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Today found me continuing in my quest to get better sound out of the Ridgeline. Pulled the front passenger door panel.

I'm still in the investigational stages of this project.

First off I'll comment on the "160 watt" sound system. I've now seen what Honda uses for door speakers and subwoofer. If this system had anywhere near 160 RMS watts of power all seven speakers would disintegrate into a pile of melted plastic. The cheap subwoofer would come apart with 25 watts of power and the door speakers would probably melt with a good 10 watts. Somebody at Honda must have had a meter hooked up to the Ridgeline when it was hit by lightening for them to get 160 watts out of this system!

I'm finding it hard to choose the proper words to describe the door speakers. Never seen anything like them before. They look like they belong in a transistor radio is the best description I can give. Pics below... more info soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
More about those door speakers...

Decided to put the door speaker WITH the plastic housing on the scale just to see how light it really is. I know it's old fashioned, but I still believe the heavier speaker is generally the better one. Yes, some new high tech magnets have changed some of those rules, but in this case I guarantee you there's no high tech magnets involved. Not hardly enough magnet to lift a paper clip.

The factory door speaker with housing weighed 8.35 OUNCES!!!! Yes, you read that correctly... 1/2 pound including housing. Maybe a 3 ounce magnet?

Just to compare I put an Infinity 6002i on the same scale. 2 pounds 2 ounces... or 34 ounces.

So all four door speakers with the plastic housing included weigh less than ONE Infinity 6002i speaker. Amazing.

Here's a pic of the speaker opening in the door panel:
 

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OK, decided to hook up one of the Infinity 6002i speakers and see what it sounded like.

First off a standard Honda speaker adapter available at Best Buy, Circuit City, Crutchfield, etc. will work just fine. No cutting of wires, etc.

Bad news... the hole in the door is not big enough for the Infinity to mount properly. Will have to use some kind of spacer... about 1/2" thick should do it. Then it will just be a matter of drilling holes in the door panel and shooting some screws. Not a big deal but it would have been nice for Honda to make the hole big enough for standard speakers.

Impedance matching. Forgot the check the impedance on the subwoofer yesterday, but will check the door speakers today. Will try and see how the tweeters are hooked up. Don't know if they are in parallel or series with the front door speakers.

More as I discover!
 

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When they say "xxx watts" on radios, it is almost never RMS, it's almost always peak ratings. This is same with aftermarket units, unless it explicitly says "RMS".
 

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Actually, the factory speakers aren't all that bad. They have a rubber surround, poly cone, and the magnet is tiny because there is a good chance it's a neo magnet. Neo meaning neodynium or neodymium, I always forget the spelling. Basically this is two much smaller high powered magnets that are stamped together with opposing poles. The outcome is a large power handling capability, but less weight from the smaller in size magnet. All new Infinity Kappa speakers, with exception to their subwoofers, are equiped with neo magnets. Kenwood used them in the past with their Dual Mags along with other big names in car audio. Now that I explained the tiny magnet, the stock speakers LOOK good, but sound mediocre at best. I will be changing to the Infinity Kappa Perfect 6 1/2", probably mount the x-overs inside the cab, and the speakers in their stock locations. Not sure about the back, still looking for a good tweeter location without too many mods. As far as RMS and peak wattage, most aftermarket companies are now rated with the same rating system. This is the CEA 2006 compliance rating as you may have already seen last year. They actually are starting to give true RMS wattage at 12.5V. FINALLY! And to think it only took them about 30 years. Any questions please ask.
 

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You're kind of whining about something you probably expected before you bought the truck. What did you expect, did you check out the speaks in the tacoma and frontier.
I'm sure you could figure out a decent hookup!
Let me know how the Infinity sounds after you hook them up.
I am personally done with running wire and etc. for new amps and setups. I can live with this system but will probably change out the speakers. :cool:
 

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I am actually looking to replace the entire speaker system with aftermarket speakers. I am not sure what brand yet but I am open to suggestions. I have three amps and two 12" subs waiting to go in but I need to build a new sealed sub enclosure that will fit under the back seat (I know it folds up for storage but I am willing to forego that convenience for the added bass of the subs. I will also need to bypass the exisiting subwoofer - anyone know where its installed yet?) I plan on running only 2 of the amps (one for the subs and one for the 6.5" door speakers) and the tweeters . I am also not sure how I am going to wire it all yet because the available space seems to keep getting less and less as the years go by. I figure three amps would be too much on the alternator and I dont feel like getting a better one.

But....my purpose for this message is to see if anyone has removed the stereo yet to see if it has RCA out's. I am hoping it does because I hate trying to wire in the adapters (trying to figure out which speaker wire goes where is a friggin pain in the a$$). FYI - I have the Ridgeline with the navigation system where the 6 disk changer is behind the nav screen. Does anyone know if the system has the pre-outs for the RCA's or am i stuck using the firggin adaptor?

Thanks - Shawn
 

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There's RMS and there's RMS. It could be RMS power at 1KHz and 5% distortion or it could be RMS power 20Hz-20KHz at .01% distorion at 12.5V, or anything in between.

If I remember the radio diagram correctly, there's only one set of "preouts" (L+R). I can check later, but I'd bet somebody will beat me to it.
 

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Thanks csimo for your diligence in your quest for better sound! I share your goal. The pictures are very informative. Being a musician and having done my share of CD mixes my ear is very tuned and it didn’t take a minute to hear that the stock system was lacking in fidelity. I knew this going in and planned to change out the speakers.
What size are these speakers in the doors?
Are the front and rear door speakers the same size?
Do the mounting brackets detach from the speakers?
If so, is there a chance that with some modification they could hold an aftermarket speaker?
Regarding your question of the tweeters in series or parallel with the door speakers…I would bet money that they are in parallel with a frequency limiting component across the tweeter.
Thanks again for all your information and pictures. It would be great if you could document the process for the rest of us when you complete (how to get the door panels off, what speakers fit etc.)
 

