A client from Star City, West Virginia, contacted Extreme Audio near Richmond about a 2011 Subaru Outback audio system installation. The client had been researching options to create an audiophile-grade system in his car and needed someone to perform the installation. His plan was to tune the system himself, and he had researched the proper equipment to complete the task. We talked over the design of the system and came up with a proposal that balanced his performance goals and budget. With the plan approved, the client dropped off his vehicle and we got started.
Sound System Upgrade Foundation
The client is attending school in Star City but has family here in the Richmond area. With the extensive scope of the project, the client agreed to leave the car with us for more than three weeks so we could work on it between other jobs.
We began the project by running Stinger power wire, speaker wire and interconnect cables through the vehicle. We mounted a pair of Fuse holders beside the battery to feed each of the ARC Audio amplifiers. Rather than run a large-gauge wire and install distribution blocks, we ran a pair of 4 AWG kits.
We cut SoundSkins Pro deadening for each of the front doors. SoundSkins is a multi-layered damping material that reduces the transmission of sound energy into the vehicle. It also helps improve the performance of the audio system by eliminating back-wave cancellation from the door speakers.
Audiofrog Speaker Upgrades
The front stage consists of Audiofrog GB10 tweeters in the A-pillars and GB25 midrange drivers in the factory dash locations. We created custom mounting adapters for the mids from ABS plastic to let them mount to the factory fastener locations. The client brought us a set of 6.5-inch midbass drivers. We mounted them on the doors and added Fast Rings acoustic couplers to help channel the energy into the vehicle.
The client wanted rear speakers in the system. We mounted a set of Audiofrog GS40 midrange drivers in the factory locations in the back doors.
JL Audio Subwoofer System
To provide solid sub-bass for the system, we created a shallow subwoofer enclosure for a single JL Audio 12TW3-D8 sub. The enclosure sits on top of the spare tire and is flush with the false floor cover. The woofer fires down into the spare tire. We wrapped the enclosure in durable black carpet to prevent any squeaks or buzzing when the sub is playing.
ARC Audio Amplifiers
The system is powered by a six-channel ARC Audio XDi 1200.6 and a four-channel XDi 450.4. We mounted the amps at the rear of the spare tire well, just behind the subwoofer enclosure. Two channels of the 1200.6 are bridged to provide 600 watts to the sub. The other four channels drive the midbass drivers in the door and the midrange speakers on the dash. The 450.4 powers the tweeters and the rear speakers. The client chose a Helix DSPProMKII processor for the system because he wanted 10 channels of processing for complete control over the system. We mounted the processor under driver’s seat for easy access.
Subaru Outback Audio System Configuration
Before we returned the vehicle to the client, we configured the processor and amplifiers to work with the Alpine iLX-107 source unit in the dash. We optimized the sensitivity controls and set the crossovers so that the client would be able to listen to music on his drive home. The client planned to take on tuning the system as a hobby in between his ophthalmology classes.
The client was very pleased with our Subaru Outback audio system installation. Everything was secure and tidy, and he was able to retain all of the storage in the rear of the vehicle, thanks to our shallow subwoofer enclosure.
If you are near Midlothian or Mechanicsville and are looking for an audio upgrade for your Subaru, drop into either Extreme Audio location and speak with one of our sales professionals. We’d be happy to design and install something amazing for you. For more information about any of our products or services, send us an e-mail using our online contact page.