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View Full Version : New to the forums, I own an audio shop


esoteric
12-27-2005, 09:56 PM
Actually it really isn't an audio shop, we don't do retail, just alot of customization. Anyways, i am not trying to get any business from this, I was told by one of your forum members to join or die. Anyways, I pretty much tackled everything with BMW's on the audio and video side and if you need any help let me know. plus I look for challenges that BMW likes to throw out there. Usually my goal is to keep the vehicle looking like a BMW and keeping it ergonomically correct. Some of my solutions aren't the cheapest, but then again these are BMW's and not Honda's so some of the German parts or programming is a little expensive.

Well anyways we have worked with an individual that came out with a MOST interface so now you can add your own amps and speakers to a vehicle without cutting it up.

Thanks

Jim

el_duderino
12-27-2005, 10:57 PM
Which BMWs does your MOST gateway work with? Have you tested it? Does the same HW work in Mercedes? XC90?

How much does it cost?

Is it Vahik's?

BTW, some of us just showed up and started answering questions : )

esoteric
12-27-2005, 11:36 PM
Hey Portland... I am sure you know Church and Kranitz. Vahik yes, I know of another but it is still behind in times. Vahik is a geat guy, talked to him yesterdayI have a Mercedes job for him,he has gotten a little busy since the magazine feature also.

I lived and worked in Portland... Beaverton to be exact.

el_duderino
12-28-2005, 02:24 PM
I know Church (wrote a mag story about the Checker Cab he did) and I know Kranitz casually, know Underdahl better.

Where in Beav? I used to work at Cartronics on Canyon a long time ago.

I didn't know Vahik got into a mag already... missed it. I know him from his DEI days (I was at DEI before him and before he left for Alpine, and I know a guy that he asked to help do SW on the gateway).

Small world.

el_duderino
12-28-2005, 04:15 PM
So what BMW does this work on? New 5 series?

esoteric
12-28-2005, 05:33 PM
i believe anything with MOST, I have been meaning to call him today. Beaverton or the Beav, i was at CarToys also. The Taxi bummed me out, it wasn't really Chris's work, he does so much better. The PG Dakota was a great piece he did, although the back wasn't all that. Chris is the one that inspired me to step up to the plate and do better. That man has more talent in his little pinky than most installers at multiple shops.

Yeah small world

BMWjunkie
12-28-2005, 07:56 PM
jim,,,,,,,,,,LOVE cleveland by the way,,,,,,GO brownies!!!!!

what do you recommend as a quality head unit for my 87 325, that won't break the bank. i'll be hooking up satelite and someday,,,hopefully and ipod!
basically, i'm into the best sound quality at the cheapest price. i've gone the "install at all cost" method and spent thousands and thousands, and it sounded great. but,,,as i've "matured", i've realized that it's better to spend the money first on a great running car than making sure the sound was incredible (plus, if the car is totalled,,u'll get some back on what it's worth, but not with the money spent on sound).
i would like to slowly build a good sounding system without taking out a loan!!! LOL
thanks----and can't wait to get back to cleveland!!
ps---i go every year to catch a browns game!

esoteric
12-29-2005, 08:18 AM
Ah the Browns... I will just plead the 5th on that. Talent is minimal on that team, they have lost so many times they don't know how to win, hopefully the new coach can turn them around before he is consumed by the way the team plays and start thinking it is acceptable to lose.

as for the audio, like you said, you have gone the high dollar route and I feel for you. However cheap isn't always the best answer. I would recommend the Alpine IVA-D310, it has enough stuff on it that will never leave you outdated. Everythin interfaces to it, IPOD, XM, Sirius, and about 20 other things. It will never leave you outdated and it has more than enough options. Alpine is my sole head unit brand, I am sick of the other want to be head units out there and have been left holding my can after a customers complained that their new Pioneer isn't working. I fixed it by ofering Alpine, Alpine, or Alpine. My time is money and a customers time is money, every boomerang install would not reflect our capabilities. So bottom line Alpine IVA-D310. or a new headunit by Alpine that is AiNet capable, it will do everything you need but not display video. The new 06 models will have bluetooth capabilities.


And here is a hint to the BMW owners, replacing the radio on 99% of the radios will give you a better sound, adding a small subwoofer is the final add on. Now this isn't a wise choice with I Drive vehicles.

Hope that helps.

el_duderino
12-29-2005, 10:01 AM
So you recommend a HU change over retaining the HU and upgrading the amp and the drivers, eh?

Guess we disagree on that one.

esoteric
12-30-2005, 08:54 AM
Yeah I do, sorry. I tried it both ways, and the dollar figure when comparing the final results is in the favor with the head unit. Most people don't understand good sound or never listen to it at extremely high levels. The head unit replacement in non I drive units sends a higher level signal to the factory and increases output, plus is slightly cleaner.

el_duderino
12-30-2005, 10:46 AM
Yeah I do, sorry. I tried it both ways, and the dollar figure when comparing the final results is in the favor with the head unit. Most people don't understand good sound or never listen to it at extremely high levels. The head unit replacement in non I drive units sends a higher level signal to the factory and increases output, plus is slightly cleaner.

