Honda Odyssey Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Dear Friends

My wife and I just purchased our first van, the 2012 Odyssey EX-L with navigation, in white with a gray interior. (I'm forty-two years old, she's thirty-nine, and we have a three-year-old son.)

The van replaces our thirteen-year-old Chevy Malibu LS, which we also bought new.

My wife has a 2003 Lexus ES-300 with navigation and premium (Mark Levinson) audio. Honestly, I like the audio system in my stock Malibu LS better than the audio in our new Odyssey, and I'd rate the Odyssey's audio as better than my wife's factory-installed Mark Levinson system.

Maybe I have indiscriminate ears, but that's my opinion.

I'd like to upgrade the audio system in our new Odyssey so long as there's a dramatic increase in sound quality for US$1000 or less and use the factory head unit.

So, I have two questions to ask:

  1. Can the sound quality of the Odyssey EX-L be improved dramatically while using the factory head unit and keeping the total upgrade cost at or below US$1000?
  2. If so, what is the equipment you'd recommend?

I don't know if it makes any difference, but the music I want to listen to very loudly is rock--Foo Fighters, Counting Crows, Bon Jovi, et al. The Odyssey EX-L's audio is adequate for my son's music, which includes Barney, Thomas & Friends, Joanie Bartels, and lullabies.

Thanks for taking time to consider my questions.

--Jaddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
687 Posts
Your 2012 EX-L already comes with a subwoofer and 246 Watt audio system. That is not too shabby, but not as powerful as the 650 Watt audio system in the Touring Elite model.

Also, your van only comes with 7 speakers and does not include rear seat speakers to give you full surround sound. I would suggest adding the missing speakers to bring you in line with the 12 speakers found on the Touring Elite.

See this thread for further details:

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/11-audio-video-security-navigation/149259-rear-seat-speakers.html

;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Dear Gstom1

Thanks for responding.

So adding speakers to the third row is my starting point. I have to purchase the pillar garnish things, but this is still in budget.

Will those extra speakers show up in my current head unit's audio setup?

Should I add a sub or amp? If so, which one(s)?

Thank you again for responding.

--Jaddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
We're pretty much in the same boat. I just got my 2012 EX-L a couple of weeks ago and have done some research on what I can put into it. I got all my stuff ordered and it should be coming in this week. I can't tell you what it'll sound like yet but I'll report back when I get it in. Your budget of $1000 should get you a nice system.

What prompted me to look at amps was that I sat in the EX-L with Navi at the dealer when I was buying and noted how much better the sound was than with my EX-L. That has all the same speakers, but it has a more powerful amp. I've noted that in other cars, just upgrading the head unit really improved the sound quality.

If you add on those rear speakers, everyone has been just tapping into the rear speaker wires under the plastic covers by the sliding doors. There are some pics in that other thread. So, no, it won't show up separate in your the display.

I went with:
MRX-V60 ALPINE 5-channel Car Amplifier $282
10 CVT8 2-Ohm KICKER 8" CompVT Subwoofer $68
Polk MM6501 Component speakers for the fronts $175
Polk DB651 rear speakers $55
KnuKoncepts 4-gauge Amp Kit - $30
Honda speaker wire adapters - $20

Total: $630

The Alpine amp has speaker level inputs that will come from the stock headunit's 5 outputs (Front LR, Rear LR, and Sub).

I'm going to try to mod the stock sub box to fit the kicker sub, I have no idea if that will work but it's worth trying since this has be stealthy and "wife approved".

The Polk MM speakers have great reviews and the tweeters should fit into the stock grills on the dash, we'll see.

Next challenge is finding the time to put everything in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Dear Bun

You know how to install that stuff yourself? I was smacked in the face with sticker shock yesterday when I got two estimates for installation of a pair of components, a pair of coaxials, a sub, an OEM adapter/interface, and an amp. One estimate was for about US$730 for labor only and the other estimate was for US$500-1000 for labor only.

The US$730 estimate involved building a fiberglas custom enclosure for the sub and covering it with vinyl.

I believe I'm still going to upgrade our EX-L's audio, but it may have to wait until near Christmas or January.

I could easily do without the upgraded audio. I'm forty-two years old, busy, and don't listen to loud music very often. However, I plan to have this van for at least ten years, and want it to be able to rock.

I'm not an audiophile, but my opinion of the EX-L Nav's audio system is that it doesn't even approach the periphery of being able to rock. My three-year-old's lullabies and talk radio are crisp and defined, though.

--Jaddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
...I went with:
MRX-V60 ALPINE 5-channel Car Amplifier $282
10 CVT8 2-Ohm KICKER 8" CompVT Subwoofer $68
Polk MM6501 Component speakers for the fronts $175
Polk DB651 rear speakers $55
KnuKoncepts 4-gauge Amp Kit - $30
Honda speaker wire adapters - $20

Total: $630
Wow, could you send a picture when you get it installed? Im most interested in how the head unit fits and looks in the center stack console.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Jaddie, have you tried adjusting i.e bass, treble, fader level? To me if you listen mostly rock the ody's audio is capable. Also, we already have sub.. You just have to make adjustment..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Dear banshee

I haven't tried adjusting bass, treble, and fader levels very much yet. When I dialed in a lot more bass, the music didn't thump, though, and it did in my Malibu.

--Jaddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
active noise concerns

Is there anything specific that one has to do when upgrading the audio with regards to the Odyssey's active noise cancellation? My understanding is that the noise cancellation utilizes the audio system and am concerned that anything I do will either negate the noise cancelling or create feedback, etc.

Just wondering if there's anything special to be considered and still maintain the active noise cancelling without issue.

sid
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Is there anything specific that one has to do when upgrading the audio with regards to the Odyssey's active noise cancellation? My understanding is that the noise cancellation utilizes the audio system and am concerned that anything I do will either negate the noise cancelling or create feedback, etc.

Just wondering if there's anything special to be considered and still maintain the active noise cancelling without issue.

sid
Yes there is. You or your installer MUST disconnect the ANC harness from the back of the radio or take down your headliner and disconnect both microphones that interact with the ANC system or be prepared to have a 60 hz drone from hell whenever all of the doors are closed and the engine is running. It took me two months and and 20 new gray hairs to get my system to stop the noise but thanks to Chad from DIY car audio forums this problem was fixed in three minutes! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
By the way please don't do the hack job found on this site where you cut two wires under the dash by the parking brake because I did it first and it did cut off the ANC system however it also cut off the cylinder deactivation system and gave me a shiny check engine light:nothappy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Dear bsmith

I've saved your hard-earned knowledge to share with my installer. He's probably already aware of this, but, you know, just in case...

Where are you in Georgia?

I'm in Buford. I plan to have American Radio in Cumming do my installation. He recommended Hybrid components and coaxials and an Arc amp. He says he's done two Honda Pilots and the Arc amp made a big improvement. I was surprised he didn't suggest a subwoofer, but he said the one that's in there is well-tuned for its enclosure.

--Jaddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Dear bsmith

I've saved your hard-earned knowledge to share with my installer. He's probably already aware of this, but, you know, just in case...

Where are you in Georgia?

I'm in Buford. I plan to have American Radio in Cumming do my installation. He recommended Hybrid components and coaxials and an Arc amp. He says he's done two Honda Pilots and the Arc amp made a big improvement. I was surprised he didn't suggest a subwoofer, but he said the one that's in there is well-tuned for its enclosure.

--Jaddie
South Georgia,
If it were me I'd opt for cheaper components and amp along with a dedicated subwoofer and amp. You'd be surprised how better you factory speakers would sound with a correctly installed subwoofer integrated into your vehicle. I understand that the factory system isn't loud enough for you but unless your competing in sq competitions and every thing is time aligned I really don't see the point of spending 400-500 on name brand components when parts express has audiophile quality components (Dayton audio) for much less. Just my opinion. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Dear bsmith

I'm subject to analysis to paralysis. If I research this too long, I won't do it, and I promised myself after not upgrading my '98 Malibu's audio when it was new that I'd have a stellar system in my next vehicle.

The folks at caraudioforum.com also recommended a dedicated amp and subwoofer, but they recommended an Arc amp and an Image Dynamics sub.

The guy at American Radio in Cumming said what he's recommending for me has worked very well in two Honda Pilots. The amp he recommends is a five-channel model, and he says we can easily add a subwoofer without having to purchase and install an additional amp.

I don't know.

I'm learning as I move through my life that I'm going to have to make decisions without knowing what's on the other side.

I'm afraid that I'm going to spend US$1700-2000 and still not be satisfied. My ears are uneducated, uncultured. To me my '98 stock Chevy Malibu's audio system sounded far better than my wife's premium-audio-equipped (Mark Levinson) Lexus ES300. The bass rocked so hard that it vibrated the rearview mirror--so much so that I couldn't even see what was behind me. At very loud volumes the audio became distorted, but I could always find that point on the volume knob that was one notch below distorted.

Honestly, before I got this van I'd never heard of Arc, Image Dynamics, Memphis, Hybrid, or Dayton.

My wife's family is from Nashville, Georgia.

--Jaddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Dear bsmith

I'm subject to analysis to paralysis. If I research this too long, I won't do it, and I promised myself after not upgrading my '98 Malibu's audio when it was new that I'd have a stellar system in my next vehicle.

The folks at caraudioforum.com also recommended a dedicated amp and subwoofer, but they recommended an Arc amp and an Image Dynamics sub.

The guy at American Radio in Cumming said what he's recommending for me has worked very well in two Honda Pilots. The amp he recommends is a five-channel model, and he says we can easily add a subwoofer without having to purchase and install an additional amp.

