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  #51  
Old 12-09-2016, 08:25 PM
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Your system is Stereo which is the most expensive and extensive to upgrade as it requires new speakers and an aftermarket amp install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zonerc View Post
I've a 2012 f30 320d sport not m sport which seems to have a basic setup.
2 speakers front and rear doors,no tweaters and no centre speaker not even a space for that.
Seems to have subs under the seats as there are covers under there.
The car has had a the screen and hu changed so I have sat nav.
Has far as I can tell there is no amp as there is nothing in the boot.
What is my best option.
Thank you in advance.
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  #52  
Old 12-10-2016, 02:36 AM
zonerc zonerc is offline
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Thanks for reply technic.
So would this require cable or harNess to wire in the amp and extra speakers?
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  #53  
Old 12-10-2016, 05:58 AM
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I would suggest coding your OEM HU to HiFi, a set of Bavsound speakers (plug 'n play), a Stereo 4/6 harness and a JL Audio XD600/6v2 amp.


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Originally Posted by zonerc View Post
Thanks for reply technic.
So would this require cable or harNess to wire in the amp and extra speakers?
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  #54  
Old 05-19-2017, 10:00 AM
komeil komeil is offline
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Here is Audison Bit processor's real time analysis of all four channels of the Harman headunit (internal amplifier, wide display with navigation, no trunk amp) on a BMW F30 with "STEREO" 4-channel / 6-speaker, no tweeters, front speakers are wired in parallel with underseat subwoofers.

Volume set at -7 out of available 28 steps (75%).

You can clearly see front outputs are equalized by Harman headunit's internal DSP to match front door 4-inch midrange speakers' frequency response and lack of tweeters, with no HPF because of subs being in parallel with them. Rear outputs are also heavily equalized to match rear door midrange speakers' frequency response and lack of tweeters, they are also cut (HPF) for the lack of parallel subs, but weirdly, the frequency of either side do not match!

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Last edited by komeil; 06-06-2017 at 01:10 PM.
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  #55  
Old 05-20-2017, 07:42 PM
[email protected]_Audio Kevin@Integral_Audio is offline
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The Audison is close, but still a lot further off than it should be. Here's the Fronts:




May have been some sort of trouble with your rear measurements because both rear channels are the same. Looking at the measurements it looks like you may have combined a front and a rear wire on that first one. The rears look like this (pretty close to your second one):




The Audison misses a lot more resolution than it should. It completely rounds over the -3dB and -6dB nulls on the rears, for example. More importantly, on the fronts, it is clearly averaging too much of that deep null at 150Hz into the rest, so it thinks you have a gradually rising response from 500-15k, instead of a relatively flat trend. So when it de-eq's that, you'll end up with a downward-sloping input signal.
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  #56  
Old 05-22-2017, 11:12 AM
komeil komeil is offline
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@Integral Audio, Appreciate your help. This particular car is at I-Step F020-12-11-504, meaning its firmware (including the Harman headunit) has never been updated since its production in November 2012 "I-Step (shipment)", so it's running very old software.

Could there possibly be a bug in early F30s' DSP software? Do you think upgrading its HU_NBT to newer software (like the current 3.61.4 F020-17-03-505) would solve this issue? I'm trying to solve this issue first, then code "STEREO" to "HIFI" to flatten its EQ.

This is the RTA I got on an iPad app at some fixed lower volume, iPad's internal microphone held at an inch of the Focals:

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You can clearly see it backs the Audison analysis.

Last edited by komeil; 06-06-2017 at 01:07 PM.
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  #57  
Old 05-24-2017, 10:09 AM
[email protected]_Audio Kevin@Integral_Audio is offline
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Impossible to say from here. I wouldn't put any faith at all in those RTA measurements. Measuring with the internal mic on an iPad, those two measurements could have easily been two different samples on the same speaker and shown more variation than that. What was the test signal? How many (if any) averages? What was the background noise like? That measurement has A-weighting applied (note the units dBA on the screen), which dramatically reduces low frequency response in the measurement (would be down about -40dB at 30Hz). That, combined with the fact that background noise dramatically skews to the low frequencies, and that there may not have been much low freq in the input signal nor much capability of output of the speaker in that range (i.e. the natural acoustic high-pass filter of the driver response), well, you get the idea. Even those measurements are pretty consistent down to 40dB, and below that all bets are almost certainly off. A test environment that seems quiet can easily have 40dB (unweighted) of background noise at 20-30Hz. Huge swings in background noise can happen at those low freqs, and you don't even hear them. Unless you are doing lots of averaging they'll show up.

