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Discussion Starter #1
So, I installed the subie tweeters in my stock '05 S, and the sound is a WHOLE LOT better. I actually have a high end now! But it makes me wonder -- (1) are there crossovers somewhere behind the panel that direct all the high end frequencies to the tweeters, and all the low end to the "woofers," or (2) does all of the information get sent to both sets of speakers, and the fact that high end comes out of the top and the low end comes out of the bottom is simply because of limitations inherent in the speakers themselves?

I guess I'm really asking because I wonder if a set of component speakers could fit in there without doing any real cutting or other significant modding. Or should I just add the subie "premium" kit when I get around to it?
 

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A combination of factors...

The music information sent to the tweeters is full range, but the tweeters have a small nonpolarized capacitor on them which acts as a first-order (6db/octave) crossover, preventing bass or even midrange information from getting to the tweeter element.

The woofers... they just kinda peter out as frequencies rise because their mass and (lack of) stiffness prevent them from adequately following high frequency material. Unfortunately that lack of stiffness, along with sluggish response - is known as "noise" when you hear it so that's why a set of true components with both high and low pass crossover outputs will always sound clearer and more accurate than coaxials or the pseudo-components you're rockin right now.

If you like the way it sounds now... awesome. If you'd like to improve the sound further - get an inexpensive component set with 2-way crossovers. Even a "lanzar" or whatever cheap brand will sound better than OEM speakers... and if the included tweeter that comes with that doesn't physically fit in your stock location you might be able to use the component woofer and crossover, with your OEM style tweeter and still be ahead on sound.

Personally I am using a set of MTX Dome-Axial (coaxial with dome tweeter) speakers up front in my subaru along with the OEM tweeters.. not as good as a set of true components for the reasons described above, but still a huge improvement over stock because of a stiffer, cleaner sounding woofer element and because the little OEM tweeters bring the sound stage up to around ear level.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Now THAT'S good information.

So, next question is, has anyone else installed components in their 2003-05's, how much work is it to do, and how much did it cost? I'm reasonably handy, but I don't need to spend lots of time or drop big bills on speakers that will be partially drowned out by wind noise on the highway anyway.

But I would like to improve the mush that is my bottom end right now.

I'm assuming that the better Subie speaker kit is the easiest, if not necessarily the best-sounding or cheapest, option (simply because it is pretty much just plug and play once you get the panels off).

Oh, and apanthropy, are you getting too much high end with both the OEM tweets and the domes down below?
 
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I noticed that my oem speakers sounded like crap until I upgraded the head unit, the speakers are only as good as the head unit can let them be. I got the upgraded tweeters and it made the biggest difference in the overall sound quality, especially with the new head unit installed, alpine 9847 cheap in price but I think the greatest bang for the buck. After the head unit was installed the bass sounded less distorted and better sounding and the highs were much cleaner and clearer. As for the components, I wouldn't put components unless you decide to put an amp in the car, higher end speakers crave power the more power you give them the better they'll sound with the exception of to much power leading to distortion.
 

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ThisGuy said:
Now THAT'S good information.

I'm assuming that the better Subie speaker kit is the easiest, if not necessarily the best-sounding or cheapest, option (simply because it is pretty much just plug and play once you get the panels off).

Oh, and apanthropy, are you getting too much high end with both the OEM tweets and the domes down below?
a set of cheap components isn't too bad... and really helps keep the audio clean. I'm using the mid-bass drivers from this $50 set http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?stk_code=lanhr61&store=&catid=5767 (and hand built crossovers with MTX tweeters - since I work for MTX) in my Trooper, and the sound is quite nice, just from deck power.

On my subaru, with the "double tweeter" .. i don't find the highs to be excessive... perhaps a bit bright on some certain songs but overall very natural. The OEM tweeters are disappointing for the most part, and do next-to nothing below 8khz so the fill-in from 2.2khz up to 8 that the Domes are doing is a very welcome addition.

dlroto said:
I As for the components, I wouldn't put components unless you decide to put an amp in the car, higher end speakers crave power
Sorta true... sorta not. But if you're running off just head unit power DLROTO makes good points...
1. you're going to see a huge improvement from a FET-powered amplifier - whether it's a head unit advertising "mosFET 50 watts per channel" or an actual amplifier...

2. if you're using just deck power, make sure whatever set you buy, whether it's components or coaxials or whatever - are rated at least 89db @ 1w/m . Less efficient speakers will be way, way too quiet. The basic rule of thumb is that for every 3db of increased efficiency your speakers exhibit, the effect on loudness is the same as doubling amplifier power. So, speakers rated [email protected]/m and receiving 25 watts, would sound as loud as speakers rated [email protected]/m that are receiving 50 watts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. I replaced the head unit within a week of buying the car (I needed an aux out for my mp3 player, of course), so presumably I'm already ahead of the game. Now I just need to decide what's next -- so thanks again for the info to help me make the choice.
 

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MB Quart Discus series seperates work great in the Forester if your looking to keep cost down ($100). They come with a 1/2" tweeter that fits perfect in the OEM tweeter mount.
 
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I put Infinity reference 6.5 components in my GF's forester and they rock, easy install as well, blow stock away
 
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