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Factory Audio - Good, Bad, ?

  • Subaru did well; Factory HU and speakers

    Votes: 10 6.5%
  • Subaru did well; Factory HU, kicker speakers, no sub

    Votes: 11 7.1%
  • Subaru did well; Factory HU, kicker speakers and sub

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Subaru did well; Factory HU and speakers, kicker sub only

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Audio needs help; Upgrading speakers

    Votes: 68 44.2%
  • Audio needs help; Adding a sub/amp

    Votes: 8 5.2%
  • Audio needs help; Upgrading speakers and adding a sub/amp

    Votes: 34 22.1%
  • Audio needs help; Replacing the head unit only

    Votes: 4 2.6%
  • Audio needs an overhaul; It's all getting upgraded

    Votes: 32 20.8%
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I installed my speakers today. It was interesting to say the least:).

I used Infinity Ref 2 way speakers on the fronts and Pioneers 3 way speakers on the back.

Problems (But Nothing Drastic)
Yes the fronts went in OK. Spacers fitted. I added some sound deadening inside the door and around the speakers.

The rears are where I had problems. The spacers didn't fit. In fact, my Aussie XV rear doors look different to slanidracula's rear doors - odd. So I installed the Pioneers without the spacers.

View attachment 9585
Did you use the 3/4" ones in the front or the rear? The white ones were 3/4" and should have gone in the rear. If they fit in the front, that is news to me- past XV owners reported that only 1/2" adapters cleared the door panel in the front so I had been fabricating based on that assumption.

The opaque-white ones were for the front, but I can't tell from the pictures where those were mounted.

Thanks for the pen-and-ink endorsement on the front of the adapters! :)
 

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Just getting caught up with the thread- Glad to see that you got the adapters. No charge for the dead spider.

Let me know if your EU model has any fit issues in the rear. I may go to all 1/2" HDPE adapters for the rear for international (non-USDM) orders.
Did the install yesterday. Took a fair bit longer than I had planned, but thats mostly because I didn't want to do a rush job.
The adapters fit perfectly, no issues with fitment at all. Actually the only thing I can think of to improve them is to file down the thickness at the mounting holes to 2-3mm. With the default thikness one will need to get longer screws for the install as the original ones are way too short.
Also a HUGE thanks to slanidracula for the guide at the start of this thread. Removing the door-panels was really tricky, but starting at the point he mentions (lower front) seemed to do the trick.
 

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Guys, I love all the installation details and it's great to hear how well the projects have gone but..... how much of an improvement in sound quality are you hearing? No one is talking about a nice little increase in bass or smoothing out those awful mids & highs that seem characteristic to my factory 6-speaker experience.
 

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Guys, I love all the installation details and it's great to hear how well the projects have gone but..... how much of an improvement in sound quality are you hearing? No one is talking about a nice little increase in bass or smoothing out those awful mids & highs that seem characteristic to my factory 6-speaker experience.
That is actually a good point.

Because speaker (and sound) preference is quite subjective, determining what is "better" is difficult, but I can say that the Polk dB series that many use were a HUGE improvement in my WRX. Not as much as the Rainbows that I put up front, but a big step up. The Polks review:

My Review: said:
As for the Polks, I installed 2 pairs that day. One pair was in the front of my brother’s Forester. We also added an Alpine HU in place of his stocker. Just upgrading the speakers was a huge upgrade over stock (not that that says much), and with the better HU, it was like night and day.

In my WRX, I installed them in place of OEM coaxials that are WAY nicer than most stock speakers, particularly the base models from previous years. As my stockers had a true coaxial tweeter and a woven cone with a rubber surround, I figured that the Polks would be really similar to what I had. In appearance, that is fairly true.

So why upgrade at all? I only upgraded mine for 2 reasons: to test my spacers in the rear of the GR and because I got the Polks in a limited time Crutchfield sale-price-plus-buy-1-get-1-half-off deal in conjunction with the pair that we put in the Fozzy. In the end, I paid $45 for the Polks, shipped, and including the wiring adapters. The mounting adapters I made.

Anyway, I was not expecting much of an upgrade over stock. They were run off of a Clarion CX609 headunit (nothing much to shout about) and had Rainbow components up front.

I was shocked to hear how much better the Polks sounded versus the stocks. I put in one of them, faded to rear only, and then sat in the back and shifted the balance so that the volume was as close as possible from side to side. The stocker was slightly more efficient (so the setting on fader had to be shifted slightly- 1 or 2 notches- to favor the side with the Polks), but with that volume correction made, both midbass and treble was clearer in the Polk at the same volume level. With the overall system volume increasing, the OEM lost clarity quickly, as compared to the Polk.

