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      06-27-2009, 02:27 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
What about just replacing the underseat OEM woofers, adding DSP processing, replacing the OEM amp and keeping the component OEM speakers for those $1000?

For example:

Amp = PDX-5 ($369) or JL Audio G6600 ($359) brand new on eBay
DQXS = $420 (local Audiocontrol dealer)
SWS-8 (4 ohms if you get the PDX-5, 2 ohms if you get the G6600) = $220 (pair) http://www.caraudiocraze.com/subwoof.../prod_762.html
JL Audio wire to RCA cables = $26 (pair) http://www.shopatron.com/product/par...r=91803/1451.0

Total: $1035/$1025 plus tax, shipping and assorted RCA cables and wiring, and assuming that this will be a DIY installation.

The idea here is to allow you to get the most from your existing OEM speakers by improving everything else. You could change all your OEM speakers (including the underseat woofers) and spend the same or even more than $1000 (2 sets of either 4" Hybrid Audio, DLS or Morels components are some $600-$800 plus 2 SWS-8), and still you will be powering them with 20W per component and 40W max per SWS-8 and with the OEM EQ curve.

By using a DQXS you will be able to set your own EQ curves (after a DSP processing) front to back to underseat, left to right, independently from each other. Then amplify all these signals up to 600W RMS/1200W max...

You could start with a combo like this, try it for a while and then decide if the OEM 4" components got to go. You will have the rest of the audio equipment already installed...

You could get a RF 3SIXTY.2 instead of the DQXS and save some bucks, however I normally do not recommend the 3SIXTY.2 as I went thru 3 of them in less than a year. It seems that RF really improved these processors since 2008 (my units were 2006) so apparently they are much more reliable now. The main difference between the 3SIXTY.2 and the DQXS is that in the 3SIXTY.2 you can set time delays side to side, front to back.

I think that you will be more than satisfied with a setup like this for that budget.
Thanks for the great thread & advice! If I read this correctly, I should get the following for my '09 LCI e90 IDrive w/ 676 standard hifi (non-logic7):

Phase 1:
AMP: JL G6600 (has high level inputs)
Wiring: Technic's custom AMP harness (or do the molex thing)
Subs: SWS-8 (2 Ohm)

Phase 2:
Speakers: BSW Stage 1

Thoughts? Suggestions? Like everyone else I am looking for the balance between cost & better sound quality (i.e. good/great sound not unbelievable pro sound).

Thanks in advance!
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      06-27-2009, 03:05 PM   #46
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no I'm pretty sure we've come to the conclusion that the BSW kit is junk.

I'm going to try and find some good speaker alternatives that fit. If you don't want component speakers the Alpine S Type's WILL FIT but there isn't a separate tweeter like in a component system.

Those Rainbows I was speaking of last night at still too big (51mm) and I think the MB Quart RAU 210's are going to be too large also but I'd like to see um before I decide so I need to find somewhere that carries them in stock.

The Focals look like a good alternative but they're $$$$ at $250 a pair.
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      06-27-2009, 03:11 PM   #47
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Ok so scratch the BSW Stage 1's then... Phase 1 good to go? Will the stock speakers take that kind of power?

Thanks,
Aaron
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      06-27-2009, 04:19 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UdubBadger View Post
no I'm pretty sure we've come to the conclusion that the BSW kit is junk.

I'm going to try and find some good speaker alternatives that fit. If you don't want component speakers the Alpine S Type's WILL FIT but there isn't a separate tweeter like in a component system.

Those Rainbows I was speaking of last night at still too big (51mm) and I think the MB Quart RAU 210's are going to be too large also but I'd like to see um before I decide so I need to find somewhere that carries them in stock.

The Focals look like a good alternative but they're $$$$ at $250 a pair.
To be honest that's unfair, as the primary purpose of the BSW kit is to be run by the OEM amp. If you think about it, if the BSW can improve -whatever lightly- upon the OEM speakers just running off the OEM amp, then replacing the OEM amp with a cleaner and more powerful aftermarket amp should make those BSW even better.
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      06-27-2009, 06:43 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
To be honest that's unfair, as the primary purpose of the BSW kit is to be run by the OEM amp. If you think about it, if the BSW can improve -whatever lightly- upon the OEM speakers just running off the OEM amp, then replacing the OEM amp with a cleaner and more powerful aftermarket amp should make those BSW even better.
You're right (and I probably should have said "they are overpriced for what they are" instead of calling them "junk") but from what we are all looking at, replacing the stock amp is step 1 so BSW isn't worth any more thought if you do step 1. Correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like running an aftermarket DSP/amp w/ stock speakers would be better than running BSW with stock amp and no dsp.

