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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #26  
Old 05-15-2007, 07:03 PM
20ducks 20ducks is offline
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OMFG! Graci!
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  #27  
Old 05-21-2007, 07:12 PM
street carp street carp is offline
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Peeti,

Great write-up and please note I may be stealing your ideas. Where did you buy the amp & sub. So far onlinecarstereo.com seems to have very good prices that include shipping.

Matt
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  #28  
Old 07-27-2007, 11:32 AM
Van_mikli Van_mikli is offline
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Thank you so much for sharing!!
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  #29  
Old 07-27-2007, 01:21 PM
Ollie Ollie is offline
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Any comments as to how this might go with the standard system? I chose not to get the Premium pack (nav & upgraded strereo) and (obviously) the sound system needs help.

Thanks again for the great write up. It is posts such as yours which make this board one of the very best on line resource for our cars.
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  #30  
Old 07-27-2007, 07:53 PM
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Dammmittt Dammmittt is offline
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Nice. I guess my only question is...if I do that, where do I put my groceries?
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  #31  
Old 07-27-2007, 08:46 PM
20ducks 20ducks is offline
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Originally Posted by Dammmittt View Post
Nice. I guess my only question is...if I do that, where do I put my groceries?
I do believe there is this one place you could easily put them.
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  #32  
Old 07-28-2007, 06:31 AM
AlterEgo AlterEgo is offline
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Great write-up, peeti.

I am also very dissatisfied with the bass response. No matter how much I twiddle the equaliser and the tone control, the bass just ends up sounding forced and overloaded - and the whole bottom end just plain isn't there.

So I am interested in upgrading the OEM subs to something else that fits into the same enclosure, as I do not want to change the appearance of the car in any way - even if I can't get super-awesomeness, I am suspecting that even a moderate expenditure on the right components into the OEM enclosures will result in way more bass than standard. Shirley?

I haven't even looked at the subs or their enclosures, so I have some questions on that:

1. What are the existing enclosures made of and lined with? (They sound very plasticky)
2. Is there any insulation in the enclosures?
3. How come the boards need to be replaced - are the drivers some non-standard size or shape?

Next I would be enquiring as to your advice on components:

1. What sort of drivers (brand/model/max. size) would best suit this application?
2. How much power is required to drive them?
3. What are some amps that would do them justice?

What else do I need to know about in this regard?

Thanks in advance.

Mike
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  #33  
Old 08-18-2007, 11:19 AM
hays0023 hays0023 is offline
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So I went ahead and had this done to my Z4C (non-M) and went with a JL 12W6/JL 500/1 amp combo and have to say that it is AMAZING!!! As I was driving to work this morning, my pant legs were vibrating Ok, a bit overkill, but the sound is just stunning!!!

I did notice though that it doesn't drive as well with all of the extra weight (about 60lbs) from the sub/box.

Does anyone have any suggestions (besides getting rid of the sub) that will bring the ride back to where I started? I do not want to lose the sound, but it just feels 'heavier' when driving along....

I am not sure if I can lose anything to try and even the weight out.

Thanks + I apologize if it is a dumb questions
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  #34  
Old 08-18-2007, 12:11 PM
schwank schwank is offline
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you could put in a racing battery and save 40 lbs, but then maybe the electrical system couldnt handle that
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  #35  
Old 08-18-2007, 01:26 PM
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Palantirion Palantirion is offline
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Originally Posted by schwank View Post
you could put in a racing battery and save 40 lbs, but then maybe the electrical system couldnt handle that
Racing battery + aftermarket amp = bad!
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  #36  
Old 08-24-2007, 09:00 AM
peeti peeti is offline
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The extra weight helps me a bit - IMHO... it plants the rear a bit, sort of mild understeer added via JL Audio - LOL.

Honestly - I haven't had too much difference... I felt it the first day, but now it's gone.

As far as groceries - plenty o space still. This only takes up the 1/2 space area. I can still put a golf bag in (as much as I could have)... besides, this is not a hauler of any sort - even without this sub in the back.

On a side note, I drove a buddies Z4M Vert the other day, and his factory subs are just peachy. I was shocked at the difference a lack of roof makes. I mean I know all about the physics involved informing a bass wave - and that's WHY his works better and the coupe sounds like crap. So adding more made the difference!

And the flapping pants thing - I had that happen the other day on a particular track, I was sitting in traffic laughing with glee!

