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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, (and FYI here's my first post!)

I'm getting ready to purchase a 2019 Forester Limited in the next week or so. I'm an audio guy and musician - high quality sound is important for me. I'm a studio recording engineer but I have no experience with car audio. I'd like to get advice as to how to get great sound. For me great sound means flat response (good speakers) & plenty of headroom (a great amp).

I see the Harmon Kardon premium audio as part of the costly $1,700 Optional Package that includes Nav and Reverse Auto Braking. I'm not interested in onboard Nav or RAB. And from what I've read here, at least on older Forester models, the HK option doesn't get rave reviews. Many people say Way Too Much Bass.

Then there's a Rockford Fosgate upgrade for $549. Reviews seem positive but not many people have this installed.

My gut says to just get the Limited base model and do a custom audio upgrade. I'm in Queens NY so there's plenty of auto shops nearby. But would I have to worry about warranty problems if I go to a custom shop to change out the amp and speakers?

Actually I don't even know - can the amp be changed? Is it a separate component from the head unit? Please educate me on this!
:smile2:
 

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19 Forester cvt
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If you've search for Fosgate here you've already seen my comments. Got it in the '19 Forester Base (which lacks the dash corner speakers but is otherwise the same stock system), and it sounds well indeed. The kit is about a $400 item (list about $420), and in my case there was another $200 for the labor. So your $550 quote is a good price, considering. If you check the online parts stores, some also have the installation manual for it -- there's quite a bit of pulling the dashboard apart to get wires in. The kit consists of replacements for the front door speakers, and a digital signal processor/amp that sits under the passenger's seat. The DSP is tuned to the Forester. The midrange and treble is very clear, truly hi-fi in the vocal/lead instrument range, and percussion comes through with real punch. The bass is clean and goes low in the spectrum, but the doors just don't make that good a bass cabinet, so it's a bit thin. There's plenty of headroom at moderate volumes.

The DSP is very well tuned to the interior. The resulting system has a basic 3-band equalizer, but I find almost everything sounds by far best with that flat. If there were a way to add a subwoofer this would be a near-perfect system; but by all reports there's not, unfortunately. With Sirius/XM you're at the mercy of the lossy compression; but CDs sound rich indeed. I've been noticing details I'd missed listening to some of them in my living room, where I've got got a decent mostly-Emotiva middle-of-their-range hi-fi. It's not that the Fosgate is better fidelity -- it's not. But it's got enough clarity to hold my attention, and aside from the thinness on the bass end, there's no distortion. There's not enough bass for hip hop; but for rock and country and jazz it's sweet. And hell, I don't care about hip hop.

It's far better sound than the stock system in our '18 Outback. You might do better with custom equipment, if you found the right people to put it together. That was more trouble than I wanted though.
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Wytt,

Thanks so much for taking the time to give me a thorough reply. It's great to know that the Fosgate option is a good value, especially considering the installation isn't easy. From what I learned today they do make good quality equipment. And if the processor is tuned pretty well then there shouldn't be a need for significant EQ, so the basic bass-mid-treble adjustments might be sufficient. My listening taste is probably similar to yours - jazz, rock, blues, funk, r&b, classical - I'm also not looking to get massive bass - so this might be fine for me.

I was wondering how the 6 speaker Limited is different from the 4 speaker base model. You mention corner dash speakers - I assume these are just tweeters? Sounds like I could upgrade these guys on my own easily enough if I wanted.

It seems like a small sub would be the ideal addition. I realize the Fosgate amp doesn't have a sub out. But couldn't the output of the HU be split, assuming you add a powered sub?

I'm waiting to hear back from a custom shop with an estimate on a full upgrade. Interested to see what I'd have to spend to get a system that I can tune on my own. One thing I'm not sure about - where is the stock amp? Is it built in to the HU? Do you replace the stock amp when installing something new or do you just bypass it in the wiring?
 

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I was wondering how the 6 speaker Limited is different from the 4 speaker base model. You mention corner dash speakers - I assume these are just tweeters? Sounds like I could upgrade these guys on my own easily enough if I wanted.
The only difference is the dash speakers, which are tweeter size. But according to something I read elsewhere, they're full range speakers. From the photo of the replacement speaker in the Fosgate kit for the door 6x9s, that's also a full-range, single-cone speaker. If the photo's correct, all I can say is full-range speaker tech has gotten better, since cymbals are reproduced well.

