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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everybody.

So I'm getting a Pioneer DVD in-dash head unit (AVH-X2700BS). It has rca sub outs. For now I'm gonna keep the factory sub until I can build the box I want. I've looked into using RCA-to-speaker-wire adapters (or modifying an RCA cable myself) directly from the sub to the back of the new head unit. But is it this simple? I realize by splicing the RCA I would have two power and two ground, but is it just a matter of joining the positives and negatives, and connecting each to the sub +/-? Is there some kind of signal wire I would also need to worry about as well?

Thanks all in advance for your help!
 

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Hey everybody.

So I'm getting a Pioneer DVD in-dash head unit (AVH-X2700BS). It has rca sub outs. For now I'm gonna keep the factory sub until I can build the box I want. I've looked into using RCA-to-speaker-wire adapters (or modifying an RCA cable myself) directly from the sub to the back of the new head unit. But is it this simple? I realize by splicing the RCA I would have two power and two ground, but is it just a matter of joining the positives and negatives, and connecting each to the sub +/-? Is there some kind of signal wire I would also need to worry about as well?

Thanks all in advance for your help!
NO! RCA outputs feed an external amp. Period. The factory sub is just a speaker in a box. It needs an amp. You have two options:
- Get an amp with MONO output wiring support - OR -
- Use the MONO output wire option already built into your Pioneer.

Every last bit of information you need is on this forum. For example, see post 15 in this thread to understand what your Pioneer will do.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114593&page=2

I don't mean to be rude, but there are far too many do-it-yourselfers thinking about doing things they have no basic understanding of. Adapting RCA to speaker wire is not possible and suggests a level of understanding akin to thinking of using plaster to repair a fender dent. It can be done but the results will be very disappointing.
 

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I agree with OhSix. For one, the RCA outputs usually only have 4W or less of total power output, so even if you were able to adapt them for the purposes of the factory sub it wouldn't really do too much.

My advice is to just do without for now as trying to power the factory sub will not result in any decent quality in sound. In my case, I ran a 100Wx4 amp to my door speakers and it was more than sufficient to power everything and the speakers were able to produce decent sound until I could do more. I was actually building the box and have it half done, but then I went and sold the RL this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
NO! RCA outputs feed an external amp. Period. The factory sub is just a speaker in a box. It needs an amp. You have two options:
- Get an amp with MONO output wiring support - OR -
- Use the MONO output wire option already built into your Pioneer.

Every last bit of information you need is on this forum. For example, see post 15 in this thread to understand what your Pioneer will do.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114593&page=2

I don't mean to be rude, but there are far too many do-it-yourselfers thinking about doing things they have no basic understanding of. Adapting RCA to speaker wire is not possible and suggests a level of understanding akin to thinking of using plaster to repair a fender dent. It can be done but the results will be very disappointing.
That's why I asked first. I'm a do-it-your-selfer who doesn't jump into things without full understanding. You gotta not let your ego get to you before you judge.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree with OhSix. For one, the RCA outputs usually only have 4W or less of total power output, so even if you were able to adapt them for the purposes of the factory sub it wouldn't really do too much.

My advice is to just do without for now as trying to power the factory sub will not result in any decent quality in sound. In my case, I ran a 100Wx4 amp to my door speakers and it was more than sufficient to power everything and the speakers were able to produce decent sound until I could do more. I was actually building the box and have it half done, but then I went and sold the RL this weekend.
Sorry to hear you're selling your RL. I just picked mine up used and am loving it.

Just curious, where were you gonna mount the sub, and what size were you gonna use? I found a really good thread on here a few weeks ago that had a box with a JL 8w3 set behind the rear seat, so as to retain all storage. One of the cleanest setups I've ever seen for the RL.
 

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That's why I asked first. I'm a do-it-your-selfer who doesn't jump into things without full understanding. You gotta not let your ego get to you before you judge.

Thanks for the info.
Like I said, I wasn't trying to be rude with the comment about do it yourselfers and basic understanding.

Like you, when I get into unknown territory, I ask first. Good thing too, because a recent project would have gone horribly wrong if someone over on the horse and buggy forum hadn't straightened me out on how to correctly flush and maintain muffler bearing grease in zerk-less exhaust systems .

WHEW! Dodge a bullet on that one.

Thanks for the advise. I'll look into a shorter leash for my ego.
 

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Sincere apology for the snippy, chitty, demeaning responses in this thread. I could offer reasons but in the end they would only be excuses for inappropriate replies.

