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I would like to leave the stock stereo unit in the car and change the speakers. Has anyone done this, ie is it worth it? If so, are there any specific speaker recommendations that will replace the current speaker w/out too much hassle. Also, i'm not a bass monger, so it's not so important for me. Or should i just replace both the stereo and speakers? How is the MacIntosh Subaru stereo?
Any suggestions welcomed.

best, paul.
 

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I would suggest replacing the speakers first and then see how that goes. If it still doesn't sound right for you then maybe a new headunit with MP3 capability.

As for actually replacing the speakers, check out this LINK
 

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Paul--

i'm a fan of avoiding cutting sheetmetal if possible. you probably can avoid it if you make spacer rings.

look at iaperformance.com....they make adaptors for spkrs in Imprezas and have a great gallery with fotos of installs of stereo, amp, component spkrs. i got a set and am very happy for the very reas price. i don't know if they make one for the Legacy-OB but the Impreza ones would probably work; ask em. you could replicate reasonably easily if not. absent spacer rings, you'll find spkr choices are VERY limited due to sevl items, rear clearance to window when fully down being one. look at Crutchfield web site for info on what fits.

as far as $ and time strategy, i agree with Chris:
better door spkrs 1st, possibly add tweeters in stock door locations at same time;

then amp (either get one with spkr level inputs or use level converters from Scosche or audiolink to convert stock stereo outputs to preamp-level signal for amplifier input), abt 30-40wRMsx4 channels. fits under the pass seat unless you have power seats.

you'll find this will give you excellent sound for as little as $200, or less if you shop ebay agggressively. also, i don't agree that it's as easy to fry your system as guy in link thinks.
 

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Did you purchase your speakers yet?

I just went through the same process, and would be happy to answer any questions on product selection and/or installation.

Eventually, I'll post a write-up complete with photos so others can benefit from my experience.
 

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even before the full write up, love to hear what equipment you went with, where you put your amp (i was told by dealer not rm under passenger seat b/c of tensioners for seat belt), etc.
 

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Quick summary:

Vehicle = 2004 Legacy Outback Wagon, base model with base sound system

* Replaced head unit (Sony Mobile ES XRC-620, circa 1995, recycled from my last car)
* Installed 3-way electronic crossover / sound processor under driver's seat (Sony Mobile ES UD-50, circa 1995, recycled from my last car)
* Installed front & rear amplifiers (Soundstream D-100 & D-60, circa 1987, recycled from my last car), and crossovers (2) for front speakers (separates) under front passenger seat
* Placed Kenwood wOOx amplified subwoofer on floor behind driver's seat (3 cables unplug quickly to make room for a passenger when necessary)
* Installed 10 disk CD changer (Sony Xplod CDX-757 MX) in spare tire wheel well
* Installed Alpine Type X 6.5" separates in front and rear doors (front tweeters installed on sail panels (OEM location), and only used mid-bass speakers in rear - did not install tweeters because I don't like hearing high frequencies from behind)

Went through **** with two different installers
Learned a valuable trick to eliminate rattle/buzz from door panels
Best surprise was the wOOx - perfectly adequate for my musical taste, though I just hear - don't feel the bass
Although it sounds great, if I had it to do all over again, I'd go all OEM upgrades and settle for less sound precision to avoid the installation nightmares
 

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nice system. wish they still made Mobile ES stuff.

Rgombine, what car do you have? your dealer may be full of it, or perhaps trying to sell you the Sub factory stuff...?? i have a HUGE, 5 channel, 650ish watt RMS MTX amp under pass seat....works fine, enough room for air circulation, doesn't affect seat travel, adjustable from outside car, even space left under seat for other stuff.

still using factory front end via line level converters, happy with compromise there even at high volume. i finally ended up with MBQuart separate components in all 4 doors, a/d/s tweeters on A-pillars just above dash level, altec Lansing tweeters on B-pillars above head level, and a Rockford Fosgate dual voice coil sub in a pickup truck box just behind rear seat back. after having to turn the tone controls to ADD bass and treble most of my life, now i find i have to ATTENUATE bass and treble. 46 years old, going on 17....

"Although it sounds great, if I had it to do all over again, I'd go all OEM upgrades and settle for less sound precision to avoid the installation nightmares"

i think this at times. then i go for long trip with it cranked and realize how much i like being able to put a band or a symphony orchestra in back seat. on mine, what was the real pain to install was routing the heavier 12 ga spkr wire from amp through the protective "bellows" protector into front doors. i finally figured out how to make it easy, tho, ask me via post or PM if you're looking at doing this job.
 

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Thanks for the responses.

I have a 2005 OBXT Ltd w/ subwoofer under the driver's seat. I actually don't think it sounds bad, although the JL components I had in my old car sounded better.

When I went to have them put the little sub in at the dealer, for various reasons I thought it would be better under the passenger seat. That's when I was told it wouldn't fit -- and the thing isn't that big!

I have to imagine the factory headunit doesn't have much in the way of real power, and so I was thinking of putting an amp in, but I'd rather not have to trip over it in the wagon cargo area

My current plan is just to put my JL's back in and see how it sounds, then take it from there.

Any one else done much with their 2005?
 

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I put Infinity Kappas in my 97 OBW, with a stock later AM/MF/CD/Cassette/Weather radio. It was easy and made a big improvement. An amplifier would have been nice but mounting choices weren't great in a wagon.
 

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I replaced the stock speakers in my 05 OBXT with Sony XS-V1635X in the rear doors and Sony XS-V1335X in the front doors.

I'll be real honest. I was expecting a decent improvement in sound, or at least a noticeable difference. I didn't get it. The Sony's don't sound "bad", they just don't sound "good". They are easily a match for the stock speakers, but that's not saying much. For your $89 or $99, you should get better sound.

If I had it to do over again, I would do it with component speakers and spend the PITA time to make the install look/sound good.
 

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Random said:
I replaced the stock speakers in my 05 OBXT with Sony XS-V1635X in the rear doors and Sony XS-V1335X in the front doors.

I'll be real honest. I was expecting a decent improvement in sound, or at least a noticeable difference. I didn't get it. The Sony's don't sound "bad", they just don't sound "good". They are easily a match for the stock speakers, but that's not saying much. For your $89 or $99, you should get better sound.

If I had it to do over again, I would do it with component speakers and spend the PITA time to make the install look/sound good.
Sony car audio products should be avoided. stick to their robot dogs and TVs. my friend that worked in car audio in college says "they're called xplod for a reason." he said they have more sony goods returned than the other brands they carry.

for that kind of money you can get some infinity or Polks maybe even some low end boston acoustics and be impressed.
 

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I have to say, my experience has not been much different than Random's. I replaced the door speakers on my '97 OB with some JBL's expecting to find some POS radio shack cones, but instead I found quality pioneer 2-ways and didn't really notice much of a sound improvement after spending $200 on new speakers...guh.

At the same time, I also ripped the car down to bare metal & installed $200 worth of sound insulation. It took me about 16 hours of work and only got a barely perceptable improvement in sound dampening.

Anymore, these cars are fairly well set up from the factory. I know they still leave something to be desired, but you're going to have to spend a whole lot of dough to get a big sound improvement over stock. Probably the best bang for your buck is a custom enclosure for a quality sub + amp.
 
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