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      03-03-2012, 12:46 AM   #1
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Experiment: Coding Amps. Code your E86 amp to E85 amp specs for improved stock sound

Edit 09/16/12:
In Post #60, Pungo posts the E85 Amp Coding. This code can be used to recode an E86 amp to get the better sound that E85's exhibit.

-------------------

Edit 04/17/12:
Having successfully swapped amps with an e85 roadster, its been pretty clear that there is an improvement in the clarity, volume, and bass levels in the e86 coupe stock system. Much of this is outlined in this thread.

--------------------
03/03/12:

Looking for anyone local to tri-state NE area willing to help me code my current E86 amp to their E85 Roadster with Top Hifi audio:

Would pay for all costs and compensate for your time. Would need to put my amp in your e85 and then have dealer code it.
-OR-
Would need someone who thinks they can recode an amp while it still in an e86 so its coded the same way an e85 amp would be as if its sitting in an e85.
(If the latter works and it makes my system come alive, that could help a lot of coupe owners with crappy sound, and possibly become a good reason to go out and recode other amps and get paid something for it)

Could be done in an afternoon. Willing to travel.

This Thread explains it all and is quite interesting:
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=611528


EDIT: A forum member with a spare e85 amp has agree'd to help me with this, loaning me the extra amp. If it works, we have worked out a swap arrangement for my current amp and some cash. And probably confirmed how to improve our E86 crappy stock stereos. Excellent! This community continues to impress me. I look forward to seeing if I can get my stereo to come alive with a simple coding swap.
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Last edited by gtMc; 09-16-2012 at 09:17 AM.. Reason: update
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      03-07-2012, 03:41 AM   #2
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Excellent! Keep us posted.
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      03-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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Good Luck with the experiment!
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      03-07-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Thanks! the E85 amp arrives this evening. I will get to install it in the coupe this Sunday (traveling until then), and will promptly post the results for all.

I have the patience of a Horsefly - and already broke one of my fasteners trying to get the back panel off. Anyone local that has done this and wants to join me... free beers for you, just pm....
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      03-07-2012, 11:45 PM   #5
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Hope it works out for you. If my system in my roadster was still stock I'd help you out.
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      03-11-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elerner61 View Post
Hope it works out for you. If my system in my roadster was still stock I'd help you out.
Thx- If you have the old stock amp lyin around, thatd be good to know for the future.
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      03-11-2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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Update. Got the E85 amp into the back of the car today. Install was quite easy. The quick answer: It makes a BIG difference, and there is a BIG improvement. This is a great, cheap solve.

The more winded version:
Before doing the swap, I listened to 4 different songs, each thru the CD player and also thru my ipod via the aux jack. My neighbor and my wife also listened taking turns in passenger seat. SO, our baseline is now in our heads.

Then I swapped the E85 amp into my E86, and listened to them all again.

I did this three times, with doors/hatch closed, engine off, DSP set to Jazz (recall I have no navi), bass flat, treble +3 clicks, balance/fade all neutral, and speed volume control set at 1.

Each time, we all noticed the same changes. Much clearer, harder hitting, virtually no fluttering or "blown speaker cone" sounds, and overall capable of much louder volumes and while staying remarkably clear. I will say with this E85 amp, its now one of the better if not the best sounding stock system I have heard in a BMW.... with my wifes X3 with underseat subs also ranking right up there. (I havent hear an Alpina B7 to comp, sorry). I know, it's still not a $4000 aftermarket system. But it sounds darn good and very impressive.

My expectations were high, and I didnt want to be swayed by a hope or placebo effect, hence bringing 2 more listeners in and doing it 3 times over. Bear in mind I'm not an intense audiophile or a pro-critic, just someone looking for a good sounding system, and this did the trick.

MHeavNC's thread "working with carver subs" (link above) explains it all, he's the one who stumbled on this - well done man!
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      03-11-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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That's great, congrats! So the coding changes EQ settings, crossovers, etc?

Funny that BMW would change the tuning. Don't any of those Germans have a good set of ears? Geez You would think they would take 20 minutes to listen to their programming selection....

Chris
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      03-11-2012, 09:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFoote View Post
That's great, congrats! So the coding changes EQ settings, crossovers, etc?

Chris
well... MHeavNC and I both suspect the coding change in the 2 amps isn't EQ or crossover related, but rather its power output related. With that bieng said, I know very little about this technical stuff other than the basics, and have no way to technically prove what the actual coding difference really is. I'm not sure what altering crossovers would do, or if perhaps they can just divert more wattage to the subs, but I do know the resulting change is noticable.

Is it possible to electronically limit the output of an Amp? For example similar to the way you'd limit top speed of a car?
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      03-11-2012, 11:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtMc View Post
Update. Got the E85 amp into the back of the car today. Install was quite easy. The quick answer: It makes a BIG difference, and there is a BIG improvement. This is a great, cheap solve.

The more winded version:
Before doing the swap, I listened to 4 different songs, each thru the CD player and also thru my ipod via the aux jack. My neighbor and my wife also listened taking turns in passenger seat. SO, our baseline is now in our heads.

Then I swapped the E85 amp into my E86, and listened to them all again.

