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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've seen a lot of postings regarding the issue of losing the factory subwoofer (RTS and up) if you upgrade to a factory head unit, since aftermarket head units only have 4 channel amplifiers (Front L/R, Rear L/R), with only a pre-amp (line) out for the subwoofer.

So you stand to lose the subwoofer if you go with an aftermarket head unit unless you use a separate amplifier, using either the factory subwoofer or a separate sub driver (or driver/amp combo). Many seem to be recommending the 6" Bazooka mounted behind the rear seat, either in the area where the factory sub is located (right rear, after removing factory sub) or in the left rear area.

Since I was trying to keep the cost as low as possible, and also willing to accept using the factory speakers (including sub) as they were, I opted to look for a subwoofer amplifier that would work with the factory sub driver.

Here is what I chose:
Boss Audio R1100M Mosfet Monoblock Power Amplifier, about $55

This solution seems to be working great. The only caution is that the amplifier has enough power to blow out the factory sub if you get crazy, so keep the level on the amplifier as low as possible.

I'm using the Front L/R and Rear L/R amps in my Pioneer AVH-X5600BHS head unit driving the factory speakers (i.e. not a lot of power, no interest in extreme volume). So I was able to set the sub amp level quite low and still get a good balanced frequency response (slight bass boost, which is what I wanted), and the factory sub driver seems to be handling it fine.

For reference, here are the settings that seemed to work best:
- Amp set for low pass, not full range.
- Sensitivity on 100mV-2V, not 2-8V.
- Low Pass frequency on maximum (160Hz), but head unit set for 80 Hz Low Pass Filter on Sub and 80 Hz High Pass Filter on door speakers.
- Bass boost Off (0), not +18dB.
- Level set about 20% up from Minimum; i.e. a lot closer to Min than Max.

With those settings, I get great bass response (well, within the capabilities of the factory sub driver) with the head unit EQ set on 0 for bass.

Here is the area behind the rear seat without the amplifier:



Here is the area behind the rear seat with the amplifier in place, with cabling routed down the driver's side:

 

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Thanks for this. I really need to do this. Not sure if I have the know how. I've changed out a head unit before, but never done an amp.

So tired of CD's.
 

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THANKS for posting!
did you splice the oem sub wiring? or is it easy to direct wire to it?
thanks!~
what did you run from the head unit? the preamps and the trigger wire? then go to battery directly with power? where did you ground the amp? any more pics of connections?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
THANKS for posting!
did you splice the oem sub wiring? or is it easy to direct wire to it?
thanks!~
what did you run from the head unit? the preamps and the trigger wire? then go to battery directly with power? where did you ground the amp? any more pics of connections?
There is a plug on the right side of the factory sub box where the speaker plugs into the harness coming from the front dash. I just unplugged the plug and used tap connectors on the wires behind the plug to run hookup wire from the speaker wires to the amp (i.e. I left the plug there rather than cutting it off). That way all of the factory harness is still intact and could be re-used in the future if needed.
 

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Do you have steering wheel controls, if so do they work for new head unit , or did you get an adapter ?? Thanks for pics very helpful..
 

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Thanks for posting!

Where did you get the power for the amp from? Did you have to directly connect it to the battery through the firewall?

Do you have steering wheel controls, if so do they work for new head unit , or did you get an adapter ?? Thanks for pics very helpful..
Unfortunately, you'll need an adapter.
 

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I used axxess adapter and works good.
Also check this out! Im getting this today..comes in a kit. I probably wont use the speaker but can sell it and stay cheap. Wiring kit is also included!!!
Best buy 149
What's Included

Comp Series 12" single-voice-coil 4-ohm subwoofer (C124)
DX Series 250W Class AB multichannel amp (11DX2501)
D-Series complete power kit (09DCK8)
Owner's manual


http://www.bestbuy.com/site/kicker-12-single-voice-coil-4-ohm-subwoofer-with-250w-class-ab-multichannel-amp/2147016.p?id=1219069800451&skuId=2147016&st=categoryid$abcat0302001&cp=1&lp=2
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you have steering wheel controls, if so do they work for new head unit , or did you get an adapter ?? Thanks for pics very helpful..
See here for more information on the full project.

I do have steering wheel audio controls, and they will not work with an aftermarket head unit unless you use an adapter. I used the Metra Axxess ASWC-1 Universal Steering Wheel Control Interface (about $50), which seems to work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for posting!

Where did you get the power for the amp from? Did you have to directly connect it to the battery through the firewall?
I SHOULD have done a direct connection to the battery through the firewall, but I didn't. Or alternatively, I SHOULD have used an un-used slot in the fuse box and wired in a new and separate fuse for the amp, but I didn't do that either.

