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Hi, I recently installed a Pioneer 4100NEX headunit in my 06 Ridgeline (RTL, no nav, no sub). Was watching a video on how to replace the speakers in the doors and it didn't look too bad, so thought I'd take a crack at that as well. (I like to tinker and learn new things as I go)

The video showed putting in Polk DB651s speakers using a SAHR6 mount...which seemed fine to me. But since my headunit is only powered to 14 RMS watt from what I was reading sounded like I needed an amp too. This is where it started to sound tricky to me. I know nothing about car speakers/amps/wiring, so wasn't sure what amp to get (2 channel, 4 channel, etc..), and some posts seemed to talk about needing to hook it up to the car battery? And then where do you put the amp? Does it just get tucked in behind the headunit somewhere?

Lastly, what about the wiring and the tweeters in the corner of the dash? Do they have their own wires, or are they somehow split with the front door speakers (read something about crossover? really confused me). If I should replace the tweeters which ones should I order and what parts do I need to install?

I'm a married man in my 30's not looking to setup some huge system and rock the neighborhood...just want something that sounds nice and a step up from the stock. Sure would appreciate any advice, suggestions on pieces to buy and how to wire stuff. Thanks for the help! -Brian
 

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Hey Bholt2,
I am also a car audio noob so ill just give you my perspective and take it for what its worth.
i have a poineer avh x2700bh sitting on my floor begging to be installed this weekend so youve got that on me.
i do however have aftermarket speakers in my doors and tweeters in my dash that i LOVE.

i elected to go with low rms speakers for my doors so i wouldnt need a 4chan amp right now. the kenwoods are so cheap that if down the road i wanted to go higher-end i wouldnt feel like i cheated myself. i have Kenwood KFC-1665S 6.5inch speakers in all 4 doors. they needed a bracket and a wiring harness to connect to the honda wire. they also needed me to drill into the door to get the bracket fit well... this was not hard and i just used some self-drilling screws and it was 10 minutes of work for each speaker.

if you use crutchfield for your speakers, they send you install instructions, the brackets and wire harnesses for free... i very much advise this as it takes all the brain power out of the equation.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_1131665S/Kenwood-KFC-1665S.html?tp=95
$80 to upgrade all your speakers is great.

tweeters:
i cant say enough about my Cadence Acoustics tweeters.
http://amzn.com/B003PJ6TCQ
they are amazing upgrades over oem and are super cheap at $16. installing them was ultra simple. i popped the grills off, cut the old tweeters out and spliced the new tweeters into their respective wires. it was not difficult and did not take long. the CA tweeters fit up to the oem grills easily and i think i used some 3M or electrical tape to secure them.
nothing to it.

so the most important thing, and what i just finished in my doors is sound deadening.
i used butyl sound dampener (Dynamat) and some closed-cell foam on the edges of my door panels. do the outer doors and the inner panels. the difference is great.
there is a lot of info here about sound deadening as well as a ton more on youtube, just search sound deadening or dynamat, fatmat, noico or whatever.
also, another cheap thing i got that i would suggest is speakers baffles. they add almost zero time to your install and add a little extra sound.

i hope this helped. if you want to go higher and add the 4chan amp to power higher rms speakers i dont blame you im just not there yet.
also, everything i know about this stuff is from either lurking or asking questions on this forum so keep looking and youll find your answers.

cheers

Edit:
there is a bounty of info in my thread here: it is mostly over sub/amp stuff though so.
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120441
 

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Do yourself a favor and do the tweeters first. Several related topics on this forum. It is a good way to get your feet wet without pulling the doors apart and I think you will find the results will be amazing.

I installed the same speakers you are thinking about in the front doors (front only) after I did the tweeters (about 3 months after). Again a good upgrade. The OEM head unit with factory sub drives this entire combo just fine. It wont win any sound contest but it is more than adequate for me using the iPhone for AUX input.

One problem you may run into is if you have rear passengers. The rear sound will go totally muddy if you do the all the work just in front. Good in front, rear not so much. Not sure of the interplay you will have since you now have no sub.
 

