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2009 forester
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I've been wrestling with the sound system in my 09 for several months now. The latest and greatest is the following:

I just spent 5 hours today installing the BOSS600 under the driver's seat. For those unaware this is an underseat model with an 8" driver and internal amplification. To say the least... I'm unimpressed. I was just starting to warm to the sound of the factory stereo and thought well this could only make it better. Nope, not really. I'll play with the controls a bit more but I'm not expecting a miracle. Could someone please advise. I've been reluctant to give up the factory radio because somehow I'm in love with it (LOL) and I've already pissed away money on other mistakes.

I have the sub spliced with the rear channels. Does anyone feel that the sound from this thing is less then stellar because i'm using speaker level inputs? Do you think it would sound better if it were suplied an RCA signal from an aftermarket unit perhaps? And as i've asked once before, does anyone know if the factory radio (made by Clarion) "equalizes" the signal output to make the factory speakers sound better?

Thanks in advace. : )
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,813 Posts
If you love the factory head unit, then do it right the first time......get an amp.

Get yourself a good, clean amplifier. Run the factory headunit to the amp, and have the amp run the power to the speakers. The factory "premium" speakers sound EXTREMELY good when ran from an amp. From that same amp (if you get a 4-channel with a subwoofer drive......like an Alpine Flex-5), you would be able to run a sub from that as well.

When speakers sound distorted, it's not from too much power, it's from a LACK of power. Run higher power to factory speakers and they'll sound MUCH better.
 

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2009 forester
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Actually I went that route Blue Fox. I wired up an Alpine 4 x 50W amplifier in addition to a Profile 400W amplifier. The Alpine powered my 4 mains and the Profile powered a Bazooka tube. I wasn't happy with the sound but then I didn't listen very long either. The Alpine was complete overkill for the 4 mains. I had gained it all the way down and still way to much power for factories. If I wanted to stick with that arrangement I would have needed to buy aftermarket speakers which I might have done if it wasn't crazy and wanted to start over right away because I hated the sound.
That being said...

I'm actually happy with the way the factory speakers sound with the factory radio. After some door mods to eliminate annoying buzzes and rattles everything sounded tight. However, it does depend on the music listen too. The only thing I want right now is some deeper bass and maybe a little more volume from the four mains because when you listen to the radio they don't seem to play very loud.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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13,100 Posts
Sounddeading the doors will make a world of difference. It will clean up the muddy sound of the door speakers and greatly increase the midbass, which will help things blend in with the sub better.
 

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2009 Premium X AT
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866 Posts
^^ Agree with sea scooby..... But.... you bought an AWFUL subwoofer. I've heard nothing other than awful reviews on the Boss Underseat sub..... If you don't mind losing a little bit of trunk space (About 1 cubic foot), try out the Infiniti Basslink! its in my 09, and i Love it!

And another thing about the rear speakers in the 09+ models... They aren't really meant to play the full range like the front speakers are.. they're more of... "Surround sound" speakers.... If you replace those they make a world of difference... But thats just from my own experience

If you're curious, I've almost got my system set to the way I want it... I've got an aftermarket Clarion DUZ385SAT, with a Kenwood 600w amp powering 2 front Alpines and 2 rear Kickers, factory tweeters, and interchangeable subs... a 12" Infiniti Basslink when I need my Cargo space, and 2 12" 1000w subs when I want to be obnoxious :biggrin:Next I need to do some dynamating, and add a 2nd speaker amp and I think I'm done with what I've got.
 

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2009 forester
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, I appreciate it. This has honestly been the most back-and-forth sound system upgrade I've ever done. I won't tell you how many things I've purchased and sent back, blah, blah, blah. I'm really surprised to hear Aznfo's comment about the Boss600, but he's right. It's just so disappointing given all the positive reviews on Amazon. However, has anybody ever listened to a cheap sub module for computer speakers? Sounds like you have some dinky speaker playing through cupped hands? Yup, that's what this POS sounds like. The added bass effect is barely even noticeable over THE FACTORY speakers.

The most unfortunate part is that i'm over the 30 day period for returns with Ritz Camera, the place I bought it from.

