Honda CR-V Owners Club Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I seem to be in the minority in thinking that the factory 160W 6-speaker sound system in the SE and EX is quite OK (within reasonable volume levels). Nonetheless, there is always room for improvement, so I installed Polk Audio db6501 6.5" component speakers based numerous positive reviews and their reasonable price. I also applied Dynamat Xtreme sound damping material on the door panels to reduce the annoying panel vibrations I was feeling with bass heavy music. I did not replace the rear speakers or sound dampen the rear doors since I normally have the fader set all the way to the front. I am still using the factory (OEM) headunit (more on this later).

Here is a post I made which details the installation of the component speakers...CLICK HERE.

Factory speakers vs. Polk components...

The factory door speakers are surprisingly lightweight due to an all plastic construction and a tiny magnet (which does not attract metal). FYI, the factory "component" speakers don't utilize a separate crossover; the 6" door speakers are full-range and the tweeter has a built-in capacitor (high-pass filter) which allows it to play only "high notes." Considering all this, it is a wonder that they sound decent; can't judge a book by its cover.

On the other hand, I'm very impressed with the build quality of the Polks. Everything is nicely finished and solidly constructed except for the flimsy speaker terninals.

Polk midbass/midrange speaker installed...

Polk tweeters were mounted in stock locations in dash.

A post I made detailing how I applied the Dynamat...CLICK HERE.

Dynamat on front door...

There are also two layers of Dynamat on the inner panel immediately surrounding the speaker opening; it's on the backside of the panel.
DynaXorb on backside of outer door panel behind speaker...

Dynamat on plastic door panel...


Impressions:
Since I installed new Polk speakers + Dynamat at the same time, I can't say which had the bigger impact on the sound quality. Anyways, both certainly resulted in a noticable improvement over the stock speakers (with no Dynamat). The bass is a little tighter and more powerful than before. On Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, the bass line comes through loud and strong. The treble now also has more sparkle and detail. There is also more spaciousness to the sound. I also no longer hear the slight hollow echoey sound in the midrange as with the stock speakers. For best sound (to me), I have the BASS set to "0" on the headunit , the treble set at (+1), and tweeter set at (0 db) on the Polk crossover (which can be set at -3db, 0db, +3db). I have the BALANCE set at (R1); this results in the most accurate stereo "imaging" for me. I have the FADER set all the way to the front (F9) so no "rear fill" for me; I find that the rear speaker's output sounds awful and muddies up the sound I hear from the front speakers.
As stated earlier, I am still using the factory headunit. Alot of people will cringe when they read that, but it seems to drive the Polks just fine, both volume output and sound quality-wise. I listen with the volume at "25-30". At ">35", the sound seems a little compressed and begins to get harsh, but I never listen to music that loud anyways. The Polks have a relatively high sensitivity of 92db, so they are quite efficient and don't need as much power as some other comparable speakers. I would guess the factory headunit is putting out around 10-15W RMS power per channel (160W is the total peak power). I may upgrade to an aftermarket headunit with a more powerful built-in amp and/or add an external amp and possibly a sub to improve the sound, but things are "good enough" for me as they are now.

The Dynamat Xtreme greatly reduced the panel vibrations I was feeling. It also somewhat reduced outside road noise, but I did not hear much through the doors before. The doors panels also now don't feel as cheap. In theory, the Dynamat is also playing a role in increasing the bass because of the much better sealing of the doors and reduced panel vibrations.

Overall, the Polks + Dynamat are great mods for the money. I'm pretty satisfied with the result.

Parts breakdown (all bought from Sonic Electronix):
- Polk db6501 6.5" component speakers ($125)
- 2 Dynamat Xtreme Door Kits ($50 each=$100)
- DynaXorb pad ($20)
- Metra speaker harness adapter for Hondas (72-7800) ($7)

Addendum (3/28/11):
The setup described above sounded good at first but I later felt that the sound lacked bass impact and overall dynamics (sounded little compressed); not too surprising since the headunit likely puts out a measly 10-15 watts/channel (at most). Therefore, I decided to get an external amp as well as a subwoofer. Since I wanted to retain the factory headunit, I also bought a line output converter (LOC) as well in order to feed signal to the amp. See this thread for details. With amp and sub, the system sounds MUCH better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Since you just did this, and you mention a harness adapter, maybe you can help me out with something.

Over christmas, I did the same thing. Put new JBL speakers in all four doors and put in a Kenwood head unit. I got my head unit from Crutchfield, which is supposed to give you all the gear. For some reason, we didn't have a wiring harness. So, we cut and spliced wires together. It works good enough, but if I turn it up loud, it fades out and sounds bad, so I'm assuming that's the problem.

My question is, I can't remember the set up inside and I don't want to tear it apart again to look right now. I'm going to get a harness to go back and do it right. The car has one coming out, right? Then they had one that connected from that to the factory radio...right?

