Audio Options 2004 Forrester XT

I want to upgrade the head unit and speakers on my 2004 Forrester XT.
I was looking at crutchfield.com for speaker options but it makes no mention
of possible replacements for the rear door speakers. Are the rear door speakers also 6.5" ? Has anybody upgraded their factory stereo to something better ? Any information would be appreciated.
Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Call crutchfield. Data for new models doesn't make it to the web that fast.
Everybody overlooks amplifiers. I would install a headunit, a 4 channel amplifier (in the 45 - 75w per channel range) and do the following with regards to speakers.
In the front use a component set. This will consist of a 6.5" midbass speaker (that goes in the factory location) and a tweeter which you can surface or flush mount (by cutting a hole) in the door panel near the midbass speaker. AThis will give you much better sound than typical coaxial speakers in the front. For the rear you can install a simple 6.5" midbass or a 6.5" coaxial speaker (or whatever size the rears may be).
Headunits just don't have enough power (typically) in my opinion to run aftermarket speakers (especially component sets).
Speakers I would personally recommend are Alpine, Boston Acoustics, Polk and Infinity, with Boston Acoustics being my first choice. They may or may not be in your budget.
-T

mention
something
--
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the suggestions.
I'm going to remove the door panels and remove one front and one rear speaker. This way, I can make sure the speaker will fit in the door opening. I live in Toronto, Canada and Boston Acostics are expensive. I'll probably go with a nice set of Infinity speakers, MP3 head unit like Pioneer, and a power amp.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
*** post for FREE via your newsreader at post.newsfeed.com ***
HJ wrote:

<rant> When are automakers going to figure out what the aftermarket manufacturers figured out years ago, and start adding Aux inputs to their factory stereos? </rant>
- Greg Reed (who's very unhappy with the FM modulator he had installed to allow playback of his MP3 jukebox through his factory stereo)
--
2001 Chevy Astro AWD (wife's)
2004 Subaru Forester Turbo 5-Speed
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just wondering if you ever found a solution? I was thinking of a better FM modulator like the kind that installs directly between the antenna. The wireless one I have now is realy sucky!..I saw some threads on making an adapter for the cd changer, but it involves pulling out the head unit and seems a bit complicated. Thanks Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
*** post for FREE via your newsreader at post.newsfeed.com ***
K2TL wrote:

