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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > Anyone else using Zapco/SWS8 in MY2010?



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      09-14-2010, 08:02 AM   #1
joelc73
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Anyone else using Zapco/SWS8 in MY2010?

After months of being on the fence about it I finally upgraded my 2010 328xi. As most here know, the stock system was pretty awful (at best.)

After a lot of recommendations, I went with Rainbow 4"s and tweeters in the doors, SWS8's, and a Zapco 360.4. I also used Technic's harness.

I'm curious if anyone else here is actually running this system? I've heard/read a lot about it being a good solution but was wondering who else is using it and, if so, what their EQ settings are in the Zapco.

It sounds good but it does seem like the SWS8's give up really early. Once you give them a moderate (READ not overly loud by any stretch) you can hear what sounds like clipping. This seems odd as supposedly people say they need a lot of power to get them moving.

I'm wondering if they are either A) getting too much bass from the Zapco or B) possibly hitting carpet or the grills

Any input would be great.

Thanks in advance!
JC
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      09-14-2010, 08:53 AM   #2
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I don't suppose you bought this from VP Electricity??? If you did, he would probably be happy to share the optimal EQ settings for the Zapco but if not you are probably on your own....
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      09-14-2010, 09:17 AM   #3
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I didn't it from him but VP was (as he always is) really helpful. We did use his EQ suggestions as a starting point.
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      09-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelc73 View Post
After months of being on the fence about it I finally upgraded my 2010 328xi. As most here know, the stock system was pretty awful (at best.)

After a lot of recommendations, I went with Rainbow 4"s and tweeters in the doors, SWS8's, and a Zapco 360.4. I also used Technic's harness.

I'm curious if anyone else here is actually running this system? I've heard/read a lot about it being a good solution but was wondering who else is using it and, if so, what their EQ settings are in the Zapco.

It sounds good but it does seem like the SWS8's give up really early. Once you give them a moderate (READ not overly loud by any stretch) you can hear what sounds like clipping. This seems odd as supposedly people say they need a lot of power to get them moving.

I'm wondering if they are either A) getting too much bass from the Zapco or B) possibly hitting carpet or the grills

Any input would be great.

Thanks in advance!
JC
I noticed the same the first time that I used the SWS-8.

What I used to tune the SWS-8 was a bandpass of 35Hz-175Hz, slope of 24db on both sides. I bumped a bit the 40Hz and the 160Hz relative to the others bands, but no more that 3dB. The PDX gain was never above the 12 o'clock (NOM in PDX terms).

Unfortunately you will have to go back and forth with the Zapco DSP and the gains to get them into your sweet spot. I would recommend "settin 'n forgettin" your iDrive bass and treble adjustments to "0" and let the Zapco take over.

Check the SWS-8 polarity as well and the enclosure seal. I would guess that you are running separate wires to the SWS-8 from your Zapco, correct?
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      09-14-2010, 11:50 AM   #5
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I have 4 ohm SWS8 in my E91 on 100W channels of a DC650. That's probably roughly analogous to 90W into 2 ohms with SWS-8ix. I don't have that problem happen - but as Technic points out, I leave my bass and treble centered for most songs.

When you hear the speakers "clipping", where is the bass control?

You have iDrive, so we can't tell where the volume control is. (non-iDrive HUs have a diagnostic screen where we can read the volume setting). There are between 47 and 52 volume clicks on the cars I've tested (it seems to vary with SW) and in Stereo mode, if there are 52 clicks, the head unit clips its signal at 47 and above.

So I would be concerned about the combination of:

- bass tone control (set it flat for testing, and if you find yourself turning it above center consistently, we should revisit the settings)

- volume control setting (if the volume is within 5 clicks of max, we may be clipping the signal BEFORE it gets to the amp, which would require two things - a gain setting change to get enough volume, and then staying out of the top few clicks)

- gain (input sensitivity)

I will email a forum member who has this in Chicago in an E60, and see if I can relay his email for you. Locally, we've ended up installing an option above this, with the 6-channel amp like the one in my car, so it's not a direct comparison.

Also, UdubBadger on this forum runs SWS8 in a 1-series, with a non-DSP amp. It's not the way I would have suggested he set it up, it's a long story, he runs his bass control 4-5 clicks BELOW center, but he's not complained about output levels.
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      09-14-2010, 12:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
There are between 47 and 52 volume clicks on the cars I've tested (it seems to vary with SW) and in Stereo mode, if there are 52 clicks, the head unit clips its signal at 47 and above.
For comparison, in the input setup of the MS-8 the "Signal OK" shows up around click 44-46 in the HiFi system.
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      09-14-2010, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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For comparison, in the input setup of the MS-8 the "Signal OK" shows up around click 44-46 in the HiFi system.
But that's an input voltage threshold that's been reached, yes? That's due to the 5V of the HiFi output relative to the higher speaker output voltage of the Stereo output, I would think.

How many clicks are you getting before the output is maxed, Technic?
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      09-14-2010, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
But that's an input voltage threshold that's been reached, yes? That's due to the 5V of the HiFi output relative to the higher speaker output voltage of the Stereo output, I would think.

How many clicks are you getting before the output is maxed, Technic?
Its seems that your numbers also apply to the HiFi, as around click 50-52 the MS-8 says "Signal Too High". And for the MS-8 that signal should be 2.8V and above. So ~45 clicks should be the max just before the onset of clipping according to the MS-8.

