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Discussion Starter #1
This is my build thread for my 2004 Mazda 6 w/ Bose system. I decided to make a thread not only because I am bored, but also to show what I have done so that I may be able to possibly get some feedback and/or to give others ideas/help for their installs. Even though there are many threads on this topic, it's always nice to see a different thread :)

This is by no means a finished build but I will update progress as I work on it. I threw this together in a couple hours.

A couple months after I first got this car I added aftermarket subs to help out the lack of bass in the Bose system and the joke of a subwoofer. I originally had two 10'' Alpine Type R subs in a sealed prefab box. That was nice.

A couple months after that it became the Bose speakers + the two Alpines in a custom ported box. That was also nice.

Again, after that it became one of the Alpine 10''s in a custom ported box. After I got the hang of designing and building boxes, I finalized a second ported box for one 10'' which had greater SPL in my prefered frequency range than the ported box with two 10''s. I kept that for a couple months....Until now.

Here we go-

My weapon(s) of choice:

Hertz MLK 165





After about an hour of f'ing around I figured out that for some odd reason there is a molex where the door grommet meets the car. After about 30-45 minutes of cussing and force I was able to get those connectors out and then proceeded to drill into the open areas so I could fit 14 gauge wire through the molex.



I then fished it through and got the wire into the cabin... Yay!



Here is the mille midwoofer installed in the stock location. I literally just screwed it to the inner doorpanel. I plan on going back and properly sealing it later when it's not so hot outside.






I then played with the tweeter placement and ended up deciding to mount them to the kickpanels. For now they are on the ground on little pieces of wood I cut out so that I can keep listening to it for awhile to make sure I like the placement (and make it easier for people to steal them).

Driver's side


Passenger




By this time it was already so hot outside that I just threw the amps in the trunk and wired them up asap. These amps are temporary until the real one comes.

So clean...




Here is the latest configuration I have my 10'' Alpine Type R in:


A 2 cubic ft. 4th order bandpass box, tuned to 45Hz. I extended (ghetto-rigged) the port so that it extended into the hole in the rear deck that is left over after you remove the Bose "sub". Porting it directly into the cabin is the way to go. It blends with the midwoofers perfectly.


I then cleaned up the wires in the front and Viola! All done in ~2.5 hours just messing around (doesn't include the sub box building time).



(The crossovers have velcro on the back of them and will be placed on the outer flat surface of the kickpanels for now. They are just laying there cause I was trying to let the adhesive stick before mounting.

I am now just thinking about the final install of the tweeters and once I get my amp in, I will be creating a false floor in the trunk, hiding all of those wires.

And also I will be installing a head unit under the passenger seat, where the stock Bose amp use to be. I was considering finding a female molex to connect to the stock one that goes directly into the Bose amp so that I did not have to tap into the stock wires for the signal but I have decided not to do that anymore. Right now I'm getting the signal from my iPhone LOL.



My system is now slightly better than the stock Bose...just a little:rolleyes:



Questions?Comments?
 
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Suggestion: 2-sided tape the tweeters firing stright out of the kickpanel flats, as low as you can place them (if you actually drilled holes and flushmounted them). You might be surprised how good they sound, provided you can keep your passengers feet near the seat or center console.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Suggestion: 2-sided tape the tweeters firing stright out of the kickpanel flats, as low as you can place them (if you actually drilled holes and flushmounted them). You might be surprised how good they sound, provided you can keep your passengers feet near the seat or center console.
Thanks! I will try that later today and let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Steve-

I was able to surface mount the tweets on the kicks today. I played around with the placement with double-sided tape on the tweets before I screwed them in. It was a little hard to do since it was so hot today and the tweeters would sometimes fall off because of the midwoofers hahaha.

Pics




At first, I honestly could not tell any difference between this new position and the previous position but as I listened to my most played songs, I was able to notice the new position has a slightly fuller sound. I'll leave it alone for awhile and see how I like it, but I don't think I'll be changing it anytime soon, unless to flush mount it.

