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Discussion Starter #1
I have the EX-L. Does anyone know the sizes/models of the speakers in the car.

I understand that the speakers are Alpine. Alpine does make some good equipment. Actually their component speaker set is fairly highly rated...not sure if this is what is in the Pilot however.

Thanks
Joe
 

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It's NOT...

Do you really think they'd put high quality speakers in?

They are bottom of the line. Any Alpine you can buy at Best Buy is built twice as well the OEM stuff.

You can count the number of vehicles that come with really nice speakers on one hand!

Component? HA! TV Sets have better speakers.

Beleive me, if Honda had Alpine put some top of the line speakers in, you'd see ALL Specs right on the option sheet.

I would guess the factory Alpines are about as good as the stuff that Radio Shack sells in the plastic bags or red/black boxes -- not even as good as their "Optimus" stuff!!!

Just take 'em out!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I take it you think the sound from the Stereo system in th Pilot, is awfull?

How difficult is it to change the speakers in the doors?

Several brands jump out at me, anyone have any sugestions?
Infinity Kappa 62.5i
Kenwood eXcelon KFC-XR600
MB Quartz

Joe
 

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For the money...

the Infinities are a great speaker. You can get 'em for less $90. The Kenwoods aren't worth more(though they are somewhat more efficient/louder), but cost more. The MB Quart DKD 116 are probably around $120, I have not heard 'em.

I heard some Alpine SPS-1729S at a shop awhile ago and I thought they rocked, and were a steal at $99, but they might be kinda hard to find, and I think they were oversized so installation might be a hassle.


What's your budget?

If you have a specific amount of money in mind, you should decide how 'loud' you can afford... If you have the cash to go with seperates you have more options/better speakers. There are some very decent component speaker packages for about $200, though install would be a bit more involved. With components you could easily stick with the factory head unit until you had the cash to install some big amps and the speakers would "ready to rock"!


BTW I don't think the Pilot has as bad a setup as the MDX, I the factory must have changed something, or my Pilot test driver was better than usual but I would rate its set-up as "better than average" ;)
 

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If money isn't an option MB Quart's are incredible ...

All the rest are midrange quality speakers ...

PrG
 

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Hondacuraworld Help

Tim

Do you have any specifications on the size of the different speakers in the Pilot? I didn't see any replacement speakers offered at your web site.
 

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Hard to replace?

How hard is it to replace the speakers on LX Pilot?
Is it a real doozy, and messy?
If anyone have experience with this please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just want to see if we can get this questions answered, about changing the speakers in the doors. How difficult is it?
 

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I am sure it's actually easy ... I just don't think, as new as the PILOTs are that anyone has been brave enough to pull or want to pull their door panels off yet ...

PrG
 

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I've gone through these things many times before, and as a teen I was involved in competition car audio. Bottom line - don't bother changing the speakers out unless you are ready to drop some money on amplifiers. The type of economical speakers that are used in factory installed are typically 6-8 ohms as opposed to the aftermarket audio standard of 4 ohms. They are also typically VERY efficient speakers (sometime 100+db efficient). Their lack of complexity is partly why they are so efficient. Adding coaxial speakers (cone with center stem mounted tweeter) adds some passive electronics to divide the high and low frequencies between the cone (low) and the tweeter (high). The electronics used actually rob power to some degree. "Separates" are even better speakers quality-wise as they typically use better speaker components and more complicated frequency separation components. These usually come as a cone speaker, a separately monted tweeter, and a small separate crossover box for the frequency separating electronics. The higher quality components usually have larger magnets for more controlled response, but also require much more power to drive them. It is generally accepted that it takes twice the power (in watts) to raise the sound level by 3db (decibels). If you have a set of factory speakers that are 94db efficient and replace them with aftermarket "separate" speakers that are 88db efficient, it would take 3 times the amplifier to drive them at the same volume level that your factory speakers played at. This is why you often hear the complaint "I replaced the speakers and the sound quality (typically frequency response) is better, but they just don't play as loud." Don't underestimate the importance of volume. You might be inclined to think that you are willing to give up some "loud" for the sake of "clear", but it never pans out quite that easily. Giving speaker too little power is usually far worse than giving them too much power.

