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Old 06-13-2001, 08:34 PM   #1
Patrick Olsen
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Post Various newbie questions about speakers in '97 2.5GT doors

I'm an audio newbie, and I'm looking into upgrading the stereo in my '97 2.5GT sedan. The car has the "upgraded" speaker/amp combo, so it has the little amp and sub under the driver's seat and the tweeters by the side view mirrors. I'm not looking to win any IASCA competitions or anything like that, I just want to improve the stock system. I'll almost certainly do a head unit w/CD changer at the same time I do the speaker upgrade, so I guess I'm replacing the stock system, not improving.....Whatever.

My intention, based on my limited knowledge, is to go with a moderate 4 channel amp (4x50? 4x75? something like that), probably with 6.5" components in the front doors and good 6.5" co-ax speakers in the rear deck. As for my budget, I don't have anything set in stone, but I'd say $1000-1500 for the whole shebang - head unit, changer, amp, speakers, installation stuff, etc.

OK, so let the questions begin:

(1) Are Panasonic speakers the "stock" upgraded speakers? I notice looking through the door grilles that the tweeter on the speaker says "Panasonic". In the rear, looking from under the deck, the back of the magnet is marked "Subaru", not sure if it has the Panasonic marking on the front or not. I know the head unit is Panasonic, so it wouldn't surprise me if the speakers were too.

(2) Assuming I get components for the front doors, can aftermarket tweeters be put in the factory upgrade tweeter enclosures (by the mirrors)? Is that worth doing, or does that create a crappy "sound stage"? I remember being told years ago that you want the tweeter and midrange driver to be as close to each as possible so the imaging is correct.

(2a) If I shouldn't put the tweeters in the factory location, where and how should I mount them? I don't want to have to do a chop-fest on my door panels to fit tweeters somewhere, but if it's pretty easy to do cleanly I'm all for it.

(3) Looking through the door grilles, it's clear that there's about 3/4" of clearance between the speaker and the door panel/grille. According to Crutchfield, there's only 1 7/8" of mounting depth in the front doors, which is pretty lame, but obviously I could space the speakers out to make use of at least some of that extra 3/4". I've read on this board that you can use spacers to do this - where would I get said spacers? How much room do I need to leave between the front of the speaker and the door panel/grille to allow for the speaker to actually move and make that noise stuff?

(3a) Any suggestions on components I should look at? I've been told the MA Audio stuff has an awesome quality-to-price ratio, but looking at pictures of their stuff at their website I'm not sure they would fit in the relatively shallow doors. (Even with the 3/4" spacers).

(4) What should I do in the rear? I'm used to hearing most people say that the rear speakers are just "filler", so a good quality set of co-ax speakers is all you need. Recently, though, I was told I should put matching components front and rear for better sound http://www.i-club.com/cgi-bin/ubb6/u...c&f=6&t=001360 . I'm sure MY99 2.5GT is correct, but I'm wondering if it's worth the cost and effort for someone with my rather simple musical tastes.

(5) Any suggestions on subs? From what I've read (in that link above, for instance), I think I would be perfectly happy with a single 10" sub. Actually, I've been perfectly happy without a sub at all in every car I've ever owned/driven, but maybe I just don't know what I'm missing. I'd like something relatively small (although I don't normally carry a whole lot in the trunk), and easily removeable for track/auto-x duty.

Well, I guess that's enough ??? to start with. I appreciate any comments/advice.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 06-14-2001, 07:23 AM   #2
GTBGUY
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1) Yes

2) Don't use the factory location for the tweeters, hi frequecy generally travels faster than lower frequency. Tweeters should optimially be placed no more than 30cm away from the mid-bass driver.

3) If you're going with speakers like the Boston Acoustic 6.5 Pros, you can actually mount the tweeter over the mid-bass (kinda like a co-ax speaker). Eclipse also has this design. Other alternative are to make either floor pods or door pods.

4) Use a spacer to increase mounting depth. One of MDF is good.

5) Use co-axs for the rear as fill, since you're in the front, you want the sound image to be crips up there, and just a "fill" in the rear. Phasing maybe off if you go with components in the rear.

