A client from Falls Church, Virginia contacted WSS Westminster Speed & Sound about his 2011 BMW 328xi speaker upgrade project. He had just purchased the car and knew the original stereo system was severely lacking. It came equipped with the base level stereo system. We spent significant time on the phone with the client getting to know him better, as we wanted to understand his goals for the audio system. We also recognized that he lived many hours away from us. His favorite types of music were explored as were the volume levels that he would like to be able to achieve. After explaining to him how BMW designed his particular stereo system, we offered him what we felt was his best solution, with an upgrade path should he choose to go farther with it in the future. He liked what we offered him and felt very comfortable with us, between our conversations on the phone and the articles we posted on our website about BMW sound upgrades. So an install date was secured and any needed product was ordered.
BMW 328XI Speaker Upgrade and Sub Too!
As this vehicle had the base level stereo system, it did not come with factory tweeters. We ordered the factory tweeter mounts from BMW so we could install German Maestro CS4008 speakers in the front doors and tweeter mounts by the side view mirrors. This vehicle came equipped with the 6.5” woofers under the front seat. We replaced them with German Maestro SWF8012HE 8” woofers. These six front speakers became the basis for the whole audio upgrade. Stinger Roadkill was installed in the front doors and in the cavity where the 8” woofers were installed to help eliminate resonance caused by the higher performance speakers.
JL Audio Cleansweep Solves EQ Issue
These new front speakers are great, but the factory BMW stereo is plagued with an equalization curve that was designed to take the poor sounding stock speakers and make them sound better. Once the system had high quality speakers, the equalization was actually going to detract from the sound quality. To solve this we installed a JL Audio Cleansweep. This device gets the musical signal coming out of the stock stereo system and de-equalizes it, outputting a completely flat, accurate musical signal. You will see from the pictures that it was installed in a cavity underneath the rear floor behind the rear seat.
Good Things Come In Small Packages
Also known as the Arc Audio KS125.4mini amplifier
All of this is great, but means nothing without some good, clean power to give you volume levels that actually make the sound system fun to listen to. An Arc Audio KS125.4mini amplifier was installed underneath the rear floor, getting the clean signal that is output from the Cleansweep. Half of the amplifier powers the floor woofers, sending 75 watts per channel to them. The other two channels are sent to the 4” and tweeter package, sending 75 watts per channel to them as well. The amplifier comes with a high quality active crossover network, allowing us to dedicate the woofers to playing low frequencies and freeing up the door speakers from that load, as they play all of the music except the low-end bass being reproduce by the woofers. The factory installed rear speakers were left in the vehicle and could be used for sound for the rear seat passengers, should the need arise. At the end of all of our installations, significant time is given to properly tune the system, which results in much better sound quality and reliability.
Worth The Drive to WSS Westminster Speed and Sound
In the end, the client was thrilled that he took the long drive to get to our facility. He got a vastly improved sound system while keeping the look of the vehicle completely stock. All of the factory equipment such as Bluetooth, iPod control, and steering wheel controls worked exactly the same as when it arrived. But now it can play at a much higher level and with clarity and detail that makes you want to stay in your vehicle long after you have arrived at your destination.
When we designed this stereo for the client we had an upgrade path in mind. If he decides he would like low-end impact from a kick drum or bass guitar that only a true subwoofer can provide, the system can be upgraded to include this while utilizing all of the equipment currently installed in the car. If you own a BMW and would like your sound system to perform the way the rest of the vehicle does, give us a call or send us an email. We can help with that.
Check out this video to see why you should consider WSS Westminster Speed & Sound when upgrading the car audio system in your BMW: