Sony 10 CD Changer
I need tunes. Can't work without em. Can't drive without em. Unfortunately RadioMargaritaville.com doesn't broadcast over the air.
Problem 1: Limited cockpit space precludes cassette tapes all over the joint.
Problem 2: Factory CD player requires in dash CD. This means expensive CD's all over the cockpit, probably visible and impossible to secure.
Problem 3: I want to keep the factory radio as I feel the 1.5 din size makes it less likely to be stolen, and factory radios are generally less desirable on the stolen equipment front.
So now we are into a FM modulated unit. Obviously, sound quality will suffer, but it is a convertible, and with wind noise, I don't think it will be too big of a problem.
Problem 4: I want to add a controller that is accessible on the dash, and blends in with the rest of the dashboard. I go to Crutchfield, check out the local appliance stores, and the only unit I can find that fits in looks wise is a Sony. This is bad. Sony has this reputation for quality and innovation in the electronics world. While I talk to people all the time that tell me I'm wrong, I have never owned anything made by Sony that I hasn't been a complete and utter piece of shit. Frankly, if I have any other choice in the world, I will buy another brand. Unfortunately, the Sony controller is the only one I can find that fits in the cubby below the radio, and it looks almost like Mazda put it there.
I grumble, I flip a coin, I try to rework the whole control scenario. I figure, what the hell, maybe I should give Sony one more shot. I buy the unit.
It installs easily, and with the already installed Clearwater speakers and amp, it sounds fantastic. I have CD's. I can hear them top down at highway speeds. All is well in the world. For two months. Then the controller goes out. I disassemble the console, pull the eyeballs, trundle the whole thing back to the local appliance emporium, they exchange the defective unit for a new one. I reinstall everything. Life is good again.
Several months later, same thing. I pull the eyeballs, remove the console, head on back to Appliance Galaxy, and I am now out of warranty, and they can only refer me to the Sony service station. I opt for a local guy, get him to fix the controller and everything is right in the world again.
Another couple of months go by, and I'm getting this bizarre whistling when playing CD's. I disassemble everything again, and narrow it down to the circuit board it self. Back to my local guy, he gets me a new board. I put everything together AGAIN, and for now, all is well with the world.
I can now pull the entire console and the radio in 8 minutes flat. I can even find the screws behind the eyeballs without an additional light source.
My advice. Get a CD changer for your Miata. It's a great thing to have. Fill it with Buffett tunes on a sunny day and head for the shore. Whatever you do, don't buy the Sony.
Update: The after the third install, this unit has performed perfectly since. That was more than 2 years ago. Still hate Sony, but it IS still working.