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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Not posted much here but I've been taking advantage of your information and advice, so I though it was time to pay a bit back.

Early days yet, but I've made a start on my ICE install. A car as quiet and refined as this deserves a bit of a stereo in my opinion!

Aims:
Stealth - It should look as stock as possible and perform without interfering with my use of the car, in particular the boot space (so no subs/amps in the way when the seats are down. It also has to be dog friendly!

Sound quality - Needs to sound good. Not booming bass, but clarity, presence, and good staging and imaging. I listen to everything from classical guitar to Rock to Herbaliser to Fabric Mixes to Missy Elliot.... anything.

Costs - Cheap as I can while sticking to quality kit. Everything is sourced second hand / cheap as possible but not nicked!

Plans:
Pioneer head unit
Ipod interface
6 Disc CD changer in stock location

DLS Ultimate speakers and Morel MT 23 Tweeters - Fronts only and running active from the head unit.
CDT SQ 820 8" Sub - absolute car audio porn!

And, la piece de resistance - 2 DLS Ultimate amplifiers - an A5 and an A3 Dual mono. So that's 5 channels and around a kilowatt of good clean fun.

The car:


And a taster of some of the kit:


Work so far:
I've installed the head unit, CD changer and Ipod interface box, and run the RCA's down the car. Sorry, no pics, as it's a job I hate and I just have to crack on and get it done. I was very pleased to get the wodge of cabling I needed up behind the head unit and past the gearstick/arm rest though. So many bits of the way BMW put these things together has impressed me, from the re-usable cable tidies to the way the whole dash fascia clips together and yet is rock solid!

More to come as I get down to the nitty gritty of cable runs, mounting amps (surgery required here!) and powering it all up!

.... After I finished the bathroom (says the wife!) :jaw-dropping
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A few more bits done:

A photo to show the RCA routing over the rear seat/wheelarch:


"Deleted" the Spare wheel holder as it was in the way. Didn't enjoy this much!



Made a cardboard template for my amp rack:


Checked everything fits where I want it to:


Half an hour later, I've got a Ply amp rack. :)
 

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looking good so far fella :thumbsup

Will also be keeping an eye on this thread as I want to put a nice install in my Touring too...

keep the pics coming :) Although, I think you might need to move the RCA from around the headrest... might get in the way a bit!! ;)
 

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looking good there mate.

looks like u gonna have a very neat job and not a lot on show, which is always a good thing.....

we need more pics......
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Jeeez! It's been a while. Sorry to leave you all hanging. Things went.... Interesting.

Basically, I did get the preliminary install as above sorted and working except the sub but never properly set up. Then my wife needed the car for a couple of weeks and refused (quite sensibly) to drive it without the spare wheel, so I ripped the amp rack back out and just ran it all off the head unit for a while.

It stayed like that for the last 10 months, and hard times meant I sold half my stuff off, but I kept back enough for a cheeky littlehalf way house install. So, here it is.

First, the amp rack:

Back down to just 3 channels, the Dual Mono was sold to pay for fuel and Olympic tickets. So, the DLS A5 now powers the fronts through the Passive Crossovers either side.
And with power in place:


Sorting out the power:

I love the whole battery in the boot thing. 10 Minutes to do the cabling get power to the amp. 90A fuse holder in place too. Easy.

The front end:

I got lazy. I had plans to build a set of fibreglass kick pods to hold 6.5" component speakers, but it was a huge amount of work and I ran out of time and Mini Eggs. So, here's the compromise: DLS UR5 (ultimate Reference Series) 5.25" components, in the stock locations.

I kept the matted "cup" that the speakers sit in. I tried them with and without, and it sounds so much better with them. I think they work like some kind of aperiodic membrane and give the speaker a bit of a cusion of air to work with.

Drivers Side:

I swear to god I've had this panel out of the car more times than I've turned the ignition key! makes acess to the speaker easier though.

I've skipped the cabling. I hate running cables. These speaker cables run aling the inside of the sills, under the carpet. I cheated. I used a length of plastic 15mm water pipe, fed the cable through it from rear seat squab up to the front footwells, then pulled the pipe back out leaving the cable in place. Worked pretty well and was far easier than pulling the whole carpet, seats etc out. The RCA's run up the middle of the car along with the CD changer cable, past the gearstick.

