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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
Had the dealer install the ipod integration cable before I picked up the Forester..I love the placement but the sound is a sad sad dissapointment.
Is there anything I can due to enhance/improve the sound? When the heater/fans are full force you can't hear any music! I have the 6CD non-navi head unit. thanks for any suggestions.....
 

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Do a search in the "Interior and electronics" forum... You'll find a bunch of threads on this.... I assume you have an 09-10 forester.... For future reference edit your signature so when we assist you what make, model, year, etc. forester you have.

But to get you started.... I had the same problem with my 09. Didn't like the Sound system. Thought it was completely worthless. Afterall, it only puts out a maximum of 120watts (Thats the max the speakers handle) Even if you have the oem tweeters and underseat subwoofer, I don;t think it helps very much. This was how i first approached fixing my 09's sound system... I put tweeters.. that did help a bit... and went with an aftermarket underseat sub (Kenwood KSC-SW10), and that helped... Sound quality improved... But i was looking for much, MUCH more.

I think you've got three main options.... or a combination of them...

1... Dynamat! I haven't actually done this, but its in my future plans. Other members have found this useful. Dynamat the doors and the trunk and other parts of the car. That way, you can cut out the exterior road noise... and it'll provide somewhat more bass and sound from the stock speakers.

2.... Are you looking to keep the stock head unit? If you are, then your best bet is to do a few things... First, Change out the speakers in the doors. these are 6.5" speakers. Search crutchfield and you'll find a bunch. Next, Go with an aftermarket amplifier, to route to the speakers, to provide much cleaner, more powerful sound. Then, get a subwoofer. The kenwood ksc underseat sub is alright, Its a little better than the OEM sub, but not that much better. You're best bet if you want the clearest, best possible sound, go with an Infinity Basslink. Best possible clearest bass you'll get. It's not gonna bring down the block, but its very accurate. Anyways.... If you're more picky, tack on some Dynamat in the trunk and the Doors,

2. The other route... You go with an aftermarket head unit.... The upside is that you can get things such as bluetooth connectivity, ipod integration, etc. However, You have to buy a separate kit (e.g. pac-swi-jak) if you want to retain the steering wheel controls. My suggestion is to go with a Clarion DUZ385-SAT Head unit... it's already got the ipod integration built in, so I run the USB cable from the back of the head unit straight to the glovebox... Plug my ipod in, and have all my controls on my head unit, plus it charges the ipod. Plus, with an aftermarket HU, it makes it much easier to route external amplifiers for speakers/subs via the RCA outputs. Then once you've got that, You can easily run wires for the Speaker amps, sub amps, etc. Then after all that, if you want, you can dynamat.

NOW! My set up.... I went with a complete swap... Installed a Clarion DUZ385-SAT head unit, then got a Kenwood KAC 600watt amp to power my front Alpine Type S speakers and my rear Kicker 07DS600 speakers.... Then I got an interchangeable subwoofer system.... When I need the trunk space, I've got the Infinity Basslink subwoofer... and when I want power, I can easily interchange the power/sub wiring over to my 1000watt amp for my 2 12" subs. Oh, I kept the stock OEM Tweeters... Most aftermarket tweeters dont fit the OEM placement, So they'd have to be mounted/flush mounted... something I don't want to do... So overall.. This system is pushing out over 1600watts. Next up for my system... another amplifier so each amplifier only powers 2 speakers... and some dynamating.

Hope this long, boring (But maybe interesting/helpful) insight, helps you out!
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
ANZ what a reply!

No time for DIY but took your advice and have begun the process. Went to bestbuy, they've done 3 other cars for us...the front speakers are gone as are the rear ones. Alpines now replace them. New head unit ordered, I chose the Pioneer AVIC U310BT it's a cheapi but does a lot.
I had the dealer install the ipod connection kit before I picked up my 2010 2.5x Limited....twas a mistake--should have found this forum first.
ANZ you are a bad influence...non audio but also ordered rear spoiler, front underspoiler and the rear underbumper protector.
Back to audio currently studying amps,subwoofer. I know this already just by subbing out the speakers (waiting for the HU to get here) a huge difference in sound already and when you hold the factory compared to the alpines you'll be amazed. I do like the KENWOOD KSC-SW10 because it will fit under the heated seats...I really need ALL space in the back. So I'll probably go with it...the amp is the challenge, I need it to go under the drivers seat....
OK your thoughts? and I'll try to edit my name to reflect year of vehicle.
Oh, thanks for all the posting you've done here-it's costing me a fortune!

ANZ, I forgot something. On the Kenwood powered subwoofer KSC-SW10 it has a remote---why don't I like that? just something to get in the way maybe...
 

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Lol.... I'm a bad influence because....... I'm making you spend too much money? I jus put my 2 cents in.... well... now seein how much i wrote, maybe i put about my $20 there.

The remote will be fine... No need to worry too much about it... But at some points you may want to be able to control the frequency and gains on the sub... Depending on the music, the bass was too overwhelming.... or it just sounded bad. You can wire it and velcro it to the side of the center console next to the side of the drivers seat.

As for the stock head unit... Well, I didn't like it.... It didn't press out enough power for my taste.... i think the stock can put out 5-8watts rms? Not good enough for me.
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #5
influences!

but hey I'm new at this and you are a great teacher!
I think the Pioneer AVIC U310BT will give me 23 or 24 compared to the anemic 8 from the OEM HU...pitiful-why does Subaru even waste their time.
OK, just ordered an Alpine PCX2.150..another cheapie but surely will help even the Pioneer HU...still can't decide on a powered subwoofer..Seems like the only 2 that will fit under a seat are the Kenwood or a similar Clarion unit...just tell me either will be an improvement!
and those 2 cubby holes in the back area...seems like a place for a subwoofer eh? one on each side would kick major arse and not take up valuable room for gear...
 

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That looks like a good head unit.. may smudge a bit... I'm not sure how the wiring will be with that one, since you're switching from a non-nav head unit to a nav head unit... wiring from the back of the original may be different... I think it was discussed on the forum here somewhere.

Anyways, yes, the Kenwood will make a difference, but its not like you're going to hear it down the block... I liked it for a little bit, but after a while it just didnt suit me... What you could do is purchase two, place one under each seat, and split the RCA wires going to the subs.

Oh and if you want to place one in those cubby holes... I believe someone on this forum did a modification to make it look stock.... Search the forum.
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #7
I just wish they (or somone) made subs to go into those cubbies...
What do you mean by 'smudge a bit'? I'm not into chest thumping base, just want to mellow out the overall sound.
 

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Oh I meant that the head unit... well the glossy exterior of it... when you touch certain parts you may get fingerprints on it... Thats all.
 
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