Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The base 2013 head unit is interesting.
What it has:
AM/FM/CD/CD mp3 & wma/ USB / 1/8" headphone jack input
USB input 255+/- song per folder limit
USB Ipod control (haven't tested)
SRS (on/off only)
Speed/Volume compensation (3 settings off/1/2)
Bluetooth phone connect with steering wheel control
Base/Mid/Treble adjustment +/-8
RDS song & station ID

It is an ok head unit, but the odd part is when you dial the "mid" to -6, -7 or -8 the sound changes drastically & starts sounding "normal?"
The stock setup still seems to be lacking some midbass, but has an odd amount of exaggerated bass 100hz & lower.

The overall sound stage is very low & feels like the music is near my knees.

FM reception is average, & will sound a little static'y when signal is weak.
______________________________________________________________

Empty dash tweeter holes:
The OEM optional tweeters seem like a nice option, but $70+ is a bit steep.
The holes are huge (for tweeters) & they are prewired for the OEM tweeters.

After looking & taking measurements I decided to place 3.5" speakers in the holes.
The holes do require trimming.
A sharp razor/box cutter makes fairly easy work of the plastic tabs with a little repeated scoring.

The wires out of the dash are a little short, but can be crimped to or stripped & soldered.
The sound to the dash is fullrange audio, no filtering.

One of the tweeter screw hole line up for the 3.5" the other must be relocated.
I melted another hole in the dash with a nail, vicegrips & torch, and relocated the screw clip to the new hole.
Speaking of screws a #10 sheet metal screw works perfectly.
#10x3/4" to be exact.

3.5 speakers are fairly useless for any bass, so a passive x-over is highly recommended. 200mfd to 300mfd bi-polar cap in series for a 4ohm load.

Tweeter protrusion is an issue, you get maybe a 1/8"+/-.
Polk & many other will likely not fit, I sourced a set of old refurb Polk EX351a dual cone ($20 shipped from Polk)
The other speaker on my possible list was the Pioneer TS-A878

This install is not for the faint of heart, & not for armatures.
The sound stage has moved way up & sounds much better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
It's good to know that the 3.5" fit in the dash. I've got a set of Hertz HSK163's that I plan on putting in the OB at some point in the future. I'll mold the tweeters into the pillar and use a baffle for the 3" drivers that come with that set. I'll make an adapter to mount the beefy midbass into the OEM spot in the door and mount the amp in the spare tire well.

Don't forget that most factory systems are marginal at best if you are accustomed to any sort of quality sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Update:

The SRS on the head unit affects the spatial field & tone.
SRS on = wider front image, but also an abnormal amount of bass especially around 60hz+/-

SRS "on" personal settings:
Bass 0 or +1
Mid -7 or -6
Treble +2 or +1

SRS off = normal closed tight image, but stereo... bass "boomyness" not present.

SRS "off" personal settings:
Bass +6 or +5
Mid -7 or -8
Treble +3 or +2

It's good to know that the 3.5" fit in the dash.
The HZ 3" has a 73mm mounting = 2.87"
I cut the hole to approx 3.125"
as far as depth, I think I can fit half my hand down the hole.


Don't forget that most factory systems are marginal at best if you are accustomed to any sort of quality sound.
I'll likely start upgrading more of the system, I have a hand full of subs in the garage, but at this point it sounds "ok" for what I'm doing.
The biggest factor was bringing the sound stage up from my knees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
I feel ya about the horribly low soundstage. I tell my wife all the time she needs to bring up the image, she tells me to get back in my car if I want to hear the good stereo.

Once I get around to putting the amp and separates in the OB I'll start a log with all of the steps. I've pulled the grill but since I've got the OEM tweeters I didn't mess with trying to see what kind of room to play with. I'd like to pull the Dyn's out of my Accord and try some of Scott's Hybrid 3" domes that he has out. I spoke with him a few years ago before the MECA finals and he said we could work out the details once I got them installed. Of course I would want to swap over the the 8's in the kicks and L1's in the pillars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Did a few more tweaks this weekend on the dash speakers on the 2013 OBW.

The 3.5" speakers I put in were doing fine, but not made for real full range sound.
The quick fix for me has always been a set of bi-polar caps.
A simple 1st order x-over has a very gradual slope (6dB oct.) but are inexpensive.

A 140uf + 10uf Mylar (150uf total) cap seemed to be enough "high pass" filtering for the 4 ohm load.

The sound stage is still great, just need to add a sub into the system one of these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
My wife just picked up a 2013 Outback Premier and so far, it has been a great car.
However, the audio system is horrible. The car has the six speaker system. The sound coming from the two dash speakers sounds very 'thin'. Can anyone supply
the full specs for all the speakers used in this 6 speaker system? I would like to know more about the head unit - IE - output levels. I would appreciate a link. Thanks very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
My wife just picked up a 2013 Outback Premier and so far, it has been a great car.
However, the audio system is horrible. The car has the six speaker system. The sound coming from the two dash speakers sounds very 'thin'. Can anyone supply
the full specs for all the speakers used in this 6 speaker system? I would like to know more about the head unit - IE - output levels. I would appreciate a link. Thanks very much.
If you haven't already done so, make sure to adjust the BASS, midirange and treble. After making these adjustments, I think the sound is pretty decent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
thanks for the tip

After reading this thread, I did make the adjustments suggested here. The sound is better .... but far from perfect. There seems to be a part of the sound spectrum that is missing. I plan to bring out my laptop to the car with a microphone and run spectrum analyzing software to see how the system reacts to various test tones. I will let you know the results. I just hope a couple of new 'twiddler's' in the dashboard make a sizable difference.

My other car is a Jeep with a Boston Acoustics sound system with 9 speakers (including the sub woofer) which sounds much better.

I did test drive a Mazda CX 5 with a Bose sound system with noise cancellation. Even though the Mazda audio system is not the best Bose has to offer, it was far superior what Subaru, Honda and Toyota had to
offer in their mid range AWD cars.

The Harmon Karmon name, that comes with the Subaru Outback Limited has a very good reputation in the car audio world. It is a shame that a better package could not be offered to the Premier level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
As a follow up to my previous message, I did run a series of sweep tones thru the head unit with pre recorded mpeg files from a memory stick. Using an AKG mic, with good flat response, I ran the tones through a program on my laptop. The frequencies between 350 hrz to 750 hrz were down 3 to 6 db compared to bass frequencies and 1k. Tones above 3k were up a db or two. I would still like to see the specs for the head unit, in case someone knows were to direct me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
I have a base model 2013 outback

if I decide to add the twitter upgrade kit, is this a simple install?

does it install in the dash?, just remove cover install speakers and it already has the wires ready to just plug in?

thanks
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
About this Discussion
11 Replies
6 Participants
J Delman
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top