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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Speaker Sizes and Specifications:
The following info has been verified by googling eBay images, random posts over the year, and my own removal and inspection of my speakers in my 2017 2.4L 4 cyl. Base Model TLX. This information is prior to the 2018+ MMC (mid model change) and Pre-A Spec but I feel it’s highly unlikely the information is different.

ELS speakers are usually identifiable by an “ELS” sticker on them when removed. On a superficial level, aside from the “ELS” stickers, the speakers themselves look aesthetically identical to me.

Base models are a 7 speaker system
ELS is a 10 speaker system adding a front center speaker and two rear door card speakers

All models have the following
Two 1" 2 OHM 20 WATT tweeters*(A pillars)
Four 6.5" 2 OHM 20 WATT* speakers (front doors and rear deck)
One 8" 2 OHM 20 WATT subwoofer (rear deck)*

ELS Speaker in addition to the above
One 3.5” 2 OHM 12 WATT speaker (center dash)
Two 3.5” 2 OHM 12 WATT speaker (rear doors)**

* ELS 6.5” drivers don’t state wattage on the label but the assumption is made because everything else 6.5” is 20 watts.
** JL Audio Rob Haynes said rear door speakers are the same as center channel

Here is an official press release on the ELS speaker system. Claims it is "490 Watts" but the real RMS is most likely far far less. CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRESS RELEASE



Audio Wiring Schematics:
Acura currently provides free online wiring diagrams for our vehicles. They call them EWD (Electrical Wiring Diagrams). In my case, I find them by googling “2017 TLX EWD” which brings up the first mentioned website below. I have a BASE Model DCT 4 cylinder so that’s the one I select.

I pulled the rest of this useful assimilated info from EE4Life on another forum so thanks to him for consolidating and summarizing these other webpages. I/We should probably download these PDFs in the event they are removed from the internet.

2017 Acura TLX Electrical Wiring Diagrams (EWDs)
2017 TLX EWD

Examples of Commonly Used EWD Circuit Names for Powertrain Circuits
http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/BWW1313EM.PDF
http://techinfo.honda.com/Rjanisis/pubs/EM/BWW131/BWW1313EM.PDF

Examples of Commonly Used EWD Circuit Names for Body Systems
http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/BXX1313EM.PDF
http://techinfo.honda.com/Rjanisis/pubs/EM/BXX131/BXX1313EM.PDF

Electrical Acronym Definitions
http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/BYY1313EM.PDF
http://techinfo.honda.com/Rjanisis/pubs/EM/BYY131/BYY1313EM.PDF

EWD Main Electrical Symbol Definitions
http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/BZZ1313EM.PDF
http://techinfo.honda.com/Rjanisis/pubs/EM/BZZ131/BZZ1313EM.PDF



Factory Amplifier:
The factory amplifier is under the passenger side glove box fastened to the right side of the frame of the body. Drop the panel underneath the glove box to locate the amp. It’s a pain in the arse to work in this area, to the point that I paid a shop to tap into the middle harness (post factory amplifier) The following is an image of the factory amplifier in a BASE NON ELS V6 model which will look exactly the same as the BASE NON ELS 4 CYL.

What is circled in red are the stereo wires, meaning the wires coming from the stereo and into the factory amp.

The harness in the middle circled in green has the amplified audio signal wires that run to every speaker in the vehicle. Base and ELS models have the same exact harness shapes/pinouts.

In both Base and ELS models each and every speaker gets a set of amplified wires routed to them, including the tweeters. The tweeters in Base and ELS models just have resistors on them.



In the Base models post amplifier, as will be shown elsewhere, there is not an extreme level of EQ. No one with an ELS has chimed in or shown images/RTA of the EQ pre or post ELS amplifier so I don't know how different they are. But really all roads lead to Rome meaning if you are planning to use your own amplifier you will probably end up using a JL Fix82 or Fix86 after the factory amplifier anyways to completely flatten the factory amplifier EQ and sum the channels together for full range. Some have decided not to use the fix in order to keep factory ELS surround system processing and then reprocess that already processed sound with another DSP like the JL TWK. I will show you result charts of my Fix in the Base model. The pre amp signal in the base model appears to be full range to me, I've used a basic iPhone RTA to check the pre factory amp signals but not a real deal mic and rta to confirm.

