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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 03-05-2011, 01:54 PM
BimmerUKF10 BimmerUKF10 is offline
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Would a 'how to' for sub amp install premium / professional audio be useful?

I'm thinking of adding an amp and subwoofer to my professional audio system. I've started looking at the components in the car and have concluded it will be reasonably challenging. For a start the input to the stock amplifier is fibre optic, so options are limited, but I'm confident my electronics background will help me achieve the what is needed.

The best place to mount the amp would seem to be between the parcel shelf and the chassis, making the amp 'invisible', but to do the job properly will involve removing the back seat, parcel shelf and all covers / cowlings from the trunk / boot. If enough people are interested I'll write a guide showing how to do it. Like I say the job is likely to need a level of practical skill, but the hardest part will be working out what wires to tap and the best way to interface with the amplifier. I'll work that out and publish the method if there are enough takers. Anyone?
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2011, 03:00 PM
nealh nealh is offline
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Sounds great.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2011, 03:04 PM
Diver624 Diver624 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerUKF10 View Post
I'm thinking of adding an amp and subwoofer to my professional audio system. I've started looking at the components in the car and have concluded it will be reasonably challenging. For a start the input to the stock amplifier is fibre optic, so options are limited, but I'm confident my electronics background will help me achieve the what is needed.

The best place to mount the amp would seem to be between the parcel shelf and the chassis, making the amp 'invisible', but to do the job properly will involve removing the back seat, parcel shelf and all covers / cowlings from the trunk / boot. If enough people are interested I'll write a guide showing how to do it. Like I say the job is likely to need a level of practical skill, but the hardest part will be working out what wires to tap and the best way to interface with the amplifier. I'll work that out and publish the method if there are enough takers. Anyone?
Would it be easier to just replace the existing subs under the seats with JL's or something like that and maybe interface a new sub amp into the system if necessary.
The BMW profesional system is the best oem system I've heard short of the upgraded Panamera system but the subs are the weakest part of it so maybe just try swapping them out first.
Personally with so much outside noise in a car the professional system is plenty good enough for me.
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2011, 04:43 PM
BimmerUKF10 BimmerUKF10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver624 View Post
Would it be easier to just replace the existing subs under the seats with JL's or something like that and maybe interface a new sub amp into the system if necessary.
The BMW profesional system is the best oem system I've heard short of the upgraded Panamera system but the subs are the weakest part of it so maybe just try swapping them out first.
Personally with so much outside noise in a car the professional system is plenty good enough for me.
The short answer is no. The trouble with the stock subs is that the enclosure simply isn't large enough. It sits in the floorpans under the front seats. To get a decent low end under 150Hz you need larger speakers with an enclosure to match. To drive larger speakers you need a larger amp. The rated 600w of the system is over exaggerated. It's certainly not 600w RMS. Chances are it's 600W PMPO, which equates to around 150W RMS in total for all speakers. A decent sub woofer needs around 100W RMS. This is nothing to do with how loud it gets. It is to do with the power required to drive a larger cone against a powerful magnet (needed to properly control the cone). I agree that for an OEM stereo to professional / premium system is good. It is however no where near as good as a properly designed and installed aftermarket system. If you think otherwise, you've not heard a decent system. That said, it does depend on what you're looking for. Personally I like to feel the bass. One major issue with the stock system is that when you have it up loud, the sound is noticeably limited. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it prevents distortion, but it does limit what the system can do.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2011, 08:27 PM
Diver624 Diver624 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerUKF10 View Post
