Mark and his brother Chris are long standing customers and friends of ours over at Studio Incar, both lads heavily into sound, mainly "B-line" but appreciating quality in equal measures. This is about Mark's awesome E92 335d Coupe, the type of car that's never seen a single panel lifted hardly any miles and just generally in perfect condition. We were all slightly jealous down here of its "perfect daily" status.
Plans were afoot before the car was actually purchased, as is the case with these lads, we always seem to have a long term goal set out. Where many a talker would fall short, these guys just plough on and things usually run like clockwork. Anyway, the conversations were had, the booking was made, down payment taken and on with the purchase of the kit ready to hit the ground running.
- Audison bit DMI
- Audison Bit One Processor
- Audison SFC
- Audison AV bit in x3 (for digital transfer into AV amps)
- Audison Voce AV quattro x 2
- Audison Voce uno
- Bluetooth audio streamer (digital coax)
- Connections cabling
- Connections SFD 41C
- Morel Elate 8" Midbass
- Hybrid Audio L4 SE Carbon Edition
- Hybrid Audio L1 pro tweeters
- JL Audio TW5 Subwoofer x2
- Skins Sound Deadening
As you can see that's a bit of a spec list. Mark wanted the system to play clean all the way through to a very high level. Loud with large bass, plenty of slam/impact with the option to continuously tune the system. The products were carefully selected for these specs and the system was kept completely digital up until the amps output so we could retain as clean a signal transfer as possible.
Although I am personally a fan of analog signals, there is no denying digital media and signal transfer for its ultra clean presentation and effortless ease of use. We're huge believers at Studio Incar that digital transfer in cars is the way ahead. Simply by extracting digital data from tablets/smart phones and keeping the signal this way as far down the chain as you can, you can turn any of these new age products into digital hubs with incredible scope in terms of functionality, far better than that of any headunit available. A new era?
Enough of us banging on about that, let's talk about the car and its system.. The E and F series platforms are funny ones, 8" shallow midbass under the seat (if you're lucky enough to have a good installer you'll get a full size in there), 4" midrange half way up the door and a tweeter on the sail panel should you spec it that way. Not the ideal for making a monster front stage, however lets give it a good bash.
The Hybrid L1 pro's were chosen over the SE's due to their low resonance and frequency response being more favourable when used with the incredible L4 se Carbons. A "mid car" aiming position was picked and stuck to with the custom sail panel tweeter builds to allow an efficient spread of sound and help with staging. The L4's are fixed at the stock location however they have had custom baffles made to secure them and minimise energy loss and the doors are completely deadened inside and out plus door card rears were deadened and mass added where we could. Unfortunately i don't have any picture's of the midbass and their custom enclosures, we kept the sill venting in place and removed the stock box making our own version with much better tolerance for a large midbass like the Morel.
JL Audio's incredible TW5 slim subwoofers are one of our favourites, just incredible levels of low warm bass from a woofer just 3.5" deep needing a silly small enclosure size makes them not only a dream to listen to but just as pleasant to install. The plan was made to install these two in the aperture between the seats and boot space to separate the two parts of the cabin and minimise internal cabin space for efficiency. A hatch was made, when the seats are up the subwoofers still play well even when loading they're in time and play low with plenty of extension, with them down typically the output is higher whilst remaining composed.
Heading up the system in the boot is an arsenal of Audison's AV level kit, all controlled and fed signal digitally through its "full DA" system, using Cat 5e cables to distribute signal from the Bit One processor linking from one amp to the next and allowing control from the DRC - Digital Remote Control as it goes. Signal doesn't get much better than this, I love how innovative Audison are in the car audio market with many "firsts" to their name and this one is nothing short of brilliance in terms of future proofing mobile audio an leading the way in how signal will be transferred in years to come. Couple this system with a digital source an you're on to a winner.
An Audison AV uno is used to power the two TW5 with ease, then a pair of Audison AV Quattro are used, one to bridge the midbass in the front for buckets of power and one to actively run the midrange and tweeters allowing us to control time delay, crossovers, slopes and EQ on each speaker as we see fit. A completely custom rack with open front edge for cooling, reinforced glass lid and then a load cover for the shopping tops of the installation.
The boot, infact the whole of the install was approached with a subtle "oem" feel, using real nappa and Alcantara plus factory carpet throughout, there are times you can't see a single upgrade in the car but you can certainly hear it. This car sounds ace, fast paced however deep and "fluffy" when needed switching to hard hitting when asked. The system itself works effortlessly alongside the car's factory system and has not lost a single control, infact it gained control from having our (free when supplying and fitting a Bit One) bluetooth digital upgrade!
Enough of me ranting on, i could talk about this system and its sound all day. In fact me and Steve sat in the car for a good 2.5hrs after work one night just listening to it and time ran away with us, that's when you know its good.
Shakey - Studio Incar