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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2005 EX-L install log (many pics)

Kenwood KMM-BT318U media player head unit
MTX Thunder 4244 4-channel amplifier
Kicker 40CWS124 12" Comp S subwoofer in a prefab box (for now)

The head unit is new, the sub and amp are recycled from others cars I've had.

The amp is mounted under the passenger seat and sending about 50 watts to the stock front speakers and bridged to send about 200 watts to the subwoofer. It's not currently secured to the carpet or car since I still need to get at it for final tuning. But, with the trim pieces back on the seat base, you can barely see it under there.

The sub wiring has a quick connect plug so I can pull it out if I need all the cargo space.

I still need to decide which front speakers I'm going to go with. I'll probably keep the stock speakers in the rear doors since they are turned way down and just getting head unit power (approx 22 watts).

Anyway, here's a few pics from my installation adventure last night:

20170327_194359 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170327_205435 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170327_211255 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170327_211857 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170327_214702 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170327_221604 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170327_222557 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170328_001656 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170328_011321 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170328_011906 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170328_014348 by ben.garner, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
50w was just too much for the poor factory speakers to handle. I turned the gain on the front channels down to more like 30w (10.9volts at the speaker terminals) and set the HP crossover at 90hz and they are doing much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The Kenwood has several illumination colors to choose from, this one is a good match for the Honda's green dash illumination:
20170329_074218 by ben.garner, on Flickr



Unfortunately, the display is not very bright and the angled position high on the dash gets it washed out by the sun very easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Still plugging away at this system.

I relocated the BT mic from the steering column here:

20170407_124455 by ben.garner, on Flickr

To inside the Homelink module in what I assume is an OEM mic location:
20170407_130402 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170407_130933 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I've also been experimenting with subwoofer locations and orientations. This seems to sound the best so far:
20170412_071515 by ben.garner, on Flickr

Quick beauty shot by the river on the way to work this morning:
20170412_071446 by ben.garner, on Flickr
 

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Quick beauty shot by the river on the way to work this morning:
20170412_071446 by ben.garner, on Flickr

Oh OK, beauty shot. At first glace I was afraid you went off the road and hit a tree.:surprise:

So for the mic, does the change in location sound better?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
This weekend, I mocked up a wireless phone charger onto my Ram X-grip phone holder. It certainly works, but it looks a bit janky.

20170427_235903 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170427_235920 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I also added some Kno Knoise Kolossus CLD to the front doors. I ordered the 14 sq ft door kit. I put 2 sq ft on the outer skin of each door, 4 sq ft on the inner skin, sealing all the holes, and then .5 sq ft on each interior door panel. I'm saving the remaining 3 sq ft for the tailgate.

Only pic I took during the project:

20170428_200155 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170428_200209 by ben.garner, on Flickr
 

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White-haired, wrinkled grandfather of the future speaking to his young grandson: "Back in my day, boy, if you can believe it, car dashboards didn't all come with fully integrated cellphone docking and recharging stations, so we had to concoct these old-timey Rube Goldberg contraptions."

Grandson: "Gee, gramps, you truly were the greatest generation."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
White-haired, wrinkled grandfather of the future speaking to his young grandson: "Back in my day, boy, if you can believe it, car dashboards didn't all come with fully integrated cellphone docking and recharging stations, so we had to concoct these old-timey Rube Goldberg contraptions."

Grandson: "Gee, gramps, you truly were the greatest generation."
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I finally stopped researching and bought some front speakers. I went with the JBL GTO609c components.

20170515_080009 by ben.garner, on Flickr

Obligatory woofer comparison pics:

20170513_141803 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170513_141701 by ben.garner, on Flickr

Contrary to what every online fit guide tells you, these are NOT a direct fit in the first gen Pilot. The depth is fine, but the frame is so much fatter that it doesn't drop right in.

Of course, I had cut the back out of the OEM speaker mounting bracket. I cut out everything but the actual mounting ring:

20170513_091650 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I attached the JBL mounting adapter to the OEM bracket like so:


20170513_083029 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I went to install the speaker into the bracket and got almost there:

20170513_083149 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I traced around the inside of the mounting bracket and saw that I needed to remove this much sheet metal to maximize clearance:

20170513_091931 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I got a new set of cutoff wheels for my Dremel and set to it. These were great, I didn't even use up one of the EZ456 wheels cutting both doors:

20170515_075910 by ben.garner, on Flickr

It took me about 10 minutes to cut each hole out and smooth the edges with a regular grinding stone bit.

