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454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just picked up a '13 Subaru Legacy 3.6R :D, and I just finished getting all my stuff together to replace the stock audio system.
It has the non Hardon Karman 6 speaker setup. 4 door speakers and tweets in the dash. It comes with a 130 amp alt.

This will be the first time I will attempt a quality install, so hopefully you experts will help me catch any huge mistakes I am making!

Up until now, I have not had the budget or inclination to really dive deep into a decent audio system for my car. I've had amp'd coaxials and subs, but nothing I've ever been really proud of.
I installed a set of entry level RE audio passive components and some 12W3s in my wife's Jeep last year, and she will no longer have a better system than me, it is decided.
I've done a lot more research, which in turn has stretched my budget to the limit, and think I've chosen components that will give me great SQ value.

This install will have a lot of firsts for me:
Quality Head Unit
Sound deadening
Component speakers
Active Setup (2 way + sub)

SO, what I've put together:

Head Unit: Pioneer DEH 80-PRS
Front Stage: Rockford PRIME 300 4-CH, Morel Maximo 6.5 Components @ 4 Ohm
Lows: Alpine MRD-M500, 2 JL Audio 12w3's @ 4 Ohm


BIG 3: Knuconcepts Ultimate Battery Terminals, Knuconceptz OFC 0g pwr/gnd + T-Spec V10-RT810P terminals
Amp Wiring: knuconceptz OFC 4g pwr/gnd, + KNF-12 2 way Distribution block (50A/60A), 12,16 gauge OFC speaker wire, NVX XIV43 Twisted RCAs
Sound deadening: Knuconceptz No-noise

Pioneer DEH 80-PRS

I was convinced I was getting a double DIN touch screen until I demo'd some. What I found was there was nothing in my price range with the audio quality and flexibility that I wanted.
It seems no double DIN exists at any price with the SQ of this unit, and no single DIN can beat it for less than ~$1200. Dang.
While shopping around, I was told by 2 audio shops they use the 80-PRS in their own vehicle, 1 of them being the shop's SQ competition vehicle.
The decision was made.

Rockford PRIME 300

I chose it when the last amp I was using to power coax speakers bit the dust, and a new amp wasn't going to happen for this install (yet). Birth sheet had it rated at 412w RMS. I estimate each ch will output 68.5w RMS at 4 Ohms. The Morels are rated at 80w.

Morel Maximo Components:
I Demo'd these in an active configuration and fell in love.
To my ears they outperformed everything else in the price range, and some more expensive.
I will probably want better speakers later, and am considering looking into RAW drivers when I have a bit more knowledge.

Still need to decide:
- Where to mount the Alpine mono anp
- Where to mount the D block. Pretty sure the 4CH is going under the driver seat.
If it goes under the hood, I'd have to run two power wires into the cabin.
If it goes under the seat, Id need another fuse by the batt. I've got a 100A breaker I would consider.
If it goes in the trunk, that's more wire run and another fuse.
- Related, how to connect the 4ch. It only takes up to 8g. Run 4g to it with a reducer or run just 8g from the block? D Block is convertible.

Still receiving things in the mail, may start on the sound deadening today.

16 Posts
i picked up a set of the Maximo components for an upcoming corvette build based on what a retailer recommended.

I was planning on running them passive off of a kenwood x801-5 bridging the four main channels. Did you try them through the crossover with the extra power? What made you like them active? How are you planning on crossing the speakers active?

Best of luck on your build.

3,428 Posts
Nice build! You should enjoy that one very much. I would put the distribution block in the cabin, and go with the 100A breaker for sure.

You might could use solder and build up the end of that 8ga enough to fit into the 4ga block better.

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you try them through the crossover with the extra power? What made you like them active? How are you planning on crossing the speakers active?

Best of luck on your build.

When I demo'd them, the store had them setup in an active configuration on an Audison DSP, I believe. I know I won't be at that level, but hope to be close.

The Pioneer HU has an active crossover network, so the RCAs will be high/mid/low rather than front/rear/sub. I will connect the high/mid to the 4ch amp, and connect the low to the subwoofer amp.
This setup allows the crossover to occur in the head unit.