Then my head unit came with a wiring harness with a plug on one and, but no plug on the other, just the wires. So I must of had to cut the factory one so it'd connect to the Honda adapter and then splice the two ends together.

Does that sound like the right set up? I essentially need to find a wiring harness that connects from the CR-V to the Kenwood head unit, to replace the factory CR-V to factory radio that I cut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
844 Posts
Nice!

I'm curious,though.
Is there a premium 5 1/4 speaker available for better than stock sound?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
GREAT INSTALL AND GREAT WRITE UP! I'm so glad you went ahead with this install. Adequate hypothesis verified :) My Polks are still sitting in the garage waiting for me to install them...

@gripweed - If you've already cut the harness from the car, there's no need to get the adapter - it's not worth your while. You'll just be splicing wires back into the OEM harness to plug into an adapter that will need to be spliced into your radio wiring...

Just look for a loose splice or exposed metal when you open it up as that's what is most likely causing your problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
@gripweed - If you've already cut the harness from the car, there's no need to get the adapter - it's not worth your while. You'll just be splicing wires back into the OEM harness to plug into an adapter that will need to be spliced into your radio wiring...

Just look for a loose splice or exposed metal when you open it up as that's what is most likely causing your problem.
Couldn't I just rebuy the one I cut? I'd have to think that's available. Then buy the one from that to the Kenwood?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Couldn't I just rebuy the one I cut? I'd have to think that's available. Then buy the one from that to the Kenwood?
Yes - but I'm not sure how the other end of the OEM wiring is set up - its is a simple plug on the other end or do all the various wires go to different places - battery, amps, speakers, etc.? Not worth it IMO...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Sorry to hijack the thread...




Coming out of the dash is connector 3, which connect to the go between harness, with 1 plugging into the back of the factory radio. The harness they sent me with my Kenwood, didn't have a way to plug into 1, so I chopped 1 off and spliced the wires.

So what I want to do, is buy a new 1/2 harness, plus the correct harness to plug into the back of the radio on one and and plug into 1 on the other end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I'm curious,though.
Is there a premium 5 1/4 speaker available for better than stock sound?
Tons of them available. But why "settle" for 5.25 when 6.5" will easily fit, assuming the top mounting depth (using a spacer) is shallow enough, as the Polks I used are. The factory speakers are 6".

Coming out of the dash is connector 3, which connect to the go between harness, with 1 plugging into the back of the factory radio. The harness they sent me with my Kenwood, didn't have a way to plug into 1, so I chopped 1 off and spliced the wires.

So what I want to do, is buy a new 1/2 harness, plus the correct harness to plug into the back of the radio on one and and plug into 1 on the other end.
They make adapters that go in between the factory dash plug (#3 in your pic) and the aftermarket stereo...
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_120701722/Honda-Receiver-Wire-Harness.html?tp=736
You connect the plug end of the adapter into the factory dash plug (#3 in your pic) and splice the loose wires of the adapter to the corresponding loose wires coming from the aftermarket headunit. But if you have already cut off the factory headunit plug but wired everything correctly, then an adapter is no longer necessary. It just makes the install easier to begin with.

As for the speaker plug...yeah, you are not suppose to cut it off also. The factory speaker harness which normally plugs directly into the back of the factory speaker can be seen here...

The Metra speaker harness adapter connects to this plug on one end and on the other end has two wires (one black, one white) which go directly to your new speakers (or crossover if you have component speakers). You can see the adapter in a pic in this thread.

Crutchfield should have included both headunit and speaker harness adapters if you bought from them, so they should since they charge full retail on alot of their car stereo items.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Yea, the link of the harness is what they sent me. I'd have to think there is a connector out there somewhere that'd connect the radio to #1 in my picture. I hate just using wire nuts to do stuff. I know that's why I get a problem when I turn the volume up high.

I didn't get anything for the speaker, so that got cut off and the wires got soldered to the speaker.

Everything sounds and works great, until I turn the volume up and I mean turn up high, but sometimes I like to blast some tunes, ya know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yea, the link of the harness is what they sent me. I'd have to think there is a connector out there somewhere that'd connect the radio to #1 in my picture. I hate just using wire nuts to do stuff.
I'm almost 100% sure that there is no such harness available, only the kind like what you got from Crutchfield. I wired up many aftermarket headunits in the past and personally used butt connectors to splice the aftermarket headunit wires to the wires of the stereo harness adapter with no problems.
I know that's why I get a problem when I turn the volume up high.
Everything sounds and works great, until I turn the volume up and I mean turn up high, but sometimes I like to blast some tunes, ya know?
If you are using the built-in amp in the Kenwood headunit, what you are experiencing is the headunit's amp "clipping" at very high volume, NOT some sort of wiring/connection issue. If you do this too often you will most likely damage your speakers.

