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2018 Outback 3.6R
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just recently acquired the 2018 OB 3.6R and really like it so far. I have noticed many folks have expressed on many threads that the HK system is aweful. I do not really find it to be all that bad for my needs/wants - so far. However, I wouldn't mind adding a simple amp and single sub to give it just a little more low end for music. Has anyone successfully done this with the integrated HK system? I read on two threads that there is a proprietary signal structure within the HK system. I don't mind using the high inputs if it can be tapped from one of the three sub speakers or using the 600mv preouts which don't exist, lol.:grin2:
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Limited, Wilderness Green; 2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, Crimson Red Pearl
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198 Posts
Just recently acquired the 2018 OB 3.6R and really like it so far. I have noticed many folks have expressed on many threads that the HK system is aweful. I do not really find it to be all that bad for my needs/wants - so far. However, I wouldn't mind adding a simple amp and single sub to give it just a little more low end for music. Has anyone successfully done this with the integrated HK system? I read on two threads that there is a proprietary signal structure within the HK system. I don't mind using the high inputs if it can be tapped from one of the three sub speakers or using the 600mv preouts which don't exist, lol.:grin2:
This may sound like a stupid question, but are you aware that your car has an 8 channel amplifier and a 7 X 10 inch subwoofer in the right rear quarter? Maybe you can play with the EQ and Sound Position controls and achieve what you desire.
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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4,017 Posts
I've had 3 Gen 4 OB's with the HK system. All three had a different type equalizer. The '13 had the "best" 7 band eqalizer of the bunch. None were able to get any horsepower out of the sub. Adjusting low end up always ended up boomy/muddy. The thump always comes from the front door speakers.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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971 Posts
I really cranked my system for the first time yesterday, and I have to say I was unimpressed with the low end. Most sound systems with a subwoofer have a separate level adjustment for the sub. My Audi with B&O did not, and it's low end was also less than stellar. My Passat with the Fender system and my Tiguan with Dynaudio was better.

While I acknowledge I was BT streaming music on my phone, and it's possible my iPhone wasn't configured for the best audio output, I was still expecting better from the HK system.
 

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2018 3.6R Touring
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367 Posts
In the for what it's worth category, be sure to let your sound systems get broken in well - and then come back to try again with your EQ adjustments - before writing them off or making drastic changes. I haven't paid much attention to the system in my wife's Outback yet, but with 5000 miles on the clock the one in my Grand Cherokee sounds entirely different, and better, than it did brand new.

Of course it could be my ears breaking in rather than the systems.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
This may sound like a stupid question, but are you aware that your car has an 8 channel amplifier and a 7 X 10 inch subwoofer in the right rear quarter? Maybe you can play with the EQ and Sound Position controls and achieve what you desire.
I am aware and don't think it to be a stupid question. I have played with the 3 band EQ and the positioning controls. Am surprised the three 7x10's do not have more low end, although it is not all that bad. Just for my personal preference - I like to hear the lower notes in my music a little better. If the the audio interface had the same EQ that the 2017 Forester limited had - it may be possible to dial it in. It is really sweet when you get an EQ that lets you adjust 40, 60 and 100HZ for fine tuning the bass. Can't remember exactly what the Forester EQ bands were but there were several in the bass region. Some songs are just too overpowered by 60-100 range and when you only have bass, mid and treble - you can't possibly dial that in properly. If they came out with a software upgrade - it probably would be achievable. I removed my sub and amp from my Forester when I traded it in, so I already have something to install if someone had the same wiring harness or even better one for the HK amp so that I wouldn't have to tear the dash apart. My Alpine amp has a low pass crossover that I can use to keep just the lower frequency spectrum of bass on that sub alone. Also, want to put the remote gain control back in somewhere, too - very convenient.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6 Limited
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16 Posts
I personally wasn't satisfied with the sound system in my '18 and made quite a few modifications. Got a new processor, amp, front component speakers and a sub...Was still able to keep the HK head unit. Left the rear fill speakers alone. Have to say I am very happy with the change.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I personally wasn't satisfied with the sound system in my '18 and made quite a few modifications. Got a new processor, amp, front component speakers and a sub...Was still able to keep the HK head unit. Left the rear fill speakers alone. Have to say I am very happy with the change.
Awesome! Where did you pull the audio input signal to your amp from? Maybe a simple diagram on the system? would be very interested to see! Thx.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Bought a stinger line output converter. Just going to unplug the rear sub and connect that to the converter. It will be nice to run simple RCA's over to the Alpine amp. Will try to post pics when I start this little project.
 
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