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Old 05-13-2005, 09:02 AM   #1
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Well, my aftermarket audio system is now complete. Or what I like to think of as a good starting point, since I'm sure I will be making tweaks, upgrades, and adjustments over the months and years.

In my previous thread I explained what I was planning to do and why; if you haven't read it check it out here:

http://forums.e60.net/index.php?showtopic=...5&hl=1800+watts

The total cost turned out to be $9500. The changes that were made from the system described there are thusly:

1. Decided to go with two 12's instead of three 10's for deeper bass. The subs are Arc 12D2's.
2. Decided to ditch the Soundgate parts for an Audiocontrol LC6, a high-end LOC.
3. Decided we had to cut the rear doors as well as the front doors in order to fit all the woofers.

With the base E60 audio I had, there are two amps, one in the front for the speakers, and one in the trunk for the subs. They took the speaker-level output of the front amp and ran it to the trunk into the LC6. I'm not sure if they used the subwoofer amp output or increased the low frequency gain on the front amp output, which is high-passed. Whatever they did it worked, as the subs sound great.

Anyways, here are a few pictures. The full set is in my gallery at:

http://forums.e60.net/index.php?act=module...album&album=272

These are the amps:

Click the image to open in full size.

This is the iPod holder on my dash, from ProClip. The wire is from a Belkin iPod power adapter:

Click the image to open in full size.

This is it with the iPod (the bright white of the iPod confused the flash a bit):

Click the image to open in full size.

This is where the Belkin and the V1 power adapters plug in. (I ran my V1 wires along the side of the trim as described in an excellent post on this board). You can also see that the Belkin has a line audio out, which I connect to my aux input:

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is the aux input:

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is the port cut in the back of the rear console pulldown for the subs (this picture is at 90 degrees):

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is the subwoofer volume control they put near my shifter:

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is a picture of the woofer in the driver's door:

Click the image to open in full size.

This is the woofer in the right rear door (other two doors not shown):

Click the image to open in full size.

The system sounds incredible. The bass hits like a nuclear bomb when the rear console is down, and when it's up, it's very muted, so when I'm carrying rear passengers and want to play music I'm not also making them deaf. The trunk is built like a tank - very little bass leaks outside the car, so I'm going to be waking up any neighbors. Some sound leaks out of the passenger compartment, but not a whole lot. (Unlike subterFUSE, I don't care if people at a stoplight can hear me ).

The sound from the Morels is crystal clear even up past the point where my eardrums would implode. But the real benefit of this much power is not to make your eardrums implode, but to be able to play music with large dynamic range (like a lot of acoustic music) at a good volume without distortion. This sytem can do everything well - rap, techno, jazz, classical, you name it.

The quality of the aux input is great. I've normalized my MP3s to 94 db (audiophiles please don't argue over whether 89db is better, I'm deeply knowledgeable of the pros and cons) and am using the iPod line output as extracted by the Belkin, so there is no problem with insufficient gain.

The biggest concern I had was whether we would be able to get the sound quality we wanted out of the factory amp. I'm happy to say we did. Very little noise is noticeable on anything - substantially less than in my Lexus that had the head unit replaced. Factory head unit EQ seems to be minimal, so I don't think I'll be needing the Cleansweep.

However, I'm considering getting an equalizer installed nonetheless so I can continue to fine-tune things. Test disks indicate that frequency response is good across the board, but perhaps I could tweak the mid-bass up a bit to make the big Morel woofers kick a bit more. To do this they would install an Arc Audio DXE equalizer in the trunk, with a remote control in that useless little cubbyhole under the CD player. This baby is expensive at close to $1600, so before I decide I may RTA the system myself with a laptop, a mic, and the TrueRTA software (can anyone recommend a good mic for this purpose?) to see if EQ is really needed. Maybe there is also a way to customize the EQ presets on the iPod.

I want to plug Kurtis Harville at AMS Car Stereo in Santa Clara (408-248-1111), they did a spectacular job, and were brutally honest about what could and could not be done. If you want to do the same to your E60, give him a call (but please don't take up his time with how-to questions on the phone if you're too far away to use them for the install, they spent two weeks learning this car and aren't about to give away the information for free).

I really, truly implore anyone who's never heard a decent aftermarket system to run to their nearest high-end car audio shop ASAP. You ARE going to have to spend lots of money to install something on a car like the E60, but you already threw down at least $65 grand anyways. If you love music, get it done right.
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:17 AM   #2
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I should also add that in the end we decided to sacrifice access to the spare tire compartment... I was gonna leave the tire out anyways in order to balance the weight added by the new amps and sub box so no great loss.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:35 PM   #3
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Old 05-13-2005, 05:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohalc' date='May 13 2005, 02:35 PM
? ?
[snapback]128145[/snapback]
I decided to order the remote-controlled equalizer. Another $2500 bucks into my hobby, but the Arc Audio DXE is a beaut - fully analog EQ/Crossover with digital controls.

I remind myself constantly that when I've finally done everything to my car that I want done I'm still going to have saved more than twenty grand off the price of an M5.
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merzbow' date='May 13 2005, 02:31 PM
I remind myself constantly that when I've finally done everything to my car that I want done I'm still going to have saved more than twenty grand off the price of an M5.
[snapback]128184[/snapback]
but it'll drive differently, though .
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Old 05-14-2005, 10:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohalc' date='May 14 2005, 01:30 AM
[quote name='Merzbow' date='May 13 2005, 02:31 PM']I remind myself constantly that when I've finally done everything to my car that I want done I'm still going to have saved more than twenty grand off the price of an M5.
[snapback]128184[/snapback]
but it'll drive differently, though .
[snapback]128326[/snapback]
[/quote]

Yeah but with my budget not stretching much, if at all, above $100k, my car will do more than drive, like, say, play music.
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:05 PM   #7
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i don't need any music if i have a m5. i just want to open the windows and enjoy the sound from the exhaust .
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohalc' date='May 14 2005, 04:05 PM
i don't need any music if i have a m5.? i just want to open the windows and enjoy the sound from the exhaust .
[snapback]128551[/snapback]
Bingo!
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:19 PM   #9
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WOW.. nice install man..thats an nice professional installation...just one thing..I would not have installed the remote bass control right on the gear box area... its in plain sight and if you giving the car back to BMW they will def see it... I had mine installed under the steering column.. but otherwise...DAM!!
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2008 535i Alpine White on Black in Manual
Sports Package
Premium Package
Cold Weather Package
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i-Pod Adapter

Mods: All from my previous 525
Mods to come: Active Autowerke XEDE Chip, Active Autowerke Blow off Valve, H&R Sway Bars, Dinan Carbon Strut Brace, HID fogs, RD Sport Roof Wing, Hamann Shift Knob
Mods in the Feature: BBS LM Reps with Black Time Attack, Front Spliter for Hamann Bumper, M5 Rep Mirrors


Gone But Definatly Not Forgoten:
2004 525i Jet Black on Grey Interior---
Tint: Sides 20% Rear Windshield 5% Front Windshield 35%
Wheels: Zenetti Five's 20" by 8.5(front) 20" by 10(rear)--
Tires: Pirelli Asimmetrico 245/35/20(front) 285/30/20(rear)--
Body: Hamann Full Front Spoiler, Rieger Side Skirts, Rieger Rear Apron, AC Schnitzer Trunk Wing
Interior: AC Schnitzer Pedal Set and E-Break
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for the writeup.

For $9500 I would have had them run the Belkin iPod connector inside the dash instead of using black tape. Kind of ghetto. Especially with the rest of the install being nice.
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:48 PM
 
 
 
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