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  FULL SWS-8 sub and amp install, 34 pictures, step by step
azwillnj
08-14-2008
I gathered a ton of information from this site about how to upgrade the stock subwoofers and amplifier. From this information I have created a full, step by step tutorial that will guide you through the entire process. It is 27 pages long and has 34 pictures included....

Check out...
  #22  
By i2iSTUDIOS on 08-20-2008, 09:55 AM
Thanks Man!

Are you wiring the subs in mono since this is a mono amplifier? I am planning on a 2 channel since the car is wired for it.
Last edited by i2iSTUDIOS; 08-20-2008 at 12:59 PM.
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  #23  
By JoeyFiasco on 08-21-2008, 09:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by i2iSTUDIOS View Post
Thanks Man!

Are you wiring the subs in mono since this is a mono amplifier? I am planning on a 2 channel since the car is wired for it.
Maybe it's not possible because of how the stock amp outputs are?
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  #24  
By i2iSTUDIOS on 08-21-2008, 09:53 AM
I've been rethinking and I might do the mono too
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  #25  
By Chowbow on 08-21-2008, 05:41 PM
Cool DIY and nice job. I think I would have rather ran the speaker wires directly from the amp to subs instead of having to cut anything, but that's just a small change.

BTW, if you can get your PDF a little bit smaller, you can also attach that PDF to your original post, in case your server goes down for any reason, etc. The limit for PDF size to attach is like 9.5MB.
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  #26  
By jimmy330xi on 08-21-2008, 07:38 PM
I have to get this upgrade done. Sweet job and thank you for taking the time to share.
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  #27  
By web1b on 08-21-2008, 09:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by badfish View Post
Great job with the writeup. I was going to respond with the same thing. It's such a good writeup that others will likely follow it so maybe update it with a best practice to fuse at the battery.

Those subs will seriously get overpowered by that amplifier so be careful. The subs are excellent but you don't want exceed their rated specs. Tom Nousaine discovered that when he reviewed the subs. 150 watts RMS each is all they need. Your amp is capable of pushing over 3x that power to each sub so be careful.

So what would be the perfect amp to run these two subs?
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  #28  
By web1b on 08-21-2008, 09:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by azwillnj View Post
The difference is night and day, the system hits much harder, and sounds much much cleaner. When I first started out doing this and looking into all the information about it I knew that there would be more bass and that it would hit harder in the low frequencies. But I never imagined how much of a huge difference this upgrade could make in the overall sound quality of the system. My music seems to be alive now, between feeling the bass and hearing all that extra bass spectrum that the stock subs just couldn't produce. In the stock system it was very easy to bottom out the stock subs with a slightly loud track from Disturbed, now you can crank the volume and the subs will just hit harder.

Another thing I have noticed after the install is how sloppy and loose the stock subs were, it seems now that they were just making noise in the general frequency. These SWS's hit hard and are very very crisp. The car does not at all sound like a riced out civic, it sounds like a rich silky smooth BMW sound system should, it puts a smile on my face.. really. I would actually venture to say that this is now the best sounding system I have ever encountered in a car, and I've been in alot of cars...


Note: Just to clear this up, I am not an employee of earthquake, I am just blown away by the quality of their products and outcome of this install and wanted to share the wealth with the rest of e90post.... enjoy!



You've talked me into it, I don't want my e90 to be on fire.. I will move my fuse and update the PDF sometime soon.


Alex.
So, there is no need to replace any of the other speakers or give them any more power? The new subs and amp are all it takes to make the car sound much better and it isn't too bass-heavy with the mids and highs drowned out?

If so, I'd probably buy the two subs, a smaller amp than you got and find an installer to put it in for me.
So, 2 earthquake 8" subs for under $350 plus wiring harness plus an amp and installation should be under $800 I think

Do I even need to replace the OEM amp if I won't need extra power to run additional subs in the future like you do?
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  #29  
By jimmy330xi on 08-22-2008, 03:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by web1b View Post
So, there is no need to replace any of the other speakers or give them any more power? The new subs and amp are all it takes to make the car sound much better and it isn't too bass-heavy with the mids and highs drowned out?

