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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 10-06-2013, 08:49 PM   #1
orange260z
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BSW ib110 Subwoofer

Hey all, just thought I'd share this. I recently purchased a BSW speaker system - the full Stage 1 setup, and the ib110 subwoofer system. Unfortunately, the rear convertible midwoofers are on backorder, so I haven't received those yet. Note that I purchased the ib110 woofer and enclosure without the amp - I already have a Rockford Fosgate amp similar to the one BSW used to use. Although officially rated at 150W RMS into 4ohms, most of these US-made units put out in excess of 200W. I believe the RF BSW used was around 230W, and the new amp is about 250W - so I am running a little less power than the full kit.

Just for some background, I am in my early 40s, and as a former disc jockey I listen to a variety of music - my mix CDs could have Sarah Brightman after Flo Rida after Guns N Roses after Billy Joel. I do appreciate clarity in my music and like to listen to it reasonably loud. I use both CDs and a GROM USB unit as sources.

The jury is still out for me on the S1 speaker replacement. Yes, they do sound better than the stock ones. Yes, with the right quality recording AND THE RIGHT MUSIC they can sound excellent. However, at least at this time, I feel that they don't sound that great with most modern music that tends to either have distortion in the recording, or generally in music that has a lot of instruments playing at the same time - I find the sound to be very "congested". With simpler stuff - just a piano, or a guitar - they sound great. I do want to spend some more time listening before I pass judgement though, I only have a few hours in so far.

I shopped around quite a bit looking for subwoofer options, but ended up going for the BSW mainly to save on the limited trunk space. I was concerned about the bass quality and quantity - apparently needlessly so. I've been careful to keep the gain on my amp low and any bass boost turned off, but already I find the bass to be strong and hard-hitting - even with the top down at 120+ km/h. I'm VERY happy with this sub solution, and would have no problem recommending it to anyone who is not a hard-core basshead.

I'll provide some follow-up in a couple of weeks after some more seat time.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:41 AM   #2
Cabrio330
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I have only added the ib110 subwoofer and I am very happy with it - enough so that I don't currently plan on upgrading the stock HK speakers with BSW Stage 1 or any thing else for that matter.

I have done BSW upgrades in 3 other E46's - sub and speakers in one 2003 sedan, sub only in a 2004 sedan and speakers only in a 2002 M3 convertible. The sub-only upgrade to my 2005 330cic has been the best upgrade compared to all of my previous BSW upgrades.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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thanks for the info - looking forward to follow up since this is something I'm considering
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the complete writeup. I'm aware that I can do better and for less money but the ease of install and fewer pieces makes this kit still mildly appealing. Good to hear the pros and cons from someone with a good ear.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input!
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:56 PM   #6
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Thank you for the feedback, we do hope you warm up to the Stage 1 a bit more, and are extremely glad to hear you are enjoying the subwoofer We are working on getting these rear mids out to you ASAP, and appreciate your patience in the mean time. Happy to see a couple other satisfied customers in here as well! If there is ever anything we can do for any of you please don't hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email directly!
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for your response, Jeremy. As I said, I very pleasantly surprised by the sub, it has exceeded my expectations already and I haven't even cranked it yet!

Is my comment on the S1 uncommon, or do others also find that poorly recorded or music with some distortion sounds poor on the S1? I do understand that accurate speakers can be "revealing" of flaws in the recording, but I feel that the system right now is not only revealing these flaws, but accentuating them. I don't know if that is due to the nature of the speakers or if it is the amplifier adding extra distortion, even at lower listening volumes.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

PS on the customer service from Jeremy and Jason, we've had some delays due to the backorder but they've been great to work with so far.
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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Cool. Awaiting my rear mids as well.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:28 PM   #9
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Orange, I brought this up with one of our techs and he said as follows:

"If he's listening via a smartphone integration kit have him check the output level as per the instructions to make sure there is no distortion there. That's really common. The instructions will provide the procedure. . . ALSO BE SURE TO TURN "GAL" SETTING ALL THE WAY DOWN. THIS IS THE SPEED ADJUSTMENT VOLUME WHICH BOOSTS MIDRANGE AND SOUNDS HORRIBLE. SEARCH "RADIO SERVICE MODE" ONLINE. THIS IS LIKELY THE CULPRIT.

If listening via CD I would say I can relate to what he is saying on a very occasional basis but only on really dense program material. For example the climax of "Comfortably Numb" . . . Especially if it's MP3 encoding. Given the limitations of the factory amplifier and the weird impedances we have to design for in the E46 this is perhaps the nature of the beast, and truth be told even my Genelec 1031a speakers ($3000 studio monitors) exhibit this sometimes. The Stage I is not a perfect solution; it was designed for incredible performance given the factory amp and a totally easy non-destructive install. I'm sorry that the S1 is not totally up to his expectations but on the other hand the fact that we can even have a real conversation about sound quality again in a car that had abysmal sound before is a good sign . . . That said I'm thinking the GAL and Output Level suggestions will improve things considerably. I hope that helps"
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
johnrando
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Thanks for providing more color Jeremy.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:46 PM   #11
orange260z
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Hey Jeremy, thanks for your follow up on this.

Jason had me turn off the GAL even before I made this purchase!

I agree about the possibility of adjusting the volume on the GROM unit - it sounded ok volume-wise, so I didn't try to adjust it... but I will follow up on that.

I have also tried CDs, but I believe they were all burned CDs - some with MP3, but some with uncompressed (WAV??) files.

I'm back at home now for a couple of weeks so I hope to be able to play with it some more.

Regards
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:38 AM   #12
johnrando
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Rear BSWs are shipping, yes!
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:01 AM   #13
orange260z
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yup, I just got the notice too! Too bad my car is put away for the season...
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