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      03-05-2010, 02:41 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by SCtud View Post
enhanced premium sound is a joke. you're better off getting the hi-fi and upgrading it with the cost savings. you do get the benefit of a digital signal output using MOST on the enhanced premium sound however. i think the signal is pretty clean on the analog hi-fi output
I agree, mostly. I believe the enhanced premium is not bad, just not top notch. It has clarity but it sounds sort of weird, artificial like. I don't know how to describe it in words. Anyway, I'm not sure if the digital signal is a benefit or liability when upgrading.

Cheers.
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      03-05-2010, 02:52 PM   #46
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I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on an '08 M3 coupe. It has the hi-fi system, no nav, but interestingly, the premium pkg with extended leather. I've auditioned both the hi-fi and enhanced premium audio. I think enhanced might be good enough (although it's still could use improvement) but I would definitely upgrade the hi-fi system.

I spend a lot of time in the car (50 miles one-way to work) so I put a lot of stock in the audio system. I don't need an audiophile grade system (whatever that would mean). But the OEM parts will have to go. I take it that the general consensus is that the OEM HU is good enough and that replacing the amp(s) and speakers should be the way to go?

I'm currently following these threads with great interest. Thanks, guys.
if you live around DC you are welcome to listen to my car
OEM speakers, aftermarket amp, Earthquake SWS-8
sounds great
total spent is around $700
if you are even considering upgrading get the HIFI, much easier to work with
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      03-05-2010, 02:56 PM   #47
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if you live around DC you are welcome to listen to my car
OEM speakers, aftermarket amp, Earthquake SWS-8
sounds great
total spent is around $700
if you are even considering upgrading get the HIFI, much easier to work with
So, all that you have replaced are the subs and amp (which I suppose you have to to use the SWS)? That alone gives you great sound. Not bad. I was thinking more like $2K. In your opinion the OEM speakers (not subs) are decent?

Is there any way to quantify how much better over stock the speakers are that the OP is using? BTW, I really appreciate the info here.

Cheers.
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      03-05-2010, 03:01 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
I agree, mostly. I believe the enhanced premium is not bad, just not top notch. It has clarity but it sounds sort of weird, artificial like. I don't know how to describe it in words. Anyway, I'm not sure if the digital signal is a benefit or liability when upgrading.

Cheers.
true - i forget that it requires getting a MOST interface (Motus Lab or Mobridge), which are not worth getting unless you plan on getting a ridiculous system. it is probably a disadvantage for most people.
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      03-05-2010, 03:04 PM   #49
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true - i forget that it requires getting a MOST interface (Motus Lab or Mobridge), which are not worth getting unless you plan on getting a ridiculous system. it is probably a disadvantage for most people.
Yea, I guess I should have said that the hi-fi seems much easier to upgrade. In that respect, the MOST bus a liability.
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      03-05-2010, 03:29 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
So, all that you have replaced are the subs and amp (which I suppose you have to to use the SWS)? That alone gives you great sound. Not bad. I was thinking more like $2K. In your opinion the OEM speakers (not subs) are decent?

Is there any way to quantify how much better over stock the speakers are that the OP is using? BTW, I really appreciate the info here.

Cheers.
If you replace just the OEM amp in the HiFi with a good quality 6-channel amp I would say that that will be enough to improve the sound to satisfaction for 95% of the listeners. A pair of SWS-8 on top of that will give you an extra 3%.

That's where most of the sound issues in the HiFi system are located.
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      03-05-2010, 03:46 PM   #51
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And replacing the other speakers will give you the other 2%?
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      03-05-2010, 04:21 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
So, all that you have replaced are the subs and amp (which I suppose you have to to use the SWS)? That alone gives you great sound. Not bad. I was thinking more like $2K. In your opinion the OEM speakers (not subs) are decent?

Is there any way to quantify how much better over stock the speakers are that the OP is using? BTW, I really appreciate the info here.

Cheers.
You can do a lot with $2k. I didn't even spend that much. I think my breakdown was something like this.

Zapco DC650.6 - $900
a/d/s 344is mids - $70
a/d/s px concept tweeters - $100
Earthquake SWS8 - $280/pair
Midrange speaker mounting rings - $50 (can be cheaper if you cut it out of wood)
New window trims for tweeter mounts - $80
Speaker wires - $100
Symbilink wires - $100
Power wires and circuit breaker - $0 (already had it but it would be about $50)
Other misc connectors - $30

Total - approx $1700
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      03-05-2010, 04:21 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
So, all that you have replaced are the subs and amp (which I suppose you have to to use the SWS)? That alone gives you great sound. Not bad. I was thinking more like $2K. In your opinion the OEM speakers (not subs) are decent?

Is there any way to quantify how much better over stock the speakers are that the OP is using? BTW, I really appreciate the info here.

Cheers.
well if you want easy and you have the budget
i would get a pair if Individual audio midranges for $300
i used the logic 7 speakers as i didn't want to pay that much
cost me $100
those use the OEM screws etc

plus you can get a newer amp
i used an old school brand i love, Soundstream 405s
and it was used
cost me $200
the biggest difference i noticed was throwing the OEM tweeters away
they sound like crap
then the amp made the second most diff
you could get the BSW set and add an amp and you're set
if you are i'd recommend getting the one with 7 speakers and selling 2 of them to me
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      03-05-2010, 04:38 PM   #54
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Hmm, lots of possibilities. That's something to ponder. Right now I'm getting jacked up about actually going to see the car tonight. I might have it by Monday earliest if I decide to do this.

