2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The guy I bought my 2010 hatch from put in the aftermarket head unit (a Pioneer, if it matters) and aside from it being kinda low-end, it did the job well enough. He didn't opt for the steering wheel control module, so that's just dangling back there.

Anyway, yesterday the audio started to go in and out, so I removed the HU today to take a look at it. Electrical tape was all sticky and falling off several of the twisted connections between the vehicle wire adapter and HU harness and the ground wire wasn't connected at all.

I removed the gooey tape and retwisted those wires that looked loose, then reconnected the HU. Turns on with the car just fine, but when I try to play music or the radio, I don't get anything but a fast-paced sound between a click and a pop. It doesn't change volume with the HU, so the only way to get it to stop is the turn off the HU or the car itself.

This might be a generic non-Mazda3 issue, but because I've read conflicting information about the Bose system and aftermarket head units, I wanted to see what y'all thought the issue might be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Okay, I pulled all the wires again and retwisted with wire nuts. Same thing. I realize now that the sound is only coming from the center speaker on the dash. None of the other speakers are making any noise at all. I unplugged it, and then the same sound started coming out of one of the back speakers (actually, I thought it was the sub and so I unplugged that and the sound persisted in one of the back speakers).

Bad amp? Bad head unit? I don't mind spending some money on a new (better) HU if that's the issue, but I'm afraid it's not. How might I test it? If I don't care about the sub in the back, can I bypass the amp by splicing the input and output wires?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
I would spend the time to completely bypass that factory bose amp. and get rid of those wire nuts and solder that shiz together. The problem with bypassing the bose amp is you would loose that center speaker unless you wired it in with one of your front speakers which I wouldnt really recommend. If it were mine I would do a complete overhaul on the stereo but that does get expensive. I really think your clicking is coming from that amp but its really hard to tell
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I would spend the time to completely bypass that factory bose amp. and get rid of those wire nuts and solder that shiz together. The problem with bypassing the bose amp is you would loose that center speaker unless you wired it in with one of your front speakers which I wouldnt really recommend. If it were mine I would do a complete overhaul on the stereo but that does get expensive. I really think your clicking is coming from that amp but its really hard to tell
Will everything still work if I bypass the amp? I'm not especially tech-y, so I don't understand quite how the pieces of system play together...do the speakers get any power from the amp, or is it only for the sub (and center)? And is it as simple as just splicing the input and output wires on either side of the amp? I don't really care if the sub and center don't work.

Is it worth picking up a new HU and seeing if that's the issue, first?

Thanks for the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
Im not positivs on that particular bose setup. You are probably looking at a complete re-wire to do it "properly" You could always try another HU and if it doesnt help you have a nicer head unit for the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So...I'm fairly certain it's the crappy Bose amp. Got a new HU in today, hooked it up, and I'm having the same problem.

I really don't have the money to replace all of the speakers, so they need to stay. I don't really have the time (or the inclination) to run new wires, so I'd rather replace the amp for cheap or bypass it altogether.

Replacing it will be a challenge because of availability and cost, so I'm leaning toward bypassing it. I don't need any sort of special system, I just want decent sound (I know that's subjective, but I just mean no distortion at "normal" levels).

I don't know much about these things, either. So can someone tell me why this won't work? What does the Bose amp actually DO? My new HU is a cheap Pioneer DEH-X4600BT...but it seems like it would produce enough power to the speakers.

