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      01-14-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
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Install fail, and our repair, in a 1-series (image intensive)

A forum member over at 1Addicts contacted me recently. He had asked Technic for some advice, and Technic saw that the questioner was in Portland, and I'm in Portland, so we got together.

I don't want to drag us through a whole story that's not mine, but let me sum up. The customer had 2 80x2 PPI amps from a previous system. He bought a premade 1-series fiberglass sub enclosure and a JL W3 for it.

His 135i had the base audio system, which I guess is the same as the 2010 E90 for the US, and the EU base systems for all years:

- HU with deck power

- 6.5" woofers in the underseat enclosures

- 4" in the F door and the R deck

No tweeters

So what the shop told him was that they did "all the 3-series in town", that they did the Porsche Club of America installs, etc. (I will not name the shop in public, but any Portland area forum members who have seen their Adwords ad and are considering going to a shop on NE Broadway, drop me a PM).

They gave him a good price on a three-way Hertz speaker set. They told him it came with a 6.5, 4", and tweeter. Close, it came with a 6.5, a 3" 70mm cone mid, and a tweeter. It's a good speaker kit - we've installed its predecessor in Porsches before - but it's a bad choice for a BMW with underseat enclosures.

He went through a number of attempts to get the system right. At times, he had engine noise, he had no sub bass, he had an Alpine deck in the dash for a few weeks (and engine noise), and he had one side noticeably louder than the other.

So when we got the car:

- There were 2 PAC LOCS - one on the F channels, feeding the midbass-mid-tweeter amp, and one on the R channels, which still had the OE R deck speakers, but the LOC was driving the sub amp.

- The amps were turning on and off with ACC.

- The gong was nuclear loud.

- The amps were on a board screwed to the folding rear seat.

- The trunk sub output was nonexistent.

- The R channel was louder than the L.

- There was a sub level knob on the kick panel.


So we had the following plan:

- take out the PAC LOCs

- Relocate the amps to the trunk floor

- fix the wiring

- Check driver polarity

- Put the tweeters in the OE mirror sails he bought (note: puts the tweeters on axis)

- Use a RF360.1 as the LOC, use its bass level knob, and use the EQ to tame any misbehaving drivers (since we had 6.5, mids, and tweeters all on the same amp channels, we couldn't drive the midbass harder than the others, for instance).

So, when we got in the car, I tested the HU outputs with pink noise:

F channels:



R channels:



So that explains why the sub output was inaudible - the R HU outputs are high-passed at 150, and the sub amp xover was set at low-pass, 80. NOt a lot of information to amplify.

(edited to add) It also meant we had to use the OEM De-EQ feature of the 360 to reverse the OEM EQ curve and start with a flat signal. So we did.

Amp rack:




New amp rack (will recover in closer-match trunk liner when we find a source):










The console was improperly reassembled:



We fixed it:




The power wiring for two 80wpc amps was heinous:



No common grounding, and not afraid of paint, apparently:







Our final wiring:







HU wiring before:





HU wiring after:




Wiring under the R seat bottom:



Now, with the OE wiring:




The sub level knob was double-stick taped to the driver's kick panel in an unreachable location. Here is the 360 knob:






The passenger passive xover:



The driver's side passive xover:



Our install:



Tweeters were installed mostly with gorilla snot (3M caulk):



The midbass looked like this (more on this later) (note new foam in xover *******:



So while we were doing this install, we discovered:

The 3" speaker in the door, which was supposed to have been a 4" speaker, was hot-glued into the door. The speaker was screwed to its plastic grille ring, and that grille ring was glued into the 4" opening.

The door sill was improperly reinstalled.

The door foam water shield sheets had been cut during the sound damping installation process (uneccesary) and never taped back up.

Numerous screws were missing or replaced with non-BMW screws of various types.

So we got the system sounding pretty good, especially compared to how it sounded before.

We corrected the L/R balance issue by playing a 1K test tone and measuring the amplifier AC output with a voltmeter. One amp was within 0.003V, the other was 0.75V different, with a 7V output signal. So, we swapped the two "identical" amps, and used the one with misstacking gains on the mono 10" sub.

The 6.5 would sound like they were bottoming out a bit with any volume. I cut 160 on the EQ and that helped a lot, but then the midbass hole was even more apparent.

The Hertz passive xover has a 500Hz handoff from the 3" to the 6.5", meaning that everything below 500 hz was coming from under the seat. This is a bad idea. The male vocals and a lot of mids seemed distant too.

But it was a big improvement, and the owner was very pleased.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Last edited by VP Electricity; 01-14-2010 at 05:08 PM.
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      01-14-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
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Phase 2!

After a few days of listening, he decided to get the speakers we would have used - Morel dotech 4 comps and ADMW9.

