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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After doing some research before upgrading my 2019 Subaru Legacy's stock (not H/K) audio system, I came across a problem that I'm sure many of us DIY audio enthusiasts with vehicles from the last couple of years have come across and that there doesn’t seem to be a formal solution to:

When you unplug the stock speakers or otherwise re-route the audio signal away from the Data Control Module [aka the Telematics system, sat directly under the head unit itself] it thinks that there are no speakers installed (more on that later) because, well, that's true. They are no longer connected. And when you do that, you find that the Starlink status light goes from green to red, and then Subaru shows up at your door the next day to tell you that something is wrong.

(I've also read about some people having this problem after installing "bass blockers," aka high pass filters, for their tweeters)


So what can be done?


If you're just looking for a solution and don't care about the how or why, buy this thing and place it in-line with your audio signal wires that feed to your line output converter/amplifier. That’s it!

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_161ACLGD/AudioControl-AC-LGD.html?skipvs=T

Note: there are multiple variants of this product designed SPECIFICALLY for Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram vehicles. You don't want those. Get this one. It has a bunch of 1 star reviews from owners of Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram vehicles who didn't buy the right model for their cars, so yeah of course it didn't work for them. But it will for you!

-

Okay if you're still reading this, you’re probably wondering why this random thing saves you from banging your head against the wall when Subaru emails you for the 3rd time this week insisting you get your car serviced.

-First let’s talk about what's going on here.

From my research of Subarus from the last couple of years, of various models and trim packages, it seems that one thing is consistent: If you have Starlink in your car, you have a Data Communication Module (DCM) installed. This module:
  • Takes audio in directly from your head unit and injects audio from StarLink, Emergency SOS, and Bluetooth phone calls made directly from Subaru's OS (i.e. not CarPlay), THEN amplifies all of that to your speakers.
  • Communicates directly to Subaru's servers for the features Starlink provides.
  • Is responsible for auto-calling 911 when the automatic crash detection sensors go off.
  • Performs a bunch of other diagnostic tasks that are important to your car and its safety.
Clearly we don't want to disable automatic crash detection just so we can bump some tunes. And that's what can happen if the DCM is in a "failed" state (aka the red light is on and Subaru is pestering you about giving them money to "fix" your car).

-Well what actually causes this to happen in the first place?

After going through multiple different service manuals from different years, it seems like every DCM has the same procedure: If I sense any of the speakers have an impedance of greater than 10,000 Ω for 100 ms or longer, pester my owner and make their life more difficult. This doesn’t get fixed by plugging it into a line output converter or amplifier, because those typically have an input impedance of 20,000 Ω or more.

-So how do we get around this?

Enter the AudioControl AC-LGD. What this magical blue box does is trick your DCM into thinking there's actually a this-is-probably-just-a-speaker type of load in the speaker circuit (aka less than 10,000Ω). Hence the name LGD, for Load Generating Device. This not only allows you to trick the DCM into thinking the speakers are still installed, but it also allows the audio signal to pass through! This prevents you from having to steal audio straight from the head unit itself, thus losing Bluetooth phone calls and (more importantly) losing the ability to speak with 911 if you're barely conscious in a crash. Again, that audio comes directly from the DCM itself, not the head unit. Which is why you should not re-route audio directly from the head unit if you do have a DCM installed.


Some Q&A:

Q: Will this work for Subarus without Starlink?
A: If your car doesn't have Starlink then you don't have a DCM and you can just pull audio straight from the head unit. So no, you don't even need this. Lucky you!

Q: Will this work for Subarus with the upgraded Harmon & Kardon speaker system?
A: I believe so. I haven't double checked and I'm not super familiar with that particular model's circuitry because it is all kinds of weird, but just pulling audio straight from the DCM I don't see why it would be any different.

Q: What if I'm just keeping the stock speakers/stock wiring?
A: If you're having this Starlink issue with stock wiring, or adding an aftermarket amplifier to the stock speakers, you can still benefit from this product! You'll have to cut the speaker wires coming from your DCM and wire this thing in-line between the cut you just made.

