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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:48 PM
Rob1 Rob1 is offline
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Subs or not?

I'm about to pull the trigger on an X3, that has the Premium Sound system. Does anyone know if the vehicle has subwoofer(s) as part of this? I know BMW doesn't have the greatest audio systems, but I'm hoping there's a sub of some sort. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:53 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Welcome,
Yes there are two subs neatly hidden underneath each front seat. I have the Bussines CD on mine, and it really sounds good.
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Welcome,
Yes there are two subs neatly hidden underneath each front seat. I have the Bussines CD on mine, and it really sounds good.
Thanks for the quick reply. Much appreciated.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2009, 11:20 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob1 View Post
I'm about to pull the trigger on an X3, that has the Premium Sound system.
Don't attach too much value to the Premium Sound option in your negotiations.

It just adds a couple of tweeters in the rear doors, and basically the same head unit with DSP added and maybe a somewhat higher-power amplifier.

In other makes and models, such an upgrade is usually much more substantial.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2009, 11:28 PM
Rob1 Rob1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Don't attach too much value to the Premium Sound option in your negotiations.

It just adds a couple of tweeters in the rear doors, and basically the same head unit with DSP added and maybe a somewhat higher-power amplifier.

In other makes and models, such an upgrade is usually much more substantial.
Yeah I know. I just wanted to make sure there was SOME kind of sub. Not expecting all that much, but I'm sure it'll do.
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2009, 06:12 AM
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They are NOT subs. They are 8" mid bass. Sub woofers can reproduce down to 20 HZ but are typically set around 40 HZ. These can barely reproduce 200HZ. That is a big difference if you are expecting Neil Peart of RUSH to sound correct or the 1812 to sound like cannons instead of pop guns. I have been experimenting and modifying the sound system in now two of my own X3's and helped over a dozen others (including some dealer techs) upgrade theirs.

The DSP is also a modified EQ and not DSP.

Sorry I get energized when car mfg's mis lead (and mis name) people about sound systems.

I tried to utilize them as subs even with additional power from a seperate amp. If you want tight (not downtown thumping) bass I can make several suggestions, but a good ten inch low profile sub by Boston Acoustic or Alpine is where I would start.

No slight or insult was meant to any other comments.
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Last edited by Evlengr; 02-19-2009 at 06:14 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2009, 09:22 PM
AlanLX3 AlanLX3 is offline
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I had the premium sound system in our 2005 X3 but finally yanked it out for an aftermarket system centered around an Alpine HU and then pulled the sub wiffers out for a set made by Earthquake Sound called the SMS-100 powered by a Focal Solid One amp. The SMS-100's fit in the same enclosure under the seats as the OEM speakers but offer sound that is much closer to real bass than the ones that come with the premium audio option.
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2009, 10:08 PM
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Pioneer also make a low profile 8" sub that is very efficient and does a pretty good job. I have just opted for using a xover to force the 8" OEM's to run from 250-800HZ. With a 10" for the real bottom end.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2009, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanLX3 View Post
I had the premium sound system in our 2005 X3 but finally yanked it out for an aftermarket system centered around an Alpine HU and then pulled the sub wiffers out for a set made by Earthquake Sound called the SMS-100 powered by a Focal Solid One amp. The SMS-100's fit in the same enclosure under the seats as the OEM speakers but offer sound that is much closer to real bass than the ones that come with the premium audio option.
...where did you install the amp?
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2009, 08:47 AM
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Amp is easy. There is ample space directly in front of the battery compartment. I have some pictures I can re post later this weekend. It is actually a great spot since all the speaker wiring goes directly to the back left area which can be broken out without any cutting of anything.

I am a big proponent of improving sound systems in cars, but I do it in such a fashion that there is never any permanent damage or change that cannot be made factory fresh again. Also, out of site out of mind keeps thieves away.
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2009, 07:59 PM
AlanLX3 AlanLX3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LvdB View Post
...where did you install the amp?
Mine is in the back along the outside wall on the drivers side just to the rear of the factory amp. The factory amp is still sitting in place but no longer connected or powered up. The Focal amp fits nicely behind the removable rear end panel with all of the controls on top so I can easily tweak the amp when I get the urge.

