Updated CX-5 dash speakers

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2016 CX-5 Touring
I popped in a set of Polk db351's in the dash this afternoon. Pretty easy job once I gave up on trying to find a speaker adapter so I wouldn't have to cut the plug off the end of the Mazda harness. No luck on that. I hit several car stereo installation places and found nothing. Most of the installers just said they cut and soldered, so that's what I did.

Now that they're installed I'm sort of not impressed with the overall sound. As bad as the OEM speakers might be (they look like something out of a pocket radio) I think they were better matched to the door speakers than the db351's are. At any given volume, just about all I hear are the db351s. I guess I'll have to upgrade the door speakers now :)

mike
 

tibimakai

San Dimas CA
:
USA
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2014 CX-5 Touring
With an added amp, mine blew up on one side and taking the amp with it. Luckily, I know how to repair the amp, so no biggie for me.
 
I popped in a set of Polk db351's in the dash this afternoon. Pretty easy job once I gave up on trying to find a speaker adapter so I wouldn't have to cut the plug off the end of the Mazda harness. No luck on that. I hit several car stereo installation places and found nothing. Most of the installers just said they cut and soldered, so that's what I did.

Now that they're installed I'm sort of not impressed with the overall sound. As bad as the OEM speakers might be (they look like something out of a pocket radio) I think they were better matched to the door speakers than the db351's are. At any given volume, just about all I hear are the db351s. I guess I'll have to upgrade the door speakers now :)

mike
 
were you ever able to upgrade the door woofers? that's kinda hard as you need 2ohm speakers. All you get is bass from the front doors anyway, no?
 
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'16.5 Mazda CX-5
You don't NEED 2 ohm woofers. If You install 4 ohm woofers they will draw less current (power) from the amp, so you'll need to be sure they are more sensitive than the Blose woofers. A good guess would be 91 dB/w/M or higher.
 
You don't NEED 2 ohm woofers. If You install 4 ohm woofers they will draw less current (power) from the amp, so you'll need to be sure they are more sensitive than the Blose woofers. A good guess would be 91 dB/w/M or higher.
I used ProBass 2ohm 2way 6.5" speakers and didn't install the tweeters. GREAT punchy and clean bass. The Bose 9" woofers were just too boomy clouding the sonic space.
 
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2019 CX-5 GTR
I used ProBass 2ohm 2way 6.5" speakers and didn't install the tweeters. GREAT punchy and clean bass. ...
@jelfrank

Did you mean PowerBass ?
 
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'16.5 Mazda CX-5
In a few spurts, I investigated the Blose dash speakers.

Geek Mode: ..... ON!

First suggestion, unplug the center speaker. Turning off Centerpoint doesn't turn it off and it is extra screechy.

CX-5 Blose response curvese.jpg


Here are the curves I got for the center and corner speakers from my 2016.5 CX-5 Touring with Blose. There is a difference in color, maybe if you zoom in. The higher, blue curve with dashes is the corner speakers. Subtract 10 db for the 1 watt at 1 meter sensitivity. The corners could be legitimately be called 86 - 88 dB/w/m. The jagged shelf from 3k to 12k Hz is what you "hear". The lower, black curve is the center. It is more jagged with an even more pronounced response shelf. It is 200 Hz to 18k Hz +/- 8.5 dB, about what I would imagine a clock radio could do. Finally, the red curve is the center measured at 60 degrees off axis, similar to where you sit in the car. I did not test the corners at 60 degrees, it should be similar. Remember, we paid extra for this!

With the info above, I went looking for replacements. No car audio speaker makers publish response curves and none would give me any. Looking through audio and hobby sites, I landed on 2 speakers at Newark electronics. One a 3.5" and the other a 4". The Visaton FR10 does in fact sound good and sounds like I would like the system to sound. Alas, it will just not fit without significant surgery and the cover would not likely fit. The 3.5" will fit with minor clearancing for the magnet and is a pretty good second. It is a MCM Audio Select 55-5675. Here is the published response curve:
MCM Audio 3.5 response.jpg

This curve is smoothed, but doesn't have any pronounced plateaus to obviously color the sound.

The dash speakers have a tough environment, reflecting off the windshield. Still these are well worth the effort. Voices are now spread across the windshield, not coming from the back of the engine block. Thelma Houston on Sheffield Lab-2 had the sound of the angels. So does Loreena McKennett. The toms in Jeff Beck's Blow by Blow have the ring and hum they are supposed to have and the cymbals are clean and delicate. Joe Cocker sounds like he is in the car singing just for me. Humble Pie did Rock the Filmore and my ears still ring. I expected that to be waay more harsh, but it was just about right.

These speakers are not perfect. There is some upper bass/lower midrange "missing", but that may be caused by the crossover the Blose amp may have. Overall, a significant improvement. At 85 dB/w/m, they are between the center and corner speakers in output below their treble peaks and avoids the peaks altogether.

Here is a pic of the plactic I hacked off to get the speakers in. It is the edge of one of the A/C ducts.
20200626_193602.jpg

A similar cut is needed on the right side.

Hook up was super easy. I had a pair of Metra speaker harnesses from my 2006 Miata, #72-7902.
20200626_192450.jpg

They plug in, but don't lock, so I used a zip tie. Looking at the OEM speaker, the positive terminal is on the left side of the connector, magnet down.

Final shot:
20200626_192439.jpg


Don't be put off by the price. Newark essentially sells wholesale to manufacturers. Other makers sell similar looking speakers and they may well sound as good, or better. I just couldn't tell and saw no reason to gamble I would screw up the system worse.

These are my initial EQ settings:
20200626_191503.jpg
 
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'16.5 Mazda CX-5
The rough edge in the pic is where I cut. It is a seam for the 2 halves of the duct. If you don't cut is all, the duct won't open up, but it it does, it shouldn't be a big deal, where it is.
 
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