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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replaced the rear speakers in my RTL-E. I was surprised that the upper trim levels did not come with a "premium," brand name sound system. My goal was to fix the poor audio quality when using usb/iPod inputs at low volumes, so I wanted to go with something with a higher sensitivity levels. As far as I can tell the factory speakers are Panasonic brand. I settled on Infinity Reference REF-6522ex for the rear and Infinity Reference REF-6520cx for the front, though Amazon has twice now sent me last year's model (REF-6500cx), so the front will have to wait. The upgrade was not as drastic as I had hoped, but was worthwhile. The audio response from USB inputs has improved and the overall signal is more detailed, especially in the mid-frequencies.

1. To take the door off, you need to remove two screws behind the door lever trim and one screw underneath the door handle trim. Use a small flathead screwdriver to gently press down on the tab on the door lever trim and to pry up the door handle trim and then remove the screws with a phillips head screwdriver.

2. Use a large trim removal tool to pry the door panel off from the bottom, (releasing several clips) and then lift the door slightly to remove it.

3. Pull the door handle off and through the back side of the door panel.

4. To remove the window control wiring harness, slide the black wire tie/clip out and then press the gray tab on the harness and pull it from the plug.

5. Use a philips head screwdriver to remove the screw from the top of the speaker bracket and then pull the speaker out.

6.Squeeze the sides of the gray clip to release the harness from the speaker. You can use the speaker magnet to stick speaker to the door to free up both of your hands.

7. If you have want to keep everything factory and make no alterations, you will need Metra 72-7800 speaker wiring harnesses and American International HSB524 speaker brackets. If you do not mind a little wire cutting/splicing you can connect the wires directly to your replacement speakers. It also appears that some shallow door speakers may be mounted directly to the door without interfering with the window, if you don't mind drilling some new holes.

8. I used some 118mil closed cell foam around the speaker mounting bracket and on the exposed door panel to help deaden the sound, prevent vibrations, and cut back on resonant frequencies.

9. Mount the speaker to the bracket using the supplied short screws and then attached the leads from the Metra harness to the replacement speaker.

10. Connect the Metra Harness to the factory speaker wiring plug, insert the lower tabs on the speaker bracket into their respective holes in the door and then use your philips head screwdriver to screw the bracket to the door. Use the screw supplied with the brackets, as it works better than the factory screw.

11. Cutting off the back of the factory speaker grill was not required in my particular application, as was reported on some other threads and websites. Reattach the door by reversing the process to remove it used in steps 1-4 above, and make sure to check your window, lock, and door handle for proper operation before buttoning everything up.

Check out the pdf below for pictures of the process. I hope this was helpful, but obviously I am not endorsing any particular company or products here, nor am I responsible for any damage you cause your vehicle.
 

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Thanks for the write up! I've been digging into this, trying to determine bang-for-the-buck upgrade to the audio system. I think the BE and RTL-E systems are actually pretty decent with the better Panasonic speakers. Based on what I've been reading here and in Pilot forums, I'm not sure replacing the speakers is worth it unless you're going to add an amp.

I used your instructions and pulled the rear panel, and while I didn't get out the measuring tape, it does look like we have plenty of room even with the window down, there's room for normal depth speakers. I noted the external Door skin could use some dynamat, but was otherwise impressed with the quality of the weather barrier and extra foam pieces around the door panel to help reduce vibrations.

I think I'll leave it be for this year, and when it comes time to do anything I'll do the whole thing:

Dynamat all doors
Install amp AudioControl LC-6.1200
Install front speakers Polk DB6501 or Kappa 60.11cs
Install rear speakers Polk DB652 or Kappa 62.11i
Sub upgrade later if needed

If you decide to amp your infinity reference speakers, please update and let us know how much better it is/isn't. I've ran Kappas before and they're damned good, but need the power pushed to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HazzMattPDX - For what it's worth, I did end up replacing the front speakers in my RTL-E with the Infinity REF-6500cx. This was a DRASTIC difference in both clarity and frequency response. I definitely think it is a worthwhile upgrade, even for RTL-E and Black editions. I didn't post a thread because it was similar process to the thread that user fvg already posted (though there are a few differences, for sure). I took pictures of the process so if anyone ends up interested I can always start a new thread. I also replaced the center dash speaker with Infinity REF-3022cfx and have pics/details on that, as well, if anyone ends up being interested. I will probably not replace the factory amp under the passenger size dash, as I'm pleased with the new soundstage and also think they're plenty loud.

