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Old 08-07-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
raichean
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BavSound stage 1 review and installation guide

Howdy all!

I have recently partnered with BavSound (formerly Bavarian Soundwerks, or BSW) to do an install of their stage 1 kit into my 04 M3 and in combination with the Avin USA Avant-2 android deck. BavSound offered me a discount when I purchased the kit, in exchange for sharing an honest review of the kit and installation. The installation guide I created in addition to the review, to supplement their provided install guide.


Whenever I do a review, I always try to supply as much measurable data as possible, but with an install like this it is much harder to do. Without some form of controlled audio environment or testing equipment, it comes down to anecdotal opinion.

All of that said, what was it to test this system after installation: WOW! Absolutely blown away. Suddenly an entirely different aural experience!

Now all of that said, the HK system in my car was in excellent shape with the speakers working well, not abused and sound "good". Highly subjective I know, but it sounded good.. not great, not bad and was just there.


Installation:
The installation of the S1 kit went flawlessly, and I have to applaud BavSound for making it so simple. For all of the folks asking about doing speaker upgrades and the trouble making custom frames or otherwise mounting the speakers; DON'T. The BavSound kit drops right into place without having to change a single thing.

The supplied installation guide from BavSound is quite good, though I created my own as well to share, showing a few notable differences in my car. In addition, I included guidance for sound matting installation.


Sound:
How do I explain this other than WOW. I am thoroughly impressed in how suddenly the sound system is alive. The upgrade gives me fresh insight to music I listen to all the time, from Queen to Macklemore to Carmina Burana. On a number of tracks I am hearing instruments much more clearly and cleanly and even background vocals I didn't identify before. In addition and in comparison to the prior HK speakers, I have substantially more mid range and bass than before. Noticeably so. I am not looking for bass thump you can hear four blocks away, but good solid full range sound and I have it. I even noticed with some Macklemore tracks last night, I could see my back glass bounce slightly when the top was up! THAT is new!

Overall I am thoroughly impressed and of all the changes I have made to my M3 thus far, I feel like this one has the best return on investment already. The system is not cheap, but I feel even now not long after the install that it is absolutely worth it.


Sound matting:
I also bought the sound matting kit from them as I thought I would include that while the car is torn apart. Obviously there are a thousand ways and products to do sound dampening, but chose their kit to have it on hand. Installation was simple and overall added very little weight. In either a combination of matting with the new speakers, or because of the matting I have noticed a difference. Even with the top and windows down, the sound is cleaner and more audible and lower volume levels. For me again it was absolutely worth it.

Conclusion:
Absolutely worth it, without hesitation. The install was easy and the quality is fantastic. I was able to test Bohemian Rhapsody in my car yesterday (top and windows up), and then immediately after in a coworkers brand new 2015 328d with Harman Kardon system. Much to their visible irritation we agreed my system sounded better.

I am absolutely going to install their stage 2 kit with the sub and amp upgrade as soon as I can!

Questions let me know.. The install DIY is linked here:

Last edited by raichean; 08-13-2014 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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Interesting, thanks for the insight. There has been varying opinions about this set. What I have read is that it really needs an amp to be used to its full potential, which apparently isnt coming.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NorCalZman View Post
Interesting, thanks for the insight. There has been varying opinions about this set. What I have read is that it really needs an amp to be used to its full potential, which apparently isnt coming.
Good question? In my case, I don't pretend to be an expert in this field but it has been an amazing upgrade. I am also looking at their ghost subwoofer as the next upgrade which does include an amp. I don't know if it is the amp that everyone says may never be delivered or not.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:09 PM   #4
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Nicely done!
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NorCalZman View Post
Interesting, thanks for the insight. There has been varying opinions about this set. What I have read is that it really needs an amp to be used to its full potential, which apparently isnt coming.
If the amp is replaced then there is no reason to stick with 3ohm speakers, so there's no need for the BSW kit.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:14 AM   #6
juslookin
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save your money on their sub and get your own amp and sub. for the money you spend on bsw sub you can get way better for the same or less.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:48 PM   #7
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I have the BSW (Bavsound) front and rear "Stage 1" speakers in my HK sedan powered by an aftermarket 6 channel amp and an aftermarket 2 channel amp powering a 10" sub in the trunk. The sound is beyond my expectations and I am very OCD with my car audio. SQ all the way.

I can raise the volume to as high as I want and the music clarity is phenomenal. Are the speakers expensive? Yes. Are they worth spending the money? Absolutely!

P.S. I used to be a "hater" of BSW for many years for no particular reason. My ignorance led me to believe that they can't compete with other aftermarket companies. Boy was I wrong. Two thumbs up to BSW and a special thanks to Cory, the salesperson who always picked up the phone when I called with questions.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:46 AM   #8
tommy@avinusa.com
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Nice review raichean!
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:15 PM   #9
raichean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerman11 View Post
I have the BSW (Bavsound) front and rear "Stage 1" speakers in my HK sedan powered by an aftermarket 6 channel amp and an aftermarket 2 channel amp powering a 10" sub in the trunk. The sound is beyond my expectations and I am very OCD with my car audio. SQ all the way.

I can raise the volume to as high as I want and the music clarity is phenomenal. Are the speakers expensive? Yes. Are they worth spending the money? Absolutely!

P.S. I used to be a "hater" of BSW for many years for no particular reason. My ignorance led me to believe that they can't compete with other aftermarket companies. Boy was I wrong. Two thumbs up to BSW and a special thanks to Cory, the salesperson who always picked up the phone when I called with questions.
Thanks for the feedback and I agree, I worked with Cory as well who is fantastic! Now weeks post install, and I am still blown away by the level of difference in my sound system!
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