So you are saying that upgrading the HU, and leaving the factory amp and speakers, sounds better than upgrading the amp and speakers and leaving the factory head unit?

I'm sorry, but that's just totally incorrect.

Older BMWs with speaker-level outputs from the deck definitely had their limitations... but with the newer units that have the seperate tuner module, if you measure the balanced differential preamp signal coming out of the tuner module, it's flat as a pancake and strong as many aftermarket HUs. The DACs inside are not as high end as say a Clarion 9255 or a Nak CD700, but you have to get a pretty good system to resolve DAC audible differences anyway.

I will stipulate that if you upgrade the amp and the speakers, you can get slightly better sound by THEN upgrading the OEM HU to a very good aftermarket one... but only slightly, and only if you get a very high end HU.

The low-hanging fruit with these audio systems is the poor performance of the inexpensive speakers, the poor performance of the OEM amplifier (and high distortion in same), and the speaker size limitations that may of the systems have for low end.

Glad you like the Browns, glad you are familiar with Portland, but you don't seem conversant at all to me at doing high-quality audio system upgrades while retaining the OEM HU - and this can be done and is done by shops around the country (and you still haven't answered why you would want to use a MOST gateway aimed at Mercedes in a BMW...have you TRIED his gateway in a 7-series?)

esoteric
12-30-2005, 07:27 PM
Yikes, maybe you miss understood me.

There arenít too many kids dealing with BMW in this part of town, so basically it is the upper end doctor, lawyer, business man that wants a little bit more out of their system. Take for instance the 740.

The customer will come in and say he wants a little bit more out of his audio system and the ability to have satellite, ipod, or MP3 capability. Now I can easily say replace everything and leave your factory deck, replace the factory deck, or replace the whole entire system.

Now seeing this is not a kid off the street, I know that he/she wants something easy to use and not too bass heavy that everyone in the neighborhood can hear him coming. Then comes the room issue; multiple amps, multiple component speakers, and multiple passive crossovers.

I will replace the head unit, set the head units time delay and xover, and presto the vehicle comes to life. Now are there limitations? Yes! Do they get more volume? Yes! Does it sound better than before? Yes! Do they now have the capability to add accessories easily? Yes! Did they save money? Yes again!

What I am saying is that 99% of the people will be happy with it, and without spending their money unnecessarily. Factor in the costs of a head unit, then a complete system. Were talking $500 VS. $5000. Then you open a whole new can of worms of what can go wrong with the aftermarket gear.

I will give them the option of upgrading everything when the sale begins, but this is a great start. If they arenít satisfied I am sure I would upgrade the speakers or the amp, but until that happens I donít know how to answer that.

Now I have kept the head unit before and added amps, there is an M3 on my site that clearly shows the factory unit, feeding an Alpine 5.1 Processor, then out to a 7 channel amp and 2 mono amplifiers.

As your most gateway question, I wouldnít interface the Benz to the BMW. However, if you know Vahik personally, than you would know first hand his solution to the BMW. He also viewed this topic to see if knows you and he was inquiring about who helped him with what design?

Now as for the new systems with the most and interfacing it without hitting the ring, Iíd probably try the new Rockford Fosgate 360***730; or stick with the traditional pair of Audio Control LC6ís.

I hope that clarifies it for you. I know how you folks up in the Northwest like to be when it comes to details, such as; ďthere is no way your front speakers will produce the 70hz to 20khz, they only do 90hz to 19.5khz, so you need to change them.Ē

The BMW M3 should be on the 7th or 8th page, it has 9Ē midbass woofers in each door. Unfortunately I messed up when I was taking pictures and wiped down the interior with TKO, similar to Armorallh I will update the pics the end of January, He will be in to prep it for a show.

el_duderino
12-31-2005, 08:50 AM
Huh. Whatever. I guess that's like saying that "people in Ohio aren't good with details". You sound bitter.

I don't do jobs for kids. Last M3 I did was for a dentist, last X5 I did was for a surgeon.

They LIKE the OEM HU. They don't WANT to change it. They often have the Bluetooth ULF and like that functionality as well. They are resistant to looking like a 19-year-old kid with lights dancing in his dash. Your old buds at Car Toys tell them they have to swap the HU, they don't want to, they leave and come to us.

We don't involve the customer in designing passive xovers. We just do them. In fact, we don't involve the customer with system design - we have a lot of predesigned systems with predetermined costs, and our customers seem to like that approach. All our systems are stealth, which is what many BMW owners prefer.

