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#5169 - 10/09/1999 19:14 Mazda Miata MX5
Deanster
stranger

Registered: 07/09/1999
Posts: 27
Loc: Ventura, California, USA
All,

Over lunch today I took my Miata MX5 and my Empeg player down to Street Sounds Plus, a local custom car stereo place near work here in Thousand Oaks, California.

In general the guys thought the Empeg was a cool toy. Not surprisingly, the first they've seen.

Anyway, it's Friday now, they're gonna think on it and I'll go talk with them on Monday, and I thought I'd collect some advice here.

The Miata is a two-door, two-seat convertible. Not a quailty audio experience and, further, not much room for toys. My existing audio is stock OEM tape player with OEM speakers (I've been waiting for an mp3 car player). Existing speakers are a 4-inch in each door next to your ankles and two small (I'm guessing, 2-inch by 3-inch) left and right speakers in each headrest.

My plan is to replace the OEM head unit with the Empeg. I'm not looking to play music for the car in the next lane. I just want to get some reasonable sounds out of my Empeg player.

After talking a bit these stereo guys, Street Sounds Plus, are probably going to suggest driving the Empeg into a Crossfire CFA404S Amplifier ($300 US installed) tucked into my trunk and upgrading the door speakers with Focal Ligne Zephir 130E2's ($275 US installed). I'm a bit skeptical about the placement in my tiny car of the tweeters that come with those speakers.

http://www.crossfirecaraudio.com
http://www.focal.tm.fr
http://www.clearwateraudio.com/

They were a little baffled about what to do with the headrest speakers. Clearwater makes a Miata speaker upgrade, I may just grab that and be done with it.

Do the components seem reasonable? They had better and worse but these seemed middle of the road.

Am I going to regret skipping the bass? The sundry bass solutions on http://www.miata.net generally leave something to be desired.

Thanks for any thoughts. =)

yours, Dean


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#5170 - 11/09/1999 02:31 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: Deanster]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 4967
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
"...Am I going to regret skipping the bass?..."

In a word, yes.

You don't need boxes full of 12 inch sub-woofers. But at the very least you do need a single 10" speaker somewhere.

I'm not saying this will work in a Miata, but in my car (a Taurus station wagon) I have had exceptionally good results running a single 10" Orion Cobalt series dual voice coil speaker and breaking all the rules: I am running it full range (not crossed over for 90Hz and down like it is supposed to be) and running it free air (not in a sealed enclosure like it is supposed to be) and I have finished in first place in sound quality in every IASCA competition I have entered this year.

The Miata sounds like a tough way to go, though - you're like a pickup truck in that you have very limited amount of cubic feet of air volume for the speakers to work with. It's hard to get good sound in those circumstances. ;-(

I've never experienced speakers in headrests before, but I can't imagine that it would be very easy to balance them with the other speakers in the car... I could be wrong, though, no first hand experience there.

If you can find a way to mount a single 10" speaker in your trunk (try it sans box) so that it plays right into one of the seatbacks or maybe between the seats (is there a pass-through for long items in the Miata?) I think you would be well pleased with the results.

And if you could find a way to mount a pair of MB Quart RKB-100 4" co-axial speakers in your dash right at the corners of the windshield, you would be absolutely blown away. I agree with you about being skeptical of putting tweeters down by your ankles!

Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

tanstaafl.

"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#5171 - 11/09/1999 12:21 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: tanstaafl.]
jstrain
enthusiast

Registered: 18/08/1999
Posts: 202
Loc: philadelphia pa
i have a miata too. i have some decent pioneer door speakers and the clearwater headrest speakers, driven by a nice pioneer head unit. no amps or subs or anything like that. to the discerning ear it probably sounds bad, but for me, it sounds fine. it is perfectly loud enough with the top down on the highway, and it sounds more than fine enough for me. the bass is also not a problem, but then again i just want music, not necessarily perfect sound. while my setup is a far far cry from perfection, it is plenty for me as i am not into perfect audio.

a friend of mine with a miata also, did put a sub in his trunk. i think it was a pold 10', but not sure. the sub, along with an amp or two basically took up most of his trunk. as for the headrest speakers, the clearwaters are ok, but not the best. if you unzip the headrest, just rip out the foam between the two speakers and you can fit all kinds of other speakers in there. i dont know about wiring them up properly, but i'm sure a good shop could do that for you. basically, you are not limited to something the size of a stock headrest speaker.

basically, if you want really good quality, i would follow the advice of others on this board that know alot more than me. i will probably just get a good amp and leave the pioneer in there with my empeg. if it sounds bad, i will probably upgrade the speakers later when i have more money. as for bass, i am not a huge bass fanatic, so the stuff i have now works fine for me.

sorry for the length, but i hope this helps.

jeremy

p.s. you can always get that clearwater sub. not sure of the sound quality, but it takes up no space since it mounts under the package shelf. maybe hugo could give some additional info on this subject. i think he drove/drives a miata.



oh, i wish i wish i had an empeg...
_________________________
12 gig, green...

