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The interesting part of the graph is where the two traces cross at about 320 Hz. I'm 99.8% sure that's indicating a crossover. It looks just like every other speaker pair I've seen over the years where there's a crossover between them. If there wasn't a crossover the woofer in the door would roll off at a much lower rate than that.
I'm with you on the woofer section, it doesn't seem like there anything that would roll off that quickly without a lowpass. I assume that means you would skip using any coil to encourage roll off when replacing the door woofer?

I'm still thinking that I need to use a single cap centered around 600hz for the dash speakers. If there is a factory cap, it's probably for protection at least. Is there any harm in adding a cap to a new dash speaker if the single is already highpass coming out of the amp?
 

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After doing some basic eq tuning on Spotify, I'm very encouraged by the results. I've been thinking about setting appropriate financial boundaries to this project and decided that I'm budgeting $200 for the front end and will use drop in speaker in the stock locations with 1st order crossovers. I'll post the product list and results once I get everything in.
Watching. I have found NOTHING in a coaxial that drops in the dash corners. There are tweeters and there are mid ranges that could be made to fit but nothing that will cover both mid and high frequencies as is there now.
 

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I feel like tweeter are too harsh in this location and will use a full range 3" with good extension into the upper octaves, high sensitivity and good off axis response

 

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I feel like tweeter are too harsh in this location and will use a full range 3" with good extension into the upper octaves, high sensitivity and good off axis response

Very Interesting find. I had not seen these before I'm a bit skeptical on the "no tweeter" thing but it seems like we are not getting allot of true highs out of the system as it is. They certainly seem like they should fit better than the 3.5" Infinity Reference options most of us have been exploring. Additionally, since these are 4 ohm, and the factory (reportedly) 6 ohm, there is potential to add a surface mount tweeter. My concern is that they are rated at 20 ohm (RMS?) /40 max. Given the mysteries of the HK system specs, it's hard to tell if that is adequate Are you thinking your going to put these in teh corners only or are you doing the center dash position with the is same driver?

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Sorry to go on a tangent but that driver would also work in the non-HK systems since we all have the same physical dash mounting positions, but how would you create a baffle since it's an open basket, or is that not worth the trouble?
 

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Sorry to go on a tangent but that driver would also work in the non-HK systems since we all have the same physical dash mounting positions, but how would you create a baffle since it's an open basket, or is that not worth the trouble?
It's my experience that baffles can be a tricky thing. If they have adequate volume and are made of the right materials, they can really improve a speakers performance. However, if they are too small thin or flexible, they can hurt . I'm sure there are people that can predict what is needed here but I'm not one of them. That said, I wouldn't be afraid to install a quality speaker without one and see what happens.
 

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The fact that they are 4 ohm isn't really beneficial to adding a tweeter in the future, if anything you'd probably want two 8 ohm drivers if that's the plan of attack.

The lower impedance does mean it will draw more power from the amp and the high sensitivity means that it would play fairly loud with a given wattage. I'm comfortable that factory amp will have enough power for them.

I'm only going to the corners, I disconneted the center. I felt like it moved the imaging too far forward
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
Sorry to go on a tangent but that driver would also work in the non-HK systems since we all have the same physical dash mounting positions, but how would you create a baffle since it's an open basket, or is that not worth the trouble?
It's my experience that baffles can be a tricky thing. If they have adequate volume and are made of the right materials, they can really improve a speakers performance. However, if they are too small thin or flexible, they can hurt . I'm sure there are people that can predict what is needed here but I'm not one of them. That said, I wouldn't be afraid to install a quality speaker without one and see what happens.
I've been thinking about the baffle situation a little bit. The HK system creates a baffle of sorts with that foam gasket around the top of the mid which contacts a corresponding ring in the bottom of the dash trim. That gives you something of a leaky sealed chamber for the midrange. I wouldn't call it completely proper from a speaker design standpoint but it's is kind of a clever bit of engineering that seems to work well enough. Recreating that with a different speaker is going to require a little careful engineering.

I pulled my lathe calipers out to try to get decent measurements of the speaker bracket cup. It looks like the depth is just a little over 1-1/4" and the diameter of the cup is right at 2-15/16". I'm pretty sure the magnet of the Unity driver discussed earlier in the thread would just clear the bottom of the cup. Sadly, their website doesn't really provide a whole lot of useful information. A frequency response graph and CAD drawing of the driver with measurements (specifically of the magnet diameter) would be incredibly helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
I'm with you on the woofer section, it doesn't seem like there anything that would roll off that quickly without a lowpass. I assume that means you would skip using any coil to encourage roll off when replacing the door woofer?

