Subaru Outback Forums banner

201 - 220 of 223 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,337 Posts
Discussion Starter #201
Subaruonline parts.com says not compatible for vehicles with Eyesight for those Kicker tweeters. Wondering why they say that, is it because the fit requires minor modification? The Ohm rating should be the same.
Yes the kicker tweeters are not compatible only because the mounting holes are not the same as the OEM. Electrically it is compatible impedance and has the right connector.
 

·
Registered
2020 Onyx XT Autumn Green
Joined
·
62 Posts
Just grabbed a flashlight and looked down thru the windshield on my Onyx. No center speaker.
Anyone know if there is a way to add it to the Onyx with the Fosgate upgrade? Is there a reason to on this system?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,337 Posts
Discussion Starter #203
Just grabbed a flashlight and looked down thru the windshield on my Onyx. No center speaker.
Anyone know if there is a way to add it to the Onyx with the Fosgate upgrade? Is there a reason to on this system?
The Rockford Fosgate upgrade doesn't even come with upgraded tweeters. The base/premium/onyx/RF systems don't even have the wiring for a center channel, but in my opinion there's no need for a center channel.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
Joined
·
1,806 Posts
The Rockford Fosgate upgrade doesn't even come with upgraded tweeters. The base/premium/onyx/RF systems don't even have the wiring for a center channel, but in my opinion there's no need for a center channel.
Agreed. Add some good dash tweets in the corner and forget that center position. The center channel tends to be overbearing and robs separation in the sound field. I have it in the HK system and curse the center speaker daily. ( It's inventor should be shot!)
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback Onyx XT - Autumn Green - Navigation
Joined
·
9 Posts
Sharing some pictures of the difference between the AutoHarnessHouse ("AHH") wiring harness and the Metra 70-1761 & 71-1761 ("Metra") for anyone on here wondering what they need to order for a non-HK 2020. I'll take pictures of the actual harness in the car when I do my install within the next couple of weeks. Just a disclaimer that this information will only be useful for individuals looking to avoid splicing into their factory harness - If you are fine cutting into the factory harness you can avoid all of this and just make the connections to the speaker wires as needed.

For the 6 pin harness you can see the AHH has all 6 wires. The Metra 71-1761 has 5 wires, however, the 70-1761 only has 4. I believe the orange is either the illumination trigger or illumination dimming. That being said, you will either have to add a terminal on the 70-1761 OR splice into the factory harness for the orange wire. I still need to confirm what wires the factory 6 pin harness has but I'm planning on using the AHH here as it avoids splicing into the factory harness (would like to keep this intact for any warranty issues). I assume having an additional unused wire & terminal will not be an issue.

Metra harnesses on the bottom left and the AHH is on the right/top.
492226

You can see the open terminal on the right (Metra) and all 6 terminals on the left (AHH).
492227


The 10 pin harnesses are very similar. The AHH connects all 10 wires individually and provides leads for your remote turn on and ground wires. The 71-1761 Metra harness has all 10 wires individually, however, the 70-1761 only has 9 connections as it uses a jumper between the blue and blue/white wires. I'm not 100% sure if there are any differences between the blue and blue/white wires use so again I'm planning on using the AHH harness here. This means I won't have to use butt connectors on the non-speaker wires here which I see as one less thing that can go wrong. Using the AHH harnesses I should be able to wire my system with zero splicing of the factory harness.

Metra harness is on the left and AHH is on the right.
492228


Hopefully this helps anyone planning their DIY amp install while hoping to not splice into the factory harness. I'm still waiting on a couple of components to arrive before I do the install and write up.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback -Onyx XT -Magnetite grey
Joined
·
26 Posts
DIY amp install while hoping to not splice into the factory harness. I'm still waiting on a couple of components to arrive before I do the install and write up.
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. And, (ahem) a detailed shopping list. Just picked up a Kicker Key 200, Kicker DS69304s for the front, and CS674s for the rear.

