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I did the RF upgrade from the dealer last May and was very happy with it. My brother happened to buy some 3.5 JBLs for his RAV4 Limited but decided he preferred the stock and gave them to me. I got the harnesses, and plugged it. At first I thought it sounded great - clearer and louder. But now it seems more like a nuisance.

Previously, I never had to adjust the EQ from my usual settings (8,5,4). But these seem much louder than the old 3.5s, so I have to shift the sound to the rear of the car (which have the original non upgraded speakers). But what I really need is shifting it 'down' to the doors. It seems like the EQ is all over the places on different genres, and I constantly need to adjust. It's just very bright and loud from the dash, more than is right for the balance. Way too loud. Maybe the DSP in the amp is just not set right for higher quality dash speakers?

I read that the amp does in fact actually power all the speakers (is this true, seems to be unclear), but only the front door were upgraded. Is it possible with these better JBLs, they are just getting way more power than the old ones could, and it's all jacked up? I am just gonna pop them out but thought I'd see if anyone else has run into this. I do have my Pioneer deck from my 2016 that was totaled but I am holding off swapping because I do like the look and knobs of the original deck. I was considering doing the rear doors as well, but if they aren't powered by the amp, I don't see the point.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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I think the DSP only comes with the HK upgrade. The 3.5 JBLs may have a higher sensitivity rating your other dash speakers.
 
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2021 Crosstrek Sport
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I installed the RF kit in my '21 and done some extensive testing with the rear speakers. I can assure you the rear speakers are not powered by the RF amp. The rear speakers are set to "pass through".
I was disappointed by this find.
 

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I installed a RF kit on the families MY18. It's worth the $, but could use upgraded speakers for the rest of the car(not just the front doors). Wish Subaru did a bit more R&D on the sound system in these cars. Thankfully though, they replaced the head unit under warranty which completely died. It has given me appreciation for the old Harmon Kardon system in our old 330xi which is nice right out of the box.
regards
 

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I installed the Rockford kit in '21 Sport, and didn't like how bright the Tweeters on the dash were. Installed the Kicker Tweeter set from the last gen with sight modification to the mounting holes. This definitely shifted the Sound more to the doors. Still clear highs, just not as in your face from the windshield. EQ currently set -4,-5,+3, Fade/Bal set +1Left+1Front
 

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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Premium/2020 Subaru Forester Sport
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I experienced similar issue when I was messing around with my forester. Please check the spec on the jbl, it is likely 2.4 ohm. While your rf 6x9 and oem dash is 4 ohm. Thank hat means your jbl is putting too much sound in the mid range. I bet your brother had the same issue between jbl vs oem 3.5 and passed it on to you.
One issue I had, rf 3.5 speaker will not fit without modding the dash grills. The tweeter is too high. So, go to cruchfield and find the 4 ohm that fit.
Good luck.
 

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I experienced similar issue when I was messing around with my forester. Please check the spec on the jbl, it is likely 2.4 ohm. While your rf 6x9 and oem dash is 4 ohm. Thank hat means your jbl is putting too much sound in the mid range. I bet your brother had the same issue between jbl vs oem 3.5 and passed it on to you.
One issue I had, rf 3.5 speaker will not fit without modding the dash grills. The tweeter is too high. So, go to cruchfield and find the 4 ohm that fit.
Good luck.
The value of resistance is about the circuit, not the speaker. Too little combined resistance for the circuit and you overheat the amplifier, too much and you just have to turn your volume up to get the expected SPL.

For example, two light bulbs in parallel (or series) on common power and source, will be just as bright as if it was a single bulb. This holds true until the combined value of resistance (the addition of more bulbs) reaches the minimal power requirements for the bulbs and they begin to dim, at the same rate. Once the resistance exceeds the source power, all lights go out.

You should be more concerned about speaker senility level. A 96db speaker is louder at the same wattage (amplitude X voltage) as a 84bd. Therefore, if powered from the same source, the 96 will be louder even though they're receiving the same power on a closed circuit.

A little tip; speaker wire adds resistance. A 3.5ohm speaker can be expected to appear as 4 ohms (or more) to the circuit.
 

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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Premium/2020 Subaru Forester Sport
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Thank you doca for the clarification. Mine was too simplified.
 
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