I need to extend the wires to the midwoofers so that I can move the crossovers out of view. I'll probably do that this weekend when I have some more time.
 

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Cmon maaan. You got a premium set of components and your gonna just throw them in like that? Average retail of those components are around $600.

It also looks like you used some scosche wire you got from wal-mart going into your doors. Pull it out! Those are crap. Those are not oxygen free copper wire, they will corrode, and the corrosion will travel to the crossover.

I understand it was hot, find some shade, borrow a garage, just get into a place where you can work comfortably so your workmanship is on par. Would you take your AMG mercedes s class to jiffy lube for an oil change?

DONT mount your tweeter down low. Do you drive your car with your head below the seat? Mount your tweeters in your door as close to ear level as possible, above your woofers. You want sound to travel to your ears, not to your center console. Bass in non directional, but treble is.

There are reasons why true audiophiles have midranges and tweets higher in the doors. Take for example european cars where the audio is actually designed with a little TLC. Every modern BMW, AUDI, BENZ will have theyre midrange and treble as close to ear level as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Cmon maaan. You got a premium set of components and your gonna just throw them in like that? Average retail of those components are around $600.
Yes I'm aware of how much they cost but luckily I paid much less than that. It's always good to be friends with your Audison dealer.

The wire is 14 gauge Streetwires wire my friend gave to me after he took out his thesis midranges.

I moved the tweeters around before I settled to the kickpanels and personally, the kickpanels sounded the best so I'm sticking with that area. I'm trying this configuration from a suggestion made by Steve (WhiteRabbit), I trust his opinions and I'm willing to try it out. If I don't like it, I'll change it. If I like it, I'll keep it.

The sound stage is right where I want it. I like it, you may not, have you heard it with these components?
 

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haters gonna hate...

definitely try facing the back rather than crossfiring.

You'll find there are always limitations with any speaker location, high or low. So don't forget to try them all. I've always found the biggest limitation with tweeters down low is that they typically change your stage when you get a passenger in the car. Once you get the phasing right to the midrange, you'll have few-to-no issues with a low stage.

Up high, The challenges are usually getting a 2-seat car (almost 100% of regional-only cars I've heard with tweeters up high are 1 seat only) and dealing with window reflections.

Have you had a chance to get out to local competitions and sit in some cars? There are a few beyond-regional guys out in (both of your) your neck of the woods. Nothing like hearing the best that's out there to see what can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Unfortunately I havent been to any competitions. There was one local to me a couple months ago that my friend wanted to go to but we completely forgot about which day it was so we didn't go. I listen to his car regularly since he lives with me and he is much more into audio then me and I've sat in competition cars that dealers use when they want to sell you stuff. A couple months ago I sat in a dealer's BMW with focal components and I absolutely did not like it but some have been good.

I am going to leave the tweets alone for a couple days then re-position them again. Luckily whenever I have passengers in the car they are relatively small and/or usually female so it hasnt affected the sound much if at all.
 

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Yes I'm aware of how much they cost but luckily I paid much less than that. It's always good to be friends with your Audison dealer.

The wire is 14 gauge Streetwires wire my friend gave to me after he took out his thesis midranges.

I moved the tweeters around before I settled to the kickpanels and personally, the kickpanels sounded the best so I'm sticking with that area. I'm trying this configuration from a suggestion made by Steve (WhiteRabbit), I trust his opinions and I'm willing to try it out. If I don't like it, I'll change it. If I like it, I'll keep it.

The sound stage is right where I want it. I like it, you may not, have you heard it with these components?
Yes, I have heard those Components, and even the newer ones that replace your current ones. They are phenomenal speakers. Some of the most accurate sounding components on the market with one of the flattest eq curve out there. Along with Kicker QS series, Pioneer PRS, Focal polyglass, utopia, and K2's, Alpine X series, etc. After all, I should have some experience with speaker brand with my 10 years of installing them.

