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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #351  
Old 06-11-2013, 03:38 AM
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sixspeedz sixspeedz is offline
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Sound System Improvement Stage One

Quote:
Originally Posted by badgermanus View Post
No - in my experience you need to upgrade the power amp to get an appreciable difference in sounds quality. Once you've upgraded your speakers, no need to take the door cards off again to replace the amp.

Cheers, Jonathan
Gotcha.

I guess I figured that I have a good deal on the Alpine's and it will cost me nearly the same to do all 4 doors as it would to buy an OEM replacement for the single door that's on it's way out...

Would you recommend swapping them all at that point? Then I have the option of adding an amp later.

Thanks for the feedback!


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  #352  
Old 06-11-2013, 09:04 AM
badgermanus badgermanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixspeedz View Post
Gotcha.

I guess I figured that I have a good deal on the Alpine's and it will cost me nearly the same to do all 4 doors as it would to buy an OEM replacement for the single door that's on it's way out...

Would you recommend swapping them all at that point? Then I have the option of adding an amp later.

Thanks for the feedback!


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Yes, definitely replace them all with the Alpines. Others have reported good results replacing *just* the amp, but most (myself included) upgraded the speakers first. Once you get the hang of getting one door card off (look for the BSW videos on YouTube) the remainder are quite easy.

I would say replacing the speakers gave me 10% of the eventual improvement, new amp the remaining 90%. Look for Technic's posts on the 3-series forums for more info on amp and plug-n-play harnesses (which I highly recommend)

Cheers, Jonathan
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  #353  
Old 06-11-2013, 12:02 PM
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sixspeedz sixspeedz is offline
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Sound System Improvement Stage One

Quote:
Originally Posted by badgermanus View Post
Yes, definitely replace them all with the Alpines. Others have reported good results replacing *just* the amp, but most (myself included) upgraded the speakers first. Once you get the hang of getting one door card off (look for the BSW videos on YouTube) the remainder are quite easy.

I would say replacing the speakers gave me 10% of the eventual improvement, new amp the remaining 90%. Look for Technic's posts on the 3-series forums for more info on amp and plug-n-play harnesses (which I highly recommend)

Cheers, Jonathan
Ok, thanks! I'll prob go ahead and swap the speakers as long as its not a downgrade without adding the amp, and leave the potential to add an amp and maybe additional sub later.

It's definitely easy enough to pop the doors off, I've done that part before.

I did see the thread on the adapter cable. To be clear on the amp addition, what's the easiest way this works?

Would I leave the OEM amp in to drive the under seat subs, and add the cable adapter to feed the new amp that will drive just the door speakers and possible sub channel? OR do most people replace the OEM amp to handle all this in a single unit?




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  #354  
Old 06-11-2013, 12:48 PM
badgermanus badgermanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixspeedz View Post
I did see the thread on the adapter cable. To be clear on the amp addition, what's the easiest way this works?

Would I leave the OEM amp in to drive the under seat subs, and add the cable adapter to feed the new amp that will drive just the door speakers and possible sub channel? OR do most people replace the OEM amp to handle all this in a single unit?
Use one of Technic's cables to replace the stock amp entirely - by far the easiest solution. Common replacements are JBL MS-10 (which you can get refurbished on eBay from JBL themselves as I did) or JL Audio XD700/5.

On the X3 you can either build a small adapter plate (from plywood) to mount the new amp in the same spot as the existing one, or mount it under the trunk floor. There is a space in front of the usual lift out section which can be removed to reveal enough space. I mounted mine in the location of the original amp as I was worried there would not be enough ventilation under the trunk floor.

The hardest part in all of this was disassembling the side of the trunk to get access to everything. It is easiest if you get yourself a big Torx driver and remove the back of the rear seat...

Cheers, Jonathan
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  #355  
Old 06-11-2013, 02:28 PM
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sixspeedz sixspeedz is offline
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Thanks again for the info, and quick replies Jonathan!

Looks like i'm in for the Alpine install in the next few weeks, and will start researching amp upgrades for a bit later down the road.
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  #356  
Old 06-12-2013, 04:33 PM
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sixspeedz sixspeedz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgermanus View Post
Use one of Technic's cables to replace the stock amp entirely - by far the easiest solution. Common replacements are JBL MS-10 (which you can get refurbished on eBay from JBL themselves as I did) or JL Audio XD700/5.