Another thought. A friend of mine who shares the passion for audio has a relative who helps test & design audio systems for one of the "big 3" auto makers in Detroit. There is quite a bit of design work that goes into creating just the right speaker for each cavity that the speaker goes into and also the cabin area that it will be played in. The speakers are tuned to the car the best that they can. While aftermarket speakers are superior in construction and stand alone performance, you really have to give them some power in order for them to do what they were made to do. It's all or nothing as far as I'm concerned. You either live with the factory system, or replace speakers and install proper amplifiers. I used to go the latter (to the extreme), but my priorities have changed and I don't have the time to mess around with that stuff anymore. I'm leaving the factory system how it is. In fact, I think it sounds pretty darn good for a factory system.

Just my .02 (and maybe a bit more)

Chris
 

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Chris
Are you saying a compromise is not possible?!
Can't one find a pair of better 2 way speakers that
have a good efficiency? I am not big on car audio (just don't
think it matters with all the noise, unless the system is really
bad), but I attempted to build a high end home once.
AFAIK, not all the good speakers are terribly inefficient.
I mean extra power is always a bonus, especially if you don't
want to blow your cones, and want them to perform at lower
volumes. Nevertheless, I think if someone would put his mind
to it, it should be possible to find something good AND efficient.
Are things that much different in car audio world?
 

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Kruzo,

The biggest differences in the car audio world are the lack of good, raw power and impedance. Most factory systems are 6-8 ohms, while the aftermarket standard is 4 ohms. From a power standpoint, the factory systems are typically VERY weak. While in our case, they state 155 (I think) watts for the EX, that is peak output. The continuous, or RMS rating is probably less than 50 watts. Divide that up (unevenly, of course) between the 7 speakers (probably 4 channels as the dash tweets are probably on the same channel as the doors and the sub is probably on the same channel as the rears) and you get more like 12.5 watts/channel to work with. While this might fall within the minimum range for very efficeint coaxials, it's still far from optimal. Even very small aftermarket amplifiers usually provide at least 25 watts/channel of good, clean power. The aftermarket amps will also provide a constant ground while many factory "high power" systems offer a floating ground that might also diminish the performance of the speakers. I've seen it tried far too many times and I can't think of any case where the replacements were a better trade off while continuing to use factory power.

Chris
 

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Chris,

Thanks for sharing all your knowledge with stereos. You are the Man! :6:

I have to agree with you that the factory installed stereo is pretty darn good for being factory. I am actually very happy with it. :29:
 

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HenryFan said:
Chris,
Where do think is a good place to install an amp on the Pilot?
I'm not really sure as I don't plan to upgrade. Off the top of my head, here are a few that might be possible:

Behind center console
Under front seats (this is an old aftermarket standby)
In the third row headrest storage area (unless you go nuts, heat shouldn't be that bad)
Under armrest storage area

Again, I haven't put too much thought into it because I plan to stay factory. I've actually been spending my time thinking about where I'm going to put an XM radio controller and a TV tuner for the RES.

Chris
 

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With due respect...

Chris:

While I'm sure there are quite a few cases where stock speakers can be OK, and the built-in head unit has NO ability to drive better speakers, I have found a LARGE percentage of vehicles do benefit from a speaker upgrade, ESPECIALLY as the quality of the OEM headunits has DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED in the last few years. Simply put, the makers of the headunits have found it cost very little to put a fairly good amp in their bottom-of-line OEM units, because the cost of making transistors is just so cheap. There is little to be saved by using 'older technology' low output tranistors when they newer high output stuff costs the same, and they already are using them in their aftermarket units.

