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      06-25-2009, 11:24 PM   #1
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Subwoofer replacement question SWS 8X

I have a specific question for advice about the Earthquake SWS 8X or 8Xi subwoofers. I would like to replace my factory under seat units with these, based on the information in this forum. I don't know how much improvement in the poor bass response I'll get just by replacing the speakers and leaving the OEM amp alone. I am just looking for moderate improvement in definition and volume. The bass sometimes is OK, sometimes it sounds muddy and weak to me now. I have the basic 2009 E92 USA system without L7. So my question is, should I buy the 2 ohm version and see how it sounds, or should I buy the 4 ohm version because I'll need a better amplifier anyway? Thanks for any advice you can give.
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      06-26-2009, 05:29 AM   #2
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You won't notice much difference from just replacing the speakers. You'll get a much better result changing the amplifier and keeping the OEM speakers and an even better result upgrading the speakers after.
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      06-26-2009, 05:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car62 View Post
I have a specific question for advice about the Earthquake SWS 8X or 8Xi subwoofers. I would like to replace my factory under seat units with these, based on the information in this forum. I don't know how much improvement in the poor bass response I'll get just by replacing the speakers and leaving the OEM amp alone. I am just looking for moderate improvement in definition and volume. The bass sometimes is OK, sometimes it sounds muddy and weak to me now. I have the basic 2009 E92 USA system without L7. So my question is, should I buy the 2 ohm version and see how it sounds, or should I buy the 4 ohm version because I'll need a better amplifier anyway? Thanks for any advice you can give.
The 2 ohms version will force you to get a 2 ohms stable aftermarket stereo (2-channel) amplifier to drive them. If you eventually want to completely replace the OEM amp with aftermarket you will need either a 6-channel or a 2- and a 4-channel amplifiers, because you will not be able to run these 2-ohms SWS-8 in mono (1-channell) -unless you invest in a 1 ohm stable amplifier.

Regardless of the impedance, to really get the best performance out of these SWS-8 you will need to invest in an aftermarket amp of at least 100W RMS; 150W RMS is the sweet spot. The OEM amp puts out just 20W RMS (40W max).
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      06-26-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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Thank you for the advice. My understanding then is that I should get the 4 ohm version of the SWS 8X and a two channel amplifier of 100-150 watts RMS per channel with speaker level inputs and a gain control so I can match the sound level of the new subs to the remaining factory system, or a 5 channel amplifier ( or two amps, 4 channel plus 2 channel) to replace the factory amp entirely. But in any case I want the 4 ohm subwoofers. Does that sound about right?
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      06-26-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car62 View Post
Thank you for the advice. My understanding then is that I should get the 4 ohm version of the SWS 8X and a two channel amplifier of 100-150 watts RMS per channel with speaker level inputs and a gain control so I can match the sound level of the new subs to the remaining factory system, or a 5 channel amplifier ( or two amps, 4 channel plus 2 channel) to replace the factory amp entirely. But in any case I want the 4 ohm subwoofers. Does that sound about right?
Yes, although you can go either way depending on how you want to wire them, the amp(s) chosen and the overall plans of yours.

The best connection for the underseat woofers is in stereo as they perform as mid bass as well, but if you search you will find out and most members have not noticed much of a difference in the imaging from the OEM set up, only in bass output.

You can also wire the 2 ohms in series to give you a mono 4 ohms, but from the point of view of an easier wiring and getting more power to the SWS-8 in case you have to go to a mono, the 4 ohms is a better option be in mono or stereo.
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      06-29-2009, 02:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
The 2 ohms version will force you to get a 2 ohms stable aftermarket stereo (2-channel) amplifier to drive them. If you eventually want to completely replace the OEM amp with aftermarket you will need either a 6-channel or a 2- and a 4-channel amplifiers, because you will not be able to run these 2-ohms SWS-8 in mono (1-channell) -unless you invest in a 1 ohm stable amplifier.

Regardless of the impedance, to really get the best performance out of these SWS-8 you will need to invest in an aftermarket amp of at least 100W RMS; 150W RMS is the sweet spot. The OEM amp puts out just 20W RMS (40W max).
I went for the 2ohm subs because my RF 851X will drive 215rms into a 2ohm load. I wanted to test this out to see if I want to go with a trunk mount sub. Bridging could help with damping, but on this amp, bridging it goes to 4ohm not 2ohm. So, it's not 2ohm stable in bridge mode.

Also, I don't expect to ever need to drive the SWS-8 in mono bridged mode as their power handling capability isn't that great.
If they can't work with 215rms per sub, going to bridged mono at 425rms may not help them.
If I need more sub, then I'm going with a monoblock D amp driving my 12" "perfect" Infinity sub.

The 4ohm are a good idea if one wants to go with bridging and running the subs in mono, with a moderately priced amp that will handle 2ohm stability.
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      06-29-2009, 02:53 PM   #7
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SWS advice...

To the OP. I recently installed a couple SWS-8 subs and a small Alpine MRV-100M Class D amp. I'm more than pleased with the result, even with the Alpine's total of just 200 watts RMS. I have the gain between 1/3 and 1/2 with the 45Hz Bass EQ at +3 db, and the sound is nice and clean. I'm not blowing the doors off or anything, but it's about 1000% better than the OEM Logic 7 set-up. I think you will be just as happy.