My understanding of the benefits:

1. Cuts unneeded frequencies before reaching the amp, thereby saving power and heat, and saving power for desired frequencies.
2. Eliminates the passive crossover. An active crossover provides a much cleaner signal and more stable crossover point, as a passive crossovers' performance and crossover point will fluctuate with a speaker's changing resistance, as it is playing.
An active crossover is unaffected by any of this, and is adjustable.
3. Eliminates all the speaker connections at the passive crossover. More connections never did anything good for audio quality that I've heard.

I chose the Morels because they seemed to have the most neutral sound to my ear.
They were noticeably more clear than many others, as if a veil was lifted off the music when switching mid song from other speakers.

The tweeters also did not sound overly bright, more on the warmer side which is what I was looking for. They seem to most accurately present the music without adding anything, or taking away, (in this price range anyway). It was lack of a "distinct sound" that I wanted, which is what a lot of brands have.

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice build! You should enjoy that one very much. I would put the distribution block in the cabin, and go with the 100A breaker for sure.

You might could use solder and build up the end of that 8ga enough to fit into the 4ga block better.
I was totally overthinking this.
Yes I am going to put the block under the driver seat with the 4ch amp.
The block can accept 8ga with an included adapter so I'll just use 8ga wire for it.
Initially I thought I didn't have any 8g but I found some good leftover stuff.

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
General Update:

I need to return the Morels.
They gave me 5.25 because they were out of 6.5 and said they sound exactly the same.
I found 6.5 will give better mid bass response, and since I am not running dedicated mid bass that is important to me. They said they have an open box set of 6.5 mid ranges they would swap out and give me a discount, along with a full warrantee.
I'm thinking I'll do that.

I also now have a subwoofer enclosure dilemma.
There is a seat belt spool in the trunk hanging from the top of the trunk that will interfere with the dual 12" sealed box that I have. I really did not budget for this.

I'm now imagining two sealed boxes facing each other on either side of the trunk.
Think I could find a couple single 12" enclosures for little enough to fly under the radar.
Any other thoughts here would be appreciated.

My negative Batt terminal came with messed up female threads, so I'm waiting till Monday to hear back about that. Guess the wiring is on hold.

Hoping to get to some sound deadening in tomorrow if work is light.
I've been told I should deaden the speakers themselves, and an extra layer right around them helps. Any other tips are appreciated!

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I finally got the system up and running! :D

This is my first attempt at a really clean looking install, so again, any pointers or suggestions are completely welcome (just take it easy on a noobish guy!)

Here are a few pics:

Vehicle Car Electronics Center console Multimedia

Installed the 80PRS with the Scosche install kit.
The included matte black trim piece did not even fit their own cutouts. :confused:
I used the glossy plate, I think it looks pretty good.
The OEM wiring harness suggested by Crutchfield did not come with the wires for the steering wheel adapter, so I have to track down one of those.
Also thinking of just adding in my own extra wires if I can figure out how to do it without cutting into the factory wiring.

Car subwoofer Subwoofer Audio equipment Trunk Vehicle

My 12W3s. I had the Alpine amp next to the enclosure in my last car, but I installed it under the driver seat this time. I think it made for a pretty clean look.
I must note this trunk is massive. I had no room in my Volvo S70, clearly not the case here. I should get some grills because I can actually use the trunk now.
I also need to come up with a better mounting solution for the box.
Right now it has a couple screws in the box held to the trunk roof with oversized zip ties.
I wonder if a front facing box would work in this area? I've always had them facing the rear.
I had a port hole through to the trunk in my last car, not the case here.

Car seat cover Vehicle Car Car seat Family car

This is totally what I was going for.
There is a hump at the rear of each seat that completely hides both amps, so you would never tell there is anything installed if not for the head unit.
I had to remove the sides of my Alpine amp to fit it under the driver seat, but I think it will have even better airflow, so I think it will be fine.

Wire Electronics Cable Electrical wiring Technology

Here is an shot of the Alpine amp. It barely fits under the seat with the sides removed from it.
I installed it so that I can just move the seat forward a little, and then pull the amp out and the controls are right there. Same with the RF 4 channel.
There happen to be a couple bolts under each seat that were for mounting the amps in the limited model of this car, so I used them for grounding points and they worked great!
They were under a flap of carpet that opens up, so I routed all my wires through there too! :pleased:

Engine Auto part Vehicle Car Automotive engine part

Engine electrical. I ran Knuconceptz Kolossus 4G power wire through the firewall, under the center console and under the driver seat. I'm thinking of wrapping it in something black to blend it in better. There was an extra large size rubber grommet in the firewall used for nothing! Drilled a hole through it and I was done! (Starting to think I was blessed by the audio gods with this car)
I have a 100A breaker on the battery. Attached the OEM harnesses to the ultimate battery terminals (I didn't want to modify anything on the car if possible).
I upgraded the Battery to Chassis ground with Kolossus 1/0 OFC wire. The ALT on this car grounds through the engine block, so now I just need to upgrade the positive from ALT to BATT.
I am getting some headlight dimming at high volumes with heavy bass. With a 130A ALT, I'm thinking the cable upgrade should reduce or eliminate that.

