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      05-21-2019, 07:45 PM   #1
BabyBimmerGuy
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Looking for advice on staging Focal audio upgrades

Hello all,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I would like to thank the community for tons of great articles, you have helped me choose my path forward on audio upgrades but I need some advice. I drive a 2010 135i with standard HiFi. I like my music clear and yes, sometimes loud. I listen to a variety of music but for the most part I'm still stuck in the '90s alternative scene, or what my niece and nefiew refer to as oldies music.

For speakers I am leaning towards Focal ES100K for the doors and rear deck and Focal IFBMW underseats. This will be a pricier setup so I would like to do it in a staged aproach. Here's where things get tricky. My local shop has offered me a great deal on a Focal FDP 4.600 (4 channel amp).

I am thinking that I would like to do the following in terms of staging:
Stage 1 buy the Focal amp and hook it up to the door and under seat speakers and unhook the rear deck.
Stage 2 get ES100K for door.
Stage 3 get underseat
Stage 4 (optional if I'm not happy) get ES100K for rear deck and Focal FDS 1.350. Hook up rear deck to 4 channel amp and underseats to 1 channel amp.

I am looking for advice if the above makes sense, if not suggestions would be appreciated. Before the comments come flying in that I should go to JL 6 channel the cost of the two amps will end up being the same as the JL but I think I will end up with better quality. Also I have read alot of posts and I am not really interested in an all in one DSP solution. I would rather hear what each stage of upgrades does for the sound and if I am not satisfied in the end I can decide to go with a stand alone DSP.
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      05-21-2019, 07:54 PM   #2
zx10guy
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If I were you, I would consider the following option:

Focal IFBMW-S for the door/tweeter pod
Focal IFBMW-Subv2 for the underseat subs
Bimmertech DSP amp

I know you said you're not interested in an all in one DSP solution. But the reason why I recommend the above is because I have the setup with the appropriate sound file and the sound quality is close to the best I've heard in a car audio system. I worked out a deal with GeoffS for the sound file he created. He had a pro audio guy do measured calibrations of his 1 series to create the baseline for the file. Geoff and my musical tastes are similar so the additional tweaks he did just sweetened things.

I know there's some satisfaction in doing it yourself to arrive to a finished product. But when someone has already performed all the hard work why create unnecessary work for yourself?
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      05-21-2019, 08:28 PM   #3
BabyBimmerGuy
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Thanks for the advice. What did you do for the rear deck? Did you just disconnect it?
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      05-21-2019, 11:04 PM   #4
zx10guy
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GeoffS did some Focal coaxials (I think) for the rear deck. I talked to him about doing the same since the sound file he has is with the Focal coaxials. He recommended I not waste my money and just stick with the stockers. He said the use of the rears is more for fill sound than anything else.

So based on Geoff's recommendation, I kept the stock rear deck speakers and he's right. I don't feel I'm missing anything.
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      05-25-2019, 11:32 AM   #5
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in doing this, do you think there's no need to buy a dedicated sub just incase?
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      05-25-2019, 12:03 PM   #6
zx10guy
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I'm fine with the system without the need to add a trunk mounted sub. I haven't looked at the EQ curve closely in the sound file from GeoffS. But I've left the sound file as is without any tweaks and keeping the tone controls on the head unit at zero. I suspect if you want more bass, you can adjust the bass tone control or the DSP setting in the Bimmertech amp to get what you need. Now I've never been a fan of bass so severe it rattles your car and everything around it. I'm more concerned about tight non distorted bass reproduction. So your sound preferences could be very different than mine.
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      06-12-2019, 01:59 PM   #7
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I have a file that's a little heavier in bass as well. The new DSP firmware added a few options that I've taken advantage of.
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      06-12-2019, 03:54 PM   #8
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I found that when I installed my sub (single 10" in sealed enclosure) it did 2 things - 1) Easily filled in the lowest octave, something the 8" underseat speakers were capable of but only at relatively low volume levels. 2) Freed those 8" speakers to handle everything above the sub cutoff which they were much more capable of and eliminated any thoughts I had of replacing them.

This is off a 4 chan version of the JL amp, 2 chans for the fronts, 2 chans bridged to sub, rears off the factory amp (the HK setup). I'm 48 and also mostly listen to the oldies but even just some electronic or grunge really benefitted from the sub even at levels that aren't all that loud. That said... it's possible some more work w/ the factory EQ could have gotten me pretty close. But it's hard not to dabble in old hobbies so I went for it even if it wasn't entirely necessary.
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      06-17-2019, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
I'm fine with the system without the need to add a trunk mounted sub. I haven't looked at the EQ curve closely in the sound file from GeoffS. But I've left the sound file as is without any tweaks and keeping the tone controls on the head unit at zero. I suspect if you want more bass, you can adjust the bass tone control or the DSP setting in the Bimmertech amp to get what you need. Now I've never been a fan of bass so severe it rattles your car and everything around it. I'm more concerned about tight non distorted bass reproduction. So your sound preferences could be very different than mine.
Check your email...new file for you to try.
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