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      04-12-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
AnthonyB
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Speaker / Hi-Fi Upgrade (aftermarket)

Hi All,

Just doing some research on options around upgrading F25 Base (Australian base - just 5 speakers, no amp!) sound system.

Have been looking here and bimmerfest and I've seen a few people asking but not so many answers or experiences just yet...

I had the upgraded sound system in my E90 3', and I'm naturally quite disappointed with the new X3 system - we were cutting costs and I regret that one a little! I'm ultimately looking for clarity and quality in a sound system, but given it's just a car not a listening room, there's a balance to be achieved.

So, a few questions to start with:

1) I have seen people are waiting on BSW packages - any news on when?
2) Even though I don't have the upgraded systems, is the wiring likely to be still in the car?
3) Any good installers in Sydney area that anyone can recommend?

Cheers,
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      04-13-2012, 12:43 AM   #2
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I'm an audiophile and have been tossing up whether to do anything to my new X3 and I'm still undecided.

Biggest issue you face if you want a top end system is the lack of standard speaker hole space. Your really limited to fitting high end speakers in the stock holes which you basically have to weigh up the cost to sound improvement.

My biggest gripe is the limited tuning options with the standard system - you'd have to fit an aftermarket processor to do some serious tuning and that comes with big $$ once again.

You can always basic tune with amps however, you mentioned you didn't want to change amps so that once again limits your options....
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      04-13-2012, 01:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by OOOSQ View Post
I'm an audiophile and have been tossing up whether to do anything to my new X3 and I'm still undecided.

Biggest issue you face if you want a top end system is the lack of standard speaker hole space. Your really limited to fitting high end speakers in the stock holes which you basically have to weigh up the cost to sound improvement.

My biggest gripe is the limited tuning options with the standard system - you'd have to fit an aftermarket processor to do some serious tuning and that comes with big $$ once again.

You can always basic tune with amps however, you mentioned you didn't want to change amps so that once again limits your options....
...actually quite happy and expected to put an AMP in. The "no amp" was reference to the fact the Australian base sound system doesn't include an amp (afaik) compared with the US which does.

Do the factory upgraded systems, with more speakers, have different door panels to accomodate the extra speakers? If so, surely the door panels are just cut-outs and thus there should still be room for the new speakers? The A-Panel ones would be a different story I presume...
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      04-13-2012, 04:35 AM   #4
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I've been thinking about upgrading my system too.
I have the standard system and wonder about the tweeters by the door handles, I don't have them but wonder if the wiring is in place? can you add them?
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      04-13-2012, 07:16 AM   #5
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...actually quite happy and expected to put an AMP in. The "no amp" was reference to the fact the Australian base sound system doesn't include an amp (afaik) compared with the US which does.

Do the factory upgraded systems, with more speakers, have different door panels to accomodate the extra speakers? If so, surely the door panels are just cut-outs and thus there should still be room for the new speakers? The A-Panel ones would be a different story I presume...
Speaker size does not vary from what I understand. Biggest difference is speakers and amps themselves along with tweeters located in the front pillars.
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      04-18-2012, 01:12 AM   #6
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Speaker size does not vary from what I understand. Biggest difference is speakers and amps themselves along with tweeters located in the front pillars.
From what I can tell, and speaking to a local installer, the wiring is NOT in place. Apparently a lot of the euro manufacturers have done this for a while to save money - also explains why you can't dealer upgrade them.

Also, I poked my head in the hole where the amp would be and there are no tell-tale dangling connectors sadly.

I guess you can by the door trim that has the tweeter cutouts and fill with your own choice, but you'd need to do the wiring yourself.

It's a pro-job for me I think - the installer I spoke to recommended replacing the standard 4" units with Focal's, but said there would still be no midbass.
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      04-18-2012, 10:33 PM   #7
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From what I can tell, and speaking to a local installer, the wiring is NOT in place. Apparently a lot of the euro manufacturers have done this for a while to save money - also explains why you can't dealer upgrade them.

Also, I poked my head in the hole where the amp would be and there are no tell-tale dangling connectors sadly.

I guess you can by the door trim that has the tweeter cutouts and fill with your own choice, but you'd need to do the wiring yourself.

It's a pro-job for me I think - the installer I spoke to recommended replacing the standard 4" units with Focal's, but said there would still be no midbass.
Don't be fooled by the need for component speakers, ie separate tweeter/midrange. If fact there can be problems with 'tuning" the speakers to match. A better solution is to look into a high end European COAXIAL speaker such as the one the installer recommended, the Focal or look at something from Morel or Rainbow. They will have a built in crossover and aimable tweeters. As far as midbass, the speakers will go down to 75-100Hz, then I assume you have under seat woofers to take over the low end. If not the parts probably could be order to install one. Try, if you can get it, the "flat" Earthquake Audio woofer.

As far as an external amp, you are in a much easier situation than those of us with upgraded systems. You can purchase an amp with high level inputs (speaker level) or an adapter to drop down the input from high level to low level. If you get a five channel amp the (sub)woofer protion will normally have crossover and output level control for the bass.

