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Old 03-10-2013, 08:47 AM   #1
rsutton1223
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Default From Stock to Passive to Active: My 2011 WRX Audio Story

I have always been an audio geek. There hasn't been one car that I have owned in my lifetime that wasn't stripped and redone to get rid of the horrible mess that manufacturers call audio. Here is now everything progressed since I bought the car in June of 2011.

The first thing I did was get rid of the stock head unit in favor of the Pioneer Premiere F90BT. Given that the 2011+ cars came with actual 2-way speakers in the doors, the aftermarket HU actually did a lot to prove sound. The factory HU has almost zero power to it and you can tell as soon as you pick one up. They weigh nothing.



The first speaker swap was for the Hertz 165XL 2 way components with passive crossovers. A friend of mine made and wrapped the a pillars to accept the tweeter and move the front stage forward in the car.





They were powered with a DLS RA30 3 way amp under the driver's seat.



That also went to a Dayton HF 10" subwoofer in an Audio Integrations box.



After messing with the F90BT for awhile, I didn't really like the overall look in the car. I got rid the F90BT head unit in favor of the Pioneer X930BT. It was the head unit that most resembled the interior and had the best functions at the time. Ironically enough, Subaru thought so too and the Canada spec WRX's and STI's got this head unit as the factory option for navigation.



I then swapped out the DLS RA30 for the new (at the time) Hertz HDP4 4 way amp for more power on a smaller footprint.





The additional power to the sub started heating the voice coil of the Dayton, so I switched that out for a JL Audio 10" W3v2.

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Old 03-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
rsutton1223
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I actually stayed with this setup for awhile. It wasn't until a friend offered me custom 3 way setup a-pillars that I decided to start working on the audio again. At first, I just added some Tang Band 3.5" Bamboo drivers to the Hertz 165XL components and hooked up a JBL MS-8 for the processing. The Tang's and the Hertz tweeters were being powered off of the MS-8 while the Hertz HDP4 handled the power for the midbass Hertz drivers in the doors and the JL Audio W3 sub.







This setup was ok but the tweeters and mids really needed more power. Then...when the car got wrecked (thanks to a guy running a red light and t-boning my car)...insurance was covering new speakers. That is when things got a little nuts and here is now the car is sitting now.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #3
rsutton1223
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The is the audio system that is completely installed at this point. To recap, I wanted audiophile grade sound in my car without losing a bit of function. To accomplish this, an Audio Integrations box was used for the hatch and the amps/processors were installed underneath both front seats. That doesn't make for the prettiest "show off" install, but it does get the job done without any sacrifice in the car's interior.

Here is the new layout as it is installed now.



The Pioneer X930BT Source Unit



The Hertz HDP4 (powers Peerless SLS 6.5" Midbasses and JL 8" W3v2) and Power Block



Rockford Fosgate 3.sixty.3 Processor Massive BX4 (powers Scanspeak Discovery 10F 4" midranges and LPG Tweeters)



LPG Aluminum Dome Tweeters and Scanspeak Discovery 10F 4" Midranges in fiberglassed a-pillars covered in black Alcantara by JPM Coachworks




Last edited by rsutton1223; 03-11-2013 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #4
rsutton1223
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1-1/4" Spacer for Peerless SLS made by friend on DIYMA



Peerless SLS 6.5" Midbasses installed with duct sealant and sealed doors





JL Audio 10" W3v2 Subwoofer in Audio Integrations Box



Rockford Fosgate 3.sixty.3 Controller



Now the fun part...the tuning begins...

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Old 03-10-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
SeeingDouble12
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wow man, fantastic job. That looks dope and I can only imagine how it sounds. Did you add dynamat or a similar product to the trunk or other places? Or just in the door?
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
rsutton1223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeingDouble12 View Post
wow man, fantastic job. That looks dope and I can only imagine how it sounds. Did you add dynamat or a similar product to the trunk or other places? Or just in the door?
I basically lined the car. I still have a couple more rattles to hunt down but that helped tremendously.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:32 PM   #7
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Great job on your stereo integration. I have a nib a massive BX4 that I'm going to use for my Vw build. I also had a BX2 that I was going to bridge to power my Kenwood Excelon flat subwoofer, but I sold them both to another Legacy owner.

My Subaru is set as follows,
Alpine IVE W530 as my source
Pioneer stage4 6.5 components with the tweeters of axis in my A pillars
Powering those is my Mosconi AS100.4 amp
No rear fill
CDT QES1220 SQ subwoofer
Powering that is my Mosconi Zero3 amp bridged
As far as processing since I run active is my Zapco DSP Z8...
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:06 PM   #8
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This is cool. Seeing your pillars makes me want to chop up mine and put my HAT L4's up there.

How do you like the that 3.sixty.3 as compared the the MS-8? I've been contemplating redoing my entire setup and not sure what I want to try next for tuning.

My STi sits like this:

Stock Nav H/U,
JBL MS-8
HAT L1R2's 90deg off axis in stock sails location.
Hat L4's in kick pods
Hat L6's Stock door location.
2 Dayton HO 10's in a 1.3cu 30hz ported box
Alpine PDX 4.100 - runs the tweets and mid ranges
Alpine PDx 4.100 - Bridged and runs the L6's
Alpine M12 for the subs.

Wouldn't mind getting my hands on some Mosconi/Zapco/Audison products myself lol.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
rsutton1223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRKNESS View Post
Great job on your stereo integration. I have a nib a massive BX4 that I'm going to use for my Vw build. I also had a BX2 that I was going to bridge to power my Kenwood Excelon flat subwoofer, but I sold them both to another Legacy owner.

