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Crutchfield: The Podcast Ep. 17

J.R. upgrades the audio in his 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

In this episode:

Season 2 of the podcast kicks off with a new formula — host J.R. is the interview subject this time. Co-host Eric digs in on the what, why, and how of J.R.'s recent 2020 Subaru Crosstrek audio upgrade. If you'd like to follow along, check out our full article about the installation.

JR and his Crosstrek

Some of the gear discussed includes:

Also, J.R. and Eric answer a customer question about options for upgrading the audio gear in a leased vehicle.

Explore more episodes

Read episode transcript

Hello and welcome to another episode of Crutchfield the podcast. I'm your co host ERic and I'm joined in studio today by the host of the show. Jr Welcome to the show. Jr I cannot I'm not sure I can even play along with this. Come on. This is we got this this is so weird. Yeah. Welcome everybody to season two of Crutchfield the podcast. I was gonna get there enjoy this while you have it. I will. I will. But we're we've mixed it up today. Right. We did yeah. For good reason. For very good reason. I'll tell everyone you're gonna let I'm gonna let him know. All right take it over the point of the podcast is to talk to people that work at Crutchfield where they pass about what have they spent their hard earned money on And you recently bought something? Yeah sure did. Yeah it was a car. I did. I bought a car. Tell me about your car. It's a 2020 Subaru cross trek. Pure red is the official Subaru color. I call her grenadine. Okay now you already have a red vehicle? Yeah yeah I have a red for ford f 1 50 still have it. So now I own a truck and a car. So why did you get the Subaru? Well the truck I've had it now for quite a while. It's not great on gas. It doesn't have air conditioning anymore. It would cost too much to fix it instead of fixing the air conditioning in the truck. I bought new air conditioning. It just happens to be surrounded by a. Subaru that's some expensive air conditioning worth it. So you like in your ride? I love it. I love driving it. It's peppy, It's fun. It's so, it's so much different than driving the truck, so much more maneuverable, easier to park. Uh, and it's a cross track, so it's a little higher off the ground than your typical small car. Now, this wouldn't be an episode of the podcast if we're just going to talk about your Subaru, clearly, there's some context to this conversation that we need to let the gentle listeners in on. Right, I would hope so. Right, right. So, so tell me about that factory sound system in your new Subaru. So I noticed it when I started driving it immediately. What I'm curious about is when in your purchasing of the car decision, did you know that the, the gear in there was going to be replaced? So you can't work at Crutchfield for very long without thinking about every time you consider purchasing a car before you purchase said car, you do a little research and you find out, okay, what's it gonna be like to replace the radio, the speakers, etcetera. And so I knew going in that it was a strong possibility that the factory system was not going to be up to my standards. I did not go for the upgraded Harman Kardon system that is available in the Subaru Cross track. I didn't go for the premium the top of the line, whatever that's called. So mine has the 6.5 inch screen in the dash and the six speaker system. And so that means no separate amplifiers or anything like that. No subwoofer in the back, just six speakers and head unit. So probably tweeters and maybe some door speakers and speakers. So, so, so for a second there, you said something interesting that you decided that you knew you wanted good sound. Right, But you purposely did not go for the premium audio system. So is that purely because you work at crutchfield or what do you think your thought process was behind that? Why? Why did you make that decision? Well, I knew that it would be easier to upgrade if I didn't have a separately amplified factory system. And I also knew that those O E m upgraded cyst, even the ones branded with Harman Kardon, infinity, Rockford Foskett, all great brands and they do sound better like the upgraded factory systems in today's cars. Way better than they've ever been. Yes, but I knew it wasn't gonna quite be enough for me. Right. Right. That that makes a lot of sense. I've, I've certainly uh dug into our very deep research files way before, making purchases for, you know, my last three vehicles that I've found and I've been a crutch for a while now, but I enjoy looking at what's behind the doors. Uh, I can see a car that I might buy. I can actually look at what it looks like with the dash sitting in the floor. The amount of vehicle research we have at our fingertips is ridiculous. Which is one of the reasons we're able to provide great advice and tech support after the purchase as well. But this isn't a, this is about your gear. So, so tell me about, uh, first off, tell me about what, what decisions you made, you know what gear you ended up with and then maybe we can talk about the actual process of the install. So the radio that's in the dash is pretty fancy. It's got all the Subaru Starlink stuff, It's got apple carplay, android