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Old 03-18-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
VanOfBees
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My Ride: BMW 330 CI Cabriolet
HK Speaker Replacement

I bought a 2003 330 CI Convertible 4 weeks ago with the Business Head unit and Harmen Kardon speaker system. The front RHS small speaker is sounding very crackling. I just went to Custom Sounds and they offered the following replacements including parts + labor:-

Pioneer TST 110 - 116.74
Focal KIT TNI 15 - 166.74

Firstly, does anyone have any experience of these speakers, are they worth the money?

Secondly, I've done a bit of reading and the impression I'm getting is that the amp + HK speakers are not that great for audio quality. I know BSW do a full replacement kit that costs around $600, but does anyone else have any other recommendations or advice in this area. I know that the BSW kit is essentially a slightly higher quality setup but still paper cones.

I'm trying to work out if I should just replace my blown speakers or whether I should look at replacing all of them whilst I'm at it, rather than doing it bit by bit.

TIA

Last edited by VanOfBees; 03-18-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
trive2
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I would do all of them at once. Makes a more coherent set-up, and I tend to follow the rule that if some of them are going then they're all going. Same time, same sound, same construction, why chase failing speakers. Mine sound like crap.

And speakers are so ungodly expensive.... I'm going with VIFA speakers. So cheap it hurts. Not sure about the higher quality ones.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
brewer90
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I think the whole HK system sucks. I'm about to gut mine and just go with components up front (Hertz HSK 165s), an amp (Precision Power P900.4), a LOC (LC7i) and a sub solution TBD. The first three have run me just north of $600. Add another $100 in for wiring, mdf and such. I'm thinking of trying an 8" sub infinite baffle through the ski pass. I figure I'll start out easy and work my way up the sub ladder with an enclosure and then bigger sub/enclosure if need be. I'm not looking for booming bass just something to fill out the low end. The Infinity Reference 860W is only $50. On the high cost end would be a 12" Magic Box enclosure for $350 plus the cost of a 12" sub. I hope I don't have to go that far.

I do plan to cut the door and install the midwoofers directly to them instead of hanging them off the door cover like BSW does.

It all comes down to trade-offs. The BSW solution is plug and play but you are stuck with the stock low-powered amp and not so great midwoofer attachment solution. Or you can invest the same amount of money on a custom setup and get a better sounding installation but lose a weekend of your time. If you aren't comfortable doing this then expect a shop to charge about $450. What is more important to you? Either way I'd get that HK crap out of my car and not replace an individual tweeter.

Last edited by brewer90; 03-18-2013 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
VanOfBees
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Ok, I've now done some more research, I think the guy in Custom Sounds was mistaken and assumed that the BMW stereo was a 2-way stereo, I went into a different Custom Sounds today and initially the guy made the same assumption, he then spoke to one of his technical experts who explained it was a 3-way stereo and they don't sell anything that will do the job.

What I did learn along the way is that removing the door panels is reasonably simple, as such it won't be a big problem to replace the speakers in stages, so that is what I think I will do in order to keep costs down. Here are the useful guides I used to get the door off:-

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD35239A793B988C3 - Videos provided by BSW on how to remove panels

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=494644 - useful written guide with decent pictures

My question now is how do I find a workable replacement mid speaker. The sticky label on the back says 21W 3ohm which helps, and the dimensions seemed to be 2" / 5cm from my measuring of the hole.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
silyb0y
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Read my post in this thread:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ghlight=harman

The HK amp is a DSP amp with integrated crossovers. If you replace it with a regular amp you are actually downgrading your system. I would replace it with the JBL MS8. It has a grat DSP with crossovers for each channel (8 channels). The HK 3-way speakers arent that great. Replace it with any good 2-way system. If I were you I would remove the HK system (front speakers and amp). I would install the JBL MS8 (not too difficult as you can use the HK wiring). I would install the Audio-System woofers (front - 130 Dollars) and combine them with Audison-Voce tweeters (130 Dollars). Little bit of dampening - maybe a custom 8 inch sub (with seperate 1 channel amp).
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:51 PM   #6
Grande D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silyb0y View Post
Read my post in this thread:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ghlight=harman

The HK amp is a DSP amp with integrated crossovers. If you replace it with a regular amp you are actually downgrading your system. I would replace it with the JBL MS8. It has a grat DSP with crossovers for each channel (8 channels). The HK 3-way speakers arent that great. Replace it with any good 2-way system. If I were you I would remove the HK system (front speakers and amp). I would install the JBL MS8 (not too difficult as you can use the HK wiring). I would install the Audio-System woofers (front - 130 Dollars) and combine them with Audison-Voce tweeters (130 Dollars). Little bit of dampening - maybe a custom 8 inch sub (with seperate 1 channel amp).
That will definitely be an upgrade. I have tried amplifying the factory speakers utilizing external passive crossovers and the like, and excuse the expression, but it sounds like dogsh!t.

With the powerful EQ of the MS-8, it should sound pretty good. To gow tih the MS-8, I'd recommend getting a small amplifier to power the "subs", and front midbass woofers with the MS-8, order rear coaxial speakers (MS-8 doesn't really like our rear speaker setup) and a better tweeter for the front stage.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
silyb0y
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The front midbass woofers - even if you upgrade with aftermarket components - arent that stressable because of the mounting on the door panel. The more you "fire" into that space behind the door panel the more distortion you will get. So - I would cut them at 75-80 Hz and let the subwoofer handle all the frequencies below that. If you do it this way the front midbass woofers dont really need more power than the JBL MS8 gives you (20 Watt per channel or so).

Yep! Good tweeters are a must. If you have a coupe or convertible I would move them up - from door panels up to the "triangle" behind the side mirrors. This is how I have installed my audison tweeters in my convertible and the staging is sooo much better.

The cool thing is -> the JBL MS8 seems to be really "compact". If you let it handle all the speakers and use a 1 channel amp for the sub you wont loose much space.
And I agree - the EQ is very powerfull. It doesnt just equalize but corrects time delay for perfect staging. A lot of people dont know but you dont have to install the display. You only need to plug it in for setup.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:04 PM   #8
VanOfBees
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Hey SillyBoy, thanks so much for your input, most insightful. Ive read your posts on the link you said, I'm trying to track down the Rainbow or AudioSystem Midbass woofers you mentioned but am not having any luck, can you help out?

At this point I'm looking for the cheapest solution to get my front speakers working, I know it won't sound awesome but it will be loads better than what I have now.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:15 PM   #9
silyb0y
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@VanOfBees:

No problem. Thats what the forum is there for. To fix your problem you should first identify the component thats making the crackling noise. Replace the speaker (that you think is making the crackling noise) with a speaker from the other door and see if its crackling too -> double check

If its just one defective spekaer you should consider replacing that speaker with BMW parts (expensive but simple). If you want to replace your woofers with AudioSystem parts -> keep in mind that the HK woofers may have different impedance in which case Im not sure if it would work and how it would sound.

Anyway - this is the audio-system homepage. They are a small but great (german) manufacturer. You can contact them and ask if they have a partner in the USA (store, dealer) or if they can provide you with the speakers.

http://www.audio-system.de/home.php

Last edited by silyb0y; 03-21-2013 at 05:12 PM.
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