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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apologies in advance if this has already been discussed, I ran a search and couldn't find anything. I have a Premium with the non-RF stock stereo which in my opinion, and the opinion of a local audio shop, is rather decent for what it is. However, i would like to add a small underseat subwoofer to enhance the lows...would like to avoid taking up space in the cargo area, and no desire for a 15" sub. So, it looks like our seats are not the greatest for adding something under the seat, however there is one spot/option that might work...i have the 2nd row bench seat, and there seems to be plenty of room under the seat that is right behind the front passenger seat for one of those 8" underseat subs, i think the height should be okay under the seat as most underseat subs are less than 3". any thoughts? has anyone done this? i noticed that the floor under the seat has a piece of foam that lifts up and there are a few wires underneath...not sure what those are for, but if the sub uses velcro (rather than screwing it in) on the bottom then it can be easily removed to access those wires if needed. My main concern is really about what i've read/heard regarding Starlink and Eyesight which have some features that are connected to the headunit. Is there anything that needs to be done with the headunit to retain those features when connecting an underseat sub to the stock system? I still have my older '12 Forester which has an underseat sub under the passenger seat and has worked fine...but it doesn't have Eyesight or anything so i didn't have to worry about that, and it's a smaller vehicle than the Ascent so i'm not sure if i would get the same performance. or is it best to not monkey around with the stereo and leave as is, i definitely don't want to risk losing any safety features. any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

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Aside from isolated power and ground connections for the sub, the only connections to the head unit itself would be tapping into its speaker wires to feed signal to the powered sub. It may also need a remote turn on wire, but the sub might turn on with just the speaker signals. This won't affect the head unit's other settings and features. No need to worry about that.

If you can, check out the RF upgrade. You may be surprised. The increased power and better 6x9 speakers are comparable to a small sub that doesn't extend at any appreciable volume below 35Hz or so. The benefit of an under seat sub would be a little more adjustability in the bass EQ, but the RF system is well-calibrated and produces plenty of bass. It's worth a listen if you're contemplating a very small sub like an under-seat unit.
 

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Another option is to remove the rear storage tray under the cover. Doing that you'll have plenty of room for a small sub. Cover the area with Dynamat or the equivalent and support the sub with some soft vibration isolating feet.

You should be able to remove the carpet covering over the storage tray, fill some holes in it to allow sound to pass, and then recover it with new material.
 

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Be aware the gas tank (and tank sensor) is under the bench seat, so, you may be placing it in an area that interferes with the sensor, float, and/or signal from the wire.
 

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There are companies that have made Subaru audio harnesses to install subwoofers or aftermarket head units without hacking up the OEM harnesses... You would hack / vampire clip / etc into that added harness. Preserving the OEM wires.

Ae64.com is a long time supporter of the Subaru community, but mainly for the older generation vehicles. (Plus his responses time has always been slow, but good product)

Auto Harness House is newer to the game, but offers up to the 2019 forester..... I suggest sending them an email about obtaining a harness to install a subwoofer.

I use an AE64 harness kit in my Forester, along with a Hi-Low converter, amp, and two (2) Aurasound AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shaker (Tactile Transducers) mounted under the drivers seat.

The door speakers have been upgraded, and I have the factory tweeter kit. The bass shakers help give me the sensation of a subwoofer without taking up space in the cargo area. And when I did have an underseat subwoofer, I was never happy with the balance of it. When I got it nearly right, it would sound better in the back seat, than in the front.
5385


Besides the 'shaking' part, they do transmit audible sound and sounds quite nice, even in other seats of the vehicle. This lets me 'rock out' and not be too loud for the rest of the family. Or gain unwanted attention of a subwoofer going down the street.

The initial design of the transducers were for automotive use due to their low profile. (~2.5") - The More You Know Statement

However, they've found a larger audience with the home theater crowd. Or any other vibrating ride / movie seat.

Installed mine seven years ago, and will install a set into my next vehicle too.

You would need your local audio shop to make some sort of mounting plate or other applicable fixture to get this outside the box creativity installed.


C.


Hi-Low example - Your local audio shop should have a pallet full of them.
5383



The amp has been relocated. Minion #1 was starting to kick it...

5384
 

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What about in the area under the removable parcel tray shelf in the rear compartment. When I remove it, I see some tubing/pipes that looks like it's running through a grommet on the floor of the sheetmetal. Am I ok to place a sub over this area so long as the feet keep it off of the pipes? Otherwise I could design the sub to just go around these structures.

Be aware the gas tank (and tank sensor) is under the bench seat, so, you may be placing it in an area that interferes with the sensor, float, and/or signal from the wire.
 

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What about in the area under the removable parcel tray shelf in the rear compartment. When I remove it, I see some tubing/pipes that looks like it's running through a grommet on the floor of the sheetmetal. Am I ok to place a sub over this area so long as the feet keep it off of the pipes? Otherwise I could design the sub to just go around these structures.
Air conditioner condensor for rear AC, IIRC.