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If you have an 06 RTL, you most certainly do have a factory subwoofer. You'll likely be dissatisfied with the amount of low-end that the door speakers will produce. You're basically going to be missing everything below 80hz. You may want to think about adding a subwoofer and amp if you're searching for more bass output. Adding a powered Bazooka tube behind the driver's side rear seat seems to be the easiest and best way to achieve this if you're green in the ways of mobile audio.

I would also highly recommend you swap out the tweeters first before you get into changing the door speakers. The highs will be much more crisp as it seems the factory tweeters do next to nothing. Most component tweeter sets will come with a small passive crossover wired in-line. This can range from a simple resistor to a small plastic box housing some electronics. This acts as a crossover in that it blocks the lower frequencies from getting to the tweeter (since it cannot produce those sounds anyways) and allows it to function much better and more efficiently. There are several threads on here dedicated to this swap. You can do it in a short amount of time and for only about $30. Start there.

There is also the factor of tuning from within the head unit you've just installed. If you don't know what you're doing with it, take it to someone who does. Simple tuning is often all that is needed to get satisfactory sound quality from the speakers rather than replacing them in search of better sound. You do not NEED an amplifier to run the door speakers. I am running my front components and rear door speakers off of the internal chip amp from my Pioneer AVH-P4400 and also have a shallow 10" sub and amp behind the rear seat. I have it tuned to the point where I'm satisfied with it. The key is to progressively add things in order of expense and installation difficulty until you're satisfied with the sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help everyone. Now for my next noob problem... So I ended up adding the polk 651s speakers to all for doors, and the infinity 1031t tweeters with their cross-overs in place of the oem tweeters. I also added the alpine 445u amp behind the pioneer 4100nex headunit. All went well except the tweeters sound awful. They are very distorted and even make a hissing noise when no music is playing. When I put the factory tweeters back on everything sounds fine. The oem tweeters can't be better can they? Not sure if it has something to do with the crossovers that came with the infinity tweeters, or I read that the amp has crossover settings that can be changed (right now set to 120 stock), or the gain nobs on the amp (have both at half-way now, was just a guess). Or even on the pioneer their is a settings menu option for crossover and hpf on/off. As you can tell i know nothing about gains, crossovers, amps settings, etc....so would appreciate any help on why the tweeters sound so bad. Thanks again for all the help, Brian
 

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So, I am not familiar with your tweeters or amp.
With that said, first thing that comes to mind is if you wired the tweeter in reverse. Did you try reversing the polarity?
 

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Miley, FYI: reversed polarity on mid and high frequency speakers *never* results in audile distortion. There may be a slight perception of "hollow" sound but never what one would perceive as distortion.

On the other hand, left to right reversed polarity on mid and sub woofs can definitely result in reduced (very hollow) frequency reproduction - which is immediately audible. But just like hi freq speaker, revered polarity in mid/sub woofers never results in "distortion".

Bholt2, Your description: "hissing" and "terrible distortion" seems related to how they are connected to your amp. In your original post, you asked about factory wiring to the dash/tweeter location. FYI: they are wired in parallel with the wires to the doors. The filters your tweeters came with should either be connected between the wires terminated under the dash grills OR have new wires running directly to the amp they are connected to.

Can you describe how the tweeters are connected? Are they connected to the Pioneer or the Alpine? Where is the filter (crossover) in relation to the amp connection and the tweeter?
 

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I have the same hissing after adding the 1031t tweeters. I have 6032Si in the doors all running off of an Alpine HU. No hissing before the new tweeters.
 

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I have the same hissing after adding the 1031t tweeters. I have 6032Si in the doors all running off of an Alpine HU. No hissing before the new tweeters.
Provided everything is wired correctly, your Alpine *should be* nice and quiet.

Is the hiss constant or does it vary up/down with volume?

Is it present w/volume all the way down?

When adjusting balance fully L or R, do the tweeters track with the door speakers?
 

