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Stereo sound bland. Tweeter kit improves?


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59 replies to this topic

#26 Ranger83

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Posted 18 November 2003 - 02:04 PM

Originally posted by bratman2
...You might want to consider base blockers for the front, Polk recommends a 200 microfad capacitor which is available at Radio Shack. The ideal set up would have most of your midrange and high end up front with most of your bass in the rear. ....Glenn Taylor.



Thanks very much. Are the directions on where to wire the capacitor in the instruction manual?

One stereo shop I spoke with said they would disable the tweeters in the rear speakers?

TIA

#27 slideways

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Posted 18 November 2003 - 05:17 PM

I used some large nuts behind the speakers in the front to make them clear the windows. There is plenty of room in front of the speakers.

When I first got my legacy, the stock stereo went right out the window. Installed Pioneer head unit with cerwin vega, vega series 6.5's all around. Sounded much better. The largest improvement came when I installed an Alpine V12 four channel. Gave me chills when I first heard it, and it still does. A cd player cannot compare to the clean power of a four channel with high quality power and patch cables.:headbang:

#28 alias20035

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Posted 18 November 2003 - 06:21 PM

Originally posted by Ranger83
Thanks very much. Are the directions on where to wire the capacitor in the instruction manual?

One stereo shop I spoke with said they would disable the tweeters in the rear speakers?

TIA



The stock Subaru rear speakers have no tweeters to disable, and why bother disabling the ones on aftermarket speakers.

High frequency sound is directional, and as such you wont notice the rear tweeters that much unless sitting in back. So why disable them?

Often it is recommended to run the rear speakers at a lower volume (by adjusting the fader or amplifier gains) so that more power is preserved for the front speakers.

And unless you plan on running a subwoofer or playing the radio loud, you have no need for bass blockers. Bass blockers are a cheaper form of a high pass filter that is built into amplifiers for usage with a subwoofer.

#29 bratman2

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Posted 18 November 2003 - 06:39 PM

I would not disable the tweeters, I would use the bass blockers on the front and adjust the sound out with the fader. You could also bump the bass up a couple of clicks since it is already reduced to the front speakers. What you hope to achieve is a surround sound of sorts. This worked out good with my Brat, Polk 6x9s behind the seat, Polk ex3550 component speakers in the door and dash. You are kind of surrounded by music with out being able to pick anyone spot it comes from. The bass blockers are wired into the positive lead on the speaker. You will have to cut the factory connector off any ways and add your own crimped on spade connector, just use a couple of butt splices and crimp it in. The blocker only blocks like 150hz and below, not all of the bass. This will allow the front speakers to produce more midrange and high end. The rear takes care of most of the bass, if you up it a couple of clicks. Of course this is the way I have set my Brat up and it works great, our Legacy does not have the bass blockers installed because my wife wanted them in like RIGHT NOW, if you know what I mean. We are close to 30 miles from Radio Shack. Glenn Taylor.

#30 Ranger83

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 05:29 PM

I have another question. Does the '97 OB require removal of the whole door panel, or do the speaker grilles snap out?

#31 alias20035

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 06:25 PM

Originally posted by Ranger83
I have another question. Does the '97 OB require removal of the whole door panel, or do the speaker grilles snap out?



The door panel should come off to change the speaker. The grills are permanent (at least they are on my 93 Legacy and my 2001 Outback).

Some people pry the lower part of the door panel off and jam something in to hold it away while you change the speaker. I am not a fan of this method because there is a risk of damaging the door panel and the space to work in is limited.

#32 Ranger83

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 01:35 PM

I just spoke with a guy at Crutchfield and they have no recommended rear replacements for the 95-99 OB.

He said the problem is that there isn't a lot of depth, or front space, or room for a magnet. He had two speaker sets from Kenwood and someone else that were shallow enough (2") and didn't exceed the front spacing (0.5") but the magnets were too big.

It appears most replacement speakers have a 3" magnet or more, so you'd have to drill a clearance hole for them. The Kenwood is 3" or so.

I'm going to open up the door panel and see if its feasible to run a hole saw in.

