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      09-13-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
Technic
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Notes on a 2012 E92 M3 HiFi Audio Upgrade with Alpine PXA-H800

As Part II of this thread: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=637056 I decided to replace the JBL MS-8 with an Alpine PXA-800 for one particular reason: the damn Bluetooth echo. I got tired of tweaking volume levels, recalibrating and other tricks to minimize -never eliminate- the echo at the caller end.

A call to MusicarNW got me a PXA-H800 in a week, and two hours later it was installed:

MS-8 out:


PXA-H800 in:


Got a Dremel tool and modified the sunglasses OEM bin (and relocating the factory 12V socket to the OEM mount under the glovebox):


Installed:




Notes:

- The H800 ImprintEQ takes way, way longer to autotune than the MS-8 acoustic calibration. However there is no initial crossover setup to be done and still it produces a well balanced sound -depending on how many measuring points are chosen. For example, 1 measuring point sounded better than 6 points... go figure. Autotune results are slightly better with the MS-8 despite the elaborate and time consuming microphone positionings of the H800. However adjustments after the autotune produces a better sound than the MS-8 overall, IMO.

- Logic7 is slightly better than Euphony in setting the front stage with a center speaker in 5.1ch mode, IMO. Euphony requires tuning after the autotune -as stated above. However, Euphony allows a much better control of the center speaker effects than Logic7.

- No Bluetooth echo issues, no midbass drama: the main reason of the swap. It is great to have some midbass coming from the front doors mids at last, and no tricks required to get great midbass from the underseat woofers. And that is with all the PDX amp gains at minimum.

There are enough input and output level adjustments to not be bothered with adjusting amp gains.

- No noises, no hiss (-12dB master volume level).

- I found the parametric EQ much more effective in getting the custom tuning that I was looking for than the graphic EQ. I never got the best out of the MS-8 graphic EQ.

- It is great to be able to change crossover setting after the autotuning. Much better when I can overlap frequencies between Front High and Front Low.

- The PC software is not intuitive right away, it takes quite some time to "get it". For example, to custom adjust the Euphony ambiance levels the system input needs to be in 2-ch mode, although the main inputs are 4-ch in my particular case (AUX1 is 4-ch, AUX2 is 2-ch). However, set the custom modes in 2-ch mode and then they will be selectable in 4-ch mode. That's a WTF moment in software development.

- The controller requirement is stupid. Yes, Alpine... stupid.

So far, I like it very much overall, but this a DSP that takes quite some tuning. If the MS-8 is complicated for some then this is at another level.
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      09-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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Great job bro, love that Rust Brown!
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      09-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #3
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I like!

I'm still wondering if I should just downgrade to HiFi and just use an aftermarket amp for things. I still feel like bass issues aren't consistent even though the LOC seems to still be working fine.

Can the Kicker or SWS subs be used with the OEM setup and just bolt them in?
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      09-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by THE TECH View Post
I like!

I'm still wondering if I should just downgrade to HiFi and just use an aftermarket amp for things. I still feel like bass issues aren't consistent even though the LOC seems to still be working fine.

Can the Kicker or SWS subs be used with the OEM setup and just bolt them in?
In your particular case I would suggest a pair of Jehnerts XE200 woofers and either adding a 2-ch amp to your existing trunk sub setup or getting a new 3-ch/4-ch in a 3-way mode amp to drive both the trunk sub and the woofers. IMO, the best amp for this particular implementation should have a Bass Boost feature. This will allow you to adjust the impact level of the underseat woofers independently from the trunk sub and the OEM EQ levels.

The harness that you got with your setup has an interconnect to the underseat woofers so the wiring is done: just wire the pigtail to the amp outputs, unplug the interconnection at the harness and plug that pigtail in.

That should take care of the midbass, the OEM amp/7-band EQ will take care of the OEM mids/tweeters and the trunk sub took care of itself.
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      09-14-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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I love alpine imprint processors and this will be the next mod to my car, fixing the horrible hifi stereo. So it's seems pretty easy to hijack the audio from the stock head unit, yes?
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      09-14-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully1Time View Post
I love alpine imprint processors and this will be the next mod to my car, fixing the horrible hifi stereo. So it's seems pretty easy to hijack the audio from the stock head unit, yes?
With the use of a HiFi harness, correct.
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      09-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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*Lol* I bought a the sunglasses holder and am hiding some other stuff in it Good job!
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      09-16-2012, 10:25 AM   #8
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Great Job Technic.. I also ditch my Ms-8 awhile ago because of the lack of midbass.
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      09-16-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelson29 View Post
Great Job Technic.. I also ditch my Ms-8 awhile ago because of the lack of midbass.
Hi Nelson...
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      10-06-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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Question about the relocation of the 12V socket....can you get a pic of that? TIA
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      10-06-2012, 09:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
Question about the relocation of the 12V socket....can you get a pic of that? TIA
There is a hole under the glovebox, left side. That's the OEM 12V socket mount for non-M3 E9x cars from 2010-on.
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      10-06-2012, 11:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
There is a hole under the glovebox, left side. That's the OEM 12V socket mount for non-M3 E9x cars from 2010-on.
Found it http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ght=12v+socket

