Originally Posted by Matty33
Sorry to bring this back from the dead but just wanted to get thoughts on the sound options for the GP2 now that those who've installed it have had plenty of time with them.
Still worth the cost?
Looks like either the Alpine or the Integral audio are the only 2 real 'easy' options for this upgrade? My commute is a little longer now and starting to miss having good tunes..or will once the GP comes out of storage!
So the short answer:
The GP2 is uniquely wired/programmed. At the time, IA wasn't aware of this...I know they are now, and I'm not sure what solutions they are offering.
The challenge with any non-GP2 specific stereo upgrade:
The X9331 harness is not wired the same as any other mini, and the headunit crossover programming is unique (which feeds signal to this wiring).
If you dig through the coding for the car, you'll find the following configuration:
With the tools I had at that time (no ethernet based coding tools), I couldn't talk to RAD to write changes - this -might- still be possible to switch this to the hifi or base stereo coding, but.
So the result of this is that the "front" and "rear" pinout in the X9331 harness are actually "high" and "midbass" crossover outputs - the two speakers in the door actually get electronic crossovers applied, and both the front/rear wiring feed into the door.
The -rest- of the mini's only get the "front" wiring sent to the door - and this is (from memory here) full range (unfiltered, or limited filtering). Crossovers are at the speakers. The "rear" wiring (in some configurations) is filtered - low frequencies are removed if I recall. There's lots of discussion about these details for the non-GP cars.
So, back to the GP:
This means you have two heavily filtered signals to try to get full range audio from. This is starting to get more and more common (I recall Kevin mentioning he'd just discovered a similar case in a recent BMW he was working on at the time), so solutions may be getting better.
For me, with the IA soundstage, I had to do the following:
Use a custom X9331 harness that I modified to change the pin configuration so I could capture and route speaker level signal from all 4 speakers to the rear of the car, and feed new input into the correct speaker line in the door to feed the IA crossovers.
Use a DSP to re-combine the two filtered sets of audio into a single signal. I'm using a Rockford Fosgate 3SIXTY.3 - but you can potentially get away with a cheaper non-programmable signal combiner. (JL Audio Cleansweep comes to mind)
The straight filtered result isn't really a complete signal yet - going from memory without looking at my signal graphs - the high end still rolls off, the middle has a valley, and it's rolled off at the low end. Because the GP speakers are such absolute crap, they had to filter the highs and the lows.
So next, I used the 360 to reshape the signal curve - which was a very long and time consuming process of measuring/changing/listening/rince/repeat. I'm an amature, so my measurement rig is far from a mockup of the human ear. As Kevin frequently reminded me.
Eventually I got an "input" signal I was happy with, and split that into 3 output channels - front LR and subwoofer mono. Fed that into the IA amp, adjusted gains, and am mostly happy.
This setup - and indeed any amp installation - WILL require a NCSExpert coding change - the "chime" sounds are configured to use the stereo, and at a fixed output volume. (well, it's minimally configurable, but not enough). As soon as you start amplifying your chime signal.....it's unbearably loud. You have to make a coding change to switch the sound to use the speaker built into the gauge cluster.
"KOMBI - HU_VERBAUT from radiostufe_3_4 to radiostufe_2 - door gong in console instead of stereo"
Also, on adjusting gains - the stock headunit is both extremely noisy AND clips heavily. AND has zero volume level indication. Even counting clicks from turnon volume is not reliable. So finding the balance between a gain increase that gives you the volume you want, and not picking up increasing the noise level (alternator whine primarily), and still being able to turn up the volume without clipping, is a challenge.
My opinion now:
Install a single DIN headunit (or other audio source - there are many for the marine and classic car markets) somewhere. Something with a remote display and control that you can stick somewhere.
Use that to supply audio to your amp, speakers, and sub. Use a modified X9331 harness to avoid having to cut up the factory wiring. Use the IA kit if you prefer, since it comes with a matched set of speakers and A pillars and an amp that fits in place - or assemble your own drivers/parts/crossovers/amps..)
There's also now an aftermarket KOMBI+RAD cluster/headunit from china that I've seen - it's a bit pricy, and I know zero about it. Maybe it provides a decent full signal? It might not match the GP interior, and it definitely violates my idea of a mini speedometer...but.
There's also the center stack trim replacement that shifts things down and around to put a single DIN in the stack.
Was it worth it to me? YES.
Would I do it again, knowing what I know now? Probably not - I'd buy a '13 JCW and put the GP or similar coilovers on it. But since I already have the GP...it definitely needed fixing.
And yes, that's the short answer.