It does leave me thinking I should replace the back door speakers at some point; maybe after Crutchfield figures out what fits well. Should be something fairly standard. As for adding the dash corner speakers missing in my case, at least in past model years people say the wiring has been there even without the speakers. Harman does advertise one speaker as fitting the '19 Forester, their 3.5" Infinity Perfect 300M midrange at $150 the pair. If true that's the size that would make sense in the dash position. Haven't confirmed it though. Not sure how the stock dash speakers in your case would mix with the obviously better Fosgate speakers in the front doors. As a guess might sound fine when new but wear out sooner. They are said to be easily accessible.
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #5
Just found some good info on the XV/Crosstrek Forum, about adding a sub:
subaruxvforum.com/forum/interior-audio/162002-upgrades-rockford-fosgate.html#post1884586
-sorry I can't hotlink this-:frown2:

I'm gonna assume the information applies to the Forester.

It answers my question about the tweeters - they are mid drivers, not tweeters. So I'm realizing the Fosgate processor would have to be tuned with the frequency response of all six speakers taken into account.

This talks about adding a sub - it seems quite reasonable:
For the sub, tap the rear speaker wires behind the radio and either run high input to an amp or buy a line converter (LC2iB) to run a low input (RCA cable) to an amp. Here's a picture of an breakout harness available at: AutoHarnessHouse
The rear speakers are on the 6 pin connector.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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631 Posts
Citysound,

I think you should go to a local dealer and listen to the 9 speaker HK system. It is quite amazing and it may be all you need. I was impressed the first time I heard it. Amazing sound for a stock system. I believe the subwoofer is underpowered. I will add that the front speaks have an incredible mid bass punch. I love it and very few systems (especially stock) can produce punch like this. The Rockford will likely be even punchier.

If you want a good bang for your buck, I think the Rockford system is the best value. But, I do not think you will settle there. The Forester really does need a subwoofer. I think the 8" sub in the HK is super clean and not overpowering at all. But, you will notice the difference between having that and not having it in the Rockford upgrade.

I will also add that I bought the HK system and like you just had to have more. I kept the factory 8" LCD head unit and retain all factory controls in head unit and steering wheel. The HK system is a PITA if you want to add on to it. I had to use a $600 Rockford 3-Sixty DSP to tap lines out of the HK amp. It is very tricky and you can learn more about my woes of this stereo install on my modz page: https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f115/my-2019-subaru-forester-sport-let-modz-begin-792005/

What I would add is that if you want to add on and build a system, then go with the 6 speaker system. Not the base 4 speaker and not the HK system. The HK is very complex and difficult to replace. I think you can easily add amps and new speakers to the 6 speaker system. My understanding is that the 4 speaker and 6 speaker systems have no amp/DSP unit. The signals come directly from the head unit. Which means that adding on to this system should be easy. Adding on to a system with an amp/dsp may be tricky because the amp in the HK does more than just audio. It has a canbus and many other things are happening in this amp that made it hard to remove. So, the shop used an interface module instead of pulling it out.

The dash speakers in the HK system have a 3" midrange with top mounted tweeter. These run a high pass about 2000Hz with a passive crossover for the tweeter around 5k.


I wish you could come and hear my system. I just got it finished and tuned up today. It sounds amazing and I am now a big fan of Hybrid Audio Technologies speakers. They are built for high fidelity guys like you and me.

