Hello I just bought a 2011 WRX. Its awesome! - Page 2
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This is a discussion on Hello I just bought a 2011 WRX. Its awesome! within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Sam, what sub & amp are you using?...

  1. #16
    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    Sam, what sub & amp are you using?
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    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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  3. #17
    Registered User Dramlin's Avatar
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    It seems this thread is going back and forth between what is wrong with the stock sound system (Head unit or speakers). To add some clarification for the OP, I performed weeks of forums research before finally changing my system 2 weeks ago.

    The general consensus is that the head unit is absolutely terrible (sound quality wise), and the speakers are between mediocre and decent. If you are looking at the biggest sound quality bump for the money, change the head unit first (or get a clean sweep+amp ). If you change the speakers first, it will be a noticible sound upgrade, but it will still not sound right. The head unit is overall the biggest issue.

    If you are planning on changing your head unit, and want to retain your steering wheel controls, you will need an Axxess ASWC adapter. You will also need a wiring harness that includes the SWC wires in order to make it work. A caution is that the 'Metra' and 'Schosche' wiring harnesses do NOT contain the SWC wires, so if you go with those you will have to cut your factory wires to make it work. To avoid that I would highly reccomend that you purchase your wiring harness from AE64.com . That website is run by a very nice individual on these and the NASOIC forums. It may be worth your time to purchase the Axxess ASWC from him as well since he will ensure the module is updated with the latest firmware.

    I replaced my stock head unit with a pioneer AVH-P4300dvd a few weeks back, and the sound quality jumped dramatically (it looks nice too). The high and mid's are good now, and the lows are acceptable for not having a subwoofer. I plan on adding a sub down the line to round out the sound, and to take the lows away from the speakers, but for me the stock speakers sound decent enough to keep.
    Last edited by Dramlin; 09-14-2011 at 11:40 AM.

  4. #18
    U.S. Combat Veteran (3ID) Stu_Gotti's Avatar
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    Good info...
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  5. #19
    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage-wrx View Post
    Sam, what sub & amp are you using?
    Running a Diamond D1 10" sub in an Audio Integrations fiberglass enclosure, powered by the Class D fifth channel in the Massive Audio NX5 under the driver's seat. Extremely impressed with the sound, especially given how unobtrusive the enclosure and underseat amp is to the interior!

  6. #20
    Registered User Sharkdiver's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Wow thanks for the responses. Glad to see this forum is so alive.

    First I want to say I'm glad someone else brought it up but the door panels or something rattle. I also have a rattle coming from the back deck (behind the rear seats. I have a 4 door btw) Anyone have a fix for this?

    Next question. Are there RCA outputs on the stock head unit? Those of you that have installed an amp in a 2011 4 door, what do I need to do. I'd want to put a single 10' in the back if possible.

  7. #21
    Registered User G8toWRXDave's Avatar
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    I also have the rattle in the back deck, havent done any research on it yet though.

    Its safe to assume you will never find RCA outputs on a factory deck. Though it could be possible. There are no RCA outputs on the back of our factory deck.

    I also plan on a single 10" sub in the back. I will be using the audio integrations fiberglass enclosure. But i have an aftermarket head unit so I have RCA outs. You will need either a Line out converter, to convert the high level speaker signal to RCA, then connect the RCA to your amp. Or if your amp will accept a high level input, you can connect whichever speaker output you choose and connect that directly to your amp. where you decide to get your signal from is up to you.
    2011 WRX Limited - Dark Grey Metallic
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  8. #22
    Registered User brent3687's Avatar
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    I've noticed a lot of people saying that the stock head unit is the problem for poor quality in the Impreza's sound system Does anyone have the Subaru navigation LCD head unit? Is it any better? I was thinking of getting that when I ordered my WRX but I'm having second thoughts because of all the negative feedback.

  9. #23
    Registered User G8toWRXDave's Avatar
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    How much does the factory nav cost? How much is a similar aftermarket headunit?

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    2011 WRX Limited - Dark Grey Metallic
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    [Cobb Heatshield] [Kartboy SS] [Weathertech Floorliners] [Hardwired V1 w/Remote Display] [Complete Aftermarket Audio System] [Lighted WRX fender badges]

  10. #24
    Registered User brent3687's Avatar
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    The factory navigation & satellite radio cost $2000

  11. #25
    Registered User twister8008's Avatar
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    Can someone elaborate on the two screws to adjust the 8 inch sub mounted under the drivers seat? I don't see them. How do you adjust them? Also, those that claim that the head unit needs to be replaced... How do you get the blue tooth and steering wheel controls to work?
    Yellow lights mean go faster!!!

  12. #26
    Registered User G8toWRXDave's Avatar
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    I just installed an alpine INA-W910 myself, with satellite radio. I have all the same factory features, plus hd radio. Retained all steering wheel controls, ipod, usb, have more aux in/out options and better tunability. All for under $1500

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
    2011 WRX Limited - Dark Grey Metallic
    [Cobb stage 2 93+ SF Intake] [Invidia Catted DP] [SMY Gauge Cluster w/Boost and Volt Gauges] [Monkeybone Racing Heater Vent Gauge Panel w/Oil Pressure and Temp Gauges]
    [Cobb Heatshield] [Kartboy SS] [Weathertech Floorliners] [Hardwired V1 w/Remote Display] [Complete Aftermarket Audio System] [Lighted WRX fender badges]

  13. #27
    Registered User G8toWRXDave's Avatar
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    I don't have a factory subwoofer, sorry can't help you there.

