Advice on 2009 2.5i Limited stereo - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question Advice on 2009 2.5i Limited stereo

Disclaimer: I'm only 17. Please keep that in mind as you read.

Recently inherited my dad's 2009 2.5i Limited after he got a new VW.

As somebody who really likes to listen to music (who doesn't?), I set my sights on perfecting the sound system in the car. First thing I did was replace the 2-way HK driver/passenger door speakers with 3-way Rockfords. Soon after, driver and passenger door trim started rattling (as a result of more powerful speakers/door trim being reattached), so I insulated both doors with Frost King to stop the vibration and double as noise cancellation.

The sound is already much better, but I still notice some weakness on the low end as well as rattling, both stemming from the subwoofer in the trunk. My question is, does the HK system support an aftermarket subwoofer of the same size? I've scoured the forums looking for people with the same problem, but people are generally satisfied with the HK system/HU.

If the sub won't work with the HK amp/HU, my only option is to put in an aftermarket stereo. For those of you that don't know, the better package on the 2.5i Limited includes dual-zone automatic climate control along with the HK head unit. Only problem is, the AC and HU share wiring as well a one piece trim panel.

So I have 2 options. The first is as follows: I would be putting in a JDM trim piece that separates the AC from the head unit and instead gives an empty double din. However, this route is much more expensive and all things considered (the trim piece, necessary wiring harnesses, a new head unit, and a sub), this fix would cost me close to $1,000. While I have a job and do plan on driving the car until it breaks (currently at 98,500 miles), this is a little more than I'd like to spend.

My other option is this little $10 piece (I can't link because of my low post count) which replaces the cubby above the HU with a single din slot. It requires a little bit of gluing and a lot of manipulation of the wires and from what I understand it'll leave me a big dead head unit. Since this is cheaper, it's my preferable route. With this route, I would need to know if there's a way to connect my stock HU controls (volume, radio buttons) as well as steering wheel controls to hypothetical single din.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm new to this forum and have been reading up a lot and the more research I do, the more money it seems I'll be out of. Looking to you guys, the more experienced, for advice. Thank you in advance


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 02:15 PM
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Make a pros and cons list

It all depends on:
- how much you want to spend
- your install skills
- your preference on headunit

The JDM route looks better IMO and gives you the dual din option. You could check Ebay as I had seen a aftermarket kit w/ climate controls from Russia a while back that was a lot cheaper than JDM.

The previous owner of my car wired up aftermarket amps and sub to the stock head unit and removed all components before selling the car so i'm not sure how it sounded, but that is also an option if you want to keep the stock head unit and save some $$. That may be all you need to get the sound quality you want.

As for the rattles that's always a tough battle. Maybe someone with more experience may chime in here. IME dynomat does not help a bit. Like most modern cars all the interior pieces clip together and will easily rattle.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 02:19 PM
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboskiier View Post
The previous owner of my car wired up aftermarket amps and sub to the stock head unit
I really have no issues with the stock HU, the system only lacks on the low end and I could fix the rattle in the process of the install. The only thing I need is for somebody that has experience with the HK system to explain any obstacles I'd run into while hooking up an aftermarket amp and sub. I haven't been able to find the specs on the HU and so I don't know about compatibility or preamp outputs.

As far as money is concerned, I'll spend it if I have to. The only thing I can't really justify is how much money (in the ballpark of $400, to be specific) I would have to spend for the JDM fix. However, I wouldn't have a problem spending that same amount on a quality amp and sub to really beef up the lows in my car.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 02:27 PM
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Someone with more history on these: is the '09 dash/gear the same as the '10? I recently replaced my HK head unit with a Kenwood when I upgraded cars. Left the rest of the stuff factory at the moment because putting the XD1000/5 and the Hertz components back in there is gonna be a **** and a half and it's not quite warmed up yet out here.


Anyway. The H/K amp, at least in mine, for the sub, puts out two channels of about 50W RMS a piece. You could find a dual voice coil 7 or 8 inch diameter driver to put back there and make an appropriate MDF ring to couple it. Knowing this you'd have to find something really nice sensitivity since you're only working with about a hundred watts. That being said, if the amp is similar to mine, it also has a DSP in it, which I figure may also include DTA/phase alignment based on the stock speakers. Your rear woofer may have gone slightly out of phase compared to the replacement front speakers. Also, I've noticed if I use any DSP/DTA on my head unit, I can very easily lose a bunch of bottom end, again likely due to the two DSP's trying to fight each other.


Now comes the fun part, one I like the most for some **** reason. Factory integration/customization.


If you're satisfied with the factory source unit, or at least tolerate it, you could just take the output of the factory woofer and feed it into a high-level input (or a line-output-converter) on a dedicated subwoofer amplifier. The issues with DSP problems won't go away, but you can overcome the lack of bottom end due to that with sheer power at that point.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quick question @botenredwolf:
Assuming the amp and sub in my car are 2 ohms, could I run the speaker wire into a line output converter, then run an rca from the line output converter into an amplifier with a different impedance, say 4 ohms, to use a 4-ohm subwoofer? Or do both amps connected across a line output converter have to match impedance ratings?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 12:10 AM
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The LOC just takes the powered signal from the subwoofer and turns it into what you'd get out the back of an aftermarket radio (via RCAs). Speaker impedance becomes irrelevant at this point because the original amplifier is no longer in play (the original amp will see the LOC as something near 10k ohms), as long as the new amp can drive the new sub properly.

Kenwood DMX7704S + iDataLink Maestro, Stock H/K speakers and amplifier, JL 12W6v3 HO Wedge, JL XD1000/5v2 adding some kick. (Not hooked up yet: Hertz Energy component speakers)

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 02:14 AM
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I also installed a LOC on mine, off the factory sub harness. I did not cut the wires but attached spade connectors so it clicks over the terminals. Only thing is, for some reason over night it recently started to try and kill the battery, although this could be from the $40 amp I was running. I moved a bunch of stuff so I disconnected the sub and removed it, left the amp but disconnected the spade terminals and reconnected to the factory sub. And my battery is fine. I dont know if it's an issue with the amp/sub or if the sub gets power continuously through the night. I was in my sub woofer system for less than $100 and 1 hour of time. It was a free sub and box. You can find cheap ones on craigslist along with amps.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by botenredwolf View Post
Speaker impedance becomes irrelevant at this point because the original amplifier is no longer in play
Thank you! I figured the LOC would ignore the impedance of the speaker wire it's being fed, but I asked my friend to make sure and he told me otherwise. As for an amp and a sub, I think I'm going to go for a box so that I can upsize from the stock sub and not be limited to an 8" shallow mount. Considering buying the Rockford P300-12 and using an LC2i converter.

As for everybody else, if you guys have suggestions for a better subwoofer box (10-12") in the $150-$250 range, or thoughts on a bazooka tube, I'm all ears.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 01:43 PM
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I had a nice long reply typed up, but apparently the site doesn't like the fact I left my computer on (it complains if I stay logged in/active for more than a few hours at a time).


Don't do a Bazooka tube. Underwhelming, especially in quality.


While I've never really been a fan of Rockford stuff, that P300-12 appears to be a nice setup. The box is already designed around the speaker, which is where the majority of my prior reply was devoted.


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