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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2013 Sport. The sound in the Sport is honestly not good. I would love to replace all 4 door speakers, but also was interested if the Sport has the empty spot already created where the sub is in the higher up models. If so, it appears it would be relatively easy to add a sub to fit in there. Has anyone done this or know if it is possible? Through some research I found on other models, the sub is behind the passenger rear seat. How is that even accessible? I know the seats fold up, but not sure how to remove the back part to check. I would only add this if the spot is already available. I don't want to put it under the seats as others have done because I often fold both up to transport things. My only other question would be could I replace all the speakers and even add a sub by keeping the stock radio unit? I'm old school and don't like or really need anything newer, but I understand the capabilities of this unit might not be able to handle better powered door speakers and a sub. Any thoughts?
 

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2104 Honda Ridgeline SE
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Start off with upgrading the tweeters up front. I used JBL GT018 tweeters and they added a lot of bass. I got JBL GT7-6 for the doors. Just the rear seat back can be removed to see behind the seat. The stock sub meets bare minimums. Search Subwoofer to see what others have done.
Try the following threads...

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39073&page=76

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38695

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31917
 

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Maybe you mean the tweeters added a lot of treble? :)

Honestly, I think everything needs to go, even if you get a pretty basic head unit. If you'd like to stay stock, however, I'd suggest replacing the tweeters and door speakers, then go from there to see if you still want to replace the head unit or add a sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Correct me if I am wrong, but don't the RL Sports only have 4 speakers (just the doors) and no tweeters? Unless I am thinking about the Accord Sport...I know it is one of them.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Perfect. Thanks for the confirmation. And you think the stock CD player can handle the power if I replace all 6 speakers? I don't really want to do anything additional with an amp.
 

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Perfect. Thanks for the confirmation. And you think the stock CD player can handle the power if I replace all 6 speakers? I don't really want to do anything additional with an amp.
Without a doubt. Just watch the speakers sensitivity. The higher the better when using the Stock HU. The JBL's perform well with a sensitivity of 93 dB. The lower the sensitivity the more power required (AMP) to get the same effect.

Check Chrutchfield for options/compatibility with the RL.

http://www.crutchfield.com/

Regards.
 

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The stock head unit does not put out much power. Upgrading your speakers will be nearly a totally waste of money. Some have sworn that the sound is better when there are "better" speakers in the doors, but when the stock head unit only put out about 10 watts RMS to each speaker, the quality isn't able to be enjoyed. Also, you cannot simply add on a stock subwoofer to the RT or Sport head unit as the output for the subwoofer isn't there. You'd need to find a 6-disc changer unit from a higher model and the wiring harness for the sub as well as sourcing the sub itself. For the amount of money and trouble you'd have into that, it's worth it to simply replace the head unit and go from there. An aftermarket head unit will deliver more power to the speakers and will also not only have many more features and connectivity, but also will have more options for tuning the sound to your liking. If I were you, I would start by replacing the dash tweeters as was recommended. If you're still not satisfied with the sound, look into replacing the head unit. From there, you could add a stock subwoofer in the OEM location that is powered by a small amp. Another option for powering the sub is to get a 4ch amp, use the front outputs to power your front door speakers and the rear outputs bridged to power the sub. Either way, to get truly satisfying sound, you're likely going to want to add a sub and do quite a bit of sound deadening in the doors and back wall.
 

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Nate, you might want to peruse the forum one evening and look at a few audio threads.

Lots of us have replaced the front tweeters (under the windshield). This does two things. It gives you crisper high end. And for most people it creates a new dynamic inside the truck that sounds better overall. In my case, i was running the Treble at full with stock tweeters, and after the tweeter changeout scaled it back to neutral.

Tweeters are fairly cheap, and an easy DIY thing. I suggest trying that first given your description of your listening habits. I suspect this simple change will make a big difference for you. A sub would be nice, but it creates a headache for you in implementation.

Last, you didn't say, but if you listen to regular FM radio a lot, the system in the RL really truly SUCKS. Bad reception mainly, coupled with mediocre output. I only listen to talk formats with the radio. XM is better. CD or other digital input is best for quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The stock head unit does not put out much power. Upgrading your speakers will be nearly a totally waste of money. Some have sworn that the sound is better when there are "better" speakers in the doors, but when the stock head unit only put out about 10 watts RMS to each speaker, the quality isn't able to be enjoyed. Also, you cannot simply add on a stock subwoofer to the RT or Sport head unit as the output for the subwoofer isn't there. You'd need to find a 6-disc changer unit from a higher model and the wiring harness for the sub as well as sourcing the sub itself. For the amount of money and trouble you'd have into that, it's worth it to simply replace the head unit and go from there. An aftermarket head unit will deliver more power to the speakers and will also not only have many more features and connectivity, but also will have more options for tuning the sound to your liking. If I were you, I would start by replacing the dash tweeters as was recommended. If you're still not satisfied with the sound, look into replacing the head unit. From there, you could add a stock subwoofer in the OEM location that is powered by a small amp. Another option for powering the sub is to get a 4ch amp, use the front outputs to power your front door speakers and the rear outputs bridged to power the sub. Either way, to get truly satisfying sound, you're likely going to want to add a sub and do quite a bit of sound deadening in the doors and back wall.

Very good points. I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nate, you might want to peruse the forum one evening and look at a few audio threads.

Lots of us have replaced the front tweeters (under the windshield). This does two things. It gives you crisper high end. And for most people it creates a new dynamic inside the truck that sounds better overall. In my case, i was running the Treble at full with stock tweeters, and after the tweeter changeout scaled it back to neutral.

