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E46 front tweeter crossover question

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E46 front tweeter crossover question

Postby Gaz » Mon, 09 Jan 2006 23:11:23 UTC

Hi all,

I'm currently scoping a sound-on-top amp to add to the standard business headunit and then looking at upgrading the components at the front of the car (and then the coaxials at the back).

My questions are:

If the front has tweeters, there must be a crossover somewhere - can anyone advise where?

If I buy new speakers (say, Genesis Profiles) can I use the exisiting wiring to the tweeter and the exisiting crossover? Or will I need to rip out the wiring to the tweeter and wire the new crossover (from Genesis) in somewhere?

Thanks
Gaz
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Postby ACS » Mon, 09 Jan 2006 23:41:56 UTC

I recently changed the front speakers on my E46 (coupe). Didn't find any crossover, not even a high-pass capacitor. The tweaters were just wired parallel to the woofer.

My problem was finding a space near the speakers to put in the crossover. I ended up putting it at the rear of the door. I have yet to wire in an amplifier, so will have to wait and see if it the length of the wires make it susceptible to interference.

Btw, I did rip out the old connector to the woofer and just inserted an in-line connector going to the crossover ... so I can still take out the door card without much trouble.

HTH
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Postby Gaz » Tue, 10 Jan 2006 18:53:44 UTC

Thanks ACS,

So you took the feed to the woofer and input that to the crossover, and from the crossover to the woofer and tweeter? Did you need to run extra wires through the door to the tweeter for this?

Sorry, i'm having a hard time picturing it, so if you describe what wires went where, that'd be great :).
Gaz
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Postby ACS » Tue, 10 Jan 2006 23:31:36 UTC

Yes to the first question, but no to the second. There is only 1 pair of wire (+ and -) from the head unit going through the door. Both woofer and tweeter are connected to this pair of wire.

When we put in a crossover it acts as a splitter ... the signal on the wire coming from the head unit is filtered by the crossover into high frequencies (going to the tweeter) and into low frequencies (going to the woofer).

The attached illustration might help. The line colored red represents a pair of wires with their corresponding polarities (+ and -) and comes from the head unit.

Image

At first I tried using double-sided tape to hold the crossover against the door card since there were no suitable points to screw it in. But decided later to just wrap the crossover with foam and sandwiched between the door card and the door itself ... not professional-looking, but guarantees not to make any vibration problem :wink:
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Postby Gaz » Tue, 10 Jan 2006 23:37:07 UTC

Ahh, excellent - i see now.

Obviously the coupé wiring is different to the saloon wiring - my tweeter isn't in the door like yours, my tweeter is at the bottom of the A pillar which may make wiring a lot more difficult :(.
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Postby ACS » Tue, 10 Jan 2006 23:49:16 UTC

My mistake ... from the ETK I thought the tweeter is just opposite the side mirror base plate, which should place its wiring still within the door.

I don't envy you [:D]
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Postby Gaz » Wed, 11 Jan 2006 22:57:44 UTC

Does the E46 headunit have the crossover built into the headunit?

As in, are there seperate high frequency feeds for the tweeter and seperate low/mid frequencies for the woofer?

According to this page with the diagram of the block (two thirds down) http://e46fanatics.com/faq/stereosaga.html it would appear so?

Therefore, if the crossover is built in, can't i just wire up the new tweeters into where the stock units are currently?
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Postby Ascotgrun » Wed, 11 Jan 2006 23:22:16 UTC

Try not to compare stereo info over on E46 fanatics, that is a US based site and they have different audio equipment than we get.

It is quite possible that there is a high pass filter built into the OEM tweeter already, it wouldn't have to be very big and could be hidden in the connector plug.
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Postby Gaz » Wed, 11 Jan 2006 23:25:05 UTC

Damn, trying to get a conclusive answer on this but it's proving elusive so far.

If i could drop speakers straigh in, that would be great but i don't want to be hacking into wires.
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Postby Ascotgrun » Thu, 12 Jan 2006 08:47:47 UTC

"Damn, trying to get a conclusive answer on this but it's proving elusive so far. "

Thats how I am finding the audio side of things.  Unfortunately just too many different audio configurations about and everyone seems to be tackling them different ways so no hard fast guidelines.

As for just dropping in speakers I wouldn't.  I don't know what ohms the factory speakers are or watts the headunit is putting out and simply cutting OEM wires off and sticking in aftermarket speakers may not give the desired result.  I intend to fully bypass all the factory wiring and run my own when I upgrade the audio in my car.
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Postby ACS » Thu, 12 Jan 2006 13:49:04 UTC

Ascotgrun wrote:Unfortunately just too many different audio configurations about and everyone seems to be tackling them different ways so no hard fast guidelines.
I couldn't agree with you more. Except for the tweeter bit [:D]

I've searched all over regarding the size of the front woofers on the coupe, and every answer I found pointed to 5¼" ... Then I removed the door card and found out it has 6" :?

Gaz, give me the build date of your E46 - including the month ... I'll  look it up on the schematic diagram. So far the WDS/Wiring Diagram has proven to be accurate, even up to the wires' colors.
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Postby Gaz » Thu, 12 Jan 2006 17:44:15 UTC

ACS, that'd be great.

My 320D was manufactured (based on the black plate on the front suspension tower) in January 2001 and was first registered in March 2001.

Thanks again.
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Postby Gaz » Thu, 12 Jan 2006 20:22:54 UTC

Just spotted this on another thread, regarding an E39 but I expect an E46 would be the same:

Yes, I replaced the woofer and tweeter. I didn't bother with the crossover. Reason being, and I'm open to correction on this, is that I figured BMW have alreay split the high/low frequency in the head unit i.e. you already have individual leads for woofer and tweeter.

Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but with a crossover you would take the normal "speaker" (FR, FL, RR, RL) output from your normal amp, feed it into the crossover and this is where it splits the single cable into woofer and tweeter. This job was already done.

Another point on the tweeter install, and it's mentioned on the tips and tricks article, is there is no real need to physically mount the tweeter. Just stuff it into the special foam piece behine the grille and that should hold it in place. At least in the E39 that's the case.


That's exactly what I suspect, the signal is split to high/low freqs in the headunit as the loom indicates that there are feeds to the woofer and feeds to the tweeter.
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Postby ACS » Fri, 13 Jan 2006 00:32:22 UTC

This is getting confusing :wink:

According to the WDS, for all non-US LHD saloons built between Sept. 1999 and March 2001, the wiring is the same as the coupe - that the tweeter is connected in parallel with the woofer. No crossover, no amplifier. That's for the standard stereo system. Below is a portion of the diagram, with inserted pics for the speakers on the driver's door. The speakers are all wired to the radio control unit.

Image

The standard system consists of a woofer and tweeter on each front door and 2 full range speakers in the parcel shelf (a total of 6).  

However, if your E46 has more than 6 speakers, it is either a Hi-Fi or HK system. Both systems have an amplifier included, with separate outputs for each and every speaker. I suspect it's the same case with the E39 owner you quoted, that there is an OEM amp fitted - hence, no crossover is needed.
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Postby Gaz » Sat, 14 Jan 2006 17:56:29 UTC

Acs, many many thanks for that!

It suggests that if the tweeters are wired in parallel to the woofers that there must be an inline crossover somewhere - most probably a very basic capacitor (similar to my clio 182) on the back of the tweeter.

What it does confirm is that I will probably require to use a crossover.

Knowing that the full range is fed to the woofer, it's a simple case of taking the woofer feed into the crossover, and from there wiring in the new woofers/tweeters.
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Postby RichardP » Sun, 15 Jan 2006 16:16:31 UTC

I'm considering changing the front speakers in my touring, currently looking at Infinity Kappa Perfect 5.1.  They have a 5 1/4" base unit and a 1" tweeter.

Has anyone else tried these or have any better sugestions?

From what I can find on the web, the current drive units are 6 1/4", but I can't find any decent replacements of that size.  Most seem to be 5 1/4 or 6 1/2.

I currently have the stock BMW HK system which has mushy base and the door panals vibrate at anything other than moderate volume so I'll be looking at ways to stop that too.
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Postby bagpuss » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 09:54:38 UTC

Hello to all form my first post on bmwland.

Spooky to find this question, as I have been asking this same(well close)
On BMW forums all over the web, with very strange answers.

My 320D saloon built in Nov 2003 with bussiness radio and cd changer does not have an esternal amp.


The speakers in the Front doors have the tweeters connected to the back of the speaker. the tweeter is is in the corner not in the door like the coupe.


I have just fitted Pheonix Gold 5 1/4 components in the doors. replacing the stock tweeter also.

The cables for the door connect into the a piller on a plug and as I did nto whish to mess around with this I used the stock wiring in the door and when I had the amp I will pick up the wires in the footwells.

On thing to note is the stock tweeter is mounted on the bolts that hold your wing mirror on.

You have two choices

Completely remove the plastic trim to allow full access. loosen the bolts and remove tweeter. the work Ok as the bolts have an extra ring to allow this, so removing bracket will not affect the wing mirror

However removing the plastic cover, is a major headbang as it goes all round the frame.

Second way, (the way I did it on second door) is to just pull back plastic enough to get a small hacksaw blade in to cut the top part then pull down and it pops off.

Inside the plastic cover there is a foan insert which is nice and easy to push your new tweeter through this fitting snugg against the grill.


Hope this helps and I have the wiring colours two for pos and neg if you need them.

For my car I am also keeping the stock head unit and adding amps and SUb

Will post pics of install when done

Ta
Doug aka bagpuss
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Postby RichardP » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 11:48:06 UTC

Bagpus, could you confirm the size of the stock base units.  Did the 5 1/4  Phoenix Gold units plug in directly or did you have to add a bezel to get them in?

Idealy I'd like to get all the bits I need before I take the door apart, other wise I'll have to do it twice - once to find out what I need and then again to actually do the job.
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Postby bagpuss » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 12:53:49 UTC

Hi Richard,

Ok the stock speakers are a around 6" but to be able to fit after market 6"s in there you would need a lot of time and some fiber glass. this is becasue of the way the speakers are attatached to the door card not the door itself.

There is no hole in the door so depth is an issue too.

I bought some autoleads adapters to fitt them in.
They are the same in the doors as in the rear shelf. £10 sextons

The stock speakers are screwed to the door card with three small bolts

You fit the speaker to the ring with self tapping screws and then mount both to the door card.

The problem then is that when you fit  them over the plate the bolts you took out are too short to use. :shock:

I was lucky (my missis hates it) I keep boxes and boxes of crap. so found 6 bolts with same thread and cut them to lengh :D

The other problem I had was that the PGs' did not quite sit nicely on the plastic rings and then not to well on the door cards.

I would strongly advise the use of some self almagimating tape or something to make the seal around the speakers.

I thought about scrapping the idea of using the plastic ring over making some MDF rings but did not have any 3mm to hand, :o  anything thicker and you would hit the door on mounting them.

Once they where screwd on I then used some silcone over the edges to seal them up.
Sounds messy, but I want them to sound good not look neat in a picture.  8-)

It's not that complicated, just a little time consuming to do it right.
Took me about 2 hours on the drivers door working it all out, how to get the card off and stuff.
Pasenger took 30mins start to finish

HTH
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Postby bagpuss » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 12:59:21 UTC

adapter looks like this

Image

From www.auto-connect.co.uk auto-connect.co.uk
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