Subaru’s are such wonderful vehicles. We love the design of them, from the all wheel drive system, to the boxer style engines, to the simplistic, yet comfortable, interiors. One thing we don’t love about them is the Subaru audio system. They are anemic at best, lacking any real depth to the sound. The sound definitely lacks in output as well.
The owner of this 2009 Subaru Legacy came to Kingpin Car and Marine Audio looking for a major Subaru audio upgrade. He wanted a stereo that would reproduce every last detail in the music, but he also wanted it loud, really loud. The owner wanted the stereo to be able to reproduce concert level sound without breaking a sweat. That request brought a huge smile to all the faces on our team because we love music, and we like it loud!
Concert Level Output and Realism Orchestrated By Audison BitOne Processor
In this system we utilized the stock Subaru radio and fed its audio signal into an Audison Bit One.1 processor. The Audison processor is truly an incredible feat of engineering. It allows us to take the musical signal coming from the Subaru radio and completely strip away the equalization that Subaru adds to the music, leaving us with a pure, clean signal just like the artist intended. It is with that musical signal that we begin the journey toward incredible sonic realism.
The Bit One.1 allows each speaker in this Subaru audio enhancement to have their own dedicated amplifier channel for maximum control and detail. Included in the processor is a 31 band equalizer for each and every channel, so we can squeeze out every last ounce of sound quality. On top of that, we have a digital delay for each speaker allowing us to have all of the music arrive at the perfect time. When you sit in this car and close your eyes, you will think the band is playing right in front of the car. The sound stage sits across the top of the dash, and you will be able to point to where every musician was standing during the recording. It is nothing short of breathtaking.
More Speakers and More Amps = More Output and More Clarity in This Subaru Legacy
Once the sound leaves the BitOne.1 it travels downstream to two Audison AV5.1K amplifiers. We chose to use two of these amplifiers for one simple reason, more power means more output. The combined output of these amplifiers is over 2800 watts. Now we’re talkin’! In the front of this vehicle, we used two pair of Hertz Mille MLK2 component sets. They are made up of 6.5” woofers and 1.2” tweeters. These speakers were picked because they can achieve the concert level output the customer desired while still offering reference quality and accuracy. We rebuilt the A-pillars to hold both of the tweeters, and, as you can see from the pictures, the tweeters look factory installed.
The door panels we build are something special here at Kingpin Car and Marine Audio. Many door panels have very limited speaker options from the factory. What we did in this vehicle was rebuild the bottom of the door panel to house the two sets of Mille 6.5” woofers. As you can see from the finished pictures, they look like stock door panels.
Making a door panel look great is an accomplishment in itself, but if they don’t hold up to years of use then, we failed the customer. You see, it’s what is hidden behind the grill that is most important. Many installation facilities will design the door panels themselves to hold the speakers, and that is a very bad idea. The Mille woofers weigh several pounds apiece and in no time they will start coming loose from their mounts and cracking, as the door panel was never designed to hold that kind of weight. We fabricate polymer mounts that are impervious to water and attach directly to the metal in the door. With the mount firmly secured we then bolt the speaker directly to that polymer mount. Now the door structure is holding the speaker in place, not the door panel. Not only is this infinitely more reliable, but the improvement in sound quality is also significant. Speakers need to be installed on a rigid, non-resonant mounting surfaces if it is going to sound as good as it can. This is just one of the ways we separate ourselves from the competition. We only know how to do something one way: The right way.
Audison BitOne DRC Gives The Driver Audio System Controls At His Fingertips
The Audison Bit One.1 processor is controlled by what is known as a DRC. The DRC is a small, rectangular controller with a knob and a few buttons. If you look at the pictures, you can see we modified the center console near the shifter so the DRC could be flush mounted. The end result was a factory appearance, again keeping the same theme throughout the vehicle.
“Stage Three Trunk” Build Makes This Subaru Audio System Look As Good As It Sounds
When we move to the trunk, the build takes on a whole new personality. For the trunk part of the build the customer wanted to show off his wilder side. He wanted people to know the quality of equipment he put into the vehicle, and he wanted to dress to impress. We designed and fabricated what we call our “Stage 3 Trunk” in this vehicle. It is a blend of multiple finishes, colors, and contours to really make the trunk area stand out from the crowd.
Two Audison AV 12 woofers that are 12” in diameter were installed in a custom enclosure that fired back towards the rear of the vehicle. We designed and fabricated custom grills to protect the woofers while giving the installation an industrial look. Flushed into the floor are the two Audison AV5.1K amplifiers, again utilizing custom grills to protect them. Blue lighting was installed in strategic areas to set off the details in this trunk.
We couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of this vehicle. The installation turned out beautiful, and the sound quality can be summed up in one word: Amazing. The client could not believe the clarity and detail he now had in all of his music. When the client started turning it up, and up, and up even more, it just kept getting louder and louder, without a hint of distortion. He was thrilled, to say the least.
Portland Oregon’s Vehicle Enhancement Experts
If you like what you see in this article and would like to have your Subaru audio system (or any vehicle for that matter) taken to the next level, we invite you to contact us. We will work with you to design an audio system for your unique needs and desires. That is the hallmark of Kingpin Car and Marine Audio. We look forward to meeting you.