If so, I'd probably buy the two subs, a smaller amp than you got and find an installer to put it in for me.
So, 2 earthquake 8" subs for under $350 plus wiring harness plus an amp and installation should be under $800 I think

Do I even need to replace the OEM amp if I won't need extra power to run additional subs in the future like you do?
+1
I was thinking the exact same thing. Here are the specs for the amp I was looking at to make it work with the SWS-8 subs.
300W.2

2 Channel Car Amplifier
Pulse width modulated, Regulated MOSFET Power supply
1000 Watts Max
400 watts x 1 ch @ 4ohm (bridged)
240 watts x 2 ch @ 2ohm
130 watts x 2 ch @ 4ohm
RCA level inputs: 200mV to 5V RMS
Damping factor >800
variable crossover: 50hz - 200hz
Low pass, full range, high pass operation
Cross over slopes: 24 dB/oct
THD: <0.016%
Fuse: 1 x 40A
Signal to Noise: < 104dB
Dimensions (H x W x L): 2.5" x 9.75" x 12.5"
4 Screws
1 extra 40A fuse

I found a good deal for spakers and AMP for around 300. Let me know if it will work.
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  #30  
By LaYzEe on 08-23-2008, 03:14 AM
To the OP, do your side skirts rattle alot more now after installing the subs? Or you insulated/dynamatted them to reduce the rattling?

Becuase even though I dynamatted the insides of the sideskirts and inside the hole (where the subs gets ported) I still get some rattling, but at least its not as crazy as before.
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  #31  
By i2iSTUDIOS on 08-23-2008, 07:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy330xi View Post
+1
I was thinking the exact same thing. Here are the specs for the amp I was looking at to make it work with the SWS-8 subs.
300W.2

2 Channel Car Amplifier
Pulse width modulated, Regulated MOSFET Power supply
1000 Watts Max
400 watts x 1 ch @ 4ohm (bridged)
240 watts x 2 ch @ 2ohm
130 watts x 2 ch @ 4ohm
RCA level inputs: 200mV to 5V RMS
Damping factor >800
variable crossover: 50hz - 200hz
Low pass, full range, high pass operation
Cross over slopes: 24 dB/oct
THD: <0.016%
Fuse: 1 x 40A
Signal to Noise: < 104dB
Dimensions (H x W x L): 2.5" x 9.75" x 12.5"
4 Screws
1 extra 40A fuse

I found a good deal for spakers and AMP for around 300. Let me know if it will work.
which amp spec is that? I was thinking of going with Alpine's new amps, they are so tiny!
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  #32  
By jimmy330xi on 08-23-2008, 08:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by i2iSTUDIOS View Post
which amp spec is that? I was thinking of going with Alpine's new amps, they are so tiny!
The AMP is also Earthquake.
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  #33  
By azwillnj on 08-23-2008, 01:35 PM
I moved to PSU so I haven't had a chance to check the thread in a while.. so here are replies....

Quote:
Are you wiring the subs in mono since this is a mono amplifier? I am planning on a 2 channel since the car is wired for it.
It's wired mono, I don't think it really makes that much of a difference, if they were tweeters or mids then yes I would agree that L/R is the way to go. But the lows dissipate throughout the cabin so good you would never know the difference.

Quote:
Maybe it's not possible because of how the stock amp outputs are?
It is possible, I just didn't see the need.

Quote:
BTW, if you can get your PDF a little bit smaller, you can also attach that PDF to your original post, in case your server goes down for any reason, etc. The limit for PDF size to attach is like 9.5MB.
I tried, there are too many pictures, and I don't wanna get rid of any, they make it easier to understand.

Quote:
So, there is no need to replace any of the other speakers or give them any more power? The new subs and amp are all it takes to make the car sound much better and it isn't too bass-heavy with the mids and highs drowned out?

If so, I'd probably buy the two subs, a smaller amp than you got and find an installer to put it in for me.
So, 2 earthquake 8" subs for under $350 plus wiring harness plus an amp and installation should be under $800 I think

Do I even need to replace the OEM amp if I won't need extra power to run additional subs in the future like you do?
I think the balance is very good right now, I don't see the need to mess with any of the other speakers... if you think its over powered when you install it you can turn the bass down on the head unit. You also have to consider that everyone hears a little different, for me the highs and mids always come in louder, so this setup is perfect for my ears.

Quote:
I was thinking the exact same thing. Here are the specs for the amp I was looking at to make it work with the SWS-8 subs.
300W.2
I had this amp briefly before switching to the TNT (like 4 hours), it didn't have enough power at all.. Actually, I would go so far as to say that using the stock amp was better than the 300W.2.. it also ran VERY hot.