Audio Schematic for Base model (NO ELS) looks like this. This is a screenshot of my 2017 Base 2.4L 4cyl DCT schematic showing “pre amp” channels (meaning before the amp) in red.



Notice what is circled in red. The colored lines in the schematic coming from the top of the image are directly from the factory stereo. In Base Models, there are only two sets of AUDIO SIGNAL wires coming from the factory stereo.

One set is the positive and negative for the Front Right channel.
Other set is the positive and negative for the Front Left channel.

If you look to the right of the schematic you will notice the base model does not have extra pre amplifier wires like the ELS stereo system will have coming from the factory stereo. Here’s another picture of this to give you a clear idea. The harness circled in green are wires coming from the factory stereo going to into the amplifier which include the audio wires. The rest of those spaces labeled “Not Used” are mostly used in the ELS model.

Now look at the following image of an ELS model. The ELS Models have many more sets of audio channel wires coming directly from the factory stereo. Look up your specific model to confirm.



Does the ELS system EQ inside the factory stereo before it even reaches the amplifier, or inside the amplifier? Don’t know as ELS owners who have modified their system have not confirmed or denied.
Again either way you’ll probably De-equalize the system and sum the channels using something like a JL Fix.



Bypassing The Factory Amplifier:
Yes. This can be done. In fact there is a T harness you can buy so you can easily test drive this set up without permanant soldering or cutting of cables. UNFORTUNATELY there is somehow not a T harness in the market yet for the POST AMP PLUG. Metra doesn't make it. Even though that plug shape has been in use in older Acuras (MDX) for a while now.

In my Base 2017 TLX 4 CYL I used the following harness and slightly customized it. It is meant for something else but I carefully searched the internet matching the plugs for a few months to find a harness that is exactly the same. It's called a "Fortin THAR-ONE-HON3" see the following images.




If you are interested in using the stereo signal before it reaches the factory amp, meaning you want to bypass, take note of what I did. If you disconnect the pre amp harness COMPLETELY then the stereo system will not work right. You need to keep some of the wires on the pre amp harness connected so the “ELS_DATE + -“ and the “ANC_” and the “RS485+-“ etc. REMAIN CONNECTED TO THE FACTORY AMPLIFIER. To avoid issues, you can only disconnect the audio channels. With the customized Fortin harness I was able to test the pre amplifier factory stereo signal. Here are some YouTube Videos showing this and you can read the notes on the youtube videos for more info. The base NON ELS vehicles only have two pairs of stereo wires coming from the pre amp. They are labeled "front left" and "front right". These pre amp wires have no volume control. They are pushing maximum output whether the stereo dial says 0-40.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yaktL3A5is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEEoA2pnwtM

What did we learn. Well, the pre amplifier stereo signal is at max volume always. I believe they call it a CAN/BUS system. Meaning one of those ancillary wires, possible the "RS485+-" wires you keep connected to the amplifier are what control the volume. If you install your own system, you will either need to figure out use one of those compatibility devices like in other cars to interpret the CAN volume so you can adjust it (is this possible in our vehicle?), OR you will have to add your own dedicated volume knob from whatever amplifier / dsp processor. Here is the list of observations made.

