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-   -   Project: upgrading my front sound stage ('06 Vert) (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=925125)

radarcontact 05-31-2012 09:17 PM

Project: upgrading my front sound stage ('06 Vert)
2 Attachment(s)
Hey guys. Been wanting to replace my front stage for a while now. Have had the DLS Reference Series RM6.2 box sitting in my closet for a few (MANY) months, just waiting for a free weekend. Ta-da...free weekend. Actually I'm going to a wedding in ATL in a week, and that's perfect break-in time; DLS recommends 15-20 hours. By the end of that trip, they'll be perfectly broken!

Just a comp between the CDT mid-woofers and the DLS ones:

Attachment 454196

Attachment 454197

The DLS are MUCH beefier, heavier, deeper, and more than twice as heavy (CDT @1.69 lbs, DLS @ 3.70 lbs). Hope they don't affect my 1/4 mile times... ;)

With the vert, you can't really block off the door panel and mount to the door like you are able to in the coupes/sedans(?).
Almost the whole door is open to the door card (thats the plastic and leather panel), making it impossible to accomplish that. So we are left with the second best option of solidifying the door-to-speaker relationship. Since it still does not provide solidity, I say don't kill yourself trying; get a good solid seal and throw some vibration damper on the door card, grab a beer and move on to other things.

Other things in my case is the fact that I want to move my tweeters from behind the metal "grills" to a more desirable spot out in front. That is going to involve destroying some things, but I will make it look good in the end. If not, I can always buy new inserts and put them in the back of the metal grills again. New inserts are cheap-cheap.

More as I have something to show...(mid, and tweeter installs and new wiring run still to come)

Tex323GripIsKey 06-01-2012 06:33 PM

Where did you get your speakers, brah?

radarcontact 06-01-2012 06:52 PM

From my buddy. He is a dealer.

A while back, I put his "E46Fanatics Special Prices" price list in a post. You can find it if you search under my posts. His prices are awesome and for us he pays the shipping, too. Just have to mention my username.

radarcontact 06-01-2012 06:53 PM

Easier for me than you...

radarcontact 06-01-2012 11:24 PM

3 Attachment(s)

I got the tweeters done. I am very pleased with the way they look.

Attachment 454379

Attachment 454380

Attachment 454381

codyfunk 06-01-2012 11:42 PM

I dunno how i feel about the carbon fiber. but I do like the fact you're surface mounting them.

radarcontact 06-01-2012 11:48 PM

The mid-woofers on the other hand, have been a real bitch! I did not take into account the diameter of the magnet on the DLS. Besides that, it's just sooooo much deeper than the CDT driver. I guess the data I was using was wrong. Oh well, I WILL make it work.

I did a LOT of cutting, solder-gun plastic melting/manipulation, etc. to get that driver right up at the front of the door card. That makes more space behind it...making enough room for the driver to fit when I put the door card back on the door. (The vert has a window guide track that runs right behind the speaker magnet, so I can't cut on the door any more than I already have, during the last installation.

Right now it's held in place with 100% (black) Silicone. I will clamp it in place tomorrow; I'll have to fabricate some hold downs...I'm thinking I'll start with some metal corner brackets. Probably pound them out to about 60 (vs. 90) degrees and use the existing mounting hardware to apply the pressure. I don't know, haven't got that far yet! ;)

Speaking of original mounting hardware, one of the screw "receptacles" broke, so I epoxy-puttied a screw in its place. I liked that better than anything else I could think of at the time. I put a nut on the top of the putty, too; now the screw can't spin in the epoxy, because the nut will make it stop.

I'll get a pic or two posted of those.

radarcontact 06-02-2012 12:03 AM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by codyfunk (Post 14449878)
I dunno how i feel about the carbon fiber. but I do like the fact you're surface mounting them.