20170514_222716 by ben.garner, on Flickr

With that metal removed, the speakers dropped in easily. I am currently testing different locations for the tweeter to see where I'll like them best. I'm driving around like this today:

20170515_065100 by ben.garner, on Flickr

With only about 30 minutes of listening, I really like these speakers. Of course they are much better than stock and we'll see how they sound as they break in over the next few days. There is some sibilance with the tweeters, but that should mellow out as they break in.

MSRP for the GTO components is $250. As of 5/15/17, they are still less than $90 with Prime shipping on Amazon:
MSRP is $250.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Based on the discussion here: Improve Your Soundstage for $2 - DIYMA.com

Here's my attempt at spherical pods for my Honda Pilot:

I’m installing the ¾” soft dome tweeters from my JBL GTO609c component set. I’m fitting the tweeter directly, without using the flush-mount cup supplied by JBL. This keeps the overall diameter of the tweeter down to 1.25”

Anyway, I went with the wood balls with the flat side from hobby lobby:

20170518_212515 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170522_221602 by ben.garner, on Flickr

Using a 1.25” forstner bit that I got at Lowe’s:
1495546050995 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I actually found it easier to get a cut on the round side of the ball instead of the flat side with the existing hole. The bit would just wander and jump all over in the soft wood:
20170522_221638 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170522_222239 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I used lamp rod and locking nuts to secure the pod to the A-pillar:
20170523_090426 by ben.garner, on Flickr

First impressions are positive, but I need to make another set. I’m not happy with the finish I was able to achieve and I need to aim the tweeters more toward the center of the car. I’d like to use some kind of stain or matte varnish to make the wood grain of the pods look decent instead of painting or flocking them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Quick updates:

- I moved the BT mic back down to the gauge cluster. It would pick up too much noise up by the mirror when driving in the rain.
- My super cheap wireless phone charger bit the dust already, so back to the drawing board on that one.
- JBL tweeters are in the OEM locations at the base of the windshield while I rebuild the spherical pods to look better.

- Finally used a 'scope (my coworker's Rigol DS1102E) to set the gains on the MTX amplifier:


20170723_173828 by ben.garner, on Flickr

The Kenwood headunit & my Galaxy S7 phone will both put out an unclipped signal at full volume. I used 0db 40Hz and 1000Hz tones to test this for all sources (USB, aux-in, BlueTooth).

With 13.8 VDC at the power terminals, the MTX 4244 amplifier put out 13.5 Vrms on the front channels and 29.3 Vrms to the bridged rear channel before clipping. That works out to 60 watts to my 3 ohm front speakers and 215 watts to the 4 ohm subwoofer. I used a -5bd 1000Hz tone for the fronts, and a -10db 40Hz tone for the subwoofer channels.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Today I replaced the JBL GTO tweeters with a pair of Dayton ND25FN-4 1-inch silk dome tweeters. I never did like the way the JBLs sounded at higher volume.

Anyway, right now the Daytons are just wrapped in a cloth and wedged into the OEM tweeter location on the dash. I'll audition them in a couple other spots before I decide where to put them permanently.

So far they are far and away more satisfying than the JBLs :)


nd25fn-4_photo_1_2_2 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170821_203202 by ben.garner, on Flickr


20170822_061519 by ben.garner, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Next tweeter audition location is the extreme corners of the dash, on-axis with the front seats. Basically, the left tweeter is aimed at the right headrest and the right tweet at the left headrest. They are still hooked up to the factory wiring which is connected to my JBL passive crossovers at the other end.

20170825_075258 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170825_075150 by ben.garner, on Flickr

This setup was an immediately noticeable improvement on the previous orientation of firing up at the windshield in the OEM locations.

After few days here, I'm going to try them in the door sail panels as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
More tweeter testing. I really would like these to just go in the OEM location. I made temp baffles to get them right where they would go under the factory grills.

This way I can verify that this will work for me before I chop up the little factory grills to hold these. The JBL tweeters actually just fit right into the factory grill without any modification. These Daytons are bigger and will require some fabrication to get them mounted securely.

So for now it's cardboard, tape, and a prayer ;)


20170829_190507 by ben.garner, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #19
fin by ben.garner, on Flickr

My Pilot is no more. Thanks to THREE other cars and some scofflaw who doesn't know what to do in a lane with a continuous green arrow.









20170915_172152 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170915_181505 by ben.garner, on Flickr

20170915_181643 by ben.garner, on Flickr

I went to the salvage yard over the weekend and retrieved all of my belongings and all of my audio equipment. So, now I’m looking for another car. [sarcasm] Joy. [/sarcasm]
 

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Thanks for the post and to see u leave that beauty finally, but glad u got a good ride with the mazda !
 
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