A few weeks back, I got a set of Audio Development W800-NEO's to mount under the seats of my BMW.
I just wanted to share a bit about the install process, and my overall impression of the new drivers.
The complete install (which has had a few different speaker swaps over the past year), can be found here:
As per my original build log (above), I had replaced the factory underseat 'subwoofers' with a set of Jehnert XE200's (I say subwoofers jokingly, because BMW refers to them as subs... but they are far from it). At any rate; the Jehnert's were a very good upgrade. I was surprised at how clean they sounded, and could take a surprising amount of power. The key is that; they need to be crossed at about 80Hz, up to about 350Hz.
My issue (and the only reason I pulled the Jehnert's), is because I built a stealth subwoofer enclosure, which is a bit too small for my sub (see my original build log for details). Because the enclosure volume is smaller; I'm not getting the full output that the sub is capable of... and I don't want to make the enclosure any bigger (stealth and full trunk space is more important to me). The sub still sounds good... it just doesn't punch you in the back (like I know it can). So, I was hoping that by swapping the underseat midbass speakers, I could drop the tuning down to about 70Hz and get a bit more 'punch' that way...
Well, I'm pleased to say that; these drivers more than delivered!
I have them crossed from 65Hz to 250Hz, and they sound INCREDIBLE. They are able to take as much power as I can throw at them, without issue. I have them running off 2 channels of my MMATS 4250 (250 watts per speaker).
I'm still messing around with the DSP settings. You know when you get used to a certain 'sound', and then something changes? The whole system sounds better... but it's different than what I'm used to. So I find myself tinkering with the DSP settings, to achieve a perfect balance between the W800 woofers and the Esotar mids. I spent a sunny hot day sitting in my car yesterday, with a laptop on my knees... pissed away the entire afternoon tuning. I think I have it perfected, but my wife was annoyed that I wasted a nice day and totally ignored her and the kids... (welcome to DIYMA life).
Now, onto the install. It was a fairly simple process, to be honest.
I had to make a spacer ring for the new speakers. I ordered a couple pieces of 1" thick HDPE plastic from Amazon, and used the factory speaker to trace a template:
Then I cut it out, using a jigsaw. I know there are guys who have better tools, and do nicer finished cuts... but I have a jigsaw, and this is the end product. Does the job. Fits perfectly. And I also pre-drilled holes to bolt it in, and mount the speaker:
Here's the enclosure in the floor. I had put some sound deadener in it, when I had originally installed the Jehnerts. The only thing that really annoyed me, is when I pulled out the Jehnert, I cut the speaker wire, and it was too short. So I had to attach a bit more length to it. I have some nice pure copper butt-splices, so I used those.
Hard to tell with the perimiter of carpet in the way; but the HDPE spacers were bolted into place using the 4 OEM fastening points. I also put a seam of 3M Autobody double-sided tape around the bottom perimeter, mostly just to damper any potential vibration. The BMW underseat enclosure is not sealed. It is ported out the side.
The only issue with the W800NEO's, is that they come with HUGE (I mean really huge) speaker terminals. They sit a lot lower than the bottom of the NEO magnet! Not sure why they would design a low profile speaker, and then put these monsterous terminals on them? Kinda defeats the whole intent of a shallow mount. At any rate... I just cut the terminals down with a hacksaw.
And soldered the speaker cables onto the cut terminal posts (crude / archaic looking... but it works perfectly):
Here's the W800NEO mounted on the spacer ring. Fully bolted in.
After that; I vacuumed-up the potato chip crumbs, and bolted the seat back in. Then did the same thing on the passenger side.