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#5172 - 11/09/1999 12:40 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: tanstaafl.]
NasalGoat
member

Registered: 23/08/1999
Posts: 129
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
I'm curious about you running a non-crossovered sub free air - I can't imagine this ever being a good idea, yet you obviously know what you're doing. Don't you lose a lot of accuracy with no set air volume to regulate the cone movement?

Just curious...



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#5173 - 11/09/1999 18:10 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: NasalGoat]
stan
stranger

Registered: 31/07/1999
Posts: 34
Well, a Miata boot probably has less volume than many "coffee table" style home sub-woofers. As long as the lid seal is in good shape it wouldn't really be "free air."


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#5174 - 12/09/1999 15:52 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: tanstaafl.]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3441
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
I have a Pioneer TS-LX80 powered subwoofer tucked up just under the glovebox in my MX5: almost invisible, no loss of usable room in the car, and it sounds great. I recommend it (this is in a '90, I don't know what sort of room the MK2 has)

Hugo



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#5175 - 13/09/1999 21:54 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: NasalGoat]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 4967
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
"I'm curious about you running a non-crossovered sub free air - I can't imagine this ever being a good idea yet you obviously know what you're doing..."

You're right, Jeremy, I can't imagine it being a good idea either. But for some completely inexplicable reason, it works in my particular installation. It may have something to do with the acoustics of my station wagon. Just putting the rear seatbacks up ruins the sound. The speaker is sort of enclosed, but not really - that spare tire cover is not air tight, and the cavity in which the spare tire is mounted extends quite a ways forward and back of the spare. The space-saver spare is turned around backwards and the speaker magnet just barely fits inside the dish of the wheel.

As for your second point, no, I don't really know what I'm doing. I just kept pushing buttons and turning knobs until I got it to sound the way I wanted.

The part that works is a great deal of unusually rich mid-bass coming from that 10" speaker. Due to a freak of acoustics, all the sound of that speaker sounds like it is coming from the base of the windshield even though it's eight feet behind the listener and maybe double that distance in sound path as it zig-zags back and forth across the car on its way to the front. When I turn on the 90Hz crossover on my amp, all of that richness goes away. There is a slight improvement in overall crispness of sound, but not enough to compensate for the loss of lower midbass.

I tried a free-air type speaker for a week or so, but didn't like it. The bass was punchier (not a lot, but some) but again, I gave up too much mid-bass, whether crossed over or not. The free-air speaker did not respond to being run full-range as well as the original Orion. Maybe the Orion being dual voice coil has something to do with it?

Interestingly enough, in competition if I tell the sound quality judges that I am running the speaker free air and not crossed over, I do not score as well. Under those circumstances, I think the judges start to hear what they think they should hear, not what is actually there.

All of the people who know more about car audio than I do (just about everybody on the planet) tell me that what I'm doing won't work. Then they listen to it and can't figure out why it does work, any better than I can. Can you say the word serendipity?

Go figure.

tanstaafl.


"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#5176 - 14/09/1999 15:12 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: altman]
Deanster
stranger

Registered: 07/09/1999
Posts: 27
Loc: Ventura, California, USA
Hugo said,
> I have a Pioneer TS-LX80 powered subwoofer tucked up just under the glovebox in my MX5: almost invisible, no loss of
> usable room in the car, and it sounds great. I recommend it (this is in a '90, I don't know what sort of room the MK2 has)

I like that suggestion, it seems like the best way to squeeze bass into an MX5 that I've ever heard of. It looks like that'd work great in my '94.

I surfed over to the Pioneer web site and I don't see that model. Does the LX80 imply that it's an eight-inch sub like the TS-WX75A?

How do you have it oriented? Lined up perpendicular to the car, aimmed towared the center?

I'm getting my stuff installed today. I'll make a report after I've tried it out though I have to admit, I couldn't justify the bucks
and did end up skipping the bass for now. I was a heartbeat away from a custom fiberglass enclosure in the passenger
footwell and a 5 channel amp but it just added up to too much money. A powered sub like yours should be an easy upgrade
later.

yours, Dean


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#5177 - 14/09/1999 17:32 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: Deanster]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3441
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Hmm, I hope they still make it (I got mine a bit over a year ago). No, it's a small sub, maybe only 5"-6", but it definitely does the business - a lot of people have been suprised at how well it works.