The short answer is no. The trouble with the stock subs is that the enclosure simply isn't large enough. It sits in the floorpans under the front seats. To get a decent low end under 150Hz you need larger speakers with an enclosure to match. To drive larger speakers you need a larger amp. The rated 600w of the system is over exaggerated. It's certainly not 600w RMS. Chances are it's 600W PMPO, which equates to around 150W RMS in total for all speakers. A decent sub woofer needs around 100W RMS. This is nothing to do with how loud it gets. It is to do with the power required to drive a larger cone against a powerful magnet (needed to properly control the cone). I agree that for an OEM stereo to professional / premium system is good. It is however no where near as good as a properly designed and installed aftermarket system. If you think otherwise, you've not heard a decent system. That said, it does depend on what you're looking for. Personally I like to feel the bass. One major issue with the stock system is that when you have it up loud, the sound is noticeably limited. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it prevents distortion, but it does limit what the system can do.
I agree it's not an audiophile system but it's certainly a very good oem one, you probably should not have spent the $ on the professional system and just built a system from scratch but i guess it came in a package.
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2011, 08:35 PM
BMWMsprt BMWMsprt is offline
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I had a Jl audio box installed in my 2008 750 li which had that fiber optic problem. I had installed the high performance jl audio box, jl audio 500/1 amp and a bass control knob. Utilized stock system for highs and mids. Car thumped in a huge way and sounded great. I'm about to do it to my 550.
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2011, 10:30 PM
Houseofpang Houseofpang is offline
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That would be great, I like the hifi a lot but always been a car stereo freak, be interested to see what enhancements can be made.
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2011, 02:08 AM
BimmerUKF10 BimmerUKF10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver624 View Post
I agree it's not an audiophile system but it's certainly a very good oem one, you probably should not have spent the $ on the professional system and just built a system from scratch but i guess it came in a package.
I went for the pro system because I'd rather not have to upgrade everything. All I want to do at the moment is add a sub. Had I gone for the standard issue, I'd probably want to upgrade all the speakers plus the amps too. The pro system was well worth the extra for me.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2011, 02:12 PM
bturkel bturkel is offline
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Any luck on this yet?
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2011, 05:41 PM
rsten2000 rsten2000 is offline
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I am also currently researching this project, and have also come across the dilemma of finding a suitable place to "tap" the input signal for an external amp. As another forum member has previously pointed out, the output of the amplifier (to the subs) is approximately 50 volts peak to peak, which is effectively too high for a normal amplifier input, even with a line voltage regulator. One solution for that could be the use of a voltage divider; I also wanted to look into tapping into the input (fiber) to the amp, with maybe a device having a fiber optic input, and combination fiber optic and RCA/line voltage output. I am extremely interested in both finding a plausible solution, as well as helping anyone to come to a common solution; I already have the subs and amp selected for my system (JL audio) and am checking the forum everyday to see if anyone has made any progress; if anyone would like to email me with suggestions or more info on what I've found so far, my email address is rsten98@gmail.com. By the way, I spoke to several car audio shops here in town (Las Vegas) and they all pretty much said the same thing; if they attempt to connect an external amp to this system, it would VOID THE WARRANTY...something to keep in mind!
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2011, 07:31 PM
rsten2000 rsten2000 is offline
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Can someone please sticky this thread??
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2011, 12:28 AM
BimmerUKF10 BimmerUKF10 is offline
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Time permitting, I'm hoping to continue with my project this weekend, so watch this space for part 2.
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  #13  
Old 04-01-2011, 01:26 AM
rsten2000 rsten2000 is offline
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Okay, I may be way off-base with this suggestion, but what about this; if I remember correctly, you said the F10 amplifier had a fiber-optic digital input. How about if you use a digital audio splitter on the INPUT side of the amp, with two outputs; one for the OEM amp, and one to be used with the new Sub amp. Then, with the digital input for the Sub amp, use a digital-to-analog decoder, which will take a fiber input and yield an RCA left/right output...does this sound like a feasible solution? Here are links to some possible components for this setup:

