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2021 Ridgeline Sport
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read through old posts and it seems like a few of you have added a stand alone sound processor to your audio systems. I was looking for feedback or updates on what has worked and more importantly what hasn't worked very well.

I recently upgraded my subwoofer and all door speakers. I have the treble all the way down and the highs are still just blaring and giving me headaches. I'm thinking the next step might be a sound processor to get rid of the factory tuning which apparently is set for maximum treble regardless of the head unit.

I'm considering the following DSPs.
- JL Audio Fix-86
- AudioControl DQDX
- Rockford Fosgate DSR1
- Kicker Key400.2 (although an old post seemed to not recommend this)

Any feedback would be apprecaited. I don't want to waste another $500 on this sh*tty audio system unless I can get it to sound good.

Thanks all!
 

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I am also considering a JL Fix 86 or jbl dsp4086. The benefit i see with the Fix 86 (8 input channels) is that you can buy an external master volume knob. With the issues we have on our 2021 you could leave your stock radio at say volume 15 and only control the volume using the master knob from the JL unit. The downside about it is that its expensive to add this dsp ($420) + another 5 channel amp(Skar 5 channel class D $180) which you will then need a set of passive crossovers or component set of front speakers that come with a passive crossover.

The JBL DSP4086 has it all built in, including 8 channel output for $400. You wont even need a passive crossover for this for your front speakers. This unit does not have a master volume knob, only a bass knob. Right now this is the setup I'm leaning towards. It should have plenty of power to drive the 7 channels in the RL sport/rtl system. Crutchfield has a 60 day satisfaction guarantee. I also am working out details on my own t-harness so that i don't disturb factory wiring. Here is the only video i could find on youtube about it. Its a new unit, but the features look very good


btw the rockford unit you listed won't work for us as it needs a maestro unit which isn't made for our car. the Audio control DQDX only takes rca inputs and not line level inputs so that won't work. The kicker key you have listed is mistyped. its a 200.4. It does not have enough high level inputs. We have 7 including the subwoofer. You will want to grab the front tweeters and woofers separately as they have crossovers in the amp and then the rears and maybe the subwoofer. I've read that once you grab the front and rear you should have full frequency at that point so maybe pulling in the sub as an input is uncessary, thus my thinking on the JBL DSP4086 unit.
 

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On Order: 2021 Ridgeline EX-L
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I have not received my 2021 yet, but after much research I have purchased the FiX 86. The nice thing about it is it performs the correction automatically. If you use another DSP, you will have much more tuning capability, but you will likely need an oscilloscope to correct your signal from your head unit.

Remember that the Fix needs to output to an aftermarket amp.
 

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I have not received my 2021 yet, but after much research I have purchased the FiX 86. The nice thing about it is it performs the correction automatically. If you use another DSP, you will have much more tuning capability, but you will likely need an oscilloscope to correct your signal from your head unit.

Remember that the Fix needs to output to an aftermarket amp.

From my understanding the fix has no tuning mic. Do you know what it does in this auto tune mode?
 

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From my understanding the fix has no tuning mic. Do you know what it does in this auto tune mode?
I don’t know the technical details but it’s onboard circuitry analysis the incoming signal of a specific calibration track for time delay between channels, frequency attenuation and corrects the signal to a relatively flat output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just got back from the Car Audio joint. The technician spend nearly an hour with me listening to my issues and providing as many possible solutions as possible. It all boiled down to there's no point with a stand alone DSP when amps with integrated DSP are very similar in price. The Fix86 is a nice unit, but still needs an amp. The Kicker Key won't work due to it only being 4 channels input.

The technician recommended the AudioControl D-4.800 or the JL VX. The JL was too expensive and they wanted $850 to install and tune the D-4.800 plus the $700 for the amp. I can't justify the price.

I'm thinking I might try the JBL DSP4086 is the way to go. I know I can install it, I just didn't want to get that involved.

Too bad $40k can't even get me an average sounding stereo from Honda.
 

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I just got back from the Car Audio joint. The technician spend nearly an hour with me listening to my issues and providing as many possible solutions as possible. It all boiled down to there's no point with a stand alone DSP when amps with integrated DSP are very similar in price. The Fix86 is a nice unit, but still needs an amp. The Kicker Key won't work due to it only being 4 channels input.

The technician recommended the AudioControl D-4.800 or the JL VX. The JL was too expensive and they wanted $850 to install and tune the D-4.800 plus the $700 for the amp. I can't justify the price.

I'm thinking I might try the JBL DSP4086 is the way to go. I know I can install it, I just didn't want to get that involved.

Too bad $40k can't even get me an average sounding stereo from Honda.

i dont think the stock stereo sounds all that bad. its much better than the civic i got as a loaner and better than my previous car a volvo xc60. But like you i should be going JBL dsp4086 in the coming weeks. i already ordered my harnesses and 15 conductor cable
 

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What is this harness you speak of?
I'm building my own t harness so I can just plug in the amp. Unfortunately it's not easy to find the parts. I found a junkyard to cut me the male end of a mdx harness to plug into my stock amp and I found a female side to plug into the stock harness that feeds my speakers from Access's website. I then ordered some 15 conductor 18 gauge cable for signal feed and speaker feed. I'll likely start a thread on it all once the parts come in.
 
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