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2019 Black Outback
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the oddest. I put my car in for body shop work and it came back looking new! but my front door woofers are blown. Being a musician I know sound and would have known if my speakers were blown when I took it in. ALTHOUGH... I like to fade my speakers to the rear because I can blast louder without front speaker ear fatigue. Plus my subie has a killer Marantz system with sub woofer. My car looks like a soccer mom car (metallic green hand me down from my folks), so I can't figure out why Subaru put such a sweet system in a car that probably only a metal head like me would appreciate.

Anyway, the point is my front speakers got little air time and thus I don't know how they blew and how they blew in the shop. They definitely didn't blow before hand. I thought perhaps the shop didn't install the door panels right but they claim they didn't remove them. I can't prove squat so I have to eat it and replace them. But what's in there? I don't need killer speakers since I fade to the rear, but I do want decent ones.

Anyone know what's in the doors? 4"? 5.25"? 6.5"?

Any theories would be appreciated. Thanks.
DocSubie
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,359 Posts
Which horseless carriage we talking about here?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,951 Posts
(moved to audio sub section of electrical)

I am thinking based on your past postings you got a " 2004 Outback wagon H6 3.0 VDC" so those are fancy McIntosh.

and @botenredwolf will have suggestions as to fixes or replacements. (a audio engineer student, has typed on what is great for 2001-2004 when the Mcintosh go wrong).

and if you click on the link next to the ? in my signature, and fill out you "about my car section with " 2004 Outback wagon H6 3.0 VDC" you won't have to ever type this again,...as this will be the last car you own.

but then no one here will wonder what you got,...and a " 2004 Outback wagon H6 3.0 VDC" is a rather unique and lovely beast.
 

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2019 Black Outback
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
and my car is...

Which horseless carriage we talking about here?
It's the 3.0L 6 Cyl VDC AWD Legacy Outback and I goofed... it's a McIntosh (Japan) not Marantz, duh. My car had to be outside a lot these last year so maybe the heat and cold cracked the cones. The rears sound OK but I'm wondering if I put a new pair in the front will they balance against the rears or should I just go for it and get 4 all around. Anyone know the watt rating I should get?
 

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2010 Legacy 3.6R Limited
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1,300 Posts
eagle, it's still probably not as unique as mine (at least the attitude mine gives me, and being year-one on the VDC/H6)....

OP - the speakers are paper cone with foam surrounds. they've likely rotted out. Stock is 6.5" 8-ohm, but the amplifier can drive standard 4-ohm speakers just fine, and will put out roughly 40-60W RMS at that load (I haven't measured it, although I should do a proper reverse whack on the **** thing one of these days). Grab some Polk or if you've got the money, some Hertz Energy speakers in there. The factory McAmp is an amazing creation for what it is. You'll find the install goes surprisingly smooth, you can even re-use the existing speaker brackets.

Got the front doors done! | 1 Slick VDC (jesus tap-dancing christ....have I really had this car for only 4 years but shoved 80k miles on it?!)

I wish I'd not have thrown my speakers out when they rotted out. Just don't cheap out on the speakers, there's way too much good stuff in front of them. This gear will keep up with almost anything short of pure SQ-oriented stuff.

(edit)
Side note for stereo imaging in the cars:
don't fade to rear, destroys the imaging and introduces weird phase issues. replace the front speakers with something rather epic (I'll still recommend Hertz Energy), ditch the rear speakers or fade forward a bit. The subwoofer is a summed output of all four channels, so personally I'd say disconnect the rear speakers if you enjoy the front-only sound stage. I haven't had rear speakers hooked up in almost 2 and a half years now.

Outdated video (camera's mic was peaking, that was the distortion), system is capable of quite a bit nicer audio now, but same principle stands: epic audio quality at all volumes, even with just two front door speakers... I should also update my sig one of these days.

 

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'17 3.6R Touring Brillant Brown Pearl
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More than likely the surrounds have come unglued from the basket. I've repaired them in previous Subaru's.

If your serious about keeping them, it's an easy fix.
 

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2014 3.6R Limited
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1,158 Posts
Sounds like the body shop employees probably blew them. It irks me to no end to get my car back from a shop and some jerk had been screwing with my sound system. You would be surprised how common this is.
 

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2019 Black Outback
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Red Suburu: Yeah I know my speakers were OK when I dropped the car. But I can't prove it. The guy I work with offered to install them since they have the tools and clips for the door panels. That "kinda" says he may agree with me, but he can't prove it and I can't so I have to eat it.
@botenredwolf: I purchased the Polks DB652 for $89. The Hertz were like $175 depending on where you buy. I'm assuming the Polks are better than factory so since I was OK with that, then I'm hoping the Polks will please although the write up on the Hertz Energies sure is tempting.

