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      02-09-2011, 07:11 PM   #1
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Alpine HiFi Upgrade vs BSW Stage 1

I have an e90 with Base stereo: 6 speakers + 2 subs + BMW Professional Radio.

For my first mod, I'm only looking to mildly upgrade to HiFi sound or close to Logic7. But I want to retain the OEM look, so no aftermarket head units. That led me to consider BSW Stage 1 and Alpine HiFi. The US guys seems to favor BSW, but in Europe lots opt for Alpine HiFi retrofit because it's an official OEM product.

BSW Stage1 - Pros/Cons
+ 2 more mid-range and 2 more tweeters (4+4 total)
+ ability to add [Uf110 Sub + Rockford Fosgate P200-2 Amp] $729
-- no amp standard

Alpine HiFi - Pros/Cons
+ Alpine amp incl.
+ official OEM retrofit kit
-- only 2 speakers and 2 tweeters

Pricing is similar.

1. Any thoughts which is better on e90 (ie. BSW extra speakers or Alpine amp)?

2. Hybrid of BSW + Alpine Amp?


Thanks all.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=203330
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=182752
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      02-09-2011, 11:14 PM   #2
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Good Questions! I look forward to the responses.
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      02-10-2011, 07:42 PM   #3
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i got the BSW kit
they sound very good
why not get the BSW kit now and get an aftermarket amp as stage 2 of the upgrade?
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      02-10-2011, 08:06 PM   #4
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What is the budget for this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carrot View Post
I have an e90 with Base stereo: 6 speakers + 2 subs + BMW Professional Radio.

For my first mod, I'm only looking to mildly upgrade to HiFi sound or close to Logic7. But I want to retain the OEM look, so no aftermarket head units. That led me to consider BSW Stage 1 and Alpine HiFi. The US guys seems to favor BSW, but in Europe lots opt for Alpine HiFi retrofit because it's an official OEM product.

BSW Stage1 - Pros/Cons
+ 2 more mid-range and 2 more tweeters (4+4 total)
+ ability to add [Uf110 Sub + Rockford Fosgate P200-2 Amp] $729
-- no amp standard

Alpine HiFi - Pros/Cons
+ Alpine amp incl.
+ official OEM retrofit kit
-- only 2 speakers and 2 tweeters

Pricing is similar.

1. Any thoughts which is better on e90 (ie. BSW extra speakers or Alpine amp)?

2. Hybrid of BSW + Alpine Amp?


Thanks all.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=203330
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=182752
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      02-10-2011, 11:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmarei View Post
i got the BSW kit
they sound very good
why not get the BSW kit now and get an aftermarket amp as stage 2 of the upgrade?
That's a great idea. I'm leaving towards the BSW kit.

Since I have the base system (no amp). Do you know if adding an aftermarket amp would require coding?


To answer the previous post, I'm trying to keep the budget under $800. Thanks.
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      02-10-2011, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrot View Post
That's a great idea. I'm leaving towards the BSW kit.

Since I have the base system (no amp). Do you know if adding an aftermarket amp would require coding?


To answer the previous post, I'm trying to keep the budget under $800. Thanks.
Less than $650

- DLS PS4A front: http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...DLS-PS-4A.html
- Vibe Slick 4 rear: http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...SLICK4-V3.html
- SSMB8 underseat: http://cgi.ebay.com/Kicker-SSMB8-200...item2561335c4d
- Blaupunkt THA555: http://cgi.ebay.com/BLAUPUNKT-THA555...item35adf24319
- Stereo harness with 2 Tyco blocks for the THA555, OEM speaker connectors for front and rear, jumpers for the woofer connectors, extra wiring and spacers for the underseat woofers: $160

Not a single OEM wire to cut, splice or tap.
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      02-10-2011, 11:53 PM   #7
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what about the eq curve on the base system

don't you either have to reprogram the head unit or get a processor to flatten the eq curve of the head unit before adding and amp.
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      02-11-2011, 07:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
don't you either have to reprogram the head unit or get a processor to flatten the eq curve of the head unit before adding and amp.
Although it is still the best solution, adding a processor to the Stereo is also optional depending on the owner's musical taste and even the front speakers/crossover chosen. A component set with already harsh tweeters -like MB Quarts- will make the already harsh front OEM signal moreso, for example.

