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      09-24-2019, 09:04 AM   #1
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Harmon Kardon Bass Upgrade

I have an F32 with HK system, I find there is a lack of bass and want to address this.

Would it best to upgrade the under seat woofers or add a sub box in the boot?
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      09-24-2019, 09:15 AM   #2
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Lack of bass!? I would suggest you have a fault with the system somewhere as I would not say there is a lack of bass unless you are used to competition aftermarket levels of bass.
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      09-24-2019, 10:59 AM   #3
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Have you tried playing with the equaliser settings in iDrive? I'll take a photo of mine later, the difference is night and day.
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      09-24-2019, 11:05 AM   #4
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Funnily was playing a heavy bass song today and thought how good it sounded!
As above, a settings issue or a fault!
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      09-24-2019, 11:05 AM   #5
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I have the HK system in the f32, and have to dial down the bass a bit ! Try the settings, make sure the subs are connected ok
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      09-24-2019, 11:24 AM   #6
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Don't listen to those guys. You should follow my thread (https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...php?p=24458066), I'm currently working on adding a small sub in the trunk to try to add some meat to the bottom end while taking up as little space as possible.
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      09-24-2019, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybris View Post
Don't listen to those guys. You should follow my thread (https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...php?p=24458066), I'm currently working on adding a small sub in the trunk to try to add some meat to the bottom end while taking up as little space as possible.
I can't listen to you. Gone deaf from the HK bass in the GC

Seriously. If you have limited bass I would expect you have a problem with the setup/equipment. Theres more than enough in the HK when its right and working.
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      09-24-2019, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedski View Post
I can't listen to you. Gone deaf from the HK bass in the GC

Seriously. If you have limited bass I would expect you have a problem with the setup/equipment. Theres more than enough in the HK when its right and working.
Well, for one - some people have like four 15" woofers in the back of their car, so obviously "enough" is relative depending on who you ask.

Second, one thing is the amount of bass, I can agree that it's "enough" for most people, but it's not great, and it's not very deep. And if you can offload the rest of the system with a separate subwoofer, you can turn down the bass to the main system, and get more dynamics and better sound from that too.
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      09-24-2019, 02:50 PM   #9
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While I'm happy with the general volume of bass from the HK, I find it rolls off really early, at like 80hz or so, and really struggles to produce any notes lower than 40hz. For people who enjoy bass, it's the low notes around 30hz that are the most enjoyable, and the HK system just doesn't reproduce these, and you feel you are missing part of the music. Inevitable due to the size of the underseat enclosures.

On the other hand it's still the best standard system I've had in any of my cars!
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      09-24-2019, 03:28 PM   #10
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I have to agree with the majority here, I've just come from a car with a 12" Rockford fosgate sub box and 600rms Rockford amp in the boot.
Whilst my HK can't produce the thump the old set up did, I find it's good enough to not need the extra help the old system did.
I'm more for quality not quantity these days, yes you can have both but be prepared to shell out quite a few quid...
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      09-24-2019, 04:12 PM   #11
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Coming from a car which had a hefty aftermarket setup in it I can't help but agree that the under seat subs are lacking when it comes to that punchy responsive sound that I had previously. Yes, I've tweaked the EQ (I've even had my sound guy do it), but the issue is the space under the seats just isn't deep enough for a good sub. The venting to the side skirts also means you get a very nasty vibration outside which sounds horrific. I lasted over 2 years before I've eventually got sick of the system and wanted an upgrade.

I've got an F30 which means there's a gap under the boot floor (not sure if the F32 has the same?) which, when you take out the surround, opens up even more. I'm booked in to get a Rockford Fosgate P3 shallow mount sub in there in about 6 weeks time, it's not cheap but it's going to be worth every single penny. I'll throw a photo or two up if I remember once it's sorted, booked in for the 31st October and I'll get it back on the 4th November. Hopefully that'll solve the issue I have with the system, if not then the HK front speakers will be coming out in favour of something of higher quality - the upgrade in my last car was cheap enough, I'm just hoping that the HK amp doesn't throw a spanner in the works (which I've got a feeling it will.)
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      09-24-2019, 04:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquidfox View Post
Coming from a car which had a hefty aftermarket setup in it I can't help but agree that the under seat subs are lacking when it comes to that punchy responsive sound that I had previously. Yes, I've tweaked the EQ (I've even had my sound guy do it), but the issue is the space under the seats just isn't deep enough for a good sub. The venting to the side skirts also means you get a very nasty vibration outside which sounds horrific. I lasted over 2 years before I've eventually got sick of the system and wanted an upgrade.

I've got an F30 which means there's a gap under the boot floor (not sure if the F32 has the same?) which, when you take out the surround, opens up even more. I'm booked in to get a Rockford Fosgate P3 shallow mount sub in there in about 6 weeks time, it's not cheap but it's going to be worth every single penny. I'll throw a photo or two up if I remember once it's sorted, booked in for the 31st October and I'll get it back on the 4th November. Hopefully that'll solve the issue I have with the system, if not then the HK front speakers will be coming out in favour of something of higher quality - the upgrade in my last car was cheap enough, I'm just hoping that the HK amp doesn't throw a spanner in the works (which I've got a feeling it will.)
I'd be very interested to see the result
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      09-25-2019, 07:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G50 View Post
While I'm happy with the general volume of bass from the HK, I find it rolls off really early, at like 80hz or so, and really struggles to produce any notes lower than 40hz. For people who enjoy bass, it's the low notes around 30hz that are the most enjoyable, and the HK system just doesn't reproduce these, and you feel you are missing part of the music. Inevitable due to the size of the underseat enclosures.