Last edited by UdubBadger; 06-27-2009 at 08:53 PM.
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      06-27-2009, 08:41 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
To be honest that's unfair, as the primary purpose of the BSW kit is to be run by the OEM amp. If you think about it, if the BSW can improve -whatever lightly- upon the OEM speakers just running off the OEM amp, then replacing the OEM amp with a cleaner and more powerful aftermarket amp should make those BSW even better.
Can't have it both ways. If the drastic EQ present in the OE signal is there to make the OE speakers sound less crappy, and BSW speakers are designed to also work with this curve, then replacing the OE amp with an aftermarket amp - and getting a flat frequency response in the process - should result in poor sound from the BSW.
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      06-27-2009, 10:59 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
Can't have it both ways. If the drastic EQ present in the OE signal is there to make the OE speakers sound less crappy, and BSW speakers are designed to also work with this curve, then replacing the OE amp with an aftermarket amp - and getting a flat frequency response in the process - should result in poor sound from the BSW.
I don't know if BSW really go thru the whole OEM curve when they "design" their speakers (I thought that they use Rainbow off the shelf), what I do know is that I am using the OEM 4" components in the Individual Audio with aftermarket amp and processors and the suckers sound great, without too much tuning after the OEM curve is "flatened", with much better defined vocals as even some nice mid punch. What I also do know is that BMW itself uses the Logic7 4" components as the OEM accessory upgrade in their Stereo system (not offered in the USA) with an Alpine off the shelf amplifier as a kit and not any OEM amp.

The only way to know for sure is getting a BSW set and hook them up to an aftermarket amp of some 50-100W RMS and listen to their sound.
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      06-28-2009, 12:52 AM   #52
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I have decided against it as you really won't win much without adding a new amp.
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      06-28-2009, 12:59 AM   #53
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If you don't want to spend an arm and a leg.

I thought about the BSW upgrade for about .2 seconds. $699 for 7-4" mids and 4 tweeters (Rainbows??). Probably nice speakers, but come on now, what's the profit margin on these??

Anyways, here's what I did with my E90 Logic7 System.

- Earthquake SWS-8 subs and an old Alpine mono amp (MRV-100M). 6 hours of labor + $200 + 1 hour tuning Logic7 EQ = MUCH improved low-end, cleaner mids. I would say this improved the system DRAMATICALLY.

- Replaced the 2 front aluminum-dome tweeters with inexpensive ($40/pair) RE-Audio TW-1 silk dome tweeters. 2 hours labor + $40 + a hour Logic7 tuning = smoother, cleaner and louder high-end.

Between these 2 upgrades, I find the system sounds GREAT. Not perfect, obviously, but still very, very good for a mostly OEM sound system. Only cost me $240 and a couple nights in the garage. Best of all, I'm not compelled to spend another $1000 on components and countless install hours for better sound.
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      06-28-2009, 02:38 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I disagree... but only philosphically.

In the particular case of the 3 Series the actual 4" OEM speakers are being asked to reproduce a band that really does not push the physical limits of these speakers -after all they are just 4". For example, the crossover point of all the OEM systems (including the Individual Audio) for these 4" OEM speakers is around 150Hz and up, and the underseat woofers go up to 200Hz. The 4" Focal 100K2 $450 component set frequency response is 120Hz and above, the Hertz 4" EM-100 -part of a 3-way system of $500- is 400Hz and above.

Most of the strong mid bass is done by the woofer, the 4" are basically voice divers with some mid punch. This is fundamentally a 3-way system split in two areas, front and rear.
Where did you get the info on the xover points?
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      06-28-2009, 07:27 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I don't know if BSW really go thru the whole OEM curve when they "design" their speakers (I thought that they use Rainbow off the shelf), what I do know is that I am using the OEM 4" components in the Individual Audio with aftermarket amp and processors and the suckers sound great, without too much tuning after the OEM curve is "flatened", with much better defined vocals as even some nice mid punch. What I also do know is that BMW itself uses the Logic7 4" components as the OEM accessory upgrade in their Stereo system (not offered in the USA) with an Alpine off the shelf amplifier as a kit and not any OEM amp.

The only way to know for sure is getting a BSW set and hook them up to an aftermarket amp of some 50-100W RMS and listen to their sound.
arg.
that's me.