-

If you have any questions, or would like to correct anything I may have gotten wrong, please feel free to post them below! Also shoutout to Matt at AudioControl for enlightening me and making awesome products. They’re more of a premium car audio brand but the AC-LGD is surprisingly affordable. If you want some more info, Matt did a recent video on AudioControl’s YouTube channel that explains its function in more detail.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My pleasure! And one more thing I forgot to add about the model without the upgraded H/K audio: The rear door speakers actually are wired directly from the head unit and do not go through the DCM, so you wouldn't need a AC-LGD for the rear channels because there is no sensing going on with them. So your car doesn't care if they're "working" or not.
 

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After doing some research before upgrading my 2019 Subaru Legacy's stock (not H/K) audio system, I came across a problem that I'm sure many of us DIY audio enthusiasts with vehicles from the last couple of years have come across and that there doesn’t seem to be a formal solution to:

When you unplug the stock speakers or otherwise re-route the audio signal away from the Data Control Module [aka the Telematics system, sat directly under the head unit itself] it thinks that there are no speakers installed (more on that later) because, well, that's true. They are no longer connected. And when you do that, you find that the Starlink status light goes from green to red, and then Subaru shows up at your door the next day to tell you that something is wrong.

(I've also read about some people having this problem after installing "bass blockers," aka high pass filters, for their tweeters)


So what can be done?


If you're just looking for a solution and don't care about the how or why, buy this thing and place it in-line with your audio signal wires that feed to your line output converter/amplifier. That’s it!

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_161ACLGD/AudioControl-AC-LGD.html?skipvs=T

Note: there are multiple variants of this product designed SPECIFICALLY for Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram vehicles. You don't want those. Get this one. It has a bunch of 1 star reviews from owners of Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram vehicles who didn't buy the right model for their cars, so yeah of course it didn't work for them. But it will for you!

-

Okay if you're still reading this, you’re probably wondering why this random thing saves you from banging your head against the wall when Subaru emails you for the 3rd time this week insisting you get your car serviced.

-First let’s talk about what's going on here.

From my research of Subarus from the last couple of years, of various models and trim packages, it seems that one thing is consistent: If you have Starlink in your car, you have a Data Communication Module (DCM) installed. This module:
  • Takes audio in directly from your head unit and injects audio from StarLink, Emergency SOS, and Bluetooth phone calls made directly from Subaru's OS (i.e. not CarPlay), THEN amplifies all of that to your speakers.
  • Communicates directly to Subaru's servers for the features Starlink provides.
  • Is responsible for auto-calling 911 when the automatic crash detection sensors go off.
  • Performs a bunch of other diagnostic tasks that are important to your car and its safety.
Clearly we don't want to disable automatic crash detection just so we can bump some tunes. And that's what can happen if the DCM is in a "failed" state (aka the red light is on and Subaru is pestering you about giving them money to "fix" your car).

-Well what actually causes this to happen in the first place?

After going through multiple different service manuals from different years, it seems like every DCM has the same procedure: If I sense any of the speakers have an impedance of greater than 10,000 Ω for 100 ms or longer, pester my owner and make their life more difficult. This doesn’t get fixed by plugging it into a line output converter or amplifier, because those typically have an input impedance of 20,000 Ω or more.

-So how do we get around this?

Enter the AudioControl AC-LGD. What this magical blue box does is trick your DCM into thinking there's actually a this-is-probably-just-a-speaker type of load in the speaker circuit (aka less than 10,000Ω). Hence the name LGD, for Load Generating Device. This not only allows you to trick the DCM into thinking the speakers are still installed, but it also allows the audio signal to pass through! This prevents you from having to steal audio straight from the head unit itself, thus losing Bluetooth phone calls and (more importantly) losing the ability to speak with 911 if you're barely conscious in a crash. Again, that audio comes directly from the DCM itself, not the head unit. Which is why you should not re-route audio directly from the head unit if you do have a DCM installed.


