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most of the newer head unit can handle effectively 2 ohm front and 4 ohm back. In fact, if you have premium or higher with 6 speakers, it is effectively 2 ohm front channel.
I would suggest you put the sound deadening mat on the outer door panel through the speaker hole. Just a 6x6 will quiet down the outside noise a lot.
This will need to be field-tested, while it can sound the speaker that does not mean the performance is stable if you turn up high volume or play for long time. It may cause another potential sound distortion problem. I have just installed my old amp just to drive for my midbass speaker dedicatedly that is rated 120w @2 ohm due to my other amp just can drive the speaker with enough power due to it is never rated to run on 2 ohm. The difference on the sound result is significant.
 

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@Doca ,do you know anything about this?
Sorry for the lateness, I'm usually a weekday forum user and yesterday was a holiday.

They are in parallel however, the two front speakers run through the data control module before being split and I never bothered to test the lines because my amp is 2 ohm capable. I know I can't be getting less resistance on the circuit and if it's more, it doesn't matter. That said, the DCM circuitry adds resistance; by how much, I dunno, but I'll probably check my lines when I reverify my gains, hopefully next weekend cause I didn't get around to it this past weekend.

Also, if upgrading from a RF/HK package, unless I'm mistaken, the DSP/amp sends individual return lines to the DCM.
Regardless, everyone, including myself, should check the resistance before installation so that they know if they want to use new wire, use old wire or change their speaker specs to reflect.
 

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport (2.5 L) Black
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It definitely doesn't sound as muddy as it did before, but it's definitely lacking bass (as was the stock system). It gets worse the more you turn up the volume due to the stupid HU cutting bass.
Too bad the HU cuts bass, as if it didn't the system would sound SOOO much better at higher volumes.
JR,

I agree that the bass needs help, even with the RF amp. I bought a 8" JBL powered subwoofer that will fit nicely under the driver seat and I believe help with the bass (when I get time to install it).

My questions regarding that are, 1) Where can I get a wiring harness that fits he plug labeled "subwoofer" on the RF box? No one knows. 2) There are two pre-existing threaded mounting studs, which I'm sure fit some factory/Subaru authorized accesories. The amp doesn't want to line up or fit between them. Unless there is some kind of spacer or bracket that you can get that fit those studs, I'm left with making a spacer out of a peice of wood (there is plenty of room under the seat), erector set a metal braket that bolts to them, or cutting off one of the studs...

The hardest option seams to be finding something designed for it. The goal would be to somehow utilize the studs so that the amp is securely fastened.

I will probably start a post on that but I don't have time to engage on the topic too much at the moment.
 

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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Premium/2020 Subaru Forester Sport
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Hi Neil,
I read it somewhere here or another Subaru forum that subwoofer connection is software disabled by rf. I do not have a rf amp upgrade and cannot confirm or verify that. Can you remove the plastic cover and take a picture. Maybe someone can search current rf amp line up and see which amp has the same connection?
Can you take a picture of the stud you are talking about?
 

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport (2.5 L) Black
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Hi Neil,
I read it somewhere here or another Subaru forum that subwoofer connection is software disabled by rf. I do not have a rf amp upgrade and cannot confirm or verify that. Can you remove the plastic cover and take a picture. Maybe someone can search current rf amp line up and see which amp has the same connection?
Can you take a picture of the stud you are talking about?
I will definately try to get some pics of both. However, if you are in your Xtrek and you just rub your hand across the carpet under the driver seat, you will feel two ~1.25"/32mm threaded studs somewhat centrally located and spaced about 8"/45mm apart. Measurements are totally from me just feeling aroung. Its hard to get my out of shape 6'4" self down there to eyeball it.
 

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I will definately try to get some pics of both. However, if you are in your Xtrek and you just rub your hand across the carpet under the driver seat, you will feel two ~1.25"/32mm threaded studs somewhat centrally located and spaced about 8"/45mm apart. Measurements are totally from me just feeling around. Its hard to get my out of shape 6'4" self down there to eyeball it.
That's what I thought was happening. The studs under the driver seat are for the reverse automatic braking sonar ECU.
Hood Motor vehicle Vehicle Computer keyboard Automotive exterior



The RF/HK DSP/amp goes under the passenger seat.

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I've also read that the sub outs are software disabled.
 

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To doca,
Yes. Found it on our 18 crosstrek. I have the same thing in my 20 forester sport w reverse auto brake (rab).
 

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FWIW, we have a Limited with HK and the amp is under the passenger seat, as @Doca describes...
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
FWIW, we have a Limited with HK and the amp is under the passenger seat, as @Doca describes...
yep, I have a Limited with the base stereo and I have the RAB module under the driver's seat and nothing but a couple threaded studs under the passenger side seat.
 

