Is the sound system in the 1st gen superior? - Acura TSX Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Is the sound system in the 1st gen superior?

Just got a 2012 and love it but I’m not an audiophile I can’t tell if the sound system is better or worse.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 03:20 PM
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I've never been in a 2nd gen TSX, but I've heard it has more "bells & whistles" than the 1st gen.

Overall I'm pleased with the factory sound system in my '08 TSX, and hope you're happy with your '12.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 10:55 PM
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If you can't tell then it doesn't matter if it's technically better or worse. As long as you are happy with it. I've never been in a 2G either, my 04 had muddy bass and lots of distortion at higher volumes. I changed all my speakers for Alpine type S. Night and day difference for a reasonable price... And louder for the same wattage, I can't stand anything over 30 now (max is 40 iirc). Stock head unit and amp.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 02:38 AM
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If you can't tell then it doesn't matter if it's technically better or worse. As long as you are happy with it. I've never been in a 2G either, my 04 had muddy bass and lots of distortion at higher volumes. I changed all my speakers for Alpine type S. Night and day difference for a reasonable price... And louder for the same wattage, I can't stand anything over 30 now (max is 40 iirc). Stock head unit and amp.
How easy was the swap? Are the speakers just plug and play?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 02:55 AM
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How easy was the swap? Are the speakers just plug and play?
If you own a Phillips and flathead screwdriver, plastic trim tools and know how to use them properly; not hard at all. Plug and play wiring is available. Check out crutchfield.com, type in your vehicle and they will recommend what fits, and all brackets and wiring to make it as simple as possible. They're not the cheapest but their service is top notch. Any trouble and they're just a phone call away. Even if you want to buy the items cheaper elsewhere you can still use their site to spec out what you need.

It's been a few years since I did this but I think at the time I got everything for about $400. The component kit for the front is a MUST! Tweeters will require some minor modification. The supplied housing is just slightly too large to fit in our dash. I just used the tweeter itself and hot glued it into the (modified) OEM housing. I think I may have had to modify the wiring to make them fit the dash harness too. Didn't want to cut the harness. I did not use the supplied crossovers, just let the OEM circuitry take care of that. Adding in another could potentially make some high-mid frequencies disappear.

Beyond the tweeters everything else was very straightforward.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 03:24 PM
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I've noticed the 06 TSX is a good factory sound system; but, it is +15 year old technology. The ELS sound system is a step up; but, that is also around the same age. The big advantage with the ELS is really shines with DVD-A. You will think you have a totally different system once you put DVD-A into the ELS. Sounds about the same for both systems with the nod going to ELS with FM, XM, CD, or AUX input.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 03:13 PM
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I'm sorry guys but I found the factory TSX stereo to be absolute trash. Admittedly I am a bit of an audiophile though.

I ran the stock non-navi receiver for awhile, bypassed the factory amp with a line driver pushing 5v out, and then ran Focal Access 6.5" components front and rear powered by a JL Audio 300/4. With a JL 500/1 and JL 12w6 subwoofer. Sounded great.

Just changed to an Alpine 149bt that will be hooked up via bluetooth to a custom iPad mini indash setup. Once I'm able to tune the Alpine and re-tune my amps I expect it to sound wonderful. Straight out the box it already sounds great.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 05:42 PM
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I'm sorry guys but I found the factory TSX stereo to be absolute trash. Admittedly I am a bit of an audiophile though.

I ran the stock non-navi receiver for awhile, bypassed the factory amp with a line driver pushing 5v out, and then ran Focal Access 6.5" components front and rear powered by a JL Audio 300/4. With a JL 500/1 and JL 12w6 subwoofer. Sounded great.

Just changed to an Alpine 149bt that will be hooked up via bluetooth to a custom iPad mini indash setup. Once I'm able to tune the Alpine and re-tune my amps I expect it to sound wonderful. Straight out the box it already sounds great.
Nice! I wouldn't say the OEM radio/speakers was "trash" in the 1G TSX, but I definitely felt like it needed upgrading, and you can never really go wrong with good component speakers, a real subwoofer, and clean power from a quality amplifier.

My quibble is with the radio reception on the stock unit. I know, I'm a dinosaur, but there are plenty of times I don't want to listen to something off of my iPhone and actually want to hear a DJ playing what the DJ is playing and talking about, or live news radio, and so on. I find the stock radio very staticky. Where is the antenna wired into, the rear window or something? How could one improve its reception?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 11:24 AM
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Sorry I can't speak to the radio reception at all - I'm BT'd to my phone like 99% of the time.

I think it's integrated into the rear defroster though -don't quote me on that but for some reason that's where I think it is.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:07 PM
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Sorry I can't speak to the radio reception at all - I'm BT'd to my phone like 99% of the time.

I think it's integrated into the rear defroster though -don't quote me on that but for some reason that's where I think it is.
That's what I think too, and I just realized, I got the car used with the rear window tinted fairly dark, and I don't know what kind of tint it is. I have heard that using metallic tint on a rear window where the antenna is integrated with the defroster wiring can cause interference with the radio reception. Maybe that's what's going on?

I guess it's time to get the rear window stripped and re-tinted, I think it's too dark anyway.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 08:40 PM
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Sorry I can't speak to the radio reception at all - I'm BT'd to my phone like 99% of the time.

I think it's integrated into the rear defroster though -don't quote me on that but for some reason that's where I think it is.
That's what I think too, and I just realized, I got the car used with the rear window tinted fairly dark, and I don't know what kind of tint it is. I have heard that using metallic tint on a rear window where the antenna is integrated with the defroster wiring can cause interference with the radio reception. Maybe that's what's going on?

I guess it's time to get the rear window stripped and re-tinted, I think it's too dark anyway.
My car has no window tint and the rear defroster is in perfect shape.... My radio reception still sucks. I can be 10 blocks from the broadcast tower of the station I'm listening to and still get static. Except for the tejano stations. Those ****ers come through loud and clear...
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 06:52 PM
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I owned a 1st gen and currently own 2nd, non tech.

In first gen, I upgraded front door speakers and tweeters with an infinity component system (crossovers not needed) and that was a definite improvement.

2nd gen non tech does not have rear door speakers but with the tech package/ELS System you do. Highs seemed marginally better since the tweeters in the second gen are in the sail panels vs being in the dash.

Radio interference- do you have any aftermarket LED’s installed in your exterior lights? I installed license plate LEDs and they were fine. But I changed to LED brake/tail and they cause radio interference. Especially when braking. Something to do with the resistors inside the lamps.. went back to stock brake lamps and the static disappeared.
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