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      02-07-2020, 02:57 PM   #1
ECR33
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Base Stereo audio upgrade guide for BMW F10/F11

Hi all,

I will start by quickly prefacing the following:

This guide is subjective and is not meant to be highly technical. In fact I have tried to keep it direct and user friendly for all. I will not be discussing things such as different types of signals (Hi/Lo/Balanced), and will not be discussing different kind of crossover filters and the likes. This guide is not for that. Its goal is to offer different upgrade possibilities and solutions and give ideas on how and what to do to achieve better sound in a Base Stereo F10/F11. I am not an audiophile, and my taste in audio quality may differ from others. Use of this guide is at your own risk and is for inspiration purposes only.

I finished upgrading the sound system in my European BMW F10 530D about a month ago. Thinking back on my install I recalled the hours I spent simply collecting and searching for information in order to get my install done.
This is my attempt at an easy and direct guide on how to upgrade the sound in your BMW F10/F11 with Base stereo from factory. Hopefully this can guide and ease others in their attempt to upgrade the sound.

As I live in Denmark (Northern Europe) this guide will not be 100% grammatically correct, and will focus primarily on European products.


Why upgrade, and how hard is it?

I found the clarity, volume and bass lacking when I got my F10. I came from an Audi A6 C6/4F which had base stereo from factory aswell, but that sound system sounded alot better than my newly acquired BMW F10.

Upgrading from Base Stereo is in my opinion not a hard task. If you are used to servicing your car or have installed speakers or stereo in other cars you can take this task on as well. If you have never held a wrench in your hands before, perhaps seek some professional assistance, or watch how to install the speakers (and possibly DSP/amplifier) before you decide to take on this task by yourself.

Depending on how far you take the install (more on that later) it will take several hours though. From start to finish I spent about 7 hours on the install itself, however I was in no rush. If you have removed door cards, front seats or trim in the boot on your F10/F11 before you will be able to knock it out considerably faster than me.

If you are still unsure whether you can take on this task by yourself or not, read section "Install".


Deciding how much you want to spend, and in which order

This is in my opinion the most crucial step in the process of upgrading your base stereo, and it will be the most comprehensive section in this guide. I will focus on explaining the different solutions and steps I considered. Hopefully this will aid you in having a better understanding of what to expect, and make it easier to choose the correct solution for your car.

Beneath is my (highly subjective) list of what to upgrade first in the F10. If one would like to upgrade their sound system bit by bit, this is how I would do it. Keep in mind I did it all in one go.



1. Upgrading stock 4" speakers in front doors with 4" aftermarkets speakers and adding 1" tweeters. ~€170-460 / ~$200-500

Base Stereo equipped F10s did not come with tweeters, only 4" speakers in the front and 6" (or 6,5"? can't recall) subwoofers under the front seats. Adding a good pair of vehicle specific component speakers will make a big difference. It will provide a more clear sound stage and make higher frequencies sound better and be more crisp. Remember to either buy vehicle specific components or with an adjustable crossover. Otherwise you run the risk of the tweeter volume overpowering the rest of your speakers.



2. Upgrading underseat subwoofers ~€215-470 / ~$235-520
Upgrading the underseat from stock 6" or 6,5" (can't remember) to 8" aftermarket will ofcourse give some more bass. I would only recommend upgrading these in conjuction with front door speakers to not overwhelm the stock 4" door speakers.



3. Adding aftermarket amplifier without DSP ~€100-500 / ~$100-550
Adding a nice amplifier will bring new life to your OEM speakers if this is your first upgrade. Adding it after upgrading subwoofers and doorspeakers will yield even better results. Some may advocate this is the place to start, but I would only add an amplifier after sorting out my speakers and subwoofers first.

You will also have to decide if you want a 4 or 6 channel amplifier.
4 channel = front speakers and subwoofers amplified, rear deck speakers remain powered by the cars stock headunit.
6 channel = front speakers, subwoofers and rear deck speakers amplified.

I am yet to upgrade or amplify my rear deck speakers as I am very pleased with my current set-up. If you want to buy rear deck speakers go for it, but it does not aid much in quality, they are mainly there to create the illusion of sound all around you. This does not mean one should not upgrade them, but they would be last on my list. Same goes for amplifying them.


A question I asked myself and spent many hours researching:
Is it worth adding an amplifier without DSP?
Before I upgraded my stereo I would have said no. After my install, my answer is: Probably, yes.


Before I did my own upgrade I thought it would be a waste of money as the end result would not sound good enough to my liking. Why? Simply explained (as this guide is not meant to be highly technical or delve too much into "audio quality" or be a discussion among audiophiles): I was afraid the over-equalized signal from the headunit would result in overwhelming high notes (wrong word probably) and bass, and be lacking in midrange.

I have since tried feeding a plain signal (no post equalizing) from my DSP amplifier to my aftermarket speakers, and it sounds a lot better than what i expected! So in conclusion: If you have crossovers installed that takes the F10 base stereo equalized signal into considering and you are not an audiophile, adding an amplifier without a DSP and upgrading your speakers might be the correct choice if you don't want to shell out for an amplifier with an in-built DSP.

