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      06-30-2009, 11:08 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
I would agree that the OEM sub is the weakest link in the system. The problem is made worse by the fact that you need to boost the bass in order to hear any bass whatsoever, which in turn increases the "muddiness" in the OEM subs AND mids.

After installing the SWS-8's + amp and re-tuning the EQ (Bass is "flat" now), the mids seemed to have cleaned up a bit. Bottom line is, if you're looking to clean up the bottom end and somewhat fix the mid-bass muddiness, the SWS-8 solution will do a pretty good job of it. No, it's still not an audiophile system, but if you're going that route, you're looking at at least $1000-$1500 + many hours of custom install. In my opinion, in order to get true audiophile quality, you would want to replace the head unit as well, which is even more time and $$$$.
I'm with your 100% on the HU thing. Also, I am going with the sws8 and amp. I want to first hear the stock comps just to hear how they sound with a proper amp. Still, I've always preferred a silk dome tweet, so I'm sure I'll be installing the pair I have.

My setup will pretty much be what you're doing.
I am still considering though a set of Polk SR series tweets.
I found a new set at about $120 pair. I've some great things about their excellent ability at off axis. They sound like the right thing for a car setup. I wish they would have moved the mid driver up higher towards the tweet though.
But, I'm not getting into that kind of mod. I don't need that type of extraordinary audio in an environment where it takes too much cash and effort to overcome the poor environment the inside of a car is.
Still, I've had some excellent success in some cars over the years.
One of my best was a 2000 Mits Eclipse with Rockford Fanatic X 6.5s, a 10" sub in a simple box, and a Profile amp. Amazing really.
Hatchbacks are ideal for rear mounted subs and sloping glass.
I even used the stock HU.
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      06-30-2009, 11:09 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Hi Patrick

I don't have any personal experience with any of the aftermarket 4" components that fit the E9x without fancy tricks, other than the OEM Individual Audio components. However, it seems that the Morel Hybrid Ovation and the Focal 100KP/100KRS are the prime 4" upgrades, with outstanding sound and relatively easy fit according to members here.

Price for the connector is still undetermined...

I've heard great things about Focal, and Hertz, but Hertz are hard to find.
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      06-30-2009, 11:36 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
I'm with your 100% on the HU thing. Also, I am going with the sws8 and amp. I want to first hear the stock comps just to hear how they sound with a proper amp. Still, I've always preferred a silk dome tweet, so I'm sure I'll be installing the pair I have.

My setup will pretty much be what you're doing.
I am still considering though a set of Polk SR series tweets.
I found a new set at about $120 pair. I've some great things about their excellent ability at off axis. They sound like the right thing for a car setup. I wish they would have moved the mid driver up higher towards the tweet though.
But, I'm not getting into that kind of mod. I don't need that type of extraordinary audio in an environment where it takes too much cash and effort to overcome the poor environment the inside of a car is.
Still, I've had some excellent success in some cars over the years.
One of my best was a 2000 Mits Eclipse with Rockford Fanatic X 6.5s, a 10" sub in a simple box, and a Profile amp. Amazing really.
Hatchbacks are ideal for rear mounted subs and sloping glass.
I even used the stock HU.
I really do think that outside of going totally nuts, and dropping $2000 plus spending hours upon hours of time ripping your car apart in the garage, the best thing to do is the OEM sub/amp swap and a new set of silk dome tweeters all around. Can all be done in one day, for around $400. In my case, I got everything on Craigslist and eBay for under $300. For that kind of money, I can't complain at all about the results. I think you'll be pleased with your upgrades...
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      07-01-2009, 09:34 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
I think the general consensus is that the BSW Stage 1 upgrade does provide an incremental improvement in sound quality, but not nearly as much of an improvement as you can get from a decent aftermarket sub/amp set-up, which is also less expensive (generally). In this regard, the BSW upgrade seems like a questionable upgrade IMHO, particularly b/c they don't fix the one glaring problem with the Logic7 system, the bass response.