The only exposed evidence of an aftermarket sound system is the XDA-100 head unit in the dash.
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2009, 11:07 AM
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Evlengr, your pics would be a great help!
I need ideas to install an 8" or 10" sub at the back in such a way that it does not look like a "boy racer" installation and to return to stock easily (for when taking it to the dealer for service, etc.)

...I just need to do something about the low-end sound quality!!!!!
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2009, 12:13 PM
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Appalling arent they? hahaha Have pics will post ---later this evening.

Thanks for asking.
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2009, 12:18 AM
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Yip, appalling, to say the least!!!

Funny enough, my previous X3 (2004 model) had the exact audio arrangement (only difference without Aux In and could not play MP3 CD), and the low-end sound was way better than my current 2007 sound (?????). Not even the dealer can tell me why. I've given up on BMW in this regard so I'll do something about it myself - and have some fun while I'm at it ...lol

...will wait patiently for those pics - THANKS!
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2009, 08:26 AM
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I think it may be that they tried to cheat on power by using low 2 ohm resistive systems.

You sacrifice a lot of things when you lower the impedance.

The door speakers are made of low grade paper and plastic and the "Subs" use a unique configuration that has the voice coil on the front, thereby pulling the driver instead of pushing it (the accepted method).

Got back logged last night, but promise to have pics of amp and "sub" placement this weekend.

Don't blame the dealer I could not find anyone at BMW anywhere that knew the measurements of the sound system--let alone the specs or capabitlties.

I had to retro-engineer everything involved. And for me it's fun. So if you like puzzles you will enjoy this one.

Sorry for the delay.
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2009, 12:30 AM
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hmmm, never paid attention to the ohm value on the subs. Will check that again. Still looking forward to playing with a sub in the back too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Don't blame the dealer I could not find anyone at BMW anywhere that knew the measurements of the sound system--let alone the specs or capabitlties.
...I must add that I have had great service from BMW dealers (South Africa) in the past. But like you said, you would expect the BMW technician to have the necessary tech info on something like audio system - especially when the technician is specially trained for BMW's.

No problem with the delay - will wait patiently for those pics (extra ideas - will post the pics on my installation here as soon as it is done)...
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  #17  
Old 02-28-2009, 10:01 PM
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Sound upgrade.

Here are pictures of the subs, amp placement, wiring connections.

This shows the original speakers with the pioneer low profiles. I understand the kickers will work just as well and are much cheaper.

The amps are being replaced with the newer Alpine 6 in 1 amp. As well as a crossover in order to run the 8 inch subs as mid bass drivers while supporting a 10 inch Alpine low profile in a sealed cabinet in order to reduce resonant "thump" and will be pointed toward the back of the cabin to use the natural curve of the back of the suv.

The wiring pointed out shows how it is easier to tap into current wiring. In retrospect I would should have bought an additional male side and spliced----- that way it would have been simply a matter of plugging the stock wiring back in when I sell the vehicle in 2 years.

Also, using seperate component type speaker at a 4 inch or 100 mm configuration adds no great benefit since a 4 inch co-ax will have the same stereo seperation and will be significantly cheaper.

Hope that helps,

GG
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1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more
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  #18  
Old 03-01-2009, 08:53 AM
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Thanks. That seems to be a good spot for the amp - will do that too. Searched for the speaker (twisted) wires but without luck. I think my harness goes traight to the front. You probably have something extra on your soud system with the harness going to the rear (?). Seems like I'll have to open towards the rear doors to get to the speaker wires. Will post as soon as I'm done...
Thanks again.
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  #19  
Old 03-01-2009, 09:53 AM
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That wiring shot is the left rear interior panel.

