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      11-07-2010, 10:41 AM   #1
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Thumbs up 2011 Audio Upgrade Completed, Summery, Overview and Photos

I'm sure some of you are already aware I've been prodding around gathering info for the planned upgrade on my base level audio system in my early build 2011 E92. Special thanks to Don 6spdcoupe, his company Unexpected Creations of Edison NJ for putting in 3 days of work to my car. Yes, I dropped the car off Thursday and picked it up Saturday afternoon. I want to thank Joelc73, ctuna, especially Technic for his harness (that arrived on my door step 2 days after ordering it) and VP_Electricity for his expert guidance.

This is truly a real life demonstration of how well this community, can come together, support, plan and execute a project with fantastic results. The end product was way better than I ever would have expected.

Heres what we did
Rainbow SLC 210 upfront with CAL25 tweeter in BMW sails
- BMW tweeter sails part number: 51 33 7 184 198 <L & R sails are the only parts needed
Rears remain stock driven off head unit (but I have HU full fade to front)
Zapco DC360.4 (90x4)
Jehnert XE200 under seat subs 8"
Symbilink wire and Technic's Harness
Added sound deadening

Visually and operationally, there's not much to say, the car looks like it just rolled out of the factory. Don pretty much had to take apart most of my interior and put it all back together. I drove the car extensively yesterday down some pretty bumpy roads, there weren't any rattles or strange noises. There is no hum or high pitched whine, Bluetooth, ALL factory functions, controls work just as they are supposed to. Even treble base and fade adjustments!

The way he configured the audio, there is a clear 'sound stage' presented in front of me. I thought before hearing it I would want my rears going, but now I can hear stereo effects like I've never heard them before. There is a center where my music will sometimes sound like its coming from a non-existent speaker just over the center of the dash, and a very distinct left and right. I can hear instruments, strings, and parts of music that I've never heard before. The music is full, bright, and its range is beyond anything I've ever heard before in a car. The highs are clear and pop. The mids are very clean and clear while mid bass sounds just right to me. The sub bass is low, fills in very very well. Overall, it has a very classy, balanced and bright sound now.

The amp was going to go into the spare tire compartment, but its simply too big. It ended up going under the rear shelf on the trunk ceiling. (you cannot tell from passenger compartment). The only way to see it is to bend down with the trunk open. There are no wires that I can see without getting on my back, and crawling INSIDE the trunk and looking at the amp inputs. Dons attention to detail was most evident here. Not only concealing everything, but the amp was installed with 1/4" spacer grommets that space it down from the shelf. If the amp needs to be removed, the through mounted fasteners stay in place after the screws are removed which was a really nice touch.

I would say on the paranoia scale, im pretty paranoid of people working on my car. I feel like no one is going to give attention to your stuff like yourself... I felt like don cared as much for my car as I did throughout the entire process. He made me feel very comfortable working with him. There wasn't ONE email or phone call that wasn't answered, or responded to promptly, and trust me, I definitely pushed the limits! poor don.

A note on the Jehnerts... There was some debate about the subs we picked. Although, I've never heard the SWSs, I can compare it to my Explorer that has 4x 5 1/4" and a 11 inch 'Kicker' sub in it, all driven by 2 alpine amps. The Jehnert sub bass sounds much more refined, deeper and full than even my explorer. I have no sub bass gripes, its filled in perfect.


Here are the stock BMW subs...















Granted, had I sprung the extra $800 upfront for upgraded audio I wouldn't be in this position. For some additional money after the fact, I'm am definitely very happy. I own this car, and plan on keeping it for a very long time, just as I've owned my Explorer for 200,000 miles now since it was brand new.

I could not be happier. I'm actually pretty stoked to hit the highway and head into work later today just so I can listen to music

Can't thank you guys enough...

If anyone has specific questions like $$ feel free to PM.

Cliffs Notes:
Radio Sucked
brought car to professional
spent a lot of time installing new stuff
radio is great.
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      11-07-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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Doing almost the same thing...

It looks like I may going the same route as you. I have a 128i and have the same Jehnerts under the seat right now running off an HD 900/5 with stock 4 inch.

The people who originally installed the HD 900/5 did a pretty bad job. I have a large amount of hiss and cd transport noise and it sounds pretty muddy (not better SQ than base audio just louder with noise.

I will be going to Don to add Rainbow SLC 210s and a Zapco 650.6 soon so hopefully that makes a big difference in SQ.

Your post was pretty encouraging because I am doing almost the same thing. How do the Jehnerts play?

Right now they are playing all frequencies and don't sound very good but I don't think the problem is the speaker.
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      11-08-2010, 12:21 AM   #3
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Elduder,
I'd say a massive part of this job isn't just the hardware install it's adjusting that amp. He walked me through the seemingly endless settings on that amp that needed to be configured. Don has some really cool equipment that he reads the sound coming from ur car and then adjusts the amp accordingly. All done with computers. Really cool stuff.

The Jehnerts are only playing bass from what my ears can tell and they do a damn good job. The bass never hits "too hard", it's very filling and deep. Mid bass sounds clean too. The enclosure and amp I have in my other car are big, it was done by a run of the mill shop, Don's set up blows it out of the water. I've definitely learned that bigger or more doesn't equal better in this application. I'm really happy with the Jehnerts, I had no idea changing the subs out would make that big a difference.

I would have no quams about unleashing Don with his recommendations on your 128.

My target for this project was $1500. He was pretty close to that, I was a little north of that after it was said and done but I have absolutely no reservations considering the outcome.

