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      09-29-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
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budget speakers upgrade, suggestions?

Hi, Guys

I got a 09 E90 with stock 6 speaks system and the audio quality sucks, I am thinking of spend $500 - $1000 to upgrade the speakers, or other stuffs if needed.

can you guys please suggest some good speakers? what are the best ways to replace the stock ones? I am totally a noob and all I want to do is improve the sound quality as much as possible within the budget, I usually listen 320k mp3s from the usb port.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by shingo43; 09-29-2009 at 04:25 PM.
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      09-29-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post
Hi, Guys

I got a 09 E90 with stock 6 speaks system and the audio quality sucks, I am thinking of spend $500 - $1000 to upgrade the speakers, or other stuffs if needed.

can you guys please suggest some good speakers? what are the best ways to replace the stock ones? I am totally a noob and all I want to do is improve the sound quality as much as possible within the budget, I usually listen 320k mp3s from the usb port.

Thanks in advance
Front: http://www.woofersetc.com/p7045/SLC-...ent-System.htm

Mounting frame for door tweeters: check with dealer for parts and prices





Rear: keep oem speakers

Woofers: http://cgi.ebay.com/EARTHQUAKE-SWS-8...d=p3286.c0.m14

Amp: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-JL-AUDIO-G66...d=p3286.c0.m14

OEM HU harness (to connect directly to the aftermarket amp without the need of cutting any OEM wires): http://www.installer.com/item/displa....php?it=BT9003

JL Audio wire to RCA cables (2): http://www.shopatron.com/products/pr...r=91803/1451.0

Amp wiring kit and assorted wires as needed.

Total: $1005 approximately plus any shipping charges.

If you shop around you could find better prices and other options somewhere else... this is just an example of a $1000 system. Something like that will work nicely with your budget as long as you install it yourself.
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      09-29-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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I was just about to order Individual Audio front mid-ranges, tweeters, connecting lines, corner moldings, seals and spring clips when I read this. However, I think I should continue ordering as I have e92 that has less room for speakers and OEM Individual Audio is more shallow than Rainbow? The only downside is that I don't know if 4" mid is really worth that much per piece...

I assume that despite of having Oct 2006 e92 and the availability of individual audio listed is from mid 2007 onward, it should still fit?

What are the "+core" notes on the real-OEM? Something to do with the speaker grill, of which part number I did not find anywhere yet?

Would I need "Plug housing on request"? They list 6 of them in total.
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      09-29-2009, 06:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Front: http://www.woofersetc.com/p7045/SLC-...ent-System.htm

Mounting frame for door tweeters: check with dealer for parts and prices





Rear: keep oem speakers

Woofers: http://cgi.ebay.com/EARTHQUAKE-SWS-8...d=p3286.c0.m14

Amp: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-JL-AUDIO-G66...d=p3286.c0.m14

OEM HU harness (to connect directly to the aftermarket amp without the need of cutting any OEM wires): http://www.installer.com/item/displa....php?it=BT9003

JL Audio wire to RCA cables (2): http://www.shopatron.com/products/pr...r=91803/1451.0

Amp wiring kit and assorted wires as needed.

Total: $1005 approximately plus any shipping charges.

If you shop around you could find better prices and other options somewhere else... this is just an example of a $1000 system. Something like that will work nicely with your budget as long as you install it yourself.
Thanks for the reply, the whole procedure sounds a bit hard for me to DIY,
can I buy the stuff online and ask best buy to do it?
also if I just upgrade the front speakers, without the amp, will I notice the differences than the stock speakers? I want to keep the upgrade as simple as possible,thanks again.
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      09-29-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post
Thanks for the reply, the whole procedure sounds a bit hard for me to DIY,
can I buy the stuff online and ask best buy to do it?
also if I just upgrade the front speakers, without the amp, will I notice the differences than the stock speakers? I want to keep the upgrade as simple as possible,thanks again.
Yes, Best Buy could install all this, specially if you get that harness.

Upgrading just the speakers will cause a change in impedance with the underseat woofers that will make your system sound worse.

Another option that could be even cheaper and it is actually OEM is this one:


Alpine retrofit amp kit with upgraded Logic7 front speakers for the OEM Stereo sound system (6-speaker): P/N 65410445684

I don't know the exact price, but it should be available in Canada and it is either dealer installed or by any audio shop using the instructions attached below.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Alpine_install_instructions[1].pdf (428.1 KB, 150 views)
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      09-29-2009, 06:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post
Thanks for the reply, the whole procedure sounds a bit hard for me to DIY,
can I buy the stuff online and ask best buy to do it?
also if I just upgrade the front speakers, without the amp, will I notice the differences than the stock speakers? I want to keep the upgrade as simple as possible,thanks again.
It cannot get much more plug and play than that. Great combo of all you need.

