A 2013 Honda Accord gets upgraded with JL Audio gear
A Crutchfield tech's dream system maintains the car's factory look
In this article... A Crutchfield tech support specialist pumps up the audio in his Honda Accord with speakers, amps, and more from JL Audio. Check out the gear he added and how he did it.
effrey, a Crutchfield tech support specialist, has been a JL Audio fan for years, so when he was planning the audio upgrade for his 2013 Honda Accord coupe, choosing gear was the easy part.
Building a system that would work with the stock receiver presented a few challenges, though. Jeffrey devised a two-step process to bring big sound to his Accord without the hassle of removing the stock radio.
“Even though my car came with the ‘premium sound’ system, it lacked the sonic depth I like,” he explained. “The factory sub was almost non-existent when listening to music and the tweeters were a bit too harsh for my liking."
"The premium system also includes a touchscreen radio, and if I replaced that, I’d lose factory features I want, like the second display and the backup camera. That's why I decided to keep the factory radio and focus on the sound components.”
Since he did all the work, we'll let Jeffrey finish telling the story...
Opting for premium speakers
I replaced the speakers with JL Audio C5 components — I especially like the smooth high end of the silk tweeters. I put component systems in both the front and rear locations. I removed the factory subwoofer from the center of the rear deck and made a custom bracket to mount the two component tweeters back there.
The new front tweeters simply snapped right into the factory locations like they were made for them, which is a rare occurrence.
It was complete luck that Jeffrey's new tweeters fit so well. Usually you have to build a bracket or glue a tweeter in place.
The right amp-and-sub combo
JL Audio’s 5-channel HD amp, the HD900/5, is one of the best models around, so I got that. To get signal, I tapped into the input harness of the factory amp, which is located behind the passenger-side kick panel, then ran the input wires along the passenger side back to the new amplifier.
I ran the power wire on the driver’s side to avoid noise issues. I mounted the amplifier on the back of the rear seat, so I can access the controls just by lowering the seat back.
I listen to a lot of rap, so the ported H.O. Wedge™ was a must for how deep it plays and how good it sounds.
After installing everything, I was blown away by the sound. To say the difference made was night and day would be an understatement.
Positioned for power: the JL Audio HD900/5 amp and High Output Wedge share space in the Accord's trunk.
Next up: Digital signal processing
The system played loud and the bass hit hard. But after some time, I decided the highs were a little bright and the bass needed tuning so it could blend in better with the rest of the mix.
I initially didn’t opt for any digital signal processors, but that’s next on the list. I’ll use the JL Audio FiX 86 processor to cancel out that factory tone and create a flat audio signal, just like an aftermarket head unit would produce.
I’ll add the JL Audio TwK 88 tuning processor as well, so that I can boot up JL’s TüN app and make those fine-tuning adjustments I can’t make with my factory radio, like using the 10-band graphic equalizers and time-alignment.
Here's the JL Audio TüN app displayed on a laptop. Features include 10-band EQ and time-alignment.
Thanks for sharing your installation story with us, Jeffrey. We look forward to hearing more once you get those processors installed.
Meanwhile, here's a list of all the products in Jeffrey's dream system.
JL Audio C5-650 component speakers
JL Audio HD900/5 5-channel amp
JL Audio H.O. Wedge™ with 10" subwoofer
JL Audio TwK 88 (digital signal processor for fine-tuning)
JL Audio FiX 86 (removes factory sound processing)
Planning your own multi-stage audio upgrade? Don't hesitate to reach out to our Advisors. They can save you hours of research!
Vehicles in the Custom Car Showroom are submitted by customers and fans, and edited by Crutchfield writing staff. You can find more of these articles on the Showroom main page.