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I get the hiss even with the volume at 0 or when I pause the CD. It might increase some with more volume but hard to tell as the music kicks in. The tweeters seem to be picking up white noise from the HU but I'm not sure why. I'm sure they are more sensitive than stock...

There has been talk about impedance in the 15 minute upgrade thread but I don't know enough about it. The 1031t are 2 ohm and my 6032Si are either 2 or 4, seen both in the online manual but need to verify. I'd hate to have to buy another set but maybe the Cadence, which are 4 ohm I think.
 

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I get the hiss even with the volume at 0 or when I pause the CD. It might increase some with more volume but hard to tell as the music kicks in. The tweeters seem to be picking up white noise from the HU but I'm not sure why. I'm sure they are more sensitive than stock...

There has been talk about impedance in the 15 minute upgrade thread but I don't know enough about it. The 1031t are 2 ohm and my 6032Si are either 2 or 4, seen both in the online manual but need to verify. I'd hate to have to buy another set but maybe the Cadence, which are 4 ohm I think.
I would think the impedance is too low and that's where the hissing it coming from. If you have 2 ohm door speakers and 2 ohm tweeters wired in parallel to those door speakers, you're going to get a lot of noise coming through.

What I'd recommend doing is finding ANY set of 4 ohm tweeters. If you have a pair from a old set of speakers, great. If not, you can get an extremely cheap pair from Walmart. Connect them temporarily and see if you get the same hissing sound. If it lessens or goes away, you'll know it was the tweeters. You can then simply repackage and return the cheap set of tweeters and buy a decent pair of 4 ohm ones such as the Cadence set you mentioned.
 

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I get the hiss even with the volume at 0 or when I pause the CD. It might increase some with more volume but hard to tell as the music kicks in. The tweeters seem to be picking up white noise from the HU but I'm not sure why. I'm sure they are more sensitive than stock...

There has been talk about impedance in the 15 minute upgrade thread but I don't know enough about it. The 1031t are 2 ohm and my 6032Si are either 2 or 4, seen both in the online manual but need to verify. I'd hate to have to buy another set but maybe the Cadence, which are 4 ohm I think.
There's a lot of bad information around - originating from established name brands and "respected" on-line retailers. As an example, information on your speakers from a “respected” web site:

"Important Note: These Infinity Reference speakers use a low impedance design to pull more power safely from your car stereo or amplifier. This design is compatible with virtually all factory and aftermarket stereos."

For a tech-ey, this sentence is horrifying. No speaker design anywhere in existence "pulls power" from an amplifier. Period. Speakers present a load to an amplifier - and - as a listener increases volume, speakers react to voltage delivered to them by an amplifier. The "force" (current) behind that voltage is a function of speaker impedance (ohms). Impedance/ohms/resistance are interchangeable terms these discussions. The point is this: if speaker impedance is "too low", an amp will (try) to flow current beyond its capabilities - which results in ever increasing distortion and eventual "frying" as output transformers overheat - causing permanent damage.

Without knowing a little more about how things are wired in your system, it is doubtful your Alpine's amp is "self hissing" due to low termination impedance (ohms).

The reason questions were asked about what happens when balancing full L or R: there may be a wiring issue. *Most* self powered head units employ class D amplifiers designed to squeeze a bunch of power from small circuit components – which are very efficient when demanding current from a vehicle electrical system. Class D amps can be very finicky about the relationship of R & L positive / R & L negative speaker connections. You don’t want these to be crossed up.

Regardless of OEM, most internal amps are "cheap" in the sense they rely on the load at their output to be configured carefully. What I'm talking about here is R +/- & L +/-. Crossing the L & R negatives in relation to positives is very bad and can cause unexpected behavior – like the hiss you are describing.

Note: this is not about speaker "phase". Phase is different than ensuring negative speaker connections aren't crossed in relation to R & L positives. Does that make sense?

SO... without pulling the dash out to visually inspect connections: an easy way to tell if L/R pos/negs are in sync, fade full front, then balance full L followed by full R. [

U]IF[/U] the tweeters track with door speakers AND you don't hear weird effects as sounds moves from R to L - chances are tweets are properly connected. While experimenting with fade & balance, also run volume full down at various times to see if hiss changes as R/L balance changes.

