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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got my Black AT SP23 Sedan last Monday.. and now it's got 750klms on it!

Love the car, and very impressed with pretty much every aspect of it... EXCEPT... the audio... which in my view is crap... I think this has a lot to do with the weak speakers and fact the rear ones are in the doors and not at the back like normal. I love my music and good quality sound - not doof doof subby overkill noise - just quality rich and deep sound. I've been annoyed with Mazda for not offering the premium Bose audio as an option.... and now I must take things into my own hands...

So can someone help me with details of the audio system in the SP23 - what type of connections are on the unit (Aus version), what are the best options to improve the sounds... Has anyone had any experience in taking apart the dash and putting back in factory fit condition... the last thing I want is for an audio guy to have trouble fitting everything back in place nicely...

My idea is put in new more powerful speakers (with tweeters), and an Amp. Is it simple plug and play or will it get messy?!

Also, some other points to note about my experience..

1. The auto transmission seems very clever - perhaps too clever... it seems to want to get to 4th gear when ever the car is moving even if it is not the most appropriate gear... this is most apparent in stop-go peak hour trafffic - where gear jerks/kick-back is evident

2. Starting the car can sometimes be a pain.. in about 10 starts, it didn't kick in the first time about 3 times. Also generally sounds a little 'tinny'

3. Brakes sound is pretty high. Everytime I brake, the grinding is very audible - has anyone else experienced this?

4. I have heard rear brake squeal on the odd occation. Also in one week the rear wheels are dark grey with brake dust.

Most of these may just be picky things... but worth noting to see how it goes in the long run. I'm hoping most things will settle down over time.

Elmo!
 

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my rear wheels get covered with brake dust REALLY quickly too... havent noticed any of ur other issues on Maxx Sport tho.
 

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I had the privilege :) to test drive the auto and the manual Maxx, and to me, the manual was so much more refined than the auto. The auto seemed to change gears too often, too many kick-downs and gear hunting which shouldn't occur in newer cars. I have a Honda Acoord 99 model and whiel it was new, it didnt gear hunt at all, but now going up hills and cruising, it happens more frequently.. :? But I guess the Activematic functionalilty gives it the edge for people to not mind the appropriateness of the gears changing.

What do u mean by starting the car? like accelerating from stand still or starting the engine 10 times? I hope the 10 times u start the engine aren't too close together... :twisted: Not given justice to the engine if you do..lol

Brake do make a harsh noise whenever you have new brake pads, since the pads are not making contact in the best way. Just take it easy on braking until the pads mould into the shape of the disc and hopefully then it should make less noise..If not, prolly ask at the next service or watever.

As for an amp, you will need to get the power from the car battery, which means you will have to put a power cable throuh the firewall and wherever you want the amp to go.
 

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Elmo, I agree with the audio. It's not as good as it could be and after a few weeks I'm starting to hear more speaker flare and clipping.

VaBoom in the USA has got an excellent guide to stereo upgrades on the MZ3 http://www.sounddomain.com/memberpage/495957

I haven't pulled apart my dash but most stock head units only have speaker wire out and no RCAs for connecting directly to an amp. I assume we don't get the wiring for the tweeters but the head unit should be capable of running them or alternatively you get splits up the front and run the tweeters off the same channels. You might be able to buy the tweeter panels from the US version that sit in the A pillar of the front doors.

For the rear it'll be a matter of taking the speaker wires and adding some RCA plugs to connect into an amp to drive the rear speakers (and possibly a sub). Power for the amp may require some searching the firewall for a hole to pass the power lead through etc.
Check the rear parcel shelf for speaker holes and if you're running speakers with a bit of power a 12-18mm MDF parcel shelf should give some support and reduce the vibrations through the panels and rear glass.

One thing to be careful of is the water protectors on the standard speakers. If upgrading to new speakers they may not have this cover and will get damaged if water gets in the door (water proof tape to seal them up)

In short, if you've got the time and ability it's not too hard, but it could be better to get a professional installer and pay the extra bucks.

Haven't had any of the other problems you mentioned except for bucket loads of brake dust.
Check your build date to see if it was a Friday before a Japanese public holiday or the day after the national Karaoke championships. It could explain the little problems.
 

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Pity we can't get tweeters like the US models as well, i'm used to them in my current car, and they round out the sound nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the replies ppl... very informative..

I think I will get a professional to do the audio..!

And yeah.. after only a week, I am noticing the more flare and clipping.. plus more vibration and squeaks in the doors... the speakers do not seem to be supported too well.

Hotztuf... as for the starting.. I mean when I turn the on. You would expect in a new car start up within a second of turning the key... but my one doesn't... just doesn't sound very robust.

Another thing... I am noticing that sometimes are idle is quite rough... I have read elsewhere on this forum that an oil change at 1,000klms should fix it.... we'll... and I hope all these problems are just a case of letting the car settle in!

Cheers!
 

