ClubWRX Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, Just bought a 2011 WRX Premium. Blue, 4 door.

I had been looking for a used 2009 370z. I had been looking for months then one day for no reason I checked out the Subaru dealership. They had one WRX on the lot. Test drove it and fell in love. Now I can drive all 4 seasons. (central PA). I'm actually looking forward to the first snowfall.

I'd like to do some mods to the car. One thing I really need to do is upgrade the stereo. Does anyone else feel that the stereo sucks? I like the bluetooth and hands free but its got no bass and sounds crappy. Anyone agree? I have a 2002 infiniti g20 and the bose stereo was much better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Awesome I just got mine too!

I agree with your stereo statement, already purchased an alpine double din touchscreen!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
It is mostly the speakers. I have a 2009 WRX. Before this car, I had a Mazda6 with the Bose sound system in which I LOVED and hated giving up. So, one Christmas, we replaced my stock speakers with JL Audios and put in a powered sub by Infiniti. What a difference!!! The radio can put out the sound, it's the speakers that need to be replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
I will be completely replacing the factory stuff with aftermarket eventually, just starting with the head unit.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,822 Posts
It is not the speakers.It is the head unit.The signal output from the unit is too weak.You can get the best speakers on earth & they will still sound like crap.Although changing the speakers would also help but only by simultaneously changing the head unit. Additionally you will also lose some of the steering controls with a new unit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
All steering wheel controls are sent over two wires, and each button has a different resistance value. The metra axxess swc adapter will pick up all of the commands, including bluetooth. It is fully programmable but you need to know what the headunit needs to see. The adapter also auto programs itself to the car and the headunit, if it supports them.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,822 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Gerr, I know the answer to this and I'm still not awake..

Edit: http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_cleansweep_pages.php?page_id=94

Search around for this, some say this is the solution.. I may also check this out myself at some point.
While a processor is a great component to add for good sound quality, it all starts with the source. Do some research, find out what has and has not worked for people in terms of headunit/SWC compatibility. If you don't have bluetooth it'll be easier.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
I have not picked mine up yet to say but is it the speakers or the stereo that lacks?
It's the speakers. There is no bass without cranking the bass knob all the way up and then the dreaded door panels rattle like mad. I got the 120 watt 8" Panasonic (sold by Subaru) under-seat sub installed and after a few adjustments (there's two little screws to adjust crossover point and level on the front of the sub) it's night and day. I was going to buy a Sony 660BT head unit with TomTom navigation, back-up camera, bluetooth and a touch screen and DVD, but they appear to have some firmware bugs in the TomTom system on it and I don't want to deal with that kind of crap and meanwhile the stereo now sounds great so I'm in no hurry (and it already has Bluetooth and USB). I've still got a Garmin Navigation unit that will fit in that space in front of the shifter as well. It also helps to get the rattles out of the door panels and rear deck. I had the dealer work on that yesterday and it's improved quite a bit, but still not perfect.

It is not the speakers.It is the head unit.The signal output from the unit is too weak.You can get the best speakers on earth & they will still sound like crap.
Sorry, but I can't agree. Those speakers have no bass at all and you could apply 2000 watts to them and they would still need massive bass tone-shaping or EQ to give them ANY bass relative to the mid-range. Once you add a powered sub, the system sounds very good. I'm not saying they couldn't sound better, but they're night and day compared to without the sub.

As for output, ever hear of sensitivity rating for speakers? Let's say you have 12 watts RMS on your head unit with Speaker A that has a sensitivity rating of 93dB (per 1 watt @ 1 meter) and in another car you have 50 watts RMS with a small amp in it and your speakers are rated 87dB sensitivity. Both cars are going to put out similar volume levels because for every doubling of power you only get 3dB increase in volume output. It takes about 4x the power to make an 87dB speaker put out the same volume as a 93dB speaker. What I'm getting at is yes it most certainly does matter what kind of speaker you're using in a car with low amplifier output.

There are people with horn loaded speakers in home system that are rated over 100dB sensitivity. Why do they use them? Because they like the sound of low powered (often transformerless) tube amplifiers that might only put out 10-35 watts or so. If you can get 100dB at 1 meter from 1 watt, 10 watts will do a decent 110dB maximum output (probably around 106 at the listening position, more than adequate for most types of music, whereas the 35 watt amp will do over 110 at the listening position). More power won't really help. It's already plenty loud. They like the sound of even order tube distortion.

And while the WRX head unit doesn't put out a lot of power, no head unit can do more than around 14 watts RMS without a separate amplifier with a step up transformer in a car environment. Going to 30 watts, for example would only net you around a 3dB increase in volume (barely noticeable and certainly not going to solve any real problems. You'd need at least a 10x increase in power to get twice the audible volume so once you get into the 300 watt range you've got a decent amount of output capability. Just getting a new head unit isn't going to cut no matter how you slice it if power is the problem.

But IMO, if the stock unit with a powered sub added isn't loud enough, you must be deaf or something because I'm already getting levels over 100dB in C-weighting (and over 95dB in A-weighting) in the car and any louder would definitely cause hearing damage in a very short time. No, it's not meant for competition loudness. But it's able to play over wind noise with the windows down just fine and is more than loud enough with the windows up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,822 Posts
My plan is to integrate the Jl cleansweep with a powered sub(not sure yet which one) and if that doesn't help much,I will change the speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
My plan is to integrate the Jl cleansweep with a powered sub(not sure yet which one) and if that doesn't help much,I will change the speakers.
Speakers are relatively cheap, I would definitely upgrade them. And you'll need an amplifier, as well. The JL Clean Sweep only gives you a clean signal from the head unit.

I replaced the speakers, added an amp and sub and kept the factory HU (with a JBL MS8 rather than the JL Clean Sweep) and the sound is incredible.

The weakest link in the factory setup is the head unit's amplifier. But when that amp is driving a high impedance device like the JL Clean Sweep or JBL MS8, there is no distortion. I start to hear slight distortion at around 40, but by then it is far too loud to be comfortable with the power I'm using.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
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.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top