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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody tried Ford speakers in their Mazda3? Most aftermarket 6"x8" speakers claim to be "custom fit for Ford and Mazda", and the Mazda3 uses the same speaker connector as many newer Ford vehicles, so after seeing the cutting and trimming that is often required to install aftermarket speakers, I got to thinking of the premium-level Ford speakers as a possible "OEM-fit" upgrade.

As a baseline of comparison, 2008-'09 Ford Focus speakers appear to be almost identical to stock Mazda3 speakers, although Ford speakers usually have a protective grille preinstalled (not shown here)...

Mazda3 speakers


'08+ Ford Focus speakers


Now here are the premium level Mach speakers out of a 2005-2008 Mustang with the "Shaker 500" system. They use the same 6"x8" form factor but are a component system with what looks like a 5" woofer and about a 1" or 1½" tweeter. Would these fit in a Mazda3? I've heard the rear speakers have more available depth inside the doors, so I guess they might only fit in the rear doors.



There are also premium-level speakers from the current 2008+ Focus which are a bit different; they appear to use a full 6"x8" woofer with a tweeter suspended on top, just like most aftermarket speakers:



They are rated for 50 watts, versus the 25 watts for base-level Ford (and base-level Mazda3?) speakers:


So, has anybody tried this? For now, I'd like to keep the stock Mazda3 head unit, and I just think that OEM speakers would be better matched to it, and possibly an easier installation into the doors (with little or no cutting/trimming required to fit).

I've had that experience with my VW Passat: upgraded VW OEM speakers sound better with the factory head unit than aftermarket speakers; they are generally more sensitive (more loudness at a given power level) and better matched to the loudness EQ curve built into the head unit's tone controls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
[quote author=MyZoom7 link=topic=139374.msg3003766#msg3003766 date=1237458099]
I wouldn't even give these the time of day.
[/quote]
The performance of premium-level factory stereos is nothing to sneeze at. The components are designed for sound, not beauty, which is why these speakers don't look like much compared to aftermarket speakers, many of which focus mostly on flashy styling.

And considering how cheaply they're going on eBay, these Ford "Mach" speakers could be a perfect "sleeper" uprgade for those on a budget and especially those who wish to keep the factory head unit. I'm about to give this a try, but I'm just wondering if anyone else has done it before.
 

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I'm not sure about what "cutting and trimming" you're referring to when it comes to installing aftermarket speakers. I have a set of Infinity Reference 6x8's in my rear doors, and installation went like this:

1. Remove factory speaker
2. Connect speaker wire adapter to new Infinity speaker
3. Screw new speaker into door
4. Connect wire adapter to car's wiring

The only references to any kind of fabrication/modification I've seen on here are in reference to installing non-OEM sized speakers, like 6 1/2" ones. For 6x8's, they should be plug and play.
 

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[quote author=vwestlife link=topic=139374.msg3003936#msg3003936 date=1237465768]
The performance of premium-level factory stereos is nothing to sneeze at.
[/quote]

I won't pass judgement on the Ford "Mach" speakers because I haven't heard or seen them, but I will sneeze at the Mazda Bose system. It sounds worse than the non-premium systems in my other vehicles.

The Ford speakers will fit in the 3 and I'm sure they will sound better than the stock ones. The only question is whether they are a better option than other quality aftermarket speakers. I'm not sure what they go for on eBay; if you're on a tight budget they could be a valid choice. Looks like they have paper woofers and a stamped basket, nothing special.

What is the impedance? If you're running the stock HU, you'll probably want 4 ohms.

I don't know what makes a "sleeper" upgrade. They're behind the door panels anyway. No one can tell if you've got OEM, Boss or Focal back there.
 

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Just from looking at the Mach system speaker, you can see that it has a closed back and a 4" woofer. This would have to significantly reduce bass extension, which in the original install was compensated for by using the sub or another driver to produce those lower frequencies.

You don't want your sub to be playing at 100+ hz. They usually aren't very clean at those frequencies, and anything much above 55 hz our ears can locate where the sound is coming from, so the stereo image gets smeared between the front mounted speakers and the rear mounted sub.

If you don't want a sub, these mach speakers would sound very thin in the bass.
 

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[quote author=tahoe41 link=topic=139374.msg3004028#msg3004028 date=1237470245]
sub for results
[/quote]

 

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[quote author=geewhizbang link=topic=139374.msg3004062#msg3004062 date=1237471415]
They usually aren't very clean at those frequencies, and anything much above 55 hz our ears can locate where the sound is coming from,

If you don't want a sub, these mach speakers would sound very thin in the bass.
[/quote]

Isn't it 80Hz? You'd be hardpressed to find a car speaker that can re-produce 55Hz-80Hz with decent frequency response. Doors just aren't meant to resonate at those frequencies. With some dynamat you could improve the response, but yeah...

