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.
ok. i'm ... more fun pics tomorrow!
DO NOT go with BMW DSP audio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It completely blows. The quality is crap and it IMPOSSIBLE to bypass the DSP amp/tuner for future upgrades. Talk to Eric at Speakerworks: 714-997-9880. He did a great job upgrading the sound on my M5, but could have done better if I didn't have DSP. He can greatly enhance your stock sound without adding any tack-on crap, especially if you still have non-DSP audio.
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DO NOT go with BMW DSP audio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It completely blows. i actually like it. gotta disagree with u on this one, my friend. my ears must be messed up.
The quality is crap and it IMPOSSIBLE to bypass the DSP amp/tuner for future upgrades. i have been made aware of that...and i habe NO future upgrade plans at all. my goal was just the best the factory had to offer, which (maybe sad to say) i'm very happy with. it certainly sounds better than the harman kardon in my m3!
Talk to Eric at Speakerworks: 714-997-9880. He did a great job upgrading the sound on my M5, but could have done better if I didn't have DSP. He can greatly enhance your stock sound without adding any tack-on crap, especially if you still have non-DSP audio.
i may call him next week. but thx as usual, palantirion.
as most of you know, i normally post my updates at 6-630 am, which are normally prepared at night, b/w 9p-10p. i then leave them on my computer screen...last night was almost 2 am.
my LAST INTENDED post for last night was about the whole dsp thing, after which i signed off with the sleepy head.
i obviously got up a little later than usual today, and rushed straight to take my kids to school. at about 830a, i get ready to post my new post (series of guess whats again) - i was absolutely shocked to see my draft POSTED!!! i checked the time, and doing it backwards was about 2 am. obviously hit "submit reply" instead of "preview post." of course, i had to immediately yank the thing. and i wiped out the other new post in the process!
so like an atty, i'm going to ask you all who saw it to strike it from your memories. even though brad and i have mutually edited (read cleaned out) our posts, he owes me no explanation or defense, and i owe it to them to let you all know that was never intended to be posted. yes, i had some things i had to take up with evosport. as most of u know, i am someone that thinks out loud, hence my wordy posts. had it not gone well today, as i was going to call them, them i might have posted it, after a few more rewrites. if it was resolved, then it goes into the garbage can! (ask my wife and daughter- i'm a professional letter writer i dont get , i just
a few points, etc...
1. top of the list, due to the fact i unintentionally, but nonetheless publicly posted such info, i do apologize to brad and simon at evosport.
i guess being married to the same special girl for 19 years has taught me to be quick to apologize when it's my fault, period. it certainly makes for a great home. it's not fun, but it's the right thing to do.
2. while at this point we have not been able to do any business, i certainly would not have a problem seeing them in the future if they have something i want. that we do not agree on certain issues, like the vf or rotoras, has no bearing on future projects. each project (at least for me) is started with a clean slate, with me pestering different pple. certainly evosport has been helpful, and that includes brad's lively bantering with me. i love it when pple force me to think.
3. fyi, i have personally apologized to simon today, and since brad wasnt in, left him an apology too. *if** i make it to b'fest, i would take the opportunity to shake his hand. i have to, as we already have a very colorful relationship.
4. i have to go back to rushing and finishing some work if i want to make it tomorrow.
very VERY early sign off for today, unless things change.
i may call him next week. but thx as usual, palantirion.
I thought my M audio sounded good, just a little weak in the bass department...until I sat in SpeakerWorks' Bug demo car. There is a HUGE difference in sound quality and clarity over the "best of BMW" and given how much work you are putting into the rest of your car I think you owe it to yourself to hear an example of great sound before you commit. If only because I had no idea how much better things could sound until I heard it for myself.
I guess it's kind of like going from my wife's old Focus to a 330i. The Focus is a great little car and very fun to drive, but once I drove a 330i I "got it".
Sorry to hear about your audio system difficulties. I hope the OEM speaker locations weren't distroyed as it sounded. Some good 5 1/4s will make a big difference over stock and not ruin the OEM look. The OEM system can be a bear to mod. I've left mine stock (1st car ever). An after market system certainly should sound good but may not look "right".
A local installer (who's won industry awards) tried to do my 540i (previous BMW). He left the main stuff in and just improved the speakers and sub. it was better than stock but he was never 100% happy nor was I. Any good subs in a sedan leave something to be desired and take up a lot of trunk space. In a wagon subs should sound great (being open to the interior). It may be possible to build a stock looking box for a sub or 2. Some space will be consumed.
The same installer (as above) did an $1100 job on my old 3000GT. It was truely exceptional for the price.
I have also heard what CAN be done with aftermarket. It was a studio quality $20k system in a Dodge Stealth. Door panels were modded to hold bigger fronts (they looked great), there were dual 12s behind the rear seat, and the head unit, amps, & EQ were top shelf. It was loud and clear 100 feet away and sounded even better up close! He played the opening of Van Halen Running With the Devil and blew everyone away. He also had a studio reference CD that sounded out low frequencies. You could see the subs vibrate and feel it at 8 hz!!!!
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