I would agree that there may be room in both the front and rear doors for standard depth 6.5/6.75 speakers.
 

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Thanks for that update Carnes! That is surprising. Did you use the infinity crossover, or just stay with the stock filtered setup from the factory amp? Did you do any additional sound dampening work during the process?
 

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HazzMattPDX - For what it's worth, I did end up replacing the front speakers in my RTL-E with the Infinity REF-6500cx. This was a DRASTIC difference in both clarity and frequency response. I definitely think it is a worthwhile upgrade, even for RTL-E and Black editions. I didn't post a thread because it was similar process to the thread that user fvg already posted (though there are a few differences, for sure). I took pictures of the process so if anyone ends up interested I can always start a new thread. I also replaced the center dash speaker with Infinity REF-3022cfx and have pics/details on that, as well, if anyone ends up being interested. I will probably not replace the factory amp under the passenger size dash, as I'm pleased with the new soundstage and also think they're plenty loud.

I would agree that there may be room in both the front and rear doors for standard depth 6.5/6.75 speakers.
Everything i found about those Infinity speakers shows a crossover and tweeters. Did you leave the OEM tweeters? Did you use the crossover?
 

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I went with the Polk's front and back and it made a huge difference, far more then I expected! To me it's day and night, no amp, just the speakers. I have the RTL-T and put the crossovers in the doors, then ran a new wire back to the tweaters installed in the factory location. I used 23 Norco sheets, and the Polk separates show just how bad the stock speakers are, I can't believe how much I was not hearing. I highly recommend this upgrade, it makes all the difference.
 

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Yes, $300 bucks can go a long way in performance simply by changing the factory speakers + some Noico sound deadener- the Polks seem to universally get good reviews too. If you can manage it, go with the JL Audio microsub- totally worth it! The powered 8" one fits perfectly under the little seat in the rear, and packs enough power for most listeners. The unpowered 10" may fit too, but then of course, needs an amplifier that can just as easily fit under the front passenger seat- that setup will surely cost a bit more, but will take it up a notch further.
 

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Thanks for this. I wonder how they would sound being pushed from the OEM 5" HU from an RTL.

Did the front Tweeters end up having to be surface mounted in the pillars?
Hey Border,

I did this on my RTL, at first I kept the original 5" HU, and replacing the front speakers and tweeters crossover, improved the sound, but not as much as when I replaced the head unit, mind blown, it sounds so much better. I didn't know what I was doing, but I followed many peoples advice and suggestions on here and it has paid off.

I have now installed my entire system, Kenwood HU, Front w/ tweeters, back coaxial, and replaced sub, put in the original plastic container and stuffed polyfil in there, put an amp under the seat and it has really turned out to be well worth it, I love it. I also used the Noico sound deadening material and feel like it works great.
 

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Just finished putting in the Polk DB652s in the Rear Doors. Added the Noico to the panels too. Huge difference in the quality and clarity. I have been a big Polk fan for a long time and had to have the upgrade over the factory issue. Not much time involved getting the door panels off, replacing the hardware as others have listed (Metra + brackets + foam + speakers), trimming the OEM speaker baffle on the trim panel (used a box-cutter and left about 3/8" of room between the honeycomb pattern and the top of the rim), re-attach doors. The biggest time consuming item is the Noico as it requires measuring, cutting, pressing, rolling and the filling in of the odd spots.

Well worth the time to make it all happen as the improvement is fantastic. Now, will attack the front doors + tweeters with the Polk DB6501s when I have more time.

What is the preferred/proper way to install the replacement tweeters? I have never done those before and have never had to install crossovers. So, I expect that job to take a lot longer due to the learning curve.

Any advice is welcomed and appreciated.
 

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Hey Ridge, congrats on the upgrade. Was there a reason you trimmed the baffle from the door panel? (I didn't do any trimming on mine and it all went back together nicely)

Regarding the front speakers, if you have one of the higher model trucks where Honda is using a dedicated tweeter output, then it gets tricky. You can see my post about it over here: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/...l-e-speaker-upgrade-considerations-notes.html

Otherwise just take the door wires into the xover, and the woofer output to the door speaker and the tweeter output wires back through the door and up to the pillar. Keep the crossovers inside the weather barrier as they will get damaged from moisture if you put them in the outer part of the doors. I think @donkey just did his Polk install last month on the 5" stereo and may have other tips.

