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Has anyone installed a subwoofer in a 2014 mazda3 yet? Im getting a mazda3 soon and want to install one. Just wondering how to take out the stereo...where are the connections located and how difficult is it.
Thanks
 

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Has anyone installed a subwoofer in a 2014 mazda3 yet? Im getting a mazda3 soon and want to install one. Just wondering how to take out the stereo...where are the connections located and how difficult is it.
Thanks
I haven't seen anyone try. What trim level are you looking at getting? The challenges you will face will vary depending on if you will have Bose or not.

I would start here to at least get an idea of what you will be getting into. http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/...s/30977-2014-mazda-3-service-manual-here.html
 

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I haven't seen anyone try. What trim level are you looking at getting? The challenges you will face will vary depending on if you will have Bose or not.

I would start here to at least get an idea of what you will be getting into. http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/...s/30977-2014-mazda-3-service-manual-here.html
I have the GT trim with the Bose unit. I'm going to keep all that in place, but add an amp and a small sub. A present from my sister & dad, so I won't get it installed until the week before Christmas. I'm going to have it professionally done, even though I could probably do it, I'm going to have them do it.

I'll post pictures after it's done. The radio actually sounds really good, it just needs a little more bottom end.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have the GT trim with the Bose unit. I'm going to keep all that in place, but add an amp and a small sub. A present from my sister & dad, so I won't get it installed until the week before Christmas. I'm going to have it professionally done, even though I could probably do it, I'm going to have them do it.

I'll post pictures after it's done. The radio actually sounds really good, it just needs a little more bottom end.

Please show pics and any problems they have with the install. Thanks
 

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I too agree that the bose system is lacking something in the new 2014. I jut bought a Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch that has a powered amp in it. Hoping that the install will be easy. Never did anything audio related in a car before so hopefully i can get some guidance. Or else i might have to go with a professional install
 

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I too agree that the bose system is lacking something in the new 2014. I jut bought a Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch that has a powered amp in it. Hoping that the install will be easy. Never did anything audio related in a car before so hopefully i can get some guidance. Or else i might have to go with a professional install
Note I haven't seen anyone publish a guide on what you are going to find in the 2014s. This is just based on the installs I did in my 2008.5, 2010, and 2012 MZ3s.

Usually in the bose systems the signal from the head unit is unmolested. After the signal has passed through the AMP the bass levels are usually tweaked and limited (especially in the rear speaker outputs) and using the line level outputs will likely result in an underwhelming install.

If I was going to just add a sub I would identify the signal going from the head unit to the bose amp under the passenger seat (assuming that hasn't change from previous models) and use the rear speakers leads to get a signal to the new amp for the sub. This will of course prevent sound from playing from the rear speakers at all. You could potentially run the front signal to the front and rear inputs on the bose AMP, but I don't know how well that will work.

Then it is a matter of running power and signal wires to the amp and selecting a grounding location for the new amp and correctly installing everything.

Here is the install I did in my non bose 2010 just to give you an idea of what you are getting into. You will likely need to order replacement door and panel clips as they are easy to break.
My Install
 

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I've usually added subs to my car systems. However, adding a sub to the Bose system in the 3 is much more difficult. You usually want a line level out from the head however there is no line level out on the Bose system. It also doesn't have standard impedances as Bose modifies the output for their custom speakers that have smaller magnets. On the Bose system, the woofers are in the front doors so attaching the sub to those speakers will create a hole in the sound just above the sub range. Attaching them to the other speakers makes no sense since their crossovers will block the sub range. In addition, you don't have an equalizer with several ranges to tune the system. The door woofers do a much better job with the lows than I've seen in previous cars without a sub since they are 9" in size. I've raised the bass level in the ITS and also the treble level and that improves the sound slightly. The woofers in the doors are capable of bringing stronger lows if the system had an equalizer. However, Bose doesn't like equalizers so I don't see that coming anytime soon. Also, you don't want to amp up the door woofers too much or you're likely to get vibrations and noises from the doors.

All in all, I would not recommend changing the Bose system unless you want to replace the amp and ALL of the speakers. You would also need to install an adjustable crossover module to the amp.

