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      01-20-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
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For those that replaced their front door speakers

Did you cut the moisture barrier to allow the speaker to utilize the airspace in the door cavity or did you leave it sealed? It seems that the available airspace between the barrier and the door panel would not allow for optimal bass performance. Increasing the amount of airspace behind the speaker would help. I know there might be some risks to cutting the barrier which is why I'm asking if anyone has done it without having problems.
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      01-20-2009, 11:31 PM   #2
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depends on what you consider "optimal bass performance"....using the airspace would most likely increase in midbass volume, but would most certainly sacrifice sound quality..... many woofers are designed for a moderate-to-limited sized airspace, which helps control the travel of the cone and creates tightness in the sound... opening things up into an "infinite baffle (IB)" type of setup will create distortion at loud volumes in many loudspeakers, unless they are deigned for IB application (those that are, are usually advertised as such).

Just something to consider, although most car manufacturers (actually not sure about our bmws, and i do doubt they intended to create a sealed enclosure using weatherproofing) don't take this into consideration and most often mount door speakers without a sealed or properly ported enclosure. People who install high end audio aftermarket in their cars, usually opt for a sealed or ported custom fiberglass enclosure even for their front mid-bass woofers...
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      01-21-2009, 01:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmax1980 View Post
depends on what you consider "optimal bass performance"....using the airspace would most likely increase in midbass volume, but would most certainly sacrifice sound quality..... many woofers are designed for a moderate-to-limited sized airspace, which helps control the travel of the cone and creates tightness in the sound... opening things up into an "infinite baffle (IB)" type of setup will create distortion at loud volumes in many loudspeakers, unless they are deigned for IB application (those that are, are usually advertised as such).

Just something to consider, although most car manufacturers (actually not sure about our bmws, and i do doubt they intended to create a sealed enclosure using weatherproofing) don't take this into consideration and most often mount door speakers without a sealed or properly ported enclosure. People who install high end audio aftermarket in their cars, usually opt for a sealed or ported custom fiberglass enclosure even for their front mid-bass woofers...
Actually most car audio marketed midbasses and midrange drivers are made for IB applications because that would be the most common application when you're dropping it in a stock location. I've had a lot of high end gear in the past and most were optimized for IB applications. BTW, most sealed door cavities would still be considered IB for a small midrange/midbass driver because the volume of air in that cavity is typically more than 10x VAS which is about the range for an IB application. The reason many seal off all the holes in the door panel is so that the front wave and the back wave coming from the speaker cannot interact with each other and cause cancellation or destructive interference.
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      01-21-2009, 10:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIS4 View Post
Actually most car audio marketed midbasses and midrange drivers are made for IB applications because that would be the most common application when you're dropping it in a stock location. I've had a lot of high end gear in the past and most were optimized for IB applications. BTW, most sealed door cavities would still be considered IB for a small midrange/midbass driver because the volume of air in that cavity is typically more than 10x VAS which is about the range for an IB application. The reason many seal off all the holes in the door panel is so that the front wave and the back wave coming from the speaker cannot interact with each other and cause cancellation or destructive interference.
true, i guess im thinking more of IB subwoofers, which are rarer....

I did however have an audi with a bose system in the past where the doors had properly ported enclosures for the midbass that werent IB, i completely replaced the system, and found MB Quart speakers sounded phenomenal in the factory enclosures...

another thing is, do you know what the crossover point is from the midbass drivers to your floor mounted subwoofers? my guess is its pretty high (over 100hz) and those floor woofers are almost pushing into midbass (they distort because of that at high volumes i find).... i dont know how much you could improve the midbass out of the door speakers without changing amplifiers/crossovers

do you have the upgraded factory system? this is an interesting topic to me as im definitely looking for weak points in the system that small mods will help...
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      01-21-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmac1980 View Post
true, i guess im thinking more of IB subwoofers, which are rarer....

I did however have an audi with a bose system in the past where the doors had properly ported enclosures for the midbass that werent IB, i completely replaced the system, and found MB Quart speakers sounded phenomenal in the factory enclosures...

another thing is, do you know what the crossover point is from the midbass drivers to your floor mounted subwoofers? my guess is its pretty high (over 100hz) and those floor woofers are almost pushing into midbass (they distort because of that at high volumes i find).... i dont know how much you could improve the midbass out of the door speakers without changing amplifiers/crossovers