Upgrading the stereo will be one of first mods (not the first) I'll make. However, it seems to be the toughest to make choices about. I've been known to take a while to actually make choices like this. What to do, what to do?

BTW, kmarei, I'll probably hit you up for the audition. But, first things first, let me acquire the car (FINALLY).

Cheers all.
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      03-05-2010, 04:47 PM   #55
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well based on what me and 808mguy said
start with the amp, and go from there
i like taking it in steps
when you make a lot of changes in one go
more room for problems
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      03-05-2010, 04:48 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by ersin View Post
BTW, kmarei, I'll probably hit you up for the audition. But, first things first, let me acquire the car (FINALLY).

Cheers all.
sure
give us some details on the car
colour?
trim etc?
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      03-05-2010, 05:18 PM   #57
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It's an '08 Interlagos Blue coupe, extended silver leather, CF leather trim, 6MT, 18" wheels. It seems to have the premium package, no nav, and no heated seats (boo, but not a deal breaker). I'll be inspecting it tonight. In fact, I'm about ready to leave.

The idea about starting with just the amp sounds like a good idea. Stay tuned.
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      03-05-2010, 05:37 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
And replacing the other speakers will give you the other 2%?
Those percentages depend on your sound goals and tastes, it was just my opinion.

The best thing to do -again, in my opinion- is to start with the amp and see if you like the improvement. The great thing about the HiFi is that all the wiring is in the trunk, in that OEM amp connector. No door panels need to be removed, no new wiring needs to be layout, no seats need to be removed. Even the battery is a few feet from the amp.

So in less than an hour you can have a much better sounding OEM system for less than $500 depending on the amp chosen. If you still do not like the sound then you move to speakers swaps, perhaps a processor. If anything, the only OEM speaker that really has to be replaced is the underseat woofer, it is really not that great at all even with extra power compared with the SWS-8. Even in the Premium Sound system the SWS-8 are much better than those OEM woofers, and even when driven by the OEM 825W amp (not recommended at all).
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      03-05-2010, 05:45 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by ersin View Post
It's an '08 Interlagos Blue coupe, extended silver leather, CF leather trim, 6MT, 18" wheels. It seems to have the premium package, no nav, and no heated seats (boo, but not a deal breaker). I'll be inspecting it tonight. In fact, I'm about ready to leave.

The idea about starting with just the amp sounds like a good idea. Stay tuned.
18" wheels and 6MT
my kinda guy
i got mine with carbon leather too
but i replaced it with aluminium trim
makes a nice contract with my black interior
still have the carbon leather, i like it too much
they are easy to change so i can alternate
hope it goes well with the car
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      03-05-2010, 05:46 PM   #60
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The best thing to do -again, in my opinion- is to start with the amp and see if you like the improvement. The great thing about the HiFi is that all the wiring is in the trunk, in that OEM amp connector. No door panels need to be removed, no new wiring needs to be layout, no seats need to be removed. Even the battery is a few feet from the amp.
now if only someone would make an easy connector that accepts the OEM plug and gives us RCAs, remote wire etc.....
we wouldn't be in this predicament!
hint hint nudge nudge
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      03-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #61
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Pulled the trigger last night! I'll be picking the car up today. After all the paperwork and such, there was not enough time last night to clean the car up, plus I didn't want to leave my other vehicle there; it's about an hour drive from home. I'll be "trading in" my '94 Miata. It's not really trading in, they're giving me $100 for it. But this way I will just leave the Miata and come back with the M3. I'll post up more details in the main topic area.


Technic,

I'll start with just the amp. (Right now I'm amped up about getting the car. Sorry about the pun.) I think this is a good idea. This way I can hear the incremental differences, assuming I go further. There are a few other things on "the list" ahead of this. But, I'll be getting to it RSN.


Thanks a lot guys.
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      03-06-2010, 10:21 AM   #62
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congrats! that's a nice tradeup!
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      03-06-2010, 11:17 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by ersin View Post
Pulled the trigger last night! I'll be picking the car up today. After all the paperwork and such, there was not enough time last night to clean the car up, plus I didn't want to leave my other vehicle there; it's about an hour drive from home. I'll be "trading in" my '94 Miata. It's not really trading in, they're giving me $100 for it. But this way I will just leave the Miata and come back with the M3. I'll post up more details in the main topic area.


Technic,

I'll start with just the amp. (Right now I'm amped up about getting the car. Sorry about the pun.) I think this is a good idea. This way I can hear the incremental differences, assuming I go further. There are a few other things on "the list" ahead of this. But, I'll be getting to it RSN.


Thanks a lot guys.
Enjoy your M3!!!!!
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      03-06-2010, 11:52 AM   #64
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I'll be "trading in" my '94 Miata. It's not really trading in, they're giving me $100 for it. But this way I will just leave the Miata and come back with the M3. I'll post up more details in the main topic area.
heck i'll buy it for more than that
did you already trade it in?
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      03-06-2010, 08:37 PM   #65
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heck i'll buy it for more than that
did you already trade it in?
Not really a trade. The Miata barely runs. 200,000+ miles, broken rear window, broken taillight, and it needs a new battery. It's been lots of fun and I've got my moneys worth out of it.

I didn't want my wife to drive me all the way down there. This way I drove down to the dealer, left the Miata and came home with the M3.
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      03-06-2010, 08:40 PM   #66
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Enjoy your M3!!!!!
Thanks. The M3 used but past of break-in. So, I revved it past 8K a couple times on the way home. Unfortunately, traffic was bad most of the way so I didn't really get to play much. I f***in hate traffic!
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