As far as location of the tweeter try (and if the axis seems off because of distance, try -2 db for the tweeters or reverse the phase of the tweeters):
 

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Discussion Starter #10
They are at -1.5 db in the kicks w/o the chambers because they are surface mounted. I think I'm going to try it flush mounted with the large chamber on the tweets.

I have considered the positions you mentioned but I don't like the sound when they are that close to my body and the practical reason, what if you opened your door when it is raining outside?

I absolutely hate the Focal polyglass tweets. It sounded relatively harsh to me and not as accurate when a dealer had me listen to them in his competition car. The k2's are great but the price is not worth it to me. I have to agree the pioneer midbasses are superb. I use to have the 720s before they were discontinued, painted black, and re-labeled into the stage 4 line. The tweeter was somewhat lacking though but I believe that has been fixed. I've always liked Alpine and if I was on a budget I would have had those probably but I probably paid less for the milles than the type x's are.
 

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They are at -1.5 db in the kicks w/o the chambers because they are surface mounted. I think I'm going to try it flush mounted with the large chamber on the tweets.

I have considered the positions you mentioned but I don't like the sound when they are that close to my body and the practical reason, what if you opened your door when it is raining outside?

I absolutely hate the Focal polyglass tweets. It sounded relatively harsh to me and not as accurate when a dealer had me listen to them in his competition car. The k2's are great but the price is not worth it to me. I have to agree the pioneer midbasses are superb. I use to have the 720s before they were discontinued, painted black, and re-labeled into the stage 4 line. The tweeter was somewhat lacking though but I believe that has been fixed. I've always liked Alpine and if I was on a budget I would have had those probably but I probably paid less for the milles than the type x's are.
Agree with the polyglass. Never really cared for them in the Focal line up and I've never been a fan of metallic tweeters.

As far as the brigtness of your Hertz, have your tried reversing the polarity of the tweets? Some systems you have to in order to avoided the harshness. As far as them getting wet, everything gets damp, your just gonna have to be careful. The woofers get damp in rainy weather. Kicking, collecting debris, shampooing is an issue down low.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Updates

After a couple weeks of listening to the tweeters and playing around with an aftermarket headunit and equalizer, here is where I am now.

I am currently taking the signal directly from the stock Bose (Panasonic) stereo to my amps by tapping into the wiring harness underneath the passenger seat.

First, I tried an aftermarket hu hooked up and placed it under the passenger seat. I liked it though I was not able to use the steering wheel so I removed it. I then placed an eq inline between the stock hu signal ouputs and the amps so that I could use the eq to tune it but after having problems with the signal quality, I did away with the eq and now the output of the stock head unit is going directly into the amps.

Here is a bad picture of the aftermarket hu I had under the seat. No longer there.



Here is a picture of the eq and the wiring diagram I used lol




Now, here's a picture of one night when I was bored and contemplated the idea of installing an iPad.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is the work I accomplished today.

I had the mille tweets surface mounted to the sides of the kickpanels, as you can see from pictures on page 1. Today, I took the kickpanels out of the car and flush mounted the tweets into the same position on the kickpanels.

The MLK 165 tweets come with two different sized chambers that attach to the back of the tweeter to provide different options for sound and installation. When surface mounting either one of these chambers needs to be removed from the tweeter in order for it to fit in the provided surface mounting cups. In this picture, on the right, you can see how the tweeter looks without any chamber on the back (surface mounting). On the left you can see the tweeter with the large chamber attached. You can also see the surface mounting cups in the background.




In this picture, you can see the kickpanels taken out and I used a sharpie to draw the cut-out needed to fit the flush mounting rings. I originally was going to use a 1.75'' holesaw to cut out the holes; however, my roommate took his drill home with him so I was without a drill. Instead of a drill, I used a dremel to cut out the holes.



