Achieving the 'boxer rumble'... axle-back vs cat-back?
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This is a discussion on Achieving the 'boxer rumble'... axle-back vs cat-back? within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hopefully I won't have to don a flame suit for this thread, lol, but I'd really like to enjoy the ...

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    Achieving the 'boxer rumble'... axle-back vs cat-back?

    Hopefully I won't have to don a flame suit for this thread, lol, but I'd really like to enjoy the music from the motor on my '14 hatch. The thing that I'm hung up on is whether going with an axle-back (while retaining the stock midpipe/resonator) or going with a cat-back system has any significant difference in overall sound quality, drone, and ability to tune the car in the future. I don't have any intention in modding my car to the point where I need to have the ecu reflashed... at least for now. I'd prefer something that has little to no drone, and doesn't sound like some fart-can piece o ****. Losing ground clearance with an aftermarket exhaust would be a downer too.

    Any experiences and opinions of using either setup would be greatly appreciated. Also, if there's any vendors that give ClubWRX members any kind of discount for buying the products they stock, don't hesitate to let me know. Thanks!

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    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Cat-back. You will regret an axle-back once you become infected with moditus. Infection is all but inevitable.
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    Yeah... pretty much figured that a cat-back would be more mod friendly. I'd imagine the cat-back resonator helps the exhaust note as well, but that's why I was asking. Does that affect the overall sound/drone delivered?

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    Registered User Rmurphy_22's Avatar
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    Go Catback

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    Don't be afraid to elaborate as to why I should (with the understanding that I'm aware that a cat-back is more mod friendly).

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    And still wanting to know if the vendors here offer discounts to members?

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    Registered User Ruh Roh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Down View Post
    And still wanting to know if the vendors here offer discounts to members?
    check out WTFtuning (vendor)
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    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    There's not much to actually elaborate on; catback vs. axleback. Catback will be better in the future if you start down the mod path. Usually they'll be full 3''.

    As far as sound, pretty much anything from a quality company will sound good. And loudness really depends on each individual case, not really a trend there. Unless the catback dosn't have a resonator in the midpipe, then yes loudness will almost always be greater...whether drone and rasp are greater I think still depends somewhat on the individual exhaust.

    When you start researching and looking around you'll find out which exhausts are more prone to rasp, which ones are quieter, louder, have lots of drone, etc etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruh Roh View Post
    check out WTFtuning (vendor)
    Will do, thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wreckingball man View Post
    There's not much to actually elaborate on; catback vs. axleback. Catback will be better in the future if you start down the mod path. Usually they'll be full 3''.

    As far as sound, pretty much anything from a quality company will sound good. And loudness really depends on each individual case, not really a trend there. Unless the catback dosn't have a resonator in the midpipe, then yes loudness will almost always be greater...whether drone and rasp are greater I think still depends somewhat on the individual exhaust.

    When you start researching and looking around you'll find out which exhausts are more prone to rasp, which ones are quieter, louder, have lots of drone, etc etc.
    I don't even know what to say... I can assure you that I have been researching and looking around though.

    Thanks anyway.

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    Registered User WRX-maniac's Avatar
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    A cat-back is the way to go. Like others said, once you decide to go stage 2, which is usually the first step people take when modding their wrx or sti, all you will really need is a downpipe and an accessport for the tune. Buy from pretty much any reputible exhaust manufacturer. Invidia, perrin, nameless are a few great companies out there, and thats just naming a few.

    However, a common mistake people make with our cars is thinking that the catback or axleback is what gives the wrx/sti's that "boxer rumble", when in reality it doesnt have much to do with it at all. The distinct sound that subaru's give out is mainly due to the exhaust manifold being unequal length opposed to equal length like on the naturally aspirated impreza's. A catback or axleback just releases that rumble due to the larger diameter in the pipe and different/louder muffler.
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    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Down View Post
    I don't even know what to say... I can assure you that I have been researching and looking around though.

    Thanks anyway.
    Why do you not know what to say? Where did I misunderstand you lol?

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    Registered User Crazyced's Avatar
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    Funny enough, I did the exact opposite. I first got the TurboXS axle-back. Then a couple of weeks later I ended up installing the TurboXS stealth-back along with it. Due to sale prices it ended up being cheaper that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WRX-maniac View Post
    A cat-back is the way to go. Like others said, once you decide to go stage 2, which is usually the first step people take when modding their wrx or sti, all you will really need is a downpipe and an accessport for the tune. Buy from pretty much any reputible exhaust manufacturer. Invidia, perrin, nameless are a few great companies out there, and thats just naming a few.

    However, a common mistake people make with our cars is thinking that the catback or axleback is what gives the wrx/sti's that "boxer rumble", when in reality it doesnt have much to do with it at all. The distinct sound that subaru's give out is mainly due to the exhaust manifold being unequal length opposed to equal length like on the naturally aspirated impreza's. A catback or axleback just releases that rumble due to the larger diameter in the pipe and different/louder muffler.
    If and when I decide to tune my car it will be at a point where the powertrain warranty is done or if I have an itch to tap into more power... which isn't a concern at this time. I do recall reading about the unequal/equal length of the exhaust manifold/header. Just want to accentuate the overall sound and keep the drone to a minimum (or non-existent).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazyced View Post
    Funny enough, I did the exact opposite. I first got the TurboXS axle-back. Then a couple of weeks later I ended up installing the TurboXS stealth-back along with it. Due to sale prices it ended up being cheaper that way.
    Did you notice any measurable difference in tone/volume after swapping the midpipe?

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