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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to update the stereo in my RTL w/ MR + XM - No Navigation. I find the factory system does not sound good on the highs and the bass isn't as full as I'd like. I do not want a bone-crushing, bass thumpin', eardrum destroying system. I just want it to sound good - real good.

Here's my goal:
  • Add auxillary input for an MP3 player
  • Add DVD player with screen
  • Improve speakers (including subwoofer)
  • Improve XM display

My Plan:
  • Connect new amplifier to factory head unit
  • Replace 4 main factory speakers
  • Add aftermarket powered subwoofer
  • Add Kenwood DVD/MP3 player below existing factory unit (in the same place the Honda MP3 player gets installed)
  • Connect Kenwood unit through the "AUX" button on factory unit
  • connect existing XM tuner to new DVD/MP3 player

Here's my questions:
  • Can you access a preamp signal on the back of the factory unit or are the only signals available at speaker-level?
  • Where is the factory XM radio tuner located in the car?
  • Who makes the factory XM radio tuner? Does anyone now how to interface it to another system?
  • Has anyone used a JL Audio CleanSweep? Do you think it's required to make a factory head unit sound good through aftermarket speakers?
  • Has anyone installed an aftermarket, powered subwoofer in their RL? Any comments on either the Kenwood KSC-SW1 or the Infinity BassLink T?
  • Has anyone used the "PIE X3-HON03 2003-Up Honda T-Harness for X3" and the PIE X3 to get 3 Aux inputs into there RL (and keep your XM Radio)?
  • Is anyone willing to share the appropriate sections in the service manual that describe how the factory 6-disc changer is connected?

Quick notes:
  • I do not want a custom subwoofer enclosure. While they work great, I would like an easy install and I would prefer to keep the space under the back seat (but I am open to custom enclosure ideas)
  • I choose a Kenwood head unit because I like the user-interface; it allows you to play MP3 files stored on DVD-R (4.7 GB of music); it can display XM Radio; and it can provide me an aux input to use my other MP3 player
  • I could live with the factory XM radio, but I would like a better display that will show the station name, group, and song title all at the same time

268 Posts
  • You will not be able to connect the factory XM tuner to your new DVD/MP3 player. It uses Honda's connectors and bus protocols and won't talk to a Kenwood.
  • As far as I can tell there is no 'pre-amp' output on the stereo at all. (according to service manual documentation)
  • The factory XM tuner is behind the back seat, right side of the vehicle, behind a noise dampener.
  • The factory XM tuner is made by Pioneer. It will not interface into another system.
  • The factory 6-disc changer is an integral part of the factory stereo.
  • Good luck with the Kenwood. I have tried Kenwood several times and have always been very seriously disappointed with the quality and resistance to skipping.
  • If you replace the factory XM with your own, you will also have to replace the XM antenna, which requires removing the headliner... Quite a chore.
  • If you use the PIE X3-HON03 2003-Up Honda T-Harness for X3" and "PIE X3" essentially all you are doing is replacing the XM tuner's audio with the audio from whatever devices you have connected. I believe the head unit's display will still show XM info no matter which audio source you are actually hearing. You will press the XM button to access the DVD/MP3 audio if you go this route.
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