Electrical wiring Wire Cable Trunk Auto part

Here is the power cable running to the driver seat under the center console. I was surprised to find there was already a gap between the carpet and and tunnel that was about equal to the thickness of the 4G wire, so there is no bulge and you can't tell anything is there at all. I routed the power cables down the center console, and ran the speaker wires and RCAs around to the left side, so the only place power and signal cables meet is at the amp. The RF 4 channel amp has it's signal cable and speaker wires ran around the right side of the car, so again, no signal cables and power cables meet anywhere but the amp. I can say that I have no detectable engine noise or ground loop noise at all. I planned for all of this in advance, and I'm so glad that I did. I've had several ground loop/interference issues in past installs, and this is the first time I've ended up with a completely clean signal.

I have more work to do with the speakers and doors, so will post pics of that next.
For now I rigged up some cheap plastic mounts because I just could not stand the stock system anymore.
The brackets I had to use left a huge air gap between the midrange driver and bracket, so all the sealing I have done on my doors is all for naught until the new mounts come.
I did deaden the doors, but I will probably do more when the panels come back off. I also have 2 Lbs of Duct seal I plan to use around the mounts and under the speakers.

More to come! :thumbsup:

187 Posts
nice and clean work.

i'm having a similar issue with my Metra adapter harness (no illumination wire), but lucked out at best buy (of all places), who had a drawer full of spare harness bits/wires. I salvaged the right kind of pin from one of the throw-aways so I can have illumination on my deck controlled by the factory cutting. The hack shops around me all said "just T-tap it into the headlight switch wiring",which I don't want to do.

I've not seen a Subie plug/pin up close, but google "DePin Subaru harness audio" or something like that and you should find a video or pics that may help. My Toyota harness depinning tool is a straightened out paper clip :)
If you can track down a pin-out diagram for the plugs behind the stock radio, you should be able to find out which one to tap for SWC.

Only thing I might suggest is cleaning up (bundling) the wires under the seat so they don't ever have a chance to get caught up in the seat tracks. Everything else looks awesome.

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The box size I am not 100% sure on, but these call for a pretty small sealed chamber. I believe for each it should be 1.25ft3, and I think it is close to that.
I could use polyfil to "enlarge" the box, which I haven't got around to yet.
I am considering getting a new chamber though, as this one is a shared chamber. I want to get one with separate chambers.

Yes, I am sending 500w RMS to the subs, but 250w is actually the beginning of their "Optimum power range" according to JL.
These subs have good sound quality IMO, and already far overpower the speaker system.
To have everything balanced, the LFE on my head unit must be set to -20 ish.
That is with the Alpine amp input signal range on low, and gain set to 0.

142 Posts
I have the same head unit in my 2010 LGT. I had a single 12W3 but being a slight bass head I wanted more low end. I wanted to get another W3 but didn't want to pay over 200 for it. I ended up running 2 Dayton HO 10s. Thinking of going back sealed. Might try a single 15 fiberglassed in the spare tire well.

Oh, I did prefer my W3s after adding done polyfill.

5,805 Posts
Any updates, or is this as far as you are going ? :)

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Oh no, it has only begun. :devilish:

Thanks for the reminder!
Believe it or not, I had actually planned to post some more info today. My wife could have our daughter at any time and I had some personal stuff going on, life's crazy sometimes.

Anyway, here are some photos of the work on the front doors.

Auto part

These are the custom brackets I got for Midrange drivers, which I'm sure everyone here will agree I payed too much for.
I don't have many wood tools so I picked these up for 30 shipped.
They are custom made for my vehicle and pre-drilled for the doors, so worth it to me.
They are Made out of PVC so they wont degrade over time like MDF.