Any questions feel free to PM me.
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      11-08-2010, 08:31 AM   #4
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Nice!
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      12-14-2010, 11:57 PM   #5
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737

how did you get the luggage trim with the holes for cargo net...mine didnt have that.
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      12-15-2010, 12:16 AM   #6
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Hey tai,
I think those r hooks, I'd have to look closer when I get back home. It just came that way. I dont think I have the hooks that are further aft though.
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      02-13-2011, 12:59 AM   #7
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Great install! How did you attach the amp to your trunk lid?
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      05-10-2011, 09:18 AM   #8
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Nice work.How much did this cost to you in the end i might be interested in going through this route as well. Only thing that scares me is after taking all of the interior spart them not putting it back together correctly and ruining my car.
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      05-10-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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i'll send you a PM about the total cost.
Don did a fantastic job, after the fact he told me "we pretty much had your entire interior removed from your car and sitting out in the shop". i was shocked because im one picky bastard, and i have major post mod paranoia when it comes to listening for sounds, creaks, or panel mis alignments, and till this day the car still looks 100% as it did the day i took delivery of it. after having been through all that, Don is probably the only guy other than myself and the dealer, that id trust working on my car. in fact i feel like he was prob more careful than the dealer. Don is a perfectionist, hes a fellow car nut and a fanatic about things being perfect. you should see the way he even aligned the wires on the inputs so the letters were all facing the same direction. and he didnt tell me that, i found it its safe to say that because of his OCD he is probably much less profitable than most other installers lol!

PM on the way...
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      05-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #10
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Great install! How did you attach the amp to your trunk lid?
+1
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      05-10-2011, 11:58 PM   #11
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the amp was installed with 1/4" spacer grommets that space it down from the shelf. If the amp needs to be removed, the through mounted fasteners stay in place after the screws are removed. they did drill through the metal shelf to affix the fasteners and mounting.
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      06-08-2011, 11:25 PM   #12
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Wire harness

Why did you need technic's harness if you were taking it to get done professionally, wouldn't they know how to do it with out the harness? I'm bringing my car in next week so trying to educate myself.
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      06-09-2011, 12:05 AM   #13
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who are you bringing your car to? if its not Don, i would reconsider...

I used Technics harness because even though i own my car outright, i did not want anyone cutting into wires and cutting harnesses from Factory wires.

Don recommended it as well. God forbid i had to remove all the components that were installed for warrenty issues, it is a non-event with technics harness
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      06-09-2011, 12:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Why did you need technic's harness if you were taking it to get done professionally, wouldn't they know how to do it with out the harness? I'm bringing my car in next week so trying to educate myself.
Don does great work and would not need the harness. For most shops - 90% plus across the country, I would MAKE them use the harness. This is because more than 90% of professional shops shouldn't be touching the wiring in a BMW.
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      08-11-2011, 10:44 AM   #15
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just an update on my audio project, i decided to change speakers in my doors. My tech has my car now, we decided to go with Rainbow CS210 Profi's upfront. im pretty excited to hear them.

I during the 'exploratory phase' we tried Micro Precision speakers in there, which are 'drop in fit', but I was less than impressed with the way they sounded.

We're also doing a top mount rather than the OEM way from behind. Once i get the car back i'll post up some pictures and review of the Profi's over the Rainbow SLC 210 Soundlines i was using.

I'm out of the country for a few days but hopefully will be back late this weekend
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      08-11-2011, 06:24 PM   #16
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just an update on my audio project, i decided to change speakers in my doors. My tech has my car now, we decided to go with Rainbow CS210 Profi's upfront. im pretty excited to hear them.

I during the 'exploratory phase' we tried Micro Precision speakers in there, which are 'drop in fit', but I was less than impressed with the way they sounded.

We're also doing a top mount rather than the OEM way from behind. Once i get the car back i'll post up some pictures and review of the Profi's over the Rainbow SLC 210 Soundlines i was using.

I'm out of the country for a few days but hopefully will be back late this weekend
please let me know your thoughts; thinking of doing this exact upgrade.
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      08-12-2011, 12:51 AM   #17
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In a 335d sedan, the ProFis will backload, FYI.

The tweeters are a different task.
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      08-12-2011, 09:24 AM   #18
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6spd says he doesnt like me talking smack about the MP's... in all fairness, i did NOT have the amp re-tuned for them, nor did i allow a full break in period... that said, still not a fan
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      08-12-2011, 07:05 PM   #19
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In a 335d sedan, the ProFis will backload, FYI.

The tweeters are a different task.
Is this a tacit endorsement of such an upgrade?

What about that amp rack I keep asking about
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      08-12-2011, 09:06 PM   #20
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I got a peak of the Profi's top mounted into the doors today, i have to say they came out awesome, i cannot wait to hear them!! the installation looks totally OEM (one exception is the rainbow badge which im okay with). Amp has been re-tuned. Mounting the tweeters in was a lot of work to do within the confines of the OEM sails. The top mount (which is fully reversible in case i ever decide to sell the car back with the stock speakers) was labor intensive but im really pleased with the results.

when i get the car back i'll post up some pictures and a review of the Profi's.

heres a sneak peak
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      08-12-2011, 11:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
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What about that amp rack I keep asking about
You mean this?

(Sorry to go in the ditch):



Quote:
Originally Posted by taibanl View Post
Is this a tacit endorsement of such an upgrade?
ProFi mid is a nice speaker. ProFi is a nice speaker system. I was simply pointing out that the ProFi will indeed backload in the E90.
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      08-13-2011, 06:42 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
You mean this?

(Sorry to go in the ditch):





ProFi mid is a nice speaker. ProFi is a nice speaker system. I was simply pointing out that the ProFi will indeed backload in the E90.
Ok....you got me, what's it going to cost me.

Are you fabbing them to custom match customer's amps (bolt spacing, etc). It appeared that way.
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