This is a good thread specific to the front door speakers: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/...avigation/166930-replaced-front-speakers.html
 

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Regarding the trimming of the factory baffle: When I went to dry fit the new setup, the door panel would NOT sit flush as that baffle pushed on the Polk. Now, I did not specifically say before that I chose NOT to use the Polk bracket and instead used the aftermarket one that is a direct fit (has the 1 screw hole at the top and the 2 notched hooks on the bottom). However, it is twice as thick as the Polks so that may be the difference for me.

I will check out the other posts on the subject and sketch the entire process out before I take things apart.
 

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Regarding the trimming of the factory baffle: When I went to dry fit the new setup, the door panel would NOT sit flush as that baffle pushed on the Polk. Now, I did not specifically say before that I chose NOT to use the Polk bracket and instead used the aftermarket one that is a direct fit (has the 1 screw hole at the top and the 2 notched hooks on the bottom). However, it is twice as thick as the Polks so that may be the difference for me.

I will check out the other posts on the subject and sketch the entire process out before I take things apart.
Hey Ridge, mine seemed to fit just fine without trimming (rear Polk speakers), I will have to go back and make sure it is not pushing on the speaker. Installing the front is fairly straight forward. I think HazzMatt posted some pictures of where to mount the crossover, I followed that and it worked great. I put Noico down in the spot first, then firmly rolled it to make sure it was on there good, then I hot glued the crossover to the noico for easier removal if needed. Not sure if this is a good idea, but I tested it to make sure it would not come off easily and it is on there really good. I used a clothes hanger and WD-40 to run the wire through the door where I met the crossover wire that I ran down from the A-trim... If you get a snake, it should work a lot better than a clothes hanger, if I did it differently, I would have done that, it took longer to run the wire through the door for me, than anything else... :p It was all a learning experience.
 

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I did get the Polk fronts installed and applied plenty of Noico to keep things directed and deadened. Ran out of time to tackle the tweeters so I will go with the db6501s for now. What an awesome upgrade even with the stock head unit in the RTL. I listened to quite a few Beatles tunes yesterday while driving and the reproduction is great. I am so familiar with those songs as I had previously tweaked my 2007 Honda Accord with Polks and got used to a level of cleanness in the music. THAT has returned and sounds even better now as I had not used the db6501s before.

I did trim the speaker grills on these too. By the way, get yourself a good box cutter with a new blade to make that job easy without the mess of the Dremel cutting. The trick is applying the proper amount of pressure to the cylinder without snagging. I tried it with an exacto knife but that was a pain as I could not push hard enough without snapping off a blade.'

I'll give it some time before I replace the tweeters and get the crossovers in place. I need a baseline to go by. Too bad that stock head unit doesn't have a decent equalizer in there to mess with.
 

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For those with the RTL-E... how do you replace the tweeters in the front A pillars?

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
Check out the below 2 threads for details. Main trick with BE or RTL-E is to use an inline crossover for the tweeters, since they run on a dedicated line from the amp. (RTL-T just splits the tweeter line of at the front door speakers, so those are easier for xover arrangements).

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/...l-e-speaker-upgrade-considerations-notes.html

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/...avigation/166930-replaced-front-speakers.html
 

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Was there any issues with replacing the center speaker with the Infinity reference 6500cx? I heard those were 4 ohm speakers and the factory system is 2 ohms, so you would lose some sound volume. Sounds good to you?

HazzMattPDX - For what it's worth, I did end up replacing the front speakers in my RTL-E with the Infinity REF-6500cx. This was a DRASTIC difference in both clarity and frequency response. I definitely think it is a worthwhile upgrade, even for RTL-E and Black editions. I didn't post a thread because it was similar process to the thread that user fvg already posted (though there are a few differences, for sure). I took pictures of the process so if anyone ends up interested I can always start a new thread. I also replaced the center dash speaker with Infinity REF-3022cfx and have pics/details on that, as well, if anyone ends up being interested. I will probably not replace the factory amp under the passenger size dash, as I'm pleased with the new soundstage and also think they're plenty loud.

I would agree that there may be room in both the front and rear doors for standard depth 6.5/6.75 speakers.
 
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