2009 WRX - Mounting Amps Under Front Seats & Other Random Stereo Questions
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This is a discussion on 2009 WRX - Mounting Amps Under Front Seats & Other Random Stereo Questions within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; Hey, I'm planning to upgrade the stereo in my base '09 WRX and will need to be able to fold ...

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    2009 WRX - Mounting Amps Under Front Seats & Other Random Stereo Questions

    Hey,

    I'm planning to upgrade the stereo in my base '09 WRX and will need to be able to fold down the seats occasionally for extra storage space, so back of the seats won't work for the amps. Has anyone successfully installed their amps beneath the front seats? If so, how did you mount them?

    I recall seeing one thread where someone mentioned that there are air vents there which could lead to overheating when the heat is turned on. Is this an issue on the 2009?

    Also, on the subject of amps... I was originally planning to use a 4 channel amp, bridge two channels to power the sub and use the other two channels to power the fronts and run the rears off a Kenwood DNX6140; however, in order to get 250-300 watts to the sub, I will need a stronger amp. Any danger of overpowering a pair of Focal Access 130 A1s with 125-150 watts? They are rated 6-50 watts, max of 100. I always thought underpowering speakers was more dangerous...

    Thanks!
    Evan

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    Registered User jamie007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanr View Post
    Hey,

    I'm planning to upgrade the stereo in my base '09 WRX and will need to be able to fold down the seats occasionally for extra storage space, so back of the seats won't work for the amps. Has anyone successfully installed their amps beneath the front seats? If so, how did you mount them?

    I recall seeing one thread where someone mentioned that there are air vents there which could lead to overheating when the heat is turned on. Is this an issue on the 2009?

    Also, on the subject of amps... I was originally planning to use a 4 channel amp, bridge two channels to power the sub and use the other two channels to power the fronts and run the rears off a Kenwood DNX6140; however, in order to get 250-300 watts to the sub, I will need a stronger amp. Any danger of overpowering a pair of Focal Access 130 A1s with 125-150 watts? They are rated 6-50 watts, max of 100. I always thought underpowering speakers was more dangerous...

    Thanks!
    Evan
    In my 2004 WRX and 2006 STI I had a amp under the passenger seat with no issues. And yes there is a vent under there, but never had an amp overheat, but then again I live in Vegas so when I do use heat I normally don't have it on the floor.

    I plan on putting an amp for a sub under my drivers seat and a the same amp from my old cars under the passenger seat of my 09. There is plenty of room under there for most amps and I don't forsee any problems. I did not do the install on my old cars but I will be doing this one myself. On my 06 STI the installer put a piece of 1/2" or 3/8" medite under the carpet between the amp and the floor. There was drywall screws going through the mounts on the amp, through the carpet, then through the medite into the floor of the car. As far as your amp setup goes, I'm not too sure about that, sounds kind of funky. I would use your 4 channel to run your door speakers and get a mono amp for the sub. I think the alpine amp I got was around $200 at best buy, and it works great. What I have is a 4 x 100 fosgate amp to run front and rear MB Quarts. And I have a Alpine 500W mono amp to run a 10" JL Sub. And yes underpowering speakers is worse then overpowering, which is actually a good thing if you have everything setup properly (not distorting them etc). So far I just replaced the stock HU for a clarion unit with a external Sirius brain. I probably won't be doing the rest of my install for a couple of weeks. I'm focusing on the handling of the car right now...
    Jamie
    2009 WRX Prem Hatch:
    Cobb stage II, Kartboy SS, SPT Catback, Cobb DP, WL Sways, Perrin/AVO Endlinks, Conti DWS

    Previous rides:
    99 Civic Si (RIP), 2004 WRX, 2006 STI Cobb stage II

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    Registered User Tek-Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanr View Post
    Hey,

    I'm planning to upgrade the stereo in my base '09 WRX and will need to be able to fold down the seats occasionally for extra storage space, so back of the seats won't work for the amps. Has anyone successfully installed their amps beneath the front seats? If so, how did you mount them?

