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Speaker upgrade

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@AnthonyG30 there are plenty of aftermarket options that don’t cost the earth - have a look into what @ally has done above. Will all be professionally done and will sound better than anything BMW will fit as standard, with the exception of probably the B&W Diamond system. 

Edited by Back2Beemer

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On 23/12/2019 at 16:44, AnthonyG30 said:

Volume-wise I think I will have to just put up with things as there's no way I can run new wiring the length of the car and pull the dash apart to wire in an amplifier, and I'm not about to have some youngster from a car shop hashing it thanks very much.

I may do a wee write up when I do my install, but as Geobob says, getting the HU out is very simple on this car. If there is room there,  I will mount the amp behind the HU somewhere, but if not it, then will be under one of the front seats. No need to run wires the length of the car in any case.  

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1 hour ago, ally said:

I may do a wee write up when I do my install, but as Geobob says, getting the HU out is very simple on this car. If there is room there,  I will mount the amp behind the HU somewhere, but if not it, then will be under one of the front seats. No need to run wires the length of the car in any case.  


I’d be really interested to see how you get on! 

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3 hours ago, ally said:

I may do a wee write up when I do my install, but as Geobob says, getting the HU out is very simple on this car. If there is room there,  I will mount the amp behind the HU somewhere, but if not it, then will be under one of the front seats. No need to run wires the length of the car in any case.  


I would be interested too. I’m not really into car mechanics or electrics but I think from looking at a video on bimmerpost (bavsound?) I think I could easily replace the door speakers with a decent speaker+tweeter set. No likelihood of getting to the underseat subs though or any major wiring, but if there’s a simpler way of installing an amplifier.

 

Pictures too please!

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I’ll do the same, hoping to fit the amp in the next few days but with a young family that is never the easiest.

 

Speakers I am still deciding on, however edging towards plug and play now rather than messing about. 

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2 hours ago, AnthonyG30 said:


I would be interested too. I’m not really into car mechanics or electrics but I think from looking at a video on bimmerpost (bavsound?) I think I could easily replace the door speakers with a decent speaker+tweeter set. No likelihood of getting to the underseat subs though or any major wiring, but if there’s a simpler way of installing an amplifier.

 

Pictures too please!

The under seat subs are probably the easiest things to do apart from the rear shelf speakers, 4 bolts, tip the seats back and you have access to the grilles then. Most systems you buy will be plug and play, with no wiring involved, and all completely reversible when it comes to changing the car. 

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3 hours ago, Back2Beemer said:


I’d be really interested to see how you get on! 

I’m away on Sunday for a few weeks so it will be about 4 weeks or so when I get round to it. 
All the kit has arrived though. 

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My mate is going to put my new twin coaxial speakers in the doors on the 8th Jan I will report back after 

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On 25/12/2019 at 23:10, ally said:

The under seat subs are probably the easiest things to do apart from the rear shelf speakers, 4 bolts, tip the seats back and you have access to the grilles then. Most systems you buy will be plug and play, with no wiring involved, and all completely reversible when it comes to changing the car. 


I had a look at newtis and while the door speakers look straightforwards, ISTM the instructions involve taking the seats out to access the subs. Which means disconnecting the battery and wiring (and a warning about the pyrotechnics!). Can you actually do it without doing all that then?

Edited by Boba

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7 hours ago, Boba said:


I had a look at newtis and while the door speakers look straightforwards, ISTM the instructions involve taking the seats out to access the subs. Which means disconnecting the battery and wiring (and a warning about the pyrotechnics!). Can you actually do it without doing all that then?

 

All you need to do is loosen the 4 bolts holding the seat down and tilt the seat backwards to access the subs. No need to disconnect the wiring.

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58 minutes ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

All you need to do is loosen the 4 bolts holding the seat down and tilt the seat backwards to access the subs. No need to disconnect the wiring.


I’ll likely upgrade the subs too if that’s the case. TBH it’s difficult to tell how good or bad they are just now while the indifferent door speakers are dominating the sound.

Edited by Boba

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5 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

All you need to do is loosen the 4 bolts holding the seat down and tilt the seat backwards to access the subs. No need to disconnect the wiring.

Beat me to it, that’s how I will do it

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Well it has not really gone to plan. I fitted the amp up and had it running. However I really struggled with getting the wiring into place behind the head unit. To the point that I ended up losing i-drive altogether. I also dropped a mounting screw down behind the head unit lost into the bowels of the dashboard. Anyhow I stripped the wiring out again returning to standard and I-drive was still dead.

 

After much panicking I started to think logically and checked the fuses, there are many!! Anyhow a small 15 amp had blown and on replacing all was working again. 
 

 

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Thanks for sharing the photos.
I thought the HU could be removed without removing the trim above, and thought the trim removal was only really required for removing the screen itself. 
Sounds like it’s too tight for the amp and the wiring behind there from what you say.  Audiotec Fischer did tell me they prefer to install the amp under the passenger seat. 
Did you connect the amp again once you got the fuse replaced? 

