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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > VP Electricity finally gets audio in his own car!



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      11-22-2009, 02:49 AM   #1
VP Electricity
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VP Electricity finally gets audio in his own car!

So, E91 iDrive, upgrade, SQ oriented, stock appearance, demo worthy for sound, not show. Done plenty for clients, needed to do mine. Decided to do a fully active, DSP-tuned, front/sub system with rear L-R ambience channels with massive time delay, front high/mid/midbass/rear/rear-subwoofer system.

Intercepted HU out and ran into Zapco balanced Symbi cables.



This system runs the front and rear HU outputs into separate Zapco Symbilink cables.

The signal routing is more complicatied than I would have liked. I only have 2 pair of HU outputs. The front output goes into a Symbilink "Y" adapter. One side feeds a DC650, the other feeds a SLB-U, which then feeds a DC500. This gives me a knob up front to control the sub level.



The rear output feeds a "Y" adapter which then feeds two cables, one standard, one modified. These are run to a DC200 (50x2). The DC200 is running rear speakers, and I can select which of the two cables to plug in (standard stereo or L-R).
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      11-22-2009, 02:49 AM   #2
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The front doors have tweeters in the sail, in a sort of waveguide behind a wire mesh grille. The grille has black cheesecloth AND a thick foam sheet in it - I took the foam sheet out and left only the cheesecloth. The tweeters are canted enough to be on axis in the sails behind the grilles. I am using Morel MT-22 from the Hybrid Ovation set. These get two 50W channels from the DC650. The Morels snap into the BMW tabs.



The front doors also have 4" mids up high in the door. They are not standard spacing, they are using a three-bolt setup. I had steel rings made for adapters (I've used 1/4" MDF, but I wanted something stiffer). I am using Morel Hybrid Ovation 4, and I really like them. These have only 50mm of depth or so, this is a major limitation in the car. These also get 50W channels from the DC650.







This disconnect allows the door panel to be removed by a mechanic:



The car has shallow 8" enclosures underseat. These locations are the biggest compromise in the car - the speakers are under the fricking seats, but I wasn't gonna put 8" in the kicks anyway.

The woofers have the seat rail running over them and there is limited depth, but apparently BMW solved the "small vented enclosure, long vent that doesn't fit in the box" problem by building the vents into the car (B-pillar?). The only 8 that is close to dropping in is the Earthquake SWS-8. I know, it's an Earthquake - but it is the only one that comes close to fitting without SERIOUS mods. At one point I was gonna use the Rainbow WOB200, and that one needed me to hack holy hell out of the enclosure AND mod the carpet under the seat. These get 100W channels from the DC650.

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      11-22-2009, 02:50 AM   #3
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In the back doors are Morel Integra Ovation 4. I love these as a coaxial, and I know that I probably could have just used a mid since I wil be bandpassing the rears as part of my rear-speaker experiment. These are on the 50W channels of the DC200, and I can run them either stereo or L-R mono.





Finally, there will be a fiberglass molded enclosure in the corner with a Morel Ultimo SC 10. The sub is light, it's relatively shallow, it sounds really good (I've used two of them now), so I went with it. For now,it's in a prefab MDF enclosure until we get the sub box made.

There is a DRC up front with the sub knob, both currently in the glove box, but eventually the buttons and display are coming out of the DRC and being mounted into the bezel above the ashtray. The sub knob will go there too, with a matching volume knob-cover from the HU. Should look VERY stock (the DRC illumination will change to BMW amber).

The E9x BMW, like most other current BMWs, have a tub under the cargo load floor. It is a great shape for multiple PDX or HD amps, but I had to go pick a long, narrow form factor...

I needed 9 channels - 2 F tw, 2 F mid, 2 F MB, 2 R, and sub.

The solution was to put a DC650 East-West, and a DC200 and a DC500 in the tub, North-South. All are running 4 ohms and I don't think the airflow will be an issue, but if it is we can add more venting easily.
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      11-22-2009, 02:51 AM   #4
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The DC650 is bolted in, and can be removed for service. Then the DC200 and DC500 lift out in a rack with nylon grab straps.














