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Disappointed In The Harmon Kardon "Premium" Sound System?

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Disappointed In The Harmon Kardon "Premium" Sound System?

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Old 10-11-2018, 03:13 PM
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Disappointed In The Harmon Kardon "Premium" Sound System?

I'd like start by saying I recently traded in my 2016 Camaro 2SS for a new "fully loaded" 2018 Mini Cooper S Clubman. While it doesn't touch the raw HP of the SS, I find that the Clubman is just as fun, if not more fun to drive in the city. And spunky enough on the highway too. Believe it or not, it also has more room in the front seats too. AND, you can actually have legs and still sit in the back seat of the Clubman! Very happy with my choice and purchase.

Now for the background to my rant. One thing I did like better in the SS was the premium Bose sound system. Similar in speaker sizes and quantity to the Clubman, there were 9 smallish speakers throughout the cabin. The doors each had one 4 inch ported woofer (I think that's the size) for bass. While these wouldn't make you "feel" the bass per se, you could definitely hear it. Even very low frequencies. Admittedly, it was a little less Bass than what I would have preferred. But with super crisp and powerful highs, mids, and low frequencies, it more than made up for this small perceived deficiency.


When I picked up the Clubman a couple weeks ago, as I drove off the lot listening to my favorite tunes, I began to noticed the following:

1. High's are nice, Midrange is just okay and Bass...... WHAT BASS?!?!?! Even with the bass turned up to 75% over default, with the exception of a few very specific low frequencies, it's almost non existent in the Clubman. And really,you have to listen to hiphop to get anything meaningful out of them.
2. 50% HK volume = 20% volume in just about every vehicle I've ever owned. Not a major issue just slightly disappointed underwhelming when you turn on a radio and it has half the power you were expecting for a given volume.
3. Why is there not a sophisticated EQ. One would think that a premium sound system would have more than just Treble and Bass adjustments.

My questions and curiosities are:
1. Does anyone feel the same disdain I feel for the HK system? I've read similar posts for other minis but wasn't entirely sure if the HK system in the clubman was the same in other mini models.
2. Is there a tech sheet for the F54 with the HK sound system? If I'm going to fix this problem, I'll need to know what wires are what and where to find them. Something similar to Directechs.com would be great if someone could share. Or, if you know where to find one. Also, where the factory locations for amps, components etc.
3. Does our car have noise canceling? Also, are exhaust tones pumped into the sound system? If so, where can I get a clean signal to tap into for an aftermarket system?
4. Most importantly, if you feel the same way I do, what did you do to fix the problem? If your HK system was added to, what choice of amps, subs, just bass or did you replace other speakers? Where did you put the sub, etc..

I feel like I just need a little extra bass and low midrange to fix it the way I want it. I've been looking at this - https://www.crutchfield.com/p_20611H...ker-11HS8.html This 8" seems like it might do the trick but I need to know what to tap into to get a clean signal. Also, not sure the 120hz max crossover is going to cut it the low midrange problem. But atleast I would be more on track to fix the problem.

Again, not bashing the car, just the sound system. Thoughts are appreciated!
 
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:33 PM
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HK sucks. I tolerated it in the 2011 Countryman, it is a bit better. It is also oddly not so bad in the 2016 4 dr/ht we have. But in my 2014 F56 it was awful.

Bought a harness and a JL Audio amp from technicpnp.com . Only issue I had was the guy didn't know MINI as well as BMW at that point and gave me a very short power cable thinking the battery was in the trunk. Also replaced all the speakers with Bavsound speakers. Based on your perceptions, probably only need to do the underseat woofer/subs. But knowing what I know now I'd just do the amp first and see how it sounds with the OEM HK speakers.

If you do all that you don't need the Crutchfield item you linked, or at least I don't. <g>

Simplest way to remove fake sounds is the Bimmercode app and a OBDii dongle with android or ios device - under $50 and you can code all sorts of extra stuff in your car.

Music now thumps and you can actually feel the bass.
 
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:00 AM
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Thanks Moocher! Out of curiosity, which JL amp did you get? I’m thinking I would need to get the 8 channel amp if I wanted to keep the factory subs. But not sure I want to spend that much money Just in an amp. I’ll check around though.
 
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:26 AM
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600/6 - 6 channel amp and you lose the center channel in the dash. No loss on that IMO. 2 fronts, 2 rears, 2 under seat woofers. You can go with a lesser cost amp, I just read a lot of reviews of people who went that route and then upgraded to the JL.

I had a Bose system when they first got into car stereo as an after market unit in my 3 series BMW. It was great. Also had one in a Nissan Murano, it was also very good even if the car wasn't.
 
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:52 PM
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I think it sounds much better then the Gen 2 MINI HK systems of 9/2009+. And way better then the Hifi of 2007-9/2009.
 
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:12 AM
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I do not know too me the HK System Sounds pretty good listing to Frank Zappa,s Apostrophe or Joe,s Garage The Bose System in my last Mercedes sounded not as good as the HK in the Mini.
 
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