I'm still thinking that I need to use a single cap centered around 600hz for the dash speakers. If there is a factory cap, it's probably for protection at least. Is there any harm in adding a cap to a new dash speaker if the single is already highpass coming out of the amp?
My guess is that they've implemented an active crossover in the head unit but I can't swear to that. The measurements I took look like a 12 dB roll off on both drivers to me which would require a cap and coil and I know there's no coil on the midrange driver, though it could be somewhere else. It could also be the natural roll off of the driver combined with a cap but I don't think that's likely. If I was going to put a cap on the dash speakers I think I would center it somewhere between 300 and 400 Hz. Adding a cap would just give you a steeper roll off. It wouldn't hurt the speaker but might give you a hole in the frequency response in the area of the crossover. The good thing is that it would be easily reversible if it didn't work out.
 

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Experiments and Decisions....

I went ahead and ordered the Fatial 3" full-range drivers and installed them about a week ago. This install was fairly simple and should be self-explanatory in the pictures below. I gave the drivers a good 20+ hours of play to evaluate and I only installed the driver's side so I could listen to the same musical selections back to back, fading from one side to the other. My conclusion is that was no significant upgrade with these drivers and maybe a bit of weirdness right around 10k, where there's a little peak and dip. This is nothing that a little eq'ing couldn't fix, but my conclusion is that there's not a lot to be gained by putting higher quality drivers in the stock locations (pods or a-pillar mounts could still definitely be an improvement). The areas in the dash corners are very tight and a bit tricky to work in and I don't really want to do anything modifications that are visible.

In general, my approach to modifying any new car is to do exactly the minimum amount you need, to get the result you want. Right now I have the center channel disconnected and I've played with the six-channel eq in Spotify and I would say this sounds pretty good. Based on these results, I'm going the electronic route and I plan on installing an 8-channel JBL amp with DSP and 31 band eq. I think the quality of the components is good enough that I can get the improvements I want with more control. The amp itself is rated at 40-watt RMS per channel, which works out to probably about exactly the same as the factory 576-watt amp and shouldn't present any problems with the stock wiring.

IMG_6744.jpg IMG_6743.jpeg IMG_6742.jpeg
 

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I have a 2021 Outback Limited HK and I just finished installing new drivers in all locations. I greatly dislike how todays systems present such a front facing sound stage and one of my goals was to try and get a more balanced front to back sound stage. BTW - I also have a 2019 4Runner with the JBL system and the drivers in the Outback are exactly the same as the 4Runner.

I measured the resistance of each driver with a Fluke multi-meter and replaced the drivers as follows:

Front Dash 5.5 ohms - replaced with Kenwood Excelon KFC-X2C 2 3/4" mid-range speakers 4 ohm 83db
Front Door 5.5 ohms - replaced with the Infinity Reference REF-9630cx 6x9 woofers 3.0 ohms 93db
Rear Door 4.0 ohms - replaced with Infinity Reference REF-6532ex 6 1/2" Coax 4.0 ohms 93db
Rear Sub 1.7 ohms - replaced with Audiofrog GS8ND2 dual 2-ohm voice coils sub 91db


The Kenwood mid-range speakers have a frequency range of 800-20,000 Hz, are pretty nicely balanced, and not overly bright. Being a bit low in sensitivity at 83db they help me slightly pull down the front dash volume without using the fader which also pulls down power from the front door woofers. I used a Dremel and cut the metal basket off the back of the factory dash coax - ripped out the speaker and used the bracket to mount the 2 3/4" speakers. The Kenwood's come with a 800hz high pass cap.

Before mounting the Infinity woofers, in the front doors, I did test a coax 6x9 I had lying around - as expected only low frequencies are being reproduced.

I also used Dynamat on the outer skin of the doors and on some select locations on the inner door skin. The front doors of the car are a mess and there is a large plastic in-lay (behind the vapor barrier) that rattles and resonates it sits in a funky bracket with a few bolts that hold it to the door skin. I put Dynamat on the plastic panel and ran Dynamat around the seam of the plastic panel and the door skin....it's crazy how much the panel rattled before I did this. Also I found it interesting that the outer door skins are coated with a spray on oily film something like Fluid Film.

