Replacing the OEM HK speakers

My wife and I purchased an ‘09 Subaru Outback with an OEM 440-watt Harman Kardon audio system. My parents only listened to talk radio in the car and never at loud volume levels but, somehow, the OEM 8”sub woofer is blown. So, I purchased a Pioneer TS-SW2002D2 8-inch Shallow-Mount Subwoofer which is 2 ohm DVC Pioneer sub that can be used in a “Free Air / Infinite Baffle” design. The OEM amp is a complex little device. In the Legacy sedan, the OEM sub is a SVC. In the Outback wagon, the sub is a DVC. So, in the sedan, only one output on the OEM amp is used for the sub but the wagon uses both of the outputs for the sub. The OEM amp also send signals to the separate tweeters in the doors and the separate woofers in the doors in the front while the back door speakers are full range with no separate components.

I got some generic dynamat to cover the door panels and I got some Polk Audio DB6502 6 1/2 separates for the front doors and some Polk Audio DB652 6 1/2 for the back doors. I’m not going to replace the OEM head unit yet or the OEM amp as it would be a PITA to rewire all of the speakers from an aftermarket head unit to an adtermarket amp. Also, I’ve hear that the OEM amp runs some other non-audio related functions for the vehicle and I don’t want to mess with that.

The OEM amp is under the passenger seat. The area under the driver seat is open if I want to add an aftermarket amp later. Adding an aftermarket head unit wouldn’t be super complex but I would have to rewire the head unit and speakers so the signals don’t go to the OEM amp.

Any thoughts or advice?
Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
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Comments

  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    So, I replaced the OE head unit with a Pioneer AVHX490BS double DIN and I picked up some Alpine Type-S Series Component Speaker System - SPS610C for the front doors and the matching Alpine Type-S 6.5" Coaxial 2-Way Speakers - SPS610 for the rear doors. Got them at a ridiculously good price.

    Unfortunately, I was not able to install the head unit myself. I had to have the store where I bought it put it in. I wasn’t able to disengage a bolt at the back of the climate controls. Otherwise, I would have had it in there without issue.

    While we were at the store (Abt Electronics) we auditioned some speakers. We listened to the Focal 6.5" Component 2-Way Speakers - ISS165 with the matching coaxial 6.5 speaks and we also listened to the JL Audio 6.5" 2-Way Component Speaker System - C1650 and their matching 6.5 coaxial sad well.

    The Focal speakers, to my surprise, sounded muffled;
    Like there was a blanket over them. The JL audio speakers sounded like they were straining to reproduce the music. The Alpine speakers were clean, clear, and sound fantastic. They were on sale and far less expensive than the others so that’s what we went with.

    Since it’s so cold now, I don’t know that I’ll be able to install them anytime soon. It’s been recommended that these speakers will work best when driven by an aftermarket amp. Again, that’s something that will have to wait until another day as I’d have to buy a nice little powerhouse that’ll fit under the seat with no issues and I’ll have to get a 4 AWG OFC amp wiring kit to boot. Funds are a little tight at the moment so some things will just have to wait.

    I’m liking what I’m reading about soundskins sound reading products so I’ll go that route for the front doors and use what I have left of the 10 sq. ft. Noico kit I bought to deaden the area behind the OE sub. The OE sub was blown so I replaced it with a Pioneer 8” sub with dual 2 ohm voice coils wired in series so the OE
    Amp sees a 4 ohm load.
    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 12,492
    Glad the Alpine speakers are working out for you. They've been in the car audio game forever so I'm not surprised that their speakers sound great.
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    Replacing the blown OE "HK" sub with a 8" Pioneer + Noico sound deadener for good measure:
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    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    edited January 2018
    Front door panels now have Alpine SPS-610C component speakers + Noico sound deadener on the outer door panel with Soundskins sound deadener on the inside door panels with custom made speaker adapters courtesy of a super cool dude on the Outback forums:

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    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    Two 8" 4-ohm Pioneer Subs (wired in series) fed by the Pioneer GM-D9605 5-channel amp which also drives all of the Alpine speakers:

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    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • sspeed22
    sspeed22 Posts: 0
    Hey, great write up... I know 4 years have past, but yours is literally the only Outback sub replacement I could find online. My Outback's sub is also blown and just looking to replace it. Hoping I could ask some questions and learn from your experience?

  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    Sure thing. We sold the outback a while ago but I still have the subwoofers. I’m not using them.
    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • sspeed22
    sspeed22 Posts: 0
    A few of the questions I had. It seems like the subwoofer is probably on the rear channel for the stock stereo vs a sub channel? I replaced the head unit and changing the crossovers on the rear seem to change the sub, changing sub settings does nothing. Did you have clearance issues? Did the sub make much difference? I have vibrating, but it appears like it might be from interior pieces vs the sub voice coil, but not sure. Can I send you an IM with my email instead?
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    The Pioneer shallow mount sub has plenty of room, no issues there.

    From what I remember, there is a dedicated sub channel on the OE amplifier.

    Yes, replacing the sub(s) made a difference but I also went with an aftermarket Pioneer head unit, Pioneer amplifier, Alpine door speakers, and the 2 8" Pioneer subs in the back so, together, they sounded great.

    Yes, send me a message with your contact info if you like.
    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • sspeed22
    sspeed22 Posts: 0
    PM sent.

    I also replaced the headunit with a Kenwood 9707S. I was just thinking it seems line out from the stereo because if I changed the crossover on my rear speakers, it seems to affect the rear subwoofer. Which I guess is kind of ok as it rattles less. I'm not sure if the rattle is a blown voicecoil or interior parts. It looks like someone tried to remove the grill once and it doesn't quite snap back into place. That could easily be my rattle.
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    You need panel removal tools to get that panel off. There is a significant amount of foam on top of the woofer as it meets the plastic grill/trim panel. If it isn't secured in place, yes, that could be a source of a rattle/buzz.
    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • sspeed22
    sspeed22 Posts: 0
    halo wrote: »
    You need panel removal tools to get that panel off. There is a significant amount of foam on top of the woofer as it meets the plastic grill/trim panel. If it isn't secured in place, yes, that could be a source of a rattle/buzz.

    The service manual looks like you need to take the whole side panel off, from the rear seat back, in order to pull the subwoofer grill? Is that correct? That looks like what you've done in your pictures as well?
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    No, the grill comes off separate from the panel.
    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • sspeed22
    sspeed22 Posts: 0
    halo wrote: »
    No, the grill comes off separate from the panel.

    Do you just slide one of the panel removal tools in and gently pull it off?
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    That’s what I did. It almost looked like the panel would break but then it just popped out.
    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10