1. Mute button on the steering wheel still works. Speaker went silent when hitting mute.
2. Volume control moving from 0-40 does nothing audible at all. Speaker played at the same exact volume regardless of the volume adjustment (even at zero) as indicated on the GUI.
3. Handsfree bluetooth calls worked properly - other person could hear/speak to me and I to them. (I had ANC disabled in the diag menus but plugged in)
4. Pre Amp AC voltage while playing a sine wave and pink noise measured at AC voltage at pre amplifier "Front Right" stereo wires range from 536mV - 791mV (.536 Volts to .791 Volts).
5. Used a free RTA app to roughly measure the sound coming out of the cheap speaker, I have a screenshot of it and it seems the whole range is there (the very bottom and very top of the range wasn't picked up by my iPhone and the cheap speaker may not have been putting it out, don't have an RTA so I don't know but it would be a decent to assumption that the full range is present).
6. You lose fader and balance.
7. You retain Skip controls on the steering wheel and display. Can pause and play using display.
8. Aux works
9. USB / iPhone port works

Question? Can I Amplify Post Amplifier without getting engine noise, high noise floor "shhhhh" sounds, engine whine "whirring up and down based on RPMs, or other sounds post amp:
Yes. You can. If you have noise issues you are doing it wrong. This has been my and others experience. I originally had a high noise floor myself, a shhhhhhhhh sound coming from the tweeters perpetually. I had to have the right eqiupment that accepted the proper voltages. In my build I ended up doing the following to styles without any issues and retaining stock volume control.

1. Factory stereo - factory amplifier - JL Fix86 - JL HD 900/5 - speakers
2. Factory stereo - factory amplifier - JL Fix82 - Helix DSP Pro MkII - JL HD 900/5 - speakers

If you are tuning with JL Fix there are some nuances you need to be aware of in order to avoid sound issues. I can outline these in another



Just Add A Subwoofer To The Stock System
Yea. You can do that. This is the most reported scenario. You want to tap a rear deck midwoofer and the rear deck subwoofer for a greater signal range to your aftermarket sub amp combo.



ANC “Audio Noise Cancellation” Renamed ASC “Active Sound Control”:
This vehicle uses an ANC system and microphones to cancel out sound waves and make the cabin of the vehicle quieter. Is it actually effective? This can be disabled in the diagnostic/developer menu as well as directly unplugged. The ANC unit is located underneath the glovebox. If you are modifying the audio system, you will need to disable this unit otherwise you can experience strange audio issues with an aftermarket system. Supposedly ANC is automatically disabled in Sports/Sports+ mode. This is located underneath the glovebox, See image below.

If I physically disconnect the harness from the ANC module / disable in the diagnostic menu will it affect bluetooth or other functions?:
No issues everything will work properly with the harness disconnected as well as disabled in the diagnostic menu.

If I disable ANC in the software menu will it stay off?:
It does for me and other people. I have checked several times an mine remains "off" in the software menu. Others report that it resets back on every time they check. Could be due to software / firmware differences between one vehicle to another.





Speed Volume Control
Volume will increase and decrease based on speed. Leave disabled to avoid issues with aftermarket system. This is located in the Sound Settings tab with the other EQ options.



Diagnostic Mode/Developer Mode
Access to this will vary by vehicle. You want access to this if you want to disable via software the ANC. There is also a setting in here dubbed "FLAT DSP" ON or OFF. No one has reported and tested what this did for them. But if it's as straightforward as it states it seems as though you can disable the software EQ curves the TLX has built in and might mean you don't need a DSP AT ALL. I discovered this later, and do not feel like trying to test this at the moment. But if you ever do please actually come back and tell us if it worked.

Hold Down ... Back + Menu + Audio
OR
Hold Down ... Back + Menu + Nav
THEN
Hold Enter and keep holding until you reach the second menu.

Then you can find ANC and disable. Just a heads up, your car is going to make a loud ish sound while disabling ANC. This is reported to be normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The following adaptors/harnesses are plug and play for our vehicle. They are what I used without issue.

Speaker Wire Harness: Metra 72-7800
Speaker Ring Adapter: Scosche SAHC634

I bought another speaker ring brand and had to customize it. I had to counter sink a screw hole in the plastic. So heads up, buy the one I linked to above.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's been too long to update the original post but I forgot to add this other commonly asked question. If it's possible to add the following to the first post that would be cool so people don't have to scroll down. There possibly may be more I can't think of at this moment and was trying to be as thorough in one post as possible.