Lovin it.

Oh - one more thought - racing battery, aside from bad idea with aftermarket sound - would throw off the balance to the one side of the car, I'd guess.

P
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  #37  
Old 12-23-2007, 05:04 AM
GH41 GH41 is offline
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If my calculations are correct the MDF box weighs 28lbs less the holes not counting the carpet and screws. I could build the box using cored FG. Maybe 2-3lbs max. It could also be done with CF and not wrapped with carpet. GH
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  #38  
Old 12-23-2007, 08:50 AM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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Great write-up Peeti!..Although I have no interest in using any of the valuable trunk space in my roadster, I can really appreciate how well-thought out and presented your post is. It is very obvious that you put a lot of time into this for our benefit. Thank you!

I have the standard sound system and would like to upgrade. Just not sure what the best path is. My thoughts were either 1) buy the upgrade system from BMW and install myself or 2) hire a consultant to help me identify the right amp and speakers using the existing space/enclosures. Based on your comment on the upgrade system from BMW, looks I should go with #2. Any suggestions on this sort of compromise from any of you who has tried this path would be greatly appreciated. Again, looking to maintain the original look and integrity of the car's interior and trunk.
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  #39  
Old 12-23-2007, 08:09 PM
peeti peeti is offline
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Thanks for the kind words!

Definitely recommend path #2 if you can afford it. The problem is - by the time you're done (if you're like me) you end up spending about 3x the original price!

First and most important thing - find an installer you're comfy with. Visit their shops, check out the back, look at pix and actual vehicles and talk to people. Basically you pick the right guy - you're flying and the price is right and quality high. The wrong guy - blown ECU, eairbag - who knows.

The right installer will have his or her own favorite gear - so there is nothing anyone can recommend.

No matter what you choose, you can't go wrong in comparison to what's there already!

Have fun doing it. Shopping is 80% of the enjoyment! (for car stuff that is)
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  #40  
Old 12-23-2007, 09:57 PM
AlterEgo AlterEgo is offline
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I have to say that originally I too was dissappointed with the bass from the carver woofers. But the car is 12,000km and six months on now and I have been giving those woofers a right caning.

Good news is that they have loosened up amazingly. They still don't give the punch of their bigger brothers, but the bass has really matured. You can really hear how different they are now from when they were new.

Does the roadster use the trunk as a bass cabinet? Most sedans get excellent bass from their trunks. Most coupes suffer from the lack of an enclosed trunk as well (in the bass department, that is). Remember the old Bose systems they put in the RX7 - all that plastic plumbing to try to get some decent bass?

I know that a 6" woofer can only push so much air, and I think that the extended movement of the carvers inhibits their response somewhat, but I am now very happy with the OEM units. Although they may fly apart on me sometime in the future...
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  #41  
Old 11-18-2009, 09:31 PM
chargedZ chargedZ is offline
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peeti...couple questions.

so the wires you tapped for the line level inputs to the sub amp, where do those usually go? Are they coming from the head unit to the factory amp, or out of the factory amp to somewhere else? Just curious...Do you know if they are full range 20hz-20,000hz?

Do you know if the wires are the same for a Z4 with the Carver system? I am looking to install my infinity basslink in the same way you did your install.

Does anyone know what the frequency cross-over points are for the factory speakers. I was looking around and I believe I found that the factory subs are at 30hz and the front midbass drivers at 50hz. So this makes me wonder if the line level wires you tapped are providing signal down to 20hz and if not, is there a way to do so?
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  #42  
Old 11-20-2009, 07:13 PM
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withaJ withaJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chargedZ View Post
peeti...couple questions.

so the wires you tapped for the line level inputs to the sub amp, where do those usually go? Are they coming from the head unit to the factory amp, or out of the factory amp to somewhere else? Just curious...Do you know if they are full range 20hz-20,000hz?

Do you know if the wires are the same for a Z4 with the Carver system? I am looking to install my infinity basslink in the same way you did your install.

Does anyone know what the frequency cross-over points are for the factory speakers. I was looking around and I believe I found that the factory subs are at 30hz and the front midbass drivers at 50hz. So this makes me wonder if the line level wires you tapped are providing signal down to 20hz and if not, is there a way to do so?
The lines come between the amp/dsp module to the speakers.

