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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > Question about base audio to BSW stage 1



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      07-28-2013, 03:36 AM   #1
Teatherd
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Question about base audio to BSW stage 1

I currently own a 2007 323i with the base standard audio ( its a canadian car so i was told the HU has a amp built into it)

I was considering buying the BSW stage 1 package because the audio from the base system just isnt up to par, esspecialy at high levels when the speakers just screem distortion. I'm no audio expert and also was not interested in buying a aftermarket amp and figuring out how to hook that up. So BSW seems like a good choice .

My question is has anyone upgraded their vehicle to the Stage 1 that had the same audio setup I currently have. If so is it acceptable improvement? Im not looking for a car that you can hear a mile down the road, but I'm interested in a DIY improvement that has a much better sound than what I got.

Thanks!
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      07-28-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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IMO you would be better off with a level 1 system from Musicar NW. Musicar's systems are plug and play designed specifically for your car. I haven't heard BSW's but I doubt they are much improvement especially with no amp and the eq on the base system.

You can also piece together aftermarket audio equipment yourself and save some money. There is plenty of info on this forum start by reading the stickies.

Last edited by bmw325i; 07-28-2013 at 09:19 AM.
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      07-28-2013, 11:32 AM   #3
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No power and bad eq curve

No power and bad eq curve
There just won't be that much improvement with a speaker only
upgrade it may even be worse.
I agree with the first response.

Read these

BMW stereo types
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352586
http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...2&d=1266451970
http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...2&d=1260829447
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343673
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138949
http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...2&d=1260829447
http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...1&d=1209780605
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=641323
http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...1&d=1209780865
http://www.bawarec.ru/manuals/3er/e9...3er-e90-12.pdf
http://www.musicarnw.com/page-2/
http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...4&d=1278871872
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      07-28-2013, 11:21 PM   #4
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The guys on this forum are extremely knowledgeable, and you'll notice that they'll all say the same thing: replacing speakers only will not yield any real improvements (especially for base stereo).

You'll need to amp the system, but because the base stereo has a built-in EQ, you'll also need to either:
a) get an EQ flattening device (MS-8 or some other device)
b) re-code your HU to hi-fi (this will force you to use it with an amp, and the outputs are no longer sufficient to power speakers directly
c) change your HU (this is the route I ended up doing, so that I could flatten the EQ and add new functionality that wasn't present in my system: Bluetooth phone/audio, iPod, GPS)

There's tons of info here if you search. Good luck!
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      07-29-2013, 01:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali-323i View Post
The guys on this forum are extremely knowledgeable, and you'll notice that they'll all say the same thing: replacing speakers only will not yield any real improvements (especially for base stereo).

You'll need to amp the system, but because the base stereo has a built-in EQ, you'll also need to either:
a) get an EQ flattening device (MS-8 or some other device)
b) re-code your HU to hi-fi (this will force you to use it with an amp, and the outputs are no longer sufficient to power speakers directly
c) change your HU (this is the route I ended up doing, so that I could flatten the EQ and add new functionality that wasn't present in my system: Bluetooth phone/audio, iPod, GPS)

There's tons of info here if you search. Good luck!
My only issue with all of that is both the car audio places around here want a arm and a leg to do anything of that level to the car. And I work basicly 6 days a week and don't really have the time to be learning the ins and outs of car audio.

Is there anyone on here to added a amp to their base system that basicly just went off "How to" guides on here?
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      07-29-2013, 08:25 AM   #6
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You're right, it can get pricey, especially after factoring in the price of equipment and labour. Not to mention that after you do add your amp, you'll likely still want to upgrade your speakers too for better sound quality.
Unfortunately this is just the way it is for us with base audio.

There have been people who have successfully upgraded their stereo using the DIY guides here, and have posted their success. It will take some time though.

Where are you located? If in the GTA I can recommend a good shop that did my stereo install and had reasonable rates and great quality work.
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      07-29-2013, 08:30 AM   #7
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I'd also look around for good quality used equipment in order to save some cash.
I remember someone on the forum was selling a good JL amp recently. Also check Craigslist / kijiji etc. too.
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      07-29-2013, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali-323i View Post
You're right, it can get pricey, especially after factoring in the price of equipment and labour. Not to mention that after you do add your amp, you'll likely still want to upgrade your speakers too for better sound quality.
Unfortunately this is just the way it is for us with base audio.

There have been people who have successfully upgraded their stereo using the DIY guides here, and have posted their success. It will take some time though.

Where are you located? If in the GTA I can recommend a good shop that did my stereo install and had reasonable rates and great quality work.
Thanks for the response. Im located in London Ontario. The one audio place here didnt even really want to do anything for me because it's a BMW and the other place I was told does BMW audio wanted 2700$ to do a total audio replacement.

Im at the point where Ill drive up to toronto for a day if it means getting something really nice done audio wise for a reasonable price.
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      07-29-2013, 03:44 PM   #9
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If you're up for it, I'd suggest considering DIY. At least read the guides and see if it's something you'd consider.
If not, give Frankie at 20Hz a call:
(416) 213-9663
He did the audio in my 2007 323i base stereo (HU, amps, sub). Tell him Ali referred you to him, maybe remind him of my car and mention you have the same kind.

The equipment will also run you some dough, I'd suggest considering what your main objectives are:
- Sound quality
- more volume
- more bass (how much more?)
- new HU functionality

Feel free to PM me if you want to chat in more detail.

Good luck.
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      07-29-2013, 09:19 PM   #10
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If you can afford it musicars level 1 system is probably your best option. Everything is plug and play and adjusted for you. You just need to install it and there are diy's for everything you would need to do.

http://www.musicarnw.com

Last edited by bmw325i; 07-29-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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      08-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #11
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I am not sure what you have, but I have the HiFi system and I just changed to BSW stage 1 Speakers. You can hear a difference in quality, but I think they are a waste if you are not looking in to changing the amp at all.
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      08-02-2013, 10:29 AM   #12
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Its more pricy to do just about anything in a BMW

Its more pricy to do just about anything in a BMW or any of the Euro cars.
I mulled over this a long time before doing something, its just the way it is. If you want a good result you are going to have to spend some money and do your research and due diligence. Many have gone through this process and the results are well documented here.
If you can DIY you will save some Bucks and have the satisfaction of knowing
what was done to the car of knowing you have know one to blame or praise but yourself.
I heard a lot of horror storys about going to the average stereo shops and the ones that knew what they were doing ( and there weren't that many of those)charged a lot.

Last edited by ctuna; 08-02-2013 at 10:34 AM.
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      08-02-2013, 11:41 PM   #13
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If you are somewhat good with your hands, the best solution is to contact Ken @ Musicar Northwest.

His kits include EVERYTHING required to install the system (all connectors, etc - NO cutting or fabrication required).

Yes, the price is steeper than what you will find on the back page of the sports section, but they are proven to work well. In life, if it seems too good to be true (low price), it is.

Rather than spend a little to get a slightly less crappy sound, save for a couple of months and then get something that you'll truly enjoy.

Just my $0.02.
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