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      04-18-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
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Notes on a 2011 335i with HiFi (8-speakers/OEM amp)

MY2011 E90 335i with HiFi system (standard)

Customer requirements:

- PnP/100% reversible install (car is a lease), which means Velcro and Dynamat and no drilling, cuts or permanent modifications.
- sound improvement equal or exceeding the OEM Harman Kardon system
- less than $1000 upgrade

Equipment installed:

- JBL MS-8
- DLS R4 component set (front)
- Vibe Slick 4 coaxial (rear)
- OEM Individual Audio coaxial (center)
- OEM 8" woofers (stock)
- OEM center grill
- HiFi harness custom-made to PnP interface with MS-8 (Power, ground, inputs and outputs)

Quick photos:

Custom HiFi harness:


MS-8 (held by velcro):


OEM front door panel before R4 install:


Depth comparison between R4 mid and OEM mid (over 10mm):


Cone comparison (R4 metal mounting tabs cut):


Test fit (into OEM grill cavity):


Dynamat fix (yes, it is ugly but it works):


Crossover mounted with Velcro:


Door panel finished:


Notes:
- The MS-8 was tried initially with all the OEM speakers and a single Slick 4 as the center speaker and the improvement was simply impressive. Clarity at much higher volume than OEM was improved, bass was loud and clean, and the much-maliged HiFi tweeters were faking it like they were some high quality aftermarket tweeters. For somebody with a bare bones budget this could be it, for no more than $650 (depending on the price of the MS-8, customer found a brand new one on ebay for less than $500 shipped) this can be replicated as a DIY.

- Then the R4 and the rear Slick 4 were installed... although it was not a day and night difference (2 ohms speakers were replaced by 4 ohms, cutting the output power by almost half), a new MS-8 calibration took advantage of better mids, better tweeters and better overall rear speakers (there are no rear OEM tweeters in the MY2011 HiFi) to produce an arguably better sound than the OEM Harman Kardon system.

The R4 cone moved like it is a sub, which it is surprising when the MS-8 crossover setting for the front Hi was set to 200Hz at 6db slope. However, a 94dB sensitivity made up the loss of almost 50% of output power, producing a much better and clearer mid bass punch than the OEM mids. The R4 silk tweeters also cleaned up quite a bit the OEM tweeters, but again not so much as categorically saying that the OEM tweeters are crap. They are not, at least with the MS-8 optimizing the output.

But the biggest surprise was the OEM woofers... I normally use the song Whole Life by Oxia to test the underseat performance and even the customer was amazed of how much bass was there that he did not know. Although the power output improvement was 50% over the OEM amp output (40W max vs 60W max) the main reason of this bass performance is the multiple MS-8 user-adjustments available to maximize it. The 31-band EQ was fundamental is getting this kind of clean, deep bass out of the OEM speakers. That these OEM woofers are 2ohms is also the trick.

- This E90 has Park Distance Control and the "beeps" are only generated by the rear OEM outputs. In a regular HiFi integration the MS-8 only uses the front OEM outputs while skipping the MS-8 input setup. To retain the PDC sounds without adding more cost/additional speakers to the system all 4 OEM outputs are combined using "2-female to 1-male" RCA cables -Left Front combined to the Left Rear and so on- into two output channels and then input into the MS-8. This way the MS-8 Input setup can still be skipped and the PDC sound will be retained but thru all the speakers intead of rear speakers alone, while no loss of OEM signal quality and strength.

In conclusion... the HiFi, MS-8 and a center speaker is a considerable improvement over stock.
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Last edited by Technic; 04-05-2012 at 05:42 AM. Reason: PDC solution
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      04-19-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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Nice write-up! Any issues with getting the R4s to fit in the e90 doors?
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      04-19-2011, 07:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuce View Post
Nice write-up! Any issues with getting the R4s to fit in the e90 doors?
WYSIWYG...



