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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > My Base Stereo Upgrade: JBL MS-8, OEM speakers + Vibe Centre



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      04-15-2012, 10:20 AM   #1
mob17
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My Base Stereo Upgrade: JBL MS-8, OEM speakers + Vibe Centre

I thought it would be nice to let u guys know what i have done with my sound system, my impressions and of course some questions too!

My original system was the base stereo with 6 speakers. My system now is:

JBL MS-8
Vibe Slick 4 centre speaker
Technic's harness
OEM mids
OEM woofers
OEM rears

First of all i would like to say a big thank you to b33m3r for taking the time to install my set up yesterday and doing a very professional job of it. I was very pleased with where he mounted the MS-8 and it was a very clean stealth install with nothing damaged. If anyone wants to see some pics of the final install please let me know and i will post some. I would also like to say thanks to taibanl for offering me his advice for the past month or so. I have bombarded him with questions and each time i have got clear answers. I made my upgrade decision based on quite a lot of what he suggested as he really does know what he is doing. I would also like to thank technic for providing me with his excellent harness, which was clearly labelled and easy to use (some slight modification was required but this was very minor and simple)

My Impressions:

WOW what an improvement to the base spec, and this is using the MS-8's power only with no additional amps and all OEM speakers (except centre). The level of sound quality is drastically increased and the system volume goes much much louder. The front stage is well defined, but could be wider. Maybe this is an acoustic calibration issue? Bass performance is increased (but obviously not huge bass) and the high frequencies sound very nice as well. I have retained the pdc volume and no signs of any bluetooth problems when ringing people. But there are a few issues which i state later on.

Before this upgrade I was pretty sure that i would need to amp the whole front stage and upgrade the speakers to get the volume i wanted. However the volume the MS-8 provides is more than enough for me. I might add some aftermarket tweeters not sure yet. But before any of that I will add a subwoofer to satisfy my bass needs.

Unfortunately i do have some issues, which hopefully, with ur help, i can overcome. I will first tell you as much detail as i can of my set up:
Ch 1: Left mid range (OEM)
Ch 2: Right mid range (OEM)
Ch 3: Left mid bass (OEM)
Ch 4: Right mid bass (OEM)
Ch 5: Centre (Vibe)
Ch 6: Left rear (OEM)
Ch 7: Right rear (OEM)
Ch 8: Not used

MS-8 Calibration vol: -23db
Playback ms-8 vol: -6db
Subsonic filter: 20hz
all other crossovers are at 200hz with 24db slopes.
Sub level: about a quarter of a way between centre and max
Bass level: about a quarter of a way between centre and max
Treble level: Centre
Mid level: about a quarter of a way between centre and min
Logic 7: On

Graphic EQ:
20hz 9.5db
25hz 8.5db
32hz 7.5db
40hz 6.5db
50hz 5.5db
63hz 4.5db
80hz 3.5hz
100hz 2.5db
125hz 1.5db
160hz 0.5db
200hz -0.5db
250hz -1db
315hz -2db
400hz -3db
500hz -4db
630hz-4.5db
800hz -4db
1khz -3.5db
1.25khz -3db
1.6khz -2db
2khz -1db
2.5khz 0db
3.15khz 0.5db
4khz 1.5db
5khz 2db
6.3khz 3db
8khz 4db
10khz 5db
12.6khz 6db
16khz 7db
20khz 8db

My issues:

So thats how the ms-8 was set up. The issue i have is with tracks with really deep bass, my underseat woofers seem to rattle, even at low volumes. This did happen before the upgrade but its worse now. It doesnt happen with most of my music but does with tracks with deep bass. Gets worse as i turn vol up. Is this a crossover issue or the graphic EQ?

For most of my tracks with not too much deep bass, the wooders dont rattle at all even with the vol on full. At medium to high volumes the OEM woofers sound very nice. But when cranking it up to the max i feel they are not performing as they should. The bass sounds different to what im used to, not as deep as i would expect, more shallow/punchy. No popping or clipping, just sounds like a guy is banging a really big drum. This only happens on certain tracks, on others it is ok. Maybe this is what its supposed to sound like but im not sure.