On the X3 you can either build a small adapter plate (from plywood) to mount the new amp in the same spot as the existing one, or mount it under the trunk floor. There is a space in front of the usual lift out section which can be removed to reveal enough space. I mounted mine in the location of the original amp as I was worried there would not be enough ventilation under the trunk floor.

The hardest part in all of this was disassembling the side of the trunk to get access to everything. It is easiest if you get yourself a big Torx driver and remove the back of the rear seat...

Cheers, Jonathan

The MS-8 really seems like a good way to go given the built in processing. I take it the wattage was sufficient to drive the Alpines and stock subs?
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Last edited by sixspeedz; 06-12-2013 at 04:39 PM.
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  #357  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:25 AM
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sixspeedz sixspeedz is offline
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Alpine's are going in this week! Still researching amp/processor setups since i have no DSP (just bass and treble control on the HU).

Anyone have suggestions on processing? Would love some digital options with customizable presets, etc, if there are such things that don't cost an obscene amount. I haven't been able to find much.

Alternatively, I figured I could just grab an AudioControl LCQ-1 and throw it in the e trunk but then i have no easy access to it... Anyone else do something similar, and is that enough control when just leaving in the stock business HU?

Thanks!
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  #358  
Old 07-07-2013, 07:54 AM
al_macaroni al_macaroni is online now
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Thank you everyone for the great resource. I successfully installed the Alpine SPS-410's for the "Stage 1" upgrade.

Let me provide some additional tips.

I created my own speaker wiring harness with some information I found over on the e90 forum. Below, I have provided the number needed and the BMW part number of the elements I used to create the connectors

4 x housing, BMW part #: 61 13 8 373 583
8 x pin-contact, BMW part #: 61 13 0 005 198

Then, I used new female (flat blade) connectors rather than splicing to the wires that came with the speakers.

FYI - the OEM wire (and Alpine supplied wire) is 22-18 gauge wire (red connector color code)

With the Alpine SPS-410's, I used .25 female blade crimp connectors for the positive and
.11 female blade connectors for the negative blades to connect to the speakers.

I used 1/4 x 1 size fender washers to hold down the speakers at the third position.

Additionally, on the front doors, I needed to shave off one of the Alpine's retention ears to clear a molded bump on the inner door skin. This was easily accomplished with a hack saw blade and box cutter.
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  #359  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:01 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al_macaroni View Post
Thank you everyone for the great resource. I successfully installed the Alpine SRS-410's for the "Stage 1" upgrade.

Let me provide some additional tips.

I created my own speaker wiring harness with some information I found over on the e90 forum. Below, I have provided the number needed and the BMW part number of the elements I used to create the connectors

4 x housing, BMW part #: 61 13 8 373 583
8 x pin-contact, BMW part #: 61 13 0 005 198

Then, I used new female (flat blade) connectors rather than splicing to the wires that came with the speakers.

FYI - the OEM wire (and Alpine supplied wire) is 22-18 gauge wire (red connector color code)

With the Alpine SRS-410's, I used .25 female blade crimp connectors for the positive and
.11 female blade connectors for the negative blades to connect to the speakers.

I used 1/4 x 1 size fender washers to hold down the speakers at the third position.

Additionally, on the front doors, I needed to shave off one of the Alpine's retention ears to clear a molded bump on the inner door skin. This was easily accomplished with a hack saw blade and box cutter.
Thanks for posting those connector part numbers--I really wanted to do it that way for my install, but I couldn't find the connector numbers, so I spliced them. Maybe if I'm bored I'll tear it all apart and redo the connection that way--which is the right way to do it.
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  #360  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:14 AM
al_macaroni al_macaroni is online now
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Some photos of the speaker wire harness
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  #361  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:19 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al_macaroni View Post
Some photos of the speaker wire harness
Perfect! That is how it should be done--and I knew better--and still cut the wires (although i did leave enough to reinstall). Those connectors also seemed difficult to disconnect when I did the job; the window switches especially. I couldn't quite figure out the locking mechanism on the connector housings, but managed to wiggle them loose and not destroy them during removal.

