Audio upgrade for clarity

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

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  1. I'm fond of Infinity Reference and Kappa lines of speakers. They have wonderful high end, and reasonable mid to mid low. The sensitivity and the Infinity tweeter are strong selling points. IMHO one of the best bang for your buck in auto speakers. My Tacoma which had a very nice system with two power amps and a pair of 12" Subs was all Infinity.

    You will definitely get better high end, and I would certainly imagine a good bump in volume due to the sensitivity.

    There's no question that aftermarket speakers will offer an improvement in the overall sound as compared to the anemic speakers that came stock with the Clarity. (I hope that nothing I have said prior would lead anyone to believe otherwise) The discussion about powered low end woofers was specifically about someone asking about improving bass response.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  3. Just the JBL Speakers vs. the no name clarity paper would certainly be a difference. And without question, those JBLs are matched to an appropriate amplifier, which is really going to be a huge difference vs. stock.

    I'd think something like this would be a good match;

    Now here's the rub, although the JL amp (and most you find today) does have "high level inputs" (ie: it can be wired to your Clarity's head unit speaker outputs, and "impeded down" the powered speaker level audio down to "pre-amp" level before re-amplifying,. one of the problems with these complete OEM systems is often the head unit is doing a good deal of signal processing before it leaves via the speaker outputs to better match the signal to the cheesy speakers. Within the unit there is no way to undo all these adjustments. All you can do is hope that the treble and bass adjustments Honda gave you are up to the task of getting things back to Hoyle. I opted for a signal processor in between for just this reason,. but it looks like a few here have had good luck without going through the extra trouble and expense.
    Cash Traylor likes this.
  4. nathan bracken

    nathan bracken New Member

    I'm back here with another question. Hopefully it's not a stupid one. After careful consideration, I'm going with the Morel Tempo Ultra 602 components in the front and rear, powered by a JL Class D amp.

    My only question is the size of the tweeter. Can someone please advise whether the tweeter from the Morels will fit in current tweeter location?
    I think the rear tweeters should not be a problem, just the front because of the shape of the pillar and the cutout for the tweeter itself.

  5. It might depend on what you mean by "will it fit?"

    I looked up the specs, and they list the Morel tweeter as "28mm" (just over an inch)
    I then looked up the specs on my Audison tweeter, also listed as "28mm"

    For the pillar mount, you can see what I did to make it fit. I can't recall if I had to make the hole any bigger, but I don't think so. (I might be confusing it with my Tacoma which I did have to enlarge the hole) I'm pretty sure that "28mm" numebr is pretty standard for sizing. However the Audison would not fit behind the Clarity's own tweeter grill. I think that was the only issue. Looking at images of the Morel, I assume you will need to do the same thing, remove the Clarity's grill and use the Morel grill instead.

    To me it really looks like you'll end up with a very similar situation to what I had to do.
    My Audison installed;
    The Morel Tweeter with built in grill;
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  6. P.S. great choice on speakers! :)
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  8. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Active Member

    I wanted to close the loop for may part of this thread, which I did here:….8436/

    It is the "end" of my audio upgrade solution started back on this thread on page 3-4. Cheers to all that went down this rabbit hole and I am still amazed by all the creative install solutions in this thread. I know there are lots of great installer shops and DIY'ers in car audio. But with the Clarity I found most of the aftermarket shops scratching their heads, back in 2018, when I took this on. Most didn't give me a "warm fuzzy" with their "we will figure it out, it is just a car..." answer to my questions. It's better now, Crutchfield has a full installers guide (no harnesses yet, but at least speakers and a disassembly guide and brackets) and that helps others a lot.

    Everyone who likes their sound system the way it is, peace be with you - you are saved the frustration minor obsessions such as this that semi-audiophiles self inflict and endure!

    Crank it or yank it! (or) If it's too loud, your too old!

    I remember saying something like that when I was younger - funny how nothing it loud anymore... hmmm...

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  9. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Active Member


    This post and reply is going to be old news. However, I thought it appropriate since you were not interested in installing a subwoofer in your trunk. My solution resulted in almost no loss of usable trunk space so I would say go look back in this thread for that. However that is not the reason for this post now. I replaced all my factory drivers with the JL Audio C1's and installed NO AMPLIFIER or digital sound processors. After installing the C1's I tried desperately to be happy with them but the sound still was not that good on the low end, so I added the cheap sub. Now, it was better but everything is relative. I new I likely needed amps and more importantly a sound processor to get rid of the horrible factory audio tuning. However the thought of going back in to the wire harnesses and rerunning everything was something I didn't want to do now that I am concentrating on the LKAS/ACC hacking and improvements (all CAN and digital).

    I posted in this thread above about my final solution that I am extremely happy with. That was honda hack and using a software approach to flatten the factory DSP so that the sound coming out was "unmodified" digitally. I then added quite possibly the best (and free) sound processor Viper4Android. The result was truly magical, for the price! Why am I telling YOU this. In my work on chasing down the ANC processes and testing, I created a switch for my sub to disable it. Today I was just sitting working in my car and realized the stereo (was playing AWALNATION Sail) sounded pretty good, then realized the subwoofer was off. Now I am not going to sit here and say it doesn't sound WAY BETTER with the sub on, which also sounded WAY BETTER once I did the DSP hack. However I will say that, IF I had done the DSP hack before installing the sub, I honestly think I would have stopped there, as it was "good enough." Now I do not know, and it would be subjective to each person anyway, if the factory speakers would sound good with the mentioned DSP hack. However, considering the relative ease of replacing the factory speakers with a Crutchfield kit (of course the speakers would need to be designed for factory amplification and efficient, like the C1's are) I have to say that this is a VERY inexpensive solution. Anyway, I thought this specifically spoke to your question presented and wanted to give you my recent revelation.