I think you could hear the difference in 14-20khz, but it is not too balanced since all the bass in missing.
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      09-29-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jippii ensio View Post
I was just about to order Individual Audio front mid-ranges, tweeters, connecting lines, corner moldings, seals and spring clips when I read this. However, I think I should continue ordering as I have e92 that has less room for speakers and OEM Individual Audio is more shallow than Rainbow? The only downside is that I don't know if 4" mid is really worth that much per piece...

I assume that despite of having Oct 2006 e92 and the availability of individual audio listed is from mid 2007 onward, it should still fit?

What are the "+core" notes on the real-OEM? Something to do with the speaker grill, of which part number I did not find anywhere yet?

Would I need "Plug housing on request"? They list 6 of them in total.
The OEM Individual Audio mids will fit your E92, but that's not the real issue. The issue is what you are going to use as an amplifier for those speakers as the Individual speakers impedance is double your current OEM speakers.

You cannot use your current OEM amp or HU with these speakers and expect an improvement in sound quality. You need an aftermarket amp.
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      09-29-2009, 06:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
The OEM Individual Audio mids will fit your E92, but that's not the real issue. The issue is what you are going to use as an amplifier for those speakers as the Individual speakers impedance is double your current OEM speakers.

You cannot use your current OEM amp or HU with these speakers and expect an improvement in sound quality. You need an aftermarket amp.
I've been reading your posts and JL Audio is on my shopping list with SWS-8.
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      09-29-2009, 09:27 PM   #9
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I've helped Vancouver BC customers in Portland before...
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      09-30-2009, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
Yes, Best Buy could install all this, specially if you get that harness.

Upgrading just the speakers will cause a change in impedance with the underseat woofers that will make your system sound worse.

Another option that could be even cheaper and it is actually OEM is this one:


Alpine retrofit amp kit with upgraded Logic7 front speakers for the OEM Stereo sound system (6-speaker): P/N 65410445684

I don't know the exact price, but it should be available in Canada and it is either dealer installed or by any audio shop using the instructions attached below.

Thanks again for the reply, I called the dealer today in Canada and they say it is a special order and they don't know the price. It seems like this is the thing I am looking for, where else can I buy it? any online stores in states or in Canada?
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      09-30-2009, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post
Thanks again for the reply, I called the dealer today in Canada and they say it is a special order and they don't know the price. It seems like this is the thing I am looking for, where else can I buy it? any online stores in states or in Canada?
That's a dealer part and it is not available yet in the USA...
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      10-29-2009, 03:22 PM   #12
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Technic:

I have an e90 6 speakers. Ive changed the 4 in the doors for kappa 42.7, Do you say now i have a problem with the subs under the seats now?

Thanks
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      10-30-2009, 11:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidarg View Post
Technic:

I have an e90 6 speakers. Ive changed the 4 in the doors for kappa 42.7, Do you say now i have a problem with the subs under the seats now?

Thanks
iDrive or OEM HU?

The iDrive (CCC/CIC/M-ASK) is atable at 2 ohms, the OEM HU is stable at 4 ohms. The kappa 42.7 are 2 ohms, and the 6 speaker configuration is wired with the front doors speakers connected in parallel to the underseat woofers with an inline capacitor to keep the overall impedance at 4 ohms when you use the OEM HU. There's no inline capacitor with the iDrive.

What that means is that regardless of your system you are theorically outside their published stable impedance.

Sooner or later this could cause issues with your unit depending on how loud you play your music and for how long.
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      10-30-2009, 11:53 AM   #14
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A few general suggestions:

Normally, the problem with ANY audio system is either the source or the amplification. Anybody can tweak the amplification of the cheapest speakers and make them sound OK - BOSE has been doing that for years.

The problem is that inexpensive amplifiers tend to increase distortion. Distortion not only muddies the sound but also kills speakers. The low resistance drivers and thin cabling magnify these problems.

Back when I was selling high end audio, we used to have people coming in and saying "I got these 500 watt speakers and they blew and my amps only put out 100 watts." We used to tell them to buy a bigger amp and their problems went away.

Step one to resolve audio sound quality issues is ALWAYS to get a better (not always bigger) amp. Once that is installed, see what else needs to be tweaked but most likely your problems are gone by that time.
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      10-30-2009, 12:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post

Normally, the problem with ANY audio system is either the source or the amplification. Anybody can tweak the amplification of the cheapest speakers and make them sound OK - BOSE has been doing that for years.
But Bose sounds like ass, which makes your statement invalid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post

The problem is that inexpensive amplifiers tend to increase distortion. Distortion not only muddies the sound but also kills speakers.
I used to think this as well, and I was wrong, too. Two things blow up speakers - too much power and too much power. If the speakers blow with too small an amp, their RMS ratings were a lie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
Step one to resolve audio sound quality issues is ALWAYS to get a better (not always bigger) amp. Once that is installed, see what else needs to be tweaked but most likely your problems are gone by that time.
You are wrong. You might have been right at some time in the past, but you are not correct today. Many SQ issues in today's OE-amplified systems can be addressed with better-behaving transducers. Dynamics is not one of those issues, and neither is sub-bass extension, but there are many more offensive flaws in OE systems besides those two shortcomings.