This link will give you info about the system/speakers:
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63030

This is my install that should be similar to the one you want to do:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ight=subwoofer
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  #43  
Old 11-21-2009, 11:24 AM
chargedZ chargedZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withaJ View Post
The lines come between the amp/dsp module to the speakers.

This link will give you info about the system/speakers:
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63030

This is my install that should be similar to the one you want to do:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ight=subwoofer
Thanks for providing those links...very helpful.

So I am a little confused still...you mention that the line you tapped is from the amp to the dsp module. Where is the dsp module, I don't see this mentioned at all in any of the links? Are the wires you tapped then from amp to the "sub" dsp modules?

From the links, I see that the subs are xovered at 30hz, which they are probably 6-12db down at that range. So, I can really see how the sub you added and the one I am adding will make a world of difference in low-end performance. I will probably xover my 10" sub at 50-60hz, letting it focus all it's energy on those low end frequencies only.

Has anyone swapped out the midrange speaker in the back for a 3 1/2" full range speaker, I think that also could make a nice difference. I know this TopHiFi system isn't amazing, but with a couple little tweaks it could be pretty good, and certainly you would have to spend some serious $ to noticed a valuable difference. IMPO

Thanks again for the help!
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  #44  
Old 11-21-2009, 03:42 PM
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withaJ withaJ is offline
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Tap is in between speaker and amp/dsp module. The amp and DSP are one module. See picture #22 above. It's the black box held in place with the velcro band.
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  #45  
Old 11-22-2009, 09:20 AM
chargedZ chargedZ is offline
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ok, AMP/DSP are the same module, makes sense...and in my Z4 it's in the battery compartment, got it.

However, I still must be missing something. The line that was tapped is a speaker level connection, being used for a line level feed? How's that possible? Unless we are taking about different things. My impression was that this line that you and Petti tapped was a "line level = RCA" feed to the amp, giving you the best connection possible (which is what I was excited about). Or are you just tapping the "speaker level" connection and using the speaker level input to the new sub/amp.

I need to go take the sub out again and look at this...

Last edited by chargedZ; 11-22-2009 at 09:25 AM.
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  #46  
Old 11-22-2009, 09:49 AM
Rustycat Rustycat is offline
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mid range

Quote:
Originally Posted by chargedZ View Post
Thanks for providing those links...very helpful.

So I am a little confused still...you mention that the line you tapped is from the amp to the dsp module. Where is the dsp module, I don't see this mentioned at all in any of the links? Are the wires you tapped then from amp to the "sub" dsp modules?

From the links, I see that the subs are xovered at 30hz, which they are probably 6-12db down at that range. So, I can really see how the sub you added and the one I am adding will make a world of difference in low-end performance. I will probably xover my 10" sub at 50-60hz, letting it focus all it's energy on those low end frequencies only.

Has anyone swapped out the midrange speaker in the back for a 3 1/2" full range speaker, I think that also could make a nice difference. I know this TopHiFi system isn't amazing, but with a couple little tweaks it could be pretty good, and certainly you would have to spend some serious $ to noticed a valuable difference. IMPO

Thanks again for the help!
I've been reading this thread with interest, as I have a very poor opinion of BMW's premium speaker concept. My bias is the mid range response. Bass response is often over weighted in aftermarket mods and frankly, of not much interest to me. Afterall, human hearing evolved to focus on mid range-- it is the area we communicate in, and it is the most involving. Too bad BMW was clueless to this.
Anyway, enough preaching....
I spoke to a guy at Bavarian Soundwerks in Atlanta a couple of months ago and was impressed with his sensiblities and criticism of the speakers in the Z4M. He said they expected to come out with mid range speakers for the ZRMs around Christmas.
I hold out great hope that they will do so sooner than later.
Lew
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  #47  
Old 11-23-2009, 09:41 PM
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withaJ withaJ is offline
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Originally Posted by chargedZ View Post
Or are you just tapping the "speaker level" connection and using the speaker level input to the new sub/amp.

