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      08-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #1
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Notes on a 2011 328i with HiFi (8-speakers/OEM amp) to XD600/6 and UP-222

My sister asks what can be done with her HiFi system, that it is lacking clarity and some "punch". However, this is a lease, there's not that much money to invest and she does not have the time to install anything.

Well, the HiFi harness, a XD600/6 that was laying round in my garage (Part I), the CDT Upstage system (Part II) and full 100% PnP and OEM reversible will all do just fine...

The before trunk shot...


The OEM amp and bracket...


The OEM battery connection -50A fuse/holder and distribution block connector and housing (unused double slot with metal blades inside available in this particular case)...


OEM amp removed, and install Part I done: XD600/6 wired to HiFi harness and ready to be plugged in and installed -subconnectors show in photo are for install Part II...




OEM amp ground terminal used...


Then Part II - CDT Upstage UP-222 install...


Run center tweeters cable from dash to trunk using pre-made PnP cable...


Use wire "fisher"...




Run cable under center console towards trunk area...




Connect pre-mounted Upstage tweeters to cable and install on OEM center speaker area (OEM grill added and not shown for OEM look and fuctionality)...




Add new center Upstage tweeters wiring to OEM amp connector...


Plug Upstage crossover modules to pre-made subconnectors in HiFi harness...




Mount Upstage modules and XD600/6 amp with professional Velcro (no drilling, no permanent changes)...


OEM trunk trim re-installed...


The after trunk shot...


Notes:

Part I - to test the effectiveness of the XD600/6 as the direct replacement of the OEM amp, the HiFi harness was modified with a sub connector in the front speaker wiring. The sub connector purpose was to be able to be unplugged to add the Upstage tweeter system later and compare the before and after difference in the audio upgrade.

Part I results were quite significant...

With the XD600/6 settings at min gain for front and rear channels, 9 o'clock gain for underseat woofers (7 o'clock is minimum), HP at 135Hz for front and rear speakers (that is 27 clicks on the frequency knobs) and LP at 174Hz for underseat woofers (30 clicks), bass and midbass were louder, deeper, and surprisingly clean and not forced/clipped. This was expected in the sense that we went from 25W and 40W max to 200W max on the mids and underseat woofers respectively. The logical question would be, will the OEM speakers blow with so much power increase? The answer would be, I do not know.

What I do know is that the bass adjustment was kept at center and my sister needed only a nicer system than OEM with the ocassional high volume run to the supermarket, and not a all the time, crank the volume, pump that bass, rock the boat system. Your results will vary.

The OEM tweeters sounded fine, but there is no way of getting real definition out of these. They are simply mediocre no matter the power upgrade. But that was also expected.

Enter Part II.

Part II - Because the idea was to keep most of the install as non-intrusive and quick as possible, but at the same time increase the audio quality in a budget, I selected the CDT Upstage UP-222 system to take over most of the duty of the OEM tweeters without replacing the OEM tweeters. I used one of those systems back in my E46 M3 days with great results, so this was a no-brainer.

The HiFi harness was modified to use the front speakers inputs and outputs as the Upstage inputs and outputs. In other words, the XD600/6 front channels outputs are actually powering 6 speakers via the Upstage modules.

The Uptage modules (one per tweeter) have 30 different manual settings that changes the crossover point, and output level of these tweeters. For this install I selected the lowest crossover point with the highest tweeter output level. So the OEM tweeters become more like filling tweeters and not the main tweeters -that will be the purpose of the Upstage tweeters. The Upstage modules do not affect midbass, only the tweeter frequencies above 3KHz or so.

The recommended location of these Upstage tweeters is on the A-pillars, facing the windshield. The idea is to use the windshield as a reverb device, for the highs to be "bouncing" against the winshield and filling the cabin, or so is their design purpose. That location was not even considered just because that defeats the purpose of a non-intrusive install. Therefore the next location available was the center speaker mount, with the tweeters facing the windshield.

The results were simply impressive -the sucker really fills a stage hole in the dash that we did not realize that existed before. The OEM tweeters just fill the sides nicely while the front of the dash fills the rest of the cabin. Voices are really clear and with a softness that only silk tweeters can reproduce. However, with metallic highs (like in dance and rock music) the Upstage still reproduce those with a metallic sound. There was no way that the OEM tweeters were going to do that by themselves.

Conclusion - We played Rihanna "Where Have You Been" after all this was set and done. My sister kept saying over and over again that her car got a complete brand new system.

