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Discussion Starter #1
I've ordered my amp and speakers for what I'll call "Phase 1" on this project. Ultimate goal is to have a professional-sounding audio environment in my Crosstrek. For the benefit of others who want to do parts or all of this for their rides, I'll be posting as I go!

I have set up systems before in my other vehicles, and each time I like to go a little bit farther, making things better than the last one.

Phase 1: Amp + 4 door speakers (and dash tweeters)
Phase 2: Sound deadening and audio enrichment in the doors
Phase 3: Subwoofer for complete system setup

I'll have to figure out the best photo hosting solution since dropbox dropped all us forums posters in the sand without warning last year.

No pics yet, but here is my initial setup:

  • JBL GTR 104 amplifier - 100 watts RMS per channel x4, some cool bluetooth stuff I won't need, and speaker-level inputs to make the setup simple with the factory nav/audio head unit
  • Polk DB 652 6 1/2" 2-way speakers for the rear doors
  • Polk DB 6502 6 1/2" component speakers for the front doors + tweeters for the dash
The components have frequency response down to 35hz, and the composites for the rear go down to 40hz. That will be fine for me for now, and later when I add a sub I think this will be a nice, clear, balanced sound with plenty of kick.
 

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Pulled the rear door panels yesterday to cut down on install time once the equipment arrives. First time doing something like that on a new car, you don't really know where everything is. I also purchased a trim/molding removal kit from a local auto parts store – would recommend if you like keeping your paint from getting scratched badly!

I went ahead and ordered an 18" x 36" sheet of Dynamat... just looking at how thin the doors are makes me want to stick some on directly behind the speakers! :)

The full plan is still to do the full doors at a later date, but I like the idea of starting with the outermost layer for the sake of reducing vibration and putting some kind of barrier between the roads and the interior of the car.

Also, rather than post pictures that will possibly disappear, what I might do is make a series of quick youtube vids and link them here. And one more thing, it turns out Crutchfield has a pretty good summary of the install process for 2014-2017 Crosstreks. You can see how flimsy the factory speakers are (I think they weigh like a pound, no more than 1-2 kilograms for sure). https://www.crutchfield.com/S-f1BDGlRtc7l/learn/2013-2016-subaru-crosstrek.html
 

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If you're looking for a basic how-to with pics that work, I just ran across this on the front door speaker install. Similar steps for any project, this is with an actual Crosstrek. Crosstrek XV – Car Stereo Adapters

My speakers are all installed, with the exception of mounting the dash tweeters. I'm looking for a spot I can actually reach to cut into the speaker wires, also. Another problem is my amp won't shut OFF and could possibly be defective. It can be replaced pretty easily though, warranty from JBL & help from Crutchfield should guide me through it. Other than these things I am powered up and the rear sounds great! Plenty of volume and it's much clearer. I can hear bass notes previously not there, though it's not anything pounding.

Pics will be next! I have taken them just not given them an online home yet.
 

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Next week, next year... how about 2 years, 2 months, and 1 day later?

Over the last, well, 2 years, I've slowly built out and finished my sound system. All 3 phases are complete, so let's start with finishing Phase 1.

Comparison of the speakers:
10635

10636


The only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing those stock speakers had going for them was the adapter. They weighed next to nothing, the magnet was about as strong as a sliding refrigerator clip. Just look at the thin plastic casing on the right and compare it to the metal on the left. By the way, these are the 2-ways for the rear doors, you can see a capacitor on the back side.
 

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I'm going to assume anyone reading this can look up how to take off door panels, and do that research on your own. Once you have the door panels off, the speakers are right there, held in with 3 screws apiece.

Everything's out:
10637


At this point (all 4 doors if you're doing all 4 at once) you can run your speaker wire. But I didn't want to have to deal with the boot/grommet trying to stuff a thicker wire with insulation through it. So I just ran all the way up to where it enters, behind the sail panels, and spliced in. Having 12-18" of smaller gauge wire doesn't bother me that much. If I was over 100 watts a channel, it might.

Think about where you want to place the amp, and the route all the wires have to take in order to be concealed. Not all of us can take the seats out, rip out the carpet, and all that, self included, so I ran along the left and right sides. Later, I can describe how I routed power through the middle and am dealing with a high pitched whine. It's almost gone now but was pretty loud before I got things placed better.

Rear speaker installed, or being fitted at least.
10638
 

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Front adapters didn't line up to point the speakers exactly how I wanted, but it's close enough, just as long as they don't point toward the floor! Behind the door you can see the outer skin has dynamat. That's the only spot I put it for now, I thought it would make the most bang for my buck... or the least bang? Directly behind the speaker where the sound wave will be most focused.
10639


Dropping in the tweeter speaker wires was difficult. I can't reach my hand anywhere close to the top of the dash from underneath, or see, so it was sort of a blind drop. I had to use a small bracket to hold the tweeters up.
10640
 

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This looked like a good location for the amp. Note the air ducts – they're not blocked but you'll be blowing air directly on the amp, especially in the winter time. Heat hasn't seemed to be an issue for me.
10643


Speaker cable was all run through the sail panel on the passenger's side. From there you can divert to front and back. I went under the rear seats for both Left speakers, but a better option would be to go around the front, and have only 1 wire traveling under the seat. Still better, run it through the middle if you want to take your seats out.

Power went through the middle, which was easy enough. Take out the console, which is one piece. It has an electrical connection so don't yank it. There's also a front piece after you remove the console. Or maybe that is the proper "console," whatever you call it if you're doing the head unit, it has to come out anyway. It will give you more access to route the wire.
10644


This meets up towards the front, where I went through a blank grommet in the firewall.
10645
 

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