Moss Miata
Sony Electronics

Sony XM-4S Slim Series 4- Channel Audio Amplifier

[6/2/2008] Reviewed by: john welker -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99-'05 '06+ 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

The Sony slim series product line is designed for applications where space is limited. This is perfect for the Miata. The Sony XM-4S amplifier is a 50-Watt RMS 4-channel amplifier with both high-pass and low-pass filters, separate front and rear output level adjustments, and an adjustable low frequency boost. It has both high and line level inputs. It is also bridgeable across the two rear channels if you wish to run two front speakers and a sub-woofer. The small thickness (less than 2") gives this amplifier more mounting versatility than most others on the market.

I have a 2001 Miata and I wanted better sound from my factory radio since I try to keep my car as "stealthy" as possible. This amplifier more than met my expectations. I had previously replaced my factory speakers with Infinity Kappas in an effort to get better sound quality; the 6" x 8" component speakers in the front and the 3.5" two-way speakers in the headrests (Yes, I did manage to get headrest speakers and outboard crossovers into those narrow seatbacks). These speakers worked great, but still the factory radio could not provide the 'distortion free' volume necessary to hear the radio clearly with the top down. With this amp I get a crisp clear sound at highway speeds without turning the radio past half-volume. I can even fade to the headrest speakers by themselves and still hear the music. I also get plenty of bass with the bass boost on the amp set at only 25%. Just to test the durability of this amplifier, I cranked the volume as high as I could stand it w! hile driving down the freeway with the top down for over an hour, and although it got pretty warm, it never overheated. To get the most out of this amplifier, I recommend running the front speaker outputs through the rear channel of the amplifier and vice-versa since the low frequency bass boost is in the rear channel only. Overall I am extremely happy with this product.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Sony CDX-1000rf, JAX-5 HR Speakers, associated wiring harness

[3/2/2008] Reviewed by: Basil H. Smith -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Product (Sony CDX-1000rf, CD Player) recommended by Jeff Anderson. Fit nicely into OEM space.

Original CD player was defective and had to be returned to Dakmart.

Jeff had a refurbished OEM radio. He fabricated the harness for my HR speakers (JAX-5s). Jeff made up all connections for the radio and CD player and he furnished a pig-tail connection for my iPod. He did a wonderful job and referred me to all the connection and installation instructions for the entire install including removal of non-OEM radio, and speaker installation. Jeff is very thorough and quick to assist along the way with any encountered problems. I was lost when I did not get the results after hooking everything together and testing it. Jeff gave me some pointers and rectified most of my problems. I would recommend him to anyone who is contemplating any additions/deletions in their audio requirements. Wonderful, knowledge Miata audio person.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely


[9/2/2003] Reviewed by: David O'Steen -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

*FEATURES* 9 modulation frequencies built-in FM modulator:Works with any FM radio slim line wired remote/display display features a jog/shuttle ring for ease of use and speedy MP3 file access plays MP3 files on CD-R or CD-RW, plus audio CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs displays ID3 tag and CD Text information Custom File:disc titling for up to 110 discs (cannot title MP3 discs) D-Bass 5 selectable output levels 12-second Advanced Electronic Shock Protection wireless remote

I have two Miatas and have put this player in both of them! 1200 hours of music and a Miata! You run out of gas before you run out of music! I ripped my Buffett CDs and put them on ONE disc! Installation is straightforward. Some knowledge of using MP3s and CD burners is required. With that, the skys the limit! Got both off of eBay without problem. Crutchfield carrys it but they are $209.00 plus tax and shipping. Ebay price was $164.00 AFTER shipping.

If I have any problems I will post them but so far it's nothing but jelly!

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Sony CDX-T65 ES CD six disc changer

[9/12/2000] Reviewed by Mike Menozzi -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

The CD changer has a small footprint, Electronic Shock Protection, and is part of Sony's "ES" product line. The Changer was purchased through Soundcity, Crutchfield didn't carry it. Soundcity has a bit cheaper prices, but lacks some of the extras Crutchfield provides. The changer is a bit too large for the glove box, unless the back of the glove box is cutout, which I wasn't interested in. It can be mounted anywhere between 0 and 90 degrees, so behind the passenger seat was also a possibility. This would make the unit more accessible from inside the car, but also more prone to theft, and damage from an unexpected rainstorm with the top down (do these cars have tops?).

The CD player can be programmed to play only the songs you want, or not play those you don't want, shuffle play a disc, or shuffle play all 6 discs. You can also name disks which it will remember, but you can't name tracks like a minidisc.

 The trunk was most logical, I mounted it on the floor of the trunk on the driver side, to the pressboard covering the jack. Although I may move it - this seemed to be a good location so far.

I routed the controller wire from the MD player straight back under the center console. I used zip ties attached to the bottom of the dash panel to keep the wire from getting too close to the shifter which tends to get hot. The wire runs under the carpet to the passenger side and through an existing hole to the trunk. Can't find it? Remove the spare, place a flashlight in the trunk facing the opening where the spare usually is, and look down into the top structure area ahead of the rear wheel -; you'll see the light coming out.

 After everything was connected I tested the system with the stock speakers to ensure everything was OK, this would make troubleshooting easier than testing for the first time with the new speakers. It also gave me a chance to compare the stock units to the Polk replacements. I'd do it again in a minute, the sound is great, it was an easy install. It makes a great car even better if you love music. And it's completely reversible if the next owner wants the stock unit or you want to take this setup with you.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Sony CDX-4180 CD Player

Reviewed by: Eric Itakura -

Sony single CD head unit: 40w x 4, 17w rms, dual pre-amp out, detachable face, Dynamic bass dial, 24 presets.

I'm using a Sony CDX-3160 in my other car. The CDX-4180 lacks a mute button and loudness effect, but does have Dynamic bass, which may offend purists, but sounds good to me on the #1 setting.

Never had problems with skipping on the 3160, don't expect any on this unit.

Sound is just fine. Seems to have more than enough power and does have dual pre-outs for future amp upgrade.

My philosophy on stereo upgrades in this car: Replacing the factory speakers is, in my mind, a must. Replacing the head unit w/o replacing the speakers just doesn't make sense. The stock speakers are very inefficient - there was a world of difference in comparing loudness, clarity, and bass response of stock door speaker versus Pioneer TS-1620 II (see other review).

For less than $400, you can upgrade your head unit, door speakers, and HR speakers and get very good sound. . .not audiophile of course, but very pleasing (versus VERY weak and taxing with stock system).

Update: [10/14/2000]  Eric Itakura -

Initially, just fine. Now: Volume dial is flaky (won't reliably turn up or down value). Unit is about 2.5 years old and seems to be starting to skip now too.

The real reason I'm posting this is not only as an update to my original review, but to address the frequent requests I get on how to set the clock on this unit! I agree it's not at all intuitive, so here are the instructions:

1) Press OFF or DSPL during operation. If the POWER SELECT function is set to ON, press OFF. If already set to OFF, press DSPL.
2) Press DSPL for 2 seconds. The hour digit flashes.
3) Set the hour digits with the dial.
4) Press SOUND momentarily. The minute digits flash.
5) Set the minutes digits with the dial.
6) Press DSPL momentarily. The clock is activated.

Hope that helps anyone who doesn't know how to set that pesky clock!


7 June, 2008

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