A client from Chesterton contacted Cartronix in Valparaiso to inquire about having us install an audio system in his 2017 Subaru Impreza WRX. We invited him to the store to discuss his requirements for the system and to get an understanding of how he used the car. After several visits and discussions, we suggested a few additional products that would dramatically improve the performance of the system. Once we had his approval, we set a time to begin the installation of this Subaru WRX audio system.
Laying the Foundation
We treated the doors and floor with a layer of SoundSkins Pro sound-deadening material. This butyl and foam damping material helps to improve the performance of the speakers and reduces the transmission of road and wind noise into the cabin. The Impreza is a fantastic car, but it doesn’t have much sound deadening. The SoundSkins product made a dramatic improvement.
Source Unit Installation
The client provided a Pioneer AVIC-7200NEX double-DIN source unit. We used an ASWC-1 module to integrate with the steering wheel audio controls and an AZ-SUBUSB2 interface to maintain the factory USB port. A 40-LX11 antenna adapter and TR1 module wrapped up the installation of this CarPlay– and Android Auto-equipped source unit.
Speaker Installation Adapters
We created a set of mounting adapters for the client’s Focal PS165 component speakers on our router table. These expanded PVC adapters allow the new speakers to bolt to the factory speaker mounting locations. The front and rear speakers received the same treatment.
Since the client had chosen identical component sets for the front and back doors, we mounted the tweeters for each in their factory locations. In the front, this required that we create a set of adapters for the tweeters in the dash. The dash is an excellent place for the tweeters, because it will move the soundstage forward in the vehicle.
Fiberglass Subwoofer Enclosure
The client brought us a 10-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofer for the system. To maximize the storage space in the trunk, we created a fiberglass enclosure in the back right corner. We started the fabrication by applying several layers of 3M blue painter’s tape. Once we cut a bottom panel from MDF, we used several layers of fiberglass to the car to form the back of the enclosure. We cut out a support bracket and mounting ring for the subwoofer and secured it in place.
We wrapped the face of the enclosure with fleece and mixed up another batch of resin to give it some strength. Once it cured, we reinforced the cabinet and finished it with gray trunk liner to match the rest of the trunk.
Trunk Floor Amp and Processor Rack
Since the client wanted to maintain as much usable space as possible in his car, we mounted his Alpine PDX-F4 and PDX-M12 amps, along with an AudioControl DM-810 processor, on an amp rack panel in the spare tire well. Next we set to work making a cosmetic trim panel. The trim is wrapped in black vinyl and includes acrylic plastic inserts that illuminate with blue LEDs whenever the system is on.
Subaru Impreza WRX Audio System Tuning
We started the tuning process by configuring the crossovers, equalization and signal delay in the AudioControl DSP and ensuring the amp gains were set to maximize performance. The level and signal delay adjustments help create a stable and realistic soundstage across the front of the vehicle. It would have been nice to have another set of amp channels for the tweeters, but the results are impressive nevertheless.
After about a week of work on the Subaru, it was time to turn it back over to the client. He was excited to hear the system for the first time. The amp rack and subwoofer enclosure looked exactly the way he wanted, and the sound of the new audio system blew his mind. The factory sound system is pretty bad, so this was a massive upgrade. Check out this short video to see more:
This Subaru Impreza WRX audio system turned out great. If you are in the market for a sound system upgrade, then come to Cartronix in Valparaiso. A member of our team would be happy to assist you. You can send us an e-mail using our online contact for more information.