    I recall seeing one thread where someone mentioned that there are air vents there which could lead to overheating when the heat is turned on. Is this an issue on the 2009?

    Also, on the subject of amps... I was originally planning to use a 4 channel amp, bridge two channels to power the sub and use the other two channels to power the fronts and run the rears off a Kenwood DNX6140; however, in order to get 250-300 watts to the sub, I will need a stronger amp. Any danger of overpowering a pair of Focal Access 130 A1s with 125-150 watts? They are rated 6-50 watts, max of 100. I always thought underpowering speakers was more dangerous...

    Thanks!
    Evan
    I have a single alpine pdx5 under my drivers seat. It's a 5 channel amp that runs fronts and rears, with a 5th mono channel to run my JL12w3. No problems with the install, and so far no heat issues on 90+ days. It also saves on the pain of doing a multi-amp install while still getting a pretty decent setup.

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    Thank you both for the info!

    It's nice to hear that the amp will be okay underneath the seat. I dislike the idea of having the amp screwed into the floor of the car though. Do you think it will be okay if it is just screwed through the carpet into medite/plastic?

    One amplifier would be ideal, and the Alpine PDX-5 looks like it fits the bill. I'm planning to run a JL10w3 in an Audio Integrations enclosure and using the other 4 channels to power some Focal Access speakers (130 A, 130 CA). Do you know if this amp is regulated?

    Are there other amps to consider with similar specs in this price range?

    Evan

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    Quote Originally Posted by evanr View Post
    Thank you both for the info!

    It's nice to hear that the amp will be okay underneath the seat. I dislike the idea of having the amp screwed into the floor of the car though. Do you think it will be okay if it is just screwed through the carpet into medite/plastic?

    One amplifier would be ideal, and the Alpine PDX-5 looks like it fits the bill. I'm planning to run a JL10w3 in an Audio Integrations enclosure and using the other 4 channels to power some Focal Access speakers (130 A, 130 CA). Do you know if this amp is regulated?

    Are there other amps to consider with similar specs in this price range?

    Evan
    Your welcome! That's what this site is all about!

    OK I just took another look at the medite and it is 3/4". I just realized how they had it installed. I noticed one side of the medite had velcro on it which must have attached to another piece of velcro on the metal floor of the car (there was no screw holes on that site of the board). Then they put the carpet over the medite then screwed the amp into it. Pretty slick! I was in such a hurry when I pulled everything I didn't even realize the screws didn't go all the way through. So no holes in the floor! My stereo was installed for 3 years this way without any issues. I'm guessing (hoping) it will work the same on my 09. If you try this before I do please post your results with some pics and I will do the same.
    Jamie
    2009 WRX Prem Hatch:
    Cobb stage II, Kartboy SS, SPT Catback, Cobb DP, WL Sways, Perrin/AVO Endlinks, Conti DWS

    Previous rides:
    99 Civic Si (RIP), 2004 WRX, 2006 STI Cobb stage II

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie007 View Post
    Your welcome! That's what this site is all about!

    OK I just took another look at the medite and it is 3/4". I just realized how they had it installed. I noticed one side of the medite had velcro on it which must have attached to another piece of velcro on the metal floor of the car (there was no screw holes on that site of the board). Then they put the carpet over the medite then screwed the amp into it. Pretty slick! I was in such a hurry when I pulled everything I didn't even realize the screws didn't go all the way through. So no holes in the floor! My stereo was installed for 3 years this way without any issues. I'm guessing (hoping) it will work the same on my 09. If you try this before I do please post your results with some pics and I will do the same.
    Sweet. Nice to know I don't have to damage the body of the car. I'm still piecing together my system. The longest wait will probably be the JDM Bezel for the DNX6140, since they appear to be on Summer vacation.

    Anyone have thoughts on the Alpine PDX-5 as compared to the Infinity Kappa Five (50W x 4 @ 4 ohms + 300W x 1 @ 2 ohms). Similarly spec'ed, but larger and a bit cheaper. Due to size constraints under the seat, I'm tempted to go with the Alpine. Thoughts?