As to the rest, also impossible to say from here. We build the same exact types of wiring harnesses, and they are stuffed by human beings who do make mistakes. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they didn't do end of line testing on them. Although, if a connector were stuffed wrong you should see issues on two channels, not one. Could be an issue with programming on the headunit, but that also seems unlikely. Who knows. Only way to determine for sure would be to retest with better equipment.
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  #58  
Old 05-24-2017, 12:58 PM
komeil komeil is offline
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The test was done using Audison Bit CD Track 2 (10 minute pink noise) inside a private underground parking space so quiet you could literally hear a pin drop, with car doors closed.

I repeated the test 3 times for each door and the RTAs were surprisingly very similar.

I didn't expect Andrew Smith's app to be this accurate on the internal mic, but it is! He claims he's coded different generations of iPad and iPhone internal mics' characteristics into his app.

I know you're demanding more advanced and accurate equipment, but the iPad RTA on each side is pretty similar to the Audison analysis, and even close to your RTA on the correct side. This adds to the mystery.

I also haven't heard an anomaly in fader/balance back then (with no amp, stock wiring) nor nothing now (with amp/processor). I think I should disintegrate everything and test both the T-harness and the front-to-back cable to see if they're perfect or perhaps check the output of the headunit directly to see if I get the same results.

I'll update the car firmware and report back. Thank you.

Last edited by komeil; 06-06-2017 at 01:14 PM.
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  #59  
Old 05-25-2017, 01:45 PM
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You might be right, the issue could very well be with the headunit. My point is simply that those measurements don't back that up. I see folks do this all the time. They take measurements that give fancy looking graphs and they think these must be accurate! Right? This one is a great example, because this should be simple. You're just trying to roughly verify the input signal that is going to an individual speaker based on its acoustic output. That is so, so much easier than trying to measure the actual sound field inside a vehicle (i.e. when you see folks trying to measure the sound of a full audio system). The vast majority of professionals get this stuff wrong when it comes to vehicles, including folks who'd like to sell you (or install) your audio system . The forums are littered with long threads of folks having debates about how to tune their systems or set their EQ based on measurements that are completely wrong!! I hate to see people do this. You're spinning yourself in circles.


First, on the iPad RTA: Believe what you want, but I assure you that it isn't suitable for taking measurements like this. Ignore the quality-and-price driven unit-to-unit variations of these tiny mic capsules, and the dramatic variation in a given mic over time that will be caused by environment and use (moisture, dirt, impact, etc). The fact that it is attached to a large, flat object (i.e. an iPad) alone will make it highly directional at higher frequencies and moderately directional at lower frequencies. A measurement microphone must be omnidirectional. If you turn that iPad 90 degrees and take another measurement of the same sound field, you'll get a very different measurement. No matter what the person trying to sell the app says or thinks, that is not something you can "code" for (you also can't "code" for unit variations nor for age-related ones). Also, and I assume you can turn this off, but those measurements were taking with "A" weighting applied, at least according to the label. That means that the light blue curve shown here was applied to those measurements:



So you'd need to apply the inverse of that curve to those iPad measurements to get an equivalent flat (unweighted) measurement. So your 43dB reading at 30Hz would really be 83dB (i.e +40dB), the 48dB at 90Hz would be 68dB (+20dB), and so on. Once you've reverse that A-weighting filter, you've got a completely different measurement.


Second, on the measurements: My point was that you are below the noise floor at those lower frequencies. It may seem quiet to you, but that's because you can't hear those frequencies at those levels. The absolute threshold of human hearing at 30Hz is about 60dB, and in practice you can't really hear 30Hz until it's well above 70dB:


If you are anywhere near an urban environment there is loads of background noise at low frequencies, and you aren't aware of it. Being underground is actually far worse - objects denser than air (like the ground and concrete) transmit low frequency sound far better and over longer distances than air. That big bump below 40Hz on your rear right iPad measurement could easily have been a train rumbling down the tracks 3 miles away. Even minus the "A" weighting, you still wouldn't have heard it at those levels.


Third, the measurements still wouldn't match that input: Ignore everything above and assume the measurements as shown are accurate. I've taken our actual electronic measurements, the Audison's, and your iPad measurements and adjusted them to the same scale for freq and dB and overlaid them on each other. Here's the electrical measurements of the rear left and right from your Audison:



They are nearly identical down to about 130Hz, then they vary quite a bit, with the left being about 20dB higher than the right from 40Hz to 63Hz, with the max difference being at 63Hz. By the time you are back to 20Hz, they are the same level again. So what you'd expect to see, if the output were tracking the input, is the left channel RTA measurement being equal to the right at 20Hz and 130Hz, but about 20dB higher between 40-63Hz. Here are the two RTA measurements overlaid:



Doesn't show that at all. They aren't equal at 20Hz, and there is no large hump at 40-63Hz. In fact, the right is higher at 63Hz, the opposite of what it should be. Bottom line: there are too many areas for things to be off - the iPad, the background noise, the inability of those 4" speakers to produce any meaningful sound pressure at those low frequencies.