The other issue i have is on start up. When i start the engine i hear a loud deep boom which sounds like it is coming from the woofers. It feels like my ears are popping. This happens regardless of whether there is music playing or not when starting the engine. But i have noticed if i start the car up straight away (before the ms-8 screen is lit up) then this does not happen.

As always, i'll appreciate any feedback and solutions u may have
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      04-15-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
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Congrats!

My firsth thought is your eq is jacked up! I would try more calibrations

I have deinitely "tweaked" the 31 band a bit but 3.5dB at most

Are you coded to base stereo still?
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      04-15-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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Thanks

Ur right my EQ was a mess. i got rid of the rattle by turning 25hz and 32hz to 1db. Then made a little arch from 40hz to 200hz peaking at 4.5db at 63+80hz. Sounds better. Left sub and bass controls in the middle (any increase causes rattle on the deep bass tracks) I can now play those same tracks with no rattle at all, even at full volume. But i reckon i will have to save diff eqs for different types of music.

I also did the calibration again from the start, this time using -20db as the calibration vol. I think that mustve helped high vol clarity? It certainly sounds like it.

Yes im still coded to base, i know it will sound better recoded but im really liking it so far. The MS-8 really earns its money.

Still a bit worried about the boom on startup. Just starting it up straight away at the moment to avoid that.
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      04-15-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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1) speaker outputs are likely patially responsible for the pop

2) get tweeters asap

3) get underseats after that (hifi ones maybe? Sws8xi?)

Maybe ur done then.

Also you are doing the input setup calibration correct?
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      04-15-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taibanl View Post
1) speaker outputs are likely patially responsible for the pop
Is it safe to leave it like that or is there anything i can do?
2) get tweeters asap
3) get underseats after that (hifi ones maybe? Sws8xi?)
If i go down this route i suppose i'll have to get an amp. Not really keen on this as i like what i hear BUT i know thats because im used to the sh***y base system. Im pretty certain it will improve quality and volume even more by adding components and mid bass drivers and amping them and the centre with a xd600. Im just not sure whether to do this first or the sub first? Im slighty in favour of the sub first because a) its cheaper b) its easier to wire up c) If im satisfied by this stage i could stop (please God make me stop)

Maybe ur done then.
I get the feeling i will never be done

Also you are doing the input setup calibration correct?
i think i am. what do u think i may be doing wrong?
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      04-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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Should be Ok, it is annoying but recoding should cut it by 90%

Should be ok with HiFi 2ohm woofers, find a set used...shouldnt need any more power than the base audio 6.5.
---just figure out if you are going to go trunk sub or not, if yes then get cheap used oem woofers from a hifi car, if no, then get sws8xi, and try it, amp later depending on taste.

Was just asking,...now that you have a normal calibration, i am less concerned. -20 should work for no amp configuration.
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      04-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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OP, I would set the subsonic to a minimum of 30 - 35Hz, the OEM speakers cannot handle ultra-low frequencies and you risk blowing them. For the turn-on pop, try setting the turn-on delay on the MS-8 to 5 seconds. That should eliminate most of the pops. However, I still get them when I start the engine sometimes. I have learned to turn MS-8 volume down when I get out of the car, and then up again after it is started.
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      04-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by taibanl View Post
Should be Ok, it is annoying but recoding should cut it by 90%
Guess im going to be racing to start up straight away every time lol

Should be ok with HiFi 2ohm woofers, find a set used...shouldnt need any more power than the base audio 6.5.
---just figure out if you are going to go trunk sub or not, if yes then get cheap used oem woofers from a hifi car, if no, then get sws8xi, and try it, amp later depending on taste.
I'm 100% going to go with a boot sub so i think i will do that next. For later i think the 2 ohm hifi woofers are the way forward. Could i leave the underseats and rears on ms-8 power and amp the components and centre with a 4ch amp? Would there be any point amping the components and centre if the ms-8 will limit their power? This way would save me money on the amp, probably around 200!
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      04-15-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
OP, I would set the subsonic to a minimum of 30 - 35Hz, the OEM speakers cannot handle ultra-low frequencies and you risk blowing them.
Ok thanks will do that straight away

