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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I did a sub install in a 2014 Mazda 3 iTouring Hatchback with a stock stereo system today, I thought I’d share some info! I installed the Rockford Fosgate Punch 300-10 sub/amp combo. SO, first things first:

1. All the wiring for this entire install process is just run under the plastic trim of the car, also super easy, especially with a trim tool.
2. I ran a direct line from battery for power using the hole through the firewall provided by the stock wiring. You’ll see in the first picture there’s a little nipple visible behind the battery that you can cut the top off of and push your power wire through from the driver’s side. You’ll need to remove the battery, which is super easy. This process took all of 25minutes, and will probably go even faster with the information I’m giving you.
3. Now for the audio signal for the sub. I hooked directly into the head unit, instead of coming off the rear speakers. I used this awesome device from crutchfield that plugs right into the head unit and gives you 2 sets of RCA’s, one set for the rear and one for the fronts. (I used the rears obviously). It also doubles as a Line Out Converter. PAC AOEM-MAZ2 is the exact name, an old device meant for 2008 Mazda head units BUT worked for me. (I bought it on a whim…works like a charm for 2014 Mazdas).
4. HOWEVER, the “remote” lead doesn’t seem to work on the PAC, so be prepared to have a sub that has either a remote off switch, or and auto turn off feature. That’s the only issue with compatibility I’ve found in the PAC device.
5. As for getting to the head unit: The service manual is needed for this. And guys, you do NOT need to remove the glove compartment at any point during the process, the manual lies. Just take it off its hinges and you can get behind it.
6. After the glove compartment is opened, remove the “stops” by pushing in on both sides of the glove compartment, which will let it hang lower (hang free). Then, you have to remove the decoration panel. You’ll need a tool of some sort to pry this thing off CAREFULLY, but I managed to do so without damaging it. The service manual goes into detail about all the places to apply force to remove it.
7. The service manual’s next step to remove the head unit is simply to remove the one center bolt, and it pops right out. Then just insert the PAC device and run the RCA wherever you please (trunk, for me) (I did power on the left of the car, then RCA and sub remote cables on the right side of the car).
8. I grounded the sub to the right tail light, easily accessible through the panel in the trunk.

FYI: Point of View for left/right is sitting in the car...lol.

Time Spent all-in-all: 3 Hours

Materials:

PUNCH Loaded Enclosures - P300-10 - Rockford Fosgate®

Pac-Audio.com Product Details | iPod Integration for your car and More by Pac-Audio - Connecting you to the future

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/KIT-2-Complete-Gauge-Amplifier-Installation/dp/B000FKP7TY[/ame]
 

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I'm a little confused. Did this methodology allow you to connect the existing door speakers for four channel sound from the new satellite amp or did you have to run new wires to the amp connector in the glove box area so as to re-connect factory units in the doors. If the speaker wires for right -left front & rear are at the under dash connector I think you could remove those wires from the stock connector and connect them to the RCA from the new amp? Am I right? Trying to understand. I too have the standard POS Mazda provided from the factory.
...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm a little confused. Did this methodology allow you to connect the existing door speakers for four channel sound from the new satellite amp or did you have to run new wires to the amp connector in the glove box area so as to re-connect factory units in the doors. If the speaker wires for right -left front & rear are at the under dash connector I think you could remove those wires from the stock connector and connect them to the RCA from the new amp? Am I right? Trying to understand. I too have the standard POS Mazda provided from the factory.
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So I'm going to just re-state what exactly this achieved, because I had a little trouble understanding your question...hahaha. There was no new amp involved at all, the device that you see me inserting into the car head unit is a device that basically just splits the connection to the rear speakers. This way, I could keep sound to the back speakers, as WELL as have an audio feed for the sub. My sub woofer has an amp built in that gets power directly from the battery.

If i'm still not clear just let me know, or maybe someone can say it better than I. Just look at the description of PAC device link I listed in the tutorial, that may help!
 

