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2013 Civic "Premium Audio System" Navigation Stereo Upgrade

Hillstones

Well-Known Member
204
136
Valencia, CA
Vehicle Model
Maxima Platinum
Body Style
Sedan
Here is information to help anyone who is thinking about upgrading the "Premium Audio System" Navigation (and Non-Navigation) stereo in their Civic EX & EX-L Coupe and Si Sedan/Coupe. The "Premium Audio System" featured the external 360-watt amplifier with 7 speaker system, including a subwoofer. The premium audio system is pretty awful. The subwoofer and amplifier are useless. The amplifier is flawed because it has the frequency crossovers built-in for the front tweeters, rear speakers, and subwoofer. If you replace the speakers and keep the factory amplifier, you still get poor sound because of the internal crossovers in the amplifier. The solution is to remove the factory amplifier, speakers, and the subwoofer. The best part of the premium system is the head unit, because it is unpowered with pre-amp level outputs for the front, rear, and subwoofer. Most posts I read about stereo upgrades recommended a line out converter, even on the premium audio system, but an LOC is not necessary with the premium audio system. Since the head unit is unpowered, you do not need a line out converter. All you need to do is splice the factory speaker output wiring and convert them to RCA plugs to feed directly into an aftermarket amplifier. You can do this for the front, rear, and subwoofer outputs from the Premium Audio System head unit (Navigation and Non-Navigation). You do need an amplifier that is compatible with differential balanced outputs. JL Audio and Infinity make amps that accept differential balanced inputs.

This type of stereo upgrade is even easier by utilizing the 24-pin connector at the factory amplifier because it has the pre-amp level speaker outputs, subwoofer pre-amp level output, and amplifier remote turn-on lead from the Premium Audio head unit all in one harness. This is the harness you can use to splice the speaker and subwoofer wires to RCA plugs to feed directly into an aftermarket amp, including the remote turn-on lead. You can also use the 18-pin connector at the factory amplifier to feed those wires to the aftermarket amplifier speaker outputs. Then use the factory wiring to connect new speakers in the factory locations, and run a new wire to the aftermarket subwoofer installed in the trunk.

This was the type of upgrade I had done in my Civic EX-L Coupe with Premium Audio Navi. I wanted to keep the Navigation head unit because it offered all the features I needed and I wanted to retain the factory look and retain the audio information on the i-MID screen. I had installed stereos before when I was in college, but I did not have the experience to build a subwoofer box. I also wanted to have a professional shop do the installation, one that was familiar with Civics, knew how to do custom work, and a clean installation.

The JL Audio XD700/5 amplifier is perfect for the Civic. It is a 5 channel amp that accepts differential balanced inputs, and fits nicely under the passenger seat. It also has a subwoofer input. It offers plenty of power at 75w RMS for the front and rear, and 300w RMS for the subwoofer. The shop removed the factory amp and converted the wiring to RCA plugs and fed the pre-amp level speaker and subwoofer outputs directly into the amp. I can use the factory subwoofer level adjustment to control the level of the aftermarket subwoofer. The front and rear speakers are the Focal Integration series. The front speakers are 6 1/2 inch components and the rear speakers are 6 1/2 two-ways. The factory subwoofer was removed from the rear deck. A custom subwoofer box was built into the side of the trunk for a 10" JL Audio W3 subwoofer. I did not want to lose trunk space. The rear deck and entire trunk was lined with dynamat. Additional dynamat was used around all the speaker mounting openings. The shop did an amazing job with the tweeter installation in the front pillars, and the custom subwoofer enclosure in the trunk. The door and rear deck speakers are under the factory grilles since they are entire panels. The sound is incredible and everything works as intended. The subwoofer really rocks with clean, solid bass throughout the vehicle. Not boomy at all, which was what I was looking for. I listen to rock, classic rock, alternative, 80s alternative/new wave, jazz, new age, and a few rap hits here and there.