I also find it annoying that they don't show any specs for the speakers they sell. You don't really know what you're getting when you buy these speakers, other than the fact that they "dramatically enhance the performance of your BMW's audio system". That's some straight marketing BS right there
I'm curious, have you and others heard the BSW upgrade? I don't want to sound like a BSW fan boy, but really, I think the difference is considerably more significant than you all would like to admit. Furthermore, you know as well as I do that you are paying for their R&D and not just the drivers themselves. If you want to experiment and find something that works as well or better for less money, by all means go for it, but don't assume that those who chose to go the BSW route are mere lemmings buying into Bose-like bullshit.
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      07-01-2009, 10:30 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
I've heard great things about Focal, and Hertz, but Hertz are hard to find.
The only Hertz that will fit in the E9x mid positions are either the EM-100 (30mm in depth) 4" driver and the HL-70 (44mm in depth) 3" mid driver however, their frequency response is 200Hz and 400Hz respectively.

So if the complaints are about lack of mid bass from the 4" drivers, these Hertz are not going to be an option unless you go all out with their full 3-way sets with crossovers. That way the real mids will come from their Hertz woofers in the OEM underseat enclosures (with an adapter ring, I suppose) and the mids are going to be mostly for voice and lesser mid impacts.

And that will mean the need of a proper subwoofer in the trunk, if some real bass is required.
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      07-01-2009, 10:47 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by PianoProdigy View Post
I'm curious, have you and others heard the BSW upgrade? I don't want to sound like a BSW fan boy, but really, I think the difference is considerably more significant than you all would like to admit. Furthermore, you know as well as I do that you are paying for their R&D and not just the drivers themselves. If you want to experiment and find something that works as well or better for less money, by all means go for it, but don't assume that those who chose to go the BSW route are mere lemmings buying into Bose-like bullshit.
Just curious, did you listen to the BSW system with the OEM subs and Logic 7 amp in place. I really have a hard time seeing how a simple speaker upgrade, while using the OEM amp/headunit could make a significant difference. I'm a firm believer that a clean source (head unit) and clean power (amp) will always have a greater effect on sound quality than a speaker replacement, especially when the OEM Logic7 speakers are at least above average to begin with.

I'm not sure why you're so hung up on this. Yes, they are higher quality speakers, and yes they probably sound better, but I'm just not buying that they create a "dramatic" improvement in sound. Not to mention that several forum members who have the system say that they weren't necessarily impressed.
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      07-01-2009, 12:29 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
Just curious, did you listen to the BSW system with the OEM subs and Logic 7 amp in place. I really have a hard time seeing how a simple speaker upgrade, while using the OEM amp/headunit could make a significant difference. I'm a firm believer that a clean source (head unit) and clean power (amp) will always have a greater effect on sound quality than a speaker replacement, especially when the OEM Logic7 speakers are at least above average to begin with.

I'm not sure why you're so hung up on this. Yes, they are higher quality speakers, and yes they probably sound better, but I'm just not buying that they create a "dramatic" improvement in sound. Not to mention that several forum members who have the system say that they weren't necessarily impressed.
I think that the biggest improvement of the BSW speaker kit over the OEM speakers is in the tweeter and not in the mid, just because at the end of the day we are still talking about a 4" mid. There is not too much anybody can get physically out of a 4" mid -especially one with just 50mm in depth at the most- unless this is some Utopia Be or with some custom enclosure in the door that can get the ultimate performance out of 4".

I don't think that there is some black magic here, if you can get good results from just a tweeter replacement and if JBL can get a E90 3 Series with just their imaginary MS-8 and JBL amplifiers running the OEM Logic7 stock speakers to win a some IASCA competitions then I would say that there is not too much to improve in the 4" mids, at least the OEM Logic7 mids.
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      07-01-2009, 12:41 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I think that the biggest improvement of the BSW speaker kit over the OEM speakers is in the tweeter and not in the mid, just because at the end of the day we are still talking about a 4" mid. There is not too much anybody can get physically out of a 4" mid -especially one with just 50mm in depth at the most- unless this is some Utopia Be or with some custom enclosure in the door that can get the ultimate performance out of 4".

