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      04-24-2013, 06:06 PM   #1
nadidlab
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Noob base upgrade decision help request

Read the stickies, read many a thread, looking for advice on how to live within a budget of as close to $750 as I can in upgrading a base system. Thus far it seems as if I chew through the bulk of that with $400 on speakers (either two DLS R4s and 2 sw8s, or Gladen x-ion 200 kit). That leaves me with a choice of either an amp like the JL 600 or a refurbed MS-8, but not both.

It seems as if that gives me a choice between a VP described ("less suckage") amplified crap option or a potentially underpowered but good sounding ms-8 solution.

What would you do?
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      04-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #2
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Amplifier and speakers

Amplifier and speakers
Some of the guys with both the ms-8 and amp say the amp makes
a bigger difference.
you might try to recode to Hi Fi if you don't have PDC or bluetooth.
I have and amp and speaker upgrade from VP and it wasn't cheap but it sure sounds good.
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      04-24-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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Thanks CTuna.

Appreciate the response and guidance. I do have PDC, Nav & Bluetooth.

Definitely understand the you get what you pay for point, but when the budget creeps into four digit territory, it starts to seem less reasonable to me-- kids' college, mortgage, retirement.... Its a matter of balancing personal priorities I suppose. Trying to find the best compromise...

If I don't recode, how much normalization can be expected with the bass and treble controls? My primary disatisfaction with the base system isnt volume, as it gets reasonably loud, its the fact that the music sounds "thin" if that makes any sense, and distorts at volume.
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      04-24-2013, 09:41 PM   #4
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If you don't recode you have to use a processor

If you don't recode you have to use a processor
or frequency flattening device like a Jl cleansweep yet another
expense . The ms-8 is suppose to be the cheap way out but its
reliability is not so high according to the guru's here.
What year is your car as people often confuse the stereo and Hi Fi system and call both the base system . The stereo system was only issued to US cars in 2010 late 2011.
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      04-24-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Thanks again

My car is 2011. W/nav, no tweeters, no amp.
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      04-25-2013, 04:06 AM   #6
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I would vote ms-8 with the dls r4 (which you may have to top mount). Still waiting to hear back from quiksr20 who has been working just such a package.
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      04-25-2013, 06:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nadidlab View Post
Read the stickies, read many a thread, looking for advice on how to live within a budget of as close to $750 as I can in upgrading a base system. Thus far it seems as if I chew through the bulk of that with $400 on speakers (either two DLS R4s and 2 sw8s, or Gladen x-ion 200 kit). That leaves me with a choice of either an amp like the JL 600 or a refurbed MS-8, but not both.

It seems as if that gives me a choice between a VP described ("less suckage") amplified crap option or a potentially underpowered but good sounding ms-8 solution.

What would you do?
I would do:

- Diamond Audio M341 component set
- SWS-8Xi underseat woofers
- Alpine MRX F35 4-ch amp
- Stereo 2/4 harness

The M341 has adjustable-level tweeter outputs, so no need for coding or DSP to tame the boosted highs of the OEM HU full range outputs. Just set it to -2dB and if further adjustment is needed then use OEM HU tweeter adjustment level. The SWS-8Xi will provide much better and louder bass than the OEM woofers. The MRX F35 has signal sensing and high level inputs built-in. No need of LOC or running remote signal from the OEM HU to the trunk. Set front crossovers to 200Hz HP, underseat woofers to 200Hz LP and that's it. OEM HU keeps powering the rear OEM speakers. Stereo 2/4 taps underseat woofer connector to access front OEM HU full range output signal, the front speakers and woofer inputs.

No need to remove OEM HU for anything, no OEM wires to cut.

That would be about $700 shipped plus the amp cable kit and the OEM tweeter pods.

Anything else will require DSP or coding. For an extra $150 you can replace the MRX amp with two Zapco DC200.2 with built-in full DSP. You will need to run the remote signal from the back of the HU to the trunk in that case.
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      04-25-2013, 07:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I would do:

- Diamond Audio M341 component set
- SWS-8Xi underseat woofers
- Alpine MRX F35 4-ch amp
- Stereo 2/4 harness

The M341 has adjustable-level tweeter outputs, so no need for coding or DSP to tame the boosted highs of the OEM HU full range outputs. Just set it to -2dB and if further adjustment is needed then use OEM HU tweeter adjustment level. The SWS-8Xi will provide much better and louder bass than the OEM woofers. The MRX F35 has signal sensing and high level inputs built-in. No need of LOC or running remote signal from the OEM HU to the trunk. Set front crossovers to 200Hz HP, underseat woofers to 200Hz LP and that's it. OEM HU keeps powering the rear OEM speakers. Stereo 2/4 taps underseat woofer connector to access front OEM HU full range output signal, the front speakers and woofer inputs.

No need to remove OEM HU for anything, no OEM wires to cut.

That would be about $700 shipped plus the amp cable kit and the OEM tweeter pods.

Anything else will require DSP or coding. For an extra $150 you can replace the MRX amp with two Zapco DC200.2 with built-in full DSP. You will need to run the remote signal from the back of the HU to the trunk in that case.
Thanks for this post and suggestions.

Would you take these components to the dealer to have them code and install it?
What would happen if you just did the amp and subwoofers?
Where does the amp go?
What could you use if you didn't want to top mount speakers?
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      04-25-2013, 08:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VFS View Post
Thanks for this post and suggestions.

Would you take these components to the dealer to have them code and install it?
As stated above, this suggestion does not require coding. You need an audio shop to install all that, not a dealer.
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What would happen if you just did the amp and subwoofers?
Sound will suck slightly less.

Quote:
Where does the amp go?
Install shop will determine that.

Quote:
What could you use if you didn't want to top mount speakers?
Those M341 are 46mm deep, they will fit your E90 front door panels with mounting adapters from the back of the OEM grills.
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      04-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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Where do you get Zapco's that cheap?

Where do you get Zapco's that cheap?
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      04-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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Where do you get Zapco's that cheap?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZAPCO-DC200-...0c4683&vxp=mtr
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      04-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #12
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That's a steal!

That's a steal!
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      04-25-2013, 11:35 AM   #13
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Where can you get the OEM tweeter pods? And for that matter, for the complete noobs, where do you get the amp cable kit?

We don't have a decent car stereo shop around Novi, MI and the dealer won't touch audio while the car is under warranty. Thinking I'll just have my mechanic friend do it for me but I'll need to get him everything he'll need.

Again, thanks. This forum has been so helpful as I build my car.
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      04-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #14
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Thanks very much.

This forum is great, and you guys make it that way. Thanks for sharing your expert opinions and knowledge.
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      04-25-2013, 11:54 AM   #15
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Is that the same Zapco as back in the day? I know companies like Soundstream were top notch and then bought out by another company and the name "Soundstream" stayed, but the quality didn't. I have heard Diamond speakers and were awesome sounding. The shop I worked at sold Boston Acoustics Pro series subs, Soundstream (when they were good) among others and the Diamonds blew them away in terms of SQ. Bostons were too bright sounding. I still have a pair of Pro 5.4 Boston Acoustics that are sitting aound collecting dust. Too bad our cars don't use 5 1/4" drivers. It sure would make for more upgrade options.
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      04-25-2013, 12:57 PM   #16
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That's a steal!
This customer replaced the RF amp in here with that eBay seller's DC200.2 (total of 2 DC200.2, front and underseat): http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=767449

I though that the original P300-2 installed was great, but the DC200.2 changed the whole system.
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