For the turn-on pop, try setting the turn-on delay on the MS-8 to 5 seconds. That should eliminate most of the pops. However, I still get them when I start the engine sometimes. I have learned to turn MS-8 volume down when I get out of the car, and then up again after it is started.
I think the only option in the ms-8 system settings is turn off delay. Is this what u mean?
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      04-15-2012, 03:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
OP, I would set the subsonic to a minimum of 30 - 35Hz, the OEM speakers cannot handle ultra-low frequencies and you risk blowing them. For the turn-on pop, try setting the turn-on delay on the MS-8 to 5 seconds. That should eliminate most of the pops. However, I still get them when I start the engine sometimes. I have learned to turn MS-8 volume down when I get out of the car, and then up again after it is started.
This is good advice OP, maybe even 40hz on the 6.5 woofers.

In my experience the key to the MS-8 based systems is balanced power. If you are going to do a 5 channel amp for trunk, under seats and center, that is one thing (you could even do a 4 channel with an efficient 2ohm sub), but if you are going to buy a separate sub amp, I would keep MS-8 power on all the other speakers unless you know for a fact you need more power. once you start powering some channels and not others you are in an upward spiral on price.
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      04-15-2012, 03:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taibanl View Post
This is good advice OP, maybe even 40hz on the 6.5 woofers.
Ok will try 35 and 40hz

In my experience the key to the MS-8 based systems is balanced power. If you are going to do a 5 channel amp for trunk, under seats and center, that is one thing (you could even do a 4 channel with an efficient 2ohm sub), but if you are going to buy a separate sub amp, I would keep MS-8 power on all the other speakers unless you know for a fact you need more power. once you start powering some channels and not others you are in an upward spiral on price.
I have already got a dls a6 mono amp for the sub, which i really want to use. From what u are saying i will add this and keep the same power on the rest of the system. Then see how it sounds. But say if i wanted to add a component set (eg focals). Would this definately have to be amped to sound better than OEM mids, or can i leave them on MS-8 power? Will it be worth it to get such expensive components if they are going to be kept on ms-8 power? Maybe get 2ohm ones?
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      04-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #12
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Going to go recalibrate with a higher subsinic now
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      04-15-2012, 03:27 PM   #13
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The power issue is all about driver sensitivity. Your drivers are 3dB LESS efficient than HiFi or L7 drivers (per 2.83 VOLT). Your drivers are 87dB/1w/1m@4ohm which equals 90dB/1m @ 2.83v. The HiFi/L7 are 87dB/1w/1m@2ohm which = 93dB@2.83v. The Rainbow are the same 93dB@2.83v (90dB/w@4ohm).

Since the MS-8 does NOT have a impedance sensing switched power supply, you need only to figure out what the sensitivity of a given set of speakers is @ 2.83v...it doesn't actually matter whether the driver is 2ohm or 4ohm, the MS-8 will put more watts into a 2ohm but not any more volts. Basically the MS-8 is equally loud on:

Rainbow SL100 4ohm speaker (90/1w/1m) on ~18w of MS-8 power
OEM L7 or HiFi 2ohm speaker (87/1w/1m) on ~30w of MS-8 power

They are the same.
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      04-15-2012, 05:55 PM   #14
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Also the logic 7 mids aren't really 2 ohms their dc resistance is 2.3 ohms so I'd say they're actually 3 ohm speakers.
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      04-15-2012, 06:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw325i
Also the logic 7 mids aren't really 2 ohms their dc resistance is 2.3 ohms so I'd say they're actually 3 ohm speakers.
Yep. Same with the infinity 42.9i (2.4ohm) but what matters is they measure up VERY close in sensitivity/volt to the other drivers listed.
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      04-15-2012, 06:08 PM   #16
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I changed the EQ so the max on any low to mid freq is 3.5db. The weird bass sound has gone Im really happy with the quality. Music actually sounds real now!