    Even though I am not planning to install the gear myself, I am planning to ask the shop if I can watch/take pics. Once it's all done, I'll post them here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by evanr View Post
    Sweet. Nice to know I don't have to damage the body of the car. I'm still piecing together my system. The longest wait will probably be the JDM Bezel for the DNX6140, since they appear to be on Summer vacation.

    Anyone have thoughts on the Alpine PDX-5 as compared to the Infinity Kappa Five (50W x 4 @ 4 ohms + 300W x 1 @ 2 ohms). Similarly spec'ed, but larger and a bit cheaper. Due to size constraints under the seat, I'm tempted to go with the Alpine. Thoughts?

    Even though I am not planning to install the gear myself, I am planning to ask the shop if I can watch/take pics. Once it's all done, I'll post them here!
    I have no experience with either one of those, however the alpine mrp-m500 that I have is great. I had it mounted in my trunk in my old car, and even when it was 110+ degrees out, it never overheated and put out great power for my sub. Like you said the infinity might be too big, but the alpine is slightly taller at 2.5 inches. However the phosgate amp I had in my STi was almost 3 inches tall and it fit no problem. I would say go with the alpine. The alpine puts out more juice and they both have the same THD, but the inifinity does have a better range for "best freq response." If you really want the Infinity I would take out whatever seat you plan on putting it under and doing some measuring to see if it will fit.
    Jamie
    2009 WRX Prem Hatch:
    Cobb stage II, Kartboy SS, SPT Catback, Cobb DP, WL Sways, Perrin/AVO Endlinks, Conti DWS

    Previous rides:
    99 Civic Si (RIP), 2004 WRX, 2006 STI Cobb stage II

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie007 View Post
    I have no experience with either one of those, however the alpine mrp-m500 that I have is great. I had it mounted in my trunk in my old car, and even when it was 110+ degrees out, it never overheated and put out great power for my sub. Like you said the infinity might be too big, but the alpine is slightly taller at 2.5 inches. However the phosgate amp I had in my STi was almost 3 inches tall and it fit no problem. I would say go with the alpine. The alpine puts out more juice and they both have the same THD, but the inifinity does have a better range for "best freq response." If you really want the Infinity I would take out whatever seat you plan on putting it under and doing some measuring to see if it will fit.
    I climbed in back with a paper cut-out the same dimensions as the Alpine amp. Looks like it will fit. My only concern is the person in back accidentally kicking it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by evanr View Post
    I climbed in back with a paper cut-out the same dimensions as the Alpine amp. Looks like it will fit. My only concern is the person in back accidentally kicking it!
    I had mine under the seat for years, even with the RCA jacks towards the rear of the car and never had any problems.

    One thing I am concerned about now is that I just found out that under the drivers seat is the TPMS brain (Tire Pressure Monitoring System). And in this website I found it says: "do not place metal film or any metal parts under the driver's seat because this may effect the signal from the sensors." I'm worried now because I was going to put one amp under the drivers seat and one under the passenger seat...

    Anyone out there put an amp under the drivers seat on a 08+ WRX? Maybe it's Ok because the optional subaru sub/amp goes under the drivers seat?

    TPMS info: Subaru Tire Pressure Monitoring System operation
    Last edited by jamie007; 08-23-2009 at 01:28 PM.
    Jamie
    2009 WRX Prem Hatch:
    Cobb stage II, Kartboy SS, SPT Catback, Cobb DP, WL Sways, Perrin/AVO Endlinks, Conti DWS

    Previous rides:
    99 Civic Si (RIP), 2004 WRX, 2006 STI Cobb stage II

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie007 View Post
    I had mine under the seat for years, even with the RCA jacks towards the rear of the car and never had any problems.