After having subs in almost all of my past cars, I'm actually pretty happy with the Bose system after adjusting the audio levels. Yes, it lacks some of the low end punch, but I don't want to spend thousands of dollars modifying the system, either. Former Mazda's with a Bose system had a subwoofer so replacing that with a stronger one is relatively easy as the crossovers were set at the right levels and you could match the impedance easily. You also didn't have to deactivate any of the speakers.

I'll be interested to see if any of you can do this successfully without messing up the clarity of the system.
 

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I've usually added subs to my car systems. However, adding a sub to the Bose system in the 3 is much more difficult. You usually want a line level out from the head however there is no line level out on the Bose system. It also doesn't have standard impedances as Bose modifies the output for their custom speakers that have smaller magnets. On the Bose system, the woofers are in the front doors so attaching the sub to those speakers will create a hole in the sound just above the sub range. Attaching them to the other speakers makes no sense since their crossovers will block the sub range. In addition, you don't have an equalizer with several ranges to tune the system. The door woofers do a much better job with the lows than I've seen in previous cars without a sub since they are 9" in size. I've raised the bass level in the ITS and also the treble level and that improves the sound slightly. The woofers in the doors are capable of bringing stronger lows if the system had an equalizer. However, Bose doesn't like equalizers so I don't see that coming anytime soon. Also, you don't want to amp up the door woofers too much or you're likely to get vibrations and noises from the doors.

All in all, I would not recommend changing the Bose system unless you want to replace the amp and ALL of the speakers. You would also need to install an adjustable crossover module to the amp.

After having subs in almost all of my past cars, I'm actually pretty happy with the Bose system after adjusting the audio levels. Yes, it lacks some of the low end punch, but I don't want to spend thousands of dollars modifying the system, either. Former Mazda's with a Bose system had a subwoofer so replacing that with a stronger one is relatively easy as the crossovers were set at the right levels and you could match the impedance easily. You also didn't have to deactivate any of the speakers.

I'll be interested to see if any of you can do this successfully without messing up the clarity of the system.
I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that most people who are complaining about the level of low end sound they're getting wouldn't give a crap about properly equalizing out their system's quality. Most people I know looking to do this end up installing something like a solobaric kicker subwoofer and then raving about how awesome it sounds. When in reality, it sounds like total shit because of the huge drop off in frequency response before the enormous noise kicks in at the lower volumes. Some people (lucky for them, and their wallets) just don't have the ear for quality sound.
 

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I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that most people who are complaining about the level of low end sound they're getting wouldn't give a crap about properly equalizing out their system's quality.
I was trying to be nice here ard give people the benefit of the doubt -- but I do agree. When I added subs, I also changed out the head, amp, and at least some of the speakers. Then I used the equalizer and other controls to get a flat response. Only then, did I shape the system to my particular taste. Adding a sub to this particular system without changing the head will reduce clarity and add interference as the sub will be of the wrong impedance. Bose uses low impedance speakers and goes for a flat and balanced response. They do tend to dampen the high end too much which dampens brightness except in their very high end systems which is not what you find in the 3. When you add a sub, you are overlapping the woofers in the door (assuming you leave those active) and have no way to adjust the overlap because there is no crossover between the woofer and the sub. If you disable the woofers and add a sub, you'll miss the frequencies just above the sub and below the mid-range speakers. There is just no way to do this well with the Bose system. Personally, I'd like to find a way to add an equalizer to the system but that has to be done before the amp. That said, I know no way of doing this.
 

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I've usually added subs to my car systems. However, adding a sub to the Bose system in the 3 is much more difficult. You usually want a line level out from the head however there is no line level out on the Bose system. It also doesn't have standard impedances as Bose modifies the output for their custom speakers that have smaller magnets. On the Bose system, the woofers are in the front doors so attaching the sub to those speakers will create a hole in the sound just above the sub range. Attaching them to the other speakers makes no sense since their crossovers will block the sub range. In addition, you don't have an equalizer with several ranges to tune the system. The door woofers do a much better job with the lows than I've seen in previous cars without a sub since they are 9" in size. I've raised the bass level in the ITS and also the treble level and that improves the sound slightly. The woofers in the doors are capable of bringing stronger lows if the system had an equalizer. However, Bose doesn't like equalizers so I don't see that coming anytime soon. Also, you don't want to amp up the door woofers too much or you're likely to get vibrations and noises from the doors.