There has been several Stereo upgrade installs without a processor in this forum that apparently sounded great for the members, so the suggestion of the processor is just became that, a suggestion and not a requirement.
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      02-11-2011, 05:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Less than $650

- DLS PS4A front: http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...DLS-PS-4A.html
- Vibe Slick 4 rear: http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...SLICK4-V3.html
- SSMB8 underseat: http://cgi.ebay.com/Kicker-SSMB8-200...item2561335c4d
- Blaupunkt THA555: http://cgi.ebay.com/BLAUPUNKT-THA555...item35adf24319
- Stereo harness with 2 Tyco blocks for the THA555, OEM speaker connectors for front and rear, jumpers for the woofer connectors, extra wiring and spacers for the underseat woofers: $160

Not a single OEM wire to cut, splice or tap.
Thanks for the advice. But I don't think my audio noobness can handle the installation.. lol I'll try the BSW kit since it's PnP. Then I'll see if I can add an aftermarket amp like the Blaupunkt as you suggested.
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      02-11-2011, 05:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Although it is still the best solution, adding a processor to the Stereo is also optional depending on the owner's musical taste and even the front speakers/crossover chosen. A component set with already harsh tweeters -like MB Quarts- will make the already harsh front OEM signal moreso, for example.

There has been several Stereo upgrade installs without a processor in this forum that apparently sounded great for the members, so the suggestion of the processor is just became that, a suggestion and not a requirement.
Yea, I don't have super high expectations. I just want to improve on the thin base sound into something more solid. As per suggestion, I'll order the BSWs and try them out. If I need better sound processing, I'll add an aftermarket amp. Thanks guys.

I was reading that BSW also has their own PnP amp in development. But that seems to be taking forever?

Mentioned in previous post, if I add an aftermarket amp and keep my stock HU, then I need some programming done?
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      02-11-2011, 06:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Although it is still the best solution, adding a processor to the Stereo is also optional depending on the owner's musical taste and even the front speakers/crossover chosen. A component set with already harsh tweeters -like MB Quarts- will make the already harsh front OEM signal moreso, for example.

There has been several Stereo upgrade installs without a processor in this forum that apparently sounded great for the members, so the suggestion of the processor is just became that, a suggestion and not a requirement.
Technic, have you tried this? Or is this a theoretical exercise?
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      02-14-2011, 01:28 AM   #12
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I pieced together a stop-gap solution that I was able to install in all of about 6 hours. Fully aware of the compromises in this setup, I threw these in my car for the relative ease of installation and low cost.

-Alpine HiFi (retrofit) amplifier and harness (~$330, purchased from a forum member)
-OEM Logic7 subwoofers in original enclosures ($100, purchased from a forum member)
-BSW Stage 1 E93 (front-stage only) components ($250)

The results are better than expected but don't completely satisfy my goals for the car, as I have a Zapco DC360.4 waiting to be installed. It still sounds far better than an OEM HiFi system and is even a bit brighter than most Logic7 cars I've heard. Unfortunately, tuning is the missing link and it's sorely noted with music that showcases the base audio system's EQ curve.

If you like to listen to rock, some hip-hop or house, this system might work well for you. Some acoustic, jazz and blues music just sounds ridiculously bright and too boomy for my tastes.
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      02-14-2011, 07:13 AM   #13
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imperator, if you listen to music mostly through your iPod, you may want to look into the MS-8's little brother, the MS-2. It's $200 and reportedly tunes your car 90% as well as the MS-8. I'm not sure it's available just yet though...
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      02-14-2011, 08:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
Technic, have you tried this? Or is this a theoretical exercise?
I tried a set of DLS PS4A in a iDrive CIC Stereo system and they sounded decent to me without any processor, however I set their tweeter crossover to the "Low" setting.

