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Old 05-17-2018, 12:18 AM   #1
Cab0oze
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Default Kicker Speaker KIT Upgrade for 2015 WRX

Hi All,

After extensive research I decided to purchase the Kicker speaker upgrade for my 2015 Base WRX. Now, the key bit here is that individually the speakers work out to about $700 (MSRP) or like $800 on a place like Subispeed.

However, the SOA727002 kit, which includes all 7 speakers only costs $500 online. This kit is listed as being for the 2012-2016 Impreza, but also fits the 2015 Non-Navi / Non HK WRX. (i.e. the headunit that looks like this). I presume it's the same in the base STi as well. In fact, the kit will also fit the 2015+ WRX but will need a different wiring harness for the sub, which is probably pretty cheap to buy separately if required. I've seen a lot of people selling the subs without wiring harnesses lately, so it's definitely a thing. Basically you can resell your kit easily if you ever need to, because it fits so many different models.
From the catalog:


I ended up buying it at my local subaru dealership for $515 taxes included just because I prefer to support them, and the online dealer was having trouble getting the national warehouse to actually ship the part (it took 3 weeks, I had already cancelled my order by the time they actually got it).

Now I know audiophiles will swear up and down that you can do better for the money. Well, I actually doubt it, at least as long as all the speakers get replaced (as they should be). Good quality door speakers, tweeters, sub, box and amp will run you up at least to the upper $400s. Getting all of the appropriate brackets, adapters etc will run you up quite a bit more, so when it's all said and done you will have spent nearly as much, and you will have a big subwoofer box sitting in your trunk, as opposed to one that is built to fit right in the corner. That's not even to talk about the weeks of research you had to do. Also, as much as I wanted an aftermarket HU, none of them fit the bill. They all were missing features (e.g. HD Radio), were lacking good controls (e.g. a volume knob, which I can't live without), had stupid slow boot-up times (I want sound within seconds, not 5 minutes down the road), or had nightmare installs to retain OEM functionality/steering wheel controls, etc.

On top of this, trying to sell aftermarket speaker purchases sucks. Nobody wants it, unless you sell it for half of what you paid for it. Official Subaru stuff typically sells within days, and at the price you're paying for the full kit you probably won't lose any money whatsoever.

The SOA727002 kit:
The kit came in a massive Subaru branded box. The guys in the parts department did not believe me when I told them it was just speakers lol



Already a million pictures on the internet of this, but basically the quality is just so much better. This kit adds like 30lbs of weight to the car in magnets alone lol. The stock speakers are crazy flimsy, given their light weight I will say that their sound output is impressive...





Install
Super easy. Full printed instructions, everything is plug and play. Additional sound/vibration isolators included, better quality foam on the speakers, foam padding for the connectors, zip ties, new screws, everything. I installed all 4 door speakers and both tweeters in <30 minutes. The sub is a different story as it requires you to remove your HU to plug the harness in. This kinda sucks, but all the instructions are there and it shouldn't take more than an hour. I'll do that bit tomorrow.

Initial Impressions (Doors and Tweeters only, sub to come)
OMG. SO. MUCH. BETTER. I really heard mixed reviews from this setup on the stock HU from posts on NASIOC, various reviews, etc. I'm here to tell you, haters gonna hate. This setup sounds fantastic, and I don't even have the sub in, which will likely make the biggest difference. The door speakers alone were a great improvement, and once installed, the tweeters were the icing on the cake. Sounds is SO MUCH clearer than before. I can hear instruments in songs that I didn't even know were there before.

Why did all the other reviewers get it so wrong? Well, I dunno, but one theory I have is that they had their head up their asses and had not heard of the secret OEM headunit "THROUGH" mode which vastly improves the HU sound output. This was the first thing I did when I bought the car, the original sound was horrendous. Or maybe they were regurgitating things that they had heard, or maybe they sat in someone's car with only one part of the kit installed. I dunno, but it's the internet, so you will have loud angry people complaining bitterly about a problem often doesn't even exist.

Another thought - maybe it was the audio input/source. I always use music on a USB, and this is where the stock headunit really shines (best clarity, loudest output). HD radio is the runner up with XM in dead last (one of the many reasons I don't subscribe to XM, but it is free for the next 2 weeks so works for me testing it out lol). The AUX input is probably on par with the USB, but depends entirely on what you're playing from. I know most phones/ipods have really low gain outputs so they probably won't do as well as USB.

