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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I'd give my thoughts on the new F56 HK system, compared to the old one. First of all, in my experience it always takes a good few hours of listening for the sound to develop in any new system. For the old HK I though it was rubbish at first, then it really improved and became pretty impressive (especially compared to the MINI Loudspeaker System I'd had before). The new one again disappointed at first, but now after a week it's really coming on. Compared to the old one, it lacks some outright volume, but the sound is warmer and more involving - I'm hearing details now I'd not noticed before - and the sound stage is a lot better - you feel you're sitting right inside the music now. At first I thought the bass speakers (which are under the front seats) weren't working, but they have become gradually louder and I've realised they're very deep and quite subtle. If you play something electronic with a heavy bass and put your hand under the seat you can feel a rhythmic breeze as the air pumps up and down! I found the old HK was best suited for electronic music (stuff like Jon Hopkins, Fourtet...) and rock (from classic Pink Floyd, Led Zep up to post rock stuff like Mogwai, Isis) but the new one is good enough for even real thrashy death metal (brings out layers you couldn't hear before) and maybe even classical as well with its really wide dynamic range (helped also by the fact that the petrol F56 I have now is much quiter inside than the R56 Dooper). So overall it's definitely a higher quality system - sounds more like a proper hifi. Can't wait to get back in the car now....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Source is a 32GB USB stick with most of my itunes library on it, mostly AAC files at 256kbs. No CD player unfortunately. But it's good to get all the artwork on screen and with the Visual Boost (which I didn't have before) and the rotary controller it's so much easier to browse through several hundred playlists! I had thought some stuff I had was too complex to reproduce well from a compressed format, but with the new HK these sound a lot better! I might try encoding some CDs lossless and see whether I can tell the difference.

I also have an Android phone with Spotify but haven't tried that yet. However a bonus I didn't expect is that I can stream from the phone over bluetooth - I only have the standard bluetooth you get with Pepper pack, HK and Visual Boost, so not extended bluetooth (I don't think...)
 

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Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad I added it to my spec. I've been told the car also has a 20GB hard drive installed?
 

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I understand Apple may be going 24bit quality and this will be fantastic if true. My iTunes Radio did sound good on the Hk streaming. Even on the standard Cooper iTunes radio the sound was good. The source and quality of the recording of the music is the most important the speakers come in second.
You can down load some 24bit music from linn.com on a Usb stick. Apple doesn't allow 24bit on iPhone, iPad or iPod but you can use Apple Macbook's.
 

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This is what works for me: (but I don't have the HK system, just the visual boost with the sub woofers under the front seats)

AAC (*.m4a) @ 320kbps
AIFF @ 48kHz 16-bit
MP3 @ 320kbps
WAV lossless
WMA @ 192kbps
WMA lossless
WMA variable bit rate



I haven't tried lower bit rates but clearly they would work. Apple lossless didn't work for me.


I didn't realise sound systems matured after a little while? But I'm definitely not a sound engineer nor audiophile.
 

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Re sound maturing over time - I was a bit sceptical until I bought a pair of decent headphones recently and was told the self same thing .
 

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all mechanical things need time to bed in... and speakers are no different.
depending what materials they are made from will depend on how they bed in, and sound will soften off after some time listening.

im not a total fan of the new hk system and think over the years they have changed enormously in their sound ideals...

my 2003 mc was all big bad ass bass, not exactly what id call hifi, but was good for southend seafront with the windows down, blasting out my latest house mix.

Then in 2012 my mcs had the hk sound installed... omg, who stole the bass?
talk about as subtle as a sledge hammer... the difference was night and day... while it became more hifi i wasnt overly taken by the sound, but it was nice and loud...

then the latest mcs.... its like they have stolen the bass and volume... when going back to 2003.

i have 1500 miles on the clock now... and im still not completely happy with the hk sound... its changed a bit but i cant say its got to the listening volumes i enjoy (deaf dj).

i think ive been spoiled by my B&W home hifi. but you cant go making comparisons between home hifi costing 4 or 5 times the amount of the hk option.. hardly fair lol

i mainly use mp3 320 or wav... dont see the point in using lossless formats that have little support form anyone in particular. i guess if i was to use lossless it would be flac, the open source stuff rather than the apple flava...

i dj as a sideline career and done countless tests with file formats and always come back to wav, or a second best with mp3 320... all the others colour the sound or rip the bottom end out of the audio. Taking 50hz or less out of a track is a bad thing to do, and this is what many of the compressed formats seem to do to shrink the file.

Sound isnt just hearing, its feeling too.. and those low end notes missing is a bad thing.

At the radio station i work, ogg (Ogg Vorbis) is a very common format.. and its pretty good too, if this was widely supported and with my cdj's id probably use this over mp3 320. But like my dj players, the mini doesnt support it either :(

the old betamax / vhs debate reoccurring again... common request over quality!

Still, i wouldnt run with the standard mini hifi... and would always spec the HK... id rather mini install than my local car hifi shop or me spend days installing... and for the money it aint bad!

Also glad to see all those stupid sound effects have long gone... hall in Munich, stadium in Los Angeles or a Church in Canterbury... what was the point of that.. did any one use those?
 

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(Apologies in advance for sounding like a thicko....)

I'm keen NOT to use my ipod in my MINI - I hate the thought if it sitting there in full view of potential thieves.
So I intend on using a USB stick instead.
I would like to get a 64GB (I have a 80GB Classic iPod, so even then I'll have to choose what I want and don't).
My question is this .... is all I need to do is simply copy files from my iTunes library, on to the USB stick or do I need the Apple software too?

Told you I'd sound like a thicko (and sorry for going a bit O/T!)
 

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(Apologies in advance for sounding like a thicko....)

I'm keen NOT to use my ipod in my MINI - I hate the thought if it sitting there in full view of potential thieves.
So I intend on using a USB stick instead.
I would like to get a 64GB (I have a 80GB Classic iPod, so even then I'll have to choose what I want and don't).
My question is this .... is all I need to do is simply copy files from my iTunes library, on to the USB stick or do I need the Apple software too?

Told you I'd sound like a thicko (and sorry for going a bit O/T!)
simply make folders on your memory stick and copy your itunes music to those folders in what order you like.

the folder will sort of act as a playlist...

no software is required.

the only issue you may encounter is if you have used apple lossless format to import music from cd's or whatever. all itunes purchased m4a files will work fine tho, as they are essentially mp4's @ 256k
 

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Volume

Got the new Mini Cooper s with HK last week....preparing the full report. One quick question/obervation.

System sound good but anyone else note the when using Bluetooth or deezer streaming the volume has to be at almost maximum to get a decent level of volume in the system?
 

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Got the new Mini Cooper s with HK last week....preparing the full report. One quick question/obervation.

System sound good but anyone else note the when using Bluetooth or deezer streaming the volume has to be at almost maximum to get a decent level of volume in the system?
I'm awaiting a MCD. In my current Toyota which plays audio from my iPhone via bluetooth, you have to have the volume turn up max on the phone, and then use the system to control it. When I plug it in using USB (as I usually do to preserve battery), the system controls the sound regardless of what the volume on my phone is and this generally works best!

Hope that helps!

J
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
>> My question is this .... is all I need to do is simply copy files from my iTunes library, on to the USB stick or do I need the Apple software too?

I use a 32GB USB, and a program called Playlist Exporter from the Apple App store on my iMAC. With this you just select the playlists you want to export and it copies all the files over into directories for artists, albums etc. That way you can browse in your MINI by playlist, or artist, or genre. It works really well.
 
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