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Bavarian Soundwerks' Mobile Electronics Forum
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
Obioban
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Talking My highly unusual (weight/practically focused) stereo project

Unlike most stereo projects, the focus of mine was not particularly to improve sound quality (though that should be a nice perk of it). My goals were as follows:
1) Increase trunk space
2) Reduce the total weight of the car
3) lower the COG
4) recover some 50/50 weight distribution

To do this, I did a number of things...
-I cut the total number of speakers in the car from 12 to 7 (removed all rear speakers and HK subs)
-I used lighter speakers than stock in each application (used polk speakers, which use rare earth magnets for the same pull strength at less weight)
-I relocated all of the heavier electronics to the far back of the trunk floor
-I switched to the non nav/cd changer trunk liner
-I switched from the dual HK subs to a single 8" free air sub in a stealth box
-I added an Alpine PXA-H100 sound processor, which the intravee tricks the nav into thinking is an OEM DSP sound processor for full control through the factory MKIV UI
-light weight amps (2.7 lbs each)

Hard to explain with words. Here's some pics. Starting with the cliff notes,
Before (sadly I forgot to take a pic before I pulled the trunk liner or of the HK subs in the center middle of the trunk:



After (note that while the stealthbox is larger than the OE HK box, it's in a useless spot above the shock tower instead of dead center in the most useful spot in the trunk):



Ignore the shock adjustment hole



And now for some pics of the process along the way...

Parts in a pile waiting to go in:



Stock electronics in the nav/cd changer harness:



And in the new, smaller bracket:



All the trunk mounted modules:



Intravee breakout box on top of Alpine HD radio on top of OEM bluetooth:



Intravee on top, with the serial port left open for future firmware updates



Bluetooth antenna on the friendly side of the metal wall :roll:



Trimmed down the door to fit the new, deeper, 6.5" Polk speaker and padded the borders to keep rattles at bay and make a nice seal:



Polk speaker in boom mat, being trimmed to fit:



Result:



And bolted down:



Stock HK out:



Wiring up the new tweeters:



Heat shrink:



Result:



Foamed up:



Added a plug to make the doors easy to install/remove in the future:



Floor modules in their final location:



Whipping up a wiring harness to extend the nav plugs so they can be mounted under the trunk floor:



Heat shrunk:



Had to dremel the top and bottom of the plastic off the DVD drive to make it fit under the trunk floor:



Was amused to notice that the MKIV display is made by alpine. All alpine system



While the car away apart, took out the center console buttons and mailed them to terra to have the seat heater temps turned up. Always annoyed that they weren't warmer, like non M e46s



Used to have fairly heavy speakers mounted on the center of the headliner for the CB and scanner. Now using light weight speakers behind the rear door cards instead. Reduced weight, lowered COG, and better back seat head room



Levitating photoelectric license plate cover :roll:



Crossovers with wires bundled in factory fabric tape:



Wiring ugliness mid project:



Cleaned up and bundled:



Noticed the right side of my brake pedal is wearing out. Too much heel toe :raspberry:



OEM DSP interface running:





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Old 03-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
terzinator
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Cool stuff. How much weight were you able to lose?

I don't know that I'd do a stereo project to eliminate weight. I think if I laid off pizza and beer for a while, I could shed 25 lbs.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terzinator View Post
Cool stuff. How much weight were you able to lose?

I don't know that I'd do a stereo project to eliminate weight. I think if I laid off pizza and beer for a while, I could shed 25 lbs.
Well, the stereo isn't the only place I'm making my car lighter, it's a comprehensive effort across the board. Also working on myself, but for wedding pics and to make the car lighter

Total project loss was ~17 lbs, ~12 of which was due to the stereo reduction.

There's very few huge weight loss points on this car, particularly if you're not willing to give up civility (I'm not). Little projects like this don't seem like a lot alone, but do several of them and suddenly you've made a significant difference.

