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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 11-22-2012, 11:43 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Upgrading the F30 stock (non-HK) sound system

Ok so I would like to start a detailed discussion about upgrading the stock (non-HK) sound system. Although I do have a lot of experience in car audio, I know next to nothing about the stock setup... So here are some questions. When solid answers arise I will add them back into this post:

What size are the speakers?

What resistance are the drivers?
Front and rear speakers are 4ohms, the two underseat woofers are 2ohms.

What's the deal with the subwoofer(s)? They're under the seats, right? One or two? How much power do they receive?

Are there any known drivers out there that are a direct fit? I know the BSW Stage 1 kit is in progress...

Is there an amp downstream of the head unit? Or do all of the speakers run off of the head unit?

Are there passive crossovers for the component speakers in the doors? Or are they run "active" off of the head unit /amp?

How would you connect an aftermarket amp? Are there line level outs from the head unit? Or would a high-to-low level signal converter be required to run off the speaker leads?

How much continuous (rms) power does the stock head unit or amp output?

Why is there a center speaker in the dash? I guess for 5.1 movie watching... Can it be shut off? Seems to me it would just obliterate any stereo imaging. I know sometimes really hardcore car audio guys will use a center dash speaker in really sophisticated ways to actually improve stereo imaging by helping compensate for blah blah blah blah... But clearly the stock center speaker is not set up that way... Therefore it is simply wrong for music.

Is running fresh wires to the doors a total nightmare?... It's never fun, but is it particularly sinister in the F30? Not sure if you would even need to run fresh wires, but very often you do in order to power the speakers from wherever the new amp is...

How is the stock sound deadening in the doors/ trunk/ floor/ etc? Any treatment to the bare metal of the doors? (i.e. dynamat or similar)... the car is already very quiet, so maybe not much needs to be done.

Is there room in the doors to mount say 5-6" woofers in the doors beneath the stock woofers? Those doors are just begging for some 3-way component speakers (i.e. tweet/ 3" mid/ 6" woofer)... Or maybe just cut bigger holes where the stock woofers are, and just use some nice 2-way components.

Ok that's it for the basic questions... Please post links to any F30 stereo builds you know of, links to speakers/amps/etc that fit, etc.

Thanks!

P.S. Let's address the "Don't do this, the system is too complicated" comments right off the bat: Yes it's complicated. But that doesn't mean it can't be done...

Last edited by otonimus; 11-25-2012 at 11:50 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2012, 05:19 PM
jtuds jtuds is offline
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Most of your questions aren't basic. If you go to a dealership you can probably answer some of these questions. Not sure about the technical stuff, but size, location and use of the speakers can probably be solved by a visit to the dealer.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2012, 05:33 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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check out this thread
http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=752647
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2012, 08:00 PM
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akaMomo akaMomo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
Most of your questions aren't basic. If you go to a dealership you can probably answer some of these questions. Not sure about the technical stuff, but size, location and use of the speakers can probably be solved by a visit to the dealer.
Where I live the dealer would be as useful as your kid sister answering this. Use the link and google is your friend too...
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2012, 05:12 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
Most of your questions aren't basic. If you go to a dealership you can probably answer some of these questions. Not sure about the technical stuff, but size, location and use of the speakers can probably be solved by a visit to the dealer.
The questions are quite basic, actually. Without question the rabbit hole will go much deeper.

Dealer doesn't know squat, and google yields very little.

Last edited by otonimus; 11-23-2012 at 05:20 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2012, 05:14 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Justinnum, thanks for the link! It is for the HK, though... no clue how much difference that makes

Last edited by otonimus; 11-23-2012 at 05:18 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2012, 06:13 AM
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johnofcross johnofcross is offline
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If you read the thread, they are creating several packages for both the stock and HK systems.

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  #8  
Old 11-23-2012, 06:33 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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My car is being used by Integral Audio for a F30 specific system. It's going to be out in late January. It won't be cheap, but it's the difference between a tailored suit and buying off the rack.
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2012, 06:51 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnofcross View Post
If you read the thread, they are creating several packages for both the stock and HK systems.

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Awesome thanks. Love the blue by the way
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2012, 04:11 PM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Ok so it would seem that the Polk Audio db501 fits the front doors... I assume it will fit the non-HK as well?

And is there anything special about this driver that makes it fit? (depth, etc?)

Any others that are a good fit?