Don't get me wrong, I think the best choice is to buy a DSP if you want the best possible results, but if you do want to save some money, a normal amplifier might be the way to go.

Important: Before buying an amplifier it is important to assess whether you want an ordinary amplifier or one with built in DSP. Some also go the whole 9 yards and decide to buy a normal amplifier and a separate DSP unit. I am a firm believer that an amplifier with built in DSP is the way to go, and I will not discuss stand alone DSP units in this guide. This does not mean a separate DSP can not give the results, simply that I know an in-built DSP suited my needs just fine, and will probably suit yours as well. The benefit of a stand alone DSP is that you can have one of what ever brand you like.



4. Adding aftermarket amplifier WITH DSP
Adding an amplifier with DSP (digital sound processor) inside gives you the ability to customize equalizer settings, sound delay, add crossovers, adjust levels and even more (product dependent). This is the way to go if you want to make sure you can customize the sound to your liking and want the best possible results.

The drawback of amplifier with DSP:
Costs more than a regular amplifier
May require professional tuning for best results (~100€ / ~120$ in Denmark)



5. Throwing 12" woofers in the trunk ~€/$ ?
Don't.

On a more serious note: I actually considered this prior to my install. I was afraid the 8" aftermarket underseat subwoofers would not cut it, but after the install i can safely say they produce more than enough bass for my liking. If you get good underseat woofers, it will satisfy almost everybody I'd say. It's enough to rattle my rear view mirror and give my rear a well deserved massage after a long day of working.

if you consider adding a subwoofer in the trunk my advice is is to wait until you have replaced the underseat woofers and amplified them. It will most likely be enough.



What products and package deals to choose

Probably the most interesting part of the guide. I spent a lot of time deciding which products to go for, and watched out for deals. This list of products will not contain prices, but will start with the most expensive product (in my region) as they most likely will differ from those of you living outside of Europe. Once again, I am from Europe and this list will mainly be focusing on products available in Europe. Most of them can probably be bought in the US as well.

The list will start with individual parts for those who want to get some ideas for possible products to use. The bottom of this section will end with possible combinations I considered with their weaknesses and strengths. It will also contain thoughts and important things to consider when choosing.

Speakers:
Audison APBMW K4E
Gladen 201 Extreme
Focal IFBMW-S
Eton 100-T
Match MS 42C-BMW.2
Vibe OPTISOUNDBMW4-V4

Subwoofers:
Audison APBMW S8-4
Gladen 201 Extreme
Focal IFBMW-Sub.V2
Eton B 195 Neo
Match MW 8BMW-D
Vibe OPTISOUNDBMW8-V4

Amplifiers w/o DSP: (remember: it needs to have Hi-Input)
Mosconi Gladen One 130.4
Eton MINI 150.4
Vibe POWERBOX65.4BMW2

Amplifiers w/ DSP:
Audison AP8.9 bit
Audison AP4.9 bit
Mosconi Gladen One 130.4 DSP
Eton Stage 6 DSP
Eton Stage 4 DSP
Match PP62DSP
JL VX400/4i
JL VX600/6i

Wiring:
Eton B AK
Audison APBMW Biamp 2
TechnicPNP Stereo 4/6 harness
TechnicPNP Stereo 2/4 harness

Package deals:
Audison Sound Pack level 10
Audison Sound Pack level 9
Gladen Boxmore DSP Extreme
Gladen Boxmore DSP
Gladen Boxmore GT

Miscellaneous:
OEM tweeter door cards (51337275779 and 51337275780)
Speaker wire RCA adapters (if using wiring harness without RCA ends and your amplifier has RCA in-signal)
Sound deadening mats
Acoustic foam
Amplifier wiring
Trim removal tools



Possible end combination:
This is what I found the most interesting. Stacking different options up against each other and considering what would be the best solution.
Remember to buy a pair of tweeter door cards as our Base Stereo models comes with a blank plate instead of a cut out for the tweeter.
The sparepart numbers I bought were OEM 51337275779 and 51337275780. They fit perfectly in my 2011 530D F10.

I will start with the setup I ended up buying and installing:

My setup:
Gladen 201 Extreme components and subwoofers
Mosconi 130.4 DSP
Eton B AK wiring kit
StP Silver sound deadening mats
StP BiPlast 25mm acoustic foam
Generic amplifier wiring kit I had laying around
Tweeter door cards (OEM spareparts 51337275779 and 51337275780)
4x Wire to RCA adapters (should be included in the Eton B AK kit, sadly they're not)

Cost: €1200 / $1310

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So this is what I ended up with. The best speakers from the German brand Gladen and an Amplifier with DSP from Italian Mosconi.
I decided with this combination since it was in my pricerange (had a budget of around €1300) and I had read many positive reviews. They seemed like a great combination and I am definitely impressed with this system.
The component speakers sound great and clear. From an audio standpoint they are probably a bit "softer" than some of their competitors. Which I like. I am not a big fan of harsh tweeters.
The 8" subwoofers are great. They are punchy and precise. They can make the interior rumble and vibrate, but they can also produce bass at higher frequencies compared to say an 10 or 12" subwoofer. I like them more than i thought I would.