All in all, I would not recommend changing the Bose system unless you want to replace the amp and ALL of the speakers. You would also need to install an adjustable crossover module to the amp.

After having subs in almost all of my past cars, I'm actually pretty happy with the Bose system after adjusting the audio levels. Yes, it lacks some of the low end punch, but I don't want to spend thousands of dollars modifying the system, either. Former Mazda's with a Bose system had a subwoofer so replacing that with a stronger one is relatively easy as the crossovers were set at the right levels and you could match the impedance easily. You also didn't have to deactivate any of the speakers.

I'll be interested to see if any of you can do this successfully without messing up the clarity of the system.
You want pre-amp outputs usually, not line level. The Bose HU (at least in previous generations) does technically have pre-amp outputs if you are willing to cut the harness where it connects to the bose amp and wire up RCA style connectors. This is how I did my 2012 install. Though in that system I replaced the bose amp with a 5 channel amp, replaced the components, and the sub. Sounded great, but was much more expensive than adding just an amp and a sub. The nice thing is it kept the OEM look and integrated controls without an adapter. I did loose center point and the other bose specific features though.
 

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You want pre-amp outputs usually, not line level.
For all intents and purposes, line level outs are the same as pre-amp since they occur before the amp. Speaker level outs occur after the amp. When you see a subwoofer out on the back of your amp -- that is a line level out. Yes, you can patch into the harness, but whatever lines you patch into, you'll have to balance the impedance and voltage or you will get distortion. You have the correct solution if you want to keep your own head unit -- i.e., replace everything including the amp after the line outs on the head. However, you then will not have the ability of controlling the equalizer through your head unit -- you'll need a separate control/display for that. I've always replaced everything -- including the head unit so I could control the whole system centrally. That's easy if you have a DIN type installation. However, with today's cars with no DIN capability, you can't do that.

When you install a pre-amp in your system, all you are doing is raising the voltage for the run to the amp. All outs have different voltages. Line level is lower output than a pre-amp but generally, the lower the output, the less the distortion. You want just enough power to feed the amp -- and no more.
 

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Sorry we appear to be using different terms for the same thing. When I say line level I mean speaker level. I was calling it line level as you would need to use a line output converter (LOC) to provide an unamplified signal to an amp. I had to deal with this in my 2010 install as the HU only had speaker level output and the AMP didn't have speaker level inputs. The Bose HU has unamplified and unmolested outputs.

I also was suggesting to not tap the harness, but cut the rear speaker signal wires running to the amp and run the outputs from the HU to the input of the new AMP. So you would lose just the rear speakers, but would get a clean signal for the amp to work with and set your own cross over. There are some folks who argue the rears are useless anyway. On the non bose systems you would need a LOC or an amp that takes speaker level input as the HU is doing the amplification.

I found all I needed was a gain control for the bass to be handy since some music would have way too much bass and other music had too little. Otherwise I didn't adjust bass/treble levels at all on my 2012.
 

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I was just using "line level" to be technically correct. When you see "line out" on any device, that is before the amp. "Pre-amp" is usually used as a device to raise the voltages prior to sending the signal to the amp. You don't see many pre-amps used today since most amps are sensitive enough to read lower level signals. I've never heard of line level used to describe speaker level. However, it seems we are on the same page now.

On the 3, you can't use the signals to the rear speakers for the sub (and you would need a LOC to do that) since they are not full range and you would not get the signal for the sub to work. There are full range speakers in the back doors, but without them, you're cutting out mid-range to the front and you would not get a full sound. Basically, there is no way to cut into the speaker system using any of the current speakers without losing clarity and quality.

Here's a summary of our systems:

Automotive Systems I Mazda

At the beginning, I also wanted to add a small sub to increase the punch, but after I did the research I realized it was not very smart to do it in this particular car. Just increase the bass levels and you can get most of what you want.
 