The battery post has a large distribution block built into it with fusible-link-protected ports. I bought the connectors from the dealer and made up my own plug-in, quick-disconnect plugs. Turns out I had to mod it from this pic slightly as not all the ports are powered. Will update later.





So I asked my friend Tom Miller to help me out with the amp rack - I would have taken 6 months to not come close to this level of neatness - and I thank him for his invaluable assistance.

I drove the car home Friday, and I am tuning it tomorrow (Sunday). I will update then, as well as when we do te fiberglass stealthy-box and the remote DRC / bass level knob install.

I have to test out the rear channels (there is a noise problem with the modded cable and I may have had solder pierce some heatshrink).

The plan is to use PS1 for front and underseat only, PS2 for F/R/underseat only, 3 for F/US/rear sub only with time correction for the rear sub arrival, 4 for F/R/US/rear sub with the US xover points bandpassed for midbass AND time correction for the rear sub arrival, and PS5 for system 4 with time correction per driver added in. This makes it 5 different demo cars
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      11-22-2009, 02:57 AM   #5
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Oh, for details o the power output, see http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=251449
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      11-23-2009, 12:56 AM   #6
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So I tested the SWS8 crossed over at 200, no EQ, both polarities.

Big difference in performance. See two attached curves.

I also attached where I ended up after a quick full EQ and time correction tune. I have a peak at 10K-ish that showed up after TA that I need to get rid of. Other than that, the thing sounds great.

Was listening to the title track from Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis - the backup vocalists sounded like individual point sources instead of a massed group of voices. Kinds scared me, really Was not expecting it.

The underseat midbasses sound pretty good. They have their limitations, and as expected are the weakest point in the system - but they are not bad.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf 10 8 4 tw eq 1 3 oct 2k ta.pdf (17.8 KB, 338 views)
File Type: pdf eq sws8 wo eq 200.pdf (18.0 KB, 298 views)
File Type: pdf eq sws8 wo eq 200 opp pol.pdf (17.9 KB, 246 views)
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      11-23-2009, 08:11 AM   #7
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that's one hell of a clean install. nice job
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      11-23-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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congrats, nice job!
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      11-23-2009, 07:11 PM   #9
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Excellent install. Question about the EQ on the SWS8, no question it's needed. Wondering what you did to flatten out your FR. Did you crank the gain down on the subs when you made this chart in addition to squashing the bass and midbass?
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      11-23-2009, 10:32 PM   #10
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Well, I am setting up the DRC dash controller with different memory presets to demo different systems.

I can run the SWS8 as either subs or as midbass (both high-passing and low-passing them), and running a rear-mounted 10" sub as the true subwoofer at 60 Hz and up.

I need to attach graphs of various setups, with and without EQ. Gonna ccumulate those over the next few days.
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      11-25-2009, 11:46 AM   #11
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Great work Ken, glad to see you finally doing your own car !
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      11-25-2009, 12:34 PM   #12
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Looks good. I had a similar set of rings made for my 4" mids. I had mine machined out of 1/4" T6061 aluminum. Still haven't had a chance to test fit. I'm so jealous at the amount of space you have under the false floor for amps. The M3 has nowhere near that kind of space but I still plan to mount my DC650 there. I'm also tapping the OEM pre-amp signal with the symbilink cables as you recommended. Good job on your install
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      11-25-2009, 04:44 PM   #13
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For what it's worth, you can drop 3 DC200 and a DC500 vertically, north-south, into that tub.
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      11-25-2009, 08:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullyloaded View Post
Who cares about your car audio? Let's focus on actually technical issues.
Not clear what you're talking about. Are you suggesting that a car audio system is not a worthy topic in an AUDIO/VIDEO forum?
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      11-25-2009, 09:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullyloaded View Post
No. It is a worthy topic. But no one really cares about you bragging about your system.
Plenty of other threads for you to go to. No need to post on this one if you don't like it.