Now what really made my install smooth was the use of a PAC Trunk-LOC (line output converter). This thing converts the factory amps sub signal to a cleaner low-level input for your amp. Most importantly, this thing will also provide a remote turn-on lead for your amp, so you will not need to rip your car apart looking for a suitable remote turn on wire.
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      06-29-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
To the OP. I recently installed a couple SWS-8 subs and a small Alpine MRV-100M Class D amp. I'm more than pleased with the result, even with the Alpine's total of just 200 watts RMS. I have the gain between 1/3 and 1/2 with the 45Hz Bass EQ at +3 db, and the sound is nice and clean. I'm not blowing the doors off or anything, but it's about 1000% better than the OEM Logic 7 set-up. I think you will be just as happy.

Now what really made my install smooth was the use of a PAC Trunk-LOC (line output converter). This thing converts the factory amps sub signal to a cleaner low-level input for your amp. Most importantly, this thing will also provide a remote turn-on lead for your amp, so you will not need to rip your car apart looking for a suitable remote turn on wire.

When you installed the 8" subs, did you use the stock sub grills?
Did you have to mod anything there to prevent the subs from hitting the grill or carpet?
I ask because I read a good DIY and that guy made some spacers from lexan. He claimed he did that as the sws subs would hit the grill and or carpet causing distortion.

BTW, I'm installing into a 135i with the standard audio, not the "hi-fi" upgrade.
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      06-29-2009, 10:12 PM   #9
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heres a post that i made before in another thread. i pretty much just made spacers out of a pen lol.

Quote:
ey guys, just wanted to share how i did my spacers. Its not as good as what ontopofm made (actually it doesnt even come close to it! ) but yeh!! here are some pics!!

First things first though, I ripped ALL of that foam crap from under the carpet so theres really no way it'll touch the subs:



My spacers! haha. i cut 2 pens into small pieces...and tadaaaaa
Make sure you buy longer screws too since the orig ones will be too short.



Heres how it sits over the enclosure. Enough clearance so the sub doesnt hit the grill any more!



Farther pic. Still enough clearance for the seat too.



Look at all the foam crap i ripped!



OVERALL i my setup now. 10000000x better since i can actually raise the volume ALOT higher than before and not be worried.
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      06-29-2009, 10:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
When you installed the 8" subs, did you use the stock sub grills?
Did you have to mod anything there to prevent the subs from hitting the grill or carpet?
I ask because I read a good DIY and that guy made some spacers from lexan. He claimed he did that as the sws subs would hit the grill and or carpet causing distortion.

BTW, I'm installing into a 135i with the standard audio, not the "hi-fi" upgrade.
I used the stock sub grills. I did not use a spacer, but rather what someone else on the boards did. I used 3/8" x 3'8" foam weatherstripping material. It's the fairly dense foam (from home depot) with adhesive on one side. I stuck that around the perimeter of the sub and dropped it on the enclosure. It clears the bottom of the enclosure (after removing the bottom ribs) and does not hit the grill above the sub. Granted, I'm not playing bass-heavy hip hop at full volume, but I still play it loud and haven't had any problems yet. the other benefit of this foam is that it seals the sub against the enclosure very nicely.

By the way, I also dynamatted the bottom of the enclosure. When you see/feel the enclosure, you'll know why. It's not exactly an ideal sub enclosure.
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      06-29-2009, 10:39 PM   #11
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RPM90, here's the link

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ws+foam&page=2

It worked perfectly for me.
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      06-30-2009, 11:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaYzEe View Post
heres a post that i made before in another thread. i pretty much just made spacers out of a pen lol.
How much space is there under the seat?

Is there another inch, 2"?

Now I'm starting to wonder if a deeper 8" sub could be modded to fit in the space under the seat, even in a custom made box.
If there is more space a more traditional shallow mount sub could have better improvements.
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      06-30-2009, 11:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
I used the stock sub grills. I did not use a spacer, but rather what someone else on the boards did. I used 3/8" x 3'8" foam weatherstripping material. It's the fairly dense foam (from home depot) with adhesive on one side. I stuck that around the perimeter of the sub and dropped it on the enclosure. It clears the bottom of the enclosure (after removing the bottom ribs) and does not hit the grill above the sub. Granted, I'm not playing bass-heavy hip hop at full volume, but I still play it loud and haven't had any problems yet. the other benefit of this foam is that it seals the sub against the enclosure very nicely.

By the way, I also dynamatted the bottom of the enclosure. When you see/feel the enclosure, you'll know why. It's not exactly an ideal sub enclosure.
I'll check it out once I get it. I know I'm going with fiberfill, but I might also add some dynomat or brownbread to deaden and rigidity to the OEM box. I also intend to seal off the box. I prefer that type of box for a tighter more accurate bass. It takes more power to drive, and given the SWS's low 87db sensitivity it will take more power. But, I'll have about 215rms to each sub, so it should be good.
I think the OEM setup is ported, and I haven't read that anyone has sealed it. Did you seal your sub boxes?

I'll double check, but I believe Earthquake says that the SWS were designed for "sealed enclosures".
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