I missing something? They suggested a Pioneer AVIC-5000NEX system.
 

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I sent an email to crutchfield and got an answer back quickly. They say I can't keep all the speakers including the sub with any of the units. I can have all the speakers but will loose the sub unless I do a major rewire and amp system. Can just have the new unit power all the speakers and add a single channel amp be used for the sub or am I missing something? They suggested a Pioneer AVIC-5000NEX system.
As an alternative, you can connect the Pioneer HU to the OEM sub via the below diagram. Of course, the rr speakers are not utilized, but this configuration sounds better in my RL than with the four speakers/no OEM sub setup.

(This is from page 244 of the OM for the suggested Pioneer)
 

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I sent an email to crutchfield and got an answer back quickly. They say I can't keep all the speakers including the sub with any of the units. I can have all the speakers but will loose the sub unless I do a major rewire and amp system. Can just have the new unit power all the speakers and add a single channel amp be used for the sub or am I missing something? They suggested a Pioneer AVIC-5000NEX system.
Couple of things here:

1) Depending on where you are going with overall system, "major rewire" could be a HUGE over statement. Without knowing more about what your goal is, that statement may or may not be accurate.
2) Did you specify navigation as a requirement? If not, there are LOTS of other choices that could shave $ off the price of the 5000NEX.
3) If you intend to maintain the stock sub, a small amp could easily be connected to one of many head units as a stand alone sub amp without a "major rewire" or major installation effort - for that matter. AND the H.U. could easily drive "all the speakers". Even saying "all the speakers" opens up a small universe of options. But I assume you mean the existing door/dash speakers?
4) Personal recommendation: use caution when asking for system advise from Crutchfield or anyone else who has a vested interest in upselling every potential customer
5) Sounds like you may want to avoid significant installation effort. The best way to do that is figure out what you want/expect from the final system before asking open ended questions of Crutchfield or other sales organization.

There is an entire library of information already in this forum. Have you searched? Nearly everything you could ever want to know is here - free for the asking.
 

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Thanks for the quick replies. My requirements are in post 11 and I was just following the recommendation of Dnick in post 12 by asking Crutchfield. I have searched a bunch and the variety of solutions are huge. But most seem to be more than my naïve thinking of just a new head unit to drive the stock speakers and sub. Maybe throw in a simple amp if needed.
 

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Thanks for the quick replies. My requirements are in post 11 and I was just following the recommendation of Dnick in post 12 by asking Crutchfield. I have searched a bunch and the variety of solutions are huge. But most seem to be more than my naïve thinking of just a new head unit to drive the stock speakers and sub. Maybe throw in a simple amp if needed.
AH. Didn't go back thru the thread. My bad.

Since Car Play is an all inclusive user interface solution, As you already know the 5000NEX will power 4 full range channels with the built in amp - OR - 2 front channels and the factory sub, but it won't do it all without the addition of an amp.

4 full range and a sub doesn't require a "major rewire". You are on the right track with the thought of a small amp for the sub. There's quite a bit of room behind the dash, inside the console or under the front seat(s) for a small foot print amp, and you don't necessarily need to feed that amp with power tapped from the battery - which some equate with "major rewire".

The factory sub doesn't need much power to make some quality bass. Choose a small name brand amp worthy of connection to a high quality head like the NEX and you'll do fine. There's a thread on here about a small Alpine amp (sorry, don't have the link) that would power the sub, be small enough to stuff away and can be powered by easy to find power inside the cab.

Swapping the head, adding a small amp and popping tweeters in the dash is a relatively simple install that could be done on a Saturday and should satisfy what you are after.

Go for it. And best of luck.
 

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Awesome. Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean to come off like a smart ass. I reread my post and it kind of sounded that way. Anyway... Any idea of what size amp I would need? I have seen a huge range in posts I have read. From 300 to 1100. You are correct, I would be looking for a smaller amp that I did not have to direct wire to the battery. This forum is so active, there are hundreds of posts on it. But most are for new subs. Thanks again! I will search for that alpine post. Any brand I should stay away from?
 

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Awesome. Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean to come off like a smart ass. I reread my post and it kind of sounded that way. Anyway... Any idea of what size amp I would need? I have seen a huge range in posts I have read. From 300 to 1100. You are correct, I would be looking for a smaller amp that I did not have to direct wire to the battery. This forum is so active, there are hundreds of posts on it. But most are for new subs. Thanks again! I will search for that alpine post. Any brand I should stay away from?
No worries. Didn't notice anything like smart a$$-ish.

Stay with a name brand you know. Alpine, Pioneer, SoundStream - there are many and most are going to do more than you expect them too. Google search "small footprint car amp" Should return a ton of options. I try to stay away from specific recommendations unless I have hands on experience.

But as an example, this little monster will kick the snot outta the factory sub.

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item...scplp8009559&gclid=CN-k5auQu8YCFYY9gQodr1YAdQ

It and just about anything in this class will fit behind the dash and can be fed by readily accessible power.

This thread deals with the topic in a different configuration but conceptually the same.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110330
 
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