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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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2018 Mazda6 Non Bose Speakers Upgrade

Hello,

Planning to upgrade the stock speakers on my 2018 Mazda6 Touring.
Problem is I do not have any specs of stock speakers , so I do not know if my replacement speakers will be better or not.
I know it is 6 speaker stock 2 front, 2 back and 2 small tweeters on the front.

Planning to upgrade only the front speakers first with Kicker 46CSC684 Car Audio 6x8 Coaxial. Found it on Amazon for about $52.It is 4 OHMs and has 75 watts of recommended power and 225W max.
Somehow the best buy geek squad say 6X8 speakers are required and not 6X5. Website like Cruthfield says 6x5. But I guess Best buy is right and it is a 6X8 since they do lot of similar installation.


Are the kickers CS better than my stock? Also since I am only going to replace only the front stock speakers, my concern is the power requirement of kickers on front vs the stock in back, and if this will this make a difference to my sound quality?


Thanks,
Sandesh

2018 Mazda6 Touring with Snowflake White Mica and Sand Interior

Last edited by bsandesh; 06-03-2019 at 08:26 AM. Reason: max power specs upgraded
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 03:20 PM
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Hey, I'm thinking about doing the same thing in my car. I have a 2019 CX9 with the Bose audio and my 6 is severely lacking in bass.
I was looking into swapping the door speakers and adding a powered subwoofer and have found that the door speakers are 6 1/2" so I don't think a 6x8 will fit. Someone else can chime in but I'm pretty sure the 2nd generation 6 had 6x8 speakers on all 4 doors.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hey,

I did extensive search ,contacted crutchfield,best buy and other vendors to replace the speakers.But I decided against speaker replacement and kept my stock speakers.

The best solution I found was to add an amplifier and a small 10 inch sub woofer.
Amplifier went under the passenger seat (model was kicker CX400.1 Mono Amplifier) . Sub woofer is Kicker 10" CompC fully loaded Enclosure and it sits in the trunk. Had the installation done by best buy, with labor and all parts came to about $470 with tax.

The problem with replacing the front and rear speakers per my understanding is that, the quality of new aftermarket speakers will be definitely better, but you will not notice significant difference,In fact it would be worse. The 6X8 coaxial speakers will have treble coming from the front and rear speakers , but you already have tweeters built in ,resulting in too much highs and not enough bass.
Other option to is to go for 6X8 components, but need to make sure it works with existing stock tweeters since you wont be replacing the stock tweeters.Now to replace tweeters, the after market tweeters needs to mounted separately in some other location.(again too much highs)
Plus even if you get the most expensive and best speaker in market, the stock head unit should have enough power to power those speakers, without that not much of a difference. Do not forget you also have two or three speakers on the dash too.
Summary, going the speaker replacement route, need to replace front and rear speakers, dash speakers, replace head units to one with higher power, while making sure stock tweeters work or adding new tweeters.Then you will hear the difference in sound.

But to me It was cost effective and easier to keep the stock speakers , add a mono amplifier and a sub woofer.Now i can hear the difference. Since the Low level/bass sounds are routed to sub woofer, the stock speakers can work only on the mids and highs.

Note: If you want even more sound difference, you can amplify the stock speakers with a 6 channel amplifier in addition to sub woofer. This is an expensive option, The 6 channel amplifiers cost itself costs like $500-$600. I have not explored this route, but I think can be done too.




Thanks,
Sandesh

Quote:
Originally Posted by millimic View Post
Hey, I'm thinking about doing the same thing in my car. I have a 2019 CX9 with the Bose audio and my 6 is severely lacking in bass.
I was looking into swapping the door speakers and adding a powered subwoofer and have found that the door speakers are 6 1/2" so I don't think a 6x8 will fit. Someone else can chime in but I'm pretty sure the 2nd generation 6 had 6x8 speakers on all 4 doors.

2018 Mazda6 Touring with Snowflake White Mica and Sand Interior

Last edited by bsandesh; 06-17-2019 at 12:37 PM. Reason: fixed typos
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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for Gen 3 Its 6X8 both front and back per Best Buy.They also said some kind of bracket would be required to make it fit.
Yours is Gen2 , should be same I think

Quote:
Originally Posted by millimic View Post
Hey, I'm thinking about doing the same thing in my car. I have a 2019 CX9 with the Bose audio and my 6 is severely lacking in bass.
I was looking into swapping the door speakers and adding a powered subwoofer and have found that the door speakers are 6 1/2" so I don't think a 6x8 will fit. Someone else can chime in but I'm pretty sure the 2nd generation 6 had 6x8 speakers on all 4 doors.

2018 Mazda6 Touring with Snowflake White Mica and Sand Interior
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsandesh View Post
Hey,

I did extensive search ,contacted crutchfield,best buy and other vendors to replace the speakers.But I decided against speaker replacement and kept my stock speakers.