I disconnect the center dash speaker.

The speaker upgrade produced good results. The system is a lot cleaner sounding with more balanced. Bass and mid-bass are much tighter and have more punch. I can really feel the front door woofers at about half volume. The highs are natural and not overly bright. I didn't have any listening fatigue even after a six hour drive. My music is all FLAC on USB drives and a good amount of it is 24-bit/192kHz. Fagen's Nightfly at 24-bit/48kHz sounds very good and particularly the end of the New Frontier. The cowbell is nicely reproduced, very clear, with-out hash reflections from the windshield.

The biggest concern is if I will have an issue with the HK amp running the Infinity 3 ohm woofers. I never push the volume past 3/4th so I don't think the amp will over-heat .... but only time will tell.
 

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Audio Upgrade Gen 4 HK w/o Nav.
I wrote this post and it is under gen 4. It relates to the struggles you guys are having with the new cars. I enjoyed this thread because the concerns and attempts to fix are so similar to what I went through. You will never really fix the Hk because the amp completely meddles with what frequencies go to each location and reduces base frequencies as you increase volume and even screws with phasing on gen 4. The hardware is decent or even very good for some components, but the set-up is absolutely terrible! I was very surprised to learn from you all that Subaru has not addressed these issues and has offered this mismatched, sub par system for a decade now. ( similar to their decade of rain water leaks) . My audio system is awesome now, and I am proud of it, but it was a struggle to get there. My intent here is to steer you guys who want great sound to not beat your heads against the wall trying to figure out why it is so messed up. I spent months. Speaker Pop app indicated right dash and left rear door were phased negative while all other locations including sub were pos. It is a nightmare! My recommendation is to buy a new head unit, I love the $799. Alpine that has separate eq adjustment for each output and amazing wide band adjustment. New head units can integrate with back-up cam, steering wheel controls, etc., also, ditch the HK amp and run aftermarket amps. This way you get full freq. range everywhere and can cross it over specifically to the speakers you choose. I ended up with 4" cones in the dash( super hard to fit) 2 1/2" drivers and 1" soft dome tweeters in A pillars to to reproduce a full range of freq. I'm in So Cal if anyone wants to meet up and share ideas. I still need to fix my rattling, poorly mounted, no proper enclosure sub.
510419
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 ·
I have a 2021 Outback Limited HK and I just finished installing new drivers in all locations. I greatly dislike how todays systems present such a front facing sound stage and one of my goals was to try and get a more balanced front to back sound stage. BTW - I also have a 2019 4Runner with the JBL system and the drivers in the Outback are exactly the same as the 4Runner.

I measured the resistance of each driver with a Fluke multi-meter and replaced the drivers as follows:

Front Dash 5.5 ohms - replaced with Kenwood Excelon KFC-X2C 2 3/4" mid-range speakers 4 ohm 83db
Front Door 5.5 ohms - replaced with the Infinity Reference REF-9630cx 6x9 woofers 3.0 ohms 93db
Rear Door 4.0 ohms - replaced with Infinity Reference REF-6532ex 6 1/2" Coax 4.0 ohms 93db
Rear Sub 1.7 ohms - replaced with Audiofrog GS8ND2 dual 2-ohm voice coils sub 91db


The Kenwood mid-range speakers have a frequency range of 800-20,000 Hz, are pretty nicely balanced, and not overly bright. Being a bit low in sensitivity at 83db they help me slightly pull down the front dash volume without using the fader which also pulls down power from the front door woofers. I used a Dremel and cut the metal basket off the back of the factory dash coax - ripped out the speaker and used the bracket to mount the 2 3/4" speakers. The Kenwood's come with a 800hz high pass cap.

Before mounting the Infinity woofers, in the front doors, I did test a coax 6x9 I had lying around - as expected only low frequencies are being reproduced.

I also used Dynamat on the outer skin of the doors and on some select locations on the inner door skin. The front doors of the car are a mess and there is a large plastic in-lay (behind the vapor barrier) that rattles and resonates it sits in a funky bracket with a few bolts that hold it to the door skin. I put Dynamat on the plastic panel and ran Dynamat around the seam of the plastic panel and the door skin....it's crazy how much the panel rattled before I did this. Also I found it interesting that the outer door skins are coated with a spray on oily film something like Fluid Film.

I disconnect the center dash speaker.