With the Mosconi 130.4 DSPs 130 WRMS pr channel it is more than adequate of handeling the Gladen speakers. One note: Although the software has a lot of customization it is not as widespread as some of its competitors, so you might find it a bit harder to get someone to tune it for you. With that being said it is user friendly, and I am sure anyone who can profesionally tune a DSP soundsystem will easily be able to tune a Mosconi DSP.

With wiring I went with Eton B AK wiring kit. As the other wiring products listed it gets it signal from the plug underneath each front seat at the subwoofer. That and the Audison one are more or less the same. TechnicPNP seems to be the go to in USA. I would probably have bought from him if I lived in USA. My biggest goal was to get a wiring kit that was plug-n-play with the original wiring harness. My second goal was to make it easy. This seems like the best solution. One wire going from each front seat to the left side of your trunk. That's it. No removal of the headunit (unless you want 6 channels amplified). I haven't amplified or installed other speakers in the parcel shelf yet, and don't see me doing it anytime soon. I am very pleased with the result as is.

When I had the door cards removed I decided to sound deaden the door itself and apply acoustic foam to the inside of the door cards.
It most likely aided the new 4" speakers in giving it a better "cabinet" to produce soundpressure. Road noise may have gone a bit, but it was negligible in my experience. Do it if you want, but do not expect massive results.

Strenghts:
Great sound, more volume than I'd ever want
Competitive pricing
Good quality
DSP is very user friendly

Weaknesses:
Not much support (they don't seem too popular among English speaking people)
DSP software isn't widespread (can be hard to get others reviews, share knowledge, etc.)
Had a defective crossover upon arrival (support from seller was superb, a new one was shipped right away with no problems. Did not have to prove it was broken upon arrival).




Audison 4 or 8 channel DSP (Wish it was cheaper):

AP 8.9 bit / AP 4.9 bit amplifier with DSP
AP H ASD Bypass
APBMW K4E component speakers
APBMW K4M rear speakers (if 8 channel)
APBMW S8-4 subwoofers
AP T-H BMW01 T-Harness (if 8 channel)
AP 560P&P I/O ISO extension harness (if 8 channel)
AP SPK OUT 8.9/4.9 8/4 channel amp connector (if 8/4 channel)
APBMW BIAMP 1 Wiring harness (from subwoofer to amp. connection)

Price: ~1800-2100€ / ~$1960-2290

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They seem like great speakers, and if I wanted to spend~2.000€ / 2200$ I might just have ended up with Audison Prima level 10, consisting of an 8 channel DSP amplifier, speakers in front doors and parcel shelf and the 2 subwoofers. The level 9 (no rear speakers) seemed alluring as well.
Audison (atleast in Europe to my knowledge) has a reputation of high quality and German precision. Would be cool to try out a full Audison sound system.
My only "concern": The 4 channel amplifier is rated at 4 Ohm (speakers and subwoofers are both 4 Ohm) to deliver 70 WRMS. Lower than say Mosconi at 130 WRMS. The 8 channel amplifier is only rated 35 WRMS at 4 Ohm. 70 WRMS in the 4 channel is probably adequate, but 35 WRMS? Seems a bit low, especially considering 2 of the channels are going to run 8" subwoofers.
Why not just bridge 2 channels then? Well, the amplifier is not rated to be stable in 2 Ohm. Haven't checked the subwoofers. Could the amplifier run the subwoofers bridged stable? Perhaps, but I don't want to spend that much money just to be concerned about that.

When buying a Prima DSP from them you can also register and share DSP settings with other users. Seems like a cool way to try out other settings.

Strenghts:
Great sound (possibly best in this guide)
8 channel DSP (or 4, depending on your purchase)

Weaknesses:
High pricepoint
Lower WRMS ratings than its competitors




Match Plug and Play (popular and relatively cheap):

Match MS 42C-BMW.2 speakers
Match MW 8BMW-D subwoofers
Match PP62DSP
Match BMW harness

Price: ~€970 / ~$1055

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These seem like a popular choice online. The DSP amplifier is a very popular Plug-n-play solution. The products are made by German Audiotec-Fischer. The same guys who make the rebranded BimmerTech amplifier for the American market. I am actually pretty certain the PP62DSP and BimmerTechs amplifier solution is the same, rebranded product. Feel free to verify yourself. (Edit: It's a PP86DSP (8ch, not 5/6 like the PP62). Thanks to HJE004 for the correction).

Seems like the normal go-to deal for a lot of people. I have heard different feedback on this setup, but mostly positive. I have read some saying the subwoofers are not as powerful as some of its competitors.
What swayed me away from Match products was the comparably low WRMS rating of the amplifier and the dull feedback the speakers got online. Don't get me wrong, they might be great, but at this pricepoint of speakers there are so many interesting brands. But then I got to thinking - Hmm, if I want some other perhaps more interesting speakers, I will need an amplifier with a higher WRMS rating.