BTW, I don't think "inches" will work without modifications. Try to get your size in metric.

http://www.morelhifi.com/products/mo...ers_tempo.html

http://www.focal-america.com/category/speakers/ look under "integration" 100.

http://www.earthquakesound.com/sws.htm The 8" SWS.
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      04-19-2012, 01:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioactive View Post
Don't be fooled by the need for component speakers, ie separate tweeter/midrange. If fact there can be problems with 'tuning" the speakers to match. A better solution is to look into a high end European COAXIAL speaker such as the one the installer recommended, the Focal or look at something from Morel or Rainbow. They will have a built in crossover and aimable tweeters. As far as midbass, the speakers will go down to 75-100Hz, then I assume you have under seat woofers to take over the low end. If not the parts probably could be order to install one. Try, if you can get it, the "flat" Earthquake Audio woofer.

As far as an external amp, you are in a much easier situation than those of us with upgraded systems. You can purchase an amp with high level inputs (speaker level) or an adapter to drop down the input from high level to low level. If you get a five channel amp the (sub)woofer protion will normally have crossover and output level control for the bass.

BTW, I don't think "inches" will work without modifications. Try to get your size in metric.

http://www.morelhifi.com/products/mo...ers_tempo.html

http://www.focal-america.com/category/speakers/ look under "integration" 100.

http://www.earthquakesound.com/sws.htm The 8" SWS.
Interesting...I wonder if the SWS is a drop-in replacement for the under-seat subs/midbass drivers? I'm sure that the factory amps wont have enough power to drive them though. Would love to clean up & beef up the low end a bit without having to add an aftermarket all-in-one sub + amp combo. Would be only a few days before I found a broken window and missing box due to the lack of having a nice concealing trunk (covering the cargo area when parked on the streets of San Francisco is the same as writing an invitation to would-be thieves).
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      04-19-2012, 01:25 PM   #9
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Interesting...I wonder if the SWS is a drop-in replacement for the under-seat subs/midbass drivers? I'm sure that the factory amps wont have enough power to drive them though. Would love to clean up & beef up the low end a bit without having to add an aftermarket all-in-one sub + amp combo. Would be only a few days before I found a broken window and missing box due to the lack of having a nice concealing trunk (covering the cargo area when parked on the streets of San Francisco is the same as writing an invitation to would-be thieves).
You might give Earthquake a call. I think they're in your area. If you have the Premium Sound system, and you want to add an amp for the woofers, you might take a look at this sub/woofer harness.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/arc.../t-433525.html

I think this would separate your woofers after the crossovers and give you the ability to control the lower end.
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      04-19-2012, 05:12 PM   #10
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You might give Earthquake a call. I think they're in your area. If you have the Premium Sound system, and you want to add an amp for the woofers, you might take a look at this sub/woofer harness.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/arc.../t-433525.html

I think this would separate your woofers after the crossovers and give you the ability to control the lower end.
Ah thanks for the info and the link! Now I am seriously thinking about upgrading the in-floor subs with the Earthquake SWS's and stringing a dedicated amp to them. Just need to see if I can find a good spot for the amp and determine how much interior surgery will be needed. I didn't mind taking apart the interior of my old civic to run wires and such but with the X3 I am reluctant to tinker. It would be awesome if the stock amp were capable of driving the Earthquakes but that would be an unrealistic hope.
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      04-19-2012, 06:06 PM   #11
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Ah thanks for the info and the link! Now I am seriously thinking about upgrading the in-floor subs with the Earthquake SWS's and stringing a dedicated amp to them. Just need to see if I can find a good spot for the amp and determine how much interior surgery will be needed. I didn't mind taking apart the interior of my old civic to run wires and such but with the X3 I am reluctant to tinker. It would be awesome if the stock amp were capable of driving the Earthquakes but that would be an unrealistic hope.
Imho - putting earthquakes is not worth the effort for the difference in sound quality.

I experimented with me 118i years ago and was uninspired.
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      04-19-2012, 06:59 PM   #12
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Imho - putting earthquakes is not worth the effort for the difference in sound quality.

I experimented with me 118i years ago and was uninspired.
Interesting. I've only have read about them on the internet and it seemed that most were impressed with the difference. I don't plan on changing my system but if it has the word "audio" in I feel the need to tinker with it! So I spent many a night doing research on tweaking the system. In the end it didn't seem like any changes were worth it to me.

Last edited by Radioactive; 04-19-2012 at 07:30 PM.
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      04-19-2012, 09:56 PM   #13
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Interesting. I've only have read about them on the internet and it seemed that most were impressed with the difference. I don't plan on changing my system but if it has the word "audio" in I feel the need to tinker with it! So I spent many a night doing research on tweaking the system. In the end it didn't seem like any changes were worth it to me.
To the average listener they may notice a difference - but if you pushed them on what the difference actually was I'd be interested to hear the responses...