Since I'm running the amp at a very low level, I took a chance (i.e. ill-advised shortcut) and tapped power to the amp off of the same ignition power that was going to the audio head unit. That line has a 20A fuse in the fuse box, and the head unit has a 10A fuse. The amplifier is fused at 30A and could conceivably use that much if it were running at maximum power into a 2-ohm subwoofer, but so far it's working fine and hasn't blown the 20A fuse.

Just for the record I'll note that this is a risky setup that I would not advise copying. In hindsight, I should have AT LEAST run the amp power line directly to the 20A audio fuse in the fuse box. By tapping into the power line running to the head unit (i.e. at the head unit), I have both the head unit and the sub amp running on a wire intended for no more than 10A. So the weak link in that setup is the wire, not the fuse, and that's a setup you NEVER want to have (in an overpower situation the wire could overheat and catch on fire before the fuse blew).

I didn't fully think that through until after I had the dash buttoned up, and I haven't decided whether I'm going to tear it back apart to rewire.
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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I SHOULD have done a direct connection to the battery through the firewall, but I didn't. Or alternatively, I SHOULD have used an un-used slot in the fuse box and wired in a new and separate fuse for the amp, but I didn't do that either.

Since I'm running the amp at a very low level, I took a chance (i.e. ill-advised shortcut) and tapped power to the amp off of the same ignition power that was going to the audio head unit. That line has a 20A fuse in the fuse box, and the head unit has a 10A fuse. The amplifier is fused at 30A and could conceivably use that much if it were running at maximum power into a 2-ohm subwoofer, but so far it's working fine and hasn't blown the 20A fuse.

Just for the record I'll note that this is a risky setup that I would not advise copying. In hindsight, I should have AT LEAST run the amp power line directly to the 20A audio fuse in the fuse box. By tapping into the power line running to the head unit (i.e. at the head unit), I have both the head unit and the sub amp running on a wire intended for no more than 10A. So the weak link in that setup is the wire, not the fuse, and that's a setup you NEVER want to have (in an overpower situation the wire could overheat and catch on fire before the fuse blew).

I didn't fully think that through until after I had the dash buttoned up, and I haven't decided whether I'm going to tear it back apart to rewire.
I have to recommend you fix that asap. The wiring is no where near large enough to handle that amount of current. It will heat up and you run the risk of not only blowing the fuses, but also shorting the wires and, at the worst, causing an electrical fire. Adding a simple 8 gauge power wire and ground to that amp will not require you to rip the dash apart again. Simply disconnect the power wire you have going into it right now and cap it with an electrical cap and tape. Then, run 8 gauge wire from the battery, connect a 30 or 40 amp inline fuse within 18" of the battery and route it back to the amp. Also use 8 gauge to ground the amp to a solid metal bolt. I would recommend the rear seat bolt that is in that area. You'll get a much more consistent and safe power delivery that way. Everything else you've done looks great! Very nice alternative to dropping $200+ on a powered Bazooka tube. As long as you keep the gains down and don't try to push the sub too hard, you should not have any issues at all. For others looking to do something on the cheap, the amp I have is extremely inexpensive at about $45-50 on Amazon and has been running my 10" shallow sub flawlessly for over 2 years now. Jensen Power 400 2ch. I have it bridged and tuned with the HPF set to about 80-85hz.
 

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I agree with Ian on this. When I added a powered sub-woofer to my old '06 RT, I went ahead and ran dedicated 10 gauge wire to the sub-woofer with a 30A fuse under the hood near the battery.
 

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Where did you pass the new power wire through the firewall?
For mine, I (VERY CAREFULLY) made a slit in the stock rubber grommet where several other wires go through with a small utility knife and was able to pass the 8 gauge wire through with no problem. It still forms a solid seal around the wire and is weather tight.
 

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I have an after market amp that I am running in my 2014 ridgeline (Navigation in dash) has the sub in the back..I am only using the after market amp to power my door speakers. My question is how do I run my aftermarket amp through my factory amp if that makes sense?
 

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I have an after market amp that I am running in my 2014 ridgeline (Navigation in dash) has the sub in the back..I am only using the after market amp to power my door speakers. My question is how do I run my aftermarket amp through my factory amp if that makes sense?
There is no external factory amplifier. All of the door speakers and the factory subwoofer are powered by the chip amp inside the factory head unit. Are you asking how you use your aftermarket amp to power your door speakers or how to power your factory subwoofer?
 
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