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2010 Forester 2.5X
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family just bought a Fozie '10 2.5X. Everything seems to be likeable in the car in terms of performance, safety and comfort. However, there was only one thing that dissapointed me, the sound system. It sounded really flat and lacking in quality. I've always used stock sound system (no upgrades) with my previous vehicles and I was pretty satisfied with them, but this particular one just doesn't hit the spot at all.

In order to deal with this issue, I have planned to do some upgrades... I've already read a couple of threads in this forum regarding users' frustration about the sound, based on that, I've come up with a couple of ideas: (Let me know if this is the best way to go)

1) Buy the OEM Tweeter Kit - I noticed that a lot of people did this method first and was satisfied with the results and did no further upgrades...

If I'm not happy yet...

2) Buy a compact subwoofer - I want something that will fit under the driver/passenger seat. I don't want those really big ones that will take up space in the cargo area. I've also read mixed opinions about the OEM subwoofer, some people say that it is just subpar and it would be better to just get an aftermarket. If this is the case, can you guys suggest any with a reasonable price.

and then maybe...

3) Buy a head unit - I don't really want to replace the stock HU because it will alter the original look of the dashboard. However, I wouldn't mind going this route either if it's really necessary in order to achieve a quality sound. Any suggestions on this one?

Sorry for the long post... I just really want to do the upgrades right without spending too much.
 

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2005 Forester X
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225 Posts
OEM Tweeter kit is a great first step, and a cheap one at that. I can't comment on the subwoofer, except to say that I'm considering going the same route as you. I don't need a ton of bass, but I would like something to round out the bottom end of the audio. I'm leaning toward the Kenwood KSC-SW10 over the OEM sub. That said, I think a new HU should be higher on your list than a sub. There are plenty of units out there that can blend well enough with the dash (I have the Pioneer AVH-P3100DVD and love it). An aftermarket HU will give the stock speakers more power and they may sound good enough without any other changes.

IMHO, 1) Tweeters, 2) HU, 3) Upgrade speakers, 4) Powered sub.
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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704 Posts
IMHO 1) HU and tweeters 2) interior speakers 3) powered sub

I have a HU and stock tweeters. With club music, the lows and highs are incredible with the stock speakers. When I pop in some metal, however, it lacks. I have an Eclipse deck, they usually put out more watts than the other in store head units.

Here is a good place to start if you are doing the HU replacement:

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f77/after-market-cd-player-install-09-a-55782/

You can also buy Double DIN setups. Which will kind of look like stock.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OEM Tweeter kit is a great first step, and a cheap one at that. I can't comment on the subwoofer, except to say that I'm considering going the same route as you. I don't need a ton of bass, but I would like something to round out the bottom end of the audio. I'm leaning toward the Kenwood KSC-SW10 over the OEM sub. That said, I think a new HU should be higher on your list than a sub. There are plenty of units out there that can blend well enough with the dash (I have the Pioneer AVH-P3100DVD and love it). An aftermarket HU will give the stock speakers more power and they may sound good enough without any other changes.

IMHO, 1) Tweeters, 2) HU, 3) Upgrade speakers, 4) Powered sub.
Thanks for the input! I guess I'll go with the Tweeter Kit first and then work my way up from there... I did see from this forum that a couple of people use the Kenwood KSC-SW10 and was really happy by it. I would certainly consider that later on if necessary. The Pioneer AVH-P3100 DVD might be a little too expensive for my budget. Are there any other good HUs out there that's a little bit cheaper?
 

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2020 Touring
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151 Posts
Know what you mean chrysler_12, along with the OEM NAV setup I had the OEM tweeters, sub woofer, and ipod integration installed. The sound is liveable but barely. The sound qualitiy is uneven between inputs, AM/FM sounds muddy, CD so-so, the ipod sounds the brightess, richess.
I plan on in stalling Polk Audio db651s speakers at the four door locations when the weather warms up a bit.
All-in-all the stock setup is ok, just needs some help.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
seems like i still see some mix opinion even for the OEM Tweeter kit. I know for sure that the OEM is not the best out there, but my question is... Is it worth buying for the price? Will it provide a decent and fair sound quality?

Im not trying to compare this kit to any aftermarket speakers but considering money value, I just want to know if it's worth getting?
 

