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Thread: 2009 Mazda5 - poor sound quality

  1. #1
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    2009 Mazda 5 GT - 5-speed MT

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    2009 Mazda5 - poor sound quality

    Hello all - I really like our '09 Mazda 5 with the exception of the tinny-sounding factory stereo.

    My low-budget 1st attempt at improving the sound has been to disconnect the small tweeters located at the top of each door. Has anyone found a decent replacement for these? They look pretty customized, so I don't think I can just plug in an aftermarket replacement. The system definitely sounds better without them hooked up. Perhaps they're blown, and I should order new ones from the dealer.

    I took the inside panel off one door and was very impressed by the quality of the construction. The downside is that again the speaker looks to be fairly vehicle-specific and not easily upgraded.

    Have any of you replaced the door speakers?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    2009 Mazda 5 GT

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    They probably were blown or something else was wrong w/ them. The tweeters have an in-line crossover and should only be playing the high end. You could wire in aftermarket tweeters but would need to either reuse the crossovers or wire in a new one.

    The speakers can be replaced with 6x8 or 5x7 without too much effort. Crutchfield.com is a good source to see if individual speakers fit after plugging in your year/make/model.

    I wanted to go with components in mine but there aren't a lot to choose from in 5x7. 5.25 round components fit with an adapter plate which is what I'm planning to install shortly.

    Some forums say that round 6.5 will fit with a custom adapter but I can't find a solid source so I'm playing it safe with 5.25 even though 6.5 would give a better sound.

  3. #3
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    Installed the 5.25 components last weekend.
    Mid range / bass is only a little better but the tweeters are a big improvement. If doing it again I would have tried one of the few 5x7 component kits out there for a little more punch. This is all w/ the stock headunit.

  4. #4
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

    2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT

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    First and foremost, you simply need more power. The stock HU has a very weak internal amp and has very poor sound equalization - this leads to the tinny sound. The speaker can only produce what you feed it. Adding an amp is easier said then done if you don't know much about audio (running wires and mounting). The stock speaker are fine (relatively speaking) when powered. I'm ok with stock paper cones b/c they sound more natural. The stock tweeters use a tiny (cheap) inline capacitor (acts as base blocker b/c it is has no woofer and will blow) and are wired in a parallel to the front door speakers. When you disconnected the tweeters there's less resistance so the door speaks sound a little better.

    A quick and easy fix is to only listen to audio via the Aux port (don't use AM/FM or CD player) - the HU essentially becomes a weak amp. The external audio player, when set to max volume, will be amplifier by the HU. It also likely have better sound EQ.

    If you want to keep the OEM look, look into adding an amp, then speakers. Coaxial speakers are fine. Unless you want to overhauls everything, components are overkill.
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  5. #5
    Booga Booga? phunky.buddha's Avatar

    2009 Mazda5 Sport

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    I replace the stereo system on every car from the battery cable all the way back into the speakers. My 5 had some aftermarket Kenwoods in them that were ok... but I swapped them out for JBL GTO 6x8 components in the front (separate mid and tweeter) plus matching 6x8 coaxials in the back. That plus a new Pioneer head with proper HD radio and bluetooth, plus a 60x4+200 watt amp and a subwoofer in the trunk made a HUGE difference. The stock head unit leaves a lot to be desired in terms of source signal quality, so definitely replace it.

  6. #6
    Asian Persuasion <>< Hank3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentnoise713 View Post
    First and foremost, you simply need more power. The stock HU has a very weak internal amp and has very poor sound equalization - this leads to the tinny sound. The speaker can only produce what you feed it. Adding an amp is easier said then done if you don't know much about audio (running wires and mounting). The stock speaker are fine (relatively speaking) when powered. I'm ok with stock paper cones b/c they sound more natural. The stock tweeters use a tiny (cheap) inline capacitor (acts as base blocker b/c it is has no woofer and will blow) and are wired in a parallel to the front door speakers. When you disconnected the tweeters there's less resistance so the door speaks sound a little better.

    A quick and easy fix is to only listen to audio via the Aux port (don't use AM/FM or CD player) - the HU essentially becomes a weak amp. The external audio player, when set to max volume, will be amplifier by the HU. It also likely have better sound EQ.

    If you want to keep the OEM look, look into adding an amp, then speakers. Coaxial speakers are fine. Unless you want to overhauls everything, components are overkill.
    How involved is it to just add an amp to the stock HU? Would something like this suffice?

    https://www.amazon.com/Amplifers-BOS...fier+car+audio



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank3 View Post
    How involved is it to just add an amp to the stock HU? Would something like this suffice?

    https://www.amazon.com/Amplifers-BOS...fier+car+audio
    I am not sure about the BOSS unit, but from my personal experience, I would recommend Alpine's KPT-445U inline amplifier. I have the KTP-445A version, however, the only difference between the "A-Alpine" and "U-Universal" version is the wiring it comes with. Since I also have Alpine HU, the "A" version just plugs in. For the "U" version, you will have to wire it into the stock HU (or any other HU of your choice). I also have Alpine speakers all around. In front, I put 5x7 (SPS-517) and left the door tweeters as is. In the back, I put in 6.5 speakers (SPS-610C) with tweeters mounted nearby (had to make permanent holes in the panel for the tweeters). However, it really changed for me once I added a powered sub. It is also Alpine (PWE-S8) and it really made the difference. The sub took care of all the low frequencies and made the rest of the speakers sound louder and cleaner.
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  8. #8
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

    2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank3 View Post
    How involved is it to just add an amp to the stock HU? Would something like this suffice?

    https://www.amazon.com/Amplifers-BOS...fier+car+audio
    it*s not technically hard but will take time (learn as you go) if it*s your first attempt. We don*t know your definition of loud or your goal.

    That BOSS amp (single channel output) is meant to drive a woofer (or two if run them in series). Alpine, Kenwood, and Clarion makes smaller profile 4 channel amps (some are 4+1 woofer) with build in LOC (you need line output convert if using stock HU). You can buy OEM harness connectors to avoid a lot of soldering. There are many ways to approach it.

    The hardest part is finding a place to mount it (I don*t like under seat) and taking plastic panels off to run wires.
    FYI, the mini amps are advertised as not needing dedicated power supply, you can tap into OEM HU power. What I learned is that this *depends* on the OE radio and the amp. Class D amps are more energy efficient so they may work. I would avoid class A/B. This also depends on the OE radio. If it is a decent radio and draws a lot of power already (decently loud) you risks overloading the stock wiring when you crank it up bc both the radio AND the amp will need to draw more power. The stock Clarion is so weak, I don*t think this is an issue but still no class A/B. I would still recommend running a dedicated power line with power distribution block inside once you pas the firewall. There*s an access hole near the steering column shaft. It pops out OUTWARD and you need to remove the battery holder to access/close it.

    May sound like a lot but it really is not. It*ll make sense as you go along.
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  9. #9
    Asian Persuasion <>< Hank3's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback and recommendations!
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