I don't think that there is some black magic here, if you can get good results from just a tweeter replacement and if JBL can get a E90 3 Series with just their imaginary MS-8 and JBL amplifiers running the OEM Logic7 stock speakers to win a some IASCA competitions then I would say that there is not too much to improve in the 4" mids, at least the OEM Logic7 mids.
Yes, the OEM Logic7 tweeter is a cheap, light, low-power, aluminum dome tweeter. Nothing special at all. I did a simple tweeter upgrade last week, with some inexpensive $40 RE Audio silk dome tweeters and the improvement was significant. Now that I know a tweeter upgrade can help, I may get a better set of tweeters eventually, but I think I may actually be OK with what I have.

I think if BSW would just sell their tweeters in sets of 2, I'd be willing to give it a shot (especially if they really are Rainbows). But this all-or-nothing $700 set is not worth it in my opinion.
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      07-01-2009, 02:16 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
Yes, the OEM Logic7 tweeter is a cheap, light, low-power, aluminum dome tweeter. Nothing special at all. I did a simple tweeter upgrade last week, with some inexpensive $40 RE Audio silk dome tweeters and the improvement was significant. Now that I know a tweeter upgrade can help, I may get a better set of tweeters eventually, but I think I may actually be OK with what I have.

I think if BSW would just sell their tweeters in sets of 2, I'd be willing to give it a shot (especially if they really are Rainbows). But this all-or-nothing $700 set is not worth it in my opinion.
i thought I saw an option for individual replacements....
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      07-01-2009, 02:33 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by UdubBadger View Post
i thought I saw an option for individual replacements....
For the E9x, they sell individual mid drivers at $100 each.

No tweeters are for sale individually, which incidentally is the weak link in the OEM components.
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      07-07-2009, 03:38 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post
Just curious, did you listen to the BSW system with the OEM subs and Logic 7 amp in place. I really have a hard time seeing how a simple speaker upgrade, while using the OEM amp/headunit could make a significant difference. I'm a firm believer that a clean source (head unit) and clean power (amp) will always have a greater effect on sound quality than a speaker replacement, especially when the OEM Logic7 speakers are at least above average to begin with.

I'm not sure why you're so hung up on this. Yes, they are higher quality speakers, and yes they probably sound better, but I'm just not buying that they create a "dramatic" improvement in sound. Not to mention that several forum members who have the system say that they weren't necessarily impressed.
Obviously, the answer to my original question is "no."

To answer your question, no, I had already had the IDMAX subs in the trunk prior to installing the BSW upgrade; however, to imply that because I didn't ONLY do the BSW upgrade that somehow my observation about the quality of frequencies completely unaffected by the subs is flawed is unfair.

I too am a proponent of having a clean source and clean power. I took this route in my last car (aftermarket headunit and aftermarket amplifier powering factory drivers). This would have been my preferred route in the M5 as well, but obviously I wasn't going to be able to change the head unit. Furthermore, after much research it did not seem feasible to intercept the optical signal to the Logic7 amplifier (though I think I read about a product soon available that should be able to accomplish this?). Certainly, I could have intercepted the amplified signal going to the factory drivers (as I did with the factory subs), use one of the many products available to "fix" the signal, amplify it with a more powerful amplifier, and then send that signal to the factory speakers; however, after reading many positive reviews of both the E60 BSW upgrade as well as what they have done on other BMW platforms, I elected to take the route I did.