I took sound clips after each stage of the install, but it turns out the recording capability of my phone is absolute garbage. I should have gone to the effort to get a proper recorder, but I was so excited that I just dove right into it, and just had my phone on hand. Sorry. You'll have to take my word for it.

Summary
If you have $500 to spare, and want to keep the stock headunit for an OEM feel, this is almost certainly the most effective way to improve your sound quality given the resale values of the kit components, and the plug and play aspect of everything. The only hard part of the whole process was figuring out for sure if this kit would fit the Base 2015 WRX, and if it was worth it, and now I have done that for you.

Give me a shout if there are any questions I can help with. Let me know if this post helped you!!

**Update as promised**
To summarize all of the posts below, basically I installed the sub and the sound was horrible. Turning LOUD mode OFF made a huge improvement, but it took a TON of fiddling with the EQ to be happy with the sound. I disconnected one of the inputs (same thing as buying the crappy Subaru loudness fix). I also polyfilled the sub. Not sure if it made a difference. However, what I did notice is after all of this, at some point everything started sounding a lot better. I think it just took some time for the various components to break in.

The "problem" is that as there was a decent amount of time between hearing the original speakers and getting the new speakers sounding 100% that I don't know how much improvement there actually was. I hope to compare against my friend's WRX with the HK setup. I'm optimistic that the difference in sound quality will be much narrower than it was previously.

Note: having a good sound input is key. The XM radio is abysmal. USB with high quality MP3s is the way to go.
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Last edited by Cab0oze; 06-24-2018 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:38 AM   #2
jamesder
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I appreciate the post. looking forward to part 2
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:56 AM   #3
rich3389
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I also had the same experience. I had my 17 base (6.2 HU) sounding pretty good with just aftermarket speakers and a sub (underseat). I did however upgrade to an android HU and am even more pleased. But honestly with better speakers and a small amp for the speakers, the stock HU does not sound to bad!
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:01 AM   #4
LeMikeJames
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Great review! I am currently considering this as well... buddy of mine just ordered a new WRX non-HK, but added the Kicker upgrades (minus the sub, only 100W amp built-in?). Excited to hear his in person, but this definitely helps.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:49 AM   #5
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You can get far superior component speakers and everything else for considerably less than $500, I'm not a fan of coaxials. But the plug and play aspect must be nice!
Anyways if you need a small 4 channel amp consider the Alpine powerpack KTP-445U. Works great and can be stashed anywhere in the dash.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:13 PM   #6
Cab0oze
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Glad some people find this useful! I had been planning to finish the sub installation tonight, but I had to work late so will have to wait until either tomorrow or Saturday for the Part 2. Sorry...

Quote:
Originally Posted by standardtranny View Post
You can get far superior component speakers and everything else for considerably less than $500, I'm not a fan of coaxials. But the plug and play aspect must be nice!
Anyways if you need a small 4 channel amp consider the Alpine powerpack KTP-445U. Works great and can be stashed anywhere in the dash.
I had been mentally preparing myself for needing to add a small amp based on reviews indicating that the stock HU couldn't drive the bigger magnets as efficiently, but in the short amount of time I've had the tweeters+doors installed, it is plenty loud at 50-75% depending on the source. Once again, this is with THROUGH mode ON. I strongly suspect that once I add in the sub I won't even need to go past 50%, but we'll see - thanks for the recommendation!

Regarding your comment about getting <<$500, I would be very surprised. When I priced it out quickly, once you factor in all things things you would need to build an equivalent setup (speakers, sub, boxes, adapters, amp, etc + tax/shipping/whatever) you're pretty much at $400. Now, if you skipped certain bits, like just added a sub, or just an amp + new door speakers, sure, but all in, I doubt it. And once again, it all comes back to what you're getting for your money, and maybe even more so, how much you can re-coupe once you try and re-sell it, as you inevitably will down the road. Aftermarket audio has very little resale value in general, because most people don't want to do the research, and if someone DOES want to do the research, they'll probably have something super specific in mind and won't want the random parts you had chosen, unless you sell it for dirt cheap. I digress though...

