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      01-11-2021, 05:29 PM   #199
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You are a wrapping machine
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      01-12-2021, 09:48 AM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryansbmw View Post
You are a wrapping machine
One of the few inexpensive and fun things to do on this car :-)

Have you been doing any more wrapping lately?
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      01-12-2021, 10:48 AM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
One of the few inexpensive and fun things to do on this car :-)

Have you been doing any more wrapping lately?
I have not. I could stand to re-wrap the long pieces on either side of the center arm rest. The back corner right above the rear air vents is a bit messy. I just havent been in the mood to take it all apart and I never see it since Im never in the back seat.
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      02-08-2021, 04:38 PM   #202
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Looks great!
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      02-11-2021, 02:01 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
......
Here are some pix since I haven't posted anything in a while...

Final Template:
Attachment 2502039

Testing template on the mirror:
Attachment 2502040

Parts wrapped in gloss black:
Attachment 2502041

Attachment 2502042

Will post pix on vehicle when they get put back on...
Awesome work - congratulations....!

And by the way, when you posted the diference carbon fiber wraps, i also orderd just a 4-5 different carbon samples to experiment a little bit, exactly on the mirrors.... ;-)


keep on going on whit your posts - i follow gladly....
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      02-11-2021, 07:42 PM   #204
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Thanks for posting, much appreciated...

Coming soon...

I've been working the Bowers & Wilkins speaker upgrade to my S752A Individual audio system, but been posting my details on the General BMW X5 (E70) forum b/c of the collaboration with other members. To sum up, I found a guy who is building me custom XO's based on the B&W speakers and the E70 listener seating positions. Last week I sent mid and tweets off for frequency response testing to help create the custom E70 crossovers for the center dash, front doors, and rear doors. Now we'll get to see how these g-series B&W speakers actually fare. If it works out you'll be able to order the same XO kits since I already paid for the analysis. I'll keep you all updated here and hopefully it's not a flop...

Also FINALLY ordered the oem parts to install the dinan suspension kit...been sitting on this for years. I dusted off the DIY I was writing for this job (a combination of many diys found on forums plus TIS), I just need to do the install so I can finalize the writeup...actual install always varies from written.

Other stuff still on my list, but moved down: Android screen DAC audio adventure, removing oem exhaust tips w/o chopping and welding, F85 rotors...
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      02-12-2021, 05:13 PM   #205
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That's great. Thanks brother
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      02-20-2021, 03:47 PM   #206
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Where we stand today, 34,707 miles, kinda dusty and bad glare...

Shown here with Front 10mm spacers and Rear 15mm spacers. Soon to add parts on the bench: lowering springs, 12.5mm Front, 20mm Rear spacers, and titanium studs. An excel program I created (details later) tells me these are the closest I can get (F1.8mm/R4.3mm from fender flair edge) without exceeding the fender, given these 21" wheels and Michelin tires.


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      02-23-2021, 01:11 PM   #207
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Looking good Argento, can't believe only 34k miles!
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      02-24-2021, 07:20 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
REFERENCE POST #144 ABOVE for my exact Android Monitor Model and Purchase Options, as well as pre-purchase Q&A from the Vendor:

Some things to consider when installing the Android Monitor:

1. Prior to disconnecting the battery, move the passenger seat (or seat you plan to use for install) to a far forward comfortable position to keep you from having to lean forward as much. Also open glovebox.

2. The Android monitor needs GPS and the factory radio needs GPS (if vehicle equipped with factory NAV). IF your vehicle has the factory navigation option you can use the GPS splitter to split the radio GPS to the monitor **OR** leave GPS to the radio and install the provided GPS module (LVSD connection on back of monitor) somewhere in your dash near the windshield. If you don't have factory navigation, then you must install the provided GPS module.

3. If vehicle does not have middle dash speaker, then the two speaker wires in the provided Android harness are not used.

4. Install Harness - Camera +12V, Rear Camera RCA’s not used in installation if vehicle already equipped with backup camera.

5. On the back of the Android Monitor, plug in two smaller connectors first (if applicable to your application), b/c difficult to install if larger connector first installed

6. IF, once connected, audio is not picked via the factory harness, connect the Android AUX OUT to OEM AUX IN using an Aux Cable. You need at least a 4ft Aux Cable (very minimum). I recommend purchasing a better aux cable than is provided by the MFG of the monitor. See audio Methods in SOUND QUALITY post above for more info

7. If, after all connections are made, no OEM display can be seen then cycle through all CAR TYPES first to see if one works. I cycled through 9 and the ninth one worked for me. If still no display, disassemble monitor and check all monitor connectors

8. If you plan to use the Monitor's USBs, you'll likely need an 1m usb extension cable.

9. I created wiring diagrams in Visio showing oem wiring versus android wiring. PM me if you want me to email you a PDF.

10. Just a reminder that the flat black connector that connects into the OEM display is unused in the Android Monitor; tuck it away.

11. If you find the Android and OEM Monitors blank with no power and you CIC (radio) is also out, check fuse 142 (20A) in the trunk.

12. [UPDATED JAN.2021] AUTO DIMMING OPERATIONS:

Key In, Start ON, Engine OFF, Lights Off, Android Brightness Setting 100%
-Both Android and OEM Screens are same brightness
-Dimmer switch does nothing
-OEM>Settings>Control Display>Screen Brightness does nothing

Key In, Start ON, Engine OFF, Lights Off, Android Brightness Setting 0%
-Both Android and OEM Screens are same low dim output
-Dimmer switch does nothing.
-OEM>Settings>Control Display>Screen Brightness does nothing

Key In, Start ON, Engine OFF, Android Brightness Setting 100%
-Both Android and OEM Screens are bright, I turn on lights, both oem and android screens switch to a random dimmed setting
-Dimmer switch does nothing.
-OEM>Settings>Control Display>Screen Brightness does nothing

Key In, Start ON, Engine OFF, Lights Off, Android Brightness Setting 0%
-Both Android and OEM Screens are dim, I turn on lights, NO switch to a random dim setting (guessing it's at the lowest already)
-Dimmer switch does nothing.
-OEM>Settings>Control Display>Screen Brightness does nothing

The LIGHTS ON auto dim setting is dependent on the Android brightness setting, with 0% the lowest setting in the system. Another option, if more adjustment is needed, is try the CF Lumens app or equivalent. It adjusts screen brightness automatically to time of day and it may have more adjustment options to fit the needs. NOTE: As I learned from Nyc Dito The Dimmer Switch and Control Display Screen Brightness settings don't work because the dimming wire remains with the OEM NAV connector that we tuck away once the Android Monitor is installed.

13. Questions to 4x4 Shop; Thanks to Ray for a response within the hour...

Q: The Android keeps going back to 24hour time, even after setting it to 12 hour in multiple locations.
A: You can go to setting-time-if you select original time will stay with 24 hours, if you select sync to GPS signal, you can do 12 hours format.

Q: The BACK button on the iDrive does not reboot the system per the instructions
A: The back button won’t reboot the system, mistake on the information.

Q: WIFI doesn’t automatically connect, even with settings set to do so;
A: You need to turn off the hotspot from your phone and turn it back on, time out on the hotspot from your phone.

Q: Do you have any insight why some E70 X5 installs don’t need the AUX OUT to OEM AUX IN connection to hear sound?
A: For E70, always need to run the aux cable from the power harness from android to your factory AUX jack.

Q: Is it possible to add the Developer menu option in SETTINGS>SYSTEM>ADVANCED>DEVELOPER OPTIONS>FEATURE FLAGS>settings_seamless transfer? I would like to switch between audio sources: AUX OUT and USB Audio OUT. I successfully am using USB Audio Out to a DAC and coupled with a specific player app (UAPP).
A: You can activate the developer mode, but we don’t recommend customer to do any modification on that.

Q: Does 4x4 Shop offer a front camera setup compatible with my interior Rear View Mirror setup that has high-beam assistant and rain sensor? [I had to send pix of my cover (51-16-9-216-739)].
A: NO.

Q: How do I connect the TV Tuner?
A: You should have one harness with 4-5 RCA jack on it, that is the one for video and audio input, you can use it for your TV tuner. You can get the power for the tv tuner from your factory cigarette lighter adapter.

Attachment 2324174

Attachment 2324175

Attachment 2324193


Plenty more info in this thread regarding other users installation and issues: https://www.xbimmers.com/forums/show...highlight=avin

Good luck. Post more if you have them.
Hey argento - This thread has been super helpful on my journey trying to decide what unit I will buy to start my carplay retrofit. Thank you for all your thoughts here! I'm thinking to most likely get the 4x4 shop 10.25" android headunit—which i believe from this thread, is the same or similar to the one you have. It looks like you're an IOS user too. I really only care about having carplay and the nice new screen, and don't care about the android stuff. In an ideal world (for me personally) the screen would boot up and be carplay only, along with toggling back to OEM idrive stuff. This said, one thing I can't seem to figure out is how easy/fast it is to load up carplay on this 4x4 unit. Assuming you've paired the phone the first time after install, in the future when you re-start the car, how long does it take to actually get connected again over bluetooth/wifi, and into the carplay app? I watched many of their videos on youtube and can't really tell. Sometimes it takes almost a minute to connect and load, and you have to seemingly pair the phone each time. Maybe they weren't previously paired, other videos from 4x4 show the loading to carplay as immediate but maybe it's just an edit trick when the cut the video (the shot is mounted on a tripod). Anyhow, what are your steps? How long does it take for you to, for example, start the engine, and get into carplay and then into waze, ready to input your destination address? Also, can you type in the address on your phone, or do you have to type on the screen? Thanks in advance for your thoughts! It's been hard finding people who have an e70 and this 4x4 unit, who are also primarily ios users.
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      02-28-2021, 09:40 AM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
Where we stand today, 34,707 miles, kinda dusty and bad glare...

Shown here with Front 10mm spacers and Rear 15mm spacers. Soon to add parts on the bench: lowering springs, 12.5mm Front, 20mm Rear spacers, and titanium studs. An excel program I created (details later) tells me these are the closest I can get (F1.8mm/R4.3mm from fender flair edge) without exceeding the fender, given these 21" wheels and Michelin tires.


Attachment 2533430


Attachment 2533438
wow 34k! Car looks great Argento!
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      03-16-2021, 06:04 PM   #210
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4x4 Android Monitor Sound Quality

[FINAL update 7May2021]

I decided to restart this as a new post b/c my analysis last summer was, frankly, all over the place. I took this up again and begin from scratch. THE FACT IS, the musical audio output from the Android infotainment monitor default player through the OEM Aux-In is very good (especially with a high quality aux cable) and for many, this is the end of the story. I just want to know what is the best configuration to be had in this system. Please contribute if you have some facts, knowledge, or corrections than can help us understand the android sound better…or just ask questions.