Last edited by PSUEng; 07-07-2013 at 08:21 AM.
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  #362  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:44 AM
al_macaroni al_macaroni is online now
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I now have quite a collection of connectors. I wasn't sure what direction I was going to go until the end. I've had wires come loose in the past and did not want to be looking for poor connections. That is why I went the route of the OE wire harness connector. I wasn't sure if I was going to use the Alpine speaker wire or just use the BMW pin-connection wire directly to the speakers.

I hope my research will help others.

Yes, the connectors were difficult for me to remove. Had to really wiggle the power windows/locks connections. Also broke the clip on the first speaker connector I removed. The subsequent speaker connectors, I removed with a pair of pliers. It was more force than I'm used to, but they came right apart.

Another tip for anyone taking the doors a part. Test the door release handle before re-assembley.

This also threw me for a curve. The Driver Door Door Lock does NOT actually click into open or lock position like the other 3 doors. I finally just figured it was acting differently due to the electronic lock system. It worked fine when I reconnected the battery.
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  #363  
Old 07-27-2013, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3oiler View Post
Funny you should say that. I have an older DICE that I have used for years but it is not compatible with the iPhone 4S so I bought a new - later model - firmware upgradeable DICE unit. After having to return the first unit as defective (no left channel) I found that the replacement unit is very noisy - more apparent with the newer audio - so much so that the older DICE is back in service and I will live without the 4S integration. As an aside, I found the DICE remote control of the ipod (head unit display of track etc) to be useless (so slow) and I switched it off in the older DICE - this is not an option in the newer DICE it seems - another negative point. . . . sorry slight thread hijack here.
I just had to replace a 4s (dunked in a pool) with a brand new 4s (as in, yesterday). My old one didn't work with my DICE, my new one works flawlessly.

Additionally, I had a 4s before the one I dunked (I am on my third) that I got when the 4s first came out. The first one worked perfect.

AFAICT, the 4s from 12 months ago are hit and miss on non-apple audio connections. The new ones are fine.
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  #364  
Old 08-01-2013, 07:42 PM
Tabx3 Tabx3 is offline
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Hey Al

Thanks for the great info. I'm doing the door speaker and floor subs upgrade too, and wanted to keep everything as-is as well ( I don't want to cut any wires I don't have to). Not to stretch your goodwill any farther, would you happen to know the connector part number(s) for the original "mid" subs(the ones that connect the floor subs to the stereo wring harness)? I've checked all the usual sources (realOEM, Atlanta BMW Parts utility etc) and can't even get close to even a picture.

Much appreciated

TabX3
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  #365  
Old 08-06-2013, 06:03 AM
Stubakka Stubakka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al_macaroni View Post
Thank you everyone for the great resource. I successfully installed the Alpine SPS-410's for the "Stage 1" upgrade.

Let me provide some additional tips.

I created my own speaker wiring harness with some information I found over on the e90 forum. Below, I have provided the number needed and the BMW part number of the elements I used to create the connectors

4 x housing, BMW part #: 61 13 8 373 583
8 x pin-contact, BMW part #: 61 13 0 005 198

Then, I used new female (flat blade) connectors rather than splicing to the wires that came with the speakers.

FYI - the OEM wire (and Alpine supplied wire) is 22-18 gauge wire (red connector color code)

With the Alpine SPS-410's, I used .25 female blade crimp connectors for the positive and
.11 female blade connectors for the negative blades to connect to the speakers.

I used 1/4 x 1 size fender washers to hold down the speakers at the third position.

Additionally, on the front doors, I needed to shave off one of the Alpine's retention ears to clear a molded bump on the inner door skin. This was easily accomplished with a hack saw blade and box cutter.
Hey , where did you get the parts from? Found them on New Egg but they wanted 12$ shipping lol, Im interested in doing this clean install, Also unrelated but might aswell ask this while im at it... I am also replacing my head unit and it mentions running a 12Volt Red wire to the fuse box in the X3, Iv never had to do this and am Kind of not sure how to go about it I pmed you btw thanks!
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  #366  
Old 08-06-2013, 06:43 PM
alichak alichak is offline
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Last edited by alichak; 08-06-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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  #367  
Old 08-06-2013, 06:44 PM
alichak alichak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al_macaroni View Post
Some photos of the speaker wire harness
can you please tell me which wire on the original socket goes to negative and the other to positive? thanks!
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  #368  
Old 08-09-2013, 03:48 PM
alichak alichak is offline
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I did a rather different DIY speaker upgrade. you might like it