Last edited by Cab0oze; 05-17-2018 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:55 AM   #7
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I went the same route. Installed kicker tweeters and speakers in my 2017 STI. Big improvement in quality and clarity. Just picked up the sub on here without the harness. Trying to find the correct harness part number I need. Looking forward to seeing how much the sub changes the overall sound. Thanks for the write up.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:57 PM   #8
Cab0oze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyFreak86 View Post
I went the same route. Installed kicker tweeters and speakers in my 2017 STI. Big improvement in quality and clarity. Just picked up the sub on here without the harness. Trying to find the correct harness part number I need. Looking forward to seeing how much the sub changes the overall sound. Thanks for the write up.
Finished the sub install.

I wish I could tell you otherwise, but the sub sounds absolutely horrendous. It sounds like someone is yelling BOOM BOOM BOOM into a megaphone in your trunk, even with the bass turned all the way down.

I had been hoping that the "Subaru Bass limiter" would fix the problem, and would have been included in this kit, but no, it's not. And upon reading this thread, it sounds like the crappy fix doesn't even fix the problem.
https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2833586

Going to do more research and figure something out. I'm sure there is a better solution. Don't rush out and buy the harness just yet though lol...

-edit-
VICTORY! I think. I realized I'd forgotten to check one setting in the "Secret" menu - Loudness. I think I had it ON before. I turned it OFF, and suddenly everything sounds 100% better, with THROUGH mode, and BASS set to -4. I think I'll roll like this for a while, confirm if it's good. If it's still too much I'll investigate Subaru's shoddy bass limiter fix (i.e. disconnect one set of wires for the front speakers from the harness going into the amp) and add some polyfill to the sub itself.


-edit2-
Didn't end up going out tonight, so instead I put some polyfill in the sub enclosure and figured out which wires needed to be depinned from the wiring harness (on the subwoofer side) based on pictures I found of the harness on the intrawebs. I have done so.
I'm actually really excited to put it back in tomorrow. If it all works as I hope it will, I will have an awesome speaker system by tomorrow AM! It's catastrophically stupid of Kicker/Subaru that you have to go to this trouble in the first place, but still, the price is very right and now that I've done a bit more trail blazing this should still make this a great option for many people.

...and obviously, if it does work, I will update the post with a step-by-step for the free fix.

Last edited by Cab0oze; 05-19-2018 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab0oze View Post
Finished the sub install.

I wish I could tell you otherwise, but the sub sounds absolutely horrendous. It sounds like someone is yelling BOOM BOOM BOOM into a megaphone in your trunk, even with the bass turned all the way down.

I had been hoping that the "Subaru Bass limiter" would fix the problem, and would have been included in this kit, but no, it's not. And upon reading this thread, it sounds like the crappy fix doesn't even fix the problem.
https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2833586

Going to do more research and figure something out. I'm sure there is a better solution. Don't rush out and buy the harness just yet though lol...

-edit-
VICTORY! I think. I realized I'd forgotten to check one setting in the "Secret" menu - Loudness. I think I had it ON before. I turned it OFF, and suddenly everything sounds 100% better, with THROUGH mode, and BASS set to -4. I think I'll roll like this for a while, confirm if it's good. If it's still too much I'll investigate Subaru's shoddy bass limiter fix (i.e. disconnect one set of wires for the front speakers from the harness going into the amp) and add some polyfill to the sub itself.


-edit2-
Didn't end up going out tonight, so instead I put some polyfill in the sub enclosure and figured out which wires needed to be depinned from the wiring harness (on the subwoofer side) based on pictures I found of the harness on the intrawebs. I have done so.
I'm actually really excited to put it back in tomorrow. If it all works as I hope it will, I will have an awesome speaker system by tomorrow AM! It's catastrophically stupid of Kicker/Subaru that you have to go to this trouble in the first place, but still, the price is very right and now that I've done a bit more trail blazing this should still make this a great option for many people.

...and obviously, if it does work, I will update the post with a step-by-step for the free fix.


Thanks for the feedback. Do you know what part number the harness is? Thanks.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:20 AM   #10
Cab0oze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyFreak86 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Do you know what part number the harness is? Thanks.
The one for your car or for bass limiter one? Not sure which one you need for sure. Honestly, for the price and hassle you might be better off just making your own. That's what I'd do. You have to remove the radio anyway.

