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Old 09-22-2010, 03:55 PM   #21
radarcontact
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Talking

So far, I have the sub, amps, OEM rears, CDT fronts all hooked up and playing. Could stop here but I'm not going to...but so far:

Results: Sounds great, but I really need to balance and tweak the system. I'll have to mess with crossover settings, phase, etc.

I had the woofer(s) cranked up pretty loud and they move a lot more air than I expected! I'm a little paranoid to really crank it up though, I want to wait till everything is just a little more broken-in.

The AudioControl LC6i (LOC) is very, very nice. I'm very happy with it; didn't even need to run a remote turn-on from the head unit to anything - the LOC senses the signal and then delay-powers on everything else (the Alpines). Sweet feature!

The rear fills are still OEM for now. Once I get some new CDTs for back there, I'll throw in some more fill power to "bring up the rear".

Thanks to everyone who helped along the way, either directly, or through thier posts that I took ideas or inspiration from: CA1242, Orion329, and RSL to name a few.

Last edited by radarcontact; 10-18-2010 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:40 AM   #22
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I used foam to try to keep all the sound away from the baffle, but I have a feeling (through listening last night) that I may have created too small of a chamber. Not sure yet. I'm going to remove the foam and do some more listening tests, by ear. Before assembly I did use some window seal on the doors, a poor man's DynaMat, to reduce resonant frequencies. So I'm gonna try the doors with out the foam to see if I like it better.
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EDIT, Thursday September 23rd: I pulled the foam out (above pics) and like the sound better. Seems a little more open, and door panels do not rattle.

Last edited by radarcontact; 10-18-2010 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:59 AM   #23
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Brilliant install, thanks for sharing, certainly shows dedication and attention to detail.
What are your thoughts about this, I recently upgraded all my speakers and with the front door speakers I put back the factory foam that surrounds the speaker magnet, does this have any negative effect on the sound at all, am I better off without it?
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:35 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Darkoz View Post
Brilliant install, thanks for sharing, certainly shows dedication and attention to detail.
What are your thoughts about this, I recently upgraded all my speakers and with the front door speakers I put back the factory foam that surrounds the speaker magnet, does this have any negative effect on the sound at all, am I better off without it?
one plus or positive that i've read is the cuts on door behind speakers like radarcontact did, which is easer to fit 5.25 or 6.5?
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by BMWespresso View Post
one plus or positive that i've read is the cuts on door behind speakers like radarcontact did, which is easer to fit 5.25 or 6.5?
BMWespresso, are you asking which is easier to install, 5.25, or 6.5?

If so, I would say that if someone is going to do something similar to what I did, it would be easier to install the 6.5s. I don't know how I would have secured a smaller driver, but the 6.5 just got "sandwiched" between the door panel ring and the wood template. I used M4-.70x35mm bolts (x2), and a 10x1-1/2" (x1) for each side to make up for the increased distance between wood and door, lock-tited them, and screwed them down snug.

BTW, in retrospect, my wood template could have been a much simpler design.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Darkoz View Post
Brilliant install, thanks for sharing, certainly shows dedication and attention to detail.
What are your thoughts about this, I recently upgraded all my speakers and with the front door speakers I put back the factory foam that surrounds the speaker magnet, does this have any negative effect on the sound at all, am I better off without it?
First of all, thank you!!
Weak response to your question, but the only way to know is to try it. Do one side, then sit in the back seat with your head centered over your console. Use the balance to go back and forth. Use music that is fairly evenly divided between left and right (or better yet make a mono copy and burn to a disc).
I just did this an hour ago and ended up pulling my foam out of my front doors.
PITA, but it's worth the effort!
My guess is that you'll like the sound better without the foam.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:50 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by radarcontact View Post
BMWespresso, are you asking which is easier to install, 5.25, or 6.5?

If so, I would say that if someone is going to do something similar to what I did, it would be easier to install the 6.5s. I don't know how I would have secured a smaller driver, but the 6.5 just got "sandwiched" between the door panel ring and the wood template. I used M4-.70x35mm bolts (x2), and a 10x1-1/2" (x1) for each side to make up for the increased distance between wood and door, lock-tited them, and screwed them down snug.