Can I Upgrade The Speakers And Keep The Factory Amplifier?
Yes. All speakers being powered by the stock factory amplifier are 2 ohms. So make sure whatever you pick as a replacement speaker is 2 ohm as well so you don't cause damage the new speakers you put in or the factory amplifier (in the event it was purely designed to operate under 2 ohm loads).

The problem you're going to possibly have is if you don't replace both sides together (both fronts or both rear doors etc.) is one side will probably sound different than the other.

In my case (base model but same power to the speakers I believe) while I was slowly swapping my speakers, I started with putting an aftermarket speaker the driver's side door and rest stock. It didn't hit low as hard as the stock passenger side and didn't get as loud (not as "efficient" with the same power as the right side I believe is the term).

Blended altogether I didn't really notice, but playing with the fader side to side I definitely noticed. But the speaker I put in wasn't meant to play as low, and was designed for greater power. There should be plenty 2 ohm speakers that would play lower frequencies and be more efficient with the power they do receive. Ideally you should replace all speakers. I have read a couple times now that 2018 owners factory rear door speaker keeps blowing and getting replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update on "DSP Flat" Setting

When I turn the DSP Flat ON - it does not stay on when I turn the car off and on again. I'll check the diag menu and see it "DSP Flat" set to OFF. This could be a software version bug or by design. I believe there is an update for the software if you inquire by the way.






Also if I turn the DSP gain high enough I start to hear low bass rumbling when audio is playing at low volumes. Not a big deal but just noting it's present. I'd prefer it be gone. But it's at a higher DSP gain level I tend not to listen at so it doesn't matter. I have ANC physically unplugged and disabled in the software so not sure what that's about. Next I'm going to unplug the ANC mic in the rear roof seating area.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Have a 2015 acura tlx 3.5 fwd I have the base model and I see a speaker grill on the center dash, is that just for show I opened it up and it was empty. Is the wiring already there to install a small speaker?
 

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Someone can correct me with if you don't have the advance trim the sound system is a bit different. Not sure just connecting a speaker will get it working with the wires. Someone correcet me here if I am wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update: It's been reported that the extra ELS Pre Amp Outputs don't actually seem to put any audio out. If using Pre Amp signal you still need to tap the Front Right and Front Left wires. His full post is available here but I highlighted some points below https://www.tlxforums.com/#/topics/43008

I recently purchased certified used 2018 TLX v6 SH-AWD a-spec.

Here is what I did tio upgrade the ELS audio.

I decided that I wanted to try and get away without putting an Amplifier in the car. Getting older and lazier I guess. I also did not want to deal with stuff like the "JL Fix" or needing an external volume knob. When I started looking at amps I kept getting drawn to the JL Vx 700/5 beacuse it had a controller that would do main volume and sub volume separately but I felt that this was too expensive.

...

I have a set of focal TN-51 tweeters that I have used in my vehicles for the past 15 years or so. First thing I did was transfer these to the TLX. The ELS stock tweeters have an in-line capacitor for the high pass filter, so I added a similar 6 db high pass filter in line with my tweeters so as not to blow them. These tweeters have a nominal impedence of 4 ohm, but still do fine with the 2 ohm ELS amp. OK so that took care of the highs. NO one makes a wiring harness for the tweeters so you need to splice the wires. for the left tweeter white is positive, for the right tweeter gray is positive - if I recall the stock tweeters have the polarity marked as well so you can figure it out from there. I did disconnect battery during tweeter install due to proximity of air bags.

...

