2016 CX-5 Full System Install (non-Bose, standard audio with display)

TRayWalls

Member
:
2016 Mazda CX-5
Included in this thread are a few pictures of the the installation I completed in my 2016 Mazda CX-5 that I bought last year. I have been slowly accumulating the products and materials for the install over the course of the past year. I finally acquired all necessary items a couple weeks ago and found the time to install them last week. I am new to Mazda247 and posting threads in general so please keep this in mind if my thread has the markings of a novice. I was unaware that you could not post more than 5 photos per thread, so I will try to include a link below to my photobucket album that showcases the install in its entirety.

http://s350.photobucket.com/user/TRayWalls/library/2016 Mazda CX-5 Stereo Installation

Below is a list of (most) of the products that I used in the install.

Products:
Front Speakers (dash): Polk db351
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Front Speakers (door): MB Quart QS216
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Rear Speakers (door): MB Quart Zc1-216
IMG_3139.jpg
Subwoofer: 11TSL72 (loaded Kicker L7 truck box)
IMG_3209.JPG
Amplifier: Alpine PDX-V9 (5 channel digital amplifier 100x4 + 500x1 at 4ohms)
Audio Control DQ-61 (6 channel line output converter, digital sound processor with signal delay and 7 band EQ per channel)
IMG_3206.JPG

Install Accessories:
KnuKonceptz Kolossus 4 Gauge OFC Amplifier Installation Kit

Noico 80 mil 18 sqft car sound dampening material
NVX 100ft. 16 guage oxygen free speaker wire (speakers)
NVX 20ft. 12 gauge oxygen free speaker wire (sub)

Notes about the install:
-Mazda wiring diagrams were instrumental for the install. I tapped into the speaker wires located at the bottom of the B pillars to use as high-level inputs for the Audio Control line output converter. I used these because they were easier and more accessible than trying to tap into the wires at the back of the head unit. Furthermore, I am powering the 3.5" Polk dash speakers with the factory head unit. By tapping into the rear speakers for high level inputs, I can now control the dash speaker volume in relation to the amped speakers by adjusting the fade control on the head unit. I did, however, tap into one wire behind the head unit for an amp turn-on lead. There is a grey/red stripe wire that is "hot in run" that is used to turn the Audio Control processor on. The processor has an "out" that then turns the Alpine amp on.
-The MB Quart Speakers are simply incredible, especially the Q Series up front. I have had all sorts of speakers in the past (MB Quart premium and Q series (back when they were a German company), Focal, Alpine Type R, Infinity Kappa Perfect, Diamond, Rockford, etc. These MB Quart Q's (and even the Z line in the rear) are amazing speakers, better than any I've had before. However, they are extremely bright, even for my taste and I like highs. The good thing is that the crossovers on both sets have adjustments for the tweeter, and the Q Series crossovers have an adjustment for the mids as well. One caveat, the Q Series crossovers are enormous. In fact, they are obnoxiously large. I can't imagine any door being able to accommodate such a large crossover; as you may have noticed from the pictures, I was forced to mount mine under the driver seat. You may hear from some "purists" that MB Quart is not what it used to be since it was acquired by another company. While there is no way of knowing what the company would look or sound like if it was never acquired, to write it off for the simple fact of being acquired is, in my opinion, deeply misguided. The finish and quality of the speakers are beyond dispute, and they sound crisp, clean, and accurate. Also, if you are patient and find the right seller they are very affordable. I bought my set for $190. They easily rival the Focal Polyglass components I bought for $450+. I don't care who owns the company, if they continue to sound as good as they do now, I will continue to be a loyal customer.
-One of the more challenging parts of the install was finding a way to get the wires through the door jam for the front Q Series mid and tweet. The factory grommet is typical of new cars in that there is no way to fish wires through them. The factory wires from the door are channeled through the grommet but end at a connector once they reach the cabin of the vehicle. So I had to remove the door from its hinges, set it upon some jack stands, drill a hole in the door as well as the car and route the wires accordingly. This is so because I was unable to mount the crossovers onto the door. If I had been able to, then I could have tapped into the factory wiring. This may have been a more tidy way to go (although you really don't notice my wiring unless looking for it) but the downside is that utilizing the factory wiring is not the best way to get the most clarity and output from the speakers. At least by running my own wires I was able to use some good quality NVX 16 gauge oxygen free wiring, resulting in overall better sound quality.
-I am a huge fan of Kicker subs. I wanted a sub that would be clean, handle considerable power, but take up a relatively small footprint and be easily removable for trips to Costco. The 10" L7 truck box by Kicker was the perfect product for the job. It is LOUD, but also clean, and can be tamed through the use of the Audio Control subwoofer output control that I mounted on the dash. I could not be happier with the performance.
 