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I'm a little confused. Did this methodology allow you to connect the existing door speakers for four channel sound from the new satellite amp or did you have to run new wires to the amp connector in the glove box area so as to re-connect factory units in the doors. If the speaker wires for right -left front & rear are at the under dash connector I think you could remove those wires from the stock connector and connect them to the RCA from the new amp? Am I right? Trying to understand. I too have the standard POS Mazda provided from the factory.
...
A PAC takes a high level signal (otherwise called speaker level signals, i.e., the wires that go to the speakers) and returns them to a low level signal (RCA cables) that are required for inputs to most amplifiers. Aftermarket head units have RCA outputs (low level) that can go directly to an amp but if you use the OEM head unit which has a built-in amplifier, you only have high level signals coming out of it. So what is happening is that the wires are still going to the original speakers but you're tapping into them to get a signal that can be converted for an amplifier. Usually a LOC (line output converter) doesn't pull a lot of amps/power from the speaker lines so it doesn't affect the current speaker outputs much.

There are different qualities of LOC's. The better the LOC the less amps it pulls from the speaker lines and thus the better the original speakers sound. The better LOC's also have a power signal wire that tells the amp it should turn on and also they have more adjustments. For example, most car systems tail off the loudness of very low notes because the speakers that are installed would vibrate and distort if you made them push those notes out loudly. The better LOC's have a way to compensate for that fall off. The LOC used here is a lower end unit that will work, but won't give the best and clearest sound. If you're using the factory non-Bose speakers, which are also of minimal quality, it really doesn't make a huge difference. But if you used the LOC to put in a quality amplifier and change the speakers to high quality ones, it would make a very big difference. If you are an audiophile, you could hear it immediately.

Probably AudioControl makes the best LOC's with good compensation, threshold adjustments, and minimal power drain. I put a sub in a Bose equipped car and used and AudioControl LC2i for that purpose. It is expensive, but the sound quality is important to me. So in the end, how you modify your system is strongly related to the quality of output you desire.

In terms of this installation, he used a powered subwoofer which is a subwoofer with a built-in amplifier. This is the easiest to do and takes up the least room. I used a powered subwoofer because all I wanted to do was fill in the lows and not blast people's windows out. If you want a really pounding bass, you'd go with a separate amp and speakers and put the speakers in a large enclosure.

This is probably more than you wanted to know, but I hope it explains what's happening.
 

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Thanks for the detailed explanation.

A PAC takes a high level signal (otherwise called speaker level signals, i.e., the wires that go to the speakers) and returns them to a low level signal (RCA cables) that are required for inputs to most amplifiers. Aftermarket head units have RCA outputs (low level) that can go directly to an amp but if you use the OEM head unit which has a built-in amplifier, you only have high level signals coming out of it. So what is happening is that the wires are still going to the original speakers but you're tapping into them to get a signal that can be converted for an amplifier. Usually a LOC (line output converter) doesn't pull a lot of amps/power from the speaker lines so it doesn't affect the current speaker outputs much.

There are different qualities of LOC's. The better the LOC the less amps it pulls from the speaker lines and thus the better the original speakers sound. The better LOC's also have a power signal wire that tells the amp it should turn on and also they have more adjustments. For example, most car systems tail off the loudness of very low notes because the speakers that are installed would vibrate and distort if you made them push those notes out loudly. The better LOC's have a way to compensate for that fall off. The LOC used here is a lower end unit that will work, but won't give the best and clearest sound. If you're using the factory non-Bose speakers, which are also of minimal quality, it really doesn't make a huge difference. But if you used the LOC to put in a quality amplifier and change the speakers to high quality ones, it would make a very big difference. If you are an audiophile, you could hear it immediately.

Probably AudioControl makes the best LOC's with good compensation, threshold adjustments, and minimal power drain. I put a sub in a Bose equipped car and used and AudioControl LC2i for that purpose. It is expensive, but the sound quality is important to me. So in the end, how you modify your system is strongly related to the quality of output you desire.

