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I don't know whether you meant to, @eurban, but I think you just agreed with my point. (-:

More than once have I done like you and changed speakers, added speakers, and added external amplification while retaining the stock HU. That was frequently, I'd say generally, the best balance of components. It cost me WAY more than a complete set of factory components did or would, and that was how much money and time it took to make a useful improvement, before replacing the HU itself (which always decreased radio performance). The factory puts more into their systems than they often get credit for.

Yeah, I was happy with the factory system but I do need a hu with modern communication/navigation more than I need better sound. I am curious to hear it after I get the sub up and running again. [/QUOTE]

I'm interested to hear how you like it then, too!
 

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I don't know whether you meant to, @eurban, but I think you just agreed with my point. (-:

More than once have I done like you and changed speakers, added speakers, and added external amplification while retaining the stock HU. That was frequently, I'd say generally, the best balance of components. It cost me WAY more than a complete set of factory components did or would, and that was how much money and time it took to make a useful improvement, before replacing the HU itself (which always decreased radio performance). The factory puts more into their systems than they often get credit for.

Yeah, I was happy with the factory system but I do need a hu with modern communication/navigation more than I need better sound. I am curious to hear it after I get the sub up and running again.
I kept the head unit not for sound quality but because I am shallow and I dislike the way the modern 7inch double DIN head units look in the larger space left behind by the stock radio. I also kind of the like the truckiness of the OEM radio and how it matches the rest of the dash components.
That said I can promise you, my system would sound better with an a quality aftermarket head unit and a bit of tuning. . . .
With cabin fever still upon me I have been considering buying an one of the larger Pioneer Nex units (8inch or 9inch remote screen) that could potentially be better integrated into the space. If I do that I would likely continue to lighten my wallet with upgrading my front components to to something tasty but stupidly expensive, install an outboard DSP unit and probably a 6 channel amp to run everything but a powered Sub in the stock location (My Sport didn't come with a stock sub and I a not running one now) That's going to cost some serious money and a lot of time so kind of hard to justify when I am being rational. . .
 

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2013 Honda Ridgeline
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Aftermarket head units tend to NOT run factory subs ...and a 2.5ohm load on the head unit is probably a terrible idea.

Best way forward would be to buy a super cheap amp with RCA inputs and run the factory sub off of the cheap amp. The Sony radio will likely have some crossover and volume controls for the sub when connected in this manner. Sub frequencies do not really require all that much sound quality, so you can probably get away with a cheapie.

The dash is a cavern, so if you get a small class d amp you can probably mount it on/near the radio.

In my experience the factory speakers sounded pretty good on an aftermarket head unit. I did not end up replacing them for a few years. Granted when I did my after market speakers sound a whole lot better. Make sure to adjust your eq/crossover points in your head until you get a good sound.

It's possible your factory speakers have deteriorated. If you ever pull them out you will notice that they are pretty much junk.

Factory stereo system do not sound great. I think the goal is good enough at the least possible weight. When you look at your door speakers you will realize they did not spend too much time designing the sound system in the RL... the same cheap speaker is in a lot of other models.

These days I am running some CDT biaxles in the front doors with the factory tweeters in the dash and midbass speakers only in the back doors off an old Pioneer head unit. It sounds amazing! (In the world of vehicle sound quality you really shouldn't have tweeters in the back)

Something that will make a huge difference is sound deadening your outer door skin, you're inner door structure, adding foam behind your speakers, and putting a foam ring in between your door structure and the door panel. No matter what speakers you are running you're mind will be blown. Materials are not too expensive but it will take a weekend worth of work to do the job right.
 

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I just got the Xav-ax8000 and kept my factory speakers. It sounds awful. I feel like it sounds more muffled than the factory radio. These Sony headunits are overkill for the factory speakers. I’m planning on to replacing them all soon
I have been thinking about upgrading to that HU! It looks N I C E!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I just got the Xav-ax8000 and kept my factory speakers. It sounds awful. I feel like it sounds more muffled than the factory radio. These Sony headunits are overkill for the factory speakers. I’m planning on to replacing them all soon
Try reversing the wiring, @eurban was correct. See below:

So, I finally got everything working how I had hoped it would and my problem all along was that the factory wiring diagrams and Metra harness are incorrect for my vehicle. Early on @eurban suggested a polarity problem and I know that the hollow, weak sound lacking range is a symptom of a polarity issue, so I checked and re-checked my wiring to make sure it matched my diagram. I may be getting old but my eyes can still match colors and spot black stripes running down wires. :D It took the polarity checker app telling me that my speakers were out of phase for me to think my diagram could be wrong.

After reversing all of my wiring (negative to positive) I turned everything on and had my factory system back better than I remembered, probably due to the additional power and EQ. Now that everything is working well, I am very happy with the AX7000, though the AX5000 + small amp for sub may be a better value if you are interested in a Sony unit and do not plan to replace the speakers.
 
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