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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm an extreme novice- as a matter of fact this is my first install in over 20 years and my first ever amp install and first ever subwoofer install. I'm simply posting this since I had a hard time finding installs that related specifically to E36 Coupes with subs.

My goals: stay within a $350-$400 budget and keep the stock appearance as much as possible. I wanted to add blue tooth and wanted some decent controls over the sound with my deck. I was more interested in SQ; SPL is not a big deal for me. I also wasn't all that interested in removing interior pieces and running new wiring. Goal accomplished! Here's my story:

Head Unit: Pioneer DEH-X6900BT
Can't say enough good things about this $90 deck. I was originally going to go mech-less, but I still own a significant CD collection and quite frankly the selection of head units is wider for CD players. This deck has the following features:
- variable display color- this was important to help keep stock look
- Bluetooth, USB and aux in (I think it's Siri Eyes Free compatible too)
- Built in crossover control, 11 band EQ (I used speaker level inputs to my amp and could set the rear speakers as subs which gives me speaker level control and low pass Xover control... in a $90 deck!





Rear speakers/Subs- I really spent a LOT of time researching this, and there really isn't a ton out there about the coupes and subwoofer options. I was going to purchase 6X9 subs with adapters but they were expensive and the reviews were less than glowing. I read about some other solutions, specifically this thread, though most of the pictures are no longer showing. I decided that I'd try this with 8" subs from Parts Express mounted to the rear deck. I ended up with these.. GRS 8SW-4 8" Poly Cone Subwoofer 4 Ohm

These were rated at .88qts (a higher qts is supposed to be good for infinite baffle from what I read), 88dB sensitivity and fit my amp power handling. Oh, and they were $43 with shipping ... for the pair!
I've had them installed for about 2 weeks and am really impressed, especially considering the price. Now, caveat emptor- I've never owned a vehicle with subs, so I'm not an expert but they seem to hit the lows well and have exceeded my expectations.
To install I fabbed some mdf adapters based on drawings available here. It took 4 layers of 1/2" mdf and a lot of time for someone like me who is not that skilled with woodworking. Here's what the adapters looked like.





It looks good installed and from inside the car it looks totally stock.



Front speakers: I was looking for 5.25" component speakers since I wasn't interested in cutting the stock kick panel locations. The choices were a bit limited but I happened across some JBL Club 5000c components for $80. Don't ask me how I got them for that price because the next day Sonic Electronic had them back at $160. They sound nice. I wish I had separate control over the tweeters as they can be a little bright at times. However, compared to what I had before these really sound great. I removed the tweeters from the door and used a little black silicone to attach the JBL tweets. (of course I ended up having to repair the driver side door panel since the pockets fell apart when I removed the panel.


Amplifier: Precision Power A1000.4 1000W Atom

My main considerations when deciding on this amp:
-Speaker level inputs- this allowed me to use the stock speaker wiring- Yeah, no running of new wires!
-Small size- this allowed me to mount in the stock amp location. I actually used the stock mounting bracket attached to a piece of OSB. Not only did I fit the amp, but the passive crossovers for the JBL components also went in the same space as the old factory amp....




Note, the amp says to connect the speaker level inputs to a ground from the head unit for best sound. I hooked it up to the brown ground from the front of the car and it created a bad ground loop while the car is running. I simply disconnected this ground from the speaker level inputs to eliminate the ground loop. The sound quality seems to be fine to me.

You can see that this amp also has built in crossovers, though I don't need them since the head unit has the crossover controls.


Here's a pin-out for the factory amp wiring HERE. A couple notes- the left front mid-range/tweeter wiring was reversed on my car. Also, I got thrown by the fact that the factory amp wiring doesn't work like an aftermarket amp where all the inputs from the front go in with harness and all the outputs go with the other harness- they're all mixed in- it's NOT intuitive!

I think that's about it. From inside the car you can't tell that there are subs mounted and it really sounds nice. The mic from the bluetooth is mounted on top of the steering column and callers report that the sound quality is good.
 

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If you are driving those 8" 'so hard it might be of interest to you of putting a decent Subsonic filter at the bottom end at say 30hz @ 18-24th to overcome cone waffle at those low freqs.
Sounds like good progress though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you are driving those 8" 'so hard it might be of interest to you of putting a decent Subsonic filter at the bottom end at say 30hz @ 18-24th to overcome cone waffle at those low freqs.
Sounds like good progress though.
Ok, you lost me. I understand that a subsonic filter eliminates frequencies below what the human ear can ear. When you say "overcome the cone waffle" what does that mean?

I'm only pushing 90 watts through the amp (though I think the subs are rated for 80), do I have the potential to damage the speakers? Will it improve SQ?

Thanks!
 

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He's referring to the driver's frequency response and lack of dampening below it's Fs (resonant frequency). Another thing to factor....Depending on the Q of the box with the driver's loaded.....the driver will be under dampened at some point. His guess is 30hz.....it's a pretty good place to start with an 8" driver.

I clicked on your little youtube thingy. Pretty interesting to see you're a fan of Josh Garrels. Didn't realize he was up to bigger things these days. I went to school and had choir with him.
 

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I am assuming those 8" drivers ain't mounted in any closure.
The subsonic filter that was explained earlier blocks the very low frequencies that are too low to be any use to the general listening pleasure and protects the speaker from over travel in it's cone movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He's referring to the driver's frequency response and lack of dampening below it's Fs (resonant frequency). Another thing to factor....Depending on the Q of the box with the driver's loaded.....the driver will be under dampened at some point. His guess is 30hz.....it's a pretty good place to start with an 8" driver.

I clicked on your little youtube thingy. Pretty interesting to see you're a fan of Josh Garrels. Didn't realize he was up to bigger things these days. I went to school and had choir with him.
I'm a huge Garrels fan. He has one of my all-time favorite voices to go along with his poetic lyrics. That's cool that you knew him. He just released a Christmas CD with a soulful original called Gloria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q73--8dbP_0
Excited to go see him in Boulder in a couple weeks....
 
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