I even try them without any amplification -directly to the CIC- and it also sounded better than OEM, but then the iDrive outputs a slightly higher power output than the OEM HU and apparently it does not have any capacitors in the front door speakers wires (between the woofers and the mids). That and individual crossovers in the PS4A could have made the difference. The silk tweeter actually sounded "tamed" and there was more "punch" from the mid.

I don't think that this can be replicated with the OEM HU, though.
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      02-14-2011, 10:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
imperator, if you listen to music mostly through your iPod, you may want to look into the MS-8's little brother, the MS-2. It's $200 and reportedly tunes your car 90% as well as the MS-8. I'm not sure it's available just yet though...
Thanks! I need to call a product rep to get more information about their MS line. I was reading up on their compact MS-A1004 amplifier last night-- that seems like an almost perfect drop-in amplifier solution for base audio cars. Unfortunately, I don't believe its DSP setup routine performs normalization.

I see the MS-2 is used for auxiliary sources but it won't address the base audio EQ curve through the head unit. I would still need some sort of post-source processing unless I re-code it to HiFi, but then I would lose the rear channel amplification.
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      02-14-2011, 11:40 AM   #16
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Anyone know where people are buying the Alpine retrofit kit? And what they're paying for it?


EDIT: I know it's through the Euro dealers - just wondering if there are specific ones selling to US buyers, or if people are just getting them off of eBay or what. Thanks.
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      02-14-2011, 11:50 AM   #17
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At one point, people were buying them from "Roveractive," an eBay seller with a storefront for EU-sourced BMW parts. I got my X3 sunglasses holder from him.
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      02-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imperator View Post
At one point, people were buying them from "Roveractive," an eBay seller with a storefront for EU-sourced BMW parts. I got my X3 sunglasses holder from him.
Ah - I saw his listing on eBay. He was charging about $600, which I thought to be a bit high, but in digging around it looks like the prices have gone up even through dealerships, compared to where they were a year or two ago. Maybe $600 is the new normal, although it certainly makes the kit a little less attractive, IMO. Thanks for the info.
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      02-18-2011, 04:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
Ah - I saw his listing on eBay. He was charging about $600, which I thought to be a bit high, but in digging around it looks like the prices have gone up even through dealerships, compared to where they were a year or two ago. Maybe $600 is the new normal, although it certainly makes the kit a little less attractive, IMO. Thanks for the info.
Alpine Hifi Kit
http://www.schmiedmann.com/636/produ...-0-445-684.htm

Selling for about US$400.
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      02-18-2011, 05:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrot View Post
Alpine Hifi Kit
http://www.schmiedmann.com/636/produ...-0-445-684.htm

Selling for about US$400.
Thanks - I picked one up from them yesterday.

For anyone else that is interested, it should be noted that the kit they advertise on their site is the older kit for pre-3/09 vehicles. You can order the newer kit from them if you need it using the part number search on the shopping cart page. It sells for the same price.

It's possible that they correct this anyway since you provide your chassis number when ordering, but I wouldn't count on it.
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      02-18-2011, 05:43 AM   #21
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Thanks for the Alpine kit link. But it only comes with 2speakers plus 2 tweeters. How can that be good for acoustics? And which speakers from the car should be replaced. Will the unreplaced speakers be used still. Thanks.
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      02-18-2011, 10:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
Thanks - I picked one up from them yesterday.

For anyone else that is interested, it should be noted that the kit they advertise on their site is the older kit for pre-3/09 vehicles. You can order the newer kit from them if you need it using the part number search on the shopping cart page. It sells for the same price.

It's possible that they correct this anyway since you provide your chassis number when ordering, but I wouldn't count on it.
What's the difference between the older and newer kit? Do you have the part number for the newer kit?
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