Makes it that much easier to connect to the amps, but I suggest you get the male harness and create a break out.

That way when it comes time to turn it back in or sell you simply snap things back into place.

Something I am going to look into correcting when I change out speakers in door panels to the Alpines....maybe I'll get lucky and Boston Acoustic will make a 4 inch that will fit by then that has increased power handling. The Infinitys are just too bright for my tastes anymore.
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2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
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1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more

Last edited by Evlengr; 03-01-2009 at 09:56 AM.
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2009, 05:17 AM
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Evlengr,
Are you replacing the subs in the floor (under front seats) too. Wondering how they're taken out?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
...Something I am going to look into correcting when I change out speakers in door panels to the Alpines....
I removed a cover on one of my door speakers (previous X3) and BMW dealer helped to "glue" it back in position - no screws. It was'nt the same afterwards - was'nt flush with the rest of the door panel - did'nt look good. Just keep that in mind when you do your door speakers. Unless there is another way to remove the speakers...
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  #21  
Old 03-02-2009, 10:31 AM
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The door ones have been replaced already. This wil be the third time I will be opening the doors.

Make sure not to tear the "Vapor Barrier" it is the poly-propelene inner door cover that prevents heavy rain fall from entering the cabin.

Also, mine used nylon type clips. I order new ones when I do any door work.

To install the mid bass speakers I had to remove the seats. I really dont think you need to replace them, just "repurpose" them.

Meaning feed mid bass to them using a seperate xover or amp.

And, feed the low end to the actual sub in the back.
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  #22  
Old 03-03-2009, 06:40 AM
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I'll leave the current system as-is for now. Will see what it sounds like with the addition of the amp (busy with it...). But I'll keep your idea in mind in terms of the x-over for the original "subs".
Thanks.


ps. off the topic - how/where do you add your X3 pic that appears with each post?
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  #23  
Old 03-04-2009, 01:40 PM
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Finaly! Amp and Sub installed. Sounds Guuuud

800W 10" FLI sub driven by 2 channel (bridged) Fireworkx amp. Amp set at around 25% output. Not setup to vibrate the surroundings, lol, but just enough to put a little smile on my face . I now have the addition of that missing low-end sound I was craving for (the likes you would normally expect from BMW). - even my wife likes it ...lol

Not as fancy and wow as other installations I've seen. But I think this is not bad, not bad at all! (...?)

Thanks for the advice Evlengr.

See how the compartment/cavities (directly behind the rear seats) and rear seat arrangement differ on the left-hand models compared to my right-hand model. I had to remove the supporting-foot from the top cover to make way for the amp though. But the original cover fits nice and tight over the amp. And with the amp idling at around 25%, the heat generated from the amp is'nt a problem. Think I might make a fiberglass cover with glass window for the amp and red flexlight around the amp, later on - just for fun.


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  #24  
Old 03-04-2009, 02:26 PM
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Great Job. I think you should keep it simple. The less people see the better. Keeps broken windows and lost gear at a minimum.


Did you put any sound deading material behind the sub like this :http://www.dynamat.com ?

It helps get rid of the external thump thump and tightens up the bass even more.

Oh and did you leave the 8" connected?
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2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
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2007 AT X3 RIPOS
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1997 Twin Turbo RX-7
1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more
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  #25  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
...I think you should keep it simple. The less people see the better. Keeps broken windows and lost gear at a minimum.
Nope, that woun't be a problem. Around here "they" might break-in to steel but why steel if they can take the entire car ...lol.
Good point however, think I'll keep it simple!
ps. the theft-thing seems to be a global problem. Thought it was only a problem here in South Africa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Did you put any sound deading material behind the sub...
No. Did not think about it. Do think it would help, now that you mention it. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Oh and did you leave the 8" connected?
Yip. I left it connected. Did'nt do anything to the factory system. You think it was the right thing to do? I picked up signal from one of the rear speakers and set it through a Hi-to-Low convertor to the amp - the simple and cheaper way to do it.
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