do you have the upgraded factory system? this is an interesting topic to me as im definitely looking for weak points in the system that small mods will help...
I have the base system. I'm not planning to just replace the speaker. It would be a total upgrade sans the head unit. I'm not sure what the exact crossover frequency of the mid/sub transition is but it has been estimated to be somewhere around 200-250 Hz. I have never experienced audible distortion from the subs at any sane listening level. The base system is actually pretty good and sometimes I feel like doing a total upgrade might not be worth it because there is not a lot of room for improvement.
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      01-21-2009, 12:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIS4 View Post
I have the base system. I'm not planning to just replace the speaker. It would be a total upgrade sans the head unit. I'm not sure what the exact crossover frequency of the mid/sub transition is but it has been estimated to be somewhere around 200-250 Hz. I have never experienced audible distortion from the subs at any sane listening level. The base system is actually pretty good and sometimes I feel like doing a total upgrade might not be worth it because there is not a lot of room for improvement.
yeah, i have the upgraded system and defintely debate the value of upgrading.... but 200-250hz is way too high for subs.... I notice it in songs with heavy 100-200hz bass with the volume up, the subs get muddy, not full on distortion, but it sounds bad.... proabably because theyre trying to do too much
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      01-21-2009, 12:57 PM   #7
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I did not cut it. I put in Diamond Audio S400 speakers in there and the midbass is great. I moved the high-pass down to about 80 Hz and it was surprisingly powerful. But moving the crossover frequency to 125 allowed them to play louder and cleaner. Subs sound good up to 150 hz. Since they are near the front, it's not so easily localized.
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      01-21-2009, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIS4 View Post
I have the base system. I'm not planning to just replace the speaker. It would be a total upgrade sans the head unit. I'm not sure what the exact crossover frequency of the mid/sub transition is but it has been estimated to be somewhere around 200-250 Hz. I have never experienced audible distortion from the subs at any sane listening level. The base system is actually pretty good and sometimes I feel like doing a total upgrade might not be worth it because there is not a lot of room for improvement.
The sweet spot in the OEM Premium system 4" components is around 150Hz. I tried 250Hz first, then 200Hz and finally 150Hz ended up being the best sounding crossover point between the SWS-8 and the OEM 4" drivers.

About that OEM moisture barrier in the door, I would not mess with it unless you create another moisture barrier on whatever hole you make. Water and moisture always find ways of messing things up. I would say, replace the underseat woofers first with the SWS-8 or with a custom shallow 10", tune it to 250Hz/200Hz/150Hz and listen to each case. Then decide if you will need extra mid bass from the 4" in the doors.

I think that there is a general misunderstanding on the capabilities of this central bass location and the reason of why BMW combined this bass setup with multiple 4" mids all around. The SWS-8 has to be tuned with an EQ to really get deep -not quite sub deep but it can fool it- and solid mid bass all the way to 250Hz without any sound issues. And some aftermarket 4" drivers -including the Premium OEM- can go down to 150Hz and still provide tight sounding mid bass that can blend nicely with the bass under the seat.
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      01-21-2009, 01:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badfish View Post
I did not cut it. I put in Diamond Audio S400 speakers in there and the midbass is great. I moved the high-pass down to about 80 Hz and it was surprisingly powerful. But moving the crossover frequency to 125 allowed them to play louder and cleaner. Subs sound good up to 150 hz. Since they are near the front, it's not so easily localized.
Thanks! I saw those S400s but never heard them. How do you like them? What other aftermarket sets have you compared them to?
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      01-21-2009, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIS4 View Post
Thanks! I saw those S400s but never heard them. How do you like them? What other aftermarket sets have you compared them to?
I used to work in the car audio business, installed and also competed. The S400s are pretty good. Definitely several steps up from stock. The reason I chose them was because of the price and ease of installation. There are not a lot of choices for 4" components because 4" components are not a good idea in general. Some of the 4" speakers would not fit depth-wise. Some had huge crossovers that would not fit in the doors. Some had large tweeters that would not fit in the original location. I saw the S400 specs and I thought the install wouldn't be too difficult. The only challenge was the crossover. I had to take it apart and got a little creative to mount it in the door panel cavity. It wasn't easy.

If I was the same installer years ago, I would have gone for the best and made it fit no matter what. Now I just want something better that won't compromise the car too much. I used to always run a big sub boxes that would weigh over 100 pounds. These days I spend more money trying to reduce the weight on my car. It's an M so I need to stick with the purpose. These speakers are more than good enough and what they don't do well I can fix with equalization.
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      01-21-2009, 01:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIS4 View Post
Thanks! I saw those S400s but never heard them. How do you like them? What other aftermarket sets have you compared them to?
I used to have those in my old MKV GTI and they sound great... and only cost me some $160 brand new with silk tweeters at eBay; sets with aluminum tweeters are also available. Retail was supposed to be $400. The 4" drivers in the MKV GTI are the same depth as the E9x 4" drivers, as badfish confirmed.

One thing though: forget about installing its crossovers inside the doors: the suckers are as big as a Cracker Jack box. In my case I used instead CDT Audio compact crossovers...
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      01-21-2009, 01:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Technic View Post
One thing though: forget about installing its crossovers inside the doors: the suckers are as big as a Cracker Jack box. In my case I used instead CDT Audio compact crossovers...
Here's how you do it. You remove the circuit board from the crossover. Slice the plastic ribs on the door panel in the position below (you don't have to remove the ribs, I actually use them to kind of hold the crossover in place). Put a bunch of hot melt glue on the panel where the crossover will go. Then put more hot melt glue to hold it in place after you set it. If it is in the proper position with the depth minimized, the door panel will just snap right back in no problems. If it is not, then the coil will hit the door and not allow you to snap the panel back in properly. Position is key...

