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-   -   Audio Upgrade - suggestions? (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=661927)

wassy 12-03-2012 08:44 AM

Audio Upgrade - suggestions?
 
wondering if anyone has upgraded the premium sound system in the new GC, aftermarket? The more I listen to it, the more I am disappointed. I don't want to spend alot, thinking just speakers. Any suggestions or someone who has already done this?

Thanks

Technic 12-05-2012 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wassy (Post 7228194)
wondering if anyone has upgraded the premium sound system in the new GC, aftermarket? The more I listen to it, the more I am disappointed. I don't want to spend alot, thinking just speakers. Any suggestions or someone who has already done this?

Thanks

Can you be more specific?

Changing the OEM speakers not necessarily will give you better sound or whatever you are looking for when the OEM system is the Top HiFi/Premium.

wassy 12-06-2012 07:12 AM

Yes. Is like a better sound. I had replace speakers and maybe added a crossover to a prior car (non BMW) and it improved modestly. I've fine tunes the EQ on the bimmer, and while its "ok" it's certainly not premium. At least compared to others on the market. I am not trying to make it into a B&O system although that would be great, but just spend maybe 700-1000 on some speaker upgrades and maybe an amp to add. I don't want the big subwoofers or anything like that. Nothing custom, no panels, etc.

I can go locally to a car audio shop but thought others may have ventured into this and offer some recommendations.

The sound is not as robust or impressive as I'd like or expect.

Technic 12-06-2012 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wassy (Post 7234182)
Yes. Is like a better sound. I had replace speakers and maybe added a crossover to a prior car (non BMW) and it improved modestly. I've fine tunes the EQ on the bimmer, and while its "ok" it's certainly not premium. At least compared to others on the market. I am not trying to make it into a B&O system although that would be great, but just spend maybe 700-1000 on some speaker upgrades and maybe an amp to add. I don't want the big subwoofers or anything like that. Nothing custom, no panels, etc.

I can go locally to a car audio shop but thought others may have ventured into this and offer some recommendations.

The sound is not as robust or impressive as I'd like or expect.

Being your system the Top HiFi it tends not to take a big difference changing speakers. And more importantly, changing speakers that match the OEM impedances at least. Otherwise you will make your unsatisfactory system more so.

The specs of your OEM amp are impressive: 600W divided by 9-channels, Logic7 processing, 7-band EQ. However, the new BMW speakers are bolted to the door and not to door panels anymore. That allowed BMW to use shallower speakers -30mm or so of depth between the door and the window mechanism- than previous Series. That alone reduced your selection of speakers to just 2 -CDT and Focal shallow 4". The OEM underseat woofers are 7ohms, so you cannot replace those with anything standard (2-4-ohms) or your OEM amp will go into protection mode (overheat).

My suggestion is to bypass your OEM amp with either a mObridge DA2 converter (converts the MOST inputs to analog) or coding your CIC to output HiFi (analog balanced signals) and add 9-channels of aftermarket amplification while keeping the OEM speakers. That would be around the $1000/$1200 range. For an extra $500 or so you can add a DSP processor for better tuning of your system.

Either way is 100% reversible to OEM and it does not require cutting of any OEM wires.

You will notice right away that your dissatisfaction was caused by the OEM amp processing and not the speakers.

wassy 12-06-2012 09:04 PM

Ok. Awesome info. I'll check it out locally.

Ace535i 12-07-2012 02:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technic (Post 7235246)
Being your system the Top HiFi it tends not to take a big difference changing speakers. And more importantly, changing speakers that match the OEM impedances at least. Otherwise you will make your unsatisfactory system more so.

The specs of your OEM amp are impressive: 600W divided by 9-channels, Logic7 processing, 7-band EQ. However, the new BMW speakers are bolted to the door and not to door panels anymore. That allowed BMW to use shallower speakers -30mm or so of depth between the door and the window mechanism- than previous Series. That alone reduced your selection of speakers to just 2 -CDT and Focal shallow 4". The OEM underseat woofers are 7ohms, so you cannot replace those with anything standard (2-4-ohms) or your OEM amp will go into protection mode (overheat).

My suggestion is to bypass your OEM amp with either a mObridge DA2 converter (converts the MOST inputs to analog) or coding your CIC to output HiFi (analog balanced signals) and add 9-channels of aftermarket amplification while keeping the OEM speakers. That would be around the $1000/$1200 range. For an extra $500 or so you can add a DSP processor for better tuning of your system.

Either way is 100% reversible to OEM and it does not require cutting of any OEM wires.

You will notice right away that your dissatisfaction was caused by the OEM amp processing and not the speakers.

How would I shop for an installer who knows these details, and will do the job right?

Technic 12-07-2012 02:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace535i (Post 7235750)
How would I shop for an installer who knows these details, and will do the job right?

Show him/her my post and if that person looks to you funny then that's your cue to go somewhere else quick. Seriously. :bigpimp:

Technic 12-07-2012 05:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wassy (Post 7235548)
Ok. Awesome info. I'll check it out locally.

If your installer cannot get the PnP harnesses required for either install then let me know.

wassy 12-07-2012 10:24 AM

Technic, where in Florida are you and are you a car audio specialist or hobbyist?

Technic 12-07-2012 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wassy (Post 7236366)
Technic, where in Florida are you and are you a car audio specialist or hobbyist?

I'm located about 12 miles west from where you bought your GC... :D

I do BMW audio installs, OEM retrofits and coding every other weekend; no shop. 100% reversible to stock.

wassy 12-07-2012 12:16 PM

Pm sent

wassy 12-07-2012 05:21 PM

Couple things in looking around the web:

I'm not sure the new cars have use MOST. On the MoBridge DA2, only shows comparability until 2010 on the prior versions. Aren't they using combox or something or fiber optic?