As hobbyists, we should help each other out whenever possible. In the spirit of making amends, I hope Mr. Bako will accept the following offer of information:

The shortest answer to the question is: voltage supplied via RCA outputs are too low to directly drive a speaker to any listenable level. Although it "can be done", it wouldn't be satisfactorily loud. By definition, RCA terminations are low level signal conductors operating "pre-amp" voltages. In the system you are considering, the sub-woofer pre-amp output must be connected to an external amplifier.

BYW: the Pioneer 2700 is an excellent choice. Great SW control options, excellent sound and a very friendly user interface.

Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sincere apology for the snippy, chitty, demeaning responses in this thread. I could offer reasons but in the end they would only be excuses for inappropriate replies.

As hobbyists, we should help each other out whenever possible. In the spirit of making amends, I hope Mr. Bako will accept the following offer of information:

The shortest answer to the question is: voltage supplied via RCA outputs are too low to directly drive a speaker to any listenable level. Although it "can be done", it wouldn't be satisfactorily loud. By definition, RCA terminations are low level signal conductors operating "pre-amp" voltages. In the system you are considering, the sub-woofer pre-amp output must be connected to an external amplifier.

BYW: the Pioneer 2700 is an excellent choice. Great SW control options, excellent sound and a very friendly user interface.

Best of luck to you.
I gotta admit, reading some of your posts on other areas here, you have a LOT of info to offer. We all appreciate this kind of help, so thanks, and sorry I lashed out. :act024:

I went ahead and ditched the factory sub (well, it's still back there). Was VERY surprised about how much the deck alone did to enhance the stock speakers. Last time I put a deck in (another car), I did speakers at the same time, so I didn't really have a good grasp of what the deck could do alone. And yes, the EQ options are really cool and intuitive. It's my first touchscreen, so I'm having a blast with it!

Anybody have any input on the Sony XS-GS80L 8" sub? I just ordered it last night. Was a good match for my existing amp (RE Audio DTX-1600.1) without breaking the bank. Wanted to keep the amp because I've only had it in the other car for a year. Normally I've stayed away from Sony mobile electronics, but this one seemed to be a good bet. Another post on here shows a box someone built to go behind the rear seat, so as not to lose storage. Gonna replicate the idea, except not ported, so not as big. I may extend the back face out more to leave a place to mount the amp - I'm trying to minimize bolt holes. With the cost of the deck and accessories (not bad really - $300), I couldn't convince the wife to let me get a JL 10w3, but oh well. Hopefully this Sony is decent. I'm going from the same amp powering two Alpine 10" Type E's in my other car to one of these Sony 8's, but it can handle more power and actually reads lower frequencies than my Alpines.

Thanks again for the info. I now understand why the RCA's wouldn't be a good conductor wiring. Kind of like a restrictor plate on a stock car.

I'll post again once I install the Sony 8" and break it in.
 

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I gotta admit, reading some of your posts on other areas here, you have a LOT of info to offer. We all appreciate this kind of help, so thanks, and sorry I lashed out. :act024:

I went ahead and ditched the factory sub (well, it's still back there). Was VERY surprised about how much the deck alone did to enhance the stock speakers. Last time I put a deck in (another car), I did speakers at the same time, so I didn't really have a good grasp of what the deck could do alone. And yes, the EQ options are really cool and intuitive. It's my first touchscreen, so I'm having a blast with it!

Anybody have any input on the Sony XS-GS80L 8" sub? I just ordered it last night. Was a good match for my existing amp (RE Audio DTX-1600.1) without breaking the bank. Wanted to keep the amp because I've only had it in the other car for a year. Normally I've stayed away from Sony mobile electronics, but this one seemed to be a good bet. Another post on here shows a box someone built to go behind the rear seat, so as not to lose storage. Gonna replicate the idea, except not ported, so not as big. I may extend the back face out more to leave a place to mount the amp - I'm trying to minimize bolt holes. With the cost of the deck and accessories (not bad really - $300), I couldn't convince the wife to let me get a JL 10w3, but oh well. Hopefully this Sony is decent. I'm going from the same amp powering two Alpine 10" Type E's in my other car to one of these Sony 8's, but it can handle more power and actually reads lower frequencies than my Alpines.

Thanks again for the info. I now understand why the RCA's wouldn't be a good conductor wiring. Kind of like a restrictor plate on a stock car.

I'll post again once I install the Sony 8" and break it in.
You are most welcome, Kind Sir. Although it might not fit with your current plans, may I make a suggestion? I had a couple of thoughts after reading your sub plan.

First, while the Pioneer 2700 no doubt made an easily identifiable leap in audio quality, it could shine much brighter with a simple, low effort-high return replacement of factory tweeters. The thread "Pimp your factory sound in 15 minutes" started by ROC member laserguy sometime ago is a great place start with ideas in this area. In less than a casual afternoon, you could make an significant addition to your system as it is right now. See here. You'll be blown away with how much a decent pair of tweeters will open up the sound in your RL.

Second, building a woofer enclosure is no small task. As you have seen, many ROC members have taken on that project. Even though the RL is a joy to work on, rear seat removal and custom wood work is (at the pace I work) a weekend long undertaking. See additional thoughts on this below...

Third, the Sony woofer you mentioned has definitive specifications about enclosure dimensions. Generically speaking, "sealed" enclosures *should be* larger than ported enclosures. Without getting into the enormous variations and math equations behind that generic statement, the idea boils down to this: when a woofer cone moves air, it displaces it in two directions, forward into the listening space and backward, into a cabinet in which the woofer is mounted. "Sealed" enclosures offer pneumatic resistance to cone movement, giving a woofer of certain physical characteristics "assistance" to limit it's movement. In almost every circumstance, a woofer stuffed into a sealed enclosure is "floppy", meaning the cone has little built-in resistance to movement. These woofer designs have very compliant suspension systems. A "floppy cone" woofer design NEEDS a sealed enclosure to support its physical design. Sealed enclosures are (generally) larger than ported enclosures.

In contrast to floppy speaker designs, other woofer have tight suspension systems that equate to built in mechanical resistance to cone movement. These designs NEED a ported enclosure where the air inside a cabinet is allowed to escape. Because sound is nothing more than moving air at various frequencies, the air escaping a ported enclosure *should be* combined forward air displaced by cone movement at pre-defined wavelengths. In highly tuned systems, ported and forward air are joined at specific times to give low frequency energy acoustic "gain", making output louder at the listeners ear.

The reason I bring this to your attention is this: placing an tight driver in a sealed enclosure = disappointing low frequency energy (crappy bass). And placing a floppy driver in a ported enclosure = crappy bass PLUS the potential for lots of mechanical complaints from the driver. Of course, there are LOTS of variations with this stuff. Floppy and tight are general terms to describe a huge variance in speaker compliance. For example, the Sony woofer might need a sealed enclosure of X dimensions to achieve X frequency while needing a ported enclosure of Y dimensions to achieve that same low frequency. And power handling comes into play - further complicating the topic. But thats a secondary topic.

With dozens of variations at play, there is no "one way" about enclosures/drivers. Ported is not superior to sealed or visa versa. The reason this is important to you is: after going to all the work to create a custom enclosure to fit in the available space, the result will only be as good as speaker compliance characteristics and enclosure type/size. What I mean is, make sure you know that sealed or ported enclosure and cabinet size are the ball park before getting started. I didn't look, but it is likely Sony has some cabinet guidelines associated with the speaker you've selected.

After spewing all that, it is my strong opinion that the factory sub has been unfairly disparaged. It is also my opinion most efforts to "improve" over the factory RL sub yield marginal results. Pioneer designed that sub with significant engineering including cabinet compliance, port shape/dimension/placement, speaker compliance and other attributes have been optimized for maximum results within the budget criteria assigned by Honda during RL product development. A hobbyist like you and I are not likely to greatly exceed their results without significant effort that goes well beyond wood working and mechanical aptitude.

In the very slow development of my system, I've been waiting for life opportunities to finish a sub design that won't eat up under seat storage. While waiting, I've been pounding the chit out of the factory sub with a Zapco amp. And I mean mercilessly. Within its limitations, it handles everything I've thrown at it and it almost never complains to any audible level. In both real-world subjective listening and measured tests, the factory sub is much, much better those who casually assumed "it's only factory" have given credit.

While you are contemplating a custom enclosure, I offer the following suggestions:
1) Try wiring your Pioneer 2700 for sub output from its rear channels. Hook it to the factory sub and drive a while. It will take you 15 minutes and you might be surprised at what you hear. If you like that:
2) Wire your RE amp and connect it to the factory sub. I predict a smile on your face.

