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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > 2011 E90 gets Musicar Level Three plus DSP



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      04-27-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
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2011 E90 gets Musicar Level Three plus DSP

Just posting some pics of a Musicar Level Three install with DSP in a 2011 E90 M3:



We removed the stock HiFi system:



We damped the door a bit (we really don't think BMWs need much of this stuff, and we've seen some DIY jobs where people went nuts and wasted a lot of material and added weight with no real benefit):



We did a Level Three, we upgraded the woofers underseat to a new model which requires some work underseat, and we used the 2013 Helix DSP:



The DSP was doing 24dB crossover filtering, time-domain compensation for differing speaker distances, channel-by-channel output level matching, and finally, 30-band parametric equalization (by 6 channels, so 180 bands) We're believers that compensation for the differing speaker distances is a bigger benefit than the equalization, especially with good speakers.



There is a JL 6-channel amp in the stock amp location, using our mounting plate. There is a modified Technic harness (remember there's a DSP, so it's not usable unmodified):



Morel mids in the door, 28mm tweeters in the dash:





This is a Morel mid - not in this car, but I somehow lost the pic of this car so this is another E90 for illustration purposes (the speaker is a Morel 2012 model):



The badges were for photos for Morel's Facebook page:



The Musicar tuning cart gets rolled out (these were new 2013 speakers, so we wanted to get a baseline for our DSP curves):





Compare the graphs - you can see the difference between the electrical signal getting to the speaker and the acoustic signal getting to our ears:



Finally, here's the trunk after a 6-channel DSP sound system was installed:



Sounded GREAT, very musical, excellent imaging, we used the DSP to tame the stock rears a bit and make them less annoying. The new speakers needed very little EQ, the time-domain correction and the 1dB-increment level matching let us fool the client into thinking we had added a center channel.

We hope the client will let us borrow his car for the BMW CCA meet this summer in Portland.

But what about the underseat woofers? So, normally. Musicar systems are 100% plug-and-play, bolt-in. However, these new Level Three woofers are just too big to drop in.



Tom decided to make the stock enclosure into a mount similar to what BMW does in the E60 and E70. He made a template and used a router to mod the bottom of the enclosure, as shown:





Then we install sealing foam before bolting the speaker in:



The speaker also does require a partial ring on top to hold the carpet out of the way:



Now the speaker fits fine, and the stock speaker can still be reinstalled later.



Stock grille goes over it no problem!

So we can do this if you send in your enclosures to us for modification. We may start a core program if there is sufficient interest. The kit will include these parts but will be assembled:



This is not required for all cars - The E60 and E83 are two we know this isn't needed in (with the right adapter), and we doubt this fits in the E70 at all (tbd). This approach is for the E90. We will be testing an E92 and hopefully an E82 soon to see how this will work there.

The client owns a new 911 with the Burmester sound system, a $5100 option, and he was hoping for something close. He told us we outperformed it for less money! He may add a trunk sub - this system sounds amazing, but for those who want trunk-sub-style bass at higher levels, this needs a trunk sub and band-passing on the underseats for higher output levels.

We also had a salesperson from a local JL dealer stop by and take a listen to the system before delivery. His words were, "that amp is not supposed to sound that good!"
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      04-27-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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What kind of under seats are those?

What kind of under seats are those?
I can't read the name clearly. Also how do they compare
with the Jehnerts?
Did you only do the front speakers as per your philosophy or did the customer want better rears.
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      04-27-2013, 07:54 PM   #3
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beautiful Ken

At this point I wish I had just flown you out to do my install...

Still trying to get back to the sweet spot I had a year and a half ago....Sigh.
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      04-27-2013, 10:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
What kind of under seats are those?
I can't read the name clearly. Also how do they compare
with the Jehnerts?
+1 to know.

I have seen people moving to Helix DSP lately.
How would you compare Helix Vs MS-8 Vs Bit one?
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      04-27-2013, 11:01 PM   #5
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They're German Maestro. You can't compare MS-8 with Helix DSP. Helix or Bitone does not have auto tuning capabilities.
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      04-28-2013, 12:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makkan00 View Post
+1 to know.

I have seen people moving to Helix DSP lately.
How would you compare Helix Vs MS-8 Vs Bit one?
MS-8: Bluetooth echo problems, big and near impossible to fit into a stealth install, breaks the fader, unreliable in the field. Auto-tune seems to be questionable in the midbass for many E90 owners on this forum.

Bit one: can work really well, not cheap. In situations where you NEED the DRC, it's a very nice controller. IMO there is no need for a DRC in E90 installs, even with the Toslink input and the DA2, since volume is supported in SPDIF. Will auto-correct an electrical signal, but this capability is useless in HiFi cars, and useless in Top HiFi cars if DA2 is being used. Nice PC SW.

Helix: smaller, fits into tight spots, no DRC-type controller, parametric EQ for better tunability, not as much money. Allows weighted summing so more bass is derived from front channels. Has variable phase to sub channel. Nice SW, I like it a lot. Easier to get voltage preamp drive out from Toslink out than B1.

Bit one is a pretty old design now and there are many things EM Italy wants to do to the next generation.

Ctuna, those are Maestro of Germany. They are better sounding than the Jehnert, but rumors about them "dropping in" to E90s are great exaggerations. They are more costly even before the enclosure mod, so we are only using them in the Level Three right now. If you are interested I can see about sending a modded set of enclosures for you to test.
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      04-28-2013, 12:39 AM   #7
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Just wondering how they are different.

