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      12-16-2012, 05:56 AM   #1
imygaf
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What should be my first audio upgrade?

I went for a drive yesterday and for the first time had the stereo turned up quite loud. Lets just say i was not impressed with sound. I had to turn the bass and treble down to keep the volume up. So im wondering does the problem lie with with the speakers or the hu.

What would you guys change first? Budgets a bit tight just now so looking for a balance between cost and sound improvement. Ill probably go for a double din unit sometime in the future so might just change the speakers for now. Would i notice a change in the sound with changing speakers only?
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      12-16-2012, 06:20 AM   #2
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The speakers are terrible and the head unit outputs less than 20 watts, so both are poor.

The cheapest solution that provides a worthwhile upgrade is for sure the Alpine upgrade. Aftermarket amplification, and the fitting of proper components rather than just one poor quality coaxial and a terrible underseat driver.

It's about 300 for the parts I believe, and then getting it fitted.

If you wanted to go one step further then a tried and tested next step is to get either Logic 7 underseat woofers or Earthquake SWS8 drivers under the seat. I'd recommend the L7s of the two as it also provides midbass which will still be lacking due to the door speakers being so small. The Earthquake is just bass and bass alone.

But starting back at the top, the alpine upgrade. There's hundreds of topics on this forum about it. Give it a search and have a think. Well worth the money.
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      12-16-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
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I went along similar route as explained above, i have the base stereo which imo is (insert rude word here).

First thing I did was to upgarde the speakers and under seat subs to Logic 7 - made a difference especially in terms of bass. also added tweeters as mine did not come with them and it was a different experience, I could actually hear the high tones on tracks i had listened to before

Then I went down route of amping the front speakers and swapping the L7 subs to earthquake which I am happy at this stage.
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      12-16-2012, 07:20 AM   #4
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This has reminded me to put up the next phase of my upgrade guide actually
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      12-16-2012, 07:22 AM   #5
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I cant believe how poor the setup is. Even the cheapest aftermarket hu's probably have more power. I had a look at the sticky on the alpine upgrade. Was considering it but the poster said it didnt make as much improvement as he expected. Would i be better going for a different setup of components and amp? If so, any recommendations of brand or model for the same sort of money as the alpine.

I wouldnt say im an audiophile but i dont want to be left disappointed after making an upgrade.
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      12-16-2012, 07:32 AM   #6
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Does anyone know offhand whag the power output of the alpine amp is?
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      12-16-2012, 08:02 AM   #7
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For the same money as alpine there's very little you can do better.

Your biggest issue is getting a clean signal from the head unit, and to get past this costs mega bucks.

I didn't think Alpine would be enough so I went fully aftermarket.

The sound processor alone (just for providing a good source, not even driving anything or etc) - the bit one, is worth 600.



All I recommend you do is find someone who has alpine upgrade and listen to it.

From experience as I've heard several of these: The front end is perfectly acceptable but it's almost totally lacking in bass. You get higher output volume, and a decent reproduction of everything except the bass frequencies.

This is why alot of people go L7 sub or Earthquake as I've already recommended.


So maybe find out why the poster said alpine upgrade isn't good enough? If it's just due to bass then remember you can improve that further (relatively) cheaply.
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      12-16-2012, 10:34 AM   #8
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I have the alpine upgrade in my car it's one of the first mods I had done! Had it in te car for over a 1.5years now and love it!

Due to me putting 2 subs in the car I may be looking to sell the complete unit should I choose to upgrade even further! If your interested let me know
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      12-16-2012, 11:27 AM   #9
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Putting the blame where it really lies

There are a lot of problems with the standard installation, but funnily enough, the HU doesn't seem to be one of them.

If you think of the HU as being the equivalent of the CDP and preamp in your home stereo, looking after signal generation and control then its actually fine.

The problems are elsewhere:

The quality of the speakers....in a word...crap
The way the subs are wired in with the coaxials.....no x-over
The level of power to drive everything.....insufficient and poor
The quality of the power amplification....again crap
The way the door panels resonate

Put in better speakers, seperate subs from door speakers, add proper amplification and treat the door panels and you end up with a sweeter sounding system with more extended frequency extremes and massively inproved clarity.
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      12-16-2012, 03:06 PM   #10
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always get confused with these threads cause i have what i think to be standard speakers in my car and i think they are good and give a nice bit of base. could it of been upgraded when the car was new ? how can i tell?
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      12-16-2012, 03:14 PM   #11
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Do you have a tweeter?
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      12-16-2012, 03:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyso335 View Post
always get confused with these threads cause i have what i think to be standard speakers in my car and i think they are good and give a nice bit of base. could it of been upgraded when the car was new ? how can i tell?
do you have tweeters by the mirrors?
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      12-16-2012, 03:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGM View Post
do you have tweeters by the mirrors?
nope i dont.
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      12-16-2012, 03:39 PM   #14
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First thing you should do is read the FAQ only cause it has alot of good info and any questions you may think of have been asked and answered 20+ times.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=641323

Do you have the BMW professional head unit?