I did this three times, with doors/hatch closed, engine off, DSP set to Jazz (recall I have no navi), bass flat, treble +3 clicks, balance/fade all neutral, and speed volume control set at 1.

Each time, we all noticed the same changes. Much clearer, harder hitting, virtually no fluttering or "blown speaker cone" sounds, and overall capable of much louder volumes and while staying remarkably clear. I will say with this E85 amp, its now one of the better if not the best sounding stock system I have heard in a BMW.... with my wifes X3 with underseat subs also ranking right up there. (I havent hear an Alpina B7 to comp, sorry). I know, it's still not a $4000 aftermarket system. But it sounds darn good and very impressive.

My expectations were high, and I didnt want to be swayed by a hope or placebo effect, hence bringing 2 more listeners in and doing it 3 times over. Bear in mind I'm not an intense audiophile or a pro-critic, just someone looking for a good sounding system, and this did the trick.

MHeavNC's thread "working with carver subs" (link above) explains it all, he's the one who stumbled on this - well done man!

" I will say with this E85 amp, its now one of the better if not the best sounding stock system I have heard in a BMW"

I agree, on it being one of the best stock systems period. If you think it sounds good with the setting at "jazz", you should here it with DSP and the adjustable 7 band graphics properly adjusted. I ran sweep tones in my car and used a DB meter and made adjustments and got the thing sounding exceptionally good. The only thing it's missing in my car (after the BSW stage one upgrade) is a little more clean power for 70 MPH cruising with the top down. Up to about 50MPH top down around town though, it rocks! I listen to classic rock, rock, jazz and blues, so the bottom end is fine for me.............. hits just fine for those genres.............. would I like a little more bottom? Sure, but I'm hoping BSW comes out with an upgraded 6.5" woofer for the kick panel that is a little tighter and more musical with equal or better efficiency sometime soon......... that should help round out things some.
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      03-12-2012, 12:09 AM   #11
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DSP_E85.C02 module values

Here is the dump of the values for the DSP module functions. E85-DSP_E85.C02-ModuleFunctions.txt

Here is the trace from my 2007 E86 top hifi DSP module. DSP from E86.txt

There is also 8 different values for DSP_ACOUSTIC_PROFILE in the TCU module. E85-TCU_IBUS.C05-TraceFunctions.txt

Some stuff is translated from German, some stuff is not. These modules look like they can be recoded with different values, but I have not played with changing any yet. I can see a difference in coding between E85 and E86. I use NCS Expert to read and code modules. I don't know if it helps this post in any way.
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      03-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #12
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Very interesting. My coupe sounded crappy with the subwoofers, so I took them out and it sounded significantly better. I also noticed a degradation in sound quality as my first battery neared the end of its life. It would all point towards a lack of power to the woofers in the coupes that causes the poor audio quality. Wonder if it would be worth looking into the e85 coding and replacing the subwoofers.
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      03-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
I can see a difference in coding between E85 and E86. I use NCS Expert to read and code modules. I don't know if it helps this post in any way.
I would be curious what the difference in coding is that you are seeing -translates to in laymans terms.
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      03-12-2012, 05:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtMc View Post
I would be curious what the difference in coding is that you are seeing -translates to in laymans terms.
You'll need to look through the files I provided. Some values in my car = E86, some have E83, E85 and E86. Maybe the E85 value tells the DSP to increase bass frequencies since the convertible top may absorb some of the bass? I would try to code the E86 values with E85 values and listen to the difference. Maybe even use a SPL meter and record the change.
Here's an example:

ECKFREQUENZ_LOUDNESS
e86
PEGELADAPTION
e86
HECKDELAY
e85
e86
FILTERBAENKE1
e86
FILTERBAENKE2
e86
FILTERBAENKE3
e86
FILTERBAENKE4
e86
FILTERBAENKE5
e86
FILTERBAENKE6
e86
FILTERBAENKE7
e86
FILTERBAENKE8
e86
FILTERBAENKE9
e86
FILTERBAENKE10
e86
FILTERBAENKE11
e86
FILTERBAENKE12
e86
FILTERBAENKE13
e86
FILTERBAENKE14
e86
FILTERBAENKE15
e86
FILTERBAENKE16
e86
FILTERBAENKE17
e86
FILTERBAENKE18
e86
FILTERBAENKE19
e86
FILTERBAENKE20
e86
FILTERBAENKE21
e86
FILTERBAENKE22
e86
FILTERBAENKE23
e86
FILTERBAENKE24
e86
FILTERBAENKE25
e86
FILTERBAENKE26
e86
FILTERBAENKE27
e86
FILTERBAENKE28
e86
FILTERBAENKE29
e86
FILTERBAENKE30
e86
FILTERBAENKE31
e86
FILTERBAENKE32
e86
FILTERBAENKE33
e86
FILTERBAENKE34
e86
FILTERBAENKE35
e86
FILTERBAENKE36
e86
FILTERBAENKE37
e86
FILTERBAENKE38
e86
FILTERBAENKE39
e86
FILTERBAENKE40
e86
FILTERBAENKE41
e86
FILTERBAENKE42
e86
FILTERBAENKE43
e83
e85
e86
FILTERBAENKE44
e83
e85
e86
FILTERBAENKE45
e86
FILTERBAENKE46
e86
FILTERBAENKE47
e85
e86
FILTERBAENKE48
e86
FILTERBAENKE49
e86
FILTERBAENKE50
e86
FILTERBAENKE51
e86
FILTERBAENKE52
e85
e86
FILTERBAENKE53
e86
FILTERBAENKE54
e85
e86
FILTERBAENKE55
e86
CID
aktiv
EMPF_STATUSMELD
anfrager
GAE_TABELLE
e86
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      03-12-2012, 06:43 PM   #15
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Great stuff!! All I know is that me and gtMc are very happy with the results using an amp coded to an e85.. If you can find the difference in how the amp handles navi vs non navi,.... I may have a little project for you.. Right now I have an amp in my M Coupe that is coded to a e85 non navi system.. It sounds awesome but the DSP settings and EQ don't change the sound at all.. As a side note, if you install an amp coded for a navi system in a non navi car, the DSP presets don't work.. They don't even show up on the head unit....
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      03-12-2012, 07:28 PM   #16
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Pungo - thanks for posting that data. I'll look at those links you provided over the weekend and see if I can make heads or tails of it all (I have to travel again from now until then, but will look at it). So far you are the first to actually identify real differences in coding between the E86 and E85 version of the same amp. Unless we missed it in another thread somewhere. Thanks.