Some Q&A:

Q: Will this work for Subarus without Starlink?
A: If your car doesn't have Starlink then you don't have a DCM and you can just pull audio straight from the head unit. So no, you don't even need this. Lucky you!

Q: Will this work for Subarus with the upgraded Harmon & Kardon speaker system?
A: I believe so. I haven't double checked and I'm not super familiar with that particular model's circuitry because it is all kinds of weird, but just pulling audio straight from the DCM I don't see why it would be any different.

Q: What if I'm just keeping the stock speakers/stock wiring?
A: If you're having this Starlink issue with stock wiring, or adding an aftermarket amplifier to the stock speakers, you can still benefit from this product! You'll have to cut the speaker wires coming from your DCM and wire this thing in-line between the cut you just made.

-

If you have any questions, or would like to correct anything I may have gotten wrong, please feel free to post them below! Also shoutout to Matt at AudioControl for enlightening me and making awesome products. They’re more of a premium car audio brand but the AC-LGD is surprisingly affordable. If you want some more info, Matt did a recent video on AudioControl’s YouTube channel that explains its function in more detail.
So these are basically just 4 ohm resistors then? How will that not affect the sound quality? How are they wired? Like I mentioned in another post, right across the amplifier terminals?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So these are basically just 4 ohm resistors then? How will that not affect the sound quality? How are they wired? Like I mentioned in another post, right across the amplifier terminals?

Thanks
Oh boy that's a can of worms you're opening there... Unless you're very familiar with electrical engineering, I don't think it's really necessary to understand the exact mechanics of how they work. If you really are curious though, you can Google the concept that they claim to be implementing here, which is called a Zobel Network. I won't even attempt to explain how it works.

Rest assured, AudioControl is a very reputable manufacturer of high quality audio equipment. In fact they sell some of the most expensive amps you'll find on Crutchfield, which is why it's so awesome that they're bringing that level of quality into something as affordable as the AC-LGD. Excuse me for sounding like I'm sponsored by them, I'm just really impressed with their work!

The AC-LGD is meant to be wired right after your head unit (or in our case, the DCM) which means it's supposed to be the FIRST thing you route the audio into, even before your amplifiers. Each AC-LGD will handle 2 channels each, which is all we need (even though they sell them as a pack of two) because there are only 2 audio channels coming out of the DCM. As I mentioned earlier, the rear speakers are coming straight out of the head unit itself and thus don't need a AC-LGD, but the front channels do because they're the ones being monitored by the DCM.

And in case you missed it earlier, the front dash speakers are wired in parallel with the front door speakers. So they share the same audio channel as each respective door speaker. This technically means that Subaru's (without the upgraded H/K audio) actually only have 4 channels of audio, not 6.


So to summarize, this is what your audio chain should look like for the two front channels:

DCM > AC-LGD > (crossovers or line output converters if you have any) > Amplifiers > Speakers
 

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Oh boy that's a can of worms you're opening there... Unless you're very familiar with electrical engineering, I don't think it's really necessary to understand the exact mechanics of how they work. If you really are curious though, you can Google the concept that they claim to be implementing here, which is called a Zobel Network. I won't even attempt to explain how it works.

Rest assured, AudioControl is a very reputable manufacturer of high quality audio equipment. In fact they sell some of the most expensive amps you'll find on Crutchfield, which is why it's so awesome that they're bringing that level of quality into something as affordable as the AC-LGD. Excuse me for sounding like I'm sponsored by them, I'm just really impressed with their work!

The AC-LGD is meant to be wired right after your head unit (or in our case, the DCM) which means it's supposed to be the FIRST thing you route the audio into, even before your amplifiers. Each AC-LGD will handle 2 channels each, which is all we need (even though they sell them as a pack of two) because there are only 2 audio channels coming out of the DCM. As I mentioned earlier, the rear speakers are coming straight out of the head unit itself and thus don't need a AC-LGD, but the front channels do because they're the ones being monitored by the DCM.

