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Old 09-24-2008, 08:32 PM   #1
gambit
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Default component or stock?

Let me get this straight - the ti comes with stock component speakers. I want to replace these to run off my Pioneer HU but I DO NOT want to run an amp. I'm looking for a good sound system with punchy bass but nothing overly loud like subwoofer - basically a sound quality better than the stock without doing too much modification. So I replaced one of the kick woofers (stock) with some cheap alternatives as a test to get the best sound - I have now tried four different types (two 2-ways and two component woofers) all from budget sets ranging from $40 - $100. What is clear is the 2-ways sound terrible so they're out of the question BUT more surprsing is that when I tried the component woofers in the kick they did not even come close to the stock (one was even a polk audio)! I got worried. Is something wrong here? i.e. do I need an amp to get new component speakers to work - why so if the stock ones are working fine? I read somewhere that I should buy low power components instead like the stock woofer (it's 25w) to get more response. It's very wierd as I simply changed the balance from left to right and the stock speaker won hands down evrytime. Do I need to spend more? I have decided to get some Alpine Type Rs (components) but need to know if these will sound better than the stock speakers. Also I don't want to run an amp so will I be limiting their sound by running off my pioneer HU? Please give advice as I don't want to lose any money buy purchasing these unneccesarily. thanks in advance to all
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
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Additional Info:

When testing the kick woofer with different speakers I did not have the component tweeter and hence crossover on that door side connected - it was just running on its own - would it have improved with these connected?
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
I read somewhere that I should buy low power components instead like the stock woofer (it's 25w) to get more response.
Perhaps he was talking about ohms and not watts.
If the new speakers your testing are 6 or 8 ohms and the stock are, say, 4, then the stocks will sound louder at a given volume.
Try adjusting for volume and see which gives a cleaner sound at your comfortable listening level. It could just be that you'll need to crank it a little more to get the same perceived volume.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:47 PM   #4
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they were all 4 ohms so I didnt think that was the problem.

I didn't fiddle with the HU because in theory the supposedly better component woofers should have simply sounded better with the same settings as applied to the stock. They didn't - I was most surprised by the Polk Audio - shouldn't this outstrip the stock woofer?

will cabling the crossover and tweeter help to improve it sound - i didnt think it should!
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:34 PM   #5
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more help needed please
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:41 PM   #6
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anyone else?
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:44 PM   #7
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You should try posting this over on bimmerforums in the car audio and electronics forum.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:06 PM   #8
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Did that and got no response - I figured 318ti owners would be more knowledgeable
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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I am running HU without an Amp and have component speakers in the door and it sounds great. Head Unit is Alpine, speakers are Boston Acoustics Rally. You MUST run component speakes thru the crossover to make them sound right.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:06 PM   #10
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okay so are you suggesting if I purchase the Alpine Type Rs to run off the Pioneer HU it will sound better than the stock - I really dont wanna lose out!

thanks in the meantime
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:42 PM   #11
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I think its very rare that an aftermarket speaker sounds worse than your stock ones. It sounded like you hooked the new one up to one side and the old one to the other side. If so i would try hooking them up correctly. (with both new speakers on both sides). It could be that they have different ohm ratings and that could be causing problems or maybe simply the old speaker has a lower impedance so it takes less power to push it then the new one. These are just guesses but if your having problems it never hurts to hook everything up correctly. (including crossovers/tweeters) You never know, the results can be surprising.

What was the best quality speaker that you tried out? Do you have the model of speaker so we can look it up.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:41 PM   #12
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The best were actually some polk audio but as mentioned for some baffling reason were being outperformed by the stock.

model db5251

oh yeah and I'm sure the ouput on the Pionner HU is 4 ohm i.e. matches the new speakers but the stock is 8 ohm i.e. not matching!...im confused: (
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:08 AM   #13
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Those should definately out-perform your stock speakers. Are you sure those are stock speakers.

You could also eliminate the harness for the speakers if your using one. Just runs speaker wire straight from the HU wires to the speakers. I actually had to remove the harness for space issues in mine. I couldn't push the cd player all the way in with that big honkin harness.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:33 AM   #14
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hmm.. im not to sure, because i have 2 amps, and all original FRONT speakers, along with a 10 inch sub, and a 15 inch PA speaker.. (take a look at the pictures)

ANYWAY.. you need to understand the general concept of speakers. the LOWER the watts the LOUDER they will be is the basic rule of thumb.. now that u all think i am nuts, let me explain.. the stock BMW speakers are LOUD because they only NEED 25 watts to power them. Where as aftermarket ones could be inefficient and could use over 50 - 100 watts. That is where the idea of an amp comes into play. If you have 2 stock speakers at 25 watts each, then your radio can handle them without a problem, but when your speakers DEMAND 100 watts, and your radio can only put out 25 watts, you must require the use of an AMP to help you out.

Watts only tells you how much power your speakers can take before they blow up.
you MUST look at the DB rating. The DB rating tells you how loud your speakers will be. DB is really how loud a speaker is at 1 watt.. the higher the DB number, the louder the speaker..


if you are looking for GOOD speakers to replace your stock ones without going over budget, the answer is simple.. keep your old speakes, or look for ones that have VERY HIGH DB with lower watts. BMW has seem to have found the correct ones for the amp already installed in the car..