The speaker upgrade produced good results. The system is a lot cleaner sounding with more balanced. Bass and mid-bass are much tighter and have more punch. I can really feel the front door woofers at about half volume. The highs are natural and not overly bright. I didn't have any listening fatigue even after a six hour drive. My music is all FLAC on USB drives and a good amount of it is 24-bit/192kHz. Fagen's Nightfly at 24-bit/48kHz sounds very good and particularly the end of the New Frontier. The cowbell is nicely reproduced, very clear, with-out hash reflections from the windshield.

The biggest concern is if I will have an issue with the HK amp running the Infinity 3 ohm woofers. I never push the volume past 3/4th so I don't think the amp will over-heat .... but only time will tell.
Great information! Any thoughts on differences in overall efficiency between the stock speakers and the new setup?
 

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I have a 2021 Outback Limited HK and I just finished installing new drivers in all locations. I greatly dislike how todays systems present such a front facing sound stage and one of my goals was to try and get a more balanced front to back sound stage. BTW - I also have a 2019 4Runner with the JBL system and the drivers in the Outback are exactly the same as the 4Runner.

I measured the resistance of each driver with a Fluke multi-meter and replaced the drivers as follows:

Front Dash 5.5 ohms - replaced with Kenwood Excelon KFC-X2C 2 3/4" mid-range speakers 4 ohm 83db
Front Door 5.5 ohms - replaced with the Infinity Reference REF-9630cx 6x9 woofers 3.0 ohms 93db
Rear Door 4.0 ohms - replaced with Infinity Reference REF-6532ex 6 1/2" Coax 4.0 ohms 93db
Rear Sub 1.7 ohms - replaced with Audiofrog GS8ND2 dual 2-ohm voice coils sub 91db


The Kenwood mid-range speakers have a frequency range of 800-20,000 Hz, are pretty nicely balanced, and not overly bright. Being a bit low in sensitivity at 83db they help me slightly pull down the front dash volume without using the fader which also pulls down power from the front door woofers. I used a Dremel and cut the metal basket off the back of the factory dash coax - ripped out the speaker and used the bracket to mount the 2 3/4" speakers. The Kenwood's come with a 800hz high pass cap.

Before mounting the Infinity woofers, in the front doors, I did test a coax 6x9 I had lying around - as expected only low frequencies are being reproduced.

I also used Dynamat on the outer skin of the doors and on some select locations on the inner door skin. The front doors of the car are a mess and there is a large plastic in-lay (behind the vapor barrier) that rattles and resonates it sits in a funky bracket with a few bolts that hold it to the door skin. I put Dynamat on the plastic panel and ran Dynamat around the seam of the plastic panel and the door skin....it's crazy how much the panel rattled before I did this. Also I found it interesting that the outer door skins are coated with a spray on oily film something like Fluid Film.

I disconnect the center dash speaker.

The speaker upgrade produced good results. The system is a lot cleaner sounding with more balanced. Bass and mid-bass are much tighter and have more punch. I can really feel the front door woofers at about half volume. The highs are natural and not overly bright. I didn't have any listening fatigue even after a six hour drive. My music is all FLAC on USB drives and a good amount of it is 24-bit/192kHz. Fagen's Nightfly at 24-bit/48kHz sounds very good and particularly the end of the New Frontier. The cowbell is nicely reproduced, very clear, with-out hash reflections from the windshield.

The biggest concern is if I will have an issue with the HK amp running the Infinity 3 ohm woofers. I never push the volume past 3/4th so I don't think the amp will over-heat .... but only time will tell.
Excellent input. Thanks for sharing this! I've been thinking along the same lines of using midrange speakers in the dash since 3" coaxials just don't exist. Glad to hear that the impedance differences in your drivers isn't causing issues (at least yet) ! (surprised to see the front door woofers were 5.5ohm. I had read elsewhere that they were 4 ohm and combined in parallel with the dash coaxials to yield 2.4 ohm). Couple of questions if you don't mind:
1) So tell us more about replacing the factory Sub. Was the process as grueling as rumored? Has output and clarity improved significantly?
2) As far as the sound stage, does a centered fader produce a balanced sound stage with the drivers mentioned or do you need to move it forward?
 

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The factory sub replacement wasn't really that difficult. You need to just take a little time and remove a decent amount of parts - including pulling the rear lower seat out. It's just time consuming - about 2.5 hours start to finish. I did a sub replacement in my 4Runner Limited with third row seat - talk about swearing....