I assume you'll be connecting amp power to the battery. As you likely know, there are lots of threads about that on the ROC forum. Be careful and take your time with this. Attention to detail is critical when connecting power directly to the battery, and your RE Audio amp needs power from the battery. Wiring the amp is less than half the effort of building a custom sub enclosure, since you want to use that amp anyway, installing it now and connecting it to the factory sub gets you part way there.

Enjoy your new 2700. You made a good choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
[... word of warning to others, I had just typed out a LONG response on my tablet, and the wireless connection timed out on me; do yourself a favor... if you're gonna post something long, use a computer to get everything in while you can - now I gotta remember everything I wrote!!!]

OhSix,
Thanks for the pointers on the box. I realize the depth issue when talking about the woofer wanting to push air front-back with respect to itself. This is probably why even you have still yet to see a decent application like this - that gosh darn physical constraint is always there. The required minimum sealed volume for this Sony 8 is 0.32 CF. I am wondering if I made the box more towards its maximum required volume, but utilized more of the side-side space, if it would help with the air depth issue. Or even polyfill - although I want to be careful not to have both, or the sound waves may think the box is way bigger than the maximum sealed volume.

I gotta admit, as curious as I am about wiring the factory sub to rear channels and then the RE Audio amp, I will probably go straight to battery-powering my new Sony 8. I live in an apartment, and when I work on all this sound stuff, I go elsewhere, so I'm on a time crunch. I may still try the sub-to-powered-amp scenario though, depending on the time since I'll have the rear seat out anyway. Heck, maybe I'll wire to 2-ohms and use the factory one alongside the Sony 8!

Found a really good Youtube video on removing the rear seat. And I'm pretty up to speed with connecting directly to the battery. I did subs myself on two other vehicles in the past with no issues. Literally the only thing I haven't done myself (besides pro equipment) is build my own box - and it sounds like I have some homework to do before I jump into it.

I think I may just have to throw in a new set of tweeters. Factory tweeters (especially on factory radios) tend to sound like they try too hard on the highest of frequencies - ouch!!! I remember also on the factory radio that they would cut out if the volume was turned up to a certain point. It seems like now they are a lot quieter with my new Pioneer 2700, but maybe that's just because the 2700 cranked up the door speakers so much.

Thanks again for the tips. Let me know if you foresee any other issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I have an idea for a behind-rear-seat box that might solve some of the depth air travel issues for the sub. I may post a new thread if this is successful, but don't wanna waste thread space and people's time if it's not. I took the box height and depth from the post where another guy built a front-firing box in the same place I wanna put it. The length, x on the pic, is the variable dimension that I can play with. The angle of the angled face will depend on measurements I need from the Sony 8 once I get it. I may even need to push the bottom forward a bit depending on the diameter of the bottom of the magnet. But, this is just a concept right now. More to come...
 

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I have an idea for a behind-rear-seat box that might solve some of the depth air travel issues for the sub. I may post a new thread if this is successful, but don't wanna waste thread space and people's time if it's not. I took the box height and depth from the post where another guy built a front-firing box in the same place I wanna put it. The length, x on the pic, is the variable dimension that I can play with. The angle of the angled face will depend on measurements I need from the Sony 8 once I get it. I may even need to push the bottom forward a bit depending on the diameter of the bottom of the magnet. But, this is just a concept right now. More to come...
Without putting a whole lotta thought into your idea, I'm guessing there won't be space enough to pull off what I think I see in the drawing, but I may be mis-seeing things.

To clarify previous comments about cone movement of a woofer in an enclosure, I wasn't thinking about cone excursion and potential space limitations behind the seat (as some ROC members have described the cone smacking the back of the seat). I was commenting generically about the need for enclosure volume to assist a speaker in maximizing its Thiele/Small characteristics. It looks like the Sony wants a minimum enclosure size of .32 cu/ft to reach its Fs of 48Hz. While 48 is low, there is more musical information below that which *could be* coaxed out of the Sony. I would suggest making your box as big as the space allows - I suggest that because there is an ofetn overlooked benefit to baffle dimensions.

In terms of cone excursion, the Sony has an X_MAX of 9/32". Assuming you've seen most of the relevant information about overall speaker depth and the space available behind the seat, factoring in X_MAX of "a little over" 1/4" into your enclosure foot print should be doable.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Without putting a whole lotta thought into your idea, I'm guessing there won't be space enough to pull off what I think I see in the drawing, but I may be mis-seeing things.
So last night I made a paper scale model of the side profile of the box - the side closest to the sub. I found a side profile of the sub, printed it to scale, and assessed the angle, taking into consideration the wood thickness. I wasn't able to get much of an angle at all, MAYBE 15 degrees from vertical. So that's discouraging.