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Those who have the stock base "6 speaker" system in a Limited and have replaced all the speakers, can you share your results? Was there a noticeable difference in sound? I have put complete stereo systems in some of my past cars and I do not want to go that route with this one. Speakers are easy enough to do and just hoping for a bit of an improvement. I'm not expecting miracles. The bass roll-off of the OEM head unit means I would have to go "all in" if I wanted to do things "the right way" while keeping the stock HU in tact. I'm not willing or wanting to turn the car into a mess of wires. I lived 17 years with a stock '05 Civic stereo and the stock stereo in my Crosstrek is already better than what I had in the Civic.

I have the base 6 speaker stereo in my '21 Limited and have a complete set of Kicker KS Series speakers coming (6"x9" 3-way fronts, 6 3/4" 2-way rear and 3.5" 2-way dash). I know it's a no-no, in terms of SQ and staging, to put full range in the rear as well as in the dash, but seeing this car is never going to be a true SQ system I figured I'd try it with full range all the way around. I don't know what to expect seeing they will be powered off the head unit and then there is the bass roll-off once you get to a certain volume level. I'm hoping it will be enough improvement over the stock speakers to justify spending the $$. LOL The KS Series 6"x9" is a very efficient speaker, at 92db sensitivity (1W/1M and not the 2.83V rating which would be even higher yet).

Anyway, just wanted to see what one's impression was from going to the stock system to replacing just the speakers. I'm hoping some of you have done this with the non-amped 6 speaker base system found in the Limited, so it's an apples to apples comparison. As I'm sure the amped HK/RF systems would sound even better with more power being fed to the speakers.

Does anyone know what the power difference is between the base system (powered off the HU) vs the HK and RF upgrades? I'm talking real world power and not the BS "rated" power.


thanks!
It's not worth it if you don't add an amp too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
It's not worth it if you don't add an amp too.
IMO, it may not even be worth worth it if you add an amp if are not able to defeat the bass reduction as the volume increases. It's good enough for me though, I may have considered adding the OEM RF amp, but not with that bass reduction.

Although It does seem iHeart radio sounds better than XM/Sirius does. Going down the highway I had my rear view mirror moving slightly to the bass of just a rock song. Obviously this was with the volume under '22'. :rolleyes:
 

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Those who have the stock base "6 speaker" system in a Limited and have replaced all the speakers, can you share your results? Was there a noticeable difference in sound? I have put complete stereo systems in some of my past cars and I do not want to go that route with this one. Speakers are easy enough to do and just hoping for a bit of an improvement. I'm not expecting miracles. The bass roll-off of the OEM head unit means I would have to go "all in" if I wanted to do things "the right way" while keeping the stock HU in tact. I'm not willing or wanting to turn the car into a mess of wires. I lived 17 years with a stock '05 Civic stereo and the stock stereo in my Crosstrek is already better than what I had in the Civic.

I have the base 6 speaker stereo in my '21 Limited and have a complete set of Kicker KS Series speakers coming (6"x9" 3-way fronts, 6 3/4" 2-way rear and 3.5" 2-way dash). I know it's a no-no, in terms of SQ and staging, to put full range in the rear as well as in the dash, but seeing this car is never going to be a true SQ system I figured I'd try it with full range all the way around. I don't know what to expect seeing they will be powered off the head unit and then there is the bass roll-off once you get to a certain volume level. I'm hoping it will be enough improvement over the stock speakers to justify spending the $$. LOL The KS Series 6"x9" is a very efficient speaker, at 92db sensitivity (1W/1M and not the 2.83V rating which would be even higher yet).

Anyway, just wanted to see what one's impression was from going to the stock system to replacing just the speakers. I'm hoping some of you have done this with the non-amped 6 speaker base system found in the Limited, so it's an apples to apples comparison. As I'm sure the amped HK/RF systems would sound even better with more power being fed to the speakers.

Does anyone know what the power difference is between the base system (powered off the HU) vs the HK and RF upgrades? I'm talking real world power and not the BS "rated" power.


thanks!
The issue is if you change speakers only without additional amp, it is difficult to beat the front 6x9 speaker in front with 6.5 inch, oval 6 x9 inherently deliver noticeable bass punch but normal 6.5 will not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
The issue is if you change speakers only without additional amp, it is difficult to beat the front 6x9 speaker in front with 6.5 inch, oval 6 x9 inherently deliver noticeable bass punch but normal 6.5 will not.
True, but I replaced the front stock 6x9 with a 6x9. I stayed with all the same sized speakers as stock. :) I wouldn't have done 6.5's in the front doors unless I did a dedicated subwoofer.
 

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The issue is if you change speakers only without additional amp, it is difficult to beat the front 6x9 speaker in front with 6.5 inch, oval 6 x9 inherently deliver noticeable bass punch but normal 6.5 will not.
I disagree, except for the word noticeable. A lot of people think a 6.5 is better, just as many that think a 6X9 is better, but I believe its a pointless argument because what is "better"?