With both Polks in, I set the fader so that I could not really hear them from the front, but they provide my back seat passengers (my 2 kids) with a little sound while most of the sound is up front with me.

Again, buying rear fill in my case was an afterthought. Had I not needed to test-fit my spacers (and was I not looking for an excuse to upgrade) I’d have left the stock rears in place.
I posted it here: Audio System | Subaru Audio
 

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Did you use the 3/4" ones in the front or the rear? The white ones were 3/4" and should have gone in the rear. If they fit in the front, that is news to me- past XV owners reported that only 1/2" adapters cleared the door panel in the front so I had been fabricating based on that assumption.

The opaque-white ones were for the front, but I can't tell from the pictures where those were mounted.

Thanks for the pen-and-ink endorsement on the front of the adapters! :)
Here are my rears. I'll have another go at the tomorrow. I'll post better pictures too.

IMG_0657.jpg

And from memory, they were the same thickness but definitely all for are white.
 

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Guys, I love all the installation details and it's great to hear how well the projects have gone but..... how much of an improvement in sound quality are you hearing? No one is talking about a nice little increase in bass or smoothing out those awful mids & highs that seem characteristic to my factory 6-speaker experience.
If you think the OEM ones are awful - join the club. News flash - mine got worse with more wear.

I installed the Kickers tweeters first. First thing you notice is more detail and some semblance of a stereo stage. I live for both. (My setup at home is all about detail and the stereo stage.) This made me more determined to change over my speakers.

Putting the Infinitys in just completed the picture. The bass is extended, the mids and highs are smooth. The highs are bright but not harsh or tiring. (I can turn down the Infinity tweeters but decided against it.) The detail is fantastic and the stereo stage is a lot better. (Not that you can get a true stereo stage stuck in a car.)

So what about the bass? Can 6.5" speakers deliver? The Infinitys do pretty well. Punchy and detailed with enough extension for my tastes. And being 2 ohm speakers means the OEM HU has no issues driving them. (My Pioneers at the back bottom out long before my Infinitys but that's OK as I usually fade them down.)

Those who read this and think their stock OEM speakers are fine, that's OK. I am only talking about my crap OEM speakers. Yours may be different so I won't venture into passing an opinion about all OEM speakers.
 

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<snip>Those who read this and think their stock OEM speakers are fine, that's OK. I am only talking about my crap OEM speakers. Yours may be different so I won't venture into passing an opinion about all OEM speakers.
Exactly. I always say and I will say it again, I start with the source.
 

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I think Arnold you can appreciate, being a fellow audiophile, that the picture below really shows up how bad my OEM speakers are. You can not defy physics. Tiny magnets can only do so much (the tweeters have bigger magnets!) and they will wear out faster.

I spent $200 on my speaker upgrade. A lot less than a HU upgrade with a lot less grief. (It also looks "stock".) And that's all I'm going to do for the moment. Which I think a lot of fellow members will also do and so hopefully will find my posts helpful.

My comment that you quoted was said as not to offend the "why don't we all get along" fraternity...

IMG_0618.jpg
 

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Have you found any adapters (similar the the Metras you mentioned); to go from the tweeter connector when installing after market tweeter?

My recommendation is to replace the stock speakers with coaxial speakers that meet your budget. I don't know what budget you have in mind, but I always recommend that people on a budget first consider the Polk dB series and several entry-to-mid-level Pioneers. Why? Because I have used them myself and have installed them for friends and family members and I have not yet had an issue with mine, nor have I heard a complaint form anyone using them. Are the Polks the best speakers in the world? No. But they are a huge upgrade over stock, they won't break the bank, and in your case they can easily be removed at the end of the lease period and used in another vehicle.

You can buy speakers form a lot of places, but I have found that unless they are on sale somewhere else, Amazon is probably the cheapest. The links below go to Amazon pages that have free shipping.

If it were me, I'd go with 2 pairs of the Polk dB651 coaxials. (Amazon.com: polk db651: Electronics)

You don't need the "shallow" version, regardless of what Crutchfield says. I say coaxials over components up front due to the easier install. If you want to do a little more work up front in terms of wiring and mounting the crossovers, the dB6501 components (Amazon.com: Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System (Pair, Silver): Electronics) are not a bad angle. I'd still use coaxials in the rear no matter what.
To connect the wiring without cutting anything in the OEM system, you will need 2 pairs of the Metra 72-8104 adapters. I discuss them here: Wiring | Subaru Audio

They are listed as being for a Toyota, but they fit Subaru terminals. Those will plug into the OEM wiring without cutting or splicing and will then connect to the leads on the speakers in the doors using push terminals.