Speaking of which, why not just remove the radio and find out what the connector type is/how many pins? That should help you confirm the harness P/N you need.

Since nobody else has posted this before, here are pictures of the depinned subwoofer harness which simulates Subaru's crappy bass limiter fix. I don't think it did much.
Picture (not mine) of what the harness would look like if you foolishly bought it:

Depin the circled wires. On the back of this connector is a plastic flip up "door" which you need to open up, and then use something like a paperclip or toothpick through the front of the connector to lift up the little plastic tab just above the pin and pull the wire+pin out.


Green wires (the ones I circled) pulled. Tape & stow.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyFreak86 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Do you know what part number the harness is? Thanks.
I posted the answer in this other thread that you asked in (post #12 there).
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab0oze View Post
...
Depin the circled wires. On the back of this connector is a plastic flip up "door" which you need to open up, and then use something like a paperclip or toothpick through the front of the connector to lift up the little plastic tab just above the pin and pull the wire+pin out.
...
I recommend using a flat blade jeweler's screwdriver, like for eyeglasses.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVXdc View Post
I posted the answer in this other thread that you asked in (post #12 there).


I saw that. I picked up the 810 harness as per your post. I appreciate it.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:05 PM   #14
Cab0oze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVXdc View Post
I recommend using a flat blade jeweler's screwdriver, like for eyeglasses.
Yeah I should probably pick something like that up. I'm sick of struggling to de-pin connectors that should take 2 seconds and end up taking me 10 minutes. Also would save me from borrowing my friends kit whenever I need to change a watch battery

Verdict is still out on the sub. Going to try a few more things before coming to a conclusion about my level of happiness with it. I should probably also give it more time so it can finish it's "break in".
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:23 PM   #15
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Went from stock 6.2 unit to a JVC 740BT and the Kicker kit(with tweeters) in my 2018.

Holy crap what a difference.

I also have the kicker hideaway sub on order, this is gonna go under the passenger seat, saw a few pics here from another install, loved it.

But i'm now wondering if even the JVC unit has enough juice to power those properly, they get muddy quickly at higher volume even with not much bass. I'll see how they react once I get the sub in and try to set it up better. The speakers seem well built so i'm probably gonna get a Kenwood M3004 and stick it in the glovebox or behind it somehow to give them more power if needed.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWD_Pete View Post
Went from stock 6.2 unit to a JVC 740BT and the Kicker kit(with tweeters) in my 2018.

Holy crap what a difference.

I also have the kicker hideaway sub on order, this is gonna go under the passenger seat, saw a few pics here from another install, loved it.

But i'm now wondering if even the JVC unit has enough juice to power those properly, they get muddy quickly at higher volume even with not much bass. I'll see how they react once I get the sub in and try to set it up better. The speakers seem well built so i'm probably gonna get a Kenwood M3004 and stick it in the glovebox or behind it somehow to give them more power if needed.
Hi AWD_Pete,

maybe you saw my install of the Kicker Hideaway?
I can say I still very happy with it.
I installed a Kenwood M3004 as well.

Si tu parles (courament) français, tu peux me pm'er si tu veux, j'ai un peu de temps pour discuter ou répondre à des questions. Ça va me faire plaisir
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHOD View Post
Hi AWD_Pete,

maybe you saw my install of the Kicker Hideaway?
I can say I still very happy with it.
I installed a Kenwood M3004 as well.

Si tu parles (courament) français, tu peux me pm'er si tu veux, j'ai un peu de temps pour discuter ou répondre à des questions. Ça va me faire plaisir
Sounds like i'll copy your whole setup then

Pis oui j'parle francais Mais ca devrais etre assez simple installer le reste a comparer au gossage avec le Maestro Reste juste a décider ou je vais mettre le M3004...
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWD_Pete View Post
Sounds like i'll copy your whole setup then
In fact, after few weeks with the M3004, I must say I pulled the trigger on a Alpine PDX-F4 An offer I couldn't refuse .
This amp got marvelous review and this beauty is now under my seat.