The best solution I found was to add an amplifier and a small 10 inch sub woofer.
Amplifier went under the passenger seat (model was kicker CX400.1 Mono Amplifier) . Sub woofer is Kicker 10" CompC fully loaded Enclosure and it sits in the trunk. Had the installation done by best buy, with labor and all parts came to about $470 with tax.

The problem with replacing the front and rear speakers per my understanding is that, the quality of new aftermarket speakers will be definitely better, but you will not notice significant difference,In fact it would be worse. The 6X8 coaxial speakers will have treble coming from the front and rear speakers , but you already have tweeters built in ,resulting in too much highs and not enough bass.
Other option to is to go for 6X8 components, but need to make sure it works with existing stock tweeters since you wont be replacing the stock tweeters.Now to replace tweeters, the after market tweeters needs to mounted separately in some other location.(again too much highs)
Plus even if you get the most expensive and best speaker in market, the stock head unit should have enough power to power those speakers, without that not much of a difference. Do not forget you also have two or three speakers on the dash too.
Summary, going the speaker replacement route, need to replace front and rear speakers, dash speakers, replace head units to one with higher power, while making sure stock tweeters work or adding new tweeters.Then you will hear the difference in sound.

But to me It was cost effective and easier to keep the stock speakers , add a mono amplifier and a sub woofer.Now i can hear the difference. Since the Low level/bass sounds are routed to sub woofer, the stock speakers can work only on the mids and highs.

Note: If you want even more sound difference, you can amplify the stock speakers with a 6 channel amplifier in addition to sub woofer. This is an expensive option, The 6 channel amplifiers cost itself costs like $500-$600. I have not explored this route, but I think can be done too.


Thanks,
Sandesh
I feel you have been given alot of wrong info. I just did a complete system upgrade and WOW!!!! I AM IN LOVE!!!! And I used 6.5" speakers.

So, the difference with after market speaks in the front is like night and day. So saying you will not hear a difference is so not true. The difference is HUGE!!!

Also, the head unit does not have enough power to push my after market front speakers... so it really depends on what aftermarket speakers you buy. And he headunit does not have enough power to push the most expensive speakers... lol. My opinion is that you will get better sound quality by adding a amp to your front speakers then changing out the speakers themselves.

I also disagree with amplifying the rear speakers... I believe they are only used for fill and it is not needed.

You do not have to change out the head unit... I don't even think you can. I am so sorry that you have been given so much misinformation.

One four channel amp should be enough to push your front speakers (after market speakers) and a sub and you should buy (I think you need) a Audio Control LCQ-1 with the arc-2 sub control knob. I did a little more but it is not necessary. This set up should blow away the Bose sound system.


My sound system is 6.5.3 boston acoustic speakers in the front, which is amplified by a kicker 4 channel amp (got at best buy - my original AMP was broken), I have a alpine mdr m500 sub amp that is pushing 1 12" JL W3 sub and I have everything going through Audio Control LCQ-1. Besides the kicker amp and the LCQ-1, everything else was 17 years old. Bear in mind that the speakers that I have are top of the line in the day.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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"My opinion is that you will get better sound quality by adding a amp to your front speakers then changing out the speakers themselves"
Per your above statement, I guess we agree that just replacing the front and rear with aftermarket speakers without amplifier and without Sub woofer will not make much of a difference.

Because I originally wanted just to replace the speakers and get it done, but due to the information I was given I went for a mono amp and a sub and kept the stock speakers.While my sound quality has definitely improved than what I used to have, I hope this was not a totally wrong decision.
The return period of mono amp is over, so I guess I have to buy another 4 channel amp if I need to power just the front speakers and get the installation done again(double work and double cost).



Quote:
Originally Posted by joshua_boston View Post
I feel you have been given alot of wrong info. I just did a complete system upgrade and WOW!!!! I AM IN LOVE!!!! And I used 6.5" speakers.

So, the difference with after market speaks in the front is like night and day. So saying you will not hear a difference is so not true. The difference is HUGE!!!

Also, the head unit does not have enough power to push my after market front speakers... so it really depends on what aftermarket speakers you buy. And he headunit does not have enough power to push the most expensive speakers... lol. My opinion is that you will get better sound quality by adding a amp to your front speakers then changing out the speakers themselves.

I also disagree with amplifying the rear speakers... I believe they are only used for fill and it is not needed.

You do not have to change out the head unit... I don't even think you can. I am so sorry that you have been given so much misinformation.

One four channel amp should be enough to push your front speakers (after market speakers) and a sub and you should buy (I think you need) a Audio Control LCQ-1 with the arc-2 sub control knob. I did a little more but it is not necessary. This set up should blow away the Bose sound system.


