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Discussion Starter #1
took a few months of reading and acquiring equipment, but my install is done. Very modest goals of better quality bass and much improved "air" and clarity in the upper mid range and higher frequencies. Not to mention a bit more volume. I was definitely not looking for a sub (yet) nor a crazy expense. I met my price budget, fully installed by a professional shop.

right off the bat I knew I needed new front speakers. That's what I did in my other car which has a much more complex sound upgrade (VW Jetta). the quality of the mid bass and the tweeter are critical in my mind.

One of the reasons for taking so long in planning was my budget goal and the difficulty in gathering all the correct information on the OEM sound system in an 2006 E60 with logic 7 sound system. There were so many upgrade examples on the web incorporating much more expensive upgrades and external processors. One early goal was no extra volume knob.

parts gathered and installed

4 channel amp: Audison LRx4.300
front 3.5" Hybrid Audio L3 drivers
Boston Acoustics Neo Type-M Tweeters & Crossover
Audio Control LC6 - line output converter
OEM harness sold by Technic
OEM Aux-in port
new fuse holder
2 sets of RCA connections

First up was software. I needed more music choice than a Radio and CD player. The E60 was a Feb 2006 build missing USB and Aux In as standard. Even MP3 playback was missing limiting severely music to purchased CD's. I even had trouble playing back playlists from my own burnt CD's. They would jam in the CD player. I discovered the Aux-in Port and did the modification on the cable to remove the capacitor board as discussed on various boards. Software problem solved. Now I could integrate my iPhone and it's stored music and internet radio.

Next was the front stage. I found the OEM L7 system decent but lacking in volume. But more importantly, the sound felt muddy or constrained. In the end the upgrade is a simple 4 channel amp and new front components. What makes it harder was planning the OEM integration, the frequency cut offs by the various channels and definitely the 4" speaker limit on the front stage..

One advantage was that the Logic 7 , Everything could be accessed from the trunk. Technic on this and other boards made a harness that would plug into after the OEM amp and connect back to the OEM wires. This allowed me to tap the high level outputs for the front channels and the two subs under the seat. Much cleaner solution when it comes time to take the system out. kudos to Technic.

I found a quality amp in the Audison LRx4.300. older, but it will definitely do. Small and powerful enough (65Wx4). I missed out on a few other sales for a JL Slash 4/300 which would have been better in hindsight. Reason was the built in high level inputs. The Audiso did not, so I had to find a line output converter. the install shop had an old demo Audio Control LC6. Advantage is a much cleaner LOC than using the amps built in ones. I actually thought I had summing capabilities of the LC6i. My only mistake in this system. Summing would have given me more range for the front speakers to High pass.

I needed the amp to power the new front speakers (4ohm) since the OEM speakers are 2ohm and I didn't think the OEM amp would be up for it. Reading on car audio forums, I discovered Hybrid Audio speakers. Being out of the car audio hobby for 8-9 years, I didn't know the current brands. I did know Focal but I didn't want to spend 600+ on their 4" component sets.

Hybrid Audio Technologies (HAT) have various 3.5" and larger drivers that play a much wider range than normal 3-4" drivers. The model I picked was the L3. Capable of 140Hz-10kHz, it would make integrating a tweeter much easier. Even the OEM one if I chose.

In the end I found a deal on the Boston Pro Neo type-M tweeter. Only reason was the great clearance price and having a proper passive crossover unit. There were multiple attenuation options (-3/6/9db), the option of 8kHz cross over point which is perfect for the HAT L3 drivers. This is where the wide frequency range of the L3 really was helpful. Crossing over a tweeter lower around 3-4kHz would have meant more care in the attenuation of the tweeter to not sound "bright or shrill". The HAT tweeters L1 or L1pro's were WAY out of my budget, especially if you add the HAT passive cross over units also.

The OEM front amp/EQ system sends out a signal of 200Hz and higher, so that's where I high passed the amp. I actually set the amp to HP around 150Hz. it didn't matter, since I couldn't sum the the full frequency with my LC6, it was only going to see signals above 200Hz. Modest gains levels also.

the other two channels on the amp were reserved for the two underseat subs. I low pass them at 250Hz. The Logic 7 puts a low pass of 500Hz so having control on the amp to cut them off lower definitely helps minimize boominess that 500Hz would cause. The stock OEM sent out 70Wx2 at 4ohm to the underseat drivers, but I knew my 65W x 2 on the Audison was close enough, but more importantly, cleaner amplification.

In the car, I ran a pink noise and as I suspected, the weakness in the system is around the 200Hz range (slight dip) and I definitely added some EQ boost in that frequency. The rest was easy to get a reasonable flat response curve...up or down a few spots.

The best news is that the LC6 and Audison amp were small enough to fit behind the left trunk cover and be completely out of sight, stock looking.

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hard to convey a review of sound, but I definitely met my goals for better quality front stage. I had preset all the amp settings before install and the installer said my "theory" was bang on with little adjustment needed.

the L7 Surround modes are not great for vocals now. But for classical or instrumental music, it's great. Theater seems better. I leave the surround off now by default.

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if I was to upgrade further, it would cost the same as this whole upgrade. I would add a custom sub for the side of the trunk. I recently discovered the HDP5 from Hertz and it would be perfect amp for this car. Five channels, with included high level inputs (don't need the LC6) and bandpass crossovers for the underseat woofers and a low pass for the sub. it's even smaller than my Audison so it fits perfectly in the same spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
came into another 5 series, this time a 2004 545i again with a L7 system.

so time again to plan another system. This time I was more willing to invest and add a processor but after discussing with the shop it was just going to be too expensive and complex to by pass the OEM L7 system properly. I'd need a mobridge, the coding time at the dealer, BitOne and more amps.

I've lived with the first system for 6 months and I still love it. it met my modest needs. I'm going to try to recreate it with one step better (or worse?).

this time the parts are

- Boston type-M tweets
- Focal Uptopia 4w2 - 4" drivers
- Hertz HDP5 - 5 channel amp
- OEM harness sold by Technic
- OEM Aux-in port
- HRT iStreamer
- installing a 5V/2A USB plug in the glove box to power the HRT iStreamer

the one change I am going through the trouble of is wiring the front speaker active. That means spending a few hours to run an extra speaker wire run.

This change is a bit of a risk. I will have to see if I like...I'm going to run the under seat subs MONO. i get the car back next week so we'll see if it was a wise choice.

my main concern is the crossover points. the OEM system crossovers the HP/LP at 200Hz. That's way too high and noticeable in theory. I have a feeling, I may go nuts and install another amp to power the under seats in stereo and leave the 5th channel for a future REAL custom sub.

On my first E60 system, the RTA showed a real drop around 200Hz. I had to boost it with the OEM EQ. Hoping the Focal 4w2's will fare better and not require as big of a boost.

The car has Sat Radio, but The Aux-in is the only simple way to hook up my iPhone. it's a pain to book with the dealer to do the install and coding though. I'm investing one step further and installing a 5V/2A jack to power an HRT iStreamer also in the glove box. This way I'll have a one cable solution to charge and line-out music for my iPhone. Not to mention the inherent benefits of getting the line-out digitally to a better DAC in the HRT iStreamer.

I'll write an update next week and a further one when the iStreamer/Aux-in get put in.
 
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