Building new system in stages - suggestions?

jrodefeld Newbie
Nov 11, 2018
Hi everyone,

I'm new to these forums and I wanted to ask for some advice.

I just bought a used car.  It's a 2013 Honda CR-V.  It's nothing special, but it is the highest trim (EX-L), has very low miles and is in excellent condition.  I wanted something relatively nice, with good gas mileage and easy to maintain, for around $15000 so I think I got a pretty good deal and it's a hell of a lot better than what I was driving.

So now I'm trying to make it a bit nicer.

My first step is to upgrade the sound system which isn't that nice.  Even though it's supposedly the "Premium" sound system with 7 speakers and a subwoofer it doesn't sound that great.

But I don't want to make all the upgrades all at once since I'm on a budget.

These are the components I'm currently considering:

Head unit:  Pioneer DEH-80PRS

Front speakers:  Focal PS165F Expert Component

Amplifier:  Arc Audio XDi850.5

I'm thinking of just getting these three things to begin with, then later on adding some coaxial speakers in the rear doors and a subwoofer in the back.

I'm not into competition as far as absolute sound levels or thunderous bass.  I'm much more interested in sound quality.

Could I install just these three components and be pretty happy with the sound for a while?  I'll probably be lacking some bass but I guess I could use the stock rear speakers or stock subwoofer though I don't know how they'll match with the much higher end Focals.

To be honest, I've already purchased the amplifier.  I saw a good deal and I couldn't pass it up.  I was attracted to it because I think Arc Audio is a respected brand in amplifiers, and it's a 5 channel amp with generous power so I could conceivably eventually power four speakers and a subwoofer and I wouldn't have to purchase an additional amplifier down the road.

Does it seem like I've got the right idea here?

Now, my car does have a navigation system.  It's not the latest tech but I do like it and I feel a little bad having to sacrifice it in order to upgrade the sound system.  If I have to make that trade-off, I certainly will.  I'm just wondering if there isn't a way I could install the Pioneer DEH-80PRS AND keep an in-dash navigation system.

Last point is that I'm not really interested in people second-guessing the components I've selected, or giving me a list of things they'd prefer instead.  Unless of course the components I selected are incompatible or there's some other major problem with installing them in the order I'm considering.

I've never installed a car audio system before, but I do want to install this one myself if possible.  I'll gladly soak up the expertise of people who know much more than me on this subject.

Hope I can learn a lot from ya'll.  Thanks.


jrodefeld Newbie
Nov 11, 2018
id do deck, amp and sub, then speakers
I already bought the deck, amp and speakers.

It wouldn't be TOO much worse to spring for a subwoofer as well, but I'm not sure I'm ready to take that step yet.

I'm kinda considering not even replacing the rear speakers, at least not for a good long while.  From my understanding, rear speakers are only for "fill", rounding out the sound a bit mainly for passengers in the back seat.  Since music is a stereo affair anyway, I could just run the Focals in the front, then a sub in the trunk and be good right?

The sub that comes with the CR-V is located under the front passengers seat.  Is this an okay spot to install a new subwoofer or would I be better off finding a custom enclosure and putting it in the back of the vehicle?  

I want my components to match.  The Focals are pretty high end, as is the Pioneer deck.  I don't want to skimp out on the subwoofer.  Any recommendations?

Lastly, I've been told by multiple people that it's important to use sound dampening material, at least where I install the speakers, but preferably throughout the whole car.  I've heard that this stuff is good:

Supposedly as good as Dynamat but substantially cheaper.

How difficult would it be to strip down the whole car and install this stuff everywhere?  Or where would you think it's most important to install it?



The Italian Guy Newbie
Feb 26, 2020
id forget rear speakers, subs more important. you can always add rears later, but i never run rears and dont miss it

stock sub probably isnt very good. budget for sub? $200-300 will get you a pretty sweet sub. i like this
I agree about rear speakers. In fact, you don't want the rears pulling anything away from your sound stage. If you want to try an easy experiment, use the fader in your factory system to send the majority of the audio to the front. Leave just a small amount of sound going to the rears and drive it for a few days. You'll probably find that your sound is at least as good, if not better than what it produces with a 50/50 fader setting.

A solid amplifier is a good place to spend your money. As for your head unit, it's up to you but if it controls a lot of other components, I would keep it. For example, on my current vehicle the head unit controls my audio, navigation, Bluetooth, maintenance, and other functions.

I have a Bose amp under the passengers seat which I will be removing and replacing. In this case, I can get clean, low level audio outputs that I can feed into my replacement amp. Even if your system doesn't have this type of arrangement, you can get your output from the OEM deck in your dashboard. If it has low level outputs, that's great! If not, worst case scenario, you can use a LOC and use speaker level outs.

Good luck and let us know how things come along!

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