I do agree with you that the mach speakers would be very thin in the bass area. It looks like they'd at the very least have decent mids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[quote author=DrWebster link=topic=139374.msg3004025#msg3004025 date=1237470073]
I'm not sure about what "cutting and trimming" you're referring to when it comes to installing aftermarket speakers. I have a set of Infinity Reference 6x8's in my rear doors, and installation went like this:

1. Remove factory speaker
2. Connect speaker wire adapter to new Infinity speaker
3. Screw new speaker into door
4. Connect wire adapter to car's wiring.
[/quote]
I was going by this guide, which shows trimming of the door panel being necessary to properly fit a pair of Infinity 6"x8" speakers.
 

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[quote author=vwestlife link=topic=139374.msg3005320#msg3005320 date=1237506967]
[quote author=DrWebster link=topic=139374.msg3004025#msg3004025 date=1237470073]
I'm not sure about what "cutting and trimming" you're referring to when it comes to installing aftermarket speakers. I have a set of Infinity Reference 6x8's in my rear doors, and installation went like this:

1. Remove factory speaker
2. Connect speaker wire adapter to new Infinity speaker
3. Screw new speaker into door
4. Connect wire adapter to car's wiring.
[/quote]
I was going by this guide, which shows trimming of the door panel being necessary to properly fit a pair of Infinity 6"x8" speakers.
[/quote]

Well, I never did any trimming, and my door panels fit back on just fine and I haven't gotten any buzzes/rattles. Doesn't really make much sense to me to need to trim that; you're doing a swap of speakers of the same size. I'd think trimming would only be necessary if you tried to install speakers larger than 6x8, in which case you'd have to do some trimming to the inner door panel too, just to make the larger speakers fit.
 

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If the specs quote 80 hz bottom end for a speaker, at best that means the frequency where the speaker is 3db down. In most cases it is even worse than that, they are quoting the point where the speaker is pretty much totally inaudible. Which is rubbish as a spec.

With that tiny enclosure and small driver, the pictured unit is actually a midrange and tweeter setup and there was a separate woofer that probably got fried and isn't being sold.
 

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If anyone is known for cheating on specs it's Ford....

Maybe it's like the pinto, if you get t-boned your mazda will catch on fire :boom:
 

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Being a previous ford owner with the Mach system, you shouldn't waste your time. Aftermarket speakers would be worth your time, but this isn't.
 

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[quote author=robs08mazda3 link=topic=139374.msg3020370#msg3020370 date=1238126398]
Being a previous ford owner with the Mach system, you shouldn't waste your time. Aftermarket speakers would be worth your time, but this isn't.
[/quote]

Yeah, I've heard the Ford premium Mach 500 and Even their Audiophile systems... they're all about muddy midrange.
 

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[quote author=vwestlife link=topic=139374.msg3003650#msg3003650 date=1237441965]
For now, I'd like to keep the stock Mazda3 head unit, and I just think that OEM speakers would be better matched to it...
... better matched to the loudness EQ curve built into the head unit's tone controls.

[/quote]

so you're saying that a pair of speakers that were specifically designed to work in the mustang shaker system would be better matched to the oem headunit in a completely different vehicle/system (not even mentioning the 8" subs you don't have in your doors like the SHAKER system does)?

Especially given that our oem headunit does NOT have any factory EQ'ing - completely unlike the VW Passat you are comparing it too (massive EQ'ing on that system)

If you don't have factory tweeters already then you might get a bit more highs out of the mach speakers - at the cost of bass/midbass. If you do have the factory tweeters all you'll be doing is adding a bunch of cancellation by adding a second tweeter, while at the same time shrinking your woofer from 6x8 to 4".

I think you will be wasting your time/money that would be better spent on a decent pair of aftermarket components. Maybe this would be an interesting experiment if you are bored, but I think that's about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
[quote author=automaticman link=topic=139374.msg3020516#msg3020516 date=1238131530]
Especially given that our oem headunit does NOT have any factory EQ'ing - completely unlike the VW Passat you are comparing it too (massive EQ'ing on that system)[/quote]
I doubt that. I know the Mazda6 head unit has a rather heavy loudness curve (bass boost) at lower volumes, and I would expect the Mazda3 head unit to be the same. At high volumes the curve gradually flattens out, but unless you blast it all the time, you're going to be hearing at least some EQing going on, even with the bass and treble adjustments set to zero.
 
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