If wiring looks good, consider this: the hiss may have always been there - but you are just now noticing it only because the new tweets are up high bringing the noise to your attention. You might want to try this: Disconnect the tweets. Power the system up, get your ear close to the door speakers. Hear the noise? If so, the HU might have a prob.

Suggestions for troubleshooting so far are in avoidance of popping the dash off. Even if adjustments seem normal, you may want to do a sanity check and visually confirm connections are correct according to the Alpine manual.

Best of luck
 

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First, thanks both for taking time to read my post and provide great insight, well beyond what I know.

Now, for the good, bad and ugly. I think the new tweeters are fine - good. The hissing was probably there when I had the stock tweeters - bad. It's probably the HU that is causing the hiss - ugly.

Why do I think that? The wiring is original and the R/L/fade test checks out. I disconnected the tweeters and the hiss is less but still present when I put my ear to the doors, all 4 and no volume. The new tweeters pick up the hiss more and right at ear level.

I'm disappointed with the Alpine HU if that's where the fault is. I've had it for 3+ years so I don't know if it still has some kind of warranty left. If I bought an amp for my system, would that take care of it? A little more juice wouldn't hurt. I don't think the HU would pass the hiss through the amp.
 

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First, thanks both for taking time to read my post and provide great insight, well beyond what I know.

Now, for the good, bad and ugly. I think the new tweeters are fine - good. The hissing was probably there when I had the stock tweeters - bad. It's probably the HU that is causing the hiss - ugly.

Why do I think that? The wiring is original and the R/L/fade test checks out. I disconnected the tweeters and the hiss is less but still present when I put my ear to the doors, all 4 and no volume. The new tweeters pick up the hiss more and right at ear level.

I'm disappointed with the Alpine HU if that's where the fault is. I've had it for 3+ years so I don't know if it still has some kind of warranty left. If I bought an amp for my system, would that take care of it? A little more juice wouldn't hurt. I don't think the HU would pass the hiss through the amp.
Sorry to hear that Mr. S.

On using an external amp as a solution: it's a roll of the dice. Depends on the source of the noise. It could be originating in the amplification chain in the pre stage or in the amp itself. You'll only know which by connecting an amp.

You *could* think of this as an opportunity. Meaning: purchasing a nice little amp might solve the problem. If it does - you're done.

If it doesn't - and a new HU is in your future - the new amp could be used with the new HU to power front channels - or maybe a small sub.

Just a thought.

In the interest of avoiding boredom, I'll refrain from story telling about experience chasing this kind of thing so.... since you are willing to solve this issue, I'd still recommend a sanity check. Invest an hour, pop that HU out, trace connections to ensure no wiring wonkiness. Cheap/fast insurance before taking next steps.

Best of luck
 

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I'd still recommend a sanity check. Invest an hour, pop that HU out, trace connections to ensure no wiring wonkiness. Cheap/fast insurance before taking next steps.

Best of luck
If you're willing to do that, you'll already have the dash off. Hook up a small, cheap amp to the front RCA outputs of the head unit (run simple power, ground and turn-on wires) and pull one of your door speakers. Connect the door speaker temporarily to the amp speaker outputs and turn on the system. Try the balance/fader check once again. If you hear the hiss from the door speaker that is still installed and running off of the chip amp in the head unit, but not from the speaker that is connected to the amp, you'll know that the chip amp is the culprit. You can fix the issue by then investing in a quality 4 channel amp and connecting all of your door speakers to it. The other option would be to use that same 4 channel amp to power only the front component speakers and bridge the rear two channels for a sub. As OhSix said, best of luck!
 

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Good thoughts. I could plug the stock HU back in (gasp) and see what the speakers sound like? I did a harness so that I could go back to stock if needed. The harness wires were all color coded so any do's/don't other than connections? I do have a module spliced in to allow for address changes with the nav on the fly but that is basically a 5 sec ground I think during start up. Probably another variable...
 
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