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      04-19-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
WYSIWYG...
Thanks. I was under the impression that the R4s wouldn't fit in the e90 due to the 60mm mounting depth.
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      04-19-2011, 08:14 AM   #5
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Thanks. I was under the impression that the R4s wouldn't fit in the e90 due to the 60mm mounting depth.
They were inserted about 10-13mm into the OEM grills.
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      04-19-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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T, how did you physically attach the R4s to the door panel?
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      04-19-2011, 09:36 AM   #7
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Technic - How do the R4s sound in comparison to similarly priced components (e.g., Rainbows)?
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      04-19-2011, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
T, how did you physically attach the R4s to the door panel?
Dynamat... you can lift the whole door panel (with the croosover in place) by the R4 magnet and still it is attached.
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      04-19-2011, 12:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuce View Post
Technic - How do the R4s sound in comparison to similarly priced components (e.g., Rainbows)?
I have not installed any Rainbows in a BMW yet, but these R4 set sound quite clean, "bassy" and defined with just 30W max.
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      04-19-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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Do you have a picture of the door panels installed

Do you have a picture of the door panels installed?
I was just wandering what the grills looked liked sticking out
from the inside? Also what do the crossoevers look like in place or
are they already in place?
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      04-19-2011, 02:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Do you have a picture of the door panels installed?
I was just wandering what the grills looked liked sticking out
from the inside? Also what do the crossoevers look like in place or
are they already in place?
No photos... the door panel OEM grill looks 100% stock from the outside, only the DLS logo in the cone showing thru the mesh.

The crossovers are fixed with Velcro sideways (the photo above show them flat on top of the OEM foam barrier before final install) with the screws towards the front.
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      04-19-2011, 03:24 PM   #12
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So the speakers didn't protrude

Looks totaly stock?

I thought there was a 50mm depth limit.

oops should have read the above thread there mounted from the outside
you think the dynamat will hold them in long term ?
I guess if was a permanent install you would do it differently .

Last edited by ctuna; 04-19-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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      04-19-2011, 04:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Looks totaly stock?

I thought there was a 50mm depth limit.

oops should have read the above thread there mounted from the outside
you think the dynamat will hold them in long term ?
I guess if was a permanent install you would do it differently .
I used to have a set of Morel hybrid Ovations installed with Dynamat for about two years in my old E90 M3, and still they are tight with the new owner.

For a permanent install I would do a custom plastic spacer.
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      04-19-2011, 05:57 PM   #14
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How did you attach the OEM grille? Let me guess......Dynamat?!
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      04-19-2011, 06:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
How did you attach the OEM grille? Let me guess......Dynamat?!
The OEM grill is 100% stock, still held by its own tabs.
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      04-19-2011, 08:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
The OEM grill is 100% stock, still held by its own tabs.
Oh, OK, I thought the flange of this driver was bigger than the cut-out and would have interfered with the grille tabs.
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      04-20-2011, 03:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
Oh, OK, I thought the flange of this driver was bigger than the cut-out and would have interfered with the grille tabs.
It says the mounting flanges have been cut off.
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      04-20-2011, 10:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post

Notes:
- The MS-8 was tried initially with all the OEM speakers and a single Slick 4 as the center speaker and the improvement was simply impressive. Clarity at much higher volume than OEM was improved, bass was loud and clean, and the much-maliged HiFi tweeters were faking it like they were some high quality aftermarket tweeters. For somebody with a bare bones budget this could be it, for no more than $650 (depending on the price of the MS-8, customer found a brand new one on ebay for less than $500 shipped) this can be replicated as a DIY.
I'd like to try this. I've also got the HiFi system with 2 tweeters, underseat subs and 4 mid-range plus the external amp.

Sorry if I've missed something obvious but where/how did the center speaker go in?

Also I'm in the UK and I don't have confidence that local installers know what to do with an MS-8. Not that I know what to do either, but at least I'll read up on it first. I had a look on the MS-8 integration thread for a step to step DIY for an MS-8 install, but that thread is so long I couldn't see it. Anyone have a link I can use?

Last edited by kaishang; 04-20-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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      04-20-2011, 04:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaishang View Post
I'd like to try this. I've also got the HiFi system with 2 tweeters, underseat subs and 4 mid-range plus the external amp.

Sorry if I've missed something obvious but where/how did the center speaker go in?
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ghlight=center
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      08-02-2011, 05:07 PM   #20
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Hi Technic, how did you remove the metal mounting tabs off the DLS R4s? Any special tools needed? I am planning to try this DIY next :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
MY2011 E90 335i with HiFi system (standard)

Cone comparison (R4 metal mounting tabs cut):
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      08-02-2011, 05:20 PM   #21
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Hi Technic, how did you remove the metal mounting tabs off the DLS R4s? Any special tools needed? I am planning to try this DIY next :-)
I cut the tabs with a metal cutter scissor from Home Depot...
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Last edited by Technic; 04-05-2012 at 05:45 AM.
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      08-02-2011, 05:25 PM   #22
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[quote=Technic;9401237]MY2011 E90 335i with HiFi system (standard)

Are you utilizing the hifi amp in conjunction with the ms-8 or is the ms-8 powering everything?
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