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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I had posted this here previously, but could not find it, anyway, this is a copy of what I posted over on the DIY mobile-audio site, where I am also a Moderator on:

As a Quality Manager and previous Design Engineer, I have documented by build below. Keeping in mind my goal was not to make this an on-going hobby, constantly swapping components out and creating my own “Winchester House”, my goal was to upgrade the stereo and then stop, enjoy and get on with life!

TARGET VEHICLE: 2019 Honda Passport, AWD Touring Model.

PREVIOUS ADDITIONS: Black Rhino Wheels, Continental A/T Tires, Full frontal XPEL Wrap, WeatherTech Floorliners, 3M Carbon Fiber Wrap on Dash, 2-tone Wheelskins Steering Wheel Cover, Sheepskin Inserts, Running Boards, Interior LED conversion, etc.

OBJECTIVES:
  • Create a great sounding stereo
  • Retain the use of the HU
  • Maintain a stealth look by utilizing OEM speaker locations, retaining the use of all cargo area locations, with no extensive custom modifications.
  • No more that two devices (Amps. DSP’s etc.) in order to maintain a low power draw, so no electrical upgrades are needed
  • Utilize high-quality components
  • Keep budget under: $1k / $3k / $6k (Phases #1, #2, & #3)
OEM STEREO DISCRIPTION: The OEM Stereo features a DSP amp putting out 540w to 10 speakers: (2) tweeters in A-Pillars, (2) tweeter/mids in C-Pillars, (2) Woofers in front doors , (2) woofers in rear doors, a center channel and a sub located under the rear deck area. I added the factory CD player, the system also has a hard drive, that music can be uploaded to via USB. Also has Apple Car Play.

OEM STEREO REVIEW: The stereo sound just sounded “ok”, nothing special, when pushed it sounded even more inadequate.

PHASE ONE BUILD: (1) I decided to see how much of an improvement could be realized by simply swapping out the four tweeters and four woofers with two sets of a lower level Focal AS165 Performance speakers. (2) Minimal sound deadening, behind door speakers only.

PHASE ONE OBJECTIVES REVIEW:
  • Create a great sounding stereo: NOT MET
  • Retain the use of the HU: MET
  • Maintain a stealth look by utilizing OEM speaker locations, retaining the use of all cargo area locations, with no extensive custom modifications: MET
  • No more that two devices (Amps. DSP’s etc.) in order to maintain a low power draw, so no electrical upgrades are needed: MET
  • High-quality components: NOT MET
  • Keep budget under $1k: MET
PHASE ONE ASSESSMENT: Sounded a lot better, however the OEM Amp did not really allow the Focals to sound their best, highs were harsh, and there was something off when playing at low volume conditions, stock sub was sloppy.

LOCATIONS: Three of the four speakers are behind the stock/OEM locations, the Focal tweeters in the A-Pillars utilize the Focal covers, but since they are being replaced, they will not be shown.
 

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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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3,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
EVENT: I was able to sell my record/music collection for quite a bit of money and since this was sort of "found money" I decided to dump it into a full tilt stereo upgrade. It's a sick amount and I doubt the average person would even engage in such a thing, if you want to know a cost, you can message me, but ya gotta promise NOT to tell my wife...(lol)

PHASE TWO BUILD:
1) Added the Audison AP F8.9 DSP Amp with 85wpc, powered front Focals “Active”, powered rear speakers “Passive” and bridged two channels to power (260w/300w) an Audison 8” Sub in a custom rear enclosure. (2) Complete sound deadening and Fast Rings.

PHASE TWO OBJECTIVES:
  • Create a great sounding stereo: CLOSER BUT NOT MET
  • Retain the use of the HU: MET
  • Maintain a stealth look by utilizing OEM speaker locations, retaining the use of all cargo area locations, with no extensive custom modifications: MET
  • No more that two devices (Amps. DSP’s etc.) in order to maintain a low power draw, so no electrical upgrades are needed: MET
  • Utilize high-quality components: MET (except for Phase One speakers)
  • Keep Budget around $3k: MET
PHASE TWO ASSESSMENT: Sounded MUCH better, highs still bright, even when (supposedly) adjusted down via DSP software. Dark Side of the Moon CD sounds awesome. Speakers are now the weakest link and the Sub needs more power.

PHOTOS: Only one photo of the finished custom Sub Enclosure (see below). My installer created a short clip of the install (also below), the Audison APF8.9 DSP Amp is hidden behind the side panel, near the new Subwoofer and they left a little USB for future DSP tuning.


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I asked them if they could make the enclosure so that I could still access the chrome tie down (for my Cargo Net) and they did an awesome job with it!
 