The same upgrade can be done with the Non-Navigation Premium system. Here is the link for the wiring diagram for the Non-Navigation Premium Audio System. (At the end of this post, after the pictures, is the wiring diagram for the Navigation head unit and factory amplifier. It is attached as a PDF file.)

http://9thcivic.com/forum/threads/2012-civic-audio-wiring-guide-pinouts-for-factory-radio.5916/

The 24-pin A-connector is the same for both the Navigation and Non-Navigation Premium head units. The E-connector is different, but the subwoofer wires are the same color. The Navigation E-connector is a 16-pin connector and the Non-Navigation E-connector is an 8-pin connector. The pre-amp level subwoofer output on the Navigation unit is E3 Pink and E11 Blue for Sub+ and Sub-. The pre-amp level subwoofer output on the Non-Navigation unit is E5 Pink and E7 Blue for Sub+ and Sub-. The external amplifiers are the same for Navigation and Non-Navigation Premium Audio units, so you can use the A and B harness connectors at the amplifier to splice into the factory wiring to feed an aftermarket amp. If you have a Non-SI sedan or LX coupe with the standard 160-watt audio system, then both Navi and Non-Navi systems have a powered head unit with high-level speaker outputs, and no subwoofer output. Those systems require a Line Out Converter for an aftermarket amp, or an amp that can accept high-level speaker inputs (most do, including the JL Audio XD700/5). The Premium Audio System has the benefit of having pre-amp level outputs and the subwoofer output, making an upgrade very easy.

The shop loved having the wiring diagram because it was dead-on accurate. Thanks to this board for posting the wiring diagram for the external amplifier, it was a big help! If anyone is in the Southern California area, then Santa Clarita Autosound is the place to go. These guys did an amazing job with the installation. I am very happy with the work they did, and they are highly recommended (even on Yelp). Now the "Premium Audio System" tagline on the head unit actually means something.

Factory speakers, factory amp, and factory subwoofer removed from the Civic.

DSC_6162.jpg

The speakers were awful. At least the front speakers had much larger magnets. Explained why they were so much louder than the rears.

DSC_6163.jpg

The JL amp installed under the passenger seat.

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Front passenger tweeter installed in the factory A-pillar.

DSC_6172.jpg

The driver side tweeter installed in the factory A-pillar.

DSC_6178.jpg

Close up of the tweeter installed in the factory A-pillar.

DSC_6192.jpg

Custom subwoofer box built into the side of the trunk. 10" JL Audio W3 subwoofer.

DSC_6181.jpg

The custom box was built to specifications for the JL Audio subwoofer, and I still have all of the trunk space for cargo.

DSC_6183.jpg

Custom amp wiring under the hood. The shop wrapped the wire in plastic tubing for protection, and to retain the factory look.

DSC_6180.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Civic Premium Navi Wiring.pdf
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PMMcivicFB2

Well-Known Member
772
311
Canada B-Town
Vehicle Model
Touring
Body Style
Sedan
Hmmm it's either a coupe thing or an American thing cause I have the Canadian touring sedan which is the top model before the si and all I have is the tweeters front speakers and the rear speakers. Can Anyone chime in on this. Car looks good by the way.
 

andre12dbsi

Well-Known Member
2,096
1,430
Gatineau, QC Canada
Vehicle Model
'15 Acura TLX SH-AWD Tech
Body Style
Sedan
Hmmm it's either a coupe thing or an American thing cause I have the Canadian touring sedan which is the top model before the si and all I have is the tweeters front speakers and the rear speakers. Can Anyone chime in on this. Car looks good by the way.

@PMMcivicFB2 I'm not exactly sure what you're asking, but my Canadian Si sedan has the same setup as the OP. Tweeters, front and rear speakers as well as the factory sub and amp.
 

Hillstones

Well-Known Member
204
136
Valencia, CA
Vehicle Model
Maxima Platinum
Body Style
Sedan
Hmmm it's either a coupe thing or an American thing cause I have the Canadian touring sedan which is the top model before the si and all I have is the tweeters front speakers and the rear speakers. Can Anyone chime in on this. Car looks good by the way.
In the United States, the Civic Touring Sedan is not an available model. The only Civic models in the US that have the Premium Audio System (360-watt amplifier with 7 speakers, including the subwoofer) are the EX and EX-L coupes with and without Navigation, and the Si coupe and Si sedan with and without Navigation. The Si sedan is the only sedan model with the Premium Audio System. The LX coupe/sedan, HF sedan, Hybrid sedan, and Natural Gas sedan all have the standard 160-watt audio system, which is a powered head unit. The LX sedan, HF sedan, and Natural Gas sedan have a 4-speaker system. The LX coupe and Hybrid sedan have a 6-speaker system (fake tweeters without crossovers). The Premium Audio System did not have separate crossovers for the tweeters. The external amplifier handled the frequency crossover for the front tweeters, which is why the factory amplifier should be removed when upgrading the Premium system.
 