    My alpine unit has bluetooth built in. Just have to run the alpine mic. To get the steering wheel controls to work, get the metra axxess ASWC. You also need a 20 pin harness from "ae64 dot com" to make it easy. Lots of good info there I suggest anyone looking into a better audio solution reads his site thoroughly.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
    2011 WRX Limited - Dark Grey Metallic
    [Cobb stage 2 93+ SF Intake] [Invidia Catted DP] [SMY Gauge Cluster w/Boost and Volt Gauges] [Monkeybone Racing Heater Vent Gauge Panel w/Oil Pressure and Temp Gauges]
    [Cobb Heatshield] [Kartboy SS] [Weathertech Floorliners] [Hardwired V1 w/Remote Display] [Complete Aftermarket Audio System] [Lighted WRX fender badges]

  14. #28
    Registered User Dramlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twister8008 View Post
    Also, those that claim that the head unit needs to be replaced... How do you get the blue tooth and steering wheel controls to work?
    You will need a steering wheel adapter to maintain functionality of the SWC controls. There are two brands/options available that I know of, but I can only speak for the Metra Axxess ASWC adapter. Here is some elaboration. During the installation of your aftermarket head unit you will be connecting some of the Metra ASWC wires to your car and new Head Units wires. The Metra comes with a 3.5mm male headphone jack that plugs into the back of your new head unit, generally in the "Wired Remote" port. For 2011 WRX's, you will plug that 3.5mm jack into the head unit, and start the car. The adapter will then automatically detect the car's steering wheel controls, auto-detect the head unit's capability of using those controls, and automatically map the steering wheel buttons to work with your head unit. In all the process takes about 20 seconds to program. As long as your head unit has blue tooth built in, the adapter will likely auto assign those bluetooth buttons correctly. If not, you can also manually program the bluetooth buttons to your head unit as long as your head unit supports the functions you need (every head unit is different).

    Lastly, as stated above, to install the ASWC adapter you will either need to cut into your car's wires, or use a pre-made wiring harness that has the SWC wires attached. The only way to get a wiring harness with the SWC wires is to either make it yourself, or purchase it from AE64.com.

  15. #29
    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent3687 View Post
    I've noticed a lot of people saying that the stock head unit is the problem for poor quality in the Impreza's sound system Does anyone have the Subaru navigation LCD head unit? Is it any better? I was thinking of getting that when I ordered my WRX but I'm having second thoughts because of all the negative feedback.
    Note that the root cause of the poor quality is the amplifier. When you utilize the stock head unit merely as a singnal feeding a high impedance device such as the JL Clean Sweep or JBL MS-8, the sound quality is quite good. Nearly indistinguishable from a high quality aftermarket source.

  16. #30
    Registered User MagnumXL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent3687 View Post
    I've noticed a lot of people saying that the stock head unit is the problem for poor quality in the Impreza's sound system Does anyone have the Subaru navigation LCD head unit? Is it any better? I was thinking of getting that when I ordered my WRX but I'm having second thoughts because of all the negative feedback.
    Yes and a lot of people don't know what the heck they're talking about. All head units are going to be limited to 12-24 watts RMS of power maximum and the difference between 24 watts and 12 watts is 3dB, which is barely audible. In other words, if you want significantly more power, you need an outboard amp (i.e. 10x power = twice as loud sounding). So this idea that just replacing the head unit is going to solve a power problem is just plain LUDICROUS. Now if you are going to go for an outboard amp it is best to have RCA low-level outputs (or better yet digital) on the head unit to use with it which the stock head units do not have.

    But beyond that aspect, the REAL problem with the stock unit are the crappy speakers which which are not designed to output bass. If you have to use tone shaping or significant EQ to get bass out of your speakers, they are not the right size for the job. Back in the days of 16x9 speakers in the rear deck, you could get reasonable bass out of just the main speakers. These days with smallish door panel speakers, you are typically better off getting a powered subwoofer. Even IF you had a large throw cone woofer installed in the door panel, it's going to cause vibration/rattle problems out the wazoo without a ton of dampening material installed.

    With a powered sub, you can take the bass load off the door speakers (i.e. set tone back to neutral or "0" position or at least in the lower numbers like 1-3 instead of 6-8 depending on where the sub is going to cut off). This then means you aren't trying to tax the amplifier to do something it wasn't meant to do (i.e. try and drag bass out of speakers that naturally roll off below 100Hz). Suddenly, you find you have more than enough power to get over 100dB out of the system with just the stock head unit and it sounds pretty good. Yes, you could smooth out the mid-range, etc. a bit more but the higher end stock speakers (with separate tweeters) really don't sound too bad, IMO once a proper powered sub is introduced and I have $2000/pair ribbon speakers at home bi-amped with a custom active crossover setup so I'm not exactly used to listening to crap.

    I added a powered subwoofer to my WRX and I'm reasonably happy now with the sound I'm getting and yes I still have the stock speakers and stock head unit. I have no trouble getting plenty of sound and bass now with the windows down and can blast people silly with them up if I wanted to.

    BTW, the stock head units (all of them) are made by Kenwood for Subaru so it's not like Subaru put some 3 watt amplifier head unit by some Chinese company no one ever heard of in their cars. You can be sure they're somewhere between 14-20 watts RMS per channel like any other head unit. They lack RCA low-level outputs (show me a factory head unit that does have them) and the navigation on the NAVI model isn't exactly up to Garmin/TomTom type standards, but I've seen worse. The Bluetooth actually sounds pretty good on both ends, IMO, especially given how it seems to automatically cancel out my SPT muffler bass sounds (people say they cannot hear it on the other end).
    2011 WRX Limited DGM Sedan - SPT Catback - SPT STS + Kartboy Bushings - 3M Clear Bra

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