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Basic Car Audio Upgrades, Honda Civic Part 2, Amplifier, Speakers

Previously: Basic Car Audio Upgrades, Honda Civic Part 1

Welcome to Part 2 of Basic Car Audio Upgrades. We’re back to work on the 2008 Honda Civic EX. This time I’m adding a 4-channel amplifier and replacing the rear speakers. I’m also running wires to the trunk for a future addition of a powered subwoofer. I will also be using the new speaker adapters made by car-speaker-adapters.com to help get this product to market. Speaker adapters help out when the factory speaker isn’t mounted straight to the panel the way an aftermarket speaker gets mounted.

The amplifier chosen for this upgrade was the Precision Power Phantom P900.4. This is our best selling amplifier. I will be mounting it under the passenger seat. It’s small enough to fit within the footprint of the base of the seat and it provides quite a bit of power without placing a heavy load on the alternator.

Precision Power P900.4
Precision Power P900.4

Power is brought into the cabin with 4 gauge cable from a dB Link CK4Z amplifier installation kit. This kit features a wafer style ANL fuse, 17 feet of Superflex Soft Touch power cable, 3 feet of ground cable, 25 feet of 16 gauge speaker wire, and more. I used a pair of 6 foot 2-channel RCA cables by Tsunami, part number RTP950-6.

dB Link CK4Z
dB Link CK4Z
'08 Civic fuse holder near battery
’08 Civic fuse holder near battery
'08 Civic power cable near brake pedal
’08 Civic power cable near brake pedal
dB Link MANLFB438 interior fuse block
dB Link MANLFB438 interior fuse block
'06-'11 PVC speaker adapter car-speaker-adapters.com
’06-’11 PVC speaker adapter car-speaker-adapters.com
Civic rear deck stripped and cleaned
Civic rear deck stripped and cleaned
Alpha Damp sound deadener applied
Alpha Damp sound deadener applied

The original system plan included a pair of CDT Audio ES-6CFX 6.5″ speakers. In the Alpha Damp photo those are the speakers shown. They didn’t work out as this particular car had a clearance issue that would have required cutting of the sheet metal. This wasn’t an option for this car.

JBL GTO628 speaker
JBL GTO628 speaker
Rear deck cover treated with closed cell foam from sounddeadenershowdown.com
Rear deck cover treated with closed cell foam from sounddeadenershowdown.com

I finished the sound deadening for the rear deck lid by hot gluing some closed cell foam to the underside of the cover. This puts a barrier between plastic and metal to prevent vibrations from the new speakers and the subwoofer that is coming soon.

After some minor trimming of the speaker covers the car went back together for an OEM appearance.
After some minor trimming of the speaker covers the car went back together for an OEM appearance.
Wire management is important. Secure your wires into manageable, labeled bundles.
Wire management is important. Secure your wires into manageable, labeled bundles.
Wire management behind the radio is important as well.
Wire management behind the radio is important as well.
The amplifier is secured with screws to a board under the carpet.
The amplifier is secured with screws to a board under the carpet.
Not much is seen once the seat is back in the car.
Not much is seen once the seat is back in the car.

The car will be coming back to get the front speakers replaced. With new speakers in the back and more power for the front speakers the sound is greatly improved. There’s a welcome addition of clear treble from the JBLs plus the stock speakers in the front doors are finally showing signs of life. The extra power really gets the door panels vibrating. That will be addressed with Alpha Damp and possibly other products.

Barry Schanz