Last edited:

PMMcivicFB2

Well-Known Member
772
311
Canada B-Town
Vehicle Model
Touring
Body Style
Sedan
In the United States, the Civic Touring Sedan is not an available model. The only Civic models in the US that have the Premium Audio System (360-watt amplifier with 7 speakers, including the subwoofer) are the EX and EX-L coupes with and without Navigation, and the Si coupe and Si sedan with and without Navigation. The Si sedan is the only sedan model with the Premium Audio System. The LX coupe/sedan, HF sedan, Hybrid sedan, and Natural Gas sedan all have the standard 160-watt audio system, which is a powered head unit. The LX sedan, HF sedan, and Natural Gas sedan have a 4-speaker system. The LX coupe and Hybrid sedan have a 6-speaker system (fake tweeters without crossovers). The Premium Audio System did not have separate crossovers for the tweeters. The external amplifier handled the frequency crossover for the front tweeters, which is why the factory amplifier should be removed when upgrading the Premium system.
Thanks for clearing it up
 

webby

Administrator
Admin
Toys For Tots
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Looks really great, and thanks for posting the tips about the LOC and stuff. Very helpful
 

bobshur

Well-Known Member
1,300
485
Atlanta
Vehicle Model
2012 Civic si
Body Style
Coupe
Nice ,clean job....now I have a question for you.did you build the sub box yourself ? If so do you have plans? If you bought it or had it made...how much did it cost? And did the shop retain plans for it? I would really like to put one on each side of my si coupe,but of course every manufacturer thinks the 9 th gen civic is crap and don't make it for them.any info you can forward me I would be great full,thanks man
 

Hillstones

Well-Known Member
204
136
Valencia, CA
Vehicle Model
Maxima Platinum
Body Style
Sedan
Nice ,clean job....now I have a question for you.did you build the sub box yourself ? If so do you have plans? If you bought it or had it made...how much did it cost? And did the shop retain plans for it? I would really like to put one on each side of my si coupe,but of course every manufacturer thinks the 9 th gen civic is crap and don't make it for them.any info you can forward me I would be great full,thanks man
I wish I could take credit for building the custom-subwoofer box. I have never built a sub box or installed a sub, so I had an audio shop do the entire stereo upgrade. I would have enjoyed doing the installation myself, but I did not have the time. The custom sub box was $350. The shop might have the plans since they have done Hondas before. Santa Clarita Autosound did the job, and David was the guy that helped me. You could contact them and find out if they could build you one and mail it to you, or if they have the plans for building the box. Their website is http://santaclaritaautosound.com. My name is Peter, you could tell them I referred you, and David would remember my Civic install. They did it the first week of Feb.
 

Intrepid

Well-Known Member
245
207
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Vehicle Model
Civic
Body Style
Si HFP
very nice clean install and thank you for sharing, this answered all of questions i had about upgrading the premium audio. now i have to order audio equipment
 

Monk

Well-Known Member
4,218
2,196
SW Virginia
Vehicle Model
2012 Civic EX
Body Style
Coupe FG3:ASM
@Hillstones.......
I have a 2012 ex coupe, and just looked at my rear trunk, and have the one inch rear deck speakers.
I usually play my music on volume 12 to 14 .
Could I benefit by "just" changing out the two outside speakers in the rear deck? If so, what speakers would you recommend?
THX........
 

Hillstones

Well-Known Member
204
136
Valencia, CA
Vehicle Model
Maxima Platinum
Body Style
Sedan
The factory amp is the problem in the premium system. Replacing the rear speakers and keeping the factory amp probably won't help because the amp is handling the equalization and the factory sub is worthless and doesn't do anything sound quality-wise. The factory amp is sending the lows to the worthless sub, so replacing the speakers while keeping the factory amp won't make it sound any better. Since the speakers are so small in the rear deck, magnet size, it is unlikely they are getting a full range signal since the amp is directing the rear low frequencies to the terrible sub. Same goes for the front since the amp has a built-in crossover for the tweeters. If you look at the pics of the factory speakers, you can see how limiting the rear speakers are. So I don't think replacing the rear speakers would help unless you also replace the factory amp.
 

