After having his 2018 Acura MDX SUV upgraded with sound deadening, this Beaverdam-based client returned to Extreme Audio to inquire about upgrading the stereo system. The SoundShield sound deadening had done a great job of reducing the background noise level in the cabin, but it highlighted just how bad the factory audio system sounded. After inspecting the vehicle and auditioning several upgrades in our showroom, we put together a plan to improve the clarity, detail and tonal balance in this SUV.
Acura MDX Stereo System Upgrade Plan
Upgrading the stereo in modern vehicles can be tricky if you don’t understand how everything works. The factory stereo in this MDX includes signal processing to create a very realistic and wide soundstage from both from seating positions. This processing works with the speakers on the left and right of the vehicle, along with a center channel, to accomplish this task. Our upgrade plan would maintain the basic design of the factory audio system but use much higher-quality speakers and be tuned to meet the client’s listening expectations.
Audiofrog Premium Car Audio Speakers
The first upgrade was to install a set of Audiofrog GS60 component woofers in the front door speaker locations. We milled mounting spacers from plastic to allow the speakers to bolt through the factory fastener holes. We finished the installation with a set of silicone coupling gaskets from Metra to ensure that all the sound is fed into the interior of the vehicle.
Next, we removed the factory tweeters from the A-pillar trim panels and installed a set of Audiofrog GS10OE 1-inch tweeters. These are the same diaphragm and motor assembly used in the GS10 tweeters, but they’re designed to fit into small OEM speaker locations.
The last upgrade was to remove the 2-inch midrange from the center speaker location in the dash and install an Audiofrog GS25 2.5-inch midrange in its place.
The system uses a JL Audio CP112LG-TW1-2 MicroSub ported enclosure to deliver good, clear bass. The enclosure is located in the cargo area but can be removed easily if the owner needs to carry any large items.
JL Audio Car Stereo Amplifiers
The system is powered by a pair of JL Audio amplifiers. A VX600/6i six-channel amp powers the front speakers and provides all the system tuning tools we need, thanks to its integrated TuN digital signal processor. The amp is rated to produce 75 watts per channel, so we know the system will have no problem getting nice and loud.
We added a JL Audio DRC-205 remote level control to the VX600/6i amplifier and configured it to perform as a level control for the subwoofer. If the client wants more bass, he can turn up the subwoofer without having to adjust any settings on the source unit.
An ARC Audio X2 650.1 650-watt monoblock amplifier powers the system subwoofer. The pair of amps are mounted in the cargo area of the MDX under the floor panel. Complete access to the jack and spare tire was maintained so that the client wouldn’t be left stranded if he got a flat tire.
Our team connected the output of the factory amplifier and its upmixer to the speaker-level inputs of the JL amp, then massaged the signals to work with the new Audiofrog speakers and JL subs. This configuration maintains accurate imaging from both sides of the car while providing the smooth and natural frequency response that the client wanted. We had a listen to our selection of reference music from both the driver’s and passenger’s seat to make sure that the system sounds great from both sides of the car.
Richmond’s OEM Stereo Upgrade Experts
After two days of work, we had the stereo in this Acura MDX sounding amazing. The client returned to Extreme Audio to pick up his vehicle and check out the stereo. He loved the way the stereo sounded. It was clear and detailed, and voices and instruments alike sounded very realistic. He really liked that all the equipment was invisible from the driver’s seat.
If you live in the Richmond area and are interested in improving the performance of your car stereo, drop by Extreme Audio in Mechanicsville or Midlothian. You can also contact our team by phone or by e-mail to schedule a consultation.