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Discussion Starter #1
Good day fellow TSX owners. I just got a CPO 2008 base automatic last Thursday and already looking at doing a simple upgrade on the speakers and maybe adding a 4 channel amp later (more likely sooner). I've ordered a pair of Polk db6501, a pair of 650, and a pair of 6x9. I went with Polk because i think they are good value for money.

I am a beginner at car audio, having only installed an amp once in my 06 Pilot. I've been reading a lot about TSX audio upgrade and can't find a definitive answer to my question regarding adding an amp.

I plan to get a 4-channel amp, bypass the factory amp and send power to the front comps and rear deck 6x9s. I don't plan to add a sub for now since my 5-year old son sits at the back. Can I just get a 4-channel with speaker level input and splice at the connector before the factory amp? I've done this before on my Pilot before I replaced the HU. I don't know how to use an LOC. Do I need a harness like Mercmans? I believe he doesn't make them anymore. Any help will be appreciated.
 

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if your a beginner at this i do not recommend you tackle this...

but, you would use the factory amps as pre amps, than run the SPLO's of the factory amp into the inputs of your new amp and than the out puts of the new amp to the speakers. This is alot of wiring, and the whole car will have to be in pieces for this to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. Like I said this would be my second amp install so I'm quite aware of the intricacies of installing an amp. I also have the service manual so I'm quite comfortable taking off screws and pulling out panels. Wouldn't it be better to splice the harness that goes into the factory amp? I read that the factory amp provides EQ and crossover for the 8 speakers, is this right? My plan is to take out the factory amp and place my db6501 crossovers in there. Since I'm putting the amp in the trunk I could run output speaker wires directly to the 6x9s. I will only have to run front channel outputs to the crossovers. I read about balanced inputs, balun, mercman's harness, LOC, etc. all of which I am not familiar with. Never had to deal with these in my previous install.:help:
 

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If you have an amp that accepts differential inputs (no need for balun), you could make your own cables following mercman's instructions:

Connecting an amp with Differential inputs.

The correct way the connect the factory HU to an amp with differential inputs is to use shielded twisted-pair cable between the 14 pin connector (unplugged from the factory amp of course) all the way to your new amp. At the 14 pin connector you will connect one wire of the pair to the + and the other wire to the – output. This is important; you will also connect the shield of the shielded twisted pair cable to the shield pin for that channel. Make sure you keep the phasing correct (remember what color you used for the + and – signals and connect the shield to the correct pin) each channel has it’s own shield (THIS IS NOT A SIGNAL GROUND!) and it must stay with it’s own channel. Then at the amp strip the cable and remove the shied, it is not connected to anything (If you ground it at the amp you will create an antenna for noise). I used a piece of shrink-wrap over the end of the cable so the shield would not touch anything. Next connect the twisted pair wire (the color you connected to the HU + at the 14 pin connector) to the center pin of your RCA jack. Connect the other wire of the pair to the other side of the RCA plug (in the unbalanced coaxial world this would be the signal ground).

Where do I get shielded twisted pair audio cable? Radio shack sells a 25 ft roll of two conductor shielded audio cable for about 10 bucks. It is not twisted but it works. I caution you that it is great audio cable but it uses cheap insulation that will melt when soldering, this can be a real PITA.

Connecting the amp this way gives the added benefit of reducing or eliminating turn on pop. Since the + and – outputs pop in the same polarity (plus during turn on and minus during true off) due to the nature of the HU coupling caps, the diffamp will cancel them just like the noise.


After you make the cable, all you need to do is the normal amp stuff, running speaker cable and remote/power.
 

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its making it harder for you, the xover points on the stock system are very good so if you get an amp or amps that can just make each fq section louder thats all you need to do. and plus youll gain a few extra watts out of the oem amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I sure was hoping that there was a simpler way to do this. It's the whole balance/differential input thing that I don't understand. So if I get an amp with a balanced differential input like the JL XD400/4 will that solve half of the issue with noise? Can I skip making the twisted pair connection and just simply tap on the front and rear channels high level input? I prefer not to use the factory amp because I want to get clean, undistorted signal for the HU.

Anyone selling or making a harness like mercman's? Please PM me.
 

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I sure was hoping that there was a simpler way to do this. It's the whole balance/differential input thing that I don't understand. So if I get an amp with a balanced differential input like the JL XD400/4 will that solve half of the issue with noise? Can I skip making the twisted pair connection and just simply tap on the front and rear channels high level input? I prefer not to use the factory amp because I want to get clean, undistorted signal for the HU.

Anyone selling or making a harness like mercman's? Please PM me.
if you do it right there will be no noise. although with any high powered amp you will get that hum. use high quality parts, im currently setup with 3 amps left right and subs all taped off the SPO's for the factory amp. its louder than without the factory amp and theres alot less confusion. just make sure your speakers can handle the power
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UPS just dropped off the 6x9s and the coaxials for the rear. Still waiting for the components for the front. I will install the 6x9s and the rears tomorrow and see how I go from there. I know the front components will take a bit more time and effort so I'll take this a step a time. I will save the amp for last. That JL XD600/6 looks like a pretty good deal on ebay and can power all six speakers and will give me flexibility if I decide to add a sub down the road. Thanks for the input.
 

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no problem, truthful i would try and run at least two amps left and right. it will give you more adjustablity more $$ yes but down the road when you add a true sub and you get that third amp itll sounds great!
 
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