Stereo advice
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This is a discussion on Stereo advice within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I recently purchased a '03 WRX wagon with the stock stereo. I'm looking to upgrade to some better stereo equipment. ...

  1. #1
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    Stereo advice

    I recently purchased a '03 WRX wagon with the stock stereo. I'm looking to upgrade to some better stereo equipment. I don't need anything crazy, I just want something that sounds somewhat better.

    I would also like, if possible, to keep the headunit because I don't want to lose the 6-disc changer.

    Should I try installing a subwoofer first? Like the factory sub? What about the upgraded speakers?

    Can anyone offer any advice? I don't want to spend a ton of money either...but who does?

    Thanks,
    Boomboom15

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  3. #2
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    An aftermarket deck will likely double your power output while giving you tuning and expansion.

    I don't care for the factory sub. Not worth the labor or $. And remember this is only for the lows

    You might want to try a local audio shop if you haven't done anything before to go over your options.

    If you like the look and use of the stock player an amp is the only real way to go with speaker upgrades. You can get a 5ch amp and put all the speakers plus a sub box (which you could remove for space).

    it all comes down to the $ and labor in the end.

  4. #3
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    dont buy the factory sub. Its a waste of money. My advice if you want to keep the stock HU, is replace the door speakers first. Put some 5 1/4's components in the front. Best brands are Focal, MB Quart.. maybe boston accoustics (not sure). Infinity is also a good brand.. pretty inexpensive also.


    THe problem with keeping your stock stereo is you dont have RCA outputs so you need to run everything highpass which is pretty ghetto IMHO. You will loose sound quailty and such. If you dont care too much about sound quailty then dont worry about it. If you jsut want a Sub and could care less about the speakers inside the car and want to keep the stock HU ( )... Get a JL w3 and some amp that will push atleast 200 rms. I wouldnt buy a sony. Kenwoods are farily decent for the price. The best would be PPI, Rockford or JL.

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    I tried to keep the original head unit and hook-up on amp to power 2 10" subs. I don't know if it was my head unit, but I tried to run the high inputs to the amp and the sound sucked. I even tried another amp and had the same problem. I finally broke down and bought a pioneer head unit because I have never had problems using the low inputs (rca's) when installing amps. Works well

  6. #5
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    I did exactly what coyote did, but I ended up changing the door /rear deck (now) speakers. If you are worried about the 6 disc changer, get a head unit that plays mp3's or xm radio (i have both) You will never have to listen to dj's again!!!
    Press any key to continue........Where's the any key?

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    Registered User Ibizan's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat as boomboom. I just ordered my 04 WRX and really don't have much need for the oem stereo. I've also been overseas for 6 years and will be moving back to the States next month so I really haven't kept up with the market trends. I'm looking for something that at least plays mp3s and xm radio.

    If anyone can offer suggestions or offer advice about what I should look for in a decent system, that would be great. TIA
    Last edited by Ibizan; 05-12-2003 at 12:15 AM.
    I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it. So I said "Implants?"

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    Originally posted by Ibizan
    I'm in the same boat as boomboom. I just ordered my 04 WRX and really don't have much need for the oem stereo. I've also been overseas for 6 years and will be moving back to the States next month so I really haven't kept up with the market trends. I'm looking for something that at least plays mp3s and xm radio.

    If anyone can offer suggestions or offer advice about what I should look for in a decent system, that would be great. TIA
    Get an alpine. Good quailty, supports XM directly and will play mp3s for around 300-400 price range. They make a very nice product.

  9. #8
    Registered User Ibizan's Avatar
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    Has anyone heard about the removable hard drive sytems for car audio? I've been looking at the one released by Rockford called the Omnifi (http://www.omnifimedia.com/products/...roductId=12541. It's been getting great reviews.

    There's another system from PhatBox but I haven't been able to figure out if it's compatible with the Subaru oem stereo.
    Last edited by Ibizan; 05-12-2003 at 04:24 AM.
    I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it. So I said "Implants?"

  10. #9
    Registered User Lightning's Avatar
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    not to step on too many toes, but really - have a clue what you're talking about before spouting off. you can absolutely amplify the stock deck, if you want to. you use something called a line level converter, and it will work just fine. will it be as good as an aftermarket (higher quality) HU? no, but that's due more to the processors in the HU than anything. as for naming brands and saying 'this is the best, that's the best,' that's a completely unqualified opinion, nothing more. you personally may feel that way, but that doesn't make it 'the best.' there is no 'best' in car audio. go to a store and listen to the stuff. talk to someone in a shop who REALLY knows what they're talking about.

    in reference to hard drives, phatbox is out there, kenwood has their 'keg' model, and alpine is due out anytime with an in dash, single DIN harddrive which will be compatible with their Ai-Net HU's. that's a good thing, and if you want to know more about it, feel free to ask me.
    s e t h
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    Registered User Ibizan's Avatar
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    in reference to hard drives, phatbox is out there, kenwood has their 'keg' model, and alpine is due out anytime with an in dash, single DIN harddrive which will be compatible with their Ai-Net HU's. that's a good thing, and if you want to know more about it, feel free to ask me.
    Thanks Seth, I received an email from PhatNoise customer support saying that their PhatBox is not currently supported by Subaru. They're working on it down the road (pardon the pun). PhatBox is compatible with aftermarket Sony and Traffic Pro head units.

    The Kenwood Keg system uses the PhatNoise Music Manager PC software so if you want to keep your OEM head unit, you would need to buy an RF modulator that has Sirius satellite and a port to work with the Keg. The cost for the Keg and the adaptor would be around $800.

    I read about the Alpine 16gb system you mentioned (model HDA-5460). Do you know what components it would take to make it compatible with the Subaru OEM system, or would I need to remove anything? The information I found suggested a price around $800.

    The Rockford Omnifi system uses a removable 20gb hard drive that docks into your PC. It's due out in June and comes with wireless access so you could simply transfer your songs to your car without having to remove the hard drive (I think the range is 200 meters from your computer). The expected price is around $600 and is due for release next month.

    The removable hard drive systems really appeal to me, especially since I'm able to download my music for free. I read an article last night that reported many of the leading car audio manufacturers are heading in this direction. I also hate wasting time burning mp3s to CDs, converting them, storing the CDs in my car, etc.

    Has anyone else looked into these systems?
    Last edited by Ibizan; 05-12-2003 at 07:06 PM.
    I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it. So I said "Implants?"

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