If this is just a coincidence with your Stereo "clicks" then it is quite on the spot.
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      09-14-2010, 02:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
If this is just a coincidence with your Stereo "clicks" then it is quite on the spot.
The clipping part definitely is not a coincidence... but the MS-8 calibrates well south of 40 on Stereo HUs.

Are you going in the speaker wires or the RCA inputs? I forget
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      09-14-2010, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I noticed the same the first time that I used the SWS-8.

What I used to tune the SWS-8 was a bandpass of 35Hz-175Hz, slope of 24db on both sides. I bumped a bit the 40Hz and the 160Hz relative to the others bands, but no more that 3dB. The PDX gain was never above the 12 o'clock (NOM in PDX terms).
That sounds good - I will try those settings. What is NOM and PDX? I don't see those in the Zapco software...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post

I would recommend "settin 'n forgettin" your iDrive bass and treble adjustments to "0" and let the Zapco take over.
Interesting... I was running them at "flat" (i.e. 5 not 0) but I've been having to cut the bass back on certain tunes to keep the system from clipping. I could role the iDrive T/B back to 0 and use the Zapco DSP instead.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I would guess that you are running separate wires to the SWS-8 from your Zapco, correct?
Yes, I'm running separate wires to the SWS-8's.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post

When you hear the speakers "clipping", where is the bass control?
Generally at 5 (flat) but on tunes with deep/low bass, I end up having to role back to 1 or 2 to keep it from clipping at even moderate volume. That's the part that worries me. I'm not sure if it's an EQ issue where the SWS's can't take the lows (which would surprise me - especially at lower volumes) OR is it a gain issue (or a combination.)

It just seems like these should be able to get moderately loud before choking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post

Also, UdubBadger on this forum runs SWS8 in a 1-series, with a non-DSP amp. It's not the way I would have suggested he set it up, it's a long story, he runs his bass control 4-5 clicks BELOW center, but he's not complained about output levels.
Sounds great - Much appreciated!
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      09-14-2010, 04:02 PM   #11
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NOM is what the amp says is the "Nominal" setting. PDX is the series of Alpine amp T is running.
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      09-14-2010, 04:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
The clipping part definitely is not a coincidence... but the MS-8 calibrates well south of 40 on Stereo HUs.

Are you going in the speaker wires or the RCA inputs? I forget
RCA, no input setup. I did the input setup the very first time that I got your MS-8, but after that I skipped it.
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      09-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #13
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So the input voltage range is different... got it.
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      09-23-2010, 02:45 PM   #14
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So, how did this turn out?
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      09-23-2010, 04:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
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So, how did this turn out?
Thanks to guys like VP and Technic, it's working out better.

I know you're not fishing for it but I'd like to publicly acknowledge how helpful you've been.

I honestly can't say enough good things about VP's support on this. I would highly recommend that anyone who's looking to purchase upgrade components do it through VP, he's a really good resource. A lot of guys will tell you that they know these cars well, but VP actually does.

VP and I spent an hour on the phone last weekend and a bunch of emails in between. We definitely got the bass issue under control.

It sounds good (much, much better than stock) but I'm not sure that I would recommend this set-up to anyone else. It's really difficult to get the tuning of the Zapco right. I've fiddled around with it for close to two weeks and am still not totally satisfied. I'm thinking the MS-8 and an amp for the subs would have been a better choice as you really need something that will do the tuning automatically.

I'll keep playing with it. If anyone has a similar set-up, I'd love to know your EQ settings.

Thanks,
JC
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      09-23-2010, 06:51 PM   #16
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Yeah, you've been doing something that I would not normally ask anybody to do - but the backorders on DC360s is preventing me from creating a preprogrammed file for your setup.

Normally I would supply the amp preprogrammed and not expect this to be done by the consumer, but I sent the wrong file in the first place and we are playing catchup now. When the amps are shipping again, I will be able to address this and create the files needed.
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      09-26-2010, 01:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post

Normally I would supply the amp preprogrammed and not expect this to be done by the consumer, but I sent the wrong file in the first place and we are playing catchup now. When the amps are shipping again, I will be able to address this and create the files needed.
VP

Nothing in the world would make me happier! Here's hoping you have a MY2010 customer in soon...
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      09-27-2010, 01:18 AM   #18
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Nope but I'm a MY2011 customer who's in line....
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      11-29-2010, 09:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
Yeah, you've been doing something that I would not normally ask anybody to do - but the backorders on DC360s is preventing me from creating a preprogrammed file for your setup.

Normally I would supply the amp preprogrammed and not expect this to be done by the consumer, but I sent the wrong file in the first place and we are playing catchup now. When the amps are shipping again, I will be able to address this and create the files needed.
VP are you out there? I'd love to get the programming. I've sent you a bunch of PM's and emails but haven't gotten any response...
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      12-02-2010, 10:13 PM   #20
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VP? Am I on the bad list now? Why the radio silence?
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      12-05-2010, 12:01 AM   #21
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Jeez... Got the flu from my sick kid, been home puking, hugely behind on all my messages, trying to catch up - why you be hating?
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      12-05-2010, 03:46 PM   #22
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Jeez... Got the flu from my sick kid, been home puking, hugely behind on all my messages, trying to catch up - why you be hating?
Not hating at all. I was wondering what happened to you! Let's chat tomorrow. I just want to get that programming file that we talked about.

I hope you're feeling better.

Thanks man!
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