This setup has a few limitations:

The Dotech tweeters are really intended for off-axis mounting, and I find them a little bright and harsh compared to the Elate MT-23 or the Hybrid MT-22. But I had two treble bands in the EQ to use to control them a bit, and we were on a budget. I ended up cutting 2.5K and 10K to get them to smooth out. They should smooth out some after break in.

The ADMW9 comes with a passive 2-way xover at 150 Hz. Would this work OK for the 4"? Would we get enough output from the ADMW9 without putting it on its own amp channels and driving it harder than the Dotech comps?

So we embarked on this yesterday. It was harder than I had thought...

The 3" and 4" are really close to the same size






And the mounting for the 3":



Hot glue comes out:





Dotech goes in:


So the mid is now bolted in and I damped the backside of the plastic door panel a good bit too. (Replacement nuts are metric 5.8 at Home Depot - two stainless for 0.51. They lost all the BMW nuts.)

Turns out the Morel 4 is going down to 150, or whatever the ADMW passive is actually filtering at, just fine, no midbass issues I could hear.


Here is what their enclosure mod for the 6.5 looked like:



The top is a layer of 1/8" ABS with a sheet of VMAX on top:









This was infuriating. Anyone who's worked with 1/8" ABS knows that it flexes when you push on it with your finger, much less have a cast-frame 6.5" midbass driver screwed to it vibrating at 120 Hz. Total fail. I think that the baffle leaked like a sieve in addition to the flex. Also took over an hour to clean up the enclosures enough to work with them.

The OE 6.5 looks like this:






The 8" is a shallow design, but the 6 is just an upside down cheapo 6.

Here is what we did to put a Morel 200mm in:











The ring is 3/4" MDF, there is a gasket in place underneath, and the screws are countersunk to let the driver sit on top of them.

You can't see it in the last pic, but the grille used is there to keep the carpet off of the driver. The grille is a little too tall right at the carpet edge, over the cone. The seat rail hits it and the seat won't bolt back in. If you slightly dent the grille in with your thumbs, you can install the seat and there is no clearance issue with the driver. These grilles were not in the ADMW box, they were what come with an Elate 9. Not sure what comes with ADMW now, these had been on the shelf a while - for all I know they come with grilles now. Glad we had them.

So the final was I loved the midbass from the ADMW9, I loved how they went in, and I think I am going with these in my own car. I lowered the HP on the amp to 50 or so.

I was really happy with the Dotech 4 comps, they were louder than the ertz by a great margin, and the 4" played so much lower with so much authority... the customer was very happy with the sound.
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      01-14-2010, 03:27 PM   #3
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Oh, and I forgot to mention, we used the 360.1 in the end to reverse the OE HU EQ curve on the F channels in addition to using it as an LOC and EQ.

Might upgrade him to a 360.2 now that the speakers might deserve a bit more EQ. I really hate EQing the wrong speakers to sound right. A 3" going down to 500 hz is just that, you can't EQ it into being a 4" going down to 150
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      01-14-2010, 03:30 PM   #4
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Oh, and some fins on the inside of the enclosure had to be ground off. No massive mods to the enclosure, just a few seconds with a Dremel.
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      01-14-2010, 04:29 PM   #5
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very nice
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      01-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #6
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great...lots of information! Thanks.
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      01-15-2010, 04:28 PM   #7
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i'd be furious over that first install. i hope he didn't come out of pocket too much on that. is 80 watts enough for that morel? it's rated for 200 nominal.
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      01-16-2010, 10:13 AM   #8
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Nice work!
Horrendous install by the previous shop.



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      01-16-2010, 02:32 PM   #9
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i was able to recoup 100% refund from the previous installer, which was nice. And yes, i was extremely pissed off, esp since my car was only 2.5 months old.

The sound is great now, the install looks even better in person. I am leaning towards adding a more powerful 4 channel amp to run the underseats separate and more power to the comps in the door for better sound.

Would be interested to discuss more about going with the 360.2 processor. I have put a lot of trust into Ken's (VP Electricity) recs and he has been spot on with everything thus far. Just working out some kinks with tunning, but as i stated before the sound of the system is VERY impressive and well balanced.

I am extremely happy
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      01-16-2010, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCtud View Post
i'd be furious over that first install. i hope he didn't come out of pocket too much on that. is 80 watts enough for that morel? it's rated for 200 nominal.
The whole idea of comparing the power a speaker "needs" to what it can handle electrically is really a myth.

It could use more, especially if it were acting as a subwoofer - but it does a very nice job as is. It's limited a bit by the 80W and some by the insertion loss of the passive lowpass xover.
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      01-17-2010, 12:58 AM   #11
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i hear ya on the power ratings. what's the max depth driver you think you can fit under there if you increased the mdf to 1"? i looked up the specs on morel admw sw 9 and their depth is at 71 mm. i'm wondering if you think a dyn mw 172 or 182 might fit? their depths are 77.9 mm and 75 mm (oddly the larger 182 has a smaller depth). looking to do an install with don (6spdcoupe) and trying to get some ideas. thanks for any help!
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      01-17-2010, 01:10 AM   #12
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WOW. Thats one disgusting install on the original. Just bad bad bad. Hot glue?