BTW, in retrospect, my wood template could have been a much simpler design.
thanks, that's was it, 6.5 it is
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:49 PM   #28
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just a quick question about the front doors, why did you need to trim the door if the window rail was still there blocking the middle? if i mount directly to the door panel (not the metal) , how much clearance would you say is back there 1-2" from the metal to the grille?
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:20 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by ferrarix99 View Post
just a quick question about the front doors, why did you need to trim the door if the window rail was still there blocking the middle? if i mount directly to the door panel (not the metal) , how much clearance would you say is back there 1-2" from the metal to the grille?
The speakers I used are 2.75" total depth from front of speaker to back of magnet. There is a plastic ring that is about .5" deep that the speaker sits against. So you have between 2.75-3.25", depending on how you decide to mount the speaker. I think mine was about as close as you can get. In other words, don't buy a speaker that's more than 2.75" (MAX 3.25") deep. If you don't use the plastic spacer ring, you'll need to trim some plastic...using it you don't.

The cutout isn't for clearance purposes, but rather to give the speaker a larger "enclosure", like a woofer box. There are no real numbers to substantiate this procedure, but it makes sense. The door panel doesn't really give much area to act as a box, so by cutting a passage into the metal door cavity you probably increase the volume 3x (maybe more).
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:02 PM   #30
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Talking Sound Results

Made a few adjustments and now the system sounds great!

I pulled out my tweeter mounts and made them a little different (sorry, no pics). Basically I made recessed wood blocks that now allow the tweeters to be aimed at the dome light area (even though the vert doesn't have a dome light). This is the proper positioning for the tweeters.
I have to say that BMW couldn't have chosen worse speaker grill materials on the E46. The mid-woofers are thick plastic that aren't the most acoustically transparent with holes that face straight out at my calf muscle. And the tweeter area is a metal (METAL!) grill. What could be worse for a tweeter???
Oh well, I guess I'm stuck with them.

As far as the sub box goes...it plays on-level all the way down to 30Hz! Nothing at 20Hz, but thirty is very strong! Can't ask for more than that from a couple of 8" drivers! Very pleased.

I am waiting for my new rear-fill drivers from CDT. This is an awesome company with great customer service. Straight swap-out for the old ones. I just have to get them to fit. They are the 5.25" CL-5EX coaxials : http://www.cdtaudio.com/coaxials_08.htm#
Hope I can get them to fit! I will post pics of that operation when I do it.

Last edited by radarcontact; 10-18-2010 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:29 PM   #31
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nice
I need threads like this to give me motivation to complete my setup
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:37 PM   #32
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Cool Part 4 - STEALTH!!

Cut out a board to fit the area in front of the amps: pics are back (grooves/dadoes) then front, just hole cut -
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Painted it black, mounted angle braces in the grooves, covered with a rubberized mat (Lowe's) -
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Pre-fit fan...works! -
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Covered other side (front) with matching carpet -
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Mounted fan, wired to relay (only comes on with stereo system) -
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Pics of it in place. It just slides in/out easily. Pressure from the box keeps it in place with no mechanical fasteners.

Covers up the amps, box, etc. Now I can open my trunk at the grocery store and not worry about someone following me home. Amps actually stay cooler than without! I love it.
(I didn't notice it, but one of my screw covers fell off...thats the one silver screw you see in the pics. It's fixed now and all four corners are black again!)
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Coax install in the rears soon...

Last edited by radarcontact; 10-18-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:36 PM   #33
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So do you still have your oem wiring for the speakers or have you changed it?

Excellent DIY, you love what you do & you know what you re doing!! Well done!!
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:55 AM   #34
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So do you still have your oem wiring for the speakers or have you changed it?

Excellent DIY, you love what you do & you know what you re doing!! Well done!!
First off, thank you for the compliment!