Freely admit I'd favor not having to splice if at all possible, and realy don't want to shell out for the RFkit just to get a pre-built one. Completely admit, this thread has been a godsend, and was what convinced me to join the forum. Appreciated seeing how helpful everyone was.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback -Onyx XT -Magnetite grey
Joined
·
26 Posts
Just wanted to tag two PDFs. I plan to install the Kicker Key 200.4 to start, and possibly the Key 500.1 under seat.

The first is for the OEM Rockford amp install that will show Subaru's routing for the under-seat amp

Part # H630SAN000 RF Amp/Speaker kit

This second link is for the OEM CD player install. It has color photos that show in a bit better detail the dash, center console removal, as well as how to remove the shift knob. Found this a bit more clear to follow than the OEM amp install directions because of the photos.

Part # H621SAN000 Center console CD mount Kit

Figured it might be helpful for others, and myself a bit down the road.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback Onyx
Joined
·
70 Posts
Huge improvement with the Kicker OEM tweeters. Left side installed without too much trouble. However I could not get the passenger side aligned with washer, will have to give another try. But very nice improvement well worth the $100.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback Onyx XT - Autumn Green - Navigation
Joined
·
9 Posts
Install got delayed a bit for work reasons. I also started looking at running the 4 gauge power wire through the firewall. I was not a fan of how tight the main grommet is so I'm looking for alternatives. There is an AC condensation drain under the passenger side which some have used, however, it is not a huge opening and I wouldn't want my 4 gauge wire to choke off the drain. I'm going to attempt to run the wire through the grommet behind the driver side wheel where the trunk release wire is routed. Looks like this is a decent option for most subaru models. Open to other ideas if people have had success running the wire easily without drilling.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback -Onyx XT -Magnetite grey
Joined
·
26 Posts
I haven't had a chance to pop the hood and stare at routing yet. I'm only planning to route a 12g to start for the key 200.4. I have a 20 foot length of 9 conductor speed wire on the way, shrink tubes, the AHH harness and woven cable sleeving. My speakers, amp and power cable are arriving tomorrow, but my fast rings are still 10 days out. So I'm stalled for a little over a week myself.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback ONYX XT, Blue with upgrade package
Joined
·
10 Posts
I used Cruchfield's SpeakerCompare system with headphones to do a virtual audition of various speakers that fit the Onyx. SpeakerCompare™: Listen and Compare Speakers Online – Crutchfield

For the front doors I chose the Alpine R-S69.2 6x9 coaxials, Kenwood 1796PS for the rears. I am not specifically recommending these speakers. I am happy with them, but with so many choices you may find others that you like better. The tweeter I mentioned in the first post is unique in that it is plug and play and is decent. Had I known I would be using Kicker dash tweeters, I would have had a bias towards sticking with the Kicker brand.

For all 4 doors, there is a wiring harness adapter that lets you plug into the stock harness and then there's two leads that attach directly to the speaker tabs. It's Metra 72-8104 - fits perfect. These same harness adapters are also used for the Harman Kardon system, according to Crutchfield. I wrapped the hard plastic parts of the stock harness in foam since they were now able to move about, and secured them with duct tape so that they wouldn't rattle.

Crutchfield doesn't offer wiring harness adapters for the dash or center speakers.

Crutchfield also tells you which mounting adapters you need - and you will need something. Custom installs will make their own baffles, but for the easy DIY plastic adapters are fine. Just need to use thin adhesive foam to isolate and seal the plastic adapters to the doors, and the speakers to the adapters. I used 1/4" thick open cell foam from a hardware store. It's not the same as 'speaker gasketing tape' but it's what I had available.

I looked at some youtube videos for the specifics of the 2020 Legacy front door panel removal, and the 2020 Outback rear door panel removal. Don't ask me why, but whoever made the front door video didn't do the rear doors and vice versa. Nothing surprising. Each door has one screw behind the door latch, and one screw in the arm rest grip.