Just a few notes - I did have to take off the deck trim to remove the subwoofer but I could have gotten to all the wires from the trunk if needed. TO take of the deck trim you do need to remove the c-pillar. c-pillar has a funky clip that keeps the c-pillar from being embedded into your head if airbag goes off. you need to remove this from the car side to reattach the c-pillar and it is difficult. there are white squeeze clips on the top and bottom of this clip where it inserts into the car. You need to push down on the top on bottom clips together. To push on the top part I had to take a little flat head screwdriver (like for glasses) and bend the end about 75 degrees and I used that to press the top part of the clip in while pushing the bottom one with my fingernail. I went into detail on this because that clip was a PITA to get off - maybe that will help so

Now another interesting thing is what the pre-amp outputs do on the ELS system. Prior posts have described how the base stereo only has two preamp outs with balance and fader controlled by the head unit. The ELS head unit has pre-amp outs for all the speakers. I got the T harness for the head unit to amp connection - my original idea was to try and disable the rear speakers by just cutting the wires from the preamp so I did not have to get under that deck trim. However , when I cut the wires to the read speakers - nothing changed! I am not sure if I had the DTS audio enabled at the time - I wonder if for DTS the encoding happens in the head unit so the extra wires are needed for that. Or, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the head unit is used on the MDX also that has rear seat entertainment. Anyway, the jury is still out on this - I may explore this further in the coming weeks just for kicks.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I like to make some updates. The Back+Menu+Nav to go into diagnostic mode do not work on my 2019 A-spec.

To get into this mode, press Back+Setting+Info and then hold Info to get into developer setting. I tried turning off the Anc, it will not stay off when you start the engine again. Sucks.
 

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Can someone confirm if the center channel dash speaker can be added to a non ELS system TLX?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Can someone confirm if the center channel dash speaker can be added to a non ELS system TLX?
good question. If it's in regards to simply physically adding a speaker to an aftermarket system in that location I don't see why not. I doubt the stock wiring is under there though so you'd probably have to run your own.

Maybe someone can chime in whose physically checked.

If you mean adding a speaker there AND plugging it directly into the stock base amplifier I doubt the ELS processing is occuring and also doubt the amp board contains the extra amplified channels if you pinned a couple more into the stock harness since it's missing those wires in the base system.
 

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It's been too long to update the original post but I forgot to add this other commonly asked question. If it's possible to add the following to the first post that would be cool so people don't have to scroll down. There possibly may be more I can't think of at this moment and was trying to be as thorough in one post as possible.

Can I Upgrade The Speakers And Keep The Factory Amplifier?
Yes. All speakers being powered by the stock factory amplifier are 2 ohms. So make sure whatever you pick as a replacement speaker is 2 ohm as well so you don't cause damage the new speakers you put in or the factory amplifier (in the event it was purely designed to operate under 2 ohm loads).

The problem you're going to possibly have is if you don't replace both sides together (both fronts or both rear doors etc.) is one side will probably sound different than the other.

In my case (base model but same power to the speakers I believe) while I was slowly swapping my speakers, I started with putting an aftermarket speaker the driver's side door and rest stock. It didn't hit low as hard as the stock passenger side and didn't get as loud (not as "efficient" with the same power as the right side I believe is the term).

Blended altogether I didn't really notice, but playing with the fader side to side I definitely noticed. But the speaker I put in wasn't meant to play as low, and was designed for greater power. There should be plenty 2 ohm speakers that would play lower frequencies and be more efficient with the power they do receive. Ideally you should replace all speakers. I have read a couple times now that 2018 owners factory rear door speaker keeps blowing and getting replaced.

Good work documenting all of this! I have a 2015 TLX Advance AWD with 10 speakers & am about to jump into all of this with both feet now my airbag compressor install is done.
Speaker Sizes and Specifications:
The following info has been verified by googling eBay images, random posts over the year, and my own removal and inspection of my speakers in my 2017 2.4L 4 cyl. Base Model TLX. This information is prior to the 2018+ MMC (mid model change) and Pre-A Spec but I feel it’s highly unlikely the information is different.

ELS speakers are usually identifiable by an “ELS” sticker on them when removed. On a superficial level, aside from the “ELS” stickers, the speakers themselves look aesthetically identical to me.