#33 HB_Dad

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 04:02 AM

One of the optionsfor Outback is for "premium sound". What they leave out is that there are two levels of it too (my dealer neglected to tell me on my last outback). As a result, I got stuck with a sound system tha had the tweeter kit and Subwoofer (which are both a good investment), but the stereo itself has no Mid range control (only bass and trble). If you tell them you want Premium 2 (price difference is minor), you get a full range stereo which is much better. My new Outback has the full premium system (standard on LLBean system but still not as good as the VDC model's McIntosh system) and I love it. Again, get a Subwoofer and tweeter kit. I listen to extreme music (punk, hardcore, metal, metalcore, etc) and it sounds really heavyand real. My wife likes country (I hate it), but the sound comes out superb, even when listening to the radio! Jazz comes out pretty cool too! Anyway, adding these things really makes a difference, but if you can't control the mid range, it never sounds right.

Anyway, hopefully you can follow all of this! I think I may have fallen asleep on my keyboard at some point... :banana:

#34 alias20035

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 06:27 AM

Originally posted by Ranger83
I just spoke with a guy at Crutchfield and they have no recommended rear replacements for the 95-99 OB.

He said the problem is that there isn't a lot of depth, or front space, or room for a magnet. He had two speaker sets from Kenwood and someone else that were shallow enough (2") and didn't exceed the front spacing (0.5") but the magnets were too big.

It appears most replacement speakers have a 3" magnet or more, so you'd have to drill a clearance hole for them. The Kenwood is 3" or so.

I'm going to open up the door panel and see if its feasible to run a hole saw in.



Hold off on any work to the rear doors.

I will be removing my rear door panels from my 2001 Outback on Saturday (Nov 22nd). I will measure the depth of the speaker mounts. I have a set of Infinity Kappa's 62.2 6.5" coax's back there and they fit fine, but these come in normal and shallow depth, I don't recall which ones I have, I'll know for sure when I get them out.

I am considering fibreglassing a small sealed speaker enclosure in the rear doors to contain 6.5" subwoofers, so I am going to investigate what work I need to do.

I will photograph and document the door panel removal procedure and post it on the web.

Crutchfield's concern is most likely Subaru's plastic speaker retainers which only fit the pathetic magnets of the stock speakers, they are easily modified with a hack saw, Dremel, tinsnips, etc to accomodate larger speaker magnets.

If you use a hole saw be sure to place a block of wood in the door so that you can't damage the outer door panel if you abruptly "punch through". I would also use a dremel to smooth the cut edge and paint it to prevent rust.

And by hole saw I assume that you mean a the 3 or 4 inch round ones for a drill? A Rotozip or Dremel rotary saw will not cut metal very well, it at all (at least I have never had any success with them).

Another good thing to do is apply Dynamat to the area around the speaker. Dynamat Speaker Kits are about $15 and include two 10"x10" squares (for two doors). Dynamat will reduce rattle, and add a bit of bass. It is well worth the investment. At least do the fronts, and use the spare dynamat that you cut out for the speaker hole around the rear speakers. Just be sure that you DO NOT use dynamat near the edge of the door (about 1" from edge), otherwise it could prevent the door panel from being properly reinstalled.

#35 alias20035

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 08:44 PM

I did the work on my rear doors today as I indicated in my reply.

There are no real issues with rear speaker size, you just need to cut out the stock plastic speaker retainer. There don't appear to be any issues with window glass clearance either.

Here is my rear speaker install guide

My guide is for the 2000-04 Legacy/Outback, but the 1997-99 models are very similar in design when it comes to speakers and door panels.

Good luck....

#36 alias20035

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 03:12 AM

One thing to note is that Crutchfield prices are high, but they sometimes give free shipping.

I would check out etronics.

Their prices are usually 25-50% less.

Other sites are even less.....

As for speakers I would recommend Infinity Reference 6002i 's ($60) (also available in short depth (which you DON'T need and they don't sound as good)) or the Infinity Kappa 62.5's ($80) for a little better sound.

You could install the Reference 6002i's in the rear and then install Reference 6000cs ($110) or Kappa 62.5i ($165) component speakers in front. The tweeters are a separate component and because of this the cone area is large and you will get a little more bass. Since the Outback's front speaker grill is oval it is possible to mount the tweeter beside the woofer. Just be sure that the tweeter is on the left side of the woofer on the left door and the right side of the woofer on the right door, so that the woofer will not block the tweeter sound signals to the listener. Also be sure that the tweeter sound output goes clearly through the door panel grill. You could also drill a hole in the door panel to mount the tweeter, and I recommend this so long as it is low and near the woofer for the best sound imaging. Component speakers have a crossover that you will have to install in the door, just find a place where it does not interfere with anything (including door panel reinstallation) and cable tie it in place or use double sided tape (recommended).

Why do I like the Infinity's?

- generally low price for the performance
- good speaker efficiency (less amp/radio power required)
- innovative I mount for the component tweeters (its been copied by others though) The tweeter can be aimed in any direction.
- The coaxial (non-component) speakers feature a rotating tweeter for aiming, I have not seen this on other brands.
- larger than normal cone (more bass)
- the highs are nice and smooth, no harshness

I currently use the Boston Acoustics Pro 6.5's ($450+), but I also have a set of older Infinity Kappa 62.2 coaxials, and aside from the Bostons better low end bass, I actually prefer my Infinity's.

For about a year I ran the Kappa's up front and the stock speakers turned down in the rear. It sounded quite good. Unless you get a deal, just do the front speakers in which case get the Kappa 62.5's components in front and dial the fader forward.

I have heard demo cars with Polks that sound very good too.

I may take some flack for recommending Infinity's, but the truth is that all medium level branded speakers (Infinity, Polk, JBL, Kicker, etc) will more or less have the same quality of sound. The sound differences are generally related to equalizer tuning and installation.

A few other notes:

Since you will be cutting the watershield of the stock speaker retainer, I recommend installing a foam baffle to protect the speaker from water and/or rustproofing.

I read earlier in this forum that nuts were used to space the speakers to fit. DON'T do this, as the speakers must be sealed into the door. Door speakers are "infinite baffle", and it is exceedingly important that the backs of the speakers be sealed from the fronts, otherwise you will get no bass and very little midrange. The stock Subaru speaker retainers are sealed, but not that well. I highly recommend the use of rope caulk (aka exterior crack seal) ($3 at Home Depot) to seal the speaker to the speaker retainer and the retainer to the door. Rope caulk is like playdoh or plumbers putty, it will seal very well but will not harden and allow easy removal. DO NOT use silicone or other adhesives, otherwise your speaker installation will be a permanent one.

When installing the speakers be absolutely sure that the polarities are correct, otherwise they will be 180 degrees out of phase and the bass from each can cancel each other out. The striped wires are positive.

#37 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 11:29 AM

SUPERB post alias!
This should be put some place permanent by a mod.
thanx

#38 seasvx

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 11:33 AM

my MY97OB (bought in MY00) came with the oe tweeter kit. this year i bought a new, never-installed subaru oe cd/tape/radio unit and pulled the tape/radio unit that came with the car. i'm no audiophile either, i just wanted cd capability but the improvement in sound was way more than i expected. the new head unit, with the tweeters & oe paper door speakers have come to life in a way i didn't think possible. ...but still the idea of a speaker swap has a certain flavor! i mean if it sounds this good with crappy oe speakers, well...

#39 subikayaker

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 12:29 PM

I have a 90 Legacy LS. I have replaced the front speakers with infinity's door mounts and the rear with pioneer speakers. I then added a 6 inch boozca (sp?) sub behind the drivers seat. I did add an amp for the sub but everything else runs off the stock 80w Clarion deck. It sounds really nice and has a little kick to it. The sub takes care of all the base so I turned down the base on the deck. This pushes more upper stuff to the other speakers.
I think that speaker upgrades are your first priority.
Any just my 2 cents.

Tim

#40 bratman2

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 09:41 PM

Alias 20035, You are pretty much correct about midprice speakers. i went with polks first in the Brat because Crutchfield was clearing them out, discontuined models with the price greatily reduced and free shipping. They replaced 4 year old JBL's that hadn't gave any real trouble. decided to stay with Polks because they sounded so good in the Brat. The seal around the speaker is a good point and advice that would be well taken, on the 2003's thay have a rubber ring mounted on the door that seems to be a good seal. The 6.5 polks come with a sticky sided foam seal in the box. I'll add one thing that I have had trouble with, Blaupunkt speakers. Installed 4 in my daughter's 93 Legacy, one was sent back in a week due to internal rattling, 18 months later another started rattling internally. They were overdrives which are suppose to be their former top of the line. I made an adapter and installed my old JBL's in her front doors. I think they are pieces of crap and would only buy their CD units personally. Glenn Taylor.

