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      09-11-2019, 01:42 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by johnung View Post
Then I was wondering if I can run four pairs of speaker wires to the underseat subs. Two pairs would connect to the woofer outputs coming from the OEM amp and the the other two pairs would connect the outputs on the Kenwood amp to the new Earthquake subs. (Maybe someone sells OEM style connectors to make the installation clean?). Of course I'd have to figure out how to take interior pieces apart to figure out the best way to run the wires.
Technicpnp has harnesses that allow you to intercept the high level signal going to underseat woofers. They have both just the wiring or a kit with line output converter.

http://technicpnp.com/product-catego...fi-option-688/
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      09-11-2019, 10:22 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
I'd rather two channels working half as hard. The H-K woofers are nominal 4 ohms. You could use a converter to get a line voltage to drive the amp, but it's the same thing as the high level input of the amp. Finding accurate specs on the H-K amp is like herding cats. You would want to run the external amp level high, and keep the bass EQ on the iDrive flat. Each 6dB of EQ boost doubles the amp output voltage, so get the output you want with the external amp, not EQ.
I think I've come up with a simple solution that checks off all my requirements for an underseat subwoofer upgrade. I say simple because it will not require any special harness from TechnicPnP, and it won't require a separate Line Out Converter.

The only two types of components needed are:

(2) Earthquake SWS-8Xi 8" 2-ohm subwoofers to replace the two underseat subwoofers. (also a pair of inexpensive 1/4" Earthquake installation rings part# R8SWS)

AudioControl ACM-2.300 2-channel amplifier
150watts x 2 @ 2-ohms
Small size at 9 1/2"w X 3 9/16"d X 1 7/8"h
This amp has built-in 40v speaker line inputs so no separate LOC is required.
It provides 2 separate 150watt channels to power the 2-ohm Earthquake subwoofers.

I'm meeting with a local professional installer to review/plan. Ideally the amp will be installed in the trunk where there is easy access to the battery. The existing underseat wires to the subwoofers will be redirected to the speaker line input ports on the amp. New speaker wires will connect to speaker output ports on the amp and will be run to the new Earthquake subwoofers under the front seats.

Hopefully it will all come together and make for an excellent audio upgrade.
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      09-12-2019, 07:01 AM   #201
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The first time you fire it up only connect one woofer. With the radio playing plug in the second woofer. The bass level should go up. If it goes down you need to reverse the connection to that woofer.
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      09-12-2019, 08:51 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
The first time you fire it up only connect one woofer. With the radio playing plug in the second woofer. The bass level should go up. If it goes down you need to reverse the connection to that woofer.
Thanks for the tip!
I think I'm going to go with the TechnicPnP spacers in the photo. It with preserve the stock BMW underseat subwoofer connectors.

But instead of the red & black leads being connected to the new Earthquake subs, they will be connected to a cable that runs to the speaker level inputs on the new bass amp. That will keep the polarity correct, at least up to that point. Then another cable from the bass amp speaker outputs will connect to the Earthquake subs.

I'm looking for ideas as to where to mount the new bass amp. I don't want it in the compartment under the trunk floor since that already contains my go-flat tire tools: scissor jack, breaker bar, tools and Slime 8-minute compressor.

I'm thinking the area on the left inside the trunk near where the stock amp is located. Challenges always to keep it secure, avoid heat buildup and keep it clean/neat without exposed wires. Any ideas are appreciated!
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Last edited by johnung; 09-12-2019 at 09:10 AM..
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      09-12-2019, 09:17 AM   #203
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I'd be inclined to go with new wires to the woofers. The increase in power, and more important the increase in current due to not only the added power but also the lower impedance drivers, could overheat the OEM wires. When working on mine I noticed that the speaker wiring, especially to the woofers, was borderline on gauge, probably to minimize weight. To be safe the woofers should be wired with 14 gauge. I didn't measure them, but just eyeballing them the OEM wires appear to be no more than 16 gauge, possibly only 18 gauge. 18 gauge is OK with 50 watts into 4 ohms, but not 150 into 2 ohms.

Also, I think you should do a new thread about your installation. It would be very beneficial to the community.

Last edited by Billfitz; 09-12-2019 at 09:23 AM..
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      09-12-2019, 01:40 PM   #204
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@Billfitz.