Currently my goal is to get the car to <36 weight with greater than e9X (M3) power (NA).
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:39 PM   #4
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I have a 325 Touring, so trimming a few lbs from the car is kinda irrelevant for me. (Half the time I have groceries in the back!)
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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Not sure why weight loss would be any less meaningful on a touring (or why you like bolding so much)?
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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Bold for emphasis. It's there, and it's free. One click and voila. I don't use it all the time, because then it would get predictable.

Anyway, I hear ya on weight, and it IS meaningful.

All's I'm saying is that I don't think I'm going to seek weight reduction from stereo equipment. I would be far more interested in choosing audio components that achieved the highest possible sound quality, rather than choosing them based on their lack of heft. (For example, bigger magnets in speakers often result in richer sound.)

PS: 16" wheels are lighter than 18" wheels, but you don't see many folks choosing 'em for their E46's these days! (Even if they cleared the brakes!)

PPS: I don't have a sunroof, and I have manual seats. That's gotta save a few lbs. right there, no?
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terzinator View Post
Bold for emphasis. It's there, and it's free. One click and voila. I don't use it all the time, because then it would get predictable.

Anyway, I hear ya on weight, and it IS meaningful.

All's I'm saying is that I don't think I'm going to seek weight reduction from stereo equipment. I would be far more interested in choosing audio components that achieved the highest possible sound quality, rather than choosing them based on their lack of heft. (For example, bigger magnets in speakers often result in richer sound.)

PS: 16" wheels are lighter than 18" wheels, but you don't see many folks choosing 'em for their E46's these days! (Even if they cleared the brakes!)

PPS: I don't have a sunroof, and I have manual seats. That's gotta save a few lbs. right there, no?
No sunroof wagon is awesome!

Power seats are 2 lbs per seat heavier than manual-- less kickass.

I have the smallest wheels will clear my brakes (and my brakes are significantly lighter than stock).

Nothing I chose has reduced sound quality vs stock. The only thing I really compromised was rear passenger sound quality-- should be improved in the front, plus the dsp interface . Magnet strength is what matters-- not weight... Which is why I used speakers with expensive but strong magnets.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:31 AM   #9
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Nice! I'm bookmarking this to learn more about what I gotta do about my audio situation. I'd like to do a 6-speaker setup without a sub, so your setup and pics give me some idea on how to clean up what I have and hide everything.

Looks nice and hidden!
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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Update: Sounds awesome .

Significantly better than stock HK. Certainly no booming bass, but there is a base range, unlike stock, which is exactly what I was going for. Now I can hear the entire song

Not even noticeable that there's no rear speakers
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:17 AM   #11
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Thanks for this. Interested in pics of the photoelectric license plate cover.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Unlike most stereo projects, the focus of mine was not particularly to improve sound quality (though that should be a nice perk of it). My goals were as follows:
1) Increase trunk space
2) Reduce the total weight of the car
3) lower the COG
4) recover some 50/50 weight distribution

......

Result:



And bolted down:



......
What kind of speakers are these? What specs?
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:04 AM   #13
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Polk 6501s.

I actually removed the boom mat from the back of them yesterday.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:40 PM   #14
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Thanks for the answer. How do you like them? It looks really good i must say. Appreciate the work and effort you put in the installation and car. It are the details that matter i think!
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:26 AM   #15
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmen View Post
Thanks for the answer. How do you like them? It looks really good i must say. Appreciate the work and effort you put in the installation and car. It are the details that matter i think!
No complaints, they sound great
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #16
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So, the CSL thread inspired me to get off my ass and finish this project. I changed to this sub:



Which only weights 4 lbs.

To get it to fit into the stealthbox housing, I had to grind ~.5cm of metal off the outside of the speaker, ~.5cm of material off the inside of the stealthbox, and make new mounting holes inside the stealthbox, but it all worked out.

Amazingly, it actually make more bass than my previous setup :clueless:

Expected this to be a 1 hour project, ended up being more like a 6 hour project. Still, car is lighter, so I can't complain!


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