Base models are a 7 speaker system
ELS is a 10 speaker system adding a front center speaker and two rear door card speakers

All models have the following
Two 1" 2 OHM 20 WATT tweeters*(A pillars)
Four 6.5" 2 OHM 20 WATT* speakers (front doors and rear deck)
One 8" 2 OHM 20 WATT subwoofer (rear deck)*

ELS Speaker in addition to the above
One 3.5” 2 OHM 12 WATT speaker (center dash)
Two 3.5” 2 OHM 12 WATT speaker (rear doors)**

* ELS 6.5” drivers don’t state wattage on the label but the assumption is made because everything else 6.5” is 20 watts.
** JL Audio Rob Haynes said rear door speakers are the same as center channel

Here is an official press release on the ELS speaker system. Claims it is "490 Watts" but the real RMS is most likely far far less. CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRESS RELEASE



Audio Wiring Schematics:
Acura currently provides free online wiring diagrams for our vehicles. They call them EWD (Electrical Wiring Diagrams). In my case, I find them by googling “2017 TLX EWD” which brings up the first mentioned website below. I have a BASE Model DCT 4 cylinder so that’s the one I select.

I pulled the rest of this useful assimilated info from EE4Life on another forum so thanks to him for consolidating and summarizing these other webpages. I/We should probably download these PDFs in the event they are removed from the internet.

2017 Acura TLX Electrical Wiring Diagrams (EWDs)
2017 TLX EWD

Examples of Commonly Used EWD Circuit Names for Powertrain Circuits
http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/BWW1313EM.PDF
LinkDeny

Examples of Commonly Used EWD Circuit Names for Body Systems
http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/BXX1313EM.PDF
LinkDeny

Electrical Acronym Definitions
http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/BYY1313EM.PDF
LinkDeny

EWD Main Electrical Symbol Definitions
http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/BZZ1313EM.PDF
LinkDeny



Factory Amplifier:
The factory amplifier is under the passenger side glove box fastened to the right side of the frame of the body. Drop the panel underneath the glove box to locate the amp. It’s a pain in the arse to work in this area, to the point that I paid a shop to tap into the middle harness (post factory amplifier) The following is an image of the factory amplifier in a BASE NON ELS V6 model which will look exactly the same as the BASE NON ELS 4 CYL.

What is circled in red are the stereo wires, meaning the wires coming from the stereo and into the factory amp.

The harness in the middle circled in green has the amplified audio signal wires that run to every speaker in the vehicle. Base and ELS models have the same exact harness shapes/pinouts.

In both Base and ELS models each and every speaker gets a set of amplified wires routed to them, including the tweeters. The tweeters in Base and ELS models just have resistors on them.



In the Base models post amplifier, as will be shown elsewhere, there is not an extreme level of EQ. No one with an ELS has chimed in or shown images/RTA of the EQ pre or post ELS amplifier so I don't know how different they are. But really all roads lead to Rome meaning if you are planning to use your own amplifier you will probably end up using a JL Fix82 or Fix86 after the factory amplifier anyways to completely flatten the factory amplifier EQ and sum the channels together for full range. Some have decided not to use the fix in order to keep factory ELS surround system processing and then reprocess that already processed sound with another DSP like the JL TWK. I will show you result charts of my Fix in the Base model. The pre amp signal in the base model appears to be full range to me, I've used a basic iPhone RTA to check the pre factory amp signals but not a real deal mic and rta to confirm.

Audio Schematic for Base model (NO ELS) looks like this. This is a screenshot of my 2017 Base 2.4L 4cyl DCT schematic showing “pre amp” channels (meaning before the amp) in red.



Notice what is circled in red. The colored lines in the schematic coming from the top of the image are directly from the factory stereo. In Base Models, there are only two sets of AUDIO SIGNAL wires coming from the factory stereo.

One set is the positive and negative for the Front Right channel.
Other set is the positive and negative for the Front Left channel.

