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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > BSW Stage 1 and Uf110 Sub INSTALLED



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      01-24-2009, 01:40 AM   #1
s.myrr
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BSW Stage 1 and Uf110 Sub INSTALLED

Well it's been a long time coming - but after months of waiting my car arrived to finally meet the BSW goodies that have been waiting for it. I put over 2k miles on the car with the stock L7 audio (which is pretty good IMO).

You can view the initial pics of the packaging etc here... http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...=184201&page=4

This is not a DIY, more just my thoughts on the product. BSW's installation .pdf provides pics and step-by-step directions.

Sunday I got my car home, and after installing the BMW Perf Intake, I started on the sub installation. I ended up doing this first, as it seemed more "fun" ...although I think I should have done the stage 1 first. (more on that later).

Everything went very smooth, a word of caution though - I did break one of the 4 clips holding the rearward plastic panel - woops! Replacement is 92 cents Still, these particular clips are a b*tch to remove. Once the trunk was stripped of it's interior I did notice a glaring problem...



The area specified by BSW as a mounting location was occupied by an optional component (sat radio?) Anyways, a new location needed to be found, and unfortunately this means that the system cannot be entirely "stealth" in my car. I would advise checking your trunk first if this is a concern to you.

Wiring was straightforward; power here...ground there. I think I spent more time figuring out where to neatly route the wires then actually hooking them up. The directions on BSW's website are pretty good at guiding you through, even if you have had limited experience with this kind of thing. I found the connection at the amp to be irritating to remove, after figuring out how to slide the clip and remove the plug it was easier...

For Logic 7 customers, you will tap the red/white twisted with brown/ yellow and the red/blue twisted with brown/white. Make sure you cut the right wires, and that you are reading the directions for your setup (L7 or standard).

There is not much room for error here, the harness can be freed up by cutting some of the tape around it, but you aren't going to get much slack. I stripped only what I needed and was able to get it perfect - just no room to spare! BSW's included crimp connectors were a bit small, I used some larger ones I had lying around the garage. I believe that the connectors I got were intended for use in the standard system which uses smaller gauge wire (as they are line-level before the amp, the L7 is tapped after the amp.) I found it easiest to write out a little diagram, so that you don't mess this up and have to redo it.

The only place that made sense to me for mounting the amp was directly above the stock amp, secured to the carpeted panel. My connections are nice and short, and it made the rest of the wiring easy. I ran the power and speaker wire on opposing sides of the enclosure, and it made re-installation easy. You can tuck everything! When it's all back together it looks super clean.







With the amp here I can make adjustments pretty easy, although I would like to tidy up the wiring a bit...



When the access panel is open you can see how close the connections are, it really makes things simple having both amps in close proximity.



It's hard to see, but the LOC and other wiring are tucked in here, I used double-sided tape to secure them - don't want these to rattle around back there.



There's the completed installation! Not too bad! Here is some other pics. Notice the fitment of the enclosure, very nice indeed!





I love how it fits the car perfectly -

Here's what you see when you pop the boot...





Everything tested out great, the amp powers on when you unlock the doors, and stays on for a short period after locking. (caused me to think it was going to stay on forever for a second )

How does it sound you ask? One word - AWESOME. I set the gains to ~ 1/2 with the LPF set ~ 100hz. Bass is pretty subjective, but to put things in perspective, my last car was all JL components with a single 12W2 in the trunk. This sounds pretty similar. In fact, I would say it's the best 10" I have heard. I will say it fits the L7 system perfectly. It compliments the system. What was amazing to me was the minimal amount of rattling. From inside the cabin you cannot hear any rattle from the trunk. With the boot lid open you can hear the cover rattling over the sub... but just a bit, and you would never know otherwise.

Of course this was all tested with bass at reasonable levels.... I'm not a bass head, just wanted to improve the low end. If you want to win a competition, go with the custom route. This is a sub for music. It sounds how it should, and it hits hard when you push it. I'm impressed. The enclosure, sub, amp, and kit are worth the $. It put a big grin on my face while driving around for the first time. I would suggest tinkering with your EQ and gains etc... it took a bit to find the sweet spot for my ears.

SO - for 3 days I drove around with the L7 plus Sub combo, and I think I could have been happy with that. Sounded good and no distortion - a great investment. Of course sitting in my garage, ready to go, was the stage one package.

Got off work last night, and began what ended up being a long installation. I've done car audio for myself before, but this took longer than I expected. I suppose this is due to my car being so new - I was very careful and took my time!

