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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > Visited Portland this past weekend and demo'd VP Electricity's car



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      10-11-2010, 06:08 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Visited Portland this past weekend and demo'd VP Electricity's car

I had a small bit of work last week in Vancouver (WA) that I pushed off to Thursday so I could enjoy a three-day weekend in Portland. My timing couldn't be any more perfect with fantastic, warm weather through Friday. Unfortunately the weather turned a bit sour Saturday and Sunday but I certainly didn't mind it.

I was fortunate enough to distract our Ken of Musicar Northwest, better known 'round these parts as VP Electricity. For those in the know, he's among the most experienced with our cars and has performed audio upgrades for several 1 and 3-series owners.

A good bit of his installation experience has come from upgrading his own car and I got a bit of seat time to demonstrate it for myself.

My own car is a 2010 with the base (stereo) audio system, so my standards aren't great to start from, but I have spent some time tweaking the L7 system in my friend's E92. I've also spent some of my younger years installing stereo systems in my own cars, when I had enough free time to make fiberglass kick panel enclosures and false floors.

Ken's car is much more simple and takes an approach that most of us should appreciate by remaining stealth and using stock locations. Ken's car has changed a bit since his original self-install thread but still utilizes Zapco amplifiers and Earthquake SWS-8 midbass drivers under the seats. The front components have been upgraded using a slightly smaller, more flexible midbass driver and a smooth, 20mm silk dome tweeter. These are driven from their own amplifier channels using the Zapco software to set EQ and crossover points. I can't go into any more detail than that as it's new product that may eventually pan out to something we can use in kit form, but I was impressed with its output.

It's difficult to get a 4" driver to blend with the underseat 8" midbass drivers, even moreso when SWS-8s are used, but I think Ken has that figured out with tuning. We sampled some music with faster, punchy bass notes and let the SWS-8s do their work, first in concert with a single 10" subwoofer and then on their own. Again, tuning was key here and it was nice to hear that the Earthquake drivers can be utilized in either fashion.

From the driver's seat, the image was much improved over what I expected for using stock locations. The soundstage seemed wide, extending to the door mirror caps and elevated to a level about even with the top of the dashboard. From the passenger seat, the image is severely crippled by the off-axis tweeter position where the steering wheel and driver can get in the way. Still, it was nice to see what BMW engineers were thinking-- we have a great platform to start from.

I should hopefully begin my own install shortly and I've learned a lot from reading here. Given my experiences with local stereo installers who haven't the first clue how our cars are constructed, it's great to have so much information and experience on this forum.

VP, thanks again for taking time out of your day on Friday to let me drop by and see what you've been up to!
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      10-11-2010, 08:11 PM   #2
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Cool, I was in Portland last week and thought about doing the same thing, but then I had to choose between Ken and a pub, and guess who won?
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      10-11-2010, 10:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Cool, I was in Portland last week and thought about doing the same thing, but then I had to choose between Ken and a pub, and guess who won?
Ha! I had enough time to visit Deschutes on Wednesday, work on Thursday, Ken on Friday, followed by Rogue, then a trip south on Saturday to see Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Serene, Four Graces, Archery Summit, Sokol-Blosser, Erath and Argyle.
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      10-12-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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Cool, I was in Portland last week and thought about doing the same thing, but then I had to choose between Ken and a pub, and guess who won?
What makes you think I won't drive the car to a pub? You just were afraid I'd make you buy me a beer
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      10-12-2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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Imperator, thanks for the kind words and the post - appreciated. Talk to you soon,
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      10-12-2010, 12:33 PM   #6
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What makes you think I won't drive the car to a pub? You just were afraid I'd make you buy me a beer
you always make me buy you a beer!
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      10-12-2010, 12:34 PM   #7
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Very cool! I wish I was just a drive away as I'd love to talk shop and compare notes with the master.
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      10-12-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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Yeah, Tom (vp fiberglass) drinks beer too

If I come out to visit my sis and brother in law on the Big Island, I will have to do a tour!
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      10-12-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
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[quote=VP Electricity;8148339]Yeah, Tom (vp fiberglass) drinks beer too

QUOTE]

you dont bring VP fiberglass out in public though!
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