Mini Cooper Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished doing some changes/additions to my F56 Hatch, US version. HK sound upgrade, standard HU i.e. the orange LCD.

I post this for the DYI gang with some experience dealing with aftermarket stereo upgrades, who feel somewhat daunted by the relentless bombardment of information regarding the different options available out there. This is also for the ones who want an improvement in sound quality, but with a less discerning ear like mine. This upgrade described below is nowhere near the sound quality you can get from the ones done by completely upgrading the whole $ystem, as other people have posted elsewhere in this forum.

First and foremost, if you believe the current EQ from the HK system is horrible, and that only a full upgrade will satisfy you, then this post is not for you. Nothing to see here, move along.

My ears perceived the following major deficiencies, an opinion which is of course, mine only.

- Poor low frequency response. I mean, really bad for my ears. I'm not a bass hunter, and mostly listen to rock, jazz, vocal, classic and latin music. A wide range that may or may not have a heavy bass line. But there was no well defined, clear bass I'd say below 150 Hz.

- Very muddy mid-range. Vocals were unimpressive, separation of instruments was very poor, sometimes a whole piece would have little variations in the sound as opposed to very defined lines that I could hear in my home stereo.

After a careful review of my options budget, and quotes from several car-stereo shops, I decided to go the DIY route. I upgraded my wife's Outback a year ago with JL amps and Alpine speakers, and the results were very good. Why not try the Mini then?

So, I decided to go with a high quality subwoofer and change some if not all the 4" speakers.

My solution, that enhanced the sound to a much more palatable version (not 100% of what I'd like, mind you), was acceptable for the listening periods in the relatively short commutes I live through.

- AudioControl LC2i to convert 2-channel speaker-level signal to pre-amp high quality one.
- JL Audio XD300/1v2 mono subwoofer amplifier. Signal from LC2i
- JL Audio CP108LG-W3v3 8" slot ported microsubwoofer. It's a Mini car after all. You'll be surprised of what this little JL marvel can do for bass lines.
- Dayton Audio RS100-4 4" Reference Full-Range Driver 4 Ohm (3 of these), directly dropped in all three front 4" speaker spaces. Cheap, somewhat inefficient, but very well documented performance measurements available across the intertubes
- Assorted cables, RCA connectors, tools, etc.
- Generic dampening for metal parts inside doors
- Sound dampening foam for doors
- Hand made MDF speaker adapters
- Elbow grease and 2.5 hours of work

The results are NOT spectacular, but the overall quality is very much what I expected for this upgrade under $800 USD (parts only), if you do all the work yourself. The bass is of course very much improved based on the quality of the JL components used. The mid-range is well beyond of what the original speakers could provide.

Note that I didn't upgrade the tweeters, because for my ears, the high frequencies were within acceptable quality. The full-range speakers I used have a very broad frequency response, something I needed to take into account because I don't know the digital crossover values used in the HK amp, nor the range of the crappy 4" speakers that came with the car.

I know that if I had used a 5 channel amp, a signal processor, replaced all speakers and wiring with Focals, Morel or similar, more expensive dampening, etc, the sound would be much better, but the quotes I received started at $2,300 USD with labor, and I didn't want to spend that kind of money.

I can live with this upgrade, for the money I spent.
 
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top