Sound System:
Rockford Fosgate 3-Sixty DSP and interface system (Needed to pair with HK amp). You may be able to use a simple line level converter or the less expensive but good interface module called DSR-1 by Rockford. $600
HAT Unity U3 dash 3" cone speaker (Dude, no tweeter! This speaker is amazing and has incredibel trebile with no true tweeter. You've got to check this speaker out) $300
HAT Unity U69 front door 6x9 single cone midbass. $400
HAT Legaitia U65SE carbon $200 new on ebay (some dude has 10 sets of these so I got a good deal. I did not want to pay a lot for the rear doors, but wanted to stay at Unity (level III) or higher in series.
JL Audio XD600/1 sub amp I had this in my 09 Forester, so no cash paid.
JL Audio XD600/6 runs the rest of the 6 speakers at 75w @4ohms.
Alpine Type S 10" subwoofer with custom fiberglass enclosure built into rear drivers side well. Passenger well has the HK 8" sub but disconnected now. $150 + $350 for box
Sound deadening material in 4 doors $150
Install materials (wiring, circuit breaker, distribution blocks) $250
Install Labor $500

Total was about $3100, maybe a bit more as I am spitballing here on the price. (Price is without amps since I already owned them. New price on these amps is about $1000)
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Scott,

Thank so much for your detailed reply! I also checked out your other reply, and I saw all your great photos with your mod notes. Congrats on your awesome vehicle. Me...I just put down a deposit for an in-stock 2019 Limited non-nav, White/Black Leather! I decided against the HK Option (pretty expensive and I don't need nav) and I was on the fence about the Fosgate upgrade, so I made the purchase without any audio upgrade. I should be picking up the car end of the week!

Yesterday I had a long talk with an audiophile car installer in my area. I'd love to get your feedback on his plan. He talked about a 'stage 1' install for about 1.5 to 2K budget that can be upgraded down the road. Unfortunately this doesn't include the sub, which I would want to install in the rear cargo cavity like you did, and that takes a good amount of labor.

The idea is to keep the head unit, get a LOC, a 5 channel amp, replace the front speakers and tweeters with something good, and replace the rear door speakers with something cheap but decent.

He recommends the Audio Control DQ61 LOC with EQ and Delay. I know this is an old school device but it is great quality and has good EQ. EQ can only be controlled from the front panel though. I could upgrade to a DSP device later. Amp is Alpine MRV-M500 (40W x 4, 150W x 1 for sub). For the front component speakers, which is probably the most important part of this install, he asked about my listening tastes, I'm looking for a warm yet defined sound. He recommends Alpine SPR50C or 60C, depending on what size is needed. 2nd choice is Morels. Do you know the correct size speaker for the front doors? 6 x 9, or 6.5?

I see you have HAT Unity speakers. Looks awesome. The SPR60Cs get excellent reviews and seem great for the cost - under $200. But is it worth spending more on the fronts? I don't want to upgrade them later.

I didn't get his recommendation for a sub driver yet. I might wait and install the sub later on depending on my budget at this point. Putting it into the cargo area side cavity like you did seems the best plan. As an alternative - do you know if a small sub can be installed in one of the rear doors? The advantage being the cargo area wouldn't be reduced. Is this even doable? I'm honestly not sure of the size of the speaker openings in the doors.

The cost of the Audio Control and Alpine amp is under $500. As an alternative, I'm wondering if there's a unit that combines LOC, user adjustable DSP, and 5 channel amp that's not crazy expensive.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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631 Posts
Citysoundman,

Does your car come with the 7" or 8" monitor?

Did you get the 4 speaker or 6 speaker system.

The speaker sizes for my car, which I think is the same in all models is a 6x9 in the door, 6.5 in rear doors and 3" in the dash.

I'm not sure the DQ61 is a good fit. Also, I think you may be better off with a 6 channel amp and later add a mono amp instead of the 5 channel amp.

If you went with your proposed option, then you have to determine the line output frequency range of the Front door and dash speakers, before buying this system. You can only feed one of these line inputs into that LOC. So, if the signal is not full range, or if that processor does not unbalance the input to create a full range, then you won't get full range to the amp and back out. Furthermore, the other disadvantage is that your amp front output would have to power 4 speakers. This will require a passive crosover, which is fine, but a 40watt signal to 2 speakers seems very small. You could run 2 ohm and get 40 watts each, but not sure that amp will double the power at 2 ohms. I actually have that amp in my 09 Forester. It is decent.

The front staging on this car is pretty amazing. The speaker locations are prime for having a high quality midbass driver in the door and a mid/high in the dash. These drivers will sound best with matching power in 4 ohm speakers rather than splitting the power and/or running 2 ohms.