Ok i understand what u mean now regarding speaker sensitivity. So i suppose the rainbow sl100 will be happy with the ms-8. Thats good because i want to try and avoid buying an amp. I will only go down this route if i think i need more from my mids after installing a sub. I will probably not need to add separate tweeters in the corners of the windows if get this so thats another plus. However will they over power the centre as the vibe is 88db and the rainbows are 90db?

So i think my next stage will be a sub. Ideally i want a 12" in a normal box. Dont want to go down the enclosure route. My dls a6 spec is:

rms @ 13.8 dc feed: 1200w @ 1ohm, 870w @ 2ohms and 500w @ 4ohms
input sensitivity: 0.2v-7v
Built-in, variable 50-125 Hz low pass filter for subwoofers plus a 25 Hz subsonic filter with an 18 dB/octave slope.

1) Will this be ok with the ms-8?
2) whats ur advice on choosing a sub for this amp? What are the main things spec wise i should look out for?
4) Ideally i want it to present a 2ohm load, as at 2ohms an external fan is not needed. However running at 1ohm is also an option; getting an external fan wont be hard. How should i decide on the impedence if the sub?
3) For a sub, what characteristics would a higher rms give? would it be better quality and/or louder?
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      04-15-2012, 07:04 PM   #17
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OK with MS-8...sure I imagine it will be ok....though its VERY powerful and you will likely have to turn it way down...

ID10, JL10wX, Morel are popular subs for this car, usually in a VP enclosure though.

You have plenty of power for the sub, just find a sub you like


-----



As for the speakers if you want as efficient/loud as possible, you probably want the DLS R4 with a DLS 424 for a center. They are both rated 94dB/1w/1m@4ohm (97dB 2.83v/m)

You will still be limited by the sensitivity of the OEM under seats which I don't know what that is.

The SSMB8 are 89dB 1w/1m@4ohm as an example (92dB/2.83v/1m). I don't know about OEM.

SWS are 86.7dB (presumably 1w/1m at their respective impedance would place them at

SWS-8 89.7dB/2.83v/m
SWS-8xi 92.7dB/2.83v/m

However Technic has said the SSMB8 are MORE sensitive than SWS...so YMMV
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      04-16-2012, 04:53 AM   #18
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Yes i have had some bad exp with my dls, its blown a 15" diamond, twin 10" fli's and 3 12" subs in the past. Thats why i want to make sure i get the perfect sub for it.

wow those dls speakers seem a good investment then.

I think my course of action now is to get the sub next and then try and improve front stage.

This is prob my best system i could hope for:

DLS 424
DLS R4
Kicker woofers
Infinity 42.9 rears (only if i feel i need them)
JL XD600/6

Cheaper option:
Rainbow sl100
OEM HiFi woofers

There is a huge difference in price between the two. The first option isnt cheap, so have u got any tips on how i can split this up into cheaper stages and still sound decent and safe at every stage?
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      04-16-2012, 07:24 AM   #19
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Really? I thought rainbow were better speakers. Just not as efficient. Hmm

In any case. If you are running ms-8 power then worry about efficiency. If you are amping. Dont worry about it unless you want to blow your ears out. The 600/6 will get plenty loud with rainbow or similar
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      04-16-2012, 07:24 AM   #20
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Also might as well match front and rear
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      04-16-2012, 08:00 AM   #21
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For trunk sub the only two applications that work are corner-loading or infinite baffle. The latter is cheaper. Look at what TMR and Kmarei did. If I didn't already have the custom enclosure I would go IB with a single 12.
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      04-16-2012, 11:18 AM   #22
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Hey Mo

Thanks for the mention, was good to meet you the other day and I'm really glad you're pleased with the installation. I can see you're getting some good advice coming in on the setup! Looks like you've got the itch now though....

Just to add my view to the thread, I was genuinely surprised with the 'base systems' leap in sound quality and volume with just the MS8 and addition of the centre channel. Given the fact you say it's only gotten better with a bit of tweaking you must be pretty chuffed!

As a side note, just to reassure you, I do get an 'occasional' pop on mine on startup when listening to music. Not every time though and certainly not at any level which I'd worry about. The only time I notice it is when the stop/start function has actiated. I had thought it was my JBL amp but after reading this and a quick google search, it looks like it could be an MS8 characteristic instead!

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