I spoke to Vahik yesterday about the MOST gateway product he's developed (I didn't say I knew a guy who helped, I said I knew a guy he talked to about it, another former Alpine guy) and as I thought, there is a diffferent FW load for BMW than Benz. The HW is the same, but different FW is required. You still haven't said if you've used one in a 7 series BMW, not sure why (more "details"?).

An upgraded amp and speaker system for many BMWs, using the OEM HU, hiding a 4 or 3-channel amp, installing a stealth sub in a fiberglas enclosure, and quality front mids and high components is going to start below $2000. For under $5000, you can get some serious audio using Dynaudio, DLS Iridium, two amps, etc, front AND rear.

Mostly, it sounds like you're scared of doing the work, and afraid of having problems with it afterwards.

That's all we do... so we're not afraid at all. We are very confident in how to offer greater value to BMW owners who want higher fidelity without the "Pimp My Ride" look, for a couple of thousand dollars.

And using the LC6/8 in a non-MOST BMW is certainly a terrible way to do it... and the MOST gateway would be the preferred means of MOST-vehicle integration. So I guess you haven't done one in a 7 (another "detail").

Tell you what, I'll answer the questions on amp and speaker upgrades, and you answer the questions on how to put an Alpine 9855 in the dash.

Try this kind of posturing at the Audio forum at bimmerforums... I will sit back and be entertained. You think I'm detail oriented? You have no idea...

esoteric
12-31-2005, 11:21 AM
Huh. Whatever. I guess that's like saying that "people in Ohio aren't good with details". You sound bitter.

I don't do jobs for kids. Last M3 I did was for a dentist, last X5 I did was for a surgeon.

What I donít understand is your hostility. You seem offended and threatened for some reason, Paranoia? Everything I wrote was turned into something different, you are either reading it wrong or not comprehending. I donít understand. Bitter? Not the least, I have a great thing going here and excellent clientele, Doctors, athletes, lawyers, law enforcement, business man, and the occasional young adult with a bank account. However I see our approach is different. I was referring to the older BMWís that are not I Drive. I said it a few times in my prior post, however you insist on reading something else. Then I referenced the M3 with the factory systemÖ over your head that went. Replacing the head unit on the older vehicles is more intelligent and cost effective.

They LIKE the OEM HU. They don't WANT to change it. They often have the Bluetooth ULF and like that functionality as well. They are resistant to looking like a 19-year-old kid with lights dancing in his dash. Your old buds at Car Toys tell them they have to swap the HU, they don't want to, they leave and come to us.
CarToys isnít the same as it used to be, lucky for you. Seeing the Beaverton location housed many top notch installers, salesman, and a manager. It was top notch; today I donít know and donít care!

We don't involve the customer in designing passive xovers. We just do them. In fact, we don't involve the customer with system design - we have a lot of predesigned systems with predetermined costs, and our customers seem to like that approach. All our systems are stealth, which is what many BMW owners prefer.

The way things here is I consult with the customer his goals and present him with a few pricing options, usually referencing the system install and components, a good, better, and best scenario. And depending on what he wants to afford, because it is a want not a need, he/she will choose! Similar to yours.

I spoke to Vahik yesterday about the MOST gateway product he's developed (I didn't say I knew a guy who helped, I said I knew a guy he talked to about it, another former Alpine guy) and as I thought, there is a diffferent FW load for BMW than Benz. The HW is the same, but different FW is required. You still haven't said if you've used one in a 7 series BMW, not sure why (more "details"?).

No, I did not use one in a 7 series, we use the LC6. Vahik himself told me the systems are different, I never questioned him about it nor care to, it is his design. But I donít think it will be too hard because they use the same function blocks, different addressing with different vehicles.

An upgraded amp and speaker system for many BMWs, using the OEM HU, hiding a 4 or 3-channel amp, installing a stealth sub in a fiberglas enclosure, and quality front mids and high components is going to start below $2000. For under $5000, you can get some serious audio using Dynaudio, DLS Iridium, two amps, etc, front AND rear.

Well you will have to go to multi channel amps, that is a given, like 5 channels, not a 3-or a 4, unless you want to go to the ways of the old and build a complete x-over network powering everything off a 2 channel amp. And t clarify I know you can use a 3 or a 4 with a passive x-over network. And the components that I use are MB Quart premium, Rockford Power series amplifiers and subs pretty much on everything since the Q line of amps are gone. So obviously I would be near the $5k what I stated

Mostly, it sounds like you're scared of doing the work, and afraid of having problems with it afterwards.

Afraid of the work? You are kidding right? I enjoy a challenge, maybe that is why I am replying back to you? And afraid of the problems afterwards? I donít have problems afterwards, it is right the first time. My clientís time is worth some money and they donít need to make the pilgrimage to my shop in between their busy schedule for something stupid. So it is done the first time correctly!

