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The RF amplifier installed under the passenger seat so that space is already occupied. That is why I'm interested in putting a sub under the driver seat instead. I also tend to like to lower my seat as far as possible from years of driving sportier cars so I am a bit concerned about vertical clearance and making sure that I dont accidentally trash the sub when the seat gets adjusted by myself or anyone else who might drive it such as a friend or a Subaru service technician.
Height is the biggest challenge under the front seats. I measured like 2 3/4" available under the passenger seat. I haven’t measured under the drivers side.

FWIW, I ran a $150 8" Blaupunkt self powered slim sub in my 07 ' Frontier for a while. It actually rivaled the sound quality and output of the custom 10" Pioneer shallow sub that eventually replaced it. I don't think they make that Blaupunkt model anymore but Crutchfield has a good selection and plenty of reviews. As I recall, there are a few other threads around where these are discussed.

ps. Silver, don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing the sound quality of all these systems, just the ability to know whats there. My HK system has been sounding pretty good (especially after 504) but it is what it is. I'm not sure I could just upgrade the speakers with sucess.
 

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I think the RF + Kicker could be much better than just going with aftermarket speakers in the doors. I do hope that someone with the RF tests this and reports back. I was hesitant because of the complicated installation and the mixed reviews on the result. With the addition of the Kicker dash tweeters it could be a home-run and worth the effort. Installing the tweeters is trivial.
Thanks Silver Onyx for this thread. I had RF upgrade installed before I picked up my new Green Onyx. I just finished installing the Subie Kicker tweeters with fender washers and it sounds great. Don't know if I'll even bother with rear speakers upgrades. Thnx again
 

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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! Is it easy to take off the plastic speaker covers on the dash? Any tips?
 

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I did my budget friendly speaker upgrade on my 2020 Premium this weekend. I put Polk DB 652's in all 4 doors, ordered from Crutchfield with their mount kits. No issues, painless install. Doors were easier to open up than my '16 Impreza. I've had this model speaker in a few cars now, they sound great for the price and pair well with stock headunits. I also put the Subaru Kicker tweeters in the dash, big improvement over the stock ones. Total cost was around $245 for all of it, and is a substantial improvement. Might consider an amp and signal processor down the line, but for now I'm quite pleased.
I have used the same speaker setup in a few of my other Subarus as well. I just installed the same speaker deal that you did today. I can definitely tell an improvement, but I feel like my ears are going to bleed. The highs are just way too high. I feel like the head unit severely limits how loud I can turn the knob. At max level of 38, the highs are loud, but everything else isn't as loud as I'd like it. It almost sounds TOO quiet, if that makes sense?

What settings are you running on the EQ and the various sound assists to dial it in?
 

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I have used the same speaker setup in a few of my other Subarus as well. I just installed the same speaker deal that you did today. I can definitely tell an improvement, but I feel like my ears are going to bleed. The highs are just way too high. I feel like the head unit severely limits how loud I can turn the knob. At max level of 38, the highs are loud, but everything else isn't as loud as I'd like it. It almost sounds TOO quiet, if that makes sense?

What settings are you running on the EQ and the various sound assists to dial it in?
If your running it at 38 and still feel it's not loud enough, you need to finish the lob and install a quality amp. I've run Polk DB's in my old Taco, they wanted 50W RMS to sound full at high output IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #168
What settings are you running on the EQ and the various sound assists to dial it in?
I'm using different speakers in the doors, and the kicker tweeters in the dash, and these are my settings:

Bass +1, Mid 0, Treble -3

Sound Restorer Off
Beat Enhancer Low
Bass Enhancer Off
 

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Just installed the Rockville SS8P powered sub under the driver's seat. It fits perfectly and there's still plenty of toe room for back seaters. My '17 OB Premium has the middle grade factory radio w/o HK, and the aftermarket door and dash speakers are connected to a Pioneer GM-D1004 mini amp.
I know Rockville is not a big name but the reviews are so good that I had to try it. It's exactly what I needed to round out the bass. Deep clear lows with no vibrating hardware. It won't satisfy youngsters but I'm 72 and it sounds great to me. Bought it 2nd hand for $70.
Oh yeah,....my Dept of Domestic Tranquility HATES it!
 

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I'm using different speakers in the doors, and the kicker tweeters in the dash, and these are my settings:

Bass +1, Mid 0, Treble -3

Sound Restorer Off
Beat Enhancer Low
Bass Enhancer Off
What does Sound Restore do?
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT
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Report on RF+kicker tweeters (Onyx trim):

I had the RF setup installed on my Onyx 3 weeks ago, and it provided a solid upgrade over the stock sound. The bass had less distortion, and the treble didn't sound as shrill. The sound stage also felt a lot more immersive. But something was missing- the higher frequency details were missing or being drowned out, and the equalizer couldn't compensate enough.

