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This is a discussion on Stereo question within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; There are some great solutions for you if you want to keep your head unit stock to keep all the ...

  1. #16
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    There are some great solutions for you if you want to keep your head unit stock to keep all the features it came with and still have great sound. Some products will sound better than an aftermarket deck!

    Just amping your speakers AND using a good product like JL Cleansweep, or AudioContol LCx will give you a HUGE change in audio quality. I recommend changing your speakers too if you're going this route.

    Check out your local stereo shops, not big box stores like best buy.


    Just installing new speakers wont help if the signal from the OEM deck sucks. There is just not enough power from it to make it sound good.

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  3. #17
    Registered User mm05897's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    The bottom line is...Cars are just not good platforms for "good" audio...especially if you are an audiophile. The acoustics suck, period. Whomever thought that putting speakers down by your ankles in a door, must have been sitting upside-down in a car. Its retarded.

    But it doesn't matter what kind of speakers you have, crappy stockers made of paper or supreme MB Quart-type expensive quality speakers...if the initial signal sucks, your sound quality is going to suck. A good signal is required to make good sound.

    As for headunits...doesn't matter who produces them, whether they are a quality brand or not. They are mass produced just to throw in. Not saying that they are made like crap, but they just don't have the same thought put into them as something aftermarket. The everyday soccer mom and commuter usuaully don't worry about exactly how the stereo sounds...just it DOES have a stereo in case they want to listen to a little music here or there. 90% of the people out there, aren't like us. That being said my stock Bose system from my 350z was terrible...and that little cabin shoulda been blowing sound out like crazy...and it started with a ****ty head unit. Speakers behind the seats??? Serious?? Retarded.

    If you are going to do it, do it right, the first time. There are many good head units out there. Many that will even look great with a stock interior...its just a matter of shopping around.


    So do you think that a new (aftermarket) head unit will make a big difference with my scenario (Post No. 13)? If yes, any suggestions on brands that are generally good? Thanks.

  4. #18
    Registered User wrxsti007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MizzouDevil View Post
    I was just curious about the manufacturer of the stereo since it sounds so cheap!! I miss the 10 speaker Bose system in my Maxima, but I'll sacrifice that for the fun of driving the REX! I don't think I'll change the head unit since it has Blueetooth and iPod interface that I really like. Probably install new speakers and add a subwoofer to compensate for the lack of sound. In the meantime, I'll have to settle for the nice exhaust sound while driving!!
    I would get an definite get an multi channel amp and maybe a sub & amp if you're still unhappy with the results.

  5. #19
    Registered User MizzouDevil's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I think the next purchase will be the subwoofer and amp from Subaru. I downloaded the 2011 WRX brochure and there is a new subwoofer with a 100 watt amp and looks like it mounts in the trunk on the driver side. It will be available in January.

    Here is a picture of the subwoofer/amp.
    '11 Red WRX Premium
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  6. #20
    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm05897 View Post
    So do you think that a new (aftermarket) head unit will make a big difference with my scenario (Post No. 13)? If yes, any suggestions on brands that are generally good? Thanks.
    I do think a new head unit will make a large improvement. As I mentioned, aftermarket headunits are supposed to provide much better signal to the speakers...clearer and more powerful, which is optimum for the drivers. Limits clipping and fuzziness when you turn up the volume to higher levels.

    Its kinda like our cars engines: You can have a gorgeous built engine with forged internals, a gorgeous new GT35R turbo, all the injectors and pretty new top of the line FMIC and potential for 11 second quarter miles on 400+ whp....but if you don't have a proper ECU and tune to control all the goodies, then what good is it all?

    Any of the reputable brands are good: Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, Eclipse, Clarion, etc.
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  7. #21
    Registered User liquidoxygen22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MizzouDevil View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. I think the next purchase will be the subwoofer and amp from Subaru. I downloaded the 2011 WRX brochure and there is a new subwoofer with a 100 watt amp and looks like it mounts in the trunk on the driver side. It will be available in January.

    Here is a picture of the subwoofer/amp.
    Not going to lie, im real excited about this. Its like Subaru knew exactly what i wanted and built it.

  8. #22
    Registered User Mad Mau's Avatar
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    So does anybody have any info on the sound of the stereo in the Nav System. It's still only 100w, but has 10 speakers.

    Same crappy sound as the base system or what?

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    I'm also concerned about the sound quality of the stereo, but at the same time don't want to do something too expensive (i.e. changing the head unit) as I like the add-on features (bluetooth & ipod, etc) and I understand that cars are not the best place for music.

