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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
.....a question....why are you using two wires per connection on your terminal block to circuit board wireing (right and left woofers it looks like)...and why are there 16 solder points on the board for 4 sets of speaker wires?
The woofer connections from the original amp guts to the small board you see there indeed have two pins per woofer. The wire gauge for the woofers is 16ga in the car. The rest is about 20ga. Since the woofers get more power, they get heavier gauge wire and their pins on the connector are bigger as well. They are a blade vs a pin. So, I ran two wires from my terminal strip to double up on the gauge just as the original amp did. Before I put everything back into the equipment rack I'll take a good picture of the amp-side connector so you can see what I mean.

So, my balance and fade issue has been resolved by reinstalling the LOC between the harness and my amp. A lot of hiss is gone too. It's ugly looking, but has level controls on it, so I can tune out the noise in time. One big problem solved.

I have done quite a bit of listening with various source material and I have found some songs go way deep and thump the front seats with the fader all the way forward (no sub). Some others not so much.

I corresponded with Scott Buwalda, founder of Hybrid Audio Technologies, who reviewed my build log and pictures and he suggested I may have a "tunnel effect" going on with my speaker mounts. Usually you would chamfer the rear of the baffle so it gets wider from front to back and this allows the woofer to see more air behind it. I didn't see how I was going to accomplish this with my mounts because my rings are only 1/2" wide and chamfering over a 2" thickness would leave nothing to glue the rings to. But, maybe there's a way for me to re-do the mounts so I have a single 3/4" thick ring to mount the woofer to, but work something else out so I can have a bigger hole and no tunnel behind the speaker to allow more air space behind the big-ass magnet. Scott has a valid point and if these midbass drivers perform as well as they do with little air space, opening it up should get much more out of them.

I'm hoping to meet up with dummptyhummpty this weekend when he's up here in the Bay Area and compare my system to his. We used the same speakers and brand of amps, but his woofers are mounted to the door card. This would give me a good comparison at least to see if all my door work was worth it.

I played around with woofer phase again and can't see much difference with one out of phase. I did reverse the phase on both tweeters and they seem much less bright. I have to get some good sampler music to CD and do some driving around and more listening. In the garage with the engine off I can tune things to get good sound on most source, but that's in a quiet environment.

Depending on where I get with the door stuff, I may visit a shop and have them critique the SQ. I know no one else locally who has gone to this level with updates, so it's hard for me to know if I'm expecting too much or not. Hearing a tuned system will help, but also having someone with a tuned ear listening to mine would help identify the problems.

Thanks for the advice guys! You've been very helpful!
 

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I figured that was what the double wires were about....

Im cheating in my car and using time alignment but I do get a decent amount of mid bass out of my doors with the speakers mounted to the door panel, sound deadener on the inner and outer panel, hole cut behind the speaker and foam sealing the inner to the outer door panel. It sounds like you have something weird going on....good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks. I think I'm going to put a thicker layer of weather stripping between the driver and the door card too. Can't hurt to try it.

I found this pic of the connector if you're still interested...



The blades are the woofer, power and ground connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Midbass Issues

OK, so I have done some tests and still get crap midbass...

1) I connected the midbass to the amp directly, no crossover, no filter, no difference in sound.

2) I swapped my DLS A5 for my a/d/s/ P840 tested both with and without the crossover, same deal, barely any midbass. That rules out an amp problem.

Having corresponded with Scott at HAT about the problem, he suggests it's a tunnel effect preventing the woofer from seeing air space behind it. I took the door apart again and here's what I've got...



Photo 1: This is the existing cutout in the door shell. The blue tape outlines the approximate hole in the baffle that the speaker sits in. As you can see, the hole in the door shell is pretty small. With the magnet being 4" in diameter and that hole being about 1/4" from the magnet, there's barely any airspace seen by the woofer. That hole is about 5" wide, 3.75" tall at it's tallest point.



Photo 2: Hard picture to take, but you see there's about 1" of space around the magnet. I think I can chamfer it some without compromising the integrity of the glue joints, at least on the top-most (back side) 3/4" of oak baffle.



Photo 3: Profile view of the baffle and woofer. With the existing hole in the door shell so small and curved around that woofer magnet, basically there's nowhere for the rearward sound wave to go.

So, given the above, seems opening the hole up more should resolve these issues I'm having, or at least help. Above photos are of the driver door.

The passenger door looks like shyte too now that I look at it again.



Bigger hole = problem solved?
 

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Jeff,

Sorry I couldn't meet up this weekend, we got a late start heading back.

It's strange you had to use a LOC, because I was able to go right into my amps. I ended up using an old Soundgate LOCB.2 I had sitting around just to compare and it sounds the same. I'm not sure if the LOCB.2 is right for this application, but it's all I have right now.

bigjae1976,

In my case, flipping the the phase on one midbass helps, but what do I do about the phase of my sub? Setting it to 90 degrees moves the bass to the center of the car, but then I lose some bass. I tired setting it back to 0degrees, but some songs sound off. Also I'm having the same problem as Jeff with over powering highs. Should I flip one of tweeters too?
 

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Jeff,

Sorry I couldn't meet up this weekend, we got a late start heading back.

It's strange you had to use a LOC, because I was able to go right into my amps. I ended up using an old Soundgate LOCB.2 I had sitting around just to compare and it sounds the same. I'm not sure if the LOCB.2 is right for this application, but it's all I have right now.

bigjae1976,

In my case, flipping the the phase on one midbass helps, but what do I do about the phase of my sub? Setting it to 90 degrees moves the bass to the center of the car, but then I lose some bass. I tired setting it back to 0degrees, but some songs sound off. Also I'm having the same problem as Jeff with over powering highs. Should I flip one of tweeters too?
I don't understand the issue with your sub. Do you mean the amount of bass varies with the phasing? Sub phasing is usually a non-issue unless you have multiple subs.

Try the tweets in different combinations with the midbass. Before you mess with the phasing, I would make sure that you play with speaker orientation first.

Usually, I go like this:

Speaker location
Aim speakers
Phasing
Crossover points (if going active)
Tune with a wideband parametric EQ (in needed)
Fine tune with a narrow band EQ (if needed)

Sounds like both of you are using the passive crossover. You'll get a peak right around the crossover point which is common with passive overs and door mounted systems.

Kind of odd, but higher end speakers usually have the crappiest crossovers. The only exception that I know of would be MB Quart. They have a trick zobel impedence compensation circuit. The expectation is that you maximize the capabilities of high end speakers by using them in an active system.

I wouldn't be surprised if Hybrid didn't spend a lot of time on the crossovers.

For dummptyhummpty, did you use the OEM tweeter locations?

I found the sail panels will angle your tweet downward. Then it is tough to swivel the tweet enough to get it to sound right. In addition, between the OEM location, sail panel and A pillar, the sail panel was by far the MOST harshest location. It is also probably has the closest path length.

I like the A pillars the best as far as clarity and depth which is where I have mine at. I sacrificed some volume and I don't think the stage is quite as wide.

I also have an active system. The crossovers that came with my OZ speakers (I haven't heard anything better so far) were total crap even back in 1995.
 

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I don't understand the issue with your sub. Do you mean the amount of bass varies with the phasing? Sub phasing is usually a non-issue unless you have multiple subs.
I'm using the factory 6x9 "subs" until I can afford something better. I noticed when adjusting the sub amp's phase between 0-180 with one of the mids flipped, I can hear the bass move from my left to my right. It seems that at 90 degrees the bass is centered but some of the "range" is missing as opposed to 0 degrees. It's not a big deal, but I do notice it.

Try the tweets in different combinations with the midbass.
Can you clarify?

Before you mess with the phasing, I would make sure that you play with speaker orientation first.
Do you mean the angle? I still have my speakers mounted to the door panel and I don't think I have much room to adjust them. I guess it's time to take them back and have them mounted to the door. I'm just afraid something will get screwed up during the install.

Sounds like both of you are using the passive crossover. You'll get a peak right around the crossover point which is common with passive overs and door mounted systems.
I am for now.

For dummptyhummpty, did you use the OEM tweeter locations?

I found the sail panels will angle your tweet downward. Then it is tough to swivel the tweet enough to get it to sound right. In addition, between the OEM location, sail panel and A pillar, the sail panel was by far the MOST harshest location. It is also probably has the closest path length.

I like the A pillars the best as far as clarity and depth which is where I have mine at. I sacrificed some volume and I don't think the stage is quite as wide.
Yes mine are in the OEM location. They are where the midrange was - next to the OEM tweeter.
 

