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Discussion Starter #1
Hi - My EX-L will be here soon so I'm about to do the speaker and head unit upgrades that were discussed yo many months & posts ago. This morning I had a thought: (Danger Will Robinson) if the OEM head unit is Panasonic (thanks, dlh2), would an upgraded Panasonic head unit take the input from the buttons w/out needing a special interface? Forgive me but I don't know how that connection works on the back of the box. It would be so much easier than mounting the thingy on the dash.

Thanks,
Dave
 

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Nestor was able to interface with his older Sony head unit directly, but it also required him to rework the factory resistor values.

The only input/output I know of on the Panasonics is the control interface between some of the head units and some of the video monitors that Panasonic makes. As far as I know, there is no remote wired interface you can tap into. Sorry.

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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)

[This message has been edited by shindog (edited 12-11-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Given that, I think my plan is:
1 listen to OEM set-up for at least a week to establish baseline.

2 upgrade speakers to the fabled Pioneers and listen for at least a week

3a if unacceptable, upgrade head-unit and consider CD changer, based on budget constraints. get the steering wheel button interface.

3b if acceptable, add in-dash cd changer or perhaps cassette player and under-seat changer

4 get a discrete silver emblem that reads, "Audio consulting by Shin John".

Dave
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Gettin'AVan:
Given that, I think my plan is:
1 listen to OEM set-up for at least a week to establish baseline.

2 upgrade speakers to the fabled Pioneers and listen for at least a week

3a if unacceptable, upgrade head-unit and consider CD changer, based on budget constraints. get the steering wheel button interface.

3b if acceptable, add in-dash cd changer or perhaps cassette player and under-seat changer

4 get a discrete silver emblem that reads, "Audio consulting by Shin John".

Dave
</font>
Sounds like a pretty decent plan to me! (except #4 LOL!!! Thanks, you're embarassing me!
)

Of course the Pioneers are a good, low cost/bang-for-the-buck speaker, which is why they are so recommended.

One last intermediate step I'd add (step 1b) would be to try and see if your local Best Buy has the 1665 and/or 1695 so you can audition them. I couldn't find the 1695 at any local stores, but others have commented that they were successful at Best Buy in hearing both Pioneer models touted on this website.

Speaker selection is VERY subjective and I think it is always a good idea to audition if you can before purchasing. I think of this forum and others like it serving as a compass to give people direction, but people's actual tastes and subjective opinions differ...

I could write another book on speaker auditioning, but here's a couple of the most important things to remember when you audition:

1) bring several CDs of DIFFERENT types of music YOU listen to frequently. This helps you choose a speaker who's tonal characteristics match your tastes, and makes sure you don't buy something that sounds bad for any of your tastes.

2) listen to all speakers at the same volume LEVEL, not radio volume setting. Speaker efficiencies vary and psychoacoustically, people tend to rate the louder speaker better than the softer one. Try to get this level when comparing. Notice that sales people always play more expensive speakers louder to "emphasize" their good sound to you. Don't be fooled.

3) Check off axis response. Make sure you listen at least some of the time with the speaker as far off angle as you expect them to be mounted in the car. Many car speakers dead on will sound harsh and overly bright, because they are tuned to have best performance off axis 30 degrees or more.

Much, much, more I could say, but just use your best judgement and let your ears tell you what you like.


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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 

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Very strange. I was thinking to upgrade the speakers as everybody else when I was still with my 99' EX. Now, I've got the 02' EXL-NAV and I have noticed the speakers may have been upgraded by Honda. It sounds fuller and a lot better than my old 99' and I have dropped the idea to upgrade them, at least for a while.
It may be subjective though because this is a newer van, I just wonder if it is true that Honda has upgraded the speakers for 02..
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lotus18:
Very strange. I was thinking to upgrade the speakers as everybody else when I was still with my 99' EX. Now, I've got the 02' EXL-NAV and I have noticed the speakers may have been upgraded by Honda. It sounds fuller and a lot better than my old 99' and I have dropped the idea to upgrade them, at least for a while.
It may be subjective though because this is a newer van, I just wonder if it is true that Honda has upgraded the speakers for 02..
</font>
The answer is, relative to '99 yes.
A couple of things happened, from my understanding:
1) somewhere in '00-'01, Honda phased over to poly cone/rubber surround fronts in the EX model. There were '99s and some '00s with paper cone front speakers.
2) In '02, the rears have been changed from the odd 5" size to 6.5". Bass response is suppossed to be better as a result.