What amp would you suggest?

Technic 12-08-2012 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wassy (Post 7236987)
Couple things in looking around the web:

I'm not sure the new cars have use MOST. On the MoBridge DA2, only shows comparability until 2010 on the prior versions. Aren't they using combox or something or fiber optic?

What amp would you suggest?

Coding to HiFi will require a DSP prosessor and at least 8-channels of amplification. JL Audio HD and Alpine PDX amps can be stacked, and they are compact enough for hidden install under your trunk floor trim; they sound great for the price. Otherwise other amps will require more room and installs that can compromise your trunk space.

Directly interfacing with the OEM amp (no coding) will require a signal converter with at least 40V/400W max input capability on each channel and then a DSP processor and 8-channels of amplification.

As stated before, your system is complex to interface only if you want 100% PnP and OEM integration. Otherwise any shop can just cut into your system, add equipment to it and hope for the best. And most of the time it cannot be put back to stock unless it is rewired with brand new OEM parts.

wassy 12-08-2012 10:41 AM

I think the speaker route might be worth some research. Didn't have time last night, but thanks for calling. You are very knowledgable! I'll be in touch.

wassy 12-10-2012 09:37 AM

Ok. I see where the systems deficit is. When I'm playing stored music I loaded from USB or even Bluetooth streaming or via iPhone cable, I get a nice crisp, full sound that is quite acceptable with my own EQ settings. However, when playing Sirius stations, even with same songs, it sounds washed out, crushed if you will. The seperation of sound on Sirius just isn't there no don't know if this is a function of the Sirius receiver or what but that's what I've concluded in recent days after spending alot if time tweaking this.

Technic 12-10-2012 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wassy (Post 7240837)
Ok. I see where the systems deficit is. When I'm playing stored music I loaded from USB or even Bluetooth streaming or via iPhone cable, I get a nice crisp, full sound that is quite acceptable with my own EQ settings. However, when playing Sirius stations, even with same songs, it sounds washed out, crushed if you will. The seperation of sound on Sirius just isn't there no don't know if this is a function of the Sirius receiver or what but that's what I've concluded in recent days after spending alot if time tweaking this.

Sirius =32kps-48kps

CD burned into HDD = 128kps WAV

Bluetooth streaming = 229kps-345kps/by the source compression, i.e. if the source material is highly compressed (128kps for example) then BT audio resolution will be closer to 128kps than to 229kps. To get as close to 345kps as possible then the source should be a commercial CD.

USB = up to 320kps; if the source is 320kps then it will play at 320kps

Commercial CD = 1411kps

That's what you found out by listening without the technical mumbo jumbo.

wassy 12-10-2012 03:14 PM

Ok then. I guess I'm stuck with what I have. Although other systems do sound a little better on Sirius and in shocked there is that much difference. That's what DIRAC should be for. To up convert to a higher bit rate if possible.

Technic 12-10-2012 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wassy (Post 7241424)
Ok then. I guess I'm stuck with what I have. Although other systems do sound a little better on Sirius and in shocked there is that much difference. That's what DIRAC should be for. To up convert to a higher bit rate if possible.

Some Sirius channels have higher bit rates than others but fundamentally the improvement is not something to be proud of. The best reported resolution has been 60kps (music), and as low as 15kps (traffic)

DIRAC is to make you feel as close as possible to a soundstage and not to upconvert the source. But overall it is not that good in a car environment, IMO -I used to have that OEM system in my old M3 and I coded it out. Logic7, Euphony and even Dolby ProLogic II are better in a car environment -again, IMO.

You will be complaining about some other sound issue the same with it, for sure.

wassy 12-10-2012 03:56 PM

No No, i've read that DIRAC is the system that the premium sound in my car uses for soundstaging. Not sure if Logic7 is still there, I know the logo is out nor any reference to it.

Technic 12-10-2012 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wassy (Post 7241488)
No No, i've read that DIRAC is the system that the premium sound in my car uses for soundstaging. Not sure if Logic7 is still there, I know the logo is out nor any reference to it.

Well, there you have it then. :D

Ace535i 12-11-2012 01:15 AM

Are you familiar with the Reus sound systems?

Technic 12-11-2012 03:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace535i (Post 7242297)
Are you familiar with the Reus sound systems?

The only time that I experienced a Reus system was years ago at an autoshow. It was a quite loud and clear system, but back then they just interfaced with the OEM amp outputs. And those OEM amps were not the new 600W-1200W peak that are available now. So I do not know what they are doing now, but for sure they are not coding.

reytran 12-11-2012 02:38 PM

Yeah I tried this 4 years ago when I upgrade my dad 530i. I installed full Focal top of the line cost me 3,400 for the speakers only and another 2,600 for the 2 amps plus 2 subwoofers and an Audison Bit One processor. I looked extremely cool. However, today compare my 09' 650i with the Focal. The 650i come with Logic 7 but IMO sound almost the sane(u need to play with the EQ a bit though). Besides, my dad 530i now like an old man, easily have battery problems. When the fuse of the amps blow or it leaks, it automatically reset the whole system, which is annoy. Doesnt the grand coupe come with Bang & Olufson option? I'm going to get the M6 Grand Coupe in 3 years and I'll definitely get that option for my ears. Just my 2 cents.

wassy 12-11-2012 06:47 PM

If I was ordering a car or able to find one with B&O, it would have been done. I got a great super deal so I couldn't complain but if I could find a way to upgrade with a reasonable cost basis, I might. I put in the m performance exhaust and that sounds incredible. Right now focused on that. Lol

Bungler1 12-12-2012 01:14 PM

I bought from BSW, system sounds great in my Z3 :)

Sent from my GT-I9000M using Bimmer App


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