I will probably aim for as big a box as I can, like you said, with a vertical face and reinforced baffle. I'm having trouble finding the maximum enclosure volume, but I think if I keep it under 0.5 CF worst case, I'll be okay. I do want it to be sealed.
 

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It's a good thing to be thinking outside of the box (no pun intended), but you're overthinking it. If you make a sub box that is 12.5" tall, 20" wide, 5.5" deep at the bottom and 4.25" deep at the top, you will be able to fit a sub in it. However, the odds of you finding a traditionally-shaped sub to fit in it will be nearly impossible. You'll need a shallow-mount sub - either a 10" or 8". Accounting for material thickness, you'll only have about 3.5-4" of mounting depth to work with. There are several options for shallow subs on the market. My best advice would be to pick your sub and design an enclosure around it. Not the other way around.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Like I alluded to a couple posts ago, I've pretty much eliminated the idea of any kind of trapezoidal profile. I got the sub in today, so I'm gonna take some measurements and aim for net internal volume > .32 CF. I'll post the progress and final product. If it's good enough, maybe someone can apply it to their RL.
 

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Like I alluded to a couple posts ago, I've pretty much eliminated the idea of any kind of trapezoidal profile. I got the sub in today, so I'm gonna take some measurements and aim for net internal volume > .32 CF. I'll post the progress and final product. If it's good enough, maybe someone can apply it to their RL.
At a mounting depth of 3 - 13/16", you're going to have a lot of trouble getting that sub to fit. If you surface mount it, the outer rim of the sub will likely make contact with the back of the seat. You'd also need to worry about the cone hitting the seat when it's approaching Xmax. What I did with mine was flush mount the sub. I used a 3/4" piece for the mounting surface and a 1/2" piece for the outer part. The sub sits flush in the enclosure and I have no problem with it contacting the seat. The downside is that you have less mounting depth to work with this way.

I would highly recommend doing something similar to Victorinox. He made a custom enclosure for an 8" sub that fits behind the driver's seat. The thread with pictures is here:

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22460
 

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At a mounting depth of 3 - 13/16", you're going to have a lot of trouble getting that sub to fit. If you surface mount it, the outer rim of the sub will likely make contact with the back of the seat. You'd also need to worry about the cone hitting the seat when it's approaching Xmax. What I did with mine was flush mount the sub. I used a 3/4" piece for the mounting surface and a 1/2" piece for the outer part. The sub sits flush in the enclosure and I have no problem with it contacting the seat. The downside is that you have less mounting depth to work with this way.

I would highly recommend doing something similar to Victorinox. He made a custom enclosure for an 8" sub that fits behind the driver's seat. The thread with pictures is here:

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22460
I'm so glad you added that link - I remember seeing that before joining ROC. And his JL 8w3 shows top mount depth of 4-5/8", so I know I'm good there. Xmax of 10mm, compared to 7.1 on my Sony. Just gotta remember that seatbelt housing and I'll be set. Problem solved!

Now my next question is where to mount the amp. I'm thinking maybe under driver seat. At first I was thinking under rear seats, but I don't want it to be that exposed when folding them up. I'll have to look around...
 

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I'm so glad you added that link - I remember seeing that before joining ROC. And his JL 8w3 shows top mount depth of 4-5/8", so I know I'm good there. Xmax of 10mm, compared to 7.1 on my Sony. Just gotta remember that seatbelt housing and I'll be set. Problem solved!

Now my next question is where to mount the amp. I'm thinking maybe under driver seat. At first I was thinking under rear seats, but I don't want it to be that exposed when folding them up. I'll have to look around...
I'm glad you found it useful. I've often thought of doing something very similar, but I have yet to be unsatisfied with my shallow 10" in the factory location. I'm not in the truck enough to really care all that much. Nevertheless, I think a very similar enclosure will be more than adequate for you.

As far as the amp, if it's small enough, it can easily fit under the passenger front seat. That's where mine is located and it's neatly hidden there with plenty of air space around it for cooling. I forget what the dimensions are to be able to fit there, but I thought it was somewhere around 12"L x 10"W and 2.5" tall. If you don't really care about having access to the amp, you could remove the factory sub and put it in that location.
 
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