SCOPE Let's start with the fact that I upgraded to the Android 10 unit in Jul.2020. The Android 10 sound quality via the OEM Aux-In is much improved over my AVIN Jan.2018 unit. However, in my earlier analysis with DACs I determined that, at the very least, the musical audio output could be significantly improved to rival the OEM audio side, especially when playing directly from my music library ALAC files. This post chronicles if and how that can be achieved. As I learn new information I will update this post to be more succinct and to the point, especially the RESULTS TO DATE section. At the very least I’m hoping to learn the nuances of this system and share so as to be useful to others. I recommend first reading BASELINE INFORMATION section below to better understand how the system audio works out of the box.

=====

FINAL RESULTS TO DATE - ANDROID 10 INFOTAINMENT MONITOR SOUND
IMO the default monitor sound configuration is mostly great, however lacks in lows and the lows it does play are muddy. Making things worse, the EQ setting inputs in HOME>Settings>Sound do not make a tangible difference when adjusted. The sound from nav and calls that output through the center dash speaker varies and is generally poor (but functional) compared to oem side nav/call voice. I’ve also determined that the default background player app (WitsKswMedia) is upsampling your library music to 96kHz, assuming your music library is at a lower sampling rate (mine’s at 44.1kHz). Upsampling can cause distortion, depending on the DAC quality. And then there’s the ~20dB difference in volume between OEM and Android sides. If you don’t use CarPlay, then your choices are limited to use the HOME>Music player as-is OR add a quality third party player app that provides you an equalizer and gain settings but also allows switching to the other digital sources: HOME>Music, HOME>navigation, HOME>communication, HOME>video, and HOME>Apps. If you use CarPlay then the best you can do is download a player like Vox Premium (or equivalent). This allows you to adjust the sound to your desired listening preference and results in better sound than without. Note, in the default config, all sources of sound go through the monitor’s WitsKswMedia default player, then to the OEM Aux-In. All your doing with Vox is attempting to clean up the WIFI sound before it reaches WitsKswMedia. The next level of sound improvement is to consider adding a quality USB DAC to your system. After that, you can combine your USB DAC with a quality third party player app.

Note that my purpose for adding a DAC is to play my ALAC music files. All the DAC testing starts with the applicable default settings noted below in CONFIG-0.4. IF you are interested in upgrading from the default monitor sound configuration and you don’t primarily use CarPlay, then I recommend purchasing UAPP and the AudioQuest Dragonfly Red or Cobalt DAC. You can get much improved audio from your music library, an equalizer, and gain control for volume equalization across the OEM and Android sides. Plus the Dragonfly DACs are small, have no battery to charge, and has auto-on/off features. There are some complex UAPP settings to make and quirks to accept as I detail in the DAC testing below, but the effort is worth it, IMO.

If you primarily use CarPlay, and don’t have the audio skipping issue, I recommend you consider just purchasing (on your handheld device) an iOS third party music player like Vox Premium (premium subscription gives you access to the equalizer settings), or equivalent. The DAC does improve sound marginally on the CarPlay side, but does not exceed the audio quality playing music library from UAPP.

My final configuration was: 1) using the OEM Bluetooth for phone/communication, 2) Using UAPP for my music library files (via microSD), and 3) Using WAZE app (or equivalent) for Navigation via HOME>App. All of what follows below has led me to this conclusion in functionality as the ‘best’ of OEM and Android Infotainment worlds.

NOTE: Via CarPlay I still experience intermittent skipping which requires me to power down and restart…but even restarting doesn’t always work. After some more reading it appears AAC (bluetooth codec) and Android don't perform well together, at worst unreliable performance. Your iPhone uses AAC exclusively. Ideally you want to match bluetooth codecs between your phone and the monitor. Maybe there's a setting where we can select AAC if it's not already defaulted. To clarify, I don't know this is the cause, but I do know that ideally both devices should be on the same codec.

==== START...

BASELINE INFORMATION:
Everything in this post is based off the default wiring configuration of the Android infotainment monitor, which I refer to as CONFIG-0 (schematic below). In this configuration, the sound is output from the infotainment monitor via an (preferably high-quality) aux cable to the OEM Aux-In in the center console and on to the speakers. Obviously, sound is a subjective topic. To my ears, the OEM S752A Individual Audio option I have in my X5 is tangibly better sounding than the same audio output through the Android 10 via CONFIG.0 (default configuration). And for reference, IMO the best sound in the vehicle comes from the CD player on the OEM side.

The sound gap between the OEM and Android sides has closed as infotainment systems evolve. [maybe someone can elaborate about the next few sentences] On the OEM side, CD and saved digital music is then sent optically to the OEM amp, converted to analog, and sent to the speakers. External music on the OEM side is likely compressed via the Bluetooth coded in your device (resulting in lossy music) and sent to the OEM amp. On the Android side in the default configuration, digital sound from the infotainment monitor goes through a default player, converts the digital sound to analog using an unknown-quality integrated internal digital to analog converter, and is sent to the OEM Aux-In, then speakers. From testing, I know that the default player upsamples the audio to a sampling rate of 96kHz, assuming your digital sources are playing a lower sampling rate (For reference, CD is 16bit/44.1kHz). Adding a USB DAC, as later discussed, bypasses the infotainment integrated DAC. The analog signal is susceptible to interference if not properly accounted for in our system, which is why using a high-quality aux cable can only help. If you hear scratching or noises when your aux cable is moved/rotated while connected, remove and used compressed air to clean off the cable 3.5mm connector and aux port socket. With a good quality cable, cleaned interfaces, and working aux port, there should be no interference when cable is moved.

[The sources of digital audio in the Android infotainment monitor include HOME>Music, HOME>NAV, HOME>Communication (phone/device), HOME>Video, and HOME>Android Apps. All of these sources send their audio to the default infotaintment player app WitsKswMedia, which uses the integrated internal DAC and sends analog audio to the OEM Aux-In. These infotainment default player apps cannot be uninstalled and I found very few setting adjustments via Android Settings>Apps>[select app]. CarPlay resides under the HOME>Android Apps>ZLink. CarPlay, via your device, connects to the infotainment monitor via Bluetooth, but then disconnects from BT and utilizes WIFI for functionality. As I understand, transmitting audio over WIFI can be lossless, as opposed to transmitting over BT which is lossy. The default player app can be changed in Home>Settings>Factory> [enter pin]>Function>LaunchMusicApp, which is normally set to WitsKswMedia, but you can select your preferred player if you have a reason to change. I recently discovered that when higher end DACS are connected, the infotainment monitor defaults to the AutoKit app to recognize the DAC, another default player.

DACs are explained much farther below, but in summary, when you add a USB DAC to this system the default player(s) (WitsKswMedia or AutoKit) recognizes it and automatically sends all audio to the DAC via the USB and then to the OEM Aux-In. When you add a third-party player app (IE: UAPP), the new player app automatically controls the DAC upon startup (actually, it requests control with a pop-up window and this can be made default), effectively taking control of the DAC from the infotainment default player. Then there is a struggle of focus and switching between the default player app and the new player app as you change sources, which I describe in DAC testing below.

Another important piece of the puzzle is that the infotainment monitor outputs audio at a sampling rate of 96kHz, which I did not find adjustable. Almost all of the music I have saved is apple lossless (ALAC) at 16bit/44.1kHz, which would mean my music library is being upsampled somewhere before making it to the USB DAC (or the OEM Aux-In if you don’t run a DAC). It appears to me that the infotainment monitor may be fixed to handle DVD movie audio, which is 96kHz, and has no internal technology which would allow it to play or change sampling rate to match the native format of the source. And I can say movie audio sounds very good, but the upsampling may have a poor effect on my music library which is native at 44.1kHz.

As I’ve already been referencing, I’ve learned from other forum member’s that we can add a USB digital to analog converter (DAC) to this infotainment monitor. In my previous analysis in summer 2020 I was able to confirm this fact, but different DACs and different settings had different results in sound and operation. In general, it supposed to work like this: Plug a USB DAC into one of the two USB cables from the Android infotainment monitor. Connect an aux cable from the USB DAC to the OEM Aux-In. The infotainment monitor aux cable remains unused. On Android start, the default audio player app should identify that a USB DAC is connected and automatically switch to that as the audio output for all digital sources.

Lastly, there are numerous settings that affect sound including: Infotainment monitor Home settings, Android settings, Android>Home>Factory settings, Player App settings, USB DAC settings, OEM settings, Device settings, and Device App settings. Below I capture my settings for the default infotainment monitor install configuration for reference.


GENERAL NOTES FOR ALL CONFIGS:
-Infotainment monitor referenced in this post is an Android 10 with wireless CarPlay; Additional infotainment monitor configuration notes in post #144 of this build thread.

-My May2013 build E70X5M has a Harman/Becker Car Infotainment Computer (CIC) (p/n: 65-12-9-278-075).

-Infotainment Android Monitor HOME>FACTORY>[enter pin]>CAR DISPLAY SETTING: [09]CIC_F01/F02_7 SERIES(2011)(8.8",10.25")

-Infotainment Android Monitor HOME>FACTORY>CAN PROTOCOL SETTING: [2] CIC

-My device: iPhone XR, iOS 14.4.1, that uses AAC bluetooth codec exclusively

-Infotainment monitor Music Library/SD card and device music library are apple lossless (ALAC) 16bit/44.1kHz sampling rate.

-The OEM Aux Level setting can be adjusted from 1-20 notches via the OEM side>media menu. The lower you can select, the less distortion on the infotainment playback side. Selecting OEM Aux Level to 3 or less results in no sound on the Android side; Levels 4 and 5+ worked fine for me in CONFIG-0, however you won’t achieve volume equalization between OEM and Android sides at lower levels.

-Cast Volume setting appears in the ANDROID>SETTINGS>SOUND menu AFTER a USB DAC is connected via a third party Player App, if that App casts. UAPP did cast at first, but then I must have changed some setting b/c it no longer does. The cast volume in the ANDROID>SETTINGS>SOUND menu had no effect, but was tied to UAPP volume somehow.

-For testing, I removed OEM BT device from my phone; Therefore my phone can only connect to the Android BT (GOCSDK) which is used to open the wireless CarPlay function via the ZLink app. According to the MFG, you can either use OEM BT or Android BT, not both. After all DAC testing was complete, I decided not to use CarPlay b/c the audio skipped and call audio through center dash was poor quality. I ended up removing GOCSDK from my device and sticking with the OEM BT.

-Connecting the Android Infotainment monitor to WIFI disables CarPlay. For CarPlay to restart, WIFI must be disabled, and device BT must be manually connected to Android BT (GOCSDK) for CarPlay to restart.

-WitsKswMedia is an app provided as the default music player for the Android infotainment monitor. Your infotainment monitor may differ. The app is opened on infotainment monitor startup as the default audio player and remains open in the background… assuming you have set it as the primary player under FACTORY>FUNCTION>LaunchMusicApp = WitsKswMedia. This app doesn’t appear to have app sound settings that can be adjusted. This is also the app that recognizes certain USB DACs when connected to the system.

-AutoKit is another app provided as default in the Android Infotainment monitor. I'm not 100% sure of its function, other than it recognizes higher end DACs that are plugged into the system and I assume AutoKit acts as the default player in that configuration.