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2. Starting the car can sometimes be a pain.. in about 10 starts, it didn't kick in the first time about 3 times. Also generally sounds a little 'tinny'
That should not be the case. A new car should start straight away. Through previous experience through purchasing a new car, the car has started straight away(like split second) for 3 years, but eventually the delay of starting up increased. After 3 years(which is short for battery life, i have other cars that not needed change battery for 10yrs) i couldn't start a relatively new car. I went to a mechanic to get battery tested and told me it was fried. But the battery warranty was only 2 yrs.. :? So i bought a Century battery to replace it, and a year later, that battery died too. Went back to mechanic where i bought it..got me a replacement battery straight away cuz that was faulty too..

As for why your car isn't as smooth i have no clue..lol..but hopefully its just a small issue with the battery and not any engine components..or it will be ok after the 1000km service. Hope Mazda's customer loyalty during service is as good as their salesman.

Once you get it fixed or after your first service, let us know what happened. I wanna know whats wrong too..
 

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I don't have my ride yet so can't tell you about audio but regarding the hard to start problem you should refer this to the dealer immediately. They can run the tests and hopefully fix it fast. Please let us know how you go on that. Regarding brake dust I have read other threads about this problem. I wonder if it is worse on automatics? I suspect this would be so as you would not be doing as much engine compression "breaking" as the stick shift. There may be harder pads that one can purchase but you have to ask the dealer again as there may be warranty problems since the harder pads could damage the discs. All new cars I have owned take a few ks to seat in the new brake pads. After that over a period of months you will get slight grooving of the discs. After several years you can get them "skimmed" back to perfect at a work shop.
 

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I was looking around the net for advice on breaks and found this. (I have also put it on another North American thread talking about brakes........"
Has anyone been breaking in their new brake pads properly? I picked up the following from "Popular Mechanix" magazine : "There's no way to overemphasize the importance of proper lining break-in (some authorities say overlooking this procedure is the No. 1 cause of noise and hard pedal complaints). The ideal way to start new linings off is to make 30 slow stops (spaced 2 minutes apart) from about 30 mph using light to moderate pressure. You may not be willing to take that much time, but you'd be foolish not to make at least 10 moderate stops at 30-second intervals (you should be able to feel the action smooth out), then avoid heavy braking for the first 200 miles." The reason for this is to gradually coat the disc with break pad material that is imbedded in the pad resins. This brings the resins up to ambient temperature and the break pad material then can release evenly from the pad onto the disc. If you have purchased your vehicle and then go screaming out onto the road, accelerating hard and then screeching to hard stops you will score minute chunks of pad material off the pad onto the disc where they will create wear and squeal. The resins will not have had time to relaese the pad material properly to evenly coat the disc. The disc will basically end up with hard intermittent smears all over it instead." I knew there was a reason I always I took it easy on the new brake pads!!
 

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Vormund said:
Pity we can't get tweeters like the US models as well, i'm used to them in my current car, and they round out the sound nicely.
Buy a set from Jaycar...they are only about $50 for the pair. They also come with angled mounting plates so you can point them at the driver + passenger.
 

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Yeah I know Beef, but as you said it's only 50 bucks so why the hell it's not included is beyond me.

Especially since it's included overseas. :evil:
 

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I think the audio is fine in the SP23, perhaps not as refined as my xtrail which has tweeters but I'm in no hurry to mess with it. the guys that are complaining I can understand that its not as crisp as spending a grand o an aftermarket amp, tweeters and higher quality speakers however the average Joe will be more than satisfied.
 

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does the optional mp3 head unti have rca outputs?? or do have to hook the amps up using hi output?

i cant motor long without those 12's thumping from behind lol...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
my starting problem seems to have fixed itself...!!! But I will tell the dealer about it when I get the 1000 klms service..

As for excessive brake dust... seems to be a characteristic of the MZ3 as everyone is having the same problem. I would suggest to all upcoming owners to go easy on the car in the first 1000... and set in the brakes... in other words.. no hard braking, especially when corning - M. Schumacher style. My left rear disc has a grain line in it... I'm going to argue with the dealer to replace it.... we'll see how it goes..


As for the audio.. I'm getting a new set installed this week - Focal front speakers with dash mounted tweeters, and Alpine AMP and rears.... mmmmmmm.
 

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No, the optional MP3 head unit does not have RCA outputs. You need a LOC (line out converter) to use RCA cables from the head unit. Or, you get an amp with speaker level inputs.
thanks buddy,

thought perhaps the mp3 unit might have rca outs but anyway no matter... i got some good kicker amps anyways. when getting this car the last thing i thought about was the audio... but then i thought hang on a minute when the dealer said your 6 stack head unit is moulded as part of the dash for security... (i hope this thing has rca's...).

so if your mp3 units go missing, ask for the address of all 3's sold in your area who didn't buy an mp3 unit lol!
 

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Makes sense. It is nice, however, not having a visible aftermarket deck to worry about. Between that and the tinted windows, the large glove box, etc, I don't worry as much about parking in poorly lit areas, because there's nothing worth stealing and you can barely see in if you try.
 
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