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From Tue Oct 8 12:21:55 1996
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 12:20:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: fmwong <>
Subject: Car Audio

Hi guys,

Since I received several inquiries regarding my own stereo system, I will give a general response regarding my system. So, if you have any more specific questions, please e-mail me.

Source Unit:

I replaced my factory radio with a Clarion ARX 9170 which is mated with a Clarion 12 disc changer mounted in the trunk. I went with the 9170 because it had the orangish display and it had the squarish display characters which matched my interior gauge lighting and the optional trip computer. The color and finish also matched my interior. (I've got the silver grey color interior.) The changer was mounted using the factory cd changer mounting kit. However, the bracket had to be custom made since the 12 disc changer was much bigger than the factory 6 disc changer.

Front Stage(front speakers):

For my front stage, I'm using the Boston Acoustics Pro 6.4 Series. This consists of separate 6.5" mids and 1" titanium dome tweeters with externally mounted crossovers. I chose Bostons because they sound "warm" and yet have pretty good mids and mid punch. Additionally, the tweeter is awesome and small enough for tight installs. The E36's have 5.25" mids in the kick panel. The BA 6.4s were very tight to install in my kick panels. I had custom made kick panels fabricated to accomodate the 6.5" mid and 1" tweeter. The shop made these out of MDF, fiberglass, and bondo. The kick panels come out about 1" from the stock panels. The panels were covered in matching dark grey leather. I also had the plastic door sill panels covered in the same leather. Metal mesh grills were formed to enclose the speaker area. The hood release on the drivers side was fabricated into the panel and the dead pedal was narrowed about 3/4". I had a piece of aluminum fitted and chromed for my dead pedal. Rubber strips were glue onto the dead pedal. The 6.5" mids are not angled. The hole for the tweeters were angled to direct to the ear level for imaging. Since the 6.5" mids were bigger than the stock 5.25" mids, some of the metal had to be cut away.

Since my system isn't done yet, (it's about 95% complete) we haven't tuned it yet on the RTA. However, first impressions are that it sounds really full and images well. But, I would like more mid bass punch. The custom kick panels look really great. The leather looks very concourse and makes the car look much more expensive and luxurious. It sure makes all the plastic pieces look cheap. If you noticed on the factory panels, there's that curve at the bottom where it meets the carpet. Well, my new panels have the same curve.

Rear Fill (back speakers):

The factory rear speakers are 4" with a 1" tweeter. My goal here was to just have rear fill and not have full range speakers in the back since it would ruin my imaging in the front. We used the factory enclosures but unhooked the factory tweeter. We replaced the factory 4" with a Boston Acoustics 4" Pro speaker. New speaker wires were run to the amp. Since these speakers were my rear fill, we had the gains on the amps turned way low so as to make sure they didn't interfere with my front stage. Some of you who are familiar with "rear fill" may be wondering why I didn't just use the factory 4" speaker. Well, since I have rear passengers maybe about 5%, I didn't want them to suffer by listening to cheap speakers.

Bass (subwoofers):

I like a lot of bass. However, I don't like bass which tends to rumble like it does on rap music. I prefer my bass to attack hard. Essentially, I like bass which hits you in the chest and stops. This is refered to as tight bass. For my bass, I'm using two Boston Acoustics 12.4 woofers. These are 12" woofers with big magnets. The woofers weigh about 24 lbs each with the magnet weighing about 23 lbs. WOW!! Boston woofers are good for tight bass which you would find on jazzy music. The two woofers were mounted into a custom made aluminum box which contain the aperiodic membranes. This box mounts up into the rear shelf of the trunk. My rear deck and this box were Dynamatted like stink on a monkey. Two holes were cut into the rear shelf for the woofers to push air through. The holes were cut about 6" square right next to the factory rear speakers. I bought another set of factory speaker grills which cover these holes which were mounted about 0.5" from the factory grills. When you look into the trunk, you see this aluminum box which hangs down about 3-4" and spans the width of the trunk. Then you see the two big woofer baskets. The aperiodic membranes are great. They save alot of space since the E36's are very tight.

Well, that completes the speaker set up of my system. I've got to go to lunch so I'll continue this some other time.

94 BMW 325is-black on silver grey

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 09:57:25 -0700 (PDT) From: fmwong <>
To: Dale Beuning <>
Subject: Re: Car Audio

> Frank,
> Wow! Sounds like a great system! If you could mention in your
> continuation where you got the work done, I'd really appreciate it.
> I'd love to have some custom work done like this, but how do you find
> someone you trust to cut up your car?
> thanks
> Dale
> PS Have you thought about doing a web page on your stereo?
Hi Dale,

My stereo work was done by Automotive Entertainment in Pasadena, California. The service manager is Mike Gendusa. You can him at (818) 577-1200. I was referred to Mike by a good friend of mine. My friend has had about 6 of his cars worked on by Mike over the past 5-10 years. A couple of his cars were really nice (92 Mercedes 300E and a 94 Mercedes 500E). I decided to have Mike work on my system for several reasons: 1) he's a really nice guy. 2) He has no attitude and he takes the time to show
you equipment. 3) His prices are very reasonable to good. Some shops will charge less for labor but end up charging more for the equipment.

Also, they just set up a web page. It is still under construction but you can check it out. (

Mike has asked me if I would mind having pictures of my system on the web page. When the cosmetics are completely done, we'll have the pictures on the net.

Let me know if you have anymore questions. I know it was hard for me to let people work on my car so I know what you mean.


From Wed Oct 9 17:15:21 1996
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 17:04:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: fmwong <>
Subject: Car Audio

Continuation of my car stereo description.

Processor board:

Right behind the rear fold down seats, I have an aluminum board which holds two AudioControl EQT's. The EQT's are basically 1/3 octave equalizers which are used to fine tune the system. Just below the EQT's, I've got a 1 farad capacitor for power peaks. To the right of the capacitor, I've got a positive and ground distribution block. Right next to this, I've got a positive fuse block. All the power to the amps and EQT's come off of this fuse block. This board was painted and clearcoated to match my black exterior. Rubber grommets were used to prottect the wiring through the board. The board looks really nice since it is shiny. My plan is to put a cover board over this board with plexiglass windows displaying the EQT's and the cap and the dist. blocks. The goal is to get this cover board covered in leather or vinyl to match the rear seats.


My system uses a total of three amps. I have two Xtant 2200i's and one Xtant 2140c. One of the 2200i's runs the front speakers, one of the 2200 runs the woofers and the 2140 runs the rear fill. Basically, I have 200 watts for the front, 400 watts for the bass, and 140 watts for the rear fill. The amp is way too big for the rear fill but, for cosmetics, I chose the 2140 because a smaller amp would look to ugly. (anyhow, the gains on the 2140 are way down)

The three amps are mounted standing sideways. They're mounted onto a sheet of 3/16" aluminum which was cut to fit the back half of the trunk. The aluminum sheet was also painted and clearcoated to match my car. Imagine the 2200i amps standing sideways in a "V" configuration with the point of the "V" right at where the back seats separate. Now, just in front of this "V", I have the 2140 amp.

Well folks, that's really all there is to write about. My next project will be to fabricate an aluminum housing for the cd changer and to replace the battery and fabricate a new battery cover.

If you have any more questions, let me know. Also, you can check out my installer's web page. It's still under construction but what the heck. Pictures of my system should be in their web page when I get everything done.

Automotive Entertainment
Ask for Mike Gendusa _at_ (818) 577-1200
web page:


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