From Crutchfield...
"Clipping occurs when an audio circuit's maximum capacity is exceded. The circuit won't reproduce the excessive parts of the signal, "clipping off" the round tops and bottoms of the musical waveforms, leaving them square, and introducing a huge amount of distortion into the output signal. Clipping can be heard as a crunching sound on musical peaks. A clipped signal, especially one that has been amplified, can be very destructive to your speakers and subs."

The small amp inside headunits (OEM or aftermarket) only produce around 10-20 watts "RMS power" per channel, which is not enough power to cleanly blast music to very high volume levels. You might say..."Well, the headunit says 50Wx4 on the front" or something like that. However, that is "peak power."

Again from Crutchfield...
"Don't be confused by "peak power" and "RMS power" ratings. Simply put, RMS wattage ratings are a measure of continuous power...it's usually a more "real-life" rating of your equipment's capabilities. Peak power, on the other hand, doesn't try to reflect realistic operation. It's simply a measure of how much power can be generated or handled for very short bursts."

If you want to listen to your music super loud and have "clean" sound, you will need to get an external amp which will put out more "RMS power" to the speakers. Most external amps can easily put out at least 50watts of "clean" RMS power. Many can be had for around $100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Well that explains a lot. My first instinct was it was an amp problem, but then I of course said "Well the headunit says 50Wx4 on the front".

Maybe I'll look into a little amp to install this summer. I don't know where I'd mount it though. Not much hiding space in the CR-V.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well that explains a lot. My first instinct was it was an amp problem, but then I of course said "Well the headunit says 50Wx4 on the front".
Yeah, that is very misleading. Even Honda does it... "160 watts" six-speaker sound system...right...160 watts peak power that is.

Maybe I'll look into a little amp to install this summer. I don't know where I'd mount it though. Not much hiding space in the CR-V.
I looked into this for myself and found that a Rockford Fosgate P200-2 amp is small enough to fit underneath the driver's seat. It puts out 50watts RMS power into 2 channels, but people say that is underrated and actually puts out more. I would use the headunit to drive the rear speakers, which ideally should be playing at a much lower volume for rear fill purposes (see HERE). You can also get small 4-channel amps that will easily fit underneath the driver' seat (e.g. JL Audio 400/4; Pioneer GM-D9500F).

Anyways, to get the thread back on track...

I was playing Black Eyed Peas' Boom Boom Pow through the Polks yesterday. I was impressed. The bass is pretty deep. Of course, you can't FEEL it, need a sub(s) to achieve that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
NICEEE!! =D I believe you bought the same components as me :) I just didn't want to wait for the stock tweeter covers, so the installer put it right by the door handles.

Also, you might want to get a sub to finish the package. I didn't think I would want it, but the installer was right, the sub really completes everything. Just a bit of bass makes the sound of my music play PERFECT!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
NICEEE!! =D I believe you bought the same components as me :) I just didn't want to wait for the stock tweeter covers, so the installer put it right by the door handles.
Actually, that probably gives better imaging since the tweeter is closer to the midbass/midrange speaker in the door. You also would not have to deal with the excessively tight fit of tweeter covers in the dash.

Also, you might want to get a sub to finish the package. I didn't think I would want it, but the installer was right, the sub really completes everything. Just a bit of bass makes the sound of my music play PERFECT!
You know, I'm thinking the same thing. The Polks DO put out quite alot of bass for door speakers. However, at highway speeds, the road noise drowns out alot of the bass. So, I plan on getting a compact JL Audio 8" enclosed sub (CP108LG) and put it in the back. I will also get a small JL Audio mono amp and mount it underneath the driver's seat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
:D Make sure you get some pics when you get that done =) I wanted JL so bad, but Amazon.com doesn't carry it. I purchased from Amazon from I can get it the next day or two for free (prime membership).

Besides the Polk components, everything is pioneer in my CRV lol. I went with a 1200w Mono Pioneer amp and a 1200w shallow 10" pioneer sub. I need to find somewhere that sells a shallow 10" box though, so I can save some space and weight :( Also, my advice is don't get too much power...I have bumped mine too hard and some things are loose in the trunk haha. I have to open up the panel to check.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I recently discovered that JL Audio makes a very compact 4 channel amp (XD400/4). It measures only 8.5" x 7.5" and puts out 75Wx2 and 200W mono (bridged)! It should easily fit underneath the driver's seat. I just ordered it and will use it to power the 8" compact sub mentioned above as well as the Polk db6501 front door speakers that I installed. I will still retain the factory headunit but use a high-quality Audiocontrol line out converter (LC2i) to send signal to the amp. It should all sound good! Stay tuned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Just did a stereo/speaker install on my 11' CRV LX. After pulling out the stock speakers, I just cut out the cone and used the remaining speaker frame as a spacer. I installed some 6.5" Alpines. To make things fit, it required trimming down some of the inner panelling.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top