Seems like a pretty good solution, definitely worth mentioning and looking into if it's within your pricerange.

Strenghts:
Popular (is a positive in my book)
Easy install
6 channels amplified
Competitive pricing
Preloaded with vehicle specific DSP settings


Weaknesses:
Might lack high volume (just guessing)
Not a very powerful amplifier




Eton:

Eton 100-T Component speakers
Eton B 195 subwoofers
Eton B AK wiring harness
Eton Stage 4 DSP / Eton MINi 150.4

Price: ~€1279 / ~$1395 (w/ DSP)
Price: ~€1089 / ~$1187 (w/o DSP)

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A setup very comparable to mine. These were one of the first I was interested in. To be honest I can't remember why I shied away from these,
but was pretty close to buying this kit instead.
The Eton wiring harness is what I used in my install, and was very pleased with the overall quality of it. Connectors simply plug into the factory
harness, you run the wiring from under each front seat to your amplifier most likely situated in your trunk, and you have Hi-input signal for your
amplifier.

Definitely worth looking into if they're within your price point.




JL and Focal: (Probably the easiest to source in the US)

Focal IFBMW-S Component speakers
Focal IFBMW-SUB.V2 subwoofers
JL Audio VX400/4i 4Ch amplifier with integrated DSP
TechnicPNP Stereo 2/4 harness(or Eton BAK) wiring harness

Price: ~€2300 / ~$2650 (might be cheaper if you shop around!)

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Fade_The_Public who has posted in this thread reminded me of glorious JL Audio, and so decided I wanted to include them as I've heard several JL sound systems kick ass, and know they're generally highly praised. I've never tried their amplifiers with DSP before, but assume the software is good and tuning options are plenty. Investigate its functions further at your own will.
The amplifier is stable at 4x 100W @ 2 ohm and 4x 75W @ 4 ohm. I've heard actual power handling of JL amplifiers are often more generous than what they state, but don't take my word for it.
75W @ 4 Ohm is low for some speakers, but the Focal speakers are rated to 40W RMS (80W max) @ 4 ohm and the subwoofers 90W RMS (180W max) @ 3.6 ohm which isn't way off the power figures for the JL amplifier. You could swap the subwoofers out for another brand, but I doubt you'll find any which will produce better (or higher) volume at the same or lower power (Watt RMS). The subwoofers are a bit pricy thought, I found they costed 499$ each (meaning 998$ a pair) on most webshops.

I can't speak to the quality or listening experience of the Focal speakers or subwoofers, but they seem to receive a lot of praise on several forums. If they're within your budget I wouldn't hesitate buying these, they're probably great sounding. The tweeters are made of aluminium which to some (me included) sounds "harsher" compared to a silk dome tweeter and can cause ear fatigue. This does not mean they're worse than silk dome at all, simply that they provide a slightly different listening experience. The Gladen 201 Extreme (my speakers) uses silk dome tweeters. This was also a compelling factor for me as I've found some aluminium dome tweeters to sound harsh, almost like a ringing. Silk dome tweeters are generally smoother, but it comes down to how each tweeter is constructed, and not just the materials used. If you're interested in different kinds of dome tweeters, simply google. I am no expert in tweeter materials, so I advice to look further into the differences if it interests you. The Focal tweeters might not sound harsh at all to anybody, I just thought it was relevant information.


Strenghts:
Great quality
Products easy to find and buy both in USA and EU

Weaknesses:
JL amplifier might lack output power for some speakers/subs
Focal subwoofers are not cheap! (around 499$ unless you get a deal)
High pricetag




Vibe: (The cheap alternative)

Vibe OPTISOUNDBMW4-V4 Component speakers
Vibe OPTISOUNDBMW8-V4 Subwoofers
Vibe POWERBOX65.4BMW2 ISO amplifier

Price: ~€710 / ~$770

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With only 710€ you are able to get a set of components, subwoofers and a small amplifier that's easy to install.
This ISO amplifier is installed without having to connect it to the battery or ground, making the install very easy compared to the other products.
You won't have to run wires from the front seats to your trunk.

If I was to do a cheaper solution like this I would either get these speakers, MTX or Match ones and pair it with a cheap but more powerful amplifier. Use a Eton B AK wiring harness, generic amplifier
wiring kit and you're good to go. That's a lot of bang for your buck. Remember your amplifier has to have Hi-Input.

I have used several Vibe products before and have been pleased. As long as you remember cost and quality often go hand in hand, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Strenghts:
Very competitive pricing
Easy install

Weaknesses:
No DSP
Lacks power
Lower quality sound compared to more expensive products




Install
Although time consuming installing speakers, subwoofers, amplifier and wiring harness isn't very difficult. I have decided not to focus much on this aspect seeing as there are a lot of good YouTube videos out there that makes the job immensely easier.

