: X3 audio upgrade

06-05-2007, 09:37 AM
We just did a stealthy but complex audio upgrade for an 07 E83.

The client requested:

Morel Hybrid Ovation 4 components in the front doors, bi-amped

Morel Integra 4 coaxials in the rear doors

Amping the OEM underseat woofers as midbass, bandpassed

An 8" sub in the back corner, as we've done before

A Zapco controller to allow selection of time-corrected presets for the driver only or for both fronts.


We installed two Zapco DC360 four-channels and a DC200 two-channel. One 4-channel and the 2-channel went in the driver's rear side panel. Since the balanced output of the HU in the X3 is current limited and cannot drive too low an impedance (it doesn't like ONE Zapco amp without the right integration method) we used a Zapco SLB balanced line driver as a buffer amp.


The pocket was too deep, so we had to make it shallower.

The other went in the floor forward of the sub.


The Zapco controller went in the center console.

The X3 has the shallowest speaker provisions of any of the Bangle BMWs I've worked on. The 4" speakers are shallower than the E90 or E60, and the backs of their magnets are pressing against the metal of the door. As in the E90 and E60, the 4" backload against the door panel - actually to a plate on the back of thee door panel.

We took the grille off of the door and disassembled the grilles, removed the foam from in front of the tweeter and mid while we were at it (retaining the black cheesecloth), and modded them.

The grille is a metal mesh wrapped around a plastic frame. We made the opening in the plastic frame larger in diameter to accomodate the front loading of the Morel speaker, and then enlarged the speaker opening in the door panel (but not in the backing plate). The Morel then mounts to the backing plate and clears the backside of the grille!



The sub went in the right rear corner.



We tuned the system by measuring all the various distances from the driver's head to the individual speakers, taking the longest length, leaving that speaker (the sub) at 0 ms delay, and then delaying all the rest by the quantity (sub distance - that speaker distance).

Since the Zapco's allow delay to be set in inches, this was pretty easy, but these settings also sucked the image from the driver's seat into the passenger side of the windshield.

So I took the IASCA imaging vocal track - "Left - Left Center - Center - Right Center - Right" and played with the F speakers for about 3 minutes until I got the image right where I wanted it for each of those 5 speakers. It was as if there was a GOOD center channel, without losing any of the L or R data.

The BMW woofers under the seat actually were surprising in their sound when there was a real amp on them. I don't know how they will deal with 50 clean watts, but they were high-passed at 60 hz at 24dB/octave, low-passed at 200, and they never seemed to flap or obviously strain. The Morel Ovation 4 mids played amazingly low in that door, though, with no strain or flapping. We damped the backs of the doors a good bit with Cascade VB-2.

The midbass wasn't best that I've heard, but the imaging was amazing - I plan on using this DC time correction in more and more Bangle cars as a result.

This was a more complex install than most stealth systems we do, but it turned out VERY well. I wouldn't hesitate to do this system again - I loved listening to it.

08-02-2007, 05:56 PM
Just about to go down the same path with my Aussie delviered X3....

how do the MOrels SOund, i am opting for a 100% focal system using the 100 slims in the front stock rear speakers, disconect the under seat 6" and add a 10inch sub under the floor next to the battery...

has anyone removed the foam from which sits next to the battery. i am going to try and f/glass a box in there and remove the foam case altogther...

any had any experience withe this???or with the Focals>

09-10-2007, 06:57 PM
OK so i have my car back now and i went down a different road, ill post some pics once i know how to ....

I have a set of Focal 100 slims in the front doors, the underseat speakers are powered by the amp, i will be swapping these out ver soon,

the rear speakers are stock run off thehead unit and i have a Focal 8inch 21WX in the trunk,

NOw for me losing any space in the trunk is not possible so i had the foam removed from next to the battery and this was then used to house a custom ported box that has the sub in it. the standard cover was used so you cant see a thing.

I tried the Rockford 3sixty however i had alot of engine noise and i just didnt feel this was a good product for this application, i ended up using Alpine 4311 line converters and these worked like a charm...

I love the sound and am now thinking about custom door trims to fit a nice 6.5 inch driver in the front