With screws removed, the door panels pulled off without any complication. There are wiring and door handle cables that need to be detached. Tip for the door handle cables - just disconnect the cables - don't unscrew and take out the door handle assembly. Another tip - when putting the cables back, don't forget to snap the back of the cables into their respective mounts. I forgot to do that on my first door. doh!

Next, with the door panels removed, I firmly attached the new speakers to their respective mounting adapters, with foam to isolate them. I didn't want the plastic adapters to vibrate against the speaker baskets. I then applied foam to the back of the plastic adapters, so they would just screw onto the speaker locations.

After that, fish the wiring adapter through the small hole in the adapters and connect them to the speaker terminals.

Then just screw the new speakers to where the old ones were, attach the harness, test the sound, then put the panel back. Easy peasy... well there is one complication I don't know if others will experience. The front door panels just unhook like normal, but the rear door panels are more stubborn to get off, and for whatever reason, the part that touches the glass can partially come off during removal, and you'll have to carefully put it back in place before putting the panels back on. That happened on both of my rear doors.

No drilling, wire cutting, soldering. I didn't do dynamat or other more advanced car stereo installation techniques.

I would be curious if the Subaru RF audio upgrade with front speakers and amp, combined with the Kicker tweeters would be a great combo. If your Rockford Fosgate Audio system is lacking in definition and clarity, try the Kicker tweeters.
Great post! I was wondering since before I purchased my 2020 XT what the system differences were. You’ve sold me on the tweeters....
Is the upgrade speakers and amp I see mentioned at the end just fronts? Subaru wants a lot for that set! I would think something aftermarket could be put together that would be better for around the same money. I’m thinking in this direction....
And a sub. Interested in possible placement and what it might add.
iI did my Trans Am with 6 speakers, 2 amps and a sub years ago. System still sounds good. And did a 6 speaker setup on my Harley. 2 amps under the fairing. No sub. It kicks and can be heard in the wind but has a ‘hole’ in the spektrum.
now I’m just into listening at average volume levels so not too sure how much I want to invest in the XT. Where my sweet spot is at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,337 Posts
Discussion Starter #213
Great post! I was wondering since before I purchased my 2020 XT what the system differences were. You’ve sold me on the tweeters....
Is the upgrade speakers and amp I see mentioned at the end just fronts? Subaru wants a lot for that set! I would think something aftermarket could be put together that would be better for around the same money. I’m thinking in this direction....
And a sub. Interested in possible placement and what it might add.
iI did my Trans Am with 6 speakers, 2 amps and a sub years ago. System still sounds good. And did a 6 speaker setup on my Harley. 2 amps under the fairing. No sub. It kicks and can be heard in the wind but has a ‘hole’ in the spektrum.
now I’m just into listening at average volume levels so not too sure how much I want to invest in the XT. Where my sweet spot is at this point.
After carefully reading every post in this thread over time, these are my tentative conclusions:

Disclaimer: Everyone hears a little differently and trying to draw conclusions based on the experiences of others for audio gear should be taken with a grain of salt. The head unit also sounds very different depending on your source. I mainly listen to Pandora streaming.

I think the stock system is designed to be inoffensive to very casual background listening but the more you listen to it the worse it sounds. It uses the cheapest possible speakers and relies on DSP and heavy equalization to make sounds that seemingly spread across the spectrum but it's artificial. It reminds me of how portable bluetooth speakers sound. They may sound large compared to their size but it's relying on electronic trickery and cannot compare to real bookshelf speakers. Critically, although not tested, my impression is that none of the speaker wires coming from the head unit are able to give a clean unaltered signal, so even with the ideal aftermarket speaker, it will continue to play a processed signal.

The least expensive and easiest to install first step would be those kicker tweeters in combination with everything else being stock. For anyone who has never installed a speaker in a car before, this is easy to do. The grille pops out, it's two screws, and literally plug and play. It's fool proof as long as you compensate for the difference in mounting screw span - I used a one inch fender washer on one side and it's been fine - never rattled or anything. The only thing that has caught some people by surprise is that the distance between the tweeter and the windshield is small so you can't use a regular screwdriver. A regular stubby screwdriver is too long. Offset screw drivers will work, or I used super-short stubby screwdrivers, or those miniature ratcheting screwdriver kits, something like:


If you do this, you might need to adjust the treble on the head unit to tame the stronger tweeter, or you may like it just the way it gives much greater definition and clarity to the treble.

