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Upgrading Your Acura’s Audio System

Your factory Acura Audio system was top of the line in its time. The system originally designed by pioneer has a total of speakers drivers with some having up to 12 speakers. The standard configuration of most Acura’s is two front speakers in the doors paired with 2 tweeters on the dash and a center speaker to create a great sounding experience for the driver. In the rear of the vehicle you have two speakers on the rear deck or the rear doors depending on the exact model lastly you some sort of subwoofer. Most Acura’s have a free air 8 inch subwoofer that is mounted on the rear deck while others have two separate 6x9s speakers that act as subwoofers like in the TSX.

All of these speakers are powered by a factory amplifier that outputs roughly 25 watts to each speaker with the subwoofer getting a max of 40 watts. While this factory system may sound weak on paper its plenty loud. Most factory systems are loud enough for the owner but for those that are looking for more bass or to be louder than factory this article should help you.

As a side note if your Acura has navigation and is manufactured after 2009 replacing the factory audio system in your Acura is complicated. The factory radio with navigation and factory amplifier in Acura’s after 2009 use a can bus system to communicate. Acura labels this system the GA-NET bus. Due to this can bus system if you replace the radio or the factory amplifier in these Acura’s you will lose key features tied into the factory navigation and the ability to raise the system to full volume. If your Acura is in this category of vehicles you will need to replace the radio and bypass or replace the factory amplifier. You can still always replace the speakers with the factory radio and amplifier but it will require you use 2ohm speakers that offer the same specifications as the factory speakers.

If your Acura does not have navigation or was manufactured before 2009 then you have options when it comes to replacing your radio, amplifier and speakers. Some earlier generation Acura’s don’t utilize amplifiers for all the speakers just the subwoofer this is the case for the second generation Acura TL. You can replace the radio and just leave the factory subwoofer not working as you can wire all the speakers directly to the new radio. In other Acura models you will need to bypass the factory amplifier or retain it. You can upgrade any part of your audio system and keep the factory radio even if you bypass the factory amplifier. You will just need the correct accessories to accomplish your goal

When upgrading the speakers in your Acura and utilizing the factory amplifier to power them you want to use 2ohm speakers. 2 ohms is the impedance rating of the speaker. This value is something you want to get as close as possible with your new speakers. The most common speakers sold are 4ohm this is often found on the label of the box or if not listed on the specifications of the speaker online. If you install 4ohm speakers you will lose overall volume from your system and it will not feel like an upgrade. The resistance value means it will need more power to get as loud as before and you don’t have more power to give so therefore the system will not be as loud.

You need speakers that are two ohms if you are using the factory amplifier. If you are not using the factory amplifier you can use whatever speaker you want as long as they fit in the intended location for your install. Infinity, JBL, Powerbass, Focal, and Audison manufacturer speakers that are two ohms or 2.3-2.7 ohms these brands build quality speakers that will result in a worth while upgrade for your Acura. The factory speakers in your Acura are made of paper and utilize a small magnet. Newer speakers will have updated technology and better materials that will improve the sound of your vehicle with the factory amplifier.

Along with speakers we recommend using the proper speaker harnesses so you don’t have to cut or modified the vehicles factory wiring. These harnesses can be found on our store but other stores might offer them as well. You will also need speaker spacers for some vehicles. We make speaker spacers for certain models but companies like Metra, and schosce have speaker spacer adapters as well. The accessories mentioned here may not be required but will make installing your speakers a lot easier. When installing the front speakers in your Acura you will need a component set of speakers which will include a woofer, a tweeter and a crossover. Installing this three piece set can be complicated as running wiring through the door boot in some Acura’s is almost impossible. Make sure to carefully review the installation requirements for your Acura we recommend speakers with an inline crossover on the tweeter only as these are the easiest to install. If you can’t find a pair of speakers with inline crossovers then be prepared for a challenge.

Along with upgrading the speakers of your Acura you can also upgrade the factory subwoofer. You can upgrade the subwoofer while still using the factory amplifier/radio you just have to make sure you get the right subwoofer. Most Acura’s are going to require a free air subwoofer that is 8 inches and a adapter subwoofer speaker spacer to install the new subwoofer in the old location. The speaker spacer plate can be found in our store for most Acura

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Acura TL Aftermarket Radio DIY KIT Instructions

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Disclaimer: Installing an aftermarket radio in your Acura TL will result in the loss of factory route navigation guidance, the loss of center channel audio and the loss of certain hands-free functionality within the factory system. All these features are easily obtained in your new aftermarket radio along with an amazing improvement in sound quality.

Notice: The following instructions will help you wire together our DIY kit with your aftermarket radio and steering wheel control adapter. We will refer to the blue plug as connector A and the grey plugs as connector C26 & C40. On Acura’s from 2004 to 2006 you will find connector A & C26. On Acura’s from 2007 to 2008 you will find connector A, C40 & D(antenna connector). There is also a white plug on all Acura’s that is not used when installing and aftermarket radio it is for the factory XM unit.

Pin Color Function
A1 Yellow Constant 12V
A3 White(RCA) Front Left + RCA
A4 Red(RCA) Front Right + RCA
A5 White(RCA) Rear Left + RCA
A6 Red(RCA) Rear Right + RCA
A8 Red/Black Steering Wheel Control +
A9 Red Switched 12V
A10 Blue FM Power Antenna (04-06)
A11 Black Ground
A12 Orange Illumination
A13 Black(RCA) Front Left – RCA
A14 Black(RCA) Front Right – RCA
A15 Black(RCA) Rear Left – RCA
A16 Black(RCA) Rear Right – RCA
A20 Black Steering Wheel Control –

 

Pin C26 Color Function
C1 Blue GA-NET + (CANBUS)
C3 Blue Factory Amp Turn On
C13 White(RCA) Sub + RCA
C14 Red GA-NET – (CANBUS)
C25 Black(RCA) Sub – RCA

 

Pin C40 Color Function
C2 Black Sub + RCA
C9 Black GA-NET + (CANBUS)
C22 Black Sub – RCA
C29 Red GA-NET – (CANBUS)
C35 Black(RCA) Factory Amp Turn On

 

Pin D Color Function
D2 Black Antenna Signal FM/AM
D3 Blue Power Antenna (FM/AM)

 

The 2007 to 2008 Acura TLs do not have pin A10 instead the power antenna 12V signal must be connected to pin D3. Pioneer radios only provide one blue wire for amp turn on and power antenna connect both blue wires D3 and C3/C35 to that blue/white wire to have full functionality. Kenwood’s and Alpines offer an amp turn on wire along with a power antenna wire be sure to match each wire to the correct one.

The steering wheel control interface needs to connected to pin A8 Steering wheel control positive, with our harness pin A20 is already connected to ground. If you have any questions or are stuck please call us at 631-538-0068 or email us at info@mobilemaxcaraudio.com. Thank you for your business and congratulations on the new radio!