Started a full up stereo replacement in my 2011 WRX and thought I'd share it here. The stock system was so poor in every aspect, and completely beyond redemption, that I decided to just gut the entire thing. It had horrible tonality, poor dynamic range, no imaging or sound stage whatsoever, and anemic bass response. I started a build thread over at DIY Mobile Audio (a great place to learn if you're serious about sound quality), where I talked about at first using the factory locations for a moderately sized midbass/midrange driver at the bottom of the door and the tweeter in the sail panel, but after researching Augmented Wideband setups and hearing a few incredible sounding cars from members at DIYMA, I decided to try this approach.
More info on AW: The Augmented Wideband Approach to Car-Fi: What, Why, and How
The basics behind the approach is to use a "wideband" driver that can hand lower midrange frequencies and generally extend to the 12kHz-15kHz range, essentially eliminating the need for a tweeter. Some augment with a tweeter, ending up with a 3-way install, but after listening to the AW setup, I've nixed the need for a tweeter as they sound detailed and crisp without one. The idea is that the wideband driver, generally a 2"-3" cone, reproduces the frequencies that contain nearly all the information in music. Vocals, percussion, and most instruments fall in this range. They are installed at dash level and then only supplemented with a midbass for some punch in kick drums and lower midrange (male vocals, cello, etc), and a subwoofer for the fun stuff.
- Factory HU (for now, until either an Android HU releases or a Double DIN with good Android integration, like many iPod integrated HU's).
- JBL MS-8 Digital Signal Processor. Interfaces with the factory HU, levels the frequency response from that signal (similar to JL Clean Sweep), and then the fun stuff begins. You place a set of included headphones on, that have microphones in each ear. It runs an auto calibration that requires you look straight ahead, then at the driver's side mirror, then the passenger's side mirror, as it automatically time aligns all drivers and levels frequency response. You can repeat it for other seating positions, to ensure passengers don't get left out. The result is stunning, and a stellar technological achievement on the part of Harman International.
- Massive Audio NX5 - 120w x 4 RMS Class AB for the front stage, 800w x 1 Class D for the sub. All in a small package that fits under the drivers seat. Yes, please!
- Dayton RS180 7" midbass in fabricated MDF rings in the factory door locations
- Tang Band W3-1364SA Wide band 3" Bamboo Cone drivers. The stars of the show
Let the install begin!