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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thanks to a few threads on the forum and this video of a guy who did it on his Mazda 6
I decided upgraded my factory BOSE dash speakers to some aftermarket 3.5" PowerBass coaxial speakers that I snagged for $24 on ebay
I haven't seen any thread on the forum showing any pictures of the install so I decided to post what I did

First here are some pictures of the BOSE dash speakers compared to the 3.5" PowerBass replacements
To my surprise they were actually speakers and not tweeters like I initially thought, but they are smaller than a standard 3.5" speaker
The factory BOSE dash speakers definitely have some nice power and sound to them, but the PowerBass having an actual tweeter on the new speakers make them sound 'crisp'
The magnet is definitely bigger on the PowerBass and they are much heavier than the BOSE units
Those BOSE speakers are made out of paper material

The driver on the BOSE speakers is about 6.2cm and about 7.4cm on the PowerBass










I don't know why these came out in the wrong orientation





On to the install

Simply use a panel pry bar to remove the plastic cover on the dash, they unclip easy and pop right off
Using an angled ratcheting screwdriver I bought at harbor freight for $3 I was able to remove the 2 screws holding the speakers on - they pop right out and are only held on by the harness clip

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-right-angle-screwdriver-92630.html

Now there are two things you have to do on both sides in order to get these aftermarket speakers to fit in all the way

PASSENGER SIDE
On the passenger side there is a plastic piece sticking out that makes contact, you simply need to cut part of it off and the speaker will fit in perfectly
It is alot easier than it sounds, the plastic is very soft, I used a precision knife and it sliced through it like butter



DRIVER SIDE
The driver side was more of a pain in the ass.. but very do-able
There is a big fat bundle of wires that is held together by a bunch of electrical tape
This stops an aftermarket speaker from dropping straight in
You have to carefully cut/remove the electrical tape holding them together so you can spread them out
once you do so it will give enough clearance for the speaker to fit in place
The picture shown below is what it should look like after you do this



Now for the actual speaker install

I didn't want to damage/cut any of the stock wires and connectors that way I do a fast plug and play swap back to stock anytime
(so you may not agree with my method and may want to do a more direct install by splicing the wires directly)

The BOSE speakers have a built in male plug, leaving a female connector on the dash
This gave me an idea to simply add solder to the wires and stick them in the connector to make a connection - this worked out better than I anticipated
By adding a little solder to the wires, they wedged into the connectors perfectly





Thanks to this thread I was able to get the correct polarity of the wires http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2014-2016-mazda-3-skyactiv-audio-electronics/113290-2014-3s-gt-bose-upgrade.html#post1485122

Driver Side
***Purple wire is positive*** ***Red wire is negative***

Passenger Side
***Light Blue wire is positive*** ***Dark Blue wire is negative***

Now the polarity is INVERTED on both sides
Meaning, if you look at the stock connectors in the same orientation, the positive and negatives are swapped between each other
This boggled my mind because if you look at the connectors the exact same way, you would think the positive and negative would be on the same side on each connector, but this is not the case.
I QUADRUPLE checked the polarity with my multimeter, I even went BACK to check 2 days later.

The stock speakers are identical and have nothing to distinguish them between left or right, does this mean they are out of phase stock??? Is it designed this way? Who knows..




By playing around with the amount of solder on the wires I was able to get them perfectly wedged in there with no play, they weren't going anywhere but I added electrical tape just for safe measure



And that's pretty much it, they go right in and the screw holes line up perfectly

Also, even though the tweeter on the new speakers protrudes higher, there were no clearance issues with the plastic cover on the reinstall

Sorry I forgot to take pictures of the installed product I was too excited after getting it all done and listening to some music :laugh2:

EDIT: OK, I went back and got pictures (I got OCD and wanted to verify I got the polarity correct)





these speakers are definitely more 'crisp' in a really good way.
You can really hear the cymbals clearly in music, I listen to a lot of heavy metal.
Which makes sense since the OEM Bose don't have a dedicated tweeter and these do. (But I'm also not saying the Bose units sounded bad, they are good for what they are)
They have excellent highs and mids with no distortion at high volume.
Very impressed and happy for $24 speakers.

Hope this helps you guys
 

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Looks great! You say you have the Bose system. Is that including the center speaker as well?

Any plans on upgrading that one?
 

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Your Tutorial is fantastic, great work. I order the "JBL GTO 329" and wait for the soundtest. I hope you install also a little subwoofer for the next tutorial. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looks great! You say you have the Bose system. Is that including the center speaker as well?

Any plans on upgrading that one?
Yes I have the Bose and it has the center channel
Good question, but no
I'm perfectly content with the way it sounds now
I may in the future, maybe/hopefully it's a straight drop-in unlike the passenger and driver side
You can easily see what you are doing by standing outside the car working on the driver and passenger side
I'm sure it would be a PITA and hard to see if you had to do any kind of modification for the center channel slot
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your Tutorial is fantastic, great work. I order the "JBL GTO 329" and wait for the soundtest. I hope you install also a little subwoofer for the next tutorial. ;)
I actually DID install a small compact subwoofer :laugh:

I didn't write the guide, but it's the one I used - it's great
This is my post in the thread, the how-to is in page 1
http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2014-2016-mazda-3-skyactiv-how-guides/65953-bose-stereo-subwoofer-install-plug-play-10.html#post1818394
 

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hi.. i was reading this, and decided to buy it too!!

i hope everything goes ok.

i have some questions..
how do you remove the grille?

any rattles or noises after the installation?

thanks in advance
 

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Nice install info, but you never really commented on the sound improvement, if any. To really complete this thread, please post up a review of the difference in sound from the stock setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
hi.. i was reading this, and decided to buy it too!!

