2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Old 01-07-2017   #1
 
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Default 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

First, I like the build logs that are created after completion so you can see all the pics together at once, but I want to keep a running log as I work on this, so I'm going to do that, but I’ll keep an updated link in my signature to my latest update, and then change that to a link to pics of the full install once I've finished the build. So check my sig if you want to see where I’m at on this currently.



The car is a 2016 Civic Touring sedan in Aegean Blue Metallic. I picked this because it's the only trim level that has a dash cutout for a center channel speaker. Also, it'll do 0-60 in 6.6 seconds while averaging 35 MPG with 87 octane in mixed driving. And it has some awesome tech, like adaptive cruise control that can come to a full stop by itself and automated steering that'll keep you in your lane long enough to take your hands off the wheel to stir a Slurpee.

My goals are great sound quality for both front seats, stock appearance, as few irreversible mods as possible, and no loss of original functionality.

The only gear I'm definite on right now is a JBL MS-8 DSP, since it's one of the few DSP's that does a proper center channel, plus I suck at tuning and hate it and it's the only DSP I’m aware of that (usually) does a good auto-tune. The amps may be either some JBL MS-A####'s or a JL HD900/5 I have already, or maybe Helix. Probably a few of the MS-8's amp channels, too, and maybe a Mosconi Pico if needed for space. The speakers will be AudioFrogs. Maybe a JL W7 sub.

2016 Civic Touring build log - current build status

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Old 01-07-2017   #2
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others



The factory headunit is Android-based and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Some of the HVAC controls are integrated into it, so using a different HU would be difficult. There are two USB ports but, disappointingly, no 3.5mm AUX input for passengers, which I use a lot. The satellite radio has a neat feature where, as soon as the car starts, it begins storing the audio arriving for all 12 of your preset XM stations. Even if you’re listening to a different source! It stores up to 30 minutes, so you can jump forward or backward through songs that are in its buffer for all 12 presets. I use this on long drives a lot. You can pause, too.

The headunit has an SPDIF digital output that carries music, and balanced line outputs that carry headunit button-press beeps and synthesized voice (navi directions and hands-free command prompts). Those go to an amp behind the passenger kickpanel that has a DSP that mixes everything together and handles volume logic according to this matrix:



It has a claimed output of 450W, and has 10 discrete outputs that drive 10 speakers:


The front tweets are in the sail panels, the front mids are low and forward in the doors, and the speakers in the rear deck are free-air as you’d expect.

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Old 01-07-2017   #3
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Since the headunit has an SPDIF output, I considered using that to (presumably) get a flat signal, but decided not to since I believe such digital outputs are usually unaffected by the headunit’s volume controls and I didn’t want to give up the steering wheel volume slider or speed-compensated volume. Plus that would require buying a D/A converter to put ahead of the MS-8. So, I measured the factory sub and front mid and tweet outputs at volume 30 to see what I’m up against:



I measured using periodic pink noise at -60 dBFS to make sure I wasn’t clipping the inputs of my M-Audio MobilePre. The bold lines are the amp outputs for the sub, front mid, and front tweeter. The light pink line is a 12-position spatial average using a calibrated Behringer mic around the driver’s head of the total OEM system sound output with all controls centered. The 5 dB dip around 60 Hz is interesting. Looking at the signal outputs, it looks to me like the result of poor crossover choice in the factory amp. I think this explains why the bass from the OEM system seems pretty decent on some songs but weak on others.

Anyway, I plan to just tap the mid signal for the MS-8, because I read in the MS-8 thread where Andy said to use as few channels as possible to get a full signal, and that the MS-8 can flatten the signal as long as the factory highpass is at 100 Hz or less, even if the slope is fourth-order. The slopes at both ends of this look second-order to me, and just on the two octaves from 20 to 80 Hz and 5K to 20K Hz.

I also checked to see if there’s any EQ that varies depending on the headunit’s volume setting. I measured it at every volume setting from 15 to 40 (max), then shifted the curves in REW to overlay each other:


So from volume 29 to 40, there’s virtually no difference.


At volumes 20-28, a slight bass boost starts to kick in as you decrease the volume. Not much, about 1/10th of a dB increase for each decrease in volume setting.