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...14#post7763214
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  #369  
Old 08-10-2013, 12:56 AM
Lph190e Lph190e is offline
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Being a loyal MB fan prior to my X3, I can't help but wonder would a simple replacement of factory wiring be any sort of improvement? MBs tend to have much better sound systems IMHO however the wiring was always lacking a bit relative to output. Again, I'm not super familiar with BMW systems (honestly can't complain) but would this relatively easy fix prove worth the effort?
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  #370  
Old 08-20-2013, 04:12 PM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lph190e View Post
Being a loyal MB fan prior to my X3, I can't help but wonder would a simple replacement of factory wiring be any sort of improvement? MBs tend to have much better sound systems IMHO however the wiring was always lacking a bit relative to output. Again, I'm not super familiar with BMW systems (honestly can't complain) but would this relatively easy fix prove worth the effort?
Not sure what you're asking, but I installed 2 sets of German Maestros (the "new" German made MB quart) in my X3--search for my thread. Pricey, but fantastic sound.
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  #371  
Old 08-20-2013, 05:01 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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I believe Lph is raising the question, "do auto makers give any thought to what gauge of wiring should go in on the assembly line for sound systems which are getting increasingly powerful each year?"

Or do they just put in what has always been used for more modest sound systems? What about if you order the top line sound system - does that come with heavier gauge speaker wire at least?

And more specifically - with the X3 Business CD system, would it be worthwhile rewiring the amp and speakers alone without changing anything else?

I suspect not, and it would be very difficult to do anyway.
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  #372  
Old 08-27-2013, 02:18 PM
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sixspeedz sixspeedz is offline
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Just picked up a fresh system upgrade

Couple of Kenwood Excelon digital amps to drive the Alpine door speakers / underseat subs and a 12" Kicker in a low profile box. hopefully the kicker will add some low end, as i don't want to have to swap it for something bigger. Just waiting on Technics to grab a harness and i'll throw it all together and report back in the thread for anyone interested in how it sounds.

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  #373  
Old 09-02-2013, 09:13 AM
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sixspeedz sixspeedz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixspeedz View Post
Just picked up a fresh system upgrade

Couple of Kenwood Excelon digital amps to drive the Alpine door speakers / underseat subs and a 12" Kicker in a low profile box. hopefully the kicker will add some low end, as i don't want to have to swap it for something bigger. Just waiting on Technics to grab a harness and i'll throw it all together and report back in the thread for anyone interested in how it sounds.
The install:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=719544
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  #374  
Old 09-02-2013, 03:23 PM
eXhilarat3d eXhilarat3d is offline
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I'm looking for other options for door speaker replacements rather than the SPS-400 and SPS-410. I've been using the SPS-410 size and specs for other candidates.

Has anyone tried Hertz Dieci DCX 100.3 or know if these dimensions will work?
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  #375  
Old 09-30-2013, 02:35 AM
Guesswho Guesswho is offline
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Factory speaker exhange to Mac Audio Star-x 2.10

Hello A9ennis,

I'm planning to change the factory speakers to the exact same component as you did, so I'd love to hear your personal oppinion on these speakers..

And I would also appreciate a little more detail about the tweeter mounting mod you mentioned, 'cause this holds me back a little: I was worried about the 1 cm diameter difference between the MAC tweeter (35 mm) and the mounting (as fas as I know 25 mm, but didn't take the door apart and measured, yet)... it was a relief to read that you managed to squeeze it in

Thanks a lot!
GH

Quote:
Originally Posted by A9ennis View Post
For the speaker upgrade i used MAc Audio Star-x 2.10 components, about 100 a pair from Just sounds in germany. Minus having to modify the tweeter mounting they went straight in, depth not a problem.

http://www.just-sound.de/

Sound wise they are really very good, as good as the B&O system in my Audi A5. They give a very clear, airy sounds, excellent detail and very good imaging. I have yet to do the under seat speakers which i intend to do as the bass from them is muddy and thick sounding.

The amp was a ebay lucky buy, 30, for a 600w 6 channel amp with speaker level inputs built in...works great....
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