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Discussion Starter #1
http://mazda6.mredwards.net

I'm not very happy at the moment. The amplifier to the rear is so weak, I feel I wasted my money on rear speakers. I thought efficient speakers would help, but they're no louder than the stock units.

(sigh)

I guess I'll add an amplifier now.
 

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Reading Topic: Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures

Yeah it might sound more clearer if you have better speakers but probably not much louder if you have the same wattage running to them from the stock HU.

I'd keep the speakers because when you do eventually run an amp to them you probably wont want the factory speakers being run by the amp as they will probably get distorted.

Good review.
 

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Reading Topic: Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures

Ordered a discontinued Pioneer 30x4 amp for $60. It will be here wednesday, I'll try to install it this weekend. No more spending!
 

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Reading Topic: Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures

...and I think it might be time to tap pins and find the preouts on this car.
 

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Reading Topic: Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures

stretchsje, taking the HU out is actually much easier than it looks. All you have to do is pry up the cup holder, and somehow get the shift plate off. It took me longer to get the shift plate off than it did to get the HU out. I ended up unscrewing the end of the shifter and sliding the plate over the rod. After that there are two screws at the bottom of the HU. Take those out, then take off the glove box. There is a hidden screw that holds the HU to a mounting bracket. That's all there is to it.

Also, you can get a Line Out Converter for about $20, this will greatly improve the line audio quality, and you won't have to take the faceplate off. Below is a link to some LOC's:

http://www.electronixwarehouse.com/car/acc...-converters.htm

Tapping pins sounds a lot easier than it is. It crossed my mind while I had it out, but with all the sensitive electronics back there, I didn't like having the radio hanging by the wires while tapping. I never did find the factory amp, looked all over, I was going to tap the pins there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Replying to Topic 'Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures'

While I realize line-out converters are a possibility, I'd still like to try to find the pre-outs. That way I am not amplifying the amplifier's signal, but rather the head units. If I get frustrated trying to find this, I'll just use the speaker-level inputs on the amp.

I read your tutorial on another thread and thought it very helpful. In fact, I printed it out and it's sitting in my car waiting for the weekend!
 

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Reading Topic: Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures

I have two whole rolls of film I need to develop detailing my 2000+ W sound system install. I'm waiting for the weekend too, so I can get my film developed, and website updated. Also I've got the wiring color codes for the door speakers, I will post that on there as well.

I'm with you on the preamps, I wanted to tap in there too. There is a single harness going into the back of the radio, I'm assuming part of the harness is the pre-amp output to the OEM amp. The problem is, it's really awkward trying to hold the entire center piece, turn on the radio, and then somehow attach an external speaker to each jack until you find the pre-amp. Usually to do this, I take the speaker out of a pair of headphones, solder a stick pin to each lead, then push the stick pins right through the insulation. Once I have one stick pin set. I touch each of the other wires until I hear it play. Mark the combination of wires that makes the speaker play, then on to the next pair.

The trick is to use a very small speaker, pre-amp outputs are less than 600mA. Also, the other trick is to keep from scratching the center piece :) The big metal gearshift in the middle got way too close for comfort a few times.

If you get the pre-amp color codes figured out, def share, I'll pull my HU back out and tap in if I get the codes.
 

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Reading Topic: Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures

Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but are you working with the Bose unit or the base model?
 

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Reading Topic: Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures

base model for both of us.

I was e-mailed some Mazda wiring diagrams that show pre-outs on the Bose option IN PLACE OF the amplified speaker outputs. Not good news!
 

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Reading Topic: Aftermarket stereo installation and pictures

I am starting to wonder if maybe the base system does not have an amp anywhere in the circuit. I don't think this is the case though, since I spent 4hrs comparing speaker color codes to the wiring harness color codes. Either the amp is really small and doesn't look anything like the normal factory amp, or the radio has a built in amp, and goes through some kind of color conversion process on the way to the doors.

I am almost tempted to install my aftermarket $300 HU I've got laying around. Place it in the center glove gox/holder, run the wiring from the stock HU into a LOC, then run the RCA's into the inputs on the aftermarket HU. From there run RCA to the rest of the system...really messy but it's a thought :). I think somebody already did it on here with a DVD player.
 
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