I also recommed a mid/high driver for the dash, not a standard 1" tweeter. You have room for a 3" driver and you should use one. Don't let a shop talk you into a 1" tweeter. You will really miss out on the midrange frequencies, which highlights the vocals coming from the center stage.

I recommend a LOC that is built for the modern car, 4 front speakers and 2 rear speakers and a sub. I also think you would be better off with a 6 channel amp to drive your 4 door speakers and the 2 dash speakers with specific power and digital crossover points so each channel can be fine tuned.

The Rockford DSR-1 may be a good LOC for you, but you need to make sure the signal out of the head unit is full range otherwise, it will have to be fed with the rear channels and that means you will lose fader controls in the head unit. The shop should be able to help you navigate all this stuff.

The Type R Alpine speakers are a great choice for a reasonable price, but Alpine likes to use component sets and coaxial speakers. I also recommend that you stay away from coaxials in the front doors. Coaxials may be fine for the rear doors, but your best sound staging and stereo separation will come from running a single cone 6x9 in the door and a mid/high driver in the dash.

Speaker brands that may give you more options like this are HAT, Morel, Focal and Image Dynamics. You should really spend some time on the HAT website. They have 5 levels of speakers. Unity is level 3. The Imagine is Level II and still an awesome speaker line for less money. HAT designs speakers for modern cars and understands the special needs for Subarus, Dodge and Toyotas especially.

As for the subwoofer, the rear door takes a 6.5" driver. This is too small for a dedicated subwoofer and subs need a true box to sound deep. A 10" sub pounds, but needs lots of air space. At least .85cu ft. An 8" sub may take up less space in the cargo area and still sound great in a sealed box. If you don;t need pounding bass, then an 8" sub with a great amp will likely do well for you.

Enjoy the new car and let us all know if you need more help or what you end up going with.
 

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2019 Forester - Touring CVT
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Hello, (and FYI here's my first post!)

I'm getting ready to purchase a 2019 Forester Limited in the next week or so. I'm an audio guy and musician - high quality sound is important for me. I'm a studio recording engineer but I have no experience with car audio. I'd like to get advice as to how to get great sound. For me great sound means flat response (good speakers) & plenty of headroom (a great amp).

I see the Harmon Kardon premium audio as part of the costly $1,700 Optional Package that includes Nav and Reverse Auto Braking. I'm not interested in onboard Nav or RAB. And from what I've read here, at least on older Forester models, the HK option doesn't get rave reviews. Many people say Way Too Much Bass.

Then there's a Rockford Fosgate upgrade for $549. Reviews seem positive but not many people have this installed.

My gut says to just get the Limited base model and do a custom audio upgrade. I'm in Queens NY so there's plenty of auto shops nearby. But would I have to worry about warranty problems if I go to a custom shop to change out the amp and speakers?

Actually I don't even know - can the amp be changed? Is it a separate component from the head unit? Please educate me on this!
:smile2:
If audio is your main goal, and if you have the money, I would get the Acura RDX with ELS 3D Surround System. It's way faster than the Forester and has a nicer interior. The sound system is amazing as-is.

Again though, it's going to cost more both getting it off the lot, and again at the pump. But many people are complaining about the lack of turbo for the Forester 2019, so I think the RDX could be a good substitute for everyone complaining about that.
 

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@kevinjc85...that is what we did for my wife. Bought a loaded 2019 RDX Advance back in September and LOVE IT. Far pricier than a Forester but in a totally different class. We paid $44K for ours but they can be had cheaper if you look at the "A"-Spec or even a base model as the engine and trannys are the same in all models. We have the 16 speaker ELS versus the 12 and the sound is AMAZING and far better than my Audi's B&O system which is also excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Scott, your feedback is truly appreciated!

Does your car come with the 7" or 8" monitor?
Did you get the 4 speaker or 6 speaker system.
My Limited is 8" Monitor and 6 speakers.

The speaker sizes for my car, which I think is the same in all models is a 6x9 in the door, 6.5 in rear doors and 3" in the dash.
Great! Thanks that is important to know.