Last edited:
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
Pretty cool write up and clean install. The Noico looks really clean. I used the pieces of their 50 mil in the outer door panels and it lowered its tone when knocking on the door from the outside. I've ordered a different deadening material to install in the plastic door panels to absorb some exterior road noise. I'll let you guys know if it helped with that as well as improve the stock system.

Also have you guys tried adding polyfill inside your woofer boxes?
 

Dnut999

Member
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2016 CX-5 Grand Touring
Thats a very clean install. Looks like your Alpine amp was a perfect fit under the seat. I also like the mounting location for the front tweeters. Did you get any bass rolloff on your sub system? If so, does the DQ-61 bring back the low end bass that is cut off from the factory EQ?
 

TRayWalls

Member
:
2016 Mazda CX-5
Pretty cool write up and clean install. The Noico looks really clean. I used the pieces of their 50 mil in the outer door panels and it lowered its tone when knocking on the door from the outside. I've ordered a different deadening material to install in the plastic door panels to absorb some exterior road noise. I'll let you guys know if it helped with that as well as improve the stock system.

Also have you guys tried adding polyfill inside your woofer boxes?

Thanks. I had access to an extra car, so I really took my time with it.

I was really pleased with the Noico 80 mil; I've used others in the past and I would say bang for buck the noico is great. I also did not notice a substantial difference in pliability or ease or use/application between the 50 mil and 80 mil. I just did the doors because the rest of the car (under the carpet, the body, sub structure, etc) has a pretty good layer of sound dampening. The car (the 2016 model at least) was fairly quiet as is; I just did the doors to help with sound reflection and I had the panels off anyway.

To answer your question, yes I use polyfill. Stuff is great, especially when you have to "trick" the sub into thinking its housed in a bigger box than it actually is. The need to use polyfill depends on the application though. My Kicker sub came in a loaded enclosure; so the box came brimming with polyfill inside of it courtesy of Kicker. This is because the box is designed to go in the cap of a pickup, so the cubic volume is smaller than what Kicker typically recommends for a ported enclosure for a L7 sub. I was thinking of padding the inside of my speaker baffles in my doors but did not have any extra polyfill on hand. May still do that though because I think I may take the door panels off again anyway, at least in the rear doors, because the MB's are still bright even though I have the tweeters set on the -3db setting.
 

TRayWalls

Member
:
2016 Mazda CX-5
Thats a very clean install. Looks like your Alpine amp was a perfect fit under the seat. I also like the mounting location for the front tweeters. Did you get any bass rolloff on your sub system? If so, does the DQ-61 bring back the low end bass that is cut off from the factory EQ?

Thanks. The Alpine and AC processor fit perfectly. I actually did not measure before I bought the products; I looked under the seat and knew I had a fair amount of space and just rolled the dice. Thank god everything fit. As you may know, I had to build the amp rack so that it would hover over the ventilation that resides under the seat. That almost spelled disaster as the seat barely clears the AC processor when you move it forward/backward (less than 1/4").

When I approached the install, I knew that the frequencies were split up front. In the front, Mazda has the midbass in the door, and tweeters installed in the dash. So I knew if I was going to tap into the high level, I would have to do it at the head unit (at least for the front). However, when I removed the head unit, I could not figure out which wires went to the speakers (I feel like such a rookie saying that). I had the wiring diagrams, which were helpful when it came to tapping into the wires for the rear speaker at the B pillars; but the color coding that the diagram indicated did not match the back of the head unit. My only guess is that there must be a factory amplifier somewhere; the wiring diagram describes the source of the speakers wires as originating at the "tuner and amp unit." I originally thought (hoped) this was the same thing as the head unit, but since I could not locate the wires as described in the wiring diagram from Mazda, I can only guess that the "tuner and amp unit" is located elsewhere and communicates with the head unit by other means. So in the end, I chose to tap into the rear speaker outs at the B pillar. This was fortuitous since I had to cut the wire there anyway in order to utilize the wiring through the factory grommet and power the rear speakers with the Alpine amp. So tapping into the wires there at the same time was convenient.