And in case you missed it earlier, the front dash speakers are wired in parallel with the front door speakers. So they share the same audio channel as each respective door speaker. This technically means that Subaru's (without the upgraded H/K audio) actually only have 4 channels of audio, not 6.


So to summarize, this is what your audio chain should look like for the two front channels:

DCM > AC-LGD > (crossovers or line output converters if you have any) > Amplifiers > Speakers
I just took a quick glance at that link and I read the "Customer Q&A" section there and saw two people talking about it being a 4-ohm resistor. I also did not catch the part where apparently you need to connect this to an audio control processor or amp, neither of which I have but I have heard of the LCI devices. unless "I replace the connectors" the Crutchfield article says. FYI here is the YouTube video that did not work for me that I am referring to with a resistor across amplifier terminals
 

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Oh boy that's a can of worms you're opening there... Unless you're very familiar with electrical engineering, I don't think it's really necessary to understand the exact mechanics of how they work. If you really are curious though, you can Google the concept that they claim to be implementing here, which is called a Zobel Network. I won't even attempt to explain how it works.

Rest assured, AudioControl is a very reputable manufacturer of high quality audio equipment. In fact they sell some of the most expensive amps you'll find on Crutchfield, which is why it's so awesome that they're bringing that level of quality into something as affordable as the AC-LGD. Excuse me for sounding like I'm sponsored by them, I'm just really impressed with their work!

The AC-LGD is meant to be wired right after your head unit (or in our case, the DCM) which means it's supposed to be the FIRST thing you route the audio into, even before your amplifiers. Each AC-LGD will handle 2 channels each, which is all we need (even though they sell them as a pack of two) because there are only 2 audio channels coming out of the DCM. As I mentioned earlier, the rear speakers are coming straight out of the head unit itself and thus don't need a AC-LGD, but the front channels do because they're the ones being monitored by the DCM.

And in case you missed it earlier, the front dash speakers are wired in parallel with the front door speakers. So they share the same audio channel as each respective door speaker. This technically means that Subaru's (without the upgraded H/K audio) actually only have 4 channels of audio, not 6.


So to summarize, this is what your audio chain should look like for the two front channels:

DCM > AC-LGD > (crossovers or line output converters if you have any) > Amplifiers > Speakers
AHA I didn't want to ask the same question but the engineer in me was wondering! I was trying to use a low value quick time constant cap but didnt have the resistor in series because I didn't want to mess with audio quality. My EE degree is long past useful apparently :p
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just took a quick glance at that link and I read the "Customer Q&A" section there and saw two people talking about it being a 4-ohm resistor. I also did not catch the part where apparently you need to connect this to an audio control processor or amp, neither of which I have but I have heard of the LCI devices. unless "I replace the connectors" the Crutchfield article says.
I'm not 100% sure what equivalent resistance it has, but if it is 4 Ω then that works for us because we just need it to be less than 10,000 Ω for the DCM in our cars to be happy. A Zobel Network consists of a resistor and a capacitor in series with each other, all in parallel with the speaker. Beyond that I don't know the specifics of how the AC-LGD solves the issue.

To clarify, you do not need to connect this to an AudioContol amplifier!! In the product description and on the back of the packaging it says: "You can also use AC-LGDs with almost any non-AudioControl device by replacing the connectors." Those AudioControl connectors it comes with are swappable with AudioControl products if you use them, but if you don't then you can send those wires to whatever amplifier you wish.
 

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Great info. So I have had this happen. Question. Here is my setup. I have replaced all of my door speakers and removed the dash tweeters. They were useless and would not be able to handle the amp I added and the amp is looking for a 4ohm circuit. Not a 2ohm circuit since the door and dash are inline. So not only have I had the Starlink go off But I have another issue am wondering if this is also causing. I have the stock radio that comes with the Premium. I added a Alpine KTP-445u where I spliced the HU speaker outs to the amp then the Amp to the speakers. So unless the car is on there are "NO" speakers as you described. The second issue is if I turn the gain up to high for the speakers in conjuction with the gain in the setup of the HU during phone calls the end users gets everything they say echoed back to them. I have had to turn the gain down on both the amp and the mic to cancel this affect. It's still better than stock but it has really taken the "punch" out f the 6x9 Infinity 3 ways I put in the front doors. I am wondering if this will help this issue also? I have had the car since December 2019 and surprisingly have only had the Starlink email that there was a problem once so far.
 