Digital-Analog Converter:
http://www.ramelectronics.net/audio-...dGEF00232.html

Digital-Analog Decoder:
http://www.ramelectronics.net/audio-...dGTVDD2AA.html

Fiber Optic Splitter:
http://www.ramelectronics.net/audio-...rodPOF810.html

I realized at the last minute that one of these was basically designed for home systems, thus it has an AC power supply with a 5 VDC output, but I'm sure we could find a simple transformer/voltage divider to step-down the voltage from 12 VDC. Just trying to add my input to help us all come to a working solution!
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2011, 01:52 AM
BimmerUKF10 BimmerUKF10 is offline
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Good suggestion, however there are several technical considerations...

1, the connector is proprietry and does not resemble a TOSLINK connector used with the kind of devices your talking about.
2, The fibre will carry multiple channel audio since there would be no way to fade otherwise. It is unlikely that the signal is an industry recognised format such as AC3 or ADAT since these would require royalty payments to the patent holders. Since this is a closed system, there would be no point in paying the royalties so the signal is likely to be proprietary.

Like I say - nice idea, but defenately not worth the hassle pursuing. If I really felt it worthwhile sourcing a line level signal, I would be looking to tap from inside the amplifier after the DA convertors. This probably would also require some form of electronics. Since my aim is simply to add a sub amp there would be no benefit in doing this over utilising the speaker outs on the amp.
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Last edited by BimmerUKF10; 04-01-2011 at 01:53 AM.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2011, 02:12 AM
rsten2000 rsten2000 is offline
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Agreed; so now it's back to finding some type of voltage divider or line voltage regulator. What is the potential signal loss? Do you have anything in mind?
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  #16  
Old 04-01-2011, 03:56 AM
drknisbet drknisbet is offline
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I for one will greatly appreciated a DIY for a subwoofer install. As mentioned by someone before, every day I check to see if someone has posted one. can't wait for it!!
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2011, 08:09 AM
Susoa Susoa is offline
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Back in college, I used to work in the car audio biz. Can't you tap the signal on one of the rear speakers with a RCA kit? Once you tap the signal, run your RCA cables from the kit to the amp.
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  #18  
Old 04-01-2011, 11:58 AM
rsten2000 rsten2000 is offline
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You need to read the entire thread to get caught up on our issues; the signal coming off the amp at the speakers is up to 50 Volts peak to peak; that would blow just about any amp I have ever seen, without some sort of voltage divider or line input adapter; not to mention, all the speaker signals "appear" to have high/low pass filters internally in the amp. I think that is still being determined, but I think that the sub input signal FROM the amp had a bandpass filter, with the low-end rollloff around 170 hz...I would love to see a usable signal with freqs down to at least 30hz, 20 ideally.
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  #19  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:49 PM
Susoa Susoa is offline
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Thanks I'll get right on it!
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:03 AM
BimmerUKF10 BimmerUKF10 is offline
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Happy to report have now finished the install of an additional amp into my F10. Used a FLI line driver which at 38 volts peak to peak was outputting 2.7 volts. This is a transformer based device which is better (and safer) than a resistor based voltage divider.

Using a JL XD series amp. Don't have a decent enough enclosure yet though. Tested the setup with a 10" pioneer sub in a box I had lying around. Doesn't have enough oomf to travel through the F10. Will be trying some different speakers over the coming weeks. At 3 volts into the amp I was getting a perfect sine wave at 101 volts peak to peak on my scope so not troubles there. The only challenge might be getting the new Sub(s) to go low enough since the sub out on the F10's amp rolls off. Will need some electronics if it becomes a problem, but I'll be demoing a few speakers first to see how I get on.

Will try and write part 2 of my install guide this weekend
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  #21  
Old 04-02-2011, 12:35 PM
bturkel bturkel is offline
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Do you have a link on where I can can buy that part or what line driver you recommend in the US. I have the JL 13.1 inch slim with the JL enclosure and a JL 500.1 driving it.
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Last edited by bturkel; 04-02-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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  #22  
Old 04-02-2011, 01:07 PM
BimmerUKF10 BimmerUKF10 is offline
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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B003...936381-7933939
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  #23  
Old 04-02-2011, 01:11 PM
bturkel bturkel is offline
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I know you will post part II - did you use the same output wires in part 1 or did you come off different output wires?
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  #24  
Old 04-02-2011, 01:50 PM
BimmerUKF10 BimmerUKF10 is offline
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Same ones!
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  #25  
Old 04-03-2011, 01:11 AM
Glock 32 Glock 32 is offline
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I just installed mine today using AudioControl LC2i, JL 1000/1v2, JL 12W3v3 in sealed enclosure with 2-ohm final impedance.

Need to hook up a remote turn on lead through a relay once I find the BMW remote turn on lead. Thought signal sensing would do it, but because of the crossover signal sensing for remote turn on will not work as the LC2i only powers on when the bass kicks in due to no (full range) signal all the time. I temp plug and unplug remote turn-on to 12v manually to test and it seems to be working fine.

Now I just need to find a way to keep the GAS DOOR from opening and maybe invest in some dynamat for the trunk...

Things are already rattling loose (found two fasteners for the trunk lining that came out only after a few minutes of use). (hopefully they just were not put back in tight enough though), but the gas door is going to be a problem for sure (that thing flops around big time). I wish the gas door would lock with the door locks like on my older M5's, but with the new (push to spring open gas door) it does not... Might have to overide the gas door lock somehow (e.g. lock with remote turn-on lead or switch in trunk or manually or heck with a relay off the door locks).

Still need to tune, etc. and finish the install, but all is looking good. (I can post some pics of where I grabed power and ground from and the signal wires I grabed further downstream a little closer to the back seat vs. the amp location)...

Thank you BimmerUKF10 for the info on which wires to grab the signal from (I assume red is + and brown is -)? BTW, have you looked into the AudioControl LC2i to handle the input signal? It is supposed to handle 400-watts per channel and restore the bass from factory roll off (but I think it might need a full range signal to do that part effectively which could be done if it ends up needed). The AudioControl LC2i seems to be working great.

You don't think that grabbing the signal like this (e.g. with a line converter after the amp) will adversly impact the final impedance (ohms) on the factory amp significant enough to make the factory amp run hot and/or burnout over time, do you? I assume if the line converter had an effect on the ohms / final impedance, it would be fractional at best (e.g instead of 4ohm maybe 3.9ohm final impedance on the factory amp sub channel) and no problem on to the factory amp?

Last edited by Glock 32; 04-03-2011 at 01:18 AM.
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