Just for clarity, here are the Audison and RTA measurements by channel:





Even in the areas where they seem to follow the general trend of the input, they still have spots where they are 10dB or more off. Given all the degrees of freedom in everything above you have no way to know if something is influencing the response or if that even is the response (it isn't).

And since we discussed it earlier, here are the Audison's front measurements compared with the actual headunit electrical output:



That might not seem bad, but there are some things there that could be significantly audible. As previously mentioned, you can see that the Audison has applied some smoothing or averaging (it looks like they may be applying some limiting as well, which would be smart if this were an acoustic filter, but not necessary for an electrical one). So it has taken that deep null at 140Hz and spread it out. The correction filter it applies will be the inverse of the blue curve you see there, so there will be a 5dB hole in the final response from 80-100Hz, a big hole from about 120-180Hz, and a very big drop off above 6kHz. These are at very audible frequencies.

Bottom line on all of this: Measuring is tough. Don't trust what you see. And don't trust the "black box" solutions to de-eq or correct. Also be skeptical of anyone trying to sell you something in audio. This industry is a cesspool
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  #60  
Old 06-06-2017, 11:31 AM
komeil komeil is offline
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Thanks to @shawnsheridan, I managed to update all ECUs including HU_NBT to the latest software v3.61.4 (F020-17-03-505):

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After update, the problem with frequency curve on rear left is still there.

I then coded HU from STEREO to HIFI and back and ran some tests. I also coded HU_NBT to show entertainment popup volume. Volume change is not precise using both rotary knob and steering controls. Volume range changed from 28 (maybe 30) steps on STEREO to 38 (maybe 40) steps on HIFI. Tested @ 75% volume (max vol then -7 from steering on STEREO and -10 on HIFI) and observed HU internal amp shut down on HIFI like its output had changed from speaker level to line level, as I noticed Audison changed its gain from about 7 volts (STEREO) to 2 volts (it doesn't have sensitivity setting less than 2V, if it had, I'm sure it would have selected that.) I also think phase is reversed on HIFI according to Andrew Smith's MobileTools app. I have to test this last one once again with a lossless Speaker Pop Test Track, so it's not official.

Putting that aside and back to the problem itself, I repeated the frequency analysis test (before and after software update) but this time quickly changed BALANCE/FADER to fully fade to the channel that is being analyzed by the Audison. This time, rear left curve is OK. This shows rear left is either picking up noise from another channel, or as you suggested, perhaps one of its wires is being connected to some other channel.

I want to change the HU to amp Audison input cables with high-quality shielded wires.

For each channel, should I use a 3-conductor shielded twisted pair with the shield separately connected to the ground, or should I go for a 2-conductor single-core shielded wire (like the ones used in RCAs) with the shield connected to the channel's negative?

To clarify, on each BMW HU output, does the negative terminal represent ground?

They should carry unbalanced signal since they only have 2 wires per channel (as opposed to 3 wires per channel on balanced preouts), but if its negatives are not ground (like RCA preouts) then using them as shield does not serve a purpose.

Last edited by komeil; 06-06-2017 at 02:17 PM.
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  #61  
Old 06-06-2017, 11:48 AM
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HiFi signals are balanced. There is no ground at any of the outputs.

I would suggest taking your car to an audio install professional.
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  #62  
Old 06-06-2017, 02:04 PM
komeil komeil is offline
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Quote:
HiFi signals are balanced. There is no ground at any of the outputs.
But balanced needs 3 wires. One to carry the signal, one to carry the reversed-polarity signal, and one ground (reference point).

1. Do you mean in STEREO (@ speaker level) it is unbalanced and in HIFI (@ preout level) it is balanced?

2. Where is the 3rd conductor per channel? Ground? Vehicle/HU/Amp chassis?

3. It this the reason I'm getting reversed polarity on speakers after coding to HIFI? Is it because I'm using the 2 out of 3 conductors of a balanced preout? Should I switch to feeding the positive conductor of each channel and the ground to the amp and leave the negative conductor alone (considering the negative pole carries the reversed signal--or vice versa, if the positive pole is carrying the reversed)?

4. Considering I'm missing the unknown 3rd conductor and only connected 2 wires that are carrying the signal and its reversed twin and missed their reference point, how on earth Audison Prima AP8.9bit is handling an improperly connected balanced input?

