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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, just bought a sweet little 2002 Insight and I'm thrilled with it, although the sound system's as bad as I expected it to be.

Unfortunately, the products that most folks recommend on the boards here... the El Kameleon head unit and the Eclipse 8263...seem to be either discontinued or very difficult to find. All I've seen are some used units on eBay.

Are there any updated recommendations folks can offer? I'm up for any sort of speakers. For the head unit I'm looking for an in-dash CD changer that preferably offers a line-in or aux input for my iPod.
 

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Well, take your pick of whatever iso din style mount deck you could want. Get out the crutchfield catalog and take your pick. I have an older kenwood deck that came out of my previous vehicle in mine and it works nicely. In fact the Insight is set up very nicely for stereo swap outs as no size adaptor is necessary for the head unit. The wiring harness plug is the same as a civics. I have installed cheap $100 on sale at ultimate electronics kenwood CD decks in two Insights locally and for the money they serve their purpose quite nicely.

The problem starts when you pick out speakers. It all depends on whether or not you are willing to modify your door panels or not. The factory speakers have tiny tiny little magnets and thus the door panels have tiny tiny little holes for them. If you do not want to cut out any door plastic then your speaker selection is very limited. There is a pioneer brand speaker that will fit with no modificaiton, but I'm not aware of many others (the model number is in the archives of this forum somewhere). Now if you dont mind cutting away some plastic then take your pick of a 6 1/2" speaker. I put Infinity reference 2 ways in my doors. The magnets are huge but fit with a few square inches of plastic being cut off. Also most likely tweeter height will also be an issue. To keep the factory grills I had to use a dremmel to shave away some of the cell structure behind the grills to make room for them. In the end i'd say well worth it in the name of good quality audio. I did not effect the remounting of the stock speakers back in the doors either.

Me personally I'd like to upgrade to a top of the line kenwood excelon deck here eventually when I get some money together. I'd also like to add sirius satellite radio and a new amplifier to my setup. Ok maybe my ideas are a bit on the $$$ side, but say for around $200, $250 you can make a drastic improvment.
 

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Get much better sound!

As Rick suggests, check out the archives of this Forum; under Modifications and Technical Issues, check out my post "My experience upgrading my speakers". I used Pioneer speakers and think I provided a pretty comprehensive description of installation. Alternatively checkout jameskb's post "Pioneer TS-G1647 speaker install". Hope this helps.

PS Congratulations on your new car!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tips. I've noticed a lot of people recommending the Infinity Reference speakers...are those the standard ones or the 'shallow' model?

I've found newer models of the "El Kameleon" head units on Crutchfield (JVC Arsenal KD-LX333 and JVC KD-LX111).
 

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The Infinities I have are the older model before they had the shallow version. I dont think even the shallow ones would fit without cutting away some plastic anways though. I've got the full fledged two ways, but the cool thing about them is the tweeter rotates so you can point it towards you to create the "sweet spot" in your sound stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your help on this, folks. With the new head unit and front speakers, my Insight sounds a billion times better. I'm pondering rears to add to the sound, but not yet....

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2002 Silver CVT Insight
JVC KD-LX111 "El Kameleon" receiver
Infinity Reference speakers
 

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Don't add the rear speakers. They usually do a job of making it worse. The sound stage with the two front speakers is very good. Putting speakers behind the seats only adds muffled sound because the seats go right up against them. If your going to add anything else add a subwoofer to the rear somewhere. I'd say a shoe box sub, but Wayland no longer makes them unfortunately. Believe me, if you were to hear an Insight with just the front speakers and a sub woofer it sounds awsome.
 

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Putting speakers behind the seats only adds muffled sound because the seats go right up against them.
What if you leave the seats a little forward? I am going to replace the stock door speakers with Pioneer TS-G1647's and was considering putting TS-A1661 3-way's in the rear. I leave the passenger seat at the same setting as the driver's seat which leaves about a 4" gap to the rear panel.

Shouldn't this help the sound?
 

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SeanW said:
What if you leave the seats a little forward? I am going to replace the stock door speakers with Pioneer TS-G1647's and was considering putting TS-A1661 3-way's in the rear. I leave the passenger seat at the same setting as the driver's seat which leaves about a 4" gap to the rear panel.

Shouldn't this help the sound?
Ehhhhh, maybe, but your still firing the sound waves right toward a nice soft cushion to absorb the sound. Granted it does kind of give you a quasi surround of sound around you, but I've heard a car with the 4 speakers. I'd personally prefer doing some sound insulation to get rid of some of the road noise and then just have the two door speakers. I think some do the rear speakers to overcome the road noise some, but I've been an insight with front and rear speakers, it just didn't do anything for me. Trust me, maybe someone with a wayland or similar setup will let you hear their car locally. Speakers in the doors and a subwoofer produces the best results. If you really want to you can install the rear speakers, but from the cars I've heard I'd prefer a good set of speakers in the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Insulation

After driving the Insight with my new speakers for a week, I totally agree that sound insulation...especially the floor...would hugely improve the sound. That seems like an incredibly daunting task, though. To remove the seats, rip out the carpeting, install some Dynamat or other sound absorbing material, and replace the carpet with either the factory original or thicker material...wow. Sounds like several days of work and many hundreds of dollars. Any thoughts on what's involved in adding sound insulation, and the total costs?
 

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More like 6 hours and $25 if you go the way I did. Dynamat was an idea, but the cost was a bit high (though I almost did it) and too permanent for my likings. The only permanent thing I did was the door panels. I had already cut away plastic to make room for speakers so I figured I had sacraficed them anyways. I glued the insulation material to the back side of the door panels. That said not only is it quieter inside, but the sound is also better.

I've given rides to three other insight owners and all of them have said they were going to do what I did or they asked me how much to do theirs for them. I had one who was about ready to give me the money to do the work, but he lost his job at the time so it never happened. The worst part of it was the labor. Cutting the material was probably the worst part. Yet I gotta say it was well worth it.
 

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Sound Insulation for rear cavity

I placed some thick padding under and around the spare tire and in the empty space up and to the right of the tire.

I left space for air circulation for the battery where the rear side vent brings air to the battery, and where the slots are for air circulation at the back of the battery.

Just this little change made a big difference on highway driving noise. I don't have any complaint for road noise except at highway speeds anyway...

I still have wind noise, but I don't have nearly as much road noise. It was easy, is not permanent and didn't cost me anything as I used stuffing from an old futon I have had on my agend to toss out for a long time.

I did not do anything on top of or on the front portion of the battery, as I didn't want to change the heat dissipation there and that is a pretty solid component itself anyway and should rattle and echo like the cavity area.
 
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