Originally Posted by KMA2
Love, love, love your car! Trust me, if I had one of those I wouldn't be asking about quiet exhausts.
I think you misunderstood my original post... the quietness of the exhaust has almost nothing to do with my kids (who are teenagers btw, and probably would like a louder sound). It was more about setting the "tone" of the thread (no pun) and helping forum members understand the type of person I am, and what I'm looking to achieve. The wife on the other hand... well, she might care but probably not as much as other wives. The simple reality is that this car is my dd, and I really don't want it to be loud.
I actually don't feel old, and I'm in pretty good shape physically... I'm "old" in my lifestyle though, meaning I have the somewhat typical daily schedule of driving to work, driving home, picking the kids up at practice, going to kids games and school events, rinse and repeat. In a couple more years, they'll both be off to college and I'm buying a bad ass car.
I bought the WRX because it was the best balance of practicality and sportiness for the price. A low-to-mid priced AWD, 5 door family hauler with a bit of a nasty side.
From personal experience, the noise is more about your schedule and what your neighbors and yoru spouse can tolerate. I get up early in the AM to work out so I am out there door before 6am. I live in an area where neighbors are close enough that if I crank it up in the AM when it's nice and quiet, they'll hear me. Note that our cars are typically very loud on cold starts when they first start idling and they get that low frequency sound propagating through the area. Deep sounds travel further and are more noticeable. So, if you crank it over first thing in the morning and it wakes the wife up upstairs and the neoghbors across the street, that's not good. You can take the "I don't care" approach but then you're a d-bag and your quality of life will suffer. So, depending on where you live and what your lifestyle is, you may/may not get away with having loud cars. I personally can get away with moderate loudness but if I go too loud, it becomes a problem at home and at work.
As a side note, cold starts were my major issue. I addressed it by altering my idle targets such that the car idles slightly lower when it warms up. This changed the sound enough that it does not wake up anybody in the house anymore.