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2003-2009 Nissan 350Z

Aftermarket Radio with existing Speakers

Old 06-13-2019, 01:04 AM
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tom991
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Default Aftermarket Radio with existing Speakers

My 2003 350Z Performance model has the stock radio without Bose or Nav system. I don't intend on putting a subwoofer in. I would like a unit with Bluetooth so I can stream audio and have hands free phone conversations. I would also like the capability of adding a rear camera so I need a unit with a video display. I also have steering wheel controls that I would like to keep. My car has the six speakers two in the door, two in the back, and two mid-range speakers. I was looking at this https://www.crutchfield.com/p_130AV2...AVH-211EX.html and they recommend Kicker Speakers which I would add later. If I add speakers will I loose the front mid range speakers or are they wired in tandem with the front speakers? As far as the microphone for the hands free goes where and how is that mounted so not to be an eyesore or be in the way of anything? Where is a good place to mount the USB? I was thinking in the console compartment or the compartment above the radio in the dash.

Thanks,

Tom
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:13 AM
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onecoolee
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I just went through a major overhaul of my 03 350Z w/ Bose and NAV, and installed a Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX, and decided that I was no longer goign to use the stock NAV due to it beign outdated, slow, etc. It still works but alot of roads are not on the maps, and half the time it looks like I ma jsut roaming across the countryside and not driving on any roadways.

Hard to go wrong with the Pioneer HUs...they look nice and have quality screens.

As for your questions:
If you upgrade the speakers from the stock ones, you will need to use seperates (mid-woofer and tweeter), OR just use a coaxial mid/tweeter in one setup. The purpose of seperatign the mid and tweeter is for sound quality and the tweeters in our Zs are located in the little pillar area on the doors and the crossover mounted on the speaker assembly prevents them from trying to produce low range sounds that they are not intended to produce. You could leave the tweeters in place and disconenct the wires and use a coaxial mid/tweeter assembly in the lower door portion, but it might not sound as good as seperates would. I have no idea what kicker speakers you are proposign to use, so keep this in mind. I believe the door takes a 6.5" speaker... don't use a 5.25 there, and an adapter if you can help it. Just make sure the mounting depth of your 6.5" speakers is not so deep it interferes with window operations.

As far as the microphone goes, you can mount this anywhere...but usually high up is recommended, near the visor or the drivers side pillar (to the left of the windshield). The mic plugs into the HU with a simple plug, and they usually include several feet of wiring on that cable, so you can route it and have enough cable to mount it wherever. For most HU installs with voice recognition or hands free phoning, I run the cbale under the drivers side dash area, and up the left side of the dash (under the plastic panels), and usually to the top of the pillar, and mount it there permanently... its near the window but enough away from the window when open that wind doesn't impact your phone convversations.

As far as the USB goes....I always like to add a charge port and audio port, so I buy the Nissan mount version that you can find from sellers on Ebay or Amazon... this includes the USB wiring, and the port fits perfectly into a spare dash or console opening on our Nissans. Its black, has nice LEDs and is labeled audio/charge, but most importantly its a perfect fit... not cutting, fabrication, gluing, or engineering requried to install it... jsut remove a blank spacer, and install the port, then plug it into the USB port on the HU and wire it to power for the other charge port. I looked for a picture, but cannot find one...but if you go here, you will get the idea.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nissan+usb+port&ref=nb_sb_noss_2 https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nissan+usb+port&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

I have mine mounted next to the heated seats button on my console next to the e-brake.

Good luck... radio upgrades in our car are fairly simple and the dash and console come apart easily.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:18 AM
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In regards to the mic, it's based on your preference. Theres a plastic piece that covers the wiring for the rearview mirror. My mic was on a small, u-shaped bracket. I was able to slide the bracket under the plastic covering piece and secure it with double-sided tape. I then ran the wiring along and under the headliner and down the a-pillar into the dash. Looks like it belongs there and no one has said they have problems hearing me. I'll upload a pic once I get out of work.

My USB and BT pickup cables both run under the center console to where the ashtray/coin pocket hold is. My car never came with the coin holder thing so I run the cables through the hole into that area. With the cover down you dont even know they are there.