That means the only way to find out for sure is for me to spend $589.00 for 2 pair.
I'm running [HU] -> [EQX] -> [ALPINE AMPS] -> [stock speakers + SWS subs]
By the time I'm done with the stereo it will be time to sell the car.

arg.
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      06-28-2009, 08:23 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Where did you get the info on the xover points?
There are several threads here in this forum and in Bimmerpost of the actual measurement of the crossover points by RTA. By also trying your own crossover points using an EQ/processor you will find that 150Hz is pretty much the sweet spot of the OEM 4" components.
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      06-28-2009, 08:40 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by fdiprete View Post
arg.
that's me.

That means the only way to find out for sure is for me to spend $589.00 for 2 pair.
I'm running [HU] -> [EQX] -> [ALPINE AMPS] -> [stock speakers + SWS subs]
By the time I'm done with the stereo it will be time to sell the car.

arg.
If replacing the OEM 4" components is a must, I would replace just the front OEM set with an aftermarket high end set that fits and that I can afford. Rears are not as important for your frontstage, if you really think about it.

The other problem with the BSW is that they do not publish their specs - expected, as they are direct replacements-, so you will spending quite an amount of money blind if you want to run them with anything other than the OEM amp...
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      06-29-2009, 02:04 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
There are several threads here in this forum and in Bimmerpost of the actual measurement of the crossover points by RTA. By also trying your own crossover points using an EQ/processor you will find that 150Hz is pretty much the sweet spot of the OEM 4" components.
Good to know.
Thanks.

Where do the stock tweets cross?

I got a set of SWS-8's and I want to see how low and high they will go, as I may opt to use them as bass/midbass drivers instead of subs.

I've been doing a LOT of searching for info, but honestly I don't know how far it's buried as I can't seem to find much other than the basics really, and most of it is the same stuff repeated over and over; PDX5, SWS-8, 3sixty, not 3sixty, etc...
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      06-29-2009, 02:58 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
I got a set of SWS-8's and I want to see how low and high they will go, as I may opt to use them as bass/midbass drivers instead of subs.
The SWS-8, in spite of it's small size, really is a true subwoofer. I doubt it would produce any reasonable output over 200 Hz, which precludes it from being used as a mid-bass driver.
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      06-29-2009, 10:26 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
If replacing the OEM 4" components is a must, I would replace just the front OEM set with an aftermarket high end set that fits and that I can afford. ...
Technic, Thanks for all the information you are giving. Good stuff...

What would you recommend as good replacement for the OEM 4" components?
Would it fit an E93?

Also, can you pm me the price of your amp connector?

Thanks
Patrick
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      06-29-2009, 11:56 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
The SWS-8, in spite of it's small size, really is a true subwoofer. I doubt it would produce any reasonable output over 200 Hz, which precludes it from being used as a mid-bass driver.
That's what I thought as well, but without tested specs we're still left speculating.

200hz would be high for "sub" freq. as that's within the "mid-bass" range for the base/fundamental frequency.
"Bass" frequency is approx 20hz to about 120-140hz. I would further define "sub" as 20hz to about 80hz, maybe 100hz, beyond that we're getting too close to mid-bass.

"Muddiness" resides in that "mid bass" area, where car manufacturer audio fails as they tend to drive bass and midbass from the same drivers, and end up pushing a "sub" to reproduce too high up. That makes overall bass and overall sound, "muddy", "boomy", "undefined".

If the stock "subs" really go to 200hz and the OEM mids are crossed at 150hz, then that's where that muddy-ness is coming from.
The subs are reaching too high into the range where the mid drivers should be working. A sub trying to reproduce higher than 100hz is going to fail at doing both the bass/sub-bass, and into the range where the mids should be. The sub driver is going to vibrate too much trying to reproduce the higher register, thus creating a distorted and undefined bass and midbass.
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      06-30-2009, 10:55 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
That's what I thought as well, but without tested specs we're still left speculating.

200hz would be high for "sub" freq. as that's within the "mid-bass" range for the base/fundamental frequency.
"Bass" frequency is approx 20hz to about 120-140hz. I would further define "sub" as 20hz to about 80hz, maybe 100hz, beyond that we're getting too close to mid-bass.

"Muddiness" resides in that "mid bass" area, where car manufacturer audio fails as they tend to drive bass and midbass from the same drivers, and end up pushing a "sub" to reproduce too high up. That makes overall bass and overall sound, "muddy", "boomy", "undefined".

