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Alexhad

Audio upgrade F10 - A different approach

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Hi guys, just wanted to share my recent audio upgrade completed today. I bought an F10,  520D recently and as we all know the OEM speakers are not the best. I start searching for compatible speakers and found the usual suspects, Focal IFBMW,  MTX, Bavsound stage one, Match, ESX, Harman Kardon etc. I am very price conscious and usually search for days until I am settling for something and in this case, I focused my attention towards the Focal range as I like the brand and had  135VR's and 165VR's in one of my previous BMW E46 coupe. It was out of discussion paying £5 - 600 for the IFBMW  and as I wanted to have high-quality sound for the best price I started to look for 4" Focal speakers. I found quite a few and the interesting thing is they are not advertised as compatible with BMW, I am sure they will put the price up if they will....

I bought a pair of these for the back https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Focal-AUDITOR-R-100C-4-10cm-2-Way-Car-Coaxial-Van-Door-Dash-Speakers-240W/262351114177?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

And a pair of these for the front https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Focal-Integration-ISC100-4-10cm-2-Way-Coaxial-Car-Speakers-200W-Total-Power/401093581124?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

As well 2 pairs of these https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10cm-4-Front-Rear-Door-Speaker-Adaptor-For-BMW-X3-2007-Onwards/351735857820?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

As well you will need 4 x 61138373583 and 8 x  61130006664 from BMW for a neat setup. The result is, to say the least, impressive with very clear midrange and crystal clear highs. The Integration speakers in the front have a rotary tweeter which you can adjust to face the driver and raise the soundstage and you really have the impression that the sound is coming from the pillars.

All in all, for £160 all in I find it very hard to believe that there is a better solution to upgrade your sound system to match this setup and wanted to share with you all, and believe me you will not regret it!

 

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Hi Robsey, standard setup. The difference is massive, it will get better as the speakers will bed in..

I have a friend whom has bavsound soundstage one and the Focals are better, you can feel that they have so much more to give, shame that an amp install is not an easy option. Now, I will save some money towards better 8” woofers to complement the Focals 

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Great approach Alex. 

 

I have the IFBMW and wondering how much better than the HK speakers they are, is it worth fitting them? 

 

Ive also got a pair of ISC100s which were more for the wifes 1er before it got sold. Any takers on those? 

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4 hours ago, SuperDave said:

Great approach Alex. 

 

I have the IFBMW and wondering how much better than the HK speakers they are, is it worth fitting them? 

 

Ive also got a pair of ISC100s which were more for the wifes 1er before it got sold. Any takers on those? 

Super Dave, a couple of years ago a friend of mine had an M3 with HK setup, whereas I had the Focal 135vr and 165vr. I can only tell you he was shocked at the difference in quality and that’s against HK. Not sure how good the ifbmw are but the vr’s were astoundingly good. If it was my car I would have swapped for Focals ....

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1 hour ago, paz5432 said:

Hi do you have any photos with speakers fitted ...I was looking at changing mine 

Hi, I did not take any photos as it was bitterly cold outside ...They fit like a glove with the adaptors, on the back they will fit without adaptors if you prefer (I did not use adaptors at the back) using two screws only, and you will need some thin stormguard tape. As well, insulate the holes for tweeters with duct tape. I’ll do my best and take some photos for you..

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2 hours ago, Alexhad said:

Super Dave, a couple of years ago a friend of mine had an M3 with HK setup, whereas I had the Focal 135vr and 165vr. I can only tell you he was shocked at the difference in quality and that’s against HK. Not sure how good the ifbmw are but the vr’s were astoundingly good. If it was my car I would have swapped for Focals ....

Cheers, I just need this cold weather to pass as the garage is too full to use!

 

I'm also planning on adding a layer of sound deadening to the backs of the door cards, especially the plastic door pocket moulds.

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13 minutes ago, SuperDave said:

Cheers, I just need this cold weather to pass as the garage is too full to use!