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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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3,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PHASE THREE BUILD: (Completed Feb. 7, 2021)
  • Installed Focal Utopia 165W XP, woofers, which are rated 2ohm, so my amp will be able to send 130wpc to them. The Beryllium tweeters fit in the OEM A-Pillar locations.
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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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3,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PHASE FOUR PROPOSED BUILD: ESD: March 17, 2021
  • Install the same model Focal Utopia 165W XP, (2ohm) woofers to the rear doors (as are in the front doors),
  • Install the Audison Thesis TH 1.5 II Violino Tweeters to the rear C-Pillars.
  • Install the Audison APF 1D (mono) 500w @ 4-ohm Sub Amp.
  • DSP Tune
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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Completed the install, the last two days, sounds amazing! Here is a recap of my set-up in a 2019 Honda Passport Touring:

AMPS:
Audison AP F8.9 (8 channel, 85wpc @ 4ohm / 130wpc @ 2ohms)
Audison AP FD1 (500w X 1 @ 4ohm)

FRONT SOUND STAGE:
Focal Utopia TBXP Tweeters (A-Pillars)
Focal Utopia 165W-XP Woofers (Doors)

REAR SOUND STAGE:
Audison Thesis Violino II 1.5 Tweeters (C-Pillars)
Focal Utopia 165W-XP Woofers (Doors)

SUBWOOFER:
Audison APS 8D 8" Sub (in very rear side panel - custom enclosure)

CONTROLER:
Audison DRC MP

It really does sound awesome, enjoying more than words can properly convey! I am going to do one more "DSP Retune" in about a month, after all the speakers have sufficiently burned in. The four Focal Utopia woofers are mounted in the doors behind the factory panels, Amps are hidden as well.

All you can see are the Tweeters. In an above post you can see the TBXP's in the A-Pillars, below are the rear Thesis Violino II Tweeters, which are in the OEM C-Pillar locations, aimed at the driver/passengers' heads.

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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had what I hope is my final DSP tune today, approx. 30 days after the full install was completed. Newport Sound (Costa Mesa Ca.) did the work and did a great job (highly recommended!).

With the Audison DSP Controller (DRC MP) you can save multiple Music Profiles, and I had two:
1) Front Sound stage with Rear-Fill (which is the typical recommended set up with the emphasis on the Drivers seat).
2) Primary Front Sound stage with Rear Speakers turned WAY up. (For more sound from the rear Audison Thesis Tweeters and Utopia 6.5 Woofers)

I wanted to some songs that I am very familiar with, songs I have heard for 40 years or songs that are well produced, well remastered, songs that have instrumentation that excels, great singing, rad guitar, drums that pound, synth's that sizzle and here were some that I played during my drive afterwards:

1) Simple Minds: New Gold Dream - 2003 Remaster: The entire CD is awesome, but there are some stand out songs like: Big Sleep and Hunter and the Hunted that are outstanding, the bass is so clear and thumping, anyone who likes 80's alternative should have this release...

2) Led Zep: Mothership (Remastered): Stairway to Heaven & Black Dog: Stairway to Heaven, opens with acoustic guitar and you can hear the strings resonate as Jimmy's finger nails clip across the coils of the guitar strings, and when Plants' vocals come in and gently speak the lyrics in the first half of the song, it's like he is right there in the car! As Black Dog starts and stops and vocals pop and the drums pound, for an early seventies song, somebody did an awesome remaster!

3) ELP: From the Beginning (Remastered): Another old 70's song, masterfully remaster, most of the song is acoustic guitar with vocals, super clear and mesmerizing, then near the end of the song a mellow synthesizer takes over zigging and zagging weaving its way thru my tweeters - Listening to this song, on this stereo, makes it ALL worth it...!

4) Yes: Roundabout (Remastered): There is this sonic crescendo at the beginning of the song that seems to flow from the left to right and the bass is powerful, the entire song is a true classic and it sounds awesome on my stereo!

5) Kiukla: Die Yaman: This is an Armenian folk song, recorded many time over the years, I have it on CD and it is wonderfully recorded, super clear, with various instruments, I found a review that described it as: a psychedelic-world music-fusion instrumental, which I think fits nicely! Super hard to find.

Ok, for another change of pace:
6) Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel: White Lines (Don't Do It)! This is just a FUN song, made at the beginning of Rap, before it became gansterized! It has a super heavy beat that simply pounds! Hearing it convinced me that (as crazy as this may sound) - I don't need anything MORE than one 8" Subwoofer powered by 500w!

7) Peter Gabriel: Don't Give Up: Back in the 70's - 3 out of 5 Dentist agreed that Peter Gabriels voice is /was every bit as awesome as David Bowie's! And in this song you get Kate Bush too! Beautifully crafted, their vocals - even though I do not have any midrange drivers - just shine so crystal clear!

8) Pink Floyd: Time (Remastered) - could make this one with Apple Watches! The beginning of this song, will all the clock, alarms, bells, ticking, just explodes (in a good way) through the Utopia & Thesis Tweeters and then the bass thunders in and the drums and guitars and the song is on its a way. Again this is a song I've heard a thousand since it came out and it has NEVER sounded better or clearer!

9) Projekct Two: Happy Hour on Planet Zarg - Huh? What? Never heard of it? Well have you heard of Robert Fripp? King Crimson? Well this is a more recent recording, one with simple awesome bass, drums and guitar! LINK:

10) Korai Orom: 1. - Sorry, another band you're gonna say "WFT? to, but it is a great song to hear blasted on a car stereo!


Overall, I'm super happy with everything and will leave more updates, as warranted...
 

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My stereo would need to sound excellent with RUSH, Metallica and any number of Reggae bands from classic ska to modern Cali Roots.

I'm sure your stereo would check off all the boxes.

If you play any country music though, I'm going to have to throw a live grenade into the whole mix. 😉
 

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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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3,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LoL, can you imagine the guy who would dump a ton of money into a stereo just to listen to country?

Check this out and imagine it thundering all around you...!:
 
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