I didnít think I should start a new thread but figured this thread was close enough to ask you. I need to get rid of some best buy cards and was looking at powered subwoofers. This one is small and should fit in the area behind the back seat (f33). Would all I need to do is hook an rca cable from my amp (Revenant) to the powered subwoofer, then hook the amp to battery (with inline fuse) and I should be good to go??

Iíve never done this before. Hooking up the amp (plug and play) is the most Iíve done on the BMW. Iíve installed in dash radios in older cars but that was 20 years ago.

Powered subwoofer


Back of amp


Iím just trying to add a little more low end to the car. Unless you can recommend something else that fits in the hole. I would leave the interior door to the trunk open for airflow. Or should I just replace the underseat speakers with bavsound ghost speakers and use my best buy gift cards on something else?

Thank you!
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      09-12-2019, 01:52 PM   #205
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Judging by the size of it I don't see it adding to what you already have. I've never seen any data to indicate that the Ghosts are better than the stock woofers. Their claim of 10dB louder than OEM is dubious at best, if not downright false.
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      09-12-2019, 02:15 PM   #206
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Thanks for the insight! Iíll just be happy with it the way it is. Iím giving the car to my daughter for her 18th next year and will concentrate on my next car. Unless she does something wrong. Lol.
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      09-12-2019, 08:25 PM   #207
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Under-seat Subwoofer Reviews

Thanks for the heads up! I was foolishly assuming that BMW would have used as least 14 gauge wire to the original subwoofers under the front seats.

Below is the current routing plan in my head for the subwoofer signals. This is X2 since there will be two upgraded underseat subwoofers, each wired independently.

1) OEM Amp (H/K TopHifi #688) outputting roughly 50 watts.

2) OEM 16/18 gauge wire pair from trunk to under front seat

3) OEM speaker-wire connector plugs wire pair into OEM-style speaker connector on SWS-8 subwoofer spacer ring from TechnicPNP.

4) Red & Black pigtails from spacer ring are spliced to new 12/14 gauge wire pair that carries the 50 watt signal back to the trunk.

5) AudioControl ACM-2.300 Amp- wire pair connects 50 watt signal to this bass amp's speaker level inputs.

6) Amp's speaker outputs connect to new 12/14 gauge wire pair to run 150 watt signal from trunk to under front seat.

7) Earthquake SWS-8Xi subwoofer (2-ohm) mounted in OEM subwoofer's original position is connected to the 150 watt signal wire pair.

This plan will eliminate any wire gauge issue with the 150 watts to 2-ohm speakers. But might there be an issue with extending the 50 watt signal already on the OEM 16/18 gauge wire from the front seats back to the trunk by splicing on a piece of 14 gauge wire to get the signal back to the new bass amp?

I will definitely take photos and write it up.
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      09-12-2019, 09:16 PM   #208
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You don't need 12/14 gauge to carry the signal to the new amp, though it won't bother anything if you do. I'd think it would be easier, at least as far as routing goes, to take the input to the new amp from back in the trunk, cutting the wires leading from the OEM amp to the OEM drivers there, splicing to them to feed the inputs of the new amp. The hard part would be identifying which wires are which, but you should be able to do so by the wire jacket color coding.
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      09-13-2019, 07:25 AM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
You don't need 12/14 gauge to carry the signal to the new amp, though it won't bother anything if you do. I'd think it would be easier, at least as far as routing goes, to take the input to the new amp from back in the trunk, cutting the wires leading from the OEM amp to the OEM drivers there, splicing to them to feed the inputs of the new amp. The hard part would be identifying which wires are which, but you should be able to do so by the wire jacket color coding.
Oh, good. So you don't foresee any issue with extending that OEM 50 watt subwoofer signal back to the trunk, i.e. no signal loss, etc. I was trying to come up with an implementation design that would be simple and could be easily reverted back to stock.

I considered cutting the wires in the trunk. Then I saw that Technicpnp sells plugin BMW harnesses. Their website is a little sparse on details so I couldn't tell from their photos and descriptions if they have what I need. I sent them a couple of emails asking if they have a harness that splits out the two pairs that feed the subwoofers. They keep replying with generic responses that tell me to refer to their website. I've read forum remarks that Technicpnp has good tech support but I haven't seen a phone number to call and haven't been able to get a real response by email.

