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      03-29-2008, 02:24 PM   #1
jm1234
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Anyone Have Base Audio???

I'm ordering an M3 and I'm trying to decide if the base audio is so bad the extra $1900 is worth it. I've read all the threads but they seem to be dominated by "audiophiles" and I don't trust them. I can't drive around in a car for several hours really listening to the base audio in all the real world circumstances to see what I think so I'd like to hear impressions from anyone out there that's lived with or is living with base audio as to what the limitations of the system are (can't drown out trucks without distortion, can't get moderate sound levels without distortion, rattles in system, etc...).

I listen to music in the car and sometimes turn it up but I do not drive around with base poring from every crack and crevice of the car and I've never got blood from my ears. I can appreciate good quality sound but do not need tremendous low end and/or ear splitting distortion free noise to be happy with the sound. I'd like to know from those who have made the choice are you happy with the base audio or do you regret it now?
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      03-29-2008, 04:04 PM   #2
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Well, if you don't "trust" the people who can tell the difference, how would you trust the people "who can't give a good opinion".

As you said, the only way to really test a sound system is to listen to it for at least 30 minutes. Why? Because in low end systems with mid quality and low RMS, the distortion can "hide" when you first listen to it, but after 30 minutes or an hour of listening to music you eventually get "tired" of it.

The typical example of this can be seen when a customer test drives a car and turns on the stereo just to "make sure it's nice". After 30 seconds of listening to it, they usually get satisfied with it.After one month with the car they regret not choosing the upgraded sound.

If you can't trust other people's opinion (which is a valid argument) and you can't test the system for long, you should just buy the premium system. You may regret it afterwards. You also have to consider that we are talking about a 70k car, so I'm guessing that another 1900+tax won't hurt.
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      03-29-2008, 04:22 PM   #3
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I have the base audio system. It's good enough to listen to, it's pretty good for a factory system. But even the upgraded audio system is not good enough for me, I don't know why a true audiophile would even be happy with that. $1900 with a competent installer will yield you much better results. The base audio system can be upgraded with an amplifier easily as there is a plug and play amp by Blaupunkt that will make enough juice to power some good components. Then buy a decent set of components for the front and you can swap out the factory subs with some better Earthquake 8" SWS subwoofers. Or put a better sub in the trunk.
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      03-29-2008, 04:54 PM   #4
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It's not about cranking it up all the way, it's about the quality of the sound, I don't drive with the volume way up, but I really like the quality of the sound at low levels and at high levels, to me it was money well spent.
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      03-29-2008, 05:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvai View Post
Well, if you don't "trust" the people who can tell the difference, how would you trust the people "who can't give a good opinion".

As you said, the only way to really test a sound system is to listen to it for at least 30 minutes. Why? Because in low end systems with mid quality and low RMS, the distortion can "hide" when you first listen to it, but after 30 minutes or an hour of listening to music you eventually get "tired" of it.

The typical example of this can be seen when a customer test drives a car and turns on the stereo just to "make sure it's nice". After 30 seconds of listening to it, they usually get satisfied with it.After one month with the car they regret not choosing the upgraded sound.

If you can't trust other people's opinion (which is a valid argument) and you can't test the system for long, you should just buy the premium system. You may regret it afterwards. You also have to consider that we are talking about a 70k car, so I'm guessing that another 1900+tax won't hurt.
Err, I don't think everyone who spends a lot on stereo equipment can tell the difference... Having 70K cash to spend on a car didn't happen because I'm willing to throw away 2K "just in case".

Anyway, I'm just looking to poll others experience. If there are a lot of people out there with the low end system that regret it then my decision is easy. If there are people out there happy with it then maybe I'll check it out. There probably aren't many people with low end systems reading this thread but posting is cheap and I had not seen any posts from people with the standard system. I'm aware I can order the premium and I won't regret the sound. I might regret the price though and thus this post.
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      03-30-2008, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badfish View Post
I have the base audio system. It's good enough to listen to, it's pretty good for a factory system. But even the upgraded audio system is not good enough for me, I don't know why a true audiophile would even be happy with that. $1900 with a competent installer will yield you much better results. The base audio system can be upgraded with an amplifier easily as there is a plug and play amp by Blaupunkt that will make enough juice to power some good components. Then buy a decent set of components for the front and you can swap out the factory subs with some better Earthquake 8" SWS subwoofers. Or put a better sub in the trunk.
That Blaupunkt PnP amp harness system doesn't apply to the BMW HiFi (OEM amp) systems, so it cannot be used as such with the base M3 audio system.
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      03-30-2008, 10:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1234 View Post
I'm ordering an M3 and I'm trying to decide if the base audio is so bad the extra $1900 is worth it. I've read all the threads but they seem to be dominated by "audiophiles" and I don't trust them. I can't drive around in a car for several hours really listening to the base audio in all the real world circumstances to see what I think so I'd like to hear impressions from anyone out there that's lived with or is living with base audio as to what the limitations of the system are (can't drown out trucks without distortion, can't get moderate sound levels without distortion, rattles in system, etc...).