I don't know.

I'm learning as I move through my life that I'm going to have to make decisions without knowing what's on the other side.

I'm afraid that I'm going to spend US$1700-2000 and still not be satisfied. My ears are uneducated, uncultured. To me my '98 stock Chevy Malibu's audio system sounded far better than my wife's premium-audio-equipped (Mark Levinson) Lexus ES300. The bass rocked so hard that it vibrated the rearview mirror--so much so that I couldn't even see what was behind me. At very loud volumes the audio became distorted, but I could always find that point on the volume knob that was one notch below distorted.

Honestly, before I got this van I'd never heard of Arc, Image Dynamics, Memphis, Hybrid, or Dayton.

My wife's family is from Nashville, Georgia.

--Jaddie
By all means upgrade your sound system. I'm honestly not in a position financially to spend top dollar on my hobbies as I have a wife and two kids, however i do understand what your looking for. My last recommendation would be make sure the amp is rated at at least 100 watts rms x 4 for the components and 300 watts x 1 rms for the sub. I say this as with that much true rms power on tap your ears should get uncomfortable before the music starts to distort. Like in any sport or hobby certain people swear by certain brands.

Nike shoes never made me a better athlete but they have always been comfortable on my feet so that is the brand I stick with. Same thing goes in car audio if you get my drift........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Well, it took long enough to find some time to do my installation of my new amp, speakers and sub woofer, and I'm about 75% of the way through it. I called it a night with my rear speakers and sub left to do. I've been taking pictures and notes as I've been doing it so hopefully I can post something useful.

For a first time installer, plan on a full weekend to do the install. It's not easy. Most of my time was spent figuring out where to route things and where to tap into different lines. I wanted to avoid pulling the dash apart so I taped into lines under the dash and in the door sills which have very nice access to all the wires and it would be easy to service if I have any problems or wires were to come loose. Probably not how a pro would do it, but worked for me.

I did the install in stages. Last weekend I did the front speakers (MM6501) and drove with it that way using the stock headunit, no amp. It sounded a bit better, maybe 30% better (if you can put a number on a subjective concept of sound quality). When I added the amp this weekend, wow, they really came alive. Heck, if I was on a budget, I'd probably do an amp before speakers on the EX-L since the stock speakers weren't all that bad.

My next hurdle is the fitting an aftermarket sub into the stock box. Then seeing if the Active Noise Cancellation feature bites me. I've seen one guy say it only caused the buzz when he tapped into the rear speakers, but not when he tapped into the front speakers. My theory is that I might luck out since I'm tapping into the stock subwoofer output. To do this, I needed a Line Output Converter (speaker level to RCA) so I can send that to my new Alpine Amp's sub input (channel 5).

A funny story came out of it this morning though when my wife tried to drive it work. When working by the battery I removed the air intake box. I forgot to reattached the Mass Airflow Sensor cable. Guess what... the car doesn't run very well without that... like not at all. :) Wife thought I ruined her car that only has a few hundred miles on it. Thankfully, it was an easy fix and I felt stupid.

Don't know when the last speaker and sub will go in, hopefully by next weekend. I'm having a heck of a time finding an illustration of how to remove the rear door panels though. Online service manual from Helms is not published yet for the 2011+. Anyone know how to get it off or know a past post that shows how it's done on a 2011... 2010's and earlier are easy to find on YouTube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I just took a long drive home from the office and I'm pretty sure that ANC feature has to go. I don't even have a sub installed yet and I was able to get a resonant frequency when between 1500-2000rpm with light engine loading. It made the car sound like a V8 truck with a performance exhaust. It would come and go with a rumbling noise that was extremely annoying. I'm going to pull the ANC cable on the rear of the head unit and see if it goes away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Dear Bun707

Apparently, it's a complicated installation. The installer I plan to use said it'd take him about a full day to replace the four speakers and add an amp and an OEM interface kit. His shop holds the most world records in sound quality competitions of anyone east of the Mississippi, so I assume he's done a lot of installations. What'd take him a day would take me a year.

--Jaddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I've only done this once myself and that was about 10 years ago. I don't know the most about car audio but I do run an audio-visual company and it's still tough. It's certainly doable, but you'd have to enjoy doing this kind of work and working with your hands taking your time to do it right. Plus, you'll be in all sorts of strange, uncomfortable positions trying to feed wires under the dash. Hope you don't have a bad back. :D

Still trying to figure out how to get the rear door panels off. Maybe I'll put a post in the main forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
You guys must disconnect the ANC harness as all of the speakers in the vehicle interact with the ANC system. When you take the dash apart the plug you want to remove from the back of the radio was five or six thick gauge wires going to it. You will be able to identify it because the wires going to this harness are of a thicker gauge than anything else connected to the back of the radio. Hope this helps :p
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top