auto. Uh, it's a 6.5 inch touch screen. It doesn't have built in na, but I don't really need that, I'm more of a google maps type of a person anyway, so I didn't really want to replace the radio. I just wanted it to sound better and the moment I knew I had to do something was when turning the volume up, you get this little sort of wheel that goes up on the screen and you can see it going up. But what you actually hear the volume, I guess technically it's going up. But what you're, what's also happening is it's a noticeable decline in base when you turn the volume up, I, that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement of the factory system when you describe it as you guess the volume is going up as you turn the knob right now, it's like you're losing sound as you turn it up. Yeah, so I, for years there's been a button in, uh, in the world of audio called loudness, right? And, and that sounds like maybe that was kind of baked into what you're experiencing there when you turn the volume up, it's usually mid range heavy and uh, you don't necessarily get that extra impact on base. Uh, as you, as you turn up the volume, to be fair, what used to happen in a baseline factory system was when you turned the volume up, it just turned the volume up and everything went up, including the base and there wasn't enough power in the factory radio to actually make enough bass to sound good. So you ended up getting horrible Distortion and so they've mitigated that issue by reducing the bass output when you turn the volume up. Yeah, so it sounds like a little bit of that was still happening in your 2020 Subaru? Oh, definitely, yeah, yeah, the base roll off, which it's a common thing that's been happening in cars for the last 10 or 15 years. So that's what we were fighting against. That's what you're trying to improve. So you could keep your windows down and still get that impact of the full range sound. Now, I know you pretty well and you're not the type of person that wants to be heard coming down the street necessarily, you might not be against that, but I don't exactly, you know, see you sitting at a stoplight trying to outplay the car, you know, three cars back. No, I'm not buying a system. I don't want to put in a system, spend all that time installing a system for the world around me to hear what I do want though is I want the world around me to know that I, I am surrounded by amazing sound inside my car. I want to be loud enough for them to go, oh, that guy must be really enjoying that song. Right? You don't necessarily need them to feel your music. No, I want them to know that I'm feeling okay. But to be clear here, we do support that kind of behavior. Oh, heck yes, I can appreciate that for sure. So, All right. So we were trying to get some better sound. Did you already have the right sources? I know you're Apple Fan you, I'm sure you're Carplay was something that you really wanted to, the factory car come with carplay. It has everything I want. It's got satellite radio built in car plays there from my iphone. If I ever, I don't know why, but if I ever switch to android auto, it's got that too. And uh, there's a cD player, their local am and FM radio. It's all there. So all the sources are there all the functionality of a radio is there And it's kind of just a wonderful voice volume knob on it. Very good, very good. And so like yeah I did I really don't want to replace the radio so then you needed to decide, okay how do I improve that sound? What kind of gear did you decide to go with to make that factory radio sound as good as it does today? So if if not replacing the radio I had multiple options right I could just add based on just a sub but the overall volume and clarity wasn't there. So I knew I was gonna need more power and new speakers all the way around. So what I landed on was a kicker five channel amplifier and kicker speakers all new in the front. The new tweeters, new six by nines in the front doors, new 6.5 in the back door. I did the K. S. Line. Yeah you're you're if if there's like a good better best thing going on. This is kind of like the best uh without being ridiculous. Right? I didn't want to spend thousands of dollars. This is the best of a very really good brand of speakers. Very reasonably priced for what it is, kicker K. S. I can't recommend them highly enough. So those in all the doors and a kicker K. X. A. 800.55 channel amplifier underneath the passenger seat. And it was able to fit in a relatively small car. I won't say it's compact carb but you're able to get a five channel amplifier underneath that passenger seat. Yeah and it's not a it's not one of those compact amps either. It's also I mean there's five channel amp that wouldn't fit under my seat but this one fits perfectly. That's awesome. So we've improved the power, you've improved the base, you've improved the smoothness of the highs with better tweeters and better speakers. Was there anything else that was needed in order to make that install come to life? So I did install a kicker subwoofer in the in the hatchback area which is one of their down firing. It's a it's a 10 inch subwoofer with a 10 inch passive radiator. Uh and that's that's that's it's it's a low profile down firing box that I can put stuff on top of? Yeah that's that's a great