Notes on a 2015 335i with SWS-8Xi Phase II HiFi upgrade - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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Old 12-19-2014, 12:02 PM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Notes on a 2015 335i with SWS-8Xi Phase II HiFi upgrade

Phase I HiFi upgrade in detail in here: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=809167

Phase II purpose is to maximize bass (especially sub bass) but not using a trunk sub. The OEM woofers bass response with 125W RMS is quite improved, midbass is solid, loudness higher at low volume, cabin is better filled with bass. However, that much power and OEM woofer bass is not the perfect combination long term. Any time that the bass in songs goes really deep the OEM woofers start doing what I call the "flapping" at the bottom of its excursion -bass becomes forced and not deep. Most of the music bass regardless of source will sound great with the OEM woofers but those that really call for real, deep bass for impact will not.

Thus the fix: Earthquake SWS-8Xi. What?

You can say anything about the SWS-8Xi. That they are cheap. That they are unbecoming of a BMW. But at the end of the day, if you are not interested in a trunk sub and want sub bass deepness in the cabin then there is no substitute. The price to pay (remember, they are cheap)? They suck in midbass without DSP. But that is not a defect, that is their design. They are fundamentally real subs and not woofers.

This is the install:

Pre-assembled SWS-8Xi with Technic PnP mounting spacer and OEM connector:


Tilt seat backwards (no unplugging of any of the seat modules required), OEM grill removed (Torx T20):


OEM woofer removed and unplugged (Torx T8):


Notice in detail that the F30 OEM woofer enclosure opening diameter is smaller that the traditional opening of the OEM woofer enclosure of past BMW models; spacer fixes this problem with the SWS-8Xi thus no need of modifying enclosure. Also notice that the F30 uses the sealing foam at the OEM woofer enclosure opening and not at the woofer as in the F10 which greatly helps the sealing of the spacer/SWS-8Xi combo:


SWS-8Xi bolted down and plugged in:


OEM grill back in place:


Notes:
1) The amp driving these SWS-8Xi is an Arc Mini KS 125.4 (125W RMS per channel at 2ohms). The Xi version of the SWS-8 was selected to match the 2ohms rating for max power; SWS-8 are not efficient woofers as they need quite a lot of power to move the cone up an down with authority.

A nice feature of the KS125.4 is its Bass Boost feature, up to 15dB of additional boost of the 40Hz-60Hz band. This feature was used at about 5dB level with the OEM woofers to protect them. The SWS-8Xi swap allowed the Bass Boost knob to be cranked up to 12dB.

2) Result: I played Gecko from Oliver Heldens and Becky Hill. Excellent sub bass, bass and midbass in a very dynamic song, so I can feel how the SWS-8Xi reacted to the rest of the speakers, how they keep up. And that is the word... feel.

Whereas the OEM woofers gave a nice, solid "bump" in a song like this the SWS-8Xi goes "buuuuuuuummmmmppppppp". I sat in the rear seats, in the passenger seat, outside the car with the door open, and still that "buuuuummmmpppppp" was there. Everywhere in the cabin. It changed the whole sound system. Of course, the SWS-8Xi is not for everybody, much less for every type of music. Classic music? Forget about it. Mozart was no rapper, sorry. Also, these woofers require tweeters that can be heard clearly over the newfound sub bass. OEM tweeters will not cut it.

But if what you regularly listen to is EDM, Pop, R&B, Rap and even Salsa then there is no substitute for the underseats. You can spend $800 for the Focal underseats and still they will not sound as bass-crazy as these cheapo woofers. The absolute best combination still is a dedicated trunk sub and underseat woofers, but if you do not want to deal with a trunk sub then, well, this is it.

Last edited by Technic; 12-19-2014 at 03:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2014, 07:35 PM
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Great write up!

Curious. How does it sounds outside of car, when it buuuuuuuummmmmppppppp inside?
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Old 12-20-2014, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxway View Post
Great write up!

