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      10-01-2009, 05:51 AM   #331
Mike in Hampshire
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OK, had the Alpine kit installed by Barons of Farnborough (actually the workshop is in Ash Vale). Hope I'm not breaking any Forum rules here, but they only charged 448.50 all included (I have the E92 335i) and seem to have done a good job; well it all works properly anyway!
What does it sound like compared to the stock set-up? The biggest difference is made by the tweeters, I think. You can now hear cymbals, hi-hats and the like. I've found that you really notice the biggest improvement at high-ish volumes (the Alpine system is not earth-shatteringly loud), although at modest volumes it doesn't sound that much better than stock.
I still think the bass could be better. I have the settings at +4 for bass and +2 for treble; this avoids a boomy bass, but it isn't as good as I'd hoped. I'm not into club type music but the Alpine doesn't do Pete Trewavas' bass justice on something like Marillion's "Gazpacho", for instance (God, this is turning into a hi-fi magazine review!!).
So is it worth 450? Yes, just about. Let's be honest, if you're running a 335i that isn't a vast fortune. Plus, the new Alpine tweeters do look really cool!

So one question......has anyone with the Alpine system upgrade then gone on to upgrade the under seat subs? Can the Alpine cope with that? If so, which ones did you install and how easy was it? Sorry, that is 3 questions.

Mike.
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      10-01-2009, 05:55 AM   #332
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You could probably put the Audio System subs in, these are a straight drop in with no modding the enclosure, they are 4ohm each.
However, have you got gains on the alpine?? If the subs are more or less sensative than the oem one you will be in trouble if you can't trim the levels to match.




It is this reason that I have just bought the new Vibe Litebox Stereo 2, it is a Class GH amp too so won't interfere with FM reception.
Has your FM reception decreased at all with the Alpine??
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      10-01-2009, 06:13 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by gIzzE View Post
You could probably put the Audio System subs in, these are a straight drop in with no modding the enclosure, they are 4ohm each.
However, have you got gains on the alpine?? If the subs are more or less sensative than the oem one you will be in trouble if you can't trim the levels to match.




It is this reason that I have just bought the new Vibe Litebox Stereo 2, it is a Class GH amp too so won't interfere with FM reception.
Has your FM reception decreased at all with the Alpine??
Thanks for the reply gIzzE. No I don't think the Alpine has adjustable gain for the subwoofers (or have I misunderstood your question?), therefore, as you say, the sensitivity of replacements could be an issue. Does anyone out there know the sensitivity of the OEM subs?

FM reception sounds exactly the same as before. Both the music level, and also the highly depressing reports of Pompey's games!

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      10-01-2009, 04:33 PM   #334
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I'm enjoying the alpine upgrade but looking forward to installing the SWS-8 (4 ohm ones) subs when I get the time, 500 total DIY

Had basic system in M3

Will report back on findings
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      10-01-2009, 04:42 PM   #335
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I'm enjoying the alpine upgrade but looking forward to installing the SWS-8 (4 ohm ones) subs when I get the time, 500 total DIY

Had basic system in M3

Will report back on findings
I would be very careful putting them in.

There are not very efficient at all, they are almost half the volume of the standard speakers at the same volume, using an amp with gains you have to add quite a lot of gain to get them matched up.

You may be better to go with the 2 ohm versions??
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      10-06-2009, 05:45 AM   #336
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Volume

I am currently in the process of saving up for this upgrade as I was quoted 550 plus from Knights South Stafford.From what I've read and been told(cheers Si) it is to my understanding that this kit improves the sound quality dramatically,but does it also give some real volume to what I think is a very quite stereo system?.Before I go ahead with it I want to know if it will be loud too!
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      10-06-2009, 06:53 AM   #337
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It depends what you are used to but it gives me enough volume to keep me happy and has a lot more oomph than the standard set-up.

