Two years ago I upgraded all the stereo components behind the factory head unit/in dash 6-disc changer. For those who think Bose represents high quality, don’t let the name fool you. The Bose stereo installed by the Acura fcatory is crap. We’re talking paper cone speakers, two tiny underpowered amps and a subwoofer that will make you laugh because it burps more than it thumps.
Check out the differences between the Bose 5.25″ subwoofer and the Focal sub that took its place. One, the Focal speaker cone material is stiffer than a 6th grader finding his dad’s porn collection. Two, the surrounding material and the overall basket construction is a lot stronger and higher quality over the Bose.
Stage 1 of the upgrade included installing Accumat in the door panels and rear quarter panels, using new wires/cables everywhere, Alpine amps, a/d/s component speakers for the front stage, Pioneer 6.5″ speakers for rear fill, power and ground distribution blocks, and a hi-lo converter. Sound quality was a HUGE improvement over the Bose stereo components.
I finally got around to upgrading the head-unit because I wanted integrated iPod control. The FM transmitters and cassette tape adapters on the market today just weren’t up to par. I’ve seen my friends use them and I didn’t like the drawbacks: 1) finding an unused FM frequency to broadcast the iPod tunes, 2) moderate sound quality because FM transmitters and other iPod adapters compress the signal within the limits of their media, 3) an external adapter to power/charge the iPod must be used, 4) and accessing your iPod music and playlists have to be done with your iPod in hand (a dangerous distraction when driving).
So, I went from this:
In stage 1, I had to use hi-low converters along the signal path because the factory head unit was still in place. Moving forward with stage 2, I dumped the hi-low converters because they were no longer necessary and cleaned up the signal path. Noticeable improvement in sound quality was probably more psychological, but once less piece of hardware is usually a good thing.
Below are some pics of the install.
Alpine V-series amps, a/d/s crossovers and Scosche power distribution blocks. The green box is the hi-low converter which was trashed immediately after I installed the Pioneer head unit.
Accumat sound dampening material applied to doors and rear quarter panels significantly reduces road noise in the cabin.
Upgraded parts list:
Alpine MRP-F250 (4 x 40 Watts)
a/d/s 246IX (6.5″ component speakers for front stage)
Pioneer TS-G1641 (6.5″ speakers for rear fill)
Scosche power distribution blocks
Scosche dash kit
Metra wiring harness
Phoenix Gold wire and interconnects
Accumat sound dampening material in door and rear quarter panels