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I'm using the factory 6x9 "subs" until I can afford something better. I noticed when adjusting the sub amp's phase between 0-180 with one of the mids flipped, I can hear the bass move from my left to my right. It seems that at 90 degrees the bass is centered but some of the "range" is missing as opposed to 0 degrees. It's not a big deal, but I do notice it.
When you change the phase of 1 sub and not the other, it will of course change the sound. The speakers are basically cancelling each other out.

Can you clarify?
Play with different combinations of phasing. left tweet and right mid out of phase, left side out of phase, right side out of phase, right tweet and left mid out of phase, etc.

If found that the right tweet and left mid out of phase had the best image and overall sound.

Do you mean the angle? I still have my speakers mounted to the door panel and I don't think I have much room to adjust them. I guess it's time to take them back and have them mounted to the door. I'm just afraid something will get screwed up during the install.
That might be a limitation to your options. So this is where equalization comes in to compensate for less than optimal speaker locations.

Yes mine are in the OEM location. They are where the midrange was - next to the OEM tweeter.
I aimed my tweets towards the windshield. Sounds weird but almost every car tweet is designed to sound best off-axis. Car speakers are mounted in a lot of different locations so the manufacturer has to compensate.

In the end, you'll get vastly better sound if you go with an active crossover.

Or, look into building a custom passive network. But that takes a lot of experimentation and money. Top quality components are expensive. I would consult with Hybrid and tell them about your issue. Also ask what they think about a custom passive crossover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
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Jeff,

Sorry I couldn't meet up this weekend, we got a late start heading back.
No worries. My Sunday got out of control busy and my speakers were completely removed while I work thru the rest of this fabrication stuff.

It's strange you had to use a LOC, because I was able to go right into my amps.
Turns out reintroducing the LOC was a placebo effect. I had other issues with it, something with the wires coming from it was causing the right side to go out. Wiggling the wires resolved it so I deduced it was fubar and removed it completely.

When I did my P840 test I had to put it back in because that amp was not happy with the direct signal and would shut down instantly when the amp powered up.

Jae, you were right about my woofers pointing down. I put a level on them and they were about 1/4" further out at the top than at the bottom. A sharp chisel allowed me to separate the rings from the baffle and reuse the parts to fabricate a new mount. I used a 1/4" spacer at the top, 1/2" at the bottom, now they're plumb. I don't have enough room to angle them any further up, so this is going to have to do.

I've also cut the hole behind the woofer much larger. They're now at least 6" in diameter so I should not have any problem with the woofer seeing airspace now!

I have a few dates with "Duraglass" and sand paper before I can put everything back in the car again. I hope to wrap it up over the coming weekend.

If this doesn't solve the mismatch of tweeter volume by increasing the midbass output... I will use my P840 active and replace the A5 amp with a dedicated sub amp. Then I'll have more control over individual driver volume. I have 8 channels on the P840, 2 @ 40w for the tweets, 2 pairs of bridged at 120w to each midbass up front, and two extra I can leave out or use for rear fill if I want it... which I won't.
 

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If this doesn't solve the mismatch of tweeter volume by increasing the midbass output... I will use my P840 active and replace the A5 amp with a dedicated sub amp. Then I'll have more control over individual driver volume. I have 8 channels on the P840, 2 @ 40w for the tweets, 2 pairs of bridged at 120w to each midbass up front, and two extra I can leave out or use for rear fill if I want it... which I won't.
I would just bridge all 8 channels and run the tweets and mids bridged.
 

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Jae,

Thanks for the suggestions. I tried different phases, but nothing really helps. I'm going to buy a SVEN after school to see if that helps. I might also try a spare Pioneer h/u to make sure it isn't my h/u that's causing this.

Jeff,

Keep us updated!
 

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Don't take this the wrong way. But I don't see the point of buying a $500-$600 set of components only to use the mediocre OEM head unit and a cheap LOC.

I would consider using a quality head unit.
 

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Don't take this the wrong way. But I don't see the point of buying a $500-$600 set of components only to use the mediocre OEM head unit and a cheap LOC.

I would consider using a quality head unit.
Jae,

You need to stay off the internet when your in a bad mood! :4ngie:

I can't speak for Jeff, but for me I just don't have the money yet to replace the OEM head unit. I plan to do so sometime down the road.
 