I don't have any pics, (GF had the camera) but you all know what the BSW speakers looks like. Once installed you cannot see them anyways. The BSW instructions walked me through most of the tough parts. One gripe: their instructions constantly cite videos on their website which do not exist...makes you feel like you are winging it. When I take my 40k car apart, I want guidance dammit! Despite that, most people won't have much of an issue DIYing this. Once the first door panel was off and I figured out where everything went, things picked up somewhat.

The door panel clips are easy to break - I broke one on the driver's side, and will replace it tomorrow. I think my technique was good, they are just in there really tight. I read somewhere else on this forum it's good to have some extra clips around...they were right!

The BSW speakers all fit nicely in the stock locations, although the tweeters require some force to get into their new home. All the connections were easy to make, I did notice the tweets don't have any sort of HPF built in? I was thinking this would be in-line or something. They simply plug into the door mids. The doors are pretty much all the same, just be ready to have patience...The rear shelf speakers grills suffered some broken tabs during removal (on the left and right sides). They did re-install snugly, so no big deal. The plastic on these is *really* weak, but that's BMW's fault, not BSW. Also the center channel on the dash is a pain to remove. Must have a small screwdriver or socket here, but the real issue is removing that grill. I honestly couldn't believe it didn't break!

All 11 speakers fit well, and based on appearance appeared to be superior to the stock system. I anxiously cleaned up and went for a drive... in all honesty I was initially underwhelmed. It was hard to tell the difference between the stage 1 and L7. My first thought was "damn that took a lot of effort...." Of course, this was before any tuning. It was getting late, so I had to call it for the night.

Today I disconnected the power to the sub amp, and started tuning from scratch. I found that stage 1 can take waaaaaaay more input from the EQ. The old drivers were distorting at mild levels of adjustment. Now, I can set the EQ to sound good *and* turn it up to levels beyond my personal comfort. No distortion here! What interests me the most about stage one is that it allows the stock under-seat subs to really shine. Since they cannot be independently adjusted, you are really at the mercy of the mid's limitations. With more range in the mids, the whole system benefits. You can feel the bass, which is funny since there was a disconnected sub in the trunk lol. The tweets are brighter, and in general the system sounds more clear. I drove around for an hour or 2 today with the sub disconnected, just listening. I think this system could benefit from more power, but it's certainly not necessary at this point.

You could do either the stage 1 or sub separately, and realize the benefits. Tonight I hooked the sub back up, and took off down the road. Again, it sounded like crud until I pulled over and backed the gains and LPF down on the amp. Messing around with the EQ changed everything for the sub. This is why I should have done the stage one first. Would have saved me a bit of tuning!!! After a bit of tinkering around, I think I have found my optimal settings.

It sounds really good, i'm happy with the purchase. I think this says a lot - I'm not rich, and this system is not cheap! I had high expectations, and I think they have been met. Dollar for dollar, I think that the sub offers better bang for your buck, but that may be subjective. Bass has more of a dramatic and noticeable effect to me. So if I had to choose one, it would be the sub for sure. The L7 system alone is good, really good actually. If you must have the best SQ and you don't want a sub, then the stage 1 should be at the top of your list. You at least get to crank up your EQ and feel the under-seat subs. For those who don't have L7, I bet stage one just destroys it, however I have never heard the base system. All in all the sub and stage 1 combo works for me. It's nice knowing I have a total solution, and the car sounds great!

One note - I did not use any dynamat etc, I wanted to, but never got around. I don't think this is much of an issue - no real rattles have appeared. Yet.

If I forgot anything I will try and add more later... my fingers hurt ATM.

Hope this provides some insight to these products...I was curious about them myself, and there's not too many reviews out there...

EDIT: Gratuitous shot of my car

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      01-25-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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Great stuff man.
I don't have Logic 7, So I'm considering the BSW Stage 1 Speaker upgrade for my setup if you feel that it is a noticeable upgrade.
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      01-25-2009, 03:10 PM   #3
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Ah yes - to those who read this, I want to install my PEQ (bass boost remote) somewhere... thinking maybe ashtray or dash somewhere.... can anyone recommend a location and/or technique to running this from the amp to the cabin?

Thanks!
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      01-25-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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Excellent job...

