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      11-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #1
ReturnZero
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X3 Stereo Upgrade Build

In my past several vehicles I've always done stereo upgrades, and I knew the X3 would be no different. I specifically ordered my X3 with the most basic stereo possible for this reason, and planned out something pretty nice.

Here is the equipment list:

Jehnert 3-Way Flat-Line Speaker Kit (Front)
Jehnert 2-Way Flat-Line Speaker Kit (Rear)
Mosconi AS 100.4 4 Channel Amplifier
Mosconi One 120.2 2 Channel Amplifier
Mosconi 6to8 DSP

The 3-Way kit is for the fronts; 2 speakers in the doors and an 8" driver under each seat. The 2-Way kit is identical to the fronts but without the 8" speakers. The AS 4 channel amp will be used to power the fronts, 2 channels for the doors and 2 channels for the 8" drivers. The other 2 channel amp will be used to power the rears. For the moment, there is no subwoofer in the system - the idea is the two 8" speakers will take on subwoofer duty. We'll see how that goes, we built it in a way that I can add a subwoofer to the system pretty easily if I want it in the future. The DSP will handle EQ duty and everything is connected directly to the low-level outputs from the factory source unit using a plug-and-play harness built by a fellow forum member. Battery in the trunk means no wiring has to be run at all from the trunk anywhere else in the vehicle.

Before I show the photos, a quick thank you to Jacob Brown of High Desert Mobile Electronics for making this possible. He helped plan everything out and then ended up doing the install. Everything went perfectly and - as always - I couldn't be happier with it all.

Without further adieu, here are a few choice photos from the install, with the entire album available at my Flickr album:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8966067...7631929130540/


These are the front and rear door speakers, both the tweeters and mids.


These are the under-seat 8" speakers, which are very thin (the magnet is inverted so they fit in the OEM enclosure).


Here is Jacob working on removing the OEM under-seat speaker. These were actually the easiest speakers to install, they fit right in and were a piece of cake.


Comparison shot of the new under-seat speaker and the old. The OEM speaker was really weird, it was totally inverted, not just the magnet.


Comparison shot of the new mid-range and the OEM one.


Second comparison shot of the new and old mid-range speakers, here is where you can really see the difference.


Here's how we wired the door. In order to get the crossover to fit we had to disassemble it a bit and mount the PDB directly. The wiring swings around the bottom of the door and up to the speakers to connect to everything.


Here's the speaker mounted to the door. We added some felt to the underside of the mounting ring to ensure it has a good seal and doesn't rattle.


This is a shot of the OEM integration harness all wired up and ready to go. This gives us factory remote turn on for all the amps, speaker wires (which are nice, twisted pair wires) and balanced RCA outputs from the source unit. This made the install so easy.


Here is how we mounted all the equipment in the rear. I've never used any of these compartments so I didn't have a problem giving them up, and with the floor down everything is hidden. In this photo, the input RCAs are run as are all the speaker wires.


Here we are with all the power finished along with the remainder of the RCA cables.


First boot-up and we're setting up the DSP using the laptop. The DSP has bluetooth so all adjustments are made wirelessly.


Here's what it looks like all finished, right before the floor goes back in. Everything mounted securely and wired cleanly.
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      11-04-2012, 06:07 PM   #2
Mingstar88
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omg that look so sick......now how can i get this done up here in Canada
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      11-04-2012, 06:39 PM   #3
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Sick now I wish I could upgrade my audio ... How much did it cost you?
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      11-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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Slightly off post- but with a basic audio system x3 is there is a speaker installed under the top of the dashboard grill? I was playing some music the other day and put my hand over the grill and could feel nothing. Is this location used for the BMW audio upgrades?
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      11-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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ReturnZero-Thanks for posting on here and Flickr. Now I don't have to take off the doors! Some comments and questions...

Doesn't really matter if the woofer cone is inverted or not. The sound waves are produced each way, but out of phase to each other.

After reviewing your pictures I couldn't tell for sure if the oem speakers were mounted to the door interior panels (like my E60) or to the door. Which is it? Either way was there enough room for the adapter plate without modifications?

Looks like your installer did a great job. I bet it sounds better, than it even looks!

Thx

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Slightly off post- but with a basic audio system x3 is there is a speaker installed under the top of the dashboard grill? I was playing some music the other day and put my hand over the grill and could feel nothing. Is this location used for the BMW audio upgrades?
Here in the states, the basic system has tweeter/mid in all four doors and woofers under the seats. The premium system has additional speakers in the front under the dash grill and in the very rear.

From what I can gather in Europe you have three systems. The very basic which has single speakers in each door and woofers under the seats, a middle system which is like our basic system and a Dirac premium system whose speaker setup is like our premium setup.
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      11-04-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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How much does it of this cost? Thanks!
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      11-04-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mingstar88 View Post
omg that look so sick......now how can i get this done up here in Canada
If you want it exactly the same you'll have to plan a road trip - otherwise just find a high-end stereo shop in your area and bring your checkbook.

