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MX5 Miata Tech Forum

Update Sound System

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Patartsy33 Pat Murray
Hampton Roads, VA, USA   USA
My 2012 Mazda Miata Mx5 Sport came with basic sound system...not all that good. I am thinking about having a better sound system installed. I just want great sound, WiFi. Hands off iPhone usage. A Kenwood was suggested. Anyone have any suggestions? Don’t ’ Plan to spend a mint.

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1Hilltopmike Avatar
1Hilltopmike Michael Adams
Abilene, TX, USA   USA
One word ; Crutchfield

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kbmw94 Steve Miller
Asheville, NC, USA   USA
Pat, there are lots of good systems available at reasonable prices. However, if you want the system to hook-up to your steering wheel controls it will cost you a mint. One thing that turned me off to the aftermarket systems was the way they looked. Gaudy like a pinball machine.

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Patartsy33 Pat Murray
Hampton Roads, VA, USA   USA
My 2012 Sports Miata does not have the controls in the steering wheel. I guess that is a plus if replacing sound system?

davzway David W
Fort McCoy, FL, USA   USA
Have replaced several 'stock' radios with Panasonic, and really good results,, Panasonic has many models that will fit any budget. First question, going to use stock speakers (THAT IS WHERE REALLY GOOD SOUND BEGINS- stock factory speaker don't sound as good as can be, unless upgraded like car with BOSE, noting after market like better Boston Acoustic installed in Nissan truck and one Miata, BETTER than anything Bose puts in cars) .

Once you decide on speakers, THEN pair speakers selected with choices on stereo head unit for dash. Head units in recent years can produce 24watts per channel.
(100w of power, especially cheap amps, throwing 100w power going into cheap or factory speaker can still sound like J___K or real C___P) On first Miata, 1996, put pair speakers on back deck {Pioneer Iws?-200 model spkr)... + Panasonic head unit having decent 24w / channel.. Replace door speaker with Boston Acoustic 3-way.

1996 Miata was GOOD, but second Miata, customized 1992 was done by previous owner (, LONG story , why own '92 factory Hardtop, and ended up later with 2011 Miata PRHT ) , installation had a Kenwood $200 head unit (dumb considering), + behind passenger seat w/ Kicker 100w /ch amp, same Pioneer iws-200 speaker on rear deck where top was not (top still went down ok), also had Pioneer STAGE 4 speaker in door (separate tweeter and woofer=midrange in lower place on door where speaker normally installed), also had brand ??? for powered ..... Tube Subwoofer which I removed, ( with spare and sub NOTHING else fit in trunk)

Spend as much as can afford on Speakers FIRST,, you need to match speaker with head unit (like Nissan truck, has Panasonic head unit, +Alpine 50w/channel x 4ch AMP + Boston Acoustic spkr (needed amp, 6" 3-way tweeter separate from 6", spending $380 each front),, nearly $300 for BA best 5-1/4" for Rear Door), and no sub needed.

There are few decent compact powered subs out there.. Note: Alpine also has VERY small Amplifier (fits in GLOVE BOX ! ) for different Alpine Head units Check head unit, Alpine had 2 or 3 units working with that amp) about 45w/ch which works for reasonable speakers (noticeable over most 24w/ch head unit amps,, can only put so much electronics in one box) matching efficiency and power REQUIRED for speakers will determine power needed). LOT OF INFO TO COVER IN EMAIL.

1st_ TOTAL Budget,, now many $$$ you got.

2nd- Find, LISTEN to speakers in stores, 'Tweeter' (old Sound Advise) has 'inside of car with speakers to get idea of what speaker sounded like, or close, switch between head units and speaker, or head + amp + speaker, selecting between to find what SOUNDS Best to YOU.
BUY Best speaker , ie. Spend Money on Speaker first, Example: Pioneer Stage4 had a 3" speaker that was far superior to many 6" 3-ways

3rd- Head Unit, have enough Power for speakers OR is an AMP needed. QUALITY 50w x 4ch would be better than cheap 300 watt Amp

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-11-07 02:49 PM by davzway.

davzway David W
Fort McCoy, FL, USA   USA
FYI REGARDING CRUTCHFIELD,, THERE ARE HANDS DOWN THE BEST FOR AUTO SOUND,, HAVE DONE BUSINESS WITH THEM, HOME AND AUTO FOR NEARLY 40 YEARS,, THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF. BETTER YET, CRUTCHFIELD STANDS BEHIND WHAT THEY SELL, EVEN WHEN MANUFACTURER DOES NOT. They will walk you through the process of installing, AND spend whatever time is needed to answer questions. Note: Military, Construction work or Life, the PLAN never lasts beyond starting a project- there is ALWAYS something and Crutchfield can help. davzway

ps: company doesn't stay in business fifty years unless doing something right,,

toups Robert Toups
Cresskill, NJ, USA   USA
Yes, Crutchfield is the way to go. Their customer support is amazing. I have called on Saturday morning, talked to a guy within 5 minutes of dialing, spoke perfect Southern USA english, knew exactly what to do, and solved my problem in 15 minutes walking me through each step -- even sending me pictures to my iPhone.

I put a Sony XAV-AX5000 in my 2002 LS and kept the stock speakers. It updates the car to 2018 infotainment levels with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Buy the prewired harness with the full install kit and the install will take you less than 20 minutes. All I lack is deep bass. I haven't figured out what to do about that because I don't want it visible and junk up my trunk.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-12 11:58 AM by toups.

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