Matches my OEM interior! :)

Attachment 454396

Attachment 454397

radarcontact 06-02-2012 12:10 AM

2 Attachment(s)

--The fastener fix:
Attachment 454398
--Kinda hard to see what's going on here, but the speaker is full-on buried into that door card! I'm sure you'll be able to see the shiny aluminum cone and DLS logo even through those horrible OEM grills! Kinda excited...
(I went through hell to get to this point, which explains why this is sooooo messy and sloppy looking. Haven't done any clean-up yet.)
Attachment 454399

I'll post more once I get the hold-downs made and functioning. To be continued...

radarcontact 06-02-2012 01:09 AM

(I'm quite frustrated with the BMW / Harmon engineers. To put a midrange and tweeter behind a tight METAL mesh is blasphemous. And the mid-woofer grill is almost completely DIRECTIONAL. I blew across the grill at an extreme angle (like you'd blow across a coke bottle) and the air actually turned and came out straight down! That means you are getting zero off-axis sound. Weird engineering, to say the least.)

radarcontact 06-02-2012 08:05 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Some pics of the process.
Attachment 454427

First pass
Attachment 454428

Second pass
Attachment 454429

Attachment 454430

As you see, the grill was removed, and the cloth taken off and discarded. Then the placement of the tweet was determined based on keeping it within the grill.
Taped, marked, dremeled. Sounds a lot easier and quicker than it was.

radarcontact 06-02-2012 08:08 AM

Btw, anyone thinking of doing this needs to know that the area that had the HK plate is recessed. You'll have to use a hammer and something else that's flat to pound that back into a flat area; I used the wrong (flat) side of a masonry chisel. Also, it leaves two holes, so you have to re-cover it versus leaving just the metal and painting it, etc.

radarcontact 06-03-2012 01:55 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Finally got the mid-woofers in close enough to the back side of the grill, in order to allow the door panel to be re-installed. Man, this was tight! I had to cut, Drexel, and melt away a lot of plastic, but it fits awesome now.

Keep in mind that I am not one who cares much for good, clean installs in the places where no one else will ever see. The back of this door is a completeness, and it's ugly. I don't care, because it doesn't matter to me.

Here is the speaker buried balls-deep in that door panel (siliconed between grill and front of speaker frame):

Attachment 454608

Since it fit, I went ahead and secured it. I put thick plastic carpet protector pads on the back side of the frame. Then I was able to use fender washers on two sides; they hold it down with good pressure. For the remaining, previously damaged side, I bent and cut an angle bracket to apply the downward force that it needed.

Then I loaded up every available tree space around it with black silicone. Great for keeping that speaker in place, shock-absorbtion, de-coupling...great for sound deadening. Win-win.

Attachment 454610

More to come...

radarcontact 06-03-2012 03:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
One more pic of the submerged driver:

Attachment 454636

Tex323GripIsKey 06-03-2012 05:35 PM

how much of a difference have you noticed in bass response?

radarcontact 06-04-2012 08:08 AM

Haven't put the doors back on yet. Just got the passenger side door done yesterday, and I'm waiting for the silicone to completely out-gas before I re-install them. The doors were similar to this before with the CDT drivers, but they weren't as beefy so I didn't have these space issues.

radarcontact 06-04-2012 08:16 AM

6 Attachment(s)
Yesterday's work (pass side door):

Cutting the OEM grill down as low as possible (has to be on an angle):
Attachment 454726

Attachment 454727

Attachment 454728

The other side's screw receptacle was broken as well (weak point I guess), so I fixed it exactly like the other door:
Attachment 454729

Lots of cushion:
Attachment 454730

Tweets done!
Attachment 454731

Young Gun 06-04-2012 09:17 AM

In for Mid-Bass performance review!

Good luck finishing up!

radarcontact 06-04-2012 01:08 PM


Originally Posted by Young Gun (Post 14454960)
In for Mid-Bass performance review!

Good luck finishing up!

Thanks! If you subscribe to this thread, I'll write a review once they are broken in.

DLS says 15-20 hours at moderate volume only, so with my upcoming road trip to ATL and back (10 hours round trip) and then a week of commuting to work and back (1.5/day), I should be able to do a recalibration on the MS-8 around the 15th or so. Then I'll post up my impressions.

By looking at this driver, I think I'm going to be very pleased!

radarcontact 06-05-2012 07:31 AM

1 Attachment(s)
DONE!! (for now, anyway)

I finished up last night. Everything fit nicely, and the system sounds pretty amazing. Counting down 20 hours so I can crank it up and really give it a good tweaking.

Attachment 454922

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