design for for someone that still wants to use their trunk space and not have to worry about damaging their speaker, You throw your groceries on top of it. It's gonna be just fine. So that that's a that's a smart choice there. You know where we uh when we're normally doing the show in the right way. Yeah. You know where I'm in charge at this at some right around here, we might interrupt the interview and explain something kind of technical. I don't think we need to do that, I mentioned passive radiator. Okay, so do you want to interrupt and explain what a passive radiator is? Alright, so whoa, you mentioned something? They're passive radiator. Why don't you tell me about that? What's the passive radiator? So a passive radiator is basically a speaker that's not connected to electricity. It's the it's the part of the speaker that moves in and out that you can see which is the diaphragm or the cone of the speaker. Uh and the reason it moves in and out is because it's in a sealed enclosure with an actual speaker. So the subwoofer enclosure houses a 10 inch will for that's connected to the amplifier that moves in and out with the base and the fact that that's moving in and out, it changes the pressure of the air inside the box, which sucks the passive radiator in and then pushes it back out sympathetically with the actual driver. So you get a lot more cone movement, a lot more air movement, a lot more spl without needing a lot more power. Yeah, there's a lot of different ways to design a subwoofer and it's a it's a pretty clever design looks like it would have two woofers in. It only ones getting power. Um and it's a way to get a pretty compact box to act like a bigger box. So I imagine with that, you know, you've got a small form factor however, you know, you're still getting that impact. That low range impact that you, that you're looking. Yeah. And if you, and if you pop the hatch back on my car, you wouldn't even see the subwoofer because I've just piled stuff on top of it. I got a toolbox back there and various other things. So you don't even know there's a sub back there, alright. Until until the base hits that interruption. Yeah, okay, we're back now. Yeah, yeah, let's go back now. Stop interrupting my flawless podcast. Do you want to keep interviewing me? Well, you've totally derailed me, you're doing fine. Doing fine. No, no, no, sorry, I'm not doing fine, I'm doing excellent. You're doing a passable job. So, uh, here at Crunch will carry a ton of amazing manufacturers. You went with kicker, kicker is amazing. But what made you decide to go with kicker uh, for, for this particular car? So, I've been a kicker fan for a while, one of the reasons when I did buy my truck, which is now about eight years ago to determine what I wanted in there. I went into the Crutchfield retail store, sat down in one of our virtual listening rooms and started listening to our speakers. These are rooms where you can audition bunches of different brands of speakers, you put what kind of car you have, you can decide whether or not you have an amp or a radio and it sort of, you know, it gives you an idea of what one brand of speakers sounds like compared to another brand of speakers. And I did that for about two hours. And basically I liked the kicker speakers the best. So I went with them in my truck. I've been happy with them ever since. I thought there's no reason to fix something that's not broken. Let's continue on with you. Now. I stepped it up a notch. I had CS speakers in the truck. Now I have the K. S in the car. The models were different eight years ago, but they still keep that same nomenclature where the K. S is their premium without going absolutely crazy. So cool. So you did the installation yourself, Is that right? I did. I took two days at work. I got, I got paid to install my own stereo life is good here. It's pretty great. And clearly you've learned a lot from that experience and you're gonna share it with uh, future sales classes. And so it's totally worth crunch. It's time to pay you to install your discounted radio. Absolutely. I am. I will be a better trainer because of it. Perfect. So there's more, it's also, it's also an article in our holiday 2020 catalog. So if you got one of our catalogs that came out right around, you know, thanks. Thanksgiving christmas in that area. Somewhere around page eight or nine. Big two, page spread with me and Grenadine. Was there anything unique about this install now you've done many installs have been involved with countless installs over the years at this point. Was there anything that kind of surprised you maybe about this install versus some of the others that you have dealt with in the past? I'm so glad you asked these questions you're asking are really good. Yeah, this one's, this one's okay. Yeah. So yes, uh, there was a couple of challenges and I came upon them in some interesting ways. I actually was training a class of sales advisors around during the time that I bought this car and installed this stuff and I had been talking with them about what I was going to put in there, why I had chosen this stuff. It was a training thing in addition to being my car and my stereo. I figured why not use this as a real world sort of example of what a customer might do. And my training class blew me out