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John Grandberg's Honda Civic

Items installed:
  • JVC KD-LX3 CD receiver
  • JBL Loud + Clear LC-S600 2-way 6-1/2" speakers — front door
  • Acoustic Research 1-1/2" tweeters — front door
  • Cerwin-Vega Vega 6002 2-way 6-1/2" speakers — rear deck
  • Sony Xplod XS-V6940 4-way 6"x9" speakers — custom boxes
  • Pioneer TS-W27C 10" subwoofer
  • Mobile Authority 10" tube
  • Alpine 3522s amplifier (35 watts RMS x 2, 80 watts in mono mode)
  • JVC KS-A82 amplifier (40 watts RMS x 2)
  • Pioneer GM-X322 amplifier (35 watts RMS x 2)
  • StreetWires power cable, speaker wire, distribution block, and ground block
John Grandberg designed the sound system for his 1994 Honda Civic with three goals: 1) it would produce clean, well-balanced sound at any volume level; 2) it would take up minimal space; and 3) it could be easily upgraded. He picked JVC's KD-LX3 CD receiver with its three sets of 4-volt preamp outputs to control his system. As an added bonus, the JVC's auxiliary inputs allow easy connection to a portable cassette, MiniDisc, or MP3 player. The KD-LX3's strong internal amp (16 watts RMS/40 peak x 4) powers a set of JBL Loud + Clear LC-S600 6-1/2" speakers and a pair of Acoustic Research 1-1/2" tweeters (from the factory system), both mounted in the front doors.

John installed the Cerwin-Vega Vega 6002 6-1/2" speakers on the rear deck, each receiving 40 watts RMS from a JVC KS-A82 amplifier. A Pioneer GM-X322 amp sends 35 watts RMS per channel to a pair of Sony XS-V6940 4-way 6"x9" speakers, mounted in custom boxes. The low frequencies are reproduced by a Pioneer TS-W27C 10" speaker mounted in a Mobile Authority tube; 80 watts RMS of mono muscle from a bridged Alpine 3522s amp drives the bass.

John admitted to himself that his car audio addiction is incurable, so he prepared for the future. He ran StreetWires 4-gauge power and ground cable — overkill for the trio of low-powered amps presently in his system — and installed a heavy-duty StreetWires distribution block so that the Civic would be ready for an easy amp upgrade later. This simple step, so often overlooked, will save him time, effort, and money when a larger, more power hungry amplifier comes along.

One cool feature — all three amplifiers, distribution and ground boxes, and the 6"x9" boxes are mounted on the back of the rear seat. When the seat is down (its customary position), the Sony 6"x9"s and the bass tube fire directly into the Civic's cab for some high-impact sound. John Grandberg used his brain and a modest amount of equipment to create a great-sounding, easily-expanded system for this sensational Civic.

John Grandberg's 1994 Honda Civic EX.

The JVC KD-LX3 CD receiver hides a wealth of cool features behind the blank faceplate you see when the power's off.

Mounted in the Civic's doors, JBL's Loud + Clear LC-S600 6-1/2" speakers have proven that they are aptly named.

John liked the sound and imaging of the AR factory tweeter so much that he incorporated it into his system.

Sony's ferocious Xplod XS-V6940 4-way 6"x9" speakers are mounted in custom boxes on the seat back. When the seat is down, they fire directly into the cab.

The JVC, Alpine, and Pioneer amplifiers are mounted on the seat back, with the Mobile Authority bass tube in the foreground.

In this close up of the trunk (with the seat back down), you can see the back side of the 6"x9" boxes nestled between the bass tube and the trio of amplifiers.

Compare the sound