If you want to install that amp to look like it is OEM in the trunk you could get the OEM CD Changer trunk trim and install it there... completely hidden and with enough space for heat dissipation:




That RF P200 amp is slightly smaller than those stacked PDX amps shown...
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      01-26-2009, 12:21 AM   #5
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That's an idea - looks nice, and I had no idea that existed til now. I wonder where I can get this...? Tischer?
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      01-26-2009, 11:08 PM   #6
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Tischer has it; about $80 if I remember correctly. (It's been over a year since I ordered that piece.) Unfortunately, you are then left with a very large, rigid piece of carpet that isn't really good for anything.
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      01-26-2009, 11:14 PM   #7
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Eh - maybe I'm better off saving the dough for some grills or painted reflectors... we'll see!

Anyone have any suggestions on where to mount the PEQ?
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      01-29-2009, 03:23 PM   #8
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nice install, thanks for the writeup
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      01-29-2009, 09:31 PM   #9
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i wanted something to sit in place of the stock amp in the side, using the existing amp wiring harness. i guess it doesnt exist.
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Last edited by lannypoffo; 01-29-2009 at 10:26 PM.
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      01-29-2009, 09:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeak View Post
NICE and clean what if you have the stock GPS?
I have NAV, SAT, ...BT... lol the car is loaded. I don't think there could be any more modules back there! This is why the amp is visible, and not hidden in the compartment.

After a week of tuning I am still loving this setup. Took a while to find EQ settings that work for metal, techno, and everything else in between!

I want to install the PEQ remote, but still haven't decided on a location.
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      02-04-2009, 07:56 PM   #11
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PS I finally got around to installing the PEQ remote for the amp. I decided on this particular location, as it was super easy to run the wire (no panel removal) and it looks good IMO. Easy to reach, and only one hole to drill. As a side note, the PEQ may not be super important, as I have tuned my AMP to be just about right for most music. I did not opt to install the blue leds, as I think they would conflict with the stock interior lighting.

PICS -







It works fine, and sits out of the way. Not too noticeable either!
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      02-07-2009, 03:48 PM   #12
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How's the bass with the ski rack opening closed?

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      02-08-2009, 04:14 PM   #13
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Excellent - I suppose it may be more "clear" with the panel open, but I have not been inclined to really try. I am happy with it as is. Perhaps I will check it out just to see!

In any case, I am still happy with this upgrade.
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      02-16-2009, 11:49 AM   #14
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Thanks for the great write up! Really stellar! Your remote bass install is awesome! Probably one of the best we have seen yet!

As you said the sub is going to make a dramatic change since it makes the most noticeable in your face change. That is to be expected

On the video front I am still fighting with youtube to let us upload. It thinks they are duplicate videos. The PDF guide is 100% of the install but referencing the video makes it sound like you are 'missing' something. I understand that and working as best I can to fix the youtube issue. We are also looking into transferring to flash directly on our website

Glad you ended up happy!
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      02-17-2009, 12:25 AM   #15
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Will the sub setup work in the trunk of an e93?

Is it possible just to buy the enclosure by itself? I have my complete alpine setup left over from my previous e46. Amp, 10" sub etc.
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      02-17-2009, 01:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machine View Post
Will the sub setup work in the trunk of an e93?

Is it possible just to buy the enclosure by itself? I have my complete alpine setup left over from my previous e46. Amp, 10" sub etc.
We have complete package or loaded enclosure.
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      02-27-2009, 04:28 PM   #17
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Let me know how you are feeling about the setup now that it has been installed for a bit longer
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      03-01-2009, 04:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halston@bsw View Post
Let me know how you are feeling about the setup now that it has been installed for a bit longer
Has any progress been made with the release of the stage 1 for the coupe?
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      03-02-2009, 01:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.myrr View Post
Excellent - I suppose it may be more "clear" with the panel open, but I have not been inclined to really try. I am happy with it as is. Perhaps I will check it out just to see!

In any case, I am still happy with this upgrade.
Hey, that's pretty cool. BTW, what crossover frequency/slope are you using to get it to sound good?

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      03-02-2009, 03:45 AM   #20
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I moved the gains down a bit from where I started, and the crossover is at 85-90... I then bump up the the PEQ as needed. Makes the system sound better with more types of music.
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      03-17-2009, 11:39 AM   #21
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When will it be released for the coupe. At this point it seems that a totally redesigned coupe will come out before this gets released.
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      03-18-2009, 10:26 AM   #22
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Coupe Stage 1s are on the boat right now

So... very soon actually!
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