When I saw the Technicpnp spacer rings for the Earthquakes that had the OEM speaker cable connector receptacles, I realized that I could connect the upgraded subs and new sub amp without cutting into any of the OEM wiring. It could easily revert back to the stock configuration and stock subs at any time. Since two wire pairs need to be run from the trunk to the front seats for the 150 watt signals to the Earthquakes, there's minimal labor to run four pairs instead of two. I could even just run two cables that have two pairs each, if you don't think that there would be any issues like crosstalk if a one pair in the same cable is carrying the 50 watt signal and the other pair in the same cable is carrying the 150 watt signal?
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      09-13-2019, 08:01 AM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeikei View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
Then I was wondering if I can run four pairs of speaker wires to the underseat subs. Two pairs would connect to the woofer outputs coming from the OEM amp and the the other two pairs would connect the outputs on the Kenwood amp to the new Earthquake subs. (Maybe someone sells OEM style connectors to make the installation clean?). Of course I'd have to figure out how to take interior pieces apart to figure out the best way to run the wires.
Technicpnp has harnesses that allow you to intercept the high level signal going to underseat woofers. They have both just the wiring or a kit with line output converter.

http://technicpnp.com/product-category/3-series-f3x/top-hifi-option-688/
I was trying to understand the Technicpnp website to figure out which of their harnesses might split out the subwoofer speaker outputs for me. I didn't get a specific answer from their tech support.

Do you know? I have the Harmon/Kardon system in my F30 which is referred to as "Top Hifi" or "BMW Option 688". Any information on which harness might work is appreciated.
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      09-13-2019, 08:21 AM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
You don't need 12/14 gauge to carry the signal to the new amp, though it won't bother anything if you do. I'd think it would be easier, at least as far as routing goes, to take the input to the new amp from back in the trunk, cutting the wires leading from the OEM amp to the OEM drivers there, splicing to them to feed the inputs of the new amp. The hard part would be identifying which wires are which, but you should be able to do so by the wire jacket color coding.
Oh, good. So you don't foresee any issue with extending that OEM 50 watt subwoofer signal back to the trunk, i.e. no signal loss, etc. I was trying to come up with an implementation design that would be simple and could be easily reverted back to stock.

I considered cutting the wires in the trunk. Then I saw that Technicpnp sells plugin BMW harnesses. Their website is a little sparse on details so I couldn't tell from their photos and descriptions if they have what I need. I sent them a couple of emails asking if they have a harness that splits out the two pairs that feed the subwoofers. They keep replying with generic responses that tell me to refer to their website. I've read forum remarks that Technicpnp has good tech support but I haven't seen a phone number to call and haven't been able to get a real response by email.

When I saw the Technicpnp spacer rings for the Earthquakes that had the OEM speaker cable connector receptacles, I realized that I could connect the upgraded subs and new sub amp without cutting into any of the OEM wiring. It could easily revert back to the stock configuration and stock subs at any time. Since two wire pairs need to be run from the trunk to the front seats for the 150 watt signals to the Earthquakes, there's minimal labor to run four pairs instead of two. I could even just run two cables that have two pairs each, if you don't think that there would be any issues like crosstalk if a one pair in the same cable is carrying the 50 watt signal and the other pair in the same cable is carrying the 150 watt signal?
Other amps met the specs that I'm looking for but their large size complicates the installation. Right now the top amp contender is the AudioControl ACM-2.300. It's only about 9 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 1 3/4" high.

I made a cardboard mock-up to check the size in the trunk. I'd like to possibly mount it in the same area on the left corner of the trunk above the OEM amp. Please see photos. It will fit perfectly inside the perimeter of the plastic tray, probably using some Velcro strips to hold it down securely.

Another option might be to mount it up on the trunk side wall. The unit only weighs 1.3 lbs (21 oz) plus the wiring leading up to it would provide additional stability. Not sure if Velcro would be enough or if there is a better mounting method, maybe with a backing plate or wood plate behind the grey trunk sidewall. Not sure how difficult it is to remove that grey trunk sidewall piece to see what's behind it and maybe mount a backing plate of some kind.
Any advice is appreciated!
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      09-13-2019, 08:22 AM   #212
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Cross talk isn't a concern with speaker level connections. The connection from the OEM amp to the sub amp won't carry 50 watts. It may worst case carry 20 volts. I would expect the input impedance of the sub amp to be at least 40 ohms, probably more, possibly a lot more. 20 volts into 40 ohms is 10 watts.
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      09-13-2019, 10:05 AM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
I was trying to understand the Technicpnp website to figure out which of their harnesses might split out the subwoofer speaker outputs for me. I didn't get a specific answer from their tech support.