Even the 'base' units of all but the most bargin basement vehicles have CDs and amps that put out over 10 watts/channel RMS. Truly this is PLENTY of power to give acceptable SPL ( 100 db+) with ANY speaker that is at least 88 db/watt efficent! Very few aftermarket speakers would fall below this mark.


Happily the stock speakers in the Pilot do seem to sound OK, certainly better than the crap in the MDX, but I am sure that no one at AHMC spent more than a few moments spec'ing out the ANCIENT speakers in the Pilot or MDX. Simply put, the expense of high qaulity aftermarket is beyond the tolerance of the automakers. The speaker makers don't make the paper coned speakers JUST because they are simpler, they really are less expensive. The polymers, ceramics & metals used for high quality speakers cost many orders of magnitude more than paper. Ditto for ltra high magnetic density neodynmium magnets vs the cheap ferrous materials used in the OEM magnets. Even the wires and foils in voice coils can vary by factors of 10x or more!

I do belive you that some manufacturers do spend considerable effort getting the most out of the stock installationm but sadly it does not seem that was part of the philosophy that AHMC used on the Pilot (or MDX).

Frankly , if you've seen the speakers in the Pilot, and their <$20 price tag, you'd know these are not just simple, they are junk. Go to ANY electronics shop/car stereo shop and the quality and efficiency of the speakers you'd get for a VERY SMALL investment ( under $150 for all four!) would be WORLDS better than what the factory puts in PLUS you could always upgrade the amps/head units later!

Many, many high quality speakers will perform quite nicely with the factory set-up.

FINALLY, you seem confused on notions of electrical resistance impedance
. Speakers with a higher elctrical resitence will draw LESS current from an amplifier. The lower the resitence the higher the effective efficiancy of a speaker. So, all things bieng equal, a speaker with more resitance will be less effiecient than one with less resistance...Without getting too techincal, the reason that a particular amplifier is designed to operate with a certain resitance (say 6 or 8 ohms) is to deliver LESS current. If it were capable of operation into a 'short circuit' (ZERO ohms of resitance) it would deliver ALL available current! This would require massive heat sinks to dissipate heat, and other overbuilding of the internal components. Therefore, MOST amps probably deliver MORE current at lower impedance. If the specification is quoted at 6 or 8 ohms, much more power is available at lower impedance.
There is all kinds of good info that describes how voice coils actaully represent an inductive load (due the fields generated within thier windings) but you can get some of the ideas from this paper: http://www.lse.e-technik.uni-erlangen.de/e/images/acustica99.pdf

Anyhow, I'm not really talking about making a KILLER auto sound competition vehicle, I'm just pointing out that MANY (most) vehicles will IN DEED benefit from upgraded speakers! The reasons are simple -- it is still more costly for the factory to upgrade the speakers than it is for them to upgrade the head units and factory amps have acceptable amounts of power to drive aftermarket speakers. Remember speakers are much more like the "hard parts" of an engine, where material costs are a large percentage of the price, while headunits are largley "solid state" and the bulk of their cost is in the cost of designing features -- just like the computer world, prices fall rapidly for the chips.
 

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xyzzy said:
Again, I haven't put too much thought into it because I plan to stay factory. I've actually been spending my time thinking about where I'm going to put an XM radio controller and a TV tuner for the RES.
My Pioneer XM radio controller sits in the blank spot under the A/C controls.
 

