E-Mass, Xenon, et al.- Audio question [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: E-Mass, Xenon, et al.- Audio question

07-15-2003, 07:47 AM
I'm fairly sure this hasnt been addressed in a previous thread.

Like many people, I am noticing how lacking the factory EX stereo is in the midrange. Alot of my music is too bassy (after adjustments on the subwoofer/bass) or too tinny (again, after adjustments). I'm assuming this to be due to shoddy settings on the factory head unit.

Using e-Mass's excellent wiring diagram, and researching the Alpine CDA-9807 that Xenon-E ended up with, I am interested in looking at buying and putting in a new head unit myself. That part i'm not too worried about.

I do want to know if you guys think the factory speakers are beyond help. If I purchase just the Alpine head unit, will there be that much of a noticeable improvement in your opinions?

If not, could ya'll point me in the right direction as far as speakers? I'm on a relatively tight budget- not looking to win any competitions or nuttin :) Just want a stereo I can listen to my eclectic music (from classical to thrash metal) and be satisfied that I'm not listening to muddy crap. Thanks in advance :)

07-15-2003, 07:57 AM
i feel like an idiot. i missed the sticky threads.

feel free to close/delete. Thanks!

07-15-2003, 08:05 AM
If you put in the Alpine HU and leave the speakers alone you really won't end up with a noticebly better sound quality.

Although car audio can be somewhat difficult to do in stages, my suggestion to people about the order of which to upgrade if it has to be done in stages is this...

1. Speakers
2. Head unit
3. Amplifier
4. Subwoofer

Using this model, just keep in mind what the next step will be and plan accordingly. In other words, don't buy speakers intended solely for low powered systems if you're planning on getting amps and a head unit later on because then they'll be a weak point in the system.
OTOH, if you're not sure how far you'll go then it might make sense to buy those low power handling speakers since they'll sound good now and you won't lose all that much if you decide to put them on ebay later on when you get an amp and want better speakers.

As far as sound quality is concerned I personally do not like the stock speakers at all but it's not my opinion that counts here - it sounds like you are unhappy with them and if that's the case then you should consider replacing them. You will notice a big increase in sound quality with a good pair of speakers.

Everybody's tastes are different but a lot of people like Polk, Infinity, JL Audio, Focal, etc.

07-15-2003, 01:11 PM
Yeah, what he said!

Seriously, I have installed high end sound systems in my last 3 cars where I found the factory lacking. But, my '95 Integra GSR had really good factory speakers. I was surprised how good it all sounded with a 400w, 4 channel amp driving them. I had put in an Alpine HU (yes, I'm partial), 2 Alpine amps (400w 4 channel for speakers and a 400w 2 channel for the subs), a Kenwood EQ with parametric and 2 10" Kicker subs. I was about to change out the speakers when I tested the system and heard how good the factory sounded. That being said, I agree with eMass. The very first thing I usually do is rip out the speakers. I did this to the E and found the cheap paper cones. I put my MB quart components in the front and Pioneer 2-ways in the back. But, they still sounded tinny/muddy. The head unit has to be swapped. I have done many installs, but I have never tried to integrate a factory amp & sub. usually I just rip them out and put in custom stuff. But, I wanted to keep the functionality of the car. So, that's why I bugged the sh** out of eMass. I knew from previous experience that this could be done. I just wanted someone else to do it so I had the warranty if it went bad.

Geez, I need to shut up already. Long story short: if you love your tunes like me, swap out the speakers and HU. I love the 9807 for the price and the way it looks in the car. I also have the AUX wired through the HU. Plus, the unit reads MP3's so there is no need to get a CD changer. I just burned a CD with over 5 hours of music on it.....

07-15-2003, 01:49 PM
cool guys, thanks for takin the time to enlighten me!