6) If you're going to get a sub, get a 5 channel amp. Personally I'd suggest the following to start with first :

Head Unit
6.5" Components
6.5" Co-axs
4 Channel amp.

If that's not enough, get the "Basslink" or up your amp to a 5 Channel and run a seal 10" or dual 8" sub.
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Old 06-14-2001, 09:32 AM   #3
Patrick Olsen
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Thanks for the info, GTBGUY. I, of course, have some follow-up questions.

Quote:
Originally posted by GTBGUY:
3) If you're going with speakers like the Boston Acoustic 6.5 Pros, you can actually mount the tweeter over the mid-bass (kinda like a co-ax speaker). Eclipse also has this design. Other alternative are to make either floor pods or door pods.
First, wouldn't a very high quality set of co-ax speakers be just as good as coaxially mounted components?

Second, please explain more what you mean by "floor pods" and "door pods". I'll have to peek through the door grilles again, but it did appear when I looked in there last night that there would be room for a tweeter above and forward of the mid bass.

Quote:
4) Use a spacer to increase mounting depth. One of MDF is good.
MDF?

Thanks again for the help...

Pat
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Old 06-14-2001, 09:48 AM   #4
froggert
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i believe it's short for medium-density fibreboard. it's wood that's jammed together. much heavier than a solid piece of wood and doesn't vibrate and flex as much, either.
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Old 06-14-2001, 10:01 AM   #5
GTBGUY
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Pat - The reason why a component system is better than the co-ax even though the position of the tweeter is the same on both is b/c for a component system, the physical structure of the pieces itself are not attached to each other (ie. the tweeter is in no way attached to the center of the mid-bass driver). Also, the cross-over is alot more accurate than the on-board "passive" cross over on the back of a co-ax speaker. Hence sound reproduction is vastly improved.

Floor pods are used when you want to do imaging of your sound stage, used in SQ competition. This essentially uses your stock door locations for mid-bass drivers only, while recessing a smaller woofer and a tweeter in the "floor" or "kick-pannel".

Door pods can be built in the location of your OE speakers, essentially by doing this, you can increase the size of mid-bass driver in your front door. This is used by alot of guys who like to fit free-air 8" subs into their front doors. This will provide more accurate imagining of the sound stage.

MDF is Medium Density Fibreboard (a type of wood you can get). Has lots of rigidity and farily soild and easy to work with.


As for the area you mentioned, yes a tweeter can be placed fore of the mid-bass driver, but it may be a little hard to produce the right angle from that position.
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Old 06-14-2001, 11:17 AM   #6
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Pat, I would suggest you do a similar setup to mine. I have Boston Acoustic Rally components in the doors at the factory locations, and Rally coaxials in the rear tray, all 6.5". I too had to space the door speakers out, and it fit fine. I used a speaker spacer for a 5.25" speaker, made of plastic. Stereo shops sell them.
I bought my head unit at: http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/caraudio/
and the speakers at Tweeter.

I also have an Alpine V12 4-channel amp (50x4) powering all the speakers (purchased used), and a 8" JL Audio Free Air (No sub box required) [purchased used] sub in the trunk powered by an Alpine MVR-T303 2-channel amp from tweeter (bridged to be about 100-130W x1).

I ran all new 12 ga speaker wire, with Moster Cable RCA cables, and 4-gauge power from the battery to the trunk, which splits to 8 ga to the amps, and 8 ga ground wires.

All the pictures of my install can be seen here at my photopoint site: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Album...006&a=12583358

If you have any questions about anything, give me a call. I would be happy to help you with the install too. The cost of my project with dynomat was about $1400.
I have to replace one of the speakers (defect), so if you want to see how they work inside the doors, let me know and we can meet up.

Paul G.
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Old 06-14-2001, 04:06 PM   #7
GTBGUY
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paultg - Us Legacy guys have a 60/40 fold down rear seat, hence your set-up is not very viable.