If you look to the right of the schematic you will notice the base model does not have extra pre amplifier wires like the ELS stereo system will have coming from the factory stereo. Here’s another picture of this to give you a clear idea. The harness circled in green are wires coming from the factory stereo going to into the amplifier which include the audio wires. The rest of those spaces labeled “Not Used” are mostly used in the ELS model.

Now look at the following image of an ELS model. The ELS Models have many more sets of audio channel wires coming directly from the factory stereo. Look up your specific model to confirm.



Does the ELS system EQ inside the factory stereo before it even reaches the amplifier, or inside the amplifier? Don’t know as ELS owners who have modified their system have not confirmed or denied.
Again either way you’ll probably De-equalize the system and sum the channels using something like a JL Fix.



Bypassing The Factory Amplifier:
Yes. This can be done. In fact there is a T harness you can buy so you can easily test drive this set up without permanant soldering or cutting of cables. UNFORTUNATELY there is somehow not a T harness in the market yet for the POST AMP PLUG. Metra doesn't make it. Even though that plug shape has been in use in older Acuras (MDX) for a while now.

In my Base 2017 TLX 4 CYL I used the following harness and slightly customized it. It is meant for something else but I carefully searched the internet matching the plugs for a few months to find a harness that is exactly the same. It's called a "Fortin THAR-ONE-HON3" see the following images.




If you are interested in using the stereo signal before it reaches the factory amp, meaning you want to bypass, take note of what I did. If you disconnect the pre amp harness COMPLETELY then the stereo system will not work right. You need to keep some of the wires on the pre amp harness connected so the “ELS_DATE + -“ and the “ANC_” and the “RS485+-“ etc. REMAIN CONNECTED TO THE FACTORY AMPLIFIER. To avoid issues, you can only disconnect the audio channels. With the customized Fortin harness I was able to test the pre amplifier factory stereo signal. Here are some YouTube Videos showing this and you can read the notes on the youtube videos for more info. The base NON ELS vehicles only have two pairs of stereo wires coming from the pre amp. They are labeled "front left" and "front right". These pre amp wires have no volume control. They are pushing maximum output whether the stereo dial says 0-40.


What did we learn. Well, the pre amplifier stereo signal is at max volume always. I believe they call it a CAN/BUS system. Meaning one of those ancillary wires, possible the "RS485+-" wires you keep connected to the amplifier are what control the volume. If you install your own system, you will either need to figure out use one of those compatibility devices like in other cars to interpret the CAN volume so you can adjust it (is this possible in our vehicle?), OR you will have to add your own dedicated volume knob from whatever amplifier / dsp processor. Here is the list of observations made.

1. Mute button on the steering wheel still works. Speaker went silent when hitting mute.
2. Volume control moving from 0-40 does nothing audible at all. Speaker played at the same exact volume regardless of the volume adjustment (even at zero) as indicated on the GUI.
3. Handsfree bluetooth calls worked properly - other person could hear/speak to me and I to them. (I had ANC disabled in the diag menus but plugged in)
4. Pre Amp AC voltage while playing a sine wave and pink noise measured at AC voltage at pre amplifier "Front Right" stereo wires range from 536mV - 791mV (.536 Volts to .791 Volts).
5. Used a free RTA app to roughly measure the sound coming out of the cheap speaker, I have a screenshot of it and it seems the whole range is there (the very bottom and very top of the range wasn't picked up by my iPhone and the cheap speaker may not have been putting it out, don't have an RTA so I don't know but it would be a decent to assumption that the full range is present).
6. You lose fader and balance.
7. You retain Skip controls on the steering wheel and display. Can pause and play using display.
8. Aux works
9. USB / iPhone port works

Question? Can I Amplify Post Amplifier without getting engine noise, high noise floor "shhhhh" sounds, engine whine "whirring up and down based on RPMs, or other sounds post amp:
Yes. You can. If you have noise issues you are doing it wrong. This has been my and others experience. I originally had a high noise floor myself, a shhhhhhhhh sound coming from the tweeters perpetually. I had to have the right eqiupment that accepted the proper voltages. In my build I ended up doing the following to styles without any issues and retaining stock volume control.