Here you can see the holes cut



After I cut the holes, I cleaned up the plastic shavings off the the kickpanels and wiped them down with Meguiar's Natural Shine Protectant for interior things. The one on the left is with the protectant on, the one on the right is without it.



Here's them all cleaned up, aside from the little mark on the side of one of them.



Here is a close up of the flush mounting ring





Now the tweeters installed.



 

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Discussion Starter #15
Also, Yesterday I upgraded the battery ground to 0 gauge wire. My roommate had an extra foot or so of it left and it happened to have a ring terminal on the end. I took some pictures of the process but they seem to have been lost. The stock ground consists of a wire that goes from the electronics inside the car to a bolt next to the battery and a wire that goes from the battery to the same bolt. I had previously installed aftermarket battery clamps for the future when I upgrade to complete 0 gauge.

Since I can not find the pictures, here is what I did.

Remember, Always take the negative off first, then the positive.

1. I took the battery out of the car
2. I removed the wire which leads from the battery to the bolt and cut the end of the wire that comes from the bundle of wires underneath the battery directly at the connector on the bolt that combines both the wires.
3. I then cut open the bundle of wires under the battery. There is a small plastic clamp that holds the bundle in place. I fished the wire back through the clamp so that I could get more length out of it. I took this wire and plugged it directly into my battery clamp.
4. Then I covered the bundle I had cut up with some electrical tape and one of those plastic tube covers that you can buy for cable management.
5. Put the 0 gauge wire into my battery clamp and put screwed it down to stock location using the original bolt. I also sanded down the paint underneath the bolt to provide full contact to the body of the car.
6. Put the battery back in the car and put the clamps back on.

Here is the 0 gauge ring terminal end on the stock grounding location. Note above, I sanded the metal around the bolt so the ring terminal will get full contact to the chassis.



Here is a picture of the 0 gauge wire on the top left going from the battery clamp to grounding location. The top left black wire with a grey stripe is the wire I referenced in #3 above that comes from the bundle of wires underneath the battery.



And here is a picture of the finished product. I did cover the 0 gauge with black techflex.





Thanks for reading.

More updates to come later.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Today's achievements-

I attached female RCA plugs to the end of the stock stereo outputs which lead into the Bose amp (no longer there) under the passenger seat.

These are the stereo outputs I took from the "Bose Wiring" sticky:

1. Front Left: Black +, Green -
2. Front Right: White +, Red -

3. Rear Left: Green w/ silver dashes +, Black w/ silver dashes -
4. Rear Right: Red w/ silver dashes +, White w/ silver dashes -



Here is a picture of my BT6 connected to the female plugs. One set of RCA's on the BT6 is tapped up but I will get two Y splitters (1 male to 2 female) later so that I can use all 6 of the RCA's.



Colorful.





After I finished that, I decided to clean up the wires in my trunk. Previously all the wires were just laying around and the amps would slide around. I have a lot of scrap MDF and wood so I threw together a small rack to mount the amps too. My roommate took the drill and jigsaw home so the only tools I had to work with were a router, a dremel, and a scewdriver. In the picture you can see the MDF is split where the screws were screwed in. I tried to drill pilot holes with the dremel but that didnt really help and since this is temporary I really don't care.





Before



After





And moved into place next to the sub.






Sorry about the pictures. It was pretty bright outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Steve. I'm happy with the improvements so far.

The next projects:

1. Midwoofers in the kick panels.
- My friend convinced me to take the midwoofers out of the doors and fiberglass them into the kicks. This will eliminate the annoying door vibrations ~100Hz and make them a little bit more on-axis. Still looking at the logistics of doing this but since I'd already have to replace the kickpanels and we have a lot of fiberglass materials, it looks like it will happen. Then I'll be able to use the cool Mille grills! Haha

2. I will be making a false floor in the trunk for my amp(s). The 5.1k should be coming in next week and I will be sending my Srx 1d for repairs sometime next week so I will have those powerhouses to play with later. I will also change up the sub box to fit with the false floor.

Updates to come next week.
 
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