Curious. How does it sounds outside of car, when it buuuuuuuummmmmppppppp inside?
Let's say that I know when my sister arrives at my house driveway without actually seeing the car by the slight sensation of sound pressure inside the house. Nothing like a big trunk sub but more like the bass reverberation being amplified by hitting the garage door. Seriously.

Otherwise, opening a door and cranking the volume sounds simply loud and clean. Good for enjoying some music while drying the car after washing and pissing the neighbors off. Not that I condone it, but I understand.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:13 PM
xtian xtian is offline
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SWS in an F36 GC

Technic - I have been trolling these threads and your posts are fantastic. I wish I new about them for my first car. Here's what I did to my 2006 e90:

Similar to what you did above, I found this thread here and did almost the same thing. Rather than run new speaker wires, I spliced into the under seat subwoofer speaker wires (the wires from the amp to the speaker by finding a colored wiring harness pic on some other BMW thread) and ran them to an MTX 300XD amp. The beauty with the MTX amp is that is accepted up to a 5V input signal. (No need for the LOC.) Also, the amp senses the signal in the input as its remote turn on. So the amp turned on and off with the car without the need for a remote wire. I replaced the under seat OEM subs with two SWS-8Xi (2 ohm) wired in series. So the MTX amp pushed 200 watts RMS into 4 ohms in bridged mode. It rattled the rocker panels of the car!!

Anyway, I traded in the e90 for a 2015 F36GC (with HIFI). I want to do the same upgrade but don't want to splice into the OEM wiring. I have seen many of your wiring harnesses (e.g. here) and was wondering if you have or could build one for the F36 HIFI? I am going to recycle the same equipment (MTX sub and SWS) and I want to do is to be able to get to the signal of the under seat woofers to send to the MTX without cutting into the OEM wires. Do you think it is possible to build such a harness?

If you think I should move this to a new thread or PM you, please let me know. (I'll have to figure out the PM thing)

NB. Do you know the part numbers of the OEM speaker connectors you show in your pics?

Thanks
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:48 PM
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tweeters

Thanks Technic
Just so I didn't miss something. Did you say if I have an OEM unit, upgrade to these earthquake sub woofers, I should replace the tweeters as well?
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:33 PM
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The HiFi system connection is the same in all variants of the F3x chassis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtian View Post
Technic - I have been trolling these threads and your posts are fantastic. I wish I new about them for my first car. Here's what I did to my 2006 e90:

Similar to what you did above, I found this thread here and did almost the same thing. Rather than run new speaker wires, I spliced into the under seat subwoofer speaker wires (the wires from the amp to the speaker by finding a colored wiring harness pic on some other BMW thread) and ran them to an MTX 300XD amp. The beauty with the MTX amp is that is accepted up to a 5V input signal. (No need for the LOC.) Also, the amp senses the signal in the input as its remote turn on. So the amp turned on and off with the car without the need for a remote wire. I replaced the under seat OEM subs with two SWS-8Xi (2 ohm) wired in series. So the MTX amp pushed 200 watts RMS into 4 ohms in bridged mode. It rattled the rocker panels of the car!!

Anyway, I traded in the e90 for a 2015 F36GC (with HIFI). I want to do the same upgrade but don't want to splice into the OEM wiring. I have seen many of your wiring harnesses (e.g. here) and was wondering if you have or could build one for the F36 HIFI? I am going to recycle the same equipment (MTX sub and SWS) and I want to do is to be able to get to the signal of the under seat woofers to send to the MTX without cutting into the OEM wires. Do you think it is possible to build such a harness?

If you think I should move this to a new thread or PM you, please let me know. (I'll have to figure out the PM thing)

NB. Do you know the part numbers of the OEM speaker connectors you show in your pics?

Thanks
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butty View Post
Thanks Technic
Just so I didn't miss something. Did you say if I have an OEM unit, upgrade to these earthquake sub woofers, I should replace the tweeters as well?
My suggestion for the F3x HiFi is in 2 parts:
1. replace OEM amp and front component set
2. if more bass is required but no trunk sub then replace underseat woofers with SWS-8 after part 1.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:45 PM
butty butty is offline
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Thanks for that. Now I got it.
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