Just wondering how they are different.
Thanks for the offer .
You said they are better was wondering why?
Bigger and covering more range. Do they do a
better job of low bass, that's what I would guess?
The Jehnerts are already very good the processor intrigues me more. Is that an optical only processor or does it have both
analog ins and outs.
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      04-28-2013, 01:02 AM   #8
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It has optical and analog ins. The predecessor had noise in HiFi cars so we didn't use it. The 2013 model has eliminated the noise

They seem to have more linear excursion, and are a bit louder. There are no published xmax figures for either. Seems to have the low end extension of the SWS with the upper midbass response of the Jehnert.
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      04-28-2013, 05:35 AM   #9
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Ken
Like ctuna asked, did you run the rears off the XD600/6 or not? If not, did you use those other two channels for the front and dispense with the Morel's crossovers?

I am tempted by the Helix but I am concerned about tuning. What kit/expertise would I require to be able to do this over and above the software that comes with it?
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      04-28-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
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Nicely done! Do you always face the mic forward? I always point it at the ceiling, haven't been able to find enough info about which position works better.
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      04-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #11
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Wow. That's the Ultimate Driving Experience, I'd think. :-)
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      04-28-2013, 09:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bri1042
Wow. That's the Ultimate Driving Experience, I'd think. :-)
Bri... This is why you get your wallet out and go directly to ken!
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      04-28-2013, 10:22 AM   #13
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He did mention the stock rears still being in

He did mention the stock rears being in if you read his posts
carefully.
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      04-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taibanl View Post
Bri... This is why you get your wallet out and go directly to ken!
Yes, a fact I am very sure of at this point. Lesson learned.
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      04-28-2013, 01:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
He did mention the stock rears being in if you read his posts
carefully.
Sorry I missed this question before, ctuna. But yes, car had Rear PDC, I don't want to eliminate the rear audible alert unless the customer doesn't care.

For those who have missed my position on rear speakers and center channels:

Commie Plot!!!
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      04-28-2013, 02:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
Sorry I missed this question before, ctuna. But yes, car had Rear PDC, I don't want to eliminate the rear audible alert unless the customer doesn't care.

For those who have missed my position on rear speakers and center channels:

Commie Plot!!!
I know you're not a fan of L7, but I love what it does with the rears to PUSH the midbass forward. (Yes, I can tell the difference)
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      04-28-2013, 03:01 PM   #17
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We do a lot of rear speakers - as long as we aren't diluting the front-speaker budget to get better rears, that's the most important thing.
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      04-29-2013, 08:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
He did mention the stock rears being in if you read his posts
carefully.
Fair enough, but you missed it too I wasn't asking if the rears were stock or not, but if they were powered by the HU or amp.

Ken, would you also recommend the Helix DSP for use with an HU that has not been recoded from stereo to HiFi? How come it's only the MS-8 that has the Bluetooth echo issue, don't the others do time alignment too or is there more to it than that?

I need to read up a lot more on tuning if I'm going to use the Helix instead of an MS-8 - where did other people start?
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      04-29-2013, 08:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopeful View Post
Fair enough, but you missed it too I wasn't asking if the rears were stock or not, but if they were powered by the HU or amp.

Ken, would you also recommend the Helix DSP for use with an HU that has not been recoded from stereo to HiFi? How come it's only the MS-8 that has the Bluetooth echo issue, don't the others do time alignment too or is there more to it than that?

I need to read up a lot more on tuning if I'm going to use the Helix instead of an MS-8 - where did other people start?
I think the point is that Musicar will send you the processor pre-loaded with the EQ and T/A already applied for your car and for the speaker package you bought.

If you want to read about doing the tuning yourself, start at DIYMA.com but be warned, it is not something you can learn to do overnight. I have been putting pretty nice car audio systems in my cars for over 25 years now, and I am nowhere near capable of doing the tuning myself. What I mean by this is that I can tune to where I think it sounds good, but I have no reference for what good is, and there are experts who do a much better job than any of us amateurs could ever do. It's like eating a meal at a very nice restaurant... do you think you could cook like that at home or would you rather leave it up to the professionals, enjoy the meal and then pull out the credit card?
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      04-29-2013, 08:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopeful View Post
Fair enough, but you missed it too I wasn't asking if the rears were stock or not, but if they were powered by the HU or amp.

Ken, would you also recommend the Helix DSP for use with an HU that has not been recoded from stereo to HiFi? How come it's only the MS-8 that has the Bluetooth echo issue, don't the others do time alignment too or is there more to it than that?

I need to read up a lot more on tuning if I'm going to use the Helix instead of an MS-8 - where did other people start?
The name of the MS-8 comes from the 8ms delay that its DSP take to process the audio before T/A.

That's where the echo is coming from.

You should try the Helix Match PP82DSP with your Stereo system... DSP + 8ch amp (100+W max per channel).
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      04-29-2013, 09:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
The name of the MS-8 comes from the 8ms delay that its DSP take to process the audio before T/A.

That's where the echo is coming from.

You should try the Helix Match PP82DSP with your Stereo system... DSP + 8ch amp (100+W max per channel).
Oooo...that's pretty. How the heck much does that fella cost?
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      04-29-2013, 09:43 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bri1042 View Post
Oooo...that's pretty. How the heck much does that fella cost?
About the cost of an MS-8 plus a 6-channel amp.

There are cheaper versions with less amplified channel outputs
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