    One very nice thing about this is that you can hack you system for cheap, try this software solution with the factory speakers and if you don't like it, upgrade the speakers after, or even "unroot" your headunit and go back to factory all within the confines of an hour sitting in your car with no tools. Since you mentioned that you are an audiophile, I would be extremely interested in your feedback if you do the DSP hack with the factory drivers!!!! I know of no one who has tested it and again I admit it would be subjective as sound quality is very individual. As to my orginal post about bass from the doors, I found a really cheap and easy to install dampening solution that although no where near as good as Dynamat was "good enough" for my purposes eliminating rattle and the "hollow" sound of the doors. I used closed cell memory foam hot glue tacked to the door interior side assembly (on the back of the plastic removable part, not the metal door itself).


  10. Hi Cash,
    thanks so much for this post!
    Now I am truly curious about doing this and then re-tuning my signal processor. I wish I had known about this before I did my install. Could you link me to specifics about that you are able to change in the factory DSP settings to get it "flat"? I've not delved into the Honda Hack at all, but might be compelled to once I have a clear idea of what will come of it.
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  12. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Active Member


    Your system is far above the "minor upgrade" that I am referring to mostly. If you replaced the factory drivers, no amp, maybe a sub or not, then this is really cool. For your system you already have "spectacular" capability. However, if you want to play with this I have detailed a lot of this in my "ever expanding and inaccurately named trilogy thread to anc or not to anc, that is the question?" Ok, you have to enjoy that "mostly harmless" reference.….8436/#post-95895

    If you have any specific questions feel free to just message me and I will try to help. I am trying to not be toooooo repetitive in different threads with overlapping content and have just posted links to bring them together. In general what my approach has done is allow me to figure out what the "factory" system CAN do if you remove the OEM DSP, add an excellent software sound processor like V4A, and then update the speakers (in my case, C1's were very cheap and easy - under $300) and anyone can do that or get it done. Then you have a system that really sounds pretty good. Add audiophile sources for free like FLAC and well, it's the best bang for the buck I can imagine in this situation. For you and your system, having "factory" FLAC support would be worth the $25 HH software alone.

    Cheers and feel free to message me. We can always chat on the phone if you want. When I am not home schooling my 11 and 8 year olds... poorly I must admit....


  13. Thanks Cash,. I've been chasing down your posts in other threads since I replied above and learned quite a bit,. (left a lot of likes so you know what I've read now :) )
    Truly appreciate your offer. If I get lost I will certainly take you up on it!

    As for flac, I am using Android Auto for most listening, either mp3 via Spotify best quality download, or I can use Flac with the Android player I have on my phone. I'm assuming the HH would allow flac straight from a USB thumbdrive... sounds interesting.
  14. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Active Member

    Yes, and the convolver IRS options mean you can build a custom audio response curve to suit you vehicle and preferences if you wish (and are a sound engineer...), beyond me at this point. I think I am going to finally make a video and guide for some of this as it looks like I am going to be home for a while now. casualty of covid (I cannot work from home), but at least I can home school my kids!


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  15. Albert T

    Albert T New Member

    Considering the same Infinity's for my Clarity. Did you ever get them installed?
  16. mustermutti

    mustermutti New Member

    Inspired by this thread I considered trying the "DSP flat" software solution before attempting any speaker upgrades, and while further researching it found this thread:
    ...which describes a way to disable the factory equalizer (i.e. enable "DSP flat" mode) without even needing to root/hack. It just involves going through some diagnostic menus via some "secret" button pushes. The downside is that this process has to be repeated every time the car is turned on, but it's an even easier way to try out what DSP flat can do for you - if you like it, can always "hack" later to make the change stick (by using Honda Hack to automatically run the "DSP flat" script on every startup).

    Steps copied here for convenience:

    Step 1 - Go tot he diagnostics menu by holding Brightness, Power, and menu for a few seconds.
    Step 2 - Tap Detail Information and Setting
    Step 3 - Hold Menu to bring up the third menu
    Step 4 - Hold menu again until a menu saying Factory Diag shows up
    Step 5 - Select Syscom Free Mode
    Step 6 - Use the onscreen buttons to navigate to the Fix-EQ option
    Step 7 - Change the option to EQ OFF (FLAT)

    You can do this while music is playing; it takes effect immediately when changing the setting and you can easily switch back and forth to compare the effect. In my case I can definitely confirm that there is a big difference; there is *much* more low-end in eq off/"flat" mode (ironically) and I'm not even sure yet if I still want to do any speaker upgrades at all. Will decide after some time living with just "DSP flat"...
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
    Daniel M W likes this.
  17. stackedactors

    stackedactors New Member

    Wow, thank you for this! Gonna do this when I get my Clarity today. Can't wait to see how the stocks sound without the **** tuning. More than likely gonna replace the speakers still, but at least I can avoid installing Honda Hack if I see no benefit. How did you guys install the Tweeters? Crutchfield was saying there's no harness and they need to be secured using a backstrap or glue, how easy was it?
  18. ronrob

    ronrob New Member

    I used glue when doing mine - silicon based that goes on white and indicates full cure when clear. It worked well and have had no problems in the months since.

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