The Audiofrog sub does tighten up the bass and maybe adds a small amount of volume - it's a pretty efficient sub.... it is designed to replace the under seat factory sub's in BMW's - hard for me to say if it was worth $300. But I had made up my mind to replace all the drivers in the car.

I have the fader set one step to the rear and the system is still front sound stage focused. It compares with the stock speakers having the fader 3 steps to the rear. Which make some sense since the dash speakers are now about -10db as efficient.

I don't think I can ever get a truly balanced sound stage in this car. The rear door placement is terrible - the speakers are buried in the rear doors facing directly in the floor and front seat. In my 4Runner my sound stage is much more balanced as there are two 6.5" coax in the rear doors and two 6.5" coax in the rear hatch that project forward in to the truck. It would be nice if the Outback's system was designed that way.

The front door woofer on my cheaper multi-meter this morning 5.4 omhs:
510429


The rear door coax speakers - crazy design I am not sure how any sound gets projected out past the cover:
510430


I do have the Crutchfield installation guide which was was very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #117 ·
I admit that I had looked at the Kenwood at some point but the low overall efficiency scared me off mainly because I assumed it would take a fair amount of EQ to correct. I'm not sure why that concerns me so much since I'm already using a lot of EQ to correct the frequency response of the HK system anyway. If I drop the efficiency objection that brings the Morel mid and CDT Audio Unity 8.0 into the picture as well. The Morel's efficiency is only low under about 1kHz which is a smaller band to adjust for but the frequency response rolls off a fair amount at higher frequencies.

I did get a copy of the FR graphs from CDT Audio for the Unity 7.5 and 8.0 drivers. Both have a gently climbing FR from 200 Hz up with the 8.0 being just slightly flatter to 30 degrees off axis, above which the 7.5 does better in the extreme upper frequency range. Since we're getting mostly reflected output from those drivers it's hard to imagine there's much of an audible difference at the listening position. The 7.5 is rated at 88.5 dB overall efficiency while the 8.0 is 4 dB lower. These look fairly promising from a FR standpoint, but would require a custom bracket of some sort for mounting.

510432
 

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The factory sub replacement wasn't really that difficult. You need to just take a little time and remove a decent amount of parts - including pulling the rear lower seat out. It's just time consuming - about 2.5 hours start to finish. I did a sub replacement in my 4Runner Limited with third row seat - talk about swearing....

The Audiofrog sub does tighten up the bass and maybe adds a small amount of volume - it's a pretty efficient sub.... it is designed to replace the under seat factory sub's in BMW's - hard for me to say if it was worth $300. But I had made up my mind to replace all the drivers in the car.

I have the fader set one step to the rear and the system is still front sound stage focused. It compares with the stock speakers having the fader 3 steps to the rear. Which make some sense since the dash speakers are now about -10db as efficient.

I don't think I can ever get a truly balanced sound stage in this car. The rear door placement is terrible - the speakers are buried in the rear doors facing directly in the floor and front seat. In my 4Runner my sound stage is much more balanced as there are two 6.5" coax in the rear doors and two 6.5" coax in the rear hatch that project forward in to the truck. It would be nice if the Outback's system was designed that way.

The front door woofer on my cheaper multi-meter this morning 5.4 omhs:
View attachment 510429

The rear door coax speakers - crazy design I am not sure how any sound gets projected out past the cover:
View attachment 510430

I do have the Crutchfield installation guide which was was very helpful.
Thanks for adding that! Very helpful. I'd really like to replace my sub. I'm thinking if I go through all that work, I'll replace the driver and use the feed from the factory sub and run it into an amp (or deconstructed self powered sub) so I have some extra volume capacity and much needed control.
 

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Hmm, these CDT's look promising. I'm thinking the shouldn't leave much on the table from the 350 hz cutoff on the door speakers as compared to some. If I'm reading this thread correctly, we arn't getting much signal after 11K anyway. Thoughts on fitting these in the dash?
 

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Discussion Starter · #120 ·
Hmm, these CDT's look promising. I'm thinking the shouldn't leave much on the table from the 350 hz cutoff on the door speakers as compared to some. If I'm reading this thread correctly, we arn't getting much signal after 11K anyway. Thoughts on fitting these in the dash?
I'm about 99% sure the mounting depth is going to be an issue. If I remember correctly there's only about an inch and a quarter to play with before you hit the bottom of the carrier on the one side.
 
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