Audio upgrade for clarity

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by HariN, Jun 3, 2018.

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  1. Here is my custom install

    - Front speakers are Audison Voce 6.5" components. Tweeters installed in the amazing front pillar locations for a gorgeous soundstage. Woofers in the door kick panels.

    - Rear cabin speakers are Audison Prima 6.5" in rear door stock locations as well. Even the rear doors provide a very nice location for a separate tweeter we took advantage of.

    - Subwoofer in the trunk is a Hertz Mille Pro 10" D.V.C. @ 2 ohms x2 installed in a spec sealed enclosure.

    - Hertz H8 DSP handling the transition from the factory head unit and signal processing.

    JL Audio XD600 6V2 6 channel Amp handling the front and rear speakers.

    JL Audio XD600 1V2 Mono block powering the Subwoofer.

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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    My ears are green with envy!!!
    What a fantastic set up!
    Wish I had it in my Clarity but it’s probably out of my price range like its output is out of my hearing range. LOL

    PS: My son’s old Science Fair entry was on mosquito ring tones and he proved that as early as age 24, everyone he tested (n of 50) had lost the ability to hear the very high frequencies. The kids can use that mosquito ring tone to have their phones on in class and unless the teacher is fresh out of college, they can’t hear it ring!
  4. I hear the mosquito ringtone 24/7/365!
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  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Who old/young are you?
  6. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Well-Known Member

    Me too! Likely the result of my youth with competition stereo systems at IASCA - yep, circular logic. That system is beautiful though! Still happy with my little cheap upgrade. Tinnitus sucks....

    crankit.jpg No, did not put this in my Clarity - from my youth...

    Cheers ya'll!
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  8. 71, but I've been hearing it for about 30 years. I have an appointment on the 15th to see if my new hearing aids can mask it. The payback for a youth filled with loud music, loud work environments, shooting guns, headphones, etc. Every time I hear a car go by with the music blaring from those huge speakers I shake my head. Another deaf person in the making.
  9. Here's the semi tragic truth. The last custom install I had was in my Toyota Tacoma. It was all done by me in 2008,. and it was VERY nice, but much more budget. When I installed that one, I could still hear up to 20K hertz. (yes I test, part of my job is sound mixing for live productions)

    Well, my last car (Prius Prime) I left bone stock as I coudn't be bothered to try and find a place to put a cup of coffee in that one. let alone a pile of amps. So nearly two years on that before moving up to the Clarity.

    This install I am tweeking and tweeking and everything I know about the equipment is that this should sound much better than my old Tacoma,. but I am unsatisfied with the high end. Smooth, but stuff is missing. Finally I realize "hey, I'm 52... time to test my ears."

    In the last 4 years,. I'm down to 13K-ish hertz :( All that magic at the high end is actually lost to me. :(
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  10. When I put my aids in it's a whole different world. Cost an arm and a leg, but if they pan out it will be great.
  11. nathan bracken

    nathan bracken New Member

    Hi All,

    I know there is some valuable information here and appreciate the fact that many people are making an effort to upgrade the audio. I find that the audio in my '19 Clarity is lacking in low frequency range. The highs are super clear, yet somewhat harsh at the same time, probably due to the lack of bass, but hey its subjective right. Maybe I've been spoiled from the get go since the very first car I owned was an '09 Prius with the factory upgraded JBL audio system and the bass in the car was thumping.
    Now I wished I could have taken the speakers out before trading in the car, but oh well. I just find the clarity to be super clear at the high frequency, which is a first for any Honda I've sat in. However, in my quest to upgrade the audio experience I just don't want to end up dedgrading it. Most audio shops I go to always tell me, it will improve quality in high frequency range, but not in the low frequency. Is it that head-unit?
    I don't have any need to install a sub. I would like to think that if my prius could get that kind of sound out without a sub and being a hatchback, I should be able to replicate it here in the Clarity. I know it is a slightly larger car, but I'm sure the prius didn't have the greatest speakers to start with, and if I liked how it sounded from a bass perspective, I should be able to find something equivalent.

    Any recommendation for a setup with the above in mind? (I'd like to think there are probably a few folks who have traded in a similar sounding Prius for a Clarity).

    Also, does the Clarity have room to install a speaker (maybe a 4") behind in the dashboard behind the headunit area or is that something else? If so, this would make it very similar in setup to the 9 speakers I had in the Prius.

    All suggestions welcome.
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  13. I'm having trouble answering your inquiry based mostly on the confusing conflicting info you are providing.

    You say that "the Clarity is lacking in the low frequency range. The highs are super clear, yet somewhat harsh at the same time, probably due to the lack of bass, ... I just find the clarity to be super clear at the high frequency, "

    But then you go on to say "I don't have any need to install a sub."
    Instead you think you are going to fix the lack of bass with a 4" speaker in the center of your dash? That speaker is the worst part of that JBL system;
    (in a nutshell, and I quote; "center speaker = poo" )

    - A self powered sub under the front seat would possibly solve your issues with the minimal expense.

    You mention the head unit. It is not the head unit, ( and you aren't going to replace it anyway, as it's the whole infotainment system, ) it's the speakers.

    You've got three options, or a combination of them.

    1: Just upgrade the door/pillar mounted speakers. the Clarity is blessed with one of the BEST tweeter locations found in any vehicle made today. (those pillar mount tweeters) You are getting a fantastic opportunity for a perfect stereo sound-stage. Put a great pair of separates in there and you will get an improvement. Likewise in the rear positions.

