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Phantom Audio Re-Tuned Amplifier, J. L. Kelley Signature Series, 2004-08 Acura TSX

Brand:
Phantom Audio
Product Line:
J. L. Kelley Signature Tuned Amplifier (Requires Refundable Core Fee)
Vehicle Fitment:
Acura TSX, 2004-08
Phantom Audio Re-Tuned Amplifier, J. L. Kelley Signature Series, 2004-08 Acura TSX

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    Details

    Application-specific info:

    The 2004-08 Acura TSX amplifier is a sophisticated part, even by Acura standards. Unlike the TL amps which have channels for the main drivers but not the tweeters, the TSX amplifier houses capacitors for the tweeter channels as well. The packaging is also more compact. While this is not a functional benefit, the handling and tuning of the components within are a little more challenging as compared to TL units. Additionally, the cores are generally worth less due to the system not being branded as an "ELS" system. All 2004-08 TSxs use the same amps.

    A note on speakers:

    The factory Acura soundstage and imaging as designed by Elliot Schneider is impeccable. The placement and angle of each component is designed to make the greatest auditory experience possible. While the TSX was not branded as an ELS system, Acuras of this TSX's vintage are all designed around such high audio standards the TSX benefits well from tuning. And as much as the amplifier tuning improves the overall sound of the system, the speakers make an even greater advancement in the overall sound quality. Look up J. L. Kelley's line of speakers to bring your listening experience to an entirely new level.

    About the $70 Core Fee & return info:

    Phantom Audio refurbishes and re-tunes factory amplifiers. For fastest service to customers, we'll request a core fee after the sale which will be refunded upon return of your stock, functioning amplifier. It should be sent back at the owner's expense, and should be in reasonably good working condition. If the returned core is found to need significant refurbishing or is inoperable, the core fee may be prorated or denied reimbursement. If an incorrect core is returned, the core fee may be prorated or denied reimbursement.

    The core required on this listing a 2004-08 TSX amplifier (part number 39186-SEC-A02).

    Manufacturer's details:

    Undeniably, the second best sounding facet of a car, aside from the engine note, is the audio system. The gratification that comes from dropping the windows and cranking the stereo on the perfect cruise speaks to the heart and soul of every automotive enthusiast. Acura had the foresight to hire the best in the business, Elliot Scheiner, to develop the ELS Sound System for use in modern Acura vehicles. The result was an unmatched soundstage on which to build an amazing audio profile while using relatively modest power from the integrated amplifier.

    Even in such a well engineered system, the costs of mass production and the forces of committee-based product selection result in a compromise in componentry.

     

    Enter Phantom Audio and Jesse Levi Kelley:

    Unwilling to accept the compromises cooked into factory Acura amps, in addition to simply understanding that these electronic modules don't last forever, he set upon creating a collection of capacitor and power-cap alterations designed to breathe new life into ELS sound systems like that in the 2004-08 Acura TL.

    After mixing and matching various capacitors sourced from all over the globe, he's tuned the factory ELS amplifier to be a different animal altogether creating the Phantom Audio J. L. Kelley Signature Series Tuned amplifier. Just as tuning the engine for more power, Kelley's magic touch gives the factory amp:

    • Broadened Frequency Range; higher highs and lower lows
    • Tighter Bass; more punch without the boom
    • Full Midrange; newfound richness and warmth
    • Crisper Treble; tickles the eardrums without piecing brightness
    • Greater Fidelity; more accurate sound reproduction

    A note on signal quality:

    As a true audiophile, Kelley stresses that it is important to note that modern music storage is not universally in keeping with great sound quality. Compression during digitizing and further compression to reduce file sizes has a severe impact on sound quality. For best results, be sure to use DVD audio discs. Otherwise CDs work great, as does non-compressed digital copy. However burned discs or digital files with more compression on the data will show poor sound quality regardless of the amp and speaker condition. But, even a good, old fashioned cassette is capable of producing quality, analog sound.