The biggest appeal of the Boss600 was that it would fit under the seat and I could keep all the room in the rear hatch, not that a small sub would take up all that much room anyway. However, the theft effect was the other consideration. At the moment nobody would still my Boss600, in fact the "perps" would probably leave me money just because they felt sorry for me and my poor decision. (LOL) Now, question for you AzNFO, do you use a luggage compartment cover in the rear, you know so folks can't see what you have?

I'll get this thing right eventually, but it's really getting annoying. The only audio success I've had thus far is the addition of the factory add-on tweeters, big improvement, and the elimination of the front door resonance, buzzing, etc.

Does anyone think the factory add-on sub would sound better then the Boss600?
I'm not going to buy it, i'm just curious. I think my next move is going to employ the use of a Profile 2CH amp I have (yes it's a good amp). The amp used to power an 8" JL sub in a q-logic custom fit enclosure for a dodge dakota. The sound was excellent. That being said I'm considering an 8" JL in a wedge box or perhaps a 10". Anybody have suggestions on how to secure it in the rear and to what? Thanks again, hopefully I'll get this thing right.
 

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2017 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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Thanks guys, I appreciate it. This has honestly been the most back-and-forth sound system upgrade I've ever done. I won't tell you how many things I've purchased and sent back, blah, blah, blah. I'm really surprised to hear Aznfo's comment about the Boss600, but he's right. It's just so disappointing given all the positive reviews on Amazon. However, has anybody ever listened to a cheap sub module for computer speakers? Sounds like you have some dinky speaker playing through cupped hands? Yup, that's what this POS sounds like. The added bass effect is barely even noticeable over THE FACTORY speakers.

The most unfortunate part is that i'm over the 30 day period for returns with Ritz Camera, the place I bought it from.

The biggest appeal of the Boss600 was that it would fit under the seat and I could keep all the room in the rear hatch, not that a small sub would take up all that much room anyway. However, the theft effect was the other consideration. At the moment nobody would still my Boss600, in fact the "perps" would probably leave me money just because they felt sorry for me and my poor decision. (LOL) Now, question for you AzNFO, do you use a luggage compartment cover in the rear, you know so folks can't see what you have?

I'll get this thing right eventually, but it's really getting annoying. The only audio success I've had thus far is the addition of the factory add-on tweeters, big improvement, and the elimination of the front door resonance, buzzing, etc.

Does anyone think the factory add-on sub would sound better then the Boss600?
I'm not going to buy it, i'm just curious. I think my next move is going to employ the use of a Profile 2CH amp I have (yes it's a good amp). The amp used to power an 8" JL sub in a q-logic custom fit enclosure for a dodge dakota. The sound was excellent. That being said I'm considering an 8" JL in a wedge box or perhaps a 10". Anybody have suggestions on how to secure it in the rear and to what? Thanks again, hopefully I'll get this thing right.

Check out my update #1.. by me. You will like what you see.. it's all Jl Audio.
 

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2010 Forester
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621 Posts
Can someone discribe the factory door speakers in the MY09-10 with the 6-CD non-Nav head unit? Posters are saying that Fs and Rs are different. Are either single, co-ax or what? I may be replacing them all but would like to have some idea of what they are first.

Oh, yeah.....what tools are you using for door panel removal?

Thanks, Bob
 

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2009 forester
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
bob, the door speakers (all for of em) are not coaxial. The front doors however are prewired to accept the factory add-on tweeters, which make a marked imporvement in the sound plus they look, well... factory ! : ) I bought them really for the purpose of using their housing to install aftermarket tweeters but as of yet have not done so. To remove the door panels I recommend the following: your finger nails. Seriously, anything else and you run the risk of marring the cheapy plastic - take my word for it I made some mistakes. I removed both front door panels. I can totally talk you through it, and when you have 'em off you can make some very cheap fixes to eliminate the buzzing noise emanating from the plastic fasteners as well as the retarded white plastic panel that serves no purpose but rattles like hell.
 

