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Looking for solid improvement, not all out assault

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
$1500-$1800 budget for upgrading the sound system my '07 Honda Accord EX-L and would love some no-nonsense input from the AVS crowd. The dedicated car-audio forums tend to be populated by people who take this stuff way to0 seriously (5 subs in the trunk? Seriously?).

Few things to keep in mind:

*I'm keeping the OEM head unit, which has a 6CD changer and XM radio but no iPod input.

*I'm using a pro installer who will charge about $500 to install front components, rears, amp and a sub. I also intend to have the front doors and rear deck sound deadened. This leaves roughly $1000 to $1500 for gear.

*To keep things simple, assume I will be paying Crutchfield prices for gear.

My baseline system consists of the OEM head unit connected to a JL XD700/ 5-channel amp ($550) via an AudioControl LCi2 LOC ($100).

The amp will run 6.5" Focal Access component speakers ($300) in front, stock 6x9 rears and JL Audio CS110RG-W3v3 sealed subwoofer ($300).

After my wallet recovers, I'd likely replace the stock rears with some 6x9 Focal Access.

So that's the baseline. I'm considering a number of changes to the set up, including dumping the sub and going with a 4-channel amp and 6x9s in the rear.

Another option: go with something cheaper than the Focal Access, such as Alpine Type-R speakers.

Yet another option: upgrade the Focal Access to Focal Polyglass.

And one more: dropping the LC2i LOC and connect my OEM head unit to amp via speaker-level inputs.

I'm a late 30s rock, jazz and classical fan looking for a solid upgrade, not something that disturbs the neighbors or rivals my in-home systems.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 4
Well, I would suggest purchasing the Dayton HO 10 to save money on the sub situation. better over all subwoofer and less expensive. small enclosure low distortion etc.

it is possible the head unit has a built in "already eq'd" set up. This means that usually it is volume dependent. The louder it is turned up the bass level is automatically reduced. this constitutes the use of a processor that re-equalizes the system. There are several devices out there.

I will post more later on with links and possible alternatives.
post #3 of 4
Give a look at the JBL MS-8 system integration processor. It has a built in 8 channels of amplification I believe. http://ms8-eu.jbl.com/how-does-it-work.html

This would allow you to easily do this in a modular fashion. Buy the MS-8. Add a subwoofer for a low end foundation. Either run IB or a small powered model. Or build an enclosure and add the sub of your choice. Then if the factory speakers are not giving you the sound you want, add the component set of choice. you can even run the speakers active. if they do not get as loud as you want, add a bigger amplifier than what the JBL has. I honestly wouldn't add a bigger rear amp as in my opinion the JBL's internal one is powerful enough for the logic 7 rear fill. OR wait on the Alpine H800 that is due out. It's supposed to be bad A$$.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your pointers.

I've been all over this volume-dependent equalization issue and while I've yet to find definitive information, I've found quite a few 7th-gen Accord owners and a couple installers who don't see a need to "clean sweep" the signal before sending it to an amp.

Still, when I look at what it costs to have an iPod interface and fairly simple LOC installed (such as the Audio Control LCi2), I'm starting to lean toward going with an aftermarket head unit. I don't really care all that much for XM. Most of the channels I listen to are highly compressed, presumably to make room for more popular offerings.

I could also live without a CD player, if push came to shove, and just load up my iPhone.

Speakers are a big dilemma. Part of me is temped to go with a simple Alpine setup (Type R fronts and backs, MRP-F300 amp, no sub, USA Spec iPod adapter, Dynamatted doors and rear deck) and call it a day, knowing that this system should sound a lot better than the factory set up.

Another part of me is willing to spend 45 percent more to add an LC2i to the mix and upgrade the fronts to Focal Polyglass, the amp to a JL XD700/5 and swap the new rears for a 10" sub.

Okay, now that I just wrote that out, it's starting to sound kind of crazy ($2200 vs $1,500).
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