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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Please Advise re Sound System for STI

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5 replies to this topic

#1 jimlew


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Posted 12 March 2005 - 04:36 PM

In my first message, I reported taking possession of an '05 Blue Pearl WRX. After driving the car for about a week, I thought I might be happier w/ an STI. I had wanted my dealer to do some performance mods, but learned that dealers would rather not, and factory performance parts are intended for installation by the ultimate user. I lack both the time and the ability to do this.

I was in the right place at the right time, for I was able to exchange my '05 WRX for an '04 STI w/ a minimum of dollars and dolor. It's still blue, but more like a blue blur (even when it's standing still).

As you all know, '04 STIs didn't come with a radio as standard equipment. I've purchased the factory speaker upgrade kit and the tweeters. Looking at the directions that came w/ the speakers, I don't think I'll have much trouble installing them.

But I need advice about the head unit. The factory AM/FM/6 Disk Changer costs about $300. Since it's made for the car, no intermediate wiring harnesses or mounting brackets should be required. It should slip right in, and even I could probably install it.

On the other hand, after market head units w/ a power amp seem to deliver the "goods" significantly better. By "better", I mean less distortion at typical listening levels. If I chose a non-factory head unit and power amp, I'd probably have the retailer install them for me. Circuit City says they'll do this for any product over a certain price point. I believe that I could purchase a non-factory head unit (radio/single cd player) and power amp for the same $300 or a little more than the factory unit.

I think I won't need a subwoofer. I'll be 59 this month, and don't listen to music that relies on being able to feel the 20-30 hz thumps. I listen primarily to Classical, Oldies Rock, Cool Jazz, & talk radio. One more thing. My hearing was damaged at Khe Sanh. I wear two hearing aids, which helps a lot. I thank God that I can still enjoy good music.

Would readers of this message please advise me on these two questions?

1. Perceived trade-offs (cost/benefit or otherwise) between factory and non-factory radio/cd player?

2. Relative merits of brands/models of non-factory head unit/power amp combinations? My budget for both pieces is $300-$400, installed.


#2 subie94


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Posted 12 March 2005 - 05:11 PM

as far as comparing the difference between factory an aftermarket radios.

like you said factory will be exact fit,were as aftermarket requires installation an wiring kit.aftermarket does offer you better sound quality(that i notice)also you can get some cool functions like different display screens,colors,etc.for $300.bucks you could get a good quality head unit.myself i prefer pioneer but you might want to go to you local audio store and just play around with the display units.you don't want to go and pay x amount of money for a radio that might be confussing to operate.i work for walmart,in the auto dept and there are some radios that i'm not even sure how to fully operate.(guess that's what the operating manuals for):rolleyes: sony makes a nice unit that we sell for around $180 that's rated at putting out 208 watts.:D so far that's the highest wattage radio that i've seen.

alot of the new radios out there put out enough power that you won't need an amp unless you want it REALLY loud or your planning on installing subs for bass,which you said you weren't gonna need.

well hope i was some help.:burnout:

#3 svxpert


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Posted 12 March 2005 - 08:16 PM

<<The factory AM/FM/6 Disk Changer costs about $300.>>

used maybe. the list price on that radio is around $700. go on e-bay and find one from a WRX for $100-150 and instal it yourself.

#4 subarubrat


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Posted 13 March 2005 - 12:40 AM

In my 04 STI I installed an Alpine head unit with MP3 and external line in and that covers me for XM and MP3/CD. The speakers are boston acoutics, they work great. I also bought a sub box (15 in) and mounted the amp on the back with a quick disconnect plug so I can pull the entire thing out as a unit for weight/cargo etc. issues.

#5 Setright


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Posted 13 March 2005 - 03:04 AM

Well, JVC has served me well a few times, but I think any respectable brand - Sony, Pioneer, Alpine - will do.

Just stay away from the cheap end, and consider fitting some better speakers. I am very impressed with JBL's Power Series. Even in 5 inch size they deliver a well balanced sound, and plenty of volume for little input power. I have these in the parcel shelf and they work a treat.

Subs are not for me either.

By the way, I found that my 2000 model Impreza had the standard DIN connecters and my JVC slotted straight in. I did have to redo the wiring on my old 1990 Legacy though.

#6 subaru_styles


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Posted 13 March 2005 - 07:14 AM

go with an aftermarket deck..for the 300-400 range you can get a really nice cd player that can even play MP3 cd's(which makes up for not having a changer). since an aftermarket deck has pre-outs, you have the option of adding amps later on down the road.

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