-Enabling Android WIFI while in CarPlay results in CarPlay logging out; Requires disabling Android Wifi, then MANUAL connect to GOCSDK on iPhone BT, which then allows CarPlay to auto restart;

-FYI. Streaming music via Bluetooth is compressed down to meet A2DP (https://habr.com/en/post/456182/), resulting in lossy playback. As CarPlay only uses BT to connect to the infotainment monitor and then uses WiFi for functionality. However this is applicable when streaming your device music to OEM BT. Some reading on Bluetooth codecs: https://9to5mac.com/2018/12/31/bluet...ecs-explained/ and https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8504679).

-After removal of any Aux or USB connections, always use compressed air to clean ports before reconnecting. Any micro debris in or on those can add interference.


CONFIG-0 through CONFIG-0.4 – Default Audio Connection from Android 10 Infotainment Monitor to OEM AUX-IN:

Name:  CONFIG-0 SETUP.PNG
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The image below captures the testing details and results of CONFIG-0, -0.1, -0.2, -0.3, and -0.4. I started with CONFIG-0 and started adjusting settings to see what happens. Long story short, I am recommending starting at CONFIG-0.4 and then adjust from there (IE: tone settings, volumes, apps, etc.)

PROS: CarPlay connects within a minute; I selected audio source on OEM side, switched back to Android side and OEM sound remains until Android source selected; Sound output via OEM Aux-In is very good, however OEM side has much cleaner mid and bass; Phone calls via CarPlay sound functional, but tinny; CarPlay and Android volume levels equalized, 30clicks=53dB at both sources; Enabling SOUND CHECK on your iOS device doesn't appear to impact sound quality through CarPlay, but does equalize volume on all downloaded music tracks; Using VOX with CarPlay improves sound quality;

CONS: Startup pop window: 'Sorry, this program is abnormal and will quit' (this was intermittent, haven’t found out why); OEM and Android side volume levels still not equalized; 30clicks=53dB (Android side); 30clicks=74dB (OEM side); OEM Aux Level set to MAX and Android sound still remains about 15% less volume than OEM side; When connected to CarPlay one outgoing call tone rings annoyingly LOUD, next outgoing call tone rings normal (call volumes?); Voice Key Selection doesn’t work as set in HOME>SETTINGS>FACTORY>…, always initiates OEM voice commands; CarPlay music audio skipping, no fix yet; Enabling SOUND CHECK on your iOS device reduces sound volume on the Android side by an additional ~15%. Close observation between OEM and Android side audio, with same song at same volume setting, yields that OEM side has cleaner mid and bass than Android side; Media Volume gets reset back to 20% of Max frequently;

CONFIG-0.4 SETTINGS
OEM SETTINGS: Volume Knob=30clicks, Aux Vol Level setting=6/20, EQ=Flat at 0dB

HOME>SETTINGS>VOLUME: Media=40, Call=24, OEM Call=20, OEM Nav=20 [I found these irrelevant]

HOME>SETTINGS>SOUND: User, Bass=0, Alto=0, Treble=0 [I found these irrelevant]

ANDROID>SETTINGS>SOUND: Cast Vol=N/A, Media Vol=Max, Call Vol=Max, Ring Vol=Max, Alarm Vol=Max

HOME>SETTINGS>FACTORY>[enter pin]>FUNCTION: BT=Android BT, Amp=OEM Amp, LaunchMusicApp=WitsKswMedia

WitsKswMedia App Setting: Display over other apps = allowed, Version 1.0

HOME>SETTINGS>FACTORY>[enter pin]>VEHICLE: Aux Switching Mode=Automatic, Aux Auto Switching=Harman

ANDROID WIFI: Disabled

DEVICE SETTINGS: EQ=OFF, Sound Check=Disabled, Volume=Auto Lock Max

VOX APP SETTINGS: Default (non-premium), I eventually upgraded to Premium to get access to the equalizer

UAPP APP SETTINGS: N/A

USB DAC SETTINGS: N/A


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====

DIGITAL TO ANALOG CONVERTER (DAC) TESTING
Disclaimer – You may not see the exact same results as I am posting, so this information is for REFERENCE ONLY. Audio quality is subjective to the listener.

The following hardware were used during testing of each DAC:
-AudioQuest Jitterbug USB Noise Filter – This has an MSRP of $70. To me, the audio sounded cleaner when used with the DACs, especially as the audio improved through testing. FWIW, according to AQ: the dual circuitry measurably reduces unwanted noise currents, parasitic resonances, jitter, and packet errors resulting in clearer sound.

-AudioQuest Big Sur 3.5mm to 3.5mm Aux Cable (0.6m) – This has an MSRP of $118. This uses solid Perfect-Surface Copper+ (PSC), gold plated plugs, and foamed polyethylene insulation. FWIW, I use an AQ Evergreen 3.5mm to 3.5mm Aux Cable (0.6m) in the default config (no-DAC), MSRP $46.

-USB extension cable – A USB extension is used from the infotainment monitor USB line to the center console behind the shifter assembly.

NOTES:
-The music library I used for this testing is 16bit/44.1kHz Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). Most of the bitrates in my library are 500-1400Kbps b/c I ripped them from original CDs, however I do have many songs downloaded from the iTunes store that have a bitrate of 256Kbps. For testing, I used audio files with a bitrate greater than 900. For reference, the MP3 format can range from around 96 to 320Kbps, and streaming services like Spotify range from around 96-160Kbps and 320Kbps for premium subscribers.

-In all testing my priority was to first equalize volume between OEM and Android side while maintaining the OEM Aux Level as low as possible to reduce potential distortion. For DAC testing the OEM Aux Level was set at 6 notches. In the final configuration I chose (Cobalt/UAPP), I did not achieve exact volume equalization however that’s because I chose to use the UAPP auto gain feature to ensure I avoided clipping as I increased volume. I also chose not to increase the OEM Aux Level so as not to reduce the quality of the audio that was achieved with the DAC.

-Given that I determined the infotainment monitor/WitsKswMedia is upsampling audio output at 96kHz, you’ll want to choose a DAC that will be able to handle this sampling rate. All the DACs tested below can handle 96kHz.

-Wireless CarPlay audio skips intermittently. Until a solution is found, I can’t recommend this feature.

AUDIOQUEST DRAGONFLY RED DAC – This USB inline 24bit DAC has an MSRP of $199. Using my Audeze headphones at my desktop, the DAC sounded very nice. It’s compact, uses the ESS 9010 DAC chip, has a line out level of 2.1V, and uses the ESS Sabre 9601 headphone amp. This DAC will reproduce audio at 24 bits and plays up to a 96kHz sampling rate. This DAC connects directly to the USB-A cable from the infotainment monitor (or Jitterbug if installed) and then an Aux Cable connects the DAC to the OEM Aux In. This DAC automatically powers on when the infotainment monitor is started and automatically powers off within a minute of the infotainment monitor powered off. This DAC uses the USB-A for power, therefore no battery to charge.

INTERNAL DAC SETTINGS: Volume Setting = 100 (max) but can be controlled in UAPP, Enhancements = ENABLED* but none selected, set to 24bit/96kHz, Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device = ENABLED, Give exclusive mode application priority = ENABLED. Note: You need the DAC connected to a computer to access these settings. In Windows 10, they are found by going to SOUND SETTINGS>Sound Control Panel>Sound window pop up. Select the DAC, then select Properties. However some settings, like Volume and bit/sampling rate, can be controlled via a third party player app (IE: UAPP), assuming if you have enabled the priority settings above.

OBSERVATIONS (without third party player app):
-The infotainment monitor, via WitsKswMedia (default audio player), immediately recognized the DAC on startup. The Home and CarPlay audio sources worked with no auto-switching issues between sources.

-With the internal DAC settings above, I was able to equalize volume between the OEM, Infotainment monitor, and Carplay sources. This was achieved with OEM Aux Level set to 6 (of 20) and Android Media Volume set to 100%.

-The Red DAC will reproduce audio sent to it at 24bits, not lower. It will also play sampling rates of 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, and 96kHz. Enabling the priority settings will allow a player (IE: WitsKswMedia) to override the internal settings. WitsKswMedia sends audio to the DAC at a sampling rate of 96kHz, so setting the internal settings in the DAC to lower will be overridden. And even though my music library files are 16bit, the DAC will reproduce them at 24bit.

-Unfortunately, every time the DAC is recognized the Android>Settings>Sound>Media Volume resets to 20% of maximum. You must go in and manually adjust to 100% at startup. The Media Volume setting only applies to the HOME>Music, HOME>Communication, HOME>Video, and HOME>App sources.

-The sound output using the infotainment HOME>Music screen (via WitsKswMedia to DAC) was not tangibly improved, at least not to the point to justify the purchase of the DAC. The Home>Sound settings (equalizer) was ineffective. Enabling internal DAC Enhancements does not change this fact.

-If you are using CarPlay, the audio seemed to improve marginally by adding the DAC, but with a player like Vox Premium (or equivalent), I was able to zero-in on significantly better audio using Vox settings. I can’t honestly tell you if the better sound is b/c of the Vox/DAC combo, or solely because I added Vox. I urge you to do your own research, but CarPlay audio and Infotainment monitor audio will likely never match in quality b/c the music audio files are sent to the DAC differently. Given that my ALAC music files are lossless, the WitsKswMedia player will upsample and send the music directly to the DAC. It is my understanding that CarPlay uses Bluetooth to connect to the Android Infotainment monitor, but uses WIFI for functionality. Thus CarPlay will extract music from phone’s music library over WIFI. From what I read it should transfer better than Bluetooth (need more research...). However, FWIW, I think the WitsKswMedia upsampling is very poor and makes the CarPlay audio sound worse. This changes when you add a better player like UAPP to the infotainment monitor side.

-I had seen posts that the Dragonfly Red caused a high pitch whine at high volume settings with no audio. I was able to reproduce this issue but, it is dependent on the OEM Aux Level setting. With my Aux Level at 6, it required extremely high volume setting to barely hear the issue. For all testing I set the volume knob to 30 clicks while playing OEM audio (approximately ~53dB with music playing). The first, barely audible, signs of this whine appeared at over 70 clicks with music paused. If you’re running the OEM Aux Level setting higher than 6, then you may hear the noise at lower volumes with music paused.

-*I did try using the Bass Boost and Loudness Equalization DAC enhancements and it didn’t sound better than without, but in the end it’s subjective.


SUMMARY – ADDING DRAGONFLY RED DAC TO DEFAULT CONFIG: In the infotainment monitor you can equalize volume between OEM and Android sides. But without any way to adjust the music (equalizer), there is only minor improvement in sound over the non-DAC configuration. You will definitely want a third party player app with equalizer if you plan to invest in a DAC. CarPlay users will notice marginally better sound, but only by adding a player like Vox Premium (or equivalent). I believe it’s likely you can improve your sound on the CarPlay side just by adding Vox, with or without DAC. In CarPlay I still experience intermittent skipping which I’ve not yet resolved, but it is an independent problem not related to this or other DACs.

