Here at WSS Westminster Speed & Sound, we love BMWs. We love everything about them. Well, almost everything. We don’t like the sound quality of their audio systems. But when it came time to build another demo vehicle for our store, what better vehicle than a BMW?
We chose a unique 2009 BMW 335i sedan. This vehicle spent the first year of its life in BMW’s own fleet. It was used to showcase the company’s M Performance line of parts and accessories. And what a showcase! Practically every part available was added to this vehicle, from wheels to suspension, exhaust, shifter, steering wheel, and lots and lots of carbon fiber. When a good friend of ours found this vehicle for us, we knew it was perfect.
Dark Matter Window Film Protects The Interior of This BMW 335i
The first thing we did was tint the windows with our Dark Matter film, which is our premium film. It blocks 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays while rejecting close to 70% of the sun’s heat. Now the black leather interior is protected from sun damage while the interior stays much cooler on those hot summer days.
Front And Rear Cameras Enhance Vehicle Safety
One of our priorities in selecting a vehicle for this project was having the factory BMW navigation system. We added a reverse camera to the stock navigation screen, along with a front-view camera. The front camera is a big help with the beautiful front bumper, which has carbon fiber splitters. Those splitters mean that you have to be very careful when pulling into a parking spot or you can damage one of the splitters. The camera now makes that task seem unusually easy.
OEM Headunit And Audison BitOne.1 Processor Start The Audio System
When it came time to do the audio upgrade, one of our most important objectives was keeping the integrity of the vehicle intact. We know that many BMW owners lease their vehicles, so we wanted to showcase the ability to do sound improvements that are invisible, or look factory-installed.
We left the factory navigation system and all its controls intact In our vehicle, and did our upgrades downstream. We started with an Audison BitOne.1 processor. This device gives us incredible control over all aspects of the new sound system. Each speaker can now have its own dedicated amplifier channel, and we can custom-tune the crossover, time delay and 31 bands of equalization for each speaker. That is a lot of control.
Audison DRC And Escort Controls Custom Mounted In Ashtray Location
If you look at the pictures, you can see that we made a custom mount that went where the factory ashtray was located in the center console. It holds the BitOne.1 DRC controller, and the Escort 9500ci display and controls.
Escort Radar-Laser System For Higher Safety While Driving
What is an Escort 9500ci? Good question. It is a top-of-the-line, custom-installed radar detector and laser shifter. If you are going to drive a BMW like it was meant to be driven, then you are going to need one. This is truly a product where the installation may be more important than the product itself. If you want the system to have optimum effectiveness, the sensors and modules have to be installed perfectly. And, since every vehicle is different, you can’t take a cookie-cutter approach to the installation. In our 335i, we were able to put the radar receiver behind the grill, completely hidden from view, but in a spot where it will have maximum range.
The laser shifters have to have an unobstructed view at either end of the vehicle to be effective. They are truly a unique product. If your vehicle is shot with laser radar, the shifters will fire back at the gun, giving it an unreadable signal. You now have time to slow down, avoiding you-know-what. The front shifters come standard with the 9500ci, and we added the optional rear laser shifters. Statistics show that, most of the time, you will only be shot with laser from the front, but if you want the ultimate in laser defense, you may want to consider the rear shifters as well.
Audison 8″ Woofers Replace Factory Speakers Under The Front Seats
When it came time for front speakers, we went back to Audison. We chose the AP8 – 8” woofers – because they fit in the floor where BMW puts its factory-installed woofers. The AP8s are extremely shallow so they can fit in the extremely tiny enclosures that BMW provides. The enclosures themselves have to be customized to fit this high-performance speaker. If you look at the pictures, you can see that, once the modifications were done, the factory grills went back on, and the car looked original. We applied Hushmat damping material to the bottom of the enclosure to eliminate any rattling or vibration.
Front Doors Upgraded With Audison Voce Speakers
In the front doors, we used the factory locations that BMW provided for our new speakers, and we chose Audison AV3.0, 3” midranges and Audison AV1.1, 1.1” tweeters. Just like we did in the floor, we made custom mounts to hold the drivers in the doors while keeping the stock grills intact. The door panels had a completely stock look to them. Modern BMW doors are not known to have low-frequency buzzing like a normal car door, so we installed Hushmat Silencer Megabond, a product designed to block road noise at higher frequencies. The end result is a quieter interior, making all of the nuances of the music much more noticeable.
Audison Voce 10 inch Subwoofer Supplies Plenty Of Low Frequency Output
When it came to a subwoofer, we chose the Audison AV10, an incredible-sounding 10” subwoofer. If you look at the pictures, you can see that the subwoofer is mounted in a custom enclosure that tucks perfectly into the passenger side of the vehicle. For the rare instance when you need access to the battery, the enclosure is easily removed. We applied Hushmat damping material to strategic areas to eliminate any rattling or vibration that may be caused by the subwoofer.
Compact Hertz HDP Amplifiers Crank Out Plenty Of Clean Power
When it came time to choose amplifiers for this project, we needed ones that had great output but very compact dimensions. We chose two Hertz amplifiers, the HDP4 models. Each of the six front speakers gets 150 watts of clean power while the subwoofer gets more than 500 watts of power dedicated just to it. When you have this kind of power in an audio system, you have an almost limitless supply of dynamic range, and the music is reproduced with incredible impact and realism. We installed the two amplifiers and the BitOne.1 processor behind the driver’s side rear panel, completely hidden from view. We custom-made a metal amp rack to hold the amplifiers in place, securely bolted to the chassis of the vehicle.
In this vehicle, we were looking to maximize the sound quality, so we disabled the stock rear speakers, as they added nothing to the sound quality of the system. If we design a system for you, the rear speakers can surely be left active to play when needed.
Professional Audio Tuning Abilities Set WSS Westminister Speed And Sound Apart
Where the rubber meets the road in a high-performance audio system is in the final tuning. Many shops will tune a vehicle until it sounds “good enough” for the customer. That is not the way we do things at WSS Westminster Speed & Sound. We feel that every customer should get all of the sound they pay for, so we tune each and every system to meet their individual needs. Our team of technicians are highly skilled and expertly trained in this area. Our service manager has tuned vehicles that have won the prestigious IASCA Car Audio world finals, and our owner has been a sound engineer for over a decade. Together, they meticulously extract every last ounce of sound quality for our customers.
We Are YOUR BMW Experts, Give Us A Call Today
If you own a BMW and have always wanted your ultimate driving machine to have a sound system worthy of the BMW roundel, give us a call. We would love to get together with you and your vehicle and discuss your goals for the audio system. Maybe you’re looking for a custom-installed radar/laser defense system, or a backup camera. Whatever the case may be, we will work one on one with you to custom-design and build solutions for you that will work best for your unique needs. Let us show you why Mobile Electronics magazine chose us as one of the Top Mobile Electronics Retailers in the Nation for 2011, 2012 and 2013, and again in 2014.
You can also contact us here for more information about any of our products and services.