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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > My 2010 E90 320D MSport Tourer Audio Upgrade Story



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      08-31-2014, 12:22 PM   #1
graf
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My 2010 E90 320D MSport Tourer Audio Upgrade Story

OK - first ever post and I would like to start off by saying a massive thank you to all the members who have taken the time to produce guides and contributed to the hundreds of threads on this forum. I may not have embarked on this trip had it not been for you…

I had a 525i MSport which I installed a really nice hi-fi with amps, subwoofer in the boot and all the usual trimmings. So when I sold it and got a 2010 E90 320d MSport Tourer, I thought I would leave it all alone and just see if I was happy with a ‘standard’ audio system.

I was used to having my iPhone connect via a Dension Lite setup, and so the first thing was to look at the back of the CD73 unit and find where the aux cables entered. I found these fairly easily and made the connections so that I could have my iPhone playing songs. I bought a Brodit clip that would allow the Dension to be mounted securely, and thought that would be it for a while.

However, I soon realised that the aux connection into the back of the CD-73 head unit was nowhere near as decent as playing CD’s via the head unit. I thought that maybe upgrading the speakers would help…

It was then that I started reading the E90 forums!!

Looking at the forums, I realised I would be better off with an amped front stage, as well as replacing the standard under seat subs with SWS earthquake subs.

So I got in touch with Amar at Team SPB – he was a great help. I ended up ordering Gladen speakers, a direct wiring loom and also a Gladen Mosconi 120.2 Amp.

From Cotswold BMW I spoke with a very helpful James Aston – I ordered two door trims to allow tweeters to be installed.

From EBay I purchased 2 x SWS Earthquake speakers. And also some Silent Coat sound deadening sheets.

One weekend at the start of August, I took the plunge and fitted the above.

First problem – I couldn’t get the subwoofers out of their enclosures. I read that the newer versions are glued in rather than screwed in, but I felt I was going to crack the casings if I carried on with my prying and levering at the subs. So I left the subs as they were and ordered a couple of old style (screwed-in) subs from eBay for £30 a pair. This would mean I could simply unscrew the old ones, place in the SWS and keep the ones I took out of mine to put back in when/if I sell it.

Result – what a transformation in sound, but not much better with the aux input from my iPhone. I still needed to put the SWS’s in, but didn’t have many free days/evenings.

I read some more and saw that everyone was raving about the JBL-MS8 sound processor. I read and I read and I read, and then I bought one – hoping that it would possibly help get a decent sound from the Aux port on the BMW. I found the MS8 strange at first, but eventually got it to sound halfway decent.

Still not decent enough though.

OK – I still had my old stereo that I had used in my E39 525i MSport, plus some other hi-fi stuff.

So I read a bit more and found that everyone was complaining about losing functionality if they put in an aftermarket head unit.

I contacted Connects2 and they were really helpful – Lee Sambrooks told me that their kit CTSBM009.2 with the Alpine steering Adapter (CTALPINE LEAD) would retain full functionality of all bongs and system alerts.
I ordered a facia from EBay to allow my Alpine to fit into what would become a vacant space from the CD-73.

So on Friday August 30th, I took upon myself to install my old stereo head unit. And put my old Diamond 400.1 amp to amp up the SWS earthquakes that I was going to install.

All went well – there is quite a bit of space behind the head unit compared to some cars I have installed into. I found the constant positive was best taken from PIN 16 round the back of the ODB port.

I routed all the audio cables along the passenger side of the car and took a negative feed from near the back of the rear wheel arch.

I found the E90 forum fantastic for pre-planning where all the best places to route cables were and would like to thank everyone on here for posting their results as it made me confident that I could get a decent stealth install done.

I was glad I had the old style sub casings – it made the whole process easy – and my SWS earthquakes came with a spacer ring that has terminals for the wiring connections. I cut the carpet away, so there was no way that anything was touching the SWS’s.

Result – Much much better than the old head unit.

I am almost happy with it.

The iPhone can be played into my Alpine no problem (Via Aux) and the sound is as good as the CD player.

I am now wondering whether I should put new speakers in the rear doors and amp them up, and also – is it worth installing a centre speaker in the dash?

I haven’t taken loads of pics during install as there are loads on here already. What I can say is that the Connects2 kit works – all warnings and gongs work, and I can still change the clock etc. I think it isn’t a bad set up – I know it’s not OEM, but I still retain all my load space and get bloody good sound!