Monk

Well-Known Member
4,218
2,196
SW Virginia
Vehicle Model
2012 Civic EX
Body Style
Coupe FG3:ASM
The factory amp is the problem in the premium system. Replacing the rear speakers and keeping the factory amp probably won't help because the amp is handling the equalization and the factory sub is worthless and doesn't do anything sound quality-wise. The factory amp is sending the lows to the worthless sub, so replacing the speakers while keeping the factory amp won't make it sound any better. Since the speakers are so small in the rear deck, magnet size, it is unlikely they are getting a full range signal since the amp is directing the rear low frequencies to the terrible sub. Same goes for the front since the amp has a built-in crossover for the tweeters. If you look at the pics of the factory speakers, you can see how limiting the rear speakers are. So I don't think replacing the rear speakers would help unless you also replace the factory amp.

Thx for the info....... What do you think(subjective) as far as balance and fade........ It seems to me that keeping both centered, sounds more rich/full, where as adding more rear seems good as well, because it makes the full range of the front/rear more noticeable/even to my ears ...... ???
 

Hillstones

Well-Known Member
204
136
Valencia, CA
Vehicle Model
Maxima Platinum
Body Style
Sedan
I have my fader set two notches forward compared to the rears so I can hear the clarity of the component speakers slightly more than the new two-way speakers in the rear deck. Before my stereo upgrade, the fronts were way louder than the rears so keeping it at center was fine. If I moved the fader to the rear, the factory speakers were dull and had less volume because they were crap. The new rear speakers have far more volume than the stock speakers, mainly because of the new amp as well.
 

Monk

Well-Known Member
4,218
2,196
SW Virginia
Vehicle Model
2012 Civic EX
Body Style
Coupe FG3:ASM
I have my fader set two notches forward compared to the rears so I can hear the clarity of the component speakers slightly more than the new two-way speakers in the rear deck. Before my stereo upgrade, the fronts were way louder than the rears so keeping it at center was fine. If I moved the fader to the rear, the factory speakers were dull and had less volume because they were crap. The new rear speakers have far more volume than the stock speakers, mainly because of the new amp as well.

Thx, that explains why centered on stock sounds richer.... I appreciate your time and insight.
 

QCFranky

Well-Known Member
Hi Hillstones, I have a Civic SI coupe 2013, with navi and Premium audio system. I would like to add an amp with a subwoofer but keep the factory amp for the factory speakers except the subwoofer. Im all confuse. If I understand, I must use the 24-pin connector at the factory amplifier to splice the subwoofer wires to RCA plugs and feed directly into an aftermarket amp, but.. 1 speaker (subwoofer) give only one RCA plug right? Please Help Me !!!! Thank you
 

Hillstones

Well-Known Member
204
136
Valencia, CA
Vehicle Model
Maxima Platinum
Body Style
Sedan
Hi Hillstones, I have a Civic SI coupe 2013, with navi and Premium audio system. I would like to add an amp with a subwoofer but keep the factory amp for the factory speakers except the subwoofer. Im all confuse. If I understand, I must use the 24-pin connector at the factory amplifier to splice the subwoofer wires to RCA plugs and feed directly into an aftermarket amp, but.. 1 speaker (subwoofer) give only one RCA plug right? Please Help Me !!!! Thank you

You are correct. Use the wiring diagram from this link, which identifies the factory amp input and output harnesses. http://9thcivic.com/forum/threads/2012-civic-audio-wiring-guide-pinouts-for-factory-radio.5916/

The 24-pin connector at the factory amplifier is the pre-amp input signal to the amp from the stereo head unit. Look at pins A5 and A17 which are the subwoofer positive and negative wires. Cut those wires from the harness and splice an RCA plug onto them. You can buy an RCA plug with spliced wiring here: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_136XDCLR2S/JL-Audio-XD-CLRAIC2-SW.html?tp=1694

A subwoofer is a mono channel. Since you are keeping the factory amp for the front and rear speakers, I assume you are buying a mono-channel amp for your subwoofer. The single channel amp will have one RCA input and one speaker output for the subwoofer. The subwoofer setting on the stereo will still control the subwoofer level since you are using the subwoofer output from the factory stereo. Hope that helps.
 
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