Sound Shapers (Brewer) Only fair to warn...


New member
Ok this happened 18 months ago, I've been meaning to write this up, however shit happens.  Saw a post on Facebook about someone wanting to get a HU installed and figured "well time to write this".
I picked up my 15 STI Lmt in march of 2015.  I had the car a week and thought "This HU has GOT to go.  Nav was buggy, BT calling was horrible, you couldn't hear anything.  OMG it was terrible, so  the Pioneer 8100NEX was being released, by chance, the next day. I was iffy about spending the kind of money on a HU, however amazon got the price wrong so I scored a HU for half off.

Now Ive installed more radio's then i can recall, however I never installed one where I had to mess with steering wheel controls, while the info on line was straight forward, I figured I'd leave it to the pro's.  Plus it was march and cold as hell out.

I dropped by sound shapers and talked to Andy, he came out and looked at the car with one of his employee's.  He was leaving for a conference in Boston and could get to it till he came back in a few days.  No problem. 

I asked him and his employee "Where are you going to put the mic"?
Andy "It will be hidden, the OEM or behind the rear view mirror,"


I also bought and installed within the first week a passport max2 radar detector with smartcord and asked if he would run the smartcord  into my cubby while the dash was apart.  "No problem".  Great, 

Quote was just under $170.

Now in the interests of being terse, which i'm failing at, I won't go into a lot, but I dropped of the car at 8AM, and by this point I had been up 23 hours due to work and family.  He said it would be done 11AM 12 latest, so i figure I'll stay up, if I fall asleep I'll never hear the phone.

First I get a call
Andy "We need to install a adapter for the Sirius satellite"
ME "It says it was ready out of the box?"
He explained the tuners do not come with ANY HU's and all the HU's are Sirius compatible not "ready".  So I'm little baffled why this wasn't brought up before, however it's an extra $80, I'm tired, and it needs to be done.  Very well.

Fast forward 6PM rolls up and he calls.  Now I'm exhausted and not a happy camper, BUT it's done and I'll sleep for a few days.  He shows me the car and work, I don't really care, I'm worried if I'm going to nod off on the way home. 

The bill $500.

Now I'm getting ugly, but I keep it together, drive home as quickly as I can, and sleep till the next morning. 

On the way home I notice Carplay is not working, Sirius is not working, and the USB is not working.  fudge it, I'll figure it out tommorow, It's something I'm doing wrong.

The next morning I come and and am greeted with this:


WTF is this?  First of all, you mount doesn't even work, if you consider a mount double sided velcro.    Most importantly, why the fudge did you take a exato knife to the back of the cubby when you could have drilled a hole in the top no one would have ever seen?

The car is 3 weeks old, wtf is wrong with you?  The hole was hidden my the smartcord and I didn't see it.

The second thing I noticed:


Ok maybe we have a difference on opinion, I hear "Hidden behind the mirror" I don't think it's going to be clipped to the top of the headliner.  Did I fall down a rabbit hole?  I must be REALLY tired still because this aint happening.



GPS receiver is just sitting on the dash, not mounted, just sliding around.  fudge me, must have been that acid I took in the early 90's is kicking in again.  The rabbit hole is deep.

So I peer under the "mount" to see whats what and OMG WTF?


There are three DEEP scratches in the fake CF on the center console and the top of the cubby is ALL beat to hell.  Ok this is happening, I never took THAT many drugs.
Anyone with a 15+ know you pull the center apart from teh top down, you can see the screw driver marks and they were trying to remove it from the bottom up.  Guess what, it didn't release.  Can't yea tell?

What exactly did I pay for?  So I did what any American would.  No I didn't load a gun, i called my lawyer.
She gave me my options and we decided to appeal to his pride in his work.  Being a small business owner, I would be horrified if that went out the door.
Furthermore I gave him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he had one of his kids working on it.  So we drafted a letter.
(My email attached if you car to read it)
I had SO MUCH respect for Andy and the work he has done.  I first went there in the early 90's and if I needed anything, I would always shop local, even if it costed me a bit more.  I've seen some sick builds come out of that shop, which was why i was so dumbfounded.  Nevertheless i kept the letter respectful and on point.

