Better Sound System?
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This is a discussion on Better Sound System? within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Now that I have a 2008 WRX with the Premium package, I'm disapointed in one thing: the sound system. I've ...

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    Better Sound System?

    Now that I have a 2008 WRX with the Premium package, I'm disapointed in one thing: the sound system. I've lived with a good sound system (the Monsoon package on a VW Passat) so long that I've taken it for granted. What is the best way to improve the sound - I'm not looking for a huge system that shakes the neighborhood, just something that sounds good to the driver. Any recommendation?

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    Registered User mrroadkill's Avatar
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    I was wondering if you have counted your speakers because I have the same lousy system with 10 speakers but I can only count 6.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrroadkill View Post
    I was wondering if you have counted your speakers because I have the same lousy system with 10 speakers but I can only count 6.
    I haven't counted, but there may be two or more behind a single panel. I had a good offer on my previous vehicle ($3000 above that offered by the dealer, $2000 above that offered by CarMax). If the deal goes through, I certainly need to spend something on improving the sound system.

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    I always liked JBL Audio products.

    Get one 10-12" sub in the trunk (the 4 15" subs shaking your car and every car within a 20' radius is way too teenager), and high-end speakers all around.
    2005 WRX STi (Mods | Virtual Dyno)

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    Registered User bigd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idipskoalmint View Post
    I always liked JBL Audio products.

    Get one 10-12" sub in the trunk (the 4 15" subs shaking your car and every car within a 20' radius is way too teenager), and high-end speakers all around.
    Agreed. If you decide to upgrade, a single sub (or pair of 8's or 10's) and some decent front speakers should be sufficent. If they're all driven by an amp you will be very pleased by the improvement in sound quality. Many amps nowadays can be driven by speaker-level outputs so you can drive amps without having an aftermarket system.

    How much do you want, a simple "sounds better than stock", "crazy loud chest crushing SPL" or "ultra high quality exreme SQ"...?
    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigd View Post
    How much do you want, a simple "sounds better than stock", "crazy loud chest crushing SPL" or "ultra high quality exreme SQ"...?
    Sounds as good as the stock premium (Monsoon) in the Passat that I'm selling or sounds as good as the stock premium (JBL) in my wife's 3006 RAV4.

    Do you have any specific recommendations? Just go to Circuit City and say "install better speakers" or use the search tool on Crutchfields and randomly select applicable speakers?

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffp25
    Do you have any specific recommendations? Just go to Circuit City and say "install better speakers" or use the search tool on Crutchfields and randomly select applicable speakers?
    I would go to a place that deals strictly with car audio, personally - they'll be able to advise you the best way (to me, CC is the place you go to get your car shaking with bass).
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    Registered User bigd's Avatar
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    Definitely go to a specialty car audio shop. Tell them what you want and have them show you some options. A lot of shops also offer free installation and they can test fit speakers on the spot to guarantee they'll fit.
    From what I see you have a few options...

    1: Moderate improvement...
    You may be satisfied with a simple head unit upgrade that uses internal power for the speakers. The stock speakers can't handle much power, but they will sound better if being driven by a more adjustable and more powerful head unit. Upgrading the front speakers as well will improve the overall sound delivery, cleaner highs, richer mids, and tighter lows.

    2: Better improvement...
    Get an aftermarket amp that accepts speaker-level inputs and a better set of front speakers. This would allow you to keep the OEM head unit but still get more power to the speakers. More power doesn't necessarily mean "louder", but it can definitely mean cleaner sound. A 2ch amp will allow you to drive the front speakers, which will definitely sound better than stock.

    3: Substantial improvement...
    If you want a big improvement in sound quality, you could purchase a better head unit with more adjustability, get a 3 or 4ch amp, upgrade the front speakers and get a small sub (8" should suffice). If you want to drive the rear speakers, do so from the head unit, otherwise leave them out for better sound staging. This will keep the music clear and precise for the front stage, if you run rear speakers its great for guests, but it can destroy the sound imaging. Good coaxial or component front speakers and a small sub will make a wonderful improvement. (Coaxial means woofer and tweeter are mounted together, component = separate midwoofer and tweeter)

    4: The sky is the limit, I'll be picking up my 08 STi within the next few weeks... I'm going for ultra sound quality and will be spending only about $1100-1200 and installing it myself. Much beyond that and you get into insanely high volume and gobs of power. I'm installing one 4ch and one 2ch amp. The 4ch will actively control the midwoofers and tweeters, and the 2ch will control the two 10" subs in a small box. I'm using all Pioneer Premier stuff: DEH-P880PRS head unit, PRS-D4100F and PRS-D2100T amps, and TS-C720PRS front speakers. Subs are JL 10W3v2 D4's because I had them sitting around already. The amps are going under the seats, and the 2 cubic foot box will be the only giveaway, but it will be hidden in the trunk.

    When you're making your speaker choices, make sure you listen to them first. A good set of $75 speakers may sound worlds better than a $150 set of speakers to your ears.. Unless you're really into audio, you may not notice much improvement beyond that price range. You can also shop around locally to find a set that you really like and then just purchase them online.

    www.onlinecarstereo.com
    www.sonicelectronix.com
    are two of the best online shops I've found.

    ANY audio equipment (OEM or aftermarket) can sound like ass if its not tuned correctly, so after its installed listen to a bunch of different types of music to adjust how it sounds until you're happy.
    Last edited by bigd; 01-01-2008 at 02:35 PM.
    Dave
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    Registered User Pat'swrx's Avatar
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    Okay so I was doing sound upgrades to my car and found out a lot of things.

    1) a 15" sub is way too much for the little car. I would suggest either a single 12 or two 10's depending on if base is your concern.

    2) If you do that you will need a better deck so yeah...and amp, wiring kit etc.

    3) I would definitely replace the speakers in the doors with anything pretty much. Just find something that fits your music preference

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigd View Post
    Definitely go to a specialty car audio shop. Tell them what you want and have them show you some options. A lot of shops also offer free installation and they can test fit speakers on the spot to guarantee they'll fit.

    2: Better improvement...
    Get an aftermarket amp that accepts speaker-level inputs and a better set of front speakers. This would allow you to keep the OEM head unit but still get more power to the speakers. More power doesn't necessarily mean "louder", but it can definitely mean cleaner sound. A 2ch amp will allow you to drive the front speakers, which will definitely sound better than stock.

    www.onlinecarstereo.com
    www.sonicelectronix.com
    are two of the best online shops I've found.
    That would probably be the best option because I don't want to lose the steering wheel controls. I'll have to find a good local sound shop AND the time to deal with it.

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    Registered User bigd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffp25 View Post
    That would probably be the best option because I don't want to lose the steering wheel controls. I'll have to find a good local sound shop AND the time to deal with it.
    Actually PAC makes steering wheel adapters for most popular head units. Most of them use a standard plug that goes into the back of the head unit, and you only need to attach a few wires (+, -, and swc signal). Program it and you're done. This is what I'm doing with my Alpine CDA-9887 head unit, I'm using the SWI-JACK adapter.

    PAC steering wheel adapters

    You can get them from crutchfield and sonic electronix and a bajillion other stores. They look kinda crazy with all the wires, but its only to cover all the possible manufacturers. Its really simple for subarus apparently. If you want to wait, I'll be installing mine (and taking lots-o-pics) in 6 weeks or so when my car gets here.
    Dave
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    Registered User mrroadkill's Avatar
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    Someone over at caraudio.com has 2008 WRX Worklog for his stereo install

    http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=274173

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