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      06-12-2008, 04:08 PM   #1
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Base Stereo

Well I have had my car now for a week and I must say that the base stereo is more than fine for the average ear. I played the bass guitar for 12 years and have spent many hours in a recording studio, so I think my ear is probably above average. I have to say that, although I have not hear the upgraded stereo, I can't imagine the sound is $1900 apart. For those on the fence, if you aren't insanely anal about your music, you will find the base stereo perfect. The speed of the ipod is a little slow so I think I may try a flash card.....
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      06-12-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
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Just curious what other cars you have owned or if you have ever been an audiophile and have had upgraded sound systems in the past.

Base BMW systems are not known for being any good....

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      06-12-2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkalley View Post
Well I have had my car now for a week and I must say that the base stereo is more than fine for the average ear. I played the bass guitar for 12 years and have spent many hours in a recording studio, so I think my ear is probably above average. I have to say that, although I have not hear the upgraded stereo, I can't imagine the sound is $1900 apart. For those on the fence, if you aren't insanely anal about your music, you will find the base stereo perfect. The speed of the ipod is a little slow so I think I may try a flash card.....
I used to have a recording studio in my basement and I've played guitar for 17 years. I think my ear is pretty good. I listened to both the base stereo and the upgraded stereo. In my opinion neither one is great, both are decent. The upgrade is definitely not $1,900 better in my opinion at all, it's only slightly better and to most people probably not even noticeable. What I do find funny is the people who spend extra money for a good stereo then play MP3s on it. That's a waste if you ask me because MP3s have horrible sound. A better stereo only makes a poor format sound worse.
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      06-12-2008, 06:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkalley View Post
Well I have had my car now for a week and I must say that the base stereo is more than fine for the average ear. I played the bass guitar for 12 years and have spent many hours in a recording studio, so I think my ear is probably above average. I have to say that, although I have not hear the upgraded stereo, I can't imagine the sound is $1900 apart. For those on the fence, if you aren't insanely anal about your music, you will find the base stereo perfect. The speed of the ipod is a little slow so I think I may try a flash card.....
I was also wondering if the upgraded stereo in the M3 was worth the price. I haven't heard either of the two systems. Does anyone know if the base stereo in the M3 is the same as the upgraded stereo in the 335i? If so, I think the base would be more than adequate.
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      06-12-2008, 07:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chili cheese View Post
I was also wondering if the upgraded stereo in the M3 was worth the price. I haven't heard either of the two systems. Does anyone know if the base stereo in the M3 is the same as the upgraded stereo in the 335i? If so, I think the base would be more than adequate.
This has been discussed ad nauseam...the base stereo in the m3 is NOT the same as the upgraded stereo in the 335i. It is worse.
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      06-12-2008, 07:30 PM   #6
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i havent listened to either, just the logic 7 but in my experience the upgraded stereo usually just has more bass so ppl are like wow it sounds great. Everyone raves about the Mark Levinson in lexuses, but i dont think it sounds that great at all, aftermarket systems i've heard sound a lot more crisp and defined but then again cost a ton to get done right. At 850, the B+O in audi is a lot more reasonably priced, but overall car stereos for me personally are a low return investment, it's nice to have but the difference is marginal.
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      06-12-2008, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkalley View Post
Well I have had my car now for a week and I must say that the base stereo is more than fine for the average ear. I played the bass guitar for 12 years and have spent many hours in a recording studio, so I think my ear is probably above average. I have to say that, although I have not hear the upgraded stereo, I can't imagine the sound is $1900 apart. For those on the fence, if you aren't insanely anal about your music, you will find the base stereo perfect. The speed of the ipod is a little slow so I think I may try a flash card.....
I agree with both J08M3 and darkalley. While I'm not an audiophile by any means, I don't consider the upgraded stereo to be worth another $1900.00. The base system is fine for my tastes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ismelllikepoop View Post
i havent listened to either, just the logic 7 but in my experience the upgraded stereo usually just has more bass so ppl are like wow it sounds great. Everyone raves about the Mark Levinson in lexuses, but i dont think it sounds that great at all, aftermarket systems i've heard sound a lot more crisp and defined but then again cost a ton to get done right. At 850, the B+O in audi is a lot more reasonably priced, but overall car stereos for me personally are a low return investment, it's nice to have but the difference is marginal.
I agree! The Logic 7 in my 330i has less bass tone than the upgraded system in my ///M3, but without the sub-woofers turned on, the systems sound comparable.

Last edited by Sedan_Clan; 06-13-2008 at 10:34 AM.
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      06-12-2008, 10:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEllis View Post
Just curious what other cars you have owned or if you have ever been an audiophile and have had upgraded sound systems in the past.

Base BMW systems are not known for being any good....

Jason
I've had the typical upgraded stereo's-bose, hk, etc. I am not saying it is a concert stereo but for an ipod and sat radio, the base stereo is more than adequate. I guess I was expecting a muddy mess based on previous posts but I was pleasantly surprised.