His reply:

Hi Chris,
I'm sorry to get this email, but I appreciate  the clear way you laid out your thoughts. I will try to address them all.
The very first thing I noticed when I started on the car was a
scratch under the A/C knob. The damage on the lower cubby is mine, but
there was a scratch already in the upper portion. I thought I had
smoothed out the plastic lip under the carbon portion. Our standard
practice is to remove panels with a nylon panel tool, which leaves no
marks. The new Subarus have clips that are so tight that there is no
space to get the panel tool in. There are 3 small spaces in the plastic
below the carbon fiber that you are expected to put a flat-blade
screwdriver in to "pop" the panel, but it doesn't work. I use a small
diameter tool to get in behind the panel to pull it off. I thought I had
smoothed the plastic back enough afterwards, but obviously it wasn't

The hole in the console for the radar wiring should have been
smoother. I didn't use a box cutter, the plastic is too thick. I had to
use a Dremel tool to cut it. Due to the angle and the fact that it was
at the back of the pocket I made the call to put the hole there. If the
hole was in the top of the pocket and you needed to service the remote,
it couldn't be removed so I thought it would be better to put the hole
at a seam where it could be removed without undoing all the wiring to
get it back through a hole. I can certainly trim this out better and
screw a small ABS panel over the top portion.

I'm not sure what you mean with the GPS mount falling off? There is
an adhesive/magnetic pad that mounts on the dash for the antenna to
rest on. We use 91% alcohol to clean the dash, then stick the pad on. Is
the pad loose?

The microphone location is the industry "standard" preferred
location. Over the mirror so driver and passenger can both talk, but
aimed more at the driver. If it is hidden away, the sound quality
suffers. Again, we can mount it somewhere else, but in any vehicle
except a convertible, this location has proven to offer the best

I'm not sure what to say about the USB adapter. My wife has a 2014
Subaru and we are having issues with that one as well. I spoke with the
manufacturer today and they say that it may be a bad cable, but they are
having some reliability problems between their adapters and Apple
products too. My wife has an iPhone and I am trying to get that one
working. If this is a bad cable, we can replace it. If it is an
interface issue with Apple, I don't have a great answer for you, but if
you are using Apple products and it is an interface not working well
with Apple, I can reroute the Pioneer USB cord to a usable location for

As far as the amount of the bill, this was very much inline with
your estimate. We charged 2.25 hours to install the radio ($135) and the
radio parts were $57+tax. I actually spent more than that time just
trying to find the amplifier turn-on wire, not documented on any of our
tech sites (I actually reported it to Metra so they now have the
information for the 2015, different from the '14 on amp turnon). Even
though I had no information on your car going into this, I didn't charge
you anything for this time.

We charged 1.5 hours to install the XM radio, radar power wiring
and the steering wheel controls, which with the cost of the XM receiver
and the steering control adapter brought your total to the $464 amount.

I didn't mean for this to be so long, but I wanted to (hopefully) address all of your concerns. We respect our customers and want to ensure that they are happy with the work we do. I'm sorry that you were unhappy with our work and want to make things right. What can I do to make that happen?
SoundShapers, Inc
26A Airport Road
Brewer, ME  04412
(207) 989-1889
I'll take these in order as well.
The car was week's old and I had not touched a thing.  I do find it hard to believe you cop to some damage, but not all and they just happened to be there.  Furthermore, instead of looking up how to pop the center, which I knew he could have asked, he went Neanderthal.

"I didn't use a box cutter, the plastic is too thick. I had to
use a Dremel tool to cut it."

Oh well fudge me, that makes me feel better. SMH

I could keep going but I think you can obviously see the "WTF" here.

My reply e mail consisted of "Andy what do you think is fair for compensation for the damages and lack of most of the features not working"?

He never replied, I wrote him two more times, no reply.  Called, no return call.  I think he's ducking me.

After careful consideration, suing wasn't a good option.  Since all in it would have been $2000 suit, even if I won is small claims, the owner doesn't have to pay you.  Don't ask, my lawyer explained it to me and it still didn't make sense.


E mail.txt



New member
So I bought a new Metra AX-TOYUSB for the USB, he had installed the wrong one, go that working.
Found the schematics for the HD receiver and found the problem, got that working. 
Got some black double sided tape and mounted the GPS receiver in the lower
corner of the window, can't even noticed it, no more sliding around.

Left the mic for a future project.

Pulled the center out and wet sanded it with jewelers paper, took a bit but got it back to pre Sound Shapers condition.


The bottom cubby scratches couldn't be saved, however you have to be on the floor boards to see it.  Plus I mount my phone in front of it so you cannot see the hole.  I'm not going to replace it unless i can find one at Greenpoint for cheap.  I think they were north of $300 new.


I also found a systematic of the smartcord


So I got a 22mm momentary switch with e RGB LED ring so I keep keep the functions of the cord, soldered the lead right tot he PCB board and added the switch to an empty switch cover.


MUCH happier with my work. 

So in closing the two things I have learned which may help someone here:

1: Do it yourself
2: If you can't, don't let sound shapers do it.  They don't give a shit.

Hope this helps

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