If so it already sends a nice clean signal and most do not change out, If not you will need it coded to HiFi for a nice signal.
If you go aftermarket you will have to relocate your stock unit as its used to program the car and there isnt much benefit.

I would say if this was my setup and you wanted a little more volume and bass I would go for the following.
  • OEM Sail panels with tweeter provisions
  • DLS R4's ( cheap efficient nice sounding 4" components )
  • Upgrade the underseats to earthquake ( if adding a trunk sub just grab some logic 7 subs )
  • Grab a Technic Harness for plug and play output
  • JL Audio XD600/6 which will amp every speaker in your car with good power.

This will sound better than the Alpine upgrade and cost similar I believe.

Good luck let us know how it goes, Ive learned alot from this place on E90 audio..
Its very diff than traditional installations ive done.
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      12-16-2012, 03:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyso335 View Post
nope i dont.
Then it's standard: And if you think it's good: You've not been in any cars with 'good' audio


The E92 with underseat subs is 50x better than the awful early E90s with only the 3 inch mid and nothing else: But its still laughably bad..
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      12-17-2012, 05:39 AM   #16
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Yes i have the professional head unit. So i dont need to have this recoded? Ive been reading more reviews of the alpine kit and the are mostly positive, so i think ill probably go for it. As you said mega i can always upgrade the subs later.
I will also be looking in to the DSL R4 and JL amp suggestion.

P5 UML i will pm you
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      12-17-2012, 06:17 AM   #17
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I'm keeping an eye on this thread as I would be keen to upgrade my standard system in the near future too without spending big money..
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      12-17-2012, 07:00 AM   #18
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Alpine is a good starting point but beware, it may get more addictive
DLS is a great shout..heard them and FWIW, very good IMO.

Just look into a good set of front components, underseat 6.5" (jehnert xe200) or 8" (SWS Earthquakes) mid bass drivers. If you did want to put a sub in the boot, then u can always save on the underseats by sourcing a pair of L7 subs for underseats.

The most widely used speakers for e90s/e92s (having read plenty of threads) seem to be either Hertz esk 163L or Focal 100krs ..

Also ensure you grab yourself a TECHNIC harness (run a search for technic harness on here.. It's a fully plug and play cabling so as to ensure your retain your OEM wiring..

Run a search for 'B33M3R' and and see his install thread
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      12-17-2012, 07:04 AM   #19
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Can anyone point me the direction for DLS speakers?
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      12-17-2012, 07:10 AM   #20
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Not used them but a quick google search renders this.. (Perhaps worth a call)

http://www.extremeaudio.co.uk/brand/dls/21/1

I'm on my iPhone so can't help much but will try to put up more links tonight. Just google...I came across a useful site back when I was considering them and have saved their link somewhere just need to find it
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      12-17-2012, 07:11 AM   #21
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Wow you guys are fussy!

I have the hifi factory system in my car, and coming from a DNX8220BT powered by an Audison SRx5 and Rainbow Audio IQ Line and a Bavarian Soundwerks subwoofer in my E46 (and about 100kg of dynamat lol) I reckon it sounds fine. Actually on some of the tunes on my ipod I've noticed parts of the tune that I hadn't noticed before. I guess that's just down to the different sound setup from one car to the next.

What I miss most is the DSP though, because I had it really nicely tuned in my old car and on the new one it just sounds like all the sound comes from the front right of the car, because it's evenly distributed and I'm not in the centre!
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      12-17-2012, 07:25 AM   #22
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Not used them but a quick google search renders this.. (Perhaps worth a call)

http://www.extremeaudio.co.uk/brand/dls/21/1

I'm on my iPhone so can't help much but will try to put up more links tonight. Just google...I came across a useful site back when I was considering them and have saved their link somewhere just need to find it
Thanks Sam I will have a look at that link
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