At the end of the day, you are free to think what you like, but I am not new at this nor do I have an untrained ear by any means. I am a firm believer in supporting products and vendors whose products work as advertised. The BSW Stage 1 does just what it advertises: dramatically increases sound quality.
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      07-07-2009, 05:11 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I think that the biggest improvement of the BSW speaker kit over the OEM speakers is in the tweeter and not in the mid, just because at the end of the day we are still talking about a 4" mid. There is not too much anybody can get physically out of a 4" mid -especially one with just 50mm in depth at the most- unless this is some Utopia Be or with some custom enclosure in the door that can get the ultimate performance out of 4".

I don't think that there is some black magic here, if you can get good results from just a tweeter replacement and if JBL can get a E90 3 Series with just their imaginary MS-8 and JBL amplifiers running the OEM Logic7 stock speakers to win a some IASCA competitions then I would say that there is not too much to improve in the 4" mids, at least the OEM Logic7 mids.
Do you have a 4 ohm tweeter recomendation?
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      07-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by fdiprete View Post
Do you have a 4 ohm tweeter recomendation?
How much do you want to spend? I'm not sure if I would go out and buy $400 Focal or Morel tweeters if you're still using the OEM amp. Your best bet might be to find a nice set of used tweeters on eBay (Morels, Focals, Rainbows, Image Dynamics, Dynaudios). I would mostly look at a silk-dome tweeter to smooth out the high-end, with high enough sensitivity to deal with the low power output.
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      10-07-2009, 03:26 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterzM View Post
I have the BSW speaker upgrade and sub and personally I don't think it was worth the $$. If you just want something a tad better then stock then it does the job. But for me I think I would go a different route if I had to do it again.
So sell me your BSW speakers - we'll both be happy. I get a reasonable improvement for a reasonable price and you get to start over again for maximum sound quality.
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      10-07-2009, 06:11 PM   #81
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I haven't heard the BSW midranges, but just looking at them, it appears that they are the only thing out there (non OEM) designed as the OEM speakers are designed to use the entire depth of the door by offsetting the mounting bracket back from to front of the speaker. If you mount any after-market speakers in back you are going to lose some throw distance that the OEM speakers are designed to take advantage of. So that is what you are paying extra for.
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      10-17-2009, 10:59 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I keep saying that, after 4 years in the market, average audio installers still do not know too much about the E9x 3 Series sound systems.

There's no need to "rewire" anything, I don't even know what that means in this context. You either get a 2 ohms stable amp to drive those 2 ohms speakers or you don't. And right now I would say that 100% of aftermarket amplifiers that really are worth something are 2 ohms stable.

For example, the two multichannel amps in my post above are 2 ohms stable. However, depending on which amp you choose is the wiring configuration:

PDX-5 = OEM components (2 ohms) driven by channels 1-4 directly and a pair of SWS-8 in 4 ohms wired in parallel driven by channel 5 (mono).

G6600 = OEM components (2 ohms) driven by channels 1-4 respectively and a pair of SWS-8 in 2 ohms driven by channel 5-6 respectively (stereo).

FYI: I'm in the final development and production of a custom harness to allow direct plug in interface with the main OEM amp connector in the trunk, so the OEM amp can be fully replaced while no OEM cables will have to be cut to add any aftermarket amp or processor to the OEM HiFi (non-Logic7) system. It will include a relay with fuse protection for the OEM remote turn on signal. It should be for sale in around 6 weeks for current 3- and 1-Series and the E46; this will greatly simplify the installation and thus considerably reduce the installation costs.
Technic - How is the development of the wiring harness coming? I am very interest in availability!!

Many thanks!
Ken
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      10-17-2009, 11:07 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal330 View Post

I also find it annoying that they don't show any specs for the speakers they sell. You don't really know what you're getting when you buy these speakers, other than the fact that they "dramatically enhance the performance of your BMW's audio system". That's some straight marketing BS right there
Gosh, you know BMW owners don't like all that technical mumbo-jumbo

Technic, I find it surprising that you've decided that 4" mids just all suck. It may be due to your E92-centricity (since the depth is so much more limited for you guys than for us E91/2 folks), but the OE mids don't seem to play nearly as low, or loud, as many others.