How many car audio systems have you done?
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      10-30-2009, 12:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
But Bose sounds like ass, which makes your statement invalid.
I was being nice. I've never heard a BOSE system that sounded accurate, but they've got the American public brainwashed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
I used to think this as well, and I was wrong, too. Two things blow up speakers - too much power and too much power. If the speakers blow with too small an amp, their RMS ratings were a lie.
Of course it is true that too much power can blow up a speaker, but the most common issue is too small of an amp. Overdriving a small amp will lead to horrendous distortion. I have a nice little 5 watt amp at the house that can blow up virtually any speaker - mmmm - the smell of a burning coil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
You are wrong. You might have been right at some time in the past, but you are not correct today. Many SQ issues in today's OE-amplified systems can be addressed with better-behaving transducers. Dynamics is not one of those issues, and neither is sub-bass extension, but there are many more offensive flaws in OE systems besides those two shortcomings.
If you are saying that there are differences in speakers then of course you are correct and you probably can improve the sound of a system by adding better speakers, but the biggest gain, then and now, is to provide the speaker with cleaner power.

Quite simply, the quality of consumer grade electronics has decreased in the last twenty years because the average consumer has lost interest in accurate sound. I'll be grad to debate this with you, but we should probably take it offline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
How many car audio systems have you done?
A handful - but that is completely beside the point.

Given the audio environment in a car, I believe it is impossible to get anything close to accurate sound in any normally priced car and I believe that a car would have to be designed around a sound system in order for it to be even close. The Porsche Panamera does a credible job and the B&O systems in Audis aren't half bad, but no "common" car has a good audio system and I firmly believe that it is impossible to add one.

That isn't to say that you can't get a pleasant sounding system in a car. The Logic7 system is a huge step up from the base system - as is the aforementioned B&O. The Levinson systems in the Lexus is another example but again - none reproduce sound accurately.
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      10-30-2009, 01:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
I was being nice. I've never heard a BOSE system that sounded accurate, but they've got the American public brainwashed.
No, so you were being condescending, assuming we are just poor car audio guys who think Amar is God.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
Of course it is true that too much power can blow up a speaker, but the most common issue is too small of an amp. Overdriving a small amp will lead to horrendous distortion. I have a nice little 5 watt amp at the house that can blow up virtually any speaker - mmmm - the smell of a burning coil.
Most Class AB amps at full clip can only double their voltage at RMS power. It's a question of their electrical capabilities. Like I said, you're wrong - distortion in and of itself does not burn a voice coil. There is an outstanding argument on ultrasonic noise on tweeters, but I no longer buy even that. The most common failure is overrated speaker Pe. This used to be a huge debate on many audio forums, but seems to be a dead issue now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
If you are saying that there are differences in speakers then of course you are correct and you probably can improve the sound of a system by adding better speakers, but the biggest gain, then and now, is to provide the speaker with cleaner power.
That's like saying that if your car has bald tires and shot shocks, the handling gets better with better power. More power exacerbates nasty electromechanical tendencies, it doesn't mask them. If the speaker mechanically WANTS to resonate at a given note and distort at another, more power (applied linearly) won't change that. Remember, speaker drivers add 5-50X more harmonic distortion than amplifiers do. (IM distortion is rarely rated for car amps any longer, and I think faster silicon may have obviated a lot of the old IM global negative feedback issues).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
Quite simply, the quality of consumer grade electronics has decreased in the last twenty years because the average consumer has lost interest in accurate sound.
.
True but irrelevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
A handful - but that is completely beside the point.

Given the audio environment in a car, I believe it is impossible to get anything close to accurate sound in any normally priced car and I believe that a car would have to be designed around a sound system in order for it to be even close.
A lot has happened in the past decade. I don't think that car can equal home, but there are a lot of advances which allow us to overcome or dilute the obstacles you mention. Since I get little time in front of the Audio Research/Theta/Counterpoint/Thiels any more, and too much time in the car, the potential reward is far greater even if the absolute potential is more limited.

I am no longer a true home two-channel expert - too much has changed. However, this is my bag, baby.
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      10-30-2009, 02:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
That's like saying that if your car has bald tires and shot shocks, the handling gets better with better power.


