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Hi friends,

On January 7, I fell for a Mica Blue MS3, and despite the best efforts of the sales team at Wayne Mazda, I bought my first ever new car. The best name I have so far is 'The Beast'. What an incredible machine.

It came with the Bose system, and I knew from the start I wanted satellite, because I loved XM in my last car. In my 2000 SAAB 9-3, I installed a Sony head unit & XM tuner, pushed through a blaupunkt amp for the front speakers (MB quarts) and the head unit powering the rear, stock speakers. I also had a powered Bazooka sub in the back seat. It sounded great, but this time I wanted no hassles, and everything covered by one warranty (one throat to choke). Call it old age (I'm 38).

My learning curve can best be observed by the following list of myths vs realities:

Myth: a tuner is a tuner
Reality: Only the Mazda Sirius tuner will work with the standard display and controls (others have posted brilliantly in this forum on getting this unit off ebay. I can vouch for the process because one is in my car now). Don't confuse what I'm talking about with sonic compatibility - the aux input or FM modulation will let you listen to practically any external source via the sound system. But only the exact right model Mazda-branded unit will integrate with the display and the controls, and leave you the option of keeping the Aux Input.

Myth: All you need is the tuner
Reality: As I understand it, the following applies ONLY to 2007+ models: If you want to keep your AUX input (called the ACI in 2007 models), you need to buy an absurdly overbuilt splitter (y adapter) from Mazda. I got the dealer to match the online price of $130. Here's the deal: behind the dashboard, there is only one plug for an accessory, and if you install the standard Sirius satellite tuner (which connects to the standard Mazda head unit via a non audio-like square connector), you will lose the connection to the audio input in your center console. The TD13-79-CFZ splitter will let you have both satellite and Aux input.

Myth: The dealer knows what he's talking about
Reality: I had to explain to two different dealers the information about the splitter, because the participants in this forum are vastly better informed than the people who sell the car (to be fair the actual mechanics in the back knew exactly what I was talking about). Even more amusing, Manhattan Mazda was able to do in 2 hours what Wayne Mazda insisted would take 3 hours. So, Manhattan Mazda got my business.

So, my costs were $170 for the tuner (150 + 20 shipping from ebay), 130 for the splitter, and 250 for the installation. Hope this helps others get good tunes in their car.
 

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LOL!! I too had to do some explaining to do with the dealership. I have an 05 SP23 and the service attendant swore up and down and several times told me I was wrong on what my car was. She was convinced it was a Speed3. Until I popped the hood and showed that I clearly do not have the turbo, she did not believe me.

A little off topic but goes to show you that the consumer is all knowing...to a certain point.
 

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[quote author=WA-SP23 link=topic=70916.msg1245812#msg1245812 date=1172898402]
LOL!! I too had to do some explaining to do with the dealership. I have an 05 SP23 and the service attendant swore up and down and several times told me I was wrong on what my car was. She was convinced it was a Speed3. Until I popped the hood and showed that I clearly do not have the turbo, she did not believe me.

A little off topic but goes to show you that the consumer is all knowing...to a certain point.
[/quote]
Not to thread jack but I know where your coming from. When I bought my 3 I had a few questions and the sales guy had no clue as to how to answer them. A big one was: "Why is this silver car with the sunroof cheaper than the white one without one?"

He didn't know. Neither did I but I figured it out after a few seconds reading the brochure. Silver Sunroof was an I whereas the "Stock White" (my words) was a 2.3 S. Sad, because this isn't the only sales guy I have met who doesn't know what he/she is selling.

To steer this back on course: That blows smiles. I guess I am glad I didn't shoot for that option.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
[quote author=3 Stripes link=topic=70916.msg1293750#msg1293750 date=1174999823]
Is the splitter something that just plugs in that I can install myself?

thanks
[/quote]

Absolutely - there's another post somewhere around here with some pictures of what it looks like behind the dash - if you're willing and able to open things up it's strictly plug and play. The hard part is opening up the dash to get to the back of the head unit.
 
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