My Subaru is set as follows,
Alpine IVE W530 as my source
Pioneer stage4 6.5 components with the tweeters of axis in my A pillars
Powering those is my Mosconi AS100.4 amp
No rear fill
CDT QES1220 SQ subwoofer
Powering that is my Mosconi Zero3 amp bridged
As far as processing since I run active is my Zapco DSP Z8...
Nice setup. How do you like the Zapco? Mosconi amps are insane. Very nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lateralis View Post
This is cool. Seeing your pillars makes me want to chop up mine and put my HAT L4's up there.

How do you like the that 3.sixty.3 as compared the the MS-8? I've been contemplating redoing my entire setup and not sure what I want to try next for tuning.

My STi sits like this:

Stock Nav H/U,
JBL MS-8
HAT L1R2's 90deg off axis in stock sails location.
Hat L4's in kick pods
Hat L6's Stock door location.
2 Dayton HO 10's in a 1.3cu 30hz ported box
Alpine PDX 4.100 - runs the tweets and mid ranges
Alpine PDx 4.100 - Bridged and runs the L6's
Alpine M12 for the subs.

Wouldn't mind getting my hands on some Mosconi/Zapco/Audison products myself lol.
Those Hats would sound awesome higher up. Do you have a post that shows pics of your setup? Interested to see how the kicks look.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:34 PM   #10
Lateralis
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I got a build thread some where in here lol. Never did really finish the trunk and I guess it could use some updates. My fab skillz are nothing great, but it gets the job done. Anyway here ya go.

Kicks





Tweets:
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:20 AM   #11
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good lord robb, when you do things you really do them. jesus.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:44 PM   #12
imac6471
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Quote:
Originally Posted by besthaticouldo View Post
good lord robb, when you do things you really do them. jesus.
Agreed, this car is the definition of "go big or go home". Truly an inspirational car in every way

Rsutton, what is the little JBL screen? Also, does the HU come factory with the start up screen that says Subaru WRX? I assume it would be only ones that were installed in the Canada spec cars? Little things like that make me all giddy haha

Last edited by imac6471; 03-11-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:51 PM   #13
rsutton1223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by besthaticouldo View Post
good lord robb, when you do things you really do them. jesus.
I get obsessed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imac6471 View Post
Agreed, this car is the definition of "go big or go home". Truly an inspirational car in every way

Rsutton, what is the little JBL screen? Also, does the HU come factory with the start up screen that says Subaru WRX? I assume it would be only ones that were installed in the Canada spec cars? Little things like that make me all giddy haha
The JBL screen was for the MS-8 processor that was in the car. It isn't there now since I am on the Rockford Fosgate 3.sixty.3. The WRX splash screen is something you can actually do on any Pioneer. You just load it via MicroSD card.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:54 AM   #14
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u wild man, I want to hear what some of my self-produced tracks sound like in there
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:14 AM   #15
luan87us
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Man that's some legit sound upgrades.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:59 AM   #16
digitizedsoul
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sup luan!
Yeah I sat in his car last week (before he tuned the audio setup) and it was life changing.

although,

going for a ride around some twisties with that turbo / motor setup was also a trip
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:24 AM   #17
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I wouldn't sit in his car because that'll make me hate my own car afterward lol.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:03 AM   #18
guitarman19853
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Are the stock HF speakers still active? I see in one pic that something is still in there.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:23 AM   #19
rsutton1223
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Are the stock HF speakers still active? I see in one pic that something is still in there.
None of the stock speakers are hooked up
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:41 AM   #20
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Any reason you chose the X930BT over the AV84000 from pioneer? I am in the market for a new H/U and am having some difficulty choosing between the to. You're input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:13 PM   #21
rsutton1223
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I ended up going to a car audio meet this past weekend, and it has given me the bug to expand.

I started work on the trunk last night...

First, the setup you see here is really just a proof of concept. I was hoping that I could just use MDF for the subwoofer enclosure and build around that...but I am just losing too much airspace under the enclosure. It ends up making the floor higher than I want and I don't like being inefficient with space. It looks like I am going to have to learn how to make a fiberglass enclosure after all. This will, however, give me a chance to test the staging in the car before diving head first into the deep end, so it isn't a complete waste of time.

Let me start by saying that this is not the prettiest box I have ever made. I am almost embarrassed to post pictures of it. I think after my brain went "this is not the final product" quality took a hike. That said, there are four things this box does do.
  1. It fits perfectly.
  2. It is exactly .8 cubic feet
  3. It is sealed without any leaks
  4. It uses the factory spare tire mount to secure it to the floor which I kind of thought was cool.

I ended up using more duct sealant around the mount and now the driver is almost impossible to push in the box is sealed so well.



Here is my new JL Audio 13TW5v2-4 in the enclosure.



I have always wanted a hatch with an upward firing sub ever since a friend of mine had a Civic with that setup back in the 90's.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:14 PM   #22
rsutton1223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVA_Ninja View Post
Any reason you chose the X930BT over the AV84000 from pioneer? I am in the market for a new H/U and am having some difficulty choosing between the to. You're input would be greatly appreciated.
I wanted GPS.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:49 PM   #23
luan87us
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Thinking about wrapping some of my interior piece in CF wrap. And where did you get taht Subaru WRX start up screen? I want it for my OEM NAV unit.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:22 PM   #24
rsutton1223
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Thinking about wrapping some of my interior piece in CF wrap. And where did you get taht Subaru WRX start up screen? I want it for my OEM NAV unit.
Avic411.com
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:52 PM   #25
rsutton1223
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Yeah...time to kick it up to a whole new level...

Productive weekend on the new audio setup. The trunk is prepped for the fiberglass work as well.

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