For the team at Elevated Audio in Denver, Colorado, delivering bespoke audio upgrades is simply a part of everyday life. When the owner of this 2009 Mazda Miata approached Elevated for a stereo system upgrade, there were some limitations that would require the team to think outside of the box. Using a combination of experience, premium products and creativity, they were able to deliver on the customer’s expectations of solid bass and detailed midrange performance without affecting the functionality of the vehicle.
Great Bass Without a Subwoofer
The biggest challenge in upgrading the audio system in a Miata is space. In almost any other vehicle, adding a subwoofer is the go-to solution to handle the bottom few octaves of the audio range. With no real space available, the Elevated Audio team decided to use an 8-inch BLAM Relax woofer in each door. The team removed the 5×7-inch factory-installed speakers from their original location in the lower part of the door, then modified the mounting bracket to accept the woofers from a BLAM 200 RS set to fit.
To maximize the performance of the new woofers, the inner and outer door skins of each door were treated with a full roll of SoundShield sound deadening material. This multilayer material absorbs vibrations from road and wind noise while helping prevent the sound coming from the rear of the woofer from canceling out the sound coming from the front. In total, 22 square feet of deadening was added to the vehicle.
Unique Midrange Speaker Solution
To handle upper frequencies, most systems would employ a midrange and a tweeter on each side of the vehicle. When combined with the woofer in the door, this configuration creates what is known as a three-way speaker system. The client’s budget didn’t allow for the processing and amplifier channels that are required to complete a three-way system, so the Elevated team once again turned to BLAM for its wide-bandwidth FRS 3N50+ 3-inch midrange drivers. The team mounted the mids in the factory tweeter locations in each door, and once they were secured in place with metal brackets, the team sealed the openings around the speakers with SoundShield deadening to ensure that they perform fantastically.
The new sound system in this Miata is powered by a JL Audio XD400/4v2 four-channel amplifier. The amp is rated to produce 75 watts per channel into a 4-ohm load and 100-watts into a 2-ohm load. Given the 3-ohm impedance of the BLAM drivers, this is more than enough to get all the speakers in this simple yet creative audio system sounding great. The woofers and midrange drivers are crossed over at 400 Hz using the processing built into the amplifier. This design kept the system budget under control. The client can always upgrade with a digital signal processor to further fine-tune the performance of the system.
In the end, what matters most about upgrading any car audio system is ensuring that the client is happy with the final result in terms of appearance and sound. The owner of this Mazda Miata was thrilled with the upgrade, and even the staff at Elevated was impressed with the deep bass from the door speakers.
If you’re in the Denver area and are looking to upgrade the stereo in your car or truck, drop by Elevated Audio. You can learn more about the company from their website, their Facebook page, their Instagram page or their YouTube channel.