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Discussion Starter #1
Just got my 3s last weekend and I'm really loving it. However, I think there's some room for improvement as far as the stereo goes. I'd like to replace the fronts/tweeters with something better and put a sub/amp in the back. I'd like to keep the factory headunit and not get an outboard amp for them just yet. I've had luck in my Jeep Grand Cherokee running Boston Acoustic separates off of my Kenwood deck (no amp) because my 4 channel decided to walk away. Surprisingly, the sound was acceptable (to me anyway). My question is: Where are the crossovers for the fronts and tweeters? Can I use the existing wiring for my new components? Is there a full signal going to the 6x8 speaker? Thanks for your help.
-j
 

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If you replace the factory speakers you will also have to replace the factory crossover. The crossover points are going to be different for a new set of sppeakers. Only electronic crossovers allow you to change those crossover points. But don't worry, when you buy a new set of component speakers, it will come with its own crossovers. I would recommend some efficcient speakers. That is the rating that says how many dB/W/M. That indicates how loud a speaker can get with 1 watt. The factory head unit is like 20-25 watts, which should be plenty for an effecient speaker, but pretty paltry for an inefficient one. The most effecient speaker set that I have found that will fit is the Infinity 5x7 set. It is at 92dB/w, should get plenty loud off the factory HU. Those should hit 103dB or 104dB with 25 watts. Good luck.
 

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I wouldn't put too much money into the whole sensitivity rating. If you're going to amp them in the future, then don't even worry since they'll be loud when you get some real power to them. The sensitivity ratings are kinda hocus pocus too since some companies rate it at dB/W/m and some companies rate it at dB/2.8V/m. Its close to comparing apples and oranges.

Infinity is definitely a good product. If you want to go higher end and sort of keep the factory locations, JL is coming out with a new high end component series that has a 5x7 woofer.
 

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JL has a component set that features a 5x7" driver and 1" soft dome tweeter.

The factory setup doesnt have a crossover. Sometimes Ive seen capcitors inline that surpress what frequencies go to the tweeter.

The factory deck will not power aftermarket speakers well, even if the sensitivity rating is high. You have to imagine 1w amplifier power vs factory 1w power. Distortion is a factor. Yes it doesnt seem like much at low levels (not audible by the human ear) but that number increases quickly when the demands of the stereo are turned up.

Got to remember, if you go with aftermarket components, not only are you powering the woofer and tweeter, you have to power the crossover as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info. I found a few threads on the Mazda 6 stereo with diagrams. They indicate that the tweeter is in parallel w/ the front speaker and a capacitor somewhere inline. I assume this is the situation with the M3. Hmmmm...what to do....I guess I should just amp it and get decent separates.
 
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