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Old 11-08-2018, 11:38 PM   #1
atbwrx
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Default Alpine Tweeter & Amp /Kicker Speaker & Sub Install

Decided to upgrade the sound system in my 2014 WRX Hatch.

After looking at various posts on NASIOC and other sites, I decided to stick with OEM for ease of installation. I know there are better components for less, but I like the idea of keeping things looking stock, both inside and outside the car.

I'll post the install as it goes along.

Here's what I got:

Alpine SPR-10TW Tweeters (already stripped out of their casings when pic was taken)
OEM Kicker Speaker Upgrade
OEM Kicker Sub Woofer
Alpine KTP-445U Amp
ae64.com 20 pin breakout harness
Ballistic Sound Dampening

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Old 11-10-2018, 01:12 PM   #2
atbwrx
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Here’s a quick comparison of components.

I went with the Alpine SPR-10TW Tweeters because they got great reviews, and they were about the same dimension as the stockers. Here’s the side by side comparison:



The Alpine has a larger magnet, and just holding in the hand weighs a lot more.

The stock system was actually pretty good. I didn’t buy the car new, but apparently it was ordered with the upgraded speaker system that was available at the time because the speakers are two-way like the Kickers.



The Kickers have a lot larger magnets, and are rated at 100w. The stockers state on the magnet that they are 40W @ 4ohms. It looks like the cone material on the stockers is aluminum.

I installed the new components in one door so I could do a side by side comparison.
The stock tweeter didn’t stand a chance, the Alpine tweets are killers. The Alpine has so much more clarity and depth of sound – it was day and night. The Alpine tweeter was actually dominating the sound a bit (I haven’t installed the Alpine KTP-445U Amp or the Kicker sub yet), so I set them with a 4db cut which brought them back in balance.

The Kicker door speaker had a very tight, percussive mid bass response. The stocker had way more boom. I was surprised by this, but I can see where the Kicker door speaker would slot in well with the sub, where the stocker would be competing with it. (“Door speakers aren’t for bass”)

Side by side, at low to mid volumes, I’d say the stock set up provides decent highs and more low bass response. The Alpine/Kicker combo has a lot more clarity, and a lot more precision in its bass response, but it doesn’t boom like the stocker.

As you crank the volume, the stockers will start to distort, where the Alpine/Kicker combo has a lot more headroom. At high volumes the Alpine/Kicker combo starts to balance better (bass response catches up to those crystal clear highs) and you start getting that immersive sound experience, where with the stockers you are just listening to loud music. Can’t wait to do the sub and amp install and see how it sounds.

Last edited by atbwrx; Today at 03:37 AM.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:04 AM   #3
atbwrx
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Tweeter Removal and Replacement

Removing the tweeters is pretty straight forward.

Using a pry tool, you can catch the seam between the plastic sail panel and the front door frame and start to separate the tweeter housing from the door.



I used the tool to create enough space to get my fingers inbetween the housing and the door and then pulled the housing off the door.



Disconnect the tweeter wire terminal and remove the tweeter housing from the door.
To remove the tweeter, just unscrew the three Philips head screws on the back of the housing. You can see them in the pic below, the bottom screw has been backed out.



Hereís the Alpine tweeter in its factory casing.



The screen and the backing plate on the casing twist/lock into place. Just twist them both like youíre opening a jar and they will come off.





Hereís the Alpine tweeter sitting on the stock tweeter grill. I used a small bead of clear silicone on the inside of the speaker grill rim to help hold the tweeter in place. It cures in an hour, but I let it sit face down overnight to make sure the silicone fully dried. I didnít want to risk any silicone getting on the tweeter dome.



The next day, I put the stock backing back on. Because the Alpine tweeter is a little bit thicker than the stocker, the bottom screw wouldnít totally bottom out. Donít force it, it doesnít need to be totally cranked down and if you try you will just strip out the plastic. Just turn it until it is snug, and donít mind that the backing plate doesnít sit flat against the tweeter grill.

Last edited by atbwrx; 11-11-2018 at 10:57 AM.
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Old Today, 02:06 AM   #4
atbwrx
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Head unit removal

Use a pry tool to separate the HU / center vent trim surround from the dash.



The trim piece pulls straight off.



With the trim piece off, the HU mounting screws are exposed. For the 2014 model, there are four phillips screws, two on each side of the face of the HU.