Thanks to all on the E90 forums once again – I couldn’t have done it without your write-ups. :thump:

Really Useful threads:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ghlight=gladen

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=364359

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=369213

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2823020

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=822366

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...82&postcount=6
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      09-05-2014, 06:29 AM   #2
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I see you haven't got any love on this set up yet!! Well here's some, NICE JOB. You've used all the resources at your disposal between good local talent and the forums to figure all this out in a rather short time and build yourself a very nice system. Congratulations!
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      09-05-2014, 11:32 AM   #3
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Did you upgrade both the Front Doors and Floor Speakers?

Did you upgrade both the Front Doors and Floors Speakers?
If you did this with a amped channel running to both locations
it would have more impact. The amps in the ms-8 are a little weak
for that. Also the sws's are subwoofers so you are making the dsp
squeeze a mid range out of your speakers. And I suppose you did split
the parallel connection between the front doors and floors.
The layout looks like nice work.
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      09-05-2014, 12:41 PM   #4
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Hi ctuna - yes, upgraded all the speakers in the end - in fact today I have just put some MB Quartz in the rear doors and now all speakers are amped up after the MS-8 so i am not using the MS8 as an amp at all - only as a digital sound processor.

I have classed the SWS's as Subwoofers on the MS8 and they are separate feeds from MS8 (Ch 5 &6) to the subwoofer amp.

Oh - and yes - the parallel connection was split between the floors and doors.

Thanks for your comments
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      09-05-2014, 08:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graf View Post
Hi ctuna - yes, upgraded all the speakers in the end - in fact today I have just put some MB Quartz in the rear doors and now all speakers are amped up after the MS-8 so i am not using the MS8 as an amp at all - only as a digital sound processor.

I have classed the SWS's as Subwoofers on the MS8 and they are separate feeds from MS8 (Ch 5 &6) to the subwoofer amp.

Oh - and yes - the parallel connection was split between the floors and doors.

Thanks for your comments
Although I have to admit, I haven't tried it your way, most of us run your type of setup as a front 2-way (no sub, SWS as Front-Low). I think that would yield a better soundstage.
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      09-06-2014, 07:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taibanl View Post
Although I have to admit, I haven't tried it your way, most of us run your type of setup as a front 2-way (no sub, SWS as Front-Low). I think that would yield a better soundstage.
taibanl - I tried the initial install as amped front with Gladen components and SWS up front, but couldn't help try out what it would be like to have the rear doors with some amped speakers as well.

I think you could be right that the advantage is minimal having new speakers in the the rear doors and amped - especially for the wiring and effort to install.

I am still playing with the settings on the MS8 to see if there is a better 'sweet spot' for my set up.
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      09-06-2014, 01:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graf View Post
taibanl - I tried the initial install as amped front with Gladen components and SWS up front, but couldn't help try out what it would be like to have the rear doors with some amped speakers as well.

I think you could be right that the advantage is minimal having new speakers in the the rear doors and amped - especially for the wiring and effort to install.

I am still playing with the settings on the MS8 to see if there is a better 'sweet spot' for my set up.
I am not sure I understand you.

Amplification and MS-8 channel assignment are two totally different things. All I was saying was instead of telling MS-8 that SWS are "subs", you should tell it they are "Front-Low"
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      09-06-2014, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taibanl View Post
I am not sure I understand you.

Amplification and MS-8 channel assignment are two totally different things. All I was saying was instead of telling MS-8 that SWS are "subs", you should tell it they are "Front-Low"
Ah - ok - will try "Front-Low" setting out. I have them set as subs at mo. will give it a go and see how they sound. Thanks for that.
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      09-28-2014, 06:34 PM   #9
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Good thread. I've just installed my single din Sony appremote HU today but I'm experiencing power issues - it will not come on until I start the engine - I will try pin16 on the obd port for my perm live as you have done.
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      09-29-2014, 02:25 AM   #10
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Emeye - Yep - PIN 16 was the only way I could find a power take off that didn't involve having to go through the bulkhead. I tapped into it by peeling some of the super sticky tape off the wiring and then cut into the wire that way. I put an inline fuse in nearby also just to be safe. Decent diagram here:
http://pinoutsguide.com/CarElectroni...c_pinout.shtml
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      10-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #11
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Wait I don't think my trunk is shaped like that. Am I missing something?
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      10-23-2014, 06:12 PM   #12
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CoolHandLuke - mine is a Tourer (Estate / Sport Wagon) - is yours a saloon?
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