It's really about quality vs. audible bass volume so, I propose a compromise; regarding bass reproduction in a 2/3-way, a 6.5 is more capable and balanced, but a 6X9 appears louder (even though it's not). However, you can still get the same audible bass from a 6.5 without an amp, if you increase the bass EQ, or increase the volume and lower the higher frequencies to match the sea of audio mud that a 6X9 lives in. While this latter option is terrible with most OEM head units because of roll off, it not a speaker issue and can be compensated for, therefore, its not part of what's below.

Bass punch relies on construction and capability much more than area shape of the diaphragm, and low frequencies are better supported by diaphragm depth, not shape.
That's where the 6.5 outperforms the 6x9. The reason is because 6X9's were created for a very specific purpose, to fit in cars. To do this and maintain bass response, they made them wider and shallower. They are less capable in bass reproduction but move more air that gives the appearance of better bass response, when its really just more widely distributed because of the additional 9ish sq. in of surface area, over a 6.5.

From the perspective of reproduction quality, a round design evenly distributes the signal throughout the components. This is impossible for a 6X9 for the same reason that a wave first hits the narrow sides of an oval tub when dropping a marble in the center. It's a great time to mention that the shape of a 6X9 puts more load on the surround at the narrow ends. This, over time, makes it less rigid than the wider ends, and unbalances the cone excursion by changing how the energy is absorbed. This can lead to early failure, distortion and undesirable peak and dip responses, whereas a 6.5 will remain balanced throughout its lifespan.

Also from a quality perspective, 2 and 3-way 6X9s fight against themselves to establish balance between the frequency ranges when internally separating the signal, as apparent to the human ear. This is because the ratio of air movement by the larger surface area of the 6X9 cone produces a wider vibrational wave than the 6.5 however, both speakers are vibrating their other cones at the same rate. In other words, higher end frequencies are reproduced as intended, but only the 6.5's maintain the intended post-production values. This means that you'd have to decrease your 6X9 bass EQ to reach the intended post-production state that a 6.5 maintains by default.

IMO, 6.5s beat the snot out of 6X9s every day of the week, but 6X9s are a good option for some.
 

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I disagree, except for the word noticeable. A lot of people think a 6.5 is better, just as many that think a 6X9 is better, but I believe its a pointless argument because what is "better"?

It's really about quality vs. audible bass volume so, I propose a compromise; regarding bass reproduction in a 2/3-way, a 6.5 is more capable and balanced, but a 6X9 appears louder (even though it's not). However, you can still get the same audible bass from a 6.5 without an amp, if you increase the bass EQ, or increase the volume and lower the higher frequencies to match the sea of audio mud that a 6X9 lives in. While this latter option is terrible with most OEM head units because of roll off, it not a speaker issue and can be compensated for, therefore, its not part of what's below.

Bass punch relies on construction and capability much more than area shape of the diaphragm, and low frequencies are better supported by diaphragm depth, not shape.
That's where the 6.5 outperforms the 6x9. The reason is because 6X9's were created for a very specific purpose, to fit in cars. To do this and maintain bass response, they made them wider and shallower. They are less capable in bass reproduction but move more air that gives the appearance of better bass response, when its really just more widely distributed because of the additional 9ish sq. in of surface area, over a 6.5.

From the perspective of reproduction quality, a round design evenly distributes the signal throughout the components. This is impossible for a 6X9 for the same reason that a wave first hits the narrow sides of an oval tub when dropping a marble in the center. It's a great time to mention that the shape of a 6X9 puts more load on the surround at the narrow ends. This, over time, makes it less rigid than the wider ends, and unbalances the cone excursion by changing how the energy is absorbed. This can lead to early failure, distortion and undesirable peak and dip responses, whereas a 6.5 will remain balanced throughout its lifespan.

Also from a quality perspective, 2 and 3-way 6X9s fight against themselves to establish balance between the frequency ranges when internally separating the signal, as apparent to the human ear. This is because the ratio of air movement by the larger surface area of the 6X9 cone produces a wider vibrational wave than the 6.5 however, both speakers are vibrating their other cones at the same rate. In other words, higher end frequencies are reproduced as intended, but only the 6.5's maintain the intended post-production values. This means that you'd have to decrease your 6X9 bass EQ to reach the intended post-production state that a 6.5 maintains by default.

IMO, 6.5s beat the snot out of 6X9s every day of the week, but 6X9s are a good option for some.
(y)
I think noone will debate that 2 or 3 way component speaker will have better tonality than 2 or 3 way 6x9 coaxial speaker. However, for system without external amp comprises tweeter on the dash and woofer in the door, the 6x9 woofer generally will give better punch on the low frequency compared to 6.5 inch woofer.

So if the intent is to have much better clarity and better low frequency response., the replacement of 6x9 woofer with 6.5 woofer will require additional power or subwoofer to achieve that.
However, depending on the music to be played and best bangs of the buck priority, there is no right or wrong, some may find upgrading 6x9 with better 6x9 or 2 or3 way 6x9 may suit their preference better.
Personally I will do the same if I do not intend to run extra wiring and external amp, but otherwise will go to 6.5 component speaker route with upgrade on all wiring, add on processor and amplifier.
 
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