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If you want to check Crutchfield website they have information on the Ridgeline now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Measured the static impedance of the stock speaker at 3.5 ohms. An Infinity 6002i has static impedance of about 3.3 ohms so there's no problem there.

The tweeters are wired in parallel according to the service manual... results in a 2 ohm rating for the two front door speakers (4 ohms for the rear doors). May be better off to disconnect the tweeters and go with better door speakers.

There's definitely a clearance problem with the window down on the front doors (don't know about the back). I tried to measure and 2 1/2" mounting depth is about all you can get by with safely I think. This will severely limit the speaker selection.

I wasn't able to do any measurements on the door panels themselves. There may be problems there too since I will need at least a 1/2" spacer to mount the Infinity's.

As for the comment about the magnets being neo's. Not a chance. Rare earth magnets are very powerful for their size. The stock speaker magnets are very, very weak. Not hardly able to pick up a paper clip. A neo would be much stronger... unless there's maybe a chip of a neo magnet about the size of a pinhead in there. Either way the effective strength of the magnet is not much more than a refrigerator magnet.

I didn't expect Honda to put premium speakers in the Ridgeline, and I've seen thousands of OEM speakers over the years. These are some of the cheapest I've ever seen. I'd like to ask the engineer why they didn't just cut a standard round hole in the door and install a decent speaker? Instead they cut a strange shaped hole and filled it with an elaborate integrated speaker and plastic housing. The development and manufacturing costs for the integrated housing would seem to far outweigh the costs of just using a decent standard speaker. What I'm trying to get at is that the housing must cost many times more than the speaker itself. I guess they had a reason, but it sure escapes me!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
jch said:
What size are these speakers in the doors?
Are the front and rear door speakers the same size?
Do the mounting brackets detach from the speakers?
If so, is there a chance that with some modification they could hold an aftermarket speaker?
Regarding your question of the tweeters in series or parallel with the door speakers…I would bet money that they are in parallel with a frequency limiting component across the tweeter.
The door speakers are between 6 and 6 1/2".

All four door speakers are the same part number.

The mounting brackets and speakers are one in the same. Somebody spent a lot of time designing this and the speaker part wasn't nearly as important as the bracket!

No, you can not mount any other speaker in the OEM bracket.

Yes, the tweeters are in parallel on the front speakers only. No caps... the tweets are really just tiny full range speakers.

-Joe
 

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Being a repeat Honda buyer, I can attest to the fact that Honda has NEVER put high quality speakers in their vehicles. You have to step up to Acura and even then it can be questionable (anybody hear the stereo in the MDX- not great!).

Having said that, I guess it depends on where you're coming from. I always thought my wife's '04 Accord EXV6 had a decent stereo. The 160 (+/-) watt Ridgeline system blows away the Accord's system. Much improved bass response regardless of the so-called quality of the subwoofer. My complaint on the RL's stereo is that the dash-mounted tweeters are nearly "invisible" sonically.
 

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As snapshot stated earlier, Crutchfield now has options that fit. I checked there not two weeks ago and couldn't even select 2006. They're on the ball! Plus you can't beat the free wiring harness and drawings on the best way to remove and reinstall the door panels. There was no mention on a replacement bracket. I'll have to call to see how they have these being mounted, then research the speaker options.:cool:
 

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As for the comment about the magnets being neo's. Not a chance. Rare earth magnets are very powerful for their size. The stock speaker magnets are very, very weak. Not hardly able to pick up a paper clip. A neo would be much stronger... unless there's maybe a chip of a neo magnet about the size of a pinhead in there. Either way the effective strength of the magnet is not much more than a refrigerator magnet.

Cismo, they are "NEO's". They are shielded to concentrate the magnetic field to the area around the voice coil and to prevent stray fields picking up ferrous particles.
 

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OK...I'm going back to the basics here. Do you guys think it is worth the money to upgrade to better speakers without doing any other mods?? I have always upgraded my speakers and got a sound boost from just that. The Ridgeline factory speakers are not that horrible...in my ears that is.

thanks
 

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To respond to mayberidge's question. It is my opinion that the easiest and cheapest way to sonically improve you vehicles audio system is to replace the factory speakers with quality name-brand speakers. The main unit in the Ridgeline I’m sure is more than adequate to produce great sound, but is limited by the lack of frequency response, dynamic response of the factory speakers. Here’s a statement from Crutchfield that may help: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-yiiFXzAlYVg/cgi-bin/autoinfo/Speakers.asp?s=0&t=why&cc=01
I just need to determine which pair to try and I’ll let you know how the RL head unit can sound with name-brand speakers.
...and thanks for the scoop on the included brackets from Crutchfield!
 

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OK thanks. Crutchfield got back to me about instructions-here is what they say:


"I will be happy to help with your question on replacing the speakers in your 2006 Honda Ridgeline. The installation is fairly straightforward. The door panels need to come off, but a panel tool will make this easier:

http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?i=18187650 <http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?i=18187650>

However, you would need to drill new mounting holes since aftermarket speakers would not line up with the factory hole pattern. You would also need to use a bracket to install new speakers. We include this bracket free with the speaker purchase, along with wiring harnesses to make a quick connection to the factory wiring.

Regarding the installation instructions, we do not yet have them available for your vehicle. While we do have it databased, we have yet to put together one of our MasterSheets for it. The good news is that our technicians can still provide assistance by viewing our research file. Their number will be on your invoice.
 
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