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Bavarian Soundwerks' Mobile Electronics Forum
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:00 PM   #1
Mardman
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BSW Stage 1 and Sub Review

I installed BSW's Stage 1 and sub in my 2005 330i sedan a couple months ago. I looked at BSW because the pro installers wanted $3000-$5000 to install a quality system. BSW looked more affordable and I knew I could do the install.

I first removed all of the HK speakers and factory sub amp. Installation was a snap. Took about two hours. The directions were great and easy to read. The color photos helped as well. The sub took a little work but finally went in. Everything so far was first rate. Quality looking equipment, clear directions, installation took a couple hours and best of all no broken pieces.
After spending about $1000 on the equipment my hopes were high. Turned the system on.

First the good- The Stage 1 replaces every speaker in the car except the subs. The sound was a little more clear than the HK's I had just removed. If you are expecting a big sound difference you will be disappointed. It was noticable yet just barely. The highs were a little smoother and the sound was more full.

The bad-The sub was way under powered. I let the speaker and amp break-in for hours and it never picked up. Maybe my expectations were too high but I could barely sense a sub in the car while on the road. Sitting in my garage with the engine off sounded much better but who the hell listens to music that way? Took the sub out and sent it back.

Returning the sub was easy. BSW is a professional company and take care of thier customers. They picked up the phone when I called and made the return hassle free. The big question I had prior to buying the Stage 1 and sub was, Is it worth it? The answer is maybe. What I did was this, I went to Craig's List and bought a 500.1 JL amp and 12W7 sub in a box for $400. Holly crap-booyah. This sub=good times. Plenty of power. I added the remote bass knob and can now control the bass from the drivers seat. It booms when I want it too and calms down with a quick turn of the knob. BMW's are so well insulated you need power to get the bass out of the trunk. This worked great. The front speakers are lacking in mid-range bass big time. My wifes stock Prius kicks its butt. I wish BSW made a 6.5" front door speaker set with amplifier. Some day soon I am going to buy an amp for all of the speakers (not the sub) and see if that helps. If it doesn't I will replace the fronts and maybe rears with 6.5" speakers.

So what do you do? I don't know. There are so many considerations it hurts my brain. Replace the head unit?, completely replace all wiring?, up to 6.5" speakers? etc. Good luck.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:13 PM   #2
boomr5
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Thanks for the heads up.I'm hoping to improve on the HK system
in my touring someday,just not sure which direction to go.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:21 PM   #3
omar2006
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I was about to drop the 600 bones on the BSW system.....glad I read this
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:34 PM   #4
GKGreen
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And this is why the audio business is so difficult, because it's so subjective. What sounds awesome to one person sounds returnable to another. I've been sitting on the fence about replacing my stock H/K system and am going to wait until their amp comes out. I don't feel you can judge their stage 1 and sub without having an upgraded amp- its a huge limiting factor. The onus is simply on BSW, whom I know is working very hard on it, but getting the amp to market before enough say "screw it" and find a different solution.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:53 AM   #5
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GK Green I could not agree more. The big question is would an amp (BSW or other) improve the sound enough so I would not have to upgrade the 5 1/4" speakers to 6.5"? And if I did upgrade to 6.5" would an aftermarket amp work with the different ohm ratings (I think BSW is 2 ohm and a replacement 6.5 would most likely be 4 ohm)? Would a 6.5 bolt right in or would I need to fabricate the door? And what 6.5" to buy? So many questions.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:09 PM   #6
downwithbrown7
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I've got the stage one and a 8w7 in the ski pass. It sounds awesome because of the sub but the stock components are definitely still the weak point in my system. The following link is pictures of my car and there is one of where the sub is installed. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...=downwithbrown
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:54 PM   #7
juslookin
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you sure the sub broke in properly i can definatley feel a sub back there. the gain is less than 3/4
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:20 PM   #8
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Sorry the subwoofer didn't work out for you. "Bass" is one thing that is very subjective. My E30 just has a single 8" subwoofer running off 200W on a good day. I love it. More than enough for me. Some get in and say I need more. Others like it. THat is why we have the setup we do. If it is not for you... send it back

On the Stage 1 give it some more break in time. It really should be more dramatic than what you are describing overall. For some though it might not be the right product. We are about to release our plug and play amp which would really bring up the system.