The other annoying part is that the dealerships claim to MHeavNC that one cannot recode an E86 amp to E85 specs, unless that amp is sitting in a vehicle that is an E85 VIN number.
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      03-12-2012, 07:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MHeavNC View Post
All I know is that me and gtMc are very happy with the results using an amp coded to an e85..
I'd be very curious if anyone else out there is also able to pull off a temporary amp swap, to see if they experience a difference too. I dont want to oversell the results to anyone, but Its a noticeable difference from what I can tell.
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      03-12-2012, 08:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MHeavNC View Post
Great stuff!! All I know is that me and gtMc are very happy with the results using an amp coded to an e85.. If you can find the difference in how the amp handles navi vs non navi,.... I may have a little project for you.. Right now I have an amp in my M Coupe that is coded to a e85 non navi system.. It sounds awesome but the DSP settings and EQ don't change the sound at all.. As a side note, if you install an amp coded for a navi system in a non navi car, the DSP presets don't work.. They don't even show up on the head unit....
That makes sense since the NAV = not active in the DSP module.

CID CENTRAL INFORMATION DISPLAY (CID) NAVIGATION,BORDMONITOR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtMc View Post
The other annoying part is that the dealerships claim to MHeavNC that one cannot recode an E86 amp to E85 specs, unless that amp is sitting in a vehicle that is an E85 VIN number.
The dealer may be telling you the truth. The software they use is much different than what I'm using. The s/w I'm using is for engineering and not used by the dealer. It's much harder to code with and will allow you to do dumb stuff that doesn't even make sense or work, but that is what you need to make the changes you want. You have to edit the files to make changes and there is no error checking. It may even be possible to brick the module.
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      03-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
That makes sense since the NAV = not active in the DSP module.

CID CENTRAL INFORMATION DISPLAY (CID) NAVIGATION,BORDMONITOR
not active



The dealer may be telling you the truth. The software they use is much different than what I'm using. The s/w I'm using is for engineering and not used by the dealer. It's much harder to code with and will allow you to do dumb stuff that doesn't even make sense or work, but that is what you need to make the changes you want. You have to edit the files to make changes and there is no error checking. It may even be possible to brick the module.
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      03-13-2012, 03:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by shakib View Post
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post #11 NCS
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      03-16-2012, 12:38 AM   #21
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If someone with a E85 could get a trace file from their DSP module using NCS Expert I could use NCS Dummy to show the differences between a E85 and my E86 and save the output. That will show us exactly what is different between the 2 cars. Though by looking at my E86 trace file, it looks obvious what the differences probably are.

I translated a few of the German words that may make a difference in loudness.

This is the factory coding on my E86:
GERADESTEIGUNG_LOUDNESS = JUST PITCH LOUDNESS value = E83 E86
ECKFREQUENZ_LOUDNESS = CUTOFF FREQUENCY value = E86
PEGELADAPTION = LEVEL ADAPTATION value = E86

Also almost every FILTERBAENKE1 through FILTERBAENKE55 is set to E86 for my E86 DSP module. Allowed values are E83, E85 and E86.

I guess I could change every value that is E86 to E85 and recode the DSP with the E85 values and listen to how it sounds. It would only take a few minutes to switch between E85 and E86 coding modes.

If I can find what function makes the bass louder and just code that while leaving all the other function setting alone, then this hybrid coding may make the system sound even better than just changing the all the coding of the E86 DSP to E85. I'm sure the acoustics of E85 vs E86 are much different. The BMW engineers have those 55 FILTERBAENKE to play with. I would really like to know details about those 55 FILTERBAENKE.
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      03-16-2012, 08:41 AM   #22
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Keep us updated pungo!! Very cool info!!
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