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Just to clarify: did you splice the audio wires coming straight out of the HU or did you splice the audio wires coming out of the DCM? And did you keep the factory speaker wires or did you run your own speaker wire?

The OEM audio path is HU > DCM > Speakers. So if you spliced your amp in-between the HU and the DCM then you might be sending too powerful of a signal through the DCM.
 

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Define DCM please and it's location. And I spliced directly from HU. I kept the factory wiring to the doors. Basically I pulled the connector out of HU that had the door speaker wires as identified by Crutchfield docs. Cut lets say Front door right. used the wiring harness that came with new amp. matched correct color for the input to right front door. crimped. then used the output harness of amp and matched correct output color and crimped back to the HU wire that was going to the door. this now feeds the door from the amp. So HU output goes to amp and amp goes to door.
 

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Define DCM please and it's location. And I spliced directly from HU. I kept the factory wiring to the doors. Basically I pulled the connector out of HU that had the door speaker wires as identified by Crutchfield docs. Cut lets say Front door right. used the wiring harness that came with new amp. matched correct color for the input to right front door. crimped. then used the output harness of amp and matched correct output color and crimped back to the HU wire that was going to the door. this now feeds the door from the amp. So HU output goes to amp and amp goes to door.
The entire main article above talks about the DCM and what it does :p It's a thin black box that sits under the head unit. It's where you should have pulled audio from, not the head unit itself.

Unfortunately to get the Starlink light fixed you're going to have to undo all of that wiring and put it back to factory condition (minus putting in the old speakers). You will have to pull audio out of the DCM and not the head unit. If you don't have a reference for what wires to cut, you can refer to a post I wrote in another thread:

https://www.subaruxvforum.com/threads/fixing-red-light-overhead-for-starlink.140170/post-2037764
 

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Well that sucks. This would be the first time Crutchfield has really let me down. No mention of this what so ever. And I have done several swap outs through them of OEM HU and speakers. I will say this is the first time I kept the HU. I didn't want the hassle of loosing / figuring out the backup camera. On the off chance you think this is also causing my BT calling echo issues with the callers? Thanks for clearing this up. By the way I read your other post. only thing puzzling me. I did have to do a continuity test from the door to the HU side of the amp. I ended up having a bad crimp. But I was able to get a tone from the door all the way through to the HU splice ( I used a jumper at the amp side to bypass the amp) and if I read your post correctly I don't think I should have been able to considering the DCM in the middle right? I did the audible tone for continuity. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No problem, best of luck! And yes I believe that might be the issue here. The DCM has a microphone routed through it (I believe the one that's next to the Starlink lights), so it could have been picking up audio along with a different microphone and combining them to cause that echo. I'm not exactly sure though, but it should definitely go away when you get the audio fixed up.

And that is strange, it might have been to do with the fact that the car was on, and therefore the DCM was on, and therefore it would have completed a circuit. I did my own continuity test the same way, but with the car off, and I only got a reading between the DCM and speakers directly. I didn't send any test tones, I was using a multimeter and measuring resistance.
 

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I'm not 100% sure what equivalent resistance it has, but if it is 4 Ω then that works for us because we just need it to be less than 10,000 Ω for the DCM in our cars to be happy. A Zobel Network consists of a resistor and a capacitor in series with each other, all in parallel with the speaker. Beyond that I don't know the specifics of how the AC-LGD solves the issue.

To clarify, you do not need to connect this to an AudioContol amplifier!! In the product description and on the back of the packaging it says: "You can also use AC-LGDs with almost any non-AudioControl device by replacing the connectors." Those AudioControl connectors it comes with are swappable with AudioControl products if you use them, but if you don't then you can send those wires to whatever amplifier you wish.
Finally got around to ordering and installing this device (AC-LGD) in series, as per the instructions, and still no change. Still soild red light. Any other ideas?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Finally got around to ordering and installing this device (AC-LGD) in series, as per the instructions, and still no change. Still soild red light. Any other ideas?