I an unaware of any other speaker upgrades for the 2nd gen Ody. Anyone else?

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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 

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Thanks Shin John, I am glad that I am right about the sound improvement between my new 02' and the 99'. I am not that concern about the car stereo, so I will live with the 02' speakers for a while. I probably just need a cd changer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks SJ - I always judge a speaker salesman by his manipulation of volume levels. The best will tell you of the effect and remind you that more expensive doesn't equate to better in this most subjective of audio purchases. (Now that 99.44% of people don't by cartridges) I do NOT expect this kind of salesman at Best Buy. I'm not even certain I expect a salesman there to know enough to boost the volume to make the pricier one sound better. (My favorite place in NYC had a volume equalizer that corrected for efficiency. Then there are the places that run different speakers off different amps 'cause it's easier.)

The one step I would add to your speaker audition is to make certain that you listen to a recording of vocal music, preferably solo, unplugged. You know what a voice is "supposed" to sound like much more than a pedal-steel or cello or full orchestra. I've always told my friends that unless they never listen to vocal music they should bring 3 CDs with them - a vocal as described, and their 2 favorite discs from as widely distant genres as is reasonable. For speakers under $150 for the pair, vocal + 1 disc would probably be enough.

I've owned a bunch o' speakers for my home stereo but somehow or other my favorites seem to be a 30 year-old pair that came with a (long gone) Harmon Kardon compact system! They still sound great and are wonderfully "warm". Rotten for home theater but terrific for classical and jazz.

Dave
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Gettin'AVan:
Thanks SJ - I always judge a speaker salesman by his manipulation of volume levels. The best will tell you of the effect and remind you that more expensive doesn't equate to better in this most subjective of audio purchases. (Now that 99.44% of people don't by cartridges) I do NOT expect this kind of salesman at Best Buy. I'm not even certain I expect a salesman there to know enough to boost the volume to make the pricier one sound better. (My favorite place in NYC had a volume equalizer that corrected for efficiency. Then there are the places that run different speakers off different amps 'cause it's easier.)
</font>
LOL. Yeah, Best Buy doesn't have the most knowledgable staff, but they are better than Fry's (Bay Area electronics retailer known for poor customer service, but low prices). I'm always amazed at how much salesman not only play tricks/games, but influence so much based on personal bias.... "So and so is the BEST, hands down, no comparison. You don't even need to listen to (brand x)."

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The one step I would add to your speaker audition is to make certain that you listen to a recording of vocal music, preferably solo, unplugged. You know what a voice is "supposed" to sound like much more than a pedal-steel or cello or full orchestra. I've always told my friends that unless they never listen to vocal music they should bring 3 CDs with them - a vocal as described, and their 2 favorite discs from as widely distant genres as is reasonable. For speakers under $150 for the pair, vocal + 1 disc would probably be enough.
</font>
Totally agree, great comments. I always use vocals for my auditioning. Funny, I seem to "audition" speakers so much that I always keep my home burned test disk in my car. Has specific tracks to test different things. Everything from classical, jazz, pop, dance, to unplugged, test tones, etc... One male voice and one female voice for me is something I like to do too. Very different f spectrums,and...... ah, I ramble...

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
I've owned a bunch o' speakers for my home stereo but somehow or other my favorites seem to be a 30 year-old pair that came with a (long gone) Harmon Kardon compact system! They still sound great and are wonderfully "warm". Rotten for home theater but terrific for classical and jazz.

Dave
</font>
You know, once you get accustomed to a certain sound, that becomes your benchmark. It's not just what you're used to, but what you prefer, strengths and weaknesses together. I can afford to buy much better speakers than what I currently have at home (Boston T-830IIs) but they still suit me just great. Got a little baby Adcom and Yamaha preamp dedicated to the pair for just music listening. Not the highest end, but what I could afford in my college days, and still just great for me. Of course I also have the same fronts as part of my home theater setup, with a decent DD/DTS receiver, DVD player, etc... (use a home modified speaker selector to switch b/w HT receiver and audio only separate components)
OK, OK, a bit OT..
Geez. Another SJ rant on audio. I need help!
Have Fun Dave!

p.s.- when does your Ody arrive?

------------------
-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 
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