BTW, whoever made the mdf baffles for the Polks in that thread made a bad move... That mdf will disintegrate from water. When I made baffles for my Mazda 6 I used solid plastic (ABS) to avoid this issue.

I'm amazed more info isn't out there... is there really so much hesitation because of the complexity? Or have simply I entered a different demographic when I bought a bimmer? (less young kids modding their stereos)
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2012, 05:08 PM
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I suspect it is a very different demographic.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2012, 05:12 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Its a new platform.

Bsw and others have been doing BMW audio for a long time now.
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2012, 05:32 PM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Any surprise that the new platform has taken this long to develop upgrades? Or is this normal for a new platform? Is it taking especially long due to new complexity? Or is it similar complexity to the previous platform?
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2012, 10:10 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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I've has the car a week now, and I'm just shocked at how bad the bass is... I have the bass turned all the way down, and it still sounds like a loud boomy wet fart... the subs are just terrible.

I simply don't get it.

A decent sounding system in a car is not hard at all. It doesn't require expensive components, just good design... half decent drivers, and properly executed crossovers/eq.

Really, BMW? You can't pull this off? Surely you've had enough practice... I don't expect stunning sound quality from the bare bones system... but this is just ridiculous.

The bone stock stereos in my 1990 Jetta, 1992 GTI, 1999 A4, and 2005 Element all sounded far better (so did the Blows system in my 2004 Mazda 6s, but that doesn't count since it was the premium option).

Frustrating.
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2012, 11:13 AM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Your best option to upgrade your F30 HiFi system is to replace the OEM amp with a JL Audio XD600/6, while keeping your OEM speakers.

This will accomplish two things:

- it will remove the center speaker from the equation as you stated that you do not like it.
- it will allow you to set your own crossover points, individual gains (front, rear and underseat) and provide a sustantial power increase over OEM. That will fix many of the problems that you are expriencing right now -especially better bass with less flabbiness and cliping due to lack of power.

You can decide later if you need new speakers.

PM for details on how to connect that XD600/6 as a PnP replacement of your OEM amp.

Last edited by Technic; 11-24-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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  #16  
Old 11-24-2012, 11:21 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Wow, thanks Technic. Will send you a PM later.
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2013, 04:42 PM
angelcaido63 angelcaido63 is offline
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Help with my F30 Audio Upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Your best option to upgrade your F30 HiFi system is to replace the OEM amp with a JL Audio XD600/6, while keeping your OEM speakers.

This will accomplish two things:

- it will remove the center speaker from the equation as you stated that you do not like it.
- it will allow you to set your own crossover points, individual gains (front, rear and underseat) and provide a sustantial power increase over OEM. That will fix many of the problems that you are expriencing right now -especially better bass with less flabbiness and cliping due to lack of power.

You can decide later if you need new speakers.

PM for details on how to connect that XD600/6 as a PnP replacement of your OEM amp.
Technic, your post makes sense and seems like it will improve the terrible sound I am getting on my new 335i. Can you please send me a link or email me instructions on how to properly connect that XD600/6 as a PnP replacement? My car has the OEM audio system (no upgrades) that BMW puts on the 2013 335i Sport - thanks!
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  #18  
Old 04-06-2013, 11:19 AM
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johnofcross johnofcross is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Your best option to upgrade your F30 HiFi system is to replace the OEM amp with a JL Audio XD600/6, while keeping your OEM speakers.

This will accomplish two things:

- it will remove the center speaker from the equation as you stated that you do not like it.
- it will allow you to set your own crossover points, individual gains (front, rear and underseat) and provide a sustantial power increase over OEM. That will fix many of the problems that you are expriencing right now -especially better bass with less flabbiness and cliping due to lack of power.

You can decide later if you need new speakers.

PM for details on how to connect that XD600/6 as a PnP replacement of your OEM amp.
Technic, would you recommend the same for folks with the Harmon Kardon system? What's the most sensible upgrade path?
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  #19  
Old 04-06-2013, 01:00 PM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnofcross View Post
Technic, would you recommend the same for folks with the Harmon Kardon system? What's the most sensible upgrade path?
The problem with upgrading the HK is the 600watts of output power of the OEM amp. You will need several devices to convert those high level signals to low level, compatible with aftermarket amps and DSP.

IMO, the HK system only needs a mono amp and a sub as the 7-band EQ should be enough to tune it to sound great.

