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A search reveals a general discontent with the HK system in the Impreza. I searched because I was one of those people disappointed by the listenability of music on mine.

I decided to better define my discontent for myself, since I've chosen to accept it. Really listening to music isn't something I do much of while driving, mostly having Sirius on some content of my wife's chosing or talk radio for me. It's a background thing for me, but still... I should be able to enjoy a CD or some good radio sound if I want to.

So yesterday I went to the garage, got a certain CD that I remembered hearing on a good stereo, and played with the settings. What I found confused me at first. High quality sound systems have been part of my personal and professional life for many decades, and I've been working with what that history has taught me. They don't appear applicable to this sound system.

Normally, an equalizer or even simple tone controls operate on the premise that when the controls are set to 0, or flat, that the frequency spectrum is flat. So any adjustment only affects the indicated spectrum, like the bass or treble, and leaves the midrange flat. It seems, however, that the HK system comes with "flat" already tilted or manipulated and NOT flat at all... presumptively to match the speakers to the Impreza interior's acoustics!

It was an out-of-the-box thinking moment for me as I played with the settings... but I found a setting that while making no sense according to established norms, makes my HK stereo sound MUCH better. I set the bass to +4, the mid to +2, and left treble at zero. Trying the stereo today while waiting for the Mrs at the bank finds it just as pleasant a listening experience as it did last evening.

Just though I'd throw it out there... in case. It's not the system that my '09 3.0R Limited had, but it's not bad anymore either.

Thoughts welcomed.
 

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If we're talking about the HK "upgrade" then the issue is in the DSP all together. It is super inconsistent. I have stated this several times before too..but I really don't like 6x9's at all. They are muddy and sound terrible. I really preferred the setup I had in my VW that had a tweeter, midrange, and 6.5" woofer in the front doors and a tweeter and 6.5" woofer on the rear doors. Regardless....adding a sub has cleaned up the entire system to a level that I deem totally acceptable. Out of laziness/getting older and actually preferring the OEM look I am fine with the stock HU stock amp and stock speakers. I run the EQ at bass +0, mid +1 and treble +2. I'm running an 8" woofer at 160 watts...it sounds super clean hits plenty hard when it needs too...but overall just rounds out the HK system nicely. I don't like bass coming from the front doors at all. So my 6x9's are trying to do the job of midranges and the sub is trying to do all the bass work. It works out well....does it sound as clean as my home stereo, not at all...but for less than $500 and it looking 100% factory I'll take it any day!
 

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2019 Impreza LTD 5Dr Magnetite Gray Metalic.
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Sorry, reposting with spelling corrections. I just got my ‘19 Limited 5dr. I wasn’t too impressed with my bass either. Had a Pioneer-TSWH500A-Sealed Subwoofer 150 watt installed. Unit plus installation was $420. Now I can control base boost and frequency response. It’s made a world of difference without making it sound like a rattling box.
 

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Sorry, reposting with spelling corrections. I just got my ‘19 Limited 5dr. I wasn’t too impressed with my bass either. Had a Pioneer-TSWH500A-Sealed Subwoofer 150 watt installed. Unit plus installation was $420. Now I can control base boost and frequency response. It’s made a world of difference without making it sound like a rattling box.
How did they install it? If I wanted the same thing done, do I need a new head unit or do they do some sort of magic that lets you retain the complete stock/oem look and feel? Also, where in the car is it installed?
I also have the 19 Limited 5dr with the HK system.
 

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2019 Impreza LTD 5Dr Magnetite Gray Metalic.
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The head unit was kept they needed some sort of harness to bypass as resistor for the back door speakers. The sub is sitting in my back hatch area since under the two front seats is used up already. The boost/ response control is fed through a small drilled hole into my little tray underneath the Mac system.
 

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I feel like the pass thru filter they add to the amp makes it so you can never get a thump out of the speakers. The sound quality is very high at high levels but it never really can be felt.
 