Jim
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      06-12-2008, 10:47 PM   #9
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i originally thought that there was no way that i could live without the upgraded stereo, but now i think that i am going to steer clear...
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      06-12-2008, 11:27 PM   #10
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Food for Thought: If you buy it with the base radio and then hate it, you'll be in the after-market picking out a system and may pay more than $1,900 to get what you want (and it may not integrate with i-drive/screen)

[this could be one of those Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later dilemmas]
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      06-13-2008, 12:10 AM   #11
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I'm another M3 owner with the base stereo and I'm quite pleased (and surprised) with the quality of the system. It's much better than I expected it to be - decent base and clarity. I've also got the iPod/USB/Satellite radio options and it's a nice setup including the HD radio for those times when AM radio is required.

For those who hammer and bash the base system and/or the upgraded system: blah, blah, blah. There's always some snobs whining about any sound system including custom setups because theirs is better. Whatever. It's such a waste of time to read that crap.
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      06-13-2008, 02:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ-BMW View Post
Food for Thought: If you buy it with the base radio and then hate it, you'll be in the after-market picking out a system and may pay more than $1,900 to get what you want (and it may not integrate with i-drive/screen)

[this could be one of those Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later dilemmas]
I disagree that you have to spend more than $1900 to get a better system than the stock. You can build sound quality competition winning systems for $1900 depending on how crafty and creative you are.
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      06-13-2008, 04:51 AM   #13
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I also have the base stereo, and I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried it. (To tell you the truth, I don't use it that much because the engine makes such sweet music.)

I agree with comments that base BMW systems used to be lacking - I have a 2000 328i with the base unit offered at the time, and it's not very good at all - very thin bass.

I don't feel that way about the e90 M3 base unit. The bass is good and solid, although you may want something more if you want to rattle your fillings. The unit sounds great to me - I don't need anything more. I used to consider myself an audiophile, but I probably did too much damage to my hearing cranking up Freebird, Springsteen and Led Zep in the '70's. I haven't heard the upgraded system, but I can't imagine it's a quantum leap better than the base unit.

(I also have a 2007 X3 with the base unit, and it sounds pretty good, and the M3 is better.)
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      06-13-2008, 05:56 AM   #14
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I have the individual high end sound system. No idea if it's available in the states or if it's called differently.

Sounds very good for a car stereo but it's no 'high-end'.

In the end, when you're under the shower, singing along with that $25 portable radio : That's high-end.

P.

Front doors :





Rear :



Subwoofers under the front seats :




--

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      06-13-2008, 08:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chili cheese View Post
Does anyone know if the base stereo in the M3 is the same as the upgraded stereo in the 335i?
The 335i has no stereo upgrade option, it is only available with the Logic 7 system.

The M3 base stereo is the same as the 328i base stereo which is one step below Logic 7.
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      06-13-2008, 08:46 AM   #16
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tbh , i bought the M3 to listen to the lump under the bonnet not the stereo
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      06-13-2008, 09:57 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Panerex View Post
I have the individual high end sound system. No idea if it's available in the states or if it's called differently.
Individual High End = Enhanced Premium Sound in the US. I waffled on ordering it, but am glad I did. It really only sounds great when played loud with good program material, though. Otherwise, I'm sure the base is fine. Too bad we don't get Logic7 for $700 like some others.
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      06-13-2008, 10:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ-BMW View Post
Food for Thought: If you buy it with the base radio and then hate it, you'll be in the after-market picking out a system and may pay more than $1,900 to get what you want (and it may not integrate with i-drive/screen)

[this could be one of those Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later dilemmas]
That issue is easily rectified...

...play your favorite CD/IPOD playlist in an ///M3 at the dealership. If one is not available at the dealership, choose your nearest 335i and play it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
The 335i has no stereo upgrade option, it is only available with the Logic 7 system.

The M3 base stereo is the same as the 328i base stereo which is one step below Logic 7.

Although the Logic 7 is adequate for my needs, I'm not all that impressed with the Logic 7 in my 330i. The overall sound quality in the E46 ///M3 is better.
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      06-13-2008, 10:40 AM   #19
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I ordered the enhanced on mine....ya its $1900 which does seem steep and honestly I like the plain black speakers better on the base stereo.... I'm sure both sound fine...& after I have mine for a while I'll try listening to a base stereo at the dealer to see if I can tell a difference.....
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      06-13-2008, 10:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
Individual High End = Enhanced Premium Sound in the US. I waffled on ordering it, but am glad I did. It really only sounds great when played loud with good program material, though. Otherwise, I'm sure the base is fine. Too bad we don't get Logic7 for $700 like some others.
+1 I was also on the fence about E.P.Sound but glad that I got it. Yes $1900 is a bit overpriced but I think it's worth getting.
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      06-13-2008, 10:55 AM   #21
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Glad to hear that the base sound system of the M3 is adequate enough. As other the poster said, it serves the purpose and the engine sound of the M3 is worth more than $1900. As mentioned also, getting this upgrade but playing an MP3 defeats the purpose of getting an upgraded sound system.
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      06-13-2008, 11:30 AM   #22
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Garbage in = Garbage out

Majority of people will listen to the radio or MP3s which are very compressed and lack alot of definition and range of frequencies. What's the point of buying a high end system if the material that you mostly listen to is poor quality in the first place?
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