A couple of tips: Get a set of trim removal tools, or atleast a make-shift tool using duct tape around a flat-head screwdriver. Use the last tip at your own expense, I will not be reimbursing any scratched paint or trim

Make sure you have a flashlight, preferably magnetic so you can work with both hands free. You will work in some awkward body poses, so be ready for aching thighs and back.

Take your time, and do it in your own pace. Decide how much you want to do at a time. Do you want to do the whole car? Great, go for it, but do keep in mind when you take loosen/remove the front seats, you won't be able to drive until they're back in.
My approach: I started with both front doors, fairly easy, and I could always quickly put it back together and drive the car if something went wrong. Second step was removing front seats and installing the subwoofers. I knew this made the car undriveable for a couple hours, so keep that in mind. After you have installed subwoofers and routed wiring harness from the connector at the subwoofer to the trunk you can put the front and back seatsand trim insde the cabin back together and work on the amplifier and wiring in the trunk. After this you will have a driveable car and you can knock out the remaining wiring and amplifier install in the trunk at your own pace again.

Videos that explain the install and will make it easier:

German language, but high quality and shows the whole process very nicely
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10TQy97h-C0&t=

BimmerTechs speaker install
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P0vhc85nGU&t

Conclusion
Phew.. Making this guide took a lot longer than first anticipated, and got a lot more lenghty than expected.
I might have missed some stuff, so please feel free to correct me or add anything I missed.
Sadly I might have rushed the last part, I did want to include some more possible combinations (Focal, MTX, Alpine to name a few).

Lastly, I have not touched on coding to HiFi as I did not deem it necessary as I went with a DSP. Some may argue you get a cleaner signal feed to the DSP by recoding to HiFi, but then again, the whole reason we install a DSP is to equalize the signal coming to the speakers, so you will have to equalize no matter what. That's my 5 cents, and I would appreciate if this would not be another thread on whether to code to HiFi or not.

If you decide to install an amplifier without DSP coding to HiFi might be for you. However keep in mind many of the crossovers included in the vehicle specific component speakers I have included in this post has already toned down the tweeters in order to combat the modified signal in the base stereo edition.

Last edited by ECR33; 01-09-2021 at 05:20 PM..
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      02-10-2020, 06:41 AM   #2
derzai
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Wow, you've done excellent work mate.
Currently I have B&O which came with the car and I am fully satisfied with it.

But when I change my car then definitely I will use this guide!
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      02-19-2020, 10:18 PM   #3
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Good guide here. I want to add other options for DSP amplifier.
AudioControl 6 channels 200w per channel with DSP. Will accept high level speaker input up to 40V.
https://www.audiocontrol.com/car-aud...fiers/d-61200/

Instead of Match PP62DSP, I would recommend Match UP 7BMW. The underseat sub are rated at 160W which is more powerful.
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      02-20-2020, 08:11 AM   #4
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appreciate all the time and energy you put into this
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      02-20-2020, 12:13 PM   #5
ECR33
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Thanks for the suggestions!
Match UP 7BMW seems like a great DSP, but is intended for BMW's with factory option 676 (HiFi sound system). It may work with base stereo, but be sure to check for compatibility and make sure Match/Audiotec Fischer can provide a suitable cable/adapter.
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      03-02-2020, 03:23 PM   #6
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what is the website that US can look at from where you bought your stuff from? thanks!
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      03-07-2020, 11:36 AM   #7
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Great question.
I've managed to find the following websites/companies located in the US:

Mosconi and Gladen products:
ORCA Design & Manufacturing (they don't seem to have an online catalogue though, so you might want to write/call them).
WoofersEtc.com - They got my exact speakers and DSP amplifier
I'm sure Ebay and Amazon sellers has these products for sale aswell.

Eton wiring harness from front seats to amplifier (I would use TechnicPNP instead)
Sound Good Stereo

Misc. Power wiring kit to amplifier, sound deadening and bare wire to RCA adapter:
You can get those anywhere I'm sure. DynaMat or FatMat for sound deadening seem popular in the US and I can attest to those being great products. I used StP for sound deadening, they are based in Europe.

Thanks for the question lsturbointeg - I've read a lot of your posts on the forum and seen your build thread - Awesome stuff!
If anyone has any questions regarding upgrading stereo in a car with base stereo, please ask away!
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      03-07-2020, 11:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR33 View Post
Great question.
I've managed to find the following websites/companies located in the US:

Mosconi and Gladen products:
ORCA Design & Manufacturing (they don't seem to have an online catalogue though, so you might want to write/call them).
WoofersEtc.com - They got my exact speakers and DSP amplifier
I'm sure Ebay and Amazon sellers has these products for sale aswell.

Eton wiring harness from front seats to amplifier (I would use TechnicPNP instead)
Sound Good Stereo

Misc. Power wiring kit to amplifier, sound deadening and bare wire to RCA adapter:
You can get those anywhere I'm sure. DynaMat or FatMat for sound deadening seem popular in the US and I can attest to those being great products. I used StP for sound deadening, they are based in Europe.