If you buy them from Amazon at the same time as the speakers, shipping is free. Amazon.com: Metra 72-8104 Speaker Connector for Select Toyota Vehicles: Electronics

To mount the Polks, you will need mounting adapters to match up with the mounting holes in your XV. I have done tons of them for the Polks and you will have no issues with them using my adapters. Based on my experience with other XV owners, the best setup will be 1/2" HDPE spacers for the front and 3/4" PVC for the rear.
 

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Have you found any adapters (similar the the Metras you mentioned); to go from the tweeter connector when installing after market tweeter?
Unfortunately, no. I run into the same issue in the how-to rwriteups for pretty much every Disney...the BRZ, Legacy, new Forester, and of course the XV. No known adapter to fit that harness.

You can cut the factory wires with an inch or so of lead remaining and use any generic 2-connector harness or just a high quality bullet connector. That will allow you to go back to stock with minimal headaches or to change tweeter models downhe road.
 

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yeah you are right I could do that I was just trying to keep everything stock and not have to cut wires and add connectors, etc. Did install my MM6501's speakers in the front and they are great! looking forward to using your adapters in the back for my DXI650's. I did have a question, I did check the sound with the speakers correctly connected and then reversed the connection and couldn't really tell the difference in the sound; is that normal?? (I do admit to being old and a little deaf though) Thanks!
 

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When you reverse the polarity on them you should hear a difference (particularly if you only reverse the polarity on one speaker). It may not be apparent at low volume, but there should be a difference.
 

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The CrossTrek is a 6 speaker vehicle. Does anyone know what kind of speakers are in the dash and have any advice on how to remove the grill or any other advice on replacing them?
 

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I had my Polk DB651s installed, fronts only, on Monday 04-25-16. Thanks for the write-up.



Quick Update: Since it's been a couple weeks, I think this upgrade is definitely worth it. The sound is more full and clear. I enjoyed learning something new in the process as this was my first car audio install.
 

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Just purchased my Subaru less than a month ago, (2016 Crosstrek Limited with Starlink and Eyesight) and the stock speakers had to go. So, I bought the Polk DB6501's for the front and the DB651's for the rear. Also bought an Alpine amp, Alpine PDR-V75,
and a Pioneer Sub. Pioneer TSSWX2502. I had these items installed. I am having some issues. Everything sounds awesome, but My Starlink device has a red system light on and when I press the blue button for calling
for roadside assistance, the volume on it is LOUD! And I cannot find a way to lower the volume. Also, the navigation volume is also loud, but not nearly as bad as the Starlink roadside assistance volume. I took it to a
Subaru dealer and they were able to reset the system light back to Green, but after they turned the car off and back on again, the red light returned and they could not turn down the volume. Although the light is red,
I think the system still works, it is just not getting some signal from the HU, I think. I know there is a volume control on the screen of the HU for the navigation, but it is already showing it is all the way down, can't
lower it anymore. I know that the sounds are amplified due to the amp I installed, but there has to be a way I can lower the volume on the Starlink. Any suggestions? By the way, I emailed Subaru.com but they were
no help either.
 

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I guess I'll chime in on this as well. I just did front speakers on my xv over the weekend. Did the rears a few months ago. I have Pioneer 6.5's, 3 way in the rear, and 4 way up front. I installed them by cutting the factory speakers (It is offensive to call them speakers) out of their brackets and placing the pioneers in. Got the Idea from someone on here who had pictures. Super easy and cheap.

Absolutely no fitment issues and they sound way better than stock. I also installed some FatMatt on the front doors while I had them apart. Might have helped, might not.

Just an FYI, if you unplug the wires for the window switch on the drivers door, you have to "re-learn" the auto up/down function.
 

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Reversing the polarity should affect low frequencies, as they are long wavelength.
If you are loosing bass, you did it backwards.


yeah you are right I could do that I was just trying to keep everything stock and not have to cut wires and add connectors, etc. Did install my MM6501's speakers in the front and they are great! looking forward to using your adapters in the back for my DXI650's. I did have a question, I did check the sound with the speakers correctly connected and then reversed the connection and couldn't really tell the difference in the sound; is that normal?? (I do admit to being old and a little deaf though) Thanks!
 
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