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Crank up your Acura's audio system with a tuned ELS amplifier from Phantom Audio

  • Posted: 09-07-2016 08:22 PM
  • News

Audiophiles are interesting subset of the automotive world. They'll go to no end to get the perfect sound from their car's sound system. Yet cars are not exactly designed as great places to listen to music. So to achieve that perfect sound a slew of aftermarket componentry must be used installed in the dash, doors, trunk, and wherever else space can be found. Those wishing to keep their car's interior simpler and more factory-like run into an issue with adapter kits and extraneous wires being run throughout the interior. Sub-boxes take up valuable trunk space, and wiring up aftermarket amplifiers is nearly impossible to make like factory.

But as it turns out, some cars are designed to have great audio. And their components are generally up to the task of providing outstanding audio. Just a little "tweak" is needed to substantially bring out even more sound.

Here is the factory ELS sound system layout in a 2004-08 Acura TL:


Impressive array, yes?

With all these speakers, the amplifier has to be really sophisticated. The factory amp is the best way to utilize all these speakers and locations, especially with the way Elliot Scheiner laid them out. Much like how Hondata has found amazing success in re-tuning factory ECUs for optimal engine control, Phantom Audio tackles a re-tune of the factory amplifier to turn the standard ELS sound system into a thing of wonderment.

Retuning the factory ELS amplifier construction requires a lot of knowledge and experience. As an audio and auto enthusiast for more than twenty years, Jesse Levi Kelley of Phantom Audio decided to tackle the task to make the factory amplifier create sound better than one could possibly expect. He's got the experience and know-how to do amazing things with cars' systems with a strong eye on quality and factory integration. Phantom Audio exists as your go-to solution for audio componentry that melds perfectly with your car's factory design.



Phantom Audio's first product is a series of tuned amplifiers for the ELS system in 2004-08 Acura TL models and 2007-09 Acura MDX. 2004-08 Acura TSX amplifiers can also be tuned by Phantom Audio even though they are not branded as ELS. The amazing ELS audio system creates the perfect sound stage with sophisticated speaker placement and calibrated sizing. However, the amplifier internals suffer from cost-cutting by the manufacturer. With huge respect paid to Elliot Scheiner, Phantom Audio opens up these amps, and re-tunes them with specially selected combinations of upgraded capacitors to provide considerably better sound that one would even believe possible.

Early adopters have taken to YouTube attempting to capture the extended frequency range and improved bass they experience with a tuned amp. Check out this user's before and after videos for an idea of what to expect from your Phantom Audio tuned amplifier.

Here is a video from "before" the amp tuning in an otherwise stock Acura TL:

Now, here is the same car after the amplifier is installed:

The videos hopes to convey the "after":

  • Volume is significantly better. At 10 volume level, it sounds like it did at 20 before.
  • Treble is crisp and clear, even at high volumes.
  • Bass is clean and strong, can actually feel the bass at high volumes.

Another user had access to a studio-grade microphone for their video. To get the full effect you really need to be listening with a desktop and decent speakers:


How to order: Find PHANTOM AUDIO on

The ordering process is simple.

  1. Navigate to and select your vehicle from the Vehicle Selector.
  2. Use the Electric / Audio System category path to find the re-tuned amps for your car.
  3. You may find different levels of amps for you application. Phantom Audio offers a "Signature Series" amplifier and a "Bass-Plus" for some applications. Check out the products for details on what is right for you.
  4. ReadHeeltoe's pricing includes a core charge that is refunded once your original amp is sent in, see individual product listings for details and restrictions on cores.

For you Radio Shack geeks out there, know that what Phantom Audio does to these amps is more than a simple capacitor swap. He's mixed and matched different capacitors from all over the globe and strategically installed them in each of the amplifier's channels to give the tweeters, center channel speaker, door-drivers, and subwoofer the optimal frequency range. He also polishes the amplifier cases prior to shipping as a nice finishing touch.

This new product is one we are extremely excited about. In addition to offering TL ELS Amp Tunes, Phantom Audio can wave a wand over your 2004-08 Acura TSX or 2007-09 Acura MDX's amps*. We at Heeltoe believe in Phantom Audio's capabilities, so we're sending in the amplifiers from our HTSpecTSX and HTSpecMDX* for Phantom Audio tuning!



As products come available we'll announce them for our loyal fans. Meahwhile, get that order in for a Phantom Audio re-tuned amp NOW!


* We had come to learn that the MDX amp is not currently able to be modified. The TL and TSX amps are available to order at this time.


09-18-2016 03:41 PM at 3:41 PM
I just changed out my tuned amp for my 04 Tl ans I am beyond speechless. Not only did this correct the annoying buzzing from the sound system, but it also made the audio system sound completely different. I opted for the upgraded tweeters as well. I couldn't be more pleased with this combo!

Thank you Jesse for a great upgrade as we as great customer service!

Administrator Note:
Awesome to hear this!

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