Thanks
Okay now that could mean a couple of things:

1. Something went wrong with the install
2. There is genuinely a problem with Starlink somewhere else in your car, unrelated to the speakers
3. The AC-LGD does not work like AudioControl claims it does


Let's go down the list and eliminate these scenarios one by one. First off, could you state the model, year, and trim package of your car? And possibly share some pictures of the AC-LGD and how you installed it?

The only possible ways I could think of not installing this correctly would be:

-Wiring this in-series to the H/U instead of the DCM (the skinny box sat directly under the H/U with a ton of wires coming out of it)
-A faulty connection (do all the speakers work correctly?)
-Mismatching the wires from the DCM into the AC-LGD (i.e. the wires are in the wrong order)



If anyone else has any other ideas as to what could have gone wrong with the install, please chime in!
 

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So I've had my 2018 Trek Premium for about two weeks now, and have only replaced the speakers so far. I have the amps ready to install, but I am a bit concerned/confused about StarLink. I've looked at mine (Purchased used) and there are no lights on. No green, no red, nothing. I'm guessing this is because it isn't active, but it does make me wonder how to proceed.
  • Should I still take the audio signal from the DCM, even though I only use Carplay?
  • Is the fact that I can tone the front speakers via the harness in the headunit a false positive that these are the actual speaker outputs? I really wanted to avoid chopping into the car harness if I could avoid it, even purchased both Toyota Metra harnesses so I could make my own T-harness.
If I read all the posts correctly, I would cut the lines B2/B10 (Left front speakers) and B4/B12 (Right front speakers), take the wires coming from the DCM and run them to my line out converter. I could put in the AC-LGD in the dash if I choose (Since I am using an AudioControl LC7, I am going to put them beside it since there are plugs that match). RCAs out from the LC7 into my AC ACM4.300, and the front speakers out from the ACM4.300 back to the car-side lines of B2/B10 and B4/B12 as appropriate. The rears can just be run directly to the 4-pin harness in the headunit.

This should enable StarLink to be happy, if I/it chooses to turn it on, and allow me to have more power and flexibility for my tunes. Did I miss anything or get it entirely wrong?
 

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So I've had my 2018 Trek Premium for about two weeks now, and have only replaced the speakers so far. I have the amps ready to install, but I am a bit concerned/confused about StarLink. I've looked at mine (Purchased used) and there are no lights on. No green, no red, nothing. I'm guessing this is because it isn't active, but it does make me wonder how to proceed.
  • Should I still take the audio signal from the DCM, even though I only use Carplay?
  • Is the fact that I can tone the front speakers via the harness in the headunit a false positive that these are the actual speaker outputs? I really wanted to avoid chopping into the car harness if I could avoid it, even purchased both Toyota Metra harnesses so I could make my own T-harness.
If I read all the posts correctly, I would cut the lines B2/B10 (Left front speakers) and B4/B12 (Right front speakers), take the wires coming from the DCM and run them to my line out converter. I could put in the AC-LGD in the dash if I choose (Since I am using an AudioControl LC7, I am going to put them beside it since there are plugs that match). RCAs out from the LC7 into my AC ACM4.300, and the front speakers out from the ACM4.300 back to the car-side lines of B2/B10 and B4/B12 as appropriate. The rears can just be run directly to the 4-pin harness in the headunit.

This should enable StarLink to be happy, if I/it chooses to turn it on, and allow me to have more power and flexibility for my tunes. Did I miss anything or get it entirely wrong?
Your Starlink status light is located above the center console where your cabin lights are, as pictured here:

297854


When active & everything is detected to be okay, one of those two little lights between the red (SOS) and blue (Roadside Assistance) buttons will be glowing green.