It would make my day if there was a harness I could buy that would do this (so that I don't have to cut off the adapters), but I'm sure there's not. The PAC ADD-GM24A was mentioned on another Mazda forum, but I don't think they make it anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
If such a harness existed It would cost as much as buying an amp and wire and new speakers to do it up right. none of the power from your pioneer is getting to the speakers at this point you are just sending a slightly better signal to the bose amp which is probably clipping the inputs causing your wierd sounds. I always tell anyone with a bose system that wants to upgrade to go ahead and completely get rid of all of it at once and save yourself some trouble down the road. Sometimes you can just throw a headunit on the stock bose amp and speakers and use it for years other times it just works terribly from the get go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
If such a harness existed It would cost as much as buying an amp and wire and new speakers to do it up right. none of the power from your pioneer is getting to the speakers at this point you are just sending a slightly better signal to the bose amp which is probably clipping the inputs causing your wierd sounds. I always tell anyone with a bose system that wants to upgrade to go ahead and completely get rid of all of it at once and save yourself some trouble down the road. Sometimes you can just throw a headunit on the stock bose amp and speakers and use it for years other times it just works terribly from the get go.
Well, FWIW, I didn't want the Bose system. It came with the car and already had an aftermarket HU, so I didn't THINK I was asking for an expensive project :(

So in your opinion, what's the cheapest REAL solution? I'm not an audiophile, I just want to listen to the radio. 4 new speakers (doors) and running my own wire? I assume there's a write-up on here somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
Yep just go on amazon or parts express and order yourself a spool of wire to run from the HU to the output side of the bose ampt "bypass the amp" so you dont have to run wire into the doors thats a PITA and get on woofersetc.com or amazon whatever your favorite retailer is and order yourself a couple sets of speakers. Pick an afternoon preferably on the weekend. buy a 12 pack of beer and tear into it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yep just go on amazon or parts express and order yourself a spool of wire to run from the HU to the output side of the bose ampt "bypass the amp" so you dont have to run wire into the doors thats a PITA and get on woofersetc.com or amazon whatever your favorite retailer is and order yourself a couple sets of speakers. Pick an afternoon preferably on the weekend. buy a 12 pack of beer and tear into it. :)
I really appreciate the help! I don't WANT to run new wire...but if I'm going to have the panels off already, SHOULD I? Is the existing wire of sufficient gauge to power "real" speakers? Sorry if that's a dumb question. I really don't know much about this stuff.

And on a related note...it looks like the most cost-effective option is 5-1/4" on all 4 doors. That seems really small. Is the sound going to suck? What sort of features should I look for in a speaker? Given my low budget, just the highest power range and best sensitivity I'm willing to spend money on?

Again, thanks for the help and the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
the existing wire is plenty sufficient even if you externally amp the door speakers. It doesnt hurt to run new if you are feelling giddy but it wotn really make a difference. Hmm 5.25''? I thought all of them but the 3rd gens were 5x7 . Id need to research that some more maby the bose uses different speaker size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
the existing wire is plenty sufficient even if you externally amp the door speakers. It doesnt hurt to run new if you are feelling giddy but it wotn really make a difference. Hmm 5.25''? I thought all of them but the 3rd gens were 5x7 . Id need to research that some more maby the bose uses different speaker size.
I THINK they're actually 6x8, but the Bose speakers are really shallow, so there's not much space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
5x7 and 6x8 are commonly sold as the same speaker by many brands. :) I have inifinity Kappa perfect 5x7s there is decent room in the doors as long as you dont get something crazy just average speakers they will fit fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
5x7 and 6x8 are commonly sold as the same speaker by many brands. :) I have inifinity Kappa perfect 5x7s there is decent room in the doors as long as you dont get something crazy just average speakers they will fit fine.
Oh, whoops. My bad :p

And it looks like you're right, they're 5x7s: http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2010-2013-mazda-3-skyactiv-discussion/3147-speaker-upgrade-need-help-info.html

So it sounds like I shouldn't need adapters for the speakers or anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Okay, finally got everything taken care of...in hindsight, I probably didn't actually need to run new speaker wire from the HU to under the passenger seat, as I could have just hooked up the HU harness to the vehicle adapter and then spliced the input and output wires from the amp under the seat. Duh :tongue:

But it's done and it wasn't too painful :)

One final question: can I use any of the remaining components (tweeters, center speaker, or rear column speakers) with the aftermarket HU and no amp? I believe they're all 2-ohm (where the new speakers are "normal" 4-ohm).
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top