Okay, a little history: My previous car was an Oldsmobile Intrigue. It had a factory AM/FM/Cassette/CD stereo. I bought a cassette adapter to play my jukebox through the stereo. It worked okay for a year or so, but eventually the stereo decided it didn't like the cassette adapter anymore, and would randomly eject it for no apparent reason. I bought another cassette adapter, thinking that something must be wrong with the first one, but got the same results. And the stereo in my wife's van ejected both cassette adapters every time.
So I bought a cheapo FM modulator. It was the completely external kind that doesn't physically connect to the stereo's antenna. It also worked okay, but the frequency would drift, causing me to have to constantly adjust the tuning on it. This got pretty annoying after a while.
So as I contemplated my next vehicle, I was also contemplating a way to play my jukebox through the stereo. Of course, an Aux input would have been ideal, but I wasn't about to make a car selection based solely on something as whimsical as an Aux input on the stereo. So I decided to purchase the very sort of "better" FM modulator you describe: It physically connects between the antenna and the stereo and uses a digital PLL transmitter, so the frequency never drifts. I figured I had this jukebox thing licked.
I took my new Forester and the FM modulator to the local Subaru dealer to have it installed. (I skipped the only car stereo shop in town, because they've proven themselves to be idiots on a number of previous occasions.) I paid them roughly $120 to install the $40 modulator. I had them put the modulator itself in the little dashboard tray, with the power and antenna wires running down into the dash and the audio cable free inside the tray. This would allow me to open the tray and pull out the cable when I want to listen to the jukebox but stash the cable out of sight the rest of the time. Plus, by having the modulator accessible (but out of sight) in the tray, I could adjust the transmission frequency easily if I travel into a place where an existing radio station was interfering. And it wouldn't make my car a target for theives. It was almost as though Subaru had designed that little tray just for my FM modulator. Like I said: I thought I had it licked.
So as soon as the dealer got done ripping apart and reassembling my dashboard, I turned on my stereo and tuned it to the appropriate frequency, so that I could listen to my jukebox. I was psyched! And I immediately heard the buzzing sound. Enormous let down. The buzzing doesn't come on any frequency other than the one the modulator is set to transmit on, and it does it regardless of whether my jukebox is connected to it. So I know it's the modulator itself thats making the buzzing sound. It does it regardless of whether the engine's running, so I know it's not some sort of electronic interference. Bascially, I picked a piece of crap transmitter, but had no way of knowing that until *after* I'd paid somebody to hook it up. It's occured to me that I could probably return it for a refund of my $40, but of course, I'd have to pay somebody another $120 in order to extract the damn thing from the dashboard. So it's still installed, but I almost never use it. In fact, since I can listen to my MP3's with my Prismiq when I'm at home, the jukebox now lives at work, where I listen to it through a set of computer speakers I bought just for that purpose.
I still think that an FM modulator could be a good solution, given a modulator that's decent quality. But I'm not quite sure how one can go about finding out for sure that a given FM modulator isn't a piece of crap before actually buying it and hooking it up. And what I *can* tell you is that if you decide to go with a modulator, you might want to steer clear of the Farenheit Elite EFM-100. Actually, if you have a decent car stereo shop, they might be able to hook up a modulator to one of their demo head units so you can check it out before going to the trouble and/or expense of having it put in your car.
Personally, I think I'm done screwing around with adapters of any kind. The next dollar I spend on this car stereo thing is going to be spent replacing the Subaru factory unit with an aftermarket model that A) plays MP3 CD's and B) has an Aux input on it. Oh yeah, and having that POS modulator amputated from my dashboard.
BTW, "Mars, The Bringer of War" form Gustav Holst's "The Planets" makes excellent background music for writing when angry about something. Or perhaps it just makes you angry, regardless of what you're writing... :-) Good luck with whatever you choose to do. And, of course, don't forget to let us know how it turns out.
- Greg Reed
--
1983 Honda V45 Magna
2001 Chevy Astro AWD (wife's)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Is it possible that the modulator was poorly installed?
I've used similar ones that come with those CD Changers for cars that use FM modulation to broadcast into the stereo and there were no problems. Seems like it would either work or not, rather than work poorly.

had
my
eventually
<<snip>>

that
<<snip>>

of
of
<<snip>>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
*** post for FREE via your newsreader at post.newsfeed.com ***
Mike Lloyd wrote:

Any suggestions on *how* it might have been poorly installed? Because I'm inclined to agree with you -- and the fact that it's working at all leads me to suspect that this is simply the way it works. Poorly.
I know a *little* bit about electronics, and it seemed to me to just be a noise inherent to the circuitry. It's a steady frequency (I'm going to estimate about 100 Hz, though I haven't measured it) and sounds like a square wave. Not only doesn't the frequency vary with engine speed, but remains constant even with the engine off.
But since I only know a *little* bit about electronics, and consulted with somebody who knows a *lot* about electronics. His opinion matched my own. The unit just employs noisy internal circuitry. IOW, it's a cheap POS.
This same electronics whiz also shot down my idea of cutting the wires that run from the unit into the dash board and splicing in a better unit, because the coaxial cable used for the antenna leads are extremely difficult to splice correctly. So the options as I see them are
1) Deal with it. (That's what I'm doing now.) 2) Purchase another modulator and pay somebody to again disassemble my dashboard to extract the current POS unit and install the new one. 3) Bite the bullet and purchase an aftermarket stereo that has an Auxiliary input.
- Greg Reed
--
1983 Honda V45 Magna
2001 Chevy Astro AWD (wife's)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.