I'm not sure the DQ61 is a good fit. Also, I think you may be better off with a 6 channel amp and later add a mono amp instead of the 5 channel amp.
Yes, I've changed the setup and I'll likely go with an Audio Control 4 or 6 channel DSP/amp combo unit - these have an additional sub line out with DSP. I'm going to hold off on installing a sub and see how it sounds, I can install a sub later. The 4 channel D-4.800 would feed the front doors and dash, while the head unit would feed the rear doors. I could spend more for the 6 channel D-6.1200 (same unit but 2 extra amp channels) and feed the rear doors from the Audio Control. Just not sure if the additional cost is worth it since the rear doors are just for 'fill'.
I'm also looking at the Unity U3's for the dash (thanks for the tip!).
I'd replace the front door speakers with low-mid 6x9's and the rear door speakers with full-range 6.5s. My installer has a line on good but inexpensive drivers for these (not sure the brand).

If you went with your proposed option, then you have to determine the line output frequency range of the Front door and dash speakers, before buying this system. You can only feed one of these line inputs into that LOC. So, if the signal is not full range, or if that processor does not unbalance the input to create a full range, then you won't get full range to the amp and back out.
This is really interesting - and helps to answer my question about how the head unit is set up. I'm assuming it puts out full range to both front and rear doors. Then I use the front full range signal to feed the Audio Control, and use its crossover to split the signal to front doors and dash. But thanks for bringing this up I will double check.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If audio is your main goal, and if you have the money, I would get the Acura RDX with ELS 3D Surround System. It's way faster than the Forester and has a nicer interior. The sound system is amazing as-is.
Unfortunately audio isn't my main goal! My wife is not the audiophile that I am! Main goal is a safe affordable car that performs well in poor weather conditions. But I need some things to make my driving enjoyable :wink2:
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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Hi Scott, your feedback is truly appreciated!


Yes, I've changed the setup and I'll likely go with an Audio Control 4 or 6 channel DSP/amp combo unit - these have an additional sub line out with DSP. I'm going to hold off on installing a sub and see how it sounds, I can install a sub later. The 4 channel D-4.800 would feed the front doors and dash, while the head unit would feed the rear doors. I could spend more for the 6 channel D-6.1200 (same unit but 2 extra amp channels) and feed the rear doors from the Audio Control. Just not sure if the additional cost is worth it since the rear doors are just for 'fill'.
I'm also looking at the Unity U3's for the dash (thanks for the tip!).
I'd replace the front door speakers with low-mid 6x9's and the rear door speakers with full-range 6.5s. My installer has a line on good but inexpensive drivers for these (not sure the brand).


This is really interesting - and helps to answer my question about how the head unit is set up. I'm assuming it puts out full range to both front and rear doors. Then I use the front full range signal to feed the Audio Control, and use its crossover to split the signal to front doors and dash. But thanks for bringing this up I will double check.
Anytime. This is actually fun for me.

I was looking at the options from Focal, Morel and Image Dynamics last night and they do not offer many options for single cone 6x9s and a 3" driver. The 6x9s options are coaxial or separates. The U3 and U69 may be the best option for this car. If you go this route, you will absolutely love the sound. From what I hear, the tech support is pretty freindly and you should consider calling them. The shop I used is a dealer and they joke about how ugly these drivers are compared to others for less money. HAT responds that they dont care about logos or cosmetics, only sound qaulity. I belive it. The Unity series sounds great, but looks generic. This is perfect for me as I love stealth sound systems. :thumbsup:

I like the D-4.800 and your stategy here. Running this for the front door and dash speakers would be excellent. Sticking with the stock radio powering the rear speakers also makes sense. It is just fill and not that important. You may want to just keep the stock speakers there too. Saves money. However, if you go with the 6.1200 you can run your rear doors now and when you add the subwoofer, you can run these 2 channels as a mono sub channel for 400watts at 4 ohms. Great power for a sub. That would be a super clean system for only $300 more and any mono sub amp would likely cost this or more plus the install fee. It is also easier to have one amp vs two as space is limited under the seats.