Auto part

I added a good amount of duct sealant on the door side of the bracket:

Circle Black-and-white Metal

... And a bead between the bracket and speaker.
This sealed the entire assembly, and I think will really helped with vibration.

Car subwoofer Vehicle audio Subwoofer Loudspeaker Audio equipment

Here is a shot of the speaker installed.
Yes, I need to drill two more holes, I know.

It just barely clears the door on the edge of the speaker bracket, I got lucky.
I added close to a pound of duct sealant all around each mount to try and dampen all vibration before it reaches the door.

Technology Electronic device Glass Screen Automotive window part

Here is the plexiglass window I made that seals the biggest hole in my door.
I used some butyl waterproof tape I found at the hardware store to seal off the edges for an airtight seal.

Then I added about 75% coverage of Knuconcepts Kno-Noise sound mat on each door to the outside panel. I didnt get a complete shot of this, but I definitely will be adding more, both doors are still not quite vibration free.
Will post more pics when this is done.

Red Technology Electronics Electronic device

A shot of the stock speaker magnets.
Basically a quarter sized donut for a magnet, pathetic.

So right now I am focusing on the tweeters.

One of my friends wanted to hear "Ride the Lightning" by Metallica.
Although he stated it was the best he has ever heard it, I was ashamed of how the tweeters sounded.
It was the worst I had heard them so far on any song.
They were far more harsh then when I auditioned them.

I told my friend I have work to do and he will hear that song differently next time.

When I pulled just the driver side tweet out of the dash and stuck it on the a pillar with some Velcro, the difference was amazing.
Most of the harshness of the tweeter was gone instantly, and I really discovered how awful a windshield is for sound.
I think the enclosures I'm planning for will take care of the rest.

Still playing around with them to see where they should be aimed.
So far I'm thinking either directly at my head or just off-center, between the headrests. With all the harshness of the windshield gone, they do not seem harsh even when pointed directly at me.
Taking my time with this one, want to be sure I mount them in the best way.

I found a post here about placing them in a round or egg shaped enclosure to reduce/eliminate refraction.$2.html

Found some large sized plastic eggs with pop rocks at the grocery store:
Text Font Line Technology Document

Ironically they were a dollar each, so I spent the 2$!
I'm gonna cut some holes in them and see if they will work for the tweets.

More things I need to do:

- Reinstall tweeters onto the A pillars.

- More sound deadening on the front doors.
I read that 60% coverage on one side is plenty, and anything beyond that is a waste.
Well, the front panels are almost all covered, and I still have some nasty resonance at certain frequencies.
I may even put mat on the speaker baskets.
I also have the driver door lock rattling sometimes.
I may have to pull it out and grease it or something.

- Need to pull the entire roof lining off and put some foam on the spots where hard plastic meets the metal roof.
I was able to get the front done but the rear still rattles during certain bass lines. I'm just gonna pull the whole thing off and be done with it.

Overall, I am completely thrilled with this system, and it is already far exceeding what I expected.
I've been a lurker and have been doing research on Car audio for a long time, and always wanted a system like this.
Up until now I just had a basic amped 4 way coax speaker system with way too much bass.

I feel I have done some serious growing up with regards to Car Audio, and now have a completely respectable system.

I think the biggest lesson I've learned is this:
90% of the quality is in the install.
You can make average gear sound excellent with the right install, but install the most expensive equipment improperly and it will never sound good.
I knew this concept but had never proved it to myself through experience.

Just want to say thanks to everyone on this forum who shared and helped make this a reality for me.
I hope my posts bring some helpful info to others as well.

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I really think I am building one for the books here, with regard to cost vs. audio quality ratio.
With the stuff I already had, it took about an extra $500 to take me from a very mediocre system to really a competition grade system.
Of coarse, I payed close to retail for everything, because I didn't have time to wait around for the deals on the stuff I wanted.

Every component I chose have all been excellent value though.

The Pioneer DEH-80PRS:
Nothing can touch the SQ of this active $250 head unit for less then $1200.
I also read that this head unit has no audible distortion at max volume, which is amazing.

Enough said.

Rockford Prime 300:
What an amazing value for an amp. Picked it up for about $100.
When most manufacturers grossly inflate the power capabilities of their amplifiers, Rockford actually underrates this one, and it would already be a great deal if they didn't.