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2010 Forester M
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97 Posts
it depends on how much you want to spend and how intrusive you want to go.
here are some pics of my head unit. subwoofer and amp goes in this weekend, more pics to follow. should have the steering wheel controls working then as well. I just found out that it is possible to buy a new japan market bezel for about 80 bucks that will fill in the gaps on the sides of the head unit. my concience is debating whether or not to go to that extreme.

Speakers made a big difference, but I never had the tweeters.

I am trying to get by with only amplifying the new sub, but I have a 6 channel JL audio that can be put in if necessary.

went with an 8" pioneer sub and box underneath the passenger seat.

final step will be sound deadening the doors, they rattle more than my old 1980 toyota tercel i had many years ago.

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f115/axxmans-2010-premium-70062/
 

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2010 Forester
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173 Posts
I have the same car and I noticed that turning off the "CS AUTo" setting on the stock head unit actually made a big difference. When CS AUTO was turned on, it seemed the speakers were operating in a surround mdoe and very little power was sent to the rear speakers. After I made that change, the sound was noticeably improved. Use the MENU button on the head unit to change the CS AUTO setting.

Now having said that, I'm still thinking of adding a compact powered sub under the driver's seat. I've been checking out this one on Crutchfield and will likely purchase it in the next week or two:

Sound Ordnance™ B-8PT 120-watt compact powered subwoofer at Crutchfield.com

Based on the reviews of the compact sub available from Subaru, I'm not too thrilled with its quality or price. Crutchfield includes all the necessary hardware and instructions to install the Sound Ordnance sub so I'm hoping it won't be too difficult.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok. thanks everyone for all your comments and suggestions. I think I'll settle for the tweeter kit for now and see it from there. This way, I'm not gonna be spending too much money right off the bat.

Will try to post some pics of my fozie when everything comes together!
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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3,138 Posts
It was not terrible, but it wasn't good by any means. My previous car had an elaborate system, that I mostly transplanted into the Forester with a few "small" (not all that small) additions. It sounds amazing now, but it's not a cheap or easy solution (elaborate setup). I love music and refuse to have a car or home with poor choices for my music listening.
 

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2009 2.5X Limited 4EAT
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386 Posts
soundz

I agree with axxman. It depends on how much you want to spend and how intrusive you want to go. It also depends on how loud, rich, and bass heavy you want to go.

After I picked up my 09 foz (has tweeter kit), knowing I wanted better sound, I took it down to the local car audio favorite. I have no interest in changing the HU. My audio guy put a package together for me (which I didnt buy b/c I have a baby on the way) for about $1000 that included a quality amp and four, 6 and a half, three-way speakers. He told me he could work around the stock HU.

With that said, you can get what you want out of the stock HU (with a good amp and speakers), but you can get so much more out of a new HU, fo sure.

I live in SF, park on the street, so a new HU, even with a detachable face, says "break into this car first."

For now, the speakers and tweeter kit are maintaining my need for decent sound (barely). I had the stock Monsoon system in my VW Golf before I got rid of it. The Monsoon system, amp and speakers were sufficient enough for my listening pleasure.

Just thought I'd share.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
that also reminds me that i live in NYC and i park on the streets. Don't get me wrong, but I live in a good neighborhood, although I still can't be relaxed about the chances of someone breaking into my car. I'll probly hold on for the HU for now, and most likely, it has to have a detacheable face if i decide to get it.
 

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2009 forester
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79 Posts
chrysler,

I've done simple installs in the last three vehicles that i've owned and of course now in my Forester. I have to say it took months of trying different things before I was happy with the sound, and I don't consider myself crazy (LOL). That being said, adding the stock tweeters made a big difference in sound so codos for doing that. I tried an underseat sub but the sound was aweful. However, I was running speaker level inputs to the sub (i.e. employing the stock radio). I was told that using a seperate line-out converter would make a difference. I have no idea how accurate that is but just an FYI. Good luck!
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've just installed the tweeter kit and as expected, the sound did dramatically improved. The sound is clearer with crisp and fidelity. The treble sounds far more better than before.

Overall, it's still lacking a bit of bass but I think I'm going to settle with this setup for now until I can add a compact subwoofer.
 
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