Now if only I could get a hard wired aux-in somehow. I realize if even possible someone would need to have my car and get into the amp or head unit so probably not feasible. Thoughts?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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@Red Suburu: Yeah I know my speakers were OK when I dropped the car. But I can't prove it. The guy I work with offered to install them since they have the tools and clips for the door panels. That "kinda" says he may agree with me, but he can't prove it and I can't so I have to eat it.
@botenredwolf: I purchased the Polks DB652 for $89. The Hertz were like $175 depending on where you buy. I'm assuming the Polks are better than factory so since I was OK with that, then I'm hoping the Polks will please although the write up on the Hertz Energies sure is tempting.

Now if only I could get a hard wired aux-in somehow. I realize if even possible someone would need to have my car and get into the amp or head unit so probably not feasible. Thoughts?
2003-2004 McIntosh in US spec outbacks, I think had a port on the back of the head unit. (these were the later ones without the tape deck that was in the 2001--02)
 

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2010 Legacy 3.6R Limited
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2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 3.0 VDC
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Oh so many good posts on this thread! I am in the same boat as DocSubie, except I wouldn't define them as "blown". Front speakers just pop/wobble noise when volume is up on the lowest frequencies. Perhaps the popping is the amp going bad... I'm not sure, but I am considering pulling the panels and inspecting the speakers, and if I verify damage, performing a repair using this method or something similar.

Here are some other posts on McIntosh (pronounced like the apple macintosh for those of you who didn't know) systems for this gen and I'm sure you can find more if you hunt:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...tion/92514-replacement-mcintosh-speakers.html
McIntosh Radios - 1990 to Present Legacy, Impreza, Outback, Forester, Baja, WRX&WrxSTI, SVX - Ultimate Subaru Message Board
 

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2019 Black Outback
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi All.

Sorry for the delay. Here's the finish to this thread. I installed the Polk DB652's. But they were too high end and didn't blend with the voicing of the rear speakers. Since there's only an overall all round bass/treble control, I couldn't balance the voicing separate from the rear. Plus my speakers have 6 screws holding them in and the Polks only have 3. I imagine over time after breaking in the Polk's may have warmed up but there was no way to know that so I returned them. Crutchfield has a 60 day return policy BTW.

I then decided to repair McIntosh speakers. I used SimplySpeakers once before and had fantastic results. They are a great company with great tech support and their foam surrounds are excellent. The reason I didn't do this first was because my speakers have a rim that has a tweeter bridge plus the tweeter is soldered in and I didn't know if I could remove the rim. I watched a number of SimplySpeaker's install videos and got the courage to disassemble and clean up my speakers.

Here's my speaker with the deteriorated foam:



Here's my speaker after removing the foam, rim bridge, all cleaned ready for the new surround foam:



With the smaller speaker, you need to glue the inside foam lip to the top of the cone instead of behind like the original surround. As SimplySpeakers told me, the sound is not changed at all from a top versus rear mount. They were correct. My speakers sound GREAT again.



I replaced the foam and got the speakers back into my car and even got the door panels back on which wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. And the results? They sound FANTASTIC! They totally match the rear speaker voicing and it's a pleasure to have my sound restored.

Plus I saved $225! A new pair of OEM Subaru Mcintosh speakers will set you back $240 before shipping and tax. SimplySpeakers' foam surrounds cost only $25 plus you get the satisfaction of performing the repair. I wish I could demonstrate the sound for everyone. All I can say is if you ever have a blown speaker(s) that needs new surround foam, go to <simplyspeakers.com>, watch their videos and pickup a pair of their excellent foam surrounds.

Thanks for everyone's help in this thread.
Docsubie
 

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2009 OB 2.5i SE 4EAT
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More than likely the surrounds have come unglued from the basket. I've repaired them in previous Subaru's.

If your serious about keeping them, it's an easy fix.
+1

My midbass woofer cones had come partially unglued from the so-called basket, and the inner dome, which made bass sound like a buzzing fart. Hi-temp hot glue is one of my favorite ghetto-solutions to everything, and it worked perfectly here. While it's an adhesive bond rather than a chemical one, it can withstand vibrations better than a chemical-bond glue that dries hard and brittle (like superglue). Superglue is what they glued it with in the first place, which came undone... up to you though.. Reglue the cone and the distortion is gone. Get some more mileage out of your speakers!

I have the harman kardon system with the trunk sub and amp under the passenger seat, sans automatic climate controls. It's pretty much best case scenario for low cost upgrades because you already have a power amp driving ALL your speakers... true, at maybe half the power of an aftermarket amp, but easily triple or quadruple what a typical head unit puts out. Plus everything is already separated into component with crossovers at the amp and full separate wiring for both woofers and tweeters to each door. The infrastructure is there. Moreover you can swap your head unit and still use the factory amp with some modification. It doesn't sound like the crossovers built into the factory amp are blocking any sub-bass to the doors, so I may add bass blockers to the door speakers once I get some kind of sub upgrade installed. A separate amp for an upgraded sub might even allow the factory amp to drive the door speakers harder, depending on its design. But I digress...

After fixing my factory speakers, I upgraded anyway... Infinity 6.5" component woofers in place of the factory midbass speakers. Daaaaaaaamn they sound good, and not too underdriven.

Wait, what was this thread about, again?
 
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