of the water because they basically uncovered some issues that I hadn't considered when doing this install, for example, in a Subaru with Starlink S. O. S, which is their telematics system. It's kind of like on Star, right? Uh, that means when that's in the car, when that's a feature your Subaru has, that means it's got a data control module right above the radio, in the dash, right above the radio, the speaker wires for the front speakers actually come out of that data control module, so that any kind of voice prompts or telephone calls or whatever happened through your front speakers? So you're only getting voices to your front speakers in the car, not not in the back speakers, is that right? So this is actually fairly common. I've heard of other vehicles that have similar situation. Sometimes it's only one speaker that the voices will come through run into that in the past. But so yeah, so sorry to interrupt, continue. So, what my training class found was that there were people that were having trouble. You couldn't just replace or add an amplifier and interface with the factory speaker wire. Normally to add an amp to a factory radio, you would cut the speaker wire coming out of the back of the radio. Run new wire to your amplifiers, speaker level inputs and then new speaker wire from your amps, speaker outputs back up to those wires, right in the dash that go out to all your speakers. It's by far and away, the easiest and best way to do it. The problem was that data control module was going to make that complicated. Things weren't going to work quite right. Well, obviously you found a workaround because you now have a more impactful way better sounding system in your 2020 Subaru. So how did you do it load generating devices? This is something that's more common these days. Uh, and we're seeing it with with factory systems more and more and more so uh so why don't you talk a little bit about low generating devices? Since you've had that 1st 1st hand experience, I got something better for you. Okay we're gonna have an interruption. That's not you so not quite better but Okay. No we're gonna interrupt. I'm going to interrupt my own interview with myself having a conversation with Darren. Okay. Oh yeah this is better. It's better. It's better. Okay. You may remember him by the way from episode two of season one of Crutchfield, the podcast. He knows his stuff. He started off in tech support, he became a supervisor in tech support, he became a the guy in merchandizing who buys all of our installation kits and why and harnesses and O. E. M. Integration adapters and installation tools. He knows more about installing car audio than pretty much anybody. So let's let's cut to that interview now where Darren explains load generating devices. Perfect. So I think the reason we need something called load generating devices or load resistors is because in many many modern cars, more cars every day when you go to install an amplifier to power new speakers. Uh And when you're keeping the factory radio uh then there's a problem the factory radio no longer thinks it's connected to speakers because when it's connected to speakers it sees probably around forums of impedance but when you connect it to an amplifiers, speaker level inputs, it sees a very different amount of impedance and it's so different that the radio is like oh there's a problem. Uh It's not something's not right on the other end of this speaker wire so I'm gonna shut down. I'm gonna not play anything or any number of things could happen. And load generating devices restore the impedance needed for the factory radio to know it's safe to work. Exactly. Exactly. Another way to think of it is they simulate the load that the radio would have once saw with the speakers connected? Okay so does it change the impedance to 40. M. Is that what it's going for? No no we're just getting to a load to that that basically satisfies the requirement of the radio's output. Um A load that basically allows it to function and operate uh in a stable environment as it did when when the speakers were connected. Um So that's basically what we're doing, we're just allowing the radio to see that load allowing it to uh you know play play through what it what it wasn't before. Um In some cases it does shut off like you said but now in a lot of cases what you get is an uncontrolled output? Uh So you get a very distorted or unclear high frequencies out of the factory amplifier in the in the in the head unit. So what the load resistor will do is it will allow the head units chip to be stable and have a stable output for us to to send to the amplifier. So it's just a matter of how smart and uh self protective a radio is sure whether if it's smart enough it's gonna shut down and nothing bad is gonna happen. You just won't get any audio. If it's uh if it's a, you know, a lesser model than that, it's not going to protect itself, it's going to try to put out audio. But because of the funky impedance it's gonna be weird. Exactly, exactly. It's going to be a very uncontrolled, you know, unusable output will say now in some cases we also need the load resistor, as in your Subaru case we need the load resistor to to allow the factory telematics module, The Starlink module in this case, similar to like on Star and A G. M. We need