    2: Do the same as above, but also install a signal processor and amplification to power those speakers. If you have your heart set against a separate bass diver in the trunk, consider a bass friendly set of components like JL Audio, but you'll have to add the amplification to power them)

    3: Add a small powered subwoofer either in the trunk (in which case go a little larger) or go smaller and under the seat.

    As you will see earlier in this thread, I did all of the above and couldn't be happier. But I could have gotten away with a lot less. The "sub" would have been the single biggest improvement.

    Again, reconsider your logic.

    You are missing bass, so add bass.

    This is done by adding a larger diaphragm speaker. There is no way around it. Keep in mind often what we call a "sub" is in no way a sub, it's just the large diaphragm bass driver that your current speaker array is missing. No big bass driver, = no bass.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  14. PS the "9 speaker JBL system " in the Prius was barely passable as far as I am concerned, and is really a 4 speaker system with that odd center channel 4" driver you speak of. When they say "9" they mean 4 mid-range drivers (4.5" and 5.5"), 4 tweeters, and that other 4" center channel mid range driver. By that marketing spin, the Clarity has an 8 speaker system that thankfully has that woeful center channel missing so we don't have to go through the trouble of unplugging it!

    The JBL in the Prius had no real bass, but thanks to the "warmth" of psycho-acoustics it can go some way into tricking some into thinking there is. If you were able to do an A-B comparison vs. a system with actual bass reproduction, you'd immediately hear the difference.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  15. BeMurda

    BeMurda Active Member

    Hey CyberDyne, thanks for all your contributions in this thread. I'm supposed to get my Clarity in a couple months, and looking at upgrading the audio. I'm a home audio guy, have never modded a car. I'm willing to accept less performance in the car than at home, where I go nuts (KEF LS50, Martin Logan, Triad, SVS, PSA subs, etc.). I get that without a sub there will never be the same effect - I have a PSA V1510DF, lol. However I am not willing to sacrifice trunk space as job number 1 for this vehicle is to drive as many KMs for my family as possible. So I am guessing that rules a sub out. For ease I would prefer to just replace drivers and not the amp, but I don't know what's necessary. Given these restrictions, what would you recommend for tweeters and drivers? At 6.5 inches in a small space, there should be the ability to create decent bass down to 50-60hz with the woofers. Though I know the lack of a proper driver enclosure will affect that.
  16. One of the problems with trying to match a pair of speakers to the Clarity's head unit, is I don;t have any idea what sort of specs it has (the head unit)
    JL, JBL, even Pioneer will be an improvement over the stock drivers.
    Something like the JBL Stadium GTO600C claims response down to 45hz.
    JL Audio C1 650 set is similarly rated, although the JL claim to be able to work with a mere 10 watts, and recommend 50RMS so that's should be ok with a low power amp.

    Do you have the touring? I ask because in my non touring with out a power seat there is ample room under the seats for amplifiers. (and of course there's that tool storage space under the trunk :) )
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  17. BeMurda

    BeMurda Active Member

    I ordered the Canadian touring which has manual seats. I'm not sure whether the battery heater we get changes the space under the seats though.

    Thank you for the product numbers, etc. The drivers look pretty deep so I wonder about that.
  18. FWIW the hearing aids do nothing to help my tinnitus. :(
  19. Are you Familiar with Crutchfield?
    You'll see pretty much any 6.5" components will fit.

    If you input your car make, they will only show you things that fit. All of the ones I mention fit, and are no deeper than the Audison components I installed. The only thing that might be an issue is how the tweeters fit in the pillar. In my case with the Audison, they would not fit under the Honda grills, but that was not a problem, as the Audison (and most any other components) will come with their own grills.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  20. nathan bracken

    nathan bracken New Member

    This is why music and sound is very subjective. Maybe I have never heard audio quaility that you speak of, but I was fairly content with my Prius' sound quality because it had warmth. Sure it lacked 'clarity' (pun intended). You put too much emphasis on the 4" center channel than it deserved. I spoke of it only as a footnote. If the speakers in the Prius were passable, then it must have been the presence of of a JBL Amp from the factory install that was the reason for the difference.
    Now going back to the Clarity (and from your input), I may be able to get that bass back by simply adding a decent amp and some good quality components. I reckon some good components will sound much better with an amp driving them. Option #2 above sounds like a winner. I will look into the JL C2s.
    What amp would you suggest for this sort of setup.
    Thanks much for the input.
  21. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Well-Known Member

    My install notes are earlier in this thread and I will not repeat it all here. However, I would suggest you not expect much "bass" from the door speakers regardless of the power fed or the component chosen. However what is "acceptable bass response" is very subjective. I opted for a small self powered sub to fill in the lower gaps and others have gone full on processors, amps, and custom enclosure subs with adequate airspace for good low end. Your component problem will be primarily due to the very small space available in the doors to build an adequate baffle. If driving the door 6 inch speakers with enough power for bass, you will likely discover there are a few loose areas in the plastic door assembly that you will be chasing rattles for a while. However, YMMV. Just my thoughts.


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  23. ronrob

    ronrob New Member

    Hiya peeps -

    Considering a speaker upgrade (speakers only to start). Looking at two pairs of Infinity Reference 6530cx. Any opinions as to how well/poorly these will work? They are 93db sensitivity, as well as have the Infinity 3ohm design. My thinking is that these should (between the sensitivity and the ohms) be enough to bump the volume a little bit without resorting to adding a new amp. I'm pretty disappointed in the Clarity sound system having come from a Fusion Energi Titanium - the factory system in that was quite good, and the first one I chose not to replace. This one is weak and muddy. Clear with more power the the initial goal, but not trying to blow the doors off.

    Any thoughts?

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