I am still concerned about the head unit outputs. I do not think they are full range. My HK system runs bandpass at the 6x9s about 80-5000Hz and high pass at the 3" drivers around 2500K and up. The rear doors ran high pass around 200Hz and up. When I had the DSR-1 installed the shop used the rear inputs (they said it was the closest signla to full range) and I could not get good midbass range out of the U69 speakers. Once they installed the $600 3.Sixty processor everything worked great and I got that punch back. What makes this 3.sixty processor special is that it will take a crossovered input signal and reset it to full range. This is an absolute must requirement if you want to add aftermarket components to a stock system.

Again, your system is different than mine so you have to explore a bit. If you pull the speakers out and find passive filters on the door and dash speakers then the head unit is likely sending full range signals and the passive filters are providing the crossover frequenies for those drivers. If this is the case then the you can run the D-4.800 or D-6.1200 amps. These have a DSP and computer controls similar to what I have in the Rockford 3.sixty. I love tuning that way, you will too.

But, if your head unit output signals are crossed over than these amps may not work. I would certainly suggest you call Audio Control and ask them. There website description is not clear. They also make mention in the manual that the amp pairs well with the LC6i. Again, making me suspicious that it will not reset crovered signals. You should take some time to read that description and manual. GThe LC6i is a LOC only. "The LC6i accepts speaker level signals, both crossed-over and full range, and converts them to high-quality pre-amp signals. Signals from factory radios with built-in crossovers can be overcome by summing them together, internally, to provide a full-range preamp signal." These are the magic words that are lacking with the D-4.800. Worth a call to Audio Control to clarify if the D-4.800 can do this.

If you do need to add the line level converter, then you should consider the 8 channel LC8i. This is a perfect match for the Forester if you add the sub later. These LOCs are about $250. Very reasonable.
 

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@kevinjc85...that is what we did for my wife. Bought a loaded 2019 RDX Advance back in September and LOVE IT. Far pricier than a Forester but in a totally different class. We paid $44K for ours but they can be had cheaper if you look at the "A"-Spec or even a base model as the engine and trannys are the same in all models. We have the 16 speaker ELS versus the 12 and the sound is AMAZING and far better than my Audi's B&O system which is also excellent.
No hate on the Forester, but I really wish I could have afforded the Acura RDX A-Spec. My last car was an Acura RSX Type-S (6 Speed Manual Transmission...fun AF to drive), and I was a regular member of the Acura RSX forum. It was a great place for every DIY fix I could ever need, and I'm hoping this Forester forum will serve the same purpose. After my RSX got smashed and totaled from behind by an idiot who should't have been allowed to have a driver's license, I bought the Forester out of desperation as my business vehicle for road sales. And then, I unfortunately lost my job during a company-wide lay-off 2 months later :-(

I think the Forester will last me another 10+ years just like my RSX did, as I can find another job in LA again soon. Best of luck with the RDX...I was tempted to buy one right after my test drive even though I couldn't afford it.
 

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Unfortunately audio isn't my main goal! My wife is not the audiophile that I am! Main goal is a safe affordable car that performs well in poor weather conditions. But I need some things to make my driving enjoyable :wink2:
This seems to be the first I'm seeing of you looking to buy a Forester for your wife versus you as the primary driver wanting a great audio system and having a safe/affordable car (which it is).

So, if that's the case, the Forester is a solid choice for a safe every-day driver that gets great gas mileage and can handle plenty of moderate off-road / heavy weather conditions on top of having a great audio system (if you pick the HK / RF package). It's nowhere near a studio-quality audio system, but it's above average. Again, if audio is the focus, get an Acura RDX with ELS 3D audio and AWD, or build your system from scratch.

If you're building from scratch, I recommend Kenwood Excelon for head units and Pioneer 3 or 4-way for speakers along with an amp if you're looking for great audio without breaking the bank. You can go higher on audio quality than those brands, but not much without getting less for your money. As for bass, I personally don't feel the need to rattle the windows of nearby buildings, and I find the Forester's Harmon Kardon sub-woofer more than adequate. If you need a bit bigger bass and don't want to add a big box to the back or spend a ton, you can always add an Infiniti BassLink or a JBL BassPro under the seats with some velcro attachments.