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I was just using "line level" to be technically correct. When you see "line out" on any device, that is before the amp. "Pre-amp" is usually used as a device to raise the voltages prior to sending the signal to the amp. You don't see many pre-amps used today since most amps are sensitive enough to read lower level signals. I've never heard of line level used to describe speaker level. However, it seems we are on the same page now.

On the 3, you can't use the signals to the rear speakers for the sub (and you would need a LOC to do that) since they are not full range and you would not get the signal for the sub to work. There are full range speakers in the back doors, but without them, you're cutting out mid-range to the front and you would not get a full sound. Basically, there is no way to cut into the speaker system using any of the current speakers without losing clarity and quality.

Here's a summary of our systems:

Automotive Systems I Mazda

At the beginning, I also wanted to add a small sub to increase the punch, but after I did the research I realized it was not very smart to do it in this particular car. Just increase the bass levels and you can get most of what you want.
Well, rats. I was all lined up to have a reputable shop do it, but I'm not interested in losing any of the 9 speakers in there.
 

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Well, rats. I was all lined up to have a reputable shop do it, but I'm not interested in losing any of the 9 speakers in there.
There are specialty products that attempt to do this like this one from Crutchfield:

The Epicenter Plus™ by AudioControl (Gray) Bass processor with aux input for factory or aftermarket systems at Crutchfield.com

The problem is that the Bose system is different than all other systems because, from what I understand, it uses 2 ohm speakers instead of the industry standard 4 or 8 ohm ones. The combination of 2 ohm enables the use of smaller magnets. Units like the one I've mentioned compensate for the tap by adjusting the output -- but I don't know if it would adjust for 2 ohm speakers. If you suddenly increase the output to 4 ohms by installing this unit, you'd probably blow your speakers. If you're willing to take that risk, then more power to you. You can't replace the Bose speakers with non-Bose units, so if you blow them, it will be very expensive to replace them.

There is a safe way of doing this -- but it is expensive. You'll want to bypass the Bose amp and install your own just using line level outs. Then you'll have to replace all of your speakers with standard ones. If you have a couple thousand dollars and you don't mind a separate equalizer, then you can finally get your punch at the bottom.

That said, I know about this stuff only because I've modified the system on over a dozen cars I've owned over the past several decades (yeah, I'm and old fart). If you can find a sound engineer (not just an installer) who understands these systems and has modified them, then I suggest you talk to them because they have more knowledge than me. Most likely, they are the ones that modify systems on high end vehicles. Make sure they've modified Bose systems before as they are much different than any other.

Good luck. If you find a solution that I'm not aware of, please let us know.
 
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There are specialty products that attempt to do this like this one from Crutchfield:

The Epicenter Plus™ by AudioControl (Gray) Bass processor with aux input for factory or aftermarket systems at Crutchfield.com

The problem is that the Bose system is different than all other systems because, from what I understand, it uses 2 ohm speakers instead of the industry standard 4 or 8 ohm ones. The combination of 2 ohm enables the use of smaller magnets. Units like the one I've mentioned compensate for the tap by adjusting the output -- but I don't know if it would adjust for 2 ohm speakers. If you suddenly increase the output to 4 ohms by installing this unit, you'd probably blow your speakers. If you're willing to take that risk, then more power to you. You can't replace the Bose speakers with non-Bose units, so if you blow them, it will be very expensive to replace them.

There is a safe way of doing this -- but it is expensive. You'll want to bypass the Bose amp and install your own just using line level outs. Then you'll have to replace all of your speakers with standard ones. If you have a couple thousand dollars and you don't mind a separate equalizer, then you can finally get your punch at the bottom.

That said, I know about this stuff only because I've modified the system on over a dozen cars I've owned over the past several decades (yeah, I'm and old fart). If you can find a sound engineer (not just an installer) who understands these systems and has modified them, then I suggest you talk to them because they have more knowledge than me. Most likely, they are the ones that modify systems on high end vehicles. Make sure they've modified Bose systems before as they are much different than any other.

Good luck. If you find a solution that I'm not aware of, please let us know.
Thanks! I'm a big fan of the band Rush, so I like my drum solos, and my Geddy Lee bass.
 
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