I have kept all my original speakers, and I have spent well over $1500 on my sound system in my car.. (closer to $2000)

your OHMS is also messed up.. your stock ones where 8 OHMS because you probally have 2 side speakers on your door.. they are all connected together, and if you put a 4 ohm speaker into your system, it will be alot harder to hear. MORE power is required to power subs with LOWER ohms.. think of it like this.. the higher the ohms, the less power.. but your radio and amps can only handle certain ranges... if you keep the stock 8 ohm speaker in your car, the total ohms combined with the other 2 speakers will probally push your ohms down to 4 ohms per channel, which is what u want. if you stick a 4 ohm speaker in your kick, it will cause the total ohms to drop to around 2 - 3 ohms (i didnt do the math) but it may cause your radio to be unstable. amps can handle this normall, but radios sometimes cant, and u can wreck your radio (the lower the ohms, the harder it is on the radio or amp. lower ohms is almost liek a short circuit. 0 ohms is a dead short.. . so u get the idea.) if the ohms are two high, the radio can not handle it, and will blow the speaker apart by pumping to much power into it and melting the inside of it..

now.. what is the problem? You want your system louder? You have to get an AMP, you can get a one and mount it on the back of your rear seats like I have, they look nice there.. do a nice job wiring it up and it will look fine.. if you need lower bass, you will need a sub. SMALL component speakers like you bought are not normally made for bass .. they make a few that are small and PURE BASS but not much in-between that will out perform the stock ones.. you have to look at single speakers as well, anything that is 2 or more components is PURE JUNK and sound horribleÖ even the high quality ones..(they lose all bass) if your BMW is like mine, it should have 2 speakers in your doors as well, these are only high pitch tweeters.. and combined with the midrange in your kick, it makes a perfect harmony.. if you want to add bass without a sub, you need to look at your rear speakers, or a sub.. you said you donít want a sub, so you need to replace the rear speakers with 1 component speakers (you can even keep the stock ones if you want) and you need to get CROSSOVERS to lower the sound to more of a pure bass.. the only thing that will effectively work is an amp, but a subwoofer crossover will change the speaker to a more basically speaker, and should be what u are looking for..




basically, this rule is important when sizing up small speaker like in your car. When you have a large speaker or a sub, most people donít care about the DB and ONLY look at watts.. well.. thatís nice and all, but u can really push your system to the limits if you know the DB rating of a speaker. Lets say you cant chose between 2 subwoofers, 1 is 250 watts and 100 DB, and one is 1000 watts at 88 DB .. and we should assume that both have the same basic build.. 10 inches, 1 inch rubber around it. Now.. most people will say , HOLY S*** 1000 watts is MUCH better, then that crappy 250 watt sub. But let me assure you, the 250 watt, 100DB sub that is in my car is just as loud as that 1000 watt sub..

if you need to look at an amp to power it, would you rather buy a 100 Ė 200 watt amp to power the 250watt speaker, or would you rather buy a 500 Ė 1000 watt sub to power a 1000 watt sub? Well, it might not matter, but PRICE will be play a big role. Now.. there are 3 types of amps.. Cheap with low watts, middle priced with HIGH watts, and expensive with LOW watts. Itís all about how efficient they are. Now a 1000 watt amp might seem nice at first, but you must then buy LARGE wire and a LARGE CAP to handle it. It also will cause damage to your alternator and sometimes computer systems if not installed right.. where as, if you get a amp similar to mine, which is only 35 watts at 4 channels and a 75 watt and 2 channels, (both about 150 watts total) with a much larger price tag, not only are they cheap to install, but will last MUCH longer, as they do not produce a lot of damaging heat. They are amazing just as loud as those 1000 watt amps, but are made for normal or high end/low powered speakers.

my 250 watt speaker that is hooked up to the 150 watt amp is louder then any other 10 Ė 12 inch speaker that has come my way. It also cost more.. haha.. and the same with the 35 watt 4 channel amp, which I use for my entire cars speakers..

i would reccument what i did to fix yoru problem.. get a high end amp.. i LOVE CROSSFIRE AMPS, and you can getthem on ebay alittle cheaper, weather used or new.. they coem with a high price tag, but they sound much better, and liek i said, after you figure in wire size and teh use of a CAP, the more powerful ones are ALWAYS more expensive.. you can use cheap 12 AWG wire with tehse amps, where are with a 1000 watt amp, you will need 0/2 wire, which is normally a few $ per foot, and also a CAP, which can run about $100 new.. so .. lower watt are always better..

get 2 crossovers if you dont already have them, and use them to configure your speakers.. the ones in your kick set up as the Woofers, and the ones in your door, setup as teh tweers with around -3 DB. then for the rear speakers, use the rear output for the amp.. it will be the best investment u have made.. better then the radio itself =] ..
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:08 AM   #15
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I dont think Hotmilk here saw that you dont want to run an amp or subs and im not so sure if i would trust his knowledge of ohms and db to the tee. I dont know how much bass you want but your not going to get that great of bass out of the 5 1/4's in the front and 4" in back. Your best bet is to get some good speakers and a HU. Which i think most pioneers do a great job at making speakers sound good. Those speakers will sound alot better with an amp to them though.

Hotmilk, You sound very knowledgable and experienced but let me ask you this. Ohms is a measure of resistance, so if you have a lower resistance why would it take more power to push 4 ohms then 8 ohms. If you have a 500w amp @ 4 ohms and is 2 ohm stable then that just means you'll get more power out of it running 2 ohms. From my understanding that just means you get less output for the same amount of power supply if you have a higher resistance.

I'm not going to argue with you on decibles too much because thats where i tend to lack in knowledge. You said that db is the measure of how loud it is at 1 watt. well with 100db on a 250w amp compared to 88db on a 1000w amp wouldn't the 1000w amp still be louder. From what you said its decibles per watt. But if that is the case i doubt they would get numbers like 88db.

bottom line: you get what you pay for............. Unless you can get it on sale
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