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      11-09-2013, 07:53 PM   #1
VP Electricity
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2011 E90 M3 Level X Audio Upgrade by Musicar Northwest

One of our local clients had a Level Three 3-way system installed a few months ago, and decided that he wanted to go beyond - he wanted a 4-way system, and he asked how he could exceed the level of performance he had.

He selected:

- Dynaudio MD102 30mm tweeters and Esotar 430 midranges (fully active)
- His existing Maestro underseats (but bandpassed as midbasses)
- Morel Ultimo SC104 carbon-fiber subwoofer
- Three Mosconi AS series power amplifiers - 100x4 on the mids and tweeters, 200x2 on the midbasses, 600W on the sub.
- His current Helix DSP managing the new fully-active system
- His current Morel Hybrid 402 as rear speakers (powered by a dedicated Arc amp)

The requirements were:

- Load floor unencumbered
- No false floor
- Stock appearing interior
- Rears present for Rear PDC and for music if faded aft
- Subwoofer level control
- Reversible installation

All work performed by my partner Tom Miller.



Original DSP location:



New DSP location:



The Dynes in the doors:







The woofers underseat (even though these were already there, we had pics)



Rear speakers:







The amps had to fit in the corner, in the same footprint that the CD changer trim would have taken. However, the CDC trim isn't tall enough for the amps used. The pedestal has a fan in it.





































The finished trunk:









Sounded scary good. It was a really fun car to listen to.
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      11-09-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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Amazing work guys. The OE look is fantastic.
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      11-09-2013, 11:10 PM   #3
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Damn... that looks so clean. You guys keep doing amazing stuff like this and I'm over here just trying to add a sub
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      11-12-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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Tom does great work

I wish the car had been EPS - we could have used a DA and run digital straight into the DSP. But even so, it sounded really impressive.
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      11-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
Tom does great work

I wish the car had been EPS - we could have used a DA and run digital straight into the DSP. But even so, it sounded really impressive.
Simply fantastic.

If you split the Combox/MULF MOST ring connection (shown in the first photo) into a DA2 then it would have done the trick, by coding the OEM HU/iDrive to SA752 first.

Next time, next time...
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      11-13-2013, 10:16 AM   #6
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Install looks bad a$$, great job!!!
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      11-13-2013, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Simply fantastic.

If you split the Combox/MULF MOST ring connection (shown in the first photo) into a DA2 then it would have done the trick, by coding the OEM HU/iDrive to SA752 first.

Next time, next time...
We offered this option to the client, but he did not want to recode anything.
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      11-13-2013, 02:41 PM   #8
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Firstly, Amazing work, as always.

Secondly, it's been awhile since I've looked into the BMW audio realm, but this has me thinking about my current setup. Is there now a way to split into the most ring and get rid of my LC2i and utilize digital processing? Or did I just completely misunderstand the above posts?
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      11-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #9
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There is a way to use the MOST as the audio delivery system into a Mobridge "digital preamp". If your E92 is early 2011 and has the USB interface which requires the split cable (6FL?) then you are analog out of an iPod into the head unit, and MOST back to the Digital Preamp. If you have 6FN, or upgrade to it, then you have USB decoding of the iPod files in the back of the car, and your iDrive or Pro CD becomes a transport.

Then you can get a Toslink input DSP and that becomes your analog preamp. Volume controls all work as before because the Mobridge piece actually recalculates amplitude based on the volume commands on the MOST bus.

If your car is HK or EPS, it's PNP. If it's HiFi or base Stereo, there is a recode to the HU to 677 needed.

I did this in my car with the recode from HiFi (I was a beta tester for the DA2, which retains the 7-band EQ in the HK and EPS systems, but doesn't have as much output (there is more headroom needed in the recalculating for the potential EQ boosting) If you use the DA with certain DSP processors with low outputs, there is a low output issue, but we have good experience with which ones are fine with the DA2 (I prefer to have the DA2 rather than the DA1). I didn't think it was going to be a big upgrade. I was surprised by the improvement in my car's system.
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      11-13-2013, 04:17 PM   #10
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Love the final result, looks very clean/OEM.
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      11-13-2013, 04:27 PM   #11
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I re-read what I wrote above. If you have the split cable, going this route will still work, and will still have advantages. The thing is the biggest benefit will be when you play CDs.

If you are using the split cable, the iPod still sounds better this way. My car didn't have the 6FN upgrade, and the difference was apparent either way. But USB sticks with high quality files sounded better than Apple Lossless on my iPod, due to the analog path into the BMW head unit on the split cable and the resistors in that line that are to protect against static discharge damage to the gear. Some folks have shorted across those resistors to get more signal into the head unit, but I don't want static to blow my iDrive
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      11-13-2013, 04:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom @ eas View Post
Love the final result, looks very clean/OEM.
Thanks sir, I will pass along to the Tom at this end.
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      11-13-2013, 05:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1sexyfd View Post
Firstly, Amazing work, as always.