===

ADDING the UAPP MUSIC PLAYER with DRAGONFLY RED USB DAC: AQ recommends pairing their Dragonfly devices with the (~$10 with additional features costing more) UAPP player for use with Android devices, especially if additional audio adjustments are needed. The base price includes a gain graphic, gain control, auto-gain, equalizer, and bitperfect mode. To date, music played through UAPP (coupled with AQ Dragonfly Red DAC) provides the best sound I’ve heard come out of the infotainment monitor system and IMO is better than the OEM sound for audio music files. There are numerous settings in UAPP, especially dealing with USB DACS, Android Audio, USB Audio, DAC switching, etc.

SETTINGS: UAPP Equalizer = ON, UAPP Sampling Rate = native, UAPP Hardware Volume = 100% (this is the same as internal DAC volume setting), UAPP Auto Gain = ON, UAPP Parametric EQ = OFF (additional purchase but can be turned ON for trial. HOWEVER, if not purchased, you must manually turn OFF. If it remains ON without purchase, you will experience gain distortion after exactly 60s of play), Android Background Activity for UAPP App disabled, Android Cast Volume = (default to UAPP gain setting if shown in menu), Android Media Volume = 100%, OEM Aux Level = 6/20, Dragonfly Red DAC settings as set above.

OBSERVATIONS with UAPP:
-At startup UAPP immediately recognizes DAC and asks to make UAPP the default player for the USB DAC. I did not make this the default setting so I had more control over testing. I clicked OK and the UAPP player opens, already has my library scanned (from previous use), and is ready for play.

-I am next warned by UAPP that allow background activity is disabled and to go to the android settings to enable or else play could stop after an unknown time working in the background. I have not yet enabled this setting and UAPP has yet to stop on me. I assume if it does stop I can just reopen the app.

-Volume via UAPP is lower than on the OEM side. This is because I am using the auto-gain feature in UAPP at the given OEM Aux Level setting of 6. Using the auto-gain feature, disables manual control of the gain which would be needed to equalize volume with the OEM side. The other variable is the hardware volume, however I already have hardware volume set to 100% to get as close as I can to OEM volume. If I wanted to get more volume, I could remove auto-gain and increase the gain in UAPP, however that reduces sound quality and could introduce clipping depending on your volume knob setting and music library files. My other option is to increase the OEM Aux Level. In the end I’m OK with the volume difference at this point. NOTE: As mentioned, significant increases in gain via the UAPP manual gain and/or the OEM Aux Level setting can result in too much gain causing distortion and/or clipping of the music played through UAPP. The gain graphic and auto-gain setting help communicate and control this issue.

-UAPP has BitPerfect Mode which plays audio files exactly as they were recorded with no enhancements. Using this increases the gain without distortion and gets slightly closer to the OEM volume level.

-Using UAPP provides a significant improvement in sound if the equalizer or BitPefect Modes are used. However, you cannot use both modes simultaneously. FWIW, I prefer the sound of equalizer over BitPerfect mode.

-Switching Sources - To switch away from UAPP to a infotainment monitor source (HOME>…), you first have to have the UAPP settings properly set for switching. Some settings are obvious, others are not. I spent much time making various settings trying to find the right configuration that works the best. I’ve played with the numerous UAPP apps settings and even discussed my issues with the UAPP app developer. I’ve had some success with my current settings. [NOTE: Understanding references to ‘focus’ and ‘switching’ when discussing UAPP, WitsKswMedia, and the USB DAC…WitsKswMedia is the default player, sending sound through the DAC, for the Android Infotainment monitor sources (HOME>…). Only one player at a time can control the sound output through the DAC. At infotainment monitor startup, the UAPP App asks to take control (away from WitsKswMedia) of the DAC. If you hit OK, then UAPP has the focus (this can be made default) and sound played in the UAPP App gets sent through the DAC to the OEM Aux In. IF I want to use an Android source such as HOME>Music, HOME>Communication, HOME>Video, HOME>Android App then you must switch focus from UAPP to WitsKswMedia. The best way to do this is to press PAUSE while in UAPP, which then switches focus of the DAC to WitsKswMedia. This can also be achieved by exiting UAPP by pressing the back button or swiping the UAPP app closed.]

-You are able to continue to listen to UAPP music while having other Apps open. To do this you can press the HOME button (upper left corner of screen) while in UAPP, navigate to HOME>Apps, and select an App. However, in most cases, as soon as you press a sound source within the App, the focus will switch away from UAPP to the App on the screen with audio through the default player WitsKswMedia. ONE EXCEPTION to this is WAZE, see below.

-WAZE App: If in UAPP playing music, and you press the HOME button on the upper left corner of the screen you can navigate to the Waze App, display the Waze map, enter a destination, and change settings without UAPP losing focus (IE: UAPP music continues to play). Nav voice commands will not be heard through UAPP. However, there is a setting in the Waze app that pushes the nav voice to your phone, which may be arguably better than when it is pushed to the dash speaker. IF you want NAV Voice through the infotainment system, you should pause your music in UAPP, then navigate to the Waze App. Otherwise you can see you map destination while enjoying your music library.

-MOVIES ANYWHERE App: The shortest route to hearing your movie, when in UAPP playing music, is to PAUSE UAPP (switching focus to WitsKswMedia), then navigate to the Movies Anywhere app and play your movie with audio. In this configuration, movie playback audio is very good. It my opinion, given the upsampling and the very good movie audio, the WitsKswMedia default player app was tuned to play movies at the expense of music library.

-CarPlay only plays sound through the default player WitsKswMedia, not UAPP. So if UAPP has focus, you must pause or exit for the focus to switch to WitsKswMedia, which then outputs CarPlay audio. If in UAPP and CarPlay autostarts, UAPP focus stops (play stops), but is not switched. You have to return to UAPP and exit or pause to allow switching to WitsKswMedia. If in UAPP and call comes in, the CarPlay answer window appears and UAPP focus is stopped, but not switched. If you accept the call, you will be routed to CarPlay, however without switching to WitsKswMedia, they will hear you and you can’t hear them. You have to return to UAPP and exit or pause and hope WitsKswMedia recovers the call audio seamlessly in the switch, but I’ve not yet been successful. In one test I was in UAPP with music paused, I received a call and answered as described above with no sound issues the way CarPlay is intended to work. When I ended the call, you were automatically taken back to the UAPP app. No final solution yet.

-Unfortunately, the Android>Sound Media Volume resets to 20% as soon as the DAC is recognized. As a result, at each startup, you must manually adjust the Media Volume setting to 100% (or your preferred setting). Otherwise, when switching to WitsKswMedia audio will be very low or inaudible.

-Running with UAPP, I did enable the Virtual Surround DAC enhancement with very pleasant results, however I preferred w/o enhancements b/c it just sounds a bit clearer. Again, subjective. The Virtual Sound enhancement encodes surround audio for transfer as stereo output to receives with a matrix encoder.

-Also, lately, going from OEM side to Android, the oem audio seems to stay on even when I go to UAPP and hit play. I have to go to HOME>Music and switch focus to default music player, then go to UAPP which takes the focus away from the default player. Haven't noticed before, will have to check UAPP settings in case a solution is there...

-I still have the intermittent audio skipping in CarPlay :-/

SUMMARY UAPP and RED DAC: I'm very satisfied with the sound of my music files using the Red DAC and UAPP. I normally only access my music library on the OEM side via device bluetooth (lossy), so being able to listen to my music library in the infotainment monitor in lossless format is a significant improvement.

=====

Oppo HA-2 SE DAC – This USB DAC and headphone amplifier is discontinued. At the time I purchased it had an MSRP of $299. I continue to use it as my go-to DAC outside my vehicle. I wanted to test this DAC b/c it uses a similar, but upgraded, DAC chip to the Dragonfly: ESS ES9028Q2M. The line out level is 1Vrms and plays 44.1kHz-384kHz 16/24/32-bit. This DAC uses a USB-A to USB-B cable to connect from the monitor USB-A to the Oppo USB-B and then the Big Sur Aux Cable connects the DAC to the OEM Aux In. The following manual DAC settings were set for use with the Android Monitor: Vol Setting is fixed; Gain=ON, Bass=OFF. No other DAC adjustments available. This DAC does not have auto power on/off. It must be manually powered on when the monitor is powered up and manually powered off when the monitor is powered off. This DAC has Lithium Polymer battery and requires charging (I haven’t tried, but I suppose it’s possible to connect the DAC USB-A port to the OEM USB-A port to see if it auto charges, otherwise charge separately). The monitor, via AutoKit app, immediately recognized the DAC on startup. Interestingly, this DAC awakens a different player app within the monitor than previously used. The Home and CarPlay sources worked through the DAC and no issues with auto-switching. If you’re not using CarPlay, the sound output using the HOME>Music player is definitely better than default. However, as before, the HOME>Sound settings (EQ) didn’t help. The CarPlay side seemed to improve as well, but I was using the Vox Premium EQ as before. With the settings above, I was NOT able to equalize volume between the OEM side and Android side. The volume is about 15% lower than the OEM side so volume equalization remains an issue since this DAC automatically disables manual volume at connection. The volume between the Home side and CarPlay side remained equalized. SUMMARY: This DAC is limited by fixed volume, no auto shutoff feature, and requires removal and charging as needed. Volume equalization between OEM and Android sides is not easily equalized, if at all. Audio is significantly improved over default w/o third party player app. Audio is generally improved over the AQ Dragonfly Red DAC . In CarPlay I’m still hampered by intermittent skipping, not related to this or any DAC. This DAC was mostly used for reference to see if the ESS DAC chip would provide better sound and make me consider trying the AQ Dragonfly Cobalt DAC with upgraded ESS DAC chip over the Oppo and Red.