It's just pointing downwards from behind the glovebox. Before this it was basically at the end of the passenger footwell, under the carpet, pointing towards the passenger - it doesn't seem to make a lot of different (makes sense as bass isn't very directional). More than one person has thought I had some bass speaker in the seat itself...

hugo



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#5178 - 15/09/1999 12:32 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: altman]
Cambscar
journeyman

Registered: 21/07/1999
Posts: 61
Loc: Cambridge, UK
We tried getting hold of a TS-LX80 a couple of weeks back, only to find that they've now apparently discontinued it.

More than one person has thought I had some bass speaker in the seat itself...

They thought what?? ;-)

Dominic

Cambridge Car Audio
http://www.cambscaraudio.co.uk

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#5179 - 15/09/1999 13:13 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [Re: Cambscar]
Deanster
stranger

Registered: 07/09/1999
Posts: 27
Loc: Ventura, California, USA
> We tried getting hold of a TS-LX80 a couple of weeks back, only to find that they've now apparently discontinued it.

Does anyone have thoughts on a replacement model? Pioneer or otherwise?

yours, Dean


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#5180 - 26/09/1999 22:24 Re: Mazda Miata MX5 [AUS] [Re: Deanster]
karl
new poster

Registered: 26/09/1999
Posts: 2
Hey Guys,

I'm picking up my new MX-5 this afternoon, and specifically left the CD player out so I can install a spanky-new empeg.

Does anyone have any recommendations on installing an empeg in a new MX-5?

Like Dean, I have little interest in running a rave in the cabin, but would like to be able to appreciate the $AU1500 I'm gonna be spending, so don't mind if I have to spend a couple of hundred on an amp.

Any comments/experience appreciated, but as I'm #7000 or so, I've got some time to muddle about on this one..

Cheers!
Karl
Sydney, Australia.




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#5181 - 27/09/1999 16:45 My Mazda MX5 Install... [Re: karl]
Deanster
stranger

Registered: 07/09/1999
Posts: 27
Loc: Ventura, California, USA
>Hey Guys,
>
> I'm picking up my new MX-5 this afternoon, and specifically left the CD player out so I can
> install a spanky-new empeg.
>
> Does anyone have any recommendations on installing an empeg in a new MX-5?
>
> Like Dean, I have little interest in running a rave in the cabin, but would like to be able to
> appreciate the $AU1500 I'm gonna be spending, so don't mind if I have to spend a couple of
> hundred on an amp.
>
> Any comments/experience appreciated, but as I'm #7000 or so, I've got some time to muddle
> about on this one..
>
> Cheers!
> Karl
> Sydney, Australia.

Karl, Congratulations on your new car. The MX-5 is a well-made, economical, very fun car. You may
be curious to visit Miata.net.

I've had my Empeg installed in my '94 Black and Tan for a few weeks now. I replaced the OEM
unit with the Empeg player, dropped a modest amp in the trunk, and upgraded the door speakers
with a set of component speakers.
--

If I'd realized how badly the Empeg tuner was I might have kept my OEM unit just for listening to
FM radio. Hopefully the antenna amp and the s/w upgrades they're sending out (soon?) will address that
situation.

The amp takes up half of the little pit in the trunk. I got a 70watt x 4 Crossfire.They built a little
enclosure for it covered with matching black carpet, it looks like it was installed at the factory and
takes a minimal amount of the already tiny trunk.

The speakers were Focal Ligne Zephirs. The tweeters hang at the top-outside of the footwells and
aim up at the occupant's heads. The original speaker covers hide the new speakers. You have to
look very closely to notice anything out of the ordinary.
--

The totall install was $800 US. The result is exactly what I wanted: it's not likely to impress
an audiofile but it sounds great and is loud enough to be clearly heard top-down, at speed. =)
--

The stereo guys had nothing to replace the tiny left and right channel speakers in the headrests.
I really don't think they'd ever seen anything like that. When I have some $$$ I'll buy the MX5
headrest speaker upgrade available from Clearwater. I skipped the bass for now but will probably
buy a small powered bass unit similar to the one that Hugo mentioend elsewhere on this thread.
I may tuck it under the glove box like his or back in one of the tunnels behind the seats.

The only other thing that I might change would be to get a green, instead of blue, screened Empeg
to more closely match the Miata illuminated console (they tell me I can ship it off to US support and they'll
switch for $40 US) and I wish the Emepg was brighter or had a more streamlined UI. As it is, during a sunny
day with the top down it's nearly impossbile to read the Empeg screen.