That's all we do... so we're not afraid at all. We are very confident in how to offer greater value to BMW owners who want higher fidelity without the "Pimp My Ride" look, for a couple of thousand dollars.

And using the LC6/8 in a non-MOST BMW is certainly a terrible way to do it... and the MOST gateway would be the preferred means of MOST-vehicle integration. So I guess you haven't done one in a 7 (another "detail").

Back to the reading impaired statement I made before, where does it say that I used an LC6 in a non MOST equipped install? The one I have listed (M3) is straight into the analog of the 700Ö Youíre killing me with this BS!

Tell you what, I'll answer the questions on amp and speaker upgrades, and you answer the questions on how to put an Alpine 9855 in the dash.

I could same something derogatory but I will leave it alone, I will be free to post what I want and when.

Try this kind of posturing at the Audio forum at bimmerforums... I will sit back and be entertained. You think I'm detail oriented? You have no idea...

esoteric
12-31-2005, 12:09 PM
I pretty much feel the same way you do about music and installation. However not everyone (clients) will feel the same about it. They usually buy a high dollar car than try to budget everything after that. As in... "What do you mean a video interface will cost $1500" or why can't you trim my 7 series woofer enclosure in the fake suede vs. the Alcantara? You can only educate someone so much before it seems like your talking to a brick wall. Most don't understand what music or a soundstage is supposed to sound like and actually believe that Logic 7 and Bose is the final answer. It is easier not to explain to them and just agree with them or do it your way and say I told you so when they listen to it afterwards.

And there arenít any secrets in this; there is no voodoo, just common sense, knowledge of audio, and the talent to execute it. I used to be into audio a lot, an organization called IASCA was pretty damn good there for a while, but it was too ďuppityĒ and it fell to the boomers, basically a bunch of hill billy rednecks that throw some woofers in a vehicle to see how loud a tone is. Then OEMís started to pimp Bose as a super high fashion statement, then rear seat entertainment and multimedia came along. Which is what I will capitalize on, along with OEM integration of it, and of course without chopping up the vehicle? So agree with the Bose sounding better than most OEMís and go about your business is easier. You being at Alpine, which I think you mentioned, should understand this to some extent. And I think you said you have your own shop, so you know. I wish I could tell everyone to scrap their factory and start over, but the likely hood of that is like saying George W will be the next president.

ChocolateLab
01-05-2006, 02:48 PM
Can I ask a simple (to you guys) question? How do you go about feeding an antenna cord from the back of the car all the way up to the back of the HU? I'm thinking this is almost too tough for a rookie like me, but maybe it's not as difficult as I'm thinking.

jvr826
01-05-2006, 03:23 PM
Can I ask a simple (to you guys) question? How do you go about feeding an antenna cord from the back of the car all the way up to the back of the HU? I'm thinking this is almost too tough for a rookie like me, but maybe it's not as difficult as I'm thinking.

Sirius antenna by any chance? If I were doing it I'd either feed it under the carpet down the center of the back seat and then under the console. Or, down one of the sides under the door sill plate. The Sirius wire is super thin, should be easy to do either. Once it's up to the front dash, plenty of room under there to run it to where u want it.

ChocolateLab
01-06-2006, 09:53 AM
Actually, I know this is a little crazy, but it's a simple radio antenna. When I had my Pioneer put in, I lost my diversity antenna system, and although I can tell this radio is more sensitive, I can also tell that I lost a lot of the antenna's receiving capability. So I bought an Audi roof whip (like you see on VW Jettas) and I want to put it in the spot occupied by the stubby cell phone antenna. It might not be a bit better, but I do want to try it -- at least it'll be easy to install, as the old antenna simply unscrews and the hole is the right size for the new one.

I could just somehow attach the cord from the antenna to the input at the amp box in the rear driver side pillar... But a direct run to the HU itself would be better. Where I'm fuzzy is on how to get the cord around through the back of the dash to the actual radio... Do you just somehow feed a wire or something from the HU space back to where the antenna cord is and pull it through? :dunno:

jvr826
01-06-2006, 01:40 PM
Do you just somehow feed a wire or something from the HU space back to where the antenna cord is and pull it through? :dunno:

That's exactly what I'd do. There are plastic trim pieces that cover up the under side of the dash, easily removed. A few phillips head screws and some plastic clips you turn 45 degrees to remove on the driver side. On the passenger side, easy access behind the glove box.

NTB
02-02-2006, 05:45 AM
Here is how to do a older 7 series. E38 with DSP.

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/652272/3

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/652272/4

loubct
02-02-2006, 03:18 PM
Need to fish the Ice Link cable into the center console from driver side seat. I see a couple of screws that hold the inner tray at the back of the console. Is that the only thing that holds it in place. I'm hoping to be able to lift it high enough to fish the cable to the area of the rear tray