After listening with just the tweeters in the stock system, then you can plan next steps. Maybe it's good enough?

For me I did not like the way the bass was bloated and heavily equalized, seeming to be overpowered with some sources and absent with others, definitely not a normal signal. Midbass "punch" was non-existent. This is where it sounds like those small bluetooth speakers that try to sound large.

The RF upgrade is pricey for just two speakers and an amp, and the installation requires you to take apart the dash. That's why I didn't do it, but it's possible that this would give a better result than just putting in aftermarket door speakers. The RF upgrade doesn't come with tweeters and the front speakers supplied are just full-range units, not even coaxials. If I'm not mistaken the RF front speakers are 7x10 speakers and not 6x9, but the information I don't have is how much the EQ/DSP with the RF is different than the stock. If the RF amp gives a cleaner less processed signal, it would be the ticket in my opinion. Unfortunately I don't know how it sounds, and documentation shows that it has different EQ settings based on what can loosely be called jumpers, adapting it to the acoustics of different cars (e.g. legacy vs outback).

I chose to just change the front and rear door speakers with aftermarket. Although I used Crutchfield's virtual listening room system, because of the heavy DSP/EQ coming from the head unit, no matter what speakers you get, they will not sound how you expect. If I had to do it all over again I might have chosen different speakers - not saying I regret my choices, but because of the signal processing you are to some extent flying blind in your choices. If you already have the kicker tweeters then you may not need your front door speakers to have great highs - a terrific 6x9 midbass unit might be a better choice but this is just speculation. If I were forced to change my door speakers again I would go that route but it would be a gamble. Coincidentally this is what the RF system might provide - a good punchy midbass unit, but I haven't heard it. :unsure: Checking back at Crutchfield I can't find a 6x9 midbass that would fit. If you do virtual listening, a speaker that sounds punchy but lacks crystalline highs might be a better match for the kicker tweeters and the Subaru DSP.

The rear door speakers did not need to be changed. I don't regret changing mine, but I don't think they made an appreciable difference in the front row. Again if I were to do it again, I might focus on getting a punchy high efficiency midbass.

I haven't found the need to install a sub, but others seem to have installed powered subs under the front passenger seat. If you get an aftermarket amp the Kicker Key 200.4 seems like a really good idea on paper but I haven't heard it. The question is whether the amp can "undo" the signal processing of the head unit so that your speakers can work properly.

I wish there were a clear recipe for success but while I am satisfied with the choices I made and the sound that I'm getting (after tweaking settings) there's a sense that I'm fighting the car's DSP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
The intent of this thread is for people to contribute what they've done to improve their non-HK sound systems. First up - these amazing tweeters!

Subaru sells a set of Kicker tweeters H631SFJ101 for a wide range of Subaru models, and the Toyota community has embraced it as an easy plug-and-play audio enhancement since they share the same 4-pin physical connectors, as long as it's not the JBL/Harman system, which uses a different 2-pin connector.


The stock tweeter is so light that it feels completely empty, as if it's just a piece of plastic and nothing more. It doesn't even have a detectable magnet. The Kicker tweeter has a "cup" and easily weighs 4x (or more) than the stock one.

View attachment 479523 View attachment 479524 View attachment 479525

As you may have noticed, the Kicker tweeter mounts have the screw holes closer together than the stock tweeters, by about 1/4". While this makes it impossible to use the original screw holes perfectly, it's close enough that a small 1" fender washer will let you use one of the original screws to clamp, and the other to directly secure the Kicker tweeter.