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I can't speak for Jeff, but for me I just don't have the money yet to replace the OEM head unit. I plan to do so sometime down the road.
When you do upgrade your head unit, you will notice a significant improvement provided you get a quality one.

Just wanted to point that fact out, that's all.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Ok kids, the results are in, and all I can say is WOW! Cutting the holes bigger and adjusting the angle of the woofer was the ticket to copious amounts of mid-bass up front. I now have "mid-bass out the wazoo" to quote Scott at HAT.

Here's how the mounts look now. They don't look any different from this angle now that I look at the pics, but I neglected to take side-view pics. Suffice it to say, they are similar to the ones meanmachine is building at DIYMA, but not as meticulous.

Driver side...

You'll notice the hole in the door now is as big as the hole in the baffle allowing the woofer to see much more air space behind it.

Mounted with closed cell foam to seal the woofer to the mount...


I also installed closed cell foam around the perimeter of the speaker location in the door card to seal the woofer to the card. This is a step I didn't do previously. I have absolutely zero rattles in the doors, none, nada, nil!



Passenger side...




The tweeters blend way better now since the mids are producing the level of sound they should be. On certain tracks I found them a little bright, so I reversed the phase on both of them and that toned them down. I definitely need to work on where they are aimed as the natural angle of the sail panel is not ideal. But, that location with proper angling should allow me to position the sound stage so it surrounds me. The tweeters image very well, so getting it right should not be too hard to figure out.

Now that I have that bass out the wazoo up front I can blend the sub effortlessly. Slight adjustments to it's volume fills in where the doors lack and it hits like it's behind the climate control. The variable phase adjustment allows you to position it perfectly. I've been following an install in an E36 M3 over at DIYMA and this guy commented that deadening the trunk lid improved that further. I have more BXT left so I will do this too.

I took the car out last night and really enjoyed the entertainment. When I got home I found myself sitting in the garage tabbing thru my iPod song after song at loud volumes. Before I knew it it was 2:30am and I had to force myself to go to bed. My expectations have been met and exceeded. Even Sirius sounds great!! It lacks a little on the factory solution, but these speakers bring it alive.

I did not go active... I'm using my DLS amp with the passive crossovers. I could see improvement changing that up or getting a processor to tune the system to the interior. We'll see how 2010 treats me work-wise and maybe I'll add to the system.

Now that I have it to a point where I can listen to it, we'll see how long it takes me to finish the trunk work. I had fun working with the bondo so I may do more fabrication on the sail panels once I figure out the correct angling of the tweeters.

Josh, if you find yourself up this way again we definitely need to run into each other so you can have a listen. I can classify the difference with the woofers properly mounted like comparing a 4 cylinder Civic to your M3. It really is that dramatic of a difference!
 

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Glad to hear it worked out.

IMO, clean, flat midbass is really the key to a great sounding system which can be quite challenging to achieve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
hhhmmmm.....now you have me thinking I should enlarge my door holes......My front woofers sound fine, but now I wonder if they could sound better....
I guess it depends on how much of the hole the magnet takes up and how deep they are. The magnets on these speakers are really big and are really close to the metal behind them. Some speakers have a conical shaped magnet that gets smaller as it goes deep, like the DLS UP6i that I was originally looking at. Those would have probably worked out fine in my original setup.

Glad to hear it worked out.

IMO, clean, flat midbass is really the key to a great sounding system which can be quite challenging to achieve.
I'm glad to have made this kind of progress, that's for sure. Mucho gracias for all your insight. I would love to hear your system, but seems you're on another continent.

There's an event at Sound Innovations in Hayward, CA on May 1st that I hope to attend. The guy who runs that shop is a big contributor at DIYMA and does some really slick installs. I'm looking to hear what a really good tune can accomplish in a car environment... hopefully there will be some other E46s there.
 

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The two frequencies that I play with the most or 4khz and 150hz. Cut 150hz a lot and raise 4khz a little and see what happens.
 

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Josh, if you find yourself up this way again we definitely need to run into each other so you can have a listen. I can classify the difference with the woofers properly mounted like comparing a 4 cylinder Civic to your M3. It really is that dramatic of a difference!
Jeff,

I was actually up by you again last Friday, but had no time to stop. I'm going to figure out if I want to try this again or let a shop do it, but it's going to happen. Thanks for keeping us updated.
 
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