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xyzzy said:
I've gone through these things many times before, and as a teen I was involved in competition car audio. Bottom line - don't bother changing the speakers out unless you are ready to drop some money on amplifiers. The type of economical speakers that are used in factory installed are typically 6-8 ohms as opposed to the aftermarket audio standard of 4 ohms. They are also typically VERY efficient speakers (sometime 100+db efficient). Their lack of complexity is partly why they are so efficient. Adding coaxial speakers (cone with center stem mounted tweeter) adds some passive electronics to divide the high and low frequencies between the cone (low) and the tweeter (high). The electronics used actually rob power to some degree. "Separates" are even better speakers quality-wise as they typically use better speaker components and more complicated frequency separation components. These usually come as a cone speaker, a separately monted tweeter, and a small separate crossover box for the frequency separating electronics. The higher quality components usually have larger magnets for more controlled response, but also require much more power to drive them. It is generally accepted that it takes twice the power (in watts) to raise the sound level by 3db (decibels). If you have a set of factory speakers that are 94db efficient and replace them with aftermarket "separate" speakers that are 88db efficient, it would take 3 times the amplifier to drive them at the same volume level that your factory speakers played at. This is why you often hear the complaint "I replaced the speakers and the sound quality (typically frequency response) is better, but they just don't play as loud." Don't underestimate the importance of volume. You might be inclined to think that you are willing to give up some "loud" for the sake of "clear", but it never pans out quite that easily. Giving speaker too little power is usually far worse than giving them too much power.

Another thought. A friend of mine who shares the passion for audio has a relative who helps test & design audio systems for one of the "big 3" auto makers in Detroit. There is quite a bit of design work that goes into creating just the right speaker for each cavity that the speaker goes into and also the cabin area that it will be played in. The speakers are tuned to the car the best that they can. While aftermarket speakers are superior in construction and stand alone performance, you really have to give them some power in order for them to do what they were made to do. It's all or nothing as far as I'm concerned. You either live with the factory system, or replace speakers and install proper amplifiers. I used to go the latter (to the extreme), but my priorities have changed and I don't have the time to mess around with that stuff anymore. I'm leaving the factory system how it is. In fact, I think it sounds pretty darn good for a factory system.

Just my .02 (and maybe a bit more)

Chris
Chris,

Excellent write up ... I completely agree with you ...

PrG
 

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Renov8r,

The problem with the difference in impedence isn't a matter of the speaker end, it has more to do with the amp end of the deal. As you point out, lower the impedence, draw more current. In these systems that were designed for 6-8 ohms and amps that are tucked into niches behind the dash/console area with no air flow, forcing the the amp to see 4 ohms can be deadly (for the amp). I've also had bad experiences where driving these amps at 4 ohms cause significant distortion levels when pushed to higher volume levels. Back in the day, I used to be a big fan of Precision Power and Orion amps. The PPI amps I ran were 2 ohm stable and the Orion was .5 ohm stable! We did run one of the PPIs at 1 ohm for a bit, but the paint on the casing started to discolor pretty quickly (all in the name of science!)

Again, it's not that it can't be done, and certainly the frequency response will improve, but at the cost of volume level and clarity at volume. Typically the response on first listen is "yeah, it sounds better, but can't get enough of it." Many of those experiences are shortly followed by the quest for a small amp to drive the speakers. YMMV, but my experiences have never been all that great with just speaker replacements.

Great comments, and I only really disagree with one of your points. You state that "many, many high quality speakers will perform quite nicely with the factory setup." I would disagree with this from the standpoint that "high quality speakers" (i.e. separates with decent sized magnets to drive them) almost always have lower efficiencies (mid 80's). You could define some coaxials as "high quality", but again,the better they are the less efficient they typically are. Again, it's commonly known in the audio industry that it's far worse to underpower speakers than it is to overpower them.

I also wouldn't discount the time spent on the speaker selection by Honda. While I have no doubt that they choose very inexpensive components, I believe that they do require them to meet certain design requirements. Do you honestly think that there wasn't any thought into this? I think you only have to listen to the sub to know differently. It's not that the sub is anything to write home about, but most subs are VERY picky about the cavity behind them. You can buy (and many custom audio shops do) software that will help you to design a box to match a speakers characteristics. This type of analysis is especially important when designing boxes for limited airspace applications. JL Audio and Q Forms have made big bucks off of designing sculpted boxes with matched subs to fit specific auto spaces in trunks, behind seats, etc. The sub in the Pilot hits pretty good for the very limited amount of air volume behind it. I'd be willing to bet that the audio engineers spend a fair amount of time back there.

Chris
 
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