I agree that the tweeter is the low-hanging fruit. If you put a better-sounding tweeter in there, you may also want to take the grille insert off of the sail grille and take the 1/8" foam from behind the black cheesecloth. It seems to block a lot of detail (which means it probably blocked a lot of harshness from the OE tweeter).
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      10-17-2009, 11:36 AM   #84
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I should have said, temporarily remove the grille and permanently remove the foam insert. Then re-install the grille and the cheesecloth.

Same foam is in front of the 4"... hm...
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      10-17-2009, 04:26 PM   #85
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Do you have suggestion for a replacement tweeter that works on E93?
If you replace the tweeters, do you replace the crossover, or can it work off the OEM crossover?
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      10-28-2009, 05:52 PM   #86
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I personally don't think the L7 tweeters are too bad......if driven properly.
Drive them with the OEM amp and they are quite harsh, drive them with a digital amp and they are harsh, however, put a nice Genesis Series III amp on them and they sing.

I always think you need to get the front end right, then improve speakers to bring the last bit of detail out.
But changing speakers to get round issues elsewhere is always going to end up taking far longer and costing more in my experience.

You can get a pair of 100 speakers sounding truly amazing hooked up to a nice 5k amp and CD player, but 30,000 worth of speakers hooked up to a 100 amp and speakers is always going to sound like a 100 system.

Having said all that....The Morel Hybrids are fuckin' unreal!!

Those with a decent amp and a pair of SWS8's crossed over at 80hz sound sublime.
However, I guess if you have the L7 you need to get the signals flat again.

I thought MoBridge were bringing out a most bus converter, so most in and RCA out?? What happened to that??
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      10-30-2009, 10:49 PM   #87
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NOTE: I'm one of the owners at BSW.

Figured it was time to hop in here since there's a lot of discussion about our product going on, and lots to address. Where to begin...

First, as others have said, the goal of our Stage 1 Audio Upgrade is to enhance sound quality WITHOUT requiring the end using to make permanent modifications to their vehicle or to have an understanding of car audio in order to execute that upgrade. As should be obvious from this thread, it's a confusing topic and most people simply aren't equipped with the knowledge and know-how to design, install, and tune a system that will exceed the performance of OEM (excluding subwoofer systems).

There are limitations inherent to the "plug and play" approach and it is obviously not the absolute best solution available in terms of sound quality -- there are certainly other paths you can take that will yield superior SQ results. But when you factor in the intangibles mentioned above, our offerings become significantly more attractive and a viable option for many.

It's worth mentioning that our Stage 1 has variable results depending on the car. For example, the results of our Stage 1 in Logic7 E60 / E90 cars is, in our opinion and in the opinion of many of our customers, pretty astonishing. However, in the same cars equipped with the HiFi system, the results are good, but not night/day as with the Logic7 cars. I'll explain specifics a little later in the post...

For now, I want to address the specific criticisms aimed at our products in order to better explain the cost of the product and, more importantly, the VALUE of the product.

First, lots of folks have complained about pricing, and when comparing products that are mass-produced, it's easy to view ours as overpriced -- speaker for speaker, we're more expensive. But the fact of the matter is that it is extremely costly to engineer and produce vehicle-specific speakers in small manufacturing runs. Quite simply, we do not have the efficiencies (and cost savings) of larger speaker manufacturers that make "generic" products that force you to modify your car or the speaker. We make a product that is a PERFECT fit, 100% plug and play, and you pay more for it because we do. Believe me, no one is getting rich from our products -- I wish it were otherwise, but we make only a modest profit, enough to pay our staff, design new products, and live reasonably well.