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There a number of factors at play here but I will pull on the two biggest poles in the tent. As a car manufacture, most up to and including our beloved Subaru, try to preserve the longevity of the installed equipment. To this extent typically factory head units "roll off" bass and some mid as the volume is increased. The hope is that the end user won't destroy the speakers prematurely listening to their Justin Beiber at 110 dB ultimately incurring a warranty claim, valid or in valid. The reality is that a single speaker is quite terrible and accurately reproducing the full range of sound we enjoy listening to from a single speaker/woofer. In recent years, manufactures have bent to customer demand and integrated "component" configurations into modern vehicles. The truth however is that these configurations are intentionally built to produce treble and the upper mid range, simply those are easier to maintain over an extended performance window. Then as a premium option, they dangle a upgrade option to attempt to pull some of that loss but a cost. At any rate, have you seen some of those OEM sub-woofer solutions? Yikes! The other factor is there is always a push and pull between cost and performance, and in many cases the audio features are among the last to worked into the vehicle. Sure the placement of the HU is at the core of the design, but I'm talking about the materials used and even the placements of speakers. If you have ever pulled the skins off your doors, you know that the go to material used for typical door OEM door speakers is a crude mish-mash of pot metal and layered construction paper. Don't get me started on the common practice of adding a window cowl and tossing a tweeter in it. I digress, for all intents and purposed the equipment used the OEM speaker and HU load out works for most. But for the few, this vanilla cost saving measure gives rise to a off shoot community looking for a perfect pallet to create fantastic sound stages and amazing audio-scapes. And lets be real, we spent a copious amount of time in our vehicles, why not drive something YOU enjoy day in and day out. Enter in the horrid Car Audio Shop with the twitchy wire cutters and loads of electrical tape. Just like any business relationship there should be a discourse between you and the shop. Any shop that gives you a blanket statement or a "We always do it this way" line, walk away. I assure you there is another shop out there that wants your business and strives to pair you with the right gear for your listen style. Gets off his soap box

Parting thought - I used a AudioControl LC7i to give back some RCA's for an amp AND rebuild that frequency roll-off allowing me to keep the factory head unit but allowing flexability to what speakers and wattage I wanted for my driving experience.
LC7i - AudioControls
 

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Parting thought - I used a AudioControl LC7i to give back some RCA's for an amp AND rebuild that frequency roll-off allowing me to keep the factory head unit but allowing flexability to what speakers and wattage I wanted for my driving experience.
LC7i - AudioControls
Wow, that LC7i looks to be exactly the type of thing I need to do in my car! I just don’t know car audio or wiring at all so I’m totally lost on what amp I should use on top of all that. Can’t really tell how that thing works tbh.
 

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There are plenty of wiring diagrams out there, many of which can be found within the walls of this very forum. But for ease of use, there would be a couple of wiring harnesses that could be worked on outside of the car and then snapped in. Most times folks aren't afraid to dive in initially, it's only when they get that factory head unit out and see the many clusters of wires hidden behind do they panic.
For example, I would recommend a set of Metra 70-1761 and 71-1761. The idea being you can easily wire the HU speaker output to a LoC, similar to the LC7i. Once the signal is amplified, easily wire amplified signal to the car side. The 71-1761 is the head unit side of this package. Within this package there are two plug groups. The smaller cluster typically has four wires, this is the rear channel left and right, then positive and negative respectively. These wires can be extended and attached to your Line Out Converter (LoC). Similarly, the larger plug has the front channel in the grouping. The main difference is there is a lot more wire than just four, the trick is to connect non-speaker respective wires from one adapter to the other. Just match up the wires from one harness to the other. The 70-1761 is the adapters would plug into the car side. Similar to the 71-1761, on the 70-1761 there is a rear speaker smaller plug and the front spear portion of the bigger plug. These wires find their way out to your speakers. Connect the amplified signal coming from the chosen amplifier on the respective channel and polarity. This makes what many in the industry call a "T" harness. This blurb is focused on a full car amplification setup but could be modified to work on any number of desired configurations. See the attached image for the general idea.
22697
 
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