VP, thats some SICK good stuff you did. Amazing. If I ever decide to get crazy and go balls out stereo, Im driving up there. I bought my car there, its only 14 hours from here.....if your having fun getting there Truly great work.
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      01-17-2010, 01:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCtud View Post
i hear ya on the power ratings. what's the max depth driver you think you can fit under there if you increased the mdf to 1"? i looked up the specs on morel admw sw 9 and their depth is at 71 mm. i'm wondering if you think a dyn mw 172 or 182 might fit? their depths are 77.9 mm and 75 mm (oddly the larger 182 has a smaller depth). looking to do an install with don (6spdcoupe) and trying to get some ideas. thanks for any help!
No more height available. This was RIGHT up under seat rail. You could build up a 6.5 but the 8 extends under the seat rail and that is a hard limit.

MW172 no longer made IIRC. If you have some I would think it would fit. It's not just absolute depth, it's also magnet/frame shape on the backside. The Morel has a very narrow magnet and the 71mm is not very wide at all. Dyne 172 was the same way as I recall. Rainbow WOB200 also. Probably Iridium 8.

71mm still requires you to trim fins on the inside of the enclosure.

182 uses cast frame rather than stamped. In this case I personally would go with stamped to save thickness, and cast frame is FAR wider on the bottom for both Morel and Dyne - would not fit in OEM enclosure at all, I don't think.

Don also may have Rainbow 200WOB on hand. But Don is very skilled and does not need me to give him advice - you are in good hands.
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      01-17-2010, 01:55 AM   #14
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MW172 is still made... but it is cast frame. There used to be a stamped-frame Dynaudio 200mm driver which is no longer mae, I don't remember the number, the method used in my pics would not allow a MW172 but perhaps with significantly more custom work it could be made to fit.

You putting Esotar 4's in the door?
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      01-17-2010, 02:17 AM   #15
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that's the plan at least. i picked up the speaker rings from 808MGuy and they look fantastic. http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...59#post6500159

I believe the esotar 430s should fit there.. my budget just keeps going up and up.

i had planned to do the cheaper (but still pricey) focal 100 krs and actually bought two pairs, but will probably end up selling them.

i got a pair of hertz space 8s too for the under seat, but your morel setup looks so sweet and i'm sure sounds much better that you've got me looking at other possible routes.

you talking about these? MW180
http://www.woofersetc.com/p1982/MW18...-Subwoofer.htm
trying to find some specs on those.. hm.....
n/m - apparently these are just the older 182s
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      01-17-2010, 03:19 PM   #16
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hm.. maybe esotar 6s would work great there as dedicated mid-woofers or maybe it's just overkill to put such expensive speakers down there.

Last edited by SCtud; 01-17-2010 at 03:55 PM.
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      01-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #17
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The stamped frame Dyns are the GT series. See here: http://www.dynaudio.com/eng/auto/mobile/mw160gt.php

Nothing larger than 6.5" available with stamped frame

Edit: MW182 also has stamped frame! http://www.dynaudio.com/eng/auto/esotec/mw182.php

IMO, the MW162 is not capable of "pounding" enough in the midbass region, to be used effectively in this situation.

I just bought a pair of Morel CW8's and I'll give those a shot.
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      01-21-2010, 07:00 PM   #18
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NOW, the stamped frame Dynes are the GTs.

They used to make these:


http://www.woofersetc.com/p1982/MW18...-Subwoofer.htm

BUt they don't any more...
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      01-21-2010, 07:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCtud View Post
hm.. maybe esotar 6s would work great there as dedicated mid-woofers or maybe it's just overkill to put such expensive speakers down there.
For the money, put the Esotar 6 in the new door panels you could buy
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      01-21-2010, 08:35 PM   #20
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I'd love to put the Esotar 6 in the doors, but really want to keep the factory look with the 4s there (and it seems the 4s might be a perfect fit there anyway).

the mw180 looks the same as the current mw182 (which makes sense as the md102 tweeter is the new version of the md100 tweeter and looks identical).

i think it might BARELY fit in there.. the dimensions versus the Morel 9 are only SLIGHTLY larger.

mounting cutout - morel - 192mm, mw182 - 195mm
overall dimensions - morel - 222mm, mw182 - 239 mm
mounting depth - morel - 71mm, mw182 - 75mm

do you have any pics with the seat back over the morels?
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      01-21-2010, 10:13 PM   #21
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I have a pic somewhere of the OEM BMW grille back over the Morel before the seat goes on... it looks just like it did before.

I do not have a pic of the seat in place, since there's nothing to see...
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      01-21-2010, 10:14 PM   #22
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I don't think that there is 4mm more in there for an 8.
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