Quote:
I would suggest taking your car to an audio install professional.
I'd be happy to do that, but we don't have that luxury here. I collected Focal and Audison parts from around the globe (Los Angeles, Paris, Istanbul). The so-called audio professionals here have never heard of something fancier than Pioneer. Same goes for the car. I'm on my own.

We don't have the luxury of having an Authorized Dealer / Service Center as well. That's why I risked coding the car myself and perhaps that's why a 2013 car was stuck at its shipment software 4 years later.

Last edited by komeil; 06-06-2017 at 02:19 PM.
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  #63  
Old 06-06-2017, 03:44 PM
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Again, there is no ground in the outputs of your OEM HU/iDrive. One terminal is voltage positive, the other is the same voltage value but negative. That is a variation of a balanced signal.

You connect ground to any of those terminals and you will bust that OEM HU/iDrive unit.

Obviously there is something wrong in your install. You need somebody else with you right there to troubleshoot the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by komeil View Post
But balanced needs 3 wires. One to carry the signal, one to carry the reversed-polarity signal, and one ground (reference point).

1. Do you mean in STEREO (@ speaker level) it is unbalanced and in HIFI (@ preout level) it is balanced?

2. Where is the 3rd conductor per channel? Ground? Vehicle/HU/Amp chassis?

3. It this the reason I'm getting reversed polarity on speakers after coding to HIFI? Is it because I'm using the 2 out of 3 conductors of a balanced preout? Should I switch to feeding the positive conductor of each channel and the ground to the amp and leave the negative conductor alone (considering the negative pole carries the reversed signal--or vice versa, if the positive pole is carrying the reversed)?

4. Considering I'm missing the unknown 3rd conductor and only connected 2 wires that are carrying the signal and its reversed twin and missed their reference point, how on earth Audison Prima AP8.9bit is handling an improperly connected balanced input?



I'd be happy to do that, but we don't have that luxury here. I collected Focal and Audison parts from around the globe (Los Angeles, Paris, Istanbul). The so-called audio professionals here have never heard of something fancier than Pioneer. Same goes for the car. I'm on my own.

We don't have the luxury of having an Authorized Dealer / Service Center as well. That's why I risked coding the car myself and perhaps that's why a 2013 car was stuck at its shipment software 4 years later.
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  #64  
Old 06-20-2017, 06:38 AM
jcrossas jcrossas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I would suggest coding your OEM HU to HiFi, a set of Bavsound speakers (plug 'n play), a Stereo 4/6 harness and a JL Audio XD600/6v2 amp.
Hey guys

Thanks for your kind support on this thread which is really helpfull. I'm planning on getting a F31 320d 2013 this summer. Unfortunately it comes with the poor basic stereo system (not even HiFi) and I would like to upgrade it. I don't really need anything too much professional but I enjoy good music with good bass and treble. I read lots of good feedback about the Bavsound system so my question is:

Upgrading the front and back speakers to the Bavsound stage one kit (https://www.bavsound.com/Stage-One) will do a fair improvement by itself? Plus, do you have any idea if it is possible to install the subwoofer upgrades (https://www.bavsound.com/BMW-Underse...oofer-Upgrades) below the seats on a stereo standard system? If so, will both kits (stage 1 and subwoofer) together provide good sound quality? I would like to avoid installing amp so if this combination is enough to provide an OK/good quality I will be fine.

Thank you all for your help !
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  #65  
Old 06-20-2017, 08:29 AM
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Replacing the OEM speakers in a Stereo (BMW name for the 6-speaker, no tweeters and no separate OEM amp) system will improve its sound. However, 25W peak per ch is not enough improvement for the new 8 speakers.

I would also suggest a look at the Eton PnP speaker kit available in your country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcrossas View Post
Hey guys

Thanks for your kind support on this thread which is really helpfull. I'm planning on getting a F31 320d 2013 this summer. Unfortunately it comes with the poor basic stereo system (not even HiFi) and I would like to upgrade it. I don't really need anything too much professional but I enjoy good music with good bass and treble. I read lots of good feedback about the Bavsound system so my question is:

Upgrading the front and back speakers to the Bavsound stage one kit (https://www.bavsound.com/Stage-One) will do a fair improvement by itself? Plus, do you have any idea if it is possible to install the subwoofer upgrades (https://www.bavsound.com/BMW-Underse...oofer-Upgrades) below the seats on a stereo standard system? If so, will both kits (stage 1 and subwoofer) together provide good sound quality? I would like to avoid installing amp so if this combination is enough to provide an OK/good quality I will be fine.

Thank you all for your help !
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