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Discussion Starter #1
I plan on upgrading my 2011 MS3 non-bose audio system in phases. Here's the plan:
1. New front speakers, bought Focal 165v1
2. Add an Amp for front/Sub to the stock HU
3. Add a sub
4. HU upgrade (maybe)

My goal is to make the entire system as stealthy as possible. I want to keep the doors and, to the extent possible, hatch looking basically stock and maintaining the utility that led to me picking this car.

As a start, I purchased a set of Focal 165v1 component speakers. I am certain I will have no problem mounting the woofers in the door. I can make my own adapters for that without issue.

The problem I'm looking at is mounting the tweeters in the sail panels to keep them looking stock. I saw a thread somewhere with lots of install pics where a guy had a set of tweeters that just snapped into the stock mounting clips. I believe they were Alpine Type Rs, but am not sure I remember right. The Focals are too big to fit in. I'm looking for either suggestions for speakers with tweets that definitely fit, or some idea (preferably pictures) of how others managed to mount tweeters in the stock location.

I got a good deal on the Focals, so I think I should be able to get my money back out of them if I decide to go with something else. I'm also fine with modifying the back of the sail panels as long as the front looks stock.

Thanks - Jay
 

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An epoxy adhesive or some hot glue would work to couple the tweeters from behind and make the whole thing look stock...you may have to sort of cannibalize the grilles on the sail panels though.

That's the idea that my installer had when taclking the tweeters from the Hertz set that I went with.



The stock grilles had to be cut out of the sail panel in order for the tweeter to properly fit. Nothing too difficult with a little patience and a steady hand. The tweeter is affixed from behind with epoxy.

Another shot:



Very stock looking...if you didn't know what it looked like beforehand you'd be hard-pressed to tell it was aftermarket.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They did a real nice job mounting those tweets and they do look stock. I'd be happy to have that setup.

After looking at the Focals and my current sail panels, I think I'd be best off trying to use sail panels that don't have stock tweeters. The Focal external mount that I'd use is slightly smaller diameter than the stock tube, but not small enough that I could get it inside of the stock one. I think it would be messy looking to try to mod the stock panels.

Work and kids are limiting my time though, so I'm still up for any ideas that make it easier. Usually I'd be up for a challenge, but work is too hectic these days.

I liked the sensitivity of the Focals so I could use them without an Amp for a while, but I have already ordered a 50x4 Alpine amp to go under one of the seats.
 

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Here's a LINKhttp://www.onlinemazdaparts.com/partlocator/index.cfm?action=getJointLocator&siteid=214264&chapter=§ionids=0,2732&groupid=2740&subgroupid=2693&componentid=9140&make=22&model=Mazda3&year=2010&catalogid=2&displayCatalogid=0 to some "blank" OEM sail panels (no OEM tweeter) for the regular 3.

Should fit just fine in the Speed. Left and Right should cost under $30 for the pair(shipped) and will give you a better starting point than trying to modify the existing sail panel with its integral grille.

Do plan to do any sound deadening to the front doors? I'd highly recommend it. It ends up making a lot of difference with respect to road noise. I figure, since you're going tohave the door panles off you might as well address the issue now and on sae on a bit lof time/labor.

Keep us updated on your build progress. I'm interested to see your other equipment choices and how everything works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think it might be worth picking up a pair of panels for that price. I could even afford to screw them up :tongue:

theconnected - that is definitely clean, but I will probably glue in the external mount so I don't have the flush mount lip with the Focal nameplate showing.

E. Tinker - My current plan (subject to change) is the following:

Front stage - Currently the Focal 165V1 set
Amp - Under passenger seat - Alpine MRP-F300.
I chose this amp for a few reasons
- Seems a good bang for the buck and I've had great luck with Alpine amps in the past
- 4/3/2 configuration allows one compact Amp to drive the front stage with 50Wx2 and the Sub with 150Wx1 (assuming a 2-ohm sub).
- Can accept speaker level inputs, gives me the option of using a LOC or not
- Has an optional subwoofer level control, I'll probably get this - I'm not sure but it might require a LOC
I'm sure the quality of this amp is a little less than my previous Alpine 50x4 as that was significantly more expensive and massive. This thing is tiny at less than 10"x10".

I'll drive both the front stage and the sub from the front speaker outputs of the factory HU. I'll probably keep the stock rears faded unless the kids are in the back and want to hear. They don't like that they don't have tunes in the extended cab of my pickup.