Second, quality and performance of our speakers is exceptional. Take our driver and compare it side by side (visually, on a sound board, in a car -- wherever) with nearly any high-end brand, and you'll see that what we've created are drivers that far exceed their price point. There aren't any crazy technologies -- just speaker design that's built around simple principles that work: super-stiff (yet lightweight) curvilinear woven fiberglass cones, santoprene surrounds, massive 25mm silk-dome tweeters, etc. etc. In other words, you are paying for QUALITY.

Third, we back our product with an unprecedented 4 year warranty and a 100% no questions asked guarantee. You NEVER have to take our word for the quality of our speakers, because they speak for themselves. Do we get returns? Sure, about 1-2 speaker kits per month, usually because someone wanted something with more output (volume), which we can't provide (yet). But most people love our products and KEEP them, even though they could send them back no hassle. NO ONE else in this industry guarantees performance (with the extraordinarily rare exception of small shops).

With regards to specs, there are several reasons we don't release them:

1. We have made a very large investment in terms of time and money to establish the optimum characteristics for the components we use in our speaker upgrades. To protect that investment and prevent "copycat" products, we keep the associated information proprietary.

2. Because our speaker upgrades are optimized to operate on the factory amplifier (or in some cases, an amplifier we are designing to replace the stock amplifier), the specifications are not required by end users since we've already done all the hard work of optimizing the components to work perfectly together and there is only one operating environment in which our products will be used.

3. Specifications are not meaningful for comparison between our products and other products which may be used in the same application, primarily because, in general, specifications in the car audio world are frequently fabricated from thin air. Repeated internal testing has shown time and time again that the performance and behavior of components we test does NOT bear a strong relationship to what we'd expect given the specifications of a product.

However, all that said, if you'd like specs, perhaps you can let us know why you'd like the specifications, at which point we might be able to answer your question or provide the needed information without the specs.

Whew!

Now, onto why some users feel our products make a very big difference, and others don't...

First, what does our upgrade do in the case of current gen BMW's (E9X, E60, etc.)?

1. The OEM tweeters are pretty much "dead" above 12,000Hz and do NOT have a flat frequency response. Ours are significantly flatter and play up to 20,000Hz, livening up the top end of the frequency range. But they also enter the picture at a much lower frequency, around 2500Hz, "lifting" the sound stage and giving it quite a bit more detail. This is true in the HiFi cars, but not as dramatic as Logic7 cars.

2. The OEM midranges are GARBAGE in terms of frequency response. In Logic7 cars, sure, they're tight, punchy drivers and construction/durability is excellent. But they are playing full range from 150Hz and up, are NOT curvilinear, and are NOT crossed over. What happens when you play a metal driver full range if it's not curvilinear? The frequency response curve looks like a mountain range, lending a tinny, extraordinarily harsh sound to the car. In HiFi cars, this isn't so dramatic since paper cones are used -- but still an issue.

In contrast, our curvilinear woven fiberglass drivers produce a nearly flat curve with smooth roll-off, normalizing and flattening the frequency response of the car. They're also more efficient (than L7, not HiFi) and more organic sounding without giving up the punchiness of a rigid cone.

So yes, the upgrade makes a VERY big difference in Logic7 cars, and a significant one in HiFi. Ultimately, it's the amp in the Logic7 cars that allows our Stage 1 to really shine, something that's just not there in HiFi cars.

Hope that answers some questions and clarifies. More questions? Just ask.
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      10-30-2009, 11:03 PM   #88
UdubBadger
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Drives: '04 330i ZHP
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Actually it does and is making me reconsider your package when I get a little bit of money saved up for it. As you said, yes price is a concern, but also the amp being such a piece of junk also makes me hesitant to upgrade the speakers when I know the same bad signal will be going through them.

So I guess with that in mind, do you have any recommendations for amps or a BSW amp in production (I don't have the logic7 system)?

Thanks for the write up, I think it will help others thinking the same thing as I have been, make a more educated decision.
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