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#1: 05-13-2005, 03:24 PM
05 Legacy Audio FAQ Compiled from board
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Title: Dave-O-Tronic 5000 RC4
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*newsflash* Dual HVAC JDM controls allows stereo replacement at stock location - Check it out

Q: Can I replace my stock stereo?

A: Yes and no. If you have automatic climate control you cannot directly replace the stereo because the stereo and climate controls are integrated into one board. If you have a 2.5i with manual controls the units are separate, however there is no faceplate available to convert it for a double din unit. If you have a 2.5i and wanted to go this route it would require an experienced custom fabricator. The only other option is some people are converting their cubby hole to house a half din stereo. More info on the cubby install

Q: What are the speaker sizes?

A: 6.5” all around with a slightly less then 2” depth. Anything more then that will needs spacer rings. The speakers in the front doors have a splitter in the door that splits the lead to the tweeter and the 6.5” in the door. for a good example of a speaker installation.

Q: I see in the manual that it should play MP3’s but it does not / Can I play mp3s with the stock headunit?

A: The stock headunit cannot play mp3 files in the data format. It will play Audio format CD’s burnt from mp3 files but not a data disc like “mp3 compatible” stereos would. The Outback VDC model does come with MP3 capability. Several members have swapped out their stock unit with the VDC model and have had no issues. The Subaru part number is 86201AG63A and it says CQ-EF1460L on the front. Check and for more information

Q: Can I hook up my XM/Sirius/Ipod/misc audio input device directly to the stereo?

A: Yes and No. There is no factory support for this to begin with, however there are options. The first option is to use FM Modulation. There are two routes, the cigarette lighter option which has okay results or the better option is the direct connection method. The direct adapter is available now from meta. There are two adapters needed, the 40SB10 and the 4SB20. The SB10 goes from the subaru connector to a regular antenna plug and the SB20 does the reverse so you can put your antenna adapter in-line. Some Places carry model 4SB30 which is both adapters in one pack. Here is a direct link to an online retailer where you can purchase it. Also members have created various aux-in "hacks" The most popular is the jazzy board However other members have came out with alternatives which you can find by searching around a bit. And you can also go with a factory integration system like the cleansweep/3sixty etc (described below)

Q: Can I add subwoofer/amplifier?

A: Yes, there are two was to do it. The least expensive and most common way is to use what is called a line out converter. The stereo only has speaker level outputs; speaker level outputs have extra wattage/voltage to drive the speakers. Some amplifiers have high/speaker level inputs directly on them but most require line level inputs. Line level is a much lower voltage designed to transport the signal from the source to the amplifier. To use a line output converter or LOC, you would splice the outputs for the speakers behind the headunit and connect them to the LOC. If you plan on just adding a subwoofer you will only need to splice one set and wire it so that you are splitting the output. If you plan on “re-amping” all of your speakers you would directly connect both speaker outs to two LOC’s. What is connected then to the LOC is called an RCA cable, named for the connector on the end. The RCA connector is the same kind of connector you would be familiar with hooking up a dvd player or vcr. If adding a sub, you would run the RCA cable to the trunk and connect it to the line level input on the subwoofer amplifier and use the input gain on the amp to achieve a balanced sound. If you are keeping the stock speakers and only adding an amp, remember to turn down the bass on your headunit. This will give your speakers more watts to reproduce mids and highs and let the sub do the dirty work. If you want to re-amp all four speakers you will need to re-run the speaker wires to the doors as the stock wires are not meant to handle the wattage that an aftermarket amplifier would put out. The 2nd option is the JL Cleansweep which I will go over in the next question.

Q: What is this Cleansweep I keep hearing about?

A: The Cleansweep is a new device designed by JL Audio. The Cleansweep was designed because more and more modern cars have made it almost impossible to replace the stock headunit. The problem is the quality of the output you get from using line output converters is not always the best because the stock headunit varies its output and has custom equalization. For example, most stock head units decrease the amount of bass as you turn up the volume. The Cleansweep has a DSP (digital signal processor) which allows you to convert the speaker level outputs to a “clean” signal which you can use to push out to an aftermarket amp. The Cleansweep has its own remote volume control which allows you to set your stock stereo at a constant volume and you get a solid flat signal. Read for more details. The other nice thing about the Cleansweep is that it gives you the option to add an aux in from xm radio / ipod etc which you can switch to by pushing in on the Cleansweep’s volume. Read more on JL’s site here Note: The cleansweep is available from authorized JL dealers now.

Q: Are there cleansweep alternatives?