As far as the wiring goes, I assume that you are talking about the OEM amp-to-speaker wiring. I kept the OEM wiring. I used 16-ga to go from the OEM HK amp to my new setup, then back to where the OEM HK amp would send info to the speakers...but from there it's all OEM. Sub, of course, has all new wiring as I bypassed the HK sub completely.

If I could snap my fingers and have all new 16-ga, I definately would! But I asked myself the following:
1 - how much power is going to the comps?
2 - how much of a PITA would it be to run all new wiring?
3 - how horrible is the OEM wiring?

I answered them like this:
1 - ~40w/ch...not that much
2 - Extreme, and with permanent "damage" (although it would be hidden)
3 - Not too bad, really. I don't know about non-HK, but the wiring in my car was prob 18 and 20-ga. That's acceptable, though not ideal.

Bottom line - if I were to do it again, I'd do it the same way.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:06 AM   #35
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Elemental Design as soon as I saw that I expected nothing but a great install and that is exactly what you did. Great work.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:23 AM   #36
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impressive work radarcontact, thanks for the shoutout.

did you notice any negative changes in bass when you put on the stealth panel?

i liked your front door mounts--good staging is really hard to accomplish when mounting to the door metal. if you didn't already, i'd advise sealing up the MDF mounts. took a look at mine after i lost the old car and they had pillowed up a bit around the edges from moisture. i wouldn't want to see your clean install getting messed up.

... still floored by your sub enclosure design. nice.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:57 AM   #37
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impressive work radarcontact, thanks for the shoutout.

did you notice any negative changes in bass when you put on the stealth panel?

i liked your front door mounts--good staging is really hard to accomplish when mounting to the door metal. if you didn't already, i'd advise sealing up the MDF mounts. took a look at mine after i lost the old car and they had pillowed up a bit around the edges from moisture. i wouldn't want to see your clean install getting messed up.

... still floored by your sub enclosure design. nice.
Hey, thanks buddy!

Good call on the MDF...didn't even think about that!

The stealth may have actually helped. It definitely didn't hurt. I left space on each side for the air to load up the trunk still, so it doesn't contain the pressure by any means. I say it may have helped because theoretically since the woofers are firing at 180 degrees to each other, and are so symmetrically placed in the trunk, I got concerned about frequency cancellation. (Think pool table). Having the board play interference possibly "mixes things up" a bit. No way to confirm.

My biggest gripe is the factory grills. I think I could have it sound a lot more transparent had they used a better design on them (both locations).

Also, I'm so pleased with the current setup, I'm going to forego replacing the rears. No need.
If I decide to go stage 2 (DSP, center channel) then I will. But that's a lot of $$, and a lot of wife pandering from now!!
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:31 AM   #38
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Replaced the woofer with 12" IDQ

UPDATE:
I have since replaced the dual isobaric sub with this:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=835936
Not that it didnt sound good, it did. In fact, I was continually amazed by it's sound and output.

Two reasons, well three reasons:

1. One of the wiring tabs on one of the woofers broke off. I may have knocked it or something during assembly. Well, an isobaric needs all woofers to work, so I noticed a decrease (BIG decrease) in SQ. Unfortunately I never planned on dissasembly, so I basically had to destroy the box to get to it. After that, haveing Been There Done That, I started drawing up other plans. That's the fun for me, anyway.

2. I missed the trunk space that the box took up. Wasn't much at first, but seemed to have grown over time! lol

3. I had an itch to f*ck with fiberglass, no pun intended. Just something I wanted to do. So I built the FG side unit, which I love.

Last edited by radarcontact; 10-06-2011 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Replaced the woofer with 12" IDQ
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:52 AM   #39
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you sir, have made me want to continue my install with my sedan. I'll be using a Single JL Audio 12w6 in a vented box (I normally prefer sealed) and a JL Audio 500/1 and I'm thinking of pirating my JL 300/4 out of my Audi and putting it in the BMW. For Speakers I believe i'll be using FOCAL A165 components front and rear, however I havent decided 100%.