FiiO Q5s DAC – This USB DAC has an MSRP of approx. $300+. It uses dual AKM AK4493EQ DAC chips. The line out level is 3.5V and only indicates if sampling rate is ≤48 or ≥48kHz. This DAC uses the AM3E amp which is easily interchangeable with FiiO X7 amps. I actually have an AM2 amp in hand to test. This DAC uses a USB-A to USB-B cable to connect from the monitor USB-A to the FiiO USB-B and then the Big Sur Aux Cable connects the DAC Line Out to the OEM Aux-In. The following DAC settings were set for use with the Android Monitor: Gain=High, Bass=Off, Custom Volume = 50 (however I believe this does nothing, volume is fixed in DAC mode), Adjustable EQ settings via FiiO App. This DAC does have auto power off. I have not been able to find or set an auto-ON when for startup when the monitor powers up. Unfortunately, until I do, you must press the input button or cycle the on/off knob to start the DAC. However, it does automatically shut off within 5 minutes (delay time adjustable in FiiO Control app) of monitor being powered off. This DAC has a Lithium Ion battery and automatically charges while powered on and connected to monitor USB-A. NOTE: Most Lithium Ion batteries should not be allowed to discharge to zero or damage can be expected. The monitor, via AutoKit default app, immediately recognized the DAC on startup (assuming the DAC is turned ON prior to startup). The Home and CarPlay sources worked through the DAC and no issues with auto-switching between HOME sources. The sound output through the HOME>Music source is definitely better than default. However, the HOME>Sound settings (EQ) continue to be intangible so I set them to flat. I’ve been trying to use the FiiO Control app to adjust the EQ as desired, but again the results are inconclusive, or at least not obvious. Again, as mentioned before, your best audio on the CarPlay side is to invest in Vox Premium (or equivalent), assuming you don’t have or resolved the skipping issue. The volume is more equalized than in the default configuration. With the settings above, OEM Aux Level setting, and Vox gain settings, I was able to equalize volume between the OEM, Monitor, and CarPlay sides. Note: Higher OEM Aux Level settings reduce quality…I settled on level 6 for OEM Aux. SUMMARY: The sound through UAPP is on par with the AQ Dragonfly Red. There are benefits in the phone FiiO Control app settings, however access requires connecting the DAC to Bluetooth. Doing so while using the monitor disconnects you from CarPlay and the monitor b/c the DAC switches from DAC mode to BT mode. To return, you must then disconnect BT mode in your phone and re-enter DAC mode. I was really up on this DAC at first, especially because of the FiiO Control App. But manually having to start the DAC each time wore on me and became a hassle. As I started testing the Dragonfly Red more, I realized I preferred that sound over the FiiO. And it doesn’t help that the FiiO is much bigger in your center console and about $100 more than the AQ Dragonfly Red DAC. This is a great desktop DAC though. FWIW, using this Q5s with UAPP was a similar experience as using UAPP with the Red.

AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt – This USB inline 24bit DAC has an MSRP of $299, slightly smaller in length than the Red, and uses the upgraded ESS ES9038Q2M DAC Chip, which according to AudioQuest uses a minimum phase slow-roll-filter for more natural sound. It also uses the same microcontroller as the Red, however reduces current draw and increases processor speed by 33%. The line out level is 2.1V and uses the ESS Sabre 9601 headphone amp, again like the Red. This DAC reproduces 24 bits and plays up to a 96kHz sampling rate. It connects directly to the USB-A cable from the infotainment monitor (or Jitterbug if installed) and then an Aux Cable connects from the DAC to the OEM Aux In. This DAC automatically powers on when the infotainment monitor is started and automatically powers off within a minute of the infotainment monitor powered off. This DAC uses the USB-A for power, therefore no battery to charge.

INTERNAL DAC SETTINGS: Vol Setting = 100 (max), Enhancements = DISABLED, set to 24bit/96kHz, Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device = ENABLED, Give exclusive mode application priority = ENABLED. Access to settings same as Dragonfly Red.

OBSESRVATIONS:
-Functions and observations remain as I described above with the Dragonfly Red.

-With the CarPlay skipping and below par audio on phone calls, I decided not to connect to CarPlay and connect instead to the OEM Bluetooth. While in UAPP playing music, I pressed a vmail and the music stopped and my vmail played. When I ended the call, UAPP continued playing. The focus/screen remained on UAPP because I noticed on return to music it had not paused, but was playing in the background. It appears sound switched to OEM, but left the focus on UAPP and the monitor screen. I then placed a call and exactly the same occurred. I think I will stick to the OEM phone audio via OEM Bluetooth and use the Android monitor with UAPP, WAZE, and other Apps. This way I get reliable calls, great quality music, and Waze maps.

-I've continued comparing the Red and Cobalt and the difference is very subtle. The first thing I notice after startup is that the Cobalt is definitely more powerful at the same volume knob level. To me, the Cobalt sounds warmer and fuller than the Red, otherwise these are identical. Both the Red and Cobalt with UAPP take full advantage of the B&W tweeters I currently have installed in the D-pillars and Dash.

SUMMARY, DRAGONFLY COBALT – I can easily recommend the Cobalt for use with the infotainment monitor. With the exception of sounding slightly more powerful, fuller, and warmer, it is identical to the Red. FWIW I do feel like I get a bit more staged audio from the D-Pillar speakers, but the red opened these up as well. I will also say the clarity of the music played with the UAPP/DAC combo really differentiated my upgraded B&W speakers in the dash and D-pillars from the OEM Individual speakers in the door panels. However, it may not be a speaker quality issue as much as the 8 year old capacitors in the door panel crossovers. Capacitors degrade over time, increase capacitance, resulting in a lower crossover point than intended by the manufacturer.

DAC SUMMARY...I considered the following DACS/equipment: FiiO Q5s, FiiO SBR5, Hagibis BT RT TX, Nuprime Hi-mDAC, AudioEngine D1, AudioQuest Dragonfly Red, and Cobalt. The AQ Dragonfly Red or Cobalt, coupled with UAPP, has shown me that we can achieve at least similar audio quality as the OEM side, depending on music source. The OPPO is not an ideal choice because it requires you to manually turn on/off and remove to charge. The FiiO Q5 requires you to manually turn on every time you enter the vehicle, but if you can get past this issue it will provide improved sound quality as well. I did not try the AudioEngine D1 I have on the bench b/c of the success I had with the Dragonfly series DACs. Based on the above results my personal choice is to use the AQ Dragonfly Cobalt with UAPP, OEM Bluetooth for calls, Waze for Navigation, and unlikely use CarPlay.

DAC/Aux Cable Routing:
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Green Aux Cable in standby should I wish to bypass DAC and return to Default Sound. HOWEVER, note that you must disconnect DAC b/c it will remain powered ON and focus will remain with the DAC causing no sound to be heard through the monitor. I use an Auxkey CC-Y11 PD Car Charger in the OEM charing port.
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USB Extension, AQ Jitterbug, AQ Dragonfly Cobalt, AQ Aux Cable:
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OH, anyone interested to buy a lightly used DAC (Q5s or D1)??
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Last edited by argento; 05-31-2021 at 09:22 AM..
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      03-25-2021, 09:32 AM   #211
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The information in Post #210 above is intended to provide a wide range of data so that people can extract what info they need for their preferred listening configuration when using the Android 10 Monitor. This post will concentrate on one configuration, which is how I’ve decided to setup and use the Android 10 Monitor. Ideally, this post should allow anyone to recreate my listening experience assuming they have the same equipment.

SUMMARY: As stated above I am using OEM Bluetooth for Communication/Phone, Android Monitor HOME>Apps>Waze for Navigation, Android Monitor HOME>Default Video Player, Android Monitor HOME>Apps>Movies Anywhere for movies, and Android Monitor HOME>Apps>UAPP for microSD Music Library.

EQUIPMENT (or equivalent):
-2013 E70 with Individual Audio (Option S752A, in process of converting to S6F1A speakers)
-Harman/Becker Car Infotainment Computer (CIC) (p/n: 65-12-9-278-075)
-Android 10 Monitor, 10.25” Screen from 4x4shop.ca:
1920 x 720 (LG Display) Screen Resolution
Build-in Wireless Apple CarPlay / Wired Android Auto Function
Digital TV Tuner (ATSC, North America)
Snapdragon 625 (MSM8953)n Version Android 10 – 8 core, A53, CPU 2.0GHz, 14nmLPPn-GPU: Adreno 5-6, Support 4K HD H.264 (AVC)30FPSn-CPU: build-in Hexagon 546 DPSn- Use X9 LTE modem, support all kinds of networks (4G): LTE Category 7/13 – Support double frequency: 2.4G and 5G WIFI.n-SD Card: SD3.0, max 128GBn- Video format: MP4, AVI, MKV, WMV, MOV, FLV n- Audio Format: MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, APE, WAV
-iPhone XR iOS 14.5.1
-AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)
-AudioQuest Jitterbug Noise Filter
-AudioQuest Big Sur 3.5mm to 3.5mm Aux Cable (black/red, 0.6m) (primary, to be used with USB DAC)
-AudioQuest Evergreen 3.5mm to 3.5mm Aux Cable (black/green, 1.5m) (optional, to switch back to default (non-DAC) aux-in audio capability)
-USB Extension Cable (0.9m)
-Samsung EVO 128GB MicroSDXC

DOWNLOADED APPS:
-USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP) – App downloaded to Android Monitor HOME>Apps for use with USB DAC. There is a fee to download this App, but IMO totally worth the cost if you’re using a DAC with the Android Monitor and music library files. You get access to auto-gain, equalizer, and real-time DAC volume control features.
-Waze – Navigation App downloaded to Android Monitor HOME>Apps.
-Movies Anywhere – Movie App downloaded to Android Monitor HOME>Apps. Every time I bought a blu-ray movie I kept seeing this ‘movies anywhere’ code, but ignored…finally realized I could download the app and watch my movies on the Android monitor as well as other devices.
-(optional) Vox Premium – App downloaded to iPhone/device. Basic Vox is free, but there is a fee for the Premium subscription which provides you access to the equalizer, which makes a significant difference, IMO. I use this App to listen to the music library on my device in my other vehicles. With OEM Bluetooth connected, I can also stream music to my E70. Bluetooth streaming results in ‘lossy’ audio, but Vox does a really good job of improving the sound, IMO. Since I've decided not to use CarPlay, I really don't use this app in the BMW, but could if I decided to stream on the OEM side.

MicroSD MUSIC LIBRARY:
-All music files uploaded to Samsung MicroSD card in Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), 16bit, 44.1Khz (file extension *.m4a). There are ports on the right side of the monitor for SD and microSD cards. They are not readily visible because there is a cover over the ports AND you literally have to unbolt the monitor to gain access…or at least that’s what I did. You can also load your music library directly onto your Android Monitor. UAPP will automatically sync with either your monitor library or your microSD card upon startup, depending on which source you’ve told it to use. Any updates to your library are automatically scanned and updated by UAPP at startup.

HARDWARE SETUP:
-Android 10 Monitor setup per manufacturer’s instructions with Config-0.4 Settings as defined above in Post #210, unless otherwise noted below. See Post #149 for Android Monitor Installation Notes and Wiring Schematic.
-Add USB Extension to end of monitor USB cable and run to center console armrest area, connect Jitterbug, USB DAC, and Big Sur aux cable to the OEM Aux-In (See Post #156 for install details, 51-16-9-115-084 panel mods, and pix).
-(optional) Run second (Evergreen) Aux Cable from Android Monitor aux-out to center console armrest area. Doing this allows you to have the option of bypassing the USB DAC and returning to default monitor audio. NOTE: disconnecting USB DAC (Big Sur) aux cable from OEM Aux-In does not disconnect the DAC from the monitor. The DAC will maintain focus as long as it is powered by the Android Monitor USB cable. If the DAC remains powered, then no sound will be heard by the Android Monitor even if you connect the (Evergreen) aux cable. The DAC must be disconnected from the USB cable for audio focus to be switched to default audio via the (Evergreen) aux cable.

SETTINGS:
-OEM: Aux Level Setting 6 clicks; Equalizer = Flat
-Device: Connected to OEM BT; Sound Check = Off; EQ = Off; Android Monitor BT = Forget this Device;
-UAPP:There are numerous settings and I decide to note almost all of them below. You can get an idea of why it took so long to learn...well that, and I'm slow as a snail. Note that not all of them work as intended by the developer because it depends heavily on the Android monitor programming. These are the settings I ended with that get it to work as I described. Audiophiles may understand much more than I about some of these settings, so what I’m showing is only my setup that worked for me. Blue Text below indicates significant settings, imo.