View attachment 479526

How much better is the sound? Surprisingly better. I had already changed out all 4 of the door speakers and was fairly happy with it the way it was, but after putting these Kickers in, it's night and day. These tweeters improve vocals, detail, imaging. It improves the sound in every way that a tweeter can improve sound. Is it the world's best tweeter? Of course not, but it's a decent tweeter, unlike the stock thing. Suddenly the system sounds "right". In the same way that a good subwoofer can transform the overall sound of a system, apparently a decent tweeter can do the same. My source was Pandora with high quality audio setting.

Although I believe that these are titanium tweeters, they do not sound harsh or peaky to my ears. Turned the treble to -1 for best results. There are threads all over the internet about these tweeters and I'm with the 90% who report that it's a good upgrade to a stock system. It's currently the #7 best selling tweeter on all of Amazon.

Despite glowing reviews from people who have swapped paper tweeters for these, this is the first time to my knowledge that anyone has swapped one of the plastic tweeters like our Onyx's have, for the Kickers. I did not expect this significant of a transformation.

I did not try these tweeters alone with the stock door speakers, nor with the Rockford Fosgate upgrade - but I do not hesitate in recommending them as an easy inexpensive upgrade for either system. Installation took 5 minutes on each side.
Thanks for the info, I am going to do a complete Kicker Audio Upgrade.....All 6 KS speakers (6x9, 6.75 and 2.75 (dash) with a Key 200, (audio control) LC7i, DX125.2 and a COMP 12 150w/300w. in my XT ONYX.

The Kicker KS mid range dash speakers are only 50 or 60 and it cuts the ear scream from some harsh tweeters...Although I've heard good things about the Kicker's you got.

One word of advice, from my research...When adding an amp, because the two fronts are in parallel, you maybe changing them to 2 ohm without realizing it. therefore your amp will pull more power and could over heat if it's not two ohm stable. So, I will be wiring either the dash speakers straight from the head unit and then the other 4 will be coming from the Key amp. I haven't decided which is easier, running new wires to the dash speakers (seems like a short distance, or trying to get two 16 awg wires through the door boot? We'll see.

Either way, I am excited to get this done and I am hoping to find a decent place to run the 4awg power wire (would use 8awg, but might want to get a better amp down the road) through the firewall......Hmmm, well see, once I have my audio engineer guy take everything apart to decide where to run the wire....Any ideas, from anyone, would be helpful....
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback Onyx
Joined
·
70 Posts
Finally figured-out the Kicker tweeter alignment really tough angle. You have to install the second screw with washer into the stock screw mount, do not try to install in the Kicker mount hole, rather the washer sits on top of it and that stock screw mount will hold it in place nicely won't budge loose.

And got the Rockford Fosgate amp installed afterwards by dealer. Noticed a modest improvement. It's expensive including labor but I like keeping everything clean and OEM. No splicing or cutting wire harnesses. Marginally worth the expense but overall good enough for me.

Now I'm going to get my own speakers instead of the RF kit 6 x 9 speakers in front. I probably will go ahead and get the rear speakers later as the last step to complete the whole upgrade using Metra adapters via Crutchfield. That way the whole set-up is clean didn't have to hack into any wires. And i'll pass on Sub, I think the mid-bass boost from RF amp kit is sufficient as is.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback -Onyx XT -Magnetite grey
Joined
·
26 Posts
Got all my parts in. Going to be working on building my radio harness out today. Has anyone confirmed if it's the front speaker or rear speaker channels used for signal source to a subwoofer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,337 Posts
Discussion Starter #219
I'm not sure but a test tone with fader/balance could determine if there's some sort of low frequency cut.
 

·
Registered
2020 Outback -Onyx XT -Magnetite grey
Joined
·
26 Posts
I might just end up using a chunk of 9 conductor speed wire as a pig tail instead of the 5 conductor I was thinking of using. Its only 4 more leads to solder. Plan is to wire the 4 chanel amp in, with future proof wiring if i feel i need a sub. I can cross that bridge when I come to it.
 
201 - 220 of 223 Posts
Top