Secondly, it's been awhile since I've looked into the BMW audio realm, but this has me thinking about my current setup. Is there now a way to split into the most ring and get rid of my LC2i and utilize digital processing? Or did I just completely misunderstand the above posts?
Using a DA2 to replace an LC2i? Or using a DA2 to replace both the OEM amp and the LC2i?
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      11-13-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
There is a way to use the MOST as the audio delivery system into a Mobridge "digital preamp". If your E92 is early 2011 and has the USB interface which requires the split cable (6FL?) then you are analog out of an iPod into the head unit, and MOST back to the Digital Preamp. If you have 6FN, or upgrade to it, then you have USB decoding of the iPod files in the back of the car, and your iDrive or Pro CD becomes a transport.

Then you can get a Toslink input DSP and that becomes your analog preamp. Volume controls all work as before because the Mobridge piece actually recalculates amplitude based on the volume commands on the MOST bus.

If your car is HK or EPS, it's PNP. If it's HiFi or base Stereo, there is a recode to the HU to 677 needed.

I did this in my car with the recode from HiFi (I was a beta tester for the DA2, which retains the 7-band EQ in the HK and EPS systems, but doesn't have as much output (there is more headroom needed in the recalculating for the potential EQ boosting) If you use the DA with certain DSP processors with low outputs, there is a low output issue, but we have good experience with which ones are fine with the DA2 (I prefer to have the DA2 rather than the DA1). I didn't think it was going to be a big upgrade. I was surprised by the improvement in my car's system.
I'm pretty sure that I have the 6FN since I do not have the 1/8" input. I also have the EPS system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
I re-read what I wrote above. If you have the split cable, going this route will still work, and will still have advantages. The thing is the biggest benefit will be when you play CDs.

If you are using the split cable, the iPod still sounds better this way. My car didn't have the 6FN upgrade, and the difference was apparent either way. But USB sticks with high quality files sounded better than Apple Lossless on my iPod, due to the analog path into the BMW head unit on the split cable and the resistors in that line that are to protect against static discharge damage to the gear. Some folks have shorted across those resistors to get more signal into the head unit, but I don't want static to blow my iDrive
So the 6FL system sounds better than the newer 6FN setup? Or was that the improvement is more noticeable on the split system (6FL) rather than the new one (6FN)?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Using a DA2 to replace an LC2i? Or using a DA2 to replace both the OEM amp and the LC2i?
Well, I would assume (probably wrong) it would replace my LC2i and stock amp? Could I use it in conjunction with the stock amp? It's a ring architecture so as long as it doesn't break that topology, it would still function? That way, I could keep the stock amp use those high level outputs into the DA2? If I were to use it to replace the stock amp (if it does) I would have to get a new amp for the mids/highs or replace my current Zapco amps with a new one to power everything. Last time I looked into this, there was no aftermarket processor that could decode the enhanced premium setup, that was over a year ago... Since I've been happy with my system, I haven't been keeping up with the times. Just casual browsing got me on this post, then got me thinking...

I'm just trying to see if there is any advantage to switching out my current LC2i to a different type of setup to yield better performance. Currently, I have the stock amp, your harness, LC2i, two Zapco amps, 2 under seat woofers and a 12" Morel Ultimo.

My setup is similar to this package: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=497008

On a side note... Any updates on that E46 coupe enclosure?
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      11-13-2013, 05:54 PM   #15
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My assumption was that you were replacing the stock amp, and thus obivating the LC2i
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      11-13-2013, 05:56 PM   #16
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Well I was assuming I would be replacing the stock amp, but then Technic made me think a little more then I started second guessing myself...

Last edited by 1sexyfd; 11-13-2013 at 05:57 PM. Reason: grammar
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      11-18-2013, 10:42 PM   #17
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That's a ridiculous install. So clean!
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      11-19-2013, 12:37 AM   #18
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That's a ridiculous install. So clean!
Agreed. The attention to detail is very nice indeed, and I'm sure it sounds sublime.

I still can't decide if this car is a keeper, so my system is staying pedestrian (on a good day).
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      11-19-2013, 01:57 AM   #19
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Sound bit!!!
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      11-25-2013, 01:52 PM   #20
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That install is amazing, well done. I wish I could do a setup like this in my car.
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      11-26-2013, 12:49 AM   #21
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I like how that enclosure sits on top of the tool tray rather than how mine replaces it. Is that a new design or something VP? Oh wait... is that a 10" woofer and the reason why it looks that way?
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      11-26-2013, 01:00 AM   #22
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That is a 10" woofer, that's correct. Our standard enclosure with a bit of upgrade by Tom.
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