Do you know? I have the Harmon/Kardon system in my F30 which is referred to as "Top Hifi" or "BMW Option 688". Any information on which harness might work is appreciated.
The harnesses that they have meant to be used in your situation are these:

Logic7/HK/EPS/Individual Audio/Bang & Olufsen/Bowers & Wilkins add-a-sub T-Harness

Logic7/HK/EPS/Individual Audio/Bang & Olufsen/Bowers & Wilkins add-a-sub harness w/LOC-X

The harness is connected between the factory amp and its connector, exposing the subwoofer lines for you. The latter package includes also the LOC.
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      09-13-2019, 10:15 AM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
Cross talk isn't a concern with speaker level connections. The connection from the OEM amp to the sub amp won't carry 50 watts. It may worst case carry 20 volts. I would expect the input impedance of the sub amp to be at least 40 ohms, probably more, possibly a lot more. 20 volts into 40 ohms is 10 watts.
Excellent!
The ACM-2.300 amp has a Linkwitz-Riley selectable crossover with 3 choices at 12 dB/octave: 1) 80 Hz, 2) 120 Hz, or 3) Bypass. Their manual says to pick the one that matches up with the specs of the speaker being connected.

The Earthquake SWS-8Xi has the specs as shown in the attached photo from their installation manual. This is too deep for me. Which crossover setting makes the most sense?
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      09-13-2019, 10:30 AM   #215
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The low pass frequency is based on how low the midranges go. 120Hz is what you'd use. If you're tapping the output of the OEM amp you may not need to use the low pass at all, as the signal from the OEM amp to the woofers is already low passed. Try it at 120Hz and bypassed, go with whichever sounds better.
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      09-13-2019, 10:32 AM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeikei View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
I was trying to understand the Technicpnp website to figure out which of their harnesses might split out the subwoofer speaker outputs for me. I didn't get a specific answer from their tech support.

Do you know? I have the Harmon/Kardon system in my F30 which is referred to as "Top Hifi" or "BMW Option 688". Any information on which harness might work is appreciated.
The harnesses that they have meant to be used in your situation are these:

Logic7/HK/EPS/Individual Audio/Bang & Olufsen/Bowers & Wilkins add-a-sub T-Harness

Logic7/HK/EPS/Individual Audio/Bang & Olufsen/Bowers & Wilkins add-a-sub harness w/LOC-X

The harness is connected between the factory amp and its connector, exposing the subwoofer lines for you. The latter package includes also the LOC.
Thanks! For $50 this may be a cleaner option than running another two pairs of speaker wires. I'm assuming that the OEM amp and its harness connection are easy to access in that small trunk compartment. Any tips on that are appreciated.

I see that they also sell an ASD bypass harness. Is that something that can be installed along with the previous harness? I haven't researched yet whether ASD is "on" in my car ('15 335ix w H/K audio) but I want to make certain that it is definitely off, and this appears like the best method to accomplish that.
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      09-13-2019, 01:24 PM   #217
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OEM amp woofer outputs are 125W at 8ohms (~32V/4A peak) in the 688 system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
Thanks for the heads up! I was foolishly assuming that BMW would have used as least 14 gauge wire to the original subwoofers under the front seats.

Below is the current routing plan in my head for the subwoofer signals. This is X2 since there will be two upgraded underseat subwoofers, each wired independently.

1) OEM Amp (H/K TopHifi #688) outputting roughly 50 watts.

2) OEM 16/18 gauge wire pair from trunk to under front seat

3) OEM speaker-wire connector plugs wire pair into OEM-style speaker connector on SWS-8 subwoofer spacer ring from TechnicPNP.

4) Red & Black pigtails from spacer ring are spliced to new 12/14 gauge wire pair that carries the 50 watt signal back to the trunk.

5) AudioControl ACM-2.300 Amp- wire pair connects 50 watt signal to this bass amp's speaker level inputs.