I have an 02 sedan so i figure my front doors will be a little bit different however i'm not too terribly worried about it. My main worry is depth in the door and weather i truly have to use 5.25 or i can do 6.5's

For reference my 2000 Stage 3 Audi A6

Kenwood Excelon DNX-9140 Headunit
Focal Access A165 6.5" components in the front doors
Focal Access A165 6.5" components in the rear doors
3 10" JL Audio 10W6v2's in a 2.93 cubic foot sealed box built from 3/4" MDF that's double faced for the subs, and full of polyfil
JL Audio 1000/1 for the woofers
JL Audio 300/4v2 for the doors.
Sirius Satellite
7 Boxes of Dynamat Extreme through the whole car
2 Optima batteries
3 Fared Tsunami cap
Tsunami Distribution blocks
Tsunami Battery Isolator
Stinger Pro series 0 gauge wire through out the whole car
Monster RCAs

The A165 components will be switched out for Focal K2's in the front and rear, and the 300/4 will probably be pirated to go into the bmw. I'll replace the 300/4 with twin 300/2's which should be great for the K2's

Setup for the BMW right now is
Kenwood Kiv-700
JL Audio 500/1
JL Audio 12w6 in a 1.25cubic foot vented box

I'm thinking i'll pirate the 300/4 or i'll use an older Alpine MRP-f300 i have sitting around,
As for speakers, maybe Diamond D6's or just get some more Focals, I just cant decide on what size.

any suggestions or words of advice?
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:22 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by ///02bmw325i/// View Post
you sir, have made me want to continue my install with my sedan. I'll be using a Single JL Audio 12w6 in a vented box (I normally prefer sealed) and a JL Audio 500/1 and I'm thinking of pirating my JL 300/4 out of my Audi and putting it in the BMW. For Speakers I believe i'll be using FOCAL A165 components front and rear, however I havent decided 100%.

I have an 02 sedan so i figure my front doors will be a little bit different however i'm not too terribly worried about it. My main worry is depth in the door and weather i truly have to use 5.25 or i can do 6.5's

For reference my 2000 Stage 3 Audi A6

Kenwood Excelon DNX-9140 Headunit
Focal Access A165 6.5" components in the front doors
Focal Access A165 6.5" components in the rear doors
3 10" JL Audio 10W6v2's in a 2.93 cubic foot sealed box built from 3/4" MDF that's double faced for the subs, and full of polyfil
JL Audio 1000/1 for the woofers
JL Audio 300/4v2 for the doors.
Sirius Satellite
7 Boxes of Dynamat Extreme through the whole car
2 Optima batteries
3 Fared Tsunami cap
Tsunami Distribution blocks
Tsunami Battery Isolator
Stinger Pro series 0 gauge wire through out the whole car
Monster RCAs

The A165 components will be switched out for Focal K2's in the front and rear, and the 300/4 will probably be pirated to go into the bmw. I'll replace the 300/4 with twin 300/2's which should be great for the K2's

Setup for the BMW right now is
Kenwood Kiv-700
JL Audio 500/1
JL Audio 12w6 in a 1.25cubic foot vented box

I'm thinking i'll pirate the 300/4 or i'll use an older Alpine MRP-f300 i have sitting around,
As for speakers, maybe Diamond D6's or just get some more Focals, I just cant decide on what size.

any suggestions or words of advice?
Lol, you don't need any advice (and you know it!).

The Audi must sound fantastic! Wow, nice choices.

I'm going to redo my doors when I get my new DLS set. Want to mount to the door versus the panel.

Since this build I have upgraded to an Arc Audio 5-channel, plus my Alpine 4-channel, plus a JBL MS-8. I replaced my CDT tweeters with some Massive Audio units too. Was in the middle of the build when I ruptured a disc in my lower back, and it's sitting unfinished right now. Bummer, huh? Lol, I really want it done. Wanna come finish it up for me??

Best of luck to ya on the bummer build!

Oh, the only thing I would say is that if you don't carry a lot of passengers in the back, you could save money on the rear set. They are so obstructed and off axis, you can't distinguish good from great back there, you know?
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