Thanks for the question lsturbointeg - I've read a lot of your posts on the forum and seen your build thread - Awesome stuff!
If anyone has any questions regarding upgrading stereo in a car with base stereo, please ask away!
which amplifier would i use as i see there's 2 4 channel Gladen amps? because it's 4 channels i'm assuming 2 channels are used for the doors and the other 2 channels would be used for the underseat speakers? here's a question, for the underseat speakers what settings would you use on the amp as far as high pass or low pass? i've done systems before but for the BMW i was always told the underseat speakers are not really subs but midranges that compliment the doors and tweeters. are you running dedicated lines to all the speakers or just using the OEM speaker lines? thanks!

both amps are $299 and seems both are not DSP?
Gladen RC70c4 4-Channel 4 x 70W RC Line Sound Quality Amplifier

FD 75c4 - Gladen 4-Channel 480W RMS Full Range Class D Amplifier

i can get the Technic harness no problems
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Last edited by lsturbointeg; 03-07-2020 at 11:14 PM..
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      03-08-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
ECR33
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Edit: Thanks for the interest! I'll try and answer all your questions:

Quote:
i'm assuming 2 channels are used for the doors and the other 2 channels would be used for the underseat speakers?
Exactly. With a 4 channel amplifier your outputs would be the following:
Channel 1: Left front door (powering 4" midrange and 1" tweeter).
Channel 2: Right front door (powering 4" midrange and 1" tweeter).
Channel 3: Left underseat subwoofer.
Channel 4: Right underseat subwoofer.
The door speakers should be connected with a crossover. Some crossovers has variable resistance, some has not. If you go with the 201 Gladen Extremes you can choose to cut 0, 1 or 2 wire-loops for increased resistance (meaning less power to the tweeters). I cut wire loop 2 (2,7 Ohm) for each crossover and am happy with the power going to the tweeters. If you code to HiFi you should probably avoid cutting any of the crossover wires.

Wire loop resistances for Gladen 201 Extreme:
Wire 1 (red): 3,9 Ohm
Wire 2 (black): 2,7 Ohm

You disconnect the factory 4" speaker and use the factory speaker connector to connect your new crossover.

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Quote:
here's a question, for the underseat speakers what settings would you use on the amp as far as high pass or low pass? i've done systems before but for the BMW i was always told the underseat speakers are not really subs but midranges that compliment the doors and tweeters.
I would advise to put them around frequency crossover range of what the manufacturer specifies for the speakers you choose.
Crossover frequencies vary from one product to another. IIRC Gladen recommends low pass filter (for subwoofers) at around 100 to 130 Hz and high pass (door speakers) at around 180 Hz.

I had my crossovers set to the following when I first installed my setup:

Channel 1 and 2: 125 Hz Highpass Butterworth -24dB
Channel 3 and 4: 150 Hz Lowpass Butterworth -24dB

I drove with those amplifier (well, DSP in my case) crossover settings over a month and it sounded great. I have since had my DSP professionally tuned, but for starters those are good crossover passes in my book for the Gladen 201 Extreme.
If you opt for an amplifier without DSP, don't worry about the "Butterworth -24dB". It's just a subtype of filter.

As for the midrange or sub question regarding the underseat speakers:
Well, I can't recall what frequencies they play from factory, but with the crossover filters explained above we can conclude that they play low frequencies when adding an amplifier thus making them subwoofers (at least in my book). They may very well play higher frequencies without an aftermarket processed signal (crossovers) to aid the 4" which is responsible for midrange and highrange from factory.
That's another benefit of adding tweeters; the tweeters takes care of the high frequencies, 4" midrange can handle midrange and the subwoofers can handle the low frequencies. That gives us a better and cleaner soundstage.

From factory you only have a 4" full range speaker and a 6-6,5" underseat "low range" speaker. Those have to take care of all frequencies, making the sound stage muddy and overly equalized.


Quote:
are you running dedicated lines to all the speakers or just using the OEM speaker lines?
I'm running Eton BAK wiring harness from the left side trunk where my amplifier with DSP is located up to the underseat subwoofers. The Eton BAK harness plugs directly into the subwoofers connectors and into the OEM door speaker loom. So it's OEM speaker wiring from the connector under the front seats and to the Gladen crossover in each door. I am sure the OEM door speaker wires can handle the power, I wouldn't be concerned about that.

Here is a crude illustration of the wiring:

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Quote:
both amps are $299 and seems both are not DSP?
Gladen RC70c4 4-Channel 4 x 70W RC Line Sound Quality Amplifier

FD 75c4 - Gladen 4-Channel 480W RMS Full Range Class D Amplifier
Sorry, I didn't put a very intuitive link to the WoofersEtc webshop.

Here are the exact links:
My exact amplifier with DSP - 999,99$
My exact speakers - 1099,99$

You can also buy the same amplifier without DSP:
My amplifier without DSP - 749,99$
A cheaper amplifier should also do the trick, though I highly recommend this one.
Remember: The subwoofers are rated at 150W RMS at 2 Ohm and speakers 100W RMS at 3 Ohm. Make sure your amplifier of choice can handle at least that, has high pass crossover for 2 channels and low pass for 2 channels. And most importantly: Can handle Hi-Input.

