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Old 12-09-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
camputer
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Default New 2012 WRX - Audio Questions for veterans

My 2012 WRX Sedan is on order and I have a few questions for those of you know a lot more than I do...

1 - I ordered a NAVI unit because the price seemed reasonable and I like the seemless factory look/function. I keep reading that the stock system is so bad, and that people end up making changes to it (new speakers, head unit, amps, etc.). Does the NAVI unit sound any better than the base head unit? I thought I remembered someone mentioning that the NAVI unit came with extra speakers? Am I misinformed? Any info would be appreciated.

2 - I don't really want to get into spending a ton of money to have my local audio/video store install a ton of stuff, but I am open to adding a couple of things that will make a key difference. I do not want people to notice me coming down the street, I just want good/great sound quality inside the car. Assuming that the stock unit is underpowered (as I've read often) would I be best to add one of the stock kickers or subs? I believe I've seen both units available, and I'm not sure which I would need (probably not both?). Any advice/info on that would be appreciated as well. The only reason I suggest the Subaru/stock stuff is because it seems to fit so well in the car.

3 - Because I didn't order a kicker or sub with the car, I'm guessing this means that the wiring from sub/kicker to the deck will all need to be done, right? That's not going to be in the car already, correct?

Thanks for any help you can give me!
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
DarkProphet
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I had the 10" kicker in my car and thought it was WAY overpowered compared to the rest of the speakers. The underseat rounds out the bottom end a bit, but doesn't do anything to take the bass out of the door speakers so they will still be distorted at louder volumes. In either case you would have to run the wiring, but they are included in their respective kits and its not a big deal (I installed the kicker in like an hour).

For the 2011s (not sure about 2012) both the base and navi came with a "10 speaker" setup and were the same speaker setup. I know the non-navi unit does some funky EQ things to the signal, not sure about the navi setup.

You can probably sell the navi unit online if you wanted, and get a new navi setup if you really want nav. If not, you can probably sell the navi unit online and get a much nicer (from a sound quality perspective) head unit at around the same price you sell it for. I honestly don't have much experience with the navi unit though so I'm not sure if it suffers from the same output problems as the non-navi unit.

Check out this thread for adding an external amp to the stock headunit:http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2232785


Let me know if I can help you further.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #3
cincy2012wrx
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Just picked a 2012 Wrx yesterday. Anyone know if the new factory navigation has rca outs that i can hook my amp and subs up to? Do i have to get converter to tap into the speakers ?
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
camputer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkProphet View Post
I had the 10" kicker in my car and thought it was WAY overpowered compared to the rest of the speakers. The underseat rounds out the bottom end a bit, but doesn't do anything to take the bass out of the door speakers so they will still be distorted at louder volumes. In either case you would have to run the wiring, but they are included in their respective kits and its not a big deal (I installed the kicker in like an hour).
Good to know. Would the sub have a different effect that the kicker? I see that you can get both, but don't know much about the difference in the sound they make. Any ideas?

Quote:
For the 2011s (not sure about 2012) both the base and navi came with a "10 speaker" setup and were the same speaker setup. I know the non-navi unit does some funky EQ things to the signal, not sure about the navi setup.
Perfect, I wasn't sure if they both had the same setup.

Quote:
You can probably sell the navi unit online if you wanted, and get a new navi setup if you really want nav.
I'd like to keep the stock unit because of the full steering wheel controls. I guess I'm looking to do as much with that stock NAVI unit as I can.

Quote:
Check out this thread for adding an external amp to the stock headunit:http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2232785
I'll check it out. Thanks for the help already. I'll do some more research and give it some more thought and then maybe post back with any further questions.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:35 PM   #5
DarkProphet
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There is the underseat sub and the trunk/hatch sub. The hatch/trunk sub is the kicker one I was talking about. The underseat sub is much more mellow and basicly helps round out the bottom of the frequency range. The trunk/hatch is pretty powerful for what it is, and adds a high pass filter (blocks bass) going to the main speakers to reduce distortion. I had one in my hatch and got rid of it as it wasn't what I wanted (too loud for the stock speakers). I have read better things about it inside the sedan as it fits into the side in the trunk and has the rear seats as sort of a buffer zone. I have never personally listened to the underseat sub, but from what I read its much quiter and doesn't add a whole lot.