to be able to keep that module happy because that module uses your speaker signal, your speakers in the car to actually produce its voice prompts. Uh So so whenever you're, you know, whenever you're in a car accident or you need to hit the S. O. S. Button or whatever and they come online and they're talking to you that would be coming through the speakers. So therefore the telematics module is connected to the speaker system. In fact the front speaker signal on your car is routed through that telematics module. So yeah so in your case whenever we're installing amplifier we're disconnecting those speakers from the factory telematics module, we're using the load resistor to basically let it know, hey, you know, there's something connected. It's not a very uh high impedance input. Like we would see uh normally on a speaker level input on an amplifier, we're loading that circuit down to, you know, somewhere around, I think in your case, uh, 60 60 some homes is what we've decided to use um, with the audio control load resistors and, and that's going to provide a happy signal for the factory Starlink module when it does, it's health reports. Um, and, and I think you might get some type of email or something about that. I sure do about once a month. I get an email telling me that all the systems in my car are good to go. There's, you know, there's green circles, there's no red exes anywhere on it, including on the audio system. So the low generating devices seem to have done their job. Exactly, exactly. So that's what we were after in that case, because we have seen some instances in Subaru where you disconnect those speakers from the factory telematics module and you, you know, you don't add a load or something like that. Uh, and potentially you can get an unhealthy report back and of course, it, you know, it might be, uh, a little bit alarming if you get something like that. But you'll notice, as you mentioned, you know, it's just something to do with the audio system. Uh, it wouldn't shut the radio down in this case, that radio would probably still play, but we're just doing this for the benefit of the Starling System. In this particular case, low generating device is kind of a big deal and becoming an even bigger deal. Uh and as a result of this research that I did, that Darren did that, my training class did that. Our tech support department, our vehicle research team is doing. It is something we are really trying to get ahead of. Uh, it's it's been an issue in cars for a few years now. And those cars are now old enough where people are probably looking to replace radios, replace speakers at amplifiers. A lot of those cars, you can't replace the radios in them. Like these big ram trucks. Uh, and so low generating devices are necessary to make adding new amps and speakers possible. Uh, how do we know that there needed? Uh We are putting all the pieces of that puzzle in place, creating a database specifically. So we know which cars need low generating devices, which of our products have load resistance built in. You might not even need to buy a separate item called a low generating device. It might be built into whatever amplifier you buy. So we need to know that our amplifiers have that. So we're putting all those pieces together so that when you buy an amplifier from Crutchfield for the factory radio system in your car, we know when you need low generating devices. Uh, and so that's, yeah, that's where we're headed is is to be very proactive in, in that. So, I think the good news there to me is over the last couple of years is if you were in interested in upgrading your factory system in a newer car, you may have found out that you didn't really have very many options, but it looks like, you know, for those cars that are 5, 10 years old, that maybe we weren't able to upgrade a component in your system before there there's hope there's things coming down the road. So we recognize that this, you know, the industry recognizes this, that people are always gonna want better sound. Uh, the way we can improve that sound. Um, it's kind of changing. It's evolving as the systems in our cars are evolving and improving. Um, but the good news is we're here for you to always make that factory system sound better. And we work with some great companies that are constantly also researching vehicles along with us figure out what's needed because up until now or up until within the last few years, installers would have to buy like bulk, just resistors like, you know, you, that you would find like an electrical components, store electrical supply. Store, just go buy some resistors, tie them all together and create a low generating device with the right amount of resistance to make these factor radios keep working when you've added an amplifier. And now they products that just make it super easy. For example the low generating devices I bought were the audio control L. G. D. Sixties at Darren's recommendations specifically from my car. They worked well. They plugged directly into my audio control L. C. Seven I which is a line output converter. It takes the speaker wires from the radio, converts it to line level, send it on to my amplifier. The reason I went with that was because it does a really nice job of restoring the base that the factory radio removes when