    Phantom Audio refurbishes and re-tunes factory amplifiers. For fastest service to customers, we'll request a core fee after the sale which will be refunded upon return of your stock, functioning amplifier. It should be sent back at the owner's expense, and should be in reasonably good working condition. If the returned core is found to need significant refurbishing or is inoperable, the core fee may be prorated or denied reimbursement. If an incorrect core is returned, the core fee may be prorated or denied reimbursement.

    The core required on this listing a 2004-08 TSX amplifier (part number 39186-SEC-A02).

    J. L. Kelley personally guarantees your satisfaction with each product provided or you may return your amp to stock for no charge. Simply communicate your feedback through Heeltoe!

    Customer Questions

    Q:is the core cost already included in the price?
    A:

    The core is not part of the initial product cost online, no.

    Q:Am i paying for a retuned factory amp? or am i paying to get my factory amp sent out and retuned? and will the address be provided to where i send out my factory amp?
    A:

    Yes this is a re-tuned factory amplifier, refreshed and upgraded with new, high-end capacitors. There is a core price we charge after you purchase which is refunded when you send your old core back to us. Naturally, we will provide the address.

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    Reviews

    • Re-Tuned Amp Review December, 23
      By Mr Buckskin, Grocery Getter
      I am not an audiophile in any way, but I can still provide my general impressions of this product with the stock speakers. Although our stock audio system isnít terrible, Iíve always hated the sound distortion when the volume level went past 25+. With this amp, the sound is much more clean, and distortions are essentially gone at any volume level. This was true with all of the CDs and MP3s that Iíve tested with.

      Even though the amp provides a much richer sound, the bass is more subdued. The boomy thump that I used to get with the OEM amp is no longer there. Prior to the mod, I was content with a bass level set at +4, but now I have it set to max. Seems like there is more range with the treble now, since I reduced that setting from+4 to +2. Those looking for more bass with this amp using the stock speakers may be disappointed.

      Another thing to note is that the volume level has shifted with this amp. With the OEM amp, I normally listen to my CDs and MP3s with the volume set between 15-20. But with the new amp, Iím getting the equivalent volume level between 20-25. That may sound like a bad thing, but the sounds does get progressively better as you crank up the volume. So much so you will want listen to your music more loudly than before.

      Donít expect this to be equivalent to a full aftermarket system with external amp, subs, and upgraded speakers. But if youíre looking for a modest audio upgrade with an OEM fit and without the aftermarket hassles, then this is a good fit for you. You may get a better bang for your buck by just upgrading the speakers. But I can only imagine that this amp paired with better speakers would be phenomenal.
    • Phantom Audio Retuned Amp- 04-08 TSX October, 21
      By Ryan Takashima, Spirited/Stylish Commuter
      First I will start by saying my audio system is all stock and in the past, I have had full systems when they were more simple and not so integrated into the vehicles other systems. This upgrade is well worth the cost if you want an easy/simple upgrade to the overall sound quality. It definitely clears up the sound and does exactly as the description says. It makes the highs higher without being too harsh and the lows are extended and significantly cleaner/tighter at a higher volume now. Typically I would listen around 15-18 at max before the sound quality suffers. At 18+ the sound pretty much disappears and if you're driving with the windows open some and have a little wind noise, you really cant hear the music so well. After the upgrade, I could crank it up to 30 and its still clean sound coming from the speakers. On the lower end of the volume levels, I would typically have the volume around 8-10 when others are in the car but now I find i actually need to push it closer to 10-12 to be equivalent. It could be my imagination but I would say it seems as if the listenable power of the amp has been boosted and stretched out so you can actually turn it up WAY past 20 and make use of that extra power. Fitment is perfect because it is physically still the OEM amplifier. As far as craftsmanship and quality, I feel the amps craftsmanship is great but then again its all internal electrical work so only time will tell as far as if any issues pop up later down the road. Lastly, it is not a miracle system but a very welcomed upgrade that will more than please anyone looking to enhance the sound quality with minimal hassle. I had mine swapped out in 20 minutes which included actually disconnecting the battery, removing center console parts and putting everything back together.

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