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Upgrading the audio of my 2018 1.5T Honda Accord Touring (10th gen)

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Originally made this on LL, didn’t get much traction. But then I started using it basically as a wiki to keep track of links and whatnot as I’m learning. Then I got worried about LL dying some day (the day is coming) and Marcel’s decree that it has a standing DNR order. So I wanted to move things here because sweet Tiko would never let us die like that right Tiko.

I love my “new” car (bought it used), but the audio blows. So I’m trying to make it better. Unbeknownst to me car audio is magnitudes more complicated than I expected because the radios are so tightly integrated with the car’s operating system these days. Plus I’m a complete novice at this stuff so I’m definitely gonna fuck things up I just hope I don’t explode anything.

Here’s a bunch of links I’m keeping track of here for future reference:

Documentation/Maintenance


Speaker replacement threads

Informative posts about the OEM Amp

Information about line output converters (LOCs)


Accessing the rear deck


Videos

Misc equipment


Edited by Dylar at 2021-01-11 23:53:57Jan 11 23:53

Issues to bring up with the dealer next time I’m in for servicing:

  1. TSB 19-051 for the collision mitigation braking system going offline randomly which has happened to me a couple times. not a big deal, goes away when you restart the car but still mildly annoying https://www.driveaccord.net/threads/collision-mitigation-braking-system-problem-warning-light-see-your-dealer.502402/

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  2. TSB 17-006 for rear deck rattle that I need to have done as well:

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Thus far I have successfully disconnected the ANC module that was buried in the dash. I managed to only break one clip pulling off the panels. The hardest part honestly pulling the fucking plug out (didn’t realize there was a release button on it because of how it’s oriented lol).

I think this alone helped but it’s still very anemic, particularly in the lower registries. Planning on adding a better sub soon. I don’t want a “sub in a box” in my trunk, I want something that fits in the space where the current shitty sub is at so it fires into the cabin. Trying to figure out if I need a LOC to an amplifier to the sub, or if just dropping in a replacement sub speaker and using the existing wiring will be enough. Either way I’ll probably do that first since it’s easiest and the LOC stuff makes my brain hurt a little bit (I’m not totally sure what the advantage of this would be given the signal to the existing sub is already crossed over and amplified as far as I can tell).

I also tried turning off a mysterious “PS” option in the audio settings via a developer menu but I don’t think that did shit. To get to the developer menu hold Home+Power+Source for 6 seconds until beep, tap Detail Information & Setting (lower option) on the screen, then hold Home for 6 second until beeps again, select Audio Setting, then turn off PS Setting option.

There looks to be some fun non-audio related shit in that developer menu i’ll probably play around with some day

Oh another dumb thing I did in the head unit that I honestly think helped was turning off the volume compensation function that would increase volume at higher (louder) speeds. Also turned off some weird processing called Neural Surround.

As I’m learning more about how this all works it’s more frustrating they didn’t engineer it in a more upgrade-friendly manner and simultaneously obviously didn’t put a lot of effort into the system. Like Honda please just pay one of the big audio engineering companies to outfit you cars with a decent audio system. Everyone hates your audio systems.

The radio interfaces with the oem external amplifier via an RS485 connection and as far as I can tell nobody has reverse engineered it or is marketing a harness to connect to it. It maybe wouldn’t matter if they had because now a day a lot of other inputs come in and get mixed into the radio audio signals via the external amplifier (things like chimes, warning sounds, navigation voice alerts, etc). So because of that we have to use the lines coming out of the amplifier, not before it. Which is theory shouldn’t be too big of a problem even though there are literally 10 discreet channels coming out of this thing (because there are 10 speakers – 2 front tweeters, 2 front woofers, one front center, 2 rear tweeters, 2 rear woofers, 1 rear subwoofer). In theory you takes these lines, feed them through something called a LOC (line output converter) to convert the signals back into a “preamp” type signal that you THEN send to your own amp and then out to the speakers from there. It’s more complicated than that (and the wiring sounds like a fucking nightmare), but that’s the gist I think.

However the more I learn about this, the bigger a pain in the ass it is because apparently Honda has “aggressively EQ’d” these signals. From what I can tell this means they have manipulated the signals in such a way to try and compensate for natural nulls that result from the interior structure/architecture of the cabin (i.e., soundwaves bouncing off the interior at certain frequencies nullify each other causing it to sound weaker than it should). but apparently they did a real shitty job of it and there are a bunch of nulls anyway. Also you can manipulate the timing/phases to optimize the audio depending on precisely where your head is located in the cabin (i.e. depending on your height and seat positioning). And also there are crossovers and rolloffs to consider in which only certain frequency ranges are sent to the various speakers depending on their frequency response curves (and again, apparently they did really weird shit with this like crossing the tweeters over insanely high).

So basically that means not only will I need LOCs and an amplifier, I’ll probably also need a DSP to unfuck all these timing/frequency issues. And not only that you have to know how to set the DSP up and that takes specialized equipment to make the right measurements I think.

Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-31 15:42:532020-12-31 15:42


Sound deadening, insulation, vibration control. Seems relatively straightforward but labor intensive.

Rear deck rattle

Edited by Dylar at 2021-01-01 23:46:32Jan 1 23:46

Wheels

My car came with 19” (i think?) wheels. I’ve never had fancy rims before and I kind of hate them, I don’t like the look. plus i’ve learned they’re super heavy (not a fancy alloy) and bog down the car and supposedly are louder than normal wheels.

also the rims stick out further than the tires and many people (including myself within the first week or ownership) “curb rash” the passenger side rims when parking tight against a curb. I did like twice before I even realized what I did and have since done it like 2 more times because i’m a stupid idiot.

anyway I haven’t decided if i’ll take them to a wheel shop to fix the curb rashes (probably not worth it) or just get less obnoxious, quieter wheels/tires.

Question

  • Painted calipers? pure vanity but I like them

Edited by Dylar at 2021-01-26 14:37:28Jan 26 14:37
Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-31 15:41:222020-12-31 15:41
Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-31 15:41:422020-12-31 15:41
Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-30 14:53:442020-12-30 14:53

May change the torque mount with the kind that comes with the 6 speed manual transmission. Supposedly stiffens things up and makes the car more responsive. Saw a yt video by Honda Jon about this

Sway bar?

Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-17 15:06:212020-12-17 15:06

Placeholder for links

https://www.driveaccord.net/members/2accordz.4958/
https://www.driveaccord.net/members/jackpine.361031/
https://www.driveaccord.net/members/mdhonda43.366909/

Questions -

  • will a larger (10”) free air sub fit?
  • Crossovers not necessary? Where are the various speakers crossed over by the amp?
  • Bypass amp? What the harness for?
Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-31 18:17:022020-12-31 18:17
Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-30 14:50:012020-12-30 14:50
Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-30 14:49:282020-12-30 14:49
Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-31 15:40:562020-12-31 15:40
Edited by Dylar at 2020-12-29 14:45:252020-12-29 14:45

Other Misc Modifications


General threads

Puddle & ambient lights

Splash Guards (Mud Flaps)

Window visors

Trunk handle

Roof spoiler

  • Keep rain off rear window?

Trunk Spoiler

Chrome-delete

Dashcam

Headlights

Heated steering wheel

Had it in my old car and really enjoyed it. Might be something I could do on my own, although I can also imagine my steering wheel coming off the steering column and dying.

Seats

Edited by Dylar at 2021-01-09 19:03:47Jan 9 19:03
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