1. Factory stereo - factory amplifier - JL Fix86 - JL HD 900/5 - speakers
2. Factory stereo - factory amplifier - JL Fix82 - Helix DSP Pro MkII - JL HD 900/5 - speakers

If you are tuning with JL Fix there are some nuances you need to be aware of in order to avoid sound issues. I can outline these in another



Just Add A Subwoofer To The Stock System
Yea. You can do that. This is the most reported scenario. You want to tap a rear deck midwoofer and the rear deck subwoofer for a greater signal range to your aftermarket sub amp combo.



ANC “Audio Noise Cancellation” Renamed ASC “Active Sound Control”:
This vehicle uses an ANC system and microphones to cancel out sound waves and make the cabin of the vehicle quieter. Is it actually effective? This can be disabled in the diagnostic/developer menu as well as directly unplugged. The ANC unit is located underneath the glovebox. If you are modifying the audio system, you will need to disable this unit otherwise you can experience strange audio issues with an aftermarket system. Supposedly ANC is automatically disabled in Sports/Sports+ mode. This is located underneath the glovebox, See image below.

If I physically disconnect the harness from the ANC module / disable in the diagnostic menu will it affect bluetooth or other functions?:
No issues everything will work properly with the harness disconnected as well as disabled in the diagnostic menu.

If I disable ANC in the software menu will it stay off?:
It does for me and other people. I have checked several times an mine remains "off" in the software menu. Others report that it resets back on every time they check. Could be due to software / firmware differences between one vehicle to another.





Speed Volume Control
Volume will increase and decrease based on speed. Leave disabled to avoid issues with aftermarket system. This is located in the Sound Settings tab with the other EQ options.



Diagnostic Mode/Developer Mode
Access to this will vary by vehicle. You want access to this if you want to disable via software the ANC. There is also a setting in here dubbed "FLAT DSP" ON or OFF. No one has reported and tested what this did for them. But if it's as straightforward as it states it seems as though you can disable the software EQ curves the TLX has built in and might mean you don't need a DSP AT ALL. I discovered this later, and do not feel like trying to test this at the moment. But if you ever do please actually come back and tell us if it worked.

Hold Down ... Back + Menu + Audio
OR
Hold Down ... Back + Menu + Nav
THEN
Hold Enter and keep holding until you reach the second menu.

Then you can find ANC and disable. Just a heads up, your car is going to make a loud ish sound while disabling ANC. This is reported to be normal.

Good work documenting all of this! I have a 2015 TLX Advance AWD with 10 speakers & am about to jump into all of this with both feet now my airbag compressors install is done.
 

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Good work documenting all of this! I have a 2015 TLX Advance AWD with 10 speakers & am about to jump into all of this with both feet now my airbag compressor install is done.



Good work documenting all of this! I have a 2015 TLX Advance AWD with 10 speakers & am about to jump into all of this with both feet now my airbag compressors install is done.
If you’re not fabbing something and it interests you at all, buy my focal tweeter a pillars - they’re just sitting here in a box since I sold the car last year and I want them gone .

What’s your strategy? If I ever did this again in the base model ... I would tap pre amp and send the signal to a helix p six dsp mk2, or do minidsp 8x12DL plus some amps. You would lose volume control through the steering wheel but i installed my helix volume controller in the lower center pocket and found I didn’t really need it. And I think it would have sounded better bypassing the factory amplifier entirely. It was always a struggle of sorts getting things to sound right post amp.

In your case you have some spacial processing in ELS system so it might be favorable to do post amp like Rob from JL did 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec Audio Overhaul

I would skip the JL fix entirely. Send the signal straight to a good DSP / amp that can handle the factory amps voltage output. I wasn’t crazy about the TWK DSP but it sounds like Rob got some good results sending factory amp signal to the TWK.

Otherwise pre amp is also way more easily reversible with the harness I linked to. You don’t have to suffer in that tiny space splicing post amp.
 
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