I purchased a 300x4. It came birth sheet rated at 412 watts RMS.
This amp has <1% harmonic distortion at 2 ohms, and even less at 4 oms, which is how all the speakers are hooked up.
I have the gains set to MINIMUM, and the speakers get plenty loud.
I am even getting some speaker distortion at max volume on the head unit, only on certain songs at certain times, and only on the right side midrange.
This might have something to do with only have like 2.5 screws holding the speaker in? Okay, let the shaming begin.

Morel Maximo 6.5:
I loved these speakers as soon as I heard them.
The Midrange gets down to 80hz.
Strangely, The 5.25 size Midrange gets down further, to 70hz!
I of course found this out after exchanging for the 6.5" :shrug:

The tweeter is a silk dome tweeter similar to the ones they use in their top-end models. It is on the warm side and if installed correctly, will sound excellent.

I think the only major issue with these speakers are the crossovers.
Almost every negative review I found was either about the crossovers directly, or were issues that seemed to be related to them. People said they fail early, don't have any attenuation, they just kinda suck.

Good thing I'm not using them.

I listened to them on an active crossover setup, and they are breathtaking for the money. So IMO, if you are going active on a budget, these are amazing speakers for the price.

All the electrical stuff and sound deadening I got from
IMO there is no better place to get great quality install products.
They have the best copper wire on the market, and it is below average cost.
I am very happy with their battery terminals, fuse block and wiring.

I am very proud of this system, specifically that I have put such an amazing system together for so few dollars.
I cant wait to see what further modification is going to bring.

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yesterday I discovered something profound that elevated my system a notch.
I picked up an oscilloscope to set my amp gains and want to share my findings.

I created about 15 wav files with 0db sine waves from 50-17.5K hz.

I disconnected every negative speaker wire lead at the amp.
Replaced with ground clip of the probe, placed probed on the positive terminal.
Set all channels to 0 db and Set volume to max.

I tested all frequencies on both sides by turning the system off and swapping the front/rear RCAs in the amp and repeating the test. I found the amp started clipping at some of the highest frequencies first, and the gain ended up higher than I thought on both channels.

After front and rear gain were set correctly, I used a 1khz test tone and my multimeter to measure what kind of clean power I was getting from each set of speaker terminals on the amp. I tested the rear first, where the mids were connected. Then I swapped the RCAs to the front and tested that side of the amp.

I found the front channels of this amp were putting out close to 50% more clean power than the rear! :eek:

At max volume I was getting 5.5-5.8V AC at the rear speaker terminals.
On the front speaker terminals I was getting 8.0-8.5V AC!
On both sets, the left channel had a little more power.

This amp came at 40% over rated power.
Now I know that is because the front half of the amp is a BEAST.
I did some math off the Birthsheet, and I think the front does roughly 80 watts RMS each side, and the rear does about 55 watts RMS.
My mids are rated at 80 watts RMS.

This is so perfect for my active setup.
Well, it would be, if I had connected it correctly.
Guess what was connected to the more powerful half of the amp?
The tweeters.

I promptly swapped them to the rear and my mids to the front.
Now I have rated clean power available to the mids.

SCORE. :cool:

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The rating says 50×4 so according to the rating, they should be the same.
Some amp's have more powerful channels intentionally, but in my experience that will be reflected in the rating.

I think I just got lucky with this amp.

454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I FINALLY got my steering wheels controls working!

Ok first, sorry for no updates!
Have a daughter now and she takes up all my time these days!

The aftermarket harness I purchased when I installed my 80prs didn't have the extra two wires for the steering wheel controls.

I had decided I was going to add the extra wires in myself eventually (ya right).

I discovered Amazon now sells a harness with the wires included, so I just ordered one.

Spent a good hour stripping and soldering the harness, the Axxess adapter and 80PRS harness together into a crazy octopus looking thing that looked like it was going to Feast on my stereo.

I tamed the Beast with about a dozen zip ties, and I think it looks pretty good.

There are three different variations of my vehicle and ways to hook up the adapter, depending if you have navigation or premium audio.

The adapter didn't work at first so I thought I wired it wrong, but I forgot to plug in the little RCA plug into the head unit.

After that it still didn't work, but I then factory reset it and it auto detected everything and works perfectly!

Now I have volume track folder options on the Wheel, and can answer calls through the stereo which is pretty nice.

Now I have to add the little microphone on to the steering wheel so I can use my phone with it!

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
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