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Discussion Starter #1
Sound System Quetions
I am about to pull the trigger on the 05 OB XT Limited, but have 1 major concern. The factory stereo. I've heard it with the underseat sub and will need improved sound for daily commuting and road trips.
My primary concern stems from the fact that the stereo and the climate control are integrated into the same console.
What can be done to add an external amp for doors and sub?
An mp3 player?
Also, what size are the front and rear door speakers?

Has anyone done anything to improve their OB xt stereo?

I'd prefer all mods to be performance improvements, without having to modify the stock appearance.

Thanks to all for your help.
 

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Just bought a 05' Outback 2.5i a week ago...

Looking around for the same console answers, as I just don't want to play the FM modulation game. I've been surprised to not find anyone that has already modded them out!

PLEASE let me know if you find anything beyond replies here, I'll do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will do.

I have at least found the answers for a few of my questions.

Fronts are 6.5 w/ a separate tweeter. For these could you run separate component speakers.

Rears are 6.5's only, no separate tweeters. For these you can run a combo component 6.5.

Would love to see a schematic of what the back of the head unit looks like - see about external amps, sub, etc.
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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i know nothing abt 05s but i would STRONGLY suggest measuring door clearance before you buy speakers. lots of recent Subs have very limited back clearance on speakers, and my OBS has pretty limited front clearance too. i had to cut off a raised ridge on back of the door panel.

look at gallery of iaperformance.com for some fotos of doors with panels removed. you also might email them, as if they haven't begun making adaptor rings to fit 05 OB, they might if they get sufficient interest expressed. sure made my install on the 02 OBS 1003% easier.

bw
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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esp check with windows down. and if you run heavier spkr wire, be sure to follow factory routing so you don't unplug spkr leads when the window rolls down like, uh, someone i know, did...

if you do have door panel clearance issues, remember that separate components project forward less than coaxials due to tweeter being elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After looking at some speakers, it looks like most of the 6.5" rounds are between 2" and 2 7/16" deep.
Do you know what the actual depth was (that will fit)?
What speakers did you upgrade too?
Did you go with a separate tweeter and woofer?

Did you keep the stock head unit? Have you added an external amp?
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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Do you know what the actual depth was (that will fit)?
What speakers did you upgrade too?
Did you go with a separate tweeter and woofer?

Did you keep the stock head unit? Have you added an external amp?


Maybe--

not sure on actual depth but you might look on Crutchfield web site. if there are no figures for an 05 yet, you might use the figures for an earlier year.

i went with MB Quart RSC component systems, 6.5 for front and 5.25 for rear. they're not bad but i'm not entirely happy with them for the price, either soundwise or in terms of power handling. some pretty stiff competetion in that $ range---Infinity Kappas and Perfects, Polk DXs, RF Fanatic X and Q systems, etc. which i'll get to check out soon as i fried the MBQs.....

staying with stock head unit for ease of use and theft deterrence; using line level converters to get preamp-level signal for amp. amp is MTX 5-channel (4 plus sub) whcih is rated at 25wRMS to 4 channels and 100RMS to sub, but actually tested out at 57wRMS to the 4 main channels and 208 to sub, or when wired in parallel for 2 ohms impedance, 91wRMS and 291 to sub. moral of story: if you buy an MTX (or probably RF) amp, don't get the spkrs until you find out if they'll live with the actual rather than the rated output. pretty weird in modern America, esp car stereo prevarication wonderland, to have a product that performs twice as well as advt'd!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
colonel

as you can see - from this post and the other posts, the maybe will only be for a limited time. I like to do all of my research prior to buying.
as for the stereo issues. what are you dissatisfied about with your MB's?
In my screw I upgraded to 4 JL audio 5x7"s and a 10" JL sub, powered by a JL 5x500 amp. It sounds really good. Very satisfied with the JL quality. Keep in mind that part of the reason it sounds good is that i swapped out my factory hu for an Alpine deck.
Do you agree that part of the sound quality is diminshed by the factory Subie hu?