In terms of this installation, he used a powered subwoofer which is a subwoofer with a built-in amplifier. This is the easiest to do and takes up the least room. I used a powered subwoofer because all I wanted to do was fill in the lows and not blast people's windows out. If you want a really pounding bass, you'd go with a separate amp and speakers and put the speakers in a large enclosure.

This is probably more than you wanted to know, but I hope it explains what's happening.

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Thanks for clarification... I build computers and sound system for a hobby eons ago and not worried about technical install--if it would improve the quality. The new Mazda is so restrictive and provides what I call "shitty" distorted sound--- I want to improve where its possible. I've installed two 6.5" Polks in the front doors with some improvement noted. When I saw this post I wondered if it would solve what I call mid range distortion and muddled sound I am now experiencing. Q--If the existing head unit outputs muddled and distorted signal in the mids and highs...would an auxiliary amp add to the problem or solve it? I'm still looking for an eleganct solution. BTW...Mazda dealer says "that's how ALL standard radios sound". Everything else is great except the radio.
 

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Would this method of install work for the Mazda 3 gt hatchback with the Bose system? Im reading on pac audio.com that the AOEM-MAZ2 is NOT compatible with the bose system.
 

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I joined this forum for this specific thread lol. Can I do the install still without that PAC device? And just use the line output converter and the signal to the rear speakers? What are the pros and cons to using the PAC thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Would this method of install work for the Mazda 3 gt hatchback with the Bose system? Im reading on pac audio.com that the AOEM-MAZ2 is NOT compatible with the bose system.
My brother has the Mazda Speed 3 2012 hatchback with the Bose system and the PAC device is working for him just fine. I won't guarantee anything, but the PAC site also said it wasn't compatible with the 2014 Mazda 3, but clearly it's working ^
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I joined this forum for this specific thread lol. Can I do the install still without that PAC device? And just use the line output converter and the signal to the rear speakers? What are the pros and cons to using the PAC thing?
Truthfully, I think it made the process easier (a TON easier). You could definitely do it the way you explained, but this way you don't have to splice wires to the rear speakers, it does that for you. The benefit is just that it has an LOC built in (even if it's not an audiophile quality one).
 

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PAC device just allows the retaining of steering wheel controls

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About the get my new Isport tomorrow. I think I would prefer an AudioControl LOC as I'd like the best sound possible. Is the PAC the only option to keep steering wheel controls? Ideally I'd like the best sound possible and still being able to keep the wheel controls. I'm also debating about new amp for front speakers or not. Any recommendations?
 

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About the get my new Isport tomorrow. I think I would prefer an AudioControl LOC as I'd like the best sound possible. Is the PAC the only option to keep steering wheel controls? Ideally I'd like the best sound possible and still being able to keep the wheel controls. I'm also debating about new amp for front speakers or not. Any recommendations?
There is no need to have any device to keep the steering wheel controls. Just tap into the left and right high level outs with taps you can find at RadioShack. I would place the AudioControl LC2i near the amp for the subwoofer. I used a compact powered subwoofer so I didn't have a separate amp. Make sure you run the speaker wires down the right side of the car so you won't get any whine. Keep it away from any power wires. You won't need a new amp for the front speakers if you don't change them. Even if you do change them to good coaxials, you shouldn't need a new amp. Of course, if you want a really great system you'd use an AudioControl LC6i, add an equalizer, an amp for the front/rear speakers plus separate tweeters, replace all of the speakers, and add another amp and sub. Unless you are an audiophile, that is not something I would recommend as you are still dealing with a standard head unit and it does cost big bucks.
 

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I just did an amp/sub install with a regular LOC. We didn't even have to remove the head unit. I think the PAC is only a better option if you're trying to run amps for the door speakers too, because I think it has additional outputs. I guess you can pick which is less of a hassle too, removing the head unit or wiring the LOC to the rear speakers.
 

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