You could probably simply use the OEM location as well (right side cargo area cover)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Aside from isolated power and ground connections for the sub, the only connections to the head unit itself would be tapping into its speaker wires to feed signal to the powered sub. It may also need a remote turn on wire, but the sub might turn on with just the speaker signals. This won't affect the head unit's other settings and features. No need to worry about that.

If you can, check out the RF upgrade. You may be surprised. The increased power and better 6x9 speakers are comparable to a small sub that doesn't extend at any appreciable volume below 35Hz or so. The benefit of an under seat sub would be a little more adjustability in the bass EQ, but the RF system is well-calibrated and produces plenty of bass. It's worth a listen if you're contemplating a very small sub like an under-seat unit.
Thanks so much for the advice and suggestion, I saw your other thread about the RF upgrade which seems like a great option. The seat design in the Ascent is not friendly for underseat subs...based on rough measurements, the best fit i could find are two, small 6x8 underseat subs that would likely fit perfectly under the passenger seat: Infinity basslink mini and the Kenwood ksc-sw11. So, considering the RF upgrade is about $350 for two 6x9 speakers and a small amp, i'm not sure what the best option would be. infinity is on sale right now for less than $175...i'm tempted to go that route, they're 100watt RMS (200w peak) and have a 30-150Hz frequency. in your opinion which system would perform the best, the RF upgrade or adding a 6x8 sub under the passenger seat? i can do some DIYs, but i'm not confident when it comes to stereos/speakers so i'd have to have the dealership or local audio shop handle the install, so i need to consider the price of that. by the way which coaxial RFs did you put in the back doors? did they make a difference? someone said that there isn't a full range to the back. did you install dynamat, too? thanks!

Another option is to remove the rear storage tray under the cover. Doing that you'll have plenty of room for a small sub. Cover the area with Dynamat or the equivalent and support the sub with some soft vibration isolating feet.

You should be able to remove the carpet covering over the storage tray, fill some holes in it to allow sound to pass, and then recover it with new material.
Yes, that's a great option, i saw your thread on that. were you able to do that or still working on it? but of course you eliminate the ability to store stuff there, but i guess you can always get one of those trunk organizers and put it on top.

Be aware the gas tank (and tank sensor) is under the bench seat, so, you may be placing it in an area that interferes with the sensor, float, and/or signal from the wire.
Wow, thanks so much Robert, excellent point! I wonder if that's what the wire was for that i saw. There's part of the floor (a foam like flap) right under the second row seat that can lift up and i saw a wire under there that appeared to run the length of the car. Definitely wouldn't want any signal interference with that...i don't believe there's a sub that can adequately fit under that seat anyway.

There are companies that have made Subaru audio harnesses to install subwoofers or aftermarket head units without hacking up the OEM harnesses... You would hack / vampire clip / etc into that added harness. Preserving the OEM wires.

Ae64.com is a long time supporter of the Subaru community, but mainly for the older generation vehicles. (Plus his responses time has always been slow, but good product)

Auto Harness House is newer to the game, but offers up to the 2019 forester..... I suggest sending them an email about obtaining a harness to install a subwoofer.

I use an AE64 harness kit in my Forester, along with a Hi-Low converter, amp, and two (2) Aurasound AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shaker (Tactile Transducers) mounted under the drivers seat.

The door speakers have been upgraded, and I have the factory tweeter kit. The bass shakers help give me the sensation of a subwoofer without taking up space in the cargo area. And when I did have an underseat subwoofer, I was never happy with the balance of it. When I got it nearly right, it would sound better in the back seat, than in the front. View attachment 5385

Besides the 'shaking' part, they do transmit audible sound and sounds quite nice, even in other seats of the vehicle. This lets me 'rock out' and not be too loud for the rest of the family. Or gain unwanted attention of a subwoofer going down the street.

The initial design of the transducers were for automotive use due to their low profile. (~2.5") - The More You Know Statement

However, they've found a larger audience with the home theater crowd. Or any other vibrating ride / movie seat.

Installed mine seven years ago, and will install a set into my next vehicle too.

You would need your local audio shop to make some sort of mounting plate or other applicable fixture to get this outside the box creativity installed.

C.

Hi-Low example - Your local audio shop should have a pallet full of them.

The amp has been relocated. Minion #1 was starting to kick it...
Thanks for the advice and suggestion. I had never heard of bass shakers before, so i had to run a search on it...came across a couple of others: Buttkicker mini and Dayton BST-1, but the one you suggested seems to have solid ratings. so if i understand, these mimic the "boom/shake" feeling but produce little to no sound? so in a car with just door speakers it would "feel" like you have a 10 or 12 inch sub, too? a virtual subwoofer? indeed, i noticed that the home theater crowd are really into using these.
 

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There's a keyfob antenna there too. That may also be what you found.
 