For myself, all my amps are placed under the front seats.
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Old 06-14-2001, 06:59 PM   #8
paultg
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Well, I know about the fold down seats, but I assumed Pat was not planning on utilizing the 60/40 anymore if he wants to put a sub box in the trunk, or he plans to remove it if the seats need to come down. If he wanted, he could bolt the amps (flush mounted with some wood or not) to the rear seats, and have them fold down with it. It is up to him. I was not saying build what I have, but more like, "see what peices I used, and maybe listen to my setup and see if you like it. He could mount a Free Air sub in his rear deck, and bolt all the amps under the front seats (not me, I drive in the winter and I don't want salt and crap all over them, or melted snow hangin out by my wires), and his car would appear completley stock and he would lose ZERO trunk space. It would cost less for wire too I think. That is what I would do if I had a Leagacy with the 60/40 split, and was not worried about cutting a hole in my rear speaker tray.

I am actually in the process (waiting) for my '99 WRX seats to arrive from another country, so I won't have to take my rear seat out anymore to adjust my amps. Just fold them down.

You Leagacy guys think your so special..

Paul G.
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Old 06-15-2001, 04:54 AM   #9
Patrick Olsen
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Paul - I would be interested in seeing/hearing your setup. I don't have my Crutchfield catalog here at work, but I seem to recall from looking at it the other day that the Impreza actually has more room in the doors - 2 3/8" vs 1 7/8" or something like that.

Edit - Checked my Crutchfield catalog when I got home, it's actually 2 5/8" vs 1 7/8" - that's a big difference. I wonder if the BAs will fit in the Legacy doors?

As for how I want to set up my "system" - hmmmm. I guess it depends on what I do for a sub. If I go with the free air sub mounted in the rear deck, then I would probably mount the amp(s) under the front seats. I've had an amp under the passenger seat of the Mustang for years and it hasn't crapped out on me yet. If I were to use a small boxed sub in the trunk, then I'd probably see about mounting the amp(s) under the package shelf (between the speakers). I'll have to do some measuring/investigating to see how much room I actually have.

Pat

[ June 15, 2001: Message edited by: Patrick Olsen ]
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Old 06-15-2001, 09:28 AM   #10
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Pat - the free air subs in the rear deck would not be a good idea. If you use 8" free airs, you'll need to cut holes in the rear deck, hence compromising rigidity. Also, putting something like the JL6.5W3's in the rear deck will give crappy sound compared to using 2-way co-axs for rear fill.

My suggestion would be to get the speaker grills from a Legacy wagon, and put 2 6.5" free-air subs in the doors if you aren't satisified with just having components in the front and 2-way co-axis in the rear.
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Old 06-15-2001, 11:37 AM   #11
paultg
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Yeah, I wouldn't cut into my rear deck either. A friend I know has two 8" subs in his Impreza rear deck, and I wonder about the strength now, but he has the strut bar, and it seems to be O.K.

Pat- I think an 8" or 10" sub with a nice flush box to the seats will only take up about 6" to 10" of trunk depth. The box will only need .75-1 cubic ft of volume, so doing the math and assuming the hieght from the trunk floor to the rear speakers is about 12", and length across the seats between the strut towers is almost 36", you don't need a very deep box, really just the minium depth required by the sub depth. So, you could make a nice flush box and have the trunk look like mine does with the board, and just remove the sub/box for auto-speed events, or if you need to use the seats to fold them down. Then just mount the amps under the seats. It is tough to hang the amps under the deck, because the heat comes off the top, so you don't want them close to the rear speaker tray, and you don't want them upside down either. We should try to meet up soon so you can hear my setup.

Paul G.
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Old 06-15-2001, 06:05 PM   #12
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I'm not a car stereo expert, critic, or anything... but here's my .02

In my 99GT I yanked the factory sub and changer, and kept the "upgraded" tweeters, door, and rear deck speakers. I juiced them up w/ a Pheonix gold XS4800 (4 channel), which IMHO makes a world of difference. Those Panasonics don't sound BAD. For the low end, there's a PG XS2500(2 channels bridged) runnin' a 12" Orion XTR/D. The amps are under the front seats, and I've got an LPL to keep the sub in line. The PG gold amps draw a lot of current, and can dim the lights under xtreme volume and hard bass (trying to find a place to mount a cap), but work great for my needs!