Quote:
To the OP, do your side skirts rattle alot more now after installing the subs? Or you insulated/dynamatted them to reduce the rattling?

Becuase even though I dynamatted the insides of the sideskirts and inside the hole (where the subs gets ported) I still get some rattling, but at least its not as crazy as before.
They do rattle, and they do sound bad.. outside the car only. But i don't have the motivation or the time right now to fix them. Plus i haven't found a thread on the form that actually definitively fixes the problem.. so im holding off for now.
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  #34  
By web1b on 08-23-2008, 09:09 PM
Will the OEM amp used for the OEM subs power the Earthquake subs properly and give a good sound quality improvement over the OEM subs?

It would be a much more simple job with less potential problems to go wrong (causing warranty issues) if just the factory subs were just swapped out and no electrical work was done. Plus it would make the cost for parts and labor much lower.
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  #35  
By azwillnj on 08-24-2008, 09:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by web1b View Post
Will the OEM amp used for the OEM subs power the Earthquake subs properly and give a good sound quality improvement over the OEM subs?

It would be a much more simple job with less potential problems to go wrong (causing warranty issues) if just the factory subs were just swapped out and no electrical work was done. Plus it would make the cost for parts and labor much lower.
Yeah its actually a pretty big improvement, but adding that amp is a much bigger improvement. Actually I believe that's the reason earthquake brought out the 2ohm SWS's.. so people didn't need to have an external amp.
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  #36  
By jimmy330xi on 08-24-2008, 09:59 AM
[quote=azwillnj;3213078]I had this amp briefly before switching to the TNT (like 4 hours), it didn't have enough power at all.. Actually, I would go so far as to say that using the stock amp was better than the 300W.2.. it also ran VERY hot.[quote]

If the Earthquake AMP runs hot and is not as reliable, what is a better option if I just want to run the SWS-8's only?
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  #37  
By Technic on 08-24-2008, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy330xi View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by azwillnj View Post
I had this amp briefly before switching to the TNT (like 4 hours), it didn't have enough power at all.. Actually, I would go so far as to say that using the stock amp was better than the 300W.2.. it also ran VERY hot.
If the Earthquake AMP runs hot and is not as reliable, what is a better option if I just want to run the SWS-8's only?
A RF P300-1, a JL 250/1v2 or an Alpine PDX 2.150 will do fine...
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  #38  
By jimmy330xi on 08-24-2008, 03:28 PM
^ Thank you.
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  #39  
By web1b on 08-24-2008, 04:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by azwillnj View Post
Yeah its actually a pretty big improvement, but adding that amp is a much bigger improvement. Actually I believe that's the reason earthquake brought out the 2ohm SWS's.. so people didn't need to have an external amp.
Good. I'll probably just swap out the stock subs under the seats for Earthquakes. Is there another factory sub in the rear deck too?

I can wait to add a new amp in the future (if ever) unless I can find the perfect amp right now that gives better sound than the OEM amp, but isn't so powerful that it needs to be turned way down to prevent it blowing out the subs.
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  #40  
By i2iSTUDIOS on 08-24-2008, 08:35 PM
Runs this subs mono, how much power to 1 channel RMS is good? 300w ok? I see you used 1000 watts but these subs won't take that much rms power.
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  #41  
By jackb on 08-25-2008, 10:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaYzEe View Post
Becuase even though I dynamatted the insides of the sideskirts and inside the hole (where the subs gets ported) I still get some rattling, but at least its not as crazy as before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azwillnj View Post

They do rattle, and they do sound bad.. outside the car only. But i don't have the motivation or the time right now to fix them. Plus i haven't found a thread on the form that actually definitively fixes the problem.. so im holding off for now.
You should try it, it worked perfectly for me , I don't know why it did not work well for Layzee( he did follow my instructions)
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  #42  
By longtran on 08-26-2008, 02:08 AM
that is one awesome write up.
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  #43  
By BMW_Josh on 08-27-2008, 01:56 PM
I registered on this site just to post this.

Dude, thank you SO MUCH for putting this PDF together. I am very impressed by the quality!

I am going to replace my sub's with the earthquakes and see how that goes. If I still need more bass I will upgrade the Amp as well.

I'll come back to this thread after I'm done and give a report of how my install went.

Thanks again man,

-Josh
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