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8 minutes ago, ally said:

Thanks for sharing the photos.
I thought the HU could be removed without removing the trim above, and thought the trim removal was only really required for removing the screen itself. 
Sounds like it’s too tight for the amp and the wiring behind there from what you say.  Audiotec Fischer did tell me they prefer to install the amp under the passenger seat. 
Did you connect the amp again once you got the fuse replaced? 

It may be the case that you can avoid removing the top trim, I did not disconnect wiring so it was merely loose. I think the amp would only really go under the passenger seat (or the boot with longer wiring). I have not connected the amp up again since, the amp was in the footwell at the time I blew the fuse so the wiring issues were caused by the adapter connector at the back of the head unit and the lack of space. I am not sure if I am going to try again or not yet.

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Update, had another go this afternoon. You can indeed get the lower panel off without taking the top trim. Whilst I was at I thought I would try again. This time a bit of careful guidance of the wiring as I pushed the unit back in resulted in it going back into place. Hooked the amp up and it is all working.

 

Sound wise it is still compromised but the compressed nature has gone, this is confirmed by playing some Hybrid albums and system challenging Metallica S&M album (thrash metal and orchestra) and them being at least listenable. Underseat speakers won’t take a lot of volume before they lose control and obviously just a mid range door speaker is not that great. I will have a play with the DSP as I suspect it has been set for another vehicle.

 

Next to secure the amp under the seat properly and look at getting the speakers sorted. By the time I am done it will be about £600 spent but at least there will be a second hand value when the car gets changed in about 3 years.

Edited by Geobob

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17 hours ago, Geobob said:

Update, had another go this afternoon. You can indeed get the lower panel off without taking the top trim. Whilst I was at I thought I would try again. This time a bit of careful guidance of the wiring as I pushed the init back in resulted in it going back into place. Hooked the amp up and it is all working.

 

Sound wise it is still compromised but the compressed nature has gone, this is confirmed by playing some Hybrid albums and system challenging Metallica S&M album (thrash metal and orchestra) and them being at least listenable. Underseat speakers won’t take a lot of volume before they lose control and obviously just a mid range door speaker is not that great. I will have a play with the DSP as I suspect it has been set for another vehicle.

 

Next to secure the amp under the seat properly and look at getting the speakers sorted. By the time I am done it will be about £600 spent but at least there will be a second hand value when the car gets changed in about 3 years.

Good going, glad you got that sorted out. 
You can download settings for your car from Audiotec Fischer and load them in to the DSP from an SD card. That’s how I’ll do mines as otherwise I would never be done playing about with the settings. 

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3 hours ago, ally said:

Good going, glad you got that sorted out. 
You can download settings for your car from Audiotec Fischer and load them in to the DSP from an SD card. That’s how I’ll do mines as otherwise I would never be done playing about with the settings. 

Yes I have seen that, though I don’t have a micro sd card to hand sadly and will have a go myself on the pc program (I have had to borrow a pc laptop as I am a Mac user, and I know I can partition to run Windows but I started getting compatibility issues). As for playing with the settings I am used to that sort of thing with an Alpine headunit I have in a T5 Caravelle, after a while you settle on something and just leave it. 

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On 05/01/2020 at 13:25, Geobob said:

Yes I have seen that, though I don’t have a micro sd card to hand sadly and will have a go myself on the pc program (I have had to borrow a pc laptop as I am a Mac user, and I know I can partition to run Windows but I started getting compatibility issues). As for playing with the settings I am used to that sort of thing with an Alpine headunit I have in a T5 Caravelle, after a while you settle on something and just leave it. 

Yep, indeed. Everyone hears different things in music. 

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I have not yet tuned the base system yet to run with the Match PP 52DSP, however I can hear enough to know that they will need changing. Within the midrange speaker there is a frequency band that seems OK, but the dreadful bass and lack of tweeter is always going to be impossible to tune up ideally no matter what DSP and software you have.

 

In terms of options out there there really don't seem like a huge number of true plug and play options. However based on the Eton website and list of compatible models it does seem that the 3 series F3* range has the same speakers. This does open up a few options.

 

Talking of Eton I have decided to overlook these as an option, I feel the under seat woofers are expensive and the B100 component range looks nice but actually lacks spec (ie no passive crossover).

 

The Match speaker range looks quite appealing, not only is it decent looking value whilst running passive crossovers, it also would match (no pun intended) the amp I have. However I am not sure about the wiring side of things and it certainly looks like the midrange does not accept the BMW fitment speaker cabling.

 

However I think the winner is most likely be the Rainbow IL C8.3 F range, it appears that I can get them for cheaper (from Germany) than the Match setup and they are well renowned for quality. Plus the whole setup it completely plug and play. The only thing is the slightly complicated crossover network but this is only to offer tweaks to the setup that the DSP will cover anyway. It is not listed for G3* cars but I believe it will be compatible based on the F3* observations above.

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I think what you’ve found so far confirms that the speakers are the weakest point and certainly easiest to fit first. So I’ve bought a set of Audison supposed to be plug n play which I hope to fit this month sometime. I have a friend with a barn I can use, but it’s still rather cold for faffing around!! I have door speakers, tweeters and underseat subs which Audison recommend. Their top recommendation includes an amp but I’m not up for pulling the dash apart or wiring as I’d be too worried about damaging something and I can see first how a speaker only change sounds. I don’t need more volume, so really a matter of whether the crossovers and basic ‘tone controls’ are adequate.  Still to get a pair of BMW tweeter covers. I hope the advice about rocking the front seats back to get at the subs works OK.