The Forester is extremely capable in rain/snow/ice or taking a family on a medium-grade off-roading / camping trip. It probably won't survive no-kidding rock-climbing, or severe upgrade hills reserved for Jeeps, Land-Rovers, and Humvees, but otherwise, it's extremely capable. Being an AWD, it will be much more immune to hydroplaning than common rear-wheel drive cars, and the quiet cabin (while not quite BMW / Lexus status) will block you from the majority of road noise, wind, and other elements.
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #16
I am still concerned about the head unit outputs. I do not think they are full range.
I'm pretty sure our HUs are the same, so mine are likely band-limited. I took your suggestion and called Audio Control and got good news! Their amps have the same frequency summing feature as the LOC units. They have both full range speaker ins and hi frequency speaker ins. The tech said most current stock HUs have hi-freq-band outputs (for tweeters) and their devices are designed just for this purpose.

So I may spring for the 6 channel amp. It does have an option to install a $150 Bluetooth adapter for streaming (not necessary) and mobile phone control of the DSP (very cool!). Seems like it's worth the extra cost to have the additional channels for my future subwoofer :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This seems to be the first I'm seeing of you looking to buy a Forester for your wife versus you as the primary driver wanting a great audio system and having a safe/affordable car (which it is).

So, if that's the case, the Forester is a solid choice for a safe every-day driver that gets great gas mileage and can handle plenty of moderate off-road / heavy weather conditions on top of having a great audio system (if you pick the HK / RF package). It's nowhere near a studio-quality audio system, but it's above average. Again, if audio is the focus, get an Acura RDX with ELS 3D audio and AWD, or build your system from scratch.

If you're building from scratch, I recommend Kenwood Excelon for head units and Pioneer 3 or 4-way for speakers along with an amp if you're looking for great audio without breaking the bank. You can go higher on audio quality than those brands, but not much without getting less for your money. As for bass, I personally don't feel the need to rattle the windows of nearby buildings, and I find the Forester's Harmon Kardon sub-woofer more than adequate. If you need a bit bigger bass and don't want to add a big box to the back or spend a ton, you can always add an Infiniti BassLink or a JBL BassPro under the seats with some velcro attachments.

The Forester is extremely capable in rain/snow/ice or taking a family on a medium-grade off-roading / camping trip. It probably won't survive no-kidding rock-climbing, or severe upgrade hills reserved for Jeeps, Land-Rovers, and Humvees, but otherwise, it's extremely capable. Being an AWD, it will be much more immune to hydroplaning than common rear-wheel drive cars, and the quiet cabin (while not quite BMW / Lexus status) will block you from the majority of road noise, wind, and other elements.
Thanks for you input Kevin!
 

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Premium Member
2019 Forester Sport CVT
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631 Posts
I'm pretty sure our HUs are the same, so mine are likely band-limited. I took your suggestion and called Audio Control and got good news! Their amps have the same frequency summing feature as the LOC units. They have both full range speaker ins and hi frequency speaker ins. The tech said most current stock HUs have hi-freq-band outputs (for tweeters) and their devices are designed just for this purpose.

So I may spring for the 6 channel amp. It does have an option to install a $150 Bluetooth adapter for streaming (not necessary) and mobile phone control of the DSP (very cool!). Seems like it's worth the extra cost to have the additional channels for my future subwoofer :thumbsup:
Great news indeed. The D-6.1200 is a wicked nice device. Super clean and will do everything you need. I think it may come with a bass knob adjuster, if not, it is worth adding.

The HU is the same as mine, but the difference is the HK DSP/amp. I am feeding the Rockford device from that unit not direct from the HU.

Pairing that device with HAT speakers will sound amazing. When do you get the car???
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Great news indeed. The D-6.1200 is a wicked nice device. Super clean and will do everything you need. I think it may come with a bass knob adjuster, if not, it is worth adding.

The HU is the same as mine, but the difference is the HK DSP/amp. I am feeding the Rockford device from that unit not direct from the HU.

Pairing that device with HAT speakers will sound amazing. When do you get the car???
Yeah AC makes the ACR3 remote for sub or processor level, and it lets me change the 4 presets, I'll definitely be installing it. I should be getting it Monday!
 
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