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  #1  
Old 12-29-2016, 11:54 PM
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You people suck. 12 years later, I finally replace speakers.

So inspired was I by Jay's work on his JL speakers, that I found myself open to the notion of a speaker upgrade in the E53.

That's not entirely true. I've always been a bit of a speaker fiend, but I haven't actually fiddled with speakers in a BMW since the early 90's when I replaced the once-upgraded units in my 1975 2002. Since then, I never found the value prop behind spending money on a system through which I normally listen to news radio, classical radio, and radio radio. I did install the AUX input a couple years ago, so I can at least get streaming digital, but that's more ab something to keep my ears busy than it is a passion for music. I certainly don't care much about symphonic reproduction, accuracy, or any of the other things that have some folks replacing entire OEM audio systems. Not for me.

But what I learned through the most recent threads is that the speaker upgrade I thought was impossible without a BavAuto offering was not only possible, but it could be done for a nominal price, return very nice sound, and retain the OE look, brackets, and connectors. Sign me up, Coach.

And so it was that I found myself out and about faced with a JL Audio set much less expensive than it was online. It was a sign that they had two of them- one for the front and one for the rear.



Now, against the advice from Jay's work, I found these at 6.5" instead of 6". The key here is that they are not 'oversized' 6.5" which are closer to 6.75". Another poster there mentioned that they could be 160mm and would fit with a little encouragement. Indeed, while others cut with a dremel or snips or something like that, I found the metal mounting ring of the speakers was easy to simply shape up and inward with a small pair of flat nose pliers. Once carefully turned upward, the physical fit was fine. We used silicon rather than hot glue for the bond to the OE housing. We put a bead down on the lip behind the speaker and a bead along the top once seated. They're not going anywhere, and they're not vibrating either.
We lined up the new speaker connections to the OE leads so that a little solder would bridge the connections.
Indeed, a little solder and voila. circuit complete.
Now the cool part happened when we got lucky with the tweeters in the door. The JL tweeters are WAY smaller than the OE ones, so that presents a challenge for the mount. We looked around for some foam and could not believe how lucky we were to discover this perfect solution.

The tweeters in the door are difficult to remove, but not impossible. Once removed, the opening from the back of the speaker grill is the exactly the same size as the foam insulation for copper water pipe. The 'test fit was nearly impossible to believe:
Once cut to fit for depth, trimming the foam to fit the new tweeter was a simple matter. The results arent exactly OE, but they're not going anywhere.
When viewed from the inside, the speakers appear no different from OE. They do not rattle, and the sound... Well...

I'm more than 25 years older than I was when I did this the last time. What I've noticed is that I don't hear so well. In fact, I suspect that one reason I don't listen to the radio much with the girls in tow is that I need it a bit louder- just to hear the words.

We only got through the rear doors today, but the sound improvement is amazing. For $113, this may be one of the more incredible 'bang for the buck' mods I have done. Just hearing the rear speakers makes me confident that the fronts we do tomorrow are going to be transformative.

We'll do the front doors tomorrow. If there's time, we'll do the BSW sub that I bought this summer. It was on clearance and I couldn't resist having a bit of E53 legend in my own X5.

More to come.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2016, 12:22 AM
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Awesome! Any plans for the mids in the dash? I'm pretty sure mine are blown, and I don't really want to go the OEM route.
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2016, 01:02 AM
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Nice work Prop. I find with mounting solutions for speakers, it's much less about aesthetics and much more about solidity. No rattles, as you mentioned, is the end goal... so your mounting solutions look plenty good to me. Definitely a great value for the enjoyment factor, though I admit, I am biased when it comes to audio mods as a quasi-audiophile. Very few things make me feel better than listening to music be reproduced accurately in a vehicle I really enjoy driving.

What impedance are those drivers btw? I assume they match the factory drivers to play nice with the factory amp. Do you have DSP?
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2016, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
What impedance are those drivers btw? I assume they match the factory drivers to play nice with the factory amp. Do you have DSP?
Impedance? I'll have to look that up. (I know, probably drives you nuts) I am not *certain* that all 4.8's have DSP, but mine does. My previous '04 3.0 and the E39 I've driven for 16 years do as well. I've never turned it on.

That doesn't mean I won't take advice on how to set it. Sh!t sounds great now to me. But if I can spin a few dials and get something I'll notice, have at. I'll fiddle through it.

Impedence- 4 Ohms. Factory is 8. I worried about this for years before I got these. I thought it meant that the 4 Ohms wouldn't work. Well, they do. Buddy who did the deeply technical stuff (ok, he soldered) said that it may make for some heat. I dunno why that is, what it means, or how concerned I should be. But if you (or anyone) has advice ab that, I am happy to think about it for myself with better information than I have rt now. So, if ya got stuff that'll make me smarter, hit me.
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  #5  
Old 12-30-2016, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecboy99 View Post
Awesome! Any plans for the mids in the dash? I'm pretty sure mine are blown, and I don't really want to go the OEM route.
I don't yet. I need to confirm the size, but I am kind of in the place with these things (speakers) that anything is probably better than what's in there. Especially in the dash where 12 years of sun has *got* to take a toll.