I did the total happy dance when the HU pulled right out. I’d read about having to remove the glove box, and dash trim in order to access bolts that mount into the side of the head unit. Not the case with the 2014. The four screws from the front are all there is.



With the HU out, I got a good look at the room behind the dash, I went ahead and removed the center vent tubes (two phillips screws, one on each side) to give better access to the center dash cavity.



I’m hoping to mount the Alpine amp in the dash where it will be out of site. Lots of room back there.

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Old Today, 03:33 AM   #5
atbwrx
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Alpine / ae64.com harness install

I donít do a lot of car audio work, so this thread is meant to be very basic and step by step to help those that donít do a lot of car audio work.

Iím working with four harnesses here, the OEM Subwoofer harness, the ae64.com 20 pin break out harness, and the two harnesses that come with the Alpine amp (input and output).

For me, step #1 was to mark the ends on ae64.com harness to help me keep track of which end of the harness I was working with. I lined it up with OEM Sub harness which was labeled, and marked which side was the car/harness side and which was the HU side.



The ae64.com website has a complete wiring pin out, using that information I was able to identify which wires are the speaker wires on the ae64.com harness.



So with that information, I went to the ae64.com harness, and separated out the speaker wires (grn, grn/blk-gry,gry/blk-wht, wht/blk- vlt,vlt/blk).



Note that input (RCA) leads on Alpine Amp are much shorter than output leads.



So to provide working length to the input lead connection, I cut the speaker wires on the ae64.com harness closer to the car/harness plug.



Whenever I do a big soldering project, I always forget to preload the heat shrink at some point. So this time I preloaded all 8 output leads first before starting. Just make sure to push the heat shrink far enough down the wire so it doesn't get exposed to heat from the soldering iron.



Be careful using the heat gun this close to the terminal plug. I (thought) I was being careful, but it still got hot to the touch. Donít want that to warp on you.



Cut off the female RCA plugs on the Alpine in preparation of soldering the leads from the HU side of the ae64.com harness to the amp. Another option is to solder Male RCA plugs on the HU side of the ae64.com harness, but I'm planning on leaving the amp with the car so I'm hard wiring it in.



Ready to solder the Alpine input leads (RCA plugs cut off) to the HU side of the ae64.com harness.

Load up your heat shrink first.



Leads soldered up.


Last edited by atbwrx; Today at 11:42 AM.
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Old Today, 03:33 AM   #6
atbwrx
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Next, locate the yellow and the black T-branch wires in the ae64.com harness, and the yellow and black leads on the output side of the Alpine amp.



These will be soldered together, don’t forget to load your heat shrink first.



Find the red T-branch lead on the ae64.com harness and the blue/white lead coming out of the INPUT side of the Alpine Amp (same side as the RCA cables), solder together. There's a blue/white lead on the OUTPUT side, you will not be using that one.





The blue and white lead on the OUTPUT side of the Alpine amp is not used. I taped up the exposed end and wrapped with heat shrink to insulate it.





With that, the harnesses are ready for installation.
This pic shows the order of installation: HU, then the OEM sub harness, then the ae64.com harness, and then the Alpine harness into the amp.


Last edited by atbwrx; Today at 03:47 AM.
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Old Today, 04:16 AM   #7
atbwrx
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Adjusting / Installing the Alpine Amp

The access plug is a rubber flap on the bottom of the amp.



When removed it exposes 6 dip switches.



Going from left to right, the first two control the front High Pass Filter, and 3 and 4 control the rear HPF. They are turned off from the factory. Switch 5 is the 2 channel / 4 channel selector, and is set for 4 channel from the factory. The 6th switch is for the line level and is factory set for RCA.



Because the output from the HU is at speaker level, I flipped the 6th dip switch into the down position.



The gain controls are on the side of the amp. The directions say that when using speaker level inputs, that typical gain is set between minimum and 9 o'clock.



In reviewing posts on NASIOC, most seem to have their's set at the second mark which is closer to 10 o'clock, so that’s the setting I used.



With the amp all set up, it was time to find it a home in the dash.

Power amp installed nicely in HU cavity below the center vents.



Ghetto on the mounting job using three mondo zip ties to hold it in place, but no one is going to see it tucked away in the dash board. Its held down solid, and fore and aft. I can move it side to side for now, which will allow me to access the ports on the side to plug in the harnesses when I reinstall the HU.

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