You may be saying "Hey, wait a second...didn't you just do a Subaru Crosstrek with very similar products?"
Why yes, Mr/Mrs Bloggidy Post Reader, I did.
Technically, this system has been in the works for over 3 whole years! Yup, you read that right!
This was for a former employer of mine and very good friend.
I've done some work on a few vehicles for him in the past and he needed a little extra boost in the audio-realm on his 2014 Subaru Crosstrek XV.
A few short weeks ago, I finished up that complex Crosstrek build that featured (among MANY other things) the exact same Arc Audio Stage 1 upgrade that we were planning for his build....so I invited him over and gave him a demo....he was sold instantly.
For his build, here is what we did:
Pioneer AVH-2300NEX Bluetooth Touchscreen MultiMedia Stereo
Arc Audio 1100.5 5 Channel Amplifier
Arc Audio XDi 6.2 Component Front Speakers
Arc Audio XDi 502 Coaxial Rear Speakers
Arc Audio Arc10D4 10" Subwoofer
Plenty of Fiberglass Wizardry for the Custom Box
Metra's Ballistic Hollow Point Noise Reduction Sound Deadening Material
Metra's Raptor Series Wiring and RCA cables
A ton of other miscellaneous wiring and parts
First things first.....start on the Oregon-Shaped subwoofer box....not by design, but that's just how the rear of these cars appear to me.
After 6 layers of fiberglass, I was able to pop the bold and start fabricating the front face of the subwoofer box.
During all of this, I was also doing a massive noise reduction to the front 4 doors. First removing the factory panels and waterproofing, then cleaning everything, then applying 3 layers of Ballistic Hollow Point material. I also sealed off all the factory service sections to create a mid-bass box out of the doors....this allows for those deep mid-bass notes to be reproduced as ideally as possible.....and cuts out even more road noise due to the fact that it simply can't get through 3 layers of sealed steel/butyl.
After everything was deadened, I fabricated some spacer rings to adapt the speakers to the OEM openings without cutting anything (because there is a good chance we'll be converting this back to stock in a year or so).
I also had to fabricate some brackets to adapt the OEM dash speakers to the XDi Tweeters, this was easily created out of ABS plastic.
After the speakers were all installed, I moved back onto finishing the subwoofer box. The customer has always been interesting in my 'weird-shaped design thingies' hanging on my wall when you get to my shop......which are my router templates.....so to improve my skills and show him exactly what they are for, i wanted to make this plain box look a little more complex. I first created the overall shape of the accent piece out of 3 different templates, then I placed that piece over the flat mounting surface of the new subwoofer box. I made a 1/2" chamfer edge with body filler and sanded smooth and popped the template piece out.Then I did some router wizardry and covered it with the best matching material I could find in the valley.....which was suede.....from Jo-Anne's Fabric.....which I waited in line for 45 minutes to get 1-whole-yard cut.......me and the 74 other grandma's that were there on a Thursday Morning at 10am.
While I was designing and fabricating the box, I was also doing the amplifier install....which I placed under the front passenger seat....neatly tucked out of the way and so inconspicuous you don't even know it's there until the owner points it out...then you have to be a German contortionist to even find it.
All of the wires run up and into the dash where the real magic happened.
This is a 2014 Crosstrek, so first year/version-ish of their system....which means there aren't a lot of retention harnesses and modules to make everything work. So I basically had to custom wire in everything to retain certain features.
OEM USB retention......CHECK....that was easy
OEM AUX retention......CHECK....that was a bit more complex, but not bad
OEM Steering Wheel Controls.....CHECK....not bad at all
OEM Backup Camera........CHECK.....holy mother of gawd this was difficult, but managed to figure it out!
ALL said and done, this system sounded VERY good....a little bright at times, but that was easily modified with the 13-band EQ built into the new Pioneer unit.
I demoed this for a few clients and they all had the same reaction...."WOW" *jaw slowly opens wide and hangs there*
This is my go-to system for clients looking for a full upgrade but not wanting to spend a small fortune...it's one you truly have to hear to appreciate and I just added another satisfied customer that will swing it by for a demo whenever is needed!