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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know where I could find the RMS power rating of the factory audio system for my vehicle? The upgraded sound system of the RTL-T is rated at 225 watts, but I believe this is the peak power, not RMS. Thanks!
 

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225 watts peak to peak is 161 watts RMS for a pure sine wave into a pure resistive load. Music isn't a pure sine wave and speakers are inductive, not resistive and speaker and amp efficiency varies so your RMS power and SPL sound pressure level will be all over the map!!! The RTLE and Black advertise 540 watt audio system, but the amp is fused at 30A. Fuses are usually rated at 125% of the maximum load so that's 24 amps times 12 volts which is 288 watts. Honda prolly uses a Class AB amp which may may be 65% efficient so now you're down to 187 watts p-p or about 134 RMS. That there is a looong ways from the 540 that is advertised, kiddoz!!!
 

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225 watts peak to peak is 161 watts RMS for a pure sine wave into a pure resistive load. Music isn't a pure sine wave and speakers are inductive, not resistive and speaker and amp efficiency varies so your RMS power and SPL sound pressure level will be all over the map!!! The RTLE and Black advertise 540 watt audio system, but the amp is fused at 30A. Fuses are usually rated at 125% of the maximum load so that's 24 amps times 12 volts which is 288 watts. Honda prolly uses a Class AB amp which may may be 65% efficient so now you're down to 187 watts p-p or about 134 RMS. That there is a looong ways from the 540 that is advertised, kiddoz!!!
Is the subwoofer on a different fuse from the main stereo amp? Maybe there are multiple amps on the top trims? That may make up for some wattage...

Or it could just be that they added up all the wattage that the speakers are rated for, and are saying that's what the system is capable of handling. If worded carefully, it may not be false advertising...
 

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Is the subwoofer on a different fuse from the main stereo amp? Maybe there are multiple amps on the top trims?

If worded carefully, it may not be false advertising...
Not according to the manual and the diagrams I saw on here the other day.

Far as I know there's no such thing as "wattage police". Ever hear of anyone suing a carmaker cause the radio didn't put out as many watts as was listed in the brochure? Zactly... 99% of buyers ain't got a clue about wattage or THD or sensitivity or SPL other than they may have heard those words before and "mine has 5,000 more jigawatts than yours" type bull. THD isn't even listed. That's a important number. A 10 watt RMS system that has 0.01% THD at 10 watts will sound a hell of a lot better than a 1,000 watt system with 50% distortion at that level!!!! Its all marketing bull crap. Ask yourself...does this sound good to me or not? If not replace it with something else until it does. HAHAHA!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I asked the original question as I'd like to replace the factory speakers in my system and want to match the speakers to the amp's capabilities. I may also upgrade the amp. My preference would be to keep the stock amp, but if it does not have the power to drive better speakers I will likely do the amp + speakers. To me, "225 watt" system means absolutely nothing. I want to know what it can put out on each channel ongoing.
 

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Not according to the manual and the diagrams I saw on here the other day.

Far as I know there's no such thing as "wattage police". Ever hear of anyone suing a carmaker cause the radio didn't put out as many watts as was listed in the brochure? Zactly... 99% of buyers ain't got a clue about wattage or THD or sensitivity or SPL other than they may have heard those words before and "mine has 5,000 more jigawatts than yours" type bull. THD isn't even listed. That's a important number. A 10 watt RMS system that has 0.01% THD at 10 watts will sound a hell of a lot better than a 1,000 watt system with 50% distortion at that level!!!! Its all marketing bull crap. Ask yourself...does this sound good to me or not? If not replace it with something else until it does. HAHAHA!!!!
Yeah, I grew up as a teenager in the 80s, when fly-by-night companies would be trying to sell 2000-watt car stereos to clueless kids for $125.

My brother had a component home stereo system he put together in the late 70s/early 80s. Mostly high-end Pioneer and Harmon Kardon stuff. He had about $8000-$9000 into it (a lot of money for, say, 1982). Reverb amp, 10-band passive equalizer PER CHANNEL, 9 or 10 components, the works.

I was listening to it with him one day, and he put on a Golden Earring record and played Twilight Zone. Cranked the volume about one-third of max and the drum beats were sounding like rifle shots....super loud, crisp and crystal clear....blew me away. I had never heard that song sound like that before....not even close!

I asked him what the wattage of the system was, expecting to hear 500W/1000W, or something like that. His answer..."oh, around 50w". You don't need much when it is clean, quality components.

He didn't fiddle with it much after he got married. It's probably in his garage now....
 

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Seems there are a few audiophiles out there.
Speaker efficiency (sensitivity) of the majority of speakers we used all those years ago was key to what we all liked as kids which was sonic impact. Many of those speakers could move a lot of air (sound loud) but most of them weren't terribly accurate while doing it. Manufactures of everyday audio both then and now knew full well that most listeners wouldn't like measurably flat response so a little 'colorization' of the speakers output could do wonders in the retail market.
I had a pair of Klipsch Corner horn speakers (they were almost as large as a refrigerator!) back then that could be played quite loudly by almost any low power amp. I drove those speakers using a relatively high end audio system powered by a Mac MC 275 amp. I doubt those speakers ever saw more that a few watts of continuous power going into them but I also knew that very dynamic portions of well recorded music could challenge the full output of my conservatively rated MC 275 amp but really not increase the SPL all that much. So much for RMS (root-mean-squared) output always equals more volume.
The sound systems used in a modern car these days do what they were designed to do - to a point. Modern factory installed car audio systems are asked to play (and I'll add pretty well) highly compressed music at volume levels louder than the environment they were tuned to work in (noisy car interiors). If you play all your music at the threshold of clipping you can cleanup the system a little by adding power but remember a 10% increase in SPL (sound pressure level) takes a bunch more than a 10% increase of RMS power. Never forget that a car is a car and not a concert hall. I have yet to see a concert hall with steering wheels on the back of the seats so while driving I 'settle' for a decent factory sound system that's played below the threshold of pain (a bit less than 110 db) and do my serious listening at home.
To make the interior of a truck, even one as quiet as the new Ridgeline, really sound outstanding takes a great deal more than higher quality speakers and do everything head units. Try this. Find some Thiel Audio, B&W, Gail, B&O or Snell speaker logos and attach them to your stock speaker grills. Now feed your factory installed system with a high quality uncompressed music source (remember, garbage in - garbage out). It never ceases to amaze me how many people will hear the difference those prestige labels can make. An added bonus is that your friends will now be very envious of your ultra audiophile car system which they too will agree sounds fantastic. :surprise:

For me, I'd rather spend my hard earned money on a comprehensive sound deadening package while driving over our pot hole infested roads in rush hour traffic :grin:
 
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