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2010 Forester
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bob, the door speakers (all for of em) are not coaxial. The front doors however are prewired to accept the factory add-on tweeters, which make a marked imporvement in the sound plus they look, well... factory ! : ) I bought them really for the purpose of using their housing to install aftermarket tweeters but as of yet have not done so. To remove the door panels I recommend the following: your finger nails. Seriously, anything else and you run the risk of marring the cheapy plastic - take my word for it I made some mistakes. I removed both front door panels. I can totally talk you through it, and when you have 'em off you can make some very cheap fixes to eliminate the buzzing noise emanating from the plastic fasteners as well as the retarded white plastic panel that serves no purpose but rattles like hell.
Thanks for that info and the heads up to fix the buzzs and unwanted sounds while the doors are apart. Can you describe your methods for me (us)?? And I agree that these door panels are cheapies that could use a little effort? It's not just Subaru, most manufacturers make rattly stuff....the console on my Infiniti has all kinds of slides and compartments and every one rattled, Until I got peeved at it and dampened each one. I HATE rattles, squeaks, creaks, and whistles!!!!!!
 

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2009 Forester XT 4EAT
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FWIW, I purchased the factory sub kit for my XT and had a stereo shop install it (I just don't have the time anymore). It will not rattle windows a mile down the block, but it does clean up the low end using the factory speakers and 6 disc head unit.
 

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2009 forester
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Tom, I appreciate that. So you like the factory sub then? Was it a noticeable difference? Do you have anything to compare it to? I swear I'm just about ready to go there. I said it once before on this site and I'll see again. I feel like I have to go all factory or all aftermarket with this car and now I'm starting to lean towards the former. I purchased the horribly expensive factory sat tuner, so I feel like I'm kind of stuck with the factory radio. The only thing that has brought me any joy thus far has been the addition of the factory tweeters and fixing the door buzzing; otherwise, all of the aftermarket stuff has been disappointing.

On a related note I just broke the driver's side tweeter housing today. : ( Man, the fastener on the aftermarket ones is a *****! I've already applied some superglue to try and repair the piece that broke. I'll apply some epoxy soon. Good on ya Tom for not doing this stuff yourself. It's not worth the headache! LOL.

On another note... this would be tip #101 on the self install advice. Do not attempt to apply dynamat when it's cold outside... you will be sorely disappointed when it breaks in your hands! ****! Yes, the instructions say not to use when it's cold outside, but when you forget that fact, you have a door panel off, and you've already broken a tweeter housing, well... you just press on. My misfortune is everyone else's gain I suppose.
 

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2009 forester
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Discussion Starter #14
Hey Bob, there's a guy who gave a great walk through on fixing the front doors... and the rear doors for that matter. Just look for one of my threads and there's a fella that responded to me. His ideas were great! Basically you'll just be applying double sided tape underneath the little plastic fasteners that hold the door on. Look for his link because he includeds pictures. As I said before your finger nails will be your best friend. If you can do the work in a heated garage do so because the wear and tear on your nail underbeds combined with the cold will probably leave a finder tip (or two)bleeding as mine were today. Basically here's what you're doing:

1. Remove the black plastic triangle. You'll have to just grip it with your hand and pull. Now if you already have the factory tweeters in this position be very careful because they're in there pretty good.

2. Remove the screw behind the door handle.

3. Remove the swrew from the arm rest.

4. Use your finger nails to pry up the arm rest electrical console. Start at the front of the console and work your way rearward. Once you have it out disconnect the electrical connections.

5. Now you'll see two screws holding the door on. Remove them.

6. At the bottom of the door (front door) is a little light. Use a flat head on the underside, pulling gently, and it should pop out. Once out, disconnect.

7. Now you're ready to remove the door. Start at the bottom of the door, use your finger nails, and start prying outward.

6. Once you have all the plastic fasteners disengaged you can pull the door out some and then disconnect the cables for the handle and lock mechanism.

Now find the one guy's link I spoke of and you can start sound proofing the door. You can dynamat the door if you want but I have no experience with it. I've applied some sections of dynamat but never the whole door. Seascooby seems extremely capable so I'd say hit him with an email.