UAPP>SETTINGS>===
=====>INTERNAL AUDIO DRIVER>
•ENABLED – Original Android Driver
=====>SYSTEM>
•ENABLED – Auto scan at startup; When enabled new tracks will be added to the database automatically on start-up.
•ENABLED – Auto start on USB DAC attachment; When DISABLED the app will immediately exit (flashing the screen) when a USB DAC is attached after Android automatically starts App.
•ENABLED – Pause on notification; Pauses on notification and restarts playback afterwards.
•ENABLED – Pause on audio focus lost;
•ENABLED – Pause on unplug headphones; Requires restart.
•ENABLED – Pause on Bluetooth disconnect
•ENABLED – Release USB audio driver on Home; Can allow other apps to play through the USB DAC when you temporarily leave the app without selecting Exit or the Back Button. Depends on the Android device’s implementation whether this works. I got this to work only if I press PAUSE before leaving the app.
•ENABLED – Stop on task removal; When DISABLED, the app will continue playing in the background when closing activity in the Android Overview screen.

•Remainder of SYSTEM> options DISABLED
=====>NETWORK>
•NETWORK BUFFER SIZE>15 seconds
•NETWORK CHUNK SIZE>64 kB
•HTTP CLIENT>okHTTP
•DISABLED – Quick Start; Starts playback after a fraction of the chosen network buffer size has been received. Only use on stable network connections.
=====>MQA>
•ENABLED – Show MQA Playback Information; A brief alert appears when an MQA file is being played, but no MQA decoding is taking place.
•DISABLED – Deep Scan; Performs a thorough scan on each track to determine if the file is MQA when filling the Library. When disabled, it will use the encoder meta data string only.
•DISABLED – Scan URL without file extension; Determine if a track is MQA for URL’s without file extension (can happen on some NAS devices). Can cause a slow down.
=====>INTERNAL HI RES AUDIO>
Note some settings are specifically identified as DO NOT ADJUST (unless):
•OFF – Bit Perfect Mode; When enabled no processing (EQ, software volume, etc. is performed and audio is passed unchanged. ‘When Possible’ plays bit perfect when the DAC supports the sample rate of the file.
•OFF – Upsample; Resample to the highest sampling rate of the DAC (except for DSD). Will usually give lower quality due to resampling.

•200 milliseconds – Buffer Size; If you experience glitching, try higher values.
•DISABLED – Use with Bluetooth Output; Although Bluetooth does not use HiRes chip, audio may arrive cleaner before it is sent to the Bluetooth receiver. Does not work on every device.
=====>ANDROID AUDIO>
•ENABLED – Play through Android; Play through Android when no USB audio interface is found.
•DEVICE NATIVE SAMPLE RATE – Android Sample Rate; Defines what sample rate to use when playing through the Android audio system. It influences where and when sample rate conversion takes place.

•DISABLED – Force 16-bit; Solves a problem with heavy noise for some Samsung devices on Nougat when playing through headphones.
=====>USB AUDIO
•OFF – Upsample; Resample to the highest sampling rate of the DAC (except for DSD). Will usually give lower quality due to resampling.
•OFF – Bit Perfect Mode; When enabled no processing (EQ, software volume, etc. is performed and audio is passed unchanged. ‘When Possible’ plays bit perfect when the DAC supports the sample rate of the file.

•DSD to PCM Conversion – DSD Mode; Select how to play a DSD file according to the capabilities of your USB DAC. Note that not all DACs support DoP or native DSD.
•DISABLED – High Quality DSD Conversion; Disable when DSD to PCM Conversion causes stuttering. Only has effect when the DSD mode is set to ‘DSD to PCM conversion’. Reselect the song after changing this option.
•96kHz – Limit Sample Rate; Sets the maximum sample rate used for the USB DAC. I matched the AQ Dragonfly Cobalt sample rate.
=====>USER INTERFACE>
•ENABLED – Alphabet Indexer;
•DISABLED – Always Keep Screen On; Tries to keep the screen on all the times, which may help if you hear audio interruptions when the screen is turned off.
•ENABLED – Ask to Convert to UAPP Playlist; Ask to convert M3U playlists to UAPP playlists, which will display tracks much faster.
•ENABLED – Ask to Exit; When enabled, will ask if you are sure that you want to exit when pressing the back button from the main screen.
•ENABLED – Back Button Skips Current Song and Queue Displays;
•COLOURED – Background Colour;
•STANDARD FILE COMPARE – File Sorting; Determines the way files are sorted in Folders when no unique track numbers are found.
•DISABLED – Hide Notification Bar;
•ENABLED – HiRes Logo; Displays the HiRes Logo when the track is 24-bit or a sample rate higher than 44.1kHz.
•ENABLED – Play Next Album/Folder; Automatically plays the next album or folder when the end of the queue is reached. Only works with Library and Folders.
•ENABLED – Show Album Art on Lock Screen;
•ENABLED – Scroll Title; Scrolls the title in the mini player and current song display if it is too long to fit.
•ENABLED – Show Shuffle and Repeat; Displays the shuffle and repeat buttons in the current song display.
•ENABLED – Show Album Year;
•ENABLED – Space Between Grid Items;
•DISABLED – Queue Album; When tapping on a track in the album view, the album will be queued when this option is enabled. Otherwise only a single track is queued.
•FOLLOW ANDROID SETTINGS – Screen Orientation;
•Other settings in User Interface: Force English (Disabled), Gestures, Meta Data Encoding, Minimum Columns in Grid View, Only List Known File Extensions (Disabled), Panel Items, Prefer Embedded Art (Disabled), Show Track Numbers (Disabled), Stop After Song Ends (Disabled).
=====>LIBRARY>
•ENABLED – Display Album Artist in ARTISTS; Displays the album artist in the Artists section, next to the regular titles.
•ENABLED – Android DB Playlists; Displays playlists from the Android media database.
•ENABLED – Android DB Album Art; When no art is found, the app queries the Android media database for artwork where some album art grabber apps store downloaded artwork.
•DISABLED – Ignore “THE” in the Artist Song;
•Other settings in Library: Library Tabs, Ignore Path (Disabled), Group Multidisc Albums (Disabled).
=====>VOLUME>
•HARDWARE VOLUME CONTROL (If Available) – USB Volume Control; The volume control at the top can either control software or hardware volume, or can be completely disabled. Stop playback first before changing this item.
•DISABLED – Use Volume Rocker Buttons; This allows you to change the volume with the physical volume buttons of your Android device when the app is in the background or the screen is turned off. May not work on all models and may use more battery power.
•ENABLED – Stereo Hardware Volume Slider; Disable if you want to control each hardware volume slider separately.
•50 – Volume Steps; Controls the number of steps from the silence to full volume.
•NO REPLAY GAIN – Replay Gain; Uses gain information from the files to make volumes between tracks more equal. Disabled since I have set AUTO GAIN in the Equalizer menu.
•0 dB – Replay Gain Compensation; Adds an amount of gain to the Replay Gain. Unused since I have set AUTO GAIN in the Equalizer menu.

•Other settings in Volume: Fade Out Volume Dialog (Disabled), Next/Prev Track (Disabled)
=====>USB AUDIO TWEAKS>
•ENABLED – Use USB DAC; When enabled the app will check if a USB interface/DAC is connected and warn when none is found. In this way, you will be sure that th app’s driver is used when playing back. If you never use a SUB DAC, you can disable this option.
•DISABLED - Play Silence on Android Audio;

•200 milliseconds – Buffer Size; If you experience glitching, try higher values.
•AUTOMATIC – USB Device Speed (Android 7+); The USB device speed cannot be determined since Android 7. Choose full or high if automatic gives a stuttering sound. A restart of the App is required.
•Other settings in USB Audio Tweaks: Tweak for Devices with Root Access (Disabled), Force 1 Packet per Transfer (Disabled), USB Tweak 1 (Disabled), USB Tweak 2 (Disabled), USB Tweak 3 (Disabled), Enable USB Hardware Buttons (Disabled), Free USB Bandwidth After Playback (Disabled), Force 16-Bit (Disabled).
=====>LAST/FM>[Did not Change]
=====>UPnP Renderer>[Did not Change]



***MORE IN WORK***
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      03-27-2021, 02:26 PM   #212
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Windshield drip molding removal/install

This job looks easy, but as I found out, it's filled with pit falls. I started with just wanting to wrap my white painted drip moldings in matte black vinyl wrap. I tried wrapping with the molding in place, but I couldn’t get a nice fit and finish. Working around the gasket was cumbersome and I ended up wrinkling the vinyl edges, then dislodging part of the gasket and it wouldn’t easily return to place. Well, it looks like you have to remove the molding to get a proper wrap.

I begin by removing the first two lower clips using a metal pry tool sitting on top of a nylon pry tool to protect the glass. Try to use a longer pry tool to make removal easier. As I struggled with the third clip, I naturally (without thinking) tried pulling up from the already unclipped lower end of the molding to get some leverage. The molding very easily bent up 45 degrees…TRASHED.

I ordered two new drip moldings (Left 51-31-7-250-395 and Right 51-31-7-250-395) and they come with gaskets. You will also want to buy new clips all around. There are three different clips per side, realoem shows you the details. These moldings arrive in black, probably primed or ready to be primed because the surface is not presentable as-is. They are satin with a randomly brushed surface. My plan was to wrap the molding as-is and if the new owner wants them painted white they are primed and ready for painting. Quickly wrapped one up and installed the gasket on the molding. It’s a one-piece gasket per side, but very long with a slit/cut down the middle. Each half of the gasket installs differently via channels in the molding. For each gasket half, I recommend you start in the middle of the molding and work toward the ends. I did this, but the ends of the gasket looked floppy and misaligned to the curve of the molding ends. I figured once installed they’d tighten up into the right position with a little adjustment. To install the molding, you have to align it to the body and then press down on the part of the molding directly above each clip (marking clip locations prior to this step is recommended). Also, the molding gasket that interfaces with the glass by default wants to fold down over itself, so afterward you have to come back and properly seat the gasket on the windshield. This try was a FAIL; the gasket ends remained floppy and misaligned no matter what I did. A quick check of the molding I pulled off revealed the ends are going to need adhesive to make this look OEM.

Back to the pry tool to remove the molding and hopefully you didn’t remove the tape marking the clip locations (so you easily know exactly where to pry). The upper most clip was trouble because the two pieces of the clip separated and got tangled up. I spent about 15m trying to remove gingerly so I wouldn’t damage the molding or the vinyl wrap. I believe the gap in the clip was tighter than the other clips. I finally removed the molding, but noticed I pinched some of the gasket channels. Apparently you can’t easily pry these back up (steel) without some force and I didn’t want to mess up the wrap or the molding. With channels pinched, the gasket comes out easily, but harder to install. Luckily it wasn’t too bad and the gasket could be reinstalled, crisis averted.