It, or the Blaupunkt upgrade is the only way to give your car a decent sound upgrade without going the specialist route and spending four figure sums.
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      10-06-2009, 01:11 PM   #338
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It depends what you are used to but it gives me enough volume to keep me happy and has a lot more oomph than the standard set-up.
Yep agree with that Alan. I suppose it isn't earth shatteringly loud, but has more than enough welly for any sane driver. After all, who wants their earth, erm, shattered anyway?
It probably wouldn't impress some of the yoofs around here, who must spend more on their ICE than on their cars! You hear them before you can see them. Still, gives me enough time to load up the high powered rifle

Mike.
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      10-06-2009, 04:32 PM   #339
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I'm confused now by your comment because there was a flyer in the SWS-8 boxes saying that the 2ohm version was for factory upgraded stereo's only, I had the basic factory stereo

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I would be very careful putting them in.

There are not very efficient at all, they are almost half the volume of the standard speakers at the same volume, using an amp with gains you have to add quite a lot of gain to get them matched up.

You may be better to go with the 2 ohm versions??
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      10-06-2009, 04:56 PM   #340
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I'm confused now by your comment because there was a flyer in the SWS-8 boxes saying that the 2ohm version was for factory upgraded stereo's only, I had the basic factory stereo

The 2ohm version is designed to drop in place of the oem sub on the L7 system, which in turn is designed for a 2ohm sub.

They also do a 4ohm version, which when wired to a sun channel in parallel will give a 2ohm load, which is what most people who put and aftermarket amp in will use.

However the subs are not that sensitive, and therefore need the gain on the amp upping to get them to the same level as the main speakers, if you leave the amp at the default levels you can't hear the SWS8 subs.
Problem is the Alpine doesn't have gains, it is set up already for the oem sub and the alpine mids/tweeters, so I think you would put them in and be in a worse position.

The Alpine upgrade is a fit and forget system, if you want to add better subs then you need to look at a different amp.

You could take the lid off the Alpine and see if there are gain pots under the lid, there may well be, and if there are you could then put some SWS8 subs in.
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      10-06-2009, 04:58 PM   #341
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I should add, if an amp can give 100w into 2 ohm they can usually give around 130w into 2 ohms, and thus play louder at the same gain, hence why I said the 2ohm version may give better results with the alpine amp, it may get them closer to the mids volume.

Having said that, it is a Class D amp and the Alpine Class D amps normally don't give any extra into a 2ohm load.

It really would be try it and see.
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      10-07-2009, 11:40 AM   #342
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I'll let you know how I get on, thanks Gizze
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      10-07-2009, 12:42 PM   #343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenno View Post
I am currently in the process of saving up for this upgrade as I was quoted 550 plus from Knights South Stafford.From what I've read and been told(cheers Si) it is to my understanding that this kit improves the sound quality dramatically,but does it also give some real volume to what I think is a very quite stereo system?.Before I go ahead with it I want to know if it will be loud too!
You've got to do it Ken, well worthwhile difference both in terms of volume and quality.
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      10-08-2009, 04:02 AM   #344
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I would be very careful putting them in.

There are not very efficient at all, they are almost half the volume of the standard speakers at the same volume, using an amp with gains you have to add quite a lot of gain to get them matched up.

You may be better to go with the 2 ohm versions??
Oh no not sure what to do now! I have some of these coming not sure it such a good idea after reading this post :-(

Can anyone confirm if got any better sound with sw8 with the alpine upgrade powering them?
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      10-08-2009, 08:58 AM   #345
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It, or the Blaupunkt upgrade is the only way to give your car a decent sound upgrade without going the specialist route and spending four figure sums.
I'd disagree with that; there are various options, that don't happen to be "plug and play", but in some cases are about as easy to fit.

First off tweeters; as per earlier in this thread and in many others, people have fitted component systems such as the DLS, which have very good tweeters and mid range speakers and make a big improvement for typically in the 100 region. For the back doors (at least in the touring, and without going into debates about the benefits of rear fill/back speakers) you can fit decent co-axial speakers. Personally I like Hertz speakers, the DCX-100 co-axials are only 45. They'll also fit in the front doors without changing the sail panel, the treble is much improved due to the integrated tweeter, and they sound a fair bit better than stock speakers. Obviously you can get better speakers by spending more.