Today I installed the tweeters. Yep, treble/high freq notes are much more prominent now. Smaller high freq details (think bells, triangle, picalos sort of thing) are audible (but not over exaggerated). Mids seems to have gotten a boost as well. Highly recommended as a quick and easy 15 min diy project.
 

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Discussion Starter #173
Report on RF+kicker tweeters (Onyx trim):
It sounds like the RF+kicker tweeters is a winning combo. I ended up going with other aftermarket speakers instead and the result is satisfactory but I can only imagine that the RF combo is better yet.

There's nothing preventing me from still obtaining the RF kit if I want to. Hmm..

If you scroll down to page 5 of this document you'll see that the RF system has 4 different equalization curves that you can select. It would be interesting to experiment.

 

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I'm using different speakers in the doors, and the kicker tweeters in the dash, and these are my settings:

Bass +1, Mid 0, Treble -3

Sound Restorer Off
Beat Enhancer Low
Bass Enhancer Off
Do you have the Virtual Stage Enhancer on?
 

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Report on RF+kicker tweeters (Onyx trim):

I had the RF setup installed on my Onyx 3 weeks ago, and it provided a solid upgrade over the stock sound. The bass had less distortion, and the treble didn't sound as shrill. The sound stage also felt a lot more immersive. But something was missing- the higher frequency details were missing or being drowned out, and the equalizer couldn't compensate enough.

Today I installed the tweeters. Yep, treble/high freq notes are much more prominent now. Smaller high freq details (think bells, triangle, picalos sort of thing) are audible (but not over exaggerated). Mids seems to have gotten a boost as well. Highly recommended as a quick and easy 15 min diy project.
Do you have more information on the tweeters 15 min diy project. Looking to do the same as I have the RF upgrade
 

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I have used the same speaker setup in a few of my other Subarus as well. I just installed the same speaker deal that you did today. I can definitely tell an improvement, but I feel like my ears are going to bleed. The highs are just way too high. I feel like the head unit severely limits how loud I can turn the knob. At max level of 38, the highs are loud, but everything else isn't as loud as I'd like it. It almost sounds TOO quiet, if that makes sense?

What settings are you running on the EQ and the various sound assists to dial it in?
The speakers take awhile to break in I noticed, the highs get better after a week or two. Also, the latest software update I found helped out the sound quality. I'd do the update before diving too deep in the EQ settings. My current EQ settings are Bass:+4, Mid: 0, High: 0. I had the Highs at -2 prior to the software update.

Sound Restorer Off (I found this really made the highs nasty)
Beat Enhancer Off
Bass Enhancer Off
 

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It sounds like the RF+kicker tweeters is a winning combo. I ended up going with other aftermarket speakers instead and the result is satisfactory but I can only imagine that the RF combo is better yet.

There's nothing preventing me from still obtaining the RF kit if I want to. Hmm..

If you scroll down to page 5 of this document you'll see that the RF system has 4 different equalization curves that you can select. It would be interesting to experiment.

The total cost of the RF upgrade was $620 including labor for me. The only reason I went for it was because I had a $500 Subaru parts coupon to use. Otherwise, I definitely don't think the RF upgrade is worth $620- It's just not worth the cost IMO.

The fact that I've had to spend $620 + $90 for the tweeters to get a $35K car to "acceptable" sound quality kind of pisses me off. Even after all the upgrades, I think the sound is slightly worse than a $200 Vizio sound bar system, and much worse than even a $200 set of headphones; granted some of that is just due to the acoustic challenges inside a car. Subaru really dropped the ball in this department.
 

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I'm using different speakers in the doors, and the kicker tweeters in the dash, and these are my settings:

Bass +1, Mid 0, Treble -3

Sound Restorer Off
Beat Enhancer Low
Bass Enhancer Off

The speakers take awhile to break in I noticed, the highs get better after a week or two. Also, the latest software update I found helped out the sound quality. I'd do the update before diving too deep in the EQ settings. My current EQ settings are Bass:+4, Mid: 0, High: 0. I had the Highs at -2 prior to the software update.

Sound Restorer Off (I found this really made the highs nasty)
Beat Enhancer Off
Bass Enhancer Off
Thank you both for the suggestions. I went ahead and completed the 504 update myself, and I can tell that there is a subtle difference to the quality. I feel like no matter what I do with switching the settings around, the highs make my ears want to bleed. I will try both of your setups to see how it goes. I was hoping that the speaker upgrade would be enough to satisfy me, so I am still crossing fingers that after they break in and I get them dialed in just right - we will be good!
 
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