Upgraded seperates for the front may come in the future... but for now I'm rather pleased w/ the amp and speaker config feed by Eclipse head unit and changer.

If you're a "newbie", and aren't loaded w/ $... I'd start w/ a good head unit, amp(s) and a sub...that'll take care of your $1500 budget. Component speakers can come later when you've got the $ and get a feel for what you really want.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 06-19-2001, 12:12 PM   #13
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If you want everything in a clean package (ie: minimal weight as well) get a 5 channel amp. Also, I believe DEI has a line of speakers that are really really light.
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Old 06-19-2001, 12:17 PM   #14
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If you want everything in a clean package (ie: minimal weight as well) get a 5 channel amp. Also, I believe DEI has a line of speakers that are really really light.

Some good 5 Channel amps are :
JL Audio's
Kicker Impluse IX405D
DEI's
Alpine T752
JBL
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Old 06-20-2001, 10:09 AM   #15
MY99 2.5GT
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Hey Pat,

I know what you mean about taking up as little space as possible and adding as little weight as possible also. Our GTs are already 500lbs heavier than the more nimble RS.

I also aggree with the previous advice to not go with 2-8" free-air subwoofer in you rear deck. Honestly a single 10" high powered woofer in a sealed box will sound so much better and really won't take up hardly any space in your trunk area. Unfortunately the box and woofer (though not very much) will carry the most weight of all of your audio components. My approach would be to buy a 6-channel amp to run your door speakers and the rear deck speakers then bridge the last 2-channels to run to your subwoofer. This could be easily mounted to the right side of your trunk area if an apolstered baffle is fabricated. The baffle would fit snuggly up into the rear right area of the trunk and your amp would be flush mounted and facing opposite where your tire jack is. In other words once the baffle is in the right side of the trunk will be look straight rather than having that nook. The MA Audio M1680i is a great amp of choice for this upgrade. I have an M480i myself and love it. It has plenty of clean power output and stunning looks. The 1680i is the same amp except it has two 200watt rms subwoofer channels that can be bridged. This is very common on ebay, sold brand new with full warranty for $299 + shipping.



A nice set of components to compliment this amplifier are the Audiobahn ABC600X. I will be purchasing two set of these for my own system. I would highly recommend them to you. The best price i have found for these is at:

http://shop.sslonline.com/cgi-sz4/we...34101401588.1c

$81.99 +plus shipping. I got a quote from them and shipping was less than $20 each set. So two sets for under $200 to your door-Not Bad!



On to the Removable Subwoofer

Now that all of your wires are run and your door and rear deck components are installed its time to chose a subwoofer. I would go with a good high powered 10" woofer in a sealed box. The woofer I would recommend is the Audiobahn AW1000X. This woofer fits in a .7 cubic foot sealed box (thats very small) and will give you a wonderfully natural and blending bass response from its treated paper cone and huge surround. Not to mention how good it looks. You could have the .7 cubic foot sealed box made or usually you can find a company like Q-Logic that has prefab ones in various sizes. The key to this is that you can unhool the speaker wires to the sub and remove the little bit of extra weight for track days. These 10" woofers can be had for $75 plus shipping on ebay most anytime.

http://search.ebay.com/search/search...&query=aw1000x



This should complete your system. The only thing I didn't cover is wiring and fusing. ANy reputable car audio shop can give you exactly what you need. I think it would be safe to say that you probably won't need any suppliment to your charging system ie. cappacitors.

Let me know what you think. If you lived a little closer I would offer to install this equipment. If you have any questions about the qaulity of the equipment I recommended please feal free to email or PM Konkillr or BugBomb. Both have experience with audiobahn equipment and have seen my MA Audio Amplier.

Thanks
Brad
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Old 06-20-2001, 10:14 AM   #16
MY99 2.5GT
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By the way Pat please don't be fooled by the big name products. Behind that huge price tag that your paying for the name your really not going to get a better product then what I listed above. You also won't get a product that is quite as aesthetically pleasing either.

Thanks
Brad
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