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      01-21-2009, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badfish View Post
Here's how you do it. You remove the circuit board from the crossover. Slice the plastic ribs on the door panel in the position below (you don't have to remove the ribs, I actually use them to kind of hold the crossover in place). Put a bunch of hot melt glue on the panel where the crossover will go. Then put more hot melt glue to hold it in place after you set it. If it is in the proper position with the depth minimized, the door panel will just snap right back in no problems. If it is not, then the coil will hit the door and not allow you to snap the panel back in properly. Position is key...

Thanks... in the Sedan that circuit would be placed much better in the lower right hand corner of the door panel in that photo. The Sedan door panel doesn't have that lower right storage bulge shown in the photo.
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      01-21-2009, 01:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Thanks... in the Sedan that circuit would be placed much better in the lower right hand corner of the door panel in that photo. The Sedan door panel doesn't have that lower right storage bulge shown in the photo.
Yeah the coupe door panel leaves almost no room to work with. I believe that is the only place the crossover could possibly fit. For a while, my door panel had this gap in it that I didn't see and that was because of the coils hitting the metal on the door. When I spotted it, I had to take the door panel off and adjust the position of the crossover. That's the great thing about good hot melt glue. With enough surface area, it holds very well. When used against plastic, you can cleanly remove it and start over again.

One other thing to be wary of when installing the speakers on the coupe. You will probably end up using the grill that the speaker comes with. If it is too far forward with respect to the car, it will hit the dash. So be very careful when closing the door after you install your speakers. Make sure there is adequate clearance between the grill and the dash. There is more than enough room for adjustment. At first, mine was just barely touching the dash. I adjusted it to where I probably have 1/4" clearance which is plenty.

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      01-21-2009, 03:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badfish View Post
Here's how you do it. You remove the circuit board from the crossover. Slice the plastic ribs on the door panel in the position below (you don't have to remove the ribs, I actually use them to kind of hold the crossover in place). Put a bunch of hot melt glue on the panel where the crossover will go. Then put more hot melt glue to hold it in place after you set it. If it is in the proper position with the depth minimized, the door panel will just snap right back in no problems. If it is not, then the coil will hit the door and not allow you to snap the panel back in properly. Position is key...
Luckily I don't plan on using any passive crossover networks so I won't have to worry about that

Quote:
Originally Posted by badfish View Post
One other thing to be wary of when installing the speakers on the coupe. You will probably end up using the grill that the speaker comes with. If it is too far forward with respect to the car, it will hit the dash. So be very careful when closing the door after you install your speakers. Make sure there is adequate clearance between the grill and the dash. There is more than enough room for adjustment. At first, mine was just barely touching the dash. I adjusted it to where I probably have 1/4" clearance which is plenty.
Crap. I was hoping to use the stock grill to keep everything stock looking. Did you have to use the Diamond grill because you had to mount the mids from the front for depth clearance?
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      01-21-2009, 04:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HIS4 View Post
Crap. I was hoping to use the stock grill to keep everything stock looking. Did you have to use the Diamond grill because you had to mount the mids from the front for depth clearance?
I think it was because the Diamond didn't fit well from behind the grill. No mounting points and I think the surround would have hit the panel.

Stock vs Diamond




Stock mounted in door panel


Diamond mounted in door panel
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      01-21-2009, 08:49 PM   #17
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Anyone wanna do my stereo?? Id rather pay you guys thats done this than some shop that has not!
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      01-29-2009, 10:21 PM   #18
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Nice pics!!!

Any reason you couldn't use the stock wiring and place the cross-over's in the trunk? That's how we did it in the X5 i had.

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      01-29-2009, 10:27 PM   #19
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Thanks for sharing...always wanted to do this upgrade. what amps are you guys using?
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      01-30-2009, 04:24 PM   #20
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Nice pics!!!

Any reason you couldn't use the stock wiring and place the cross-over's in the trunk? That's how we did it in the X5 i had.

The tweeter and driver are powered off of the crossover. The OEM speakers had a single speaker wire run to each door and the tweeter has a coil on it. I would have to run extra wiring if I were to place the crossovers in the trunk.
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      01-31-2009, 12:00 AM   #21
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The tweeter and driver are powered off of the crossover. The OEM speakers had a single speaker wire run to each door and the tweeter has a coil on it. I would have to run extra wiring if I were to place the crossovers in the trunk.
I see. Do you have the standard stereo or the upgrade?
My old X5 hae speaker wire from the DSP amp to the mids and separate cables to the tweets. It seems like BMW changed the way they run their speakers. Thanks for the info.
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      02-01-2009, 12:31 AM   #22
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I see. Do you have the standard stereo or the upgrade?
My old X5 hae speaker wire from the DSP amp to the mids and separate cables to the tweets. It seems like BMW changed the way they run their speakers. Thanks for the info.
Standard audio.... it makes it a lot easier to upgrade.
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