A: Yes, Rockford Fosgate now has the 3Sixty which is similar in function to the Cleansweep, allowing clean line outs to be created from speaker level output by applying dynamic re-eq of the signal. There are two models which you can read up on here 6185,106187) Also, Alpine now has the PXE-H650 which is also similar in function more information about it here

Q: How does the Subaru OEM subwoofer work?

A: The sub is installed under the Driver’s seat. There is a wiring harness that connects it to the back of the stock head unit. If you are not very handy with electronics and mechanical devices, self installation is not a good idea. There are varying opinions of the sound quality of the woofer. It seems to satisfy most peoples need for extra low end. However, if you have had an aftermarket subwoofer in a previous car or are looking for the kind of sound that makes the mirrors shake, look elsewhere. this thread has some more comments about it, although its starts off negative it has plenty of varying opinions on the OEM sub.

Q: What are the best speakers to upgrade to for the doors?

A: Let me start off by saying that the quality of speakers are in the ear of the beholder. While I may think that the high end of a pair of speakers sounds good to me, it may sound tinny to someone else. Never buy speakers without hearing them in person and know that even then it will sound different in your car. When you shop for speakers you also need to make sure that you are listening to them being powered by the same wattage as you plan on driving them with. For example, if you plan on just upgrading the speakers and running them off the stock headunit you would want to hear them being played using the wattage directly out of a mid range aftermarket head unit. Some speakers sound dramatically different depending on how much power you give them. If you plan on running 50 watts RMS to them, you want to hear them with as similar of wattage as that as possible. You may fall in love with the way the speakers sound in the store because they are actually being driven by an aftermarket amp and find yourself disappointed by the way the sound in your car driven by the stock unit. Currently the most popular choice seems to be the Polk DB650 and DB6500 separates due to their mounting depth. There is about 9 pages of various opinions on brands/specs in this thread.
(addition) I had put the Boston Acoustics SL60 separates in my front door and am thrilled with the sound quality.

Q: If i wanted to replace everything but the head unit, how much am I looking at spending?

I spent 2300 for everything... however you have to remember two things.. one is I replaced everything but the head unit and added two subs.. You could have a very nice sounding car with spending about half of what I did to get everything I got, I just got a little crazy. For example, the polk speakers would have cost about half as much but listening to them back to back with the Boston acoustics speakers, they just sounded hollow like there was a wierd dip in the midrange somewhere.. So i mean i spent $300 just on my front separates. If you bought your stuff on eBay and did some bargain shopping and stayed away from the pricey brands you could get a nice set of separates for under 100.. they may not sound as good but it will still be a huge improvement over stock. I should take some pictures of the stock speakers, they are junk.

You don't even have to go with components in the front doors.. there are several people on this board that believe you will get a better stereo image due to the placement of the oem tweeters. I was a rebel and went out on a limb and used separates anyway and am very pleased with the stereo image I have.

I just went to crutchfield for kicks, similar setup for $895 installed/shipped. For two profile amps, one 4x60 one 220x1 129 each. Single 10" bandpass subwoofer box 89 bucks.. 2 pairs of kenwood 2 way speakers for a total of $100 so about $547 in core components. Two high quality line output converters $59 two 16 foot patch cables $45 (you don't want to use cheap ones or else you will end up with alternator noise) 50 feet to be on the safe side of speaker cable $20 Streetwires four gauge multi amp wire kit 79 bucks, so $200 for wiring and adapters.. and then crutchfield's pre-paid installation services is 149 for both amps and 89 for both speakers which is pretty much on par for what you would get dinged on for labor at any install shop.

You could save even more money by going the ebay route for picking up the parts/equipment but unless you know somebody that install charge is going to be about the same.. So it looks like on the cheap if you went ebay you could probably shave off another $200 because crutchfields markup on the accessories is pretty high and i found the same speakers for $29 vs $49 on ebay. So keeping it on the frugal side you could replace everything installed for around $700

Q: What are the pin-outs/wiring connections.

Two links to check out (thanks SVXdc) Legacy/Outback radio harness pin-out and Stock Head unit information -- pin-outs, subwoofer, aux inputs, and more

Q: I saw on a sunny day the display on my stereo had a SAT light, is there an OEM radio with XM etc?

A: NO. We share the display board with some of the JDM / European models which do have such options however there is no comatible subaru stereo with native XM/Sirius reception. (with the exception of newer models)

Q: Can the Legacy stock stereo play regular burned cd-r / cd-rw discs?

A: Yes, i play almost exclusively burned cd's in my car and have never had a problem with a burned disc, it can even read my black (write side is black) cd-r's


Last edited by gfxdave99; 11-22-2009 at 02:40 PM.. Reason: Fixed links/updated
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