    Can anyone recommend some options?

    Thank you!

  10. #24
    Registered User mm05897's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msharp View Post
    I'm also concerned about the sound quality of the stereo, but at the same time don't want to do something too expensive (i.e. changing the head unit) as I like the add-on features (bluetooth & ipod, etc) and I understand that cars are not the best place for music.

    Can anyone recommend some options?

    Thank you!

    I would consider replacing those factory speakers all the way around. For the 2011 WRX base model, you'll need 6 inch component speakers for the front doors, and 6 inch coaxial speakers for the rear doors.

  11. #25
    Registered User mm05897's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    I do think a new head unit will make a large improvement. As I mentioned, aftermarket headunits are supposed to provide much better signal to the speakers...clearer and more powerful, which is optimum for the drivers. Limits clipping and fuzziness when you turn up the volume to higher levels.

    Its kinda like our cars engines: You can have a gorgeous built engine with forged internals, a gorgeous new GT35R turbo, all the injectors and pretty new top of the line FMIC and potential for 11 second quarter miles on 400+ whp....but if you don't have a proper ECU and tune to control all the goodies, then what good is it all?

    Any of the reputable brands are good: Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, Eclipse, Clarion, etc.

    Thanks for your input, Mikie13. I have decided to go with the new head unit, probably a Kenwood Excelon.

  12. #26
    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm05897 View Post
    I would consider replacing those factory speakers all the way around. For the 2011 WRX base model, you'll need 6 inch component speakers for the front doors, and 6 inch coaxial speakers for the rear doors.
    If you are dead set on not changing the head unit, do this, and add an amplifier. Possibly look into wiring external equalizers as well since you can adjust the sound within the signal to compensate for a poorer quality signal ...though I haven't heard of any really being used in forever.

    Best bet though is to change the head unit. I would give it a couple months, and definite talk to some professionals (Ma and Pa small shops are the best) and see if there are any head units that come out that can work with internal bluetooth or Ipod capabilities. Maybe even call up Crutchfield and ask, as I have heard their customer service is excellent.
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  13. #27
    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm05897 View Post
    Thanks for your input, Mikie13. I have decided to go with the new head unit, probably a Kenwood Excelon.
    Awesome! I've always liked Kenwood HUs.
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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  14. #28
    Registered User mm05897's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    Awesome! I've always liked Kenwood HUs.

    Are you familiar with JL CleanSweeps? Do you think this would improve the sound as well as a new head unit? I already have replaced all of the factory speakers with Alpines, threw in a JL 10W3 sub, and a JL 6 channel amp. It sounds much better, but still not like it should. Stereo shops are saying to go with the new head unit, but my car stereo enthusiast buddy is saying to go with the CleanSweep.

  15. #29
    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm05897 View Post
    Are you familiar with JL CleanSweeps? Do you think this would improve the sound as well as a new head unit? I already have replaced all of the factory speakers with Alpines, threw in a JL 10W3 sub, and a JL 6 channel amp. It sounds much better, but still not like it should. Stereo shops are saying to go with the new head unit, but my car stereo enthusiast buddy is saying to go with the CleanSweep.
    It would definitely help but won't be as good as a high quality head unit. If youre using speaker level inputs from your head unit to the amp, the output voltage is very low, maybe only 250millivolts, and the signal resistance through the speaker wires is pretty high, so you lose a lot of signal. A good head unit is puting out usually at least 3-5 Volts, and in some cases as high as 8 in some Eclipse head units and maybe others. Plus a quality set of RCA cables has much lower resistance so more of that signal is getting to the amp. If you're serious about getting the best sound you can, a new head unit is the only way to go.

  16. #30
    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd92677 View Post
    It would definitely help but won't be as good as a high quality head unit. If youre using speaker level inputs from your head unit to the amp, the output voltage is very low, maybe only 250millivolts, and the signal resistance through the speaker wires is pretty high, so you lose a lot of signal. A good head unit is puting out usually at least 3-5 Volts, and in some cases as high as 8 in some Eclipse head units and maybe others. Plus a quality set of RCA cables has much lower resistance so more of that signal is getting to the amp. If you're serious about getting the best sound you can, a new head unit is the only way to go.
    Hit the nail on the head.

    I was doing some reading up on the Cleansweep, and in theory it seems like its a great tool for improvement, but won't equal that of a headunit.

    It looks like it works by adjusting line voltage... similar to how an equalizer would work as I mentioned before.
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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