My sound system is 6.5.3 boston acoustic speakers in the front, which is amplified by a kicker 4 channel amp (got at best buy - my original AMP was broken), I have a alpine mdr m500 sub amp that is pushing 1 12" JL W3 sub and I have everything going through Audio Control LCQ-1. Besides the kicker amp and the LCQ-1, everything else was 17 years old. Bear in mind that the speakers that I have are top of the line in the day.

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Last edited by bsandesh; 06-20-2019 at 09:15 AM. Reason: edit
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsandesh View Post
"My opinion is that you will get better sound quality by adding a amp to your front speakers then changing out the speakers themselves"
Per your above statement, I guess we agree that just replacing the front and rear with aftermarket speakers without amplifier and without Sub woofer will not make much of a difference.

Because I originally wanted just to replace the speakers and get it done, but due to the information I was given I went for a mono amp and a sub and kept the stock speakers.While my sound quality has definitely improved than what I used to have, I hope this was not a totally wrong decision.
The return period of mono amp is over, so I guess I have to buy another 4 channel amp if I need to power just the front speakers and get the installation done again(double work and double cost).
In the end, it is up to you on how much money you want to spend.

Best Buy has a total tec package that the total cost of labor would be $199.99 (for one year). I am sure if you say you are not happy with your sound or that it is lacking what you want that you can get a refund for your labor but then pay the $199.99 and do what you want. I also think you may be able to switch out the mono amp with a 4 channel amp. But there is a lot of things to consider. I think they are suppose to bridge two channels for the sub and power the front speakers with the amp and I think you will need the LCQ-1. I have two amps and the lcq-1 all screwed into the back of the rear seats and my crossovers for my front speakers are under the front seats (that is not normal...but my crossovers are SO BIG). Bottom line, if you are cash tight you can do the system in pieces since the total tec package is good for one year.

What 10" sub do you have? What is the RMS of the sub? I am going to presume you are not bass crazy (since you got a 10" and not a 12" sub).

I am also going to assume that a 4 channel kicker amp that is supposedly 360 Watt RMS (that is the one that I have $199) would be able to push your sub and front speakers. Personally I would also change out the front speakers with something decent and buy the LCQ-1 (this is needed in my opinion if you want to amplify the front speakers and it will drastically improve the sound quality).

Bestbuy doesn't sell anything good regarding quality. If you wanted to change out the front speakers I would recommend going to AMazon or somthing and buying something like the Alpine type R 6.5" speakers. You definitely want speakers that have a crossover and separate tweeters. Having after market speakers will improve the sound quality when amplified.

Bottom line.... if you go to BestBuy, (purchase the LCQ-1 ($225)... best buy does not sell it yet) and switch out the mono amp for a four channel amp. I am sure you will be much happier!!!! And if you are able to get the total tec package... you can switch out the front speakers at a later date (yyou have one year to do this). I was told that if I really wanted to switch out my rear speakers I can do this at a later date and the labor would be free but there is no need (rear speakers are just fill IMHO and should be amplified by the Mazda radio), what you want is a nice front sound stage.

Also do you have sub control knob? some kind of knob that controls your sub woofer? The LCQ-1 sells a knob called ARC-2 that works AMAZING. The LCQ-1 is a 6-channel line output converter plus 11-band equalization and bass restoration. If you get the LCQ-1 make sure they DO NOT USE THE "GTO" (signal-sensing turn on) so they need to use the 12-volt turn-on. Mazda's radio does not work well with GTO, basically using the 12 Volt turn on means that it turns on when you start the car.

The best buy installed 6.5" speakers in the door, 4" speakers on the top corners of the car and tweaters (this is my speaker set up). The top corners are designed for 3.5" speakers and they had to shave the car a little to get my 4" speakers to work. (you can't tell once the dash is put back on. These speakers retailed for $1,300.00 17 years ago and I purchased them from a store going on bankrupt for $189.00 and they have been in my closet for 17 years... lol.


Bottom line... price of labor $200.00, price of 4 channel amp $200.00, price of LCQ-1 $225 (on sale somewhere), price of wiring ect... $250, price of front speakers $200.00 (probably cheaper), price of sub ($150?). So cost for a decent system does add up but if you keep your car for a long time it is worth it IMHO. I also spend $400 and got apple car play/android auto from Mazda.