Tweeters are fairly cheap, and an easy DIY thing. I suggest trying that first given your description of your listening habits. I suspect this simple change will make a big difference for you. A sub would be nice, but it creates a headache for you in implementation.

Last, you didn't say, but if you listen to regular FM radio a lot, the system in the RL really truly SUCKS. Bad reception mainly, coupled with mediocre output. I only listen to talk formats with the radio. XM is better. CD or other digital input is best for quality.
Makes sense. I might explore head units as well as tweeters and door speakers. I suppose regardless of what I do, I rather just do it right from the start and spend the extra money. Especially since I plan to keep this truck for a while. Thanks
 

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Makes sense. I might explore head units as well as tweeters and door speakers. I suppose regardless of what I do, I rather just do it right from the start and spend the extra money. Especially since I plan to keep this truck for a while. Thanks
If you're going to do door speakers, I would highly recommend looking into doing sound deadening. You can use Dynamat, Fatmat, Lizard Skin or a host of other products. Some appear to be "better" than others, but even the smallest amount will help. The deadening isn't about making the sound from the speakers better, but rather isolating road noise from protruding inside the cab that will affect the quality of the sound. You can get a roll of Fatmat on Ebay pretty inexpensively and do all four doors and the rear wall of the cab. It really does make a difference.

That being said, if I were you, I would approach this in stages. In the first stage, I would replace the dash tweeters and the head unit. The choices for both of these are almost endless, but you really need to decide what you need and want that will fit in your budget. A simple, single-DIN sized head unit will cost you about $100-120 that will look a little funny in the big space designated for the head unit. A double-DIN sized one with no LCD screen will look much better and will have all of the same features. They start at about $160, but a decent one will be in the $200 range. If you want touchscreen capability, a double DIN unit with an LCD will start around $250 with quality ones being $300-400. Really high-end ones with navigation will be in the $500+ range and the install is more difficult due to more wires and parts that accompany the navigation.

If after you tune your new head unit and the upgraded tweeters with stock door speakers just don't cut it for you, then look into replacing the door speakers and do a bunch of sound deadening. If the bass level isn't adequate, then you can consider amplifying your door speakers and adding a subwoofer. We can cross that bridge when we come to it. I think putting some money into a quality head unit is the best thing you can do. My Pioneer AVH-P4400BH was $385 and the rest of my equipment (front component set, subwoofer, sound deadening and sub amp) totaled $200. I chose inexpensive speakers and amps with decent quality to prove that a solid head unit is the heart of any small to moderate sound system upgrade. Although I could make it better by amplifying my speakers and having higher-quality equipment, it satisfies my needs for sound quality in the small amount of time I spend in my truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Makes sense. That is why I like this forum. You can talk with people who have tried different things and everyone just learns from one another. I'll keep everyone posted when I make a move, and let you know the results. Thanks again.
 

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Yessir. It's why I've kept coming back nearly every day for the last 5+ years. We're all just here to help. The ones that aren't don't last very long here. Before you make any purchases, put your options up here. There are MANY choices for head units and speakers out there. Most of them are good, but some may suit your ultimate plans better than others. You really just need to sit down and figure out what you truly need in an audio system as far as features and what you would really just like to have. From there, you can set a budget and find equipment that fits into it. Are you planning to do the install yourself? It's actually quite simple as long as you follow the right steps. Many of us here (including me) have done it on their RL's and have been playing with audio for many years. There are certainly those here that are way more knowledgeable than me (laserguy, OhSix, etc.) but our collective knowledge will get you through it. Installing yourself will save you a pile of money and will allow you to get better equipment.
 

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I have a 2014 Honda Ridgeline with Nav. The sound in this vehicle is terrible compared to my 2006 Ridgeline minus the nav. I am looking for info on how to upgrade the power and dynamics of what i have as stock. I have replaced all four doors with Polk and have looked at units such as the JBL MS-8 MS Series Digital Processor as possible additions. I would like to keep the stock head unit. Has anyone attacked this issue? Any info would be much appreciated.
 

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I have a 2014 Honda Ridgeline with Nav. The sound in this vehicle is terrible compared to my 2006 Ridgeline minus the nav. I am looking for info on how to upgrade the power and dynamics of what i have as stock. I have replaced all four doors with Polk and have looked at units such as the JBL MS-8 MS Series Digital Processor as possible additions. I would like to keep the stock head unit. Has anyone attacked this issue? Any info would be much appreciated.
There are dozens if not hundreds of threads about this. Searching through all of them may get a little daunting, so I'll give some tips. The audio system in your 2006 is virtually the same as in your new 2014. The speakers and system output has not changed whatsoever. When you say the sound is "terrible", what exactly do you mean? The lows and highs aren't sufficient? The sound is muddy or distorted at high volumes? What exactly do you want to achieve with your upgrades? There are many different routes you can go with it and each has a different ultimate end-goal. If you know what you're looking for and what your budget will be, we can set you up with a good direction. Are you planning to install everything yourself or will you be using a shop?
 

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I will say this, I was unhappy as well with the stock sound in my truck. The only thing I did was swap out the stock head unit for a JVC kd310bt and it was a VERY significant improvement. Got it from crutchfield for 100 bucks shipped. Can't remember if it was some sort of sale or not. Also required a different wiring harness but that was like 10 bucks or so. I was actually blown away at how much better it was. I think I am going to add the tweeters to mine but thats just for a little extra.
 

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^^^ Multiplying your RMS power to each channel by 2x or 3x certainly helps as well as the availability of several more tuning functions rather than just "bass" and "treble". Nevertheless, for RTS and up models with the factory sub, you'll lose that functionality unless you use a small amp to power the sub or just replace it altogether.
 
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