On the other hand it's still the best standard system I've had in any of my cars!
Agree. You can achieve plenty of bass with the EQ but it tends to be of the boomy variety, rather than that of 'distant thunder' .
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      09-26-2019, 07:31 AM   #14
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I find the bass in our F31 HK pretty impressive - turn it up enough and you can feel the thumping in your chest.
On the flip side - the bass in our Mini Clubman HK is pretty much non existant - to the point I'm wondering if the subs are working!
Does anyone know if it's possible to code the amp to increase the bass level output? - I appreciate it's a different beast in the Mini (same as the 1 series) - No EQ, just treble and bass, but we're had two 1ers before, both with much better bass than the mini
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      09-27-2019, 05:19 AM   #15
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You're absolutely right, bass does lack.
Upgrading the subs & adding another amp to feed them is the route I took. Well worth doing.
It's an easy DIY. The hardest & most time-consuming part of the fit is actually removing the side trim for access to the HK loom!
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      09-27-2019, 05:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedski View Post
I can't listen to you. Gone deaf from the HK bass in the GC

Seriously. If you have limited bass I would expect you have a problem with the setup/equipment. Theres more than enough in the HK when its right and working.
Nah... Sorry, If you like to feel your bass & have your trouser legs being ruffled by sound pressure, there just isn't enough to the HK system out of the box, no matter what settings you use. It doesn't thump enough or go loud enough without distortion.
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Last edited by t5pilot; 09-27-2019 at 05:50 AM..
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      09-27-2019, 05:31 AM   #17
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I find the biggest problem is the amount of sound/ bass that leaks outside the car... i dont have my radio any louder than in my TT - yet people outside can hear my music clearly!
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      09-27-2019, 05:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by aquazi View Post
I find the biggest problem is the amount of sound/ bass that leaks outside the car... i dont have my radio any louder than in my TT - yet people outside can hear my music clearly!
That's mainly 'cos the venting for the sub boxes goes into the side skirts. Makes them rattle from the outside too. Most annoying...
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      09-27-2019, 07:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t5pilot View Post
You're absolutely right, bass does lack.
Upgrading the subs & adding another amp to feed them is the route I took. Well worth doing.
It's an easy DIY. The hardest & most time-consuming part of the fit is actually removing the side trim for access to the HK loom!
So you upgraded the underseat subs? What did you replace them with? And what was the benefit? I can't imagine anything 8" under the seat creating any amount of decent low end!
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      09-27-2019, 08:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G50 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by t5pilot View Post
You're absolutely right, bass does lack.
Upgrading the subs & adding another amp to feed them is the route I took. Well worth doing.
It's an easy DIY. The hardest & most time-consuming part of the fit is actually removing the side trim for access to the HK loom!
So you upgraded the underseat subs? What did you replace them with? And what was the benefit? I can't imagine anything 8" under the seat creating any amount of decent low end!
With the HK system, the subs are 8" actually.
I put in a pair of Audison APBMW S8's. They're a direct plug & play replacement.
As the HK amp is digital, it can vary its power allocation (as I understand it), so to gain the maximum benefit i fitted a Hertz class D amp, just to power the new subs.
With the HK amp no longer having to drive these with anything other than a signal to the Hertz, it allows better power distribution to the remaining 11 speakers.

The resulting sound is fantastic, with no distortion.

I went with the Audisons based upon reviews, but several manufacturers produce similar units designed specifically to directly fit BMW's enclosures.
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      09-25-2021, 10:58 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t5pilot View Post
With the HK system, the subs are 8" actually.
I put in a pair of Audison APBMW S8's. They're a direct plug & play replacement.
As the HK amp is digital, it can vary its power allocation (as I understand it), so to gain the maximum benefit i fitted a Hertz class D amp, just to power the new subs.
With the HK amp no longer having to drive these with anything other than a signal to the Hertz, it allows better power distribution to the remaining 11 speakers.

The resulting sound is fantastic, with no distortion.

I went with the Audisons based upon reviews, but several manufacturers produce similar units designed specifically to directly fit BMW's enclosures.
Bump. How did you connect the HK amp to the mono amp? Do you still recommend your uprgwde?
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      09-25-2021, 11:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devil84 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by t5pilot View Post
With the HK system, the subs are 8" actually.
I put in a pair of Audison APBMW S8's. They're a direct plug & play replacement.
As the HK amp is digital, it can vary its power allocation (as I understand it), so to gain the maximum benefit i fitted a Hertz class D amp, just to power the new subs.
With the HK amp no longer having to drive these with anything other than a signal to the Hertz, it allows better power distribution to the remaining 11 speakers.

The resulting sound is fantastic, with no distortion.

I went with the Audisons based upon reviews, but several manufacturers produce similar units designed specifically to directly fit BMW's enclosures.
Bump. How did you connect the HK amp to the mono amp? Do you still recommend your uprgwde?
It's not a mono amp. I've used high level inputs into my Hertz amp by taking the sub outputs from the HK
And yes, still loving the sounds
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