Stereo upgrade: Add Amp. and replace speakers: JL, Focal, etc. - 2015 Mini Cooper Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-01-2014, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Stereo upgrade: Add Amp. and replace speakers: JL, Focal, etc.

I'm planning to add an amplifier and upgrade the stock speakers from the base six-speaker configuration. So far, Focal and JL seem to be contenders for quality replacements. I believe I'll need a pair of coaxials (non-components) for the front in four-inch size, but I can't seem to find the ones that are sure to fit. As for the back seat, I'm not sure what type of four-inch replacements would be best. And as for the subs under the seats, I'm thinking of just deleting those and adding a meatier sub in the boot. After spending 8 years of listening to a JL system, the stock speakers are really basic--not the kind of clarity, separation, and body of sound that I got used to. Who's doing audio upgrades and what are your insights and advice? Thanks, Chuck
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-01-2014, 03:36 AM
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Post Adenoid alert

Well in my short but enjoyable experience of this site, I can honestly say there have been no posts about upgrading the factory audio with aftermarket parts.
Most have simply kept the standard unit or gone for the HK system and accepted its limitations even though it is a good way better than standard. (I have spec'd HK this time myself as I can no longer be bothered with the work required to upgrade - too old now, greying beard and knees that no longer work!)

In the past I have spent some pretty serious cash and built some amazeballs systems in previous cars.
One of the best I ever did was in an E60 BMW.
I kept the head unit, sent all the wires down to a cleansweep amp from Blaupunkt (amp specially built and tuned for the E60 head unit)
This then distributed the sounds around each speaker. I tried the system at first with just a meaty 12" sub in the boot (Focal) but found that the whole system came together better when the little 8" suss under the seats were included, so I replaced them with some Focal units as well.
I can't remember the make of the speakers, I recall the were the latest thing at the time by some Italian company.
Anyway, if you want a sound system on wheels you are certainly looking at the right way of going but I would honestly keep the underseat subs (upgrade of course) use a small but punchy DVC Sub in the boot.
How will you power them? If I recall correctly the system is actually run from the head unit with separate wires going to each speaker thus allowing the head unit to control all frequencies.
My advice would be a cleansweep amp or a cleansweep unit and then an amp.

Anyway, that's just my two penneth worth.

Captain Nerd out
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-01-2014, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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That's very helpful advice. Thanks so much. JL has ruined my tolerance for stock audio, so a speaker/amp upgrade is in the cards, however dear. Danke.
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-02-2014, 11:41 AM
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I also have the 6 speaker std audio system... My main complaint would be the subs under the seat. I can barely hear a bass sound. I actually thought they missed to install the subs. In the settings I have the bass all the way up and still can´t hear it...
I would love to switch the subs for better ones but I don´t know if the original amp would be enough, also i´m worried about removing the seats and then putting them back for the subs install.
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-02-2014, 10:14 PM
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I have the non-HK system. I ordered an Audiocontrol DQ-61. It converts the speaker level signal to low level while also summing the signals to produce a full range sound to send to external amps. It also has 3 separate equalizers for front, rear and sub channels respectively. Variable delay is also included to enhance imaging. I think it will be a nice piece. I am looking at the Focal 100ARS speakers. They are a 4 inch mids with separate tweeter. I am going to flush mount the tweets in the windshield pillar trim panels. I am going to keep the stock 4 inchers in the rear for rear fill. A 4 channel amp will power front and rear speakers and a mono amp for a single 12" sub in the hatch. I bought a shallow mount Cerwin Vega that requires only .75 ft in a sealed enclosure. My sub box is 37.5 x 15 x 4.25 made of half inch mdf with internal bracing. JL and Kenwood and others make shallow mount subs. (My box is about .96 ft3) The rear hatch has about 4" deep well where the amps will just sit on the hatch floor. The sub box will sit above it on the side rails. Look in your car and this will make sense. My sub will fire down. I'm losing a few inches of hatch space but it's not too bad. I am leaving the stock 6 inchers under the seat for mid bass. They will be powered by an amp also. I hope to start the wiring the weekend. I think shallow mount 8's can be used under the seat in an infinite baffle setup assuming the woofer is designed for free air application. Removing the seat is simple. Just remember to unplug the wiring harness before trying to lift the seat out. Also, be careful not to scratch the dash or door panels with the metal seat rails while removing the seats.
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-03-2014, 02:58 AM
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Lightbulb

Hey guys, out of interest, can you possibly post pictures of the speakers you remove from the car.
It would be good to see their composition.

Now this is REALLY nerdy!
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-06-2014, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, size, dimensions, and wiring diagrams for upgrading 2014 F56 MCS stock non-HK subs, mids, and tweets would be valuable. Also pictures of removal and replacement would be really appreciated. I'm somehow not finding much online . . .yet.
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-07-2014, 12:07 AM
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I still believe if your music is not 24bit recorded then why bother with an upgrade.

You'll be surprised how good a standard system can sound playing 24bit music and you can buy a lot of 24bit music for the price of the HK speakers.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-16-2014, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Crutchfield offers a sub replacement for under the seats. Part #Ifbmwsub by Focal. You'd hear a huge difference (regardless of whether or not your source music was recorded at 24 bit. Yes, it's a compromise to play lossy sourced music on an aftermarket sound system, but it's night and day compared to a stock radio and stock speakers. Moreover, the stock F56 radio and speakers are vastly inferior to my last Min (2006). It should be the other way around, unless . . .
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post #10 of 29 Old 09-10-2014, 01:11 PM
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I am new to the whole Mini world. When I ordered my F56S, the higher end sound system wasn't available. So now I am stuck with the base, which is really pretty weak. So how difficult is it to add after market components like an amp to the stock system? Does the base unit have the capability to add an amp? will it be difficult to rewire the existing speakers? It would seem straightforward to replace the existing speakers as long as you find a set that fits.
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