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      10-29-2012, 12:17 PM   #13
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Glad it worked out so well. I think that this product has some glaring opportunities for improvement, and it may very well be the best processor that Alpine will ever make. I hate the controller requirement as well - makes no sense.
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      10-29-2012, 01:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Glad it worked out so well. I think that this product has some glaring opportunities for improvement, and it may very well be the best processor that Alpine will ever make. I hate the controller requirement as well - makes no sense.
I would say that this H800 is the best sounding processor that I have installed so far -that's counting Audiocontrol DQXS, RF 3SIXTY.2 and 3SIXTY.3, Audison bit one.1 and JBL MS-8.

It has the best features of the bit one.1 and the MS-8 with none of their deficiencies (lack of autotune and bluetooth echo respectively).
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      10-29-2012, 01:56 PM   #15
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good job!
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      10-29-2012, 02:31 PM   #16
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Thanks!
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      12-01-2012, 09:46 PM   #17
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Hello Technic, apologies for thread jacking but i'm new to this particular forum and needed to contact you for a PnP Harness Adapter. I'm usually on M3Forum.net and did a search for your user name but it doesnt appear that you're part of that forum. As a new member here there's a minimum post count prior to PM'ing authorization so I figure why not start the first post here with my question directly. I am planning to install an amp and sub in my 2008 E92 M3 equipped with the HiFi system + Navi and was wondering how much your conversion PnP Harness Adapter was shipped to 95212? Thanks in advance for your help and again my apologies.
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      12-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #18
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Technic, are you running a center and rears with the h800? How many amp channels are you running? How would you compare the sq and imaging with the much cheaper cdt upstage system?
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      12-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #19
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Technic, are you running a center and rears with the h800? How many amp channels are you running? How would you compare the sq and imaging with the much cheaper cdt upstage system?
Please click the link at the first post for the details of my system.

There is no comparison between any DSP and plain Bass/Treble adjustments both in SQ and imaging. The more adjustments and controls are available the closer to the desired SQ and imaging you will get.
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      12-31-2012, 11:26 PM   #20
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Question. The Alpine PXA-800 has 8 outputs and you have 9 channels of amplification. How are you splitting the the 9th channel and I am assuming it is the trunk sub? And Which are speakers are you sending 75w and which are you sending 150w?
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      01-01-2013, 02:42 AM   #21
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Question. The Alpine PXA-800 has 8 outputs and you have 9 channels of amplification. How are you splitting the the 9th channel and I am assuming it is the trunk sub? And Which are speakers are you sending 75w and which are you sending 150w?
Center and rear (parallel sides and rear) = 75W (111W per birthsheet) x 3
Front and underseat = 150W (178W per birthsheet) x 4
Sub = 300W (387W per birthsheet) x 1
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      01-05-2013, 03:58 PM   #22
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So you are wasting one of your channels on the - Alpine PDX-5 amplifier, correct. Do you have the coupe or Sedan? I have the 08, M3, Sedan. I swapped all my speakers for Bavarian Soundwerks with the DIRAC setup. Should I parallel the rear doors with rear deck? Even though the rear deck has tweets and Mids and the rear doors only have mids? I have not changed the under seat subs yet and have not decided on the trunk sub yet. May do the JL Stealth box unless you feel what you used might be superior?

Do you have back up sensors and GPS? I have been struggling with how to interface a system and cant decide between the Alpine you are using vs Mobridge. The iPod interface under the middle arm rest is god awful and if I use one of the extra digital inputs on the Alpine for my iPod then I loose GPS and backup sensor voicing. I have a way to pull digital from an iPod/iPhone and still send USB data for controls through the stock system. As this will be my primary source. With Mobridge there is only one digital input unless I splurge for the iPod interface too. But the price of doing Mobridge and DSP etc etc will be so much higher than the Alpine.

Last edited by drubrew; 01-22-2013 at 08:54 PM.
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