36.5 days to go....
1. at this point, it is NOT looking like i'll be able to make it to b'fest. a pressing deadline presented itself yesterday. i have til tomorrow night...of course, if i stay up til the wee hrs of the night, it would not be smart to drive a zillion miles saturday. (this will be miss # 4)
2. the silly black thing is the plastic covering that came with my smg steering wheel.
3. regarding the bsw purchase: after very much mental and emotional deliberation, i'm having the non-oem audio install taken off. that's been an issue that i've struggled with from day 1, although i'm now 2 months wiser. as it has been pretty much a no-expense spared project (or turned into one), here are my reasons, having had a chance to listen to it a bit more, and after numerous (3-4) visits from the installer to fine tune the whole thing:
a. as kute as the koala is, i just cant stand having an excess appendage hanging around. looks tacked on. in all fairness, modding a touring presents some issues if i did NOT want to lose my trunk. it really looks aftermarket in the pejorative sense. in the installer's defense, he has been a class act. just too bad it's not turning out the way i was hoping to, and i was trying really hard to like it. for me, at least, there is nothing cleaner than an oem look, or at least an a/m package that is specifically tailored for our cars. fortunately, i learned fast, and went the full dinan route, as an example, instead of frankensteining my performance upgrades (with the exception of the stoptechs, which i decided upon the recos of a handful of trusted advisors!!)
b. the sound quality: yes, it out blasts the oem by a long shot, or more specifically, it out-woofers the oems. my oem was the base, non-dsp system. here are the issues with the a/m system:
- on low volume levels, everything sounds like an am station. sounds really cheap.
- on high volume, probably due to the 6.5 in speakers up front, it sounds like an equalizer setting that looks like a "w", only the center peak is 3x higher! when i turn up the volume on our x5 (with dsp), it doesnt HURT to listen to it. the a/m system makes my ear bleed - really painful.
- yes, it has gobs of power, bec of the much more powerful amp. but it has become like a car that has been given an engine twice its size, with no finesse - like a frankenstein system. despite numerous adjustments, it just has not improved.
c. i had a chance to sit in 3 dsp equipped 5ers. perhaps i may not be a technical audiophile, but i am a musician (i serve in worship at our church.) and frankly, the dsp is wonderful to me. i love the system in our x5. in fact, when i finally got around to playing the same cds back to back, i was a little bummed. even the guy who reco'd the installer had to agree my sound sounded, well, bad.
d. since this was really the 1st mod, i didnt, and was a little surprised to find out a little too late that the front speaker holders had to be basically destroyed to accomodate the larger 6.5 in speakers. and after the numerous adjustments, it still buzzes like crazy. the oems dont buzz. a few of the little speaker meshes on the front doors have indentations on them - which, accdg to tyrone, are not available for individual purchase. i also did not like the holes poked in the liner above my spare, "necessary" to run the wires to the amp. the wires hanging out of the unused oem amp at this point dont thrill me either.
e. i have come to the conclusion that i am very willing to give up a gigantic woofer thump to have a finer sound at a lower volume, yes, just the kind the dsp gives.
as we speak, the parts for a complete dsp/m-audio + bsw retrofit have been ordered. and this IS the project that will have dr tyrone camping out for days!!! he has estimated it will be a 12 hour ordeal at least!
i dont mind eating the labor part, and getting some $ for the parts. i'm considering that perhaps a $1000 lesson that will not be repeated. that's relatively cheap compared to other dumber things i've done when younger.
... more fun pics tomorrow!