Ordered some 3M gasket adhesive from Amazon. You need to apply the adhesive in one quick procedure, so get everything you need ready and close by. I recommend using a fan to blow the fumes away from your work area. The goal is to apply the right amount of adhesive and clamp without damaging the matte black vinyl or getting adhesive everywhere. You have to apply adhesive to both sides of the surfaces to be mated. Then wait for it to get tacky and apply the clamp. You can’t put too much or else you’ll have adhesive oozing out everywhere when you clamp. Fortunately, within the first few minutes after application, you can pull away any minor excess but it’s stringy and can quickly get messy. It will start holding place within ~20 minutes, depending on your environment. Choose a proper clamp that doesn’t mangle the vinyl or your paint…I taped up the vinyl side beforehand. I thought I could get away with only gluing the upper end of the molding, but no, you need to apply adhesive to both ends. DONE. NOTE: As shown in the pic, do not install the gasket into the channels before gluing the ends, or else the gasket ends will be preloaded and make it harder for the clamp to hold in place. This ended up being way more work than I thought, but in the end it looks OEM. Now repeat, with no errors, for the other side.

Some additional install/removal notes:
-These drip moldings are shaped with a “T” cross section and are effectively pressed into clips mounted in the exterior A-frame of the body and held in place by friction. Install the clips on the body A-frame, align the molding, then press on the molding over each clip making sure the gasket is properly seated on inside and outside. Mark, with tape, the clip locations prior to installation so you know where to press. You will hear a 'zipping' noise as the molding gets pressed into the clip.

-The gaskets themselves are mounted into channels in the molding by friction only. One side of the gasket is done by hand and requires little effort. Just slowly press the gasket lip into the thin channel, do not force. I recommend aligning the gasket at one end, then press in place every other inch or two as you work toward the opposite end. Then come back and install the rest. Otherwise, pressing in the gasket consecutively toward the end causes stretching and then you end up with excess gasket at the ends. The other side of the gasket required me to press the gasket with my finger while simultaneously pushing down with a flat nylon pry tool. The channel in the molding is wider, like a flat “U”. It takes a few tries to get it in place, but once you understand it goes quickly. Perpendicular to the direction of how the gasket mounts, you can tell when the gasket is properly installed, it sits firm and flat on the molding surface.

-Removal is more tricky and must be done carefully to avoid bending the molding strip. Prying strip molding out of clips can be done but one must pry directly at each clip location and do not pull up on already released strip molding. Sometimes, if the clip is too tight on the molding strip, the clip will start to disassemble when prying on the molding. The metal part of the clip (attached to the molding) will uncouple from the plastic part of the clip (fixed to the body). This could be caused b/c the clip gap was too small, causing a high friction fit. To avoid this, you could check the clip gaps before install by testing them on the old molding. Or you can take a small flathead and gauge that they all have about the same gap.

-To remove the larger clips, you need a very small flat head screwdriver to lift the locking tab, then slide the clip downward, then pull away from body pin to remove.

PIX:

Marking the windshield with clip locations:
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Lower two clips are different part numbers from the remaining upper clips:
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How I pried the molding without damaging the windshield:
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Example of how molding surface arrived:
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This gasket adhesive worked perfectly:
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Workspace I used to apply adhesive, not showing fan to dissipate the fumes:
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Closeup of molding and seal clamped:
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Upper gasket glued to molding; Shown wrapped in 3M 2080 Matte Deep Black:
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Thin vs Wide Channel description for gasket install:
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Thin Channel gasket Installation:
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Wide Channel gasket before and after proper installation:
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How I installed Wide Channel gasket using a pry tool; pinch and press:
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Clip removal; This applies to all but the lower-most clip:
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In ISTA, these are called GUTTER STRIPS:
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      04-12-2021, 10:33 AM   #213
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Trying out matte black reflectors for a while..goes with the other black bits...

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      06-11-2021, 10:09 AM   #214
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DIFFUSER UPDATE 6/11/2021: It's been 7 months since I vinyl wrapped the diffuser, a couple washes, 223 miles, and always garaged. The wrap is sustaining very well, but it's apparent that the inside corners on each side of the fins has too much tension. There is some delamination (bubbles) in those areas, however the rest is holding up exceptionally well. This SOTT vinyl would be a good wrap for the roof, however I've noticed over the past couple months that this vinyl wrap is 'out of stock' just about everywhere. My second choice CF vinyl would be the 3M 2080 CF Black b/c it has a texture that makes it look like real weave...although it's matte and not glossy. If you asked me today, I'd probably recommend a CF diffuser cover instead of wrapping, unless you are OR go to an expert vinyl installer. $0.02.

ALSO, I will most likely take a fine pin and relieve the air in the bubbles and keep it a while longer.

NOTE: In hindsight I could have used Rapid Tac on the fins..I even have some in hand...it eliminates bubbles and helps adhesion in the area sprayed. I made a choice not to use it, but sounds like a bad call, lol.
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      06-12-2021, 11:26 AM   #215
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Coming soon...

Cleaned, brushed w/Boeshield T9 on non-friction surfaces to reduce future rust. DO NOT APPLY lubricants to friction areas (where pads operate). Our discs are monstrous in size and I didn't grasp that until I had these in my hands...and these are only the rears...fronts on order...



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      06-13-2021, 06:24 PM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
Coming soon...

Cleaned, brushed w/Boeshield T9 on non-friction surfaces to reduce future rust. DO NOT APPLY lubricants to friction areas (where pads operate). Our discs are monstrous in size and I didn't grasp that until I had these in my hands...and these are only the rears...fronts on order...



Attachment 2625709

Attachment 2625710
I did the f85 brake discs a few months ago and they are awesome. You'll love them. Let us know what pads you decide to go with.
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      07-16-2021, 10:25 AM   #217
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F85 Brake Rotors

Been pretty quiet lately but am finally working on the M. Actually not yet finished, but thought I'd post some pix. Decided to install the F85 rotors as I installed the dinan springs. Add cleaning and it really extended the effort required and waiting until summer was a bad idea, the heat slows it all down. I only installed the F85 rotors on the rear during this run...I got side-tracked by that NIB Akropovic muffler and blew some budget on that and tips, but I'm sure it will be well worth it, more on that later.

-Pic of rear caliper after cleaning it up with Meguiar's Deep Crystal Step 1 Car Paint Cleaner. Dingy.
-Pic of the caliper after buffing with Griot's Correcting cream and a lake county green polishing pad and some ceramic coating.
-Next two pix of rotor installed with TMS 20mm spacers
-Final pic with wheel on and Titanium bolts.

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      07-16-2021, 10:37 AM   #218
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Dinan Lowering Springs

Been sitting on this for a while. Finally working and should wrap it up this weekend. Cleaning all around certainly elongates this activity. I was surprised at the heftiness of the suspension components compared to my E46M3 or E36M3, when I last did suspension work. Thanks to my dad who spent a day building a stand for this old 100lb vice so that I could mount the spring compressor (it was more complex than it looks).

I wrote up a detailed DIY, but as usual not everything went as written, so I have some work to do to update the document. One part that has me questioning is the orientation of the RF strut end cap. While the LF was keyed just like ISTA says, the RF came out of the car not keyed like ISTA said it should be. The endcap is properly aligned to the assembly as shown by the factory blue alignment marks. So I'm reinstalling with the same keying that the assembly came out of the car.

-Pic of lifting position on the rear diff and some under-cleaning
-Pic of Vice/Stand for Spring Compressor
-LF Strut Assembly installed

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More later...
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B&W Speaker Upgrade Crossovers

Ok, juggling several projects now...these long awaited custom crossovers are fabricated. Matched to B&W Midrange and Tweeters for the 4X Doors and 1X Dash Center Channel.

Lots to discuss on this topic, but my next priorities are 1) Spring Install DIY (95% done), 2) Akrapovic Muffler Install, 3) Front F85 Rotors, and then this 3) B&W Speaker Upgrade.

Custom Crossovers's, what am I talking about? Late last year we learned that B&W speakers from the G05, 06, and 07 series were plug and play into the E70 depending on which audio system option you have. I have the S752A Audio option (aka Individual Audio System). I started with the D-pillars and then center dash. Next were the doors, but I got distracted by a post back in Jan-Feb in the General E70 forums where some were discussing crossovers to use with the B&W speakers. I then stumbled across a custom high end speaker designer and crossover fabricator and he agreed to build me some XO's. I sent him a B&W Tweeter and Midrange and he performed a speaker frequency analysis. I also provided him with other details about the upgrade, took measurements, etc. It took him 5 months b/c he was so busy, but he finished this past week. Here's a sneak peek at them...


B&W (Tweeter and Midrange) Speaker Frequency Analysis used for crossover design. He mentioned these were decent or maybe just above average speakers (possibly didn't want to burst my bubble), but not exceptional. However he also said he's seen many high end high dollar speakers on the market fair worse:
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Fabricated crossover's w/o lead wires attached:
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Custom Crossover Response for all five Crossovers (near perfect match):
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Final System Response with XO's attached to the B&W drivers:
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I found these Takachi enclosures and the designer made the crossovers to fit in these. They are actually polycarbonate/clear, but I haven't taken the protective film off yet. I will not be using the PCB studs, I will actually be hot melting the board in place. These are actually a VERY NICE kit meant for Raspberries, direct order from Japan. Great customer service, very nice. They sent a questionnaire to gather info that could help with their new enclosure designs.
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A lot still to do...I'll need some custom pigtails which I've already designed with OEM connectors, but have to build...still need to buy the rest of the drivers, figure out where/how to mount crossovers, etc. Also, in case you're wondering, I did mention to him that others may be interested in the same and recommended he keep the design, he didn't comment. But given my verbose descriptions and long emails, he was extremely patient, lol.

OH and if you are wondering why I didn't use the Diamond Tweeters, I was talked out of it, FWIW some opinion: "The main advantage they have is that the membrane works as a piston higher in frequency allowing greater clarity but other than that, they have a rolled off top end and sound harsher than metal. The metal domes can be made thinner and easier to dampen the ringing, also the metal domes weigh less and had more output at the top..........there is much more to be said, but wont go into it too much here. I designed many hi-fi tweeters. Personally, I would go with the metal dome over the diamond dome as the diamond will have a lack of air due to its fall off above 10khz. Since you are listening off axis mostly in a car, you want a boost above 10khz, not a roll-off". . I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that BMW accounts for some of this in their system and amp, but I'm using my S752 amp, so...in the end I didn't need much more rationalization to spend LESS money and use the regular tweeters, lol.

More to come...
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Last edited by argento; 08-08-2021 at 10:14 AM..
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      08-02-2021, 03:18 PM   #220
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Drives: 2013 X5M
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Houston

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Dinan Spring Install DIY

[UPDATED 2/21/2022]

Full DIY PDF:
DIY REV.2_E70X5M Dinan Spring Install_argento-xbimmers_21Feb2022.pdf

I'm not finished with the DIY, b/c there may be some diagnostic work needed...dropping off tomorrow to determine the details. However, I'm far enough along that I can provide you all with the CHECKLIST. I made this AFTER my install as during the install I was fumbling with pages. It's basically the quick version of the DIY, really meant to ensure you don't forget something...OR for advanced installers just needing a quick list of tasks.