I would say both of the amplifiers you've written are too weak. The Mosconi 130.4 (with or without DSP) is rated at 175W RMS at 2 Ohm and 130 at 4 Ohm. I would not choose the amplifiers you have written due to lack of power in W RMS.

You might be able to shop around and find a better deal. As I am located in Europe google gives me a lot of European web shops when searching, so I'm not much of a help when searching for deals in the US.

Last edited by ECR33; 03-08-2020 at 09:26 AM..
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      03-08-2020, 04:52 PM   #10
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This thread is legit!

I also did the full swap of my HiFi amp/speakers with JL Audio VX600 with a full Audison speaker setup. I completely agree with your take that a trunk sub is completely unnecessary if you replace the underseats with quality and amplify then with a top tier amp.

I'd steer clear of opinions from fools that claim the OEM setup is in the same class a top tier brand.
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      03-09-2020, 11:29 AM   #11
ECR33
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That sounds like a nice combination of speakers and amplifier! Did you amplify the rear speakers as well?

The JL VX series amplifiers with integrated DSP looks pretty nice.. Might have to add them in my OP.

Edit: Added JL and Focal combo in OP :-)

Last edited by ECR33; 03-09-2020 at 12:29 PM..
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      01-09-2021, 03:12 PM   #12
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Great thread. I wish I had seen your thread a little sooner, which may have swayed me away from choosing Bimmertech's solution. I ended up choosing the full set-up including rear speakers, also installed in an F10 2010. The deliberations going into the bimmertech choice mainly centered around the ease of installation and easy move from one BMW to another with professional coding.
Note; The match amp in the bimmertech solution is the PP86 DSP so the 8 channel version, not the PP62.
I am very happy with the quality of the products, ease of installation as well as clarity of the sound spectre and punchy woofers.
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      01-09-2021, 05:17 PM   #13
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Thank you!
Had I lived in USA I might have bought Bimmertech and/or BAVSOUND products as well. Mostly because it is easier to gather info about (DSP settings, reviews) before buying. Buying everything from one trusted vendor as a complete package assuring you everything will fit and has documented installation and results definitely is a pro.

Great to hear your are happy with the results! Now, almost a year after my install, I am still very happy with my sound system. Probably the best upgrade I have done to my F10.

You're definitely right about the Bimmertech amp being a PP86DSP. Will edit in my post.
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      01-21-2021, 10:17 AM   #14
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Awsome Post, Ive just completed my Install.

Focal ES100K2 Components in the front.
Earthquake SWS-8X Underseat Subwoofers.
Audison Bit Ten DSP.
Vibe Black-Box Stereo 4 Amplifier (Already owned)

If anyone reading is debating buying their first DSP, I highly recommend getting one which includes a Parametric EQ. (superior Tuning Options)

Now im sorry to mention HiFi, but do you not notice the difference while increasing or decreasing the volume ? i was under the impression that the base audio option EQ's harder as the volume is increase ?
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      01-22-2021, 10:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wozza77 View Post
Awsome Post, Ive just completed my Install.

Focal ES100K2 Components in the front.
Earthquake SWS-8X Underseat Subwoofers.
Audison Bit Ten DSP.
Vibe Black-Box Stereo 4 Amplifier (Already owned)

If anyone reading is debating buying their first DSP, I highly recommend getting one which includes a Parametric EQ. (superior Tuning Options)

Now im sorry to mention HiFi, but do you not notice the difference while increasing or decreasing the volume ? i was under the impression that the base audio option EQ's harder as the volume is increase ?
Congrats on finishing the install!
The base audio might very well equalize the signal harder with volume increase. What difference should I be noticing? Increase in bass, or perhaps the opposite?
I still have my woofers (Ch. 3 and 4) turned up kinda high - That's how I like it So bass is pretty noticeable regardless of volume. But I wouldn't be surprised if the bass EQ isn't a linear increase compared to volume.
IMO the biggest difference comes down to which song I'm listening to. Some songs has been deliberately increased in the lower EQs.
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      01-22-2021, 12:57 PM   #16
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this thread was very helpful when i was still researching on what to do with my hifi in my F10. i'm so use to my other car's where i can just swap things out with no issues but with the BMW i did not want to cut and modify the existing harnesses in the stereo system which led me to Plug and Play solutions. so i opted with the MatchUp BMW7. easy to install and gave me the configuration for DSP PC-TOOL Software so i can make all my audio adjustments.


my underseat subs are now set to mid bass duties while my single 12" RockFord Fosgate in a sealed enclosure with a built in 300watt amp will take care of all the low level signal duties.


i did stick with the same components as you did with the Gladen Extremes! love them! love the clarity, love the full front sound stage presence i'm getting with these after tweaking with the DSP program


so after 7 months of breaking them in lol man it doesn't get any better than this! after seeing the many audio builds here in the forums you really can't go wrong with the many ways you can go about this. i think the most important component you have to have is an amp with DSP! Because without that how would you be able to fine tune your system????
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      07-31-2021, 12:21 PM   #17
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just the information that i was looking for, i have been looking at upgrading my sound system
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      08-22-2021, 01:06 AM   #18
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Hi, thanks for the time and effort put into this guide, it really is the most useful one i've come across.