I listen to music in the car and sometimes turn it up but I do not drive around with base poring from every crack and crevice of the car and I've never got blood from my ears. I can appreciate good quality sound but do not need tremendous low end and/or ear splitting distortion free noise to be happy with the sound. I'd like to know from those who have made the choice are you happy with the base audio or do you regret it now?
Take your favorite reference CD -the one that you really know how it is supposed to sound for you- to your nearest BMW dealer and try to test it in both the HiFi (10 speaker, 6-channel analog amp base audio), and the Premium Audio (16 upgraded speakers, 9 channel digital amp optional audio) and experience for yourself the differences in quality from your own point of view.

That's the only way to know by yourself if you are going to like it or not.

From my point of view, I know that I can have a better sound system for my particular car audio taste for way less than $1900, just because all my car systems are selected and installed by me. So I do not see any value in spending that $1900 and then realize -for example- that is missing the solid bass that only 300W RMS can provide thru each Earthquake 8" shallow subs under the seats, or a single 10" Pioneer shallow sub in a custom enclosure.

You see, it is always up to you and not somebody else's sound preferences.
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      03-30-2008, 02:10 PM   #8
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I have the base system in my X5 (came that way). I didn't think I would care but compared to Logic 7 in my wife's 335, it's noticeably worse. I wish there were an intermediate option but based on this experience, I decided to get the M audio despite the very high cost.
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      03-30-2008, 08:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCH View Post
I have the base system in my X5 (came that way). I didn't think I would care but compared to Logic 7 in my wife's 335, it's noticeably worse. I wish there were an intermediate option but based on this experience, I decided to get the M audio despite the very high cost.
Can I ask what you noticed was different? Was it with classical, country, pop, loud and obnoxious, etc... Was it in the bass, midrange, high frequencies. Was it a general lack of quality (rattles, distortion)?

I've decided that I need to listen but I'd like to know ahead of time what the weaknesses are so that I can target them with my music and attention to see if I think they would matter to me.

In any case, thanks so much for the feedback. This is helpful
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      04-02-2008, 08:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1234 View Post
Err, I don't think everyone who spends a lot on stereo equipment can tell the difference... Having 70K cash to spend on a car didn't happen because I'm willing to throw away 2K "just in case".

Anyway, I'm just looking to poll others experience. If there are a lot of people out there with the low end system that regret it then my decision is easy. If there are people out there happy with it then maybe I'll check it out. There probably aren't many people with low end systems reading this thread but posting is cheap and I had not seen any posts from people with the standard system. I'm aware I can order the premium and I won't regret the sound. I might regret the price though and thus this post.
Well, I'm trying to help....

The bottom line is that you can't really make a poll for the sounds as this is very personal and you don't know the criteria of the people how are voting.
(unless you get the votes from thousand of users)..
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      04-03-2008, 11:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvai View Post
Well, I'm trying to help....

The bottom line is that you can't really make a poll for the sounds as this is very personal and you don't know the criteria of the people how are voting.
(unless you get the votes from thousand of users)..
As per the advice of many (thank you ) I went and listened to both and I posted my thoughts here.

I was hoping (against common sense) that there would be overwhelming consensus from those that would consider the standard stereo (self professed non-audiophiles like me) such that I wouldn't have bother. Didn't happen, sorry if it bothered or annoyed anyone.
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      04-07-2008, 08:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1234 View Post
As per the advice of many (thank you ) I went and listened to both and I posted my thoughts here.

I was hoping (against common sense) that there would be overwhelming consensus from those that would consider the standard stereo (self professed non-audiophiles like me) such that I wouldn't have bother. Didn't happen, sorry if it bothered or annoyed anyone.
My problem is I want the prem audio but don't want NAV. I'm not sure I can justify 4K in options. Damn BMW for not putting the Logic 7 as standard equipment!
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