Go ahead and check to see if your car has this inside of it, which should also include the SOS and Roadside Assistance buttons as pictured above. If your car does not have this then that means it does not have Starlink and your install will be much easier :) If that's the case then that also means you do not need to purchase an AC-LGD.
 

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I have the buttons, and the lights come on at startup and then both go off. I've already had the radio out, but I know the DCM was plugged in, hence my confusion. The dealer also didn't mention anything about StarLink when I purchased it, and TBH, I don't really care to have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have the buttons, and the lights come on at startup and then both go off. I've already had the radio out, but I know the DCM was plugged in, hence my confusion. The dealer also didn't mention anything about StarLink when I purchased it, and TBH, I don't really care to have it.
Well that's unfortunate because you're stuck with it now :p the DCM has so many sensors wired into it that disabling it would either make the car very unsafe to drive or straight up not function properly anymore. It's best to work with the DCM rather than against it.

So in this case yes you will have to splice the wires coming from the DCM, which are the correct ones that you've stated (that I've also posted about in a different thread for those who haven't already seen it). These wires lead directly to the speakers, which makes them a speaker-level output that you would then have connect to a line-output converter (LOC) if your amplifier doesn't support speaker level inputs. In our case, however, this is where the AC-LGD needs to go before you route these wires to your amplifier/LOC.


From the factory, the audio chain in Subarus with Starlink looks like this:
Source (CarPlay, Bluetooth, CD, etc) > H/U > DCM > Speakers


This means that you can indeed pull the audio straight from the H/U itself and entirely circumvent the DCM, but I would highly advise against this for a couple of reasons:

1. If you do this, then when you inevitably disconnect the speakers to hook them up to your amps, the DCM will still see them as disconnected and yell at you. This means you'll need to purchase an AC-LGD anyways.

2. The DCM actually has its own "cell phone" inside of it that it uses to dial 911 in the event of a crash. The audio from this "cell phone" is injected into the audio chain at the DCM, which is why audio is taken from the H/U and routed through it before being passed onto your speakers. What this means if you circumvent the DCM is that your car will still automatically dial 911 in a crash, but you won't be able to hear what they're saying because the audio isn't being routed to your speakers anymore.


So yes, you found the wires coming out of the H/U that lead into the DCM, which is what might be confusing you. They technically are the speaker outputs, but it's important to not route this audio away from the DCM for the reasons I've stated above.

Now, one thing I haven't yet mentioned because I wanted to avoid confusion: only the front speakers are routed through the DCM. This means the rear speakers are coming straight out of the H/U itself. So if you are looking to keep the ability to adjust fade controls from the H/U, then you'll have to pull the front speakers from the DCM and the rear speakers directly from the H/U itself. Personally, I would recommend just using the 2 "front" outputs from the DCM and splitting that signal off to all of your speakers and then controlling the fade manually via the amps, since it simplifies the wiring. This does mean the fade control built into the H/U won't work anymore (since we're only using the front speaker outputs) so if that doesn't sound appealing to you then you'll also have to pull the rear speaker audio from the H/U itself.


So... to summarize what your wiring should look like for a 2-channel setup:

Audio Chain:
Source (CarPlay, Bluetooth, CD, etc) > H/U > DCM > AC-LGD > Amplifier/LOC/DSP/etc. > Front & rear speakers


To summarize what your wiring should look like for a 4-channel setup:

Front Speakers Audio Chain:
Source (CarPlay, Bluetooth, CD, etc) > H/U > DCM > AC-LGD > Amplifier/LOC/DSP/etc. > Front speakers

Rear Speakers Audio Chain:
Source (CarPlay, Bluetooth, CD, etc) > H/U > Amplifier/LOC/DSP/etc. > Rear speakers


If I haven't already posted this somewhere, I can provide diagrams on where to pull the wiring for the rear speakers. Also note that I didn't mention a 6-channel setup, because Subarus (unless you have the upgraded H/K audio package) don't have 6 channels of audio. The left and right tweeters in the dash are wired in parallel to your left and right front door speakers, which means they technically share the same respective audio channels.
 
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