That's really nice.
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Last edited by Technic; 01-07-2013 at 08:52 AM.
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      08-12-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
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i like installs when the before picture looks just like the after picture
job well done

so how soon before she asks for a trunk sub
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      08-12-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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You could probably disconnect the OEM tweeters.
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      08-12-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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i like installs when the before picture looks just like the after picture
job well done

so how soon before she asks for a trunk sub


No trunk sub... this is more than enough "boom boom" for her.
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      08-12-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
You could probably disconnect the OEM tweeters.
The Upstage system is designed to complement the OEM tweeters. In this particular case they were set to take over most of the high range. And removing/unplugging the OEM speakers defeats the purpose of a relatively quick and easy install anyways...
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      08-12-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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Is the amp held in place with Velcro (didn't see a rack in the picks)?
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      08-12-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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Never mind, see the answer to my own question (helps to read).
Good, that's how mine is in there and I've been wondering if that's good enough.
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      09-07-2012, 09:03 AM   #8
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Never mind, see the answer to my own question (helps to read).
Good, that's how mine is in there and I've been wondering if that's good enough.
It is more than good enough... it keeps the XD600/6 from touching any metal part of the car and suspended, so it also provides some cooling space underneath.
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      09-07-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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Question about the wiring on the upstage modules. You have full range inputs to the module, then the 'woofer' output goes to the components in the front doors? Is this right? What are your expected crossovers between the door mid to door tweeter and then your door tweeter to the CDT tweeters?
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      09-07-2012, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgatti View Post
Question about the wiring on the upstage modules. You have full range inputs to the module, then the 'woofer' output goes to the components in the front doors? Is this right? What are your expected crossovers between the door mid to door tweeter and then your door tweeter to the CDT tweeters?
Nice install. I would like to know the answer to this question as well.
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      09-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgatti View Post
Question about the wiring on the upstage modules. You have full range inputs to the module, then the 'woofer' output goes to the components in the front doors? Is this right? What are your expected crossovers between the door mid to door tweeter and then your door tweeter to the CDT tweeters?
XD600/6 Front (135Hz HP) outputs -> UP-222 amp input -> UP-222 Main Speaker output -> OEM mid/tweeter / UP-222 Tweeter output -> CDT silk tweeter

There's no CDT specs on where the exact transition is between the -222 tweeters and the OEM tweeters. I set it at the lowest crossover point and the highest output in the module, which I guess that is between 3-6KHz.
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      09-07-2012, 01:24 PM   #12
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OK - I guess before figuring out how I might employ one of these, some o-scope work is warranted.
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      09-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgatti View Post
OK - I guess before figuring out how I might employ one of these, some o-scope work is warranted.
I just measured the response of this UP-222 using the iPhone SSD RTA app:

- the UP-222 flat response (85dB SPL measurement) starts at 6KHz to 16KHz+. The starting point (I used ~60dB SPL) is about 3.15KHz.

- OEM Mid to tweeter flat response also starts at around 3.15KHz (85dB); the 60dB point is about 1KHz and again at 12.5KHz. Meaning that the UP-222 starts to take over at about 12.5KHz or so.
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      09-08-2012, 06:59 PM   #14
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Do you think these upstage kits provide a better stage than having a dash speaker play center channel info?
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      09-08-2012, 07:42 PM   #15
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Do you think these upstage kits provide a better stage than having a dash speaker play center channel info?
Without a proper DSP for the center channel I think that these upstage modules do a front stage trick quite well, especially for the price.
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      09-13-2012, 03:46 AM   #16
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good center replacement?

i really like the addition of this center component. Technic you brought up a good point about discovering the hole in front and this Upstages compliment. We've been attempting to optimize Logic 7 using the ms-8 processing but using a coaxial in most cases. If it can take advantage of reverb more than a coaxial then,

What do you think about using a cdt audio centerstage or upstage (considering if we would be ok with the cost) instead, conssidering its specialty?

Would the crossover be needed and how would we connect to the Ms-8 then?
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      09-16-2012, 08:56 AM   #17
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i really like the addition of this center component. Technic you brought up a good point about discovering the hole in front and this Upstages compliment. We've been attempting to optimize Logic 7 using the ms-8 processing but using a coaxial in most cases. If it can take advantage of reverb more than a coaxial then,

What do you think about using a cdt audio centerstage or upstage (considering if we would be ok with the cost) instead, conssidering its specialty?

Would the crossover be needed and how would we connect to the Ms-8 then?
This CDT Upstage is mostly for non-DSP systems, as the crossovers included are connected to the existing front channels and create the center/front stage off of those.

DSP processors create their center/front stage by their own internal circuitry and dedicated center speaker.
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      11-10-2012, 02:09 PM   #18
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How did you mount the front mid twitters, I have the CDT AF-256/02BL that I want to mount in the same location
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      11-10-2012, 03:21 PM   #19
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How did you mount the front mid twitters, I have the CDT AF-256/02BL that I want to mount in the same location
Gorilla glue...
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      12-27-2012, 12:28 AM   #20
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Gorilla glue...
Learned a lot from this thread as well. Thanks to all that participated in it.
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      12-27-2012, 12:35 AM   #21
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Technic, do you think the tweeters in this location work as designed since they are not mounted on the A pillar like CDT intended?
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      12-27-2012, 09:37 AM   #22
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Technic, do you think the tweeters in this location work as designed since they are not mounted on the A pillar like CDT intended?
What I wanted out of these CDT tweeters was to fill the highs upper range that the OEM tweeters are either incapable or simply weak to reproduce with clarity. But at the same time I did not want to replace the OEM tweeters, remove door panels or mount anything on the A-pillars. So the best compromise was this Upstage system at the center speaker location.

By mounting them facing the windshield at opposing angles I think that I accomplished what I was looking for, not necessarily what they were designed for.
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