#41 howards11

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 10:11 PM

Anyone have suggestions for drop-in replacement speakers for a 2000 Forester ?

Does anyone have the instructions to do this job on the Forester?


~Howard
:banana:

#42 alias20035

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 10:35 PM

Originally posted by howards11
Anyone have suggestions for drop-in replacement speakers for a 2000 Forester ?

Does anyone have the instructions to do this job on the Forester?


~Howard
:banana:



Most Subaru door panels come off in a similar manner as my 2001 Outback. See my post earlier in this topic for my guide.

As for speakers, the Forester uses 6.5 inch speakers all around, see my previous port in this topic for my thoughts and recommendations on various speaker models.

I have not had a Forester door panel off so I don't know if it has the plastic speaker retainer, if it does it will have to be cut like it does on the Legacy/Outback, very simple to do though. I also don't know about depth restrictions (if the window glass or its mechanism will require a short depth speaker for clearance.

I would take the door panel off (20-30min) and see whats in there. Take the panel off with the glass down and you can even measure clearance to the glass to check for restrictions.

My earlier posts in this topic contain information about sound imaging, installation and other oddities. I wish it were in an FAQ....

#43 Ranger83

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 08:22 AM

alias20035, thanks very much!

I've taken your advice lock, stock, and barrel and ordered four Inifinity Kappa 62.5 from Etronics, who had the best prices that I could tell.

From etronics.com - $79.95 / pair plus $23 shipping (for two pairs) = $182.90

From crutchfield - $149.99 a pair plus free shipping = $299.98.


I didn't find the foam speaker surrounds on their website - would most places like Best Buy or Radio Shack etc have them?

Thanks again!

#44 Ranger83

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 08:13 AM

So far, the only place I've found that lists the foam speaker baffles online is Crutchfield.

Would a local car audio outfit have them, or a higher end audio chain like Tweeter, etc?

#45 DAlgie

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 02:46 PM

Hey, while on this subject, I have a 2001 Impreza RS, I would like to replace the stock amp that's under the driver's seat with a Fosgate Punch 45 I have lying around. I don't want to cut up the original connector in the Impreza, nor will I cut the Fosgate's lead. Crutchfield doesen't sell an adapter pigtail for this, anyone know of a way, short of finding a broken Subaru amp and cutting the lead off it?

#46 Cougar

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 03:03 PM

Here is a link you may be get some info from.
www.scosche.com/scosche/connectors/factory-stereo.asp

#47 DAlgie

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 04:59 PM

Thanks Glen, looks like this will do it.

#48 Cougar

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 05:09 PM

Your welcome for the help. Hope it works out. They deal with a lot of different car audio systems.

#49 alias20035

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 09:57 PM

Originally posted by DAlgie
Hey, while on this subject, I have a 2001 Impreza RS, I would like to replace the stock amp that's under the driver's seat with a Fosgate Punch 45 I have lying around. I don't want to cut up the original connector in the Impreza, nor will I cut the Fosgate's lead. Crutchfield doesen't sell an adapter pigtail for this, anyone know of a way, short of finding a broken Subaru amp and cutting the lead off it?



Your Punch 45 requires dedicated power wiring, powering it off the Subaru connector will immediately blow the fuse. The Punch should use 10 or 8 gauge wire with a 30 or 40 amp fuse at the battery (take the Amps fuse rating (probably 25-30 amps) and add a bit of amperage to spare).

If you talking about the signal cable, that is a different ball game.

The underseat unit you talk about is a probably a subwoofer (with integrated amplifer) not an amplifier for the rest of the system. It wiring harness provides speaker level inputs and power.

The speaker level inputs may connect to your amplifier if it supports them, otherwise you need a speaker line level convertor to convert to the RCA input format. Check your amp's manual for more info, or the Crutchfield site for info on line level convertors.

#50 DAlgie

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 12:44 AM

Hmm, you are probaby right, when I bought this car new, I remember the brochure saying it was an amp/ subwoofer, I never stopped to think that it was an amp FOR the subwoofer that is mounted in it. It's a pretty poor sub if you ask me, you need at least level 24 volume to even know it's there! I had intended to add a main power wire from the battery to the Punch. From what you're saying, there are no RCA outputs, as usual for a stock system? The Punch doesen't have anything but RCA inputs unfortunately.




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