Mine is a pretty subdued setup but I'll try to get some photos online soon if anyone is interested.

Best luck.

yours, Dean


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#5182 - 28/09/1999 22:19 Yet another Miata (MX-5) Install... [Re: Deanster]
n6mod
member

Registered: 27/09/1999
Posts: 195
Loc: Ben Lomond, CA
Well, I finally got my empeg, and suddenly that stereo upgrade became a priority. The empeg (S/N 0150/Green/10GB) is installed in the top of the stereo opening. My car (a '90) has had a couple of head units in its history, most recently a Kenwood KDC-8009 that I had originally intended to keep installed when the empeg came. Below the '8009 is/was an amateur rig. (Kenwood TM-742A, for those who care)

I stared at the opening, and since I couldn't find another good location for the amateur rig's control head, I replaced the '8009 with the empeg. I'll miss KCBS (AM), but I suppose NPR is a suitable replacement. ;)

I picked up an Alpine Flex4 amp and tucked it behind the passenger seat for the moment. There's already a fair amount of electronics in the trunk (VCR for the bumpercam I use at the track) and trunk tunnels (amateur transciever, CB transceiver, intermod filters). Eventually, I'll build a false floor in the trunk and stuff all the "avionics" under there. I'll either a) bridge both halves of the amp, or b) bridge the rear channels into a sub. Hugo mentioned tucking a sub up under the glovebox, and I've heard several people have put JL Audio Microsubs up under there with good success.

The sled fit perfectly in the upper dash opening, using a generic install kit that I'd picked up for the previous Kenwood. The kit had some side plates that provided rails to slide the sled into, and the flange and tabs on the sled hold it flush with the dash faceplate. The wiring to/from the amp is tucked into the center console, and sneaks out under the carpet.

Speakers are the next upgrade, but the empeg sounds pretty good through the Infinity RS's that are in the doors. Need more bass, though. ;)

There's a touch of alternator whine, but I did leave out the inline filter (it was late) that came with the empeg. I'll cut that in and see if it goes away.

The empeg has survived 35W at 440MHz, haven't tested 2m (50W) or 11m (CB: 4W) yet, perhaps tomorrow.

Questions welcome....

-Zandr
Certified Nut ;)

_________________________
-Zandr Mk.I #0150 10GB Mk.IIa #010101243 12+48GB stable Mk.IIa #030102320 20GB testing

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#5183 - 29/09/1999 04:37 Re: Yet another Miata (MX-5) Install... [Re: n6mod]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Cambridge UK

Regarding immunity to EM transmissions, the empeg car was tested at an EMC facility for both FCC and (the much stricter) CE approval. It passed with flying colours on both counts (of course) :-)

Rob



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#5184 - 29/09/1999 12:47 Re: Yet another Miata (MX-5) Install... [Re: rob]
n6mod
member

Registered: 27/09/1999
Posts: 195
Loc: Ben Lomond, CA
Regarding immunity to EM transmissions, the empeg car was tested at an EMC facility for both FCC and (the much stricter) CE approval. It passed with flying colours on both counts (of course) :-)

Rob


Indeed, and I had no problems with 2m or 11m this morning. That said, the empeg seems to be getting into the 2m side of the amateur gear. Time to start checking and cleaning grounds. ;)

-Zandr
73 de N6MOD


_________________________
-Zandr Mk.I #0150 10GB Mk.IIa #010101243 12+48GB stable Mk.IIa #030102320 20GB testing

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#5185 - 17/10/1999 09:14 Anyone tried this on a 99 Mazda Miata? [Re: Deanster]
Evan
stranger

Registered: 22/07/1999
Posts: 43
I posted to this group a while ago on this topic. I'm just curious if anyone has yet tried to install the Empeg in a 99 Mazda Miata witht the optional Bose stereo system. I'm only concerned because Bose claims to use proprietary hardware. Not being an electrical engineering type in the least (I'm a coding geek), I haven't the slightest whether the Empeg will be installable in my vehicle. I'm not concerned about physically fitting it in the car - just connecting it to the car's electrical system and it's current sound system.

_________________________
--- Mk2a 20GB SN:010102163 '99 Miata

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#5186 - 18/10/1999 16:10 Re: Anyone tried this on a 99 Mazda Miata? [Re: Evan]
Deanster
stranger

Registered: 07/09/1999
Posts: 27
Loc: Ventura, California, USA
I'd suspect that anything proprietary in the Bose system would still allow you to replace the headunit with another unit.

You may want to surf over to Miata.net and get their thoughts on upgrades to the '99 audio system.

yours, Dean


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