Personally I would have purchased the sub and 4 channel amp "used" and gotten the JL 300.4 amp and a JL 10" W3 or W1 or even W0 and purchased the front speakers new and the LCQ-1 new. I had the JL 300.4 but it broke due to water damage and was also 17 years old (but JL makes some of the best stuff around and if working would be MUCH MUCH Better then the kicker amp), the LCQ-1 fills the gap between a super good quality amp and what best buy sells (kicker amp) so even though I don't have such a good quality 4 channel amp the LCQ-1 makes up for it with it's 11 channel eq), I honestly don't know if having the JL300.4 would change my sound. I have a 12" W3 sub, being pushed with a 17 year old Apline AMp... but sub amps don't have to be good quality they just have to have the power to push the sub. Bass is muddy sound to begin with, a 10" sub would be cleaner bass than a 12" sub but it is all relative to how much bass you want.

I don't know if you noticed but I LOVE the LCQ-1 (the the sub knob ARC-2)... it makes SUCH a HUGE difference with the sound quality!!! And I was told I had no choice (there are other products but the LCQ-1 is the best IMHO and they are all about the same price +-$50.00) if I can't change out the head unit.

I am sorry that my post is so scattered. ANd I wanted to add to my first post that the front speakers are 6.5" from Mazda... I know this cause they gave them to me when I had mine replaced.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the very detailed email this should be helpful to anyone trying to upgrade their music system.
Looks like you went great lengths to get the best possible sound in your car.

My sub woofer is 10" Kicker 600(peak) and 300(RMS).
Amplifier is Kicker 400-WATT MONO. They also used a line converter(TC-LOC2).
No knobs for sub woofer control.
Sub woofer may be compact 10 inch but it sounds very loud and more than sufficient for me, sometimes I think I should have gone for an even smaller one.

I do not think I can do everything you did, I do not know if my best buy even has the same sort of technical skills sets to do what you did.
I can only start small and go one piece at a time.
First thing I might do is replace just the front/rear speakers with a good quality one. Labor for this is $130, speakers cost will be about $150, total cost $280 which I can afford. Amplifier for front speakers can wait for next few years.
Any suggestions for front and rear speaker replacement brand/models ? coaxial or components?

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsandesh View Post
Thank you for the very detailed email this should be helpful to anyone trying to upgrade their music system.
Looks like you went great lengths to get the best possible sound in your car.

My sub woofer is 10" Kicker 600(peak) and 300(RMS).
Amplifier is Kicker 400-WATT MONO. They also used a line converter(TC-LOC2).
No knobs for sub woofer control.
Sub woofer may be compact 10 inch but it sounds very loud and more than sufficient for me, sometimes I think I should have gone for an even smaller one.

I do not think I can do everything you did, I do not know if my best buy even has the same sort of technical skills sets to do what you did.
I can only start small and go one piece at a time.
First thing I might do is replace just the front/rear speakers with a good quality one. Labor for this is $130, speakers cost will be about $150, total cost $280 which I can afford. Amplifier for front speakers can wait for next few years.
Any suggestions for front and rear speaker replacement brand/models ? coaxial or components?
I would see if you can change out the amp with a 4 channel and get the total tec package. That should save you $$$ on labor and put your system in a much better place but you may need a different line converter (i used the lcq-1).

Personally I would not touch the rear speakers and would only upgrade the front speakers if you are going to amp it. Having your front speakers on a amp really makes a huge difference.

It sounds like the guy at Best Buy looked at you and did the cheapest thing possible to give you some bass.

This is my 4 channel amp... KICKER - CX 360W Class AB Bridgeable Multichannel Amplifier with Variable Crossovers - Black Model:46CXA3604. This should be enough to power your front speakers and 10" sub. My amp is only $50.00 more. But I don't know if your line converter will work (but it may... I used the lcq-1 but that is a very high end line converter but it also has the 11 band eq so it really helps with the sound quality). And getting a knob for your bass control really makes a difference. You should not be controlling your bass with the stereo settings cause that will effect your speakers. This may complicate things... I think you can get a sub knob with your kicker amp but I am not sure if it would work with a 4 channel amp but it may.

If you did have an amp for your front speakers, I would go with component speakers (JL or Alpine) and I would get something in the $175 - $200 range.

I am a little confused about the line converters... so I am not the one to ask. But you can get a 4 channel one for $20 at amazon... Scosche SLC4 Line Output Converter. I think you will need a 4 channel.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 08:13 PM
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I have a 2015 GT that had the Bose. Got that junk out and had Focal Components installed in the front, 6.5 in the doors and the tweeters in the dash, they are powered by a JL 400/4vxi. Trunk is a JVF Customz 15 on a Taramps 5K. Rear doors and shelf are the stock Bose which are meh so I have the speaker level for the set to -3, just a bit of rear fill. Since I have a 2015 I have a Pioneer Double Din

Aftermarket speakers make all the difference. What you need to make sure you have done though is to sound deaden the front doors and have fast rings installed as well. Another slight mod I did was add a dashpad, had to cut holes for the tweeter to play through as the sound was slightly subdued but that made everything sound a lot more focused as there were no longer reflections off the hard dash.
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