Did your MB's fit aok? I tried to look up the RSC depth online buyt couldn't find the rsc line.
Also, are the back door speaks 5.25 or 6.5?

thanks
maybe
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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I like to do all of my research prior to buying.
i can relate. i researched the OB for 3 yrs and my BMW GS bike abt the samebefore buying one.

as for the stereo issues. what are you dissatisfied about with your MB's? forwant of a better word, transparency or lack thereof. i was looking for somethig that would essentially disappear and not sound like a car stereo, albeit a high end one. stereo imaging is pretty decent but i've also added extra set of a/d/s tweeters in front and altec lansing tweeters in rear.

In my screw I upgraded to 4 JL audio 5x7"s and a 10" JL sub, powered by a JL 5x500 amp. It sounds really good. Very satisfied with the JL quality.
good to hear, as either JL or Boston Acoustics was likely to be next denizen of doors.

Keep in mind that part of the reason it sounds good is that i swapped out my factory hu for an Alpine deck.
Do you agree that part of the sound quality is diminshed by the factory Subie hu?
absolutely, which iswhy i mentioned it. the CD signal from one head unit (assuming similar sampling rate etc) shd be similar enoughthat it's beyondaudibility, but in practice, it doesn't seemto work out exactly thatway. inability to take a preamp signal out is big problem; i've fiddled with various gain controls on amp and online level convertors to get the cleanest sound consistent with good volumeand s/n ratio, but physics and entropy suggest that it ain't possible to amp the signaland then take it back to preamp levels of distortion. i may end up bailing on the idea and getting aftermkt, but i really like the ease of use compared to all the aftermkt units i've lived with, as does my s.o. And i park it daily in one of the "better" areas of El Paso, so boring factory stereo look helps conserve windows. the 12' "picup truck" box i usedfor sub is almost invisible from outside car cuz it fits up against back of rear seat and sorta under rolled window shade thing, and grey carpet semi matches interior.

Did your MB's fit aok? I tried to look up the RSC depth online buyt couldn't find the rsc line. look at specs and info for the 02-03 Imprezas at iaperformance. com. they have depth chart for most populaR spkrs incl the MBQs. i got theiradaptors and with those, theyfit great. without their photos, i'd still be puzzlingon where to mount x-overs. altho the adaptors are basically nicely engineered spacer rings that you could replicate yourself with some 3/4 birch plywood and a lot of patience, they wereworht the $ to me.

Also, are the back door speaks 5.25 or 6.5?
in my Impreza-based car, they're 5.25, altho the ia people also make adaptors to mount 4" (thy're assuming you'll be runningsub anyway, i guess), but in my ex' 95 Legacy,both sets were6.5, with rears having some insane depth limitation. so i thinkthe Legacy may just get the bigger ones genlly.

in fairness to MBQ, this is first bigsystem i've tried to install and altho i've read up on tuning it all, i haven't had much practice seting x-over frequencies etc. between my limitationss and limitation of factory hu and convertors, they're hardly being displayed free of complicating variables. i have very littletoleranceofaudible distortion, but at 90wRMS/ch, the speakers may have none. i'm going to try to replace just the fried drivers and go from there.

:crazyeye:
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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open mouth, insert keyboard, again

gawd i feel stupid.

the scratchy buzz i heard from the midrange drivers when i cranked it up, which sounded JUST like the noise blown spkrs make, was due to longish wire from x-over to tweeters having fallen down between the midrange driver and door panel and vibrating due to air movement. i zip tied it up out of the way, and system sounds great. so no $4-500ish for new drivers. whee! wish i'd pulled off the door panels to check for simple stuff before, but i was so discouraged that i hadn't even wanted to mess with it. guess this stuff is more bulletproof than i realized. now i wnt to drive to Alsaka so i can listen to it more.....
 

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Although this is an old thread, I thought I'd offer my thoughts from a recently completed experience...

Despite time-phasing issues caused by tweeters mounted in a different axis/plane from the woofer cone, I prefer component speakers for the front of the car. The added separation of highs & mids, and the ability to tailor the sound stage is an advantage I seek. In the Subaru, I used the factory location (sail panel) for the tweeters. While acceptable, it is inferior (to my ears) to surface mounting on the dashboard (as I did in my previous vehicle), which turns the windshield into a reflective sound plane and keeps much of the sound in front of the driver & front seat passenger, just as in a live performance.