The m3004 returned in his box waiting for his future.
I plan to sell it this summer along with the Kenwood excelon xr-1700p components half new (only one side installed before I jumped on a deal for a Morel tempo ultra components pair ) and all the goodies (breakout harness, crossover bracket, reproduced tweeter brackets, speaker connector adapter, etc) to make an easy install for whoever looking for a good and cheap upgrade of the oem 6.2 system.

Sinon, comme je te dis, on peut se parler en dehors (en français ça ne me demande pas de jus) car pour une place pour installer le Kenwood, j'y ai pas mal pensé je dois te dire
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:30 AM   #19
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Tabarnak, c'est le p'tit Québec içi! lol

I have no idea what's going on with my setup, but I'm really struggling to find settings that I'm happy with. One set of settings sounds great, and then I change to a different type of music or a different input source and I have to fiddle with the settings all over again to make it sound acceptable. I've been almost exclusively listening to XM radio like I noted before because it's free right now, and that could be one source of my problems.

Either way, as a whole the system obviously isn't as good as it should have been. There's a few more things I want to try over the next week or two, but I may just part the kit out in the end. Some people reported good results by installing a dedicated volume control on the sub, or add new crossovers, etc. I couldn't be bothered to do that, the sub just doesn't sound good enough to me to be worth the effort. (Maybe I'm just spoiled, I had a 12" in my last car).

Still, not a loss, buying the kit was worth a try and I don't think I'll lose any money on the whole thing.
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:18 PM   #20
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C'est au Québec qui a le plus de Subaru au pouce carré qui disent!

I know where you are from... I spent a **** ton of time reading here about what to do with the setup in the car. Lots of contradicting information also, people have different standards as to what to expect.

Good news is the sub and kicker speakers are still worth a good chunk if you change your mind at some point, that was the reasoning for me to get the Subaru Kicker kit despite finding out they are Kicker KS-60. Nothing spectacular but bolt-in and plug-in is an interesting feature, so is resale value if/when i'll upgrade them at some point.

I noticed a huge difference when I fed some FLAC files in my JVC headunit also... everything came alive even with the 4 kickers+tweeters installed.

Getting my M3004 and kicker sub early next week(damn slow shipping to Canada) and I cant wait to see how it'll come out now
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:46 PM   #21
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Hah, quand j'habitais a Blainville/Laval je remarquaient seulement qu'il y avait des milliards de Mazda 3 lol :P

I hear ya. That's why I made this thread to hopefully clear things up a bit. Unfortunately as I mentioned the results weren't as good as I thought they'd be. Still though, no financial harm done, the resale values are great and I think I'll still probably keep the doors and tweets for the time being, even if I can't manage to fall in love with the sub.

Yeah I don't miss the slow shipping (+ high costs + surprise import fees etc) you get living in Canada. Hope you like the results you get with your new setup. Who knows, maybe I'll follow suit lol.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:23 AM   #22
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I'm looking into the Kicker Hideaway. Anyone try installing this with a Pioneer AVH-4200NEX or similar? How'd it go?
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:22 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knstyl View Post
I'm looking into the Kicker Hideaway. Anyone try installing this with a Pioneer AVH-4200NEX or similar? How'd it go?
It should be fine as long as you add this kind of cable to the Kicker's harness:
https://www.kicker.com/2-channel-speaker-rca-converter

Actually mine is under my seat plugged to the 6.2 HU.
See here:
https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho...2828726&page=5
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:26 AM   #24
BHOD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cab0oze View Post
Hah, quand j'habitais a Blainville/Laval je remarquaient seulement qu'il y avait des milliards de Mazda 3 lol :P

Mon bureau chef est sur Michele-Bohec!
Bien entendu, j'ai fait connaissance de la popo de Blainve
Dont une interception pour contrôler mon exhaust de wrx oem
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:49 AM   #25
BHOD
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Yesterday, I really heard for the first time the Kicker (Subaru) speakers.
(I used few cds with good recording)

They were only driven by a Pioneer HU (not a NEX one)
I must say I was a bit surprised.
The sound is clean but tweeters are not harsh (not as sweet as my Morel) but very satisfying in comparison of others I heard.

The only real critic I have, these had clearly a lack of bass...
At least in comparison with my front Morel Tempo Ultra (with flat eq)
In full range, they push clearly less than mine with the crossover.

Maybe next time I should investigate deeply the settings of my friend's HU
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