I am so pedantic when it comes to audio whether it be home or car that it has to have vast improvements on the original to tempt me into change, and of course be justifiable from a $$$ sense. Because nothing I change for better would cost less that $4/5K fitted it's a big call whether or not to do it.
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      04-19-2012, 10:09 PM   #14
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To the average listener they may notice a difference - but if you pushed them on what the difference actually was I'd be interested to hear the responses...
Nothing could be more true, especially when it come to bass. Usually "better" just means; louder and boomy.
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      04-19-2012, 11:34 PM   #15
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Nothing could be more true, especially when it come to bass. Usually "better" just means; louder and boomy.
Taking the words straight out of my mouth mate
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      04-22-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
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Looking at an upgrade to mine. I bought mine with standard sound, knowing that I would be doing this...

Likely install after talking to Northfield will be:

3-way DLS speakers - 6.5" bass units (8" if they can squeeze them in, they will see when they do it) to replace the horrible horrible horrible bass boomy crap things that they call speakers under the seats; 2.5" midranges that will go in the existing front door spots; and new tweeters in the front door / window corner panel. Rear mids stay as they are.

Driven by an ArcAudio ks125.4 mini, bridged to two channels for the fronts. Rear channels (i.e. the mids in the rear doors) remain driven by the head unit's rear channel. No separate sub, but plenty of room to put one in later if needed.
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      04-22-2012, 10:25 PM   #17
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Looking at an upgrade to mine. I bought mine with standard sound, knowing that I would be doing this...

Likely install after talking to Northfield will be:

3-way DLS speakers - 6.5" bass units (8" if they can squeeze them in, they will see when they do it) to replace the horrible horrible horrible bass boomy crap things that they call speakers under the seats; 2.5" midranges that will go in the existing front door spots; and new tweeters in the front door / window corner panel. Rear mids stay as they are.

Driven by an ArcAudio ks125.4 mini, bridged to two channels for the fronts. Rear channels (i.e. the mids in the rear doors) remain driven by the head unit's rear channel. No separate sub, but plenty of room to put one in later if needed.
When I first read this I thought you were going to put in a 3 way speaker under the seat. I'm guessing you mean a three way system. Please take note that your installer should model the 6.5" spec's for the box size under the seat. It can change the performance of the bass output and possibly be worse than what you have. Also, not sure but have read that the box is ported and normally a ported box is tuned to a certain low cut off frequency. This could change with a speaker of different spec's. If the box is ported you may want him to line the box with acoustic material to improve performance.

good luck with it
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      04-22-2012, 10:45 PM   #18
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Yep - 3-way system with 6.5"s, 2.5" and tweeters. Crossovers hidden wherever they can find room.

These guys are good, and know what they are doing, I have had them do previous vehicles. They have a lot of BMW experience. Nothing could possibly be worse than the mush that comes from the stock bass units LOL.

They don't just install, they listen to it - if it's not 'working' they'll know. I'll ask them about the porting and possibility of / need for lining when they do it.

Thanks...
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      01-31-2013, 08:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
Hi All,

Just doing some research on options around upgrading F25 Base (Australian base - just 5 speakers, no amp!) sound system.

Have been looking here and bimmerfest and I've seen a few people asking but not so many answers or experiences just yet...

I had the upgraded sound system in my E90 3', and I'm naturally quite disappointed with the new X3 system - we were cutting costs and I regret that one a little! I'm ultimately looking for clarity and quality in a sound system, but given it's just a car not a listening room, there's a balance to be achieved.

So, a few questions to start with:

1) I have seen people are waiting on BSW packages - any news on when?
2) Even though I don't have the upgraded systems, is the wiring likely to be still in the car?
3) Any good installers in Sydney area that anyone can recommend?

Cheers,
Hi
Did you manage to upgrade your sound system? I also have an F25 with the base sound system. Wanted to just upgrade the door speakers and/or add tweeters but don't know if that's possible.
Where (in Sydney) did you take the car to for the upgrade? I wanted to take it to someone who I am sure know what they are doing.

Thanks

Lahi

Last edited by amaris; 01-31-2013 at 09:42 PM. Reason: Clarifiy
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      02-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #20
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Hi
Did you manage to upgrade your sound system? I also have an F25 with the base sound system. Wanted to just upgrade the door speakers and/or add tweeters but don't know if that's possible.
Where (in Sydney) did you take the car to for the upgrade? I wanted to take it to someone who I am sure know what they are doing.

Thanks

Lahi
i have a x3 30d on order with the upgraded sound system, hoping it will be up to scratch. In the past i have had some pretty good systems all installed by Hutch at Metrosound in Artarmon, Sydney. Will be interested to see how it all goes.
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      02-02-2013, 08:34 PM   #21
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i have a x3 30d on order with the upgraded sound system, hoping it will be up to scratch. In the past i have had some pretty good systems all installed by Hutch at Metrosound in Artarmon, Sydney. Will be interested to see how it all goes.
Thanks. Will give them a call Monday!
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