Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Chandler, AZ
Car Year: 2015
Car Model: Forester
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I finally got around to installing the audio equipment yesterday. I put RAAMmat on the outer and inner front door skins and Ensolite on the inner door skins and a small piece directly behind the speaker mount on the outer door skins. The RAAMmat was easy to apply. Much easier than I remember this type of material being in the past. I have a lot of RAAMmat and Ensolite left over and will probably do the rear lift gate.
I used the spacers that phenryiv1 sells to mount the Focal woofers. They fit perfectly and I highly recommend them to anyone looking to mount a non-factory speaker in the front door. I also used his adapters to mount the Focal tweeters in the dash. I don't have the flush mount cups anymore so I made brackets out of some scrap metal and attached them with hot glue.
SVXdc provided me with a harness so that I would not need to cut into any factory wiring. It worked well. The extra long speaker wires and the extra leads for the constant, switched, and ground were helpful. I'd recommend his products for anyone trying to integrate items into the factory head unit or looking to upgrade the head unit.
An Alpine KTP-445u bridged to 90Wx2 powers the front stage. It fits nicely behind the lower pocket. Hopefully it stays cool enough to not go into protection mode, but I probably won't know until this summer. I didn't want to cut off the female RCA connectors off the Alpine harness in case I sell it later, so I simply added male RCA connectors to the front speaker wire leads from the SVXdc harness.
The low end is handled by a Sound Ordnance B-8PT mounted under the driver's seat. I used the high level inputs but the auto sensing turn-on didn't work so I ended up running a wire from the switched lead on the harness to the remote turn on. I mounted the level control knob in front of the lower pocket where I think the X-mode buttons are on the XTs. I wasn't expecting a lot from the sub but was still quite disappointed after tuning the system. There was almost no felt or heard bass. I was ready to pull it out and return it when I realized I had the level control knob at the minimum setting while I was tuning it. Once I retuned it the quality was much improved. It's not fantastic but it's good enough for me especially considering the small size and price.
Overall the install went well and was fairly easy. The hardest part was fishing speaker wire from the doors to the cab. I am very satisfied with the results. While the factory head unit sound quality is not great, it is really not terrible. At higher levels it distorts pretty badly but at lower levels it is fine. With the amp I don't need to turn it up very high. I used to listen to it at volume level 30 with the windows down, now it is just as loud if not louder at volume level 10. The clarity is greatly increased and I can hear details that were simply not audible with the factory setup. I can crank it up to uncomfortable volume levels now, though the sub cannot keep up past volume level 20 or so without becoming really boomy.
In total I spent $510 and a few hours of my time for the entire setup (not including the Focals). If I had added a new head unit I would have easily doubled my cost. I recommend trying it this way first if you already have some decent equipment laying around. You can always swap head units later if you're not satisfied with the results.
Thanks everyone for the advice and the links to the spacers.
2015 Forester 2.5i Premium Manual