Upgrading a BMW F10 2010 base audio. Do you think the Mosconi D2 100.4 DSP would be a suitable amp? Will be purchasing the Eton BAK wiring harness as well.

https://mosconi-america.com/portfolio/d21004dsp/

Speakers wise, I am currently running the base stereo 6 piece speakers and subs without tweeters, but may upgrade in the future after adding on the amplifier. What are your thoughts the F10 harman kardon speakers and subwoofers. I saw numerous ads on Ebay which are rather inexpensive. As you can tell, I am trying to keep the cost low.

Appreciate your advise.
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      08-23-2021, 02:04 PM   #19
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Hi lsym.
Thanks for reading my post! I'll gladly share my thoughts.

The Mosconi D2 100.4 DSP will easily fit and power the stock or even H/K speakers just fine. It's a really small amplifier, so no fitment issues either. I do worry about the price to performance ratio though. What's the pricetag? If it's close to or higher than the Mosconi 130.4 DSP i'd rather just buy that or an amplifier from a different brand. I think the point of the D2 100.4 DSP is that it's a very compact amplifier than can fit in small areas, but that is not a big concern in our cars. I had no difficulties mounting my amplifier which measures 310 x 200 x 50 mm (12.2"W x 7.9"D x 2.0"H), and I even had a bit of room left.

The Eton Stage 4 DSP has similar power output as the D2 100.4 DSP and will fit in an F10 without problem. That'd be a solid choice if the price is right.

If you're located in America and want to keep the cost down the AudioControl D-4.800 seems like a good possibility. It seems easy to source in America, accepts high level input, has great power output and has DSP. According to AudioControls own website it measures 9.0″W x 8.0″D x 2.1″H which is a bit smaller than my amplifier. So it should fit as well.

Although I've driven several BMW F10/F11 with factory H/K I've rarily cranked the volume up and closely listened. The times I have I've found bass response lacking but midrange and highs OK IIRC. I'd much rather prefer my Gladen speakers though. So if you're contemplating H/K speakers your best bet is to search the forum or ask other forum members.

After having a quick look on eBay it seems like H/K speakers sell for around 500$. I was making a quick price comparison between H/K speakers from eBay and a pair of Rockford Fosgate speakers and a pair of Focal, but found it hard to source them in America. Hmm. Seems like you guys don't have a lot of easily accessible aftermarket speakers for this car (except BavSound).
A quick search on BavSound shows that tweeters and 4" speakers can be had for around 598$ and a pair of 8" woofers for around 558$. My suggestion is to buy a pair of aftermarket speakers and later buy the subwoofers. I would personally not fit an amplifier just to install H/K speakers - But that may just be me

I'd suggest searching the forum ff the BavSound speakers seems like an interesting option. There's a lot of threads on those already.
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      08-24-2021, 09:43 AM   #20
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Hi, thanks for the insightful reply.

Good to know the Mosconi D2 100.4 DSP is suitable for the job, mate of mine happens to be upgrading his system and Iíll be happy taking it off his hands at a fraction of the cost. Appreciate the numerous suggestions youíve provided nonetheless, as well as for the speakers.

Iím no audiophile, but the base audio in the F10 remind me of small underpowered laptop speakers. I decided to start with upgrading the amplifier because it seemed like the weakest link in the systemÖ a single channel from the HU having to run both the underseat subwoofer and front speaker doesnít seem like the best idea to me. It also happens to be the first item available to me as well.

After the amplifier upgrade, Iíll be on the look out for deals on the speakers and subwoofers. I mentioned H/K because it seems easily available on eBay but Iíll definitely be on the lookout for aftermarket speakers that fits. Have been reading really good reviews on Gladen and Focal speakers.

Thanks again!
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      08-24-2021, 11:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsym View Post

Iím no audiophile, but the base audio in the F10 remind me of small underpowered laptop speakers.
This made me laugh. :

If you can get your hands on the D2 100.4DSP at a low price, definitely do so. It seems like a good amplifier/DSP. Your methodology towards upgrading the rest of the sound system in your BMW seems very soild!

Good luck with the future install.
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      09-01-2021, 05:40 AM   #22
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Hi, Iíll be embarking on the set up this weekend after gathering the last bits of components. Would appreciate if you could help me out with a few more questions:

1. Input mode should be set to high, and autosense set to BTL, is that correct?

2. What do you have your input sensitivity level set at?

3. Do you mind sharing your DSP tuned settings as a file? I understand that every speaker is different but I suppose that would be a very good starting point.

I intend set up the channels as you have mentioned above.

Channel 1: Left front door (powering 4" midrange and 1" tweeter).
Channel 2: Right front door (powering 4" midrange and 1" tweeter).
Channel 3: Left underseat subwoofer.
Channel 4: Right underseat subwoofer.

Thanks again!
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