6) Amp's speaker outputs connect to new 12/14 gauge wire pair to run 150 watt signal from trunk to under front seat.

7) Earthquake SWS-8Xi subwoofer (2-ohm) mounted in OEM subwoofer's original position is connected to the 150 watt signal wire pair.

This plan will eliminate any wire gauge issue with the 150 watts to 2-ohm speakers. But might there be an issue with extending the 50 watt signal already on the OEM 16/18 gauge wire from the front seats back to the trunk by splicing on a piece of 14 gauge wire to get the signal back to the new bass amp?

I will definitely take photos and write it up.
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      09-15-2019, 02:50 PM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
You're better off with 2 ohm drivers each powered with their own amp channel. An amp with high level inputs shouldn't have a problem handling a high level input. They do so with high input impedance, which reduces the current flow.
They're no better than stock.
Why? Where's the data that proves it? If it exists it must be written in invisible pixels.
Each woofer powered separate with 260w rms. Have you ever heard about audison ap8.9 bit forza? 8x85 wrms or 4x85 wrms + 2x260 wrms on 4 ohm bridge mode..
Specs of audison woofer

https://www.audison.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Audison_APBMW_S8-4_Tech_Sheet.pdf
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      09-15-2019, 03:47 PM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeikei View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
I was trying to understand the Technicpnp website to figure out which of their harnesses might split out the subwoofer speaker outputs for me. I didn't get a specific answer from their tech support.

Do you know? I have the Harmon/Kardon system in my F30 which is referred to as "Top Hifi" or "BMW Option 688". Any information on which harness might work is appreciated.
The harnesses that they have meant to be used in your situation are these:

Logic7/HK/EPS/Individual Audio/Bang & Olufsen/Bowers & Wilkins add-a-sub T-Harness

Logic7/HK/EPS/Individual Audio/Bang & Olufsen/Bowers & Wilkins add-a-sub harness w/LOC-X

The harness is connected between the factory amp and its connector, exposing the subwoofer lines for you. The latter package includes also the LOC.
Thanks! For $50 this may be a cleaner option than running another two pairs of speaker wires. I'm assuming that the OEM amp and its harness connection are easy to access in that small trunk compartment. Any tips on that are appreciated.

I see that they also sell an ASD bypass harness. Is that something that can be installed along with the previous harness? I haven't researched yet whether ASD is "on" in my car ('15 335ix w H/K audio) but I want to make certain that it is definitely off, and this appears like the best method to accomplish that.
I came up with a third potential amp location. The first two locations were in the left side alcove in the trunk. The first was on the panel directly above the OEM amp. The second location was on the sidewall inside the alcove.

The third potential amplifier location is in right ride side alcove inside the trunk. The ACM-2.300 mini-amp fits right on top of the tool holder cover panel. This simplifies the installation. No wires at all would have to run from left to right across the trunk. The battery is below the tool holder and the entire alcove cover comes right out for easy access.

Comparatively short 8 gauge power and ground wires would be run. $50 could saved by not needing to purchase a Technicpnp cable harness adapter. The access appears to be easier to run the four pairs of 14 gauge wire under the trunk and floor panels to the factory subwoofer locations underneath the front seats. It would probably make the most sense to run two 2-pair cables, one to each front seat bottom.

It should be simple to run the wires from the amp so they have slack and would not interfere with quickly removing the alcove panel to service the battery or the fuse box that is located there.

The only downside I can imagine is if there is some sort of interference with the amp or the wiring by locating it so close to the battery. The amp has an auto-sensing feature that's supposed to turn itself on/off by sensing a speaker signal over its inputs. If it doesn't work perfectly because of the signaling from the specific car, then a typical 12v wire can be connected to a circuit powered by the ignition. Anyone know if any of the fuses pictured may meet that description?
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      09-15-2019, 04:03 PM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onur_sp View Post
I have the Audison specs, that's how I know the OEM Hi-Fi woofer is better. I have the OEM H-Fi woofer specs because I measured mine. I'm not picking on Audison, or anyone else. If their specs show that they have an advantage over OEM I'll say so. I've said so with the SWS Earthquake. You should no more spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on replacement speakers that don't have measured data that proves they're better than OEM than should you spend even less on a tune like a JB4 or Dinan that doesn't have dyno results to prove their worth.
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