    One thing I am concerned about now is that I just found out that under the drivers seat is the TPMS brain (Tire Pressure Monitoring System). And in this website I found it says: "do not place metal film or any metal parts under the driver's seat because this may effect the signal from the sensors." I'm worried now because I was going to put one amp under the drivers seat and one under the passenger seat...

    Anyone out there put an amp under the drivers seat on a 08+ WRX? Maybe it's Ok because the optional subaru sub/amp goes under the drivers seat?

    TPMS info: Subaru Tire Pressure Monitoring System operation
    Yikes. Know anything about the passenger side? For now, I'm only planning on having one amp for the sub, but would like the flexibility of adding a second, 4-channel amp under the driver's seat if needed later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evanr View Post
    Yikes. Know anything about the passenger side? For now, I'm only planning on having one amp for the sub, but would like the flexibility of adding a second, 4-channel amp under the driver's seat if needed later.
    I don't think there's anything under the passenger seat, but who knows? I'm gonna try to slip my amp under the drivers seat (unconnected) to make sure the metal doesn't interfere with the sensors. I'm planning on starting my install Labor day weekend. I just got my steering wheel controls dialed in with my Clarion deck, door speakers and amps are next. Are you planning on Dynamatting your car? I found some at Fry's for half price, I got like 20 Sqr feet for $85...I guess prices have dropped considerably over the last few months. Not sure if they are coming out with something new or what. I saw some even cheaper prices online.
    Jamie
    2009 WRX Prem Hatch:
    Cobb stage II, Kartboy SS, SPT Catback, Cobb DP, WL Sways, Perrin/AVO Endlinks, Conti DWS

    Previous rides:
    99 Civic Si (RIP), 2004 WRX, 2006 STI Cobb stage II

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie007 View Post
    I don't think there's anything under the passenger seat, but who knows? I'm gonna try to slip my amp under the drivers seat (unconnected) to make sure the metal doesn't interfere with the sensors. I'm planning on starting my install Labor day weekend. I just got my steering wheel controls dialed in with my Clarion deck, door speakers and amps are next. Are you planning on Dynamatting your car? I found some at Fry's for half price, I got like 20 Sqr feet for $85...I guess prices have dropped considerably over the last few months. Not sure if they are coming out with something new or what. I saw some even cheaper prices online.
    Sweet, can't wait to see your progress with the amp! If you don't mind, can you take/post a few pics of the install?

    I'll probably use dynamat; however, I'm planning on taking it in to the shop for the install (head unit with gps and bluetooth, jdm bezel, sub, enclosure, amp, speakers, new sail panels for tweeters), so it will probably come from there.

    BTW: I think I've settled on using the Alpine PDX-2.150 to power a 10W3 in an Audio Integrations enclosure with some not-too-costly component speakers up front.

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    Registered User needspeed's Avatar
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    Amps

    Is it possible to add amps on the OEM stock radio in the base 09's without replacing deck?
    What do you think the max wattage of stock speakers is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie007 View Post
    I don't think there's anything under the passenger seat, but who knows? I'm gonna try to slip my amp under the drivers seat (unconnected) to make sure the metal doesn't interfere with the sensors. I'm planning on starting my install Labor day weekend. I just got my steering wheel controls dialed in with my Clarion deck, door speakers and amps are next. Are you planning on Dynamatting your car? I found some at Fry's for half price, I got like 20 Sqr feet for $85...I guess prices have dropped considerably over the last few months. Not sure if they are coming out with something new or what. I saw some even cheaper prices online.
    Did you ever get your amp installed under the seat? Mine was placed underneath the passenger seat, only it was not secured to ANYTHING!

    When I asked them not to screw it into the metal, they just left it sorta floating around. Let me know how securing it goes, and I may be inclined to pull out a the passenger seat and bolt the amp down to a piece of wood/plastic. If you have pics from the install that would be sweet.

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    I guess none of you are aware that on all models the factory accessory amp and sub is mounted right under the drivers seat I knew this before I got my 09 with it. You should check out the install instructions and see how they hook up the mounting arm I believe it's with screws.

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