I need to go take the sub out again and look at this...
This is correct. The connection is through speaker level inputs. Line-level or RCA inputs are not available. The connection between the radio head and amp is a through a digital bus that cannot be tapped directly.
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  #48  
Old 01-08-2010, 03:39 PM
wrh3 wrh3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peeti View Post
Initially received some info that turned out to be incorrect. After combing various sites, and ultimately with the assistance of a great guy from Belgium - GV (from z4um - BIG THANKS!) everything is squared away. Here we go:

Power - Direct from battery distribution block (see pic 15)
Ground - located within 15" from amp by scraping paint off to bare metal (see pic 18)
Amp Power Turn-on/Remote - thicker white wire, located in main amp cable bundle (tapped at yellow circle, pic 21)
Right Sound + Amp connector pin 23, blue with white stripe wire, heavier gauge (~18 ga)
Right Sound - Amp connector pin 22, blue with brown stripe wire, heavier gauge (~18 ga)
Left Sound + Amp connector pin 4, red with yellow stripe wire, heavier gauge (~18 ga)
Left Sound - Amp connector pin 3, red with brown stripe wire, heavier gauge (~18 ga)

* the heavier gauge note above is in comparison to the other harness wires. Most look about 24 gauge, but these are definitely easy to spot from the bundle. Also, I was given 3/4 and 23/24 - but my BMW WDS shows 22/23 - in any case, the colors are DEFINITELY correct, as they're hooked up. Pin's don't matter, because they're near impossible to see anyhow.
Thanks for your research and write-up, there is not a lot of information out there regarding this.

I am a little confused. It seems you and withaJ used the same input wires (although I am not sure if he directly wired RCAs as you did or used a line level converter). Looking at this write-up by Graham M, he did use a line level converter and used different wires. I have the Carver Top Hifi system in my car and the wires going to the Carver subwoofers are the same color as his I think: http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...ight=subwoofer . My thoughts are that if this is a speaker level connection the line level converter would be a necessary evil to drop the signal down for the new sub amp.

I am wondering if the wires you used from the amplifier/DSP unit become the wires that Graham used directly at the speaker? I'll have to do some more investigation later tonight but thought I would throw the question out there

[EDIT] I looked at WDS for the Top HiFi system and see the same pin numbers that GV from Belgium came up with for the subwoofer pinout at the amplifier and the colors listed are different than what you used. I just verified that the wire colors physically connected to the subwoofers match the WDS results I found below. It looks like the wire pins and colors you noted/used are for the front woofers and not the rear subwoofers according to the WDS diagram/schematic I looked at.

http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...ight=subwoofer (copy of GVs post from Z4UM)

1 A Signal, rear left speaker - Subwoofer, left (Brown)

2 A Signal, rear left speaker + Subwoofer, left (Yellow)

24 A Signal, rear right speaker - Subwoofer, right (Brown)

25 A Signal, rear right speaker + Subwoofer, right (Blue)



I'm calling it a night but will figure this out tomorrow Thanks again peeti for being a pioneer in adding an amp/sub, I searched the internet for a few hours today and found zilch other than the three forum posts: yours, withaJ, and Graham M. If not for you and the others I would not have started this project.
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Last edited by wrh3; 01-08-2010 at 08:24 PM.
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  #49  
Old 01-08-2010, 08:55 PM
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withaJ withaJ is offline
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Both Peeti and I used the speaker-level as the amps we used had these inputs - so we did not need the converters. Peeti used the woofers from the front because the output to the Carver subs is limited at high levels by the DSP unit. I initially used the fronts also, but I was not able to get enough gain from the amp that I have even at the max gain setting so I rewired and tapped the Carver sub line instead. It works great for me since these are 25V lines and was able to get enough bass at a relatively low gain setting.
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  #50  
Old 01-08-2010, 09:01 PM
wrh3 wrh3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withaJ View Post
Both Peeti and I used the speaker-level as the amps we used had these inputs - so we did not need the converters. Peeti used the woofers from the front because the output to the Carver subs is limited at high levels by the DSP unit. I initially used the fronts also, but I was not able to get enough gain from the amp that I have even at the max gain setting so I rewired and tapped the Carver sub line instead. It works great for me since these are 25V lines and was able to get enough bass at a relatively low gain setting.
Gotcha, but the JL 250/1 does not have speaker level inputs like your Blaupunkt THb200A, just line level. I suspect this is the reason he had issues with the gain. No luxury like speaker level inputs on the amp I am using. I am thinking I might use the Scosche LOC80 I had to try things out and get started, but might end up with the MTX REQ to keep bass consistent and not have it taper off as with the OE head unit and subs.

[EDIT] The MTX REQ is on order, and the LOC80 will be used in the interim. Had some things come up that prevented me from doing anything further over the weekend but plan to be 95% complete by tomorrow.
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Last edited by wrh3; 01-10-2010 at 09:21 PM.
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