Below volume 20, the differences get bigger. The bass at volume 15 is 3 dB higher than the rest of the signal than at volume 40. Not a big deal – a little bass boost at low volume is a good thing. I just need to keep it in mind when setting my gains. I.e. if I end up letting the MS-8 do its un-EQ of the factory signal at volume 40, I don’t want to set my gains such that the system output is quiet at headunit volume 5 and normal volume at 15, since there’d be extra bass boost there that’s not needed or wanted at normal volume.

I did consider that this might just a flaw in my measurement equipment as the signal level dropped, so I confirmed that I get the same curve shapes if I use -30 dbFS pink noise at lower volume settings to boost the signal level up so it’s at the same level as my max volume measurement with -60 dBFS pink noise.

Yeah, that was a lot of tedious work just to find that the headunit’s output is fine, haha, but I’m glad I did it since I know some factory headunits are a lot more wonky. I’m sharing all the info since Civics are pretty common, so others might benefit from this.

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Old 01-07-2017   #4
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others


Here’s the factory 80mm center speaker. Decent depth there for putting a larger speaker.


There’s an air duct under there preventing this 560GTi 5.25” speaker from being able to quite sit flat at the front edge, so there’s no hope of putting a 5.25” in the center with a factory-looking flush grill. Plus the hole is too small for it to go through and I wouldn't be willing to cut the dash anyway.

Look at those jagged factory cuts, by the way. If I’d known a Touring dash was just the regular Civic dash with a hole hacked into it and an $18 plastic grill pressed in, I might’ve bought a lower trim level and done this myself. The Touring LED headlights are really nice, though.



This GS42 4” coax fits with depth to spare, though, so I’m thinking a GB40 4” and GB10 1” tweeter in here. The only bad thing is the tweeter will have to be offset closer to the driver than passenger, but hopefully that won’t too make much difference. I could just put one of these coax's there, but since the center is so important in an MS-8 based system, I worry the GS series would not sound as good as the GB.

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Old 01-07-2017   #5
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others


The way the factory tweeter sits inside a removable ring in the sail panel means it should be pretty easy to replace it with a larger tweeter.


48mm inside this hole means a GB10 will easily fit, and a GB15 (51mm barrel) would probably fit with a little bit of trimming.


And 58mm outside diameter for that ring is just 3mm smaller than the OD of a GB15’s lip.


28mm depth is considerably deeper than a GB10, but a GB15 is 32mm deep. But since this sits recessed inside the sail panel ring a little and the GB15 wouldn’t be, I think it might balance out and fit.

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Old 01-07-2017   #6
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others





I’m undecided on whether to try for GB15’s in the sail panels, or do GB10’s there and GB25’s in this spot on the doors. The cardboard circle is the size of the 91mm GB25 mounting ring, and the pencil line inside it is the 86mm cutout hole size. It’s a tight fit and the door surface curves in at the bottom there, so I’d have to fabricate something to build that up. And it’s about midway between the factory mid and tweeter spot, so not as high up on the door as would be ideal, but there’s nowhere it can go higher.


That's it for now. Next step is installing the MS-8 to power the factory speakers to see how that sounds.

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Old 01-11-2017   #7
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Subbed.... this should be interesting to see unfold.... I am thinking of getting a civic hatchback in the near future, so maybe I can gain some insight from your install. Thanks for starting this.....
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Old 01-11-2017   #8
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Subbed!


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Old 01-11-2017   #9
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Great, in-depth write up. I've been thinking about a Civic Coupe for a few months and love seeing all the info.

I'll be following this one.
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Old 01-11-2017   #10
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

How are you going to calibrate the MS-8 when you need to use the calibration CD?

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Old 01-11-2017   #11
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Doesn't the Audison primo series amps/dsp do an auto tune? In for build love the gear and the car!

But theseee go to 11!!!
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Old 01-11-2017   #12
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Thanks for the interest, guys. For those of you considering getting 10th gen Civics, I highly recommend it. I've gone through a couple of cars in the past couple of years and this is the first one in a while I've been really happy with, even now, 9 months or so after I bought it.

For calibrating the MS-8, I have a .WAV file of the calibration track on a USB stick to use in place of a CD.

I checked through the online manual for the top DSP/amp in that Audison line, but it looks like it has an automatic correction of the input side (for factory headunits that aren't flat like mine), but no auto tune of the speaker output unfortunately.