If the stock "subs" really go to 200hz and the OEM mids are crossed at 150hz, then that's where that muddy-ness is coming from.
The subs are reaching too high into the range where the mid drivers should be working. A sub trying to reproduce higher than 100hz is going to fail at doing both the bass/sub-bass, and into the range where the mids should be. The sub driver is going to vibrate too much trying to reproduce the higher register, thus creating a distorted and undefined bass and midbass.
I would agree that the OEM sub is the weakest link in the system. The problem is made worse by the fact that you need to boost the bass in order to hear any bass whatsoever, which in turn increases the "muddiness" in the OEM subs AND mids.

After installing the SWS-8's + amp and re-tuning the EQ (Bass is "flat" now), the mids seemed to have cleaned up a bit. Bottom line is, if you're looking to clean up the bottom end and somewhat fix the mid-bass muddiness, the SWS-8 solution will do a pretty good job of it. No, it's still not an audiophile system, but if you're going that route, you're looking at at least $1000-$1500 + many hours of custom install. In my opinion, in order to get true audiophile quality, you would want to replace the head unit as well, which is even more time and $$$$.
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      06-30-2009, 12:12 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptan55 View Post
Technic, Thanks for all the information you are giving. Good stuff...

What would you recommend as good replacement for the OEM 4" components?
Would it fit an E93?

Also, can you pm me the price of your amp connector?

Thanks
Patrick
Hi Patrick

I don't have any personal experience with any of the aftermarket 4" components that fit the E9x without fancy tricks, other than the OEM Individual Audio components. However, it seems that the Morel Hybrid Ovation and the Focal 100KP/100KRS are the prime 4" upgrades, with outstanding sound and relatively easy fit according to members here.

Price for the connector is still undetermined...
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      06-30-2009, 04:27 PM   #64
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I have done the BSW speaker upgrade to my Logic7-equipped M5. I really can't comprehend how someone cannot hear much difference as was said earlier in the thread. I also tapped the output from the Logic7 amp and then used a High-Low converter to send signal both to a Polk amp (sending about 150W RMS to each of the stock subs) and to a Rockford Fosgate RF1000.1BD powering 2 IDMAX 12s. I set the cross over on the underseat subs at around 70 hz (IIRC). The car sounds quite good and I've heard quite a few systems. For the money and relative ease of install, it can't be beat. I installed the SWS subs as well and felt they did not work well in the mid-midbass ranges. BSW tested them as well and confirmed their performance was horrendous over 100 hz IIRC.

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      06-30-2009, 05:52 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PianoProdigy View Post
I have done the BSW speaker upgrade to my Logic7-equipped M5. I really can't comprehend how someone cannot hear much difference as was said earlier in the thread. I also tapped the output from the Logic7 amp and then used a High-Low converter to send signal both to a Polk amp (sending about 150W RMS to each of the stock subs) and to a Rockford Fosgate RF1000.1BD powering 2 IDMAX 12s. I set the cross over on the underseat subs at around 70 hz (IIRC). The car sounds quite good and I've heard quite a few systems. For the money and relative ease of install, it can't be beat. I installed the SWS subs as well and felt they did not work well in the mid-midbass ranges. BSW tested them as well and confirmed their performance was horrendous over 100 hz IIRC.
I think the general consensus is that the BSW Stage 1 upgrade does provide an incremental improvement in sound quality, but not nearly as much of an improvement as you can get from a decent aftermarket sub/amp set-up, which is also less expensive (generally). In this regard, the BSW upgrade seems like a questionable upgrade IMHO, particularly b/c they don't fix the one glaring problem with the Logic7 system, the bass response.

I also find it annoying that they don't show any specs for the speakers they sell. You don't really know what you're getting when you buy these speakers, other than the fact that they "dramatically enhance the performance of your BMW's audio system". That's some straight marketing BS right there
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      06-30-2009, 07:47 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
I think the general consensus is that the BSW Stage 1 upgrade does provide an incremental improvement in sound quality, but not nearly as much of an improvement as you can get from a decent aftermarket sub/amp set-up, which is also less expensive (generally). In this regard, the BSW upgrade seems like a questionable upgrade IMHO, particularly b/c they don't fix the one glaring problem with the Logic7 system, the bass response.

I also find it annoying that they don't show any specs for the speakers they sell. You don't really know what you're getting when you buy these speakers, other than the fact that they "dramatically enhance the performance of your BMW's audio system". That's some straight marketing BS right there

+1

if you are selling something that makes a substantial difference then prove it, especially if you have the balls to charge $600+ for it when most aftermarket speakers run about $100/pair.
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