you turn the volume up audio control by the way I have to say it they have some of the more clever owner's manuals that are out there. Oh yeah yeah full of sarcasm and wit. I love it. Very fun. It's fun when fun when a company has fun writing and owners man they take themselves seriously but they also at the same time they want to have fun with it. If someone wants to go and find something funny in an audio control uh manual and entered and in the comments that would be awesome. That'd be pretty neat. Absolutely. And all the audio control owner's manuals are readily available for free download. Open them up right there on dot com. They're all there and uh I think I feel like that's a job I could do or you could do like maybe in retirement or something. Not right, no, no, no, no, no, I want the, let the engineers, product designers, right. The technical part of the manual and then you know how in Hollywood they take a script that's like, yeah, this is pretty good but it punching up and they'll give it to like a comedian, just lighten it up a little bit or make it funny. I think there's, there's a lot of owner's manuals out there that can use that not theirs, they've got it taken care of, how does it sound? We really talked about the end result, you kind of mentioned it, but how does it sound sounds pretty great. Yeah, yeah. Uh my goal was to be able to turn it up and for me to sing along kind of at the top of my lungs and barely be able to hear myself. I think I would have that same goal if I had your voice. Yeah, that's, that's a worthwhile goal. Absolutely, it sounds, if you can't actually hear me saying you might think I have a good voice, quite a lot of crank ability to make that possible. So you have ability. Now I do, I have a lot of crank ability when I turn the volume knob up and that little circle comes on, showing the volume going up, the volume goes up for sure. The base goes up with it and there is just a ton of sound in there and it is crystal clear those kicker Ks tweeters in the dash. Uh six by nines in the doors so there's great mid range, it blends nicely in the front, the 6.5 in the back just sort of fill the sound out in the whole car and the subwoofer in the back just, I mean I, there's way more base available to me than I could possibly need if I wanted everybody at the intersection to know I was there. I could make that happen. It's nice to have that in the back pocket. Right? It's nice to be able to, You know sometimes my music taste changes from day to day mood to mood and sometimes you wanna feel your music, you don't just want to hear it. You want to really feel it. So you've got a pretty awesome system. You've got a shiny red 2020 car, you've got crank ability. Are you finished upgrading the system? I am not done. I am going to do something more to the system. I don't need to yet. Like the system sounds great enough that I don't need to do anything for a while. I'm pretty satisfied but I can, there are times when I have it kind of cranked to the limit that some high frequencies don't quite sound right. Like maybe those tweeters can't quite keep up with as loud as I want to listen to it. It may also be that you're getting older but continue. So maybe but it's not I've talked to Darren about what are my next steps and there's kind of two different paths I could go down to fix the problem. The problem that limits my crank ability to I can't quite get it to the top which is kind of where I want to go. So the two ways to fix this are two instead of just using a line output converter like the L. C. Seven I with bass response accu based, you know, restores the base. I might need to step that up to a audio control dsp, a digital signal processor that allows me to go in with a computer connected to it or my phone connected to it. And really really fine tune it. Maybe get the audio control microphone and do an analysis of the sound in there and let it fix itself. And then I can go in and tweak it. And those frequencies that are causing my tweeters to go, maybe I can dial this back a little bit and fine tune this to really get the most out of the system as it is now with just just one, a different black box. So we're not talking about changing the sub over. We're not talking about changing the amplifier, we're not talking about changing the speakers were talking about changing kind of the signal that's going to those amplifiers and speakers before it gets there. Uh to really dial in your your preferences and it would be easy to do. I could just unplug the audio control L. C. Seven I. And plug in the audio control digital signal processor with the same connections, the same load generating all of that stuff. Just plugs into the new one because audio control does that they make that easy. And uh and so that wouldn't be hard to do. But it would be like hours of sitting in the car fine tuning everything to be exactly how I wanted. But I definitely can do that. The other thing I could do I could replace the radio and replacing the radio in this car. Even with that data control module you just mentioned all these Subaru things you'd be okay replacing all that. Yeah this isn't a car where radio replacement is not possible. It's a it's a car where I like the radio the way it looks, the way it feels. Uh the way it sits in the dash. I could replace it though there are interfaces like the data link maestro radio replacement module. That is basically a small computer that would allow the small computer in whatever new radio I buy to talk to the computer in the Subaru and make them all play nicely together so that all of the fancy features of my Subaru would continue to work. And so yeah and I could if I do that I could get a radio with like one of those floating screen radios with like an 11" screen that sits out there, right? It would be much bigger. I could probably find one with a volume knob that makes me happy. Could integrate with the backup camera. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now I should be able to retain all this stuff and have just a new radio and if I go with a new radio now you can get wireless carplay. I don't have that. Yeah, that's that's pretty cool. So, and then I could run our CIA cables from the new rate pre amp outputs directly to my amplifier and I wouldn't need a line output converter. I would not need low generating devices. I would not need any of that extra stuff to make that no, dSP, nothing just straight. All the audio would be pristine, Great quality audio coming from a new head unit line level into my amplifier. So it would, in many ways it would simplify my system. And of course I'd have the benefit of newer technology and the debt. So it kind of sounds like to me it'll really boil down to the aesthetics right? Like, I mean that's a big difference between those two systems that you just talked about. They both improve the sound. One maintains that factory look. Um, and then the other is, you know, replacing that and we've got great ways to do it, but it is a different look. So, so yeah, you have a decision to make. I do. And luckily I've got enough crank ability right now that I'm satisfied. But I'm, for the most part, I'm satisfied for now there, it's kind of like when you start upgrading your stereo system, you kind of catch a bug and you realize how good it can be that crutch. Well, we've had the benefit of listening to a lot of show cars, high performance, like insane car audio installations that you just get in there and you go, God, I thought my car sounded good until this and every time you get a new car and when I get a new car, I sit there and think this is my shot to really improve my sound. And, you know, you didn't throw it away. So that's good. So yeah, there's a very real chance that I'm not done with the upgrade, that I'm going to upgrade the upgrade at some point. Uh, maybe maybe by the end of this season of the podcast, I will have decided and have done something uh, knowing me, it's gonna take just sort of a perfect storm of situations, right? We're gonna have to have, like some new stereo come out and maybe I'll get a deal on that, that's better than your average deal. Or maybe audio control, we'll hear this podcast and be like JR needs a DSP, let's give him one. I don't know, maybe I'll maybe that could have, I'm not asking for any of that. I'm not going to say no to this. I'm not going to say no if it's offered. So this is the part of the show where we might take a customer question from like an article and let's dive into it and see what we've got because we've got one that's uh Subaru ish actually yeah. So this comes from a guy named Mike in Hawley pennsylvania. What is the best route on a leased car or truck to improve sound but quickly be reverted back towards the end of the term. That's the main question here. Okay, so he's trying to impact the sound as quickly and easily as possible and then be able to restore the factory system back to to so when he turns back into the leasing company doesn't have any problems, I've got an answer for this. I'm sure you do as well. He might actually, he might have done some stuff already that so let's see what we think of what he's already done. I decided this round to do focal integration I S C 6 90 in the front and the 1 65. I haven't had a chance to install these yet in the rear. The 690s made a massive improvement in terms of quality makes sense. Yeah, absolutely focal designs those with specific vehicles in mind and if they didn't make an improvement they just wouldn't sell them. Uh and so you can trust that even just putting in new speakers, even without extra power, those focal integrations are going to be an improvement. Yeah, absolutely. Those are Chico there. They actually sound great with factory power, which is not usually the case. And Mike says that the six nineties made a massive improvement in terms of quality, the audio clarity in my 2019 GMC Canyon went from sounding like vocalists were singing into handkerchiefs to it, sounding like the vocalists were sitting in front, in the front seat with me. They plugged right into the stock harness with the metro adapters. I would love to drive them with an aunt, but that seems to be a lot more invasive than the 2.5 years left on the lease is worth fair, we'll see where I am at after the rear speakers. I have an old Rockford Falls gate three P 300-10, that's a 10 inch subwoofer sitting at home, which had been previously installed in my old Subaru cross track. Maybe I'll reinstall that those seemed quick to revert back to stock. I think you, I think you're on the right track here Mike. Yeah, I