DISCLAIMER: This Checklist only lists highlights and is for REFERENCE ONLY. It serves only as backup to help ensure major steps have been addressed. See DIY for details and only use latest version. This procedure represents one method of installation on a specific vehicle and is shared/posted for **REFERENCE ONLY**. This procedure requires **CAUTION** as it involves heavy loads and stored potential energy that could cause serious personal injury and/or vehicle damage if mechanical disassembly and/or assembly is performed improperly. Use extreme caution and all applicable safety processes when working on your vehicle. This procedure is based on a collection of other DIYs as referenced in the Reference Section of the DIY, as well as ISTA.


CHECKLIST NOTES:
- 2013 E70 X5M
- Checklist based on a complete and consecutive Dinan Spring Install from front to rear axle.
- NORMAL POSITION TORQUE: As required and defined by ISTA, place vehicle in ‘normal position’. For those fastenings called out to be torqued in normal position, note that the rear fasteners in this DIY can be accessed with the wheels mounted and vehicle on the ground. For the front axle, this is not easily the case. There is a method recommended by a third party used and referenced in the full DIY that simulates ‘normal position’.

PRE-INSTALLATION (Prior to Jacking)
☐ (optional) Record ride height for reference
☐ (optional) Fold mirrors to decrease obstructions around vehicle
☐ Position vehicle with steering straight ahead
☐ Ensure emergency brake is OFF
☐ In trunk, disconnect negative battery cable. [10mm Socket; M6 Nut 5Nm]
☐ In trunk, for vehicles without third row seating, lift trunk lid and remove carpet trim to access rear strut top mounting bolts. [pry tool]
☐ In engine bay, remove left and right microfilter grated housing covers and right microfilter housing assembly. [13mm Socket]
☐ In engine bay, loosen left and right partition walls and rotate toward vehicle center for access to front strut housing. [pry tool; 5mm Hex Allen; 10mm Socket]
☐ Jack vehicle, place jack stands, and remove wheels. If jacking one axle at a time, use wheel chocks as necessary. [Hydraulic Jack; Jack Pads; Chocks; 17mm Socket; Wheel Hangar; M14 Nut 140Nm]
☐ Place removed wheels under vehicle side skirts as additional safety backup.


FRONT AXLE
☐ Rotate hub/disc rotor so that concave indentions point in vehicle forward direction or OEM marked surfaces point upwards.
☐ Mark rotor/hub orientation so that if the driveshaft uncouples from the final drive and the rotor/hub is unknowingly rotated, you know the approx. orientation of the hub to reinsert driveshaft.
☐ Remove hydraulic brake line clamp with pliers and uncouple grommet/line from strut brake line bracket. [Pliers]
☐ LEFT SIDE ONLY, uncouple (friction fit) brake pad wear sensor cable from strut brake line bracket.
☐ Decouple EDC connectors and cables to allow untethered strut removal from vehicle. Blue connector sits above black connector. Consider removing other cable/connectors in vicinity to help facilitate smoother strut assembly removal.
☐ Support lower control arm with hydraulic jack and wooden block(s) as needed.
☐ Remove stabilizer link from swivel bearing by removing M12 nut. Adjust hydraulic jack as needed to unload sway bar for link removal. Use socket and breaker bar to first loosen nut, then proceed with wrench and Torx socket. Note bolt insertion is in direction of forward travel. [18mm Box End Wrench; T35 Torx Socket]
☐ Disconnect swivel bearing from upper control arm by removing M10 bolt and nut. Adjust hydraulic jack as needed to facilitate bolt removal. Note bolt insertion is in direction of forward travel. Bearing surfaces to remain clean and oil free; [16mm Socket; 16mm Box End Wrench]
☐ Tether swivel bearing as it becomes unwieldly and naturally leans outward and can disconnect drive shaft from final drive. [Rope]
☐ Remove spring strut holder to strut assembly M12 bolt. Note bolt insertion is in direction of forward travel. Bearing surfaces to remain clean and oil free. [18mm Socket]
☐ At lower control arm disconnect spring strut holder by removing M14 Bolt and Nut. Adjust hydraulic jack as needed to facilitate bolt removal. Note bolt insertion is in direction of forward travel. [21mm Socket; 21mm Box/Open End Wrench]
☐ With Suspension in lowest position, separate spring strut holder from strut assembly and remove spring strut holder from area. Use steering knuckle expanding tool to unclamp strut from strut holder as needed. [Knuckle Expanding Tool]
☐ In engine bay strut tower, with strut assembly supported from beneath, remove three M8 nuts at strut tower. [13mm Socket]
☐ Remove strut assembly downwards and out of wheel arch. Record photos capturing relative position of OEM components for future assembly of stock configuration.
☐ Using Spring Compressor Tool per manufacturer instructions and slowly compress OEM coil sring and remove M12 Strut Nut. Then slowly decompress OEM Coil Spring for spring removal. [18mm Strut Nut Socket Tool; 6mm Allen Wrench]
☐ On bench, place Dinan auxiliary pads and new strut components onto strut assembly. Orient upper spring pads to ISTA key coding specifications.
☐ Using Spring Compressor Tool per manufacturer instructions, with strut assembly and Dinan coil spring properly oriented per ISTA, slowly compress Dinan coil spring until strut nut can be installed and torqued. After strut nut is installed, slowly decompress Dinan coil spring. [18mm Strut Nut Socket Tool; 6mm Allen Wrench; 21mm Box End Wrench or Crescent; M12 Nut 48Nm]
☐ Insert strut assembly with Dinan coil spring into strut tower and install three new M8 nuts but do not tighten yet. Only install to ensure strut assembly is supported.
☐ Insert spring strut holder onto strut assembly via strut alignment pin and position spring strut holder onto lower control arm.
☐ Install spring strut holder to lower control arm M14 bolt and nut. Tighten but do not torque yet as that will be done under ‘normal position’. [21mm socket; 21mm open end wrench]
☐ Install spring strut holder to strut assembly M12 bolt. Hand-tighten (snug) but do not fully torque yet as strut assembly will need to settle into spring strut holder at ‘normal position’. [18mm Socket; Knuckle Expanding Tool]
☐ Install M12 nut for stabilizer link to swivel bearing. If needed adjust hydraulic jack to unload sway bar for link installation. Tighten but do not torque yet. [18mm Box End Wrench; T35 Torx Socket]
☐ Install upper control arm to swivel bearing M10 nut and torque. [16mm Socket; 16mm Box End Wrench; M10 Nut 56Nm]
☐ Torque stabilizer link M12 nut. [18mm Socket; M12 Nut 100Nm]
☐ Tighten and torque strut tower M8 nuts. [13mm Socket; M8 Nuts 28Nm]
☐ Install EDC Connectors and route cables.
☐ Install brake line clamp and LEFT SIDE ONLY brake pad wear sensor cable.
☐ Place vehicle in ‘normal position’ per ISTA. This may need to be done after rear axle complete and rear wheels on the ground. Consider using hydraulic jack, position jack stands under lower control arm and load suspension to mimic ‘normal position’.
☐ First torque lower control arm to spring strut holder M14 bolt in ‘normal position’. [21mm Socket; 21mm Box End Wrench; M14 Bolt 165Nm in Normal Position]
☐ Then torque spring strut holder to strut assembly M12 nut in ‘normal position’. [16mm Socket; M12 Bolt 81Nm, Torque in Normal Position]
☐ If needed, for rear axle work, return vehicle to nominal lifted configuration using hydraulic jack and jack stands.
Front Axle Complete.

REAR AXLE
☐ Partially detach rear wheel fender linings (or remove rear bumper) and disconnect VDM cable routing and plugs at connector box to allow strut removal from vehicle.
☐ Remove hydraulic brake line clamp with pliers and uncouple grommet/line from strut brake line bracket.
☐ Remove M14 bolt connecting shock absorber to control arm. But first support wheel hub or control arm with hydraulic jack to unload bolt and then remove. (21mm Socket)
Supporting strut assembly from underneath to prevent it from falling out, remove three M10 nuts from strut tower in luggage compartment. A new sealing grommet is recommended at installation. (16mm Socket)
☐ On bench, disassemble strut assembly by removing M12 nut. (18mm Strut Nut Socket Tool; 6mm Allen Wrench)
☐ Replace OEM auxiliary pad with Dinan auxiliary pad, install new components, and reassembly strut assembly. Torque M12 Nut. (18mm Strut Nut Socket Tool; 6mm Allen Wrench; M12 Nut 34Nm)
☐ Insert strut assembly into strut tower and install three new M10 nuts and torque. (16mm Socket; M10 Nut 56Nm)
☐ Adjust hydraulic jack as needed to insert M14 bolt into lower control arm and strut assembly. Tighten in place, but do not torque yet as torquing requires vehicle to be in ‘normal position’.
☐ Reconnect EDC connectors and route cables. Re-install fender linings (or bumper).
☐ Install brake line clamp
☐ Remove OEM sensor rods. (10mm Socket; 8mm and 8.5mm Box End Wrench)
☐ Install Dinan Sensor Rods that have been each set to a length of 69.4mm/2.732” (M6 Nut 8Nm)
☐ Mount front and rear wheels and lower the vehicle in reverse order of raising (17mm Socket; M14 Nuts 140Nm)
☐ Torque lower control arm to strut assembly M14 bolt. (21mm Socket; M14 Bolt 165Nm in Normal Position)
Rear Axle Complete.

FINISHING THE INSTALL
☐ Confirm Torque of all Fastenings
☐ Install Engine Trim in reverse order of disassembly
☐ Install Trunk Trim in reverse order of disassembly
☐ Reconnect negative battery cable in reverse order of disassembly
☐ On vehicles with BMW Active Front Steering (AFS), set Steering Angle:
-Start Engine
-Turn steering wheel left to full lock.
-Turn steering wheel right to full lock.

Consider performing as needed (diagnostic system needed):
☐ Perform 4-wheel computerized alignment
☐ Headlight Adjustment
☐ Ride Height Calibration (not required with Dinan Sensor Rods)
☐ Vertical acceleration sensor adjustment
NOTE: If possible, allow Dinan coil springs to settle a few days prior to ride height adjustments.

CHECKLIST END.


==================>


The DIY is about 40 pages, including the checklist above. It includes a torque table, the required parts needing replacement (per ISTA), a tools list, and lots of figures and explanation. Most will not likely want or need all this info, but it will be available. I reviewed all the suspension DIY's I could find and referenced them and their links, coupled with procedures from ISTA. Once I'm finished I'll offer to post the PDF.

DIY Excerpt, Third Party Simulation of Normal Position (REF ONLY):


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Last edited by argento; 02-22-2022 at 09:09 AM.. Reason: Clarified procedure.
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