Amp wise, connecting a 3 or 4 channel amp to do the same job as the alpine (intercept the front speaker channels, drive the front doors and the subs properly off different channels) isn't significantly harder than fitting the Alpine amp. And more helpfully, you can get one that does have variable gains, allows proper cross-over etc. You can get reasonable amps for 100-150 (JBL GTO-504, infinity ref 475a, Vibe slick A1, Alpine MRP-F300) that will drive the 3/4 channels, and have the adjustability and power to be able to cope with SWS-8s later. Pay more and there's lots of choice with more power - the aforementioned DLS CA31, SPL Dynamics S-2604, Harmon Kardon CA5250 (4 channels plus a sub) all at <200 from car audio direct

And don't even underestimate the benefits of 10 worth of sound deadening around the stock subs; doesn't make them louder but does tighten them up significantly and improves punchiness

Not meaning to dis the alpine set up - it can be dealer fitted, improves the sound lots, reasonable value, etc. However, if you're someone who doesn't mind or even enjoys getting your hands dirty, there are plenty of other options, e.g. fit the JBL GTO-500 and Hertz DCX-100 speakers in the front, allow 50 for sound sound deadening and wiring, you have a much improved system for about 200. I also expect you could get that fitted for a similar cost to the Alpine upgrade from a reputable ICE installer.

Anyway, sorry if I've digressed off topic a bit! As I said, the alpine upgrade is great for convenience/value and significant improvement, but don't rule out other options.
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      10-08-2009, 09:15 AM   #346
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Oh no not sure what to do now! I have some of these coming not sure it such a good idea after reading this post :-(

Can anyone confirm if got any better sound with sw8 with the alpine upgrade powering them?
What have you bought, 2 or 4ohm versions??

You may be fine, I just think you need to know that you may have to go back to stock.
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      10-08-2009, 09:20 AM   #347
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I have just bought the new Vibe Litebox Stereo 2, it is a lightweight Class GH amp that will drive the stock mids and subs with 125w.

It will take a high level input, so just wire it as you would the Alpine, and it senses the IC chip in the head unit, so it turns on when the car wakes up, unlike the Alpina or Blaupunkt that turns on when they sense a signal from the speakers. This means you don't get a delay.

Also it is tiny, pretty much the same size as the bluetooth module, being class GH it does not ruin your FM reception either.
You can also daisy chain amps, so if you add a sub amp you can get it to talk to the stereo amp, or you can add a hi end 2 channel for the fronts like a genesis Stereo 100 and use this to drive two sws8's, using the remote from this to turn the Genesis on, all very clever stuff designed for modern cars which need to stay looking OEM.

It may however sound crap!!

It shouldn't, Adam Rayner reviewed one and gave it a very, very good score regardless of price.

I will report back.
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      10-08-2009, 09:24 AM   #348
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Here is a quick pic of the Vibe Litebox next to the bluetooth module....
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      10-08-2009, 10:54 AM   #349
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What have you bought, 2 or 4ohm versions??

You may be fine, I just think you need to know that you may have to go back to stock.
They have ordered both as was not sure which to use ! So shall I get them to fit the 2 ohms SW8?

The Ice dealer did mention maybe taking the top of the amp to see if there was any ajustments!

Just dont want to waste 200 if not going to get any gain from it.
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      10-08-2009, 11:06 AM   #350
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Yeah of course.

Who is getting them in for you???
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      10-08-2009, 12:31 PM   #351
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They have ordered both as was not sure which to use ! So shall I get them to fit the 2 ohms SW8?

The Ice dealer did mention maybe taking the top of the amp to see if there was any ajustments!

Just dont want to waste 200 if not going to get any gain from it.
Let us know if there are any adjustments on the alpine
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      10-08-2009, 02:12 PM   #352
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Yeah of course.

Who is getting them in for you???
Surrey car radio The owner bought a E92 M3 Cab off me when I worked for BMW. He is a really nice guy, Should hear the system he has in his M3. He did mention about the ohms and has them in his car just for demo purposes as has subs in the back too but then he has a massive amp powering them.
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