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      09-26-2018, 01:55 PM   #1
pcube
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My audio build - upgraded from Top Hifi system

*Warning Ė very long read*

Today I finally completed the upgrade of my entire audio system. It's been a long journey with many hurdles I had to overcome to get it where it is now. I didn't take any pictures of the install, but just thought I would document the whole process here in case someone else decides to go down this same route and needs information.

My E86M originally came with the Top Hifi option aka 10 speaker with Carver subs, but no nav. Final outcome after upgrade is full active front 3-way, rear stage with paired coaxials, and an active sub all controlled via a DSP amp with a 9 inch screen that is capable of music and nav through Android Auto.

Phase 1. Purchased the Alpine Halo9 headunit together with an Audiotec-Fischer Match UP 7BMW amp. The shop that did the install said that this specific amp was necessary to make everything work but at this point I doubt it. Itís probably true if I had retained the stock Business CD stereo, but since I had an aftermarket HU any amp would have worked. The only benefit of this Match unit was that the harness was made to fit the X10266 connector and therefore makes the install very simple. By default, the Match amp will drive the tweeters, kick panel woofers, rear mids and front left mid (total 7 channels). The shop set it up without driving the front left mid which of course made sense. I left the shop pretty happy since I had all the functions I wanted, except I had lost my steering wheel controlsÖ more on this later. The sound quality was improved but nothing fantastic.

Phase 2. Felt I needed more bass, so purchased the Kenwood KSC-SW11 active subwoofer. Install was quite straightforward Ė power and ground leads can be tapped straight from the battery area, audio signal directly via the amp as it has an aux output. Left the unit in the boot for simplicity. Not ideal, as these small active subs are really designed to fit under the seat.

Phase 3. Aftermarket speakers and this is where things got tricky especially since I wanted my front 3-way system back.
Audio Systems X100 BMW PLUS EVO which is a passive tweeter and 8cm midrange system. The passive crossovers that came with it were not used, connected the original tweeter and midrange signal wires directly to the speakers. To make the front mids work, I relocated 4 pins on the X10266 harness to take the signals that were being sent from the amp to the rear mids. The 8cm mids also came with adapters that fit nicely in the stock locations, however for the tweeters I had to do some cutting with a Dremel.
Rainbow SL-W6 woofers replaced the kickpanel speakers. For these I needed to custom-make 15mm MDF spacers, otherwise install was quite straightforward.
Rainbow DL-X6 coaxials to create a rear soundstage. These were installed where the Carver subs used to be with self-tapping screws to drill into the metal mounting plate. The wires for the rear midrange speakers (not the Carver ones which were just there) were then hooked up. At the X10266 harness, tied the L/R rear mids wires together which were previously removed and then hooked it up directly to the last channel on the amp harness. On hindsight, I only needed one of these coaxials since the rear sound stage isn't really that important.
Relocated the active sub to directly behind the driverís seat.
Installed Connects2 CTSBM007.2 for steering wheel controls. I bought this model because the website stated that this was for BMWs with a factory amp, but it initially wouldnít work. I had to remove that extra module it came with and then everything was good. I suspect the CTSBM004.2 would have worked just fine and is much cheaper.
New phone mount setup Ė Brodit Proclip paired with Scosche MagicMount Pro.

Phase 4. With all the hardware in, I moved on to tuning the speakers. Purchased the MiniDSP UMIK-1 calibrated mic and installed Room EQ wizard and Audiotec-Fischer DSP PC tool. I have to say the AF software is incredibly powerful and loaded with functions. EQ was tuned using a JBL house curve as baseline. Iíve got a whole range of house curves in .txt format so if you need them just drop me a message and Iíll email them to you.

Iím very happy with the end result. Contrary to popular belief, a good sound system can actually overcome exhaust/engine/road noise even without any soundproofing done.

Hope this was helpful, if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them. Thanks for reading

Links to all parts:
Alpine Halo9 www.alpine.co.uk/p/Products/SingleView/iLX-F903D
Match UP 7BMW http://www.audiotec-fischer.de/match...aerker/up-7bmw
Scosche fascia plate www.scosche.com/2003-up-bmw-z4-iso-kit
Kenwood KSC-SW11 www.kenwood.com/usa/car/speakers/ksc-sw11/
Audio Systems X100 BMW PLUS EVO http://www.audio-system.de/index.php...tfitsystem/bmw
Rainbow SL-W6 www.rainbow-audio.de/en/speaker/sound-line/
Rainbow DL-X6 http://www.rainbow-audio.de/en/speak...axial-speaker/
Connects2 CTSBM007.2 www.connects2.com/Product/ProductItem/CTSBM004.2
Brodit Proclip www.brodit.com/product.html?id=630530
Scosche MagicMount www.scosche.com/magicmount-pro-dash
MiniDSP UMIK-1 http://www.minidsp.com/products/acou...urement/umik-1

Useful links:
http://www.billswebspace.com/MZ4Subw...stallation.htm
www.billswebspace.com/A18%20Amplifier.htm
http://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e9...10266/HRRTpvpC
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Last edited by pcube; 10-07-2018 at 12:41 AM..
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      10-03-2018, 03:29 PM   #2
Yapakanichi
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Pics or it didn't happen
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      10-04-2018, 11:18 AM   #3
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Haha I'm not about to tear everything apart again just for pics...
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      10-05-2018, 05:25 PM   #4
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Could you post pics of the final product? I'm curious how the screen looks and where you put the sub along with amps.

I've been looking at that head unit and was thinking of a similar install which is why I'm curious.
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      10-07-2018, 12:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garto87 View Post
Could you post pics of the final product? I'm curious how the screen looks and where you put the sub along with amps.

I've been looking at that head unit and was thinking of a similar install which is why I'm curious.
The sub is behind the seat, amp was placed where the old one used to be. Updated my first post with some pics.
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      10-10-2018, 03:51 PM   #6
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So I assume this is blocking vent ?
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      10-10-2018, 03:52 PM   #7
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From alpine the website, it looks like that screen can slide down ?
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      10-10-2018, 03:53 PM   #8
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Just noticed ur not in the US... lol.. I was like the song says one year later...
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      10-10-2018, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsutoratosu View Post
From alpine the website, it looks like that screen can slide down ?
The screen is adjustable slightly up and down but even at the lowest position it still blocks the vents.

Just realised my pic perfectly sums up how erratic the weather in Singapore is - forecasted thunderstorms even though it was hot and sunny at the time...
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      10-11-2018, 10:14 AM   #10
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I get annoyed if its warm.. lol i need the ac on all the time. Tough.. im wondering if you can flip the vent to the lower side, add additional duck to make it work.. lol and have the radio on top
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      10-11-2018, 12:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsutoratosu View Post
I get annoyed if its warm.. lol i need the ac on all the time. Tough.. im wondering if you can flip the vent to the lower side, add additional duck to make it work.. lol and have the radio on top
The vents are not completely sealed off, so it isn't that bad at all. It just takes slightly longer to cool the car.
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      07-10-2019, 02:31 PM   #12
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pcube

Do you have any more photos of the headunit installed? Perhaps some additional angles? I'd also be interested in a shot or two from the backside to show where you have the screen 'set'.
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