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Still working on it. I've got a stack of equipment ready to install. I just need to finish up my landscaping project before I can get to the car. My plan is to line the area below the storage tray with a Dynamat clone. Then fabricate a custom sub box for a shallow mount sub driver.


[/QUOTE]
Yes, that's a great option, i saw your thread on that. were you able to do that or still working on it? but of course you eliminate the ability to store stuff there, but i guess you can always get one of those trunk organizers and put it on top.
 

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If you can, check out the RF upgrade. You may be surprised. The increased power and better 6x9 speakers are comparable to a small sub that doesn't extend at any appreciable volume below 35Hz or so. The benefit of an under seat sub would be a little more adjustability in the bass EQ, but the RF system is well-calibrated and produces plenty of bass. It's worth a listen if you're contemplating a very small sub like an under-seat unit.
I opted for the RF upgrade, and I'm happy with it. That's after nearly a decade in my Outback with a sub in the trunk. Yes the RF upgrade is not the same as having a sub, but I am satisfied enough not to want/need a sub. I spent the first half of my career working in radio/audio, so I value good sound. I haven't fully settled on my EQ settings, but so far this is sounding good: Base +4, Mid +1, High +1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for the input, i went ahead and ordered the RF upgrade and managed to install it myself...took quite a few hours since it was my first time to install car audio related stuff, plus I didn't want to damage anything. Whether it was worth the $350 plus my time, i'm on the fence. The RF speakers definitely have a crisper sound...maybe it's just me, but despite the better quality RF speakers with a much larger magnet the bass seems like 1/2 of what i had with the stock speakers (paper with small magnets taht weigh around 1/3 or 1/2 of the RF speakers)...i was able to compare to the stock ones since i did the RF upgrade one door at a time. I didn't expect 12" subwoofer bass but at least a little more boom than the stock paper speakers. I'm pretty sure i have everything plugged in correctly. perhaps it's a matter of adjusting the sound settings, or getting used to "quality" speakers, although i left them the same as before.

i do have a question if anyone has recently installed the RF kit. i disconnected a short cable from the back of the headunit and did not quite pay attention where the other end plugged to, i was surprised when i disconnected the other end and the entire piece came out...it was the only cable that disconnected completely...it's approximately 5 inches from one end to the other. based on the connections, i went ahead and plugged it in a plug at the bottom of the headunit and the other end further up the headunit as both ends mated perfectly with those slots. hope that made sense, it seemed to be the only cable that went from one part of the headunit into another part of the unit. as opposed to all other connectors coming from the main OEM harnesses that go inside the car. thank you!
 

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Thanks, yeah i was surprised it detached completely. i took the pic below before i disconnected everything, i have since reconnected everything though...i think i did it correctly, although i may have to remove again to verify with this pic. anyway, i forgot which one exactly but it was either the light brown or gray plug circled at the top of the pic that is roughly a six or seven inch cable that i connected to the bottom part of the unit...it's one of the black plugs circled in red. basically, i don't have that cable connected to any harnesses...it's just going from the "telematics" part (which is the black module) of the headunit down to the radio part (the silver module). Everything seems to be functioning, however i just installed it today and haven't driven around yet. hence, i may need some time to get used to a more "quality" sound to appreciate the upgrade more :) many thanks for any help with this short cable issue, just want to ensure i connected it correctly since i know the telematcis module is part of the eyesight and starlink technology. lol, just a small boo boo on my part, plus not taking a more direct photo of the back, sorry this is the best pic i have.

5531
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cool, thanks Chris and Robert for the confirmation, much appreciated! yeah, basically that short cable is the gray one (with the foam) on the right with the other end being the black one on the right...the only cable not connected to a harness.

after listening to the RFs a little more i think it was totally worth the $350 :) took some time for my ears to adjust to better quality speakers over the stock paper ones, but the RFs definitely have a much crisper sound and can hear more details in the music. i think i might give that Kicker tweeter upgrade a try in the next few weeks since from what i understand is also plug and play with the exception of having to zip tie one end.

for anyone wishing to do this, the headunit was not bad to remove, i found that when i gently tugged it out there was enough slack where i had plenty of room to disconnect/connect cables. i also found that if you're careful enough (especially to not pull too much on the door lock cables) you can angle the door panel and prop it up on a good size container or whatever and have just enough room to crawl under the door to remove/replace the speaker and plug in the cable from the top...basically, i was able to eliminate having to remove the entire door panel (the cables/wires for the door locks, lights, etc.).

I still have to put the sill and kick panels back and restore the glove compartment. mostly because i need to figure out where i need to zip tie (not sure if i really need to) the harness from where i routed it and tuck everything in better so the panels will fit...the main install instructions are awful and i can't determine the exact tie locations, i may just tie them wherever i can in a few spots, but at least they included an important warning to not tie it to the yellow airbag harness.

Anyway, a big thanks again to everyone on this thread for your help/input.
 
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