The proud owner of this Mazda MPS was looking for an audio upgrade – he simply had to get better sound. While factory optioned with the Bose system it simply wasn’t up to his expectations. After meeting to discuss his requirements we settled on a plan. We had to retain the factory CD/Radio and Bluetooth but everything else was to be replaced.
Audio Upgrade, Factory Speakers
The factory speaker locations in the doors provided us a good amount of depth. And although the factory speaker was a different size to the new Focal 165KRX2 speakers in the front doors we fabricated new baffles. This allowed the deeper speakers to sit nicely behind the factory trims. The impressive K2 tweeters were also housed in the factory mirror trim locations. These required some small modification but look very tidy in the finished product. The rear doors now house a pair of upgraded coaxial speakers too. Both front and rear doors were extensively sound deadened to maximise the upgraded speakers performance.
Amplifier by JL Audio & Focal
Amplification was taken care of by both a JL Audio Vxi amplifier for the front speakers and subwoofer with a small 2-channel Focal amp used to run the rear speakers. The Focal FDS.2350 amp is mounted under the passenger seat. It’s tiny footprint sits perfectly with the KRX2’s crossovers. The front speakers are wired in bi-amp mode which utilises four of the VX1000/5i’s five channels. This provides the mid-bass and tweeter with 75W RMS each plus the flexibility of exploiting the integrated DSP independently.
The subwoofer in this system is currently an old favourite of the customers in a Rockford Fosgate unit. It sounds amazing with the 400W RMS provided by the JL Audio amp but will be replaced down the track. Largely due to the size of the enclosure required as there isn’t a lot of room available in the small hatch.
One of the most powerful aspects of the VXi amplifier range is the integrated DSP. It can be configured to do just about anything you like. In this installation we use the amplifier to run the front speakers in a semi-active mode. The rear speakers are also controlled through this DSP, it feeds the RCA signal out directly into the smaller two-channel amplifier.
The DSP can be controlled via an iOS, PC or Android device making it one of the most widely supported and user friendly DSP product on the market. We’ve used a few and this hands down is the best we’ve come across.
How Does it Sound?
The final product is largely out of sight (except for the Kevlar tweeters) so it all comes down to the sound. On first listen the ES 165 KX2 speakers they are very impressive. You very quickly hear things in recordings that normally go unnoticed such is their accuracy and detail. The mids also kick hard and low with the subwoofer left to handle the heavy stuff. While not a budget system by any stretch the sound is amazing and for this lucky owner his long drives around Tasmania will be more enjoyable than ever.
If you’re entertaining the idea of a new sound system or thinking of an audio upgrade with speakers and amplifier while retaining your factory source unit. We have both the options and expertise. Feel free to get in touch and we can arrange a demo of some of the best gear you’ll find for your car audio system anywhere in the world.