This shows where the Tweeter cables pop up:


And here are the bad boys connected to them:

Might not mean much to most of you. They're nice. They're also in a very temporary location until I've worked out where they sound best. It'll either be here on the A-pillar:


Or what I really want is to run cables into the door to place them on the Sail panels behind the wing mirrors, for a bit of a better look and hopefully a wider sound stage. I'll play about, hence the long leads to allow a variety of options.

Here's the head unit that powers it all. Missing it's surround at the minute (because you have to slide it in and out to switch it from "passive" to "active" crossover mode). Pioneer P88 RSII. Fits well into the BMW Dash whilst also being very, very trick.


And finally, the Sub:

I had to sell the CDT 8" sub. I'd never got around to building a box for it. Instead I picked up this 10" Coral Electronics sub in a box for well under half what I sold the CDT for. It's also a little bit trick:


It's a Subwoofer one side, with a passive radiator on the other side. It's supposed to give the best of both worlds: The small box size of a sealed box, combined with the tunability and output of a ported box. After a brief test this afternoon I can confirm that it's Effin' Loud!! I'll have to play about with the levels and gains to get it to integrate well, but it's a promising start. You can read more about me tidying it up here on Talk Audio if you want!

So there we have it for now: A Compromised BMW Build with stealth (once I've sorted the tweeters) and sound quality (once I've adjusted everything to taste) and no spare wheel!
 

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Looking good. I did have a Speakon connector (2 pole, maybe 4) from an old install but I'll be buggered if I can find it now. If it turns up I'll chuck it your way.
 

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Got one ta! Thanks for the offer!
That sub is seriously MENTAL! It dropped like a ported 12". I put YouTube - Ludacris "Blueberry Yum Yum" on to test it and damn near blew the doors off with the gain at 7V!

Done enough for one day. Been hectic. Bed!
Ace :) :thumbsup

Having found out just how crap my sound system is at 70MPH with the top down (basically inaudible) I'm doing something with my 4" Mac Audio References in the rear and some Alpine 5.25" components, and possibly a amp refitted out to a class D 4*100W RMS/10%THD/4Ohms beast if it will fit in the chassis mated to the heatsink.

I may need to put in a sub in the ski hole, which will by a pain as my mono amp (and 4CH amp) are long and thin and the access is square and deep.

My little spreadsheet told me today that non-essential purchases for the car just went £200 over the price I paid for the car, with about a grand in in restoration, preventative maintenance and consumable parts which bothers me enough to say enough-is-enough. :hihi:hihi
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Use horns mate.
In the MR2, not only could you hear everything perfectly with the roof out, so could everyone else. In Cheshire. 105 Db/W/m efficiency FTW.
Only kidding. Personally I'd ignore the rears, use just the 4 channel and bridge it for the sub. Fronts are where its at!
 

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Use horns mate.
In the MR2, not only could you hear everything perfectly with the roof out, so could everyone else. In Cheshire. 105 Db/W/m efficiency FTW.
Only kidding. Personally I'd ignore the rears, use just the 4 channel and bridge it for the sub. Fronts are where its at!
Well the Mac Audios have been sitting in the spare room since the A8 was in service for which they were originally destined, so I figured to use them up and get the space back.

Sadly the 4Ch once modded is already bridged to make 4 mono channels from 4 stereo Tripath Class D ICs.

The next step is to see if I can mount any of the amps I've got. The space I am looking at is here, either side of the ski-pass. Fixing the amps to the firewall may be just as difficult as getting a rectangular amp through a square hole. This car doesn't have the pop-up roll hoops, and I don't know how high that cavity is inside.


And these are the amps currently at my disposal.

5 channel digital amp (amps assploded)

(HXA-1000 mono amp)
And a pair a little bit like these that will bridge.


I also have the ability to convert the 4*7W headunit to 4*35W to run a set of rears and add a preout or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've tidyed up the tweeters:


And Moved the ipod into the glove box:


And now I'm just considering how to mount my amps together as I'm trying out running fully active for the second time:


I think I'm going with that first option: more space to work around the sides of the amps for adjusting settings and getting cable runs in and out.
 
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