Hope this helps.
 

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2009 forester
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Discussion Starter #15
One more thing Bob, they make an inexpensive pry tool that you could use on the door if you want. Crutchfield sells for like $10. If you use it I would diffinetly wrap with duck tape so you don't scratch the door up. The tool can come in handy in other places. Otherwise, if you're looking to get started right away I found my fingers did the job quite well.
 

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2009 Premium X AT
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Now, question for you AzNFO, do you use a luggage compartment cover in the rear, you know so folks can't see what you have?
Nope, But my windows are tinted though. I do plan on getting the luggage compartment cover eventually.

Btw... Best reviews you'll find on audio is on crutchfield.com

Thanks for that info and the heads up to fix the buzzs and unwanted sounds while the doors are apart. Can you describe your methods for me (us)??
Removing the door panels with tools isn't necessary... I never did a speaker install ever until I got my 09, and I didn't make any mistakes... Heres a link to how to remove the door panels on 09+ models

http://sumbiz03.home.comcast.net/~sumbiz03/DoorTrim.pdf

Oh, and Dynamat should do just fine... Thats my next update for the sound system to boost up the Mids and Highs.

On a separate note, If you really want the best possible pure sound, anything OEM will Never suffice. Which is why i completely swapped out my system. Except the Stock tweeters. Underseat subs don't cut it since the area they have to "Kick" or "Punch" is extremely limited. Having a sub in an open trunk like the Forester (e.g. Infinity Basslink) Gives it room to kick n punch, so you in a sense, "Feel" the music more. (I personally feel my music)
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,813 Posts
Actually I went that route Blue Fox. I wired up an Alpine 4 x 50W amplifier in addition to a Profile 400W amplifier. The Alpine powered my 4 mains and the Profile powered a Bazooka tube. I wasn't happy with the sound but then I didn't listen very long either. The Alpine was complete overkill for the 4 mains. I had gained it all the way down and still way to much power for factories. If I wanted to stick with that arrangement I would have needed to buy aftermarket speakers which I might have done if it wasn't crazy and wanted to start over right away because I hated the sound.
That being said...

I'm actually happy with the way the factory speakers sound with the factory radio. After some door mods to eliminate annoying buzzes and rattles everything sounded tight. However, it does depend on the music listen too. The only thing I want right now is some deeper bass and maybe a little more volume from the four mains because when you listen to the radio they don't seem to play very loud.
Are your speakers the regular factory or the factory "premium"? I know on the 04's, the premium speakers were an almost clear looking plastic speaker.....and they did sound absolutely amazing with my Alpine Flex 5 plugged into them. But since I already purchased all new Infinity speakers, I replaced them anyway. Either way, the factory "premium" speakers were impressive and handled almost as much power as the Infinity's.

Also, I had the factory tweeters at the time as well (which I also replaced with the Infinity's). The factory tweeters made a world of difference in the clarity of the speakers (before I switched everything out for Infinity speakers).

Good luck with your sound system. If you do end up getting a different sub, I would recommend getting an Infinity sub (they're built to be mounted in very small boxes). For example, my Infinity 10" sub is mounted in a box that takes up less than 1 cubic foot. 12x12x8"....... or you can get the self-contained Infinity BassLink which sounds amazing and already has it's own built in amp. I had one in the past and it sounded amazing.

I'm not 100% sure of what type of setup you are going for. If you are going for clean, crisp and precise.....then I would indeed recommend Infinity. I have a link to a website where I buy all my sound equipment from. If you'd like it, shoot me a PM and I'll get it to you. Don't want to post it and get in troubles. :biggrin:
 

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2010 Forester
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One more thing Bob, they make an inexpensive pry tool that you could use on the door if you want. Crutchfield sells for like $10. If you use it I would diffinetly wrap with duck tape so you don't scratch the door up. The tool can come in handy in other places. Otherwise, if you're looking to get started right away I found my fingers did the job quite well.
Thanks for all the info (including other posters). This info will make my decisions better and outcome better. I'm doing one step at a time, with the OEM Subwoof first.
Bob
 
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