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Originally Posted by mge.92 View Post
Sick now I wish I could upgrade my audio ... How much did it cost you?
A setup like this, including labor for install (depending on the shop of course) will cost around $5500.

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Originally Posted by philtrick123 View Post
Slightly off post- but with a basic audio system x3 is there is a speaker installed under the top of the dashboard grill? I was playing some music the other day and put my hand over the grill and could feel nothing. Is this location used for the BMW audio upgrades?
This is actually interesting. I always thought because I had the most basic stereo that I just had a grille there for cosmetic purposes and no speaker, but after working on it I can say there is definitely a speaker there - it just plays very quietly under normal circumstances. When we were working on the wiring we found wiring in the harness for the center, and we fired it up with none of the other speakers attached and it was making noise. We ended up leaving it unhooked in the new system.

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Originally Posted by Radioactive View Post
ReturnZero-Thanks for posting on here and Flickr. Now I don't have to take off the doors! Some comments and questions...

Doesn't really matter if the woofer cone is inverted or not. The sound waves are produced each way, but out of phase to each other.

After reviewing your pictures I couldn't tell for sure if the oem speakers were mounted to the door interior panels (like my E60) or to the door. Which is it? Either way was there enough room for the adapter plate without modifications?
Thanks!

I know about the inverted cone, was mostly just commenting on how they packaged everything together. I thought it was pretty cool.

The door speakers are unlike all the E series BMWs, and are bolted directly to the door and not the panel. The front doors needed minor modification, namely turning the bolts around that hold the speaker to the adapter ring. The rears needed quite a bit more work, you can see in the Flickr album where we had to cut up the rings quite a bit - those are the rears. Everything still fit, it was only the acrylic ring that needed modification.
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      11-04-2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioactive View Post
From what I can gather in Europe you have three systems. The very basic which has single speakers in each door and woofers under the seats, a middle system which is like our basic system and a Dirac premium system whose speaker setup is like our premium setup.
In Canada, we get that very basic system on the stock 28i
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      11-05-2012, 03:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioactive View Post
From what I can gather in Europe you have three systems. The very basic which has single speakers in each door and woofers under the seats, a middle system which is like our basic system and a Dirac premium system whose speaker setup is like our premium setup.
This is bang on. We call the 2 upgrades: business speakers and professional speakers. You have to get at least business IMO (same as your basic setup in the states). Not liking the basic sound.

Awesome job BTW
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      11-05-2012, 04:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfax View Post
This is bang on. We call the 2 upgrades: business speakers and professional speakers. You have to get at least business IMO (same as your basic setup in the states). Not liking the basic sound.

Awesome job BTW
Usual problem with any optional equipment like this is trying to see/hear/feel the difference before you place the order. With hindsight maybe the 400 for the Business audio package is worthwhile. But how many dealers can offer a demo on the 3 types, std, business and Pro? None?
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      11-05-2012, 05:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philtrick123 View Post
Usual problem with any optional equipment like this is trying to see/hear/feel the difference before you place the order. With hindsight maybe the 400 for the Business audio package is worthwhile. But how many dealers can offer a demo on the 3 types, std, business and Pro? None?
Agree and same for VDC/non-VDC comparison. You can never get to test the options that you most like to test. I was fortunate enough to drive an auto and a manual on the same day at Westfield and see TiAg and SB colours in the flesh. I say fortunate as I was going to buy a manual until i tested the auto
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      11-05-2012, 05:39 AM   #12
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Sorry that we there ReturnZero
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      11-05-2012, 08:41 PM   #13
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Would it be possible/cheaper to just add the dsp and upgraded amp to start? Would the OEMs be able to handle slightly more juice?

By the way awesome setup and a fantastic post!
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      11-06-2012, 02:05 AM   #14
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Would it be possible/cheaper to just add the dsp and upgraded amp to start? Would the OEMs be able to handle slightly more juice?

By the way awesome setup and a fantastic post!
Probably. The original speakers were more impressive than I was expecting if I'm honest, but those magnets are very small. I'm not convinced they could take the power of a big amp without falling apart. I would venture out and say if you were only going to do one, the factory amp isn't bad - replace the speakers and keep the electronics all alone.
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      11-06-2012, 04:59 AM   #15
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The EQ is the biggest problem in these cars...

Get a processor and the worlds your oyster....
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      12-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #16
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how does the stock tweeter and midrange connected to the car ? is there any stock crossover somewhere in the car ?
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      12-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #17
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From what I remember there was a small stock crossover in the door which we removed.
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      12-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #18
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Let's see some more pics of the car! Have a DSB X3MSport on order...
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