I have actually considered picking up a pair tomorrow and dropping them in. Why not, right?
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:36 AM
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This thread is inspiring - especially since BavAuto hit the dust with the E53 DSP offering - I look for a simple upgrade solution as well, hopefully to compliment my upcoming Avant-3
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2016, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PropellerHead View Post
So inspired was I by Jay's work on his JL speakers, that I found myself open to the notion of a speaker upgrade in the E53.

That's not entirely true. I've always been a bit of a speaker fiend, but I haven't actually fiddled with speakers in a BMW since the early 90's when I replaced the once-upgraded units in my 1975 2002. Since then, I never found the value prop behind spending money on a system through which I normally listen to news radio, classical radio, and radio radio. I did install the AUX input a couple years ago, so I can at least get streaming digital, but that's more ab something to keep my ears busy than it is a passion for music. I certainly don't care much about symphonic reproduction, accuracy, or any of the other things that have some folks replacing entire OEM audio systems. Not for me.

But what I learned through the most recent threads is that the speaker upgrade I thought was impossible without a BavAuto offering was not only possible, but it could be done for a nominal price, return very nice sound, and retain the OE look, brackets, and connectors. Sign me up, Coach.

And so it was that I found myself out and about faced with a JL Audio set much less expensive than it was online. It was a sign that they had two of them- one for the front and one for the rear.

Now, against the advice from Jay's work, I found these at 6.5" instead of 6". The key here is that they are not 'oversized' 6.5" which are closer to 6.75". Another poster there mentioned that they could be 160mm and would fit with a little encouragement. Indeed, while others cut with a dremel or snips or something like that, I found the metal mounting ring of the speakers was easy to simply shape up and inward with a small pair of flat nose pliers. Once carefully turned upward, the physical fit was fine. We used silicon rather than hot glue for the bond to the OE housing. We put a bead down on the lip behind the speaker and a bead along the top once seated. They're not going anywhere, and they're not vibrating either.

Now the cool part happened when we got lucky with the tweeters in the door. The JL tweeters are WAY smaller than the OE ones, so that presents a challenge for the mount. We looked around for some foam and could not believe how lucky we were to discover this perfect solution.

The tweeters in the door are difficult to remove, but not impossible. Once removed, the opening from the back of the speaker grill is the exactly the same size as the foam insulation for copper water pipe. The 'test fit was nearly impossible to believe:

When viewed from the inside, the speakers appear no different from OE. They do not rattle, and the sound... Well...

I'm more than 25 years older than I was when I did this the last time. What I've noticed is that I don't hear so well. In fact, I suspect that one reason I don't listen to the radio much with the girls in tow is that I need it a bit louder- just to hear the words.

We only got through the rear doors today, but the sound improvement is amazing. For $113, this may be one of the more incredible 'bang for the buck' mods I have done. Just hearing the rear speakers makes me confident that the fronts we do tomorrow are going to be transformative.

We'll do the front doors tomorrow. If there's time, we'll do the BSW sub that I bought this summer. It was on clearance and I couldn't resist having a bit of E53 legend in my own X5.

More to come.
Prop I told you that you would like the JL audio upgrade. Its awesome that you were able to get their 6.5 woofer to work correctly with minimal modification. The front will also prove to be a great improvement once you get them installed. Thanks for sharing your findings.

Last edited by X53Jay4.8is; 12-30-2016 at 09:55 AM.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2016, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
Nice work Prop. I find with mounting solutions for speakers, it's much less about aesthetics and much more about solidity. No rattles, as you mentioned, is the end goal... so your mounting solutions look plenty good to me. Definitely a great value for the enjoyment factor, though I admit, I am biased when it comes to audio mods as a quasi-audiophile. Very few things make me feel better than listening to music be reproduced accurately in a vehicle I really enjoy driving.

What impedance are those drivers btw? I assume they match the factory drivers to play nice with the factory amp. Do you have DSP?
I agree with you Crystalworks with comment on the mounting solutions of the OE system. This is why I chose a speaker that could work with this mount. The impedance on the JLs that I run are 4 ohms as opposed to the 8 ohm O.E. drivers.
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2016, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X53Jay4.8is View Post
The impedance on the JLs that I run are 4 ohms as opposed to the 8 ohm O.E. drivers.
It's early, but do you anticipate any troubles? I have since read about 4 vs 8 Ohm- or any x vs x Ohm. One of the things I read said that you could get distortion on loud music. Don't play it loud, so no issue there. Another said that it takes more power to run a 4 Ohm vs 8. This additional power need might drive heat to the amp- in this case, DSP. I am a bit worried ab what this will do after I install the front 4 in the doors.

I have also looked for but not found a dash speaker solution. I am going to head out for the front door install, but I may stop in a shop to see if they the 3" speakers that I found. I'll let you guys know.
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2016, 11:54 AM
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That is why I asked about the impedance Prop. I was worried as well about, basically, overdriving the amp. You are sending double the power, to each of those drivers. Factory amplifiers usually aren't happy with that, especially as you mentioned, at higher volumes. I've had customers with Mercedes try to do this and it ended horribly but they were much older cars with much less capable amps.

If you haven't heard any distortion yet, above your listening levels, I think you'll be fine though.
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