You can retain the use of the steering wheel controls using an ASWC module (about 50-60 bucks) I just bought one and a wiring kit from Dave (Nasoic member SVXdc) so don't let that scare you away from a new unit if thats what your are thinking.

If you want to retain the use of the stock unit, you can certainly add a 4 or 5 channel amp and that way increase the power to all of the speakers and add a sub if you choose. You can use something like the JL cleansweep to "normalize" the signal (make it flat as possible) before sending it to the amp.

A good 5 channel amp (Alpine MRX-V60) can be had for like 300 bucks and seems to be a popular upgrade. Check this thread for examples: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2232785


let me know if you have anymore questions. You can always PM as well
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:39 AM   #6
Nighthawkra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkProphet View Post
I had the 10" kicker in my car and thought it was WAY overpowered compared to the rest of the speakers. The underseat rounds out the bottom end a bit, but doesn't do anything to take the bass out of the door speakers so they will still be distorted at louder volumes. In either case you would have to run the wiring, but they are included in their respective kits and its not a big deal (I installed the kicker in like an hour).

For the 2011s (not sure about 2012) both the base and navi came with a "10 speaker" setup and were the same speaker setup. I know the non-navi unit does some funky EQ things to the signal, not sure about the navi setup.

You can probably sell the navi unit online if you wanted, and get a new navi setup if you really want nav. If not, you can probably sell the navi unit online and get a much nicer (from a sound quality perspective) head unit at around the same price you sell it for. I honestly don't have much experience with the navi unit though so I'm not sure if it suffers from the same output problems as the non-navi unit.

Check out this thread for adding an external amp to the stock headunit:http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2232785


Let me know if I can help you further.
10 speakers? lol i went to a local dealer recently asking about the new navi, and they all told me all wrx's and sti's come with just 6 speakers, but we all know dealers 3/4 of the time are wrong. Im questioning the US spec models too.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
DarkProphet
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It's "10" speakers not 10 speakers haha. There are a set of coxials in the rear (2x2=4), a set of coxials in the front (2x2=4)and a set of tweeters in the sail panels (2x1=2) total=10. In reality its a normal 6 speaker setup. Subaru is counting each individual driver.
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:24 PM   #8
camputer
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Thanks for the info Dark Prophet...I do want to retain the use of the stock unit, and so that advice is what I think I will go with. When I get closer to receiving the car, i'll PM you with any questions.

The other discussion about 6 or 10 speakers was definitely helpful. I think that's how I got the idea that the NAVI unit had more speakers than the non-NAVI, and so now I know they are all the same.

Thank to everyone who took the time to help!
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:55 PM   #9
cincy2012wrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cincy2012wrx View Post
Just picked a 2012 Wrx yesterday. Anyone know if the new factory navigation has rca outs that i can hook my amp and subs up to? Do i have to get converter to tap into the speakers ?
bump!
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:17 AM   #10
Nighthawkra
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HAHA i had a feeling there was somthing i was not getting right
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:03 AM   #11
Dreamwrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cincy2012wrx View Post
Just picked a 2012 Wrx yesterday. Anyone know if the new factory navigation has rca outs that i can hook my amp and subs up to? Do i have to get converter to tap into the speakers ?
My gut feeling is that OEM units do not have RCA outs. It can be different in this case. The easiest way to find out is to pop out the trim and unscrew the unit to find out. It's actually quite easy and quick to do this.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:58 AM   #12
phenryiv1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cincy2012wrx View Post
Just picked a 2012 Wrx yesterday. Anyone know if the new factory navigation has rca outs that i can hook my amp and subs up to? Do i have to get converter to tap into the speakers ?
You need a converter, unless Subaru is doing things differently than every other mainstream car manufacturer. Nothing in the '12 literature leads me to believe that they added a line-out on the rear.

That was not meant to sound smart- just trying to manage your expectations.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:40 PM   #13
Tripintaz
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Replace all the speakers, add a 10inch sub in the trunk, get an amp that takes speaker level inputs from the factory nav unit. This way you can power all the speakers and sub with a 5 channel amp, keep the factory nav, and it will sound good. You can always turn down the gain on the sub woofer to balance out the sound.
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