I'm in the business. Car audio is what I do most. Not bragging about it, kid. Build threads are what people do with their cars on these forums. After a long time of giving advice to people who wanted an audio system in their E9x, I finally got my own car done. Sharing what I did. Not bragging.

(EDITED TO ADD: I guess his post was deleted, so my non sequitur reply can be ignored : )

Last edited by VP Electricity; 11-25-2009 at 11:14 PM.
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      11-26-2009, 12:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
Plenty of other threads for you to go to. No need to post on this one if you don't like it.

I'm in the business. Car audio is what I do most. Not bragging about it, kid. Build threads are what people do with their cars on these forums. After a long time of giving advice to people who wanted an audio system in their E9x, I finally got my own car done. Sharing what I did. Not bragging.

(EDITED TO ADD: I guess his post was deleted, so my non sequitur reply can be ignored : )
I love the thread by the way. Any plans of selling those rings? (or details on how you got them made?)
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      11-27-2009, 07:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemith View Post
I love the thread by the way. Any plans of selling those rings? (or details on how you got them made?)
Love your install...
Any chance in getting a scanned template of the rings. pretty please...
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      11-27-2009, 08:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemith View Post
I love the thread by the way. Any plans of selling those rings? (or details on how you got them made?)
Here's something I'm currently working on. Unfortunately, CNC time is not cheap. Click on the link for more pics.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=325620



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      11-27-2009, 08:26 PM   #19
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Yeah, I had these made a couple months ago and initially used them for the Vanadium 4" which I never played.
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      11-28-2009, 08:47 AM   #20
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nice fab tips

Great post VP.
I especially like the speaker rings and power connections.

Thanks for posting.
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      11-28-2009, 01:35 PM   #21
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Thanks!

A bit more detail on how I am running my B+ and how I determined if it was sufficient:


Since the double-receptacle on the outside of the batt terminal is missing the fusible link output pins (see my link to the other thread), I am switching to a double and a single, and then linking the input side of my two 8-to-4 "reverse-distribution blocks". Thus I will have three 8AWG feeds from the positive battery terminal to my distribution block array.

So - is that enough? Follow along...


The article in Wikipedia on American Wire Gauge is interesting, and has a table with diameters and areas. When you double a diameter, you drop wire gauge by 6. When you double an area, you drop wire gauge by 3. So two 8AWG wires are only the same as a 5AWG wire.

Three 8AWG wires have roughly the same cross-sectional area as a single 3AWG wire. (This was not specifically addressed in the Wikipedia article, but was addressed in this helpful and more detailed table.)

Since I have three 12" lengths of 8AWG feeding my distribution block array, and this is analogous to a single 3AWG wire, this gives me about 110A capability (depending on length, but I am using the chart in the Wikipedia article as a reference here).

The DC650 is rated at 80A when all channels are loaded to 2 ohms, the DC500 is rated at 40A when it is loaded to 2 ohms, and the DC200 is rated at 26A when it is loaded to 2 ohms. That's 146A.

However, all these amps are loaded at 4 ohms, and the DC200 is playing a pair of 4", at very low levels, bandpassed, so it's almost not there at all.

My estimate of my 4-ohm current requirements is 100A with the, ah, current configuration, and so three 8AWG feeds, only 12" long, turns out to be a perfect bit of wire for my needs

This agrees with the Zapco DC manual which states that for an 85-105A load, with wire less than 4' long, you need a minimum of 6AWG. Since I have the equivalent of 3AWG, I am within these directives as well.

If I had all channels loaded at 2 ohms, though, i would be in their 125-150A column, which would require 2AWG, and I would be slightly under the required gauge (although there is an argument that for a 12" run, it's not really a dealbreaker).

Now if we could only find out the per-fusible-link rating of the BMW distribution block
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      11-28-2009, 09:54 PM   #22
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Very nice. Where did you get the plugs for the battery cover?
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