Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

Hey all,

New Mazda 3i owner here. Love the car, and want to upgrade the audio system. I want to have it installed (Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.) but it doesn't look like there are any upgrade options for the deck (yet). So my question is two-fold; is it worth upgrading the system with the stock stereo? And if so, what would you spend your cash on? My budget is about $500. Thanks!!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 03:26 PM
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

what components o you want to upgrade for the stock stereio? $500 can take you a long way but depends on what you want to put in.

Titanium Grey MZ3 2.3 GT
| 35% rear / 50% front tints |
| AEM CAI | 4300K Factory HID kit | DRL Fogs | Vent Visors | Progress Sway bar | TWM SS | SSC Springs | GTSpec STB |
| LED brake light | Draxas Exhaust | VG Sharkfin Antenna | Chrome turn signal rings | Satin Aluminum Fuel Door |
Mods to come: A-toy Grill, Side signal mirrors
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

I'm looking to improve overall sound quality, so I'm guessing an amp, better speakers, and anything else I can afford! Thanks.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 03:38 PM
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

If you are able to do some of the install yourself then you'll be able to get more out of your $500. Installation can be really expensive. For speakers, I suggest getting a component set. Mids and Tweeters for the front. This will run from $200 and upwards. It depends on the sound you want. I suggest going to the audio stores and having a listen. Are you planning on upgrading the rear speakers as well? If so, just go with regular coaxial speakers.

IMHO, I would go for the Mids and Tweets. It is a worthy investment. I didn't listen to others at first cause I thought they were BSing me but it's true. The sound clarity and separation of channels are amazing.

By the way, the size of the speakers for stock are 5x7. You can fit any size of speaker in there but you may or may not have to make spacers. This is where it gets expensive at the install bay as they have to fabricate materials to make things fit.

Titanium Grey MZ3 2.3 GT
| 35% rear / 50% front tints |
| AEM CAI | 4300K Factory HID kit | DRL Fogs | Vent Visors | Progress Sway bar | TWM SS | SSC Springs | GTSpec STB |
| LED brake light | Draxas Exhaust | VG Sharkfin Antenna | Chrome turn signal rings | Satin Aluminum Fuel Door |
Mods to come: A-toy Grill, Side signal mirrors
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 03:43 PM
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

The stock speakers are actually a 6x8, not a 5x7. Many 5x7 speakers will also fit a 6x8, and visa versa, but not all.

2004 Mazda3s 5-door - automatic, 6CD/moonroof package, ABS/SAB package, XM SkyFi2 with PIE adapter, Valentine 1 (hard-wired), Infinity Reference 6812cf speakers, Enigma Stubby antenna, rear bumper guards, Continental ContiProContact tires
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 03:52 PM
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

thanks for the correction chipfiev. I couldn't sworn that it was but I guess i got confused with the 5x7's fitting in.

Titanium Grey MZ3 2.3 GT
| 35% rear / 50% front tints |
| AEM CAI | 4300K Factory HID kit | DRL Fogs | Vent Visors | Progress Sway bar | TWM SS | SSC Springs | GTSpec STB |
| LED brake light | Draxas Exhaust | VG Sharkfin Antenna | Chrome turn signal rings | Satin Aluminum Fuel Door |
Mods to come: A-toy Grill, Side signal mirrors
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

Great info, Rancid, thanks. I may be up to installing the speakers myself, although Best Buy 'claims' to do free installs with a minimum purchase. I'll look into that more. Saw your profile pics...nice!! Did you upgrade your deck or is it stock?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 04:03 PM
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

The deck is stock. I'm going to run some Line output converters to run aftermarket speakers and my subs. In the process of doing my subs right now but it started raining and I don't really have a garage to work in.

As for free installs....well you have to buy something with a promotion tagged on it. The speakers are easy enough to do. There are some great walkthroughs on this forum for it. Look up the username vaboom. He has awesome instructions on how to take apart the panels and stuff.

Titanium Grey MZ3 2.3 GT
| 35% rear / 50% front tints |
| AEM CAI | 4300K Factory HID kit | DRL Fogs | Vent Visors | Progress Sway bar | TWM SS | SSC Springs | GTSpec STB |
| LED brake light | Draxas Exhaust | VG Sharkfin Antenna | Chrome turn signal rings | Satin Aluminum Fuel Door |
Mods to come: A-toy Grill, Side signal mirrors
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 05:16 PM
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

yeah, i'd recommend local shops before you go to best buy. what i do is find the exact speakers i want, and compare online prices or even ebay prices and then just ask local shops to meet those prices, they'll usually install them right out the door anyway.


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 06:47 PM
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Clueless M3 Owner Needing Audio Upgrade advice

As for the install, it is really easy to do in the 3. The walkthrough VaBoom provides is really all you need. The doors and other panels are easy to remove and the instructions are very clear.

I would go with the 6x8/5x7 option simply because they drop straight in no mods necessary. Does the i model have factory 6 speaker or 4? Component install becomes somewhat more advanced if there is not a stock tweeter, but still pretty simple.

I got Infinity Reference components for the front and coax for the back, both together for about $180 US shipped on eBay. Add a 4 channel amp for about $150-180, a good adjustable LOC for about $30. You could come in under $500 using the stock HU. This setup would obviously not add any thumping bass, but would be a significant upgrade in sound quality and volume. You may also want to consider a 5-channel amp such as the ZX8000 from HiFonics so that you can add a sub at a later time without buying another amp and distribution block/wire etc..

Bottom line is that you are going to get a whole lot more for your money if you buy the various components from eBay and install them yourself.
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