Because the rear door speakers merely provide fill sound, this is an area for potential cost savings. If, as my research indicates, the rear doors of a 2005 Outback Wagon can accept a 5.25" speaker as well as a 6.5" speaker, cost and installation considerations might favor the smaller cone. Furthermore, rear door speakers require less amplification than do the fronts - again, it's just fill sound.

I don't like to hear high frequencies (such as female vocals, etc) from behind, so I favor single cone mid-bass speakers for the rear.

After cutting off the water shields (you'll know them when you see them), I used the OEM mounting rings for my door speakers. This increased the surface mount depth from 2" to about 3".

The Subaru OEM under-seat subwoofer generates little sound, but does provide an amusing massage akin to the old Bodysonic system. Replacing or supplementing the OEM sub will be necessary for those who want some thump in their music.

As for product, speakers are the most subjective and critical part of any sound system. There is no substitute for listening before buying, but this is of limited value, as the speakers will sound different, perhaps much different when installed in your vehicle.

What sounded good to me might sound bad to you. Of my top two choices, the speakers that sounded just OK on a shop's sound board sounded great in a real car.

End of report.
 

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"Despite time-phasing issues caused by tweeters mounted in a different axis/plane from the woofer cone, I prefer component speakers for the front of the car. The added separation of highs & mids, and the ability to tailor the sound stage is an advantage I seek. In the Subaru, I used the factory location (sail panel) for the tweeters. While acceptable, it is inferior (to my ears) to surface mounting on the dashboard (as I did in my previous vehicle), which turns the windshield into a reflective sound plane and keeps much of the sound in front of the driver & front seat passenger, just as in a live performance."

"Because the rear door speakers merely provide fill sound,

i respectfully disagree, sorta. great to have more audiophiles on site, BTW!

in addtn to the tweeters that are part of the MBQ components, i added a/d/s tweeters on the "A" pillar, pointing roughly inboard with slight downward tilt toward dash. i also added a set of Altec-Lansing aux tweeters on "B" (Would be "C" but for Subie's pillarless door design) pillar, above head level of rear seat passengers pointing mostly inboard with slight downward tilt.

with this setup, i can literally place the center of the stereo imaging anywhere in the car i want ("You want the Cowboy Junkies in the back seat or the front, driver or passenger side...?"). this varies with different CDs, but when i get it adjusted right, the stereo becomes "transparent" and you don't hear the sound coming from the various point sources but centered on the selscted point. the rear speakers are an integral part of this ability, IMHO, rather than merely providing fill.

this seems true with my factory head unit and prolly wd be even more true with an aftermkt h/u that had features allowing you to select type of sound (through time delays and equalization of various frequencies). i can see how this is a matter of taste and that some people might prefer all the sound from the front. i don't.

and with 8 tweeters, i literally have to ATTENUATE the highs to taste...too MUCH "sizzle" with tone controls flat. ditto for bass thanx to the RF 12" DVC sub and 291 watts RMS feeding it. after long years of suffering through systems where you had to bump bass and treble to get semi flat frequency response....:) :) :) :D

and, upon re-reading thread, i need to FORMALLY eat my words on the so-so sound of the MBQs. i just didn't have em adjusted right previously; setting the crossover frequency between the mains and the sub high enough, like 120 or 175 hz, helped a lot. system as now constituted is well worth all the money, time, and bloody scrapes on forearms from installation/. likewise, VERY happy with the "factory head unit + line level converters" approach after living with it for a few months.
 

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amp under pass seat. won't fit with power seats, i'm told. sub in 12" pickup truk box pushed up against the back of rear seat, sorta under the "window shade". fits nicely, angle almost matches, carpet almost matches, fairly hard to spot. 10 p/u box wd work too.

someone on this site or maybe scoobymods installed sub in spare tire well firing upwards...slick install, checkit out.:)
 

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I read a description of that, but didn't see pictures. Would it be do-able to put a lowprofile sub box w/ amp inside just behind back seat in thhe cargo area? Are there amps that would still be able to operate in the little storage are below the carpet, or would it generate too much heat?
 
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