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New f55 - Need to upgrade stereo

32680 Views 39 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  24seven

Just got my new 5-door diesel. To get a good deal I bought a demo-car which did not have the HK stereo option (Basic - 4 door speakers and small under seat subs). Love the car so far apart from the sound system which is really poor.

I plan to start with a building a under-boot-floor-sub, this weekend and then upgrade the door speakers later on.

My first thought was to get speaker signal from one of the rear door speakers, but I guess they have a lowcut at 100hz or so, does anyone know? I could off course remove a seat and get signal from one of the under seat subs, but I would prefere to tap in to a full frequecy source.

Any suggestions regarding tapping into the factory audio system are welcome!

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Nice but how are you going to feed this?where can you get a signal?
As I dont want to cut in the wiring loom, the plan is to make 3-way splitters that plugs in to the under seat woofer (high level) signal, with one end still connected to the woofers and the the other to a longer cable going back to the amps high level input. The amp has auto start when a high level signal is detected.

Have not found any info on if the signal to the underseat woofers are fullrange with a high pass filter on the speaker or if the frequencys are cut in the headunit. If it is fullrange I will most likely get a 4-channel amp instead to drive booth sub and new front door speakers.

Fokal makes replacement speakers for BMW which looks like they could fit the Mini.
Good luck sounds complex.let us know how you get on
Good luck sounds complex.let us know how you get on
Thanks! I might need it :) I've soldered my way into factory amps once or twice before to make simular installations, but you never know until it's done.

Had all parts for the sub-build lying around, so there is still budget for other mods that would make me like the car again.
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After doing a bit more research, it looks like it would be fairly easy to upgrade the underseat woofers to one of the 8" aftermarket BMW upgrades availiable from: Focal, Rainbow, Gladen, SWS, Match, Bavsound etc.

Might try that and with an amp first...
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Might be an easier solution!
I am glad I found this thread, I have an F56 That was spec'd by a local BMW rep and has everything but the HK/upgraded stereo. I first noticed it clipping after using spotify and it was annoying as ****. The dealer said it was the amp failing, so they replaced it. 2 days later its back. my 2010 S had the base stereo as well with never so much as a hiccup. The car is getting looked at again this week. :/

Btw hi! I'm Chad. nice to meet everyone!
Ok, installed Sws 8xi subs under the seats driven by an amp, helix Match 4" coaxials in the doors and its a HUGE improvement. Still have some testing to do with setting levels on the amp.

I would suggest everyone with the standard soundsystem to at least change the front door speakers to quality coaxials as this makes a real differance in sound quality.
Yes. They sound decent for the price. Sounds much better than the oem speakers.
I'm thinking to get this Gladen upgrade.
Looks like a good kit. Looked at all the simular kits (without included amp) but ruled them out because I did not want to make a hole in the windscreen pillars for the tweeters, and went with coaxials instead.

The speaker signal from the factory stereo is very tweaked EQ-wise (to make the oem $2 speakers sound anywhere near decent). This means that an external DSP or Amp with DSP is needed to to correct the signal or it will never sound really good.

I'm trying to solve this myself at the moment and right now a Mosconi DSP amp looks like the best solution.
You don't have to cut a hole in the windscreen pillars for the tweeters, you can order the HK window pillars at your dealer.
Have not seen any sites that sell them, and I guess they would be on backorder as everyting else, or did your dealer sort you out with a pair?

Have so far spent half of the HK-option, but not keen on spending alot more since getting a really noticably better sound than the HK-package would involve rebuilding the doors to accept 6,5" and a 10-12" sub in the trunk.
If its like the BMW units then you wont be able to drop the subs in per say, the HK setup uses the MOST network with fiber optics, whereas the standard stereo more than likely wont.

In BMW world most people code down to stereo and remove their digital amp and put in their own to power the speakers, so assuming its just the usual stereo interface in the back of the unit, you can supply an amp and have as many speakers as you want.
Hi Stevens,

Its not like BMW, allthough alot of BMW audio components are used.

The HK option has an amp in the trunk that feeds from speaker level from the stereo. The basic stereo has a full range signal (allthoug heavily EQ:d) under the front seats.

The front doors and under seat speakers are paralelly connected under the seats (++ --) which makes the amp load 2ohms. This is one of the reasons why its not a good idea to drive the door speakers on the oem stereo and upgraded under seat subs on an external amp. Disconnecting the under seat woofers from the oem stereo makes the impedánce higher and result in lower power to the door speakers.
Thanks 24seven, I intend to investigate this once I get mine, just to double check, are you sure the Logic7/HK setup in the mini doesnt use a digital amp over optics from the head unit with speaker wire (+ -) to the speakers themselves from the amp (in the boot)?

from the bmw setup this is how it is on all their models when you spec HK.

Non HK id expect it to be as you have said.

Normally in BMW world with HK/individual you amp the under seat subs by taking the input from the HK, using a LOC and then routing that through an amp (I have this on my E92), but this might not be BMW world :)

Thanks in advance
Sorry for the late response. As I don't have the HK-system, I can not be 100% shure, but from what I read before I started changing speakers in my car, the HK-system also feeds of speaker level. It would be easy to check when you get the car though. I´ve also had BMW:s with digital signals between HU and AMP before, so was a bit surprised when I read that Mini used speaker level to the HK amp...
Sounds interesting that they're wired parallel. Just need a 2 ohm stable stereo amp, and directly swap the drivers. Did you takea high level feed from where they enter the woofer? Any pics of the mountings etc? Assume you need to remove the seats, any airbag light issues?
They are wired in parallel at the at the under seat woofer connector. I took the feed from there.

I removed the bolts holding the seat sliders and tilted the seats (and sliders) back to access the woofers without disconnecting the airbag wires.

The problem is that the factory signal is so heavily EQ-ed (to make up for the crappy standard speakers) that there is just no way to get a decent sound without a DSP of some sort that flattens the frequency response of the signal. I does not matter how good speakers and amps you buy if the signal going in is bad...

I'm in the process of deciding which DSP to go with and what amps. Space is so limited in these cars its almost impossible.
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