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      06-08-2018, 01:30 PM   #1
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Short Review on Bimmertech Alpha One Upgrade for 428i Convertible

Since there aren't a lot of reviews out there yet, I wanted to give a few thoughts on my Bimmertech Alpha One speakers.

I have a 2015 428i Convertible, so I wasn't looking to do a crazy sound overhaul, but the stock speakers (hi-fi, not HK) really left something to be desired. I'm coming from numerous Lexus cars that all had Mark Levinson systems, so I've been accustomed to good OEM systems.

I'm no audiophile, but like good sounding music. My speakers at home are Martin Logans and my variety of headphones are a mix between Shures/Sennheisers.

I just bought the car recently, so wasn't looking to go all out on speakers, as I just dropped some money on other mods like the MPE.

I was initially planning to go BSW, but the fact they only sold the entire kit was a bit of drag, and then the Alpha Ones came out.

I opted for the front speakers only, 2 tweeters and 3 mid range. This kept the cost low, and the general investment lower, in case I didn't really like them, since I had never heard them. Overall build quality is excellent, and packaging is very good as well. Shipping was insanely fast. I ordered from California, and they delivered at my door from Dubai in 3 business days.

Installation - Super easy following all of the great tutorials out there with step by step instructions. The ONLY hiccup I encountered, was removing the clip from the door woofer the first time. I was being very gentle to not break the clip, and in doing so ended up causing more stress on them and almost broke a clip. You just give them a good yank, and they come off. After that smooth sailing. The center woofer is also a very tight fit (the associated wiring takes a bit of space, but its still doable. All holes lined up perfectly, and everything was plug in play. Exactly what I was looking for. This was my first time removing the doors, and the entire process for the speakers took 40 minutes. With about 10 minutes spent struggling with the first woofer clip.

Audio impressions - Excellent. I'm not going to go all audiophile review crazy, but simply state they they are an excellent upgrade. The tweeters are very smooth, and not harsh, and the mid ranges provide nice distinction. I turn up the treble +1, and the bass about +2, since I drive top down a lot. With the top up I'd probably keep the levels flat. On the stock amp, I can clearly see where an upgraded amp would do wonders for these speakers. With the stock amp, when you pump the sound to about 75% the speakers really start to shine, with the top up this is a bit loud, but perfect for top down, and driving. At more moderate listening levels, the difference between stock and the Alpha Ones are not as dynamic, but the clarity is definitely still there. As I age, my audio preferences are also changing, and I care less about loud bass, and more about clarity and balance, so the front stage was most important for me.

All in all, if you don't want to spend a huge amount of money, I think just upgrading the front components is a good way to upgrade piece by piece. I may choose to upgrade the rears, but honestly in a convertible, those speakers are lost in the wind anyways. I've also been thinking M3 in the not so distant future, so I'm keeping the modding to a minimum. Although I was very tempted to go with the amp upgrade over the speakers first, I just didn't feel like dropping that much money on upgrading the stock speakers. While this upgrade certainly opens the door for me to consider the amp upgrade and the sub upgrade, the fronts should keep my content for a while. I've been more busy enjoying breaking in my MPE.

Just wanted to give my perspective for anyone out there thinking about a speaker upgrade.
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      06-09-2018, 04:40 PM   #2
Larry77
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I mentioned this in another thread but if you care about front soundstage you really should try it without the center speaker at all. You could just block the speaker with a dense pillow or something and listen to your favorite song to see how it sounds. It's crazy how much the center fills in space that should be there for good stereo sound. Another option could be to attenuate the amount of sound coming out of the center channel to have it set up as subtle fill but I really don't see the need personally.

It's nice to see another easy swap speaker system on the market, looking forward to Bavsound vs Alpha One reviews.
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      06-09-2018, 09:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry77 View Post
I mentioned this in another thread but if you care about front soundstage you really should try it without the center speaker at all. You could just block the speaker with a dense pillow or something and listen to your favorite song to see how it sounds. It's crazy how much the center fills in space that should be there for good stereo sound. Another option could be to attenuate the amount of sound coming out of the center channel to have it set up as subtle fill but I really don't see the need personally.

It's nice to see another easy swap speaker system on the market, looking forward to Bavsound vs Alpha One reviews.
That's actually a good thought. I did think about it, and even thought about adding the tweeter as some have done as well, but I didn't want to lose too much volume given the car being a convertible.
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