A lot has happened in the past decade. I don't think that car can equal home, but there are a lot of advances which allow us to overcome or dilute the obstacles you mention. Since I get little time in front of the Audio Research/Theta/Counterpoint/Thiels any more, and too much time in the car, the potential reward is far greater even if the absolute potential is more limited.

I am no longer a true home two-channel expert - too much has changed. However, this is my bag, baby.
Actually, adding more power to blown shocks and bald tires won't help, but - as long as your tires are somewhat street legal - new shocks will improve handling over new tires. Just like a better amp will provide the gains I spoke of.

It is also quite obvious that we are both saying similar things - a car setup will never be perfect and you have to approach upgrades as a system. We just disagree on what to do first.

BTW, I used to be on the board of the Society of Audio Consultants in their heyday in the '70's so I'm not completely clueless.

Oh, and your comment about Bose - I'd bet you that the vast majority of american consumers believe that a Bose system (car or house) is the cat's meow. Those of us that believe otherwise are a very small minority. I wasn't being condescending, I was just trying not to start a Bose argument.

Truth be told, even though the systems only sound fair, they are one of the companies that drove US automakers to install better quality sound from the factory and led to a revival of better car audio for the masses.

I think we tend to forget that the average consumer never modifies anything in his car - and that includes the radio.
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      11-06-2009, 08:39 PM   #19
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Speakers blow when the amplifier driving them clips, or exceeds its ability (analogous to a muscle cramping). Amps throw out a huge amount of energy when they clip- an unbalanced waveform (distortion spike). The nature of this distortion is different than regular nominal distortion of an amplifier operating within its capacity. The far most common source of blown speakers is an amp that is driven beyond its ability (the energy spike overheats the voice coil which melts the winding insulation and shorts out), although it is possible to simply overdrive a speaker with too much energy where the element will exceed its travel limits and physically strike the frame or overheat the voice coil. Probably 100 to 1 occurances, first failure cause vs. second.
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      11-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVO View Post
Speakers blow when the amplifier driving them clips, or exceeds its ability (analogous to a muscle cramping). Amps throw out a huge amount of energy when they clip- an unbalanced waveform (distortion spike). The nature of this distortion is different than regular nominal distortion of an amplifier operating within its capacity. The far most common source of blown speakers is an amp that is driven beyond its ability (the energy spike overheats the voice coil which melts the winding insulation and shorts out), although it is possible to simply overdrive a speaker with too much energy where the element will exceed its travel limits and physically strike the frame or overheat the voice coil. Probably 100 to 1 occurances, first failure cause vs. second.
Analogy is suspect in this case.

There are many professionals in the field who vociferously disagree with your characterization. An amplifier's power supply swings only so far. At full clip, the output of the amplifier is STILL limited by the power supply. Unless you are advocating the also-disputed idea that ultrasonic energy is more damaging to a voice coil than audio-bandwidth signals, which is a different argument, and as I said is still disputed.

The most common cause of blown speakers is input power exceeding the actual Pe of the voice coil (regardless of the published "Power Handling", which in most cases is not related to the technical Pe rating of the voice coil).

Overexcursion damage is not VC damage and should be excluded from a discussion of "blown" VCs per se. Over-excursion of a speaker occurs most often in woofers, is not caused by ultrasonic energy but by high amounts of clamped DC, and again is limited by the amplifier's power supply.
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      11-07-2009, 11:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post

BTW, I used to be on the board of the Society of Audio Consultants in their heyday in the '70's so I'm not completely clueless.

Those of us that believe otherwise are a very small minority. I wasn't being condescending, I was just trying not to start a Bose argument.

I think we tend to forget that the average consumer never modifies anything in his car - and that includes the radio.
We are not in an average consumer community, we are in an Audio section of a forum, where we can safely decide to deliver a message which is more frank and less "spun". A significant percentage of the posters in this subforum are looking for some form of audio upgrade, and sub-only boomer upgrades are less common than you would think (even now that E9x cars are coming off lease and hitting the CPO market, which is when the thump-thump crowd hit the E46 scene pretty hard...)

And I still think your message was condescending, whether you meant it to be or not, and I sincerely suggest you look at that.

If Bose is perceived to be so good at audio, where is their position in home theatre speakers as market share? I can tell you that the confidential projections I've seen as recently as a year ago don't list Bose near the top of actual shipped units. I think they are seen as a technology company and have a good brand, but they sell audio-related gear today, rather than speakers.
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      11-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #22
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hi technic.

those rca cables you linked :http://www.shopatron.com/products/pr...r=91803/1451.0 are there any similar cables from this site:http://www.woofersetc.com as i want to combine shipping..

and if i want to upgrade my rear speakers, what to you suggest ? the same rainbow as in front ?
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