If you have any other questions/concerns let me know please!
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
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O RLY? Any estimates when the amp will be available for purchase.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:36 PM   #10
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Also any specs on the amp you can release yet?
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:20 PM   #11
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I am glad that more people are realizing that the bsw stage 1 systems really do not make it sound like a good car stereo. When I purchased my system convert. hk back in march, I was expecting a road trip in april. The stock system really is bad in these cars, so at the time it seemed everyone was saying the stage 1 was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I didnt drive the car much because it was still cold when I first installed, but now I get so ripped when I listen to the radio/cd. Knowing I have $550 tied up and it sounds like total crap to me. It is so frustrating knowing for a little more hassle, I could have shoehorned some components and a real amp for alittle more money. I honestly leave the radio off mostly. Right now, I am waiting to give the bsw amp a try, but I am real close to just yanking it all and starting over. I do feel that it is a low power issue, because i turn it up a road speeds, and its just muddy, and yes the bass is 1/4 up, and the sound compensation is on 0. I wish my wife didnt let me spend the money at the time. Grrrrrrrrrrr....
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by juslookin View Post
Also any specs on the amp you can release yet?
No firm specs but looking to be in the 65W RMS ballpark.





I understand what the other member is trying to say and we fully admit the Stage 1 is not the end all be all stereo upgrades. We offer our 30 day guarantee to see if it is for you. We post reviews and do not 'cover up' any reviews anywhere. It is not for everyone and we know that. While rare we do get customers that want to send back a Stage 1 and go in a different direction and that is totally their right.

With that said with the amplifieir being released it is going to 'change the game' IMO. Really going to be a fun and great product. Wish we had one for an E30
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:03 PM   #13
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Halston, Will the amp have RCA outs so that there will be no need for a LOC for the sub amp anymore? That would be a nice feature.
My other concern with the BSW PnP amp, is that how many different generations of speakers have you guys released? The Mb Quartz, The Rainbows, and now the 'All BSW brand' so 3 or 4, Should I wait for the 4th version of the amp that will be 1000x be better than the first?
This is a release that I am excited to see I am going to let others test the waters before I jump in line.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:31 PM   #14
juslookin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halston@BSW View Post
No firm specs but looking to be in the 65W RMS ballpark.





I understand what the other member is trying to say and we fully admit the Stage 1 is not the end all be all stereo upgrades. We offer our 30 day guarantee to see if it is for you. We post reviews and do not 'cover up' any reviews anywhere. It is not for everyone and we know that. While rare we do get customers that want to send back a Stage 1 and go in a different direction and that is totally their right.

With that said with the amplifieir being released it is going to 'change the game' IMO. Really going to be a fun and great product. Wish we had one for an E30
how many channels with this be?
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:37 PM   #15
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What are the freq response specs on the sub setup? Do you have any charts/graphs showing frequencies and output?

Last edited by ChadM3; 05-18-2010 at 10:38 PM. Reason: incomplete original pot
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:27 PM   #16
mrod67
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In response to Halston, dont get me wrong, the stage 1 speakers are definitely excellent pieces, and the fit is perfect, but my only gripe is that it should be more known that the factory amp, according to the info on the bsw site, buts out 10w per channel rms. Now really, any could tell you that is pretty lousy. So, great speakers driven by a turd will not sound their best. I will be purchasing the stage 2 as soon as it is available, and I hope it exceeds my expectations, like sounding hopefully as good as the factory bose system in my gmc sierra. That system and the factory dolby prologic setup in my volvo s60r sounded pretty nice to me, that is all I ask for in the next upgrade for the bmws. I hope it works because I really do not want to removed these and mount an aftermarket amp and random speakers. Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:40 PM   #17
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It will be a 4 channel amplifier which will have an output for the subwoofer system(of course... wink wink nudge nudge buy the sub too! haha). Then the correct harness will then provide all the wiring/crossovers/etc inline so you will be 'plug and play'.

Hold out for the amp... it is going to be really nice setup!
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:31 PM   #18
Mardman
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Halston, Just make sure the amp does not cost an arm and leg. If you keep it competitive I will buy it. If BSW charges over $500 forget it. I would rather buy a used quality amp off of Craigslist.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardman View Post
Halston, Just make sure the amp does not cost an arm and leg. If you keep it competitive I will buy it. If BSW charges over $500 forget it. I would rather buy a used quality amp off of Craigslist.
I remember seeing 699.99 and there will prolly be some discount if you get stage 1 or previously bought it there will be some discount.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:52 PM   #20
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It will definitely be over $500 because it's made specifically for BMW's, it's made by a specialty audio company, and there is a custom amp wiring harness that idiots could even install.

Granted, at 65w/ channel it shouldn't cost that much...but oh well...supply and demand always dictate pricing.

Let us just pray that they chose quality components for the amp and/or bought the amp from a quality manufacturer (such as JL)...NOT Lanzar, Pyle or Pyramid. If I find that out I will drop the idea of BSW all together.
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