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      07-24-2013, 05:24 PM   #1
thetaobear
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Drives: 2009 135i Crimson Red
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BSW Audio Stage 1 -- Speaker Upgrades Perspective

I had my BSW installed a couple weeks ago and spent quite a bit of time with the new speakers. I hope this helps those who are considering upgrading their speakers to BSW Audio Stage 1.

Summary:
For the price, you pay for the easy install. Sound quality improvement was disappointing.

Pros
+ easy setup (really just plug and play)
+ great tweeter upgrades

Cons
- tweeters are too high pitched (I had to reduce the trebles)
- mids are minor upgrades
- expensive

My previous setup:
1. 2009 135i Hi-Fi, sound system all-stock

New setup:
1. Just replaced speakers (2 front, 2 back tweeters; 2 front, 2 back mids), everything else is stock

I listen to vocals (Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, etc.), alternatives, R and B, etc. Spoiled with L7 from my 2007 335i, Shure SE535, Bose Companion 5, etc. I am not a music export; I just listen to a lot of music.

Installation- Easy
Installation was quite easy. I've worked on my car several times before, so opening stuff up isn't that foreign to me. I suggest getting the toolbox (right angle tool and the plastic pryer are amazing tools that can be used for many other things). The hardest part was just taking off the door. The most time consuming part was just dynamating the plastic door panel.

Sound Quality
- Tweeters are huge improvements. The clarity of the trebles improved dramatically and the sound is rich. Unfortunately, the problem with these tweeters is that the treble is also too screechy. I tried breaking in the speakers, but the problem is not alleviated. I ended up turning down the treble to -2 on my Hifi System
- Mids are disappointing. The improvement of the mids is pretty minor in my opinion.
- Lows- well, I didn't change my subwoofers, so the lows are still pretty flat. The stock subs can't resolve lows very well. Since the trebles have increased dramatically, I had to increase the bass by quite a bit to compensate. Not BSW's fault on this part.
- Volume- the volume is definitely lower from stock. Therefore, I think I should upgrade my amps.

Conclusion
699 is expensive. However, the easy installation does provide you a half-baked solution in my opinion. If you are expecting a huge improvement over the L7 speakers- you will be disappointed with this setup. The L7 on my 2007 335i sound absolutely amazing with balance and clarity. This BSW setup, unfortunately, is just not up to par in my opinion. The BSW does provide a minor improvement- which the trebles are now good with a bit of improvement with the mids. Because of the small improvements and the cost, I would not recommend the BSW Stage 1. If you want a good sound system- do it right. I suggest looking into audio stores and musicarnw (I asked around and even local audio stores suggest me to that-- but the upgrades are fairly expensive). For me, I am looking into upgrading
- amps to JL600/XD ($419)
- processor ($199)
- SWS Subs ($250)
- iPod integration kit (65110439429)
- installation (????)
which is A LOT of money. I won't be upgrading anytime soon due to the cost. Right now, first on my priority list is the iPod integration.

NOTE: AUX and the OEM Y-cable provide such garbage sound quality with the iPod for some reason. The iPod integration at least will use digital signal to exploit the full capacity of my current audio system.

Last edited by thetaobear; 07-24-2013 at 05:28 PM. Reason: iPod integration kit note
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      07-24-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
Adam135
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The amp will help a lot. I have Focal speakers, JL 700/5 amp, SWS subs, and AudioControl processor. Love it! Don't forget to use the appropriate spacers for the SWS subs. Check my previous posts/threads for more info about my setup.
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      07-24-2013, 11:13 PM   #3
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Wow, sorry to hear it wasn't as good as hoped. Thanks for taking the time to share the info...
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      07-30-2013, 03:37 AM   #4
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Well... Scratching that option off the list. Thanks for the review!
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      08-07-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
nato-main-man-5am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetaobear View Post
I had my BSW installed a couple weeks ago and spent quite a bit of time with the new speakers. I hope this helps those who are considering upgrading their speakers to BSW Audio Stage 1.

Summary:
For the price, you pay for the easy install. Sound quality improvement was disappointing.

Pros
+ easy setup (really just plug and play)
+ great tweeter upgrades

Cons
- tweeters are too high pitched (I had to reduce the trebles)
- mids are minor upgrades
- expensive

My previous setup:
1. 2009 135i Hi-Fi, sound system all-stock

New setup:
1. Just replaced speakers (2 front, 2 back tweeters; 2 front, 2 back mids), everything else is stock

I listen to vocals (Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, etc.), alternatives, R and B, etc. Spoiled with L7 from my 2007 335i, Shure SE535, Bose Companion 5, etc. I am not a music export; I just listen to a lot of music.

Installation- Easy
Installation was quite easy. I've worked on my car several times before, so opening stuff up isn't that foreign to me. I suggest getting the toolbox (right angle tool and the plastic pryer are amazing tools that can be used for many other things). The hardest part was just taking off the door. The most time consuming part was just dynamating the plastic door panel.

Sound Quality
- Tweeters are huge improvements. The clarity of the trebles improved dramatically and the sound is rich. Unfortunately, the problem with these tweeters is that the treble is also too screechy. I tried breaking in the speakers, but the problem is not alleviated. I ended up turning down the treble to -2 on my Hifi System
- Mids are disappointing. The improvement of the mids is pretty minor in my opinion.
- Lows- well, I didn't change my subwoofers, so the lows are still pretty flat. The stock subs can't resolve lows very well. Since the trebles have increased dramatically, I had to increase the bass by quite a bit to compensate. Not BSW's fault on this part.
- Volume- the volume is definitely lower from stock. Therefore, I think I should upgrade my amps.

Conclusion
699 is expensive. However, the easy installation does provide you a half-baked solution in my opinion. If you are expecting a huge improvement over the L7 speakers- you will be disappointed with this setup. The L7 on my 2007 335i sound absolutely amazing with balance and clarity. This BSW setup, unfortunately, is just not up to par in my opinion. The BSW does provide a minor improvement- which the trebles are now good with a bit of improvement with the mids. Because of the small improvements and the cost, I would not recommend the BSW Stage 1. If you want a good sound system- do it right. I suggest looking into audio stores and musicarnw (I asked around and even local audio stores suggest me to that-- but the upgrades are fairly expensive). For me, I am looking into upgrading
- amps to JL600/XD ($419)
- processor ($199)
- SWS Subs ($250)
- iPod integration kit (65110439429)
- installation (????)
which is A LOT of money. I won't be upgrading anytime soon due to the cost. Right now, first on my priority list is the iPod integration.

NOTE: AUX and the OEM Y-cable provide such garbage sound quality with the iPod for some reason. The iPod integration at least will use digital signal to exploit the full capacity of my current audio system.
Thanks for posting your findings. Sorry to hear about the disappointment.

If is it any consolation: You impressions appear to be shared.

That is, based on a quick search, I think your conclusions mirror most of the people that are:

1. Familiar with how great a BMW can sound, and
2. Have tried the BSW system.

Which is: Relatively painless install. Minor improvement in some aspects of the sound.

I think it's really all about one's point of reference. But for $700, one should be blown away.

Both Gladen and Jehnert make drop in systems (or close to drop in systems -- they are sized right, but may not have the right easy wiring connections, etc, out of the box, so one wants to buy them from a vendor that will provide those parts). The Gladen goes for c. $500 (http://www.germaniks.com/speakers/gl...x-e7x-e8x-e9x/).
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