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2 hours ago, AnthonyG30 said:

I think what you’ve found so far confirms that the speakers are the weakest point and certainly easiest to fit first. So I’ve bought a set of Audison supposed to be plug n play which I hope to fit this month sometime. I have a friend with a barn I can use, but it’s still rather cold for faffing around!! I have door speakers, tweeters and underseat subs which Audison recommend. Their top recommendation includes an amp but I’m not up for pulling the dash apart or wiring as I’d be too worried about damaging something and I can see first how a speaker only change sounds. I don’t need more volume, so really a matter of whether the crossovers and basic ‘tone controls’ are adequate.  Still to get a pair of BMW tweeter covers. I hope the advice about rocking the front seats back to get at the subs works OK.

The speakers and the head unit output are equally the weak points in my opinion. The output from the head unit is very low in power plus badly equalised and you may find that you don't get anywhere near to the capability of the Audison speakers. Have a look and see what the minimum RMS watts is needed. As for wiring in an amp, although I had problems initially, take it from my experience that it is actually really easy - I can take you through a step by step process that actually does not include taking the top trim off despite what I did in my photos first time. So literally it is front stereo panel unclipped, 2 torx screws undone, slide out unit, unclip rear wire carrier on unit, unlock wiring block, connect wiring adaptor for the car and loom for the amp and then feed wiring down to passenger side by loosening the trim by the transmission tunnel (1 torx screw), connect up amp and test. Then once OK run wiring along transmission tunnel so that amp can be placed under the seat.

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19 minutes ago, Geobob said:

The speakers and the head unit output are equally the weak points in my opinion. The output from the head unit is very low in power plus badly equalised and you may find that you don't get anywhere near to the capability of the Audison speakers. Have a look and see what the minimum RMS watts is needed. As for wiring in an amp, although I had problems initially, take it from my experience that it is actually really easy - I can take you through a step by step process that actually does not include taking the top trim off despite what I did in my photos first time. So literally it is front stereo panel unclipped, 2 torx screws undone, slide out unit, unclip rear wire carrier on unit, unlock wiring block, connect wiring adaptor for the car and loom for the amp and then feed wiring down to passenger side by loosening the trim by the transmission tunnel (1 torx screw), connect up amp and test. Then once OK run wiring along transmission tunnel so that amp can be placed under the seat.


I guess there’s been lots of discussion about this aspect already. Audison don’t recommend a minimum RMS and you wouldn’t expect them to as it would only be relevant for complete speaker systems, not components, but in any case noone can say what someone else needs as listening volume. I don’t like loud music so the point of an amp would really only be to tailor the response. My opinion (I’m an electronic engineer) is that the head unit’s output is plenty for me, it’s only the limited controls that concern me a little. Having said that though, my Naim amp at home only has a volume control so we’ll see.

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30 minutes ago, AnthonyG30 said:


I guess there’s been lots of discussion about this aspect already. Audison don’t recommend a minimum RMS and you wouldn’t expect them to as it would only be relevant for complete speaker systems, not components, but in any case noone can say what someone else needs as listening volume. I don’t like loud music so the point of an amp would really only be to tailor the response. My opinion (I’m an electronic engineer) is that the head unit’s output is plenty for me, it’s only the limited controls that concern me a little. Having said that though, my Naim amp at home only has a volume control so we’ll see.


The problem is the output from the head unit that is tailored/compromised for the base speaker system. You don’t have a balanced equalisation feeding those speakers so the new tweeters will be fed by excessively enhanced high frequencies, and I think something similar happens with the bass too. Plus if you are relying on the under seat factory woofers do you know if the sensitivity equals that of the Audison? If they don’t the bass levels will be unbalanced with the door speakers. Don’t get me wrong on the amp thing, it’s not just about the volume but the ability for the DSP to take control of the signal and for the sound to be tailored to the car.

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10 minutes ago, Geobob said:


The problem is the output from the head unit that is tailored/compromised for the base speaker system. You don’t have a balanced equalisation feeding those speakers so the new tweeters will be fed by excessively enhanced high frequencies, and I think something similar happens with the bass too. Plus if you are relying on the under seat factory woofers do you know if the sensitivity equals that of the Audison? If they don’t the bass levels will be unbalanced with the door speakers. Don’t get me wrong on the amp thing, it’s not just about the volume but the ability for the DSP to take control of the signal and for the sound to be tailored to the car.

 

As I said above, I do have the Audison bass units which I plan to fit (and hope the seats are an easy way in).

i think it’s very unlikely that the tweeters will have excessive input especially given the attenuation of the BMW mounts.

The only niggle I have is that it’s too awkward to try to fit the mid/bass crossover so the mid range will likely be overemphasized.

Again, as I said above, I recognise the DSP frequency shaping aspect, but will wait until I hear the speakers.

Anyway - that’s what I’m doing.

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