For the Sub I haven't done my research completely yet. I'll probably use one of the Audio Integrations jack compartment enclosures. I prefer a 2-ohm sub and am thinking something like a JL 10W3, but I might want an 8" to keep it a little smaller. It's a little tougher to find 2-ohm 8's, but there are a few around. If worse comes to worse I could run a 4-ohm and still have 100W. Probably sufficient for an 8. I'll have to run the box parameters and see what I'd be happy with. The box might be too small for an 8 to get down low enough. I have a JL stealth box with a pair of 8W1s in the truck and am very happy with that, but it is a good size enclosure that takes up 3/4 of the area under the back seat. I don't think I like the way the JL stealth box mounts in the 3. I want to have a rubber cargo cover in the back (kids), so a tire mount is probably not the answer.

I will put some sound deadening in the door. It gets expensive so I won't go crazy with it, but I agree it is worth doing in the doors.

I'm keeping it pretty easy for the most part because the biggest challenge is going to be finding time to install. I would like to do some sort of custom bracket for the amp under the seat so I don't have to mess with the vent. I was considering trying to use a Boze bracket, but other ideas are appreciated.
 

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Time was the whole reason I had my equipment installed by a shop...if I had done it myself I might still be working on it.

Your plan is well thought out...if there's any weak point it might be the amount of power feeding the sub. 150W seems a bit conservative but that will also depend on your musical taste and how hard you inted to push the system. Worst case, you could bridge the MRP-F300 and run the components with 100W a side (the Focals will easily handle that if your gains are set porperly) and upgrade to a more powerful sub amp in teh future (perhaps something in the 300W range).

In any case, budgets will always dicatate what is possible so I'll try to refrain from suggesting the unreasonable.

I like the idea of the JL stealthbox but the execution seems a bit clunky...I know they try to utilize the available volume without neccesitating any sort of additional modifications but I think they could have probabaly done a better job in this scenario.

The Audio Integrations enclosure is a much better solution IMO and it's the perfect recommended volume for the JL 10W3. It's a bit on the pricey side but it's a far more "elegant" pre-fab solution than anything else on the market. If you're not 100% set on the JL 10W3 then you might consider the ARC Audio ARC10D4...a dual 4 ohm woofer that will work perfetly in the AI enclosure...at ~$220 it might be just a bit more than the JL but with a sensitivity of 88dB @ 1W/1M it will make better use of the available power compared the the 10W3 (which has an efficiency of 85.5dB)...that 2.5dB difference yeilds and effect that is like almost doubling your power.

Anyway...just some stuff for you to consider :yes:.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I picked the Focals for their sensitivity and hope that 50W ea. will be enough. It kind of sucks living in the boonies where I can't really audition much, so I have to go on reputation (and the fact that I've built some home speakers with focal drivers and loved them).

My truck has an Alpine HU, Soundstream Reference 6.5" front speakers and the JL stealth box with 2 8W1s in the back. I was driving it well with an old '80s Alpine 50x4 in the configuration I have been planning. I was happy with that which is why I'm following a similar path. When that monster (size) amp finally gave it up, I replaced it with a cheap 35x4 Alpine knowing the truck was going to be relegated to beater status soon. It's not enough power, big difference. I'm not a big thump guy, but like my music to have some balls.

I have been back and forth between an 8 and 10 for the sub for two reasons. First, keeping utility in the back. The 10" enclosure sticks out quite a bit more based on pics I've seen. Second, I'm afraid a 10 will need more power. I am concerned that an 8 won't be able to get low enough in that small of an enclosure, but I think it'll be plenty of punch. I'm considering throwing together a small MDF enclosure and getting an 8 to see if it is enough before committing the cash to the nice enclosure.

I'd prefer to keep the system simple by having 1 small amp that easily fits under the seat. I don't want to have equipment and wires running everywhere. If anything, I'd upgrade the amp to something a little more powerful if I'm unhappy with it. I'll run large enough power wire to ensure that is possible. The size of this little amp just makes it easy. I had to machine that humongous Alpine to clear the seat adjust lever in my truck.

I'm definitely not hung up on a JL sub, I just happen to know the JL lineup as it really hasn't changed significantly since I did my truck. I think a higher sensitivity driver is a good idea. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into that one.

If I had any installers that I trusted in the area I'd definitely consider getting a professional install done, just to get it done. Instead this will probably be a several month ordeal.
 

