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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,
First of all, just wanted to thank everyone for all the threads in this forum. Picked up my '04 Pacifica Blue OBS on Monday and all the info on this site was so helpful.
Anyways, back to the point of this thread. I definitely want to upgrade the stereo first thing. I had a lexus before the OBS and will never get used to the stock stereo. I'm not looking to break the bank or try to match the Lexus stereo at all. I just want to get a decent stereo setup. I'd love to hear/see everyone's setups and maybe some suggestions. I think I'd like to really concentrate more on speakers and less on a really expensive head unit. Thanks for any and all input.
 

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Been thinking mine is too weak for CD play so have thought about replacing that and leaving the speakers alone. Just not sure what kind of wattage or quality those are though.
Actually, the radio isn't very good either. Like the midrange is cutting out, CD's too. I don't know if it'd be the speakers or radio at fault but I'm thinking mainly the radio/player is lacking.
Does fine if not driving but on the freeway it's pretty awful. Luckily I'm not listening to music much lately.

Found these, 1st for changing front door speakers:

http://users.sisna.com/ignatius/subaru/mods/index.html

http://www.i-club.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-64778.html
 

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That first link is pretty informative. Looks to me like putting in aftermarket speakers would be kind of a hack job. I was hoping people in this forum would let me know about any speaker upgrades they've done. I'd like to avoid having to build my own spacer like the guy in that first link. Anyone put in speakers quickly and easily??
 

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I have replaced all of the speakers in my car, and yes it takes a LOOOOONG time. I think it took me something like 5 hours. But that included all of the wiring for the amp as well. If you dont want to go too overboard on spending then i would reccomend just replacing the head unit. A head unit can make all the difference, and frankly the stock one is a POS. Atleast for me the speakers were actually pretty decent, which came as a surprise given the stereo. In my 2000 OBW it came with panasonic woofers with a raised tweeter, a feature usually found on aftermarket speakers. In addition to that there were component or separate tweeters in the door. If money was an issue for me all I would have done was replaced the head unit. Advantages of that are no wiring!!!! If you just change the speakers it most likely will not sound as good since aftermarket speakers are generally rated for higher amplification than a stock stereo can put out. However, these stock speakers seem like they can handle more than the stock stereo.
 

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lukeg199 said:
---8<---these stock speakers seem like they can handle more than the stock stereo.
Good to know, personal opinion or not, because I think it likely a slightly better power output radio/CD could help and I definitely don't want to tear into my doors.
Did that on my truck to add M3 signal mirrors and found out I'm not good at that. It's something you'd need to have the skill of doing a lot of on each particular make/model, I believe, to do it very well. For instance, the top edge of the door panel had to be pried off and on by hand and a certain angle with a twist which I never knew about before attempting it. And had trouble aligning the door lock mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all that info, lukeg199. I was assuming this whole time that new speakers would make more of a difference than a new head unit. Sounds like I had my logic backwards. Guess I'll spend the money on the head unit rather than speakers for now. Thanks again.
 

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The stock HU from a 02-04 WRX is a decent upgrade IMO and so is the SUbaru stock subwoofer. I think the HU is 120watts and it is a 6 disc changer w/ tape. They can be found quite easily on ebay or NASIOC.com for ~125 or so. Simple to install. The underseat woofers are on ebay all the time. There is a guy on there that usually has a buy it now price of $79. That is a simple install too.
 

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my 2 cents worth

what sort of budget are you talking about? i think youhad your priorities right the 1st time.

IMHO, the speaker upgrade is FAR more impt than the head unit....i wouldn't wish what came out of my doors on a Pinto, separate tweeter or not. electronics are not what makes the sound, it's the speakers. the factory one in my 02 OBS are crapola. check with Crutchfield or any audio authority and they'll tell you the same thing: upgrade the speakers 1st. this is esp true in the era of CDs, where the specs of even factory head unit are WAAAAAY beyond what human ear can discern. you'd be amazed at the improvement you'll get from even cheapie aftermkt spkrs like Pyramid, Pyle, MB acoustics, etc. don't take my or even Crutchfield's word for it: go to Circuit Chitty or somewhere and have them switch between head units at same volume and tuned to same radio station whiule you've got your eyes closed, and see if you hear a difference. now do the same with various speakers. you'll see what i mean.

power is, as correctly noted, the big issue. i just did the WRX changer swap and can personally recommend it as being easy to swap in (6 Philips screws and three plugs at rear) in lieu of base OBS CD player and as having significantly more power. if all you were doing was head unit, and you'd studied how 1st (see below), you could swap head unit in <20 minutes even if you're not very mechanically inclined. or make some baked goods for friend who is...???

before you buy anything or make any decisions, go to web site of Innovative Automotive: iaperformance.com. they make specialty stuff for audio etc upgrades for Subs, Minis and Audis. among these are adapter rings to mount real speakers in factory holes with no drilling, fabrication, or hassle, and an adapter plug to allow you to hook up an aftermkt head unit to the stock Sub multi-pin plug without cutting into the factory wire harness. they also have, in their gallery section, complete installation directions with clear photos, of the entire process of putting in door spkrs, underseat amp, and head unit. study esp the fotos of removing the head unit or you'll likely break the face cover for console. i just installed component speakers (separate woofer, tweeter and crossover network) both front and rear using their adaptors and am VERY happy with both quality of stuff, promptness of service and quality of instructions. i would still be trying to figure out where to mount the crossovers without their info, and would be ordering a new console face from dlr to replace one i broke. the only caveat i noted is that when installing the adaptor rings, be sure you've gotten all 3 ring-to-door screws started into their correct holes before you tighten any.

finally: ebay! ebay! ebay! add words "new" or "NIB" (new in box) to yr search to be sure you're looking at new gear, and be sure to watch the shipping cost as some of the regular sellers there list superlow price for gear and then make it up with shipping that in some cases is more than the item.

good luck and keep us posted. car mods, like life, are a work in progress for most of us.....

bw
 
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