think, I mean he's addressed the highs in the mid. Um, but we know that there is one place that he could still improve the sound, but it sounds like he might have some gear to be able to already do it and that's, that with the base and uh, typically had he not already done all those other amazing things. I usually will tell customers that the easiest way to add impact and improve sound is to add an aftermarket subwoofer hands down to me. That is the most impactful, cheapest, quickest way and easy to pull out after the fact as well. It's not like installing a four channel amp to power all of your speakers that gets quite invasive right? And it would be difficult to remove all the evidence. But with a subwoofer, you're talking one wire from the battery that you could easily pull out or just cut away the extra wire when you're done and remove the sub and, and basically it's, it's back to factory in fact and you'll probably just leave those focal speakers in there when you turn it back in. Unless you feel like going in and putting the factory ones back in, which will be a little bit of it will be a shame because those are some amazing speakers. They are, but they're kind of vehicle specific. The chances of you being able to use them again in your next car. Pretty slim. Your, your time is worth more than that. Let them go with the canyon when you turn it back in. But I think you're on the right track mike, those new speakers, get you the better highs in the mids sub will forget you the base done, good call sir. Alright. So we've pretty well covered what I did in my car. We talked about. One of our customers, what they are doing in their car. Gave our thoughts on that. I think we're, I think we're kind of at the end of this show. However, this is your show. Yeah, I see what you're doing now. You're kind of Taking back the reins of the show, right? You're doing an okay job. So I'm gonna let it go. Okay, I appreciate that. So thank you so much for listening to this first episode, season two of Crutchfield, the podcast. We will be doing more of these should be dropping a new episode about every two weeks for the next 12 episodes. So with maybe some surprises built in in the middle. Who knows? We're gonna try to take advantage of whatever kind of cool opportunities come about where we can get some interesting people to talk to and uh, and have some fun doing it. And maybe by the end of this season, I guess it's a possibility right that we could get the guest of all guests on this show. Nice Vanilla Ice is available. Vanilla ice, Nice, Nice baby, wow. What are we gonna do with eric? I'm not sure we can let him host the show again. No, Bill Crutchfield, that guy that, that guy that signs our checks. Uh, wouldn't it be cool if we could sit down with him? Well not you. Clearly I'm going to sit down with Bill Crutchfield and ask him what have you, I don't know is purchased from Crutchfield. The right word. Does he actually buy things or does he just go to the warehouse and say, I'll take that? Well, when it's his company, I think he has bought everything. That's that's right. Yeah. He literally everything we sell, right, everything he owns it. Yes. And so, so I guess really the question is, if you've already purchased everything, what ends up in your house? Yeah, that's a different question. And knowing Bill, he didn't just say, I want that, Hey guys, go install that into my house. He probably installed it himself because I, I've known Bill now for 25 years and he's, he's a hands on sort of guy. Uh, so I can't wait for that to happen. We have not done it yet. We are not gonna do it until we get enough people listening to this show that Bill Crutchfield to be like, oh yeah, okay, I'll do that. So we're in fairly new podcast. Uh, we're finding our way right as a podcast. We need more listeners. We need you to tell people about this podcast. We need to grow our listenership. And since we're still fairly new, this number is not gonna seem humongous. But I'm gonna throw a number out there that if we hit it, we'll get Bill Crutchfield on the show. We need 1000 listeners. So we need some numbers, we need some numbers to go up and we need your help doing that. So please rate the podcast. If your podcast player allows you to write a review, review the podcast, share it out. When you see it on social media, go to Crutchfield dot com slash podcast, interact with us, comment on it. Tell your friends about Crutchfield, the podcast we're having a lot of fun doing. We want them to keep paying us to do a podcast at Crutchfield. So please help us out. This is eric and I pleading for you to help us let this be part of our jobs at Crutchfield because it's not our main job, like we do other things and we'd like to do this and do it more because this is by far and away. The most fun thing we do is talking to you folks about the most fun products on the planet. So, thank you so much for listening. If you have any questions, you can go to crutchfield dot com slash podcast, send us your questions there. We'd love to answer them on an upcoming episode. Uh, and stay tuned for more. Thank you so much for listening. Uh, this is Jr and eric signing off episode one, season two Crutchfield, the podcast. We'll see you in two weeks.

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