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I picked the Focals for their sensitivity and hope that 50W ea. will be enough. It kind of sucks living in the boonies where I can't really audition much, so I have to go on reputation (and the fact that I've built some home speakers with focal drivers and loved them).
The Focals are very good speakers for the money...the metal inverted dome tweeter are very revealing though so positioning will be an important part of taming thier character. An off-axis style positioning would probably work best (IE don't fire them straight at the listeners if you can help it). Ther sensitivity will really help you get the most out of the 50W. Should be quite adequate for normal listening levels.

I have been back and forth between an 8 and 10 for the sub for two reasons. First, keeping utility in the back. The 10" enclosure sticks out quite a bit more based on pics I've seen. Second, I'm afraid a 10 will need more power. I am concerned that an 8 won't be able to get low enough in that small of an enclosure, but I think it'll be plenty of punch. I'm considering throwing together a small MDF enclosure and getting an 8 to see if it is enough before committing the cash to the nice enclosure.
I definitely understand having to keep the utility of the vehicle, but I think that you are right to have yoru doubts about an 8" woofer. I just don't think that an 8" with 150W going to it is going to be enought to bot overcome road/vehicle noise and keep up with the Focals up front. IMO, skip the 8" and get the 10"...I just don't think that the 8" will satisfy, better to do it right the 1st time then to have to do it over again.

I'm definitely not hung up on a JL sub, I just happen to know the JL lineup as it really hasn't changed significantly since I did my truck. I think a higher sensitivity driver is a good idea. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into that one.
JL makes great gear...always has, but their competition has definitely improved leaps and bounds (they've had to step up their game to compete with JL). The ARC Audio that I mentioned is certainly up to the task of competing with the JL...and with higher sensitivity might have and easier time keeping up with the Focals. Some other good higher efficiency 10's that would work well in that AI enclosure are the Polk Audio MM1040D, the Infinity 100.9w , the Boston Acoustics G210-44 DV, the Hertz ES 250 D and, surprisingly, the Pioneer TS-W259D4 (not the absolute best of the bunch but definitey a decent bnag for teh buck 10" sub).

If I had any installers that I trusted in the area I'd definitely consider getting a professional install done, just to get it done. Instead this will probably be a several month ordeal.
Yeah, it might take a bit longer, but it will be fun :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice. I have ordered the new sail panels to get the front speakers in. Then I'll start my sub research in earnest.

Since most 8s are < $100, I'm seriously considering knocking together a quick/dirty MDF box and seeing if one will work for me. I have plenty of scrap MDF and a woodworking shop, so a quick/dirty box will only take a half hour or so to knock together. If I'm not happy with it I'll sell it and get a 10. Probably only be out $30-40 and an hour if I don't like it. I may get a 10 also and do direct comparisons. Might be kind of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well, that was easy. About $30 including shipping for the tweeterless sail panels and took me just under an hour to get to this point. The tweets are friction fit in right now and pretty tight. Once I get them aimed where I like the sound I'll put some epoxy on the back to make it permanent. I did slip on the passenger side and put a little arc shaped mark under the tweet. If it bothers me too much I'll try to fix it with some paint. If that doesn't work I'll get another panel.
But, if you went to the DC auto show this year you may have sat/farted in my car. It was one of the cars out on the floor. So the door panels are a little banged up anyway. I think people must go to the auto show with steel shoes on.
Now off to get some damping material for the doors and maybe I'll get these in next weekend.



 

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Looks good! Any idea where you're mounting the crossovers?

I had mine mounted next to the amp in the rear of the vehicle...not a perfect solution (very long speaker wire runs), but it allowed for easy tweaking of crossover settings and kept them out of the doors and way from the elements.


If you're like I am and concerned about mounting them in the doors where they might be exposed to moisture/dirt then you could consider mounting the pair of crossovers under the seats or maybe even within the glove compartment...somewhere behind the dash might also be an option, but it would be harder to alter any settings.

Hope to see more progress soon :yes:.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, crossover location is the next hurdle. I'll see if there's any room in the kick panels, otherwise I might just go in the door. Not ideal, but makes the wire runs easier. Got some damping material and the Amp wiring today.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
All the info I have says 6.5" is the right size. You'll have to adapt it from 5x7 or 6x8 or something like that. I've got tools, so I'll make my own adapters. I've been working out of town lately and haven't gotten any further in my install yet. All I've done to my car is mount a trailer hitch so I can put on a bike rack. The stereo equipment is waiting.
 
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