i hope everything goes ok.

i have some questions..
how do you remove the grille?

any rattles or noises after the installation?

thanks in advance
no noises or rattles

The grill easily pops out with a plastic panel pry tool

Go to the 11:00 minute mark of this video it shows you (this guy used a butter knife lol)
it just pops back into place

Keep in mind this video shows the NON-BOSE set up, that is why it has actual tweeters unlike our Bose set ups
But the grill removal is the same


I also added a link in the guide to the ratcheting angled screwdriver I used to remove the 2 screws on the speaker if you need it

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-right-angle-screwdriver-92630.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice install info, but you never really commented on the sound improvement, if any. To really complete this thread, please post up a review of the difference in sound from the stock setup.
Good point, I'll add it at the bottom of the post

But to make a long story short, these speakers are definitely more 'crisp' in a really good way.
You can really hear the cymbals clearly in music, I listen to a lot of heavy metal.
Which makes sense since the OEM Bose don't have a dedicated tweeter and these do. (But I'm also not saying the Bose units sounded bad, they are good for what they are)
They have excellent highs and mids with no distortion at high volume.
Very impressed and happy for $24 speakers.

I will say this, at first the BOSE units sounded slightly louder to me. But it could be that after removing the battery the EQ settings reverted to zero, I think that I had I may have had higher treble setting on them. I added +1 Treble on the EQ and they sound perfect to me now.
 

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The factory service manual is wrong regarding speaker polarity on the front left tweeter. You also can't check polarity of an A/C signal with a multimeter as it switches back and forth thousands of times per second in the audio frequency domain. The only way to accurately do this is with an oscilloscope comparing the original signal to the signal playing through the car's amplifier. You must compare the reference track, preferably a 100Hz or 1kHz sine wave to the output from the amplifier, if the signals appear inverted - the polarity is reversed. A small phase delay is not indication of reversed polarity, but rather a slightly out of phase output vs input signal which is often normal in all but the best audio amplifiers, but if the signal at the amplifier is clearly inverted, this is an indicator that the polarity is reversed. Even still, without the [correct] circuit schematic for the factory amplifier, this measurement can be misleading if the signal is inverted when it leaves the amplifier due to circuit topology. I'd hope the engineers who designed the amp accounted for any inversions that occur in the preamp stage or at least assured that all of the speakers are in phase from the factory.

A little trick you can use to determine polarity of the vast majority of cars is by facing the magnet on any driver (unless otherwise noted on the speaker,) the right side terminal or sometimes larger terminal is always negative. This is how I decipher speaker polarity every time I'm integrating aftermarket speakers to factory and I've never had an issue, it beats digging through service manuals that are sometimes - especially in this case incorrect.

Of course I may be wrong but I've been doing it this way for well over a decade and never had an issue. If anyone has a portable oscilloscope or is willing to bring their oscilloscope outside I'd love to verify whether the service manual is in fact correct or incorrect.
 

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You can also connect the speaker and see which way the driver moves when bass hits. If it moves outward - you're fine. You can also connect a 9v battery to the terminals to see which orientation moves the cone outward. On outward excursion, the pos terminal of the battery will coincide with the positive speaker terminal.
 

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Your Tutorial is fantastic, great work. I order the "JBL GTO 329" and wait for the soundtest. I hope you install also a little subwoofer for the next tutorial. ;)
Did you get those to fit? If so did it require trimming the surround? I want those but am weary due to the lip.
 

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I ending up buying some Infinity REF3022CFXs for my dash.
Seeing a couple threads about the install was discouraging. (the soldering method)

SO i bought the speakers, took the Bose speaker out to look at the plug and looked at amazon.

On my first and only try i bought a Metra 72-7901 speaker harness. now this does not fit as direct plug and play.
You need to cut the bottom out of the plug and install it backwards. This also works because the wiring is opposite of what you would normally expect to see.
Once the bottom is cut just slide the two plugs together which is a tight fit and plug the speaker into the normal ends. turn on the radio to test before reinstalling.
I hope these pictures will help.
 

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Your Tutorial is fantastic, great work. I order the "JBL GTO 329" and wait for the soundtest. I hope you install also a little subwoofer for the next tutorial.
Did you get those to fit? If so did it require trimming the surround? I want those but am weary due to the lip.
I'm also looking at the JBL GTO's, and would love to hear from someone with experience.
 

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Bummer. I wonder why they put that lip on there. I googled and found several reports of people cutting it off... It's simply plastic correct?
I understand if you wouldn't want to mess with it, I'm just thinking out loud for myself.
 

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Excuse my ignorance but the real problem with Bose is the weak bass coming from the door speakers. Those are 1.25ohm 9" making it impossible to replace them with something aftermarket.
Swapping dash speakers will take mids and high from moderate to good, But whats the point in doing that?
 

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In the process of replacing dash speakers, anyone with a single infinity kappa perfect 300m to single speaker or any other single speaker to sell. I can paypal. Please PM.
 

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I ending up buying some Infinity REF3022CFXs for my dash.
Seeing a couple threads about the install was discouraging. (the soldering method)

SO i bought the speakers, took the Bose speaker out to look at the plug and looked at amazon.

On my first and only try i bought a Metra 72-7901 speaker harness. now this does not fit as direct plug and play.
You need to cut the bottom out of the plug and install it backwards. This also works because the wiring is opposite of what you would normally expect to see.
Once the bottom is cut just slide the two plugs together which is a tight fit and plug the speaker into the normal ends. turn on the radio to test before reinstalling.
I hope these pictures will help.
Thanks a lot, Just followed your instructions, everything worked out just fine.
 
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