If that is still not enough then the iDrive unit would be recoded to HiFi (output low level, balanced and full range signals) and then follow the same recommendations above for the HiFi - except from 7-channels of amplification required to 9-channels.
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  #20  
Old 04-10-2013, 09:55 AM
csphysio csphysio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Your best option to upgrade your F30 HiFi system is to replace the OEM amp with a JL Audio XD600/6, while keeping your OEM speakers.

This will accomplish two things:

- it will remove the center speaker from the equation as you stated that you do not like it.
- it will allow you to set your own crossover points, individual gains (front, rear and underseat) and provide a sustantial power increase over OEM. That will fix many of the problems that you are expriencing right now -especially better bass with less flabbiness and cliping due to lack of power.

You can decide later if you need new speakers.

PM for details on how to connect that XD600/6 as a PnP replacement of your OEM amp.
Hi Technic,
I'm extremely interested in this solution to my similar distaste for my non HK HiFi system.
Love the plug n play aspect!
Can you please confirm that it won't trigger any codes/have warranty issues?
Also, how would you say this upgrade would compare to the JBL MS-8 route?
I'm a complete audio noob, but am beginning to find your posts highly enlightening.
Thanks!
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  #21  
Old 04-10-2013, 11:04 AM
RobertaZ RobertaZ is offline
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I left the factory head unit in my E90, but installed a JL Audio Cleansweep, sub and replaced all of the speakers with JL ones. The sound is fantastic. I am hoping to do the same with the F30 which will be arriving in the next couple of weeks.
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  #22  
Old 04-10-2013, 12:27 PM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csphysio View Post
Hi Technic,
I'm extremely interested in this solution to my similar distaste for my non HK HiFi system.
Love the plug n play aspect!
Can you please confirm that it won't trigger any codes/have warranty issues?
The HiFi OEM amp is analog, meaning that once removed it does not trigger any errors. The HK OEM amp cannot be removed because it is digital -as in part of the MOST ring of the car.

Once you replace the OEM amp with aftermarket then there is no warranty on the speakers -if they become defective. Any aftermarket device that you install in any car with warranty will invalidate the warranty of whatever is damaged by that device.

Quote:
Also, how would you say this upgrade would compare to the JBL MS-8 route?
I'm a complete audio noob, but am beginning to find your posts highly enlightening.
Thanks!
All depends on your particular car audio taste: some people like DSP-processed music, others like only 2-channel stereo.

The MS-8 is a DSP/8-channel amp. The XD600/6 is a non-DSP/6-channel amp. You will lose the center channel with the XD600/6 if that matters to you.
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  #23  
Old 04-10-2013, 05:43 PM
csphysio csphysio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
The HiFi OEM amp is analog, meaning that once removed it does not trigger any errors. The HK OEM amp cannot be removed because it is digital -as in part of the MOST ring of the car.

Once you replace the OEM amp with aftermarket then there is no warranty on the speakers -if they become defective. Any aftermarket device that you install in any car with warranty will invalidate the warranty of whatever is damaged by that device.



All depends on your particular car audio taste: some people like DSP-processed music, others like only 2-channel stereo.

The MS-8 is a DSP/8-channel amp. The XD600/6 is a non-DSP/6-channel amp. You will lose the center channel with the XD600/6 if that matters to you.
Hey Technic,
PM sent.
Thanks!
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  #24  
Old 04-11-2013, 01:41 PM
csphysio csphysio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csphysio View Post
Hey Technic,
PM sent.
Thanks!
Hi Technic (or anyone else that might know the answer)

I'm definitely going to order your harness, but I can't figure out your question about the battery slots? The way that the battery faces, I can't look into the slots to see if there are metal blades in each slot or not.
Can anyone tell me how many free single/double slots I have in the battery of my 2013 328i?
I recall on a thread somewhere that some of the empty slots may not be active.

Thanks!
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  #25  
Old 04-11-2013, 04:54 PM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csphysio View Post
Hi Technic (or anyone else that might know the answer)

I'm definitely going to order your harness, but I can't figure out your question about the battery slots? The way that the battery faces, I can't look into the slots to see if there are metal blades in each slot or not.
Can anyone tell me how many free single/double slots I have in the battery of my 2013 328i?
I recall on a thread somewhere that some of the empty slots may not be active.

Thanks!
There are 3 single unused battery slots in that photo.
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