2016 Civic Touring build log - current build status

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Old 01-11-2017   #13
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others


Since I don't want to cut any wires, I needed to get extra factory connectors. I sent pics to Mouser and DigiKey but neither carried the correct connectors. So I bought a dash wiring harness (part number 32117-TBA-B00) to get the one that goes into the factory amp (on right). For the other side, I looked on eBay and found an amp from a 2013 Honda Crosstour that had the connector I needed on it (on left).


There were a total of 30 wires that needed to be run between the factory amp and the MS-8 in the trunk – 12 wires carrying the signal (front mids and tweeters, center and sub) to the MS-8, and 16 wires coming back to the speakers (yes, there are 10 speakers, but the MS-8 only has 8 outputs – more on that later), plus power and ground.

The factory amp is on a 30A fuse and the MS-8 requires a 25A, so I ran 10ga wire from the amp’s power to the MS-8 on the assumption that the factory amp won’t be drawing much power now that it’s not driving speakers.

For 27 of the remaining 28 wires, I used three runs of 9-conductor speedwire. It’s only 18 gauge, but we’re only talking about 20W here. Then I ran a separate small wire for the last wire needed. Ugh that was a lot of tedious soldering and heatshrinking!


Here’s the before and after of the amp behind the passenger kickpanel. The connector that used to go into the amp now goes down and connects to this connector below it:


The wires all run through the factory channel along the passenger side, then into the trunk behind the rear shoulder belt.


The factory amp has a turn-on wire, but it’s in another of the amp’s connectors and I didn’t want to buy more wiring plugs to avoid cutting to get it. And it doesn’t turn off when you turn the headunit off anyway. It has to stay powered on in case you make a Bluetooth call. So, I checked the fuse box and found the second empty slot shown here gets +12V whenever the car is running or in accessory mode. I used this cheap add-a-circuit kit with the smallest included fuse and ran a wire from it down the passenger side into the trunk to turn the MS-8 on.


Since the MS-8 only has eight outputs and the Civic has 10 speakers, I had to run the rear speakers from just two outpts. To keep from having to give up the tweeters, I bought two rear door wiring harnesses for a Civic Sport Touring hatchback (part 32753-TGH-G00) to get the female connectors for the mids and the tweeters (for sedans, those are part of the whole trunk wiring harness which costs a lot more than these did).

I cut off the connectors I needed, soldered them to a set of Metra 72-7800 Honda male connectors, and soldered in a 10 uF capacitor on the tweeter wire to filter out frequencies below 4 KHz.

2016 Civic Touring build log - current build status

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Old 01-11-2017   #14
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others


Hereís the MS-8 installed in the trunk. I couldíve put it somewhere else to not lose my spare tire, but I plan to put some amps in here with it later. Mounted next to it is a Honda flat tire inflator kit (part number 38160-TL7-A02) from an Accord hybrid (to save weight, they donít come with a spare).


I mounted the MS-8ís display to that little glossy panel behind the shifter. I had to drill a hole, but itís a $12 part so easily reversible I put a piece of Roscolux #83 blue color gel in front of the LCD panel inside the display to make the color match the light blue interior lighting of the car.

2016 Civic Touring build log - current build status
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Old 01-11-2017   #15
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others


I replaced the center console with one from an LX (part number 83451-TBA-A01ZA), which is blank instead of having a USB port like my car did. I drilled a hole and installed an iSimple IS335 AUX adapter and ran that back to the MS-8ís AUX input.


The USB port that was originally down in the center console was moved inside the dash back behind the headunit. I attached the USB cable for my iPod Touch to it and routed that up behind the glovebox. I wrapped it with Tesa tape to keep it from possibly rattling, and mounted my iPod into this slightly recessed spot using industrial Velcro. I rarely take the iPod out of my car since I can sync it to iTunes via WiFi at home, so I donít need easy access to it, and this hides it so I donít have to worry about it getting stolen. And itís still pretty easy to hinge the glovebox down all the way if I do need to get it.

2016 Civic Touring build log - current build status
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Old 01-11-2017   #16
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others


The MS-8 can do an automatic “un-EQ” of a factory headunit output at setup, where you play an included audio track that it recognizes. Since it knows how that audio signal SHOULD look, it can look at what it’s receiving from the factory headunit and adjust for any errors. Often just connecting the midrange outputs to the MS-8 inputs is sufficient for it. But I experimented some, measuring the RCA output of the MS-8 and found that I got the flattest signal (orange line above) using the sub, mid, and tweeter signals for inputs. Using just the mids left me with a slight drop-off at both ends of the spectrum. I also checked using the AUX input (blue line above) to make sure that registered as flat, as a test of my measuring equipment.