 

I'm also planning on adding a layer of sound deadening to the backs of the door cards, especially the plastic door pocket moulds.

I will give it a serious consideration, just skinned at the moment as I have done a full service as well... 

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13 hours ago, Alexhad said:

Hi Robsey, standard setup. The difference is massive, it will get better as the speakers will bed in..

I have a friend whom has bavsound soundstage one and the Focals are better, you can feel that they have so much more to give, shame that an amp install is not an easy option. Now, I will save some money towards better 8” woofers to complement the Focals 

 

Using this harness, the amp install (other than running all the wires) isn't overly complex and the OEM integration is pretty good - http://www.teamspb.co.uk/product-p/4channel2.5ql.htm

Edited by Matthew Ashton

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24 minutes ago, Alexhad said:

Thanks Matthew, sounds good! I will look into it, have you done yours with this harness? 

 

Not personally as mine came with the Business Speaker System but I had the opportunity to diagnose an issue for another forum member who had installed a Gladen One 120.4 amplifier in his base speaker system equipped car. The harness and amplifier were both pretty well constructed and the forum member did a great job running the wiring down the near-side trim into the boot where the amplifier was installed. 

 

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I did similar with the Blaupunkt plug and play solution in my old e60, sadly i dont think they do it any more of hwve gone bust. 5ch amp for fronts, rears and subs with a model specific harness, it was pretty decent. 

 

Like the look of that SPB harness. My first 4" components that fitted well and didnt break the bank were from a brand called SPB. 

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What is the difference in factory setups? I have professional media in my F11, which presumably means that as well as the bigger screen means the speaker/amp is better? I notice reference to base spec and HiFi above - what are these? I can't see any mention of anything other than the professional media when doing a VIN decode for my car.

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Professional media = 609 = 20Gb hard drive and wider screen on SATNAV.

Business media = 606 = Narrow screen.

Base sound - 6 speakers - no amp

Business Speaker = 676 = 12 Speakers and Amp.

HiFi Speaker (HK) = 677 = 16 Speakers and better Amp.

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Hi Mathew, 

 

So having the BASE setup with no AMP (explaining why it sounds so poor) would the wiring be in situ for me to just add a factory AMP if i found one on EBAY or something?? then give the speakers an upgrade at a later date??

 

 

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Hi Dave,

There is no wiring installed for the better speaker systems if your car wasn't spec'd from factory with 676 or 677. This harness will allow you to integrate a non-oem amp and speaker set up into the car: http://www.teamspb.co.uk/product-p/4channel2.5ql.htm and it works rather well with the Gladen One 120.4 amplifier.

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2 hours ago, Greenninja said:

Hi Mathew, 

 

So having the BASE setup with no AMP (explaining why it sounds so poor) would the wiring be in situ for me to just add a factory AMP if i found one on EBAY or something?? then give the speakers an upgrade at a later date??

 

 

Most find simply adding tweeters is a massive improvement without the need for adding an amp. 

However the factory tweeter location is blanked off if you don't have tweets so you need new a-pillar covers with the grills to fit them behind  - or just replace the 4" mid in the door with a coaxial tweeter/mid unit like the Focal ISC100.  

Edited by SuperDave

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I realise this discussion took place last year however I wanted to ask Alex had hopefully you are able to respond when you installed the speakers did you have to rewire the entire system who was it plug and play any response would be helpful from anyone

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5 hours ago, Faz87 said:

I realise this discussion took place last year however I wanted to ask Alex had hopefully you are able to respond when you installed the speakers did you have to rewire the entire system who was it plug and play any response would be helpful from anyone

 

It was plug and play using the existing speaker to head unit wiring.

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Hi Matthew, thanks for your response, much appreciated. Wow , Im really surprised it was as straight foward as plug and play and attaching to the existing wiring. I will go ahead and try and will update you, how I get on.

 

Thanks again. This is obviously a clever mod without the crazy price. 

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