So in the end, all I have running to the AC processor are the two high level inputs coming from the rear channels of the factory system and split these two channels into four channels at the processor in order to coax the processor into converting to low level for the front/sub as well.

I'm fairly certain that the rear channels, in contrast to the front channels, are full range. However, there may be some latent EQ setting on the low end. The only reason I say this is because the sub's frequency response seems to be somewhat asymmetrical. However, this may be a result of the box being ported. I think this is probably the case because the frequency that seems to be off is somewhere between the 60-80hz area. I could see Mazda implementing a subsonic filter, but nothing that would attenuate the frequencies above. At this point, I think the only possible remedy is to fiddle with the EQ settings on the AC processor and see where this takes me. I may hit up my local car audio shop and see if they have an RTA analyzer and adjust my EQ accordingly. On a final note, I wanted to mention that I could have utilized the front channels, even though the car seems to use a crossover. One cool feature of the AC processor is that it also performs signal summing, so I could have plugged the rears, front mids, and front highs into the unit and it would sum and process the signals accordingly.
 
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
Thanks. I had access to an extra car, so I really took my time with it.

I was really pleased with the Noico 80 mil; I've used others in the past and I would say bang for buck the noico is great. I also did not notice a substantial difference in pliability or ease or use/application between the 50 mil and 80 mil. I just did the doors because the rest of the car (under the carpet, the body, sub structure, etc) has a pretty good layer of sound dampening. The car (the 2016 model at least) was fairly quiet as is; I just did the doors to help with sound reflection and I had the panels off anyway.

To answer your question, yes I use polyfill. Stuff is great, especially when you have to "trick" the sub into thinking its housed in a bigger box than it actually is. The need to use polyfill depends on the application though. My Kicker sub came in a loaded enclosure; so the box came brimming with polyfill inside of it courtesy of Kicker. This is because the box is designed to go in the cap of a pickup, so the cubic volume is smaller than what Kicker typically recommends for a ported enclosure for a L7 sub. I was thinking of padding the inside of my speaker baffles in my doors but did not have any extra polyfill on hand. May still do that though because I think I may take the door panels off again anyway, at least in the rear doors, because the MB's are still bright even though I have the tweeters set on the -3db setting.

In hindsight the 2013 CX-5 and the 2016 Mazda6 both have BOSE. The Mazda6 seems to produce better bass in its stock front door woofers. It has like 2 chunks of polyfill glued inside the plastic door panel. The 2013 CX-5 did not have any. I wonder if that made a difference.
 

wippet

Member
:
Mazda CX-5
Just out of interest, what did you ground your amplifiers under the seat to? I have both of mine grounded to a self tapping screw I drilled in to side floor rail at the bottom of the back pillar, but I'm getting a "crack" from the front speakers when I turn the car on, and a "pop" from the sub when I turn it off. I've scraped all the paint off for a clean connection and also tried grounding the wires to a bolt for the seat belt mount as well, but without success.

I ended up finding the main factory amp down in the footwell of the drivers side. If you pop the plastic panel off the side (next to the accelerator) you'll see it tucked up there along with the FM Antenna connection. Took me a bit to work that out as none of the wiring would match up and didn't make sense with the wiring diagrams!
 

tibimakai

San Dimas CA
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USA
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2014 CX-5 Touring
I have two amps under each seat and I have run the ground wire(4 gauge), under the center console, using one of the screws there. 0 gauge, is going to the battery.
 

wippet

Member
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Mazda CX-5
Ah okay thanks, I didn't pull the centre console off (just enough to tuck the speaker cable under it) so I'll give that a shot and see if it grounds better, thanks for the suggestion!

It's pretty frustrating I've wondered whether it could be because we're running the amplifiers from the 'amplified' output of that secondary amp, rather than from the head unit, but then that secondary amp has the FM radio antenna so I imagine if we ran from the head unit,FM radio may not work?
 
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2013 CX-9 AWD, 2016.5 CX-5 AWD
nice work, thanks for sharing, one thing though, with all that modification on a basically brand new 2016, would dealer give you a hard time for warranty if something goes wrong with the car even if it's mechanical like the transmission and say the warranty is voided due to all the modifications....