The orange line may not look all that flat, but that’s partly the graph is really zoomed in. It’s within +/- 1 dB from 28 Hz to 12 KHz, and +/- 0.5 dB for most of that, and I think that’s sufficient. The bass rolloff there on both lines starting at 40 Hz is due to the MS-8’s subsonic filter, which can’t be set lower than a 20 Hz -3 dB down point. The factory amp’s output varies +/- 3 dB on the midrange signal, for comparison, as shown here:


2016 Civic Touring build log - current build status

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Old 01-12-2017   #17
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Nice attention to detail. Well thought out. Looking forward to this build
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Old 01-12-2017   #18
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Quote:
Originally Posted by josby View Post




Iím undecided on whether to try for GB15ís in the sail panels, or do GB10ís there and GB25ís in this spot on the doors. The cardboard circle is the size of the 91mm GB25 mounting ring, and the pencil line inside it is the 86mm cutout hole size. Itís a tight fit and the door surface curves in at the bottom there, so Iíd have to fabricate something to build that up. And itís about midway between the factory mid and tweeter spot, so not as high up on the door as would be ideal, but thereís nowhere it can go higher.


That's it for now. Next step is installing the MS-8 to power the factory speakers to see how that sounds.
Very nice build and car! Have you considered building up the door handle trim piece so that it give you the area to mount the mid. Filling in that part in front near the dash would allow it and would not look out of place.

I think it will still look factory since there isn't really anything else around the immediate area that mimics that contour style. It a lot of work but should be easier than the other spot below since the piece is small and independent of the rest of the panel. Plus I'm sure it'll be cheaper to replace that piece back to stock if you want to one day.

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Old 01-12-2017   #19
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Good work with the wiring harnesses. I also like the hideaway iPod.
Subscribed for more updates.

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Old 01-12-2017   #20
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Nice work!

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Old 01-12-2017   #21
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Will you be using a passive crossover for the center? I believe the MS-8 only utilizes one channel for the center, so if you do plan on using active, that may? be an issue? I used a Morel 6.5 coax as a center in my original build and it helped bring the "stage" up quite a bit (my mids were in bottom of doors like yours are). Once I went to a three way system, with larger drivers in the pillars (3.5), I found that I liked the system better sans the center. I liked the MS-8 and what it did. I do, at times; still miss it a bit, for ease and functionality. Good luck with your build
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Old 01-12-2017   #22
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Josby your comments on the 10th gen civic are reassuring to me.... my all time favorite car I have owned was my 1996 Honda Civic EX..... too bad it was stolen and then stripped of everything on it 10 years after I purchased it, lol. The only thing I am wondering about is the ELD on it as I have never tampered with it before.

I have owned Toyota cars since 2006 and it will be nice to go back to Honda for a change. My Camry I have now sounds like a living box of rice crispies with the snap crackle pop noise from the moon roof which is annoying to no end. So the new hatchback is on my radar at the moment.
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Old 01-12-2017   #23
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

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Old 01-12-2017   #24
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

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Josby your comments on the 10th gen civic are reassuring to me.... my all time favorite car I have owned was my 1996 Honda Civic EX..... too bad it was stolen and then stripped of everything on it 10 years after I purchased it, lol. The only thing I am wondering about is the ELD on it as I have never tampered with it before.

I have owned Toyota cars since 2006 and it will be nice to go back to Honda for a change. My Camry I have now sounds like a living box of rice crispies with the snap crackle pop noise from the moon roof which is annoying to no end. So the new hatchback is on my radar at the moment.
I can definitely comment on the electrical systems on these cars. The ELD will limit voltage to about 12.2 to 12.4 volts unless the lights are turned on. The entire ELD is bypassed with the lights on and my cruising voltage is about 13.6. Unless there is some aftermarket munipulation of the eld, its a pain. The single most improvement to my sound quality was adding two deep cycle batteries and swapping the factory starter battery. The electrical systems on these cars weak and need to be upgraded.
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Old 01-12-2017   #25
 
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Default Re: 2016 Honda Civic Touring SQ build - JBL/AudioFrog/maybe others

Thanks for the input will. Gives me something to think about and research a bit more.
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