Last edited by 813_350Z; 06-13-2019 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:16 AM
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For microphone placement, I would recommend putting it by the overhead console area just to the driver's side of the middle/front of the vehicle, . Leaving the microphone at the top of the A-pillar trim is also usually OK, but you run the risk of additional wind noise from that corner. Also, keeping the microphone off the windshield (clipped or velcroed to the headliner or overhead console, instead) will reduce the chance of introducing noise from the windshield (wind, rain, etc.).
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:04 AM
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tom991
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Thanks for the responses. I was first looking at Crutchfield online and saw the same radios on Best Buy and Best Buy offers free installation. The radios are the same price at both locations and the extra harness you need to connect to existing wiring is just $20 more. at Best Buy. It seems like a no brainer allowing Best Buy to install the HU. I guess I'll have to read the fine print. I had Circuit City install an alarm system in my 65 Mustang. They pretty much Butchered the wiring harness under the dash. The Kicker Speakers that Crutchfield is recommending are these. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206DSC...icker_speakers. The have a tweeter. Could the trweeter in the door pillar still be connected along with the door speaker?
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tom991 View Post
Thanks for the responses. I was first looking at Crutchfield online and saw the same radios on Best Buy and Best Buy offers free installation. The radios are the same price at both locations and the extra harness you need to connect to existing wiring is just $20 more. at Best Buy. It seems like a no brainer allowing Best Buy to install the HU. I guess I'll have to read the fine print. I had Circuit City install an alarm system in my 65 Mustang. They pretty much Butchered the wiring harness under the dash. The Kicker Speakers that Crutchfield is recommending are these. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206DSC...icker_speakers. The have a tweeter. Could the trweeter in the door pillar still be connected along with the door speaker?
Best Buy has screwed up so many cars in this area... lots of horror stories. They break panels and plastic snaps trying to do things quickly and using "techs" that really aren't qualified to be tearing into any car's electrical system. My local Best Buy doesn't even do installations anymore, I guess there were too many problems. The installation required for the radio you are suggesting here is fairly easy, especially since you are not interfacing with Bose or dealing with amps or a sub, or nav... so its almost a drop in replacement if they use an installation kit and wiring harness. Just be sure to check for damage to panels or your console when all is said and done. Hopefully you get a tech that has done a couple Zs before.... once you know how things come apart, its actually a fairly easy car to work on from a HU install perspective. Just a heads up...if you opt to upgrade the rear speakers, they require a complete gutting of the car back to the rear hatch... almost all plastic panels have to come out... so I would suggest putting some nice seperates up front and leaving the stock rears, and turning them down to almost non-existence (I call it rear fill). Good luck...you will enjoy driving your car even more with hands free phoning... there were days I didn't tkae the car knowing I had to be on the phone...so its a nice feature to have and something we take for granted these days.

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Old 06-13-2019, 02:21 PM
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Hi Tom. I would go with a H/U that is a little better than what you are looking at. I would suggest something that supports Apple's CarPlay or Android. That way you can have navigation without buying a H/U with that extra feature. Almost any H/U will support Front/Rear speakers, USB connection, and audio/video inputs. If you are not using the upper forward cubby, that is a good location for the connectors.

Just about any speakers you buy will be much better than the stock Clarion speakers you have in your car now.


This is the stock speaker. Notice it has a paper cone and supports only 40W. It's a cheap speaker that has very poor sound.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Spike100 View Post
Hi Tom. I would go with a H/U that is a little better than what you are looking at. I would suggest something that supports Apple's CarPlay or Android. That way you can have navigation without buying a H/U with that extra feature. Almost any H/U will support Front/Rear speakers, USB connection, and audio/video inputs. If you are not using the upper forward cubby, that is a good location for the connectors.

Just about any speakers you buy will be much better than the stock Clarion speakers you have in your car now.


This is the stock speaker. Notice it has a paper cone and supports only 40W. It's a cheap speaker that has very poor sound.
Good call on the HU. I decided to go with this unit for the HU. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_130AV1...50nex&skipvs=T and when I upgrade the front speakers. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/alpine-...?skuId=6195083 unless I find something better, I'd also add some sound deadening material in the door as seen in an Anthony J Youtube video.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Spike100 View Post
Hi Tom. I would go with a H/U that is a little better than what you are looking at. I would suggest something that supports Apple's CarPlay or Android. That way you can have navigation without buying a H/U with that extra feature. Almost any H/U will support Front/Rear speakers, USB connection, and audio/video inputs. If you are not using the upper forward cubby, that is a good location for the connectors.

Just about any speakers you buy will be much better than the stock Clarion speakers you have in your car now.


