Stereo Comparison E60 (530) and E83 (X3)
I have two Bimmers - both MY 2007. The X3 3.0si (LCI) is new (to me) and I have had the 530 from new. The sound quality of the stereo in the 530 has never been very good. When I first listened to the radio in the X3 during a test drive, I was pleasantly surprised. I figured it had some premium sound package, but since actually purchasing the X3 and running the VIN numbers through BMWVIN.COM, I now realize that the two cars have identical options for the radio and speaker systems:
S645A - BMW US Radio
S676A - HiFi speaker system
However, in addition the X3 has another item in this area:
S662A - Radio BMW Business CD
I assume this simply puts a CD player in this no-navigation car.
The richer sound from the X3 seems to emanate from the under seat woofers. I hear nothing coming from the woofers in the 530 and even went as far as to physically check to see that I in fact had speakers there (I do).
I would love to hear if anyone can explain the very noticeable difference in the sound quality or if anyone has any coding ideas of how to improve the 530's sound.
(Cross posting this in E83, E60 and coding sub-forums)
My 2007 550i had the code 676 Hi-Fi speakers. BMW seems to actually make at least 4 levels of audio:
Base (not on cars for exprt to US, but you will read posts from folks in Europe who have it),
Hi-Fi (yours - which is the "base" system for US-export cars),
Logic7 (code 677, HiFi system Professional DSP - adds more speakers to include a center-channel on the dash top, larger under-seat subs (8" instead of your 6") and a DSP amp, and
Individual Audio in top-end cars, a $700 option (code 752 I think...) that may also be referred to as a DIRAC - adds an even better DSP amp and speakers - seen on M3, M5 and M6. Check out Bavarian Soundwerks for some good info on the speakers as well.
For your direct comparison, be sure it is exactly that: check your bass and treble - set both to flat in both cars, then listen. Now crank up the bass level in each car and see what happens. Because of cabin dimensions, etc. it may take different settings to achieve the sound you want to hear. If you still hear no bass in the sedan, then troubleshoot for inop underseat sub-speakers, a bad amp (in left-rear of trunk behind access panels...), cut wire, etc...
I am "mechanicaly handy" but not so much when it comes to sound systems. Three questions:
1) Could I add this DSP amp in the trunk and get some real benefit out of that?
2) How would I go about trouble shooting for inop woofers besides simply sticking my ear next to the under-seat woofers? Should I be able to measure a current across the wire terminals?
3) Would I be able to verify proper amp operation by swapping the amps between the cars or is it not that simple?
Appreciate your time.
Do the bass level listening test - settings in your audio menus. What result?
It would be very hard to convert to the DSP factory amp. Truly better to sell and buy a car w that option. Of course, there are aftermarket choices such as an MS-8 by Harmon but that would require some solid audio electronics skills to install.
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