This is the stock speaker. Notice it has a paper cone and supports only 40W. It's a cheap speaker that has very poor sound.
I have another question about speakers. If I chose a aftermarket coaxial speaker would I still be able to utilize the door pillar tweeter and have two tweeters in the front?
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by tom991 View Post
I have another question about speakers. If I chose a aftermarket coaxial speaker would I still be able to utilize the door pillar tweeter and have two tweeters in the front?
There isn't a good reason to do that.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tom991 View Post
I have another question about speakers. If I chose a aftermarket coaxial speaker would I still be able to utilize the door pillar tweeter and have two tweeters in the front?
I do, I have Infinity Kappa coaxials all around with additional tweeter separates with bass blockers in my 350z. I love the way it sounds. Kappa components alone wasn't as crisp and lacked some vocals. I control everything from the EQ of my Pioneer AVH headunit to fine tune the final sound stage. An 8" sub in a box is tucked behind the driver's seat to hit the deep lows. The setup sounds so good that I have the exact same setup in my other two cars.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:09 AM
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Getting good sound from tweeters can be a little tricky. I did not like the high range sound coming from the 350z door mounted tweeter. I ended up mounting the tweeter in the A-Pillar, and the sound was much better. The idea was bouncing sound to the center stage (between drive and passenger seats).




The sound from the A-Pillar was much better than the sound from the Sail Panels.

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Old 06-16-2019, 11:33 AM
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Yeah that wouldn't work for me aesthetically. I angled the tweeter within the sail panel so that it sounds perfect for my tastes. I've experimented and used various setups in cars since the late 90's and have tried components with higher end systems. I always end up going back to a mid range Pioneer head unit matched with Kappa coaxial speakers, additional tweeters, and an enclosed Kicker Comp sub.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:07 PM
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Yes, and much of this is personal preferences. I really disliked the highly directional and not adjustable stock 350z Sail Panel speakers. I moved the tweeters from the Sail Panel to the A-Pillar, and was truly surprised at the better quality sound for both driver and passenger. The Sail Panel position isn't a good position for a very directional speaker (such as a tweeter).

Originally Posted by mr. sparco View Post
Yeah that wouldn't work for me aesthetically. I angled the tweeter within the sail panel so that it sounds perfect for my tastes. I've experimented and used various setups in cars since the late 90's and have tried components with higher end systems. I always end up going back to a mid range Pioneer head unit matched with Kappa coaxial speakers, additional tweeters, and an enclosed Kicker Comp sub.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:11 AM
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I put in a center channel where the sunglasses holder is, and installed a center channel processor (Audio Control)--that made the stock location for the tweeters sound fine and brought my sound stage alot higher and fixed the directionaility of the tweeters i nthe stock location. The stock location is fine for most people who don't do audio shows or care about soundstage or separation, and just like to jam or drive aroudn with the windows down. The pillar location probably works out better for sound quality, but would be alot more involved since there is cutting and bracket making involved.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by onecoolee View Post
I put in a center channel where the sunglasses holder is, and installed a center channel processor (Audio Control)--that made the stock location for the tweeters sound fine and brought my sound stage alot higher and fixed the directionaility of the tweeters i nthe stock location. The stock location is fine for most people who don't do audio shows or care about soundstage or separation, and just like to jam or drive aroudn with the windows down. The pillar location probably works out better for sound quality, but would be alot more involved since there is cutting and bracket making involved.
@Onecoolee. Please give more detail on your center channel install. What speaker did you use? Did your HU come with a center channel output? If not, how is it wired? Please share some pictures.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MacksZs View Post
@Onecoolee. Please give more detail on your center channel install. What speaker did you use? Did your HU come with a center channel output? If not, how is it wired? Please share some pictures.
I will try to add some pics this weekend.... I think one of my other threads here has pics of the center channel installed. I use an Audio Control spatial processor (ESP-3 I believe), which has a center channel output (RCA/low level), which feeds a very small amp (mounted under the drivers seat) for powering the center. The Audio Control has a wired remote controller with 2 *****, 1 is for spatial restoration, and the other controls the center channel volume, for level adjustment to match the other front speakers. I leave the center off when I am jamming or driving around with windows open, but when I am listening intently, I will turn the spatial processign on and use the volume control to match the center level to the side seperates. It sounds really good for such a small space to wotrk with and the positioning of the stock speaker locations.

I am not finding the center channel install right now, but I will look better later this week. I did come across my custom sub build thread from a long time ago...pics are still there. The HU and a few other changes have occurred since then, but the subwoofer is still the same... great sub, and it looks like stock and cannot be seen from the outside. The location I installed it in makes it sound 100x better than that stock location beating you in the back, behind the drivers seat.
https://my350z.com/forum/audio-build...ally-done.html

My stock NAV was pretty outdated and most of the time it thinks I am cruising the countryside--OFFROAD. So, I just upgraded to a Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX, with NAV, Android Auto, USB and Sd card inputs (my SD card holds my entire music library). Having a hands free phone option is nice--my last Pioneer had it, but it dropped me off of alot of calls and the BT never really worked right.
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